Croatia is a new EU country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Mediterranean and the Balkans.
Where to start when describing Croatia? A rather difficult question when you have to pick between Croatia’s 1000+ islands, UNESCO’s historic towns, 8 breathtaking National Parks, 17000+ vineyards, olive oil so good it makes you cry and a hospitality you will never forget.
But let’s answer the question first. It must be the clear blue waters of the Adriatic sea. The region of the most beautiful coastline and numerous islands is called Dalmatia and it boasts towns like Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, Korcula, Trogir… This is where you embark on a journey taking you back in time of Venetians, Ottomans, pirates and adventurous sailors. You simply should not miss treasures like Diocletian palace in Split, town of Dubrovnik dubbed the Pearl of the Adriatic and once an independent state, the super chic town of Hvar, Marco Polo’s Korcula and Rovinj the gem of Istrian peninsula.
We travel a lot around the globe but hardly anything can match the beauty of the Croatian Adriatic. Once you experience intimately the clear waters and picturesque islands of Dalmatia combined with pristine local culture you a very short step away from the Big Blue Shangri-La. Step on board of a sailing boat, paddle the sea-kayak or hike and bikethrough islands and you will get to enjoy one of the most beautiful marine landscapes in the world.
Let’s have some more facts about Croatia.
The capital is a vibrant city of Zagreb once part of the Habsburg monarchy. The country is member of European Union since July 2013 and official currency is Croatian Kuna. English is widely spoken among the younger generations and country is very safe to travel.There are plenty of ATM’s and banks around and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Croatia used to be part of former Yugoslavia and got its independence in the turbulent early 90’s.
The capital Zagreb is within 6h drive to Munich and 4h drive to Vienna.
If you start in Venice it takes only 2h driving down the coast to reach the beautiful peninsula of Istria situated in the Western most part of Croatia.
Istria was voted as one of the best regions in the world to travel by Lonely planet.
Many people consider Istria as a new Tuscany. It is easy to understand why; The blue Istria offers beautiful coastline with charming historic towns of Rovinj and Porec dating back to the time of Venetians. A perfect contrast to the blue sea is the hilly inland of the peninsula called the Green Istria. There are many medieval villages scattered on those hills introducing you to some of the best wining and dining in the country. This is the place to find Croatia’s most exclusive olive oil and wine producers. Food enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the supreme delicacy of the region; The Black and White truffles found in the oak forests nearby the village of Livade. A small village of Livade is the truffles capital of the world and this is where you also find some of the finest olive oil in the world. We just like to watch the transition when the young generations of progressive chefs took over the gourmet cuisine but shill following the old traditions. Revival of old traditions. Organic foods!
What we like most:
- bike the Green Istria,
- sail the archipelago of Kornati islands National Park,
- enjoy the new wave of top young culinary chefs in Istria,
- taste the olive oil in Istria, the islands of Hvar and Brac and in the fabulous UJE oil bar in Split,
- explore the old part of Dubrovnik and Split (Diocletian palace) just before sunset,
- hike the Velebit national park and Mt Ilija on Peljesac (best view in Dalmatia),
- paddle the sea-kayak in the archipelago of small islands overlooking Korcula island or archipelago of Pakleni islands overlooking Hvar island,
- for more adventurous one, seeking the true paradise, paddle with us the Cres and Losinj islands,
- explore the mysterious island of Vis with its secluded beaches and rich history taking you back to WWII time of Yugoslavian partisans,
- have a glass of red wine in one of the wine bars in Rovinj,
- hike in the splendid National Park of Mljet island rich with fresh water lakes,
- stop by to sample some of the tastiest fruits at the fruit stalls on Neretva plain close to the Bosnian border. This is the mandarine orchards paradise,
- walk the longest fortified wall in Europe protecting the historic town and salt panes of Ston,
- enjoy a chic dinner on island of Hvar, probably the Croatia’s most interesting island. Yes, Hollywood celebrities also know about it, but what to do, the place is just beautiful,
- cycle the peninsula of Peljesac, home to Croatia’s most famous red wine, the Dingac and authentic local restaurants called Konoba,
- visit Croatia in late spring and in the end of summer for superb walking holidays, taking you from the inland National Park of Plitvice, to the Velebit mountain range and great hiking trails on the islands.
- sail, sail and sail. This is far the best way to experience Croatian islands.
- consider a trip extension to a fine Alpine experience in Slovenia or make an exotic adventure to Montenegro.