Modra špilja – The Blue Cave of Biševo
There are several caves on the east coast of the island of Biševo, of which Modra špilja is the most beautiful and well-known. The sunlight, which enters through cave openings below sea level, makes the grotto shine in a magical blue light. When the sea is calm, visitors enter the cave in small paddle boats through a narrow tunnel.
hiking and mountaineering
A number of national parks with countless forest and hiking trails through untouched nature and karst rock formations inspire hikers and mountaineers alike. In the northern part of the Velebit massif is the Sjeverni Velebit National Park with its beautiful viewpoints and high climbing cliffs. The park is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Velebit Mountain and one of the most popular areas in Croatia for hikers and mountaineers. In southern Velebit, the Paklenica National Park lures with its steep karst rocks, in which there are numerous hidden caves.
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The traffic-calmed historical center of the city of Split (Internet: www.visitsplit.com ) lies within the city walls of Diocletian ‘s Palace, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A lively café scene centers around the Peristil, which is overlooked by the majestic Duomo. On the Marjan, a hill above the town, there is a vast nature reserve with pine trees and aromatic Mediterranean plants; from here you have a wonderful view of the Adriatic Sea. During the Split Summer Festival, held annually from mid-July to late August, the city transforms into an open-air stage with nightly concerts and operas.
The deep blue sea of the Adriatic Sea with its crystal clear water is a true paradise for divers. Numerous good, qualified diving centers offer guided dives along the varied Croatian coast and on the offshore islands. All kinds of underwater caves and crevices are waiting to be discovered, especially along the karst coast of Dalmatia there is a lot for divers to see. Countless wrecks, magnificent underwater walls and natural reefs make every diver’s heart beat faster.
Golden Horn – Zlatni Rat
Near the resort of Bol (website: www.bol.hr ) on the island of Brač is the Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn). The crescent-shaped beach juts out a few hundred meters into the sea. With its fine, white pebbles, this is the most photographed beach in Croatia. The Golden Horn is also very popular with windsurfers.
In the Kvarner Bay lies the island of Cres (Internet: www.tzg-cres.hr ), which is very popular with nature lovers and is particularly well-known for its griffon vulture colony. Pedestrians can cross to the island by catamaran from Rijeka, car ferries depart from Brestova on the mainland or Valbiska on the island of Krk. Worth seeing are the fishing port of Valun and the cozy island capital of Cres. A swing bridge connects the village of Osor with the neighboring island of Lošinj.
Mljet National Park
In the magnificent Mljet National Park (website: www.np-mljet.hr ) on the island of Mljet, one can find dense forests and two interconnected saltwater lakes, Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero. In the center of the larger lake is the island of Santa Maria with its Benedictine monastery. A number of footpaths run around the lakes and through the forests and are excellent for hiking or mountain biking.
Kornati National Park
Kornati National Park (website: www.kornati.hr ) in the North Dalmatia region is an archipelago of over 90 islands scattered over an area of 300 sq km. The almost untouched islands are characterized by rocky landscapes and little vegetation. Most visitors are day trippers who arrive by boat. There are also a number of renovated stone cottages available, offering a Robinson Crusoe style of accommodation.
Krka National Park
The Krka River has created a picturesque canyon in Krka National Park (website: www.npkrka.hr ). Particularly worth seeing are the spectacular Skradinski buk waterfalls and the island of Visovac, where you can visit a Franciscan monastery. The city of Šibenik (website: www.sibenik-tourism.hr ), whose 15th-century UNESCO -listed St. James’ Cathedral is a must-see, is a great base for visiting the park.
On the west coast of Istria is Croatia’s most visited city, Poreč (website: www.to-porec.com ). Luckily, the two large hotel complexes, Plava Laguna and Zelena Laguna, are just outside the city on the coast, so the historical core has remained intact. Set on a small peninsula, Poreč dates back to Roman times, but the main attraction here is the UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica, which is adorned with wonderful Byzantine mosaics.
Hvar is probably Dalmatia’s most beautiful island and is characterized by its rugged coastline, excellent wines and lavender fields. The largest town, Hvar (website: www.tzhvar.hr ), is centered around a picturesque harbor and overlooked by a fortress. Nice cafés and restaurants line the main square, which is lined with elegant palaces and the much-photographed Renaissance Duomo. The friendly town of Jelsa is a little less elegant but just as well equipped with hotels and beaches.
Pula, the administrative center of the Istrian region and the main port, was conquered by the Romans in the 5th century BC. founded. Some interesting structures from that period remain, most notably the Arena, a very well preserved amphitheater that hosts summer concerts and the annual film festival.
Istria is the largest peninsula on the Croatian coast and thanks to its good transport connections with Italy and Austria, it has become the country’s most important holiday destination. The particular specialty of the region are truffles. Near the popular resort of Rovinj is Zlatni Rt, a peaceful park with access to several secluded bays where you can swim. Halfway between Porec and Rovinj is Vrsar, where Koversada, Europe’s largest naturist resort, is located.