Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unusual things to do in Croatia

“The Mediterranean as it once was” is the Croatian Tourist Board’s web publicised strap line, with their adverts showing idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters and unspoilt old town and cities. But what does Croatia have in store for those who don’t want to wander around an old city, no matter how pretty it is, be hearded along for a boat trip to a beach with a fish picnic (a very popular tourist tour in Croatia by the way!) or just sit on a beach in the sun? Let’s take a look at a few adventurous and unusual things to do in Croatia.

1 Rafting and Canyoning.

Croatia has some great national parks and stunning scenery. The mainland is also pretty mountainous. This coupled with its numerous rivers makes it a great place to go rafting and canyoning. Canyoning in Croatia sees you and your party working your way down the river, through stunning gorges and valleys,
surrounded by nature with the high adrenalin of leaping into plunge pools, and sliding down waterfalls. Similar great adventures await you when rafting in Croatia, with the addition of being out of the water on your raft (most of the time!), working as a team and negotiating your way over numerous sets of rapids. As well as the great day trips, several operators offer multi day discovery tours, allowing you to get into the real heart of Croatia.

2 Climbing.

As mentioned above Croatia is home to vast mountain ranges, offering great Croatian climbing experiences for climbers of all levels.

3 Bungy Jumping.

If you are bored of the all the ‘picture postcard’ pretty places, islands and beaches then why not jump off a bridge! It’s not that bad – ensure you are well secured and try bungy jumping from the bridge at Sibenik.

4 Mountain Biking and Sailing.

We are just back from Croatia, and prior to our trip I had seen one or two great looking tours mixing Mountain Biking and Sailing in Croatia. And they look stunning – great mountain biking across a different island each day, before chilling out and sailing on to the next island each evening. Superb. But I had not anticipated how many boats we would see offering such trips. All the boats we saw looked well equipped, with happy passengers on board, and a deck full of good quality modern mountain bikes. Mmmmm will I still be fit enough when my daughters move out ;-)

5 Work the salt pans at Ston.

Looking for a work out, with free bed and breakfast, then why not volunteer to do some work collecting salt at the Ston Salt Pans. Ston is a beautiful place
, and a huge producer of both salt and shell fish! Each summer volunteers are welcomed to help with the salt production in return for bed and breakfast and an insight into Croatian culture. For those not wanting to break a sweat Ston is also a great place for a day trip from Dubrovnik, and you can visit the salt pans for a few euros.

6 Night Snorkelling.

Croatia is fantastic for snorkelling, its stony sea bed meaning that the waters stay crystal clear. We had our fins and masks on at every opportunity! But for those wanting something a little less ‘ordinary’ why not try night snorkelling. Witness what goes on beneath the Adriatic’s surface after dusk!

7 Jet skiing.

I’m a keen jetskier and every day of our holiday I was wishing I had my jetski with me! Jetskiing in Croatia is superb for a number of reasons. The already mentioned crystal clear waters, the fact there are over 1,000 interesting islands to explore, and the fact these islands protect the coastline and create natural huge areas of flat water in the areas between them and the mainland all add up to great jetskiing country. In most places we visited you could hire and jetski and go explore.

8 Kayaking and Boating.

The reasons why it great to be
on the water are well covered above, but again it’s a great place to tour by boat and kayak. And as you would expect there are plenty tour operators offering great short and multi day ways of enjoying kayaking in Croatia. Of if that’s too much effort (and balance) why not hire a boat. Escape the crowds and hire yourself a speed boat and go and enjoy those 1,000 plus islands. Few countries in the world can offer such great sights, and easy to navigate seas. Make the most of being in Croatia. We hired a speed boat from Dubrovnik and easily managed to explore all of the Elaphite islands in a day, stopping off in several deserted bays to enjoy snorkelling and a picnic.

9 Go to the park.

A walk in the park is always nice, but not particularly unusual or exciting. Croatia’s parks are pretty special. Krka National Park, Pltvice Lakes National Park and the Kornati National Park (which is out at sea) are just three of the stunning
Croatian parks. In the summer there are no finer places to take a swim than in the waterfalls, or why not experience Kornati National park from under the water on a diving or snorkelling trip.

10 Go to war.

Well not exactly but the recent conflicts from the early 90’s are still very much evident if you take yourself off the main tourist routes, and head inland a little. Take a drive in the areas around Knin (we drove from Trogir to Sinj to Knin, and back the small roads to Trogir). Here the scars of the war are very much in view. Driving through minefield warning signs at time, and deserted shelled and bullet ravaged villages brings home the harsh reality or wars.

Croatia is a great place to visit – study more photos of Croatia with a highly sarcastic set of words!


Anonymous said...

Hi, what is the name of the place in the final photo where everyone is swimming? It looks GORGEOUS! Thanks for a great article :)

Paul said...


Thanks for the kind words - the place in the last photo is the waterfalls in the Krka National Park about 90 minutes drive north of Trogir and Split - fantastic place - see more images and a map using the link above.

I can highly recommend a visit!

Anonymous said...

Some great tip on things to do in Croatia here. I'd also receommend the Krka National Park - me and my family had a great time here. A good mix of boat trip, short hike and fun in the falls. Kept the kids entertained.

All of Croatia is so pretty - as the images on this page show - photos of Croatia.

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