Travel Croatia: Where to Find Romance in Croatia

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Romance in Croatia: Croatia For Lovers


Undoubtedly one of the most romantic things you can do is sit snuggled up, or walk hand in hand as you watch a sunset with your loved one. As the day starts to end, the warm glow of the sun dropping below the horizon signals the beginning of the evening. Classic romance if you ask me.

In Croatia, with kilometres of coastline, there are more than just a few places you could sit back and enjoy a romantic sunset. There is no better vantage point than Zadar, this small town boasts big sunsets. Zadar holds the title of the best sunset in the world, according to Alfred Hitchcock. Quoted as saying ‘Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida’.

There is no arguing with Alfred, see for yourself.

Travel Croatia Sunset on the Riva #Zadar -Chasing the Donkey #Croatia
Sunset on the Rva Zadar – Photo Credit Ivan Coric

Tower of love

Take your lover to the island of Silba, a few hours off the coast of Zadar. Once there, you can  climb the 15-metre high spiral staircase of Marinic’s tower, known to locals as the ‘tower of love’. Once at the top, you’ll have panoramic views to watch the sunset over the islands Olib and Premuda.

The tower of love has an unconventional love story all of it’s very own. The local legend tells the story of a sailor, Marinic and his fiancee Antonia, who he promised to build the tower for upon his return from a long sea journey. Maranic returned much later than planned to find Antonia already married. He vowed to wait for the daughter of Antonia’s & her new husband to be old enough to marry and instead build the tower in her honor. After 20 years, she agreed to marry him, and the tower was erected. Marinic and his young wife are said to have lived happily ever after.

Travel Croatia - Silba Island lighthouse
Silba Island – All Rights Reserved Amir Rijavec

Rovinj with a stop in Venice

What about enjoying 2 romantic cities in 2 two countries in 1 day? Head to Rovinj, one of the most picturesque places in Istria, in fact, all of Croatia. Rovinj is often featured on postcards and brochures for the Istria region, and it also just happens to be a 2.5-hour ferry ride to Venice.

Picture this: you’ve spent a few days in Rovinj, enjoying the old town, and strolling along the cobbled streets. Then you awake in Rovinj one morning, eat breakfast and whisk your loved one down to the wharf to spend the day in Venice. The ferry from Rovinj is a leisurely ride, where you can enjoy coffee aboard. Once in Venice, you can take the efficient public boat transportation system called ‘Vaporetto’  to all the main areas, such as Lido, Giudecca, Murano, Burano, Torcello every 1omins. 

Enjoy a romantic gondola ride, an Italian feast complete with, a Bellini for lunch, all to be back on the ferry and sleep back in your room on Rovinj late that evening.

Do book your tickets beforehand, to be guaranteed a seat for your romantic day trip which can be done online with Venezialines.

Travel Croatia Sunset on the Riva #Rovinj Chasing the Donkey
Rovinj – Photo credit Destination Unknown

Go slow in Istria

Northern Croatia, known as Istria, has dozens of hilltop towns each with their own character. The entire area of Istra could easily be deemed romantic. The little winding roads between towns are romantic in themselves with lush green hills, covered in vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see.

Romance here does not have to be brief, with easy to navigate roads, hiring a car and driving from hilltop town to the next, tasting the areas gourmet delights.  This region of Croatia is known for its local wines, olive oils, pasta.

A weekend of romance can easily be had in Buzet, at the Vela Vrata Hotel. Buzet is known as the city of truffles. Here you can eat handmade pasta with freshly shaved truffles with a perfectly paired wine while overlooking the valley below.

Romance in Croatia - Licitar Heart - Chasing the Donkey #Croatia #Love
Licitar Heart – Photo Credit Sasha

Forget flowers, and get a licitar heart

Made of honey dough, a Croatian licitar heart it is often thought of as gingerbread, as they are similar. A licitar heart is part of Croatia’s Intangible cultural heritage and in protected by UNESCO.

These edible ornamental hearts are given as gifts for all occasions of love. Valentines, Weddings, they even adorn the Christmas tree.  Taking over a month to make, the dough is shaped, baked, dried and then coloured.

Want a romantic weekend getaway?

We simply can’t recommend enough the Lone Hotel in Rovinj. Ripped from the pages of a flashy design magazine, the multi-award winning Lone Hotel is impressive. It’s as comfortable as it is stylish. Every detail is manicured and well planned.The Lone Hotel stands alone as Croatia’s only member of Design Hotels™. It is completely different from any other hotel that we’ve ever stayed in – in the nicest way possible. Located just a few minutes by car, r 15 minutes on foot from the centre of Rovinj, the Hotel is situated perfectly. Not right in town, where all the hustle and bustle is, and instead along the quiet foreshore.

Book or find out more.

Licitar artist have different decorative styles, with pictures or verses.  Each Licitar is always embellished with a small mirror in the centre. The mirror represents the presence of the receiver in the Licitar-giver’s heart….. naaaw now isn’t that romantic?

Have you been to a romantic spot in Croatia or do you have one in mind?

We want you to know: This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you if you make a booking, I may receive a small commission.


Comments (95)

  1. Oh these are all such romantic choices! I love that sunset. Beautiful! Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust 🙂

  2. spent a lot of time at the NYT travel show talking to the folks from Croatia. It’s now officially on my bucket list!

  3. I had NO IDEA that you could take a 2.5 hour ferry from Venice to Croatia, I would do the reverse and whisk myself away from Italy!

    I also loved your suggestion of going up a 15 meter staircase!! My loved one would love the leg definition I would get from that kind of exercise…if I were still able to stand!!

    As usual another great post about the hidden secrets that Croatia has to reveal!

    Angie from reasons to dress

  4. Those licitar hearts look lovely! I’ve never seen them before. The idea of the mirror in the centre is very unique.

  5. Zagreb’s Upper Town can be super romantic. I always dream about snowy day, glass of mulled wine and walk around the town with my better half 🙂

  6. didn’t realise venice was so near croatia! heading to venice in april – perhaps we should do the reverse day trip!

  7. I love the Licitar hearts! What an adorable gift. I wonder if they’re available stateside? It’s worth looking into. Ethnic gems like these are always a delight to discover. Thanks for the great write up. 🙂

  8. Wow there are some beautiful places in Croatia. That sunset photo is stunning. Happy Valentines Day!

  9. Love Love Love this! That is an amzing sunset ~ hmmm I have not seen the sun for day in Germany LOL This is an awesome Poat totally saving this for when we visit Croatia again! 🙂

  10. Right then Mr and Mrs CtD! I know without a doubt you’ll have a beautiful Valentine’s, even if Mr CtD is at work… Your mission now is to find me a nice Croatian to have for my very own, so I can come and crash your 2015 Valentine’s! BTW SJ, could you hold back on the love for all things wonderfully Croatian, whether it be weather, food, or anything else that will bring the masses to mess with your (my) chi??? xx 😉

  11. Great post – all wonderful ideas for romance in a place that looks so innately romantic. I love the idea about taking a day trip to Venice. I’ll have to keep the ferry ride in mind for whenever I make it to either Venice or Rovinj.

  12. Are the Licitar hearts sold all year? Do you buy them in bakeries? I would love to check them out when I go to Croatia in April!

    1. Yes you buy them all year. Lots of cities have them in the souvenir shops (not bakeries) with all kinds of messages on them. Especially Zagreb, they have the best collection. I hang mine from the Xmas tree, as the sugar coating preserves them.

      1. So you don’t eat them. They’re just for decoration. Ok…Do you know of a factory where I can go see them being made?

  13. Some really great ideas here for Valentine’s Day in Croatia. The sunset picture in Zadar is amazing but I think for us, the ferry crossing to Venice would be a really cool experience. I know that Heather has always wanted to visit Venice, so that would be a great way to kill 2 birds at once by visiting two countries on the same day.

    Great post guys!!

    1. Thanks so much. The ferry ride is great, we did it back in 2010, and it was relaxing and before you knew it you were there!

  14. I’d definitely take a bite at that Licitar heart. Also, the ferry from Rovinj to Venice sounds like a great idea. The list of things to do in Croatia is apparently endless… Lovely post! Good luck!

  15. Ugh, I will likely be coming to Croatia solo, so I will just have to content myself with looking at all those happy loved-up couples around every historic love corner >.<

      1. GIggle….. you two would get on every well is my guess. Perhaps we can organise you a holiday so you can be each others wing woman?

  16. Wow Croatia definitely does look full of romantic spots – something I didn’t doubt for a second!! It took me back to when I was on the Greek Islands – so romantic but unfortunately I was travelling round with a kiwi girl I had just met in Scotland so it seemed a bit like a missed opportunity!!

  17. I want to spend Valentine’s Day or an anniversary in Croatia now. You’ve listed such wonderful ideas and they do turn up the notch on romance. I didn’t know it was that easily accessible fro Venice too. Good to know! I want a Licitar heart too. 🙂 I hope you two lovebirds have a great Valentine’s Day.

  18. LOVE this post!! So sweet. And that Licitar heart is gorgeous! Definitely makes me want to visit Croatia even more – what a beautiful country!

  19. That Licitar heart looks too pretty to eat. Do they taste as good as they look? I had no idea that Croatia was that close to Venice. Looks like a romantic way to spend the day.

  20. Ooh, I want one of those hearts! They almost look too pretty to eat.

    Now I’m jealous that your country’s cultural heritage is delicious.

  21. What a great theme 🙂 I remember seeing those hearts all over Zagreb, it’s a lovely little symbol for the city!

  22. I’d never thought of Croatia, until I started to love European architecture. It looks beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  23. I don’t know much about Croatia, but I’m all about photographing sunsets!! Sounds like a new place to add to my list. I also LOVE the idea that you can visit Venice so easily. Croatia has just moved up on my ‘to-see’ list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The sunsets here are to DIE FOR! Come in Sept when the hoards of tourists have gone, but they days are long. You can sit and own the beach all to yourself.

  24. That’s it…I’m coming to Croatia to find love 😉 I really really want to go to Rovinj and I want one of those Licitar hearts…I love gingerbread!

  25. I actually planned on visiting Croatia during the summer of 2012 with my former girlfriend haha funny enough, we missed our train out of France and had to improvise a holiday to Scotland instead. Great guide!

  26. I also remember the beautiful sunsets in Zadar from my trip from years ago, but I don’t recall Croatia being such a romantic country. Your posts seem to change my mind, and we definitely have to explore more my ex-neighbour country! Thanks for the inspiring post!

  27. Honestly, Croatia was never on my radar as a place to visit but you change that with every post! I do, however think that Marinic is a creep. Any of my ex-boyfriends come NEAR my daughter and they’ll be looking down the barrel of a shotgun. ;P

  28. We had once been to a Wellness hotel in Krapinske Toplice called Villa Magdalena, 50 km from Zagreb and 70 km from Maribor, Slovenia. We stayed three days eating very nice food, enjoying great wine and visiting the mountains and surroundings. And it’s wirth going now that the temperatures are low and luckily you can enjoy some snow as well!!

    1. Oh yes, that sounds wonderful. I am yet to experience that part of Croatia yet. Sounds like I need to.

  29. Looks beautiful! heh, can’t get the girl so you can get the girl’s daughter. Interesting concept… I definitely need to go there with Yeison, like Greg said between you and Frank&Vera’s posts, Croatia has jumped quite high to the top of my list of places to go see!

  30. You had me at sunset. Romance doesn’t need much more than that…oh, yeah 2 people. Between your and Frankabout’s wonderful descriptions, Croatia is looking like a must do for Jen and I.

  31. Whenever I find a guy who is crazy enough to fall in love with me I´ll give it a try in Croatia.. Maybe someone from Croatia? Anyone? 😉

    Even though I´m not a romantic and I´m not sure I would go to those places for or with my love but they are all lovely places =)

  32. Didn’t know that Alfred was si impressed with Zadar’s sunsets. Cool! The most famous romantic couple in Croatia, like Croatian version of Romeo and Juliet, is Miljenko & Dobrila. You can find their story online.

  33. LOVE the sounds of the tower of love” – Would LOVE to visit Croatia – pity it’s so far away!

  34. Wonderful read, I’ve been trying to get an overview on the best of Croatia and this is a great start. Istria is on my hit list– I’ve read it’s an undiscovered Tuscany (and I love Tuscany!) Do you have any favorite little villages?

  35. Ahh this is such a great post, we’re planning to go camping in croatia in the next couple of years 😀 wish it could be sooner! x

    1. Camping is great here, there are a few great spots. Shout out when you start planning and I’ll give you hand.

  36. Wow I love the photo of Rovinj. You are getting a determined NON traveller very interested in travelling to Croatia 🙂

  37. Every time I visit your blog, it makes me want to visit Croatia… looks like such a beautiful country… going to have to hint to hubby to take me one weekend soon x

    1. Yes do! Late spring is a great time to come, no crowds and the weather is warm. Cheap flights from the UK to Zadar 🙂

    2. Thanks. Depending on where you are, there are lots of cheap flights into Zadar and Split now. Keep your eyes peeled.

  38. A great roundup just in time for Valentine’s Day! it’s not difficult to find romance in Croatia 😉

  39. Licitar hearts are protected by UNESCO?! That’s the cutest thing ever! I have actually attempted making them, and failed miserably. There are so many romantic places in Croatia, but if I had to pick one it would be the patio at Konoba Bako in Komiža, right on the beach, preferably when there’s a full moon and the jastog (lobster) for 2.

  40. Strossmayerovo setaliste in Zagreb. When you go from Trg Bana Jelacica up that narrow street, (Radiceva ulica) and climb the stairs towards Kula Lotrscak and Gricki top. My favorite place in Zagreb, with some fond memories of first love. It’s wonderful to see the city lights below you when the sun sets.

  41. Great photos! We only spent the day in Dubrovnik during a cruise but absolutely loved what we saw. So much so we are heading back that way next year to see more.

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