Travelling somewhere new always brings its fair share of new experiences. Often you get to have an adventure doing something physical, like hiking or bungee-jumping in a new setting, and sometimes you get immersed in a culture, meeting the people who make up the town and country you are visiting.
Some of the best new experiences can come when you sit down for a meal—whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert! Send your taste buds on a journey by sampling the local fare.
Every town has a specialty… a dish they want to show off to visitors and tourists. In the case of Croatia, that specialty varies from region to region. This is mostly because the country's cultures and landscapes range from the seafood-dominated palettes of the Mediterranean to the pastry-full plates of Central Europe.
Below we've listed three towns and locations to add to your itinerary, and the specialties you have to try when you get there to get a true taste of Croatia.
Be sure to stop at any of the number of kavanas (cafes) strewn throughout cities and towns to join the locals in people-watching and lazily enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee. They will usually offer plentiful outdoor seating and serve a full range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, along with the requisite pastries and ice creams. These cafes open early for those people catching the early ferry and stay open late in summer, embracing the relaxed and carefree vibe of Croatia.
This peninsula stretches over 90km and offers some of the most stunning views available in Croatia. This area is becoming increasingly popular during the holidays, but is still relatively quiet throughout the year. As you may have guessed, a part of the country that is almost completely surrounded by the ocean is going to be known for their seafood.
Chefs on the Peljesac Peninsula are famous for their shellfish. Mali Ston's oysters are served on plates and dishes just yards from where they are harvested, and nothing says extravagance like relaxing, while eating fresh seafood and enjoying other local delicacies.
Hvar is an island well-known as Croatia's celebrity magnet but anyone who has visited can tell why celebs choose to frequent this little island. The island is family-friendly, unspoiled, and most importantly, affordable. Lavender plantations, vineyards and stone villages can be found all over the island, and because of their coastal location, seafood restaurants are cropping up in large numbers as well.
Hvar's specialty to try is gregada, a fish stew that is cooked in white wine. To truly enjoy this dish, order as the Croatians do—in portion sizes large enough to feed two or more people.
The Istrian peninsula is at a distinct advantage over many other areas of the country because they have access to the rich and hearty seafood from the coast as well as the protein-rich fare from Central Europe. In this area of the country you will only find high standards and first class ingredients.
Try the Istrian specialty supa if you get a chance. Supa is a jug of red wine that is mulled with sugar, olive oil and pepper, and it is usually served with toast for dipping.
Enjoying new and unusual dishes as you travel is one of the highlights of finding and exploring new places. Don't let anything stop you from being as adventurous as you want to be on your trip to Croatia. Make sure you are covered for any health related issues by purchasing travel health insurance from Cover-More Australia and feel at ease, knowing that they will have your back if anything unexpected happens.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Jen.