Written by Branford Walker
Croatia is the jewel of the Adriatic, with over a thousand miles of pristine coastline and over a thousand individual island, each speckled with white boulders and hemmed by the azure waters of the adriatic, it is no wonder that Croatia is quickly becoming one of the most sought after destinations in the world. The Croatian landscape itself seems to be conjured up from an impossibly peaceful dream. Composed of small mountains and hills, the countryside is abundant with vineyards and olive orchards, while the arid coastline is thrown into stunning relief with the Adriatic. The islands of Croatia all have distinct personalities and destinations, harboring everything from remote fishing villages to luxurious resorts. Croatia’s nature projects an ancient majesty, while its villages maintain a sense of modern comfort. Tourism makes up a large part of Croatia’s economy and the culture and country are both welcoming to guests.
Stunning Villages & Cities
The villages and cities of Croatia are some of the most stunning in the world, built with stucco walls and red brick roofs, the architecture is truly suspended in time. These red buildings run down to the seaside, where palm trees skirt the precipitous edge of the sea. The villages of the Croatian islands Korcula and Miljet, are often the only major population centers on the entire islands. Historically distinct, these villages are marked by both the ruins of ancient and medieval villages. They also provide access to a host of destinations which are distinguished instead through myth, such as locations tantalizingly referred to as Odysseus Cave or the Fairies Canyon (Divica is the term for fairy in Croatian mythology). Beyond these locations, these villages support active fishing cultures, as well as plenty of quiet coves and boardwalks where locals and tourists alike love to bask in the uniquely refreshing adriatic water. The towns and cities along the coast, such as Split and Dubrovnik, are distinguished by towering medieval castles and walls, as well as supporting lively beachside bars and restaurants.. Dubrovnik in particular has gained a status of celebrity as the location home to the Red Keep in the fantasy books and show Game of Thrones. When traveling through Croatia you are truly traveling through both history and fantasy.
The food in Croatia is reason enough to travel to the country alone. The cuisine is bolstered by the abundance of fresh fish in the region, with octopus, squid, and brodetto: a Croatian seafood stew. For drink, the Croatian wines are diverse and rival the larger wine producing countries in terms of quality, while far surpassing them in terms of affordability. The locals of Croatia are also fans of drinking grappa and spirits, locally produced and sold, providing the perfect nightcap for the end of a day traveling through the arid croatian countryside.
Hiking in Croatia is as unique as the country itself. The Croatian national parks, such as the Biokovo national park and Mljet national park, are truly undisturbed areas of nature, featuring inland lakes and breathtaking views of the sea. The hiking varies between rocky trails and dirt roads, leading to breathtaking vistas of the sea and large inland lakes. The Croatian mountains, although small have their own majesty due to their proximity to the sea. The peak Svet Ilja is a destination popular for Croatian hikers and climbers.
Croatia is a country draped by history, mythic mystery, and natural beauty. It is a country unlike any other, with a turbulent modern and ancient history – defined by the land conflicts surrounding both Yugoslavia and previously the Ottoman empire, that has grown into a peaceful and truly magical destination that should be on any adventurer’s bucket list!