28 Jun Trip to Croatia: Most Beautiful Sea & Islands
With approximately 1,200 islands, clear blue waters and scenic villages rich in history, Croatia is one of the must-visit destinations. Loved for its aquamarine waters and pebbled beaches on the Dalmatian coast, its energetic cities like Dubrovnik and Zagreb and its rich culture and fascinating history, Croatia is to become one of the most popular European destinations.
Hana F. shares with us her experience of the beautiful, picturesque and unique Croatia!
Croatia is a very small country, a population of only 4.3 million, lies just across from Italy and is surrounded by Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. It has the most beautiful clear sea, with numerous islands and cliffs, national parks and UNESCO heritage sites.
Let’s start with the capital!
My hometown is Zagreb, one of the prettiest cities in the world. The best time to visit is between April and July for those who fear winter. That is the time when the city becomes vibrant, numerous coffees being sipped in the main square, the scent of trees and flowers in the air and it is the time when people fall in love. This is the Zagreb I have known for years. Zagreb upper town dates back to the year 1768, with its rich history and tradition. St. Mark’s Cathedral, Naïve Art Museum, Funicular and the Stross festival are must see treats. My next favorite city where I spent four years studying is the beautiful city of Dubrovnik.
The majesty of Old Town, city of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is known for its ancient city walls that date back to the 10 century, which is one of the main tourist attractions. You can walk along the entire (2km/1.2mi) length of the ancient walls today and it is one of the best ways to appreciate the majesty of the Old Town and get some great views over the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik is known for the delectable Mediterranean cuisine, predominantly fresh fish, oysters, shelves and the famous desert “Dubrovacka Rozata”. Gorgeous pebble beaches stretch out with the great view of the ancient city, being a hub of most of the European and World cruise lines.
St. Tropez of the Adriatic Coast, the island of Hvar
My favorite party spot is the tiny little island of Hvar, nestled just around the corner of town Split, which is a Dalmatian hub and gateway to most of the European cities. The easiest way to get to the island from Split is with the speed boat, and it only takes 45 minutes. The beauty of the island is that it is mostly pedestrian zone; no cars, only nature. The best time for visiting Hvar is July and August, where all the jet-setters from all around the world sail to the hot spot summer destination. It is often compared to the St. Tropez of the Adriatic coast. It is the perfect spot for sailing, diving, fishing and trying out the best restaurants on the Dalmatian coast. Nightlife is vibrant, with numerous festivals, beach parties and night clubs, where the island lives 24/7.
And not to forget the saying” love goes through the stomach”, the famous Croatian food
The famous saying really pins down the complex, yet straightforward relationship between love and food. As with people, the same goes for places where in most cases a traveler falls in love with a country by falling in love with its food. You can be mesmerized by the setting, fascinated with the architecture, charmed by tradition and way of life, but not until you sit down and treat yourself with a local Croatian delicacy.
Let’s start with my favorite entrees; Croatian Prsut “Prosciutto” and the cheese from the Island of Pag. Dry cured ham is an essential part of every type of celebration in Croatia. Traditionally cut in thin long slices and served with olives and the cheese from the island of Pag, which is produced by sheep grazing freely local grass, various herbs and aromatic plants. The two, complement each other perfectly and can be found on every single menu.
The perfect main course “Janjetina s raznja”, meaning lamb on the spit, is the most popular method in preparing lamb in Croatia, where the whole lamb is rotated slowly above hot coals resulting in succulent roast meat no one can resist. And last but not least, desert “Durbovacka Rozata” or Durbovnik crème brulee, traditionally served with slices of fruit, syrup and cream
Top 5 Fact File for Croatia
Language Spoken: Croatian
Currency: Croatian Kuna
Pašticada – is a traditional meat dish from Dalmatia. Beef is the main ingredient and, before the actual cooking which lasts a few hours takes place, it’s marinated for 24 hours in red wine, garlic and various herbs such as rosemary and sage.
Crni rižot – or black risotto, is another Dalmatian must-try dish. It’s a seafood risotto with cuttlefish and squid as main ingredients. Its name and black colour are the result of squids’ ink which gives this delicacy its distinctive Mediterranean flavour and personality. Traditionally it’s sprinkled with grated cheese.
Climate: The coast has a typical Mediterranean climate consisting of hot, dry, sunny weather during summer, and relatively mild – though sometimes wet – weather in winter. Average temperatures during summer should lie in the mid-to-high 20s °C/77-86°F, although it is more likely that you’ll have temperatures well into the 30s °C/high 80s or low 90s °Winters are cooler, although temperatures never really get below about 5°C/41°F.
Fun Fact: Beyonce and Jay Z named their daughter after the tree Blu Ivy that they saw for the first time at the Croatian Island of Hvar.