Europe's Hidden Gems: Croatia

Monday 8th August 2011 | Annalisa



Forget the exotic locations, look a little closer to home.

If you think you have to stomach the hefty ticket cost and suffer the long plane journey to the exotic coasts of Asia or the Caribbean for that peaceful break you’ve been longing for, think again. Look no further because there are a few hidden jewels of the European variety too... You’ve just got to discover them, and that’s where we come in.

Location: Just a two hour plane journey away, the Dalmatia Coast in Croatia boasts two reputations: trendy hotspot and secluded getaway. It’s the quiet oasis you’ve been looking for; oozing with culture, relaxation, and nature, it’s perfect for that week away to unwind.

Leisure: The long, rugged coast owns numerous offshore isles and you should try to visit one of these if you want to avoid the hotspots. Mljet Island is a definite must-see; with only four seaside villages surrounded by crystal blue sea, this is one laid-back island.

Adventure: The mainland is backed by towering mountains, so if you’re up for a bit of hiking make a visit to the Plitvice Lakes, the Croatians’ (admittedly more impressive) equivalent to our Lake District. Hike through the dense woodland to find the tallest waterfall, Veliki Slap and let your inner explorer out (although if you can’t even navigate your kitchen we’d advise you to stick to the trails).

Culture: For a bit of Croatian culture, head to the nearby city of Pula in the region of Istrian, a town dripping with history and ancient Roman architecture dating from the first century BC. Explore the narrow streets and check out the iconic Rovinj amphitheatre to really immerse yourself in this beautiful, antique city.