Croatia is where old and new world comes together in a blend of culture and cuisine. Cosmopolitan beach towns like Split give way to rolling hills and mountain peaks surrounding towns such as Motovun. The most known fortress-walled city in the country is Dubrovnik, and its guarded harbor was one of the most sought after for centuries. The wars and occupations of the harbor are what have influenced the cuisine of the area—you can taste Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Slavic flavors throughout the region.
Although many beautiful world heritage sites can be found by boat trips to coastal towns and islands, only trekking in mountain villages, boat trips in Plitvice Lakes, and visits to many vineyards where pastoral life is still common can you truly experience Croatian culture. With more than 1,000 islands, 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and 8 national parks in Croatia, you can easily imagine how exciting a Croatia vacation can be.
The northernmost pocket of Croatia, called Istria, is a peninsula where continental Croatia meets the Adriatic Sea. While the indented coastline is enormously popular with the sun-and-seas set, Istria draws culinary and culture-focused visitors to its hilltop villages, local hotels, and farm-to-table restaurants.
Exploring the Dalmation Coast of Croatia
The Dalmatian Coast is a beautiful place to explore by land and sea. The coastline is rugged and dramatic, with cliffs, bays, and inlets that offer stunning views. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy, including the famed Zlatni Rat beach. It is also a great place to hike and cycle, as well as boat or kayak along the coastline.
Trogir has a history of more than 2,000 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Croatia and a model of a beautiful walled city.
In the Pelješac area, mountainous land that stretches to the Adriatic Sea, you will find the best Croatian red wines.
Just 20 minutes from Dubrovnik and about 100 residents all year round, sleepy, car-free Kolocep is the perfect destination for walking/hiking.
The beauty of visiting some of the lesser-known islands in Croatia is that there are no tourist traps, cruise ships, and run-down souvenir shops. Take a private yacht tour of the islands and spend a beautiful day full of sea salt and fresh air.
For some of the best views of the island of Hvar, the town of Hvar, and the neighboring Pakleni islands, take the short walk to the 16th-century Spagnola fortress.
When to Go
If you’ve always wanted to get away to Croatia, now is the time. But how do you choose between the beaches on the Adriatic or the mountain towns nestled in the Dinaric Alps? Rule of thumb for Croatia: Coastal towns on the Adriatic during the winter and spring, mountain towns in the Alps during summer and fall. During the shoulder seasons, you could have the best of both worlds if you have the time.
Contact me to help with your long-awaited getaway this year or next.