From doomed passenger liners of the Titanic era, to dinosaur footprints, Croatia is full of bizarre attractions to explore. Some are found on land, some are buried fathoms deep on the sea bed and one is actually powered by the waves themselves.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The sinking of elegant passenger ship the Baron Gautsch during World War I has error-ridden echoes of the Titanic disaster two years before. Carrying refugees, holidaymakers and military personnel, it was making one last journey from Kotor, Montenegro back to port in Trieste. While the captain slept and the first officer dined, an inexperienced understudy ignored warnings and sailed into a minefield laid by fellow Austro-Hungarian forces. Fatalities numbered 147. The wreck lies some 40 metres down off the Brijuni Islands, a popular site for experienced divers at clubs in Pula and Poreč.
Blue Cave, Biševo
A small and sparsely populated island close to Vis, Biševo contains one of Croatia’s most striking and unusual natural wonders. In the summer, it attracts daily boat trips, particularly from the nearby resort of Komiža. Accessible only by sea, the Blue Cave of Biševo is a limestone grotto with an underwater opening that lets in the sun’s light as noon approaches. The effect lasts for two hours, with beams shooting through the water to bathe the cave in an azure light. Visitors plunge into the waters for the full experience. Tours usually involve a picnic lunch at a nearby beach.
Once the private Xanadu of post-war national leader Tito, the Brijuni Islands hold a strange fascination. An archipelago off Fažana, near Pula where excursions can be arranged, Brijuni is a national park of 14 islands. The largest, Veliki Brijuni, contains rare treasures such as dinosaur footprints, Roman and Byzantine ruins and Europe’s first golf course. The Habsburgs also created exotic botanical gardens. Tito later set up his own safari park, filled with elephants and zebras provided as gifts by national leaders who visited him here. Some still survive, the rest are stuffed and displayed in a nearby museum.
Eco Center Caput Insulae
Set on the unspoiled island of Cres in Kvarner, the Eco Center Caput Insulae at Beli is both a unique nature reserve and volunteer centre. Its main task is to protect and monitor a colony of rare griffon vultures, which nest in the cliffs nearby. These birds have died out in mainland Europe and are only found in obscure pockets such as Crete, Sardinia and Guernsey. The Eco Centre also contains nature trails through the sparse region of Tramuntana, with its honey buzzards, peregrines and other rare birds.
One of the strangest attractions to open in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, the Grič tunnel sits under the fortifications of the Upper Town. Above, a cannon blast famously signals high noon. Below, a 350-metre-long tunnel was created to serve as an air-raid shelter during World War II. By the time it was ready, the Allies were no longer bombing Croatia. Abandoned, the tunnel became a meeting place until being assailed by DJs and ravers in the early 1990s. Recently renovated, it now stages fashion shows and exhibitions, and will soon host a Museum of the Senses.
Those who take the water taxi from the waterfront at historic Rab Town, on the island of the same name, are following in the footsteps of royalty. For it was at the destination of Kandarola Bay that then reigning monarch Edward VIII and his controversial mistress, Wallis Simpson, took a famous skinny dip on their Mediterranean cruise of 1936. Snapped at every turn by the world’s press, they bared all here and unwittingly established a long tradition of naturist tourism. Today, pretty Kandarola Bay houses a popular nudist camp, happy to welcome adventurous day visitors from Rab Town.
Mongooses on Mljet
The idyllic island of Mljet in the far south of Dalmatia is home to more than 1,000 souls and a national park. Running wild is an unknown number of mongooses, introduced from Asia a century or more ago to rid the island of poisonous snakes. While they succeeded, their population exploded and these venom-protected mammals then went after most of Mljet’s birdlife. Any exploration of Mljet today, along its single thoroughfare that cuts through the island, is bound to feature a guest appearance by this creature of Jungle Book legend, scampering across or alongside the road.
Museum of Broken Relationships
What started as an art installation is now one of Zagreb’s most unlikely tourist attractions. The Museum of Broken Relationships explores that most puzzling of experiences, the end of a romantic affair. Conceived by artist Dražen Grubišić and producer Olinka Vištica, themselves a former item, it comprises heartbreaking souvenirs, letters, notes and bizarre knick-knacks left behind after couples split up. Today with a permanent home in the Upper Town and with a sister operation in Los Angeles, the collection is divided into the various stages of break-up trauma, including grief, rage and jealousy.
In Rijeka, a city with its own bizarre history, Peek&Poke is one of the more unusual attractions. This quirky collection contains nearly 2,000 examples of early computerised technology. This is where calculators, games consoles and oversized terminals from the 1980s and 1990s find a home. Key exhibits include a Nintendo Game Boy and a Sinclair C5. Documentation provides background on the inventors and entrepreneurs behind the more notable machines. The museum operates from mid October to May 1.
Tito’s Cave, Vis
Before it became a tourist destination, Vis was a military outpost. Its rocky and remote isolation allowed World War II leader Tito to convert one of its many hidden caves into his headquarters. While the conflict raged in the winter of 1943-44, Tito and his partisans plotted up here, planning Hitler’s downfall. Writer Evelyn Waugh met Tito here while on reconnaissance. The site can still be visited, with an organised tour or individually. It is located south-east of Komiža, near Podšpilje (‘Under the Cave’), where steps lead from a bend in the road.
Zadar Sea Organ
Close to the centre of the main city of northern Dalmatia, Zadar, a bizarre attraction has become part of the urban landscape. Through holes bored into the pavement above a set of steps lapped by the sea, 35 organ pipes emit ethereal tones that hang in the air as you approach. The brainchild of local installation artist Nikola Bašić, the Sea Organ is powered by the strength and pattern of the waves. In similar vein, he later created the nearby ‘Greeting To The Sun’, a circle of glass panels that follows similar rhythms.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.