By Joy Martin /

Croatia

Croatia: Small and Mighty (with a side of fresh mussels, please)

It’s never too early to start planning your next trip-of-a-lifetime, and we think Croatia is the place to be in 2017. If you love a mix of culture, history, cuisine and adventure, then consider this small and mighty Pearl of the Mediterranean for that perfect vacation the whole family (or not!) will relish forever.

resize1History & Mystery

Built on Roman ruins along the balmy seas of the Adriatic, Croatia is tucked between Central Europe and the Balkan States. Smaller than West Virginia, it’s been through the political wringer and didn’t gain independence till 1991. Nowadays, Croatians bare a fierce pride that breathes life into every nook and cranny of this, the home of Marco Polo.

As it blossoms into a totally unique Croatian identity, this Pearl boasts one of the greatest destinations on the planet for explorers in search of an enchanting history with splashes of mystery. Discover flavors you’ve never savored before, hidden coves and white-sand beaches, and secret roads for outstanding cycling opportunities.

Dalmatia (yes, like the dog)

Located in the southernmost region of Croatia is the wondrous coast of Dalmatia, the original breeding grounds of the black-and-white spotted dogs we recognize from cartoons and firehouses. Like those beloved puppies dappled in dots, Dalmatia is speckled with hundreds of pine-studded islands, secluded inlets, and rolling hillsides of luscious grapes just waiting to be pressed into world-class wines.

When to Go

resize2It’s no shock that sun-loving tourists flock to this paradise in droves during summer. But before they arrive and after they leave, there are the slightly cooler shoulder seasons to enjoy a biking vacation in Croatia.

Besides fewer travelers and cheaper airfare, a trip to the Croatian coast in the spring or fall also provides adventurers with perfect weather balanced around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Not surprisingly, prime swimming conditions also exist this time of year in the Adriatic with water temps hovering between 68 and 73 degrees.

This climate proves to be the ideal environment for discovering wildlife and botanical wonders both above and below the sea. From private boat tours and kayak excursions to snorkeling and even beachcombing, Croatia is full of spectacular flora and fauna.

What Not to Miss

In between swimming and biking, explore Croatia’s mountainous coastline by dune buggy during the day and wander through charming harbor towns and villages at night. As Baroque music lilts on salty sea breezes, keep your camera ready for light catching the steeples of grand Gothic palaces, Venetian Renaissance architecture, and bobbing boats of fisherman.

CroatiaWhether you’re pedaling past fields of lavender or climbing shoreline roads along the crystalline sea, you’ll definitely work up an appetite for fresh olive oils and flaky¬†pastries. Try your hand at a private cooking class or simply kick back with a glass of wine and sample fresh-off-the-boat seafood cheffed up just to your liking.

All the while, Croatia’s relaxed Mediterranean attitude characteristic of sunnier climates saturates each experience you encounter so that you’re able to unwind and fully appreciate every moment. When you travel with us, take confidence that our Austin Adventures team works tirelessly to make sure the toughest part of your Croatia vacation package truly is going home. Ziveli!

 

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