Here are 7 reasons why you want to travel to Croatia in 2021.
Crystalline waters, striking beaches, world-famous culinary delights, epic architecture — Croatia isn’t called the gem of Adriatic for nothing. The country is fully open and welcoming U.S. visitors, and it’s never been a better time to travel to Croatia from the U.S. There’s a lot to consider on a trip to Croatia so we’re sharing the best things to do in Croatia along with some expert travel tips for Croatia to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.
The Island-Hopping Culture
Some people travel to Croatia with the sole purpose of island-hopping along Croatia cerulean coast. While exploring the isles isn’t the only thing to do in Croatia, it’s certainly one of the best. A sailboat or yacht charter is the easiest way to access Croatia’s 1,200 islands. It also guarantees an exclusive experience, enables you to be spontaneous with your plans, and takes into consideration your health and safety with a fully vaccinated and frequently-tested crew and captain.
Here are some of our favorite island destinations: Brac is famous for its beautiful white stone, used to build significant sites like Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the White House in Washington, D.C.! It’s also a foodie hub, famous for its lamb, seafood, and olive oil. Brac’s neighbor, Hvar, is the life of the party. A visit isn’t complete without dancing the night away at one of the popular beach bars. After the party, there’s no better place to relax and recoup than the quiet and pristine Mljet, known as the Greenest Island in Croatia. Soak up the island’s peaceful vibes, lounge on uncrowded beaches, and discover the unmatched beauty of Mljet National Park.
Croatia travel tip #1: Moor up off an uninhabited island and discover an untouched part of Croatia. The Kornati Islands (north of Brac) are ideal for those who want to get off the beaten path.
A trek into Motovun Forest with expert guides and highly-trained truffle hounds is one of the top things to do in Croatia. Visit the northern province of Istria, Croatia’s truffle capital, and get down in the dirt with one of the most prized culinary specialties in the world. Istria’s soil fosters several types of black truffles and the highly-prized white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico, if you’re a pro) which sells for an incredible 3,000 Euros per kilo. After the hunt, enjoy a meal enhanced with the earthy and robust flavor of local truffles. Want more? The annual Day of Truffles festival kicks off in mid-September and runs through early November. Each weekend offers the chance to learn more about the highly-sought after delicacy and, of course, sample plenty of truffle-adorned dishes.
The sapphire seas of the Adriatic compliment the pale pebbly shores stretching along the Dalmatian coast, creating idyllic beaches that beg to be lounged upon. Some of the beaches of Croatia are tucked away stretches of shoreline that offer a quiet nook if you want some alone time. Others — like the internationally-renowned Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) on Brac — draw crowds for their undeniable appeal. Beat the crowds and head to Murvica (also on Brac), for a more remote but pretty crescent-shaped cove with no development. Hvar also boasts an epic shoreline, from the popular waterfront party spot known as Hula Marica Hvar Beach Bar to the more serene and out-of-the-way Dubovica Beach. If you find yourself in need of a dip while away from the islands, Split and Dubrovnik both offer attractive city beaches. Croatia travel tip #2: Spontaneous swimming opportunities are everywhere in Croatia. Stick to the coast and a warm rocky perch on the edge of the sea is never far away. Always pack a swimsuit on your daily adventures!
With an ideal grape-growing climate, it’s no surprise Croatia has been producing wine since before the rise of the Roman Empire. However, it wasn’t until after it gained independence in 1991 and joined the EU in 2013, that Croatia started to make a well-deserved name for itself in the wine world. Excellent wine is sipped throughout the country, but there are a few top places to visit in Croatia for every vino-lover. Red wine-enthusiasts should spend time in Southern and Central Dalmatia, the birthplace of Zinfandel. Crljenak Kaštelanski grapes grow here (better known as Zinfandel) as well as Plavac Mali, which yields the country’s signature red wine. Croatia is also known for its white wine varieties. Must-tries include the crisp and refreshing Bogdanusa (produced on Hvar) and the dry and citrusy Malvazija (sip in Istria).
Not a beach bum or a foodie? No problem. Croatia’s ancient architecture keeps history buffs happy as well. Dubrovnik’s Old City and the iconic City Walls — established between the 7th – 17th centuries — are two of the must-see places when you travel to Croatia. Croatia travel tip #3: Rise early and walk the City Walls at 8am before the crowds and the heat overwhelm the day. It’s also especially magical to stroll the Old Town (which is usually bustling with people in the daytime) in the early morning hours – particularly if you want to take pictures without hundreds of other people in them. Several hundred kilometers north of Dubrovnik, the bustling port city of Split is worth a visit to see Diocletian’s Palace. Made from the famous white stone mined in Brac, the palace is a sprawling example of Roman era architecture. Cafes, restaurants, and shops lie within the fortress walls and live musical or theatrical performances in the plazas are a common evening occurrence.
Mother Nature blessed Croatia with waterfalls and lush forests, and nowhere showcases the country’s natural beauty better than Plitvice Lakes National Park. Over thousands of years, rushing water shaped the landscape and created a lake and cave system interconnected by above and below ground waterfalls. Today, the 30,000-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site is heralded as one of the best places to visit in Croatia. Within Krka National Park is another stunning waterfall complex. The most famous falls is Skradinski Buk, the multi-level cascade that spills from the lush green rock face into a tranquil pool below (swimming encouraged!).
Free diving/Snorkeling –
The azure Adriatic is so enticing, you’ll find it hard to stay out of the water during your Croatia vacation. The color and clarity make diving below the surface an underworldly experience. The underwater landscape boasts craggily rocks, caves, and native Mediterranean fish like wrasse, damselfish, and groupers. Snorkeling is popular and can certainly be requested aboard any charter boat trip.
Croatia travel tip #4: Freediving is popular in Croatia and it’s the perfect activity if you’re up for a deeper adventure. Many of the islands have freediving and scuba diving centers where you can sign up for half-day “try-dives” or multiple-day certification courses.
Croatia awaits! Contact us for details on our trip to Croatia in September or to learn more about how to travel to Croatia in 2021.