The most beautiful destinations in Croatia

It is generally known that the city of Dubrovnik is one of the international jet set destinations, however it is only one of many beautiful destinations in Croatia. Here is our choice of destinations, which may not be all that well known but which certainly deserve to be visited. DVIGRAD - a city in which time stood still in 1631
The city of Dvigrad or Dvograd and even Dvagrad, as it is often referred to in documents, is a unique archeological locality of the Istrian region as well as all of Croatia and is colloquially known as the Croatian Pompeii. Namely, what we are dealing with are the valuable remains of a fortified acropolis city from the earlier part of the Middle Ages and it should be noted that the first settlements appeared in ancient history and the city itself became even more significant during the Roman period. It is situated in the western part of central Istria in the Limska draga region approximately 3 km west of Kanfar and 18 km west of Rovinj and is accessible by the roads leading from both Rovinj and Porec.
According to archeological findings, it consisted of 2 towers, in others words forts named Parentino and Moncastello. In Parentino, the remains of which are still visible today, life ended at the beginning of the Middle Ages while the neighboring fort Moncastello, known as Duecastelli, (Dvigrad) picturesquely developed as a strategic point of Venetian Istria and was settled right up until 1631 when due to an epidemic plague its inhabitants fled to lower regions and established Kanfar.
What makes Dvigrad so special is the fact that what we are dealing with a locality 'in situ', which means that on the location itself and based on the historical remains one can reconstruct life back then, right up until it was abandoned and right down to the last detail. In that sense, Dvigrad has no competition on Croatian soil, and the closest affinity 'in situ' are the localities of Pompeii near Naples. Today's remains of Dvigrad clearly illustrate the characteristics of a medieval urban structure: the city was surrounded by walls and towers situated at the very entrance doors and the preserved parametric walls of 220 buildings together with the direction of the streets and passageways between houses still remain. On the central elevation are the remains of St. Sophia's Church dating back to the 11th century, and the church pulpit dating back to the 14th century located in the parish church in Kanfar. In the surrounding area there are several significant sacral localities, while the small church alongside the cemetery guards a cycle of frescoes of local artists dating back to the 15th century. Aside from the material remains, there are many legends and stories tied to Dvigrad, one of which claims that the nearby village of Mrgani was named after Henry Morgan, an English adventurer from the 17th century who buried his treasure somewhere near Dvigrad and has sent many on treasure hunts.
Accommodation: Rovinj, Porec, Funtana, Vrsar, Nova Vas, Rovinjsko selo HUM - the smallest city in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records
In the central part of Istria, 14 km southeast of Buzet is Hum, the smallest city in the world with a population of only 23 citizens. The small town was first mentioned in 1102 under the name Cholm, and as such is still known as Colmo in Italy to this day. Although it was established in the Middle Ages, Hum has preserved all of the distinctive features of urban architecture that are characteristic of acropolis settlements and although small it was the center of Glagolitic literacy during the Middle Ages.
On one side it is closed off by urban defensive towers and a system of walls, while the other side is enclosed by the outer walls of houses. The bell-tower dates back to 1552 while St. Jerome's Parish Church guards a rich collection of a late Gothic chalice, a ciborium and other liturgical objects. Frescoes dating back to the 12th century that were created under the strong Byzantine influence are particularly valuable to the parish church which is not surprising when one learns that Hum was the residence of one of the richest patriarchal servants. What is remarkable about Hum is that along with nearby Roc, it was the center of Glagolitic literacy during the Middle Ages. In the church today is a Glagolitic graphite dating back to the 12th century which is among the oldest monuments of Glagolitic script in Istria. In memory of this valuable heritage, in 1977 the Glagolitic Lane was opened, a monumental complex that consist of 11 landmarks set up along a 7 km long walking path from Hum to Roc.
Accommodation: Opatija, Motovun, Lovran, Rijeka, Moscenicka Draga MAKARSKA - a city in which the most valuable snails and shells in the world are kept
The Malakoloski museum is situated in the basement of a Franciscan convent in Makarska, in other words, a museum of shells and snails and considered to be the most valuable collection in the world. Aside from shells and snails, which are not only presented from a morphological-biological aspect, but also as a historical-cultural phenomenon that includes the history of shells as a source of food as well as a form of currency, the museum keeps a smaller collection of fossil remains from the Makarska coastland and hinterland. The museum exhibits originate from the Adriatic Sea as well as the world's oceans, thus the significance of this collection exceeds regional significance. The convent's treasure also consists of a systematized archive, a rich library as well as a collection of paintings and artistic objects of great value. Accommodation: Makarska, Omis, Podgora, Tucepi, Igrane, Gradac, Bratus, Brela, Zivogosce STON - the city in which the "European Wall of China" is located
A system of fortified walls and accompanying buildings built during the 14th century in defense against Turkish attack stretches between Ston and Mali Ston. During the time of the Dubrovnik Republic, the walls were restored and additions were made while their full length measured 5.5 km. The wall had as many as 40 towers and 7 fortresses and due to its monumentality and sturdiness it was named the "European Wall of China". The basis of the defense system, which was so carefully worked out that the city was literally unconquerable on land, consisted of three fortresses: Veliki Kastio in Ston, Koruna in Mali Ston and the fortress on the Podzvizd hill. Veliki Kastio was a residential house, granary and armorer's shop all in one. Koruna, a strong fortress with five towers facing the sea, first began to be constructed in 1347 and was used for centuries as a shipping port for salt. After the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic demolition of the walls began and the blocks were sold as building material for the construction of schools and municipalities. The remains of the three towers as well as parts of the magnificent wall can still be seen today and one absolutely must taste the oysters from the famous Ston oyster beds.
Accommodation: Brijesta, Broce, Dingac, Mali Ston, Veliki Ston, Cavtat, Dubrovnik, Plat, Janjina, Kuciste, Luka Dubrava, Prapratna, Orebic, Trpanj, Viganj, Zuljana, Zaton, Srebreno KORCULA - the city in which streets cross like a "fishbone"
The city of Korcula was planned and built and its urban structure is a model example of mediaeval planned construction. The design of the city was adjusted to the geomorphological characteristics of the ground, while the foundation for construction was laid in the 13th century. Using rational urban regulation the city was divided into two parts, east and west, while the division between the two is also the central city street which then expands and shapes the central square where the cathedral is located.
Since the city is surrounded by walls, the central street towards the outer stone perimeter descends to narrow streets creating a raster resembling a fishbone. This type of urban plan is why the streets of Korcula are sunny both in the morning and in the evening while in the afternoon they are protected by the scorching heat of the sun by the pleasant shade cast by the walls. Of the architectural monuments within the city walls, the cathedral, City Hall, the Abbatial treasury and the city museum are particularly valuable. The Abbatial treasury is situated on the south side of the cathedral and the treasure is located within the seven halls and represents perhaps the most prominent collection of its kind in all of Dalmatia. Some of its most valuable exhibits include illuminated manuscripts from the 12th century, gold-stitched clothing, gold, silver and porcelain objects, ceramics from the Middle Ages (a numismatic rarity), as well as valuable furniture and paintings on the walls by world renowned artists, both local and foreign, from the Renaissance period onward.
One other feature of Korcula is Moreska - a knight's game in which dancers fight with swords to win the sympathy of girls. Moreska is a tradition that has been nurtured since the 12th century.
Accommodation: Korcula, Vela Luka, Lumbarda, Blato, Prigradica, Brna, Prizba, Racisce, Garma, Smokvica BRAC - an island with a beach for surfers and a desert of stone palaces
Not far from the internationally known destination of Bol and Zlatni rat, the beach preferred by surfers, is Blaca cove, while 2 km inward an unusual settlement is located. What we are dealing with is a solitary settlement (ermitorium) that was hewn out of solid rock in the 15th century, the complex is still accessible today but only by way of a walking path.
Persecuted by the Turks, Glagolitic priests chose an inaccessible, dry, deserted and almost lifeless region in the inland part of the island as their sanctuary and turned its rocky savagery with numerous caves into an impressive stone structure. Upon arrival in the Ljubitovici cave they built a church and a convent and after being restored in 1757 both have been preserved until today. Namely, life in Blaca went on a daily basis right up until 1963 when the entire complex was proclaimed a museum-scientific institution, while its architectural whole consists of authentic ethnographic rooms: a kitchen with a baker's oven, stone halls with luxury-style furniture as well as an exceptionally rich pastoral library in which holds a one of a kind atlas by H. Hondus and J. Iasonius from the year 1623.
The complex is enriched by an archive, a small printing shop and an observatory with a giant telescope that was once owned by a prominent and world renowned astronomer and the last priest in Blaca - Don Niko Milicevic whose studies had been published for decades in a respectable Austrian publication Astronomische Nachrichten. Among the valuable exhibits are the works of a Venetian school from the 17th century.
Accommodation: Bol, Pucisca, Praznica, Postira, Nerezisca, Milna, Splitska, Sumartin, Sutivan, Supetar VIS - the magical island of ship builders
Komiza on the island of Vis is first mentioned in historical documents in the 12th century and according to these same documents from the 16th century it was the leading fishing settlement in all of Dalmatia. The fishermen of Vis in search of a bigger and better catch were always more interested in the open sea and the outer islands of Palagruz and Svetac, so the masters of shipbuilding attempted to make a gajeta (a half-decked one-masted fishing boat) that would satisfy the demands of such a voyage. And thus was created the autochthonic Croatian boat - the Komiza falkusa - distinguished by its excellent sailing characteristics.
The falkusa is a special gajeta with sails and five oars which set the boat in motion when the sea is calm. It is nine meters long and 2.90 meters wide and the mast is as high as it is long, meaning nine meters. What made it different from other boats was not just the dimensions but also the material. The falkusa was built using only pinewood from the island of Svetac and when one learns that on that eruptive island there is little soil and that it is ruthless controlled by the wind and the waves, it soon becomes evident that a pine tree that is able to withstand these conditions is wood that can sustain even the most dangerous situations. Oak was used for the keel while larch was used for the paneling of the falkusa.
The falkusa also had authentic equipment and never sailed without it. On deck were wooden barrels for salting fish, bowls for water and wine as well as woven baskets for fish that were caught. Fisherman used a net, compass and a lamp (fenjer) and the falkusa actively sailed until the first half of the 20th century. In 1998, UNESCO included the falkusa in its program of international monumental heritage.
Accommodation: Komiza, Vis, Rukavac
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Izidora Kršnjavoga 1, Hotel Westin, 10000 Zagreb - Croatia / e-mail:, ++385 (0)1 2415 600, ID HR-AB-20-060000638, OIB 02041978827