Lavenders, vineyards, olive fields and ancient little towns 🍇 🍦
Croatia is one of my favorite countries in Europe. I’ve been travelling there almost every year once or twice since childhood. I can’t even count how many cities and towns I have seen and visited. Croatia gives much more than you may first think. My favorite part is Istria. Famous for it’s vineyards, olive field, truffles, lavenders….
Driving around the peninsula, roadside stands with olive oil, lavender products will come along beside authentic restaurants serving traditional food. The other part close to my heart is Dalmatia. Why? Because it is full of history too, and has amazing beaches.
♥ Here you will find my top 5 ancient towns to visit in Croatia heading from North to South ♥
♥ Novigrad or Cittanova ♥
The first town is Novigrad or Cittanova, on the western coast of Istria. A small town with a population of 4345, two kilometers north of the mouth of the river Mirna. The history of the town leads us back to the 5th-6th centuries where it was called Neapolis. The town has a lovely harbor with fisherman’s ships and sailboats. Alongside the harbor there are plenty of cosy restaurants. The best time for a dinner is after sunset, when the heat is not that uncomfortable. The orange dim lights of the laps, and the sound of the seagulls will give you the perfect atmosphere. Restaurant
♥ Porec ♥
The following town close to Novigrad is Porec, with a population of approximately 12 000 resides. Poreč is almost 2000 years old, and in 1997 was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town plan still shows the ancient Roman Castrum structure. The main streets are preserved in their original forms. In the high season, the population due to tourism can exceed 120 000.
Wandering in the narrow, slippery cobblestoned streets, lovely restaurants, shops offering products from lavender, olive oil and gelateries will follow each other. Be prepared, Porec is pretty crowded during summertime. Sometimes you have to wait to get a table. Beside the traditional Croatian food, they make really tasty pizza too.
♥ Rovinj ♥
In the neighborhood of Porec you find the most romantic town of Istria: Rovinj. The population of the town is around 14 294, but during summertime it is quite crowded, being the most visited tourist destination in Croatia.
Reaching the old town history will hit you, while the city was founded between 3rd and 5th century AD. Walking inside the old town alongside the sea the view is amazing, looks like the houses were build upon the sea. In the harbor restaurants and gelateries follow each other serving delicious ice cups. It is hard to decide where to sit. The best time to have a dinner or just an ice cream is during sunset. Watching the sun diving under the horizon is amazing.
Before taking a seat inside a restaurant I recommend to climb to the church upon the hill. The basilica on he top was built in 1736.
♥ Trogir ♥
The next historic town is Trogir, also included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The town is located in the harbour on the Adriatic coast close to the city of Split-Dalmatia. The population of Trogir is 10 818. The historic region of the city is situated on a small island and is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in Central Europe.
This town is a really popular tourist destination too. On the narrow streets you will feel quite crowded. The main square gives place to the beautiful Chatedral di San Lorenzo built in the 13th century, and to an amazing clock tower. Walking alongside the harbor, many huge ships and yachts are docking there, and lot of restaurants offering traditional specialities.
♥ Šibenik ♥
Last but not least is the town Šibenik north of Trogir. With the highest population among the mentioned five, this town is the third-largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the coast, located where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic sea. Unlike the previously mentioned cities Šibenik was originally founded by Croatians.