5 bizarre sightseeing tours in Croatia
Croatia is without doubt one of the most stunning countries in Eastern Europe. What comes to mind when you think of Croatia? The splendour of the Plitvice Lakes? The breath-taking views over Dubrovnik? The vibrant nightlife of Hvar Town? Croatia offers some of the most beautiful, yet bizarre sightseeing tours in the world. Our top 5 bizarre tours include:
The sinking of elegant passenger ship the Baron Gautsch during World War I has error-ridden echoes of the Titanic disaster two years before. Carrying refugees, holidaymakers and military personnel, it was making one last journey from Kotor, Montenegro back to port in Trieste. While the captain slept and the first officer dined, an inexperienced understudy ignored warnings and sailed into a minefield laid by fellow Austro-Hungarian forces. Fatalities numbered 147. The wreck lies some 40 metres down off the Brijuni Islands, a popular site for experienced divers at clubs in Pula and Porec.
Blue Cave, Bisevo
Bisevo Island contains one of Croatia’s most striking and unusual natural wonders. In the summer, it attracts daily boat trips, particularly from the nearby resort of Komiza. Accessible only by sea, the Blue Cave of Bisevo is a limestone grotto with an underwater opening that lets in the sun’s light as noon approaches. The effect lasts for two hours, with beams shooting through the water to bathe the cave in an azure light. Visitors plunge into the waters for the full experience. Tours usually involve a picnic lunch at a nearby beach.
The Brijuni Islands hold a strange fascination. An archipelago off Fazana, near Pula where excursions can be arranged, Brijuni is a national park of 14 islands. The largest, Veliki Brijuni, contains rare treasures such as dinosaur footprints, Roman and Byzantine ruins and Europe’s first golf course. The Habsburgs also created exotic botanical gardens. Tito later set up his own safari park, filled with elephants and zebras provided as gifts by national leaders who visited him here. Some still survive, the rest are stuffed and displayed in a nearby museum.
Eco Centre Caput Insulae
Set on the unspoiled island of Cres in Kvarner, the Eco Centre Caput Insulae at Beli is both a unique nature reserve and volunteer centre. Its main task is to protect and monitor a colony of rare griffon vultures, which nest in the cliffs nearby. These birds have died out in mainland Europe and are only found in obscure pockets such as Crete, Sardinia and Guernsey. The Eco Centre also contains nature trails through the sparse region of Tramuntana, with its honey buzzards, peregrines and other rare birds.
One of the strangest attractions to open in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, the Gric tunnel sits under the fortifications of the Upper Town. Above, a cannon blast famously signals high noon. Below, a 350-metre-long tunnel was created to serve as an air-raid shelter during World War II. By the time it was ready, the Allies were no longer bombing Croatia. Abandoned, the tunnel became a meeting place until being assailed by DJs and ravers in the early 1990s. The Gric Tunnel now stages fashion shows and exhibitions. If you want to explore some of Croatia’s more bizarre attractions, why not book a guided sightseeing tour to make the most of your stay? Local tours include knowledgeable guides who will give you all the information you need to make your Croatian sightseeing tour a holiday highlight.