Of all the countries in Europe, few have geneated the buzz Croatia has over the past few years. Possessing stunning coastline and a rich history, it deserves all the headlines it has gotten in the travel media over that time. Plan on vacationing in Italy and have an extra 2-3 weeks to spend elsewhere in Europe? we suggest you book a cheap ferry to Croatia with Ok-Ferry. By day or night, these boats ply the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, taking you to a corner of the continent just as charming as the nations to its west, but considerably more affordable.
In today’s blog, we’ll share some of our favourite seaside towns and cities in this up and coming European country.
If you stayed awake in world history class, you’ll know the Romans weren’t content to keep their monuments contained to their home territory. Wherever they established provinces, they built grand stadiums and inspiring architecture – such is the case in Pula, a city on Croatia’s northern coast.
Here, you’ll find the 6th largest surviving Roman-style Colosseum in the world, as well as a series of gates and arches approximately 2,000 years old. The town square is built upon the land where the old Roman forum used to be, with the Temple of Augustus remaining much as it was thousands of years ago. Sit across from it at a cafe and restaurant and marvel how such a building managed to survive the ages when many of its contemporaries suffered worse fates.
Long to explore an Old Town in Croatia, but loathe the crowds which descend upon destinations like Split and Dubrovnik? Rovinj is a lesser known but gorgeous town (population 15,000) which sits within a two hour ferry ride from Venice. This proximity allows it to fit perfectly into your travel itinerary if you plan on spending time in the latter city on your upcoming trip.
What it lacks in big-time attractions, it makes up in atmosphere. Its dense, walkable old town offers many charming features, from its harbour to an artist’s street which will remind many of Montmartre in Paris. Don’t leave without getting an elevated view of the town from the bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia, as it is from here you can get a perfect shot of this underrated town in Croatia.
Does your ideal Croatian holiday have you situated amidst its world famous islands? If so, start your time in Zadar, as not only are there numerous options available when you decide to move onward, but the city contains a number of stunning churches. In particular, St. Donat’s church should pique your interest, as it one of the best pre-Romanesque Christian churches you’ll find in Croatia. While it no longer hosts masses, classical music performance often happen within its walls, so ask local authorities about it upon arrival.
Zadar is also home to the remains of a Roman forum which used to stand here – locals love to hang out amidst the old foundations and pillar remnants which once marked the centre of civil life here, so be sure to join them.
Further down the Dalmatian Coast, you’ll find Split, a city which used to be the home of a retired Roman emperor. The Old Town here is built around Diocletian’s Palace, the place where the former leader of the same name lived out his golden years – within, there are plenty of amazing restaurants, shops, and photographic opportunities.
Outside its walls, take in the many fancy yachts along its sizable harbour, or head up or down the coast to enjoy one of this city’s many fantastic beaches.
While it may be crushed with tourists during peak season thanks to not just its beauty, but also its association with TV hit show Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is too amazing a place to be left off this list. Visit in shoulder season, and you’ll have enough room to enjoy this walled city’s palatial architecture, churches, and cobblestone streets. Climb the mountains just outside its gates, or simply walk along its walls – whichever way you choose to discover this legendary spot will turn out to be the correct one, as this destination is amazing no matter how you decide to experience it.