Looking for the perfect escape, are you? Well, let’s start by asking the obvious: are you a beach bum or a history buff? Turn on your adventurous spirit in Russia and take a stroll through yesteryear, while soaking in its rich historic past. Go island-hopping in Croatia, to sunbathe by day and chow down on the best seafood. We know, we know, they both sound incredible, but between the time limits and budget constraints that come with international travel, you’ll sadly have to choose just one. So what will it be: vodka-sipping and archives, or beaches and deep-sea dives? To help you decide, here are some things you can look forward to in each of these countries on your visit. Read on to see which ones add up to your next escape!
Choose Croatia If:
Game of Thrones is your absolute obsession
Croatia is home to some of the most popular filming locations in popular HBO television series Game of Thrones (over 14 of them actually)! The most prominent of which is Fort Loverjenac a medieval landmark located in Dubrovnik’s Old City, where many popular scenes in King’s Landing were filmed. Many of the islands within Croatia are overflowing with stunning, well-preserved medieval structures and crystal blue waters to match the incredible architecture, so it’s no wonder that this was one of the go-to spots to film!
You live for wine tours
The renowned Napa Valley wine country in California, is home to 400 wineries, drawing in crowds by the hundreds, all year round. If you double that, you’ll have the number of wineries in Croatia. That’s right folks — more than 800 wineries, almost twenty thousand registered winemakers and around 64 distinct grape types, is what you’ll find throughout these shores. Every island produces a unique wine by mixing in the best of their local grapes with ancient Balkan traditions of winemaking. So, to take your island hopping to the next level, go on a wine tour you’ll surely never forget and be sure to try and catch some winemakers in action!
Beach waves and cool vibes are all you need
Whether you’re looking to party hearty on a private but affordable beach, or you’re looking for some quiet respite, Croatia’s 1,000 islands are sure to have just what you’re looking for. With 1,000 coastlines to choose from, you can do anything from sunbathing on luxury on a glamorous island like Hvar, or kick back to historic views on Korčula and Split… the choices are endless! Wherever you choose to engage in some r&r (rest and relaxation) you’ll find nothing but clear, cool waters and natural beach sands to wiggle your toes and worries away in.
Fresh seafood makes your heart sing
The Adriatic Sea is known to have some of the healthiest, cleanest and freshest fish in the world. Needless to say, when it comes to seafood, in Croatia you’ll be in total foodie bliss. Be sure to sink your teeth into some local favorites, like grilled Mediterranean sea bass squid ink risotto, and of course what locals call “catch of the day stew” brudet.
Choose Russia If:
You love history and historic cities
There’s are few countries so steeped in history, which you can see just by strolling the streets of its most famous cities, as Russia. You have to see St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral or St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow to realize Russia is the place for lovers of history and historic architecture. In fact, there are over 25 UNESCO world heritage sites spread throughout the country.
Vodka is your drink of choice
If your preferred drink is Vodka, you’ll fit in well in Russia, where the spirit is pretty much a way of life. It’s traditionally served chilled and plain, so try not to order it with a mixer, like juice or soda. For the full-on vodka experience, check out the Russian Vodka Museum in St. Petersburg where you can learn all about the origins and history of vodka, take part in vodka tastings, and admire the world’s largest collection of Russian vodkas.
You’re looking to escape the summer heat
Summers in most parts of Russia tend to be on the milder side, with averages in most cities usually staying below the mid-70 degrees, although regions farther south have seen rare record highs in the 90s and 100s. But no matter where you stay in Russia during the summer, it’ll likely be a sunny getaway that won’t make you feel like you’re melting. A good bet is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the far east of Russia, where you can take part in some trendy ecotourism and enjoy the outdoors with hiking, kayaking, and fishing. You might also wan to check out the historical resort town of Yessentuki, which known for its mineral and hot springs (as well as its tasty seafood).
You’re a connoisseur of the arts
Russia’s contributions to the fine arts are legendary. It’s most authors, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, are powerhouse of world literature. Its theatre culture, which originated as entertainment for the Imperial Court, were pivotal in the history of the dramatic arts — and can be still be enjoyed at place likes the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersbug. And then there’s ballet. Once performed solely for the affluent, ballet has been a rich element of Russian culture for generations and can be enjoyed throughout the country.