Interviews With Croatia Travel Experts – Sandra Radovic
At Adventures Croatia, we pride ourselves on having a full team of Croatia travel experts who are friendly, approachable and extremely knowledgeable in all things Croatia. From sculpting the perfect tour itineraries to creating tailor-made journeys for individual clients, our team are always on hand to ensure you have the best vacation experience possible.
To give you a little insight into the team behind Adventure Croatia and who our Croatia travel experts are, we sat down with our resident Croatia specialist, Sandra Radovic.
No one is more knowledgeable about the local Croatian experience than Sandra, having been born and raised in Croatia, she knows all the best local spots and undiscovered hidden gems that are yet to be populated by tourist crowds. As a valued member of our team, she truly brings a one-of-a-kind travel planning experience you cannot find anywhere else!
So stay tuned as we dive into the life and behind-the-scenes of the people working as Croatia travel experts while giving you a taster of what you can expect from our travel planning.
Interview with Sandra Radovic, Adventures Croatia travel agent
Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and what inspired you to work for Adventures Croatia?
Sure thing! I come from Labin, a small and picturesque town situated on the largest Croatian peninsula, Istria. Growing up near Labin’s seaside resort, Rabac, tourism has always played a significant role in my life, much like it has for the majority of our community. My father worked as a chef in one hotel, my mother as a bookkeeper in another, and my brother spent years at the reception desk. So, it was only natural that I would eventually find my path in the tourism industry as well.
From my very first summer job, I consistently found myself working in the tourism sector, even after I moved to the United States. What drew me to Adventures Croatia is their unwavering dedication to detail and authentic presentation of the country. As Croatia travel experts, it’s not merely about hotels and destinations, but also about the culture, the people, and the story of the place.
For the Adventures Croatia team, it’s never just a holiday, but a lifetime experience, and here I really have to give a big kudos to our team. I don’t think there has been a trip which we have planned that I wouldn’t want to experience myself.
What is your favorite Croatian travel destination?
Well, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if I mentioned Istria. “Home is where the heart is,” right? However, the truth is that this region often goes unnoticed, even though it’s unquestionably the most popular Croatian destination for Europeans.
I do love and appreciate the southern coast, but I have to say that Istria has something special. While the beaches and seaside resorts are undoubtedly important, it’s the region’s gastronomy that takes center stage. Istria boasts the world’s largest collection of truffles, and you can embark on truffle hunts and savor your finds later.
Moreover, Istria is globally renowned as the number one region for its olive oil, consistently recognized as the “Best Olive Oil Region” by the Flos Olei olive oil guide for many years.
The region also produces a variety of rich and aromatic local wines, and that’s just the beginning. It offers an array of dry meats, traditional cheeses, honey, and more. It’s all about quality rather than quantity!
In addition to its culinary delights, Istria boasts beautiful bike routes, an abundance of ancient Roman architecture, and countless small and charming towns. Take, for instance, Hum, recognized as the smallest town in the world.
In Istria, the list of amazing things to do is endless, really.
Why do you think Croatia is such a spectacular place for a vacation?
Because there is so much to offer! I don’t think people realize how crazily diverse this country is. A spectacular coastline? Absolutely! Fascinating history? Certainly! Unspoiled natural beauty? You got it. Rafting? Check. Hiking? Check. Intriguing architecture? Check. Safety? Check. Good food and wine? You bet!
I love it when clients have an open mind and want to try “a little bit of everything”, as they often say. That’s like music to my ears, because I already know that their trip will surpass their already lofty expectations.
Which destination in Croatia is your best ‘hidden gem’?
I know that I should mention a destination or two, but for me, the true gems of Croatia are its people. Croatians are incredibly welcoming, and more than willing to share their culture, cuisine, and way of life with you. Somehow they’re so proud, yet incredibly humble, warm and hospitable.
It’s no surprise that Croatia is considered to be one of the safest countries on the planet; its people genuinely look out for one another. It’s part of the culture.
What is your favorite local dish and where would you say is the best place to enjoy it?
I’m not sure if it would be classified as a dish, but I can never get enough of truffles, and oysters are unquestionably a favorite. While truffles can be found on the northern coast and oysters can be found along the entire coast, I would strongly recommend visiting the oyster haven called Mali Ston, near Dubrovnik, if you’re interested in some exceptional oysters.
The oyster farms, often referred to as “gardens” by the locals, are truly remarkable there. The seawater in the area is exceptionally salty, rich in minerals, and mixed with fresh water. All that contributes to their remarkable flavor, to the extent that they don’t even require any additional seasoning. Every year they host The Festival of Oysters in Ston, where you try these world-class oysters firsthand and learn more about the farming process.
Oh, and as an honorable mention, I must say that gelato is a must-try as one of the best desserts in Croatia. Indulge in gelato wherever and whenever you can during your visit.
When would you say is the best time to travel to Croatia?
I would say that it depends on what you would like to do while in the country. If you want to sail and spend a lot of time on the beach, enjoying summer activities, the best time to travel to Croatia would be from mid-June to late September.
If you’re primarily interested in sightseeing, and beach time is not your top priority, I would definitely recommend the shoulder seasons (May, June, September, October), although that doesn’t mean that visiting in July and August would be a bad idea.
However, if you’re more inclined toward a Christmas village-type vacation, I can’t recommend the Advent Zagreb Christmas experience enough. To say it’s magical and one of the best Christmas markets in Europe would be an understatement, not to mention that you can even combine it with visits to neighboring countries such as Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary.
Sum up the best parts of working for Adventures Croatia
Some of the best aspects of working for Adventures Croatia are the clients who make my job interesting and fun. The process of planning a trip with someone is an adventure in itself, but what makes it particularly special is that the people who are drawn to Croatia tend to be unique and seek more than just a standard, generic vacation.
Another big part would be the rest of the Adventures Croatia team, both in the U.S. and on-site in Croatia who contribute their expertise and dedication to making things happen, even when the initial idea may seem impossible at first.
Last but certainly not least, one of the most satisfying aspects is hearing from clients after their trip and receiving their feedback. Learning about their vacation and knowing that we played a role in making it happen is truly fulfilling.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
A little bit of everything!
Working with our Croatia Travel Experts
Looking to book your next vacation to Croatia? What are you waiting for, start planning your trip with our Croatia travel experts today. From pre-planned tours to custom-made itineraries that are bespoke to your travel needs, we aim to create the perfect holiday each and every time.
For more information on our tours and what we can do for you, contact our Croatia travel experts now.