One of five independent countries that emerged when Yugoslavia collapsed, Croatia is particularly beautiful and attractive as a tourist destination. Its distinctive horseshoe shape borders the Adriatic Sea, where most of the popular resorts are situated. Its rich historical heritage, precious monuments and highlights such as Dubrovnik combined with the unique Balkan culture make this country particularly fascinating to travellers. Croatia is currently a candidate to join the European Union.
For a long time, Croatia was part of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Hungarian influence has a strong role in Croatian culture. In modern Croatia, you’ll see the traces of past civilisations, including Roman, Venetian, Turkish and Italian. All of them contribute to the presently colourful mosaic of the country. Croats form around 90 percent of the population, while Serbs are the second largest nationality. The main religion of Croatia is Catholicism, with some Orthodox and Muslim minorities. The official language is Croatian, similar to Serbian but using the Latin alphabet.
Croatia lies between southern, central and eastern Europe. It features a diverse terrain, including rolling hills, plains and lakes to the north, thick mountain woodlands in Gorski Kotar and Lika, which are part of the Dinaric Alps range, and the rocky coastlines of the Adriatic Sea. Additionally, the country boasts a myriad of beautiful national parks, mostly located in the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea. The Istria Peninsula, Dalmatia and the islands of Krk and Cres are especially popular among tourists. They often visit Brijuni Island, known for its national park and luxury resorts, as well as elegant Opatija, Lovran, Losinij Island, Cavtat, Hvar or Rovinj.
The seaside is known not only for its scenic landscapes, but also a plethora of historical towns and sights. Porec, Pula, Solin and Zadar are worth a visit for their remnants of Roman heritage, and the picturesque maritime town of Rab attracts with its monuments and intricate history. True pearls of the seaside include Split, the largest Dalmatian town with ancient historical sights, and Dubrovnik, the famous fortified city listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Trogir, located next to Split, has Romanesque churches, a Gothic castle and unique monuments from the Venetian period. Picturesque Sibenik takes pride in its monumental Cathedral of St Jacob.
The interior of the country is not as attractive in terms of tourism as the coastline, however there are some extraordinary places to visit, such as Plitvice National Park, a stunning area with azure and turquoise lakes surrounded by rocks. You shouldn’t miss the interesting historical towns, such as Knin with its imposing Medieval fortress or Varazdin with masterpieces of Gothic and Baroque architecture.
Last but not least is the capital city, which draws many visitors to Croatia. Zagreb is the biggest city in the country, featuring a Central European flair comparable to Vienna or Budapest. Its nice old town area, with several interesting churches, a wide range of museums and impressive National Theatre, are the best-known destinations in Zagreb.
Beautiful landscapes, exceptionally long, varied and picturesque coastline and natural parks are magnets for those who want to relax close to nature, while others will appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Croatia. One can easily combine sunbathing with sightseeing, as many of the fascinating historical sights are situated by the seaside. It’s also famous for good cuisine, and a fact which is not well-known is that the Croats are who invented neckties. This little country located in the centre of Mediterranean Europe is a tempting offer for a great holiday.