Summer in Croatia is synonymous with turquoise waters, paradise islands, and sailboats. For many, if your vacation does not include any of these, then you are not enjoying the country as you should. I do not agree. Although visiting the Adriatic is essential, summer brings with it a wide variety of opportunities throughout the entire geography of Croatia. The parks and fields are filled with green and shade, perfect for hiding from the sun. Also, the number of events and festivities multiply considerably in central and eastern Croatia. Why would you miss any of this?
If you can, including central and eastern Croatia in your travel itinerary is a great idea. Zagreb and Osijek airports will also increase their routes and flights throughout, and after getting to know both cities and their surroundings, you can head to see what makes Croatia so famous: its coast and islands. But don’t worry, we know that these regions of the country are no strangers to high temperatures, and you will surely want to take a dip before waiting to travel to the coast. If freshwater is also your thing, here are some non-beach destinations in Croatia where you can cool off.
Jarun lake, Zagreb
When temperatures rise to an unbearable point at this time of year, Lake Jarun becomes a haven of shade and fresh water for the inhabitants of the Croatian capital. Jarun Lake is a 2 km artificial body of water, surrounded by cycling paths, promenades, forests, and parks. It was built and opened in 1987 for the Universiade – World University Games. The lake is ideal not only for bathers, but for all those who practice activities such as rowing, kayaking, or paddling.
Jarun lake. (Image: Croatian National Tourist Board)
Drava river, Osijek
The Drava, the main river in Osijek, gives the city not only a beautiful appeal but also offers its inhabitants an ideal alternative when summer arrives and the Adriatic is so far away. One would think that it is the custom of only a few, but the banks of the Drava are filled with hundreds of people looking for a good dip even on weekdays. In addition to lying down to sunbathe, family and friends gather to play on the shores and have a picnic.
Drava river, Osijek. (Photo: Mario Romulić)
Foginovo kupalište, Karlovac
Foginovo kupalište is a river bathing area in the city of Karlovac, where its inhabitants cool off in the waters of the Korana river. From its source in Plitvice, the Korana river reaches Karlovac, offering for centuries an oasis of peace, nature, and freshwater to locals and visitors. Bathers enjoy not only fairly clean waters but can also do so in peace thanks to the lifeguards always nearby. It is definitely an ideal destination for everyone, as adults can sunbathe on the shores, while the younger ones enjoy the inflatables and the diving tower.
Foginovo kupalište, Karlovac. (Image: Zelenilo.hr)
The Cetina river is one of the largest and most important rivers in southern Croatia, rising from the Cetina spring to the east in Šibenik-Knin County, running through almost all of Dalmatia, and reaching the Adriatic Sea at Omiš. There are those who find the Cetina spring itself an ideal spot for a summer dip, but the entire river has numerous points to cool off. If you are in Omiš, encourage yourself to participate in activities such as kayaking, canoeing, or rafting, as many of the organizers include moments during the tours to take a good bath in freshwater after a good exercise.
Cetina river. (Image: Mish and Kirk/YouTube Screenshot)
Modro jezero, Imotski
In Imotski, just an hour from Split by car, you will find not only a historic and quite picturesque town but also a group of lakes that are well-known in the country. One, in particular, Modro jezero, is an ideal bathing spot where high temperatures can easily be reached in these months of the year. Of all the alternatives mentioned above, Modro Jezero must be one of the most spectacular in terms of its location and scenery.
Modro jezero, Imotski. (Photo: Peter Malovrh/Flickr)
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