Croatia is a land of sublime natural beauty and has been a home to some diverse forms of wildlife for centuries. The unique geographical attributes of different parts of the country are the reason for some starkly different yet equally glorious landscapes throughout the nation. From the playful waves of the Adriatic Sea to the difficult terrain of the mountainous slopes, this region offers several opportunities for adventure sports. Travelers who are seeking an active holiday frequent the islands and national parks of Croatia for exhilarating outdoor experiences. Following are some of the popular adventurous activities that one must indulge in to truly appreciate the natural gifts of this region.
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Croatia is abundant in spectacular landscapes that combine rocky slopes and sharp cliffs with emerald-green forests. These locations are perfect for a day of hiking in the lap of nature. The hiking trails of the Plitvice Lakes National Park are recommended for beginners and families, whereas the breathtaking gorges of the Paklenica National Park are much more challenging. The hike up to the stone tower on the Vojak summit of Ucka Mountain provides mesmerizing views of the Istrian Peninsula.
Other popular spots for hiking include Risnjak National Park and Biokovo Mountain, as well as the jagged limestone rocks of Bijele and Samarske Stijene.
The sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic Sea house innumerable marine wonders. A unique diving experience is offered by Baron Gautsch in Rovinj, where the waters hold the wreckage of an old ship, which is now adorned with sponges, corals, and algae. The waters here are quite deep and are not recommended for beginners, who can head over to the shallow depths of Margarina Reef instead. One must also plunge into the realm of blue enclosed by the sea cave of Bisevo Grotto, to dive among the colorful crustaceans and colorful fish species. The Pakleni Islands also have some great spots for experienced divers, with the vivid hues of the Vodnjak Reef stealing the show.
The gentle waves and strong sea breeze of the Croatian coast make for a sailor’s delight. A voyage on a sailboat to explore the treasures of the Adriatic Sea is a wonderful way to enjoy in the many islands of Croatia. As you cruise along the sapphire blue waters, do drop your anchor on the island of Brac to relax at the beach of Zlatni Rat, a golden horn that impales the expansive sea. One must also stop by at the island of Hvar to stroll through the olive plantations and vineyards. The rustic charm of Korcula Island and the quaint churches of Ciovo Island are also extremely inviting. Since sailing and yacht charter has become a quite popular activity and you can get tips and advice at pretty much any harbor across the country.
The best way to stay fit while on holiday is to traverse the national parks of Croatia on a bike. The Krka National Park and the Plitvice Lakes National Park have cycling trails that are suitable for bikers of all skill levels. The bike trails of Istria offer some fascinating views of the sea and lead to the top of peaks that are famous for their panoramic views. The Vidova Gora on the island of Brac is not just the highest summit of the Adriatic islands, but also an exciting place to test your cycling skills. The hilly terrain of this region offers an excellent opportunity to test your endurance in a tough session of off-road biking.
The lovers of water sports have a lot of options to choose from on the beaches of Croatia. The most famous destination for surfing is at Bol, on the island of Brac. One can also ride the waves at several spots on the Istrian peninsula, with the bays of Kamenjak and Dajla being some of the most popular ones. The waves embracing the island of Hvar are also more than suitable for surfing enthusiasts. It’s also worth mentioning that experienced surfers usually head over to the Vrboska beach for the highest waves and biggest thrills. If you are an amateur and would just like to try riding the waves for the first time, you rent the equipment for on the beaches and learn the basics of this sport from trained instructors.
These invigorating activities are bound to pack your visit to Croatia with thrills. They will keep your energy high and the adrenaline pumping throughout the day. With so many destinations for adventurous activities, Croatia is definitely a great choice for any outdoor enthusiast.
Author bio –Nicholas Svensk, an audio engineer, enthusiast for hiking, off-road cycling and exploring nature in general. Enjoys traveling while trying to learn more about world history and tradition of places he is visiting. An Eco-activist and aspiring writer from time to time.