What Is Croatia Famous For? 23 Travel Facts About Croatia
The world today is fast-paced and restless. We all feel the pressures of it.
Amidst all this lies Croatia, a peaceful, natural paradise.
Croatia is a welcoming country with friendly locals and an awe-inspiring range of activities and wonderful places to explore.
What is Croatia famous for? Croatia is easily the most famous for its tourism. What makes it famous for tourism is its natural beauty, sensational natural parks, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, island hopping, and historical sites. And another factor is football and Luka Modri?.
Here are the things that Croatia is most famous for. My list is not in any particular order.
Croatia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
It is one of the most well known and famous places in Europe for spending the summer vacation in.
The stunning Mediterranean coastline, rich history and culture, and cuisine are what persuades millions of people to visit each year.
Plus it also helps that a vacation in Croatia is fairly affordable and cheap compared to most other European tourist destinations. Croatia doesn’t use Euros at the moment.
Tourism is a major industry in the country, so it is fully prepared to offer the best services for visitors.
Such as having great accommodation and tourist agencies plus the best of all, the people of Croatia are lovely and very welcoming too.
NOTE: Although it is the Adriatic coastline that is most popular, there is a lot of lesser-known but wonderful places in inland Croatia that you must visit.
Football is a popular sport around the globe and not just in Croatia.
The Croatian Football team is among the best football teams in the world.
It is called “nogomet” in Croatia and is the most popular sport in the country. It is led by the Croatian Football Federation.
In 1998, the Croatian National Football team was able to get the third place in the FIFA World Cup. And in 2018 it became second.
Known as the greatest Croatian footballer of all time, Luka Modric is the captain of the Croatian national football team.
He also plays as a midfielder for the Spanish football club Real Madrid.
Modric is among one of the best midfielders of his time.
INFO: In the 2018 World Cup, the Golden Ball award for the Best Player of the Tournament went to Modric.
The Croatian coastline steals the heart of many who come to visit the country. As a tourist destination, the coastline is the most famous feature.
The stunning aquamarine waters of the Adriatic Sea is a sight for sore eyes.
The beautiful coast is sprinkled with idyllic islands, sunny beaches, and historic ports.
Thanks to the year-round sunshine, sunbathing and swimming are some of the two things that people go to Croatia for.
In addition to that, you can go scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, take wine tours, enjoy Croatian delicacies, and discover the history, among many other activities.
Under the beautiful waters of the coast, you can see the history of seafaring near Croatia like underwater shipwrecks, underwater in situ museums, and ancient cargo.
BONUS: There are 8 in situ underwater museums in Croatia.
Over 1000 Islands
I said before that the Croatian coast is sprinkled with islands. It’s not a tiny sprinkling though!
There are over 1000 islands in Croatia.
The number of islands varies by definition and by measurements and also it varies over time.
There is a bit of a discrepancy here as you can see.
But at the moment the count says that there are 1246 islands, islets, rocks and rocks awash.
48 of the islands are currently inhabited.
Some of the largest islands are Krk, Cres, Brac, Hvar, and Pag.
And now this is another activity that Croatia is famous for - island hopping.
To go island hopping you will find serval travel itineraries and transport such as car ferries and catamarans are available.
The most famous route is from Split to Dubrovnik through Bra?, Hvar, and Kor?ul. This route offers the best view of Dalmatia.
There are loads more to island hopping than what I’ve mentioned here so be sure to check out the best routes, times and options before you decide to coast through the Croatian islands.
Feeling like island hopping? Read this article for island hopping with the family in Greece.
Croatia is a land of never-ending natural beauty. It is one of the environmentally best-preserved lands of Europe.
Besides the beautiful Mediterranean sea and the plethora of islands along the coast, there are breathtaking waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and thermal springs.
Then there is the fauna and flora that are just as stunning.
There are 8 National Parks and 11 Nature Parks in Croatia where you will find proof of all of this.
Some of the best natural wonders in Croatia are:
- Plitvice National Park
- Galešnjak Island (or Lover’s Island)
- Mljet National Park
- Cetina River
- Krka National Park
- Imotski Blue Lake
NOTE: There are a lot more than these, I just picked the ones that I liked best (that is not an easy task, mind you).
Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most serene and beautiful places on Earth to be in.
The park is world-famous for its 16 lakes that are interlinked with each other through a range of waterfalls and cascades. This natural phenomenon is a sight to behold.
The lakes are famous for their picturesque colors, varying from azure to green, grey or blue.
Add to that the surrounding lush greenery and fauna, this park is like paradise.
There are many activities you can do in and around the park but sadly swimming is not one of them.
The island of Hvar is the most famous island in the Adriatic coast. It’s known not just for one, but for several incredible features.
It is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
The advantage of its separation from the mainland is that some of the side effects of modernization have not influenced this lovely island.
The people of the island live in perfect harmony with nature.
One reason why tourists love it is that there is plenty of sunshine. Add to that the dense natural landscapes and beautiful beaches.
Tourism and fishing are the main industries of the island.
Another major industry is the cultivation of lavender. The lavender is used for soaps and aromatic oils.
Hvar is also one of the two most famous winemaking regions in Croatia. You can taste real home-made wine in Hvar. And the ancient olive trees there is also a popular feature.
Hvar is an island rich in tradition, culture, history, architecture, and nightlife.
On the island of Hvar, you get the chance to fully experience the local culture.
NOTE: If you can’t explore the entire country of Croatia, you must visit Hvar. It is the entire holiday package in one place.
Golden Cape is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It is often displayed in travel brochures for its unique shape, making it one of the symbols of tourism in Croatia.
Undeniably the most striking beach of all the beaches on the island of Brac is the Golden Cape. It is also called the Golden Horn or Zlatni Rat.
Located in the southern coastal town of Bol in Brac island, Golden Cape is a piece of land that stretches out into the sea like a tongue.
It extends a length of about half a kilometer.
Due to the changes in waves and sea currents, the tip of the beach often changes shape. And apparently, the beach is getting longer by the year.
Dubrovnik is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Mediterranean sea.
This city in the southern part of the country is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The unique beauty of the historic city will leave you in awe. It is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic".
Dubrovnik offers you a range of activities and pleasures, such as beautiful beaches (of course), historical buildings and museums.
The traditional Dubrovnik cuisine is also famous and some popular meals are zelena menestra, dubrovacka rozata, and pasticada.
And of course, there are the fish restaurants that are popular too.
In addition to the wonderful cuisine, you will find some really good wine, cafes, clubs, and bars too.
Walls Of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik’s claim to fame is its ancient walls.
I first thought that this should go along with my above point on the city, but the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik are a famous attraction all on its own.
So I think it deserves its own place, don’t you?
A visit to the old city is not complete without a walk down the walls of Dubrovnik.
It is amongst the world’s greatest fortification systems of the Middle Ages since no enemy army was able to breach the walls during that time.
The walls run a length of approximately 1,940 meters encircling most of the city and have a height of 25 meters.
NOTE: The views from the walls are probably the best in the city.
King's Landing Game of Thrones
King’s Landing, the fictional city in the internationally popular TV series Game of Thrones, was filmed in Dubrovnik.
The Old City with its beautiful ancient architecture didn’t need a lot of touching up to suit the show.
Filming was done on several sites in Dubrovnik:
- Dubrovnik Old City
- Walls Of Dubrovnik
- Pile Gate
- Trsteno Arboretum
- Min?eta Tower
- Fort Lovrijenac
Game of Thrones fans is excited to know that they can visit some of the most memorable scenes from the series in real life.
There are many tours in Dubrovnik that take you through the film locations of GoT.
Croatia is gaining popularity for its wine.
It won 63 Decanter World Wine Awards medals in 2016. Also in 2016, Croatia was listed as one of the 10 best wine regions in the world by the readers of USA TODAY.
There are 2 major types of wine produced in Croatia, the wine produced in the continental region and wine produced on the coast.
A greater portion of the wine production is white wine. Red wine is rare.
Wine tours are a popular activity in the country.
Some of the best Croatian wines are Pošip, Vugava, Babi?, and Graševina.
Istria, Croatia, is home to several types of truffles, but the most precious one is the white truffle. The white truffle costs more than 3000 euros per kilo.
The largest white truffle ever found was from the Motovun forest, in the village of Motovun in central Istria, Croatia.
It was found by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana. It weighed nearly 1.5 kilos and even won a Guinness World Record.
NOTE: Since truffles grow underground, they are found with the help of dogs who sniff them out.
Truffle hunting excursions are a sought after tourist activity.
Black truffle hunting can be done all year round but white truffle hunting season is between September and December.
Croatians agree that the best way to serve truffles is to keep it simple like shaved over scrambled eggs or over pasta.
Croatians gave birth to the necktie.
Parisians picked up the necktie style from the Croatians. This happened during the Thirty Year’s War when Croatian mercenaries were serving in France.
The mercenaries wore their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs which is what grabbed the attention of the Parisians. It got the name “cravat”.
And we know how important this small piece of clothing is today.
October 18th in Croatia is International Necktie day.
Croatia also won the Guinness World Record for the largest necktie in the world.
The Academia Cravatica, managed to wrap an oversized red necktie around the Roman amphitheater, Pula Arena. This took 2 years and 5 days.
Croatia is one of the world’s best olive oil producers.
Flos Olei guide or the “olive oil bible” named Istria as the world’s best olive oil region for 4 years in a row as of 2019.
Some of the most popular Croatian olive oils are:
- Šoltansko maslinovo ulje produced on the island of Šolta.
- Ekstra djevicansko maslinovo ulje produce on the island of Cres.
- Korculansko maslinovo ulje produced on the island of Korcula.
Nikola Tesla is known for designing the AC, alternating-current, system.
He was an inventor, electrical engineer, and mechanical engineer.
NOTE: Tesla was born in Smiljan, Croatia in 1856.
You can visit the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in Smiljan.
It is a museum that showcases Tesla’s life and replicas of some of his most notable works.
Croatia is a land with a rich history and today the evidence of that history attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.
The land that is Croatia today has been inhabited since the prehistoric times.
And evidence of the existence of several civilizations can still be seen, such as the Romans and Greeks.
There are 10 historical sites of Croatia in the UNESCO World Heritage list. And 15 more sites are on the tentative list.
If you can’t travel to Croatia, just watch Game of Thrones. Since King’s Landing was filmed in the Old City of Dubrovnik, and that will be a more animated trip to historical Croatia.
Museum Of Broken Relationships
This is probably one of the most unique museums in the world.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is located in the city of Zagreb in Croatia.
As the name clearly hints, this museum is dedicated to failed relationships and displays objects donated by people after their breakups.
It was founded by Dražen Grubišic, a sculptor and Olinka Vištica, a film producer after their four-year relationship ended.
Unlike other museums, the Museum of Broken Relationships is open every day of the week. This factor also makes the museum very popular with tourists.
BONUS: Due to its popularity, a new branch was opened in Los Angeles, USA., in 2016.
Inventions & Innovations
Croatians have invented a wide range of products, ideas, and innovations over the years.
A very important invention is the necktie I mentioned before and we know that Croatian born Nikola Tesla founded alternating current supply.
There are loads of other marvelous creations that are incredibly useful to us in various ways that we cannot imagine how things would work without those inventions.
I’ll list some of them here:
- Forensic fingerprinting by Juan Vucetich
- Self-propelled torpedo by Giovanni Luppis (Maybe not marvelous but lethal suits it better.)
- Electric speedometer by Josip Beluši?
- Pay-by-phone parking
- The first electric bulb with a tungsten filament by Franjo Hanaman & Aleksandar Just
- Mechanical pencil by Slavoljub Penkala
- Mp3 Player by Tomislav Uzelac
City of Split & Diocletian's Palace
It is the second-largest city in Croatia and is the ideal place to experience Dalmatian lifestyle.
The culture of Split is traditional yet also has modern influences without ruining either feature.
Split is famous for its beaches and the Diocletian's Palace at its center.
Actually, the main attraction is Diocletian's Palace which is an ancient palace build in the 4th century AD for the Roman emperor Diocletian.
Although it is referred to as a palace, it looks more like a huge fortress.
Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most well preserved Roman architectural monuments in the world.
Also, some scenes of the fourth season of Game of Thrones was filmed there in Diocletian’s Palace.
Mljet Island & National Park
The island of Mljet is not heavily populated and has no major towns.
It is the most densely forested island on the Adriatic coast. This makes it the perfect place to go to get away from all modernization and get rid of the stress of the fast-paced world today.
Saplunara village is famous for its beaches, while the villages of Pomena and Polace are the entry points for the national park.
The beautiful Odysseus cave there is a famous attraction.
The highlight of the Mljet National Park is the two inland saltwater lakes, Malo Jezero (Small Lake) and Veliko Jezero (Large Lake).
You’ll find the small islet of Sv Marija (St Mary) in the middle of the large lake.
Sv Marija islet contains the 12th-century former Benedictine monastery, which is a restaurant today. Boat rides are arranged to travel to the islet.
You can do various activities on Mljet island such as scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, hiking up the hills, cycling or simply taking a stroll along the marked paths.