A vacation to the past
The tiny country of Croatia is a must-visit location for lovers of history, art, and the old-world Mediterranean. With towns that look like they are straight out of the Renaissance to castles from the Middle Ages, much of the country still looks like a long-vanished world. The country is so full of ancient Roman ruins, baroque churches, and houses built centuries ago that a trip across Croatia can seem like a trip back in time.
Old World Towns
The town of Osijek, built in a Gothic, baroque style, is a must-see for the sake of its amazing architecture. Trogir is a fascinating fortified town that was built in the Middle Ages. The Istria peninsula is home to a number of towns that have stood since the days of the Roman Empire. However, travelers who want to pack the most into the least time need to visit the Island of Rab. This island is covered in historical monuments and the inhabitants put on a wide variety of traditional cultural activities and historic performances. The island is also home to regions of breathtaking natural wilderness. Korcula, an island sitting just off of the major city of Dubrovnik, still sees regular performances of the traditional weapon dance, the Moreška.
Croatia has all the castles and fortresses that anyone could want to see. The fortress of St. Nicholas, in Sibenik, is a particularly interesting sightseeing attraction. It was built out on the ocean, and is still in perfect condition. The Castle of St. Michael is more than 1,000 years old. The city of Dubrovnik actually is a giant fortress. It is surrounded by walls that are so thick that they actually have roads running inside them. The Rector's Palace displays finely detailed ancient carvings and now serves as a museum.
The Natural World
Rock climbers come from all over the world to Paklenica's Great Gorge. This stunning feature of the natural world looks like a scene out of a fantasy movie. The Krka National Park is filled with long chains of beautiful stepped waterfalls. Systems of mineral water lakes that are colored like jewels adorn the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Sunbathers flock to the Makarska Riviera, a region famous for its pristine beaches and nightclubs.
Croatia is a land of wonders, both natural and man-made. What makes traveling there worthwhile, though, is the way that so much of it seems to still exist in a world that has long since vanished. Throughout the country, people keep folkways and artistic traditions of the Baroque culture alive. It is well worth not just a sightseeing trip, but an extended stay.