Many of Croatia’s most appealing features lie on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Overall, it’s a country for travelers who want to experience both history and an abundance of nature and scenery. When you make your way over to this stunning country, be sure not to miss out on any of these favorite sights.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
While the first destination on this list isn’t on the coast, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a large forest reserve in central Croatia. It’s comprised of 16 terraced lakes joined by waterfalls, and it all extends into a limestone canyon. Visitors can hike on the trails and take electric boats to some of the different lakes.
Krka National Park
Located along the Krka River, Krka National Park is another park filled with striking scenery. It’s got a series of seven waterfalls and nature trails. There are even catacombs, islands, and an old 15th century monastery to see. The area is absolutely gorgeous!
Hvar is an island on the Adriatic Sea, and it is best known for being the perfect spot for your summer vacation. It has 13th century walls, a hilltop fortress, and a Renaissance-era cathedral. There are also beaches and lavender fields – this island is truly a mix of all your favorite genres.
Another island on the Adriatic Sea, Korčula lies just off the Dalmatian Coast. This island is full of vineyards, olive groves, small villages, coves, and sandy beaches. This island hasn’t lost its traditions over time, so you’ll find a great deal of old culture here. Expect to learn about age-old religious ceremonies, folk music, and lots of dancing.
Brač is yet another island on the Dalmatian Archipelago. If you visit, you’ll want to travel to the Golden Cape – a white-pebble beach for which it is well-known. This island is a favorite spot for windsurfing, and the towns here feature traditional architecture and famous white limestone.
Located in the Croatian city of Split, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most magnificent Roman ruins in existence. However, it isn’t exhibited in the form of a palace or museum. It’s actually a living part of the city itself. It’s packed with people, bars, shops, and restaurants. It was originally a military fortress, imperial residence, and fortified town. You can take a ferry from Brač over to Split to see it.
Yet another island off the Dalmatian Coast, Vis offers more ancient sites to be seen. Part of the city still harbors ancient city walls, and there is also still an ancient public bath. This island is where you can find the Archaeological Museum, which has exhibits that include art from as far back as the 4th century B.C.
Of the Adriatic islands, Mljet is known for having the most to offer by way of nature scenes. It’s covered with forests, fields, and vineyards. This is where you can find Mljet National Park with its salt lakes and pine forests. Legend has it that this island held Odysseus enthralled for seven years.
In Pula, Croatia, there is an ancient Roman amphitheater that still has four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders preserved. Out of the 200 surviving Roman amphitheaters, the Pula Arena is the best preserved.
This Gothic-Renaissance palace was built in Dubrovnik in the late 15th century. It contains the elected rector’s office, private chambers, public halls, administrative offices, and a dungeon. Today, the palace serves as the Cultural History Museum, where the rooms, portraits, and coats of arms have been restored for your viewing.
If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll really enjoy a tour of the city of Dubrovnik altogether, not just the fortress of Lovrijenac. If not, you’ll still enjoy the sights. While much of the filming was done in this area, it really didn’t require many special effects, since the city itself already looks the part. The fortress of Lovrijenac, or St. Lawrence Fortress, is an awe-inspiring high sheer rock fortress and overlooks the sea.
Also known as Sipano, this is an island northwest of Dubrovnik. It’s a quiet and peaceful island with very little traffic, and the largest of the Elafiti Islands, off of Croatia’s coast. There are two main villages, and the island offers adventures by way of beaches, kayaking, vineyards, and sailing.
Croatia is a nature and history lover’s dream come true. Visit (or move abroad to) Croatia if you want to see ancient architecture and nature at its finest.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Korcula_City.jpg