By Iva Ralica
Dubrovnik’s stone walls, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Plitvice Lakes National Park and more recently Game of Thrones filming locations are some of Croatia’s main attractions tourists flock to.
But Croatia is full of hundreds of hidden gems. There are many attractions tourists aren’t sometimes familiar with.
Here are just 10 different places you may not have heard about that are worth checking out.
SUNKEN WWII SHIP
The remains of a sunken German WWII ship is hidden in a clear water in Zavratnica bay near Jablanac port, beneath the Velebit mountain.
Tesla’s Birthplace Museum is located in the city of Smiljan in Lika. The museum is made of two halves of Tesla’s life – his country upbringing and his science-oriented life. The multimedia center demonstrates rotating magnetic field principles using an iron egg and spins it in different directions.
Galešnjak Island, “Lover’s island”, is a large and accurately defined heart-shaped island, settled near the coast of Turanj, near the Sveti Filip i Jakov. Spectacular aerial view and beautiful boat ride are the right choices to see this small and loveable island.
WALLS OF STON
Known as the “European Wall of China”, the Walls of Ston in southern Croatia are the longest preserved fortification system in the world after the Great Wall of China.
The Walls of Ston protected the city from Ottomans for more than 500 years. Settled on the hillside, the walls and forty defensive towers look over the beautiful Adriatic sea.
HOUSE IN A HOUSE
The house in a house and its legend is located on the island of Brač. Walls of a bigger house were built around the small house that belonged to a man, Marko, who did not want to sell his home and make way for a mansion. After a crazy dispute, the wealthy family Vuković decided to build a house on their land – around Marko’s house.
Also on Brač, an interesting walking tour around this historical and magical monastery settled around the cliffs in the desert of Brač, a few kilometers from the bay will take you back to the early 16th century.
Today this is a museum filled with around 10 000 books, paintings, rich armor collection, a piano and a telescope that were allegedly acquired through the exchange of monastery’s farm products such as olive oil, wine and honey.
PAPUK NATURE PARK
Papuk is the largest mountain in Slavonia, near the city of Požega. It is a protected area and Croatian Geopark. It is perfect for recreation – mountaineering, hiking or horse riding because its highest peak is 953 meters high. Visit Ružica grad which is the biggest Medieval fort in Slavonia and one of the biggest in Croatia.
Located in Karlovac, the city located between four rivers, Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica and Dobra, Aquatika is the first freshwater aquarium in Croatia and one of the biggest in this part of Europe. Aquatika has more than 100 fish sorts, is located underground and together with impressive glass walls makes a great experience number one on this list.
A lookout on a hill 138 meters above the sea level, the Trsat Castle guarded the city of Rijeka since 1288. Even before, this site was a Liburnian observation which had also served to the Romans as their defense system. The early medieval town also offers the magnificent view over the city, sea and the ruins on the opposite hills.
BEAR SANCTUARY KUTEREVO
Orphaned brown bears, eight of them, that live in this sanctuary in Kuterevo, weren’t able to survive in the wildness. Here, in the middle of the wild nature, they are protected and are given another home. Volunteers take care of them and every year new travelers come to spend few days and enjoy the company of bear and human company.