I was supposed to travel to Croatia last March, but like so many others unfortunately my trip was canceled due to the pandemic. Regardless, Croatia is still on my bucket list and here is why it should be added to yours!

Croatia is a Mediterranean coastal country with beautiful scenery and beaches, a fascinating history, and amazing cuisine. A recently discovered hidden gem, its tourism has only skyrocketed within the last 20 years. It is a less known European destination compared to its crowded neighbors, such as Italy. Many suggest May or September to be optimal times to go as the crowds in Croatia are still relatively limited.

Sailboat coming ashore to Šibenik, Croatia. Photo taken by Sergii Gulenok

In Croatia you would be remiss not to visit at least one beach, although it would be very hard! Even in the bigger cities such as Dubrovnik and Split there are accessible beaches. Croatia has a myriad of different styles of beaches, from pebble to sand beaches, all of which have crystal clear waters. Experience adventure activities such as diving and snorkeling into underwater caves, coral reefs and shipwrecks. If you enjoy sailing, you can island-hop between any of Croatia’s 1,000+ islands, of which only 48 are inhabited.

Galevac Island Preko Ugljian Island, Croatia. Photo taken by Lucas Messere

Croatia is considered the ecologically best-preserved part of Europe with 10% of the country protected. The country has 8 national parks and 11 nature parks, the most popular being Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lake is stunning with 16 terraced lakes and 90 waterfalls. It is even possible to walk along the lakes using the boardwalk, which stretches over a mile long. While exploring some of Croatia’s exemplary parks you may stumble upon over 3,000 different species of plants.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Plitvi?ka Jezera, Croatia photo taken by Jonatan Pie

Every step you take while in Croatia, you will be privileged to see the immense history and culture that is ingrained throughout the country. The history is so unique as it is seen as a crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe while also being part of the Mediterranean. Croatia has a tentative list of 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Dubrovnik Old Town (which Game of Thrones fans will recognize as King’s Landing). Croatia has many cultural traditions including lacemaking, Ojkanje Singing, and traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje.

Walls of Dubrovnik. Photo taken by Sorin Cicos

Croatia is also a culinary paradise. Due to its coastal location, seafood is widely served. Delicacies include Black Risotto, which is made with squid, and Octopus Salad. There are also beautiful vineyards along the shores of the Dalmatian coast. Wine tastings should be on any wine lover’s itinerary.

Vineyard on Island of Korcula on Adriatic Sea in Croatia. Photo taken by Damir Spanic

I hope this small glimpse into Croatia has enticed you to add this wonderful country to your bucket list. If you have any questions or would like to discuss traveling to Croatia please reach out to Diane at Diane@esplanadetravel.com

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