Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

If decadent cuisine (think truffle mashed potatoes), local wine varietals (like orange wine) and spectacular scenery sound like your ideal components for a perfect vacation, then you’re going to love Istria, Croatia.  Often referred to as “The New Tuscany,” I prefer to think of Istria as a similar but also unique region that’s distinctly Croatian—and an absolute must-visit while in the country.      While Croatia might not be the first destination to come to mind for wine tasting, it definitely deserves more credit than it receives. Wine has long been an integral part of the culture in the Croatian countryside, in large part due to the demanding labor that was required to survive. It’s said that life without a good wine after a hard day’s work was inconceivable. Now, Croatian wines are exported throughout Europe, and the quality only continues to improve. The crown-jewel of Istria is Rovinj. Located on the coast, the city is a picture-perfect spot to base your explorations of the countryside. With boutiques, art shops and wine bars dotting the winding alleys and coastline, it’s easy to spend all your time in the quaint city. But there are more rewards to be had in the hilltop villages in the surrounding countryside—especially when it comes to food and wine.     Here’s an introduction to wine tasting in Istria. Be sure to read to the end, where we’ve included our top tips for getting around the region and tasting our favorite wine accompaniment—truffles.   Indigenous Grapes of Croatia     One of the best parts about wine tasting in Croatia is getting to try indigenous...
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017 If you’re planning a road trip through Croatia, then chances are Plitvice Lakes National Park is high on your bucket list. This fairytale setting of aquamarine water, dazzling waterfalls, colorful dragonflies and scenic woodlands is one of Croatia’s most renowned tourist attractions—clearly for a good reason.     You’ll have to share the picture-perfect scenery with heaps of other visitors, (Plitvice Lakes National Park sees some 1.2 million tourists each year) but don’t let this deter you. Nearly every turn along the wooden trail is more beautiful than the last, revealing waterfalls of all shapes and sizes that plummet into sparkling, crystal-clear pools below.                                 If you’re ready for the ultimate trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park, here’s what to know before you go: Navigating Plitvice Lakes National Park   Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of a series of 16 terraced lakes; the cascading lakes are grouped into the 12 upper lakes and four lower lakes, with some 90 waterfalls along the way. Convenient wooden walking trails make exploring the park simple and accessible. Avid hikers can opt to adventure further into the park along well-marked dirt paths.   You’ll want at least three hours to do Plitvice Lakes justice, though you’ll likely find that’s not quite enough to walk around both the lower and upper falls. We parked at Entrance 1, walked around the lower falls, then took the ferry to the upper falls where we walked a...
The Highlights of Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Highlights of Dubrovnik, Croatia

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017If you’re planning a visit to Croatia, then chances are Dubrovnik has a spot on your travel itinerary. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Dubrovnik offers stunning views, picture-perfect beaches, fascinating medieval architecture and plenty of adventure activities. Dubrovnik is also home to many locations used to film Game of Thrones, attracting quite a few travelers whose sole purpose of visiting is to see the real-life settings behind the hit T.V. show. Given its fame, beauty and UNESCO World Heritage status, it’s hardly a surprise that Dubrovnik also gets tons of tourists, especially within the Old Town. To be honest, knowing very little about Croatia prior to our road trip, I was shocked by just how touristy the city felt. Dubrovnik is still well worth the visit, but try to avoid peak season and know you’ll likely be sharing the views with many other tour groups.     The Start To Our Croatia Road Trip   After picking up the rental car in Split, Dubrovnik was the first destination on our road trip itinerary. The drive from Split to Dubrovnik is gorgeous, much of it hugging the coastline. Keep your passport handy, because you’ll even get to pass through Bosnia for a few miles!       Our rental car was courtesy of Nova Rent A Car, and we could not have been happier. The car was brand new and super easy to drive throughout Croatia and Slovenia. If you’re visiting these two countries, you really want to have your own wheels. The most...