By Briana Seftel
Hvar from basic, Croatia is one of the hottest destinations in Europe. If you're itching to Split to the country by the Adriatic Sea, here are ten things you must do in Croatia!
1. Swim to an underwater winery
Taste the unique terrior (in this case, sea water) of Croatia's wine aged in the Adriatic! Located on the Pelješac peninsula, Edivo Vina allows visitors to dive to their underwater winery where they age wine for one to two years. The wine is stored in amphorae (a clay jug) to keep it sealed and stored in cages to keep divers from swimming off with any bottles.
2. Dine at a konoba
Taste the Mediterranean flavors of Croatian cuisine at a konoba, a traditional restaurant found primarily along the Dalmatian Coast. Rustic and romantic, the konoba was the place where food and wine was stored and meals were prepared and eaten. Some dishes you may find at a konoba are crni rizot, a seafood risotto turned black from squid ink.
3. Explore a stunning national park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is made up of 16 breathtaking crystalline lakes, making this park one of the most scenic in all of Europe. You could spend an entire day hopping from one lake to another and hiking through dense forest. Plitvice is especially enchanting during fall!
4. Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships
Just recovering from a breakup? You may find comfort at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. What started as an inside joke between two Croatian artists and exes, the permanent museum displays personal objects from failed relationships with short descriptions. The museum became so popular that a location was opened in Los Angeles in 2016.
5. Lounge on a beach that changes shape and color
Zlatni Rat beach (also known as Golden Horn) on Brac Island has to be one of the most unique and beautiful beaches in the world. This long golden pebble beach that points vertically into the Adriatic Sea continually changes shape and color due to the ever-changing winds, waves, and sea currents. Aside from its beauty, this beach is a great place for snorkeling and sea kayaking.
6. Take a ride on the world's shortest funicular
Ready for the shortest "fun" ride of your life? At a mere 216 feet, the funicular in the capital of Zagreb linking the Lower and Upper Towns is the shortest funicular ride in the world. Still not sold? It also holds the title for the world's safest public transportation! From high up over Zagreb, you can see why Croatia is the setting for many Game of Thrones locations.
7. Hear the sweet sounds of a sea organ
Locals and tourists descend on the western end of Zadar's waterfront to hear the incredible and natural sounds of the sea organ. Resembling marble steps leading down to the sea, the clever engineering excudes whistful music when the movement of the sea pushes air through it.
8. Visit the world's smallest town
Hmm, Hum you say? Yes, the town of Hum near Istria in northwest Croatia is listed as the smallest town in the world by Guinness World Records. According to the 2011 census, the population of the town is a sweet and tiny 21. Surrounded by medieval stone walls, Hum is a charming and very quiant place to stroll through.
9. Go on a hunt for truffles
Italy and France aren't the only countries famous for truffles. The dense oak forests of Istria have long been suppliers of white truffles, but the region has remained relatively hidden due to the international recognition of its more famous European counterparts. Fall is the best season for truffle hunting, so plan accordingly!
10. See where the necktie was born
Croatia is very proud that they were the first to invent the necktie; so proud that October 18 is International Necktie Day, also known as Cravat Day. In fact, "croat" and "cravat" were originally different variations of the same word. While many attribute the tie to the French, it was actually Croatian mercenaries in the 17th century who wore a piece of cloth around their neck. To see the famous necktie in action, head to St. Mark's Square in Zagreb for the Shift of the Guards ceremony.