1) Trogir

Trogir is a popular excursion for travellers who are visiting Split and waiting for a ferry, and their typical response after their first visit is: how is it possible that such beauty isn't promoted alongside Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes as Croatia's top tourist attractions?

Trogir's medieval old town – which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 – encompasses an island between the coast and the island of Ciovo (connected by a bridge). The majority of the ancient city is protected by walls, with beautiful beaches in the southern section.

The city has many beautiful old buildings, including the cathedral, a fascinating portal of the master Radovan, the castle Kamerlengo and St. Marco, the northern and southern city gates, the tower Vitturi i St. Nicholas, and numerous churches and monasteries.

There are also a great number of more anonymous historic buildings with old family coats of arms over the doors as well as fascinating architectural features hidden in some courtyard or corner with an ancient stone fountain.

If you're seeking for a relaxing seaside break after all that history, we suggest you visit Ciovo Island, which is essentially Trogir's beach and which is where the medieval noblemen of Trogir built their mansions. Recently, many vacation homes have been built on the island - the owners mostly come from Split and spend their weekends and vacations on Ciovo. This makes Ciovo a place with "family atmosphere" and not a real tourist center.

The seafront in TrogirThe seafront in Trogir

2) Miletici

Miletici is a small coastal village located just north of Zadar. It was built along the road that connects Zadar to Pag and the sea, and it comprises private residences used as summer cottages. This whole area, which stretches from the bridge of Pag to Zadar, has no real villages: rather it's a series of houses built along the coast, dotted with restaurants and some stores.

The main place of the district is Razanac, where the main tourist structures are located - even if they do not attract mass tourism so much. The place seems to be created for those who are looking for peace and absolute relaxation, who want to immerse themselves in the untouched Dalmatian nature or devote themselves to fishing.

It's ideal for people who enjoy making little excursions along the coast to places like Zadar, the National Park Paklenica, or the islands of Pag and Vir.

3) Lovran

Lovran is a coastal town located in the Istria region. Surrounded by oak and chestnut trees, the town takes its name from the laurels that grow all over the town and are the main feature of the vegetation with palm trees and flowering shrubs.

Lovran is known as a seaside resort with good tourist structures; it is possible to practice various sports such as fishing, tennis, sailing, water skiing and to take relaxing walks on the Učka mountain.

In summer the town is enlivened by fishermen's festivals and open-air musical performances, while in autumn the "Marunada" takes place - during this festival you can taste traditional cakes and sweets made from chestnuts.

The beaches of Lovran consist of small inlets in the coast, often below the level of the nearby road. Most of the beaches are pebbles and rocks or terraces which are characteristic for this part of the coast. Moscenicka Draga is perhaps the most beautiful pebble beach of the entire Riviera, located approximately 5 kilometers from Lovran.

4) Klenovica

Klenovica is a quiet town located just south of Rijeka. It is known for its freshwater springs, which flow into the sea and make the water a few degrees colder than it would be in other locations.

It's especially nice on hot summer days since it's a bit chilly. The constant mixture of cold water coming down from the mountain and sea water is also extremely favorable for marine flora and fauna - sometimes you can even see schools of dolphins!

Even though the town is quite small, it still provides enough for those who do not want to move around too much while on vacation: a few typical restaurants, a few bars, some grocery stores, and a newsstand - ideal for a relaxing and quiet holiday!

5) Banjole

Banjole is a resort 7 km from Pula, located on a small peninsula surrounded by a lush pine forest that reaches the sea. At the nearby campsite you can rent boats or bicycles.

Although Banjole is a small village, there are stores and restaurants, a post office, a market and also a diving center.

6) Fazana

Fazana - an ancient fishing village surrounded by orchards and olive groves - is located 5 km from Pula and is the port of departure to reach the island of Brijuni.

Despite its small size, the town has something to offer for tourists interested in history: In the center of the village there is the church of Madonna del Carmelo and - built on the ruins of the ancient castle - the church of St. Eliseo.

Fazana harbourFazana harbour

7) Medulin

10km from Pula, Medulin has great touristic infrastructure - there is a post office, bank, market, various stores, discos and many restaurants. Classical concerts are the most prevalent cultural events.

The town's main landmarks are the tiny islands off the coast, and in the center of town, Our Lady of Health's Church with frescoes and Glagolitic inscriptions.

8) Pula

Okay - so we cheated with this one: to call Pula a lesser-known gem isn't really accurate :-)

Pula is one of the most famous coastal towns in Croatia, home to the magnificent Roman amphitheatre and a wealth of historical sites. And it is one destination for our four yearly language holidays to Croatia.

Pula is located in the south of the Istrian peninsula and offers natural beauty as well as many opportunities for entertainment. It is a rather large city (60,000 inhabitants), but because of its excellent location it is considered one of the most important tourist destinations in Croatia.

The Roman amphitheatre in PulaThe Roman amphitheatre in Pula