Photo by Maja Danica Pečanić

Everybody can be a foodie at the Adriatic

You have certainly heard the saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ at least once in your lifetime. The Adriatic Sea is the perfect destination if you want to put this saying to the test. If you are in search of both a gastronomic and a nautical destination, a foodie tour of Croatia is the perfect choice! Meat, fish, vegetables or just something sweet? The Adriatic has it all. Get ready to immerse yourself in the abundance of tastes and aromas.

Let us start in Istriaterra gastronomica and the county of boškarin beef, asparagus, the Istrian prosciutto… Start your sailing route along the coast of Blue Istria in Umag, stop in Poreč and Rovinj and enjoy the traditional dishes along the way. Our first stop is Rovinj. Make sure to find the perfect spot under the sun. You may consider finding the perfect spot overlooking the Church of St. Euphemia, since some consider it a million-dollar view with simply delicious food.

 Rovinj will certainly win you over with its vegetable stew maneštra, Istrian soup and frittata the same way it won over Michelin inspectors. Don’t miss the chance to spoil your palate with some truffle sauce served with pljukanci – a home-made pasta dish you might struggle to pronounce, but will have no trouble feasting on.

Any food recommendations? Try everything! During your sail along the Istrian coast soak up the mesmerising beauty of the Brijuni National Park and the ancient city of Pula until you reach your next gastronomic destination – Premantura! High-quality white fish and shellfish dishes will help you understand what it means to be as happy as a clam!

This brings us to the Kvarner langoustine, which is of highest quality if it is harvested from the blue mud of the Kvarner bay. Enjoy this widely praised Mediterranean dish in the village of Mošćenička Draga at the foot of the Učka mountain.

Let us head out to the open sea. Kvarner boasts a number of islands with an exquisite gastronomic offer. The next stops of our gastronomic tour are Krk, Rab, Lošinj and Cres! We offer you as appetizer the Čikat Bay near Mali Lošinj, where you can enjoy the beauty of the crystal-clear sea while feasting on some quality Mediterranean products which have learned to speak Japanese.

Next, you will need to employ your hiking boots as the main course awaits you in the picturesque town of Lubenice located on a 378-meter-high hill on the island of Cres. The climb is worth it as the Cres lamb roasted under the bell is as magnificent as the view of the St. John beach you will have the chance to admire from atop.

The ideal destination to enjoy some dessert is Rab! The traditional local cake is made from almonds, sugar, lemon and maraschino liqueur, so it makes perfect sense that the Romans called Rab the island of happiness. We will end the Tour de Kvarner on the island of Krk with a glass of Vrbnik žlahtina wine and a platter of local cheese and prosciutto.

Speaking of cheese, our next destination is the island of Pag. Located at the very start of the North Dalmatia region, this island’s scenery resembles the surface of the Moon. The local cheese is an aphrodisiac due to its high concentration of zinc. Say cheese!

With winds from the Velebit mountain in our sails, it is best to make a stop at Nin. The oldest Croatian royal town is known for its traditional meat delicacy, šokol. The recipe for šokol is passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth, but it is not a secret that it is made by marinating pork neck fillet in wine, spices, nutmeg and black pepper. Our journey continues in Zadar – a town famous for its gorgeous sunsets and top-quality maraschino. After Zadar, we head out to the Kornati National Park, which boasts a Robinson Crusoe atmosphere.

Having seen 89 islets and reefs, it is now time to visit the island of slow food – Žut – where you will enjoy traditional specialities such as grilled freshly caught fish and lobster or brudet, a famous fish stew.

Make sure to stop in Skradin near the Krka waterfalls and try the famous local risotto. Traditionally, only men prepare it. Even the acclaimed food critic Anthony Bourdain was speechless after tasting it.

Now we are off to central Dalmatia. Grab a bite of the traditional pašticada dish in Split at one of the countless restaurant terraces decorated with calla lilies and head out to see the islands. Embark on a gastronomic adventure in Lučice Bay on the island of Brač where you can enjoy delicious octopus salad by the azure sea or head to Gažul, a small shepherd village at the foot of the Vidova Gora Mountain and reward yourself with the famous Brač vitalac, a traditional shepherd dish of lamb or goat offal.

 Instead of Hvar, visit the luxuriant pine forest of Vinogradišće Bay on the islands of Hvarski škvoji and relax with the calming sound of crickets chirping around you. Try the traditional Hvar gregada dish, it will help you relax. After the Paklinski Islands, our way leads to the Mala Travna Bay on the island of Vis. Enjoy the peaceful silence of the island while indulging in the traditional smoked fish soup.

We have almost arrived to the South Dalmatia and the island of Korčula! The inhabitants of this island, the alleged birth place of Marco Polo, will prepare for you possibly the best grilled sardines you will ever try. Everyone knows the food is better the further south you go. You will find this saying to be unmistakeably true once you’ve tried the local oysters in Ston, supposedly the birth place of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. When in Dubrovnik, make sure to try the traditional rožata flan in one of the coffee shops overlooking the city walls.

Hungry? Take a foodie tour of Croatia!