Croatia just won against Russia in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup less than an hour ago, so I’m writing this out of excitement and to show you all what Croatia’s about! I feel anyone who’s visiting Europe should absolutely visit Croatia.
Quite popular in Europe and rising amongst the Americans, Croatia is one of my all-time favourites. It has a special place in my heart since our road trip there was perfect in every way. Anytime a friend of mine is visiting Europe, Croatia is always a place I recommend. It combines the food of Italy/Greece, the islands of Greece, and the prices of Eastern Europe.
Croatia’s great to visit pretty much any time of the year. I went just before the annual tourist boom in early April, and the weather was perfectly mild. I’d recommend going in March-May or September-November, while it’s still warm and the tourists aren’t as present. However, I’d avoid going, especially to Game of Thrones setting Dubrovnik, in August. It’s rising popularity will increase congestion which may affect your experience. Dubrovnik, however, will pretty much always be congested.
Croatia is an incredibly diverse country, with the coast and inland feeling like two different countries. With islands, mountains, and a choice between Mediterranean and Slavic settings, Croatia has something for everyone. The train system in Croatia isn’t great, so I highly recommend you take a road trip. Even if there was a system, I’d still take the road trip! The drive on the southern Croatian coast is one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever taken. The intense cerulean of the ocean along the verdant green mountainous region created an incredible backdrop of contrast. The entire time I just stuck my head out the window like an overly excited puppy.
Croatia really shines in its food. From incredible mussel risotto to an underrated wine country, it’ll really surprise you in its cuisine! There are the Slavic options, but on the coast, it’s like Italian food, but more Mediterranean. Be sure to try the black squid ink risotto!
My favourite adventure in Croatia was going to the Plitviče National Park. Just two hours from the Zagreb airport, the water was an unreal shade of emerald that I had never seen. It’s the closest thing in the world to a forest fairytale, with rivers, bridges, waterfalls, and dense trees.
Croatia’s a place that continues to surprise and entice you to come back over and over. Take a different route than everyone else and get the pasta, wine, and islands of its neighbouring countries all in one!