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Croatia; Travel Information and Pictures

Croatia (Hrvatska, HR) is set in the heart of Europe, on the beautiful Adriatic coast. It has over 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, the majority of which are uninhabited and under preservation orders. About 50 are inhabited, the largest being Krk and Cres. Croatia covers an area of over 56,500 km2 and is bordered by Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The total population is over 4.5 million, with almost 800,000 living in the capital Zagreb. Croatia’s coastline measures over 5,800 km but this includes even the tiniest islet. The climate in the interior is temperate continental with a mountain climate in some places. The Adriatic coast enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate with countless sunny days providing dry, hot summers. Winters tend to be mild and humid.

In 1999 Croatia was a three-times winner of international awards for the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean and many major cruise lines include Croatia on their itineraries. The Dalmatian coastline boasts some of the world’s best-known resorts including Dubrovnik, Split, Porec and Trogir, all of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, as is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Croatia is not only a country of outstanding natural beauty, but also a centre of culture dating back thousands of years. Zagreb is a focal point for art and culture with museums and galleries hosting internationally renowned exhibitions. The city also offers excellent conference and convention venues, enhanced by accommodation in first-class hotels.

The currency used in Croatia is still the Croatian Kuna, although the country’s membership with the EU – Croatia joined in 2013 – obliges it to eventually join the monetary eurozone as well, and adopt the Euro. Whatever your budget, you’ll find something to do that will make your stay in Croatia a memorable one. Whether it’s culture, beaches or architecture, there’s something for everyone in this wonderful country.

Some of the best beaches in the region are found along Croatia’s Adriatic coastline. Zlatni Rat at Bol extends out into the blue water and is composed of tiny, smooth, white pebbles. Baĉvice is Split’s most popular beach among the younger crowds, boasting great watersports activities. At Lopar, on one of Croatia’s many islands, you’ll find shallow beaches perfect for young children.

Once you’re done relaxing, you’ll want to venture out and about and explore what else Croatia has to offer. Visit the Trakošćan Castle, 80km northwest of Zagreb, for an extremely attractive building over 800 years old whose origins are unknown. Or take a trip to the region known as Istria (or Istra) – the ‘new Tuscany’. Close to the Italian border, the rolling hills are certainly reminiscent of Tuscany, and with the fresh fish and pasta dishes, you might be mistaken for thinking you’ve wandered into Italy. Rovinj, a chic yet sleepy village in Istria, will charm your heart and you may never want to leave.

Romantics shouldn’t miss an evening trip to Zadar. Apart from its ancient history, cool vibe and fun art projects – such as the steps at the water’s edge which are actually the keys of a giant organ – Zadar is proud to be host to ‘the world’s most beautiful’ sunset (Alfred Hitchcock). If you’re after a bit of peace and quiet, hire a boat and explore the Elaphite Islands. They’re largely car-free and offer great beaches and hiking possibilities.

But if you are seeking a little more excitement from your visit, try Hvar Town in the evening – where visitors dress smartly and party all night. You can choose between tiny eateries without menus or waterfront cocktail bars with a view of the yachts. There is also a music festival held here every year, with world-famous bands appearing during the four-day event. Throughout the rest of Croatia, the scene is also booming – just choose your genre or budget, and you’ll find the music festival for you.

Croatia is clearly the ideal destination for those seeking sun, sea and lots of space. Accommodation ranges from quaint but comfortable bed & breakfast places to chic new boutique hotels and traditional five-star establishments. Attractions for vacation visitors include guided tours, religious pilgrimages, city and hotel trips, special-interest tours and a variety of sport such as canoeing, ballooning, biking, hiking, fishing and of course swimming. A convenient ferry system travels from the mainland to the Adriatic islands as well as to Italy.

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