DON’T TRAVEL TO CROATIA DURING SUMMER!
VISIT IT IN SPRING.
Population: 4,15 million
Primary economic industry: Tourism
Croatia is a small, interesting country somewhere between Central and Southeast Europe. It has a very long coast at the Adriatic Sea which it shares with neighboring countries – Italy and Slovenia. Its coast is one of the reasons why many tourists decide to travel to Croatia. It is one of the Balkan countries, so other neighboring countries include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary.
This country is extremely diverse geographically and climate-vise. Flat plains can be found in the region locally called Slavonija and high mountains will come in your way if you decide to visit coastline. This region with highlands is locally called Gorski Kotar. The coastline offers something for any type of traveler since it is very rugged with more than 1,200 islands. Regarding the climate, you can also expect everything if you plan to have a road trip through the whole country. Highland Gorski Kotar has a mountainous climate; Adriatic coast has a Mediterranean climate and the northern part of the country (with its capital Zagreb) has a continental climate. Another interesting fact about this small country is its recent history. It is fascinating to visit the memorials that remind you of tough fight for independence this country fought only 28 years ago.
Even though most tourists decide to visit Croatia during summer due to its beautiful weather and variety of spectacular beaches (and Dubrovnik of course), the country is stunning during the spring. Firstly, you will avoid some of the crowds that usually happens in during summer. This means you can fully enjoy all the locations you want to visit (and make some awesome photos). The temperature is amazing for spending most of your time outdoors, kayaking, rafting or biking. In Croatia you will get good deals for your money, especially in pre-season. Even though the country is part of EU since 2013, it still has its currency – Croatian kuna (1 € is approximately 7,44 Croatian kunas).
Are you planning to travel to Croatia? Or you already decided to go for it? Here is our suggested travel itinerary for anyone who wants to travel to Croatia this spring.
We know that Dubrovnik is on most travelers’ bucket list, but we will make some other suggestions for you trip to Croatia.
Firstly, the capital city is beautiful during spring. It is not too hot, like it can get during summer, so you can enjoy its park and old-town without sweating. There are some beautiful spots like Bundek Lake or Jarun Lake if you want to spend a day enjoying nature. City center is full of cathedrals, churches and other landmarks and you will be amazed with old streets that lead to Upper Town. And once you get there, the view is breathtaking. If you don’t really like to spend time in museums, but still feel like trying something similar, make sure to visit The Museum of Broken Relationships. This quirky museum contains insignificant objects and their captions that explain their relevance to a broken relationship.
St. Marks Church
Croatian National Theatre
Another thing to have in mind while visiting Croatia (not just Zagreb) is that it is heaven for coffee lovers. Anywhere you go you will most certainly see a coffee bar, coffee place or café. Croatian people have coffee drinking in their tradition. And this tradition is not just about drinking coffee, it is about spending time with friends and family. They meet at coffee places, order their favorite cup of this warm beverage and sit there and talk for at least one hour. We find this tradition so motivating to spend some quality time talking with loved ones, so we definitely recommend you try it as well. Do it like the locals!
2. Risnjak National Park
To start your journey to the seaside (which we definitely recommend), you should have a stop at one of Croatia’s National Parks. Here, we would recommend again not the most popular one (Plitvice lakes) and the one that is on the way to the next part of our itinerary idea. This would be Risnjak National Park where you can enjoy a hike to Risnjak peak and relax in the Kupa valley. Risnjak is a natural bond between the Alpes and the Balkan mountains and is a home for many animals including bears, wolves and lynxes. Enjoy some brethtaking views, untouched nature and animals.
Risnjak National Park
After big city and nature time, we would recommend visiting the region called Istria. Also a very popular destination, but much closer to Zagreb than Dubrovnik. If you like how Tuscany looks, you will love Istria. If going to Istria, you should definitely visit Pula, the largest city in the region. Pula is famous for its Roman amphitheater called The Arena. Next you could visit Motovun, a monumental city on top of a hill. It offers stunning views, has a Venetian square and 1052 stairs.
Amphitheater in Pula
Another interesting city to visit in Istria is definitely Hum. Hum is the smallest city in the world! As the legend goes, this city was built from the stones that were left there when giants were building towns by the river Mirna. If you are lucky and have more days to spend in Croatia, just keep exploring Istria, it has so much to offer. And make sure to try wines, olive oil and dishes with truffles. For true nature lovers, there are organized Truffle Hunts so make sure to check them out.
I’m ending this blog post with a song by one of Croatia’s famous poets – Dobriša Cesarić. Hope you liked our suggested travel itinarery and that you will visit some of the spots we mentioned when you travel to Croatia.
Small fruit tree after rain
Look at that small fruit tree after the rain:
It is full of raindrops and it swings they,
And magic luxury of it branches
Sparkle in the sunlight.
But if the sun is hidden, just for a while
All that magic diasppeares
It is again, as it was before,
Ordinary, poor small tree.
-Dobriša Cesarić, Croatian poet
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