21 Ultimate Things To Do in Croatia
Travel to Croatia has appeal for everyone, couples, families, groups of friends. History, culture, food and wine. The destination that has it all!
1. Take a Private Yacht Tour
We think the best way to see Croatia is by land. Taking private yachts on full day tours is the ideal way to explore the coastline.
2. Taste oysters on the Peljesac Peninsula
Even if you are not an oyster lover this is an experience not to be missed… The setting close to Ston is magical. Take your private boat transfer to the island and learn how oysters and mussels are cultivated here. Enjoy local wine, oysters and mussels and the tranquillity. Delicious grilled vegetables are available if you dislike or do not eat shellfish!
3. Tour Game of Thrones sites in Split and Dubrovnik
Both cities have featured heavily in Game of Thrones. You may bump into some of the stars. One of the top things to do – even if you don’t watch Game of Thrones – is to walk the walls of Dubrovnik old town… The views are unbeatable. The other, is to step inside the heart of the Diocletean Palace in Split.
4. Taste Olive Oil
You will never see this store cupboard staple in the same way again! We guarantee you will be doing your best to fill several bottles of delicious and fresh olive oil fit in your checked baggage! Learn about the process, and what to look for in shop purchased oil at home.
5. Hunt for Truffles in Motovun
This is a wonderful interactive experience suitable for all levels of fitness. You will meet your hunter and his enthusiastic dogs in the forests just below the village of Motovun in Istria. You will take a picturesque walk and see how the dogs amazingly scent the truffles and start digging! You can then enjoy lunch with a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside- with a truffle based menu of course!
6. Visit Hvar
Croatia is the land of 1,000 islands. On your first visit you may only have the chance to visit one or two. Hvar is one of the most notable and beautiful of the islands, easily accessible as a day trip from Split. Time allowing you may wish to consider staying overnight. The most stunning time of year to visit is June when the lavender fields are in full bloom.
7. Stay at one of the original hotels built for the Orient Express
The beautiful Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb is steps away from the grand and imposing Zagreb Central Station. The station was built in 1892 and served as a stop on the ‘real’ Orient Express (ie not the private VSOE Train). The hotel was built in 1925 in the grand European style. If you squint while sitting on the terrace sipping a cool glass of Malvazija, you can imagine you are back in the pre-war Europe.
8. Visit Somewhere Less Discovered
You probably haven’t heard of Šibenik. Close to Split, the town is slightly off the regular must-see path. It’s cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, and this combined with a charming old town and fortress make a trip worthwhile.
9. Visit a National Park
Croatia has several national parks. Our two favorites are Mljet – a 40 square mile island close to Ston – all lush forest and perfect for walkers. With a tiny population, this really is a place for nature lovers to get away from it all.
Just under two hours from Zagreb is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famous for waterfalls, cascades and stunning scenery nature lovers should add a full day here to their Croatia tour.
10. Taste Award Winning Wines
There are several vintners that we can recommend throughout the country, both in Istria and Dalmatia. One of our favorites is the husband and wife team that re-introduced the Malvasia grape variety to the region to make award winning dessert wines. Their stunning location and backdrop of the vineyards, and the distinctly uncommercial feel of their winery is full of atmosphere and charm. Enjoy an Exeter Extraordinary Experience here.
11. Visit the Smallest Town in the World
When in Istria, it really is worth visiting Hum, a hilltop medieval town with a population of 21. Although they do have quite a few visitors, the road to the town is too narrow for any large vehicles – therefore mother nature has saved the town from being over-run!
12. Discover Venetian Influenced Towns
Did you know that many of the Istrian population speak both Serbo-Croat and Italian? Rovinj is distinctly Venetian.
13. Visit the Birthplace of Marco Polo?
There has been much controversy about the birth place of Marco Polo, with Italians and Croatians claiming him as one of their own. Whatever the truth, it is not the only reason to visit this beautiful island and old town.
14. Visit the Mestrovic Gallery in Split
Ivan Mestrovic a contemporary of Gustav Klimt, was globally renowned in his lifetime as one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. With one man exhibitions at the MET and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, his work is similar in style to Rodin, who was a friend. His stunning villa & gardens, just outside of Split are the perfect showcase to some of his great sculptural works.
15. Eat Seafood with a View in Split
One of our favorite spots is Dvor in Split. A romantic table for two overlooking the Adriatic.
16. Watch Incredible Sunsets
This shot was taken from the balcony of the Monte Mulini Hotel in Rovinj.
17. Take a day trip to Montenegro
Time allowing we would recommend extending your stay and spending a few nights exploring Montenegro. Otherwise a whistle-stop day trip can be arranged from Dubrovnik, either to historic Kotor, or Perast where you can enjoy lunch with a beautiful view.
18. Stay in the Newest Boutique Hotel in Split
The Hotel Park in Split is located 10 minutes walk from Old Town, and enjoying sea views. The Hotel Park offers the ultimate blend between historic location and leisure facilities in the summer months. This 73 room hotel has a 100 year history of welcoming guests and has recently had a $12M renovation.
19. Visit Trogir
A short drive away from Split this medieval town has architectural examples ranging from Romanesque to Renaissance and Baroque, and has been described by UNESCO as ‘exceptionally conserved’. Enjoy a day exploring this picturesque town.
20. Learn How to Paint Frescoes with Hari in Istria
Visit the tiny village of Roc, famous for beautiful 11th century frescoes and meet Hari, an art teacher who holds the key to the local church. He will tell you all about the frescoes and then, after plying you with some local cherry grappa, will teach you how to paint your own!
21. Cross off the Croatian UNESCO World Heritage Sites
If you visit Split, Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Trogir, Sibenik and Hvar you will only have one UNESCO site left to see – Poreč. The Basilica in Poreč is Croatia’s 7th UNESCO world Heritage site and can be visited when in Istria.
Tempted to visit Croatia? Contact one of our experts today!