Cruises to the Adriatic are gaining ground on the global travel market, and it’s no wonder; the area’s culture, history, cuisine and climate have conspired to woo travellers from across the world.
With so many potential destinations to choose from, it’s best to combine some familiar hotspots with a few, lesser-known gems. Here are some prime candidates for your cruise in the idyllic Adriatic.
Croatia’s coastal poster child, this iconic Dalmatian destination is powerful enough to leave a lasting impression, even with day-trippers on a whistlestop itinerary. Start any excursion with a tour of the towering, grey city walls for a commanding view of sea and city before the midday sun hits. Then, plunge into the cooler, characterful Old Town and spend an hour or two wending your way through its marbled streets with an ice cream in hand. Don’t re-embark unless you’ve experienced at the very least one large glass of excellent Croatian wine, its impressive provenance can be savoured with every sip.
Part of Slovenia’s Italian community, the coastal city of Koper hides medieval treasures in its midst. With camera in hand, seek out the Praetorian Palace and explore its enchanting gothic environs. Then, drop in to Vinakoper for a winery tour at which you can pick up an artisan bottle of plonk for a snip: a great souvenir for taking home.
Make peace with the fact you won’t see all of Venice, but that you’ll see enough of this enchanting city to stay with you forever. The Basilica di San Marco is an iconic starting point for first-time visitors to the city, but there’s so much inside it you’ll find it can engulf hours, so be satisfied with a sneak-peak at its gold mosaics and the atmosphere around its bustling square. Take in a view of the city by skimming down one of its famed canals in a vaporetto, then pick up some Morano glass for an authentic souvenir to treasure on your way home.
One of the Adriatic’s six islands, Korcula is a stunning destination to include on any cruise itinerary. It’s small enough to explore on foot, which is just as well, given there’s no public transport! Drop in to the Marco Polo museum to channel some of this famed adventurer’s spirit before getting lost amid the cobblestones of its Old Town.
Capital of the charming Italian region of Puglia, this compact city boasts an array of dramatic religious architecture and a medieval old town, and is experiencing something of a renaissance among travellers. Take in religious sights; the Cattedrale is a particularly dramatic space, under which can be discovered the ruins of former iterations, as well the remains of a Roman house. Then, take time to wander through the white stone buildings at Trani harbour for many a Kodak moment!
Image by Les Haines used under the Creative Commons license.