With a long history dating back to the 7th century AD, ideally situated between the Balkans and central Europe, Croatia has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires and republics for millennia. If there's an upside to this continual dislocation, it's in the rich cultural legacy that each has left behind. Venetian palazzi snuggle up to Napoleonic forts, Roman columns protrude from early Slavic churches, and Viennese mansions face off with Socialist Realist sculpture. Excellent museums showcase treasures that cover the gamut of European history, from the prehistoric to the post-communist, telling a story that is in equal parts fascinating and horrifying.
Zagreb, Croatia's capital is a colourful and vibrant city in the North East of the country. Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of conventional Austro-Hungarian architecture and rough around-the-edges socialist structures. Its character is sometimes an uneasy combination of the two elements. This small metropolis is made for strolls, drinking coffee in the permanently full cafes, popping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theatres, concerts and cinema.
Krk is a Croatian island in the northern Adriatic Sea, located near Rijeka in the Bay of Kravner. Traditionally, Krk had been thought to be the largest Adriatic island - though it is actually the same size as Cres - and is definitely the most populated island in the Adriatic Sea.
Cres is a twin sister of the island of Krk. Its main town also called Cres is a nice touristic fishermen town full of nice restaurants. Only accessible by boat, Cres is much more quiet and solitary than its sister. Wondering around the island is the guaranty of discovering beautiful hidden beaches such as Mali Bok or Lubenice beaches, charming villages full of life and nice places to have a drink and eat fish.
Should you have some time, you should visit Valun during its town fair. Villagers were cooking gnocchis and preparing a Croatian Goulash for the whole town while youngsters were handling games stands and selling traditional sweets and handmade artifacts.
Losinj is a small island connected to Cres' main island. Mali Losinj and Veli Losinj are the two most famous towns of the island. As it is quite remote, there are very few tourists who make it agreeable to enjoy great fish restaurants and its nice architecture.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest and the largest park in Croatia and certainly one of the most beautiful and impressive in Europe. Plitvice is a series of almost twenty lakes connected with each other alongside the Plitvice River.
It is well known for its transparent and colourful waters as well as for its rich fauna and flora that give a very different look to the national park depending on the season.
A day in Plitvice was the perfect moment to take a trail along the river and up the hills enjoying the wonderful view of the turquoise blue waters and relaxing while listening at the sound of tens of waterfalls.
Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited town of Croatia. Situated on the Adriatic Sea in the North of Dalmatia, Zadar is a charming stronghold city where you can linger for few hours on your way to the South of the country.
Trogir is a small touristic town of the Dalmatian coast in the centre of Croatia. Trogir is an old fortified city situated in a small island connected to the continent with one bridge on one side and with the bigger island of Ciovo on the other side.
With its small medieval streets, its beautiful old buildings, its castle and churches, its nice restaurants hidden in small squares or spread along the "Riva", this place was the perfect spot to rest for the few days and enjoy the enchanting charm of Dalmatia. On Ciovo, you could enjoy a peaceful day by the sea and watch beautiful sunsets.
Split is the second largest city of Croatia and the capital of Dalmatia. Home to the Diocletian's Palace, built for the Roman emperor in 305 before Christ, this city has developed inside and outside the large walls of the palace.
Sibenik is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea. Walking through its narrow paved streets, looking at the city tops or visiting its cold churches feels like making a leap in the past.
Primosten is one of the numerous seaside towns in the Dalmatian coast and indisputably one of the nicest.
Mljet is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia. It is known as the island of Poseidon. According to the legend, the lushly forested island was so seductive that Odysseus came and stayed for seven years, trapped by the nymph Calypso.
Solitary and scarcely inhabited, the island hides two beautiful salted lakes only connected to the sea by a tiny channel. In the middle of the biggest one lies one of the most ancient monasteries of Croatia, the Saint Mary island monastery.
Dubrovnik is a southern city of Croatia and one of the most prominent touristic cities in the Mediterranean Sea. With its strong stone walls, its beautiful medieval buildings, its numerous towers and churches and its blue waters, Dubrovnik really deserves to be called the Pearl of the Adriatic.
Spending a day wondering through its paved streets, climbing on its historical walls that protected the city, and going up the mountain overseeing Dubrovnik to enjoy its panoramic view were certainly one of the best experience of my trip and the best conclusion I could hope for in Croatia.
Though Dubrovnik was sieged during the last Balkan war and had suffered a lot from the combats, the Croatians managed to completely and wonderfully restore the city, revive it and bring back its charm.
Its fortified old city, beautiful port, strong towers and its fort Lovrijenac that defended the bay make of Dubrovnik a perfect example of medieval strongholds. So perfect, that it has been used as the capital of King's Landing in the most viewed American television series, Game of Thrones.#
I hope you enjoyed your virtual trip to Croatia! See you soon for another exciting destination!