Adventure to remember
Experience an adventure to remember
The diversity of Croatia has always delighted visitors and the same can be said of its tourist offers. Still, some of her jewels remain hidden even today, quite undeservedly so. Scattered all over the country, they are worth every minute and every effort spent in discovering them.
Sailing to discover the islands
One of the most beautiful features of Croatia are its islands. With more than 1000 islands, islets and cliffs there are many untouched coves, beaches and pine groves that are only accessible by boat. This need not make the "mainland" tourists, who come to Croatia with their own cars or by public transport, sad. Every town on the Croatian coast offers day or multi-day boat, yacht or sailboat excursions. From Istria to Dubrovnik, there are numerous agencies offering excursions for every pocket, from small rent-a-boats to large sailboats or yachts with professional skippers. A big bonus here is that it is impossible to make a mistake when choosing a destination – the trip itself is more important than the destination!
The Great Croatian Wall
We may not have the Great Wall of China, but we do have a close second! The amazing The Walls of Ston is a series of defensive walls that are one of the biggest urban fortification undertakings of the Middle Ages. The Walls of Ston connect the towns of Ston and Mali Ston, which have since time immemorial served as guardians of the Pelješac peninsula. Today, they and their tumultuous history attract numerous tourists. Both towns were built according to the principles of urban planning from the middle of the 14th century, and these are known as the oldest such plans in Europe that remain intact to this day. The Walls of Ston consist of three fortresses, forty one towers, seven bastions, four bulwarks and water filled moats. The length of 5,5 kilometers makes them the longest town walls in the world, hence the nickname the "European Wall of China".
The Dalmatian donkey is raised in the entire Adriatic, from the very south to the Kvarner region. In the island of Korčula, it is mentioned for the first time in 1214, in the Statute of the town and island. Today, this donkey is considered an endangered species. The Antunović family takes care of 26 Istrian and Dalmatian donkeys in the village of Kuna on Pelješac. Guests vacationing on the Riviera of Pelješac can visit this farm and try their hand at riding this hardworking animal. The donkey races, organized in various locations down the Croatian coast, from Korčula to Tisno, is a special attraction. In the Korčula village of Žrnovo one can even book a "donkey safari" and explore the island from a donkey's back!
Truffle hunting in Istria
Truffles have been a delicacy since ancient times, but reserved only for those with deep pockets. But this no longer the case! In September, when the summer tourists start heading home and the crowds grow thinner, it's time for truffle hunting! The hunt can be arranged through agencies, so the guests get picked up by the guide at their hotel or villa and taken to various festivals, such as the Subotina in Buzet (where an omelet out of 2012 eggs and 10 kilograms of truffles was made in 2012!) or the Tuber Fest in Livade, the Truffle Weekend in Buzet, the Teta Festival in Motovun, the Alpe Adria Folk Fest or the Sblack Truffle Fair in Oprtalj.
A carriage ride in Slavonija
A hackney coach or a fiacre, as it is called in Slavonija, is a breath of bygone times that is always welcome. The city of Đakovo has enriched its tourist offer during Advent by offering free fiacre rides in the centre of the town, in collaboration with the world famous Đakovo State Stud Farm. In the enthno-village Karanac, situated in the very heart of Baranja, you can take a ride in a real, large fiacre, one that seats eleven. The city of Osijek offers a similar attraction: every Friday during the summer months, a century and a half old fiacre is driven by two coachdrivers in Croatian Falcon uniforms. There is a lot of interest for these rides and we can certainly see the appeal!
A walk down the pathways of Plitvice Lakes
Hiking is the best way to spend time in a national park.The Plitvice Lakes are especially well suited for this as they feature both short routes for one-day visitors as well as long ones for the experienced hikers. One such a route is the one along Čorko's Cove, a 21 kilometers long hike that will let you see the forest ecosystem of the park in detail. The beginning of the route is at Labudovac, where it diverges from the Plitvice trail, leading to the Čorko's Cove village. It goes on across the Preka Kosa mountain, where it merges with the Plitvice trail again and goes on to the boat docking area in Kozjačka Draga.
One thing rarely crosses our minds when picking a vacation destination and yet we do think of it quite often while decorating our homes – the importance and influence of colors. Blue does not do for the living room or study, calming though it is, since it induces depression and exudes cold. On the other hand, green is the current queen of interior design: it relaxes the body, diminishes stress and improves vision. However important our living environment may be, the best way to get exposed to colors is in nature. Because nothing calms the soul like a body in movement surrounded by the beautiful shades nature creates
Every coast is charming in its own way, but once you experience the beautiful blue Adriatic, you will never want to leave! Small islands, interesting peninsulas, uninhabited isles and heart shaped islets, hidden coves and even more hidden vineyards in stunning bays will thrill you almost as much as the fantastic people who have chosen to build their lives in this at times cruel but always breathtaking beauty, far away from the mainland.
Croatia is most often referred to as the country with a thousand islands, but in this small country for a big vacation, there are over a thousand castles, palaces and forts as well. Some are home to museums, some to hotels, and in some people still live, be they in private hands or just happen to have towns grown around them.
Croatia is a small country extremely rich in history. Since the seventh century, when Croats are supposed to have arrived to this territory, countless armies have marched through it, antique empires built their strongholds in it, but we stubbornly kept claiming what we considered ours. The cultural diversity of all these centuries has become an integral part of our identity.
Wherever you might find yourself in Croatia, you are likely to stumble upon fragments of history: Zagorje and Slavonija are full of burgs, forts, castles, but also prehistoric archaeological sites, while Dalmatia and Istria are brimming with traces of antiquity, Byzantium, medieval times and the Renaissance carved into stone. Tribes, nations and rulers have succeeded each other with a higher frequency than anywhere else, as can be seen in the recent turbulent history of the region.
The "small country for a big vacation" is filled with picturesque and unusual little towns in which big things happen! Each one has its own story and personality that makes it worth taking the time to both find it and find out all about it.
Every country has its charms, but some places are truly special; whether they are the result of natural processes, remains of ancient civilizations, or cities with ancient histories that still overflow with life. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO, has formed a World Heritage List of sites that serves to protect these magnificent localities, whether they belong to natural or cultural heritage, or sometimes both. In Croatia, seven sites have been inscribed on the List in the last 36 years, while 15 more have been nominated.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, goes the ancient proverb. It is the best advice any traveler ever got. Go local and do everything locals do in order to live the country you are visiting!