Why Croatia? The hottest tourist destination in Europe has something for everyone. Culture, food, wine, tradition, festivals, UNESCO, nature, party and adrenaline tourism!
- Beaches in Croatia: Heaven on Earth
- Anthony Bourdain: If You Haven’t Tried Croatian Food…
- The Original Zinfandel and 129 Other Indigenous Grapes: Meet Croatian Wine
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Heritage
- Croatia, the Festival Capital of Europe?
- Culture, Culture, Culture
- Nature & National Parks: 10% of Croatia
- Adventure Tourism: Kayak, Sail, Run, Cycle
- Safety: Life as It Once Was
- Tradition, a Land Like No Other
So Why Croatia when there are so many other amazing places on the planet? Having lived in Croatia for 16 years, I could sit you down for a week and tell you why you should visit, but let’s agree for now on 10 things to focus on in this gorgeous country.
Beaches in Croatia: Heaven on Earth
‘The Mediterranean as It Once Was’ was arguably one of the most successful tourist slogans of all time. Recovering from a devastating war of independence from former Yugoslavia as a new country few had heard of (and fewer could find on a map), The Croatian Tourist Board slogan was an absolute hit.
Sun, sea and endless beaches – Croatia was (and is…) an absolute hit. A new country in Europe with outstanding beaches.
Family beaches, romantic beaches, isolated beaches. With almost 2,000 km of coastline and over 1,000 islands, Croatia is arguably the top beach destination in Europe. Find the beach which suits your needs in the Total Croatia beach section.
Anthony Bourdain: If You Haven’t Tried Croatian Food…
“This is world-class food, world-class wine, world-class cheese. The next big thing is Croatia! If you haven’t been here yet, you are an idiot!”
What to tell you about Croatian food? A nation which has no national cuisine, and yet with some of the most outstanding and authentic dishes on the planet.
A country whose healthy Mediterranean Diet is protected by UNESCO on the island of Hvar and Brac.
From truffles in Istria to oysters in Ston and dormouse on Hvar, Croatia excels in original and outstanding cuisine. The olive oil of Istria has been named the best olive region in the world, while Croatian wines continue to amaze the global industry. This after the 2001 discovery that the original Zinfandel hails from Croatia, very close to Split.
Croatia has fantastic gourmet experiences, 12 months a year. Learn more about the very unique food festivals all over the country.
Restaurants in Croatia are becoming more diverse, slowly embracing international influences, while the emphasis remains on traditional cuisine. To learn more about Croatian cuisine, recipes, restaurants, and things not to miss, visit the Total Croatia food section.
The Original Zinfandel and 129 Other Indigenous Grapes: Meet Croatian Wine
One of the things that amazes first-time visitors the most is the quality of the wine. And then, after a few glasses, they wonder why they have not heard about Croatian wine before.
In a homogeneous world of international grape varieties, Croatia is proving to be a refreshing change. In 2001, the University of Davis showed that the Zinfandel grape originated near Split.
Just one more reason to visit this beautiful country. And with 129 other fabulous indigenous varieties, Croatia is attracting serious attention in the international wine community. One British Master of Wine has even moved to Hvar to make wine from local island grape varieties.
Don’t leave Croatia without tasting the wine or visiting at least one winery. Click here to learn how to do that, and everything else about Croatian wine.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Heritage
Wherever you are, it will not take you long to realise that this is a country of immense culture.
This tiny country of just 4 million people has a history dating back millennia. As well as a UNESCO footprint to reflect that heritage. For there are no less than ELEVEN UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Add to that an astonishing amount of intangible UNESCO heritage, and the ‘Why Croatia’ question suddenly becomes a lot more understandable. Learn more about Croatia’s UNESCO heritage.
The Festival Capital of Europe?
Choose an area of interest and I will give you a festival. Croatia has become know as a hot destination for music festivals in recent years, and with good reason.
But it is also a destination with festival pedigree in so many other areas.
Food, literary, dance, theatre, art music – the choice is yours, but one thing is for sure. Croatia is a county of amazing festivals.
The pandemic put the Croatian festival scene on hold in 2020. Will it be back in 2021?
Culture, Culture, Culture
What to say? A country with the oldest public theatre (which is reopening in 2019). A country which has the world’s sixth biggest Roman amphitheatre, which today is used for tourist gladiator fights and music festivals.
Wherever you look, the past is never very far away. It is a county which will stun you with its heritage, culture, and traditions. Learn more about the culture of Croatia.
Nature & National Parks: 10% of Croatia
Imagine a country which gave over 10% of its territory to national and nature parks. A country which was also the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, perhaps the biggest genius born on this planet.
Croatia is naturally beautiful, but nowhere more so than its natural beauty. Discover the nature and national parks which make up an astonishing 10% of the county.
Adventure Tourism: Kayak, Sail, Run, Cycle
You heard about this tiny country and its sporting success, right? A county of 4 million that reached the World Cup Final in Moscow in 2018? The city of Split with more per capita Olympic medals than any city in the world?
Croatia is one of the top sporting destinations in Europe. Sailing, kayaking, cycling, climbing, hiking – it is all here. And more! Adventure tourism is very much ‘in’ these days. It is refreshing to see the efforts being made to develop 12-month adventure tourism.
Click here to learn more about sport and adventure tourism.
Safety: Life as It Once Was
In many ways it seems like an oxymoron. One of the safest countries recovering from a brutal war less than 25 years ago.
And yet Croatia, which emerged victorious from the Homeland War in 1995, is incredibly safe.
I remember reading in the local paper that 50 litres of olive oil had been stolen form a village on Hvar. This was regional news!
Life is so safe that tourists leave with envy, not so much for the beauty of the country, but more for the safety it offers. Come, experience it, and then tell me that life in the West is ‘progress’. Croatia has a lot to teach the modern world, if the modern world wants to listen.
Tradition, a Land Like No Other
Easter on Hvar includes a UNESCO tradition dating back more than 500 years, as barefoot cross bearers from six towns and villages simultaneously lead their acolytes and pilgrims 22km through the night on Maundy Thursday.
The in-depth Total Croatia guide to the traditions of Croatia will appear shortly, but in the meantime, get a flavour from the complete Croatian UNESCO World Heritage Site and intangible heritage list. It is quite impressive!