The beauty of the Adriatic
coastline is immediately apparent, but there are other discoveries to be made
on a holiday in Croatia. From medieval architecture and cultural festivities to
stunning lakes and dense forests, there is something for everyone in this
beautiful corner of Europe.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is well known for the beauty of its sixteen lakes, coloured in startling blues, azure, cobalt and grey. These cascade into each other, making beautiful waterfalls. As the position of the sun changes, or the mineral content or organisms within the water alters, the colour also shifts, producing a fantastic colour show. The changing lakes and the waterfalls give an excellent opportunity for some stunning photography. Besides the water there is also forestland with ancient beech and fir trees and many types of wild plant, including fifty-five varieties of orchids. There are also several rare wild animal species, such as wolf, European brown bear, wild cat and lynx, to be found in the park, as well as more common species. The park is nearly 74 acres in size and has UNESCO World Heritage status.
Built on a hill on an island, Primosten was once a fishing village and is now a very pretty tourist destination, with the white walled and red roofed buildings found all along the coast. In the old town, there are narrow winding streets with caffs and bars. Bougainvillea grows up the walls of the houses and geraniums sit in pots on the house walls. Five hundred years ago the people living in Primosten built a causeway to link their island to the mainland, so now it is more accurate to say that the village is on a peninsula. There are also rocky pebble beaches and pine forests, making for a great place to holiday. This coast, with its sparkling sea, hidden coves and islands is a fantastic location to learn to sail.
Dubrovnik is a beautiful city. A walk round its 2km city walls provides views across the Adriatic Sea in one direction and over the city in the other. Inside the city walls, a walk along the main street goes through a mix of caffs and restaurants and there are wonderful churches and monasteries to admire.
Dubrovnik is a maze of streets; it is a medieval walled city in good condition, despite the damage that has been inflicted. Dubrovnik suffered in the earthquake of 1667 but many of its Renaissance and Gothic buildings remain. More recently there has been damage inflicted during the war in the early 1990s. Major repair work has been carried out, though it is still possible to see the scars of mortar attacks.
For forty-five days each summer, from 10th July to 25th August, the city hosts a huge cultural festival: the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The event is marked by live performances of classical music, ballet opera, drama and fireworks. Over two thousand artists are involved in performing and many more visitors flock to the city to watch.
There is much of beauty and interest to see in Croatia and a holiday there is virtually guaranteed to excite and entertain.
Della Moris writes travel articles for various websites and blogs. She has travelled through many Mediterranean countries including Croatia. Della believes the Adriatic coast is an excellent place to learn to sail.