With a coastline that is blessed with more than a thousand islands and with a modern history that reaches back to the 7th century, Croatia is a remarkable country to visit on so many different levels. On the one hand, if you’re looking for sun, sea and sailing then island hopping and anchoring at scenic seaside towns is second-to-none whilst, if you’re more into medieval architecture and cultural heritage, the cities of Dubrovnik and Split are full of archaeological sites and museums.
Croatia is no slouch when it comes to food either and you’ll find some of the finest fish restaurants on the Adriatic where a chargrill, dash of olive oil and squeeze of lemon are all that’s needed to complement the ocean’s larder.
Aside from the sailing and other watersports, the mainland presents a playground for hikers and bikers, and if you want to go on an active tour that combines refreshing Adriatic breeze, shaded pine forests and plenty of shimmering rest-stops, Croatia’s the place to be.
Below are five Croatian locations to get you started and no matter what you’re interested in, sea-kayaking, windsurfing, vineyards or museums, Croatia’s got the lot.
The walled city of Dubrovnik provides endless opportunities for cultural sightseeing and if you’re in the mood for medieval magic with some awesome Adriatic views, then you’ve come to the right place. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city is well protected from every angle and once inside the historic walls you’ll find numerous churches, cathedrals and extensive religious art collections conjuring up incredible visions of the past.
Croatian sailing holidays are considered to be some of the best in the Mediterranean and thanks to a rich scattering of island beaches and secluded anchorages; line-of-sight-navigation is an excellent option for both experienced and novice skippers. Crystal-clear waters are perfect for watersports and from sea kayaking to snorkelling, the Dalmatian Coast presents plenty of excuses to enjoy the sunshine as you dive in.
The largest island on the Dalmatian Coast also contains the highest peak and as such the island of Brač is popular with walkers and hikers who enjoy beautiful sea views. The island is also well-known for its beaches, including Zlatani Rat, which make it a well-regarded stop-over for those on boat charters. No matter what brings you to Brač, you won’t be stuck for food options as from wine to olives, cheese to fish, foodies will be in Mediterranean heaven.
Not quite as scary as you may first envisage this ill-named hot spot can be found in the town of Bol in the south of Brac. The ‘Rat’ is a skinny little beach that skates off the end of the island and shifts in shape with the movement of the tides. The reason it’s held in such high regard is because it’s flanked on both sides by some of the Adriatic’s clearest shallows and backed up by a beautiful pine grove which contains Roman ruins, complete with swimming pool.
As one of the area’s oldest cities and considered a must for cultural explorers, Split is without a doubt one of Croatia’s shimmering jewels. Museums, galleries, medieval architecture and an incredibly scenic bay, make a visit to Split a splendid chance to find out more about the history of the Dalmatian Coast. The archaeological museum is an absolute gem and if you’re interested in antiquities or the Middle Ages then a trip here will certainly live up to all expectations.
Our guest author, Chris, is a keen European traveller and is eagerly anticipating his next voyage of discovery into the great unknown.