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 10 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!
10 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!
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.
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.
6. Swim Under Waterfalls in Krka National Park
Charming waterfalls, lush green vegetation, and stunning hiking trails make a visit to Krka National Park the perfect escape into nature.
It’s easy to spend a full day here soaking in the stunning vistas of pure natural beauty. The winding boardwalks take you through dazzling turquoise pools and waterfalls while the incredibly clear waters give visitors a glimpse into underwater life.
The best part of visiting this gorgeous national park is actually being able to swim among the waterfalls. End your hike with a dip, but be sure to plan your visit early if you want to enjoy the lake all to yourself.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Have you visited Croatia? What experience would you recommend? Help a fellow traveler out and share it in the comments below!
Go Beyond the Most Unique Things to Do in Croatia
- Get inspired by these 10 recipes from around the world.
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- Explore the 10 must-see hidden gems in Croatia.
- Plan your trip with the most amazing 10-day Croatia itinerary.
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