Croatia – unknown places that you must see
So you think that you have travelled the length and breadth of Croatia and seen quite a lot. You have been virtually everywhere. What else is there that can possibly surprise you? You won't believe but there are little known places in Croatia which you have probably heard nothing about. See for yourself how many!
Big city life
Paradoxically, it is Croatian capital that is among the country's most underrated attractions! Zagreb is a beautiful city. Sadly, all tourists give it a miss as they rush for the sea. Don't be such a tourist- you must visit the city for a longer while at least once. It will pay you back with fine historic monuments, scenic old town and elegant 19th centuty coty centre which is full of parks and green squares. Everything is happening in Zagreb – politics, economy, science and culture. Perhaps you will let its lively night life, art galleries, clubs and designer shops carry you away.
A city fortress
Smack bang in the centre of Croatia, surrounded by four rivers Korana, Kupa, Mrežnica and Dobra, there is Karlovac, a city established on a harsh root completely from a scratch. This, coupled with the growing threat from the Turkish empire, had a major impact on its shape. In fact, Karlovac was a fortress based on a six-pointed start layout rather than a typical city. It is surrounded by deep moats which were filled with water from the nearby River Kupa in the event of a threat. The Renaissance city will amaze you with its regular, mathematically precise system of streets which cross one another at right angles, creating 24 quarters of uniform, low buildings. Sadly, it does not utilise its full potential today, but if you like lazy little towns with extraordinary history, then it the perfect destination for you. And if you are a beer lover, you will certainly be eager to try the local brew Karlovačke, which is famous across Croatia. The locals, who are proud of their beer and drink it in huge volumes, crack a joke sometimes that their city lies not at four but five rivers, the fifth being the swift stream of the golden beverage.
The narrow coastal area between Rijeka and Karlobag, stretching along the Velebit range, is often called the Velebit Foothills. The main city of the region is Senj, which is situated between the coast and the nearby high mountains which offer an impressive background. When in Senj, you must see a peaceful old town which has been forgotten by tourists, and an extremely unique 16th century fortress which due to its compact square shape is a great rarity in the realm of defensive architecture. In the past, its purpose was to defend the area against land attack from Turkey and seaborne assault by Venice.
No only Hvar in Hvar
Between the islands of Brač and Korčula there is a long and narrow island of Hvar. It is extremely popular among tourists, who tend to spend their holidays in the city of Hvar. Although very beautiful, Hvar is completely swamped by tourists and prices there are just absurdly high. However, what you need to do is to get off the beaten track and go where very few would venture. The town of Stari Hail is among the group of little known places in Croatia which resemble what the country looked like it times before the tourist invasion. The town's present day architecture is a maze of narrow streets built in the 17th and 18th centuries, mainly in the style of Baroque and Renaissance (although in their very simplified versions). Since it is quite empty, you can peacefully enjoy the town's atmosphere, admire its architecture and feel its unique and harmonious climate. It is really great to delve into its cobbled streets unspoilt by stalls selling tacky souvenirs.
Where pirate used to hide
In the island of Cres, some 20 km from the town by the same name, there is another town called Lubenice. Situated on a 370 m hill and with the population of only 25, it was once a safe haven for pirates. Sea robbers knew very well where to hide. The place is very difficult to get to even today. The road is winding, narrow and lined up by low walls. However, when finally you manage to get there, you will see a world that is deeply immersed in the past and completely intact by the present day, and on top of that - a stunning view of the cliff and the smooth Adriatic down below. If you wish, you can plan a search of other similar Croatian attractions that are hidden from the world.
Although nowadays we normally consider Croatia a peaceful and relaxing holiday destination, and many treat it as a substitute of paradise, there were times when the country was plagued by wars and attacks were fact of life. In response to that, refugees from the mountains established some settlements between Trogir and Split at the foot of the Kozjak hill. There were seven of them, and each had a fortress that would defend it from the land and sea. Today, the settlements make up one city and the castles are its great attraction. If you have some time on your hands, visit them all and compare their architecture and state of preservation. See how the locals live, have some wine, stare at the water.
Croatia - read more!
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