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Video courtesy of Croatia National Tourist Board

Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south; the country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant) that is unlike any other country in the world, which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Turks).

Almost 90% of the population is Croat (the majority of whom are Roman Catholics), but there are also Serbian, Bosnian, Hungarian and Italian minorities. The main population centres are Zagreb, the capital, Osijek in the northeast, and the ports of Rijeka on the northern part of the coastline, and Split towards the south. Other well-known towns include Dubrovnik, Makarska, Porec, Rovinj, Opatija, Zadar and Sibenik.

Croatia has an amazing coastline with islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,185 islands in the Adriatic, but only about 50 are populated. The largest island is Krk (near Rijeka), whilst the country’s other well-known islands include Hvar, Brac, Korcula and Pag.

An Old City with a Young Soul – The Croatian capital Zagreb is young and playful at heart, despite the almost thousand-year-old history of its old town. By day, the city beats to the pulse of its thriving businesses, letting its hair down come sunset. And despite being a thoroughly modern metropolis, the locals welcome visitors with traditional Croatian hospitality.

Come and visit Croatia’s political, commercial and cultural heart! Zagreb’s old town is a true feast for your senses, where you can sample some of the country’s most renowned restaurants and coffee shops in the midst of classic façades, lush gardens and striking Neo-Gothic buildings.

The Evolving Inland – Enveloped by the transparent waters of the Adriatic, the peninsula of Istria will amaze you with spectacular natural scenery in constant transformation over the course of the year.

Coastal villages such as Rovinj, with its simple ports, fishing boats and narrow streets, reflect the spirit of the Mediterranean, and the Church of St. Euphemia is ranked among the most beautiful representations of the Baroque period in Istria, while moving inland gives way to the kind of green and fertile hues associated with the landscapes of Provence and Tuscany.

Other wonderful highlights – Pula Amphitheatre and Brijuni National Park, Labin – a Medieval Town, Hum– The Smallest Town in the World, Grožnjan and Motovun – Small, Medieval Istrian Towns, Basilica of St. Euphrasius in Poreč..

From the Sea to the Sky – This diverse region will transport you from sea level up to the clouds in mere steps.

Your dream holidays begin in Kvarner, a popular tourist resort with a 150-year history. Wind your way between sunny islands or visit Opatija, with its leafy parks and long seafront promenade.

The landscape soon shifts entirely upon arriving in the wooded and mountainous region of Gorski Kotar. The lungs of Croatia, this area is home to eagles, wolves and bears, as well as the kind of pure air that appeals to hikers and cyclists all over the world. Dare to join them!

Other wonderful highlights – Opatija Riviera and Učka Nature Park, Osor, Lubenice, The Island of Košljun, Town of Rab and Paradise Beach in Lopar and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat and the City of Rijeka.

Walls are built to protect treasures, and in Dubrovnik this is particularly accurate, with 1,940 metres of stone surrounding one of the world’s most beautiful cities. As George Bernard Shaw stated: “If you want to see heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik”.

“The Pearl of the Adriatic” has captivated and seduced kings and artists for centuries with its immaculate medieval architecture. How will it inspire you?

Other wonderful Highlights – Cavtat – The Old Town Core, Dubrovnik – The Old Town Core, Mljet National Park, Korčula – The Town of Marco Polo, The Town Walls of Ston and Narona Archeological Museum.

The Jewel of an Empire – In AD 305, the world’s most powerful man, Emperor Diocletian, was faced with the decision on where to spend the rest of his days. Of all of the known world, he chose to build his home in the heart of the region of Dalmatia, setting the first stones in place for the future city of Split.

Follow in his footsteps by exploring Diocletian’s Palace and a region home to islands, stunning natural landscapes such as Biokovo Mountain and Zlatni Rat beach on the island of Brač, and a wealth of culture that will defy your expectations.

Other wonderful Highlights – Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinj, Biokovo Nature Park, Stari Grad Plain and the Town of Hvar, River Cetina, Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the Ancient Town of Salona in Solin and Trogir – Romanesque Town Centre.

Into the wild with its rivers, springs, mountains, woods and untouched forests, and not to mention lakes, pools, gorges and caves, the inland region of Lika-Karlovac has Croatia’s highest concentration of national and natural parks.

The most iconic of all is Plitvice Lakes National Park, that captivates visitors with its wild beauty, 16 shimmering lakes and 129 bird species, placing it firmly on the must-see list for any nature enthusiast.
Other wonderful Highlights – Rastoke – Millers’ Village, “Nikola Tesla” Memorial Centre, Smiljan, Velebit Nature Park and North Velebit National Park, Medieval town of Ogulin and The Star of Karlovac – The Renaissance Core of the Town of Karlovac.

Where you will find a Riot of Colour with the intense blue of sea, the lush deep greens of pine and olive groves and the pure white of Dalmatia stone, the Zadar region’s colour palette is extraordinary and unique in the world.

It is only in this part of land that you will peek into the world’s smallest cathedral –the Church of the Holy Cross, in the city of Nin–, before touring the largest Roman forum on these shores of the Adriatic.

And if that were not enough, you will discover the origins of Croatia’s cultural identity in the city of Zadar, with over 3,000 years of history.

Other wonderful Highlights – Pag–salt Pans, Nin Cathedral, Vrana Lake, Telašćica Nature Park, Paklenica National Park and Church of St. Donatus, Zadar.

Croatia’s Yachting Paradise with 240 beautiful islets and reefs adorn the crystalline waters of the Šibenik region, each of them clamouring for a place on your Adriatic itinerary.

The unspoilt landscapes of the Kornati archipelago or the mind-blowing waterfalls and lakes of Krka are both designated national parks and only two of the unmissable stops on your island-hopping route.

Other wonderful Highlights – Skradin, Krapanj – Brodarica, Kornati National Park, St Jacob’s Cathedral in Šibenik, Krka National Park and Knin Fortress on Mount Spas.

Echoes of Tradition is the land of legends, with its myths and secrets proudly passed down through the generations. Here the locals fiercely uphold their traditions, such as harvest festivals, traditional dresses and the popular local music.

They are also generous hosts, always ready to engage in a heart-to-heart over a glass of one of the many quality wines produced by the area’s fertile lowlands and some of the spicy local dishes such as čobanac (stew) or fiš paprikaš (fish soup).

Is a Rural Quiet and Relaxation, continental Croatia is an oasis of tranquility, with gentle hills home to age-old forests, vineyards and the Sava, Drava and Mura rivers sheltering the local towns from the summer heat.

A mere stone’s throw to the north and northeast of capital Zagreb, the region is dotted with romantic medieval towns such as Koprivnica or Varaždin, countryside manors such as Trakošćan Castle and thermal spas perfect for restoring your energies, leaving you revitalised and full of life.

The climate is Mediterranean along the Adriatic coast, meaning warm dry summers and mild winters, with a high number of days of sunlight per year – it is one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe! The interior of the country has a continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

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