• Jessica Cerovic

April in Croatia

April or Travanj in Croatian is an eye-catching month of the year with all the flowers, foliage and seasonal food coming to life as the temperatures warm. There is so much to do this month with more and more events inviting you to experience the great outdoors.

Igor's pick of asparagus on the Adriatic coast

Ri Gastro - Rijeka Detox (our favorite Croatian city...we're kind of biased because that's where Igor is from) takes place from April 6th through 13th. This year the event focuses on the health benefits of wild edible plants and other spring season foods. Dishes made of wild asparagus, garlic, nettle, dandelion and more will be prepared by caterers. Lectures on vitality and longevity will take place at the city hall and admission for this event is free.

From April 9th through 13th is the Four Islands MTB Stage Race. This is a team cycling race taking place across the stunning islands of Krk, Rab, Cres and Lošinj totaling approximately 270km. For more info. go to: https://4islands.hr

Croatia is a boater's paradise. This year is the 21st annual Croatia Boat Show taking place in the city of Split from April 10th through 14th. A wide variety of shipbuilders and manufacturers, nautical equipment, marinas and charter companies and new vessels, some premiering for the first time. Find out more at: croatiaboatshow.com/en/

From April 12th through 14th is what is called the greatest Croatian trail race, 100 Miles of Istria. Several races take place over the weekend with four different courses scattered around the Istrian Peninsula. The yellow course is 41km, the green course is 67km, the blue course is 110km and the red course is 100 miles. All courses have breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and Adriatic Sea in the most northwestern part of this beautiful country. For more info. go to: http://www.istria100.com

Croatians are known for their dry-cured meats, so it is no surprise there is the National Fair of Prosciutto Ham and Dry-Cured Meat Products taking place in the town of Sinj from April 12 through 13th. This event hosts around 70 producers and several thousand visitors each year. Also, on the 13th is the competition, Samobor Salamis, where rookies to professionals take part in producing the best salami in the city of Samobor.

Homo Si Teć, also known as Rijeka's Festival of Sport and Recreation or Rijeka Run takes place on April 13th. Athletes can choose a marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km, relay race, stair climbing race and many others. Find out more at: https://www.rijeka.run/en/home. In the city of Zadar on the night of April 13th is the Zadar Night Run. All races begin at 9:00pm and runners can choose either 2.5km, 5km or 10km courses around the city.

Palm Sunday or Cvjetnica in Croatian takes place this year on April 14th. Some churches gather with olive branches, like in Igor's hometown, and others use palm branches. In the city of Dubrovnik, it is a tradition to braid the palm leaves, called Pome. The Holy Week continues and make sure to be on the lookout for giant painted easter eggs around symbolizing friendship, love and joy. On Good Friday or Veliki Petak in Croatian, you fast until Easter on fish, beans, nuts and fruit, but no other meat through Saturday. On Saturday boiled eggs are painted and different dishes of egg, ham, lamb, leeks and pastries are prepared and placed in a basket that is then brought to the church on Easter to be blessed. Igor's mother puts a little bit of everything in the basket, even the salt you use to dip into the raw leeks before biting. Easter or Uskrs in Croatian is celebrated this year on Sunday, April 21st ending the practice of Lent. It is an old tradition to bury in the ground any scraps that remain after the Easter feast instead of throw in the garbage because the food is blessed.

Baška Flower Festival and Zadar County Flower Festival both take place from April 26th through 28th presenting workshops and cultural and musical performances as well as a large assortment of delightful spring flowers.

So whether you want to be active, enjoy wild edible plants or cured meats, take part in Easter traditions or just want to smell some roses, there is an abundance of opportunities awaiting for you to discover during a Croatian vacation in April.

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