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Croatia Travel Guide, Simply Stunning!

January 28, 2015

Croatia

Croatia is another pearl and a major tourist destination in the European Union, stretching on the coastline of the Adriatic and thus being the proud owner of over 1100 islands that make for the perfect place to be if you’re into water sports.

Located in the southeastern Europe, Croatia is bordered by Italy to the east (and the Adriatic sea of course), Slovenia in the northwestern border, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the southeast, Hungary to the north, Montenegro on the southern border and Serbia in the east.

Croatia is blessed with a temperate continental climate for most of its parts except for the mountains where it has a colder climate, obviously.  The Adriatic coastline benefits from an awesome Mediterranean climate, being an ideal place for spending your vacation regardless the season.

With a population of almost 4.5 million people and a land surface of 56, 542 square km, Croatia is a relatively tiny country , strategically placed at the crossroads of Southeast Europe, Central Europe and the Mediterranean sea.

Croatia’s economy relies heavily upon the income derived from its tourist industry that makes for 20% of its GDP. As you may imagine, Croatia is visited by lots of tourists every year, practically twice the number of the local population (more than 10 million people visit Croatia each year).

The main reason for this afflux of people is the perfect scenery of the country and its myriad of islands and seaside destinations. If you like the sea and sunshine, Croatia is the place to be.

But there’s more than sea to see in Croatia; there are countless ancient walled cities, beautiful castles and national parks and also spectacular ruins dating back to the Roman Empire.

Croatia island

What to See and Do while in Croatia

Split is a city boasting with its art collections, here you can enjoy fine pieces of early Croatian religious artwork hosted by the Museum of Archeological Monuments. I bet you did not saw this coming but while in Croatia you can go bird-watching in one of the world’s most beautiful natural parks in Kopacki Rit. Speaking about natural parks, don’t forget to visit Brijuni National Park, basically an archipelago composed of 14 virgin islands, sitting in the west coast of Istria. Here you can play golf or go visit a safari park.

Brijuni

The island of Cres is world famous for its rare colony of (endangered) Griffon vultures and also an ancient/historic settlement (Valun).

Go cycling in Mljet National park that warms its “bones” in the sun on the homonym island, home of beautiful and dense forests and saltwater lakes. While rambling in here you can pay a visit to the Benedictine Monastery located on the St Mary’s island.

National-park-Mljet-Croatia-5

If you’re a fan of cycling, diving, hiking or climbing, Croatia has it all aligned for you, just remember Blue Grotto(Vis island) for diving, Velebit for hiking and climbing and pick a natural park that suits best for you for a bicycle ride.

One of the most popular places in Croatia is Dubrovnik, home of the beautifully preserved walled cities dating from the medieval period, also baroque churches and monasteries (go visit the Franciscan Monastery).

Island Hopping is a national sport in Croatia, given the impressive number of islands that can be visited and which offer beautiful resorts for tourists. Let me enumerate a few national parks worth visiting : Krka, Kornati, Plitvice, along with the city of Korcula, Porec, Sibenik, Split (former capital of central Dalmatia), Trogir, Volosko,the Hvar island, the list goes on and on.

dubrovnik beautiful

Zagreb, The Capital

Croatia’s main city is Zagreb, also the capital of the country and  by far the most interesting place to visit if you’re the urban kind of traveller. Zagreb boasts with its beautiful architecture, a large number of art galleries and museums, gourmet restaurants and epic gardens and parks. There are impeccably preserved historical monuments in here, like the Cathedral , St Mark’s church, the Upper Town or the Croatian parliament building.

Food and Drink in Croatia

Seafood is a big part of Croatian cuisine and specific to the Mediterranean coastal region, with heavy Italian influences.

Inland you will enjoy steak and stews, exquisite sweets and various other deserts, seasoned with fine wines.

Specialties include a ham just like the Italian prosciutto, sheep’s cheese, octopus salad with onion and potatoes, black risotto, roast lamb and truffles. As for drinks, you’ll enjoy the local red and white wines, along with coffee and liquors (oh, and Pivo aka beer). Drinking age is 18.

zagreb

Visa Requirements

 Croatia  is not yet a member of the European Union but if you’re an EU citizen, you’ll not require a passport for entering Croatia, just an ID. For USA/Canadian tourists, a passport is required (no Visa though).

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