10 Croatian Highlights
Croatia’s diverse highlights include historic cities, miles of stunning coastline, vibrant nightlife and some of the most beautiful islands in the world.
10 Croatian highlights include:
Dubrovnik is the star of the show, dazzling all with its heart-stopping beauty. It’s packed with five star hotels, high-class restaurants and countless tourists, but move away from the main streets and there’s still much to discover.
Hvar Town is home to posh yachties and a see-and-be-seen crowd. You’ll certainly find a luxurious place to lay your head here – when you’re not out partying. But the sunniest place in the country (2724 hours a year) also holds a few surprises. Lavender plants and aromatic herbs fill the inland fields, and Jelsa is an intimate port town within easy reach of swimming coves and sandy spots.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
A verdant maze of paths, woods and meadows revolves around 16 sparkling lakes and crashing waterfalls at Plitvice. It’s a World Heritage site and Croatia’s most popular national park – also much loved by its resident bears and wolves and over 120 species of birds.
It may be obvious, but it’s hard not to over-emphasise the beauty of the Adriatic. It’s smooth, silky and translucent, and the colour (in turn electric blue, jade green and steely) is unmatched. Fish will tickle your calves as you step in, and watch out for sea urchins.
One of the world’s most impressive Roman ruins in existence, these UNESCO-protected remains still serve the very purpose they were built for: life is lived inside them. As the city of Split’s heart, soul and most of its arteries, Diocletian’s Palace is packed with shoppers, bar-hoppers, workers, kids and tourists. It’s a real beauty.
Another must-visit city on your tour of the top 10 Croatian highlights should be Zadar. Zadar offers a lively cafe scene and bustling market bring this little town to life. The marble-clad, traffic-free old town follows the old Roman street plan, complete with ruins which dazzle, as does its nightlife. Feel the might of the circular Church of St Donat in Dalmatia when you stand in its shadow.
Cruising the Dalmatian coast
Croatia’s most scenic ferry ride is the nine hours spent cruising between Split and Dubrovnik. Sunbathe while you soak in the rugged shoreline views, and islands like Hvar and Korčula pass by at a leisurely pace. The boat trip takes about twice as long as the bus, but it sure is worth it.
Cafe culture, Zagreb
One of the nicest ways to experience špica, the Saturday morning and pre-lunch coffee drinking ritual, is on a terrace in Zagreb, a year-round outdoor city. Order your macchiato (strong espresso-like kava diluted with milk) and watch the world go by. On summer nights the scene resembles a vast outdoor party.
One of the most popular activities on the Adriatic, sailing gives you a perfect chance to see the beautiful Croatian islands from the water. The most popular place to dock is Hvar, but use your chance to discover some of the more difficult-to-reach islands such as Kornati or Elafiti.
Check out Croatia’s own version of slow food, which is all about promoting local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and enjoying the ritual of eating. Not only that, but each course is paired with fitting wines. Go on, get proficient in the joy of eating.
If you are planning to see at least 10 Croatian highlights, make sure you book a guided city tour, cultural tour, activity tour or adventure tour before you leave home to make the most of your trip to Croatia.