Croatia is a land of Vineyards, with more than 300 geographically defined wine regions in the country. Each wine region offers a number of vineyards with wine tours and tastings, which is the perfect way to taste your way through some of the country's best wines. Below we have listed some of the best wineries in the country for you to visit on your trip to Croatia.
This family owned vineyard is located on the peninsula of Istra. The winery offers a number of tours, wine tastings, food pairings and other wine experiences. Each tour or event is arranged by appointment and tailor made experiences can made made upon request. The winery offers stunning views with a relaxing atmosphere and high quality professional service.
Located in the village of Ponikve on the Peljesac peninsula, Milos Winery is the oldest family owned winery in the region. They specialize in high quality wines from organic grapes and also produce award winning olive oil. The winery offers tours of the vineyard, which educate guests on the family history of the winery and the process of making wine.
This winery provides guests with educational tours, tastings and cultural events and is located in the small coastal town of Orebic. The winery looks out over the picturesque Aegean Sea and provides guests with a first class experience. Visitors can enjoy dining at Korta Katarina or even staying in their newly established villa on the premises.
Located in Split, Putalj Winery offers visitors unlimited wine when they participate in a wine tour. The owner of the vineyard conducts the wine tours and provides guests with a knowledgeable experience as well as platters of local breads, cheeses and meats. The winery offers a pick up service from in and around Split, making this winery very easily accessible.
Situated in Smokvica, Toreta Winery is a small charming wine cellar which specializes in Posip, a local grape variety. The winery has spectacular views over the town and gives visitors the chance to look at the wine making equipment. The family run winery offers a combination of traditional and modern wine growing and making techniques which they explain through their wine tastings.
Trogir is one of the smaller towns in Croatia however it is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. This town gets very popular during summer where visitors gather in bars and cafes along the waterfront. The Romanesque and Renaissance architecture is a popular attraction for most visitors along with the Roman ruins, art galleries, ancient streets, unique restaurants and boating activities.
Located on the Island of Korcula, the town is rich in olive groves, vineyards and dense pine forests. Korcula is full of rustic charm and age-old traditions with tourists enjoying religious ceremonies, festivals, music and dance. The town is laid back and offers some great beaches and Venetian architecture. The views from the top of the town are unforgettable and a visit to the old town is a must.
This hilltop medieval town is home to rolling olive fields and truffle- rich forests along with modern homes and shops that lead to the gates of the old town. Visitors come to Motovun for the incredible food and wine and artist studios. The town has a strong Italian influence and popular activities include olive oil tasting, biking and wine tasting. For one week every summer the town celebrates its annual film festival dedicated to independent film makers which is open to the public with outdoor screenings taking place.
Known as the greenest and sunniest island off the Croatian coast, Hvar is characterized by fields of lavender, olive groves and vineyards. The town is full of marble streets, Gothic palaces as well as beautiful clear water beaches. Hvar has become a popular stop over for boaters as it offers swanky hotels and elegant restaurants and bars. Hvar also has a buzzing nightlife and party atmosphere drawing in younger crowds.
This small town and fishing port is wedged between the end of the Istrian peninsula over water. The town is characterized by cobblestone alley ways and beautiful waterfronts that are lined with seafood restaurants and specialty coffee cafes. The town is sprinkled with hotels and resorts making it a busy destination in the summer. The St Euphemia Church is the most popular attraction, and while there are not a large number of activities within the town it still remains a charming place to visit.
The port town of Split has a very deep and present history. The array of marble arches, tight-knit alleyways and glimmering piazzas draws large numbers of visitors each year. The dramatic coastal mountains provide the perfect backdrop to the dozens of thriving bars, restaurants and shops. Diocletian's palace is one of the most impressive Roman monuments and is a must visit.
Situated at the mouth of the Cetina River and at the end of a picturesque canyon, Omis is located on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. The town is full of rich history and culture and is characterized by the rugged mountains. Beaches are also found in and around the small town of Omis with a number of beach and water activities available. Visitors can enjoy exploring the number of forts and churches as well as tasting the Dalmatian cuisine.
A popular holiday resort town in Istria with hundreds of accommodation options widely spread throughout the town. The Ancient basilica and Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architecture are popular sites for tourists as well as the marina and shopping facilities. The town also has a buzzing nightlife with young crowds coming in from around the world to party.
Dubrovnik has become a very popular holiday destination, especially during summer. Dubrovnik is medieval in character with a number of baroque churches and stunning architecture. Dubrovnik is also packed with laid back cafes, trendy bars and restaurants and the famous city walls which encompass the Old Town are not to be missed. The endless views of the Adriatic sea make this pedestrianized town one to add to the bucket list.
One of the largest cities in Croatia, the capital of Zagreb is full of gorgeous buildings and multi-cultural charm. The town is heavily influenced by Austria and Hungary and is filled with historical and Gothic cathedrals and churches. The city is best discovered by foot by walking through the cobblestone streets while admiring the abundance of colorful street art. The town is also filled with quirky cafes, interesting museums, underground bars and incredible architecture.
Food is such a large part of Greek culture and good food is easy to find. The diverse cuisine has influences from around the world and uses fresh local ingredients. Although simple, dishes are packed with flavor from the combination of herbs and spices.
We have created a list of classic Greek dishes that you must not leave without trying...
One of the most traditional and filling dishes in Greece, Moussaka is served in almost every tavern throughout the country. Although there are some variations on the dish, the traditional moussaka includes layers of sweet eggplant, potato and beef mince within a tomato sauce topped with béchamel and a variety of cheeses.
Horiatiki (Greek Salad)
Horiatiki or more commonly known as a Greek Salad is made up of tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion and olives with a large slab of feta on top. The salad is then typically seasoned with salt and oregano and dressed with olive oil. For the Greeks this is usually classed as a side dish however most tourists order this as a main meal alongside some crusty bread.
Souvlaki is the Greeks answer to fast food and stands for 'meat on a skewer'. This dish combines seasoned meat of either pork, chicken, beef or lamb and is flavored with tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki is often paired with pita breads or rice and can also be served wrapped in a pita bread filled with vegetables, more commonly known as a Gyro.
A staple in Greek cuisine, Tzatziki is made from Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, herbs and lemon. This simple and healthy dip is traditionally served as an appetizer with pita breads or zucchini chips however is also paired with grilled meats and vegetables and is the perfect accompaniment to almost anything.
Fish and Seafood
A trip to Greece is not complete without trying the fresh fish and seafood. In comparison to its size Greece has an extensive coast line, therefore has access to an abundance of fish and seafood. Popular varieties include sardines, swordfish, mackerel, anchovies, sea bass, bogue and smelt. As well as this squid, octopus, shrimp and lobster are readily available.
Dolmades are steamed vine leaves stuffed with ground meat, herbs and rice, traditionally served as an appetizer or an accompaniment to a main meal. These can be served warm or cold and usually in either a egg and lemon, garlic and yogurt or tahini sauce. Vegetarian dolmades are also popular and are a perfect example of how East meets West in Greek cuisine.
A sticky and sweet treat, Loukoumades are essentially bite sized Greek donuts. The donuts are usually served warm drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts. Crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle these donuts are designed for sharing often coming on large plates or in packs of more than 10.
Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)
The best Greek delicacy for meat lovers are Keftedes, usually made from ground beef or lamb rolled with herbs and spices and fried in olive oil. Commonly part of a Greek Meze platter, greek meatballs are usually paired with tzatziki sauce and pita breads and are best washed down with a glass of Greek Ouzo.
Also known as Greek spinach pie, Spanakopita can be enjoyed at any moment in the day. The pie consists of layers of spinach, filo pastry and feta cheese which is then baked until golden and crispy. The Greek people love their pies and Spanakopita, along with other popular pie variations, can be found at one of the many bakeries throughout Greece.
Bougasta is a very popular Greek breakfast pastry and dessert consisting of semolina custard or cheese between filo pastry. Bougatsa is served warm and is sprinkled with cinnamon as well as powdered sugar. This sweet treat can be found nearly everywhere in Greece and goes perfectly with a warm cup of Greek coffee.
In Ancient Greece, temples were the most important and widespread building. The purpose of these temples were primarily to be monuments to the gods, where religious statue or cult emblems are usually housed. Now many of these temples are in ruins but some remain as reminders of the beautiful architectural of the ancient world.
1. Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens
Known as the largest temple in Greece, but unfortunately only 16 of the once 104 grand column now remain of this gigantic temple. Construction of this temple began during the rule of the Athenian tyrants in the 6th century BC but was not completed until 638 years later during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. The temple is located approximately 500 meters southeast of the Acropolis, in the center of Athens and is part of an important archaeological site, enclosed by Hadrian's Gate.
2. Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio
The temple of Poseidon is located at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece and surrounded on three sides by the sea making it fitting for the God of the Sea. It was built over the ruins of another temple dating from the Archaic Period and now only some of the columns remain of the construction in approx. 440BC.
The name of this ancient Greek Temple is derived from a shrine dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius. Built between 421 and 407 BC by architect Mnesicles, this temple can be found on the northern side of the Acropolis of Athens. The temple is most famous for it's iconic southern porch which displays six sculpted female figures serving as architectural support.
4. Temple of Apollo Epicurius
One of the more remote temples in Greece, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius is hidden away on a mountain in Peloponnese near Bassae. But because of it's isolation the temple has stayed well preserved as it's one of the few temples that escaped being destroyed by war or reconverted into a Christian temple. As well as being remote the temple is also unusual in it's alignment of North to South as majority of Greek temples are aligned east to west. Currently the temple of Apollo Epicurius is covered in a tent in order to protect the ruins from the elements.
5. Temple of Hephaestus
This temple is the best-preserved Greek temple in the world but less known than it's more famous neighbors in Athens. The temple was built in the 5th century BC and was surrounded by many foundries and metalwork shops. These lend to the logical choice of the temple being dedicated to Hephaestus, god of metalworking and fire.
6. Temple of Aphaia, Aegina
The temple of Aphaia perched on top of a hill is unique in it is dedicated to the goddess Aphaea (or Aphaia) which is a deity almost exclusively worshipped on the island of Aegina. The temple was built in 480 BC, and today 25 of the original 32 Doric columns still remain. Though the goddess Aphaea was only a local deity associated with fertility and agriculture she quickly became identified with the goddess Athena under Athenian hegemony, and that is why some call it the temple of Athena Aphaia.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece and a visit to Athens is not complete without visiting this temple. The purpose of the Parthenon was to house a statue of Athena Parthenos made from ivory, silver and gold but sometime in the 5th century the statue was looted by one of the Roman Emperors. The Parthenon has gone through many changes over the years from it's constructions in 447 BC, replacing older temples that were destroyed by the Persians to serving as a fortress, a church, a mosque and as a powder magazine.
8. Tholos of Athena, Delphi
The Tholos of Athena is the first temple travellers who came by foot from the eastern road would come across as part of the famous Tholos of Delphi. It was constructed between 380 and 260 BC and comprises of Doric and Corinthian columns though only three of them remain fully intact today. Excavations have proved that at this spot may lay an older cult site, possibly dedicated to Gaia.
9. Temple of Hera, Olympia
The Temple of Hera was built in approximately 590 BC, but was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 4th century. As well as being dedicated to Hera, the queen of gods, the temple was also used to store items important to Greek culture as well as other offerings of the people, but today this is where the torch of the Olympic flame is lit every four years.
8. Temple of Apollo, Corinth
Halfway between Athens and Sparta, the ancient city of Corinth was once a powerful city state and was home to the Doric-style temple dedicated to Apollo. Though it is unknown when the temple was built, it is also clear that the temple has been remodeled over the years, and the temple which stands today is not architecturally identical to the one which was originally built.
1. Elafonisi Beach, Crete
Located in Elafonsi in Southwest Crete, Elafonisi Beach is truly spectacular. The striking pink and white sand and crystal clear waters makes this exotic beach perfect for swimmers of all ages. Life guards are always on duty and umbrellas are available to rent to stay cool in the Mediterranean sun.
2. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Bay), Zakynthos
This secluded Beach is the highlight to any travelers trip to Zakynthos. Situated between limestone cliffs the beach is only accessible by boat. Visitors will be able to see the shipwreck ruins, perfect clear waters and even try giving BASE jumping a go from the cliffs above.
3. Mytros Beach, Kefalonia
Surrounded by steep mountains and tall cliffs Mytros Beach has been voted best beach in Greece 12 times. What looks like sand is actually bright white pebbles making this beach one of the most surprising in Greece. For those who enjoy the sun, Mytros Beach is the place to be as there is little to no shade, however umbrellas can be rented for a small fee.
4. Red Beach, Santorini
One of the most scenic and interesting beaches on the island, the red and black volcanic sand makes this beach one of the most photogenic sites. Enclosed by steep red hills and deep blue waters this scenery is unlike anywhere in the world. Although small and very crowded in peak season, this unique landscape is not to be missed.
5. Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos
Clear waters and soft sand surrounded by pine forests make Koukounaries Beach a popular destination for both tourists and locals. Swimming, boating and horse back riding are just a few of the activities for tourists to do. The beach also offers a number of dining options from casual meals on the beach to elegant resorts nearby.
6. Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
Porto Katsiki is listed as one of Europe's best beaches each year because of its fascinating landscapes and golden sand. Lush vegetation and abrupt white cliffs surround the stunning waters creating one of the most idyllic settings in the world. Umbrellas and sunbeds provide the perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxation.
7. Lindos Beach, Rhodes
Also referred to as Pallas Beach, this beach has more to offer than just sand and sea. Travelers can see a 4th century temple or visit the hillside settlement of Lindos, tasting the local cuisines and visiting authentic shops. Canoes and paddle boats are also popular and available to hire.
8. Elia Beach, Mykonos
Elia Beach is the longest in Mykonos and offers a wide range of bars, local restaurants and taverns. Water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing and parasailing are very popular among tourists. Rocky surroundings and deep waters also makes this a favorable spot for snorkeling and diving.
9. Stafilos Beach, Skopelos
The closest beach to Skopelos town and the most popular, Stafylos beach is in a beautiful pine bay and is a great place for swimming and snorkeling. One half of the beach offers a beach bar and sun beds for tourists to relax while the other remains completely unspoiled.
10. Balos Lagoon, Crete
Sandwiched between Crete and the small island of Imeri Gramvousa, Balos Lagoon is one of Crete's most beautiful beaches. The shallow warm waters and crisp white sand make this the most photographed beach in Greece. The lagoon is also a protected area and home to an array of flora and fauna.