Best Activities in Croatia for Couples
A Deluxe Balcony Cruise around Croatia is one of the most romantic things a couple can do, packed with majestic scenery, immersive activities, and fine food and wine. Add in intriguing walking tours, fascinating historic sites, and attractive national parks, you’ll find Croatia a truly unbeatable destination.
Should you have time to extend your trip though, what other activities are there for couples to do while visiting Croatia? Take a look at some of our favorites below.
Watch the sunset in Rovinj
Romantic Rovinj is a standout on the Istrian peninsula with a beautifully preserved old quarter that includes colorful buildings pained in Habsburg pastels and Venetian reds linked by narrow cobbled streets. Its harbor is known as the “cradle of the sea,” so called by ancient mariners as the archipelago of islands that stretch from the city to Vrsar helped protected the water. It’s also an ideal base for exploring the up-and-coming Tuscany-like region of Istria and its many hilltop villages, but you’ll want to be sure and return by dusk to catch a sunset. Head to the pier that stretches directly from the old town or to the harbor, where you’ll have a stunning view of the bell tower and old town too.
Get lost in the waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park
The striking natural beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park has become world-famous with its images often going viral. It’s a top spot for a romantic walk with 16 lakes and nearly endless cascading waterfalls laced through lush greenery. There are wooded paths, bridges, and boardwalks that meander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, leading to the Lower and Upper Lakes which are in brilliant shades ranging from emerald green to bright blue. Hop in a boat to glide across Kozjak Lake which serves as a bridge between both sections, marvel at falls like Veliki Prstavaci and Mali Prstavac along with the many smaller cascades, and conclude with a panoramic train ride that will bring you back to the north entrance of the park.
Cycle around Mljet National Park
Mljet National Park covers the entire northwest part of Mljet Island and is home to a rare natural phenomenon. It features two saltwater lakes with small beaches where you can relax and swim. In the larger lake, there’s an islet in the middle topped with a 12th-century building from a Benedictine monastery which now serves as a café, accessed via a boat ride. Afterward, one of the top things to do here is to cycle the tranquil paths that wind through the park, including routes that encircle both lakes. Bicycles are available for rent in Mali, Pomenam, and Polace, providing a great way to discover more of Mljet’s beauty in less time. Along the way, take a break and enjoy a refreshing dip.
Step into a fairytale in historic Korcula Town
Korcula may best be known as the alleged birthplace of international explorer Marco Polo, but the highlight for many is historic Korcula Town. Looking like something out of a fairytale, there are few more romantic places for couples to explore together. The Old Town is enclosed by medieval walls, gates, towers, and ramparts while the cobbled streets and alleyways lead to enticing squares and Venetian-inspired buildings that house family-run boutiques and authentic tavernas. There are lovely churches and multiple landmarks to marvel at, but the crown jewel of all is St. Mark’s Cathedral with its bell tower as the impressive centerpiece. The face is decorated with a magnificent, fluted rose while the main door is framed by figures of lions and statues of Adam and Eve.
Wine tasting in the Peljesac Peninsula
While Croatia’s wines may not be well-known to those outside of the region, the country’s viticulture has a long legacy and one of the top stops for wine enthusiasts to visit is the Peljesac Peninsula. There are many wineries for sampling the fabulous wines here, but this destination in southern Dalmatia is ideal, famous for its red wine made from the indigenous grape Plavac mali. In fact, California’s popular Zinfandel actually has roots in this primary red wine grape. The reds it produces are rich, fruity, and have a deep color with lots of tannins. Grapes grown inland produce lighter wines than those along the stony coast. Sample them at one or more of the multiple wineries with visitor centers for touring, tasting, and purchasing.
Walk in the footsteps of the Romans in Split
Split is home to some of the most well-preserved Roman architecture in the world, much of which can be found in the Roman emperor Diocletian’s Palace which dates back to the late 3rd century. It was built as the retirement residence for the emperor and is the largest example of Roman palatial architecture, the main part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city’s historic center. It still retains many of the original features with the maze-like complex featuring narrow streets and alleyways that are lined with the ancient buildings that today serve as galleries, boutiques, cafes, wine bars, and restaurants. It includes St. Domnius Cathedral and a nearly 200-foot-high bell tower that can be climbed for a breathtaking panoramic view.
Sail around the Pakleni Islands
Just 10 nautical miles south of Split in front of Hvar Town, one of the most popular destinations in Croatia is the magnificent archipelago of the Pakleni islands. Mostly uninhabited, they draw visitors seeking a peaceful escape and are ideal for a sailing excursion. The limestone islands are covered with dense forest and surrounded by a crystal-clear turquoise sea, with many secluded bays and sandy beaches for relaxing and enjoying unforgettable swims. Diving enthusiasts will discover an incredible underwater world too. Veli Otok, or Clement Island, is the largest of the islands, featuring a fantastic little harbor with waterfront restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian fare, a marina, and a famous 15th-century chapel, but there are multiple anchorages throughout the region providing a paradise for sailing.
Walk along the Lungomare in Opatija
Beautiful Opatija was a top resort town in the 19th century, attracting celebrities and VIPs of all sorts throughout Europe. Its timeless elegance makes it ideal for romance-seeking couples, who can look forward to enjoying its thriving gastronomic scene with mouthwatering Istrian fare complimented by fine regional wines. One of the best things to do in Croatia for couples is to walk the Lungomare seaside promenade, with stunning views of the sea and coast on one side and grand mansions on the other. It stretches for nearly 7.5 miles and along the way, you’ll find pretty parks, idyllic beaches, and historical monuments. A Walk of Fame reveals some of the most famous Croatians, such as tennis legend Goran Ivanisevic and inventor Nikola Tesla.
Explore Fields of Lavender in Hvar
Hvar Town may be what draws so many of the rich and famous with its world-class dining scene and renowned nightlife, but the landscapes here are well-worth exploring. There are picturesque beaches, vineyard- and olive tree-covered hills, and, in the summer, gorgeous lavender fields. In June and July, they’ll be in full bloom, creating a blanket of purple that covers the land, a spectacle not-to-be-missed if you’re visiting during the season. The fields are primarily located around Gdinj, Zastrazisce, and Bogomo, while the main lavender harvest occurs in late July, a time when you can purchase souvenirs made from the aromantic plants after exploring, including soaps, perfumes, scented pillows, and more. The annual lavender festival brings opportunities to learn all about lavender too.
Learn some Croatian recipes in a Cooking Class
You can bring back a tasty slice of Croatia with you by learning authentic recipes in a home-hosted cooking class. You’ll learn to prepare traditional Croatian dishes in the home of a local family, with an introduction to the country’s popular ingredients and culinary techniques. You might head into the garden to pick vegetables and herbs that will be used for the meal and then go into the kitchen, getting as hands-on as you like, perhaps kneading dough for delicious home-baked bread alongside the family’s matriarch. Each house has a secret recipe of its own and they never disappoint. After the magic is made, you’ll sit down to enjoy the dishes that you helped to prepare alongside tasty Croatian wine.
Taste fresh Oysters in Ston
Located in the south of the isthmus on the Peljesac Peninsula is the settlement of Ston. It’s famous for its long defensive walls which were originally 4.3 miles long and date back to the mid-14th century. But what draws many to this town is its fresh oysters. One of the best things to do in Croatia for couples is to take the boat ride into Mali Ston Bay, sailing around the little islets where the delicacies are grown. It’s the top spot to try them fresh, with the high concentration of salt and minerals leading many to call them the very best in the world. You’ll learn about the process of cultivation and how to open them before sampling right out of the sea.
Watch the world go by on a patio in charming Sibenik
The ancient city of Sibenik dates back over a thousand years, nestled around a natural port that was at the heart of the Adriatic’s salt trade and a very prosperous mercantile center. It offers dazzling natural and manmade beauty, complete with city walls, fortresses, and impressive buildings that include one of the largest and most important Gothic-Renaissance cathedrals in the entire country, St. James, a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome. It also boasts a picturesque promenade along the waterfront, atmospheric squares, and lovely patios that are ideal for unwinding with a glass of tasty regional wine for watching the world go by. After exploring, sit down together and enjoy the moment, savoring the scene while sipping.
Have a picnic in a Zagreb park
Zagreb is the largest city and capital of Croatia, but it offers many picturesque green spaces along with a wide range of attractions. It has a rich history that dates back to Roman times, with an eclectic mix of classic Austro-Hungarian architecture and gritty socialist buildings. Explore the Upper Town, including the gothic-style Zagreb Cathedral with soaring twin spires and St. Mark’s Church with its colorful and iconic roof. Afterward, head to Dolac Market, the oldest and most famous in the city, strategically located between the Upper and Lower towns, to pick up ingredients for a picnic. Once you’ve gathered them, you’ll find a number of parks in the Lower Town that are perfect for your romantic outdoor feast.
Visit castles in Trakoscan and Varazdin
An easy day trip from Zagreb can bring you to some impressive castles, making it another one of the best things to do in Croatia for couples. The neo-Gothic Trakoscan dates to the 13th century and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. You can even take a boat ride together on the lake before viewing the antique furnishings, portraits, and weapons inside. According to legend, it was named for another fortification that stood on the site centuries before. Varazdin Castle was first mentioned in the 12th century, though it’s been restored and rebuilt multiple times over the years. During the 16th century, it became a fine example of a defensive system which can still be seen among the defensive walls. The museum inside features cannons, firearms, historical documents, and more.