Croatia Off the Beaten Track: Experience Breathtaking Adventures and Avoid Crowds
Do you have Croatia on your travel bucket list? Are you looking for some hidden attractions to discover during your travel tour? If you have not been living under a rock, your answer is almost certainly yes.
It is simple to see why Croatia is so enticing, with the excellent food, breathtaking natural beauty, and, to top it all off, a favorable currency exchange rate. Many visitors only intend to stay for several weeks but extend their stay due to the endless options and the destination choices off the beaten path.
Croatia welcomes over 12 million visitors per year and expects these rates to increase. This is excellent news for Croatia and the travel department, but not so much for those who want to relax and experience their holiday without worrying about crowds and tourists. There still are various remote islands you can visit if you want to keep your distance from the swamped crowds. Do you want to know where these lesser-known places are in Croatia? We have every tip you could want!
The island of Vis, like many attractions in Croatia, has an extraordinary historical background. It is an isolated area of the central Dalmatian islands and operated as a military facility for the Yugoslav army from the 1950s till 1989 when it was closed off from international tourists. Due to its’ isolation, it has remained sparsely populated for decades, but the lack of civilization is why many people admire it so much. It is genuine, tranquil, and quiet.
While the fine dining delights and local wines can give the impression of laziness, there is plenty to do here. You have to go to one of the various nearby vineyards or taking a trip to the well-known ‘Blue Caves’ off the coast of Komia on the island’s western tip.
Porec is an old Roman town in Croatia almost exclusively dedicated to high-end vacations and boating; hence, it is somewhat more tourist-friendly than Pula or Novigrad but still significantly less crowded than Split or Dubrovnik.
It is mainly a family location, but there are plenty of exciting nightlife choices for the people who like to party. There is an integrated network of running and cycling paths along the waterfront for outdoor enthusiasts, passing by shaded pine trees, beaches, and various food houses.
The Episcopal Complex of Euphrasian Basilica, the main building of the town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich in diversity, culture, and history. Roman temples and old city walls and forts are also architectural sites you cannot miss.
Pula is in the heart-shaped region of Istria in northwest Croatia, slightly south of Slovenia. Istria, dubbed “Croatia’s Tuscany,” is a region known for its breathtaking generic scenery and renowned cuisine.
Pula’s amazingly looked-after Roman amphitheater, which was once an outpost, is the focal point of the old town. This town is primarily an industrial shipbuilding area, but it has not lost its small-town appeal as one of the larger shipping ports. Walking through Old Town, you are going to come across a number of small-town restaurants, a number of neighborhood kids playing pick-up football, and some ancient Roman ruins.
Novigrad, situated in the northern area of Istria, is a quiet small fishing village in Croatia. It is often ignored by visitors due to its location between two larger tourist hotspots or towns with hotels and tourists.
Novigrad is a small-scale town with a population of fewer than 4,000 people. It is not as fancy or as bustling as the neighboring cities, but there are plenty of activities to do and delicious dining options.
Although the town center is small, there are many green open spaces to appreciate, whether you want to rest in one of the town’s gardens or go hiking through vineyards and olive groves.
Pag is a small region in Croatia that is linked to the peninsula by a bridge but maintains its individual and distinct community in the Adriatic sea.
What is the best part? While it is not something that many people look for, they produce fantastic cheese. Herds of regional sheep graze on salty grasses and herbs, giving the milk and hence cheese an extremely delicious and unique taste. You are not going to be let down if you can get your hands on some Paki sir cheese. What can accompany the cheese? Pag’s white wines are delicious.
It is not all about cheese and sheep. With Zre Beach, a tropical nightlife hotspot, Pag has recently become an upcoming clubbing mecca, as surprising as it can appear on first observations.
Korčula is a tiny island abundant in the Croatian history, with the sea, vineyards, olive groves with trees, and a breathtaking old town. Ancient customs are intact in Korčula, whether you want to visit Marco Polo’s family home or participate in traditional ceremonies and folk dances.
Spending a few moments with the local people here would make you feel like you have gone back in time. You can spend the night at an extraordinary farm, where your whole dinner is made from farm-fresh produce, and you have plenty of opportunities to taste the delicious wine.
This region is the Adriatic’s sixth-largest island and has three essential towns to know about: Korcula is the island’s largest and most critical economic and cultural hub; Blato, situated inland and home to a few of the village’s most historically significant occurrences; and Vela Luka, on the island’s west side, which contains the key shipping port with easy access.
Brač has everything you might want from a Croatian holiday: the sea, delicious cuisine, wine, and traditions. Brač is Croatia’s third-largest region, and Vidova Gora, its highest peak, is the highest regarding the Adriatic Islands. This quality may seem trivial to outsiders, but the villagers seem to take pride in it!
Brač is best known for two factors: its brilliant white stone, which people used to construct Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and Zlatni Rat, Bol’s vast pebble beach, which people have undoubtedly seen before because pictures of it are spread on 90% of Croatia’s tourism pamphlets.
There are many peaceful villages and small towns to visit, but Supetar and Bol are the main largest ‘hubs.’ Supetar is a little more understated than Bol, which thrives on exclusivity.
What is your take on truffle and wine? Motovun, located in Istria, is one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Croatia, as well as one of Europe’s best-hidden secrets from tourists. This small village of a few dozen people, located in Istria in northern Croatia, is renowned for the high-quality wines, olive oil, and truffle. Motovun and Groznjan are located in the greener part of Istria, where the atmosphere is more humid, ideal for truffle hunting as well as vineyards. You can also stop in Groznjan, a similar medieval town to Motovun if you have time during your tour in Istria.
From delicious foods to music festivals, drinks, national parks, and tropical destinations, you have to visit Zadar! This city has an abundance of history and beauty for you to explore. You can walk through the peaceful streets and take a ferry to travel to any of the local islands or beaches. You can most certainly find a hotel designed to provide everything you are looking for in this area of Croatia.
You do not only have to look forward to the natural or physical attractions in this medieval or old town, everything from the nightlife to the food is incredible, making this town full of hidden gems. The fish and seafood are extremely high-quality and you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to try it.
The majority of visitors traveling into Croatia stop in Zagreb on their way to another destination. even if it is only for a day trip, make sure you stop by this visitor-friendly city. Begin at Jelai Square and walk to Kaptol to see the city’s neo-Gothic Assumption Church and trendy shopping district. To the west of the church are the Stone Gate shrine, Dolac market, Museum of Nave Art, Croatian History Museum, St. Mark’s Church, and Mestrovic Atelier which has Croatian crests emblazoned on the top. Head south through Lenuci’s Horseshoe, which is made up of three wide, green squares.
Hvar is an island in the country of Croatia that any tourist would consider a hidden jewel. It has been popular since antiquity, century after century, for its’ geographical and botanical importance, and the wealth of its’ historical periods, heritage, natural attractions, and literature.
The island of Hvar attracts many travel tourist visitors who are drawn to the dense Mediterranean atmosphere, proud diversity and architecture, and nightlife due to its island temperature, wet winters, and nice summers.
What exactly is this island village all about?
Although being cut off from the city can be a disadvantage, it also offers some protection from factory chimneys and other civilization-related occurrences. Instead, there are large flower fields, majestic olive trees, and vineyards, all in perfect harmony with nature.
Since there are olives and wine, guests want to get closer to nature when they explore this area on the coast.
Dubrovnik has everything you could want if you want to travel off the beaten path in Croatia: natural beauty, beaches, history, festivals, and the wall, which are set against the backdrop of the calm Adriatic Sea. For countless years, Dubrovnik has been a popular summer location for Europeans. You can take a walk along the wall, explore the most ancient operating pharmacy in Europe, leap off a cliff in Dubrovnik, drink from a 15th-century fountain, visit a bell tower, attend a late-night fashion show, dine on an exquisite terrace, or simply stroll through the Stradun’s narrow lanes.
Rovinj is a city in Croatia that you must travel to! It is in the peninsula in Istria and has a romantic vibe to it. With the beautiful beach, harbor, and exquisite restaurants, this is a location you have to visit. To make it even better, this medieval area in Istria does not get many visitors, so it is perfect if you want to avoid large groups of people.
The beauty of this area in Istria is that you do not need to have a jam-packed itinerary to enjoy your time. Whether you want to take a stroll on the beach, visit the farmer’s market, explore the ancient town, or climb the bell tower at the church, you can! If you plan to visit the majority of Croatia, you can fit this area around the tip of Istria into a day trip.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
While the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is an extremely popular destination where people like to gather, you cannot miss out on this attraction in Croatia.
The National Park’s interest lies in the 16 lakes, linked by a sequence of waterfalls and situated in deep woodland with deer, bears, wolves, wild boars, and unique birds. This area covers a vast region of land and there is so much to see.
If you are on the fence about visiting Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, feel free to take a peek at any photo album of the park and you are going to be convinced to travel to the country as soon as possible! There are breathtaking scenes and views that you cannot miss out on.
The Bottom Line
A trip to the beach, a historic church, the city of Split, the bell tower, hotels, a medieval town that has been around for over a century, or a travel day to the town or village in the center of Croatia. You can do it all in this beautiful country! It is time to discover what this incredible destination has to offer.
If you want to see what Croatia has to offer without risking your peace of mind due to the crowds and tourists, check out these fantastic destinations that are a little off the beaten path but well worth visiting. Croatia is an incredible place to travel, where you can experience the true meaning of vacation off the beaten track! From the exciting adventures to learning about the rich and diverse cultures and traditions, you cannot regret adding Croatia to the list of places you have to travel to.
Do you have any more questions regarding planning your dream trip to Croatia while including lesser-known destinations on your itinerary? Feel free to ask the Adventures Croatia experts so they can help you design a unique, private, and exclusive trip just for you and your loved ones when visiting the famous country of Croatia!