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Highlights of Our Croatian Road Trip

After spending more than two weeks road tripping up and down the Croatian coast in August, I can—now that all impressions and experiences have had sufficient time to sink in—confidently say that Croatia has become one of my favorite countries in the world.

It’s a country filled with history, home to beautiful landscapes and dotted with amazing cities, its coast lined with gorgeous beaches and its weather constantly sunny. What more could you possibly want, right?

Even though we traveled along the coast and hit many, if not all, of the coastal highlights of Croatia, we did have to skip all the islands, which are supposed to be absolutely spectacular as well. All the more reason to go back again!

Because I’ve already covered (almost) all the places we visited in previous blog posts, I’d like to offer you guys an overview of my favorite highlights of Croatia. The following seven Croatian destinations are listed geographically from north to south.

7 Highlights of Croatia

1. Istria

Highlights of Croatia: Rovinj, Croatia

The triangular peninsula of Istria in the northwest of the country is the most “Italian” of all Croatian regions—this is due to its past as a part of Venice. Nowadays, this stunning corner is home to rolling farmlands, hilltop villages, stunning coastal towns, wineries, olive farms and truffle forests. It’s a gorgeous place and I’d suggest spending at least two days there.

Further reading: Rovinj and Motovun – Highlights of Istria

More information: Istria Tourist Board

2. Zadar

Highlights of Croatia: Zadar

Zadar is an ideal place to stop on your way from Istria to Dalmatia or vice versa. This old Roman coastal town is set on a beautiful small peninsula and features a number of Roman ruins, an amazing seaside promenade and the remarkable Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation.

More information: Zadar Tourist Board

3. Krka National Park

Highlights of Croatia: Krka National Park

A surprisingly great national park, Krka National Park lies right next to the north-south highway and a quick drive from both Zadar and Šibenik. The park consists of forests, rivers, lakes and a series of beautiful waterfalls. The main attraction is the natural pool after Skradinski Buk, where it’s allowed to swim.

Further reading: A Morning in Krka National Park

More information: Krka National Park Visitor Website

4. Šibenik

Highlights of Croatia: Šibenik

Although Šibenik may not be the most touristy and popular city on the Croatian coast, a visit is strongly recommended. This is the only city on the coast that was built by the Croats themselves, and not by the Venetian, Romans or other occupying nations. This medieval town is completely made up of stone and home to some beautiful old buildings, including the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Cathedral of St. James.

Further reading: Why You Have to Visit Šibenik

More information: Šibenik Tourist Board

5. Split

Highlights of Croatia: Split

Croatia’s second-largest city originated as a retirement home of Roman Emperor Diocletian. He had an enormous palace built, around which the city grew and developed. Diocletian’s Palace, as it is appropriately known, is still the very heart of this vibrant city—a place where you can enjoy a meal or drink next to millennia-old columns and surrounded by ruins. Diocletian’s Palace is one of the largest complexes of Roman ruins in the world and of such historic importance that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Further reading: Split is Full of Surprises

More information: Split Tourist Board

6. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Highlights of Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park has been called Europe’s most stunning national park and there is certainly truth to that statement. It’s phenomenal. Home to sixteen lakes that flow into one another via a series of spectacular waterfalls, this national park is so unique that it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the absolute highlights of Croatia, a place that is a must-visit.

Further reading: The Sheer Beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park

More information: Plitvice Lakes National Park Visitor Website

7. Dubrovnik

Highlights of Croatia: Dubrovnik, Croatia

No words can describe the beauty of Dubrovnik, located in the far south of the Croatian coast. This phenomenal old city used to be an independent republic and features massive city walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed old town, gorgeous beaches, a few islands and amazing food. It has everything a city should have, and more. If you have to pick only one place to visit in Croatia, it simply has to be Dubrovnik.

Further reading: Dubrovnik in 20 Photos

More information: Dubrovnik Tourist Board

For more information about visiting Croatia, I would like to refer to the official website of the Croatia Tourism Board.

Croatia Travel Guides

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One thought on “Highlights of Our Croatian Road Trip

  • Croatia is also my favourite country in the world. Funnily enough though I’m starting to hear that all too often( from every second traveller to Europe these days). I have a feeling that this country of 4.5 mill people and 12 mill tourist annually is about to be overrun in the coming decades.

    I just want them to preserve their authenticity and charm. As for the islands you need to visit these as a must. Obviously a yacht would be the best way but the ferry network is awesome and you can take your cars on them for a little extra cost.

    The island of Rab, Krka and Mali Losinj are a must in the North. Mali Losinj is a pearler.

    In central Dalmatia the island of Murter and the Kornati archipilego is a must and also visit to Long Island.

    And down south the usuals of Hvar, Korcula & Brac & the newly discovered Island Vis is my favourite. But bookmark these, google them and you will be rushing to the islands before you know it. Stiniva Cove on island Vis and the town of Komiza. also visit the Blue Cove on a short boat trip from Vis on the uninhabited island of Bisevo.

    Oh and don’t forget Mljet. Just too much beauty in Croatia. The whole country should be declared a National park or a UNESCO world heritage list as seriously its that beautiful and unique.

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