Holidays in mountainous Balkans: Welcome to Croatia

Last year was tough for me. Bad luck followed me everywhere, but somehow I was trying to put myself together. In all that madness, something warned me that I need a break from everything – from life, obligations and especially from monotony. So, I decided to put everything on standby, take myself to an unforgettable vacation and embark myself into an adventurous and unknown journey. I kept skimming through countless “bucket lists” in search of inspiration and finally decided to discover what’s true about the prevailing view when it comes to Croatia and holidays in this part of the Balkans. With travel services like First Choice covering various destinations along the spectacular Dalmatian Coast, more and more visitors are drawn to this long overlooked country.

croatiaOnce, there was one big and beautiful country called Yugoslavia. It wasn’t an ordinary country, it was more like a living human being with one massive body, one big and pure Balkan soul, but with six strong beating hearts. One of these hearts was Croatia.
At first sight, Croatia has a rustic charm, formed by turbulent past, which in combination with stunning nature creates paradise on Earth, beautiful on the inside and out.

In brief, this Mediterranean princess can offer you: the breathtaking beauty of nature, sapphire water, kind and all-day smiling people, beautiful food, incredible history and tradition, cultural legacy and feeling like time trains stop running. From family beaches with pleasant bays to rocky and inaccessible mountains, everyone can find something to enjoy for themselves. Dalmatia with Dalmatian Coast is one of the most authentic historical regions in Croatia, including the islands off Southern Croatia located near the eastern coast of Adriatic Sea. The heart of Dalmatia is located in Dubrovnik, the old city decorated by scars from healed war wounds. No matter if you’re visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the hundredth, when you set foot on this land and you set your eyes on its beauty – it is always a moment that you will remember for the rest of your life. The beautiful Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries and palaces worth visiting are preserved and well hidden behind the walls of ”Pearl of the Adriatic”.

Streets of CroatiaAlso, note that you must definitely put these other amazing places on your ”to-visit-list”: – Plitvic Lakes, the oldest national park in South Europe and one of the biggest with naturally created waterfalls, caves and forests which are home for many rare wild animals and birds species. – Diocletian Palace, the trademark of Split, a magnificent palace built by Diocletian (Roman emperor), one of the best preserved and world famous part of Roman architecture, – The Euphrasian Basilica, located in Porec, the most valuable monument of early Byzantine architecture sometimes altered by earthquakes and fires, but still retaining its original shape. – The Arena in Pula, the biggest and the best preserved monument of Greece architecture in Croatia. In the past, Arena was the place for gladiators fights.- The Zagreb Cathedral, the tallest building and the biggest Catholic institution in Croatia, built in Gothic style.

If you’re lucky to be invited into a local’s home, prepare your stomach. Preparing and sharing food and drink presents a big part of Croatian tradition and culture. When you try to refuse meal because you can’t eat anymore – it will be unsuccessful mission. Paski cheese, dry cured ham, black risotto, fish and potatoes, buzara sauce, cevapcici and finally, rozata for dessert. ”Cevapcici” are the biggest part of Croatian cuisine and it should be your first choice definitely. Croatia is also famous as country of seafood, great wine and olive oil production. The beauty of Croatia is best presented by this words used by Croatian people to describe their country – ”Lijepa Nasa”, meaning ”So beautiful, so ours”.

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