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Trip List by Ivana V

Croatia: Off The Beaten Path

Feb 25, 2010  Croatia native.
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 2 votes

Most people traveling to Croatia go for the hot-spots: Dubrovnik down south and Pula up north. While these cities truly are majestic, Croatia has many, many more gems that were hidden - until now!

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Trakoscan, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Kutjevo
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Active/Outdoors, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Trakoscan Castle (Dvor Trakoscan)
    Trakoscan Castle (Dvor Trakoscan), Trakoscan, Varazdin County

    If you are landing in Zagreb, there is no excuse not to visit this enchanting castle. It is so well preserved that you will instantly be transported back to the 13th century when it was built. Take a guided tour to learn about its tempestuous past, learn why it was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style and relax with a stroll around its beautiful landscape. The castle is less than an hour away from the airport, and if you find you are enjoying more than you would ever think, take another short ride to its neighboring Veliki Tabor castle.

  • 2. Plitvice Lakes National Park
    Plitvice Lakes National Park, Central Croatia

    This UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site is not to be missed. The beauty of its waterfalls will leave you speechless. The 16 lakes rest on limestone and travertine and are a home to over 40 protected endemic plant species, 321 species of butterflies and over 50 different species of mammals. This is a true heaven for any lover of nature.

  • 3. Bizik Zoo, Nasice

    This zoo is quite a treat! It is family-owned and run and it houses more than 90 species from around the world. While you might have seen most of these animals in other zoos, I assure you that you will be quite pleasantly surprised to find them here. These animals are like Bizik family's pets. Sometimes they will let you handle and feed some of the animals, and the owners are more than happy to tell you all about the challenges of feeding a lion and keeping up with a kangaroo. These are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and they are especially good with children who come and visit the zoo. You have never been this close to zoo animals before! Visit it - you won't regret it. (And while you are in the town Nasice do look around. The center has gorgeous architecture and lovely restaurants and cafes.)

  • 4. Kutjevo
    Kutjevo, Pozega-Slavonia County

    For all wine lovers, Kutjevo is the place. Here you will find some of the oldest vineyards and wines in the entire country. Come for a tasting, buy wine to bring friends back home, and enjoy the beautiful landscape and well-preserved monasteries, manors and wine cellars dating back to the 13th century.

  • 5. Toplice Velika - Slavonia's Hot Springs

    Slavonia is the eastern part of Croatia, regularly missed by tourists. However, it is one of the most beautiful parts of the country. When the army of the Roman Empire saw Salvonia, they exclaimed: "Vallis aurea!" (Golden Valley!) It is an agriculturally rich area with pristine views of gold wheat fields, vineyards, lakes, hills and valleys. Toplice Velika are extremely well-maintained hot springs surrounded by pure nature. Here you can camp, picnic, hike, bike, paraglide, and ride horses. Also nearby is castle Barun Trenk in the nearby town Trenkovo, and a vivacious cultural and geographical center - town Pozega - where you can find lodging and a plethora of restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.