Croatia's Best Islands and Coast Towns | KCET
Croatia's Best Islands and Coast Towns
Croatia, located in the Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe, is a gorgeous and increasingly popular destination that needs little introduction. Just glancing at a photo of its crystal-clear blue waters, pebbly beaches, and medieval cityscapes is enough to make one say, "I've got to go there!"
To show us the very best that this charming country has to offer, Rick Steves traveled around the Dalmatian Coast for Friday's episode of his travel guide show, "Rick Steves' Europe." There, he sampled the greatest bits of the area's history and scenery, as well as Croatians' love for life. If you're planning a trip to Croatia, here are some spectacular towns and islands you'll want to include on your itinerary.
You can see Steves' suggested Croatian destinations in the video above. For even more recommendations for the best of Europe, keep watching episodes weeknights at 7:30 p.m.
Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Adriatic," this city has become one of Croatia's most popular destinations among tourists. With its bustling promenade, relaxing pebbly beaches, and easy boat and ferry connections to many Adriatic islands, it's no wonder Steves dedicates an entire episode to this delightful city.
Visitors to this Adriatic island enjoy its mini-Dubrovnik vibe. In Kor?ula's Old Town, you'll find most of the island's historic charm in its medieval buildings and facades. During his visit, Steves stayed at a soba, a private rented room in a 500-year-old building. Accommodations like those offer simple, yet comfortable, dwellings at half the price of a hotel. In the newer, more practical side of town, you'll find shops, restaurants, and cafes galore.
A short ferry ride from Kor?ula, the island of Hvar is another popular spot to visit. Its main city, Hvar Town, features an old fortress, walls, tower, and palaces all built by and for the Venetians. If you're lucky, you'll catch a local a cappella choir performing Klapa music (Dalmatian folk music) during a stroll of Hvar's narrow back lanes. Also, be sure to get a taste of the favorite local fare, seafood.
Let's head back to Croatia's mainland and to the country's second city, Split. The city's main attraction is its historic core, where today's residents are literally living in a Roman palace. Roman emperor Diocletian built an enormous estate in the 4th Century A.D., but the palace was abandoned when Rome fell. Now, its hallways are more like city walkways. Old rooms are now buildings containing shops, cafes, and bars ... pretty cool!
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Close your eyes and imagine an oasis of breathtaking lakes, waterfalls, and lush forest. That's exactly what you'll find at this national park. Whether you take a tranquil boat ride through the park or stroll along miles of plank walks, you'll be awed by its vibrant colors and natural wonders.
For a sense of modern Croatian life, you'll want to visit this capital city. The city's full of urban energy and activity, with plenty of people-friendly parks, squares, shops, and cafes to keep you busy. If you're a fan of art, be sure to check out the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.
This is Steves' favorite stop between Dubrovnik and Venice. This city's historic gems include its bell tower, which offers unbeatable city views, and the narrow cobblestone streets and arches of its Old Town. For the ultimate romantic end to your trip, stop by the Valentino Bar in Old Town. There, you can grab a cushion and bundle up on a stone nook at the foot of the water while enjoying a drink and watching the Adriatic sunset.
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