Green and Blue
Experience all the shades of green and blue
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
The Plitvice Lakes
The colors, sounds and smells of the Croatian oldest national park enchant all year round. Sixteen blue-green lakes, stunning waterfalls and unobtrusively laid out pathways create a fairy tale atmosphere in winter in a place in which a rich in color calm reigns in autumn. Spring at Plitvice is bursting with water, vegetation and vigor while the blue-green lakes entice summer visitors with the spray of the waterfalls, offering, yet withholding, the sorely needed coolness.
Krka National park
The beautiful blue Krka may be less famous than Plitvice, but it is no less gorgeous! Those who are brave enough can jump from her thundering white waterfalls into the blue lake while those who prefer intellect over the body can go see what remains of the oldest hydroelectric power plant, walk the educational trail, explore the Oziđana Cave, the Roman Legion camp Burnum or simply sit and meditate to the calming sound of water.
Those who prefer calm and deep green waters should head east, to the paradise of food lovers, birding and hunting. There they will find the biggest flood area in Podunavlje filled with colors and life. Kopački rit, the oldest Croatian nature park, nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List, is home to two thousand biological species!
The Cetina River Canyon
Breathtaking beauty is a feature of the karst queen Cetina whose canyon is beyong beautiful. Its white-gray cliffs are perfect for free-climbing, its blue river water excellent for rafting. What colours you see and whether you're feeling faint or not crossing Cetina on a ZIP Line is entirely up to you! If adrenaline sports are not your cup of tea, you can enjoy all the shades of green and blue by sailing all the way up to the popular spot of Radmanove mlinice.
World renown for its emerald color, the Slovenian river Soča is one of the best rafting locations in the entire region. But, if the lush greenery inspires daydreaming rather than sports, go sailing and let the captain regale you with tales of local customs, dragon legends, brave princesses and giant trout. History buffs will discover a paradise of their very own in this little valley – Ernest Hemingway and Erwin Rommel took part in the WWI battles that occurred here.
In northwestern Slovenia lies a little town that has become a world famous tourist destination because of the eponymous glacial lake which makes everyone imagine it in white. But blue and green do dominate this beautiful area in summer while in the minds of locals the place is branded with yellow as well, since that is the color of excellent local custard slices. Hikers also love Bled as it is an excellent starting point for venturing to the majestic Julian Alps.
When you get tired of all the shades of green and blue, it is time to enjoy some brown and something very, very white, almost transparent. In the most famous cave of former Yugoslavia, and possibly the world - it has been visited by more than 35 million tourists in 200 years! - you can ride a train, take a walk down a series of karst tunnels, passages and galleries, see the five meters high stalagmite and meet the endemic olm, the largest trogloditic amphibian in the world.
The longest and the biggest river of the eastern Adriatic basin springs under the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina and then in Croatia, turns into a stunning blue-green delta whose symbol of old – Neretvanska lađa, the Neretva boat in which the denizens of the area used to be born in, get married in and die in – has been replaced in recent years with a new symbol: tangerines that grow here in abundance. In the valley full of armlets, bogs, lagoons, lakes, thickets and all manner of vegetation there are 310 bird species so it should not surprise you that the town of Metković boats the second largest ornithological collection in Europe.
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.
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!