European tourism is back and in a big way, with travelers eager to catch up on lost time. Across the EU, demand for tourism in 2023 is strong. Countries such as Spain and Italy are always hot destinations for tourists, but there are a couple of places you may be sleeping on: Croatia and Slovenia.
Croatia and Slovenia may not have the brand recognition of other European countries, but they each have a lot to offer travelers. Here’s what you need to know about these up-and-coming travel hot spots.
A Brief Intro to Croatia and Slovenia
First, let’s talk about Croatia and Slovenia, and why you need to visit. Croatia and Slovenia are central European countries.
Croatia shares a border with Slovenia, as well as Italy, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. The Adriatic Sea borders both countries.
Due to their location, both countries are easy to travel to, making them an ideal stop on your next European vacation. They are often overlooked but have plenty to offer.
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast
Let’s start with Croatia and Dalmatia.
The Dalmatian Coast is one of Croatia’s historical regions. It’s a narrow stretch of land and hundreds of Croatian islands. The city Split is the largest city on the Croatian Adriatic Coast, and one of the largest cities in the country.
A highlight of the area is its beaches, which feature clear blue waters and fine pebbles. Aside from unspoiled beaches, national parks such as Paklenica National Park, Mljet National Park, and Krka National Park are also popular features.
With so many places to see and so many islands to visit, Dalmatia makes for the perfect yachting holiday.
Slovenia and Gastronomic Delight
If nature isn’t your thing, there’s always the culinary delight of Slovenia. The country is quickly becoming famous for its food, including major recognition from the Michelin Guide.
Today, 57 Slovenian restaurants have received recognition from Michelin. One, Hiša Franko in Kobarid, has received 2 Michelin stars. Chef Ana Roš is widely regarded as one of the best chefs in the world.
Other Slovenian restaurants are no slouch either. Restavracija Strelec, located in Ljubljana Castle, offers vegetarian and Mediterranean dishes, as well as Ljubljana cuisines such as boiled oxtail and beef tongue.
Likewise, restaurants such as Milka in Kranjska Gora received their first Michelin star recently. Milka is known for its food and its beautiful location. As a bonus, the restaurant is part of the Milka Boutique Hotel, allowing you to have an extended luxury stay in the heart of the Julian Alps.
Exploring Croatia and Slovenia
Croatia and Slovenia are gorgeous, but overlooked countries, each with lots to offer visitors. When visiting Croatia you can check out the thriving nightlife of Hvar, or visit Omiš and go on an outdoor adventure like hiking, rafting, or rock climbing.
In Slovenia, you can explore the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or spend time in the capital of Ljubljana, a city noted for its sustainability.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to see all that Croatia and Slovenia have to offer.
For more travel tips, check out other articles in our Travel section.