Croatia is a charming country in the Mediterranean, boasting stunning beaches, historical cities and ancient architecture – not to mention its seven UNESCO World Heritage sites that are great for exploring. For the foodies out there, there are many gastronomic hotspots along the Adriatic coast fishing villages, harbours and quaint medieval towns each serving delicious fresh food and wine. If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, take a look at lowcostholidays’ top things to do during your stay.
1) Visit the Picturesque Nugal Makarska Beach
There are many hidden gems along the Makarska Riviera including the Nugal Makarska beach, located two kilometres east of the popular harbour city of Makarska. This secluded beach, overlooking the deep, blue Adriatic Sea, can only be reached on foot or by boat, making it the perfect place for some peace and quiet. This beach is also particularly popular amongst the nudist beach enthusiasts. Located just behind this quaint stretch of shore is a stunning stream over the Biokovo Mountain which, during the winter months, forms a 10 metre waterfall.
2) Explore the Dubrovnik Ramparts
The Walls of Dubrovnik are one of the most grandiose fortification monuments in Europe, where visitors see what life may have been like in the 15th and 16th centuries. The wall runs for nearly 2,000 metres and encircles the old city of Dubrovnik in an irregular polygon shape. Originally built to protect the city, you’ll find Fort Minceta at one corner of the city and Fort St. John’s at the other, making Dubrovnik, in its entirety, ideal for all history buffs!
3) Sail Along the Coast
One of the best ways to enjoy the coast of Croatia is by renting a sailing boat and taking to the Adriatic Sea. Along the coast, there are many hidden coves and remote bays to anchor up and enjoy the local delights of Croatia. Alternatively, simply sail aimlessly along the rustic stretch of coastline enjoying the lavender and olive groves.
4) Visit the Croatian Lakes and Waterfalls
There are many lakes and waterfalls in Croatia just waiting to be explored. The Plitvice Lakes are particularly spectacular and consist of 16 lakes, each meeting one another by cascading waterfalls. The Plitvice Lakes National Park, granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979, is one of Croatia’s most famous attractions and you’ll understand why when you experience the tumbling waterfalls and lush forest at this idyllic attraction.
5) Enjoy the splendour of the Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik
Located along the Dalmatian coast in the small town of Sibenik. Here, you’ll find the Cathedral of St. James, a stunning stone structure that’s built with a blend of Gothic and Renaissance design. There’s a wealth of history behind this cathedral including many exchanges of influences between northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries.
6) Scuba Diving
There are several fascinating diving sites in Croatia including the Taranto shipwreck near Dubrovnik, which dates back to 1943. The Greek cargo shipwreck just off the island of Hvar, dates back to the Roman era, and offers up a delicious serving of ancient artefacts. There is also an exciting underwater lake off the island of Susac, southwest of Korcula, which can be reached through an underwater tunnel and boasts an array of bright coral and sea life.
7) Rock Climbing
For the adventure seekers, the mountains around Croatia provide a diverse landscape that’s perfect for climbing and packed with lots of difficult edges to conquer. The Velebit mountain range, and especially the Paklenica National Park, is one of the most popular climbing destinations in Croatia. For those who don’t feel like climbing, there are many hiking trails through the park to explore too.
8) Take a Trip to Split
The ruins of the Palace of Diocletian, built for the Roman emperor Diocletian between the late 3rd and early 4th centuries, can still be found throughout the city. The palace demonstrates examples of Roman architecture along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Across the city of Split, there are many great ruins to be found amid its winding streets, including the Porta Argentea and the Cathedral of St Doimus.
9) Visit the Historic City of Trogir
Trogir, located on a small island west of Split, is a fine example of a medieval city built on the ruins of a Roman and Hellenistic settlement. Over the years, this city has been influenced by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians. With streets lined with Baroque buildings from the Venetian period and a plethora of Romanesque churches, there’s plenty of history and architecture to enjoy.
10) Go Island Hopping
Island hopping in Croatia is extremely popular, especially as there are more than a thousand islands to explore. The types of islands around Croatia are varied but equally beautiful; some are peaceful, some boast ancient ruins and others offer plenty of nightly entertainment and parties. Two of the best ways to discover the islands is on an island hopping cruise or by having your own adventure and crossing between the islands on various catamarans and small boats.
Aimee Avory-Adams is a travel writer and travel expert for lowcostholidays with a keen interest in holidays to Croatia.