Mediterranean life as it used to be, even in the height of summer, meant quiet beaches, secluded coves, tranquil villages with a local cafés and bars occupied by friendly locals. Well it’s back to the future… Croatia is largely one of the few destinations where you can experience what it was like before the rise of the high rise and the party that never ends (well ‘til 6am anyway).
Croatia at a Glance
Spectacular national parks, ancient towns, Roman ruins, fragrant pine forests and the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Add Croatia’s popular resorts and you’ve just the setting to rediscover the joy of a family holiday.
While Italian food predominates, you can find authentic Croatian dishes like Börek, a heavy pasty made with meat, cheese or apple, which you see in every baker’s window. Or for a spicy snack, Ćevapi is a large beef meatball sometimes served in a bread roll or pitta bread. Try Croatia’s own version of Italy’s Prosecco, Prošek, or sample a lovely wine from locally grown Plavac Mali grapes, perfect for sipping in the sunshine.
For more than 400 years, the entire Istrian peninsula was ruled from Venice and, even today, a strong Italian influence exists in the architecture and cuisine of the region (though there’s not a gondola to be seen)!
From Neolithic settlements to Roman ruins there’s plenty to entice you away from your sunbathing, but don’t get confused, as just about every town has both a Slavic and an Italian name. A tale of two Cities?
Within easy reach of the parc at Porec, the archipelago forms a stunning 30 mile long coast containing plant and bird species by the bucket. Historic sites ranging from a Neolithic settlement to the Middle Ages make it a must for history buffs.
Porec itself is a relatively small but picturesque town, with a street plan that’s stayed the same since the Roman occupation in 50BC. Signs of the Romans are all around, especially with two first century Roman temples in the oldest part of the town. The sightseeing highlight must be the Euphrasian Basilica.
These spectacular caverns are one of the wonders of Istria, where you will see a multitude of vast stalagmites and stalactites, with some of the formations thought to resemble shapes such as the Virgin Mary and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Pula is home to one of the largest surviving Roman theatres in Croatia. The arena dates back to around the 1st century AD and seated 26,000 spectators. Some stones are unfortunately missing, stolen for houses in the 15th century. The arena is now used to host festivals and performances during the summer.
A must see town with pastel coloured houses and winding streets providing a pretty backdrop to the active fishing port. The area surrounding the town is outstandingly scenic. To see the coast and get amazing views of Croatia, take a boat trip from the port to the lovely offshore islands.