Croatia is fast becoming one of the hottest spots for travellers. With its gorgeous beaches, heaps of history, beautiful cities and lush nature – can you blame them? Here are just a few reasons people are flocking to Croatia’s beautiful shores – and a few lesser-known highlights off the beaten track too.
1. Old Town in Dubrovnik
Let’s start with the obvious. Dubrovnik is by far Croatia’s most sought-after attraction. This historic city features the medieval old town as its crowning glory. Complete with an impressive defensive wall, fortress, towers and cannons with rooftop views of the glittering ocean, it’s earned its spot at the top of the list.
2. Plitvice Lakes National Park
If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous beaches, Plitvice National Park is well worth it. Picture wooded paths, peaceful meadows, 16 placid lakes and rushing waterfalls – this is nature at its best. Wildlife sightings are also on the cards, with over 160 species of birds, wolves, bears and more that make this reserve their home.
3. Diocletian’s Palace in Split
Split, the second largest city after Zagreb, has the impressive Diocletian Palace as its greatest claim to fame. These well-preserved Roman Ruins were built by Emperor Diocletian in AD 305, where the sprawling old town remains to this day. Nowadays it's packed with lively bars, restaurants, shops and museums that add a modern spin to this historic site.
4. Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb
This one’s a bit unusual and very intriguing. Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships gives you a glimpse into the trials and tribulations of romantic love, and the heartbreak that comes with it. Check out this eclectic collection of items donated by the public that tell the tragic stories of lost love with weird and wonderful items like prosthetic limbs, lawn furniture and more.
5. The Sea Organ in Zadar
One of the top attractions of Zadar, this wave-powered musical instrument provides haunting melodies that echo the sound of the Adriatic Ocean. Located on the promenade, the sea organ uses a clever combination of pipes that are brought to life by crashing waves.
6. Sailing around Kornati National Park
140 uninhabited islands and islets make for a fascinating and beautiful sailing adventure. Charter a boat and head out into the azure waters, skirting along the shores, stopping over in one of the bays for a seafood lunch and exploring beneath the waves.
7. Zlatni Rat Beach in Brač
Who wouldn’t want to see Croatia’s most photographed beach? Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) is an unusual formation made of fine pebbles that jut out from the south coast to form a gorgeous beach perfect for sunbathing. It’s also considered Croatia’s top wind- surfing destination, with loads of other water sports activities to get you off the beach and into the water.
8. The Rijeka Torpedo in Split
Designed in the 19th-century naval yards of Rijeka, this historic torpedo was the first of its kind in the world. Get an up-close view of this impressive nautical artefact at the Maritime Museum. A streamlined, bullet-shaped mega-weapon that would be quite at home in Jules Vernes’ Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
9. Neanderthal Museum in Krapina
Step back in time all the way to the big bang at the Neanderthal Museum in the tiny town of Krapina. In 1899, ancient Neanderthal bones were discovered and are now on display, along with fascinating insights into the creation of the universe and the evolution of life as we know it.
10. Go truffle hunting in Buzet, Istria
Famous for its gourmet gastronomy, Istria is a mecca for foodies the world over. Particularly when it comes to seafood and truffles. For a truly authentic experience, head out to the charming village of Paladini 12km from Buzet, where you can wander through the forest and sniff out these culinary treasures yourself. Then enjoy a gourmet cheese and truffle tasting as your reward.
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