10 Vacation-Worthy Towns on Croatia’s Stunning Coastline
Having shaken off its war-torn past, Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, is primed to make the most of its future. That means showing off its gorgeous Adriatic coastline to the ever-increasing number of tourists arriving at its shores. The southern city of Dubrovnik has long been a half-hidden European gem, but other coastal towns are following its example. Travelers can explore the walled medieval cities in the morning, search for isolated beaches for an afternoon swim, and at night sample seafood caught fresh that morning. Read on for details on the allure of our top 10 towns on Croatia’s Adriatic coast.
Wine lovers will adore the island of Korčula, filled with vineyards and said to produce the country’s best white wine. Walls enclose Korčula town, an ancient city filled with narrow, stepped streets. The town itself is overlooked by a number of defensive towers, previously designed to warn away invaders but now used for everything from housing museums to cocktail bars. The town, believed to be the birthplace of Venetian merchant and world traveler Marco Polo, loves to share its history with modern day explorers. Visitors should make a point of seeking out a Moreška performance, routinely given for tourists. This traditional sword dance pits two groups in a mock dance battle over a veiled woman, and its participants are required to be natives of Korčula.
For those after more than just a pretty beach (Rijeka proper has few) this is the town to visit. Home to Croatia’s largest port, Rijeka feels more like a Rotterdam or a Naples than a glossy tourist destination. But that grit churns out some polished diamonds. The city, a famous musical hub in its Yugoslav days, boasts a number of venues featuring live music, as well as playing host to other cultural events. The city center reflects Rijeka’s days under Habsburg rule, with its Baroque clock tower its main centerpiece. When done wandering the pedestrian streets of the Korzo, climb the 561 stairs to Trsat Castle. The fortress, dating from the 13th century, is now another great place in Rijeka to catch a concert or take in a performance. Even when there’s nothing going on, the views from the top of the hill make climbing all those stairs worth it.