Located in the Balkans, Croatia has becomeone of Europa’s top tourist destination again since its War of Independence in thelate 1990s.
Like much of Europe, Croatia boasts its shareof medieval cities and historic ruins, but what makes this country exceptional is itswealth of stunning natural attractions such as the Plitvice Lakes, the spectacular Adriaticcoastlines and gorgeous islands.
Here’s a look at the best places to visitin Croatia.
Krka National Park.
Located in Central Dalmatia, the Krka NationalPark is a protected area of spectacular natural scenery, wildlife and historic sites.
Situated along the Krka River, the nationalpark is best known for its numerous gushing waterfalls and natural pools of clear, blue-greenwaters.
Easily reached from Split, the national parkoffers well-maintained walkways and boat excursions for getting around.
Many trails lead right around the waterfalls, presenting fabulous photo opportunities.
Some of the falls plunge into natural pools, which are great for swimming.
The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagrebis a vibrant metropolis packed with both historic and modern attractions.
Located in northwestern Croatia, the citydates back to the 11th century when a diocese was first established by Hungarian King Ladislaus.
Today, Zargreb is a sprawling cosmopolitancity and the heart of Croatian culture, academics and government.
The city is divided into an Upper and LowerTown, with Upper Town being the historic core where tourists can walk down cobblestone streetsand visit old, medieval churches and towers.
Best known as the alleged birthplace of thefamous merchant traveler, Marco Polo, Korcula is a 30-mile long island located off Croatia’sAdriatic Coast.
Korcula is comprised of lush green forests, vineyards, olive groves, sandy beaches and charming villages.
The island’s main town, Korucla Town, isa historic, walled town with Venetian Renaissance architecture, colorful markets and plentyof tourist facilities.
Located at the southern tip of the Istriapeninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Pula is a popular destination that has been attracting touristsas far back as ancient Roman times when fans flocked the city’s amphitheater to watchgladiator fights.
Having been ruled by various government powersover the centuries, Pula today belongs to Croatia, and is best known for its wealthof Roman ruins and mix of cultures.
A three thousand-year old city situated ona beautiful coastline rich in history is sure to draw tourists.
Such a city is Zadar, located on Croatia’snorthern Dalmatian Coast.
Zadar could be called the ideal tourist getawaybecause it offers plenty to see and do without all the crowds of other popular destinationsin Croatia.
At the heart of the city is its Old Town whichoffers fantastic sightseeing attractions including medieval architecture and numerous old churches.
Besides the Old Town, tourists will find astring of beautiful beaches all along Zadar’s coastline where they can swim and relax.
Located on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula inthe Adriatic Sea, Rovinj is an archipelago of 20 islands with its Old Town set on a smallpeninsula.
Narrow streets of cobblestone, stairways, arches and other interesting architecture make the Old Town a sightseeing adventure.
Some of the Old Town’s historic gems includeseven medieval city gates, the 12th century town clock and St.
Euphemia’s Basilica, an imposing baroque church packed with many stunning art works.
Also worth seeing are the scenic harbor, CarreraStreet with its many shops and art galleries, and Grisia Street, which is lined with artistsand souvenir vendors.
Nicknamed the “Mediterranean Flower, ”Croatia’s second-largest city, Split, is located on a peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast.
The city’s main attraction is its historiccore of beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture of which the Diocletian’s Palace is thecrown jewel.
Built between 298 and 305 AD, this Roman palacecomplex is more like a small city itself with a maze of marble walkways and buildings containingshops, cafes and bars.
Outside the historic center, tourists willfind plenty to see and do including strolling along the seaside promenade, shopping at thelively Green Market and swimming at Bacvice beach.
Plitvice National Park.
One of the most beautiful natural wondersin Croatia and all of Europe, the Plitvice National Park consists of several breathtakinglakes, waterfalls and lush forest.
The park’s most notable features are the16 interconnecting lakes that are divided into upper and lower clusters.
Formed by natural travertine dams, the lakesrange in distinct colors from turquoise to blue, green and gray.
Visitors can explore the lakes and surroundingarea by walking along the assortment of wooden walkways as well as by boat.
The island of Hvar is a beautiful Croatiandestination off the Dalmatian Coast, favored for its landscapes of spectacular beaches, lavender fields and lush vineyards.
Hvar’s main city, Hvar Town, is an attractivecity, featuring 13th century walls, marble stone streets, Gothic palaces, stunning churchesand an imposing old fortress.
The town square is one of Croatia’s largestand most beautiful, surrounded by many historic building like the 17th century Arsenal andthe Cathedral of St.
The natural beauty of Hvar offers plenty ofoutdoor recreation, from hiking in the cliffs to swimming in the secluded coves and beaches.
Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Adriatic, ”the old city of Dubrovnik is one of the prominent places to visit in the Mediterranean.
Located at the southern tip of Croatia offthe Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik was established in the 7th century on maritime trade.
With orange rooftop houses sitting in contrastto the blue sky, Dubrovnik presents many sightseeing treasures.
The historic district, the Old Town, is stuffedwith many historic features such as the old, defensive walls, cobblestone streets, magnificentpalaces and stunning churches.
Just outside the Old Town are several popularbeaches, while the nearby island of Lokrum offers even more beaches.