written byFoodTripGo

Inland Croatia: natural beauty and unique gastronomy

Sep 28, 2023 | Croatia

Exploring the Plitvice Lakes, Cetina Spring and the flavors of the Croatian hinterland

Croatia attracts travelers from all over the world with its extraordinary natural beauty and enchanting destinations. This fascinating Balkan country is celebrated for its incredible variety of natural landscapes, and two of its brightest gems are the Plitvice Lakes and the Cetina spring. A trip to Croatia offers a combination of natural beauty and adventure.

The authentic atmosphere of Croatia’s rural villages and delicious local cuisine complete the travel experience, making Croatia a must-see destination for those seeking a combination of natural beauty, culture and adventure.

The typical dishes of the Croatian hinterland

Croatia’s culinary variety is much, reflecting the historical and cultural influences that have mingled over the centuries. Croatian cuisine is the result of the interweaving of different cultures Turkish, Hungarian, Greek, and Roman influences have merged with the local culture.

In the interior regions, Croatian cuisine embraces spices such as garlic, paprika and pepper, thanks to Turkish and Hungarian influence. High-quality meat dishes are the specialty, with flavorful stews and roasts.


Pašticada is one of the most celebrated traditional dishes in Croatian cuisine. Beef is marinated for a long time in a mixture of vinegar and red wine, then slow-cooked with bacon, onions and prunes to achieve a tender texture and rich flavor.

Skradin Risotto

Skradin Risotto is a delicious dish typical of Dalmatia. It requires careful preparation that takes between 10 and 12 hours. This culinary delicacy includes rump of veal, ham, beef, onions and a rich broth of capon, rooster or beef, as well as rice. The risotto is seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then topped with grated cheese.


Traditional Croatian pasta consists of thin tubes, made from simple ingredients such as flour, eggs, salt and water. This versatile pasta is perfectly suited to be accompanied by a variety of sauces and gravies.

Zagorski štrukli

The štrukli can be prepared in two ways: boiled or baked. Both versions share a basic dough consisting of flour, eggs, salt, water, vinegar and oil. Boiled štrukli are cooked in plenty of salted water and can be served with melted lard and breadcrumbs or in a rich soup. Baked štrukli are spread with sour cream before baking. The common filling is made of fresh cow’s cheese, eggs, sour cream, and salt, with a sweet variation also including sugar.


Sarma consists of stuffed cabbage rolls. This dish can be enjoyed as a delicious main course or side dish.


It is also called shepherds’ stew. Because of its richness, it is eaten at the end of long days of work in the pastures. The ingredients are different kinds of meat cooked in the pot and stewed in vegetable gravy.

Punjene paprike

Croatian stuffed peppers are made by stuffing the peppers with ground meat, rice and a selection of spices, then cooking it all in a flavorful tomato sauce.


Typical of northern Croatia, this dish is distinguished by its preparation involving two stages of cooking. Initially, meats and vegetables are fried, and then the dish undergoes slow cooking over low heat to perfect the flavors.

Plitvice Lakes

The Plitvice Lakes, nestled in the heart of Croatia, create a unique national park that is a symphony of colors, with its 16 turquoise-hued lakes interconnected by spectacular waterfalls, creating a dreamscape that attracts travelers from every corner of the globe. This natural wonder can be discovered through a network of wooden footbridges that meander between the lakes, allowing visitors to admire its breathtaking beauty up close.

The Plitvice Lakes are also a haven for wildlife, with rare species of birds, fish and animals finding their habitat here. Each season offers a different perspective: in spring the surrounding meadows are filled with flowers, while in winter the waterfalls turn into ice sculptures.

Cetina Source

The Cetina spring, a hidden treasure of Croatia, is located about a two-hour drive from the Plitvice Lakes. It is a wonder to behold, with its clear spring waters flowing from underground springs. The Cetina spring is a very unusual and, if you will, even a bit disturbing conformation, considering its depth of about 130 meters. For this reason it is also nicknamed the “eye of the earth.

Exploring Croatia: natural beauty and culinary delights

Croatia is a place where natural beauty blends with culture and gastronomy to create an unforgettable experience. From the lakes d i Plitvice to the Cetina spring, via traditional dishes such as Pašticada and štrukli, every corner of Croatia is an invitation to explore and savor. This land offers the chance to venture into unspoiled nature while discovering local culinary treasures.

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