Actually Croatia is the perfect destination for a summer holiday. It is close, it is sunny and it is warm. Especially for us Germans, the Mediterranean region is the most popular foreign destination. Nevertheless, most people visit countries like Spain, Italy and France. Hardly anyone pays attention to Croatia.
Destination Croatia – Tips for your visit to Zadar, Rab and Porec
When I went there for the first time, I fell in love immediately. This country has so much to offer. I would like to tell you here what makes Croatia so unique and why you should definitely take it into account when planning your next vacation.
Destination Croatia – The fun-loving people
If you have ever been to other southern European countries, you will have noticed the hospitality of the people there. Southerners are always very open, warm and hospitable.
In Croatia, however, I noticed an additional peculiarity – the joie de vivre. Strangers always greet you here with a smile on their lips. As a German, one not only feels very welcome everywhere, but is also captivated and carried away by the positive nature of the people. You are always asked directly where you come from and how you like it here. Often you will even be addressed in German (if you look like a typical German), because many Croatians speak, at least a little, German.
This positive aura of the people fills the streets with a breathtaking energy. The atmosphere is just unbelievably beautiful. A small example: once, when we were having lunch in a restaurant, the waiter was singing Croatian songs the whole time he was dancing through the rows of tables. In between he of course also talked to us. It was totally fun to sit there.
Destination Croatia – The natural beaches
The Croatian coast on the Adriatic Sea is almost 1.800 km long and about 1000 islands belong to Croatia. So it is not surprising that there are many great beaches here.
All those who are now looking forward to miles of white sandy beaches, I have to disappoint you at this point. There are hardly any sandy beaches in Croatia. What for one or the other now a k.O. criterion may be, but for me is exactly the opposite. Artificial hotel beaches are a horror for me. One sunbed after the next, all inclusive tourists everywhere and weird beach vendors trying to sell you the latest "Gucci" sunglasses. You will search in vain for nature.
In Croatia it is quite different. Typically you will find pebble beaches here. Sometimes there are very fine stones and sometimes very big stones, up to real stone slabs and rocks. The nature is in most cases completely untouched. No beach chairs, no beach vendors, few tourists. You have your peace and quiet and can just enjoy the beauty of the landscape. There are also many deserted bays, which can be reached only by boat.
The water has a beautiful turquoise hue and is incredibly clear and clean. No wonder – when no sand can be stirred up, the water simply remains in its original clarity. This makes virtually every beach a snorkeling paradise. There are many colorful fish, plants and even sea urchins to see.
Because of the latter and also because of the many sharp stones in the water, it is always advisable to wear bathing shoes in Croatia. You can buy these at almost every kiosk for little money (5-10 €). They don't look very fashionable, but since just about everyone there wears them, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Destination Croatia – The incredible old towns
There is a lot of culture and history in the Croatian cities. The first records partly go back to the 3rd century. Century. Many old buildings are still well preserved and can be visited. It is not surprising that the old towns of Dubrovnik, Split, Porec and Trogir have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That's why Croatian towns are often used as a backdrop for famous medieval movies and series. In Dubrovnik, e.g. many scenes were filmed for Game of Thrones.
If you look a little closer at the coastal towns, you will notice that many of them have the same structure: The old core of the city juts out into the sea like a peninsula, so you have water almost all around the city center. In the center of the old town you usually find an old church tower, which is often a bit elevated.
From this center point, beautiful little cobbled streets stretch all the way to the harbor. I don't know why the cities were built like this hundreds of years ago. But it is really totally great when you can walk not only through the brilliant old town streets, but also for hours along the waterfront.
Destination Croatia – The magical sunsets
I have seen some great sunsets in my life, but none were even remotely comparable to the ones in Croatia. The scenery there seems to be just perfect. You sit on a beautiful old city wall, at the harbor or at one of the great natural beaches and see how the whole sky turns into the most amazing colors. Sometimes these are delicate shades of pink, sometimes dark orange tones. But every time and from every place, the sunset is just magical and coherent in itself.
My favorite place to watch the sunset is the sea organ in Zadar. It is a kind of staircase with various small holes that leads into the sea. The waves lapping on the steps then create sounds that actually sound like an organ playing. I sat on one of the upper steps, looked out to the sea and waited until the sun slowly went down.
By the way, they say that Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets in the world. I can absolutely agree with this statement. The sky turned rich, dark shades of orange – it was flawless. Plus the soothing sound of the sea organ. I can't describe to you how magical this atmosphere was.
Destination Croatia – Why you have to go there!
All in all, Croatia is my favorite destination in Europe so far. For me, everything is just right there: the mix of history, culture and nature, rounded off with the great atmosphere, is just perfect. I hope I could make you a little curious with this article.
Travel packing list and other preparations?
I have published my detailed and minimalistic packing list for backpackers and globetrotters here, so that you don't forget anything important. You can also download the checklist to print out!
Here you can find my helpful packing list:
Do you have any questions about the destination Croatia
Did you like this article? Do you have anything else that absolutely must be added? Let me know in the comments!