Why Visit Croatia? Islands, History, Wine, and So Much More
Croatia has spent the past decade quickly climbing the ranks of must-visit status for travelers. If you’re wondering why visiting Croatia has fascinated so many people, and if you should check it out for yourself, read on. We have a multitude of reasons why you should visit Croatia sooner than later – make that much sooner!
Croatia is Still Under the Radar
While it’s rapidly growing in popularity as a tourist destination, Croatia is still not as visited as its travel hot spot neighbor across the Adriatic: Italy. If you’re dreaming of an Italian vacation, but want to encounter fewer crowds (or just want more bragging rights at home for going somewhere not as many people have seen) Croatia is your place. Similar to Italy, it has a vibrant countryside with rolling hills, while its fortified cities like Dubrovnik and cosmopolitan cities such as Split are reminiscent of the hilltop towns of Tuscany and historic culture of Rome – with the added bonus of being right by the coast.
Speaking of Dubrovnik and Split, here are some more reasons why you should visit these two beloved cities in Croatia.
Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
Split, Croatia has an astounding historic area that is housed in the former walls of Diocletian’s Palace. The palace once served as the residence of Roman Emperor Diocletian, but today is full of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Many of the restaurants are located down side alleys with the tables lining the alleyways and providing a romantic, al fresco setting for a meal.
This old town part of Split still has ample history, though, and you can go below ground to see its preserved basement that is a reflection of what the layout of Diocletian’s residence would have been when he lived there thousands of years ago.
Why You Should Visit Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia is iconic for its postcard-worthy layout. The Old Town of the city juts out into the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by an old stone wall that you can walk on top of for incredible rooftop and sea views.
All of the Old Town area of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ancient history and walls that date back to the 16th century, but while walking around it you’ll want to seek out a few key sites.
The first site not to miss during a cruise to Dubrovnik is the Stradun, the main street in Dubrovnik that is pedestrian-only and feels more like a promenade. It’s often bustling with people and lined by diners enjoying fresh seafood in the many restaurants lining the square. The focal point of Stradun is the clock tower, which stately stands at one end of the street. Pile Gate is at the other end and serves as the entrance to Old Town and is a photo op in and of itself due to its stone construction with Renaissance arches and a pretty stone bridge to get to it.
While in Dubrovnik, you can also head away from the walls and into the nearby countryside for cultural experiences, such as dinner at a local farm or wine tasting by beautiful vineyards and learning what makes Croatian wine so special.
Croatia’s Food and Wine Scene
While we’re on the subject of food and wine, that’s a reason to visit Croatia unto itself. Yes, the views you’ll encounter in Croatia are Instagram-worthy and are probably what’s going to entice you to want to visit Croatia in the first place, but it’s the cuisine and wine culture that will keep you wanting to visit Croatia again and again.
Croatia feels like a bygone era when it comes to food since many locals still live off the land. Villages dot the landscape where you’ll find fig trees, gardens, and livestock shared by the villagers. Many houses have roasters outside for slow cooking meat. It’s also common for people to make their own wine and if visiting a local’s home, don’t be surprised to see it served in a plastic jug.
While in the city you may not be able to experience the farm way of life in Croatia, but you can still get a taste of it by going to a konoba-style restaurant. A konoba is a traditional restaurant in Croatia that typically serves Dalmatian cuisine. You’ll often dine in a cellar-like atmosphere, which is reminiscent of the original use of a konoba – a basement room under a home where meat from nearby farms would be prepared and stored as it aged to perfection.
Two Other Reasons You Should Visit Croatia
A Croatia cruise can effortlessly whisk you away to the exciting cities of Zadar and Rijeka.
A cruise port of call in Zadar, Croatia provides easy access to some of Croatia’s gorgeous national parks. Take a shore excursion to Paklenica National Park where you can do a scenic hike or some adventurous caving, or visit Krka National Park to see cascading waterfalls and other unique geological formations.
In Rijeka, explore the history of this coastal city that is home to Baroque cathedrals and the 19th century Croatian National Theatre. Rijeka is also a great jumping off point to visit the island of Krk, which is the largest Croatia Island and has an impressive bridge that connects the island to the mainland. Krk city is also popular for bibliophiles to explore since it was mentioned in writing by the Greek poet, Homer, who called it Koureto in one of his poems.
Why Visit Croatia on a Cruise?
A cruise vacation along the Adriatic Sea lets you effortlessly visit top cities in Croatia and other Mediterranean countries while only having to unpack once. You’ll spend your nights sleeping blissfully in a comfortable, luxuriously appointed stateroom and your days exploring some of the most beautiful sights in the world – or relaxing by the ship’s pool, in the spa relaxation room, or with a drink in one of the oceanview lounges.
To find your perfect itinerary and see exactly why you should visit Croatia on a cruise, browse our Mediterranean cruise sailings and start dreaming of that turquoise Adriatic Sea and historically stunning Dalmatian coastline.