Stunningly beautiful and full of vacation charm at every corner, Croatia is a country whose popularity has exploded over the years. In 2019 alone, this Adriatic nation welcomed close to 20 million tourists, which has meant popular hotspots tend to become crowded during the high season. It is for this reason we bring you lesser-known places in Croatia that offer loads of holiday delight for a fraction of the people:
Ancient and well-preserved heritage is a recurring theme around the country, and Vis is another historical place. The Yugoslavian army used this island as a military base during the mid-1900s, and that ensured the island became unpopulated and undisturbed by the changing world around it. To this day, Vis remains a place of enormous tranquility and authenticity. The Blue caves off the island should be on your bucket list of the town, and so should exploring the many local vineyards.
A member of the gorgeous Istria region, Pula offers exquisite Roman heritage. It was once a Roman outpost so many centuries ago, and there is still a fairly intact amphitheater to show for it. In recent times, the city has grown into a shipbuilding reputation, but it retains that small-town appeal devoid of crowds and suffocation. You’ll love the fresh air, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and breathtaking views.
Remaining in Istria, Novigrad is a quiet fishing village. It rarely gets a second glance from visitors given its position in between popular resort hotspots, but it affords great things in a small package. The community of 4,000 is characterized by a beautiful cobalt coastline and incredible terracotta rooftops in-between green canopies of refreshing forest. Novigrad may not have the lure of big towns like Split; however, there are tons of relaxing things to do in seclusion. From cycling in olive parks to wetting your feet on the shores, you are sure to love your time there.
Poreč is perfect for a family gateway encompassing ritzy living and boating. This ancient Roman town takes a slight share of the annual tourism traffic, making it an excellent destination for some quiet time with the ones you love. There are several hiking and cycling trails alongside the blue waters of the sea, and the nightlife is also eventful. Poreč holds a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the form of the Episcopal Complex of Euphrasian Basilica, and it is a town where fortresses, medieval walls, and temples are as common as coffee shops.
A bridge connects mainland Croatia and the island of Pag, and that separation is a reflection of how this town has conjured an independent culture of its own. One of its unique, long-standing specialties is the fantastic cheese, among other milk derivatives of awesome flavor. The white wines of Pag are also another trademark delicacy with which to wash down the rich alcohol. Pag is not without some big town appeal, with Zrće proving party central for the island, even Croatia at large, during the summer.
You don’t have to visit big towns like Hvar to have a great Croatian vacation; these lesser-known havens are just as delightful as the ”big boys”. Be sure to make some time for them when you visit!
Now that you learned about these great places you should see, let’s talk about amazing things people don’t know about Croatia…You might have heard about Croatia’s fantastic old towns, the magical islands, and the never-ending buffet of beaches, but how much do you really know about Croatia? We’ve dug dig, searched far and wide to bring you little-known facts about this cool country that might even surprise a local:
1) The only country where the sea plays the organ!
In most tasteful cities around the world, classical music involves a human artist wowing passersby with excellent skills of an ancient instrument. In Croatia, however, things are a little different. Zadar town is home to the world’s only sea organ whose tunes are conjured by the tides and waves of the sea before it!
Also give a chance to the city of Zadar, it’s located in Dalmatia and is one of the most beautiful little cities you will find. It is a perfect summer vacation city and is a place where you can take your family to enjoy the charms and pleasures the city provides you with.
2) Croatia holds a white truffle record!
The average truffle averages about 40 grams in weight, which paints just how incredible it is that one Croatian restaurant uncovered the world’s largest white truffle with a record-breaking size of 1.31 kg! Zigante restaurant, the self-proclaimed “World Center of the White Truffle,” came across this wonder in 1999 within the famous truffle-hunting forest of Motovun.
3) Home to Europe’s oldest inhabited city
It’s unlikely you’ve heard of Vinkovci, but it’s a name of great significance especially for lovers of history and heritage. Apparently, the continent’s first settlement can be traced back to this city, over 8200 years ago! Past excavations have even brought to light a maiden European calendar of its kind.
Since many people do not even know about the city, here is a little bit about it: It is located in Slavonia, a region of Croatia known as the rural region. Vinkovci is overshadowed by two other cities in this region called Osijek and Vukovar but this city has a lot to offer and is certainly one of the most beautiful ones you can possibly go to in here. It is very small, holds a population of only 30 thousand people which is great for people who truly like to fully explore the city to the maximum, because you will be able to do it in almost a day and fall in love with this quaint little gem of Croatia.
4) The Walls of Ston are among the world’s longest
The undisputed champion in this category is without a doubt the Great Wall of China, but the Walls of Ston in Croatia also earn a podium finish right behind Great Britain’s Hadrian Walls. Croatia’s version was built in the 14 th century, and they served fortification purposes for the then Ragusa Republic, presently Dubrovnik.
5) Croatians inspired the necktie
Although some will credit France for this attire invention, it was actually inspired by Croatian mercenaries who customarily wore a necktie, or cravat. Former French King Louis the 13th took note of the etiquette during the 1600s when he called on the Croatian forces for aid in war, and the rest is history!
6) Croatia invented the pen too!
When queries about the first solid-ink fountain pen surface, the name Slavoljub Eduard Penkala floats right alongside the invention. The latter is credited for creating the mechanical pen with the assistance of a local businessman called Edmund Moster who helped commercialize the device via his entrepreneurial resources.
7) Croatia has 1,244 islands!
Often when travel blogs talk about a country having thousands of islands, it’s usually a figurative statement, but for Croatia, that is quite literal. Crags, islets and islands total up to more than 1000, 1244 to be precise, offering lots of exploring opportunities to last several lifetimes. If your ideal holiday involves sailing, be sure to look up yacht charter Croatia for divine marine adventures. We are coming to the end of this article, but there is a lot more about Croatia, than one article can summarize. In recent years a lot of foreign people are recognizing it and that is why there is a boom in the real estate Croatia market. More and more people are buying their own piece of Croatia where they return over and over again.
There you have it! Your Croatia trivia skills are now on point for when you visit. If you’re ruffling your brain for ideas of a great summer destination, it’s also a well-known fact that the Dalmatian coast is one of the best places to spend your hot season days so during the summer you definitely want to visit Dalmatia and its islands, places like Hvar, Pag and Mljet are a must-visit for anyone who likes to explore and experience beautiful, vast islands.