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Top Trip Memories

  • Visiting the treasure trove of Roman ruins.  Rome conquered the area in the 2nd century BC, ruled there for some 500 years and left behind profuse evidence of their stay.  
  • Discovering the Colosseum-like amphitheater in Pula, one of the best-preserved in the world, which held 23,000 people when gladiators fought there.
  • Sharing very personal stories at the memorably named Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, which describes with poignant words and interesting artifacts the sad endings of bonds between married couples, lovers, and parents and children.
  • Spending a night at a farmhouse in Slavonoa, Croatia’s “breadbasket” from which much of the country’s crops and livestock come.  What now are guest rooms were once used to store equipment, crops and other farm-related items.
  • Savoring Croatia’s eclectic cuisine, which combines Italian, Turkish and other culinary influences. 
  • Accompanying a truffle hunter and his dog on a search in the woods, then sampling the finds served in a variety of ways.  (The best white truffles in the world come from the Istrian Peninsula, which Croatia shares with Slovenia and Italy).
  • Enjoying the humor that Croatians employ to poke fun at both themselves and their former Yugoslavian neighbors.  Old animosities among ethnic and religious groups that sparked armed conflicts in the past remain, but today they’re largely replaced by verbal attacks that combine jests with jibes.       
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Tour Tips

  • Traveling with a knowledgeable guide in Croatia can provide invaluable background on the long history of the country, as well as its more recent history in the Bosnian War of the early to mid-1990s.
  • Look for tours that combine both the dramatic coastal cities and islands with excursions into the interior of the country; Zagreb is well worth a visit.
  • Be aware that traveling in Croatia requires climbing some steep steps to walk on Dubrovnik’s city walls and more climbing to visit Roman ruins, medieval castles and other sites, many of which were built on top of high hills for defensive purposes.   
  • Because of the hilly terrain in some places, bus rides can induce motion sickness.  If you’re prone to that malady, carry along pills to combat the sensation.
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Croatia Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

98%

recommend

301 Reviews

  • Excellent 208
  • Great 77
  • Average 11
  • Disappointing 3
  • Terrible 2

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

Absolutely loved the trip.

Adriatic Adventure Trip

5.0
December 2016
Carpe Mundo
Recommend: Yes
This was my third trip with Carpe Mundo, and just like the others it was amazing! I loved being able to book back to back trips to create my own European tour. Montenegro feels like an undiscovered gem- one of my all time favorite places (and I've been to over 40 countries!). The whole trip was top notch- from staying at 4 star waterfront accommodations with balconies to having private boat tours and visiting small family wineries (with incredible wine found nowhere else in the world), I absolutely loved the trip.
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5.0
October 2016
Carpe Mundo
Recommend: Yes
This trip with Smartours through Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro was one of the best I've experienced.. Our guide, Rok was very informed and and shed light on the complex history of the area. The balance of the guided and the free time was excellent and the hotels and accommodation very nice. I am recommending smarTours to others as well. They are a great value for a very quality trip.
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Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast

Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast

5.0
October 2016
Carpe Mundo
Recommend: Yes
This was an excellent trip giving an overview of the Croatian coast, some of the islands, plus a quick look at important historical sights.
The scenery, the sea and the islands plus the magnificence of Dubrovnik.

An intelligent likeable man, a good ambassador for Croatia!

Although not a lot of walking is required, comfortable shoes and beach shoes are essential.

I can thoroughly recommend this trip

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Enjoyed the highlights

Cycle the Dalmatian Coast

5.0
October 2016
Carpe Mundo
Recommend: No
The small coastal villages with excellent eateries

Enjoyed the highlights of the trip and van driver was excellent

Cycle the Dalmatian Coast

5.0
October 2016
Carpe Mundo
Recommend: Yes
the scenery in Croatia and also our guide was excellent as was the van driver, I can't remember his names but he was excellent. he was always there with snacks and water and I felt very safe knowing he was right behind me

Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Croatia Trips & Tour Advice

If any country has played a role as a crossroad of history, it’s present-day Croatia.  Because of its key location spanning Eastern and Western cultures, this West Virginia-size nation, along with neighbors which comprised the former Yugoslavia, provided a bridge and melting pot of peoples over the centuries.  Among those who came, went and left their influences were ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians. 

This rich kaleidoscope of cultures, ethnicities and religions, along with its storied history, natural beauty and other attractions, has elevated Croatia into a major magnet for travelers seeking an authentic experience. The result: While the country ranks only 127th in size, it’s the world’s 18th most popular tourist destination.

Croatia’s cities, towns and villages serve as living history museums that immerse visitors in centuries past.

Dubrovnik, “Pearl of the Adriatic”

Dubrovnik, a World Heritage Site, was a major city-state and maritime trade center from the 14th through 18th centuries. Its reach and power throughout the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas rivaled that of Venice. 

The intact fortress walls that surround the old city, its wealth of stunning architecture, historic monuments and maze of narrow streets transport visitors back to those heady times -- one of the main reasons it has served as a shooting location for the HBO TV series Game of Thrones

Dubrovnik suffered heavy damage in the early 1990s, when Croatia sought to become a sovereign country following the breakup of Yugoslavia but was opposed and attacked by local Serb forces and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army. 

Since then, the historic core of the city has been restored to its former splendor.  The city walls, accentuated by three forts, 16 towers and other fortifications, are among the best-preserved and most beautiful in Europe. Built over a span of 600 years beginning in the 12th century, they create a 1-1/4-mile long defensive ring around the old city, and a “walk on the walls” is a favorite activity for visitors.     

Zagreb, Split, and Beyond

Trip to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, claims architectural treasures that echo the charms of Vienna, Budapest, Prague, and other great European cities. Many historic monuments grace the Lower Town and Baroque Upper Town. More contemporary touches include the seemingly wall-to-wall cafes and coffee houses that are packed with people throughout the days and evenings.

Split boasts Roman ruins – the 4th century Emperor Diocletian’s Palace -- built right into the center of the city. (Remnants of Roman structures are grouped along the coastline, dotted throughout the countryside and preserved in cities.) A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Split also contains medieval and Renaissance architecture. Tiny Trogir,  another World Heritage Site along with coast, is a medieval gem.

The defensive walls that encircle the medieval hill hamlet of Hum (pronounced Hoom) are distinctive because houses were built into them. Tiny Hum consists of just two short streets, has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest town in the world, and locals claim a current population of 17, 18 or “about 20.”

The adjacent seaside resorts of Lovran and Opatija (oh-pah-tee-uh) have a history of tourism dating back to Roman times, when both were popular with patrician families who built impressive villas. At the end of the 19th century, the towns once again became fashionable vacation destinations for aristocratic families, whose elegant homes still grace the setting.

Mother Nature at Her Best

The main natural attraction is Plitvice Lakes National Park, which encompasses a series of 16 lakes linked by waterfalls and rivulets that cascade from one to another.  The lakes themselves reflect the colors of their surroundings, from emerald green and turquoise to blue and gray.

Another popular setting is the line of beaches strung out along Croatia’s long coastline on the Adriatic Sea.  While most are pebble beaches, there also are inviting sandy stretches – and 97 of them have Blue Flag status, an international award based upon water quality and other standards.

The Croatian coast is also lined with a thousand little islands like Korcula and Hvar, which combine medieval architecture and natural beauty. Small ship cruises often stop there. 

Related Guides

Continent:

Europe

Local Attractions: 

Dubrovnik, Hvar, Plitvice National Park, Rovinj, Pula Arena, Diocletian's Palace & Many More

Top Activities:

Small-Ship Cruises, Sailing Cruises & Historic Sightseeing

Similar Destinations:      

ItalyFranceSpain & Greece

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