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Croatia is fast becoming the ultimate beach tour destination

Sports / Rugby Tour to Croatia

Sophie Webber, BA

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Sports / Rugby Tour to Croatia

There is no doubt that Croatia is becoming an increasingly desirable travel destination, and one which offers something a little different to your usual break.

The sunny Adriatic country is encompassed by beautiful isolated Islands, stunning coastlines and crystal blue sea - all of which offers a wide variety of activities.

Travelling to Croatia is a must: whether you’re an active adrenaline seeker, festival addict or someone who likes to relax and absorb the surrounding culture.

This ultimate guide to Croatia gives an easy break down of what you can get up to during your travels.

What to do in Split

Split is Croatia’s second largest city; the history, architecture and gorgeous scenery will leave you in absolute awe. Split’s air, bus and ferry links mean there’s no doubt that you will probably end up exploring the city on your journey to Croatia.

The character of city is undeniable as it is built within the ruins of medieval architecture. Split is located right on the Riva, so restaurants, shops and ice cream parlours are never too far. However, if you are someone who despises the constant bustle of excited tourists, then do not worry as Split is not too ‘touristy’. After exploring Split’s narrow streets and beautifully ancient buildings, a must-see exhibit is the Grgur Ninski Statue. It is easy and simple to find, you just have to head through the renowned Golden Gate to the Peristyle of the Palace to discover the popular statue.

As much as the bustle of a new city can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming. So make sure you head to the Riva in the evening to take in the beautiful sunset to reflect on your adventures of that day.

The walled Old Town: An ideal place to drink away from the heat of the beach
The Adriatic Coast is THE place for either quiet beaches or a beach party vibe.

A guide to the best beaches in Croatia

Croatia’s seductive coastline stretches over a lengthy 1000km. From pebbled beaches to hidden coves, the stunning variety contributes to the coastlines’ celebrated beauty. When hunting for the best beaches to top up your tan and forget all your stresses, it is best to head South on the Dalmatian.

Where are the best beaches in Croatia

Zlatni Rat Beach, Bol : Just a walking distance from Bol, its picturesque qualities and turquoise sea make it an eye catching destination that could have been taken out of a brochure. You can be certain that this beach will not be a disappointment as two years in a row this incredible beach has been awarded ‘no. 3 Best Beach Destinations in Europe’.

Punta Rata Beach, Brela: Having won an award for being the most beautiful beach in Europe by the American magazine Forbes, this beach is definitely one worth a visit too. Punta Rata has also been awarded the Blue Flag award for its purity of water and quality content so disappointment is highly unlikely. Punta Rata also has many sporting activities available and is surrounded by food places to keep you fed and hydrated – very important of course!

Bacvice Beach, Split: One to visit if you are staying in the city during your trip to Croatia. Just a few minutes from the East ferry terminal, it’s easily accessible even if you only have a short amount of time to spend in the city. Alternatively, if you’ve been exploring the beautiful architecture of Split all day, then it’s the ideal place to go and have some much needed chill out time.

Where to island hop in Croatia

Island Hopping: sun, sea, stunning scenery, with nothing to do but sit back and enjoy with friends...

Island hopping in Croatia: The ideal way to travel along Croatia

After some well-deserved beach chill time, why not just hop over and visit a few more beautiful Islands?

With over a thousand Islands surrounding Croatia, there is a variety to experience. Offering one of the most compelling seascapes in Europe, it really is an Island hoppers’ paradise. You can start your Island hopping experience in Split, and then hop across the ever-popular islands of Šolta, Hvar, Brač, Korčula and Vis. Whilst some offer peace and quiet, others offer parties which carry on the whole 24 hours.

There is an Island perfectly suited for everyone.

It’s important to note that whilst it is possible to hop all year around, some routes are only available in summer. The early Spring/Autumn time offers the best prices for this experience, which may be worth bearing in mind.

A guide to the best festivals in Croatia

A festival is an experience in itself. There isn’t anything more memorable than attending one in another country, especially one with the beauty of Croatia. If you are thinking about making Croatia your chosen travel destination this year, it’s well worth taking the time to look if any festivals are on during your visit to add a special experience. Some renowned favourites are:

Hideout: You may have heard of this festival before from someone who has been lucky enough to go due to its popularity. 5 days. 5 nights. Over 150 artists. Hideout includes some of Europe’s top DJ’s and electronic acts, and its 2017 line-up includes Major Lazer Soundsystem, MK, Stormzy and Diplo. Situated on Zrce Beach, you will probably look around in disbelief being in the ultimate place enjoying your favourite music – not an experience to miss.

INmusic: If Indie music is more your thing, you should consider checking out one of the most popular rock festivals in the region. The activities don’t stop there, with after-parties carrying on in Zagreb, sleep will be the last thing on your mind.

Outlook Festival: Outlook is Europe’s leading sound-system culture festival. Happening across 4 days at the end of summer, there isn’t a more memorable way to finish off the season. The festival is set in an abandoned fort perched above the Adriatic Sea, next to a beach right near Pula. The setting in itself is enough temptation to make sure your visit to Croatia coincides with this festival! With a variety of music including underground garage, dub step, hip hop and reggae scene, Outlook festival is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Joel Robinson, editor of festticket, takes this list further, with the 10 best festivals in Croatia1. May be well-worth planning your trip accordingly!

The best excursions in Croatia

For all those adventurous souls who love to explore, Croatia’s picturesque coast and rocky landscapes offer the ideal terrain for a wide variety of sporting activities. Sports enthusiasts have an endless list of must-do pulse racing sports which are all available; sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling, hiking, paragliding, zip lining, and rock climbing are just a few.

Istria’s landscape of gentle green hills is ideal for cycling. One of the most popular routes is the Parenzana trail, 61km of which goes through the country, following a disused narrow-gauge railway that linked Porec on the coast to Trieste in Italy during the early 20th century.

Croatia’s varied landscape and terrains of plains and lakes to rolling hills and densely forested areas mean it is great for hikers who want to take in the true beauty of the country. Popular National parks to visit are Risnjak, Paklenica National Park (where rock climbing is also available) and Northern Velebit.

If you want to experience a sport which is going to make your heart race and have that slight exhilarating quality, then also book in white water rafting to your adventure. This activity is sought by the bravest adrenaline seekers out there; providing from beginner to expert. It’s an activity which may not be possible on your usual trip away, so to add to your holiday itinerary would be special. The River Cetina and the River Zrmanja, both located in Dalmatia, both offer the opportunity to try white water rafting for visitors.

Guide to Croatia's Yacht Week

‘Nothing like the real world’

This must-do luxurious activity is too good to miss off the must-do list if you get the chance. The Yacht Week is the name of a company who organise a week for you of sailing merrily between Islands on the on the ocean. You can grab your friends, 6-12 people, or ask them to organise a crew for you if there are only a couple. (The only thing to note with this experience is the minimum age of 20 years old).

You then choose a yacht starting from £255 per person, depending on whether you would like a more simple or luxurious yacht.

There are a few routes to choose from, the black being the PARTY HARD option – so maybe one for those who like to let loose! Check out the website for yourself: https://www.theyachtweek.com/

A taste of Croatia: What to eat in Croatia

This one is for all the foodies who want love experiencing new dishes and tastes. Croatian cuisine is best described as having Mediterranean and Eastern European influence, and includes a wide range of fish and seafood. It’s important to consider that the cuisines inland and on the coastal areas of Croatia (Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia) are slightly different.

Here’s a little break down of some of the ‘must-try’ Continental Croatian dishes found inland include: Punjene Paprike (a type of stuffed pepper), Turkey with Mlinci (turkey found on thin, dried flatbreads) and Fish Paprikash (a traditional flavoursome fish stew). Coastal cuisine includes dishes such as Skradinski Rizot (skradin risotto) and Brodet (a popular Croatian seafood stew typically served with creamy polenta).

A good rule to follow is to eat where the locals eat, and you will not go wrong. Fear not all you particular eaters, the pizza is also known to be excellent.

Where to go wine tasting in Croatia

Croatian wine has a history that dates as far back as 2,500 years ago, and is an important part of Croatian culture. Wine tasting therefore highly deserves a place on this list of must things to see and do! There are a plethora of geographically defined wine regions situated in the country, making it the ideal location for wine enthusiasts (or those who simply enjoy the taste of the drink occasionally). It is well worth taking advantage of the wine cellars, tasking rooms and wineries open to visitors. These are a select few examples of the many wineries to be enjoyed:

Milos Winery, Peljesac: The first to introduce wine making in the region of Peljesac. Their signature wine is a speciality which has been enjoyed and recommended by many.

Rizman Winery, Komarna: This winery is located on the mainland in the village of Komarna. Located at the top of a hill, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, it is the perfect place to drink wine and appreciate the surrounding views.

Saints Hill Winery, Zagroda: Saint’s Hill Winery is slightly more exclusive and expensive, however its reputation as a stunning and renowned winery meant it just couldn’t be missed off the list and is well worth a visit if your pocket allows.

Whether you’re an avid adventurer or someone who enjoys a little more of a relaxed break, Croatia is a European destination that will provide you with a different and memorable break.

Key information for Croatia

Average price for taxis, beer and food in Croatia.
Average temperatures for Croatia (source:http://www.holiday-weather.com).

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Tour Guide to Rimini / Tour Guide to Bucharest / Tour Guide to Portugal

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