Located on the beautiful Adriatic Sea, Croatia has fast become a bucket-list vacation destination. Croatia offers something for everyone: you can soak up the sun on glorious beaches, explore national parks that will take your breath away, or dive into a rich history that goes further back than the Roman Empire. Here are the places to visit in Croatia at the top of our list:
Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is one of those places that has something for everyone – especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan as much of the show was filmed here. The main attraction is Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the medieval ramparts that give spectacular views of the Adriatic, to the churches, cathedrals and shops you’ll see as you explore the streets of this old city. Lapad Beach is great for sunbathing, and you don’t want to miss the sweeping views of the city and the coast riding on the Dubrovnik Cable Car.
Split. As the second largest city in Croatia, Split is able to balance its history with modern culture. Visit Diocletian’s Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built in the 4th century and is recognized as one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world. Don’t miss the 7th-century Cathedral of Saint Domnius – the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure. Take a walk on the Riva promenade or relax on Bačvice Beach. For wine connoisseurs, visit Putalj Winery just outside the city for their winetasters tour.
Krka National Park. Croatia has 8 national parks, and Krka is one of the best. Known for its stunning waterfalls. The most spectacular waterfall in the park is Skradinski Buk waterfall, where you may be able to swim on a warm afternoon. Hike the many trails through the creeks, forests and other waterfalls, and take a boat ride to see the Visovac Monastery on its own island in the middle of the lake.
Pula. The Pula Arena is one of the most complete Roman amphitheaters still standing in the world. Originally used by Augustus Caesar for the gladiator spectacles, medieval knights used the space for their tournaments over 1,000 years later. The town is brimming with influences from the Roman Empire, including the Arch of the Sergii to commemorate a 30 BC battle with France, the Temple of Augustus that was converted into a church after the Romans adapted Christianity, and the Gate of Hercules which boasts carvings of the names of two Roman officials who established Pula. You can also see the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the military forts surrounding the city.
Plitvice National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice National Park is home to 16 crystalline lakes that are connected by a series of 90 waterfalls. The Explore the park on foot by way of its boardwalks through lush forest areas, or take advantage of the free buses and boat rides that are available throughout the park.
Rovinj. Set on a peninsula overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Rovinj is a picture-perfect town that reflects its history with the Romans, Venetians, Hapsburgs and more. St. Euphemia Cathedral dominates the Rovinj skyline, and the view from the bell tower is breathtaking. Walk down the cobbled streets of Old Town to glimpse into its Venetian past. Enjoy the beaches along the coast of the Adriatic. Or take a quick trip outside of town to explore the ruins of Dvigrad, a medieval town that was abandoned in the 1700s and never repopulated.
Zagreb. No trip to Croatia would be complete without a trip to the capital city of Zagreb. This unique city actually developed on two separate hilltops – Kapitol and Gradec – and the differences are apparent even to today. Kapitol was where the clergy was based, and the Zagreb Cathedral was its main landmark. On the other hill, Gradec was the more secular part of the city, where you can still see the influences of the artisans and tradesmen as you walk the cobblestoned streets. Visit the Gornji Grad district for a historical look at various churches and town squares. And if you need a break from the museums and hustle and bustle of the city, head out to Jarun Lake for some leisure time.
There is much more to see and do in Croatia, and Luxury Destinations Concierge is ready to help you plan your trip. Give us a call at 805-236-4437.
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