Croatia travel writer, photographer and guidebook author Rudolf Abraham – photo of evening light on the Croatian island of Silba
Evening light on the island of Silba, Croatia © Rudolf Abraham

Croatia Travel Writer & Photographer

Travelling on Croatia’s wild side since 1998

My love affair with Croatia stretches back some 25 years. After first travelling to Croatia in the late 1990s (a winter trip to the snowbound Velebit mountains), I returned to live in Zagreb for two years, learned to speak Croatian – and have been visiting, writing about and photographing this exquisitely beautiful and endlessly fascinating corner of Europe ever since. As a travel writer I still spend several weeks of each year in Croatia, often based in Zagreb or a small village near Zadar – however I have never lost the excitement of going back, or run out of places to explore. Over the years I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, from the agricultural plains of Slavonia to the hilltowns of Istria, and from the karst badlands and lush forests of the Dinaric Alps to the glittering islands of the Croatian Adriatic.

In 2021 I was awarded the Zlatna Penkala (Golden Pen) Award by the Croatian National Tourist Board – an annual award given in recognition of ‘outstanding contribution to the promotion of Croatian tourism’ in the UK.

Croatia travel writer – guidebooks & articles

Croatia in words & pictures for Bradt, Cicerone, The Guardian, Morning Calm, National Geographic Traveller & more

Croatia articles by travel writer and photographer Rudolf Abraham
Croatia travel features for Morning Calm, B Inspired, CNN Traveller, Hidden Europe, Outdoor Enthusiast, Oryx (Qatar Airways) etc

As a travel writer I have written or contributed to half a dozen books on Croatia, including guides for Bradt, Cicerone and National Geographic Traveller, and written scores of articles about Croatia for the likes of BBC Travel, B. Inspired (Brussels Airlines inflight), CNN Traveller, Evening Standard, The Guardian, Hidden Europe, Lonely Planet, Love Exploring, Love Food, Moments (P&O Ferries), Morning Calm (Korean Airlines inflight), N by Norwegian, The National, Oryx (Qatar Airways), Outdoor Enthusiast, The Telegraph, Woman’s Own and more. These articles have ranged from a journey in search of the descendants of 16th century pirates, to interviewing street artists in Zagreb and rock stars in Rijeka, reviewing luxury hotels, hunting for truffles in Istria, exploring the Velebit mountains, and photographing gingerbread craftsmanship and traditional wooden toy makers in Zagorje.

You can find more information on some of the travel guidebooks I’ve written on Croatia below:

Croatia-hiking-mountains-national-parks-guidebookWalks and Treks in Croatia

Published by Cicerone, 2019

This is the 3rd edition of my guide (originally published back in 2004) describing 27 day walks and multi-day treks in all Croatia’s main hiking areas on the mainland, from the forests of Gorski kotar to the highest parts of the Dinaric Alps, and the national parks of Northern Velebit, Paklenica, Risnjak and the Unesco-listed Plitvice Lakes. Available here.

istria-croatia-slovenia-guidebookIstria – The Bradt Travel Guide

Published by Bradt, 2023

This new 3rd edition of Bradt’s Croatia: Istria, with Rijeka and the Slovenian Adriatic, which I co-authored with Thammy Evans, has been fully updated and enlarged and remains the only full-length guide to the region including background and practical information. Available here.

Croatia-travel-writer-photographer-National-GeographicNational Geographic Traveler Croatia

Published by National Geographic / Random House, 2015

2nd edition of my Croatia guide in the National Geographic Traveler series.

Croatia-hiking-guidebook-islands-travelThe Islands of Croatia

Published by Cicerone, 2014

My hiking guidebook to 30 day walks on 14 islands on the Croatian Adriatic, including Rab, Krk, Mali Lošinj, Vis, Korčula, Hvar and Mljet, with lots of background information including wildlife and plants, history, language and ferry routes. Winner of the best guidebook award from the British Guild of Travel Writers. Available here.

Croatia-Bradt-guidebookCroatia – the Bradt Travel Guide

Published by Bradt, 2016

Completely revised and updated 6th edition of Bradt’s popular Croatia guidebook. This is the third new edition of the book which I’ve worked on.

…and here are a few of the articles I’ve written on Croatia over the years:

Stunning scenery and adrenaline adventures – enjoying Croatia’s great outdoors (The Guardian)
Big for your boots – family hiking (Family Traveller)
A week in Croatia (Lonely Planet)
48h in Zagreb (Love Exploring)
An insider’s guide to Croatian food (Love Food)
Leading Light – Rijeka, European Capital of Culture 2020 (B Inspired)
Fabric of a Nation – Croatian Folk Costumes (Morning Calm)
Toy Story – Traditional Wooden Toy-makers in Northern Croatia (Morning Calm)
A Weekend in Rijeka (Love Exploring)
Zadar – My Kind of Place (The National)
Croatia’s New Wave B&Bs (Evening Standard)
Silba – A Blissfull Stretch of Summer (Hidden Europe)
Once Were Pirates – In Search of the Uskoks of Senj (Hidden Europe)
Hotel Navis – Telegraph Hotel Review (Telegraph)
One Hundred Years of Change (Hidden Europe)

Hiking in Croatia (or, how I became a guidebook writer)

Exploring Croatia’s mountain trails, national parks and nature reserves

Over more than two decades I have visited and hiked in almost all of Croatia’s main (and many lesser known) mountain regions, national parks and nature parks, including Risnjak and Velika kapela in Gorski kotar, the breathtakingly beautiful Velebit mountains and Paklenica, Biokovo, Sljeme and the Samobor Hills near Zagreb, the wetlands of Lonjsko polje and the Unesco-listed Plitvice Lakes. I wrote the first English language hiking guide to Croatia (my first book, published back in 2004), have climbed Croatia’s highest mountain, Dinara, which lies on the Bosnian border and in 2021 was declared the country’s newest nature park, and I have hiked Croatia’s greatest long-distance trail, the ~100km Velebit Hiking Trail (Velebitski planinarski put) across northern, central and southern Velebit. Along with several other trails, this now forms part of the Via Dinarica (a 1,330km mega trail stretching from Slovenia through Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro to the wilds of northern Albania). I have also hiked on many of the Croatian islands (and wrote a guidebook about island walks in Croatia), including Vis, Lastovo, Hvar, Krk, Korčula, Rab and Lošinj. To find out more about my work as an outdoor writer and photographer click here.

Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage in Croatia

Writing about and photographing Croatia’s traditional arts, crafts, folklore and festivals

Croatia has a wealth of traditions inscribed on the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, covering arts and crafts, dance, music, food, singing, processions and festivals across the country. In fact Croatia has one of the largest numbers of traditions (or ‘elements’ as they’re rather uninspiringly called by Unesco) inscribed on the list of any country in Europe, and certainly more than any country of a similar size – 17 to be precise, and over the years I’ve photographed and written about rather a lot of them. Croatia’s Intangible Cultural Heritage includes the Alka in Sinj, lace-making in Pag, Hvar and Lepoglava, gingerbread craftsmanship and wooden toy-making in Marija Bistrica, the Zvončari or ‘bell ringers’ of Kastav (who also make an appearance at the Rijeka Carnival), the procession of the Ljelje in Gorjani, the art of dry stone walling and more – and of course there are many other equally valuable traditions which are not inscribed on the list, such as the medieval crossbow tournament on Rab, and Croatia’s exceptionally rich tradition of folk costumes.

To see photos of Croatia’s Intangible Cultural Heritage click on the link to this image gallery.

Croatia travel & documentary photography

Images of the Croatian coast & islands, landscape, hiking, cities, architecture, people, festivals, travel & street photography

For travel and documentary images of Croatia please head over to Rudolf Abraham Photography where you’ll find a large archive of photographs from all regions of the Croatian mainland and islands – from Unesco-listed cities and architecture to landscape, hiking and national parks, food, folk costumes, Intangible Cultural Heritage, portraits, photojournalism, street photography and more. Or click on one of the galleries below.

Croatian Miscellany – street photography from Croatia
Croatia travel photography