We spent over six months touring all over Europe, and we enjoyed so many of its beautiful villages and cities. However, we weren’t expecting to end up adoring Croatia as much as we do now. Every new city had its own vibe and wonderful tidbits to discover, and the more we moved throughout the country, the more we found to keep us there.
These are just some of the many photos that represent the splendor of Croatia, and we hope they inspire you to visit and discover firsthand why we love it so much.
Croatia features a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance. It is marked by characteristic red tile roofs and magnificent walled cities. Wandering throughout the towns, we found ornate churches, cozy tiled alleyways, ancient ruins, and expansive fortresses.
There was just so much to take in! Up stone steps, through underground tunnels, and along sunny waterfront promenades, exploring quickly became our favorite activity.
Croatia has nearly 1800 km of coastline along the Adriatic sea and well over a thousand islands, adding another 4000 km. The ocean is a spectacular color, a bit darker than Caribbean turquoise. And the water is mild enough for swimming – even in November! Paired with rocky grey cliffs, it’s truly beautiful.
We didn’t quite get out to any of the many islands, but that’s a certain must for our next visit!
With Roman ruins and remnants of old hilltop fortresses, Croatia has a wealth of visible history. We heard their Dalmatian roots in a choir singing in Split, and we could see their turbulent years immortalized by fortresses, castles, towers, and walls.
Even unrest as recent as the Croatian War of Independence in 1991 was evidenced by the massive ruin of a bombed-out, 18-story luxury hotel in the cliffs just outside of Dubrovnik.
As you might know by now, I’m a huge cat lover. So I found endless delight in meandering through a city sprinkled in felines, and I even carried cat treats with me for those fuzzy encounters. If you share in my affinity for kitties, you will feel right at home!
Game of Thrones
I’m also something of a geek. Yes, we donned our house scarves (#SlytherinPride) for a photo op at Platform 9 3/4 in London, and we had to seek out all of the filming locations for Game of Thrones.
We walked the steps of shame, we found dragons in Meereen, and we even visited the arena of the fated battle during which The Mountain crushed a man’s skull with his bare hands. King’s Landing was lacking the actual Red Keep, but it’s still an impressive city!
One of the things we loved most about Croatia is the fact that every city had its own unique character. We ended up visiting six distinct towns, and we loved them all for different reasons.
Zagreb has a fun illusions museum and a scale solar system throughout the city. Zadar has a sea organ built right into the waterfront and a solar-powered automated light show. Dubrovnik has a secret portal through its wall to a hidden swimming spot, and Split has a hilltop cat colony. Half of the fun was just seeing what each new city had in store for us!
While we were a bit too late for some of the autumn celebrations, we got to partake in the early holiday festivities. And Croatia knows how to wrap up the year! Castles and gateways are draped in lights, and Christmas markets abound to warm you up with plenty of hot wine and sweet fritule.
And Rijeka’s Advent celebration is something else! When we were there, they had ice skating rinks set up, a holiday train for the kids, and nightly free concerts in the plaza – complete with lots of food stalls, of course!
But our favorite part of Croatia was the gorgeous scenery everywhere we looked. From sprawling tiled rooftops to bright, colorful coastlines, we found beauty in every direction. We loved the views from ancient ruins or even right from the side of the road.
And we had to make a dedicated trip to the famed Plitvice Lakes National Park – stunning in any season!
We couldn’t get enough of this photogenic country, and we can’t wait to go back to see all the parts we missed.
Are you inspired to visit Croatia?
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