Croatia Tourism And Travel Guide
10.5° C / 50.8° F
April to September
6 to 8 Days
Croatia is a central European country that falls to the south of this continent and is kissed by the Adriatic Sea. A destination with dramatically rising and falling mountains, cobbled cities, towns with stone walls and pebbled beaches that connect to idyllic islands - Croatia is a perfect summer holiday. Tourism in Croatia is mainly refreshing and rejuvenating, the visitors interested in touring the many towns and cities for their culture and sheer feeling, while also hopping around the islands nearby that redefine beach-fun. If you have already fallen in love with this place then here’s a travel guide to Croatia. If you haven’t, wait till you reach the end of this article.
How to Reach
The easiest way to reach Croatia is by air from India. However, there are other means available from other European countries.
Croatia has many international airports in its many cities , from Dubrovnik Airport to Pula Airport, Zagreb to Split Airport. You will find regular flights from Mumbai or Delhi to Croatia with airlines like Air India, Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar, Jet Airways etc.
Croatia boasts of a great road network like all other European nations, and is connected very well to its neighbours, viz a viz Bosnia, Hungary, Serbia etc. You can either hire a car to cross the borders into Croatia or board one of the buses running on these routes.
Croatia also boasts of a great rail network and has its main rail head at Zagreb. It welcomes regular trains from Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Germany etc and has indirect connections to western Europe like France and England. Internally in Croatia, the trains connect majorly with the continental land and coastal areas are not penetrated yet.
Being a relatively small country, Croatia can be traversed from one end to the other in a couple of hours. Hence domestic flights take as much time as trains or buses and are rather more expensive. So the best option for intercity travel is rail or road. For islands, you have ferries, boats, catamarans as well as yachts leaving the shores every hour.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Croatia mainly sees two seasons - summer and winter, the high season and the low season respectively. And there are two transition months between each change.
Low Season (October – April):
The winters in Croatia are cold but not freezing all the time. In most places, due to a high Mediterranean influence, the temperature doesn’t go below 5°C, and makes sure that tourism can still be possible. You won’t get the best of sights and warm beach days at this time but skiing is possible, as are Christmas markets and carnivals in Zagreb.
High Season (June – August):
June onwards the high season commences in Croatia and summery bright days engulf everything. Tourists are full to bursting everywhere you see and the beaches are lively. This is the best time to go sightseeing and indulge in all other activities, with an average high temperature of 27°C and long sunny days. But this is an expensive time, not recommended for budget travellers.
Shoulder Season (May and September):
Budget travellers will definitely find the transition months of May and September the opportune times for a holiday in Croatia. The temperatures are not as warm as summer but still bearable. The ocean and seas are warm and you can still see loads of sun, swim around and do the usual touristy stuff without the crowd breathing down your neck.
Things to Do
Take a Game of Thrones Tour:
Parts of this hit HBO show were shot in Croatia, including the stunning scenes of the Westeros capital King’s Landing. Croatia’s capital city Dubrovnik’s Old Town and walls doubled up as the King’s Landing and hence you can see the places with your own eyes when you visit. Pile Gate is where most action took place and there is also the Rector's Palace staircase, Fort Lovrijenac and Lokrum Island on the way. There are guided tours you can avail or just set out yourself.
Explore Plitvice National Park:
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a forest reserve and boasts of 16 stunning lakes, each stacked atop terraces and joined by waterfalls. There are electric boat rides to explore all these lakes and many other covens, streams, caves and waterfalls to enjoy while you hike your way around the park. It is not all savage and nature as you also can walk into the restaurants lined nearby to grab a bite.
Stroll down the Korzo Promenade:
Korzo is a beautiful cultural centre, a promenade by the river in the city of Rijeka. The locals use it as a meeting point or for relaxation, for shopping or a coffee or even a business meeting at times. The street is all coffee shops and terraces with outdoor seating, screaming to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. For more sightseeing, there is also a fountain and a clock tower nearby.
Peruse the Museum of Broken Relationships:
Yes, there is a museum by this name in Zagreb, and yes, it displays memorabilia of broken relationships. A very poignant place to browse around, the museum has three sections, each displaying something that was left over from love gone awry. You can also leave your own message or confession in one section if you’ve had a broken love story.
Discover Croatian Islands:
Croatia is a collection of over 1000 islands and boasts of some amazing jewels like the Hvar Island (the playground pf rich and famous of the world), Island of Brac (renowned for its beaches), Korčula Island (famous Italian traveller Marco Polo’s home), Lošinj, Cres etc. You can go island-hopping by getting on a boat or a ferry, or hire a yacht to sail wherever you wish to go. Regular ferries are available from coastal cities like Zadar and Dubrovnik.
What to Eat
Croatian cuisine includes the use of fresh ingredients and hence tastes like nature melting in your mouth most of the time. You will find yourself indulging in a lot of yummy food, from black squid risotto to fish stew, freshly home made pasta to the continental favourites of fried cheese pastries, meats, sausages and river fish stews. Some of the best places to eat around in Croatia are located around in Zagreb, Pula, Split and Istria. Dubrovnik also serves great traditional fare, though most tourists will obviously throng to the usual pizza and pasta joints. One great ingredient that you will find in most Croatian dishes is olive oil, fresh and crisp, drizzled over salads and stews and pastas. It is so famously well made here that there are special olive oil tasting tours in Croatia that you can undertake.
Where to Shop
Some amazing shopping destinations in Croatia are located in Split and Zagreb - City Centre one and The Mall of Split in Split, Designer Outlet Croatia and Arena Centar in Zagreb, and Shopping Center Srd in Dubrovnik. Now these places are perfect to go for the usual shopping of apparel, accessories, jewellery, shoes etc. The souvenirs you will love to take back from this country include cherry liqueur, local brandy, Paz cheese, local traditional jewellery and traditional cravat or Croatian tie.