The coast along the Adriatic Sea is one of the best in Europe. While the Mediterranean is always popular, the Adriatic offers gorgeous turquoise waters, plenty of sun and lots of historical, picturesque towns. If you want to seek out some of the best coastal locations in Europe, you can’t miss those that you can find along the Adriatic. You have a choice of several countries to choose from, from Italy to Albania. If you’re looking for the prettiest towns and the most interesting sights, try these suggestions to start you off. You can choose destinations that suit you.
Everyone has heard of Venice, and you can’t look at destinations on the Adriatic without taking it into account. Some people think it’s a place that receives far too many tourists, but others don’t mind braving the crowds if it means getting to see it. It’s no wonder it’s so popular, considering its world-famous beauty. And if you do want to get away from some of the tourist spots, it’s actually not that hard to wander down some side streets into spots that are more popular with locals. It is, however, a good idea to take a map. It’s surprisingly easy to get lost down Venice’s winding streets.
Not everyone is interested in visiting somewhere as popular as Venice. If you’re looking for an Italian town that’s not as busy, Trani offers a much sleepier destination where you can really relax. The fishing port is a great place to engage in some slow travel, not doing a lot and going slowly when you do something. Take a walk through the town and along the harbor, and then stop at a restaurant or cafe for lunch, dinner or just an aperitivo. If that sounds like your idea of heaven, Trani could be the place for you.
Not much of Slovenia is on the Adriatic – less than 50km, in fact. Still, it makes the most of the small slice it has. The fishing town of Piran is a pretty place with an old town at its center and a bustling square that looks out onto the water. The square is named after composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, who was from the town. There’s medieval architecture to admire and quaint narrow streets. If you’re looking for some entertainment, the atrium of Greyfriars Franciscan monastery often hosts musical events. Or you could just while away your time eating and drinking.
Hvar isn’t exactly on the Adriatic coast, in that it’s not part of the mainland. It’s actually one of Croatia’s islands, of which there are over a thousand. Hvar is one of the most popular islands and includes the port town of the same name. If a sleepy fishing village isn’t for you, you might prefer the nightlife that Hvar offers. The bars and restaurants are lively, so you can enjoy the town well into the evening. There’s also plenty more to do in the town and across the island, from admiring the Renaissance architecture to hiking and spending time on the beach.
You might say that Dubrovnik is like the Venice of Croatia in that it’s a popular tourist destination. Its popularity has grown recently, especially as Dubrovnik and other Croatian places have been used as filming locations for various movies and TV. If you’re thinking of a sailing holiday in Croatia, cruising from Split to Dubrovnik or the other way around is a great choice. Dubrovnik’s impressive old town is the most noticeable thing about it, with excellently preserved city walls. You can pay to walk along the walls, looking out at the city from the ramparts, and maybe pretend to shoot a cannon or two. The main square gets busy, but it’s fun to climb the narrow streets and see what you can find. Plus, there’s a whole city outside of the old town too.
Another town with an impressive old town, Kotor is so well-preserved that it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This town will make you feel like you’re a little cut off from everything else, which is one of the reasons to visit, and also why it’s in such good condition. It is surrounded by mountains in a deep bay and features stunning medieval architecture. Explore the city walls, visit the castle of San Giovanni, and go to Saint Tryphon Cathedral for some architectural wonders and great views.
Enjoy everything the Adriatic has to offer with this range of coastal locations. If you love history and culture, you won’t want to miss these destinations.
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