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Wander Off On Via Dinarica and You Will Find Yourself

The Via Dinarica trail consists of three main corridors. The blue line follows the Adriatic coast ; the white line covers the high Dinarides; and the green line refers to the continental Dinarides. In Croatia, Via Dinarica passes next to six national parks (Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Krka, Mljet) and four nature parks (Učka, Velebit, Vransko Lake, Biokovo).

The White Line – the one with the most breathtaking view

The White Line reaches its highest point on the mountain of Dinara, the highest peak of Croatia, and also the mountain the Dinarides and the Via Dinarica trail were named after. You would never guess that if we didn’t tell you!

The White Line is recommended to experienced and well equipped hikers. Or to those who don’t have a lot of experience but do have an enormous amount of bravery. Got to get that experience somewhere, right?

The best time of year to visit the trail is summer because there is a lot of snow during autumn, winter and even early spring.
However, if you are Yetti, then you can go whenever you want.
P.S. If you are Yetti, can you send us your selfie so we can post it to our Facebook page?
Thanks!

The Blue Line – the one where you hike over the Adriatic

The line passes through four islands (Krk, Rab, Pag, Mljet) and two peninsulas (Istria and Pelješac). So, wherever you go, you can see the sea from the nearest higher ground. Not just that, you’ll go through canyons of the most beautiful littoral rivers, Zrmanja and Cetina.
The best thing is, if you get tired from hiking or cycling on the mountain, you can just find the fastest way down and dip yourself in a natural bath because there is a lot of water on this line. That’s probably why they call it the Blue line. Oh, and this line is ideal for cycling so if you have one, make sure to bring your mountain bike with you.

Green Line – the one with beautiful waterfalls

The Green Line of Via Dinarica is all about falling.
Firstly, it is so beautiful it can be dangerous! You could get swept off your feet by the unspoiled beauty of its green landscape and fall to the ground. Be careful of all those wonderful sights lurking you!
Secondly, it’s not only you who could fall, there is also a lot of water falling. This line connects two biggest Croatian waterfalls – the waterfall of the Curak creek at Zeleni Vir and the waterfall of Plitvice at Plitvice Lakes.

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6 Names For Paradise

Zlatni Rat beach is a remarkable spot created by Mother Nature and a highlight on Croatia’s coastline, located near Bol, on Brac Island, which is the largest island in Dalmatia. The island is known for wine, fish, olives and its precious white stone. Many residents will tell you the rumour of the White House in Washington DC being built using this same stone. But even more beautiful is the long golden pebble beach that stretches into the Adriatic Sea like a hand that reaches out. Due to the perfect winds and waves, it is the favourite place of surfers and kite-surfers. The exact shape and length of the landform varies with regard to changes in tide, current and wind. A reliable afternoon westerly wind known as the Maestral has made the beach a top destination for windsurfers. The lack of sand and seaweed on the beach make it also a perfect location for snorkelling. Zlatni Rat beach brings fun to every one though: either being active or just sitting in a beach chair and enjoying the sunset behind the mountains with a glass of Croatian wine. You’ll have golden moments on this golden beach!

But, Brac is not the only island with paradisiac places! Croatia has some other aces up its sleeve and they are known for nicknames such as “Croatian secret diamond”, ”hidden paradise” and many others. After visiting them, you will for sure have some names of endearment yourself!
Stiniva beach on Vis island is a perfect example, as it was recently voted the “Best Beach of Europe in 2016” by European Best Destinations. This hidden by nature can only be reached by hiking or a taxi boat, but is definitely worth the effort.

Another hidden treasure where you will feel like on a private beach is Lubenice on the island of Cres. There are usually just few swimmers and the view looks like from a picture-book.

If you are more into gorgeous, picturesque places, sandy and pebbly beaches, natural bays and colourful landscapes –the Island of Krk is the right choice for you. Vela plaža in Baška is famous for those attributes and has many sports opportunities.

If you are looking for a true little paradise, don’t miss Rajska beach on the island of Rab, which translates to “Paradise Beach”. You and your family will find out why when you see the sandy beach, the shallow water and the water slides that are ideal for playing and having a lot of family fun.

If you are looking for something totally different and unusual try the Saplunara beach of the island Mljet; the most rural island of Croatia and a natural diamond. There are no hotels or restaurants at the beach, just some small local hotspots with typical Croatian food, surrounded by a dense pine tree forest. A true Robinson Crusoe meets hedonism experience!

Croatia really does have a lot to offer. Just relax! And if the sun gets too hot, go for a walk in the turquoise clear water or just have a nice evening with great company at the local gourmet hotspots. Find your perfect place for unforgettable moments like watching the beautiful sunset or just relaxing and enjoying the good life.

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This Time Machine Is Actually A Boat!

#1 Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč

Begin your cultural sea cruise at the ACI Marina in the Istrian town of Rovinj. From there, it is only a short trip to the medieval patrician town of Poreč. Once you are at anchor in the Poreč marina, you can reach the Euphrasian Basilica at the northern end of the historic town centre on foot in just a few minutes. The cathedral, which was named after Bishop Euphrasius, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The episcopal complex from the 6th century with its sacristy, baptistery, bell tower and archbishop’s palace is an excellent example of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean.

#2 Šibenik and Zadar

Let’s get back on board and continue south: Our next stop is Šibenik in central Dalmatia, a little south of Zadar. The defence system of Zadar and the Šibenik fortress of St Nicholas are listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage as two of the six components of the transnational series of the cultural asset of the Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries.

The Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries is an exceptional historical, architectural and technological testimony to the “alla moderna” system, developed over the territory of the ex-Venetian Republic as a response to the introduction of new firearms technology in military operations.

While approaching Šibenik, you will pass by the aforementioned fortress of St Nicholas. With its impressive coastline and dozens of islands, the Šibenik archipelago is a true paradise for passionate sailors. You can leave your boat at Vodice ACI Marina and cover the remaining 10 kilometres to the beautiful historic town of Šibenik by rental car, taxi or even by bike. Located in the city centre, at the south side of the old central square, you will find the purpose of your day trip – the Cathedral of St. James. This unique monument of sacral architecture unites the arts of Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany. With its unique decorations, such as the chiselled portraits of Šibenik citizens on its stone facade, the Cathedral is considered the most important architectural achievement of the 15th and 16th century throughout Croatia. It entered the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.

#3 Historic City of Trogir

Back on board? Then proceed further south along the Adriatic coast. Once past the island of Drvenik Veli, the historic city of Trogir, your next destination, lies only a couple of kilometres ahead of you. We recommend you moor your boat at the ACI Marina Trogir. Once you have set foot ashore, you are right in the middle of the museum that is Trogir. Being an excellent example of urban continuity, the historic town core appeared on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and features Romanesque churches as well as impressive Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Listing everything worth seeing in Trogir would be impossible, but one of the most significant buildings is probably the Cathedral of St. Lawrence with its impressive Portal of Radovan from the 13th century, a structure which is considered the most significant example of Roman and Gothic art in Croatia.

#4 Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

Next up is Split, only a couple of kilometres to the west. The region around Croatia’s second-largest city is a true highlight of the Adriatic. As you approach Split and you are looking for a nice place to anchor, you should try ACI Marina Split. It is located on the Sustipan peninsula and right at the beginning of Split Lungomare, the longest promenade in the Adriatic. The marina is open all year and is protected from rough seas and winds by long breakwaters. If you moor here, it is only a short walk to your UNESCO destination, the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian. The so-called Palace, which was built between the late 3rd and the early 4th century AD as an old-age retreat for Roman emperor Diocletian, is actually a combination of a luxury villa and a military camp. Split, as we know it today, expanded from said palace. Over the years, the ancient fortress grew into the lively Old Town it is today with its numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. Historical structures have been merged into the townscape – the emperors’ mausoleum, for example, has been converted into a cathedral.

#5 Stari Grad Plain on Hvar

Once again, it is only a short journey until we reach our next stop – Stari Grad Plain on the island of Hvar, located off the Dalmatian coast between the islands of Brač, Vis and Korčula. We recommend that you anchor at the ACI Marina Vrboska which provides good shelter from winds. The town of Stari Grad and the eponymous plain, our UNESCO destination on Hvar, is located less than 10 kilometres away on the other side of the island and can be reached by public transport. Stari Grad Plain was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. It was set up by Greek colonists in the 4th century BC and remains in use until the present day. It is thus among the longest-cultivated agricultural areas in the world. Also, over a hundred important archaeological findings were discovered in the area, including numerous “villae rusticae” (residences of landowners in Roman times) as well as agricultural buildings from the Greek period.

#6 Old Town of Dubrovnik

After this we raise the anchor one last time and set sail for Dubrovnik, where our sea voyage comes to an end. The beauty and rich cultural heritage of the “Pearl of the Adriatic” is also reflected in the local ACI Marina. ACI Dubrovnik, located at the mouth of the Dubrovačka inlet, has been declared the best marina in the Adriatic and is said to be one of the safest marinas to berth, keep and maintain your vessel in. A further advantage: ACI Dubrovnik is not only one of the most beautiful marinas in the Adriatic, it also lies only 10 kilometres away from the historic Old Town, which entered the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979. As Dubrovnik occupies a rather small city area, it is best to sightsee on foot. Although there are plenty of churches, fortresses and other cultural important landmarks to explore, perhaps the most popular attraction are the impressive ancient stone walls that surround the city. Today, these walls are a world-renowned iconic symbol of the city and also provide the setting for King’s Landing in the well-known TV show „Game of Thrones“.

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More Than 1,200 Reasons Why to Sail Croatia

For the last three decades, Croatia has been known as a destination that offers boaters with outstanding infrastructure. On the coast, there are over 60 marinas, as well as the so-called seasonal marinas of the remote islands and docks in coves, which all include facilities for sailors. You can find shelter in a safe harbour almost anywhere along the coast and easily hire a fitting vessel if you do not have your own – with a crew also included.

Land ahoy in Istria

Istria is known for its picturesque towns and the numerous wine and olive oil roads. The region has many landing stages, such as Kanegra in the north, Cape Kamenjak located south of the west coast, or the beautiful cove of Tunarica and cliffs of Brseč in the east.

Rovinj is the perfect place to start your nautical trip. The Rovinj ACI marina is fully protected from the wind by the little island of Sveta Katarina. From this charming town and its mediaeval architecture, you can visit Brijuni archipelago, which is the only national park in Istria and is just twelve nautical miles away from Rovinj.

Visit the historical sites of Pula

While you are there, Pula it is definitely worth a visit. The region has excellently preserved ancient Roman buildings, including one of the most famous first century amphitheatre, Arena, which is the sixth largest in the world. It is one of the best-preserved amphitheatres from Antiquity and today it is used during the summer for film festivals and various cultural events.

Ready about in Kvarner

From Istria you can easily reach the region of Kvarner. From Opatija in the north to Karlobag in the south there are excellent marinas on the coast and surrounding islands. One of the most beautiful islands there is Krk, especially the south, which is full of life and vegetation.

Cres & Rab Islands

A powerful northerly wind leaves the north of Krk and some other islands in this region almost deserted, although it’s ideal for windsurfers who greatly enjoy it. From the south coast of Krk boat lovers can easily sail to Rab, visiting its mediaeval town, or along to Cres, which offers a peaceful and quiet area to spend time in nature.

Next stop: Lošinj

The next stop is Lošinj with its harbour Mali Lošinj. The region has beautiful coves to swim in and visitors can even get a glimpse at the dolphins which swim nearby.
Looking for an adventure? An unusual nautical route is the one to two islands, Grgur and Goli Otok, which for a long time served as prisons.

Eno-gastronomic offering

The Kvarner region is famous for its specific eno-gastronomic offering. While visiting this part of Croatia you shouldn’t miss the taste of the famous Žlahtina wine from Vrbnik and the well-known Kvarner scampi.

Full speed ahead to Dalmatia (Split)

A highlight of the Croatian Adriatic is the region around Split. You can sail between the islands of Drvenik Veli and Mali, Šolta, Brač, Hvar, Šćedro, Vis and Biševo. Every island has its own characteristics, like their innate, linguistic, oenological and cultural aspects. This Central Dalmatian archipelago is the centre of entertainment and quality cuisine providing boaters with beautiful docks.

The city Split has a rich choice of cultural activities and busy nightlife whilst also providing visitors with a historic centre with the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, which was declared a world heritage by UNESCO, as it is a significant monument of Late Antiquity architecture.

The sunny island of Hvar

A “must visit” is the sunny island of Hvar. The beautiful harbour is the centre of its nautical events, however, there are also other mooring sites in front of Hvar and an ACI marina on the island of Sv. Klement. The nightlife there is for everyone.

Island of Vis

On the Island of Vis you’ll find caves such as Medviđa Špilja and Stiniva Cove, while nearby you will find Modra Špilja (Blue Grotto) on the island of Biševo and Zelena Špilja (Green Grotto) on Ravnik island, which have turquoise water and a rich history to offer.

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On the road again. And again and again!

1. Adriatic highway – driving with the sea

Do your own Tour de Adriatic. But with some kind of a motor vehicle, not your bicycle. Or you can go with a bicycle, who are we to stop you? If you can do it, good for you.
Anyways, the Adriatic highway has a lot of hidden treasure on its way but we’re not going to tell you what to do or where to go exactly. As a true adventurer as you are, you already know the best adventures are the ones you discover by yourself. But we will tell you what’s the most beautiful part. Wherever you go there’s the Adriatic sea following you. Beautiful view all the way!

2. Master’s road – cutting through the mountain

People say the Master’s road got its name because it was built by true masters. Sure, it takes a true master to cut through the majestic mountain of Velebit. Sure, it takes a true master to build a road that makes faster access from Zagreb to Zadar. But we really think it’s called the Master’s road because it’s waiting for you to own it!
Come here, drive all the way that road, enjoy the fresh air and of course the wonderful view from the mountain.

3. A5 motorway (Slavonika) – the golden road

Have you ever wondered how it would be to go through the field of gold?
No? OK, but can you pretend that you have? That would be great, thanks.
Well, there’s no need to wonder anymore, now you can do it! Slavonija is a Croatian region which is as flat as it gets. If you climb on your car, you could be probably the highest thing there. But don’t worry, that’s why it’s special. All that flatness is covered with wheat plains and its golden color makes it looks like you’re driving through the endless field of gold. Take a break there, stop at a local restaurant and find out the only thing that’s more golden than those plains – the hearts of overly welcoming Slavonians.

4. Istrian Y – it’s all about the small stuff

You probably think that Istrian Y got its name because it’s forming a Y shape, right?
Well, you’re totally right. Yes, nothing pumped up about it. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Istria is a perfectly calm and simple Croatian region that doesn’t like to brag. That’s why they’re filled with small towns, not big cities. But don’t fool yourself thinking there’s nothing to see. Oh, those small towns. Every one of them has its own spirit and each one is unique. Motovun, Pazin, Pula, Poreč or any other. It’s up to you to discover your own small pleasure.

5. Joseph’s road – a fairy tale road

The best way to cover many of the natural treasures and sights of the region of Lika and Karlovac is a trip on the Joseph’s road. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be called Joseph to enter it.
When you come to Karlovac first you’ll need to do is convince yourself why they call it the Town on Four Rivers. When you count all 4 rivers (Korana, Kupa, Mrežnica, Dobra) and you still didn’t see enough water then you have to visit the Aquatika, an amazing freshwater aquarium. If even that’s not enough, just go to some restaurant and eat one of those freshwater fishes from one of those four rivers.
After Karlovac, your next stop should be Ogulin. A city also referred to as “the home of fairy-tales”. It’s a birth place of children’s book author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and her work is brought to life in a unique museum with interactive and multi-media set-up. Check it out and sail to the fairy tale land.

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Your Second Home, All 5 Of Them

Istria

The unspoiled inlands of Istria are the ideal place for those seeking an adventurous and active holiday due to its rolling hills and valleys. Discover real pre-historic footprints at the Promenade of Dinosaurs on the island of the National Park of Brijuni, dinosaur replicas and skeletons Then at the Dino Park in Funtana and tropical aquatic life at the Aquarium Pula and the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre. For the ultimate adrenaline rush head to Istralandia, Croatia’s first water park. The aquatic world has 20 different slides and 1.6 kilometres of pipes and whilst the kids are descending the shoots adults can relax in the hydromassage pools. What a wildlife themed adventure for the whole family!

Zagreb

With a great array of sights and attractions, the northern region of Zagreb is great for the whole family to enjoy. Take a trip to the Croatian National History Museum’s bug collection and head to the Technical Museum, which is home to steam engines, satellites, space ship models and a planetarium!
The peaceful Maksimir Park is also worth a visit, as it is landscaped like an English garden, with alleys, lawns and lakes. There is also a zoo within the park which offers visitors the chance to view feeding times of seals, sea lions and even piranhas. In Zagreb even adults will feel like kids – because there is always something new to discover. Whether it is a new museum, street art masterpiece or delicious take on a traditional dish.

Dubrovnik

For the perfect city and beach holiday combined, head to the areas of Lapad and Babin Kuk, where you can walk along its famed beaches and then explore the Old City of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ‘dead sea’ lake on the island of Lokrum, just a ten minute boat ride from the Dubrovnik’s Old Town, has a shallow pebble beach that is ideal for young children to paddle and play in. The Uvala Lapad beach features floating water parks, trampolines, moon bounce games and a playground. Not to mention horse riding at the Kojan Koral in Konavle. Finally for a spectacular view of the whole of Dubrovnik’s Old City and its nearby islands, ride the short cable car to the top of Mount Srd. See if you can recognize the city from your favourite movies you watched with the whole family!

Zadar

The buzzing city of Zadar may not seem like an obvious choice for a family break but there is plenty for all ages to enjoy. After sight-seeing and shopping there is no better way to end the day than by sitting by the Sea Organ watching one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets accompanied by the beautiful harmonic sound of the wave crashing into the pipes. Greetings to the Sun, another nature-meets-art installation, offers a phenomenal light show kids of all ages will love. Another great spot for children is a number of beautiful beaches where they can play while adults soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere. These are just a couple of reasons why so many families return every holidays to their favourite destination. It feels like a second home (where there is always sunshine).

Kvarner

For parents who want to be able to combine a family holiday with some relaxation of their own, two things which don’t always go hand in hand, head to Kvarner. The Primorje-Gorski Kotar region on the upper part of the Croatian coast line is a beautiful idyll, lesser known than other areas and home to a newly opened five star family friendly resort. Not only does it have Europe’s biggest spa, it has a wealth of activities to keep children occupied while adults unwind with a treatment or two. Facilities include a 4,000m2 kids’ town with pools, playgrounds, indoor and outdoor games and a 350m2 Pirate Island. The only thing you will be fighting over during this holiday is what to enjoy first!

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Christmas Food so Tasty That Santa Will Forget to Deliver Your Gifts

Christmas Eve

By tradition meat is not served on Christmas Eve. It is fish, mostly codfish, that takes over the role. It is prepared in a red sauce stew or in bianco style as a spread, and it is served in many different ways from Istria and Kvarner, to Dalmatia and Zagreb.

Your Magical Advent Escape Awaits You in Croatia

Dalmatians make “codfish oil-style”, boiled and served with potatoes, and then seasoned with a lot of olive oil, garlic, and finely chopped parsley. The dried codfish is soaked for at least 24 hours, and often even for two or three days in order for it to soften and be made into a delicious brudet red sauce stew.
The Istrian and Littoral versions include codfish in bianco style with added garlic and olive oil, like a pâté spread on top of fragrant, freshly toasted bread.
The traditional Istrian dish prepared during fasting is pasutice, a local pasta cut into squares, topped with hot olive oil and salted anchovies or served with codfish in bianco style. Islanders will enjoy conger eel brujet stew with tomatoes or squid baked in the oven with potatoes on Christmas Eve.
Slavonians will prepare the famous pike perkelt (a type of goulash) with lots of onion, hot red peppers, tomatoes, and homemade lard.
In the Šokadija area old customs require that one eats suve šćuke, which is dried pikes, but only the best ones caught throughout the year.

Christmas

If you enjoyed your meal for Christmas Eve, you will enjoy it even more at Christmas. Who could resist the recipes used for decades or centuries, and taken from old grandmas’ cookbooks?
Dalmatia therefore every Christmas smells like pašticada stewed beef dish. Although everyone claims to have the best pašticada recipe, made according to the original recipe, preparations vary across the Adriatic. Some cook it in prošek dessert wine, others in wine with added sugar, and it is then stuffed with bacon, garlic, carrot, celery, and cloves. The special flavour and density is due to dried plums. Everything is naturally accompanied by homemade gnocchi, known as the best in the world, made by Istrian and Dalmatian grandmothers.


Gorski Kotar enjoys turkey with mlinci pasta, just like Zagreb, and the Northern Adriatic. The experience for that perfect holiday roast has been gathered for years. The delicious fillings such as the corn bread squares, onions, apples, celery, garlic, chicken liver, and parsley can retain all the juices, but the true secret is that Croatian turkeys are fed with barley, chestnuts, and walnuts, and this is what makes them so special. Together with homemade mlinci pasta, of course! Roast suckling pig is famous in Slavonia, its skin has to be crispy, and the meat melt in your mouth. It is served, obviously, with her majesty, the Olivier salad! A mix of vegetables, mayonnaise, and eggs.

Duck is prepared in Međimurje, and as with all their roasts, it is filled with buckwheat porridge.
Lika is faithful to cooked pork with boiled cabbage for Christmas, and the smell of sarma rolls spreads out from the holiday tables all around our country.

You think you’re full?

You should leave some space for sweets – roščići (corn shaped cookies), lincer cookies, čupavci cakes, Bishop’s bread, orahnjača walnut roll, makovnjača poppy roll, wafers, cat’s eyes cake, and kiflice rolls!

Among traditional cookies there are also stars and hearts filled with jam, pine tree-shaped cookies coated with marzipan cream, and decorated with sugar beads, and the holiday cheese bundt cake is served for Christmas breakfast.
The smell of cinnamon and vanilla, roasted sugar and delicious walnuts stays in the air for some time, but even more in people’s memories! Scents remind us of Christmas!