The first part of introduction to Croatia for motorcycle touring enthusiasts
In the latest online competition organized by Pinterest and Twitter, Croatia came out as the 13th most beautiful country in the world, with votes from all around the globe. But more than often it finds its place within the world’s top ten destinations. It is also one of the top five most desirable destinations for European tourists, and the definite number one of the Central Europe. National Geographic Traveller puts Croatia in its “The 2012 Hot List”, so be sure to check that out.
Within such a small area, it has mountains and plains, long indented coast with no less than 1246 islands, it has many national parks, beautiful lakes and rivers and many more truly amazing stuff. That’s what makes it one of the top five European countries when it comes to biodiversity.
Hopefully we’ve made clear that Croatia is recognized as ‘’it’’ destination. We’re aware that you, dear readers, come from all around the world, and not all of you are well acquainted with what our stunning little country has to offer, so that’s why we decided to put a few guidelines on Ride The Adventure blog. As you may have already seen, we already wrote about the islands of Cres and Lošinj, and we will write about many places in more detail, but now we’re going to introduce Croatia in a larger picture, so you could get to know it a little better. Now let’s have a delicious quick tour.
What? Where? Why?
We might call this question triad ‘’the world wide wondering’’ reaction, common when someone pulls out a country that you’ve hardly even heard of, and says that it’s one of those places you just have to see before you die. Whoa, slow down! Is Croatia really one of those places? Yes, it is.
East of Italy, south of Hungary and Slovenia, wrapped around Bosnia and Herzegovina, like a little flying bird, charming Croatia sings its own song. Unspoiled nature and diversity, one of the most beautiful coastlines, cultural richness, and that unique Mediterranean feel make a unique mixture that can’t be seen anywhere else. Its population is around 4.5 million, and Croats are well known for their hospitality, generosity and overall friendly nature that’s been appreciated by foreigners for years. Its capital is the beautiful city of Zagreb, and the country itself is divided into three main geographical regions:
- The Pannonian area – eastern and northwestern part of the country that’s mostly lowland and hilly. This is the agricultural heart of Croatia and the region is called Slavonija.
- The hilly and mountainous area – this is the central part of Croatia which spreads all the way to the coast. This part is industrially most developed, and rural tourism is becoming more popular every day.
- The Adriatic Area – The Croatian coastal area is divided into the northern part – Istria and Kvarner, and southern part (Dalmatia).
The third one is in our focus. With Croatia being a fairly small country, and you riding a bike, you’ll have a chance to see the most of the coastal part through MotoTrip’s Phenomenal island hopping and Sunset tour starting from Zagreb, riding to Istria, and all the way to Dubrovnik in the south.
The Croatian Adriatic coast with its 1246 islands and islets, 5835 kilometers of coastline (of which 1777 km goes to mainland coastline), is one of the most indented coasts in the world, and its roads make it a one-of-a-kind place of European motorcycle touring. The largest peninsulas are Istria and Pelješac, and the largest bay is Kvarner Bay. There are many islands like Cres, Lošinj, Krk, Rab, Hvar, Brač, Korčula, Vis, Pag, to name just a few.
Must see (just a beginning)
There are countless hot-spots that people enjoy visiting while in Croatia, so we’re going to name just a few of them in this part. On the far south of Croatian part of the Adriatic coast, the town of Dubrovnik is located. It’s called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” because of its astonishing beauty. Surrounded with 14th century city walls, with the sea in front of it studded with a couple of beautiful small islands such as Lokrum, it reveals unseen beauty and charm.
Dubrovnik was recently named in the US as one of the three most romantic places in the world, ahead of Paris and Venice! It was also chosen as a location for filming some of the scenes for the popular HBO series The Game of Thrones (season 2). Keep an eye on our blog, because we’ll bring you some great stuff about Dubrovnik.
You’ll have a chance to ride your way to magical National park The Plitvice lakes – a really unique system of 16 lakes with numerous waterfalls between them, making the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe. This is pure enjoyment for one’s eyes and soul.
The Istrian peninsula in the north has so much to offer. The National Geographic in their Best of the World 2012 puts it like this: “Think Tuscany, but with a Habsburg past. The shady, rolling hills of Istria—Croatia’s northernmost peninsula—are becoming widely known for their truffles, Malvazija white wines, olive oil stancijas (estates), and crumbling hill towns.” The towns of Opatija, Rovinj and Pula have so much more than one can imagine. You need to see it to believe.
And then there’s Split, Zadar, Šibenik, the whole Dalmatia, 7 more National parks, 11 Nature parks, a few more hundreds of islands, etc. Not to mention Croatian cuisine and world class wines. Check the video below to see what Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain has to say about Croatia. There are so many things worth visiting, tasting and enjoying while on motorcycle holidays in Croatia, so stay tuned for part two of Croatia for beginners.
Thing you need to know
- Population: around 4.5 million of extraordinary people
- Language: Croatian (but you’ll be amazed how many Croats speak English)
- National currency: Kuna (HRK) – 1 EUR is around 7,5 kunas; 1 USD is around 6 kunas
- Capital city: Zagreb
- Time zone: Central European Time (GMT+1)
- Personal documents you need: all you need is a valid passport. People from most countries don’t need a visa
- Prices: slightly cheaper than the neighboring EU countries like Italy and Austria
- Climate: warm and dry summers throughout the country, with mild winters around the seaside, and fairly cold ones in the continental part
- Electricity plug: standard European Type C plug, 220V, 50Hz