Croatia - ECTAA's Preferred Destination 2021


From June on, the ECTAA and CNTB start presenting the most preferred Croatian regions. In July we are travelling to Northern Dalmatia, to the wonderful regions of Zadar and Šibenik. 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!




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.









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






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






Pag — architecture of the town, production of Pag Lace

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








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







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






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.







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








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







Island of Krapanj — the lowest island in Croatia








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

Krka National Park — natural and karstic phenomena







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

Island of Visovac — Franciscan Monastery







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









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.







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






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 








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






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






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







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.







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






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






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)










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






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






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






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