With its rocky, uneven shore and its over 1000 islands, Croatia boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Europe. In addition, many cities and rural settlements in this country carry a fascinating history and are full of ruins dating back to Roman and Venetian times. Following we have created a list of the best-known tourist attractions in Croatia.
The sixth largest Croatian island, Korcula is separated from land by a narrow strait. The island capital goes by the same name. Nicknamed “Little Dubrovnik”, this ancient city is among the most beautiful cities on the Croatian coast and is known for its unique architecture. One of its main attractions is the house where Marco Polo was born, allegedly. The largest and most beautiful building of Korcula is the Cathedral of St. Marco, built in Gothic-Renaissance style and finished in the 15th century.
Mljet Island is one of the largest islands located on the coast of the southern part of Croatia. 72% of the surface covered by forests and the rest of the plains, vines and small settlements, Mljet is an ideal location for relaxation. In the western part of the island there are two lakes with salt water, and Veliko Jezero Malo. Veliko Jezero lake in the middle, there is a small island where there is an old Benedictine monastery belonging to religious orders.
Rovinj is one of the most picturesque cities in the Mediterranean region. Studded with houses in pastel colors, put together along the winding and narrow streets, is a great place to go for a walk. Rovinj is still a fishing port and visitors can board a boat to take them to the delightful islands offshore. The region around the town of Rovinj has been described as a marvel of pure beauty due to its picturesque coast and rich forests.
Euphrasian Basilica dating from the 6th century is the main attraction in Porec, a city 2,000 years old in the region of Istria. This is one of the best examples of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean region and that has kept most of its original form, despite calamities, fires and earthquakes that affected some of the details of construction. The basilica was built on the site of an ancient basilica, during Euphrasius bishop. The mosaics on the walls were executed by Byzantine masters, and those on the ground floor of craftsmen.
Gornji Grad is the medieval center of Zagreb city and translates as Superior City. This area was developed as two separate cities, Kaptol, Gradec and the bishop’s residence, the traders and craftsmen living in. The cities joined in 1770, detaching it from the northern portion of the city historic Zagreb. The main attraction of Gornji Grad is the market around the church St. Mark parish in Old Town.
Diocletian’s Palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian, before his retirement from the throne. He lived here in old age, his only concern being her vegetable gardens. After the Romans abandoned the place, the palace remained uninhabited for several decades. In the 7th century, residents living nearby had taken refuge within the walls of the palace to escape the invading barbarians. Since then, the palace has remained filled and the residents who have been living here have opened several local businesses in the basement of the settlement and around it. Nowadays, here you can find many good restaurants and shops.
Amphitheater of Pula is the fifth largest Roman arena that has endured throughout the centuries and one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Croatia. Pula Arena was built around the 1st century b.C. and can accommodate over 26,000 spectators. In the 15th century, many stones were taken from the amphitheater to build houses and other structures around Pula, but fortunately this practice was stopped before the whole structure was completely destroyed. Currently, it is an important tourist attraction of Croatia and all kinds of festivals and artistic performances take place here especially during summertime.
Hvar Island and especially the town of Hvar represent some of the most popular attractions in Croatia. Olive groves, orchards and fields full of lavender make up the largely agricultural landscape of the area. Hvar town, situated in a picturesque bay protected towards the south by a chain of islands named Pakleni, is a popular port where, especially during the summer, the Adriatic Sea fills with yachts that anchor on the rocky shores. Starigrad is the oldest settlement on the island, and Jelsa together with the multitude of little villages in the area, spread along the coast or inland and they all deserve to be seen.
Photo source Picture 1: karbuni.eu; Picture 2: whenonearth.net; Picture 3: croatia.hr; Picture 4: elegantgates.com; Picture 5: pinterest.com; Picture 6: pinterest.com