Croatia is on the crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean Sea; that’s why the country has two different climates. The north part has a continental climate, while the rest of Croatia has the classic Mediterranean climate. You can explore it year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months.
Croatia’s coast can be divided into three regions: Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, each having its own character and specialities.
Istria is a heart-shaped, 3600-sq-km peninsula just south of Trieste in Italy. Geographically, it has a unique position. It also has rich cultural variety, which results in interesting and diverse cuisine, music and lifestyles. When you experience Istrian vines, oils, truffles, cheeses, magnificent hilltop towns and out-of-this-world villages, you will see what we mean. No wonder Istria is called the “land of magic”.
The coast is also called “Blue Istria” and for good reason. Millions of tourists flood the coast every summer, wanting to soak in all the beauty, sun and ocean while spoiling themselves with the best fresh seafood, olive oil, bread and wild asparagus. The main cities in Istria are Pula, Poreč and Rijeka.
This is a popular destination that has been attracting foreigners from Roman times on. It is a place where Slavic, Romanic and Germanic cultures touch each other, but its main sights belong to the Roman era – like the Roman Temple of Augustus, the Roman amphitheatre, the cathedral that contains elements of several centuries and so on.
For culinary pleasure don’t miss Valsabbion restaurant, which is highly lauded. The dishes are fresh and tasteful. You can pamper yourself with scallops au gratin and pumpkin puree. Yummy!
Nature park Cape Kamenjak
The 30-km-long coastal line around the nature park has about 20 bays, which are very popular spots during the summer season – almost as popular as all the biking and hiking trails in this beautiful area. Kamenjak is known for its free-spirited vibe, away from mainstream tourists and lazy hotel lounging.
This is a region squeezed between Istria on the north and Dalmatia on the south, but it has a lot to offer, as it possesses many of the Croatian coast’s most desirable features: coastal hills and mountains, beautiful islands surrounded by turquoise water and charming fishing villages. Many visitors are attracted by the mild climate, hiking trails inside the protected forests of Učka Nature Park and the islands of Cres, Lošinj, Krk and Rab.
The beach named Sv. Ivan is one of the prettiest beaches in Croatia, located in a bay beneath the hilltop village of Lubenice. Because it’s hard to reach (you can get there only by boat), the beach is never crowded, so you can enjoy peace and privacy here.
For unforgettable nightlife, visit Zrče on the island of Pag. Zrče beach has become a world-famous destination for party people. Parties are intense, so make sure you get enough sleep the night before.
Dalmatia is a very interesting region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is mostly a coastal region only 50 km wide at its widest part and characterized by its coves, beaches, islands and bays. Diving, kayaking, yachting, kiting and other activities are very popular in Dalmatia because of the rocky coastline and numerous islands. Dalmatia’s coast is a paradise for kiters and windsurfers due to its warm sea and constant wind.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you must visit Dubrovnik. Here, you can find many of the filming scenes (you can go on a walking tour) in one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean (and, according to CNN, one of the 10 best preserved medieval walled cities in the world). Dubrovnik is mainly a cultural destination, a city that charms you and makes you fall in love with it.
If anyone knows the importance of good music, it’s definitely the Croatians. Croatia is known for its numerous music festivals, which are getting more and more popular – and not just because of the popular music and world-known DJ’s, perfect weather, beach raves and boat parties.