Croatia is made for lovers. Its polished limestone streets are made for slow strolls. Its sun-soaked vineyards are made for soulful conversations and wine-tastings. Its coves are made for digging your feet into the sand, side by side, while you watch the sun set. Who needs Cupid when you’ve got Croatia?
But Croatia’s ROWmantic allure goes beyond the obvious Mediterranean beachside draws (read here: sipping sundowners by the sea and swimming in secret coves off the private yacht). To further inspire you and your love bug to catch the travel bug, we’ve gathered a list of Croatia’s top romantic moments.
Here are the top 10 Romantic Experiences in Croatia:
1. Sharing a Licitar Heart
The way to the heart is through the stomach, right? Licitar Hearts are little gingerbread hearts that have been tried, tested, and never been bested. Not only are they delicious, but they are listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. So you’re basically consuming Croatian history in its most fundamental form. And expressing “heart”-felt feelings.
2. Find Your Way to Galešnjak
Ah, the lover’s island. Small, uninhabited, and shaped like a heart—what more could two lovebirds ask for? It wasn’t until Google Earth spotted this uniquely heart-shaped island in 2009 that it gained popularity. This Isle of Love is now the top couples’ destination in the world.
3. Strolling along Stradun Street
Stradun Street, sometimes known as Placa Street, is Dubrovnik’s primary promenade. A wide polished stone street runs between two town gates and thrums as the city’s urban heart. The semi-Parisian feel is intoxicating, and it’s easy to fall in love with the gleam of city lights reflecting off Stradun’s smooth stones.
4. Island Hopping Croatia’s 1,246 Islands
Well, maybe not all 1,246 islands. But some of the best. With so many islands, it’s easy to have the Adriatic waterways all to yourself—especially on ROW’s private yacht Romanca. You can pretty much choose the island that best floats your love boat.
Looking to make a love connection with dolphins? Check out Cres and Lošinj Islands, a brief boatride away from one another. Hoping to find some distance from the tourist bustle and find a passion of the soul on a higher plane of existence? Šćedro Island’s pine woodlands hide the relics of a Roman villa, an Illyrian tumuli and a 15th century Dominican monastery.
5. Stunning Sunsets
There’s no arguing with Alfred Hitchcock, who once proclaimed, “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida.” Zadar’s famous sunsets are now even better with the Sun Salutation art installation, a sweeping circle of solar panels that glow as the sun sets. The installation collects energy throughout the day, so you and your honey bunny never catch the same show twice.
6. Visit Dubrovnik and Walk its Walls
Dubrovnik’s marble streets, well-preserved Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture and turquoise waters have earned the city the epithet as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” With its impressive UNESCO protected walls towering over the city and Mediterranean flair, it’s not surprising that Romantic hotshot Lord Byron lost himself in passion and paradise here. It’s also a major film location for The Game of Thrones, though the film’s bloody legacy doesn’t put a damper on Dubrovnik’s romantic ambience.
7. Drinking Croatian Wine…Anywhere
Anthony Bourdain fell in love with Croatian wine. So should you. Great Croatian wine and rows of dusty vineyards can be found sprinkled throughout Croatia, though if you have to choose, Pelješac peninsula is where it’s at. Great oyster farms are right there, too: it’s a perfect pairing (much like you and your loved one).
8. Get Lost… and Found… in Hvar
Hvar, and its main hub of Hvar Town, are Croatia’s Côte d’Azur. The small bay is always bustling with pedestrians, partiers and people lounging on idyllic beaches. It has history, marble streets, a seaside promenade, Gothic palaces, and plenty of coastline to be explored.
9. Cruising on the Romanca
There’s nothing better than cruising Croatia’s coastlines on a private yacht, and our chartered Romanca has it all. A gleaming deck to watch the sunset from. Elegant rooms to luxuriate in. Delicious, masterful cuisine prepared with a Taste of Croatia just for you. The Romanca lives up to its name, and it’s the type of ROWmance that stays with you through the ages.
10. Finding the Odysseus Cave
Odysseus Couldn’t Make Himself Leave the Adriatic’s Sapphire Waters! Okay—to be fair, Homer’s Odysseus couldn’t leave Croatia’s waters because Calypso wouldn’t let him. According to legend, the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive in a secluded cave on Mljet’s southern coast. You can dive into the sea and enter the cave, aptly known as Odysseus Cave, and see where the sun casts a iridescent spectrum of colors into the waves. Odysseus sure didn’t have it too bad, but Calypso’s love went unrequited.