21 reasons to visit Croatia
Croatia is an increasingly popular holiday destination and a great place to enjoy a walking or cycling holiday. We reveal 21 reasons to visit this beautiful country, in no particular order. 1 Go before… Take the opportunity to travel to Croatia before it, inevitably, becomes over-touristy. Tourism is a huge source of income for many people and the chances are the resorts will grow and the number of hotels and apartments will multiply. Just now, much of Croatia is still relatively quiet and unspoilt. 2 Sunny days: Croatia enjoys warm weather for much of the year, especially in summer with the long hot and sunny days. If you prefer cooler but still sunny weather, especially if you are walking or cycling, the early summer or autumn months might suit you best. The temperatures are still generally warm and if it does rain it is usually over quite quickly. 3 Easy communication: English is a second language in Croatia and most Croatians speak very good English. This is helpful because few people outside Croatia speak Croatian. English is learned in school from a young age and everyone takes price in being able to speak it well. 5 City and countryside: It’s easy to enjoy both city highlights and countryside. The cities, even the main ones such as Split and Dubrovnik, are relatively small. You could explore the historic old city for a morning and then head out into the nearby rural landscape for a walk or cycle (or to lie on a beach) in the afternoon. Likewise, a day spent walking or cycling can then be topped off with an evening in a city. 6 So much history: Croatia has a lot to reveal in its historical timeline dating back many centuries – and also in recent times. It’s not always an easy story to tell but Croatians are usually very happy to offer you a fascinating synopsis. Explore the many “old city” streets resplendent with Roman and Venetian architecture, visit museums and discover landmark buildings and memorials as you trace a fascinating Dalmatian tale of kingdoms, unions, republics, wars, politics, civil unrest and modern day independence. [caption id="attachment_19974" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Split old city.[/caption] 7 Safety conscious: For all this talk of war and unrest, Croatia today feels like a very safe country to visit. Crime rates are very low and you often see bikes and homes left unlocked. Wandering around in the day and at night feels absolutely fine. 8 World heritage wonders: There are plenty of UNESCO World heritage sites to visit including Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes National Park. [caption id="attachment_19970" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Krka National Park.[/caption] 9 Superb national parks: The two most famous Croatian national parks are Krka and Plitvice Lakes. Seeing is believing as you enjoy breath-taking waterfalls, rivers, lakes and landscape. [caption id="attachment_19965" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Zadar old town at night.[/caption] 10 Discover Zadar: Located on a small mainland peninsula the city is far less touristy but still boasts a fantastic old city. Roman ruins, museums, churches, shopping, restaurants and beaches offer plenty to see and do. 11 Walks for all: From strolls along the coast to hillier walks through olive groves, vineyards and lavender, and between villages and towns, there are plenty of options for everyone in Croatia. 12 Smooth cycling: There are many, many miles of quiet roads and smooth tarmac to enjoy on a bike. It feels like a huge contrast for many busy European countries and cycling is a real pleasure in Croatia. 13 Active fun: As well as walking and cycling there are other active gems to enjoy including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, diving, snorkelling and climbing. [caption id="attachment_19966" align="aligncenter" width="487"] Kayaking off Hvar Island.[/caption] 14 Island life: The coast of Croatia is dotted with numerous islands, each with a diverse look, atmosphere and culture. Island hopping is made easy thanks to a wide network of ferries and if you choose you could spend many happy weeks island hopping. 15 Beauty on the inside: Don’t overlook the stunning landscapes of the interior of Croatia. There are stunning mountains, dramatic waterfalls, canyons, beautiful lakes and so much more to explore than simply the popular coats and islands. 16 Night life: If you like to party the night away there is plenty to enjoy. Split and Hvar town in particular are where you’ll find numerous bars, restaurants and clubs, if that’s your thing. Equally, if you like things a little quieter there are plenty of towns and cities that have a lot to offer in the evenings but without too much madness. Even in Split and Hvar you’ll find quieter, more romantic locations for eating out. 17 Family friendly: Croatia welcomes families and restaurants are often busy with children even into the later evening. It feels like Italy in that sense. Beaches have safe waters for child-friendly swimming and there are a few great treats, such as amazing ice cream sellers and sweet shops. 18 Amazing Bol: On the southern coast of Brac island is the Zlatni Rat beach at Bol. The tongue-shaped beach of golden pebbles is a natural wonder and a great place to sun-bathe. 19 Wine and dine: Istria is the place to go for Croatia’s finest food and drink offerings. Seafood, truffles, wild asparagus and a rare type of beef will all tempt you. Small local producers also make olive oils and delicious wines. 20 Sweet treats: Sweet-toothed holidaymakers will love the pastry shops (slasticarnas) found in almost every village, town and city. The display of cakes is mesmerising. And Croatian ice cream stalls look as good as those found in Italy. Really! [caption id="attachment_19967" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Hillsides of lavender.[/caption] 21 Good value: Despite the weak British pound Croatia remains fairly cheap for accommodation, food and drink. Check out the walking and cycling holidays to Croatia. See Island Hopping: Dubrovnik to Split, Croatia Bike & Boat, Treasures of the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik, vineyards and the Dalmatian coast and Istria vineyards and villages.