It is no wonder that Croatia has become quite a tourist attraction in recent years. The ancient land of Croatia is one of the most beautiful coastal countries in Europe. It is the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, and home to what Alfred Hitchcock described as the most beautiful sunset in the world.
Big-budget tv productions and movies have also been filmed here for their breathtaking landscapes and well-preserved medieval landmarks. But to make the most of your travels to this Adriatic paradise, here are a few things you should know when visiting Croatia.
Rent A Sailboat
Croatia is known throughout the world as the country of a thousand islands. But there are, in fact, 1244 of them. Most of these little islands are uninhabited. And the only way to see all the magnificent islands in the region is by renting a yacht or sailboat.
Rent a sailboat in Croatia and you’ll get to discover all the jewels of the Adriatic. For fans of the wilderness, the island of Mljet is untamed and green, with Mljet National Park occupying most of the isle. The waters here are excellent for canoeing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
But if diverse landscapes are what you’re after, head for the island of Rab. The ancient rulers of this island, the Illyrians, are the most likely origin for the name Rab. The Illyrian word Arb meant dark, green, or forested.
Sail along the deep blue waters bordered by white pebbles, while you gaze up at the cliffs graced by pine forests.
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The Beaches Are Rocky
Hungary’s coastal neighbor, Croatia has many fine beaches. But instead of sinking your feet into soft sand, you’ll mostly be carefully traversing stretches of pebbles.
So you may want to pack a pair of aqua shoes for those walks along the beaches. But pebble beaches are, in many ways, superior to sandy beaches. Unlike sand, the pebbles won’t get into everything, and won’t make you itch if you have sensitive skin.
Best of all, pebbles don’t move about as much as sand and this means that underwater visibility is far better. This is good news for all you snorkelers and divers.
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Travel In Off-Peak Season
The peak tourist season is not the best time to go. The marinas are bustling, the hotels are full and the streets are crowded with tourists. Traveling in off-peak times will mean fewer crowds and more opportunities.
From June to August, port towns like Dubrovnik and Split, in particular, are swallowed up by tourists. Try to visit Croatia in the month just before or right after this busy season.
Visit Lesser-Known Gems
When considering a trip to Croatia, everyone thinks of Dubrovnik. But this means that it can become crowded with tourists. There are lesser-known towns that are well worth a visit.
The most remote of the central Dalmatian Islands, Vis is less developed than other towns in Croatia. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find plenty to see and do here. The ‘Blue Caves’ off the coast of Komiźa, on the west side of the island, will be a highlight of your itinerary.
Another gem is the historic coastal town of Sibenik. Several museums and landmarks can be found here, as well as the Cathedral St James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 15th century. Don’t choose between a beach holiday and a cultural one. With its beaches and medieval architecture, Sibenik offers both.
Three Different Climates
You may be surprised to learn that there are three types of climate in Croatia.
In Istria, along the coast and on the islands, it is mild and often rainy. The Dinaric Alps are cold and snowy in the winter and cool even in the summer. Thunderstorms can even occur here on summer afternoons. And then there’s the interior’s continental climate.
When island hopping or walking along the beach, so be sure to wear sunscreen and don a sunhat. Remember that when enjoying yourself on vacation, hours could pass with much of your skin exposed to the sun’s UV rays. And sunscreen also wears off during a day of watersports. So be careful out there.
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