Sports & Rugby Tour to Croatia
Written by | SOPHIE WEBBER, BA
3K Taxi Ride
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£2.50 – £5
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£3.50 – £7
Why go on a Rugby tour to Croatia?
Undoubtedly, a rugby tour to Croatia is an increasingly desirable tour destination. More than just an up-and-coming place, Croatia offers something a little different to your usual holiday. The sunny Adriatic country is encompassed by beautiful, isolated islands, stunning coastlines and crystal blue sea. Moreover, it has something for everyone – whether you’re an adrenaline seeker, festival addict or someone who likes to relax.
In this ultimate guide to Croatia, we’ll go through all the things you can do in the sunny country, including activities, festivals, where to grab a bite to eat, and visit for a day trip.
Rugby tour to Croatia | Split
As Croatia’s second largest city, Split’s history, architecture and gorgeous scenery will leave you in awe. Split has great air, bus and ferry links so it’s a great city to explore while on a rugby tour to Croatia.
Significantly, the city is built within the ruins of medieval architecture, giving it a unique character. Split has a stunning promenade called the Riva, with restaurants, shops and ice cream parlours throughout. Albeit its lively atmosphere, Split is not too ‘touristy’ and a great place to relax. After exploring Split’s narrow streets and beautiful ancient buildings, a must-see monument is the Grgur Ninski Statue. In order to find it, you just have to head through the renowned Golden Gate to the Peristyle of the Palace.
Although the bustle of a new city can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming. With this in mind, head to the Riva in the evening for a leisurely stroll, great food and sunset views.
The best Beaches in Croatia
To begin with, let’s cover the essentials – the sunny sandy beaches of Croatia’s seductive coastline. It stretches over 1000km and ranges from silky golden sands to pebbled beaches and hidden coves. When you hunt for the best beaches, it is best to head South on the Dalmatian coast. Here are some of our favourites to give you a perspective of what a rugby tour to Croatia can look like:
Bacvice Beach, Split
Without a doubt, this beach is one to visit if you are staying in Split during your trip to Croatia. Just a few minutes from the East ferry terminal, it’s easily accessible even during short stays. Alternatively, if you’ve been exploring the beautiful architecture of Split all day, it’s the ideal place for a relaxing end of the day.
Punta Rata Beach, Brela
This beach won Forbes’ award for ‘most beautiful beach in Europe’ and is definitely one worth visiting. Punta Rata has also been awarded the Blue Flag award for its purity of water and quality, so disappointment is highly unlikely. Moreover, Punta Rata has many sporting activities available and is surrounded by food places to enjoy at the beach.
Zlatni Rat Beach, Bol
Within walking distance from Bol, this beach’s serenity and turquoise waters make it an eye-catching destination seen on brochure covers. If you need proof that this beach will not be a disappointment, you can rest assured that it has been awarded 3rd Best Beach Destination in Europe two years in a row.
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Sporting Activities in Croatia
For all those adventurous souls who love to explore, a rugby tour to Croatia offers a wide range of sporting activities. Adventurous activities include sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, cycling, hiking, paragliding, zip-lining, and rock climbing, to name a few.
Firstly, Istria’s green hill landscape is ideal for cycling. One of the most popular routes is the Parenzana trail, 61km of which goes through the country. It follows a narrow-gauge railway that used to link Porec on the coast to Trieste in Italy during the early 20th century.
What’s more is, Croatia’s varied landscape makes it great for hiking. Its terrains ranging from meadows and lakes to rolling hills and densely forested areas make it great for hikers who want to take in the true beauty of the country. Popular National parks to visit are Risnjak, Paklenica National Park (where rock climbing is also available), and Northern Velebit.
Lastly, if you want to experience a sport that is going to make your heart race, then book in white water rafting to your adventure. This activity is sought by the bravest adrenaline seekers out there and is available for beginners and experts alike. Notably, The River Cetina and the River Zrmanja, both located in Dalmatia, offer the opportunity to try white water rafting for visitors.
Island Hopping in Croatia
After some well-deserved beach time, why not just hop over and visit a few more beautiful Islands?
With over a thousand Islands surrounding Croatia, there is lots to explore. As a matter of fact, Croatia offers one of the most compelling seascapes in Europe, making it an island hoppers’ paradise. You can start your Island hopping experience in Split, and then hop across the ever-popular islands of Šolta, Hvar, Brač, Korčula and Vis. Although most offer peace and quiet, there are some islands where parties which carry on the whole 24 hours. With so many islands to hop, there is surely one perfectly suited to everyone.
It’s important to note that whilst it is possible to hop all year around, some routes are only available in summer. The early Spring/Autumn time offers the best prices for this experience, which may be worth keeping in mind.
The best Music Festivals in Croatia
There’s nothing more memorable than attending a festival while abroad. If you are thinking about a rugby tour to Croatia in particular, it’s worth researching what festivals are on during your visit. With this in mind, here are some renowned favourites:
You may have heard of this festival before from someone who has been lucky enough to go. 5 days, 5 nights, over 150 artists, Hideout includes some of Europe’s top DJ’s and electronic acts. Its 2017 line-up included Major Lazer Soundsystem, MK, Stormzy and Diplo to name a few. Situated on the beautiful Zrce Beach, you will look around in disbelief as you hop between your favourite artists.
Outlook is Europe’s leading sound-system culture festival. Happening across 4 days at the end of summer, there isn’t a more memorable way to finish off the season. Set in an abandoned fort perched above the Adriatic Sea, next to a beach near Pula, the festival is one to consider. The setting is enough to tempt you into planning your rugby tour to Croatia around this festival. Additionally, with a variety of music including underground, garage, dub step, hip hop and reggae, Outlook festival is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
If Indie music is more your thing, you should consider checking out one of the most popular rock festivals in the region. Moreover, with after-parties carrying on in Zagreb, sleep will be the last thing on your mind.
Guide to Croatia’s Yacht week
This must-do luxurious activity is just too good to miss. The Yacht Week is the name of a week-long festival where you sail merrily between Islands on the ocean.
In order to enjoy this, you can grab 6-12 friends, or ask to join a crew if there are only a couple of you. The only thing to note with this experience is the minimum age of participants is 20 years. Following this, you choose a yacht starting from £255 per person, depending on size and preference. There are a few routes to choose from, the black being the party-hard option for those who like to let loose.
What to eat on a rugby tour to Croatia
Overall, Croatian cuisine is best described as having Mediterranean and Eastern European influence. With this in mind, you’ll find a wide range of fish and seafood, as well as hearty meals. It’s important to note that the cuisines inland differ from those on the coastal areas of Croatia (Istria, Kvarner, and Dalmatia).
Here’s a little breakdown of some of the ‘must-try’ Continental Croatian dishes found inland: Punjene Paprike (a type of stuffed pepper), Turkey with Mlinci (turkey found on thin, dried flatbreads), and Fish Paprikash (a traditional flavoursome fish stew). Coastal cuisine includes dishes such as Skradinski Rizot (skradin risotto) and Brodet (a popular Croatian seafood stew typically served with creamy polenta). All in all, a good rule to follow for the best places in town is to eat where the locals eat. Traditionalists need not fear as Croatian pizza is also known to be excellent.
Where to go Wine Tasting in Croatia
Although not widely popular, Croatian wine has a history that dates as far back as 2,500 years. Wine tasting therefore highly deserves a place on this list of things to try on a rugby tour in Croatia. There are a plethora of geographically defined wine regions situated in the country, making it the ideal location for wine enthusiasts. It is well worth taking advantage of the wine cellars, tasking rooms and wineries open to visitors. These are a select few examples of the many wineries to be enjoyed:
Milos Winery, Peljesac
The first to introduce winemaking in the region of Peljesac. Their signature wine is a specialty that has been enjoyed and recommended by many.
Rizman Winery, Komarna
This winery is located on the mainland in the village of Komarna. Located at the top of a hill, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, it is the perfect place to drink wine and appreciate the surrounding views.
Saints Hill Winery, Zagroda
Saint’s Hill Winery is slightly more exclusive and expensive. However, its reputation as a stunning and renowned winery means it’s not one to skip and is well worth a visit if your budget allows it.