The folks over at smartertravel recently listed a fall Croatian vacation as one of ten “empowering trips for women” in a feature. Highlighting Croatia’s relaxed atmosphere and the red roofs that add charm to Dubrovnik’s coastline, the women-only trip hosted by Sights and Soul begins with in-depth cultural immersion and a lesson in the historical context of the area. Further educational and enriching activities—the kind that you’d talk about during a job interview—are scheduled, but eventually the trip does head out to several of Croatia’s islands where travelers can cut loose with some wine tasting and quality beach time.
Although Croatia’s being named on smartertravel’s list is nice, there is nothing inherently empowering or dis-empowering about Croatia for women. Croatian women have similar societal and voting rights and legislative power within the government as other European countries. Foreign women traveling alone in a coastal part of northern Croatia may find themselves the object of some unwanted Italian attention and may even feel harassed, but in general, women represent a well-educated and employed segment of the Croatian population. There is also a cultural movement toward further equality. A humanitarian effort for justice for women who were abused during the Balkan conflicts has stalled, but as far as tourism is concerned, it seems every dollar crossing the border is the same to the Croatian people.
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Sights and Soul calls Croatia “vintage Mediterranean” and sells their trip with promises of Roman ruins, Greek temples, sea-kayaking, crystalline waters and Plitvice national park. In short, the same attractions that anyone traveling to Croatia schedules and enjoys.
What the inclusion on this list really says is that Croatia is one of the best travel destinations in the world, no matter whether you’re male or female, old or young. There is something for everyone to enjoy and the experiences Croatia is best at providing: outdoor adventures, spas and resorts and secluded island getaways, are the kind of universally appealing experiences that everyone enjoys regardless of race, gender or age.