Nestled in Southeast Europe, Croatia is a captivating country that beckons travellers with its rich history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality as we experienced over a week exploring the hidden gems in the country.
From its picturesque Adriatic coastline adorned with crystal-clear waters and charming medieval towns to its vibrant cities and lush national parks, Croatia offered us an unparalleled adventure for every kind of traveller. We have a few places to highlight in this must-visit destination.
Dubrovnik: The Pearl of the Adriatic
Dubrovnik stands as a true gem of Croatia, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage site with mesmerizing architecture and a storied past. We strolled along the city walls to witness panoramic views of the azure sea and the enchanting Old Town. Here you can immerse in the rich history, wander through narrow streets, and discover magnificent churches, palaces, and museums that paint a vivid picture of the city’s past.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Located in the heart of Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural wonderland. Picture cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, and a series of interconnected turquoise lakes. Embark on scenic hikes, follow well-marked trails, and be enchanted by the park’s diverse flora and fauna. The park offers a glimpse into the untouched beauty of Croatia’s interior.
Diocletian’s Palace in Split
The city of Split is home to the impressive Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most well-preserved Roman architectural wonders. Explore its labyrinthine streets, admire the intricate stonework, and discover a vibrant blend of shops, restaurants, and museums within its ancient walls. The palace offers a captivating glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire. As an island girl, I enjoyed some great retail therapy getting clothes and accessories themed around the marine world.
Hvar: An Island Paradise
Hvar, an idyllic island known for its beauty and vibrant nightlife, is a must-visit destination in Croatia. Lose yourself in the narrow streets of Hvar Town, adorned with medieval architecture and charming squares. Relax on stunning beaches, indulge in watersports, and venture out to the nearby Pakleni Islands for a blissful island-hopping experience.
Zagreb: A Blend of History and Modernity
The vibrant capital city of Zagreb offers a fusion of history and contemporary culture. Immerse yourself in the city’s dynamic atmosphere as you explore its numerous museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks. Relax in beautiful parks and gardens, savor the local cuisine, and experience the lively street scenes that reflect the spirit of modern Croatia.
No visit to Croatia is complete without savoring its delicious cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes such as “peka,” a slow-cooked meat, potato, and vegetable delight, or relish the rich flavors of black risotto made with squid ink. Treat your taste buds to “strukli,” a savoury pastry filled with cheese, spinach, or meat, and savor the grilled delights of “cevapi,” a favorite among locals. Sample the mouthwatering “crni rizot,” a black risotto crafted with cuttlefish or squid, and embark on a culinary journey through Croatia’s diverse flavours.
Croatia is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re enchanted by the medieval charm of Dubrovnik, captivated by the natural wonders of Plitvice Lakes National Park, or inspired by the Roman heritage in Split, Croatia offers a diverse array of experiences. Immerse yourself in the warmth of its people, indulge in wholesome cuisine, and embark on an unforgettable Adriatic adventure that will leave you with cherished memories of this extraordinary country.
I enjoyed my adventure by flying with Turkish Airlines with a quick stopover holiday in Istanbul, followed by a flight to Slovenia for a few days and then a road trip into Croatia. I flew back to Dubai from Dubrovnik with another stopover in Istanbul for retail therapy.