**This is a guest post**
Visiting a new place is always exciting, but once you’ve seen enough castles, palaces, town squares, and other common tourism landmarks, it can all start to blur together in your memory. That’s why we enjoy getting creative with our travel itineraries and researching the best places to visit that can help people experience local customs rather than just the same old travel haunts.
After all, this is the best way to get to know a country! When it comes to this kind of travel approach in Croatia, we have some suggestions for how to have a truly unique experience.
Tour Istria’s Wine Country
Like many historic European countries, Croatia is home to numerous quiet villages that don’t typically see heavy tourist traffic. The leftmost peninsula of the country, called Istria, is home to some such towns, and a great way to experience the area is by hopping between vineyards.
Istria has many “wine roads” in its Northwest region, where the local winemakers reside. Even if you’re not an avid wine drinker, visiting local businesses like these wineries can provide you with an excellent feel for what it’s like to be a native to this region – not to mention it exposes you to gorgeous scenery!
Incidentally, Istria is also where many other delicious foods and ingredients are produced, and is known for its olive oil and truffles in particular. We suggest renting a car and letting yourself wander for a couple of days through this gorgeous countryside.
Find The Beaches You Don’t Read About
Croatia boarders the Adriatic see, so naturally some of the country’s main attractions are its stunning beaches. As is typical of such destinations, tourists flock to the popular beaches in the summer, sometimes making it difficult to find a quiet place to relax near the water.
There are some less crowded (and less advertised) beach spots, however, especially on some of the island chains accessible from the main coast by ferry. One island we’d recommend is called Korčula, where you’ll find a quiet beach town of the same name. The town not only boasts a gorgeous coast, but also a few specifics sights to visit, making it ideal for a day-long excursion, or potentially even an overnight stay.
Enjoy The Unique Nightlife
Another unique aspect of Croatia that you can’t skip is its nightlife. Like many other European countries, Croatia has a bustling club scene. Deep Makarska, a club in a natural cave on the Dalmatian Coast, may be the most renowned of the bunch. Pag Island’s Noa Beach Club is another excellent option, and is actually built out on the water.
Meanwhile, where Dubrovnik is concerned, Banje Beach and Culture Club Revelin are the highlights. Meanwhile, in addition to clubs, Croatia has a fairly active casino scene that can enhance the nightlife experience. They exist all throughout Europe, but many countries, such as the UK, have been transitioning to online game offerings. The variety and convenience of games online renders actual, land-based casinos somewhat unnecessary.
In Croatia, however, you can still enjoy the in-person thrills of a real one in most any of the cities. Most notably, the popular Admiral chain has locations all throughout the country.
Explore The Caves
Our last recommendation for something off the beaten path to do in Croatia is to explore beneath the country on a caving expedition. For the most memorable experience, we recommend one of the more extreme options: crawling through the Modrič Cave. This expedition isn’t for the faint of heart, given that there are no lights installed in the caverns (as there typically are in most caves designed for tourists), and if you go you’ll find yourself in some very small spaces.
The length of the path through the cave is only 700 meters, however, so if you’re up for an adventure this could be a great activity that won’t take up more than a couple hours of your time. Meanwhile, if you’re more interested in a tamer experience, there are other caves to explore as well.
We hope that through some of these less common recommendations, you’ll be inspired to see Croatia in a way that lots of tourists and expats never do!