Croatia is a nation that attained independence after much struggle in the course of its history, previously submitting to countries like Hungary and Austria. In 1991, it finally became an independent state after separating from Yugoslavia. The influences from seven centuries of Venetian rule are evident in its culture and the architecture.
The highlight of the south is beautiful Dubrovnik, where the Ancient City Walls and the Minceta Fortress stand. The significance of the fortification structures, that rendered the city infallible for a few centuries, stand for the love of freedom and safety. Watch history come alive before your eyes at Museum of Croatian War of Independence,be blasted into the past as you enter Old Town, and allow medieval architecture to sweep you off your feet into a forgotten era. The best part of the town is its nooks and crannies – be sure to explore the alleys, each of which have distinctive charms. Breeze into the City Harbour and be tempted into a boat ride along the beautiful blue-green waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Croatia in particular has a laid-back attitude when it comes to food. Fresh local delicacies are to be savoured with sips of choice wine. The culture is best exemplified by Zagreb, specially known for its café culture – you will be enticed into lingering. Tkalciceva will meld the charms of old Zagreb with the sweet-smelling aroma of the world’s favourite caffeine fix. Offer a moment of silence for the departed at Mirogoj Cemetery, one of the most beautiful in Europe, and read about the brokenhearted in the Museum of Broken Relationships. Go next door to St. Mark’s Church to catch a glimpse of the tiled Croatian colours and city crest on its roof.
On the east of the Adriatic Sea, the city of Split holds the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, alluring in its buzz of activity as life pulses through its streets. Be sure to stay for the musical performances at the Peristyle in the evening; they are to-die-for. Drop by the Hvar Island, famous for being teemed with luxury. Scale Marjan for a great view at the peak, have a picnic by the waterfalls in the Parco Nazionale Krka, and soak up the sun at one of Europe’s best beaches, Brela Beach.
Losinj Island in the northern Adriatic Sea has the Losinj Aromatic Garden that goes into full bloom in spring. Try your hand at sailing at the same place the champion Olympics sailor, Agostino Straulino, was born. Chill out at the Breakwater Rovenska, and for avid fans of the dolphins, Blue World also offers an insight into the protection of these creatures in the Adriatic Sea.
Ferries operate between the Dalmatian islands and seaside cities, and buses and trains make intercity trips. Booking of tickets is required at the bus station and are not available online. There are taxis, but they can only be found at taxi stands unless they have been called – they’re pricey. If you have a driving license, you’re welcome to test out your navigation skills with a rented car or motorcycle.
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