Croatia - ECTAA's Preferred Destination 2021

 

From June on, the ECTAA and CNTB start presenting the most preferred Croatian regions. In November we are travelling to the beautiful region of Lika & Karlovak. As most have been unable to travel for a long time, everyone has been dreaming about where to travel next, once they are ready and able, or they have put together a bucket list for next summer. Our proposal for the period ahead is what follows:

 

So let's explore Croatia together month by month!

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

 

 

This area is characterized by beautiful green expanses, only around 10 km above the sea, in the inland region known for its exceptional ecological value and high concentration of protected nature parks, representing true oases of peace and tranquillity; a Croatian tourist region attracting an ever-increasing number of visitors. The Lika-Karlovac tourist region belongs to the continental part of Croatia, which is the link between Dalmatia and the central part of the country. It is most famous after the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site, but also for the positive effect spending time there has on both our mental and physical wellbeing. The National Park of Northern Velebit is an area of distinctive diversity of karstic forms, with a wealth of all kinds of living creatures and of breath-taking flora and fauna and natural beauty in a relatively small area. Aside from being the proud birthplace of one of the world’s greatest minds, Nikola Tesla, whose museum may be found in his birth village of Smiljan, Lika also has a beautiful Marian seminary in Krasno. Somewhat south and only a step away from the sea, there is the Senj fortress of Nehaj built in the 16th century. There is also a unique museum dedicated to the so-called Senj Uskok pirates. The county of Karlovac is an area full of many self-abnegating cultural monuments from charming old towns and castles such as Dubovac, Ozalj, and Bosiljevo to Franciscan, Pauline and Dominican monasteries. Rising up on the banks of four rivers and developed from medieval fortresses once intended for the defence against Ottomans in central Europe, the renaissance town centre of Karlovac is particularly interesting and takes the form of a star. The most famous gastro item of this region is the Lika potato, which holds a Protected Geographical Indication (PDI) label. A proper Lika menu starts with an aperitif of plum or pear schnapps or perhaps a berry liqueur, then have some škripavac cheese and slices of the dried game and then the main dish – traditional Lika baked potatoes with lamb cooked under the embers in an iron bell (peka). There is also the highly valued Velebit honey, and for dessert, you should simply eat some of the tasty wild blueberries and raspberries.

 

 

 


NATURE

 

The forests of Draganić (Klek and Modruš), Velika Kapela and Mala Kapela

Jasikovac forest park (Gospić)

Cerovac caves (Gračac) — a geomorphological nature monument

Barać caves in Rakovica

Vrlovka cave in Kamanj

Rastoke in Slunj — a miller settlement situated where the blue-green waters of the river Slunjčica flow into the river Korana. Most of the buildings were built at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century

Klek mountain — significant landscape

Štirovača — a reserve of forest vegetation with the most beautiful and preserved juniper forests

Cave Park Grabovača near Perušić

The river Lika canyon

Lun — the oldest olive groves of this region

 

 

 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

The sanctuary of Mary of Krasno — the biggest Marian sanctuary in Lika

The sanctuary of Mary of Miracles in Oštarije

The town of Stari Drežnik near Rakovice

The Pauline Monastery Kamensko — Ethno gallery in Rečica,near Karlovac

The birthplace of Nikola Tesla (Smiljan) — a contemporary museum built in honour of one of the world’s most famous inventors

The Turkish tower in Perušić — the last remaining Turkish tower in Lika from the 15th century

Towns and castles like Dubovac, Ozalj, Bosiljevo, and Franciscan

Pauline and Dominican monasteries sprung in the greenery of the region’s landscape

The Nehaj fortress in Senj — a Renaissance fortress built in the 16th century, today a unique museum devoted to the Senj pirates, ‘Uskoci’

The Frankopan castle in Ogulin

The ancient Karlovac city town centre in the shape of a six-pointed star

Lacemaking on Pag - UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Primeval and Ancient Beech Forests — Northern Velebit NP - The exceptional nature of these natural wonders is based on their authenticity, geographic location, age, particularity and size, and together with the primeval and ancient beech forests in the Paklenica National Park, they have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques — The art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques were inscribed in 2018 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

 

Plitvice lakes — do not miss the opportunity to visit the national park that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Northern Velebit — proclaimed a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO

 

 

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

 

Rafting, kayaking, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, photo hunting, hunting, horse riding, walking trails and trails for Nordic walking, fishing, speleology

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Tourist Centre Petrova gora / Muljava hunting lodge — near Vojnići

 

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Lika baked potatoes and lamb under the bell ‘peka’, Ogulin sour cabbage and turnip, Ogulin cheese ‘škripavac’, plum and pear brandy

 

 

OCTOBER

Slavonia is a mythical region situated in the Eastern part of Croatia, shaped by the force of the mighty rivers Drava, Danube, Sava and Ilova. This is a place where people have a deep respect for Mother Earth and whose faces reflect the pride they take in their Slavonian origins. Fertile land tilled by human hand for over 8,000 years offers scenic views of the endless expanse of the golden Pannonian plains. Between the golden Pannonian colours, you simply cannot miss this hidden gem covering a surface of 336 square kilometres, a perfect escape from the summer madness, – the Papuk Nature Park, named after the 953-meter-high mountain located there. Rich in cold springs and clear streams, its borders are guarded by centennial beech trees so it is no surprise that this forest was named a protected Park Forest way back in 1955. Known as the greenest and the largest city in the region of Slavonia, Osijek is a perfect place to enjoy long, romantic walks along the river Drava overlooking rich Baroque style architecture and formerly the most advanced fortress in Central Europe the Citadela (‘'Tvrđa'‘). For all the lovers of active tourism Osijek will give you a unique, one-of-a-kind cycling experience with nearly 40 miles of bike trails, specially built or marked on roads and sidewalks which also makes any part of the city easily reachable. Waste no time and set off down the golden roads that will take you to the charming town of Vinkovci which glows differently in autumn as it is a host of the greatest folklore event in this part of Europe. It represents the popular – scholarly gathering of original national culture and stimulates the preservation of cultural heritage through song and the playing of traditional instruments, and contributes greatly towards preserving many customs.


 


 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Brod Fortification and Monastery (SlavonskiBrod) — an 18th century fortification which ranks among the largest of such structures in Croatia; Franciscan Monastery from the Baroque period

Osijek ‘Tvrđa’ — romantic old nucleus of the city

Odeshalchi Castle and medieval defensive walls (Ilok) — Renaissance park architecture, church and monastery of St. John of Capistrano  

Pejačević Castle (Našice) — castle in Baroque-Classicist style dating from 1804, with a park which is a protected monument of nature  

The spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (queens) from Gorjani — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Bećarac singing from Slavonia, Baranja, and Srijem — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

 

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

National Lipizzaner Stables (Đakovo) — founded as long ago as the 16th century, today a stud farm of exceptionally valuable genetic material

Vukovar— Franciscan Monastery of the Baroque period, church of St. Philip and Jacob, Eltz Castle

Đakovo— Baroque cathedral and Bishop’s Palace

Valpovo, Donji Miholjac — Prandau Mailath and Prandau Normann Baroque Castles  

Požega — 14th century church of St. Lawrence

Health Resort — Bizovac, Lipik thermal baths

 

 


 

 

NATURE

 

Papuk Nature Park — a park of autochthonous biological, geological and culturological authenticity

Kopački rit Nature Park — unique wetland reserve, home to famous prize stags and other game, ornithological reserve, fish spawning ground

Gajna (Slavonski Brod) — significant landscape

Radiševo (Županja) — special forest vegetation nature reserve

Erdut — notable landscape

Bijela topola (white poplar/aspen poplar, Valpovo) — monument of nature

Virovitica - monuments of park architecture

Spačva— significant landscape

Lisičine (Voćin) —arboretum

 

 

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

 

Hunting, fishing, wine roads, hiking trails, cycling trails, horse riding

 

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

‘Čobanac’ — thick, rich and utterly delicious stew

Fish-paprikash, Slavonian ‘kulen’ and ‘kulenova seka’ — locally produced salamis

Traminer of Ilok, plum brandy

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

 

The region of Split is characterized by olives, indigenous aromatic plants, the brilliance of white stone against the verdant vegetation and the towering mountain massif of Biokovo whose spurs reach all the way to the sea. When, in 305 A.D., the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruled the entire world at that time, decided to build his leisure time abode - in which he intended to spend the rest of his life - he had no doubt as to exactly where build to it. In the very heart of Dalmatia, in the bay of Aspalathos (Split), well protected from the sea by the islands of the Split archipelago, and defended on its landward side by high mountains, Diocletian created a special point on the map of the Adriatic: the future city of Split. When in the Split region, make sure not to miss the island of Brač, the highest Croatian island, and the third largest on the Adriatic, home to Zlatni rat beach - one of the most famous symbols of Croatian tourism. It is also home to the unusual Blaca Monastery, constructed by monks in the 16th century when they were seeking refuge from the Ottomans. South from Brač is Hvar, the longest island in the Adriatic. An island of vineyards, olive groves and lavender, it has a mild climate, abundant vegetation and stunning year-round resorts. Paklinski Islands (Pakleni otoci) just outside Hvar are an interesting group of islands with diverse beaches, and rocky underwaters perfect for fishing. Far from the mainland you will find Vis, embracing visitors with its calm atmosphere reminiscent of simpler times, untouched nature and excellent food. Nearby, the island of Biševo boasts the Blue Grotto or Blue Cave (Modra špilja in Croatian), the most beautiful of the many caves on this small island.

 

 


CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Diocletian’s Palace (Split) — included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage

Old city nucleus (Trogir) — included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage

Ancient City of Salona (Solin) — capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia

Renaissance nucleus of the town of Hvar — St. Stephen’s Cathedral, town loggia with a tower and arsenal with a theatre dating from 1612

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinj —the largest Marianic sanctuary in Dalmatia

The Stari Grad plain on Hvar — included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage

Procession “Za Križen” (‘Following the cross’) on the island of Hvar — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Lacemaking on Hvar — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Sinjska Alka — UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


 

 

NATURE

 

Cetina River — significant landscape, 105 km long watercourse and canyon perfect for rafting and canoeing

Biokovo Nature Park — the highest mountain along the Croatian coast, with rich flora and fauna Zlatni rat — significant landscape

Islands of Ravnik, Donja Brela, Pakleni otoci (island of Hvar) - significant landscapes

Modra špilja and Medvidina špilja — caves on the island of Biševo - geomorphological natural phenomenon

Vranjača Cave (Mountain of Mosor) — geomorphological natural phenomenon

Crveno jezero (Red Lake) and Modro jezero (Blue Lake) (Imotski) — geomorphological natural phenomenon

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Dalmatian ‘pašticada’, ‘luganige’ sausages, ‘arambašići’ — beef in cabbage (Sinj), flat-bread of Vis, pepper cookies from Hvar, ‘smutica’ — wine with milk (island of Brač), Vugava and Plančić wines (island of Hvar)

 

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS  

 

Wine Roads, cycling trails, riding, rafting, paragliding, hunting, fishing, windsurfing, free climbing, canoe safari, kayaking and sailing, zipline, canyoning, trekking

 

 

 

 

 


CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Ojkanje singing — List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Mediterranean diet on the Croatian coast of the Mediterranean —UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

‘Stećci’ — medieval tombstones – UNESCO World Heritage List

Vis Archipelago UNESCO Global Geopark Croatia —located off the coast of Croatia, formed by some of the oldest rock in the Adriatic Sea. Some of the most famous sites on this Archipelago are the Blue Cave (Modra špilja) and the Monk Seal Cave (Medvidina špilja)

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques — The art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques were inscribed in 2018 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dubrovnik, the largest city of the southernmost tip of Dalmatia and also its most famous representative, which also graces the covers of many prestigious world magazines, also ranks as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Year on year it proves itself as a source of inspiration for artists, a venue favoured by members of royal families and global jet setters. "Those who seek paradise on Earth must come to Dubrovnik”, So wrote George Bernard Shaw, smitten by the beauty of the city, whose untouched 1940 m long defensive walls - today under the protection of UNESCO – enclose the city known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Harbouring centuries of heritage created by the noble skills of the finest builders and artists, Dubrovnik basks in a warm Mediterranean climate with groves of lemon, orange and tangerine trees, sumptuous palms and agaves, adorned by Renaissance parks and the flowering gardens of medieval stone palaces and unobtrusive monasteries. Although officially a peninsula, Pelješac looks like an island, separated from Korčula by a small channel. Korčula is the island with the most legends and monuments, and together with Lokrum and Mljet it is the most forested island in Croatia. Further out in the open waters is the island of Lastovo, with 50 square kilometres of beaches and several smaller islands scattered on either side. Next to Pelješac is the green island of Mljet with its 100 square kilometres covered in dense pine forests, caves and lakes, many beaches and a national park on the western part of the island.

 

 

 

 


CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

The old nucleus of Dubrovnik — a unique city under UNESCO protection, one of the most attractive and best-known towns in the Mediterranean

Narona — ancient city locality now in the village of Vid, near Metković

City Walls (Ston) — 14th century fortification system, outstanding for its length of 5.5 km

Korčula — Marco Polo’s City — one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean

Cavtat, the old nucleus — touristic and cultural centre of Konavle: Račić family mausoleum, birth house of the painter Vlaho Bukovac, Ducal Palace, Sokol Fortress

The Festivity of Saint Blaise — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

‘Stećci’ — medieval tombstones – UNESCO World Heritage List

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques —inscribed in 2018 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATURE

 

The Trsteno arboretum — park architecture monument

The Neretva delta — special ichthyological - ornithological nature reserve

The bay of Mali Ston — special nature reserve - maritime nature reserve

The islet of Lokrum — special forest vegetation nature reserve

Vela spilja (the great cave, Vela Luka) — geomorphologic natural phenomenon

Kočje (the village of Žrnovo on the island of Korčula) — special forest vegetation nature reserve

Konavoski dvori (the courts of Konavle) (Konavle) — significant landscape

Lastovo archipelago — Nature Park

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARK

 

Mljet National Park — rich in Mediterranean vegetation and cultural heritage (12th century Benedictine monastery on the islet in Veliko Jezero (Great Lake))

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Minčeta Tower, Lovrijenac Tower, the Sponza Palace (Dubrovnik) / Gothic and Gothic-Renaissance summer residences (from Pelješac to Konavle) / Franciscan Monastery (Orebić) / Rector’s Palace (Port of Šipan) / Franciscan Monastery (Rožat) / Health Resort — Vela Luka

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

Wine Roads, hiking tracks, cycling trails, horse riding, free climbing, adrenaline parks in Konavle

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Lamb and veal done under the bell ‘peka’, eel or frog brodetto stew (The Neretva valley), salt, oysters and mussels of Ston, ‘kontonjata’, ‘mantala’ and ‘arancina’ cakes (Konavle), tangerines and lemons, Dingač and Postup red wines (Pelješac), Pošip and Grk white wines (Korčula), Malvasia of Dubrovnik (Konavle)

 

 

JULY - AUGUST

 

The Zadar region is the northernmost part of Dalmatia. It is full of contrasts, rich in historic heritage and breathtakingly beautiful nature. For those seeking inspiration, the charming city of Zadar, situated along the coast, is home to modern architectural wonders – such as the Sea Organ – that embrace the best of what nature has to offer. Zadar infuses historical heritage with breathtaking natural beauty to create a unique experience for visitors. The 3,000-year-old city of Zadar, in particular, personifies the story of Croatia's cultural heritage. Between the vivid blue of the sea and the sparkling white of the Dalmatian stone, picture-perfect beaches provide the perfect backdrop for sun-seekers. The city is also in possession of the largest Roman forum on the Croatian side of the Adriatic, as well as unforgettable Romanesque churches such as the St. Donatus.

 

Around 15km north of Zadar, the town of Nin is situated and boasts the smallest cathedral in the world (the Church of the Holy Cross measures but 36 paces!). It is also well known for its Nin salt works, where the salt is produced by the sun, sea and wind. It is also known for diverse wildlife, bird-watching, plenty of beaches and healing mud. The islands Pag, Silba, Iž, Ugljan, Pašman and Dugi otok, amaze everyone with their authentic beauty and preserved wonders. Pag is an island with beautiful olive groves, rich in sea salt and famous for its lace and world-class cheese. Called the 'Croatian Ibiza', it is also the most popular party destination in Croatia. Silba, the island of ship owners and captains, is known as the island with no cars. Ugljan and Pašman seem like twins, with Pašman the slightly quieter one. Iž island is well known for its vegetation and the local fishermen and farmers securing the island's best food, while Dugi otok island has a nature reserve stretching across 114 square kilometres.

 


 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

St. Donatus Church (Zadar) — symbol of the city of Zadar

Church of the Holy Cross (Nin) — the smallest cathedral in the world

Lacemaking on Pag — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Zadar’s

Defense System — The city walls with a series of strong bastions, the external fortress Forte, and the monumental landmark city gates have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Primeval and Ancient Beech Forests — Paklenica NP — The exceptional nature of these natural wonders has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques —inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARK

 

Paklenica National Park — unique complex of canyons and a wealth of flora and fauna

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Pag — architecture of the town, production of Pag Lace

Islands of Ugljan and Pašman — architecture of stone-built houses

 

 

 

 

 


NATURE

 

Saljsko polje (Island of Dugi otok) — significant landscape

River Zrmanja Canyon — significant landscape

Telašćica — Nature Park, with the safest, most beautiful and largest natural port on the Adriatic

Vransko jezero (Lake Vrana) — Nature Park

Velebit — Nature Park

 

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

Cycling trails, hunting, riding, fishing, rafting, bungee jumping, off road Velebit, surfing, kitesurfing, hang gliding

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Pag cheese, salt from Pag and Nin, prosciutto ham from Posedarje, ‘Ninski šokol’, Maraschino liqueur, Rosé of Benkovac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set amid the wild beauty of white karstic rock and the azure sea, the Šibenik aquatorium is a yachting paradise, boasting as many as 240 isles and reefs, each of which holds an interesting feature or two. The island of Zlarin with the best-known corals in the Adriatic, Krapanj with its sea sponges or Prvić, Faust’s Island with Faust Vrančić Memorial Centre. On the other hand, if you seek an experience like no other, discover the Kornati Archipelago. The Kornati National Park is an archipelago of 89 islands, isles and reefs (numbering 152 in all) of incomparable beauty, which offers boaters the pleasure of sailing, the formidable sheer cliffs filling them with delight and awe in the same breath. Enchanted with their striking beauty, the famous writer George Bernard Shaw wrote one of the best descriptions of the Kornati: “On the last Day of Creation, God wished to crown his work, and he created the Kornati out of tears, stars and breath”.

 

In contrast, the Krka National Park is full of travertine barriers, waterfalls and lakes, the wondrousness of which take one’s breath away. Indeed, they are regarded as one of the favourite tourist picture postcards from Croatia. Among the most known islands are Murter island - the most picturesque, an island of fishermen, olive groves and shipbuilders; Prvić island, an oasis of Mediterranean flora and fauna; Zlarin island, famous for its sea coral and sea sponge trade; and Žirje island - the furthest inhabited island in the Šibenik area, a fantastic fishing spot that is heaven for sailors. Finally, let’s not forget to mention the ‘capital’ of the region – the marvellous Šibenik, which will amaze you with the Cathedral of St James, whose dome overlooks medieval stone buildings, and its narrow streets which, in the warm summer evenings, invite you to socialise in the attractive Mediterranean ambience of the town.

 

 


 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

St. James’ Cathedral (Šibenik) — Renaissance cathedral dating from the 15th and 16th centuries (included in the UNESCO World Heritage List)

Bribirska glavica Archaeological Locality — dating from the 16th and 17th centuries

Fortress on Spas Mountain (Knin) — military fortification dating from the 9th century Ojkanje singing — List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage  

St. Nicholas Fortress — An isolated bastion fort built on three levels, in the form of a triangle, on the rocky cliff at the very entrance to the Šibenik channel. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques —inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Ojkanje singing — List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

 

 

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

Rafting (River Krka), bungee jumping (Šibenik bridge), fishing, sailing, bike trails, hunting, horse riding, safari, surfing, kayaking, trekking, hiking

 

 

 

 

NATURE

 

Island of Krapanj — the lowest island in Croatia

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

 

Kornati National Park — the most intricately indented archipelago in the Mediterranean

Krka National Park — natural and karstic phenomena

 

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Šibenik — St. Michael, St. John, Barone and St. Nicholas Fortresses

Island of Visovac — Franciscan Monastery

 

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Drniš prosciutto ham, Babić red wine (Primošten), Skradin cake

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE

 

 

Istria is a region where the holiday of your dreams will become a reality. The heart-shaped peninsula that reaches deep into the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea is a hidden garden of beauty, which opens the door to the sunny and warm Mediterranean. Multicultural and hospitable, this is an area where wide-ranging diversities have come together to form a happy union. Istria's crystal-clear sea, clean shores and ports, its lively fishing boats and teeming narrow stone streets exude the true charm of the Mediterranean. In this area, you will come across prehistoric hillforts and ancient and fortified medieval towns which occupy almost every little hill in the Istrian hinterland, with characteristic streets, squares, churches and town halls. Be it Motovun, Grožnjan, Završje, Oprtalj or, indeed, the smallest town in the world, Hum, you won't be left disappointed by visiting these gems.  Istria truly is 'terra magica', blessed with unspoiled nature, sunbathed shores, romantic coves and tiny ports! The crown jewel of which are the Brijuni islands, one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the Mediterranean with rare plant and animal species. The largest Istria's urban centre is Pula, a city that boasts a diverse, impressive cultural heritage. Finally, of course, don't forget to taste Istria! From delicacies of the sea to delectable truffles, the liquid gold of the local Malvasia, the aromatic Muscat of Momjan, or the ruby-red Teran, your palate will combine these divine pleasures into a fusion of unforgettable Istrian experiences. Modest but fascinating, Istria has long been known as an enchantress with a hundred faces that has been seducing visitors for thousands of years.

 

 


 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Amphitheatre (Pula) — magnificent monument of Antiquity dating from the 1st century  

Euphrasian Basilica (Poreč) — complex of early Byzantine architecture and art dating from the 6th century, included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage

Church of St. Euphemia (Rovinj) — an imposing creation of Baroque architecture and art

Istrian Frescoes — there is a large number of preserved frescoes in Istria, located mostly in picturesque churches throughout the peninsula

Dvigrad — remains of a medieval town

Two-part singing in the Istrian scale — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Ecomuseum Batana — only Croatian representative in the UNESCO Register of Good Safeguarding Practices for the intangible cultural heritage of the world

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques —inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Grožnjan, Motovun — architecture, galleries, film and music events in fairy tale-like towns of Istria

Labin — medieval town the streets of which provide a stage for a variety of events

Wine Roads and Olive Oil Roads

Cycling trails — over 100 organized trails with an overall length of over 3,200 km 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

 

Brijuni National Park — exceptionally rich cultural and historical heritage on a 14-isle archipelago

 

 

 

NATURE

 

Donji (lower) Kamenjak and the Medulin Archipelago — significant landscape

Gornji (upper) Kamenjak — significant landscape

Palud — special ornithological reserve

The Bay of Lim — special nature reserve - maritime nature reserve

The Motovun woods — special forest vegetation nature reserve

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

Green Istria — enjoy the beauty of untouched nature and experience traditional country life in Istrian agritourism, rural guesthouses or family run hotels and luxury villas

 

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Truffles, Istrian prosciutto ham, olive oil, fish and seafood specialties, meat and fish dishes prepared under the bell (‘peka’), omelette with asparagus, homemade ‘fuži’ pasta with game goulash, ‘biska’ brandy, Istrian soup, local wines Teran, Refošk, Istrian Malvasia

 

 

 

 

 

Kvarner is ideal for visitors looking to enjoy the combination of a beautiful coastline, sunny islands and almost intimidating mountains looming over the coastline.  The largest city of the region is Rijeka, a fascinating and dynamic centre that lives a rich cultural and artistic life, surrounded by beautiful beaches and stunning nature. Just outside Rijeka lies Opatija, one of the most elite summer resorts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and today a fashionable Adriatic tourist resort. Along the Opatija Riviera stretches Lungomare, a 12 km long seaside promenade from the village of Volosko, through Opatija to Lovran, with elegant villas, hotels, lush gardens, parks, private summer residences and charming villages along the way. If in need for pure relaxation, south of Rijeka enjoy the islands of Rab, Krk, Cres and Lošinj, which await you with their breath-taking cliffs, coves and inlets, small sunbathed towns with stone-built houses, and fragrances of lavender, sage, myrtle and umbrella pines. The islands and islets surrounding them leave no one indifferent. Krk is the largest and one of the sunniest Adriatic islands. The romantic island of Rab has incredible sandy beaches and dense pine forests, while Lošinj is called ‘’the island of vitality’’, thanks to its top-quality air and natural healing sea aerosols. The island of Cres amazes everyone for its unspoilt nature and crystal-clear water. Along with the gorgeous coastline, Kvarner has in its hinterland there the idyllic region of Gorski kotar, a perfect place for all nature lovers who seek peace and tranquillity. The Risnjak National Park in Gorski kotar stands out with its green landscapes and rising white rocks, offering a beautiful view of the Kvarner Bay. Another splendid view of the bay and its islands can be admired from the Učka Nature Park above Opatija.

 

 

 

 


CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques —inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat — the oldest Marian sanctuary in Croatia, with a Franciscan monastery

Town of Rab — medieval churches and aristocratic palaces

The Baška Plaque (Bašćanska ploča, island of Krk) — the largest Croatian written monument in old Glagolitic script, dating from the 12th century

Ivan Goran Kovačić Museum, and the amphitheater (Lukovdol)

Vrbovsko — traditional architecture

Two-part singing in Hrvatsko Primorje — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area — UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

 

 

 

TOURISM PLUS

 

Skiing — Platak / Hunting, fishing, canoeing, paragliding, riding, windsurfing, parachuting, paragliding, motorsport, wake-boarding, rafting, kayaking, cycling, diving, sailing / Walking trails

 

 

 

EXPLORE

 

Opatija Riviera — a 12 km long promenade along the sea

Island of Košljun — spiritual and vegetation paradise - park wood

Lubenice (island of Cres) — stone-built settlement, 378 metres asl

Osor — town with a turbulent history and lovely musical evening

Health tourism — Opatija, Crikvenica (Thalassotherapia), Lovran (orthopaedic clinic), wellness, congress tourism

Dolphin watching — Cres-Lošinj aquatorium

Bird watching — in the Učka Nature Park, ornithological reserve Kruna and Podokladi (island of Cres)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

 

Risnjak — Rich and diverse animal and plant world, karstic phenomena

 

 

 

NATURE

 

Učka — Nature Park

Vela draga — geomorphological natural phenomenon

Angiolina park and St. Jacob (Opatija) — park architecture monuments

Lopar (island of Rab) — significant landscape, stunning 1,500 m long sandy beach

Dundo (island of Rab) — special forest vegetation nature reserve

Fojiška-Podpredošćica (island of Cres) — special ornithological nature reserve

Source of the Kupa river (Čabar) — natural phenomenon

Fužine — mountain lakes and caves

Zeleni vir — special geomorphologic reserve

Japlenški vrh — special geomorphologic reserve

Bijele stijene (white rocks) and Samarske stijene (samar rocks) (Mrkopalj) — strict nature reserve

Velebit — Nature Park

 

 

 

GASTRONOMY

 

Kvarner shrimps, ‘šurlice’: homemade pasta (island of Krk), Cres lamb, specialties made from cherries, asparagus and sweet chestnuts (Lovran), indigenous wines: Vrbnička žlahtina (Krk) and Trojišćina (island of Susak), Island of Rab cake, game, frogs, mushrooms, freshwater fish, mountain liqueurs, plum and pear brandies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This website uses cookies The website of ECTAA AISBL uses functional cookies. In case of analysing our traffic or advertising, we also place cookies that share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners, our social media and advertising partners, who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.
Show details Hide details
Allow selection Allow all cookies