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22 July 2022

Holidays in Croatia: what to visit, from the coast to the hinterland

Holidays in Croatia: where to go? List of things to see in a few days, from the coast to the hinterland

A modern, Central European capital with imperial palaces, millenarian thermal baths: planning a holiday in Croatia is also a good idea for those with a taste for nightlife. In this guide we will show you where to go on holiday in Croatia, which are the most beautiful places to visit and where to go to the seaside. Let yourself be surprised by the details and visit the undiscovered Croatia, if you are planning a cultural trip to Croatia: ancient amphitheatres, one of which (the Pula Amphitheatre, the sixth largest of its kind) is perfectly preserved, as well as Palladian churches, nature parks with caves and scenic waterfalls. From Zagreb to Rijeka, here is a list of things to see in Croatia.

What to see on the Croatian coast: beaches and towns

A coastline that changes from north to south, with a common denominator accompanying Croatia's 1777 kilometres of coastline: the most beautiful sea with crystal-clear, perfect water. It alternates between classic shores, with a linear and endless shoreline, and small secret coves surrounded by stunning cliffs. What are the best coastal resorts in Croatia? We will tell you about it in this short guide on what to visit on the Croatian coast.

  • What to see in Poreč, Croatia

Boasting ancient Roman origins, Poreč is both a symbol of seaside tourism in Croatia and a city full of life and bustle. Poreč is the ideal destination if you are looking for a seaside resort in Croatia, with its beaches, sea and cultural itineraries. Here you can go to the beach and visit the city, with its Euphrasian Basilica, an early Christian church that is a Unesco World Heritage Site and a treasure trove of some of the most beautiful Byzantine mosaics.

Basilica Eufrasiana di Parenzo
Byzantine mosaic in the Euphrasian Basilica

Around Poreč, there are countless things to do during the day and in the evening: from an excursion to the fascinating Baredine Caves, to an adrenaline-fuelled race at the Motordrom track on quads or go-karts for those who love engines, to a day of pure leisure at the local Aquapark. Poreč can be an ideal destination for everyone, whether travelling as a couple in Croatia or with friends, as a family or alone!

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  • Beaches and things to see in Rovinj, Croatia

Authentic and genuine, Rovinj is a seaside village in Croatia, clustered with houses with sloping roofs that lean against the Church of St Euphemia, whose bell tower soars proudly over the maze of narrow streets in the old town. Rovinj thrives on seaside tourism and is surrounded by beautiful and diverse lidos: equipped beaches, wild beaches, small bays hidden in the Punta Corrente Park, the area's green lung. Rovinj is ideal for a holiday that combines days at the sea with excursions in the open air.

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Città di Rovigno in Croazia
View of Rovinj
  • Lošinj Island in Croatia, what to see?

Fun fact: despite its name ('little Lošinj'), Mali Lošinj is the largest municipality on the island of Lošinj! Lying in the Augustus Valley, a natural harbour sheltering the coast from the powerful gusts of the bora, Mali Lošinj is a popular destination especially for those seeking a more intimate holiday in an undiscovered Croatia. There are indeed numerous inlets, coves and bays that are protected by hectares of vegetation and offer a setting of precious tranquillity. If your idea of a holiday in Croatia is unspoilt places and deep silence, then Mali Lošinj is for you. Worthy of mention is the Apoxyomenos Museum, which houses a unique, priceless work of art: the bronze statue of the young athlete Apoxyómenos, found on the seabed in 1999, where it had lain for a good two thousand years.

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  • Places to visit in Pula, Croatia

Pula is a sinuous, thousand-year-old city with a historical centre that is also an open-air museum. Remember the Roman amphitheatre in Pula that hosts jazz festivals? Other sights to visit in Pula are the Temple of Augustus, the Small Roman Theatre, the Arch of the Sergii and Pula Castle, a fortress built by the Venetians, overlooking the city. Do you have the desire to balance your holiday routine with archaeological tours that enrich your historical knowledge? Pula is the ideal destination for a cultural holiday in Croatia!

Anfiteatro di Pola in Croazia
The Roman amphitheatre in Pula
  • Holidays in Rijeka, Croatia

As known in Italian memory, Rijeka is in its essence a chapter in the jagged biography of the poet and writer Gabriele D'Annunzio. In truth, Rijeka is much more than that. Croatia's third largest city by population with over 300,000 inhabitants, by virtue of its strategic position in the Kvarner Bay, Rijeka is an example of the anthropological crossroads that has marked Croatia's history. A multi-ethnic and intellectually vibrant city, a European Capital of Culture in 2020, Rijeka's geographical location allows tourists to explore the natural beauty that surrounds it, such as the Ucka Nature Park and the beautiful islands of Arba and Pag.

What to see in Croatia's hinterland: towns, castles, gastronomic itineraries

Inland Croatia is a separate issue. Venturing into the Croatian countryside means taking certain factors into account: narrow, remote roads, low population density, and scenery that is completely opposite to the coastal resorts. No need to be alarmed: it is simply a lifestyle travelling at a different, slower and more sustainable speed. Croatia's territorial richness is remarkable and varied, although it is a small nation. Each province has its own experience, its own particular and unique traditions.

You don't know where to start to get your bearings and you only have a few days off? Don't worry: this guide by Liberty Lines on what to visit in Croatia in a few days will help you get your bearings and choose the best places to discover in Croatia!

Which inland villages in Croatia are a must-see?

  • Zagreb, a city for a thousand years of history

The capital of Croatia is Zagreb, a city of 800,000 inhabitants (over a million in the urban area), divided into the Upper Town of Zagreb (Gornij Grad) and the Lower Town of Zagreb (Donji Grad). The Upper Town is the capital's social and cultural treasure trove: here is the wonderful Zagreb Cathedral, the Dolac market, the austere Croatian Parliament; there are both the more traditional cultural venues, such as the National Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Naïve Art or the Croatian Society of Fine Arts; and the unconventional museums, such as the Museum of Broken Relationship, the Cannabis Museum and the Museum of Illusions. Zagreb is like that, it has a dual soul: serious and composed, irreverent and lively. Visiting Zagreb is a must for Croatia, especially if you love the great European capitals.

  • Pazin, a Croatian town to visit in the hinterland

Pazin is the capital of Istria. Pazin has a magnetic fascination, especially when one observes the foiba (sinkhole) sloping down from the foot of its main architectural structure, the Montecuccoli Castle. The foiba in question is so evocative that it's said to have inspired Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. You can follow a rigorous, historicised educational trail to discover the Pazin foiba at its best, but if you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can also take a zip line flight over the precipice. In addition, there are beautiful natural sights in the surroundings of Pazin, such as the paths along the banks of the Pazincica River, which often evolve into wonderful waterfalls.

  • Grožnjan, a medieval village in Croatia ideal for art lovers

A medieval Croatian town perched on a high ground of 288 metres above sea level, offering a splendid view of the Mirna River Valley and the coastal strip of Novigrad and Umag, Grožnjan is a small town with a great passion for art. Indeed, the streets of the old town, a maze of low stone houses that amplify a delicate and light atmosphere, are home to several galleries, ateliers and art workshops, permanent headquarters of artists who sell their creations in the streets, transforming this small town into a wide-ranging exhibition.

  • Holidays in Motovun, Croatian Istria

It is one of the most established and well-known villages in the Istrian hinterland, despite having only a thousand inhabitants. Apart from the unquestionable urbanistic beauty of Motovun, a veritable stronghold whose urban core stretches along the defensive walls, worth mentioning is the presence of the Church of St. Stephen, an 18th century building, which is said to have been constructed on the basis of a design by the famous architect Andrea Palladio. Moving outside the city walls, a visit to Butoniga Lake, just 12 kilometres from Motovun, is a must.

  • Places to visit in Svetvinčenat, Croatia

Svetvinčenat boasts two outstanding architectural masterpieces. The first one you come across is the Morosini Grimani castle in Svetvinčenat, an imposing and carefully designed masterpiece worthy of a guided tour. The other protagonist is the Renaissance square, the so-called Svetvinčenat Placa: a magnificent square, entirely built of white stone with an elegant stone well in the centre. It is one of the most scenic squares in the whole of Istria. If a castle and a square don't seem like a good reason to discover Svetvinčenat, you could always opt for a trip to the Medieval Park, a theme playground in Croatia, evoking the lifestyle of the Middle Ages, just 3 kilometres from the town centre.

  • What to do in Buzet, a village in the Croatian hinterland ideal for food lovers

Perched on a hill in the valley of the Mirna River, the village of Buzet is characterised by its well-kept historical centre with the characteristic parish church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose bell tower is located in front of the main structure rather than sideways, as tradition would have it. Buzet is also an ideal destination for a gastronomic trip for food lovers, while discovering typical Croatian dishes: the Istrian white truffle is an iconic delicacy here, and the presence of several local distilleries and wine cellars will be a perfect pairing. To work off the excess calories from Croatian lunches, dinners and aperitifs, you can take advantage of the countless hiking trails along the Mirna River.

How to go to Croatia from Italy? Rely on Liberty Lines hydrofoils!

Use Liberty Lines hydrofoils to reach Croatia from Trieste by sea: travel to Poreč, Rovinj and Mali Lošinj. Thanks to our in-depth knowledge of the Croatian and Istrian territory, we will be able to provide you with a precise and engaging itinerary to make your holiday memorable.

Take a tour of our website and find out more about our hydrofoil transport service!

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