Tag Archives: Croatia

Exploring Croatia by motorbike (travel itinerary)

You can find here a great itinerary for pleasant trip by motorbike in Croatia. But why bother to go? First, the landscape, especially along the coast and islands, is absolutely unique. Then the road is well paved in many points and has those beautiful curves: travelling by car certainly this element is not that exciting, but the motorbike makes it a more interesting journey. Croatia is also good for a passionate, long ride on the Croatian highway which goes through many forests and wooded areas, so full of shade and fresh air. Considering that, in the summer, you will suffer the heat enough with the helmet and motorcycling outfits, it is a relief to travel in these cooler areas.

There are many possible routes, which are starting from Italy. So if you wish to shorten a little the trip and save time, it could be a great idea taking the ferry, at least on the way back. The most important Croatian cities, such as Umag and Zadar, are very well connected through this way, and both cities are on the planned itinerary we prepared for you.

The proposed route here has Venice as a starting point, then it goes through Trieste, Umag and Pula to arrive at Zara (Zadar). From Zadar we go then and visit the islands and the Plitvice Lakes, ending up taking the ferry that will take us back in Italy, precisely to Ancona.

The route is expected to be done in five days, so you can visit and enjoy quietly these places. If you have more time you can stretch up to Split, or even go to the capital, Zagreb. What matters is that you can appreciate, without haste, the natural beauty of Croatia, and even the local gastronomy and exquisite fresh cousine.

Having decided on the departure date, it is absolutely necessary to book your accommodation, especially if it is summertime, obviously a period which is more crowded. We must remember that Croatia is one of the most popular destinations for holidays in recent years, therefore making no reservation means you will end up sleeping outside on the street! The accommodations may be a modest b&b or either rooms to rent privately, without forgetting to contact the camping resorts if you love sleeping in a tent. Obviously there are many hotels available virtually everywhere.

So we are ready to leave Venice towards Trieste; once arrived in Trieste, after a short break we continue along the coast (it will be longer but certainly more interesting). After Koper, you keep on going from Punta Salvore, and so we arrive in Umag. Here it is worth stopping to admire its beautiful beaches for a swim and then, in peace, stop over for a night before continuing your tour discovering Croatia.

Umag

Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0  Peko
For a swim you could choose the Savudrija beach which is surrounded by pine forest; quietly in the shade you can admire the sea.

For the evening, after a walk in the center of Umag visiting the Castle and the Cathedral, passing in the narrow, winding streets, you can dine in one of the typical restaurants. No surprise if you hear somebody speaking in Italian, because here a large part of the population could speak this beautiful language. If you want to then continue with the fun, the tourist center of Katoro is 2 km far from the city and also offers a lively nightlife.

The next day we can go towards Pula. Here, after visiting the city and the town’s ancient arena that looks much like the Colosseum, you can go to the Aquarium which is located in the Austrian fortress. In the afternoon we can jump on the saddle again, but just for a few kilometers (around 10): the place to visit in the south of Istria is the Natural Park of Kamenjak, Premantura. Entrance to the park is free if you enter on foot, but by motorbike you must pay still a little fee.
It is a fine 5 km long spit of land, absolutely wild. Only the sea, rocks, some pebble beach, and lots of green will surround you. The only exception is a small bar made of reeds.

Returning to Pula, if you are lucky, it could be possible that some concerts or events are held in the Arena, so you could pleasantly spend the evening in town.

The day after we can take the direction towards Zadar (Zara), which is in fact the main destination and that will amaze and fascinate you. The whole city, with its port which is located on a peninsula, is a continuous discovery, including the Roman ruins and Byzantine churches. You absolutely must go and see, or rather hear, the Sea Organ that is considered the pride of Zadar, because it is a work of art that enchants all passers-by with its melodies.

Zadar

Photo CC BY-SA 2.5  Böhringer Friedrich

In front of Zadar there are an infinite number of inhabited islands and wild islets. The Kurnati Islands are the best known, but there are many others, such as the Isle of Uglian, or the Pasman Island. At this point you’ll be spoiled for choice, because you can not, for lack of time, to see them all!

The National Park Plitvice lakes certainly deserves a day to be visited (you can cross the lakes, ponds and small wooden bridges and waterfalls by boat) and, from Zadar, it will not be difficult to get there.

Returning to Zadar, before taking the ferry to Ancona, there will be still time to get to know the city and, for example, entering a museum, such as the unique site created in 2009, meaning the antique glass museum. Or, wandering for the streets of the old town, you can go for Porta San Rocco which separate the market from the port. The churches are a testimony of the various cultures of the past and it’s worth stopping for visit a few: the Church of San Donato is Byzantine in style, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia is instead Italian Romanesque.

At this point, you can happily get on the ferry that will bring back to Italy, without forgetting to turn back to admire the amazing spectacle offered by the city of Zadar, with all its islands. We are sure that once on the ferry you will start to plan the next itinerary in Croatia by your motorbike!!!

The beaches of Umag in Croatia

In Croatia you will find the beaches of UMAG a true natural paradise.

Almost all the beaches of Umag received the blue flag and already and there is no better choice to make when in Croatia: in terms of clarity of the sea and beach cleanliness, Umag has nothing to envy to other European beach resorts.

UmagPhoto CC BY-SA 2.5 MosheA

Before you see the characteristics of each of these beaches you may want to know a little bit more about the city of Umag. In recent years this beautiful Croatian town has increasingly become  a popular destination choice with tourists.

This picturesque town is located in the Region of Istria, on the northwest coast of Croatia. Is only 20 km from Slovenia. Its port is located in a pretty bay on the Adriatic Sea; here ships and ferries are keeping on coming mainly from Italy. Even from the historical point of view the city of Umag is closely tied to Italy. It was the summer residence of noble Romans and, later, for a long time it became a possession of the Republic of Venice. Just take a trip into the old town to admire the Venetian houses. In Umag Italian is widely spoken as a second language, a fact due both to its proximity to Italy and its history, even the most recent one.

The Mediterranean climate is truly amazing especially because in summer the heat is never too muggy.

As for the beaches of Umag, you just choose what you prefer, because the costs are spread over as far as 45 kilometers. The landscape is typically Mediterranean with pine forests, cliffs, long stretches of gravel and sand or small coves among the rocks.

Your choice should be made based on your own needs and characteristics: the tourist villages certainly offer everything you could desire from a holiday: the beach, bars and restaurants, all kinds of sports, and sometimes even swimming pools and water games. The same thing is also true for most of the hotels. Even the many campgrounds can accommodate and entertain all who love this type of holiday. But in general the simple beaches are also equipped with everything that you might need, such as showers, children’s games and the dining options.

Families with children as well as elderly will find many beaches suitable for them, either with good depth or not too deep. Some beach is equipped with a slide and therefore can be practiced by people with disabilities. Some beaches are reserved for naturists, while still others are particularly suitable for young people who practice sports. Without forgetting that in the evening the beaches very often become a great location to enjoy a concert, dancing or watching a great show or sport event!
Near the city center there is the AURORA beach which is cemented; It goes down into the sea; for its proximity to the center it is popular both for the residents of Umag and tourists.

Karpinjan, Carpignano in Italian, is a small but very pretty cove, consisting mostly of pebbles and surrounded by rocks.

SAVUDRIJA: The beach is surrounded by pine forest and is also full of pebbles.

The tourist center of KATORO is located just 2 km from Umag; its beach is largely cemented with small pieces of rock. Here there are games for children, a large slide and various bars and restaurants. Given the close proximity to several tourist villages there is also, mainly for young people, but not only, a lively nightlife.

The SOL POLYNESIA beach is precisely the beach of the tourist estate in the small village of Katoro. It is very convenient for all: you can rent chairs and umbrellas, water in many places is shallow, therefore suitable for children, there is a ramp that allows disabled people to access it, and a part of the hidden beach between pine forest and rocks it is reserved for naturists.

Even the LADIN GAJ beach has a part reserved for naturists. It is 8 km from Umag and is mainly made up of rocks.

It must say that naturism in Croatia has a long tradition and it is certainly not just to swim naked but it is a real philosophy of life, that is, the desire to be in harmony with nature.

The tourist village of KANEGRA is 10 km from the center: offers a gravel beach and all necessary services, as well as various sports activities; even here there is an area for nudists.

The campsites are numerous and very well equipped. The larger one is the CAMPING PARK UMAG; nearby there are also CAMPING FINIDA and STELLA MARIS.

In most of these beaches or resorts or even camping, you can enjoy various sports activities such as, for example, beach volleyball, sailing, diving, mini golf, surfing and even horseback riding. You can rent bikes and quads.

Another option that allows you to see the coast is to take a boat ride. So you can discover the landscape that changes from one point to another of the Croatian coast with the amazing alternation of beaches, reefs, coves and pine forests.

Umag_from_beach_2Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 Peko

Even a walk in the center of Umag can be relaxing and enjoyable. It ranges from the harbor to the nearby SLOBODE Square, which is the main square of the old town, then goes on in the picturesque streets gathered in the ancient walls. You can admire the Castle, the Cathedral and the Church of Santa Maria.

At the end of the holiday you will only regret having to leave!

 

Holidays in Croatia: Dubrovnik

1024px-Old_town_of_dubrovnik

Photo CC BY-SA by gari.baldi

Dubrovnick has everything to astonish and delight the many visitors who crowded here every year and every summer: old history, a buzzing nightlife, enchanting nature and as usual sun and fine beaches.
During the city’s golden age in the 16th century, Dubrovnik was one of the largest merchant marine fleet in the world with over 50 consulates in foreign ports. Today people and visitors in Dubrovnik flock for the holidays and not over business. The main attraction is the charming old town, indeed a beautiful  pedestrian-only area, full of palaces and baroque churches, contained in sturdy medieval fortifications.
If you add it to the beaches, the sea, the informal restaurants that serve exquisite seafood, elegant five-star hotels and sports facilities for adventure, here is beautiful and made ​​for the perfect getaway.
Of course, there is a downside. Only a few inhabitants actually live in the old town: the numbers have dropped from 5,000 (in 1991) to 500 (2014) and the prices here are almost double of what would elsewhere in Croatia. But it is still worth it to go. In fact, the number of visitors continues to rise, and in 2013 the number of cruise passengers landed in Dubrovnik in a year has passed the million mark. In fact, the city had to make a deal with the cruise lines to the effect that they should not land more than 7,000 passengers a day, to avoid overcrowding.
Dubrovnik is also easily reached by ferry from Italy, for info visit our website dedicated page: http://www.ok-ferry.com/en/croatia-ferries.aspx

When to go
The best months to visit Dubrovnik is from May to June and September to October when there are sunny days by the sea, warm enough to swim, and hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are open, but without the crowds. During the high season, July and August, Dubrovnik is overwhelmed by tourists – hotel prices skyrocket and restaurants and the beaches are overcrowded, but the upside of this period is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and a sparkling nightlife.
During the low season, November to April, Dubrovnik is still very nice but most of the structures are closed and the climate is less reliable.

Getting around
As regard as the public transport, the old town of Dubrovnik is pedestrian only and is located 2.5 miles south-east of the port. To get there, you have to take the bus 1, 3 or 6 (libertasdubrovnik.hr).
It ‘better to be without a car during your stay in Dubrovnik, as to get one of the parking lot next to the walls of the city is extremely difficult. Even if you are travelling out of town, it is preferable to take the bus or the local ferry.

The medieval walls
The final ‘must’ for any visit is the Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls which date back to the 13th century. Further reinforcements, including a series of impressive towers designed to protect the city against the Turks, were added in the 15th century.                                                                                            Address: Placa (main entrance on the wall just inside the Pile Gate)
Contact: 00 385 20 638 800; www.citywallsdubrovnik.hr
Opening hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (summer); 10:00 to 03:00 (winter)

Palace and the Museum of Cultural History of the Rector
Under the Republic of Ragusa, the chief citizen, the Rector, lived on the first floor of this building. His term lasted a month and was forced to stay here (without his family) for the duration of his appointment. His house is now home to the Museum of Cultural History, with period furniture and costumes, and paintings of aristocrats. The ground floor housed meeting of the Council, an armoury, a store of gunpowder. The building dates from the 15th century, although subsequent additions were made in the Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Address: Pred Dvorom 3
Contact: 00 385 20 3214 22; www.dumus.hr
Opening hours: Daily 9:00 to 06:00 (April to October); Mon-Sat 09:00 to 16:00 (November to March)

Dubrovnik1

Photo CC BY-SA by Greenweasel

Maritime Museum
The enormous wealth of Dubrovnik was based on merchant ships – in the 16th century has been one of the world’s biggest fleets, with over 180 ships and 4000 sailors. Here in Fort St. John, which guards the entrance to the old port, it is possible to trace the development of naval power in the republic. The exhibition includes models of ships, uniforms of sailors, navigation equipment, maps and flags.
Address: Sv Ivana Tvrdja
Contact: 00 385 20 3239 04; www.dumus.hr
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 (April to October); From Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 to 16:00 (November to March)

War Photo Limited
The strong fortifications of Dubrovnik have been put to test several times over the centuries, most recently during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia. This gallery is dedicated to modern photojournalism from war zones around the world, and seeks to provide unbiased report always presents with a human element. Recent exhibitions include ‘Troubled Islam’ (which looked at the lives of civilians in Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, Chechenya and Afghanistan) and “Purple Hearts” (a look at the post-war lives of American soldiers who had fought in recent wars abroad) and the ‘Srebrenica genocide 07.11.95′ (which has recorded some of the worst horrors of the war in Bosnia).
Address: 6 Antuninska
Contact: 00 385 20 3221 66; www.warphotoltd.com
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 to 22:00 (June to September); Tue-Sun 10:00 to 04:00 (May and October); closed (November to April)

Dubrovnik Cable Car
Opened in July 2010, the cable car is a surprise entertainment and ultra-modern. Starting from a lower station just outside the historic centre, there are two light tanks and airy, which can carry up to 30 people, with regular runs to 3 minutes until the top of Mount Srd (405m).
From here you get a great view down over the old town, the sea and the islands, as well as beautiful sunsets. There is also a restaurant, bar and gift shop. If you like hiking, you can take the cable car and walk back down.
Address: Frana Supila 35th
Contact: 00 385 20 3253 93; www.dubrovnikcablecar.com
Opening hours: 09:00 to midnight June to August, September, 09:00 to 10:00, 09:00 to 20:00 October and April-May, November and February-Mar 09:00 to 17:00, Dec-January 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Day trips
Medieval fortress of Ston and Korčula
Are organized bus tours (duration 10 hours and 30 minutes) along the coast in Ston, a town known for its delicious fresh mussels and oysters, which are served in seaside restaurants. The tour continues to the village of Potomje, for wine tasting, and then proceeds to the island of Korcula, to see its beautiful medieval old town, before returning to Dubrovnik
Sea Kayak to Lokrum
A great way to explore the Adriatic coast is by sea kayak. Accompanied by instructors, you can hike a half-day (3 hours) starting from the foot of the Fortress Lovrijenac (just outside the city walls, close to Pile Gate), along the medieval walls of Dubrovnik and then to the small island lush Lokrum, where you can stop us on the beach Betina and have time to snorkel and explore the botanical garden.
And now here is the calendar of festivals and events in 2014:
Folk dance performances
From May to October
Throughout the summer, on Tuesday and Friday evening at 09:30 the Lindjo Folk Ensemble makes music and dance in traditional costumes popular Lazareti, just outside the Ploce Gate.
Contact: www.lindjo.hr
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
July 10-August 25
The annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival offers over 80 performances of music, theater, dance and film, in various places outside of the historic center, as well as a program of open-air cinema. 2013 line-up included the Grammy-winning pianist Robert Glasper Experiment and Russian Elena Bashkirova.
Admission: Ticket prices vary by location performance, venue and seating; see website for details

Dubrovnik International Wine & Jazz Festival
September 25 – 28
The 2013 festival saw jazz clarinetist and conductor Michael Vaughn Kissinger leader in Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances by Broadway singer Douglas Webster. This year’s line-up has yet to be confirmed, but promises to delight jazz fans. The program includes a tasting of wines from the region of Dalmatia.

New Year Celebrations
December 31 to January 1, 2015
New Year’s Day with a public holiday on Placa outdoors in the old town, with performances by bands, choirs, and Croatian pop star, culminating with a fireworks display at midnight. The celebrations continue the next day, with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with a performance that lasts until the morning, even outdoors in Placa.
Admission: Free

Makarska and the most beautiful beaches in Croatia

For most visitors who venture into Dalmatia pointing straight to the islands, the main focus for tourist, it is the Rivijera Makarska which is on the mainland coast between Split and Dubrovnik. This is the place where you can find some of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the country.

The Riviera grows to a length of 38 miles, and Makarska is built around a sheltered bay, backed by the rocky peaks of the mountain Biokovo. This makes wild the appearance of the landscape and the picturesque hinterland.

800px-Pano_makarska_boat_clean

Photo CC-BY by wikipedia

On the sea facing slopes crossed by well-marked paths, and so in addition to swim in the deep turquoise of the Adriatic Sea, you can make interesting excursions on foot or by mountain bike. The feeling of unspoiled goes well with the life of the locals which is based on fishing, olive cultivation and production of oil and wine.

The villages, with the exception of Makarska, they are small and still retain a peaceful look and they are sparsely populated. Makaska  shows a more touristical side. Definitely largest of the villages in the neighborhood, has a beautiful central square which overlook the baroque church of San Marco and several elegant mansions built by wealthy local merchants, reflecting the prosperity of the 18th century.

croatia

Photo CC BY by ahenobarbus

During the summer Makarska’s main square comes alive with its many outdoor restaurants and bars, while behind the church, in the shade, the daily outdoor market selling fresh fruit and vegetables in season. Along the harbor, dominated by a series of bars and pizzerias,there are picturesque wooden boats that offer day trips to the island of Hvar and Jelsa and on the beach Zlatni Rat in Bol on the island of Brac.

And then there are the stunning beaches, made ​​even more beautiful by fragrant pine forests overlooking the sea of a shimmering turquoise. The beach town of Makarska is a long stretch of gravel curve, with behind a shady avenue of palm trees with several large hotels interspersed with cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlors. You can rent boats and jet skis, so it is an ideal place for families.

From here you can walk or bike along the northwest coast, Brela (nine miles). Along the way  we pass by Buba whose beach is in a bay really nice, characterized by thatched umbrellas and wooden sunbeds. A quiet place in the morning and lively in the afternoon when the DJ entertains with music. It is perfect for cocktail parties and concerts, as the night pass by dancing.

Center-of-Makarska-by-night-Flickr-Photo-Sharing- 2014-05-12 11-20-29Photo CC-BY by AntonD90

The beach continues with a quiet stretch, made up of rocks and small coves with gravel and a thick pine forest. Here there are no facilities here, so it is a perfect place for those who love nature. Continuing north-west , you reach the small town of Baska Voda, where is the beach Nikolina characterized by white pebbles. A very well equipped beach indeed, boasting the Blue Flag, is located a couple of kilometers further, on the edge of Punta Brela , ideal for families with its shallow water.

Opposite Makarska, south – east of the por, runs a 1.5-mile trail that goes through pine forests, with agaves and cacti clinging to the rocky slopes towards the sea, and get to Nugal, featuring a pleasantly cold sea due to fresh water springs and groundwater. After you can get to Tucepi Nugal a nice small town with a long pebble beach.

Away from the coast, on the slopes of Mount Biokovo, just outside Kotisina (two miles), there is a small botanical garden Kotisina. We are on the edge of the Natural Park Biokovo. The karst landscape becomes more barren as we climb, with poor pasture and an almost lunar landscape, characterized by limestone cliffs. The highest peak, Sveti Jure, offers a fantastic view westward across the sea to Italy.
Among the places to eat we can advice Konoba Kalalarga, a traditional informal restaurant at reasonable prices; Tavern Stari (the Old Mill), which is housed in a baroque building from the 18th century with a beautiful terrace pergola on the back; Jeny Gourmet restaurant with breathtaking view: Here food is truly delicious, especially if you opt for the five-course tasting menu.

Best ways to visit Croatia and its most beautiful places

croatiaPhoto CC-BY by Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Croatia is the new destination for all the European countries.  In the national infrastructure have been made great improvements: the motorway network has been expanded and modernised, many hotels have been renovated and has been given a fresh twist with a contemporary design. The combination of nature and secular architecture of the contemporary cultural scene and vibrant make it truly complete.

Those looking landscape can explore the rocky stretch of the Adriatic coast of Croatia is not suitable for tourism development of large, perhaps because this is incredibly beautiful: it offers many small pebble coves cooled by pine forests and marvel with its crystal clear turquoise sea.

croatia-rocks

Photo CC-BY by Josef Grunig

For those in search of history and culture, areas of cities such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar offer relics from Roman, Byzantine and Venetian times and more recently from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The historic towns of Dubrovnik and Split are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, together with the cathedrals of Trogir, Sibenik and Porec.  Against this backdrop of beautiful historical buildings, these cities become the living stage for summer festivals, hosting open-air concerts and theatre performances often attracting international artists.

croatie-cathédrale

Photo CC-BY by Paolabart 

Croatia is what you want: it can feature a very relaxing holiday on the beach with water sports, a sailing holiday around the islands, sporting adventure with hiking, mountain biking, a holiday for foodie guests with vineyard visits, or with a cultural tour of the city. Here are the most beautiful places in Croatia.

Istria

Centred on the port city of Pula, known for its first -century Roman amphitheatre, Istria is a peninsula in the north-west Croatia with close cultural and historical ties to Italy. The best beach resorts on the Istrian peninsula is located along the west coast, and include Rovinj and Porec – home for the 6th century , decorated with golden Byzantine mosaics and UNESCO – listed Euphrasius Basilica. Near Pula , we find the islets that smell of pine in the Brijuni National Park, once the summer residence of Tito. Often forgotten is worth visiting the inland of Istria that fascinates with its rolling vineyards and romantic medieval hill towns such as Motovun and Grisignana  and the Mirna Valley.

croatie-cascades

Photo CC-BY by  Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Kvarner

The heart of this region is the port city of Rijeka, overlooking the Gulf of Kvarner: it is sheltered and backed by the mountains of Gorski Kotar. Near Rijeka is located in the quiet seaside resort of Opatija, with several grand hotels of the 19th century, home for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. From Opatija, you can walk the promenade to Lovran, home to elegant villas surrounded by lush gardens breakaway. From Rijeka there are ferries and catamarans to Cres , Losinj , Rab and Pag, where the most popular destinations are Mali Losinj and the fortified medieval town of Rab. The island of Krk is connected to the mainland by a bridge – its main centre, Baska, on the south- east , overlooks a long pebble beach. Back on the mainland, the hinterland of the most visited Croatia is the Plitvice National Park with its emerald green lakes and waterfalls tumbling . Plitvice can be easily visited as a day trip from Rijeka, Zadar and Zagreb.

SONY DSCPhoto CC-BY by Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Northern Dalmatia

The focal point of this region is Zadar, with its beautiful old town, home of many Romanesque churches, built on a small peninsula. The majority of hotels in Zadar are located outside the city centre, along the coast. Near Zadar are the Kornati National Park, an archipelago of uninhabited, rocky islets, reachable by boat or with an organized trip from the mainland . The barren island of Pag extends between the two regions: Northern Dalmatia and Kvarner . It is famous for an excellent roast lamb and the Paski sir (salty sheep cheese), as well as for the festival of fun and music outdoors on the beach Zrce in Novalja. Back on the mainland, hikers and climbers should head to the mountains of Velebit, the National Park Northern Velebit and in the Paklenica National Park .

Central Dalmatia

The highlight here is Split, UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic centre, within the old Roman walls of Diocletian’s Palace. The majority of visitors to the region fly to Split, then take a ferry or catamaran to the islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis, where among the most popular stands the town of Hvar on the island of Hvar, with excellent seafood restaurants. Back on the mainland, the Makarska Riviera, focused on Makarska and offers pebble beaches. The Biokovo Mountain nearby are instead ideal for hiking and mountain biking, while Omis is the starting point for rafting on the Cetina River. Other cultural attractions are the cathedral in Trogir, UNESCO World Heritage Site and Šibenik.

 

Southern Dalmatia

The main attraction of this region is Dubrovnik, the most popular and most expensive destination in Croatia, with an amazing old walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with the highest concentration of all the land of five-star hotels. To the south of Dubrovnik is the quiet seaside resort of Cavtat, and the port of Dubrovnik Gruz there are regular ferries to the islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. Dubrovnik is also a base for day trips to nearby Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Peljesac peninsula, which lies to the north of the coast, produces some of the best wines of Croatia, including the highly respected Dingac, and several vineyards where doing tastings. From the village of Orebic there are numerous beaches and ferries to the island of Korcula. Here the main attraction is the town of Korcula, another beautiful medieval settlement in stone. Peljesac produces exceptional red wines, while Korcula is famous for its fragrant white wines, in particular Pošip and Grk. Near Korcula, but more easily accessible by ferry from Dubrovnik, the island of Mljet is home to towering forests and saltwater lakes of Mljet National Park.

croatie-voile

Photo CC-BY by Josef Grunig

Zagreb

The Croatian capital is often unfairly overlooked. It has a romantic medieval town, Gornji Grad, seat of the parliament and the cathedral, and several buildings in the Austro-Hungarian Donji Grad, which include several excellent constructions. From Zagreb you can also take a trip to Varazdin, with its Baroque architecture of the 18th century and an annual festival of baroque music.

Where to stay

The possibilities for accommodation in Croatia range from five-star hotels to rooms in homes of local families. In addition there are villas, more than 300 campsites, some considered among the best in Europe , and a growing number of youth hostels. Most of the hotels are located on the coast and back to the period of Yugoslavia. In general they are large, modern building with a stunning view of the sea and sports facilities. Alternatively, there are a small family run hotels, under the umbrella of the Association of Family and Small Hotels of Croatia . Some of these historic buildings and tend to offer a more personalized service than the larger properties. A cheaper option is to rent an apartment or a room in a family home , the majority of which are comfortable and equipped with private bathroom and kitchenette. Local tourist offices can give you more information about it.

Who is looking for privacy and solitude can stay in a lighthouse. Along the mainland coast and on the islands there are 13 lighthouses with simple but comfortable apartments that you can rent. Some are located on isolated islands in the open sea, so you will need to bring everything you need for the duration of your stay – in some cases we can make a deal with the local fishermen for the supply of fresh fish. Otherwise you can opt for the so-called accommodation Robinson (referred to Robinson Crusoe). Some of these apartments are located on the Kornati islands ( and the island of Pasman) . It is stone cottage without electricity and tap water, but with a barbecue and a gas-powered refrigerator .

When to go

The best time to visit Croatia is in the months of May, June, September and October  during which you can enjoy a nice sunny day with all the tourist facilities and working without the crowds typical of the high season. These months are also the ideal time to do outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain – biking, rafting and sea kayaking. The Croatian company Jadrolinija operates ferry overnight from Ancona to Split, Ancona to Zadar and Dubrovnik to Bari throughout the year. Blue Line also covers the route Ancona-Split. In summer only, the Italian company SNAV operates a daily high-speed catamaran from Ancona to Split, while Venezia Lines operates catamarans from Venice to Porec, Rovinj and Pula in Istria.