Croatia | The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Croatia

Dubrovnik crotia and other places

The most beautiful places to visit in Croatia

The most beautiful places to visit in Croatia:

1. Dubrovnik
2. Island of Mljet
3. Korcula Island
4. Kornati Archipelago
5. Island of Hvar
6. Makarska
7. Island of Brac
8. Split
9. Sibenik
10. The Sibenik archipelago: the islands of Zlarin and Prvic
11. Krka National Park
12. Zadar
13. Plitvice Lakes
14. Island of Krk
15. The small villages of Istria
16. Pula and Rovinj
17. Slavonia and the Kopacki Rit Nature Park
18. Zagreb (capital city of Croatia)

When you decide to spend a few days in Croatia, the most difficult thing is to choose among the many treasures it conceals. The directors of the cult series Game of Thrones have understood this! Between superb coasts, paradise islands, towns and villages steeped in a rich history of cultural blends, and natural parks of incredible beauty, you will realize that it is useless to go to the end of the world to find a little piece of heaven ! Located on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, facing Italy, the country is nourished by Mediterranean and Slavic influences.

We have selected some of the gems for you to discover when you want to visit Croatia. Ready for the trip?

1. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a city on the Adriatic Sea. The “Pearl of the Adriatic” is one of Croatia’s must-sees. An architectural and historical treasure, the old town of Dubrovnik invites the traveler to get lost in its narrow streets.

From the old houses of the Placa, passing by the promenade along the ramparts, the Rectors’ Palace or the Dominican and Franciscan convents, you will fall under the spell of this majestic city, in dazzling white. Do not hesitate to venture outside, in order to enjoy the beaches and the surrounding nature. You cannot visit Croatia without stopping in Dubrovnik!

1 dubrovnik pano
Dubrovnik is a city on the Adriatic Sea. Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Island of Mljet

A few kilometers north of Dubrovnik, come and discover the island of Mljet, a happy mix of pretty coves, wild nature and protected by a national park, pretty villages and small ports. This island is still preserved from mass tourism and you can admire the Dominican monastery nestled on the Sainte Marie islet, located in the middle of a salt lake.

Parc National Mljet (Croatie) - Lacs sales
Mljet National Park. Patrick Rouzet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Korcula Island

Like many must-see sites in Croatia, the island of Korčula will satisfy nature and culture lovers. In the old town of the same name, housed on a peninsula, in the north of the island, you can admire the old stone constructions, St Mark’s Cathedral and the house of Marco Polo. Located just fifteen minutes by ferry from the Peljesac peninsula, the island of Korčula is also known for its vineyards and its superb beaches. Don’t visit Croatia without tasting a glass of Korčula white wine or swimming in its clear waters!

K00 118 Korčula Stadt
Korcula island. From the north with a view of the ring wall, the tower on the right is the Kula Bokar. The town church of Sveti Marko forms the highest point, all the streets within the ring wall are at least partly stairs. Falk2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Kornati Archipelago

A visit to the Kornati archipelago is a must for a stay in Croatia for those looking for calm and wild nature. Accessible by boat from Zadar, this group of nearly one hundred and fifty islands, almost all uninhabited, can only seduce travelers in search of unique landscapes.

Kornati 2
Kornati. Hbauer11, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Island of Hvar

Busier, but just as charming, the Croatian Saint-Tropez has nothing to envy to the other islands in Dalmatian waters. Hvar will seduce travelers looking for entertainment, as well as swimming and hiking enthusiasts, or lovers of history and architecture. Come and visit the old village which houses an elegant main square, the first theater in Europe, dating from the 17th century, and a fortress.

J32 725 Hvar-Stadt, Hafen
From the sea with a view of the harbor entrance, the Spanish Fortress lies above the town, but it dates from Venetian times. However, Spanish military engineers had been called in. This fortress erected in the 16C, thanks to the sale of salt and with the help of Spanish engineers, replaced Illyrian fortifications prior to the Greek occupation. During the great Turkish attack in 1571, the inhabitants took refuge there and owed their survival to him. The most interesting remains the visit to the old dungeons, quite sinister, and the panorama of the city and the Pakleni islands. The path that goes up there allows you to discover the gates of the ancient city. Falk2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Makarska

Let’s go back to the coast to discover Makarska, located halfway between Dubrovnik and Split. Less known to tourists visiting Croatia, Makarska deserves a closer look. The setting is extraordinary. The Biokovo mountains overlook a superb bay with crystal clear waters and white pebble beaches. The contrast is striking!

Town of Makarska, Croatia. The harbour of Makarska, background the mountain “Sveti Jure” (1767 m or 5797 ft high). User: Magellan at wikivoyage shared, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Island of Brac

As you will have understood, visiting Croatia involves discovering a thousand and one islands! Each has its strengths and its secrets. The island of Brač attracts for its dense vegetation, its jagged coasts, its adorable little coves and its famous beach of Zlatni Rat. Located only fifty minutes by ferry from Split, the island of Brač is less crowded than Hvar, and is a spot of choice for diving enthusiasts.

The Brač Island, the most beautiful Croatian island in the Adriatic sea
Beautiful island of Brač in the Adriatic sea. Saman Bahmani, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Split

Jewel of central Dalmatia, Split immerses the visitor in the heart of history while offering him a bath of modernity. You will inevitably find what you are looking for: museums, art galleries, shopping, bars and restaurants, promenade along the sea, beaches, not to mention the sublime Diocletian’s Palace. Split is also the ideal starting point for day trips or tours to the islands of Hvar or Brač.

Comet C2020 F3 (NEOWISE) over Split, Croatia
Split city. Ballota, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Sibenik

Less touristy than Zadar or Split, Šibenik is the ideal place for those looking for animation and character. Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town and discover pretty squares, where you can come and relax at the end of the day, on the terrace of a café. You who visit Croatia, do not leave Šibenik without having admired the superb Saint-Jacques cathedral, dating from the 15th century and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sibenik 13
Northern shoreline of the old town. Sibenik, Dalmatia, Croatia. LBM1948, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. The Sibenik archipelago: the islands of Zlarin and Prvic

Do you want to visit Croatia but leave the tourist circuits? Not far from the mainland, come and get away from the crowds by disembarking on the islands of Zlarin and Prvić.

Island of Prvić (Krk)
Island of Prvic, view from Island of Krk. Ruta Badina, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You will enjoy tranquility on these islands where car traffic is prohibited. If you extend your day trip by staying a night or two with locals, authenticity and rest are guaranteed!

Prvic Luka2
Prvic Luka. Island of Prvic. Croatia, near Sibenik. Andres rus, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

11. Krka National Park

Visiting Croatia also means discovering many parks where nature reigns supreme. With its many waterfalls, its natural pools with transparent waters, its reptiles and its birds, the Krka National Park is a fine example. Are you lacking in culture? Do not panic ! You can also go by boat to the small islet of Visovac and visit the Franciscan monastery, in which monks still live.

Waterfalls at Krka National Park. Hegor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

12. Zadar

Like Dubrovnik, it would be a shame to visit Croatia without having discovered Zadar. Between small alleys and Roman ruins, between small churches and pretty squares, between dazzling whiteness and orange tiles, you will inevitably be seduced!

Zadar is also about modernity. Did you know that the sea plays music? Have you ever seen a show of natural light effects? Zadar is known for two jewels it conceals: the Sea Organ and the Salutation to the Sun. If you want to get away from the city, nothing could be simpler! Zadar is the starting point for many hikes and sea excursions.

Stadt Tor Porta terraferma, Zadar 3
Defensive System of Zadar. Kopnena Vrata, Zadar The monumental city gate (Porta terraferma) to the mainland, by Michele Sanmicheli from 1543 in the port of Foša. There are remains from the Roman period, as well as from the Middle Ages, but most of this structure dates back to the 16th century. Next to the city walls is the medieval “Captain’s Tower”. Böhringer Friedrich, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

13. Plitvice Lakes

If there is one park that it would be a shame to miss, it is that of Plitvice. Located inland, halfway between Zadar and Zagreb, this set of lakes and waterfalls is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will be able to enjoy the pleasure of a walk in a preserved environment, in the heart of a forest of conifers and deciduous trees, where you may be lucky enough to come across a wolf or a bear! The turquoise color is not only the privilege of the waters of the Adriatic. You will be charmed by the blue hues that adorn the park’s lakes. Not to be missed!

Plitvice Lakes National Park. Roybb95, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

14. Island of Krk

Easily accessible thanks to the bridge that connects it to the mainland, the island of Krk is located in the north of the Adriatic. It will satisfy travelers looking for entertainment, as well as lovers of secret nature. Tourist beaches or secluded coves, culinary specialties or nightlife, nautical activities or hiking, natural curiosities or historical remains, there is something for everyone!

Krk city view
Krk city harbour view. User:Gaja, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

15. The small villages of Istria

The cultural and gastronomic richness, the beauty of the coves and the charm of the hills explain why Istria is attracting more and more travelers. If you want to visit Croatia, without suffering from the tourist influx, turn to two small remote villages, such as Motovun or Oprtalj. Perched on hills, between vineyards and forests, these two destinations allow you to discover another Croatia, far from the beaches and the bustle of cities. Real jewels!

View from Buzet to Sveti Ivan, Istria County, Croatia 04
View from Buzet to Sveti Ivan, Istria County. Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

16. Pula and Rovinj

Pula and Rovinj are the pearls of Istria. Located on the edge of the Adriatic, to the west of the peninsula, Pula is full of Roman remains, such as the amphitheater, the temple of Augustus or the forum, which are particularly well preserved.

Anfiteatro de Pula, Croacia, 2017-04-17, DD 22-24 HDR
Pula amphitheatre. Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For lovers of Baroque architecture, Rovinj will seduce more than one. Visit the old town and St. Euphemia’s Cathedral. Then come and cool off in the crystal clear waters!

Rovinj, Crkva sv. Eufemije s pripadajućim zvonikom
Church of St. Euphemia with its bell tower in Rovinj. Luka Matanić, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

17. Slavonia and the Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Want to get off the beaten track? Visiting Croatia also means discovering the continental part of the country. Unquestionably less touristy than the coast or the Dalmatian parks, Slavonia is worth the detour. A region of history and character, you can visit the city of Osijek and appreciate the beauty of its Baroque architecture. For nature lovers, the Kopacki Rit natural park is home to a huge ornithological reserve.

Kopacki rit2
Kopački rit, a nature park in Baranja, Eastern Croatia. Donatus Darko Tepert, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

18. Zagreb

How to visit Croatia without stopping in the capital? Less popular than its counterparts on the Adriatic coast, Zagreb is nevertheless a striking city.

HNK Zagreb by night
Croatian National Theater in Zagreb. Suradnik13, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take the time to appreciate the charms of Zagreb by strolling through the small streets of the upper town, visiting the many museums, having a coffee in a flower square or letting yourself be carried away by the rhythm of the nightlife.

Montage of major Zagreb landmarks
Zagreb city: Ban Jelačić Square, Cathedral Square, National and University Library, Croatian National Theater, Zagreb Cathedral. Tromber, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Zagreb Must See Attractions | A Complete Guide to Croatia’s Enchanting Capital

19. Paklenica

Located less than an hour’s drive from Zadar, the Paklenica National Park will delight hiking enthusiasts. Much quieter than the national parks of Plitvice and Krka, this park seems to be especially famous among rock climbers.

It was a bit by chance – although the name of national park had something to do with our decision – that we decided to go to Paklenica National Park before returning to Zagreb.

This park offers superb landscapes, at sea and in the mountains, with canyons that plunge into the sea. Paklenica National Park has several entrances and several areas, including two canyons: Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica. The entrance to Velika Paklenica is a few kilometers north of Starigrad and is the main entrance to the park.

Paklenica Buljma
Interior of Paklenica, view from Buljma pass (1380 m or 4527 ft) Intipacha, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sources: PinterPandai, Touropia, Lonely Planet, Travel Lemming

Photo credit (main picture): fjaka via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

Main photo description: Dubrovnik city.

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