Croatia Vacation Rentals--Live Like a Local in This Beautiful, Historic Nation
When searching for your vacation rental in Croatia, looking at a map, the first thing you'll probably notice is the shape. It looks like a boomerang, with one of the long sides making up nothing but coastline. And that's the big draw of this beautiful country on the Adriatic. It beckons with miles and miles of coastline, some of it rocky and scenic, some of it blessed with pristine beaches, all of it dotted with islands and quaint villages. But once you've taken in the coast, trek into the interior to see the inland waterfalls and national parks, or simply enjoy the urban buzz and history of Dubrovnik.
. The Dalmatian coast makes up the long arm of the boomerang. It encompasses many of Croatia's 1,000+ islands and is one of Europe's most popular vacation destinations. You'll find celebrities from all over the world on the islands and on perfect beaches (Brela and Baska Voda are just two). Dalmatia is known for its cuisine as well, and boasts the major cities of Split and Zadar. The region is filled with history dating back to the Paleolithic era, ancient towns, medieval villages and more than you can see in just one trip.
. Just south of Trieste in Italy lies Isteria, a heart shaped peninsula with verdant rolling hills and plains, ancient, undisturbed ancient villages, farmhouses and friendly people. Istria sits at the top of the boomerang, and its irregular coastline offers plenty of sun and fun. But be aware that beaches along the Isteria coast are rocky and pebbly. There are a few sandy beaches. But the irregularity of the coastline means you'll find plenty of isolated coves where you can set up beach chairs, get some sun and enjoy marine nature at its best.
Kvarner and Highlands
. The coastline of Kvarner sits to the east of the Istria peninsula and the islands of Cres and Krk. Cres is relatively undeveloped and perfect for people who love nature. Krk features sandy beaches and the medieval town of Krk. Kvarner has a long history of being a tourist destination, dating back to the days of the 19th century Austro-Hungarian Empire. History abounds in the region filled with villas built by wealthy dukes and duchesses.
. A piece of advice if you're traveling to Croatia: don't ignore Zagreb. It's the capital city, home to approximately 780,000 people and an exciting city that offers the arts, nightlife and many things to see and do. It's known for friendly residents eager to share their Croation culture. Plan on spending at least a day in Zagreb, if not your whole stay. Take in the Zagreb cathedral, Dolac market, the Strossmayer Gallery, Archeological Museum, and City Museum. Use it as a home base to explore Croatia's interior and beaches.
. There are over 1,000 islands scattered down the Croatian coast. Talk about choices! The most popular are easily accessible by ferry. Hvar Island is one of the most visited, often by stars and global jetsetters. Yachts fill the harbors, honeymooners stroll hand in hand along the shore, and lavender, heather and pines grace the interior.
. There are eight national parks in Croatia, with the best known being Plitvica. It's located in the northern interior and is known for waterfalls and lakes. They're designated for sight-seeing only--no kayaking, back country hiking or camping. The upside is that they're quite beautiful and pristine.