When you travel, don’t you just love finding the magic in the destination? You don’t have to look too far to find it in Croatia. We’ve partnered with adventure, culture, and luxury traveler Dr. Cacinda Maloney from the blog PointsandTravel as she explores the coastline and finds the most treasured aspects of Croatia.

With Croatia’s miles of coastline, quaint fishing villages, and medieval castles, it is impossible not to fall in love with the country. The name itself conjures images of blue sparkling oceans, picture-perfect seaside towns with outdoor cafes, and yachts along the seashore. A visit to Croatia is more than stunning landscape and Mediterranean charm. It’s a magical escape you’ll never forget. Here are my five favorite reasons why:

You Can Go Island Hopping

One of the best ways to discover Croatia is through its islands. With over 1,000 of them, there are PLENTY of places to go island hopping! There is a large variety of islands – from tiny, sleepy ones, to busy and fast-paced ones. There are luxury and wellness islands, like the island of vitality (known as Losinj), to islands that are often overlooked, like the quiet Kress Island. Island hopping is easy via ferries and catamarans. And brave souls can even rent their own sailboat. Sailing is the best way to visit the Croatian islands and admire the true beauty of the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea coastline.

You Can Eat And Drink Like a Local

For some, travel is all about the food … and Croatia is no exception! Be sure and sample the traditional Pogača bread, which you can find in bakeries all over Croatia. It tastes best consumed fresh out of the ashes of the fireplace and drizzled with local olive oil, served with sheep cheese on the side. Croatians eat a lot of local seafood, feast on fresh fish and lamb that is slow-cooked, peka-style. Peka is a traditional Croatian way of blending meats with vegetables that are drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked in a bell-like dome or ispod čripnje. And don’t forget the wine! The Croatians certainly don’t and typically serve it with each meal. The Mediterranean climate is conducive to grape production and you will find wine everywhere! Try this Wine & Dine tour to sip and sample Croatian cuisine just like the locals do.

You Can Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Another magical reason to visit Croatia has to do with its large number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Croatia has eight sites considered “cultural” and two sites that are considered “natural”. Of the two natural, Krka National Park is located in southern Croatia. It has five entrances that are now accessible, with one entrance close to the seven magnificent waterfalls cascading down nearly 800 feet. It is quite a sight to see!

5 Most Magical Reasons to Visit Croatia

And who can forget the amazing old city of Dubrovnik? The city’s ancient walls protected it from centuries of medieval attacks and preserved its medieval core. Today, it is one of the central focuses of restoration by the UNESCO repair program. Oh, and don’t forget that Game of Thrones was filmed in Croatia!

You Can Step Back in Time

Most of the small towns have historic centers with typical Croatian architecture and well-preserved local history. Many have cobbled stone streets with cafes right near the water. Mali Losinj is a quaint port town with an amazing story to tell about an ancient Greek statue named Apoxyomenos. The statue was discovered in 1996 by a Belgian scuba diver after lying in the darkness for some 2,000 years.

The discovery, recovery, restoration, and now new life of the Greek bronze statue is an amazing story not to be missed. This statue can be found at the Museum of Apoxyomenos. His story is told through five different rooms of the museum and takes visitors back to a time when Greeks ruled the world. You will go away in awe of Apoxyomenos’ voyage to get here.

You Can Get Your Adrenaline Pumping

You can get your adrenaline pumping by visiting Croatia’s rugged mountains, centuries-old caves, and numerous waterfalls. There are gorgeous pebble beaches that offer sailing, kite surfing, and windsurfing. Croatian mountains offer stunning views of the Mediterranean’s turquoise waters and opportunities for rock-climbing and paragliding. Outdoor enthusiasts won’t want to miss river rafting and zip-lining.

Have you found your own magical moments while exploring Croatia? Share them with us in the comments!

Dr. Cacinda Maloney of PointsandTravel is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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