The land of a thousand islands. Mediterranean as it once was. Full of life.
You have most likely heard one of these phrases, if not all of them. It is difficult to sum up all the qualities of a country into a few words, but people do it often. Why? Because they are memorable and often right on the mark.
So how do people outside Croatia see this tiny county in south-east of Europe?
Travelers often seek the advice of travel bloggers. They travel all around the world, so they can objectively asses the qualities of each country they have been to, right? It is their job (and it’s hard not to be jealous of that) to share their views and adventures they had in each country visited, making it easier for the rest of the busy world to adjust their travel plans accordingly.
So what do world travellers think about our small, but charming Croatia? Read on.
“Istria: the best kept secret of Croatia”
Looking for places in Croatia out off the beaten paths? Look no more!
If your travels take you to Brač Island, Travel With Bender suggest visiting the Dragon’s Cave. Yes, it takes an hour of hiking over rough terrain to get there. But it is oh so worth it! The views are beyond breathtaking and you get to see dragons. Even if they’re not real.
Brač seems to be crawling with hidden gems, as Adventurous Kate discovered one on her sailing trip. She called Pučišća „the most beautiful village“ she has ever seen and „the most incredible scene in all of Croatia“.
Makes you want to sail to Pučišća immediately, doesn’t it?
Kate also had the opportunity to explore the Istrian peninsula, calling it „the best kept secret of Croatia“.
„And we were plunged into an absolutely gorgeous atmosphere of hill towns and seaside villages, dramatic beaches and rose gardens, and absolutely delicious wine, olive oil, and truffles. We knew we’d have a great time, but we had no idea Istria would be this good.“
Kate had you asked, we would tell you all about superb Istrian cuisine .
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have definitely heard of Plitvice Lakes. But have you heard of Rastoke? Luckily, Hayley of Lovepuffin Travel Blog has.
„Still technically within the national park, you’ll find waterfalls, canyons and awesome vistas in every direction, but without the crowds of the Plitvice Lakes.“ The ultimate hidden gem, wouldn’t you agree?
Our favorite quote comes from Dave and Deb of The Planet D: „Croatia was an entirely different story. It still has those old fashioned values where people are nice to one another and they greet you with a smile when you say hello.“
This adventurous couple went kayaking in Croatia and experienced the finest hospitality Croatia has to offer.
We have recently picked some of our favorite hidden Croatian gems, and you can learn more about them here.
Zagreb – “a city that should be on your bucket list”
At least according to Matt Long, renowned travel blogger who wrote about Zagreb on his Land Lopers travel blog. He suggests that, instead of flying through Zagreb on their way to the coast, people spend some time exploring this charming town.
Matt is not the only one who was surprised with what Zagreb has to offer. Kami, a travel blogger in love with Central Europe visited the capital city in 2014 and immediately called it the hidden gem of Europe that “could easily compete with Prague, Vienna or Budapest.”
With so many interesting spots to discover and tourist-free, Zagreb was a great place to roam around and discover hidden backstreets and allies. One of Kami’s favourite places was the Lotrščak Tower which offered breathtaking views of Zagreb and the nearby Mount Medvednica.
For Michael Hodson Zagreb was “an unexpectedly cool city”. He also compared it to Prague, Vienna and Budapest, highlighting the city’s relaxed vibe and going as far as saying that he could see calling Zagreb home for a while!
“Paris has the Louvre. New York has the Museum of Modern Art. London has the British Museum and Bilbao has the Guggenheim.” And Zagreb has the Museum of Broken Relationships, which travel blog Travel with Pedro was completely smitten with.
If this makes you want to learn more about the bustling capital of Croatia, see here.
“Is that a tomb outside my window?”
Sue Slaght of Travel Tales of Life stayed in a hotel in Split that overlooked the landmark bell tower of St Dominus which may provide the most stunning view – but forget about sleeping in when its massive bells start to ring at 6 am!
Despite of that, Split is a popular destination for travel bloggers. Not only is its Diocletian’s Palace inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List but Split is a perfect starting point for the exploration of south Dalmatian islands.
Caroline in the City met so many great people on her visit to Croatia that she actually left her heart in Split! Don’t worry Caroline, we’ll take good care of it.
“The Mexico of Europe”
That’s how Caitlin of Teaspoons sees Croatia – and who are we to object? Although her visit to Split left her slightly underwhelmed, the food was the biggest highlight of the trip, even better than visiting the second biggest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China hiding in the small town of Ston.
What is your favourite island in Croatia? For Jenny Friedman of A Taste of Travels it is Vis! With the architecture dating back to the Venetian rule and some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia,Jenny had to leave her heart in Croatia too.
It is a big responsibility taking care of all these hearts. Is this why Croatia is full of life?
Lauren of Never Ending Footsteps decided to substitute crowded Hvar Island for Brač which „is a lot cheaper, much less crowded and has far better beaches“.
Bruised Passports went on a road trip from Split to Dubrovnik – which unexpectedly turned into the best part of their visit to Croatia! The scenic drive offered the most spectacular views of the Adriatic and the Dinaric Alps – but the highlight was seeing Dubrovnik for the first time. Priceless, isn’t it?
“I’ve seen some pretty stunning places in my life, but there’s no way this place is real.” At least that’s what The Blonde Abroad thought when she saw the photo of stunning Plitvice Lakes. Although she had to substitute Plitvice for Krka Waterfalls on her eventual visit to Croatia, she learned a valuable lesson – “just because a place is well known or travelled does not make it better!” And we couldn’t agree more!
“Did you know Croatia makes excellent wine?”
We saved the best for last! People in Croatia know how amazing our wine is and how scrumptious our food is. But does the rest of the world know about our delicious cuisine?
Matt Long thinks that “Croatian cuisine is misunderstood and severely under-appreciated.” In addition to admiring Croatian coffee culture, Matt was surprised with how diverse Croatian cuisine is! In addition to having the best Italian food outside Italy, Croatian desserts such as sour cherry strudel and cream cake were among his favourites.
The Ravenous Traveller was so enthusiastic about Croatian wine, that he wanted to drink it all – and even warned us he wants to visit again! was so enthusiastic about Croatian wine, that he wanted to drink it all – and even warned us he wants to visit again! He obviously hasn’t met the wine-loving people of Hrvatsko Zagorje.
The Travel Bite had a luscious visit to Croatia and came up with top 10 things to taste in Croatia, putting the renowned Pag Cheese on the very top of the list. What can we say, Croatian people love their cheese!
Did you know that Zinfandel grape variety originates from Croatia? Tricia and Michael of Travels with Tricia knew and their search for Zinfandel’s genetic roots took them to Kaštela where they indulged in what the Dalmatians know what to do best – Octopus peka, one of Dalmatia’s signature dishes.
The travelling mom thinks that wine tasting on Pelješac peninsula is an excellent day-trip from Dubrovnik. Just make sure you have a designated driver!
If you are a travel blogger or an enthusiastic traveller who visited Croatia, nothing would make us more happy than to share your story with our readers! You can learn more about that here.