A charming seaside country with a lovely Old World atmosphere, Croatia was once the best kept secret in Europe. Sharing the same jewel-like coastline and classic history with its neighbor, Italy, Croatia was a lesser known but equally appealing destination. Today, Croatia's charms are more universally acknowledged and tourism is a major industry. Fortunately, Croatia remains as refreshingly low-key and charming as always. It is a wonderful place for a romantic getaway, a beach vacation, or an off-the-beaten-track cultural tour.
For many vacationers, Croatia's Adriatic coast is the country's biggest draw. Catering to any budget, from backpackers to luxury travelers, this pristine stretch of the Mediterranean is popular with people from across the world. Along the coast, sunbathing and swimming are definitely the most popular activities. However, Croatian beaches offer a range of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and scuba diving.
With a unique central European atmosphere, Croatia gently blends relaxation with culture. Once a colony of the Roman and Austro-Hungarian empires, Croatia is filled with ancient ruins and architectural influences from its former rulers. The coast and countryside is dotted with small medieval cities, which can make charming daytrips or overnight destinations.
While traveling in Croatia, take time to explore the Balkan palette. Traditional Croatian food includes spicy sausage, seafood, mushrooms, berries, local cheese, and truffles. The country also produces excellent olives and olive oil.
A country of myriad pleasures, Croatia's most important sights include:
-Zagreb: Croatia's capital city has a lovely medieval downtown, Gornji Grad, plus wonderful dining and nightlife.
-Pula: There is an interesting ruin of a Roman amphitheater in this city on the Istrian peninsula.
-Plitvice: For some fresh air, visit the pine forests, crystalline lakes, and waterfalls in Plitvice National Park.
-Dubrovnik: Perched on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, this beautiful walled city is a United Nations World Heritage Site.
-Rovinj: On the Istrian peninsula near Italy, this romantic city has hints of Venice in its narrow streets and architecture.
-Brac Island: A Mecca for international sun-worshippers, Croatia's most famous beaches are located on the beautiful shores of Brac Island in the Aegean Sea.
-Hvar Town: This charming Medieval city is located on Hvar Island, a hot spot for luxury yachting.
Visiting Croatia can be a paradise in your own vacation rental overlooking the shores of the Mediterranean. Most Croatian rental homes are big enough to accommodate a large group or entire family. Compliment a beach vacation with a few days in Zagreb, staying at a private apartment or luxury condo near the historic downtown district. With space, privacy, and the chance to live in an authentic Balkan environment, the right vacation rental can make your trip to Croatia all the more memorable.