Croatia is a breathtakingly gorgeous Eastern European country resting across from Italy, bordering Slovenia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lined by the crisp, deep blue Adriatic Sea on the West. With over 1200+ islands and islets, 3,500 miles of coastline, and 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites, it’s no wonder why Croatia has become the new hot spot for adventure seekers looking to explore more unique travel destinations. A blend between beautiful pristine coastlines, numerous desirable islands, fascinating historical landmarks, ancient villages, and mouth-watering food, Croatia has much to offer and should be on the top of every traveler’s bucket list! If your’e planning a visit to this amazing country, act now! Europe’s best kept secret is surely becoming the “it” destination soon to be highly overcrowded by tourism.
1. (Relatively) Cheap Prices
Although Croatia joined the European Union in July 2013, they have yet to adopt the Euro currency of their Western European counterparts. The local currency in Croatia remains the Kuna, and the current exchange rate is 6.7 Kuna to $1 (at the time of this article’s publishing). With the dollar being so strong at the moment, your money will go a long way there! To get a feel of the prices, a coffee costs about 8 Kuna ($1.20) and a roundtrip catamaran ticket to Hvar and back costs about 80 Kuna ($12). As you can see, Croatia is extremely affordable and this just adds to its allure.
Croatia is well-known for sailing, and this is the absolute best way to explore the islands. As the location of the infamous “Yacht Week”, Croatia has fast become the prime spot for sailing trips in Europe. With over 1200 islands throughout the coast, one could spend weeks exploring and never get bored. At the forefront of the tourism boom, these 7-day sailing trips attract more and more tourists every year eager to explore the fabulous Adriatic coastline. Most boats depart from Split or Dubrovnik and navigate to 4-5 islands within the week-long trip. A mix of partying, culture, site-seeing, exploring, great food, theme nights, and numerous swim stops, the sailing experience is one you will never forget. From personal experience, I can go as far as to say this was the best week of my life!
3. Local Food and Wine
Fantastically fresh and flavourful seafood straight from the ocean to your plate, local olive oil, and family owned wineries producing the finest Croatian wines will leave your taste buds craving more. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, some white wines from a little town called Trstenik are even imported to the White House. Additionally, and of an honourable mention, Split boasts some of the best gelato I have ever tried! Coming from someone who’s been to Italy 10+ times, that’s a bold statement.
4. Sunsets, Sunsets, and More Sunsets
Words cannot do them justice, so I’ll let the pictures speak. But can I just say something? Perfect. Sunsets. Every. Night.
Just a casual stroll down the Split Riva, and BAM! No filter..
Walking up to the Hvar Fortress, and what do you know…there’s that infamous pink sky!
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5. Laid Back Lifestyle (“ish time”)
In Croatia, there’s never any rush to get anywhere. As a whole, they are a laid-back culture unbound to time constraints and really know how to enjoy every moment of life. So when you’re there, do as the locals do, relax, have a cocktail, and set your clock to “ish time”. Why not? You’re on holiday!
Bonus #6: Numerous Game of Thrones Locations
If you are a huge GOT fanatic like me, you will understand that being able to visit the actual filming locations is like a dream come true! As you may know, Dubrovnik is the major backdrop and filming site for King’s Landing.
Numerous scenes are also shot throughout Split and the surrounding area (Diocletian’s Palace and Klis Fortress), as well as nearby Šibenik. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to sneak a peak at a live filming!! Jon Snow stalker alert!!!