Unsurprisingly, Dubrovnik is one of our favourite cities in the world, and normally, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as the top Croatian destination. There are times, though, when visitors want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city and do something a little different. Keep reading for our top suggestions on where to go for a truly unique Croatian vacation.
Take a Road Trip
You might not realise it, but Croatia is actually the perfect country to explore by road. With over 1770 km of Adriatic coastline to cruise through, as well as various mountainous routes, hilltop towns, and vineyards, a simple road trip can become an unforgettable way to spend your vacation.
There are plenty of tried and tested routes to try out, which will take you through national parks, the Dalmatian coast, and more. If you’re happy to spend at least a week on the road, then the Plitvice Lakes National Park to Krka National Park route will take you through all eight of our natural wonders. For a shorter adventure, take the 308 km route from Senj to Čakovec, where you’ll be able to drive straight through the castle corridor of northern Croatia.
Whether you’re travelling alone or with others, remember to take regular breaks and arrange accommodations in advance. Ensure you have plenty of things to do when you’re not driving to stay entertained; packing your laptop will give you access to all the online experiences you can think of, from audiobooks to online gaming — you just need a WiFi or mobile data connection to start playing.
Browser-based platforms are often the best to head to when it comes to looking for games to play. For a digital spin on classic board games, there’s the likes of TableTopia and Board Game Arena. Alternatively, if casino gaming is more your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Croatia’s relaxed laws on online casino gaming mean you can access a full array of digital experiences on licensed platforms like PokerStars Casino. Plus, if you have an existing cloud gaming subscription, then you can enjoy your favourite video games on the go, too.
Go Truffle Hunting in Istria
Even as an experienced traveller, how often have you had the opportunity to try your hand at authentic truffle hunting in a breathtaking location? If you head to Istria this year, you’ll get the opportunity to do just that.
Nestled at the northernmost part of the Adriatic Sea, Istria is a captivating region known for its lush landscape and culinary delights. Wander through the hilltop town of Grožnjan and take in its cobblestone streets — see if you can spot the medieval architecture dotted throughout, too. If you can’t quite leave the sun, sea, and sand to the tourists, then the stunning beaches of Rovinj and Pula will no doubt be calling you.
However, for the ultimate truffle hunting experience and for a spot of indulgence in the Michelin-starred Zigante, make the charming hilltop village of Motovun your destination. Here, you can join local truffle hunters and their trained dogs to explore lush forests in search of these highly prized fungi. As well as getting a hands-on introduction to truffle hunting, you’ll also have the chance to savour the freshly harvested treasures in delicious traditional Istrian dishes. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the region’s rich culinary history while exploring Croatia’s most picturesque landscapes.
Escape from it all
If you really want to escape the crowds and get away from it all, Hrvatsko Zagorje is the region for you. Separated from Zagreb and the coastal towns by the Medvednica Mountain range, Zagorje stretches all the way to the Slovenian border. Renowned for its rich history and natural attractions, the region is filled with hidden gems that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Varaždin County, the seat of Trakošćan Castle, provides the ultimate off-the-beaten-path style getaway. The castle itself dates all the way back to the 13th century and resembles a fairy-tale fortress, complete with a glistening lake. A tour around the castle will introduce you to an impressive art collection and several priceless pieces of period furniture, and you can also roam its impressively manicured gardens.
As well as medieval castles and otherworldly forests, the region also boasts several renowned thermal springs. Natural spas like Tuhelj and Stubičke Toplice offer a haven of wellness and relaxation, making them the ideal complement to days spent climbing up hillsides.