Beautiful, sunny Croatia is a commonly overlooked vacation destination, but with all it has to offer, it's hard to see why! This small country can be found opposite Italy on the Adriatic Sea. With brilliantly white beaches, picturesque towns, abundant nature, a rich history, delectable cuisine and wine, and so much more, it's the perfect destination for solo and group travelers, family vacationers, and honeymooners. If you want to learn more about this spectacular country, check out these top ten reasons why you and everyone else should pay a visit to Croatia.
No need to mull over a Croatian dictionary prior to your trip (though it certainly doesn't hurt). Almost 80 percent of Croatians are bilingual, and of that group, 81 percent speak English as a second language. English speakers will have no trouble getting around Croatia and can easily kick up conversations with the locals. This is a huge perk!
It’s not just easy to communicate with the locals—it's also a joy to communicate with them! Croatians are known for being polite, punctual, and friendly. Most are happy to chat with travelers or lend them a helping hand. Croatia has a strong coffee culture, so if you meet someone you want to get to know, it's customary to invite them out for a cup of Joe.
Croatia has over 2000 years of history and is full of ancient historical sites such as castles, churches, cathedrals, and arenas. Some top historical sites that are must-visits include the Pula Arena, a Roman amphitheater in Pula; Bokar Fortress, a fortified building in Dubrovnik built by famous Renaissance architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo; and the Stari Grad Plain, an ancient Ionian farming landscape in Stari Grad.
There are over a thousand Croatian islands spread out across the Adriatic Sea. It would take months to visit each and every one, but it's fun to see how many you can visit in a single trip! The Kornati archipelago, which consists of 140 islands, is easily accessible from the mainland and a highly recommended travel destination. Hvar Island is also right off the mainland and is a popular tourist destination featuring picturesque towns and beaches.
In fact, the word picturesque can be used to describe the whole of Croatia! From blue-green waters and vibrant forests to commanding mountains and canyons, the scenery will take your breath away no matter where you go.
Are you a fan of the hit book and TV series Game of Thrones? Croatia set the scene for many iconic moments in the show. The coastal Croatian city of Dubrovnik was one of the show's most prominent filming locations. The city posed as the facade of King's Landing. Other Game of Thrones locations to see in Croatia include Split, which is home to Daenerys’s throne room in Diocletian’s Palace; St Dominika Street, where most market and Gold Cloaks scenes were filmed; and Pile, which served as Blackwater Bay. There are also various souvenir shops near these locations that sell Game of Thrones merch! Avid fans of the series will have a blast exploring locations they recognize from the show and perusing new items to add to their collection.
Located on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a hot spot for those who love the water! Try adrenaline-pumping sports like windsurfing, paddle boarding, and flyboard flying. Or if you'd prefer something more leisurely, you can sunbathe and tan on the beach. Another option is to charter a yacht, catamaran, or gulet boat and sail across the water, hopping from one island to the next.
Each region in Croatia has its own distinct cuisine. Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Gorski Kotar, Istria, Lika, Medimurje, Podravina, Slavonija, and Zagorje are the seven main kinds of cuisine, and each has its specialties. In general, mainland Croatian food boasts Slavic, Hungarian, and Turkish influences, while coastal Croatian food borrows ideas from Greek and Roman cuisine.
Croatia is particularly popular for its seafood, which is plucked fresh out of the Adriatic Sea! You'll find fish, squid, octopus, and prawn dishes galore. But don't worry—there's also plenty to eat for the seafood-adverse, including lamb, veal, pork, prosciutto, and vegetable-based dishes. One dish you must try during your stay is Istrian Yota, a rich bean, pork, and potato stew commonly considered Croatia's national dish.
Another reason everyone should consider Croatia for their next vacation is the wine. Located just across the sea from Italy, this country has similarly fertile land perfect for growing grapes. With over 130 native grape varieties, Croatian wine is rich, delicious, and diverse!
Some popular Croatian wines include Plavac Mali, a deep and citrusy red wine that hails from the Dalmatian coast; Posip, a full-bodied white with nutty notes of almond; and Malvazija Istarska, which packs a spicy punch. You can go on wine tours across the country to sample these three ambrosian wines, plus many more.
Croatia is ripe with natural beauty, and you can view this natural beauty in person by visiting one of the country's eight national parks. Plitvice Lakes is one of the top national parks in Croatia. It features a series of interconnected azure lakes and cascading waterfalls, all located in a lush forest situated between the mountains Mala Kapela and Ljesevica. It's the perfect location for scenic hiking.
Mljet is a hidden gem with a mysterious history and several spots ideal for swimming, hiking, and sunbathing. Krka has huge, towering waterfalls and is home to over 200 bird species for birdwatchers to admire. For avid and adventurous nature lovers, Risnjak is the place to be, with mountainous terrain for rock climbing, biodiverse rivers for boating and fly fishing, and log cabins perfect for relaxing at the end of a busy day.
Canyoneers should head over to Paklenica, where they can travel through massive gorges, canyons, and dark pine forests. Sjeverni Velebit is a hotspot for photographers and social media buffs, thanks to the fantastic backdrop created by the forested Velebit Mountains. For sailing, snorkeling, and other water sports, drop by the eccentric Kornati. And last but not least, Veliki Brijun on Brijuni is a haven for archeologists and animal lovers, with a safari and dig sites to explore.
No matter your style, there's a national park to match any kind of personality!
If you’re interested in chartering a yacht, catamaran, or gulet boat for your Croatian vacation, get in touch with Seize the Day Charters! Our passionate team will help you find the perfect Croatia yacht charter for your trip.