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Croatia is a small country, but it has an important and extensive coastline with 1,244 islands and islets. This is undoubtedly its strong point; a coastline of turquoise waters and white pebble beaches.
The infinite blue of the Adriatic contrasts with the green of the mountainous interior and the white of its old towns full of history.
In addition, Croatia is a great choice for a Mediterranean-style vacation. It has a mild and pleasant climate perfect for enjoying the beach all summer long.
Best Places to Visit in Croatia
Overlooking the Adriatic Sea from the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, Pula is the largest city in this area. With a history spanning more than three millennia, it is home to many ancient Roman buildings. Walking through its streets is like stepping into a museum.
But the real gem is the Arena of Pula. This symbol of the city is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.
It was built in the 1st century in the center of the city and is still today the place where concerts and other important city events are held.
In addition to its historical heritage, Pula also boasts a large number of beaches scattered along its long and rugged coastline. It is also known for having a mild climate and crystal-clear waters.
Get a Pula Arena Entrance Ticket.
Not far from Pula is the picturesque and romantic town of Rovinj. Its beauty has inspired numerous artists and this shows in the streets. This is especially true in Grisija, known as the street of artists, because of the numerous works exhibited here.
Its narrow-cobbled streets give rise to a labyrinth through which it is difficult not to get lost, despite its small size. But the truth is that getting lost is the best way to get to know Rovinj.
This is how you discover charming corners and small streets that lead directly to the sea and are adorned with beautiful stores.
Navigating the streets of Rovinj will eventually bring you to the cathedral of St. Euphemia, dominating the city from its 57 meters high. It is the largest baroque temple in Istria and offers a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding nature.
Take a Rovinj Guided Walking Tour.
Beyond the incredible beaches and cities of the Croatian coast, there are also authentic and incomparable places in the interior of the country. One of the natural jewels and one of the best places to visit in Croatia is Plitvice National Park, the oldest in the country and a World Heritage Site.
The park is made up of 16 lakes of emerald and turquoise waters that drain into each other. Meanwhile, a hundred waterfalls are responsible for communicating the waters of the upper and lower lakes. Thanks to a long wooden walkway visitors can enter this magical place and explore its paths and corners.
The second largest city in Croatia, after the capital Zagreb, is Split. It emerged as a Roman settlement 17 centuries ago when the Roman emperor Diocletian decided to build a palace. The luxurious rectangular villa of 38,000 square meters surrounded by a wall is where he spent the last years of his life.
Today this palace has become a city, as houses and other urban elements have been added to it. Three thousand residents still live here within the walls and its extraordinary state of preservation is surprising. This is also where some of the scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed.
The old town of Split has become a unique place in the world, protected by UNESCO. In addition, this city is the perfect starting point to visit some of the most beautiful and famous islands of Croatia.
Ferries depart from the port of Split directly to Brac, Hvar, Vis and other islands. For all these reasons, Split is one of the best places to visit in Croatia.
Take a Split City Walking Tour.
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, this is one of the most captivating walled cities in the world. Wandering through its staggered alleys is like traveling back in time. Its old town is filled with aristocratic palaces, elegant churches and medieval fortifications.
The best way to enjoy this complex is from the heights. That’s why following the almost 2-kilometer-long promenade that runs along its walls is the best option. From here you have a 360º view of both the entire city and the blue sea of the Dalmatian coast that surrounds it.
Some of the best scenes of the series Game of Thrones were filmed in this impressive scenery. In fact, it is so magical that it has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This National Park is a true natural paradise located near the historic town of Sibenik. It consists of seven waterfalls through which the river Krka is jumping from its source to reach the sea. The most spectacular is the Skradinski waterfall where it is possible to swim in its emerald waters.
Along its course, the river Krka also forms canyons, caves and lakes such as Visovac. In the center of this lake, there is also an island with the same name where you can visit a Franciscan monastery.
Take a Krka National Park Private Tour.
The most remote island of Croatia is Vis. This island has it all: dreamlike beaches, crystalline waters, Mediterranean nature and overwhelming cliffs. The natural landscapes of this enclave of the Dalmatian coast make anyone fall in love with it. Movie buffs may recognize it as the setting for the second part of the film “Mamma Mia.”
Thanks to its strategic location, in the past the Yugoslav regime turned it into a naval military base closed to foreigners. This has kept it away from overcrowding for many centuries. In fact, it remains one of the quietest islands on the Croatian coast and the restaurants still serve local products.
One of the most famous corners of this island is Stiniva, a beach hidden between two imposing cliffs. However, reaching it is not easy, it must be accessed by boat from Rukavac or on foot along a narrow and steep path.
Hvar is one of the most popular destinations in Croatia and the most famous island on the Dalmatian coast. It is sometimes compared to Ibiza for its great nightlife, however, Hvar is a very diverse island that offers plans for all tastes.
Apart from its irreproachable natural beauty, Hvar is an idyllic fishing town with a beautiful historic center. It is best to start with a stroll through the harbor full of yachts of the rich and famous.
Then get lost in its cobbled streets until you reach the medieval fortress Fortica Spanjola. There at the top, you can see the best views of the city and small islands in the sea.
Take a Hvar Guided Walking Tour.
For those looking for a stop off the tourist trail, Omis is one of the best places to visit in Croatia. Although it is still little known outside the country, this city has many attractions and you will fall in love from the first minute. Here the river, the sea, two mountains and a small town with a beautiful medieval old center meet.
For two centuries it was ruled by pirates, but now Omis is the perfect natural enclave for a variety of outdoor activities. The Cetina is an emerald-colored river that flows into the Adriatic at Omis.
This river creates a paradise for adventure and sport: from free climbing and canyoning to family sports such as kayaking and hiking.
Go on an Omis Cetina River Canyoning Experience.
Croatia is home to the second longest city wall in the world, second only to the Great Wall of China. In the small town of Ston is where you can find the best-preserved section of this wall.
It was built in 1333 and its original length was seven kilometers, although today only five remain standing. Walking along it is one of the best experiences in Croatia.
Book A Trip To The Best Places to Visit in Croatia
Start planning your one-of-a-kind adventure through Croatia today. Get prepared with knowledge of the best small shops, hotel and VRBO accommodations, local restaurant reviews and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
For the ultimate flight deals, train tickets and car rental options, check out OMIO Travel Partner.
More helpful links:
- Walls of Dubrovnik Tours • Dubrovnik City Walls Tickets • Game of Thrones Tours
- Split – Diocletian Palace (visitsplit.com)
- Ferries (jadrolinija.hr)
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