Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! What are your plans for Easter weekend if you celebrate? It’s a peak week for travel in some destinations and “shoulder season” for others as we discussed in recent newsletters. I’ll be marking the holiday in an unusual way – more to come on that soon!
This week’s newsletter is part two of our deep dive into what Croatia has to offer. If you read last week’s newsletter, you know that this incredible country is a hidden gem in Europe and deserves top billing on your travel bucket list.
Read on for the scoop, part 2 where we cover Croatia’s natural beauty inland, a long list of active, outdoor adventures, and wonderful gastronomy experiences for lovers of food and wine…
Reminder: Where is Croatia?
We covered this last week but as someone who appreciates geography, it’s worth repeating.
Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country found up the coast from mainland Greece (Albania and Montenegro separate the two). Croatia borders Slovenia to the west, Hungary to the north, Serbia to the east, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro to the south. Across the Adriatic Sea from Croatia is the western coast of Italy.
Croatia is shaped like a croissant and has an incredible 5,835km of coastline with the great majority of that distance including islands, cliffs, and reefs. For travelers who love coastal vacations, Croatia is a paradise!
Natural Beauty Inland
National Park lovers will fall for Croatia! Canyons, waterfalls, forests, and rivers are part of this gorgeous Croatian wilderness.
Plitvice Lakes National Park (UNESCO) – unique, beautiful scenery with 16-terraced lakes and spectacular waterfalls.
Rastoke – a watermill village situated where the blue-green water of river Slunjcica flows into the Korana River. Most of the houses were built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Krka National Park – named after the river Krka it has seven waterfalls and a total drop of 242 m, the Krka is a natural phenomenon.
Kornati National Park – very popular with sailors due to its stunning natural beauty and crystal-clear sea (surrounds Sibenik from the sea).
Paklenica National Park (Velebit) – a gorgeous wilderness area in central Croatia located at the southern end of the Velebit mountain range. The park is famous for its dramatic canyons of Velika and Mala Paklenica as well as black-pine forests.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: For hotel options with the perks check this out: Best Of The Best Hotels and Experiences.
Active Experiences for All
Love active adventure? Croatia offers a diversity of activities beyond sightseeing:
- Sea Kayaking around the many Croatian Islands
- White Water Rafting on one of the well-known rivers around the Balkans
- Canyoning on Soča river
- Ziplining over the Planica ski jumping hill
- Exploring hidden sea caves of Dalmatia
- Deep-Sea Diving in the Adriatic sea,
- Jeep Safari Touring – an off-road adventure in Velebit’s mountain scenery
- Cycling – allows you to see the beauty of Croatia close up
- Hiking in the National Parks and along the coast
- Sailing, powerboating, and cruising the islands and coastline
Whatever your active interests may be, Croatia will deliver.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Wondering how to navigate the travel protocols in Croatia? Schedule a chat, and I’ll talk you through it.
Food & Wine – Gastronomy Galore!
Croatia is one of the oldest winemaking areas in Europe and has 4 wine-growing regions, 20,000 hectares of vineyards and 45,000 producers! There are many unique, family-run, boutique production vineyards and travelers can learn about wine production with the actual vineyard owners and winemakers.
Uncover the secrets of family winemaking traditions, enjoy blind tastings- sometimes directly from wine barrels – and learn about the daily duties of a wine producer. You can even sleep in a converted old wine barrel at one of the unique Agritourism properties.
Croatia also has a rich culinary tradition based on the Mediterranean style of cooking. Each region in Croatia has its own culinary personality. For example, oysters from Ston, cheese from Pag, pašicada from Split, truffles from Buzet, peka “the bell” barbecue, and Istrian homemade pasta called “pljukanci or fuži.” For fine dining fans, there are also 7 Michelin star awarded restaurants in Croatia.
Travelers can experience the typical Croatian hospitality and get involved in activities such as truffle hunting, cooking lessons, and crop harvesting, and delighting their taste buds with traditional dishes loaded with fresh, local ingredients prepared by the hands of a local chef. Educational, delicious, and so memorable!
Inspired? If you’re dreaming of a trip to Croatia, here’s the link to schedule a chat with me www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Wishing you and your family continued good health,