Top tips when
Croatia has a host of culinary delights in store for visitors. There are gelato shops on every corner, stone baked Italian style pizzerias, fresh seafood and lots of local specialities. Try tangy cheese from Pag Island, truffles from Istria, fresh strudel from the local bakers, and don’t miss the signature dish of the Dalmatia region, a ‘peka’, which is a mix of meat and vegetables drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked to perfection under a bell-like dome.
Here are some more top tips for your Croatia-travels.
|I have worked in travel all my life as an adventure tour leader and now as an independent Travel Counsellor. I provide friendly, professional travel advice and trusted tailor made holidays. I live in Penarth with my son and I love running, yoga and travel (of course).|
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- In Dubrovnik follow signs for ‘cold drinks’ to locate the well-hidden ‘Buža’ bars and find yourself on the outside of the steep walls just above the sea for sunset ‘wow’ moments.
- Check the cruise schedules when you’re visiting as many ports like Dubrovnik, Pula and Hvar which are popular stop on the larger cruise ship’s itineraries. Ideally plan you city sightseeing on a day when no ships are in.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ fans will recognise many of the sights and vistas in Croatia from the hit series. You can even take a guided GOT tour in Dubrovnik of the sites they used for filming. The guides will regale you with behind the scenes gossip from the cast and crew and you can even sit in a replica of the legendary Iron Throne.
- Walking the city walls in Dubrovnik is a must but try and do this either early in the morning or late evening as there’s not much shade once you’re up on top of the walls. During peak times the walls open from 8.00am until 6.30 or 7.30pm and I love it here at sunset as the light changes minute by minute over the terracotta rooftops.
- The wine produced in Croatia is one of the country’s best kept secrets. Most vineyards offer wine tasting and islands like Vis and Korcula are famous for their delicious produce.
- You can easily visit Montenegro from Dubrovnik either as a day trip or longer. A twin centre break works really well to these two destinations.
- For the best sunset in Korcula town head up the ladder inside the medieval turret at Massimo cocktail bar- but get there early for a good spot, and prepare to stay all evening as after a couple of drinks the ladder back down can be a daunting prospect! Drinks are served courtesy of a basket pulley system on the outside of the ancient walls.
- With so many islands it’s easy to find your own secluded paradise in Croatia if you want to escape the tourists in peak season, and they’re all connected by local ferries. The Veliki Islands are truly off the beaten track. Expect to share the ferry there with a handful of locals and their weekly shopping bags. You can swim in pristine shallow coves, catch sprats and eat delicious fresh seafood- a perfect day out. Lošinj & Cres Islands are equally remote and home to a resident population of dolphins. Here you’ll find the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve, the first of its kind in the Med. Nature lovers will enjoy the hiking and cycling opportunities on these islands that time forgot and they are a world away from the glitz of Croatia’s notorious island hot spots like Hvar.
- Try and include a visit to the ‘Blue Caves’ near Vis island where you enter the cave (that was apparently a much loved haunt of Tito) by boat through a narrow, low entrance in the rock face so everyone has to crouch down on the floor of the boat. Once inside you can sit up and admire the view- crystal clear water infused with natural sunlight reflected from the seabed, giving the whole cave an ethereal blue glow.
- Stiniva beach on Vis Island is a gem of a hidden cove – hidden from passers by due to the rocks which open up like an amphitheater once inside and is a magnet to those looking for a cold beer (there’s a bar!) on a picture perfect beach.
- Svetni Jakov beach near Dubrovnik offers far reaching views of the old town and is popular with locals- well worth the 20 minute costal walk- find it tucked behind the church and descend down several flights of steps for a perfect beach hideaway complete with bar and restaurant.
- In Split don’t forget to rub the statue of Gregorious of Nin’s big toe and make a wish!
- Klis fortress is 5 miles from Spilt and thanks to its high vantage point you can walk to the top for spectacular far reaching views all the way to the coast.