This year has been anything but ordinary—even extraordinary would be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.
Croatia offers a unique Old World feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the country’s fare and flair. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off visiting the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets. The “aha” moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb.
Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this article gives you ample time for planning to experience the Ultimate Holiday Gift, Christmas in Croatia.
The Bucket List
Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic. Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wander about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course had to make the 13th century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to cross three destinations off of my travel bucket list.
At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to eager adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.
Lights in Zagreb
By day Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice Park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy tale in Croatia.
Truffle Hunt in Istria
Everyone loves a day trip to Istria, which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffle eggs and variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education, and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.
Rest in Rovinj
From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining, and spa, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.
Chocolate in Opatija
A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happens the first weekend of December; you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk, and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.
By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.
Castles in Rijeka
Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.