Croatia, Travel Guide
Croatia’s extraordinary island-speckled coastline is indisputably its main attraction. The first thing that strikes you is the remarkable clarity of the water. When it’s set against a dazzling white pebbly beach, the water sparkles with a jewel-like intensity in shades of emerald and sapphire. There are long sandy and shingly stretches too – perfect for lazy days spent lounging and devouring trashy holiday novels. If that all sounds too relaxing, there are water-based activities at hand to lure you off your sun lounger – snorkelling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, just for starters.
Precariously poised between the Balkans and central Europe, this land has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires and republics for millennia. If there’s an upside to this continual dislocation, it’s in the rich cultural legacy that each has left behind. Venetian palaces snuggle up to Napoleonic forts, Roman columns protrude from early Slavic churches, and Viennese mansions face off with Socialist Realist sculpture. Excellent museums showcase treasures that cover the gamut of European history, from the prehistoric to the post communist, telling a story that is in equal parts fascinating and horrifying.
Croatia is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It’s the go-to spot for stunning beaches, rugged islands, historic architecture, and all the sailing you could ask for.
But, despite all crowds, the country is vastly underappreciated.
The tourism focus in the country is usually Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik, Istria, or the famed Plitvice Lakes. So much of the rest of the country is largely ignored. I saw few tourists in Karlovac, Rastoke, or Slunj. Zagreb didn’t have a lot either, despite it being the capital city. Slavonia? Barely a soul goes there.
Once you get off the coast, it feels like you have the country to yourself. Croatia is a country with over a thousand islands, a long coastline dotted with sun-bleached medieval towns, a cosmopolitan capital city, an underappreciated wine region, and an untrammeled inland landscape that sees a fraction of the tourists that the Dalmatian Coast brings in.
I love visiting Croatia. Spend longer than you plan and get off the beaten path to really see the magic of the country.
This travel guide to Croatia can give you the tips and tricks you need so you can plan the ultimate adventure there.