Seeing as Croatia boasts more than 1,100 islands and one of the finest coastlines in Europe, it has become the destination of choice for numerous sun-seeking beach-lovers. It’s also extremely attractive to history buffs and culture vultures because of its fascinating walled cities and ancient ruins. This doesn’t even take into account the castles and national parks, which are dotted all over the country.
But where can you find these amazing attractions? And which ones should you visit? Well, here’s a taste of some of the most stunning places in the Eastern European jewel of Croatia. To find out more about visiting Croatia, check out FirstChoice.co.uk
Dubrovnik’s Old Town
You only have to marvel at its picturesque red-roofed buildings and medieval walls to see why Dubrovnik has earned the nickname “Pearl of the Atlantic.” However, look a little bit closer and you will discover even more detail.
This World UNESCO Heritage site features some striking churches and monasteries as well as various fortresses, towers, and cannons. All the while, the glistening blue water of the Adriatic Sea is just a stone’s throw away.
Plitvice National Park
Croatia’s most visited inland attraction and perhaps the prettiest natural landmark in Europe, Plitvice National Park features a system of 16 interlinked emerald-blue lakes. These are connected by several spectacular waterfalls, enveloped in a large steep forested complex.
As you make your way around the quaint footpaths and wooden bridges, be on the lookout for the park’s diverse range of flora and fauna. This includes various wild animals including wolves, bears, owls, eagles, and falcons.
On the island of Hvar you will find a landscape consisting of olive groves, fruit orchards, and lavender fields. When mixed with glorious sunshine, balmy temperatures, and a calming sea breeze, this heady and aromatic combination will really stir the senses.
But perhaps the island’s biggest draw is Hvar Town, a popular port of call with yachters and celebrities thanks to its first-rate restaurants and five-star hotels. The car-free Old Town also features a 16th-century cathedral and is overlooked by a hilltop fortress.
On the Istrian peninsula in northwest Croatia you will find Rovinj, a Venetian-era seaside town featuring pastel-coloured houses positioned on steep winding streets, which form a ring around the active fishing port.
To truly appreciate the beauty of Rovinj, you should take a boat out on the water and gaze in wonder at its captivating charm. However, the Batana Eco-Museum, which tells the story of a type of wooden boat used by local fishermen, is also well worth a visit.
Mijet National Park
Even though the island of Mijet and its national park is a great place to relax and unwind without a care in the world, this particular destination also offers up some active adventures too.
Visitors to Mijet, which you can reach by ferry or catamaran from Dubrovnik, can walk along a nine-kilometre trail that runs around the perimeter of the island’s lakes or even swim in its turquoise-blue waters.
Zagreb’s Gornji Grad (Upper Town)
While some tourists dismiss the capital of Croatia altogether, this is a big mistake, as Zagreb’s Gornji Grad (Upper Town) has an abundance of alluring attractions. These include the Church of St Mark, featuring a coloured tiled roof, the 13th-century Tower of Lotrščak, the Croatian Sabor (Parliament), and the gothic style Zagreb cathedral with its twin steeples. The Museum of Broken Relationships shouldn’t be missed either.
Protected by medieval walls and towers, Korcula Town is also known as “Little Dubrovnik” but has its own unique architecture, including the Cathedral of St. Marco, completed in the 15th century and built in Gothic-Renaissance style.
Accessible by a daily catamaran from Split, another point of interest in Korcula Town is Marco Polo house, said to be the birthplace of the famous 13th-century explorer.
So, with plentiful places to visit, it is difficult to look beyond Croatia for your next European getaway. The only dilemma you might have is deciding which destinations to brush aside for next time.
First image by Eric Hossinger, used under Creative Commons license
Author Bio– Edgar Roberts is a translator of Russian and Croatian. He also enjoys classic music and philosophy.