10 Unbelievably BEAUTIFUL Places in CROATIA to Adventure

Best adventures in Croatia, top 10 croatia, 10 unbelievably beautiful places in croatia to adventureAfter receiving an email from one of our followers asking for some help with his Croatian honeymoon planning (excellent choice btw), we decided to use it as the perfect opportunity to start making a dent in our pile of #VanLifeEurope post ideas, which has been growing (at an alarming rate) since our return. I had originally planned to share our adventures kayaking the canals of Venice, Italy, but because we understand the need for solid advice, especially when it comes to planning something as special and timely as a honeymoon, we decided to bump Croatia to the top of our list!

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Can we talk about something real quick? You guys have heard about the Adriatic Sea haven’t you? Well, we are happy to inform you that it’s even more amazing than they say. Smooth, silky, translucent, and the color is unmatched. Shades of electric blue, jade green and sparkle (yes, I am using “sparkle” as a color here), every time we stepped in it felt as if every single cell in our bodies was glowing… because they were.

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girl in adriatic sea, buza cliffs croatia, amazing adriatic sea water, croatia water, Quick background on how we ended up in Croatia for so long: Due to our Visa restrictions (we had exhausted our 90 days in the Schengen countries), we had to flee from Lago di Garda in Italy, to our new non-Schengen home, hence Croatia. We spent 3 months (69 days to be exact) exploring this tiny, undeveloped country in our #rollinghome because we weren’t allowed to re-enter the Schengen Zone for another 90 days (we visited Bosnia and Montenegro in between). For 2 insatiable adventurers on wheels like ourselves, it was just enough time to see EVERYTHING… twice… and sometimes even thrice. To put things in better perspective, below is the size of Croatia compared to California:

Croatia vs CA, size of croatia, croatia compared to california, how big is croatia, what is the size of croatiaWe really didn’t know much at all about Croatia before arriving, which is one of the beautiful things about VanLife. With our home already with us, we were free to revel in the unknowns and embrace where our moments wanted to take us. So, with our Lonely Planet Croatia Guidebook in hand, we set off to fall in love with as much of Croatia as we possibly could.

NOTE: For the sake of geographical orientation, this list has been written in order from North to South along the coast, all 10 are pictured on the map below 🙂

Top 10 places to visit Croatia, Croatia Top 10, best of croatia, croatia honeymoon, best beaches , best road trip map of croatia, vanlife croatia, best adventures in croatia“Wait a sec… you mean DUBROVNIK didn’t make the cut??” While it’s an important/beautiful/historic place to see, we honestly didn’t enjoy it all that much. It was too touristy/crowded/expensive for our liking, but it’s also important to remember that we were traveling by van so our interests were a bit different (video tour of our Euro van here). Another reason we didn’t add it to our list is because most people already know about it, so why not encourage “our tribe” to explore the lesser known gems and get to know The Real Croatia!mali ston croatia, adriatic sea couple, croatia honeymoon, best of croatia, top 10 adventures in croatia, best of croatiaBUT, if you are planning to go to Dubrovnik, which you most likely are, we do have 2 recommendations: 1. Find the sign below, grab a drink, get in line and jump off the BUZA cliffs at sunset! 

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dubrovnik cats, cat sleeping in flowerpot, cats in croatiaWithout further hesitation but with much excitement, here is our list of 10 Unbelievably BEAUTIFUL Places in CROATIA to Adventure!:
#1. Biking + wake boarding in POREČ: 

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adriatic ocean, amazing ocean croatia, water in croatia, rab island, adriatic sea, porec, best sunset in croatia, romantic croatiaPS – This is what black (and white in the back row) truffles look like. They’re DELICIOUS. Eat as much truffle as you can, and buy some truffle olive oil so you can host a Croatian dinner party with friends when you’re back! We’re all about sharing our edible souvenirs:

truffles in croatia, blac truffles croatia, istria truffle hunting croatia#2. Walking along the tangled, cobblestone streets of ROVINJ (the picturesque fishing village gracing the cover of our Lonely Planet Guidebook pictured at the beginning of this post):

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rovinj croatia, things to do in rovinj, croatia, best of istria croatia, what is the town on the cover of lonely planet croatia guidebook, best of croatia#3. Biking, hiking and getting nudey on RAB ISLAND… preferably not at all the same time…

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  • Bike to Frkanj beach, the 1st ever nude beach IN. THE. WORLD. (If you see a sign that says “FKK” or “Naturist,” be prepared to see skin, which is the norm in Croatia.) Throw up your hammock, swim in the sparkling sea, relax on the sand and let the sweet scent of pine fill your nostrils. The air is one of the things we miss most.

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  • After you’ve chilled, ride your bikes through the Dundo Forest to Rt Kalifront. Trust us. The water is GORGEOUS and it’s oh so peaceful – remember your goggles!

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  •  Known as the “Happy Island,” Rab is also the greenest island on the Adriatic + it has over 30 sandy beaches (most of the beaches in Croatia are rocky), giving it one of the most diverse landscapes in the Kvarner region. The best place to view the beauty that is Rab? Hike to the top of Kamenjak for sunset. There is even a wonderful restaurant at the top where you can sit and enjoy the view as the sky transforms into a velvety, star-studded blanket over the glistening town. Tip: If you do opt for the hike, bring headlamps for the way down.

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rab island hike kamenjak, croatia best hikes, croatia best adventures, croatia honeymoon ideas, best croatia sunset, croatia best star gazing, night photography croatia#4. Weaving through the maze of paths, woods and meadows that revolve around the 16 sparkling lakes and crashing waterfalls of PLITVICE, the oldest National Park in Croatia:

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tisno island croatia, murter island croatia, best music festivals in croatia, defected croatia, edm music croatia, camping in croatia, party boat croatia, mr and mrs adventureWe had A LOT of fun here. Maybe it was the weather, which provided a much needed contrast to the endless cold of England (video here), or maybe it was the undeniable beauty of the Adriatic paired with the electronic music that pulsed along the coast from sun up till sundown from pirate party boats like the one pictured below:

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tisno island croatia, murter island croatia, best music festivals in croatia, defected croatia, edm music croatia, camping in croatia, sunset croatia#7. Waking up early to discover the magical waterfalls of KRKA NATIONAL PARK:

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It was also from this magical fruit boat (click on the video below) that we bought and ate the first fresh figs of our lives… we can now say that we have tasted heaven, and it’s ALL worth it.

#9. Island hopping and cave diving off the coast of HVAR ISLAND:

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camping hvar, best campground in croatia, camp vira hvar, best of hvar island, things to do in hvar island, blue caves tour hvarRent a boat, take a tour, explore secret nooks. Enjoy as much of the glistening Adriatic as you most possibly can because the second you leave, you’re gonna miss it.

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camping hvar, best campground in croatia, camp vira hvar, best of hvar island, things to do in hvar island, blue caves tour hvar, bisevo blue caveWhile Hvar is known as the place for “posh yachties” and the “see-and-be-seen” crowd, for us it wasn’t. For us it was a retreat into the unique beauty that this incredible little island has to offer. Consider staying outside the tourist town and explore the idea of staying at a campground. Camp Vira, pictured below, is recognized as the best campground in all of Croatia. We camped, we grilled, we biked, swam and chilled, and we’d go back to do it all over again:

#10. Kitesurfing in KOMIN:

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Komin Kitesurfing, kitesurf komin, best of croatia, best adventures of croatia, top 10 places in croatia, drew neumann, outfound series, mr adventure, mr and mrs adventureLast but certainly not least, this was Drew’s ultimate FAVORITE place in all of our #VanLifeEurope travels this past year (time lapse video here). Not only was the kiting INSANE, but there was an awesome beach bar on the sand + stellar views of sunrise and sunset + wild camping (video here)!:

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Komin Kitesurfing, kitesurf komin, best of croatia, best adventures of croatia, top 10 places in croatia, vanlife croatia, mr and mrs adventureYou won’t find this place in any guide books, and we hope it stays that way. This is a very much locals only place, though they welcome strangers, but if you go, remember, respect the locals… and HAVE FUN!:

Komin Kitesurfing, kitesurf komin, best of croatia, best adventures of croatia, top 10 places in croatia, respect the locals, best kitesurfing in the world Feeling inspired? We hope so. Have more questions? You’re in the right place! If you’re looking for even more insight into traveling Croatia, like maybe how exactly to do one of the hikes we mention, or how VanLife there really works (video here), or maybe even where to rent bikes/kiting gear or what spots in Camp Vira have the best view? Consider connecting with us for an Adventure Consultation! We have a ton of knowledge and would love to help you create an epic adventure of your own. Oh and we liked the picture below too much not to share. #pinkspeedo:

Komin Kitesurfing, kitesurf komin, best of croatia, best adventures of croatia, top 10 places in croatia, guy in speedoA few random important things to know:

  • “Sladoled” is ice cream/gelato.
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  • There are lots of sea urchins just below the surface of the sea, they’re pointy and they hurt. Luckily, water shoes are all the rage. Get yourself a pair.
  • Air mattresses, yoga mats and floatation devices are often used on the beach to help protect oneself from the painful rocks and pebbles that usually line the shores.
  • There isn’t much English spoken here, mostly German and Italian, in addition to Croatian of course.
  • Carpe Mundo (promo code: ADVENTURE), is an awesome adventure-based travel company started by one of our best friends, that hosts some awesome European/Adriatic trips each summer, check them out! Oh and Yacht Week looks pretty INCREDIBLE too.
  • The word for tap water (which is safe to drink) is “voda sa cesme,” pronounced “voda sa-chez-ma.” Most places will give it to you if you ask politely, but don’t be offended if they don’t. Otherwise the brand for water in Croatia is “Jana”:

croatia water, tap water croatian, how to order tap water in europe, jana water in croatia, safe to drink water in croatia, safe to drink water in europe“Hvala,” thank you for reading and being a part of our endless adventures! Comment below and let us know which place interests you most!:

Comments

  1. Paul K says

    Loving your blog! I’ve been to Hvar as a kid (family is from Poland).

    My girlfriend and I are in the process of saving $$ and hopefully doing a similar adventure around the USA/World in the next few years.

    Maybe I missed it, but have you done a post detailing how exactly you got to the point of being able to do this travel? I looked at the van you guys recommend, they cost as much as a house in some parts of the country. =)

    Thanks in advance.

    -Paul

    • says

      LOL! Had a feeling you would like this one 😉 I wasn’t sure how I’d put so much content into 1 little post, but it came out quite nicely! Only natural that we include you in a few spots of course! 🙂

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