Kempinski Blog Article
For travellers that find themselves craving blue skies, pretty Adriatic architecture and a seamless blend of culture and nature, Croatia is a brilliant place to visit, offering Mediterranean fun for a small (albeit steadily rising) price. A vast country, the interior holds a lot of promise for holidaymakers, however it is the coast that's the first stop for many.
Starting in the north in the area home to the elegant and comfortable Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Istria, here are some of the best Croatian coastal sights you can enjoy on a tour along the country's winding northern coast.
Croatia's northernmost shore belongs to the Istrian peninsula. Featuring tiny, sleepy fishing villages; both rocky and sandy beaches; clean, azure waters; and an admirable culinary tradition, Istria is one of the country's best-loved coastal hangouts.
If you are not a lover of crowds there is no need to worry – you can easily enjoy all the fun of the shore by heading to one of the area's more hilly inland retreats, part of the reason why here has often been labelled the 'new Tuscany'.
If you are a fan of Italy, chances are that you'll enjoy Poreč, located on the Adriatic Coast around 50 km north of Pula.
The town was part of Italy until 1947, and it is partly this that means you can enjoy one-of-a-kind architectural, cultural and culinary experiences, from the amazing old city to the energetic nightlife that has flourished in the city in recent years. It is a busy, tourist-focused place, but that hasn't diminished Poreč's brilliant heritage and timeless charm.
Perhaps Istria's most wonderful shorefront location, this traditional fishing port is a must-visit. While it gets quite busy during the peak summer period, a trip during the quieter months will give you all the time in the world to explore Rovinj's winding, cobbled streets and to enjoy the wide selection of swimming, diving, rock climbing and cycling activities located in and around the town.
The Brijuni National Park
If you want to try something different to the seaside restaurants and quaint fishing villages, Croatia's many national parks are here to offer relaxation in the form of perfect natural surroundings. The Brijuni National Park is one of these – encompassing the 14 Brijuni islands and islets, it is the perfect place to take a deep breath of fresh air.
The islands are home to pretty, deserted coves and beaches; crumbling Roman ruins; charming forests; and thriving underwater diving hotspots – hire a bicycle, charter a boat and head out on your very own island adventure.
Directly to the East of Brijuni in the Kvarner Gulf is the large island of Cres, home to all of the things that travellers usually crave from Croatia, yet still delightfully wild, untouched by mass tourism.
Here, you will find many idyllic villages and harbours alongside secluded, white beaches and vast areas of forest, and if you are happy with the idea of trekking amongst olive trees, up craggy hills and across fields to find your next cove or cave, you will very much enjoy this area.
The Kornati National Park
Formed from bleached karst limestone, the Kornati National Park is an archipelago of 140 islands that spreads across 300 sq km of the central Croatian coastline. Easily reached via tour boat or ferry from the mainland towns Zadar, Sibenik and Split, these islands are a perfect escape from the modern world.
Only seasonal farmers call the Kornati Islands home, and if you have hired a boat to travel around, it is easy to go miles without seeing a single person or craft bobbing along the long, blue coastal highways that snake between the islands.
Northern Croatia has a range of excellent sights to see and things to enjoy. Whenever you visit, you are sure to enjoy sun, sea and culture, all in one of the most beautiful destinations the Mediterranean has to offer.