In the spectacular and atmospheric Roman amphitheatre where gladiators once thrilled crowds, Pula now hosts an annual film festival, with a programme of national and international films.
6 incredible things to do while visiting Croatia on a luxury yacht
For film lovers and romantics
Picture courtesy of Pula Film Festival/Facebook.com
For culture vultures
Built in the 18th century to service the naval fleet that protected the Venetian Republic's valuable trade routes, The Arsenal in Zadar has been transformed into a centre for art and entertainment, bringing together elements of history, music, art, food and wine.
It hosts musicians, singers, concerts, parties and exhibitions, and has a lounge bar as well as the Amory restaurant in the gallery which opens on demand for reservations of groups of at least 10, serving traditional Croatian cuisine with local and imported wines. There are several shops, including a wine merchant.
Picture courtesy of Zadar Arsenal/Facebook.com
For nature lovers
Blue World's bottlenose dolphins undoubtedly have an easier time getting adopted than the Griffon Vultures, such is the advantage of their natural beauty and charm. Founded in 1999, Blue World continued the work of the Adriatic Dolphin Project started in 1987, which includes a marine reserve and education centre, involving turtles as well as dolphins.
In 2007 — declared Year of the Dolphin by the United Nations — Blue World spotted 108 groups in the course of 104 trips from its Veli Losinj base, and 19 groups in 14 trips from its Vis base. Though undoubtedly still in need of protection, there's a good chance of a sighting almost everywhere in Croatia's Adriatic, which just adds to the delights of the area.
Picture courtesy of Roman Tsubin/Shutterstock.com
For divers, historians and adventurers
Ancient shipwrecks full of treasure may seem like the stuff of legends but, in Croatian waters, there are several of the world's best shipwreck dives. One of them, a second century Greek trading vessel, lies on the sea bed off the coast of Cavat with its wooden hull mostly rotted away but its cargo of earthernware amphora still neatly stacked row upon row.
The tightly packed vessels once contained olive oil and wine, but now they themselves are the treasure, such is their historical significance and level of preservation, and are worth millions. To safeguard and preserve it in situ, a metal cage has been erected over the site, and access to this giant underwater safe is restricted. However, special permission may be arranged through Epidaurum Diving & Watersports Center, whose owner actually discovered the site.
For serious gourmets
It was in Istria that the world's largest white truffle was found — all 1.3 kilograms of it — and the rich soils beneath the thick forests of the Mirna River valley continue to yield their delicious treasures, which are sniffed out by specially trained truffle hunting dogs.
Truffles, both white and black, are a feature of Istrian cuisine and the places to sample them are in the fine restaurants and taverns of the region. Some of these establishments are deemed to have a special way with truffles and are considered outstanding for the quality of their presentation, wine matching and specialist knowledge.
Visit some of the best restaurants Croatia has to offer while away from your superyacht.
Picture courtesy of Danilo Ducak/Shutterstock.com
For festival and food lovers
Lovran claims to grow the best sweet chestnuts (marundi) in the world and over three weekends in October this delicacy is celebrated in a gastronomic event that starts in Lovran and spreads to the adjacent villages. You can consume chestnuts in an infinite variety of forms - encased in pastries, cakes and sweets, stuffed in turkey breast, garnishing steak as a sauce, and creaming a flaming crepe to name a few.
The atmosphere is jolly with local music and folk dancing, all washed down with local mead and young wine. Those who have overindulged may choose to appease their guilt by joining in a series of sporting tournaments - lawn bowls, cycling, mountaineering and an Adventurous Trekking Race are all part of the programme of activities. The next festival runs from October 8-23 2016.
Picture courtesy of Krutar/Shutterstock.com