With so many beaches and so little time, the independent traveler in Croatia can fill their vacation fairly easily with UV rays. If you’re in search of sun there’s Bol and Zlatni rat out on Brac island, Drazica beach and the surrounding coves, or Hvar with its celebrity infested waters.
But if you’re looking to vary your diet of activities, there are options beyond the beach.
Adventure: Is Indiana Jones your hero? Then Croatia is your training ground. Outdoor recreation is riding the boom of Croatia’s tourism industry and the fact that you can shoot paint at each other, kayak or hike within minutes of ancient archeological ruins doesn’t hurt either.
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National Parks: Croatia’s natural beauty is its greatest natural resource, and nowhere is it more concentrated than in its national parks. Plitvice jezera features sixteen lakes with countless connected waterfalls connecting the lakes, including Valiki Slap, the 70 m vertigo-inducing drop on the lower side of the park. Plitvice Jezera was named a Unesco World Heritage sight in 1979 and remains Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction.
Krka national park, although not as prolific as Plitvice in its waterfalls, allows visitors to swim in the cold clear pools in the park. Bring an underwater camera, but please don’t try wellto wash your hair in the waterfalls.
Nightlife: Watering holes where you can grab a drink with friends abound in Croatia, and if you’re looking for big dance clubs and the ability disappear into a massive crowd you can do that too in July and August.
In Dubrovnik, the bar scene took a page from New Orleans in naming a stretch of bars and clubs “Bourbon Street,” but don’t try to mapquest it. The street’s real name is Sagrestana Street and it’s the main street running through town. Find and photograph yourself with the “Bourbon Street” sign for major Croatia traveler street cred.
In Split, the nightlife clusters around Diocletians Palace, where travelers wander from beach (or yacht) to bar as the sun sets. A hop and skip east of town, the more laid back Bacvice Complex offers an alternative to the tourist crowd, but it cannot match the luster of drinking in an ancient palace.