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Interesting facts about Croatia and its hidden gems

The content of the article:

  • Interesting facts about Croatia
  • Undervalued places in Croatia: Badia, Gorsky Kotar, Palagruzh lighthouse
  • “Without a noisy crowd" — interesting places without a large flow of tourists: Istria, Losinj, Galeshniak
  • Islands with a twist: Solta, Hvar


Like any country, Croatia has its own history. It became an independent state after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Having survived difficult times, Croatia is now a popular destination for tourists from different countries. Croats have something to be proud of: natural resources and picturesque views, the kindness of local residents, diverse cuisine, but perhaps the most important thing is that Croatia has never been on the list of countries with dangerous environmental conditions or high crime rates. Many tourists note that the Croats are friendly, but restrained. They will not show a "storm of emotions" like, for example, the same Italians or Spaniards, but at the same time their intelligent restraint is a certain "feature" of the local population. 

The main concentration of tourists is noted on the southern coast of Dalmatia, where the most popular cities are Dubrovnik and Split. However, Croatia can delight with other equally interesting and significant places that may not be so popular with tourists, but are interesting and stunningly beautiful. In this article, we will tell you just about such corners, without a crowd of noisy tourists, but with a lot of impressions. 
Badia is somehow even a little strange to call it an uninhabited island, but it is really deserted. The island is inhabited by deer, and many tourists come here with one desire — to see the deer live. Badia is located off the coast of Korcula, a 20-minute drive from the city. You can get to it by a regular taxi boat. Badia is often called an island for a secluded and almost “wild” vacation. Those who are not afraid of the pebble beaches go here, and who want to enjoy the serene peace alone. The island got its name thanks to the Bosnian monks, who settled here and built their monastery. It seems as if the whole island is imbued with the spirit of this abbey.

Gorsky Kotar is a mountainous region characterized by dense forest lands. The entire mountain range stretches from west to southeast and divides Croatia into two parts: continental and coastal. Moreover, the climate in both these parts is different. Gorsky Kotar is home to the Rysnyak National Park, named after the lynx, which once lived in these places and was reintroduced to revive the breed. Winter in Gorsky Kotar is snowy, so a large number of ski resorts have been built in this area. The most famous is the Olympic ski center Belolashitsa, which is in no way inferior to the famous Courchevel. In the summer, this region is no less interesting: you can go to explore the Fusin cave, inside which an underground lake is hidden. Gorsky Kotar is also famous for its hunting and fishing areas. There are many great places for this, you only need permission from the authorities. It is noteworthy that in the resort you can stay in small family hotels or rent apartments near the ski slopes.
Palagruza Lighthouse is located on the most remote Croatian island of Velika Palagruza, which is located almost in the center of the Adriatic and is a protected nature reserve. The Palagruza Lighthouse is one of the five most beautiful lighthouses in Europe and you can not only admire it, but also stay here for a couple of days, as there are two beautifully equipped quadruple rooms inside the lighthouse. However, during the season (from May to September), they must be booked in advance and for at least a week. What is remarkable about Palagruza? Firstly, the island is famous for its large number of fish — fishing connoisseurs will definitely appreciate it. Secondly, there are two good beaches on the island, both are pebbly, but the pebbles are quite small, so they are also suitable for bathing children. But diving is prohibited on the island. Thirdly, from the lighthouse you can go on an exciting boat trip to the small islands and reefs located near the island. Since the lighthouse itself is located in the open sea, weather conditions are very important: storms, thunderstorms, winds. You should pay attention to this before planning your route. The easiest way to get to the lighthouse is from Lastovo Island or from the port of Korcula. But you can also rent a yacht from the city of Split.

Istria is a peninsula located in the western part of Croatia. For a long time, this place was an inaccessible and little-known tourist destination. Although Europeans, especially Italians and Germans, seeking privacy, have chosen this place for a comfortable stay for a long time.  In addition to the coves and beaches, the region is also famous for its attractions. For example, the city of Pula, where tourists come, was built in the 1st century AD by the Roman emperor and it is here that the sixth largest Roman amphitheater is located. There is also the city of Roven in Istria, which the locals call “Croatian Venice". The city of Porec in Istria is known for its Roach Lakes, consisting of sixteen lakes with clear blue-green water and interconnected cascades and waterfalls. 
For those who prefer to enjoy the seascapes, there are beautiful beaches and small coves in Istria. One of them has been awarded the flag of the International Environmental Organization as one of the cleanest bays of the Mediterranean Sea. And its name is quite memorable — Olives.

Losinj is considered one of the most picturesque corners of Croatia, but there are no numerous crowds of tourists here. A small island located in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea is chosen by lovers of a relaxing holiday alone with nature. The island is also popular as a health resort, where they treat the upper respiratory tract, including asthma. 
There are interesting Renaissance buildings on the island itself, which attracts fans of this period. During the summer season, of course, there are more tourists on the island, since the island is famous for its abundance of beaches and coves, there is even a beach for dog lovers. However, in fact, Losinj is attractive in autumn and winter, as the island has a well-developed infrastructure, which gives vacationers the opportunity to go cycling and hiking. This island has its own magic — everyone here definitely wants to become healthy and athletic. 

Galeshnyak has a romantic name “love island” and all because in 2009 a photo of the island was posted on social networks and everyone saw how clearly in its shape it is similar to the famous symbol of the heart. The island itself is uninhabited and belongs to members of the same family — Juresko. For a long time, no one visited the island, until the owner himself, inspired by the romantic confessions of Hollywood stars, decided that tourists could make the island more profitable. There is no large influx of visitors, as in more popular areas. However, many people dream of declaring their love, making a crazy marriage proposal and just plunging into romance. After certain reconstructions, conditions were created on the island for engagements, small weddings and even christenings, but given that the island is uninhabited, it will not be possible to stay here for a long time. There are two ways to get to the island. The first is to choose a one—day cruise trip on a sailboat, the route of which includes a visit to Galeshnyak Island. And the second way is to rent a yacht and visit the island on your own. The second one will be even more romantic. 

Solta — unlike its neighbors, the islands of Solta are not so popular with tourists. But believe me, he also has something to surprise you with. Firstly, the island is uniquely located: it seems to be separated from the main part of the country, and at the same time it is quite easy to get to it. Secondly, during the Roman Empire, the island was of great strategic importance: as a crossroads of sea routes; as a base providing supplies to coastal cities and as a safe haven in case of threat. Due to this, many historical sites on the island have been preserved in their original form. Thirdly, Solta is famous for its olive groves and vineyards. Due to the excellent climatic conditions, high-grade olive oil, fine wine, and rare rosemary honey are obtained here. Well, the bays of Sholta are the real pearls of the island. Senska and Shkolich are coves with special bright turquoise water that you definitely want to see firsthand. 

Hvar is the sunniest island in Croatia, rains are so rare here that they sometimes do not exceed 10 days a year. Due to the large number of sunny days, a huge number of different plant species grow on the island. Hvar is often called the "lavender paradise". This is no coincidence, since Hvar is the longest and sunniest island, and lavender plantations are the largest here. Many tourists sometimes think that lavender grows here all year round. Of course, this is not the case. The main flowering of lavender occurs at the end of June – mid-July, it is at this time that you can enjoy both the smell and the color. In addition, lavender does not grow in flower beds on Hvar, it grows in bushes on hilly terrain along with other herbs. Wild lavender grown in such conditions has a richer color and smell, so almost all the locals make lavender bags, which can be brought from the island as a souvenir. Hvar is included in the list of the best places in Croatia for summer holidays, but it is chosen by discerning tourists who understand a lot about true Mediterranean leisure. There are only two cities on the island — Hvar (the capital) and Stari Grad (one of the oldest cities in Europe), the rest of the settlements are villages. The easiest way to go to the island is by ferry from Split. You can do this both independently and as part of a planned excursion. Ferries to Hvar also run by cargo, so you can ferry your car to the island if you plan to travel by car through the Hvar area.

Croatia is a beautiful and colorful country that attracts a large number of tourists. In the article, we talked about those of its regions that may not be so popular, but definitely deserve your attention. I would like you to be able to evaluate them yourself. And for those who plan to visit this country more often, we recommend that you take a look at our real estate catalog in Croatia.


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