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9 of the Most Unique Things to Do in Croatia

Croatia has a lot going for it. A dazzling coastline, crystal clear water, picturesque islands, and of course, Dubrovnik.

Basically, the things everyone talks about when they think of Croatia.

But sometimes, we’re looking to dig a little deeper. We’re craving to experience more than just the obvious stuff.

So, for those looking to break away from the crowds and enjoy Croatia off the beaten path, I’ve compiled a list of the 9 most unique things to do in Croatia.

Be sure to save this and incorporate one of these activities into your future trip to Croatia- I promise you won’t regret it!

Basketball court in the middle of Dubrovnik's historic walls

9 of the Most Unique Things to Do in Croatia

1. Snorkel for Wine

Imagine gliding through the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, on a quest to find the perfect bottle of wine.

Sounds like something out of a dream, right?

At Edivo Winery, situated on the Peljesac Peninsula, you can do just that. This unique Croatian winery houses their entire collection of wine in an underwater cellar 20 meters below sea level.

An unusually ideal place to age wine, the underwater conditions at Edivo have proven to be ideal for creating the winery’s most renowned line of wine “Navis Mysterium” (The Sea Mystery).

Each bottle of wine is housed in a clay amphora that, after being submerged for 2 years, emerges from the water encrusted with coral, seashells, and other sea treasures.

Talk about a unique souvenir to bring back home with you!

Good to know: The scuba diving tour is only available to licensed divers.

2. Harvest Oysters in the Town of Ston

Also on the Peljesac Peninsula, and not too far from Edivo Winery, lies the historic town of Ston. This town is not found on your typical tourist route, but is more than worth visiting if you love great food and great scenery.

Widely recognizable by its hill-hugging walls, Ston actually boasts the longest fortification in all of Europe! In addition to its historic sites, Ston is one of the best culinary destinations in Croatia for fresh mussels and oysters.

Oysters have been harvested for generations in this region of Croatia, and the locals are particularly proud to share their heritage and livelihood with visitors. One of the greatest ways to experience the best that the region has to offer is to venture out on a private tour. A few of the family-run farms offer private excursions that take you to the oyster beds to witness oysters being harvested straight from the sea.

Of course, no tour is complete without learning how to shuck the oysters before enjoying them!

Town of Ston near Dubrovnik Croatia

3. Go Truffle Hunting in Istria

Taste your way through the Istrian peninsula as you hunt for some of the world’s most highly prized culinary treats – the truffle.

Commonly associated with France and Italy, many people are surprised to find that Croatia is also a producer of this rare type of mushroom.

The truffle capital of Croatia is situated in the green heart of the Istrian peninsula. Carpeted in rolling emerald hills bejeweled with medieval fortresses, Istria’s dense forests protect the coveted gourmet delicacy.

For a truly unforgettable experience in Istria, head out on a tour accompanied by a professional truffle hunter and his trained dog. On the tour, they’ll show you how to hunt for truffles and reveal the techniques they use to unearth these underground treasures. After the tour, you’ll get to enjoy a decadent meal topped with the truffles you brought back from the forest.

4. Witness Magic at Blue Cave Bisevo

One of the more popular destinations to combine with a visit to the Croatian coast is the Blue Cave located on the island of Biševo. At just around noon, the sun shines through the top of the cave, creating a unique natural phenomenon that makes the water inside the cave glow a bright blue.

You can witness the magnificent work of Mother Nature with just a short boat ride away from Split or some of the other surrounding islands. Many local agencies offer private and group day tours to the Blue Cave, just be sure to shop around for a fair price.

5. Bee-Keeping on Šolta Island

Plunge into untouched nature and timeless Mediterranean traditions when you visit the island of Šolta. The herbs and woody plants that carpet the island make it ideal for beekeeping pastures, which is why Šolta is famous for honey.

Get your hands sticky at Tvrdić Honey, a bee farm run by third-generation beekeepers. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to observe honey being made in a glass beehive as you learn about the fascinating life of bees. You’ll also witness how honey is extracted from the hive, and enjoy sampling a variety of homemade honey products. The family will also take you on a tour through their vineyards and olive tree groves, leaving you with a complete Mediterranean island experience.

You can easily reach Solta on a boat tour from Split, or stay for a few days to really soak in the laidback island lifestyle.

Bees on lavender

6. Attend the Annual Knight’s Tournament at Alka of Sinj

If you love history, then you’ll definitely enjoy witnessing the equestrian battle, Alka of Sinj. This knightly tradition has been held in the Dalmatian town of Sinj for over 300 years!

Organized in memory of the glorious victory the Knights of Sinj had over the Ottoman Army in 1715, the Alka of Sinj is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of August. The heroic day is honored with a knight’s tournament, where the participants dress in historic costumes (the same ones that were worn by the warriors in the 18th century). The contestants are also armed with historic equipment and weapons.

In 2010, the Alka of Sinj was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, solidifying its significance and proving that it truly is one of the most unique things to do in Croatia.

Photo credit: Sinj Tourist Board

7. Cycle the Parenzana Trail

Once an old railway line that was a key route in the transportation of agricultural goods between Istria and Trieste, Italy, the Parenzana Trail today serves as a beautiful biking route.

Often referred to as the “Trail of Health and Friendship”, this cycling path provides stunningly beautiful scenery through vibrant foliage, across breathtaking bridges, and along brilliant bays.

Parts of the Parenzana Trail are also reachable by foot. If you’re visiting by car, you can park close to sections of the trail that lead to ancient viaducts, tunnels, and hamlets.

The Parenzana Trail is a great addition to an Italy and Croatia itinerary where you can combine the best of Istria and northern Italy into one epic vacation!

The Most Unique Things to Do in Croatia | Parenzana Trail in Istria, Croatia

8. Rafting on the Cetina River

The Cetina River is a popular destination for first-time rafters and experienced paddlers. The tumbling, emerald green waters of the Cetina weave through a series of rapids, caves, and waterfalls – the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.

This adrenaline-infused 12-kilometer rafting journey will expose you to the spectacular natural beauty of the Cetina River. During the ride, you’ll have opportunities to explore caves, marvel at the flora and fauna, and float in the refreshing river.

There are many organized tours leaving from Split and the surrounding area to the Cetina River. However, if you are traveling through Croatia by car, reaching the Cetina is an easy one-hour drive away from Split.

Alternatively, you might want to take a day trip to visit Izvor Cetine (Cetina River Spring) which is located north of Split. This is the source of the Cetina River and has become a popular spot due to its unique look, often being compared to the eye of a dragon!

9. Explore Tito’s Tunnels at Paklenica National Park

Paklenica National Park is the beating heart of Croatian National Parks. Primarily known for its top rock climbing areas and picturesque hiking trails, the park has recently enriched its offer with tours of its hidden war bunkers.

These underground tunnels of the past were used by the former Yugoslavian National Army, led by President Tito, in the 1950s. The artificial cave complex was created in total secrecy and was not open to the outside world until 1991.

Since then, parts of the vast corridors have been transformed into a multipurpose hall, art gallery, artificial climbing wall, and information center.

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Croatia Travel Planning Guide

💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).

🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!

🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.

📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!

🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.

🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)

💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!

🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

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