Croatia is on the rise as a tourist destination! The sites, tastes, sounds, and smells made this the crowned jewel of our time in Europe. There are so many reasons to visit Croatia, the most underrated tourist destination in Europe (and maybe the World!).
Plan your next trip before it becomes overly crowded with tourists! You won’t regret it. Here are the five reasons that Croatia was our favorite place in Europe!
1. Plitvice Lakes National Park!
There are more waterfalls here than Julie has hair products… If you love to hike or you love the outdoors, this needs to be on your wanderlust list. The endless trails, wandering wildlife, and OHMYGOD those waterfalls will make it worth the trip! Take at least 2 days to make sure you see the whole park. Check out our story told in the Plitvice Times!
We could not stop marveling at Plitvice’s lakes and waterfalls, walking the wooden walkways and drinking it all in (not literally, please do not drink the water) seriously… The waterfalls are so beautiful that they do not seem real.
There are 8 separate hikes that you can walk, all varying in difficulty and length. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes, number one. Leave your heels at home. Second, take some time to plan your walk before you head out. The place is beautiful and you can get lost in the sites, but you can also get lost. Bring a trusty map, plan your walk, and have the time of your freaking life!
No matter who you are, you will not regret making Plitvice Lakes National Park a main stop on your tour of Croatia. It is beautiful. You are beautiful. The experience will be beautiful. Beautiful stuff, my friend.
2. 1000 Islands
The coast of Croatia is lined with the Adriatic Sea and over 1000 islands (I say again, one thousand islands!) surrounded by the bluest water we have ever seen. This water is bluer than Violet Beauregarde after she eats the blueberry pie in Willy Wonka.
Why Brianna Thinks You HAVE to Go to Split
Split is the second largest city in Croatia. It’s often dismissively mentioned in the same sentence as Dubrovnik. Even though Split seems to be coming in second place, you should move it to the top of your travel list. With its Roman history and a nice compact old town, Split is worth a visit to soak up some Croatian sun.
I’m going to admit something. I didn’t like Split at first. I was coming off of my Dubrovnik high and was feeling a little fatigued by shiny-marble and old towns. It’s one of those travel truths that can be hard to admit. But Split really grew on me. It feels more lived in than Dubrovnik and has less of that check-list feeling that comes with being somewhere with lots of tourists. Rather than fighting crowds, you can relax in Split and wander around the city at your own pace.
Take at least one day and do an Island Hopping Tour. Ask your Croatian skipper to take you from island to island at whatever pace you want, and have them give you recommendations along the way!
While island hopping, you need to stop and snorkel in the Adriatic Sea. We followed Frank About Croatia‘s advice and took a dip in the clear blue sea, exploring the wildlife and underwater sites, and you should to:
We love snorkeling in Croatia or elsewhere, because it’s easy (anybody can do it!), it’s family-friendly, and it’s relatively cheap (you can do it anywhere, and with a simple gear).
We absolutely LOVE photography, and sharing pictures! These are the cameras we use on all of our adventures. The drone and GoPro help us get cool new perspectives (underwater, in the air, wide angle) and the Rebel we use on a day-to-day basis for most of our shots!
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The sea in Croatia is very clear, and clean. The sea bed, especially in the shallow waters, is pebble. Thus the underwater visibility is excellent. The Adriatic Sea is very safe to swim and snorkel. You won’t find any sharks, whales or other dangerous species live in these waters. You can encounter lots of dolphins in the Adriatic. The most famous sites for dolphins are the island of Losinj, and Rovinj. There are also lots of ship wrecks all along the coastline.
3. The Walled City of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is full of history! Zach, being a history buff, could have spent days on walking tours learning facts about the distant and recent past of this coastal castle. What is a city if not for a collection of stories and treasures, after all?
Spend the day shopping in Old Town and take the time to walk the wall. On top of the wall you will have a beautiful view of the bright orange rooftops contrasting with the bright blue sea. Plus, this is the only walled city that hasn’t been taken over in battle…ever! Pretty epic if you ask us. No wonder Game of Thrones chose Dubrovnik as King’s Landing.
4. Fish and Seafood
Croatians know how to cook their seafood. Damn do they know how to cook their seafood. We had the best sea bass we’ve ever tasted in Trogir and even ordered some Octopus, Calamari, and Sardines when we were feelin’ frisky. We would recommend any and all of it, except maybe the Sardines…
5. The People Are So Friendly
From our favorite restauranteur Gloria in Trogir to our AirBnB hosts in Plitvice (who didn’t speak English but knew to give us a shot of moonshine when we got there!) everyone we talked to was UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME. If you don’t think the people in Croatia are nice, then either something is wrong with you, or that person you met was Julie after she ate her sardines. If it was the latter, then please forgive her.
Also, we got engaged there, so…we like it.
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