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10 Most Beautiful Croatian Towns and Cities

Old town of Korcula
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Old town of Korcula

Croatia is one of Europe’s most beautiful and sunniest countries with a rippling sea, populated with thousands of little islands, murmuring waterfalls, stately mountains and interesting people. It’s no surprise that all of its variety is also reflected in its cities and towns – some are situated on the islands, while others can be found on the coast or at the bottom of mountains. Here, Travel On Spot offers you ten of Croatia’s cities and towns that are certain to enchant you with their sights and culture.

Motovun

Motovun city
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Motovun city

Motovun is a medieval mountain town, quietly dozing on the hills of central Istria. The town is surrounded by green olive fields and forests, rich in the expensive gourmet mushrooms – truffles. Once considered to be the most beautiful Croatian town, Motovun is now a unique mixture of Slavic and Italian cultures. The streets of the town are full of the smells of baked truffles and pizza, meeting travellers at its majestic gates.

Korčula

Aerial helicopter shoot of Korcula old town
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Aerial helicopter shoot of Korcula old town

Korčula is located at the foot of Mount Dinara, which consists of dolomite and limestone. This little town, so elegantly attached to the coastline, is the celebrity of the Adriatic Sea island of the same name. Boats and yachts sway between the stone walls of the old harbour, while the marble houses with red shingles hide inner courtyards where people cook fish soup and taste the exceptionally dry Croatian wines.

Zadar

City of Zadar skyline sunset view
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  City of Zadar skyline sunset view

Hidden behind the modern high-rise buildings and the droves of white yachts, the Old Town of Zadar, constantly swept by the pleasant winds of the Adriatic Sea, is humming with people. It’s quite the mixture of many different architectural styles and tastes, and its marble streets and wide squares witness the city’s rich history. Located by the Baroque, Gothic and Byzantine churches loom the ruins of a Roman forum, while in the background waves play a grand sea organ.

Trogir

Trogir old town panorama
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Trogir old town panorama

Trogir is a veritable intersection of Greek, Roman, Venetian and contemporary Croatian histories. This city, located on mainland Croatia and a rocky island, is crisscrossed with narrow streets, where the locals hang their clothes, and bustling pizzerias and wineries under wide wooden balconies. Trogir’s UNESCO-protected Old Town is guarded by the massive Kamerlengo Fortress.

Pula

 

Pula
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Pula

Pula is proud of its crown – the best-preserved Roman amphitheatre outside of Italy. This little town is not only a gate to the glimmering beaches of the Verudela Peninsula and the wind-swept cliffs of Kamenjak, but also boasts a number of millennia-old temples, blindingly white churches and arches of triumph. Here, a favourite pastime of both locals and tourists is to sip sparkling wine in the narrow street cafés.

Hvar

Beautiful view of old harbor in Hvar town
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Beautiful view of old harbor in Hvar town

Hugging a little bay, this tiny town is situated on the western part of an island bearing the same name. The historic centre, highly popular with sunbathing enthusiasts, is a mosaic of white squares, dark and narrow streets, and thousands of steps, that turns into ochre-coloured rooftops and medieval pediments. The outskirts of the town are characterised by mountains with steep limestone slopes, leaping vineyards, winding coastal paths, and secret coves and beaches. It’s no surprise that Hvar is visited by 200,000 people every year.

Rovinj

Roofs of old town. Rovinj
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Roofs of old town. Rovinj

Rovinj is a medieval sea of terracotta roofs, coastal paths and plastered Italian houses, all cascading downwards to the rocky, pine-strewn coastline. The centre of this Adriatic city is a veritable maze of winding cobble streets and small squares with rustic inns serving fresh seafood. The architecture and culture of Rovinj represent the spirit of coastal Croatia’s cities.

Dubrovnik

Panoramic view at the old, fortified part of the Dubrovnik city
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Panoramic view at the old, fortified part of the Dubrovnik city

No list of the most beautiful Croatian cities can omit Dubrovnik, which rises above the majestic Adriatic cliffs in the country’s south. The Baroque ceilings of the city’s buildings betray their Ottoman influence, the high fortresses of the old Republic of Ragusa are still standing on a hill, and legends of Balkan knights still circulate within the old city gates, castles and belfries. Recently, Dubrovnik became known as the capital of kings in the popular TV show Game of Thrones – a royal role for a royal city.

Split

Aerial view of Split
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Aerial view of Split

Even though, factually, Split is the capital of Dalmatia, this sunny city managed to maintain its rich historic aura. The city’s seeming immunity to time is witnessed by the core of Diocletian’s Palace – the UNESCO-protected monument that consists of marble arches, narrow alleys, glimmering squares and colonnades – and it attracts hordes of tourists. Split is also decorated by its coastline, speckled with swaying palm trees and luxurious cafés. The nearby reefs are very popular with divers.

Zagreb

Zagreb Panorama
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Zagreb Panorama

The spirit of Zagreb lives in its Austro-Hungarian part. The best way to experience this city is by losing yourself in its cobble streets, clattering trams, cellar pubs and luxurious Baroque estates. The older part of the city, the Upper Town, decorates Zagreb with medieval church towers, hipster cafés and winding streets, lit by steel filigree street lamps. The horizon is dominated by the Mount Medvednica, speckled with ski tracks, paths, mossy forests and medieval strongholds.

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