15 WAYS TO GO CRAZY IN CROATIA
Add these activities to your itinerary when planning a trip to this stunning country
It has been 45 minutes or so that I have been standing on the slippery white limestone formation a few steps down from the Buza Bar in Dubrovnik, rated as one of the best places to cliff jump from in Europe. My feet barely fit on the small, uneven surface that juts out from the rest of the rocky cluster and the rush of the strong Southern Winds makes a weak case for jumping. Below, the sea is notorious, and the swell of the waves crash angrily at the mossy rocks, breaking into circles of creamy white foam. Looking down makes my knees grow weak and I started to feel faint.
An American, two Argentinians and a 65-year-old Russian have all come, jumped, dived and cannonballed from next to me, as I duck and hold on for dear life. By now, a crowd has gathered and I can feel the pressure as peering eyes stare at me impatiently, prodding me to take the leap. The summer sun is up North, shining in all it’s glory, from a distance I can hear the build-up of another countdown in perfect unison. I am not going home without checking this off my bucket list – that much I am sure about, then, in a moment of finality I take the small step forward and land 50 feet down into the heart of the Adriatic Sea. There is a big splash, followed by cheering in few different dialects. Exhilarated, in a few minutes I am ready for round two!
This is just one of the many cool things that can make a trip to Croatia truly memorable. Here’s a list of 15 must-dos to tick off your list when visiting this magnificent country!
1 CLIFF JUMP OFF THE BUZA BAR, DUBROVNIK
A bucket list topper for adventure and thrill-seeking tourists, the 50-feet leap into the heart of the Adriatic Sea is sure to leave you basking in the glory of the most amazing adrenaline rush for a very long time.
Caution: Cliff jumping is a risky activity. So, it is crucial that you get to the right spot before taking the leap.
3 BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF THE OLD TOWN, DUBROVNIK
A four-minute cable car ride up 778 metres reaches you to a plateau awarding the most spectacular views of the old town. Spot the 2km stretch of the City Walls that have guarded the town since the 14th Century. Best time to go: At dusk as the sun slips into the Adriatic, leaving in its wake a fluorescent pink glow.
4 PARTY AT THE ZRCE BEACH STRIP, NOVALJA
Located in the Novalja County on the island of Pag, Zrce Beach doubles as the great summer party hotspot. A rocky beach strip by the Adriatic offers party lovers a bevy of options to eat, drink and make merry.
If club hopping is not your thing, there are tons of water sport activities to indulge in. Say it like the locals: Zershay Beach!
5 LISTEN TO WAVES MAKE MUSIC, ZADAR
Installed below the expansive marble steps leading into the Adriatic Sea, the 230-foot-long Sea Organ converts waves into random rhythmic music. Each set of steps contain five organ pipes that are tuned to a different musical chord connecting through a series of narrow channels that respond to waves and wind producing the most beautiful symphony.
Fun fact: Its architect Nikola Bašic received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona, 2006, when his project was chosen as the best one from among 207.
6 SWIM BELOW WATERFALLS AT KRKA NATIONAL PARK, SKRADIN
For a dose of science, culture, education and recreation all bundled in one, visit the Krka National Park. Trek the trails to explore the beauty of the seven cascading waterfalls within the confines of the park that converge to give birth to Croatia’s most significant River Krka.
Do not miss: The opportunity to swim in the natural pool formed at the foot of the waterfall.
7 HAVE THE BEST PIZZA-CUT, SPLIT
The American equivalent of Pizza-bythe-slice, the Croatian version called Pizza-cut is more sophisticated. A staple take-away food item for both the Croats and the tourists, the aroma of these baking in the oven is enough to beckon you from the streets into the nearest pizza parlour.
Indulge: Pizza Cut Planet in Split.
8 BE PART OF THE BEST BAR CRAWL IN EUROPE, SPLIT
Partying in any major European city is incomplete without a fun night out at a bar crawl. The Split experience of- fers the perfect place to interact with young people and make new friends. From beer pong to flip cup, the event keeps it engaging. The crawl operates all week long and starts at 9pm.
Insider tip: Go for the Tower Pub Crawl, they offer free pizza!
9 INDULGE IN SPICY, SOUR, TANGY AND TRUE MEXICAN FARE, SPLIT
Warm homemade corn tortillas, fresh salsa, nachos dowsed in cheese, and fruity frozen margaritas at To Je Tako make for perfect indulgence. A two-minute walk away from the Diocletain’s Palace and right in the heart of Split, this restaurant serves authentic Mexican food.
Must try: Call for chef’s mom’s Encurtido, original recipe from Honduras.
10 WINDSURF AT HULA HULA BAR, HVAR
Enjoy a drink at the sea-facing bar as you soak in the warm glow of the summer sun. Watch mega yachts leave the harbour or dive into the ocean to cool off. Or, take a shot at windsurfing or stand-up paddling.
Rent: The equipment costs 70 Croatian Kuna per hour.
11 TRY DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHEESE AT FIGS CAFÉ BAR, HVAR
Spread on toast, drizzled with honey, served with baked walnuts and accompanied with a poached fruit, this is probably the best version of cheese toast you will ever have.
Must try: House special – fig and ricotta flatbread.
12 CLIMB THE FORTICA SPANJOLA, HVAR
For riveting views of the river, the harbour and the city, make your way up to the fortress nestled in the hills behind the port. The Venetian fortress built in the 16th century, when Hvar was governed by Austria, has protected the sovereignty of the town from many foreign invasions and wars.
Visit at night: Go at night for a spooky yet fun experience and locals will tell you tales of the fort being haunted.
13 WATCH THE OCEAN LIGHT UP — BLUE AND GREEN CAVES TOUR, HVAR
A trip to the Green Caves, Blue Caves and Pakleni Islands is high on the list of to-do things in Croatia. The Blue Caves, one of the world’s most beautiful natural phenomena, is an experience like no other. The ocean emits a silvery-blue glow created by the sun as it bathes the inside of the cave through an opening on the roof. Best time to go: Opt for the morning tour as the effect is prominent at noon.
14 TAKE A MUSEUM TOUR, ZAGREB
Spend a day exploring priceless works of art, thematic exhibitions, displays of old torture devices and the wicked world of illusions. The Zagreb museum tour is the perfect way to explore the capital city on foot before leaving the country. Must visit: Museum of Broken Relationships.
15 HIKE THROUGH A WORLD UNESCO HERITAGE SIGHT, PLITVICE NATIONAL PARK
The mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park is a forest reserve in the heart of Croatia. It is known for terraced lakes, waterfalls and limestone canyons. Stay the night: To experience the magnitude and majesty of the park, stay at one of the 18 hotels within the park confines.
NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL 1. Cable Car at Dubrovnik 2. The Split Bell Tower 3. Krka National Park, Skradin 4. Mexican Food at To Je Tako
Vrinda is one half of a successful young couple that believes in working hard to be successful, but also pursuing their dream of travel. While she is a stylist, her husband Varun Sheth is a businessman who has also received the Forbes 30 under 30 award