Located on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia boasts a rich history and a diverse array of landscapes, from the stunning Dalmatian Coast to the rolling hills of Istria. With its mild climate and abundance of olive trees, it's no surprise that olive oil plays a central role in Croatian culture.
Best producers in the world
Istria has earned a remarkable seven-year streak as the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil Region in the World, as recognized by Flos Olei - the highly-respected guide to the world's finest olive oils. The 2022 edition of Flos Olei featured 500 premier producers from 55 countries, with an impressive 66 hailing from Istria. This is especially important considering that the Flos Olei publication contains oils from around the world - from 55 olive-growing countries from 5 continents. Istrian olive growers are among the 500 best, with a total of 13 per cent.
Many of producers offer tastings and tours of their facilities, allowing visitors to learn about the production process and sample the various olive oils
One typical Istrian olive oil-producing hotspot is the town of Motovun, located in the region's heart. This charming village is perched atop a hill, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. It is home to several small olive oil producers, each with its unique blend of oils. Many of these producers offer tastings and tours of their facilities, allowing visitors to learn about the production process and sample the various oils.
Freshly harvested olives, ready to be transformed into the award-winning extra virgin olive oil that has made Istria a top destination for olive oil connoisseurs
In addition to its olive oil, Croatia is known for its delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and olive oil are all integral parts of the Croatian diet. Whether dining at a local tavern or cooking up a storm in your vacation rental, you'll find that olive oil is a key ingredient in many dishes.
More than just cuisine
Of course, Croatia is not just about food and drink. The country is also home to a wealth of natural and cultural attractions. From the ancient city of Dubrovnik to the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, there is no shortage of things to see and do. The country's rich history is evident in its stunning architecture, with a mix of Roman, Venetian, and Austro-Hungarian influences.
Olive oil is essential in many of the country's traditional recipes, from savoury meats and vegetables to sweet pastries and desserts
So, Croatia is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in olive oil, Mediterranean cuisine, and the natural and cultural wonders of the region. Croatia has something for everyone with its charming towns, beautiful landscapes, and rich history.
Steeped in tradition, this ancient wooden press at Arboretum Trsteno in Croatia embodies the passion and expertise that has made Croatia a world-renowned producer of extra virgin olive oil
Croatia’s olive oil, and in particular extra virgin olive oil from Istria, has been prized for millennia, and it’s so strongly associated with the region that olives have been Istria’s symbol since the 1st century AD.
Central role in Croatian dishes
Located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is home to a Mediterranean climate that is perfect for growing olives, which thrive in the region's warm, dry air and rocky, well-draining soil.
As a result, olive oil plays a central role in Croatian cuisine and adds flavour and richness to a wide variety of dishes. Olive oil is essential in many of the country's traditional recipes, from savoury meats and vegetables to sweet pastries and desserts.
The country is also home to a rich culture and history, stunning architecture, beautiful natural landscapes, and charming local towns and villages to explore
In addition to its culinary uses, olive oil is also a key component of the Croatian economy, exporting a significant amount of its production to other countries around the world. As a result, tourists to Croatia can sample some of the finest olive oils in the world, made from olives grown in the country's sunny, Mediterranean climate.
A tantalizing taste of the Adriatic coast - savoury octopus with olive oil, perfectly roasted with potatoes under a traditional baking lid, a signature dish of Croatian cuisine
But it's not just the olive oil that makes Croatia an excellent tourist destination. The country is also home to a rich culture and history, stunning architecture, beautiful natural landscapes, and charming local towns and villages to explore. From the ancient Roman ruins of Split and the picturesque islands of the Dalmatian Coast to the rolling hills and vineyards of the Istrian Peninsula, there is no shortage of sights to see and experiences to be had in Croatia.
A paradise for curious foodies
So if you're looking to sample some of the best olive oil in the world and immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty of the Mediterranean, a trip to Croatia is a must. Whether you're a foodie looking to explore the country's rich culinary traditions or a nature lover seeking out stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone in this beautiful and diverse country.
RealCroatia travel agency will create a customized itinerary for you, including visits to local mills, tasting sessions with local producers
Croatia is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in top-notch olive oil, and RealCroatia Travel Agency is the perfect guide for your journey. Through the expertise and personalized services of our trip designers, you can discover the rich history, culture and traditions of olive oil in Croatia. The agency will create a customized itinerary for you, including visits to local mills, tasting sessions with local producers, and tours of the picturesque countryside where the olives are grown, so you can be sure of a truly authentic and unforgettable experience.