The Big Trip – Top 10 Guide to Seeing Croatia
Europe has a secret and I’m not going to keep it.
Often referred to as “Europe’s gem”, the beautiful country, Croatia, is a never-dulling treasure. Looking at a map, Croatia is the little country lounging on the Adriatic Sea coastline east of Italy and between Slovenia and Bosnia. This magical Mediterranean mecca is home to over a thousand islands that make up the ‘Dalmatian Coastline’ — picture a Dalmatian’s spots and convert those into islands. Mesmerizing shorelines, beautifully preserved parks and enticing Croatian culture, a traveler may not know where to begin. However, upon discovering this secret salvation, here are tips to making Europe’s best kept secret your treasured destination spot.
What to do:
961 square kilometers of Croatia are protected nature reserves consisting of dazzling waterfalls, thick forests, mountains and water. The most famous protected area and oldest national park in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park; perfect for hiking, exploring or if you’re not athletic, photography. Pick and choose from a park nearest to your chosen city and explore the day away!
A good amount of Croatia is coastline so you know what that means: days spent sun-bathing on the seductive sandy shores. Pebble beaches, nude beaches, sand beaches to deserted beaches, there is a beach that will fix every travelers beach-y desires.
Bored of the beach? Hop in the water! Water sports are a fun, adventurous alternative to explore the coastline from a unique vantage point. You can sign up through travel companies such as TripAdvisor or you’ll find plenty of tourist companies enticing you to join their next sea kayaking adventure.
Croatia is a hub for old world wine; the country cultivating its own vino’s since the 5th century. Prepare your palette for the light fruity wines from the north east of the country to the rich, Mediterranean reds produced in the south. You can find the top five wineries in Croatia here. However if you are looking for a winery on a student friendly budget, my friends and I drank ourselves merry at Divino.
Why spend fruitless money on tourist trapping restaurants when you can explore the countries homegrown commodities. In Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik (all major cities) you will find countless markets and authentic stores to buy less-expensive, yet unique products. Pick up some home-grown oranges at a market, scour stands for fresh lavender and scout out the best hand-made soap. Dive into Croatian’s lifestyle by visiting any local run store and testing out a shot of their ‘honey’ liquor.
6. Walk the City Wall
Dubrovnik, a city at the tip of Croatia among the coastline, is home to one of the tenth best-preserved medieval walls in the world. Take a couple hours out of your day to peruse the walls of this magnificent city. Not only are you walking on history, but the city wall harbors the best views in town.
7. Game of Thrones Tour
Follow the footsteps of Arya Stark as you witness locations the iconic T.V. show filmed. This three-hour tour allows you the opportunity to nerd out while seeing the kings landing, learning behind-the-scenes gossip and observing exotic plants. Sign up through Viator to lose yourself in the realm of the seven kingdoms.
If you do anything off the beaten path and spend the day inside – this is a must. Hidden in the alleyways of Zagreb resides a museum dedicated to withered relationships and offers participants a chance to overcome emotional challenges . The idea blossomed in Croatia, giving home to over 50 exhibits from your typical abandoned teddy bear to a tear-stained love note.
Croatia is not all coastlines; the country encompasses a good amount of land itching to be explored. Rev your engines and seek ex mine fields, woods, fortress and native animals. The tour lasts about an hour but get ready to learn! The tour guides enlighten tourists with information you can’t find in a textbook.
10. Eat Seafood
Last but certainly not least, pig out on seafood. Sit down at any restaurant among the coast and you’ll find yourself eating the daily catch. Squid ink risotto to mussels in wine sauce; curb your seafood cravings in the best spot possible.
Didn’t know there was so much to do in Croatia did you? This list only comprises the top ten attractions (in my opinion).
Croatia may be Europe’s secret, but this Mediterranean masterpiece has its own secrets waiting to be stumbled upon. Venture to Croatia today.
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