The Republic of Croatia is a small country which used to belong to the former Yugoslavia and became independent in 1991. There followed a war which damaged some of the lovely towns and the countryside and some people fled to other parts of Europe. However, now much has been restored to its original beauty.
Croatia is definitely a very important vacation destination within the Mediterranean area and comes with a long tradition in tourism. What’s so great about Croatian tourism are mainly a well-preserved natural environment (an attractive coast, about 1,000 islands, of which more than 60 inhabitated, eight national parks, and ten nature parks), some historical heritage (which include many ancient monuments safeguarded by UNESCO, such as Diocletian’s Palace in the dalmatian town of Split, the towns of Trogir and Dubrovnik, and Euphrasian’s Basilica in Porec), a mild Mediterranean climatic conditions, and its neighboring to European countries.
The land, coast and islands
Croatia is a geographically diversified land made up of three specific regions: the Adriatic (or Littoral), the Mountainous (or Dinaric), and the Continental (or Lowland).The Adriatic region contains the somewhat compact strip of terrain going down the Adriatic coastline, composed of the peninsula of Istria, the Croatian Littoral, Dalmatia, as well as the islands.The coastline extends more than 5,000 kilometers. The climate in this region is described as with hot and dry summer season and mild and rainy winter seasons. The Adriatic region may perhaps be split up even more into a northern part, which includes Istria and the Kvarner, and a southern part, consisting of Dalmatia.
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Of the more than 1,000 islands and islets, 700 are islands in the normal sense, which in turn just 66 are populated. You can find about 389 “rocks” and 78 reefs. There are actually fourteen islands having an over-all size of more than 50 square kilometers. Eight of them are more than 100 square kilometers: Krk (409 square kilometers), Cres (405.8 square kilometers), Brac (394.6 square kilometers), Pag (299.7 square kilometers), Korcula (284.6 square kilometers), and Hvar (276 square kilometers), Dugi Otok (114.4 square kilometers), and Mljet (100.4 square kilometers).
Many different types of travel and leisure can be found in Croatia, from summer vacation and nautical tourism (many marinas and roughly 20,000 berths) to spa tourism and hunting and sport-fishing. The best vacation areas are Istria, Dalmatia, and the cities of Dubrovnik and Zagreb. The country has been in the vacation business since the 1800s when Opatija became the first holiday resort along the Adriatic coast and it became famous in Europe as a health and spa retreat.
Many different types of travel and leisure can be found in Croatia, from summer vacation and nautical tourism (many marinas and roughly 20,000 berths) to spa tourism and hunting and sportfishing. The best vacation areas are Istria, Dalmatia, and the cities of Dubrovnik and Zagreb. If you enjoy sailing, you will definitely enjoy a Croatia vacation. Many people from neighboring countries like Austria, go there either with their own boats or they rent a boat for a month or so to enjoy the stunning coastline. The hotels and restaurants are relatively cheap so it’s a great holiday in every respect. Don’t forget to enjoy the wine which is produced in almost every region of the country.
A must visit during a Croatia vacation is Dubrovnik. This is a beautiful city on the coast. Unfortunately some buildings were destroyed during the war but thankfully much has been restored and you will have a great time there. It is a city of much tradition where in the colder month of February there are colorful parades and in the summer they have a Summer cultural festival which goes on for six weeks during July and August. In April they have the Libertas Film Festival which celebrates contemporary culture. Take a couple of days during your stay in Croatia to visit and wander around the ancient city and enjoy the food, wine and the atmosphere.
You will find many tourists from neighboring European countries who flock there to enjoy the beautiful coast as well as cultural highlights in the towns and cities. You will meet many people from Austria and Germany as well as Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Of course many Croatians also take advantage of their beautiful country and vacation there too!
A Croatia vacation is certainly one that you will remember with nostalgia. You will not doubt look back and think of the stunningly beautiful coastline as well as remarkable towns and maybe you will consider coming back another time!
Some basic info
Unit of currency in Croatia is Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There exist 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa coins, 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Kuna banknotes
Exchange Rates: foreign currency echange can be made at banks, exchange offices, post offices and at most tourist agencies, hotels and camping grounds. From 2012 it is also possible to pay in Euros in restaurants, hotels and many shops. Banking hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m.
Foreign and local currency and cheques may be freely taken in and out of the country by both foreign and Croatian citizens with foreign residence, but transfers of an amount of 10,000 Euros or more must be declared to a customs official. Valuable professional equipment and other technical devices must also be declared to a customs official at the border crossing.
VAT is refunded to persons who do not have permanent or temporary residence in Croatia, for individual goods purchased in Croatia, for amounts in excess of 740.00 HRK (Kuna), upon the presentation of a Tax Cheque form verified by a customs official during the export of purchased goods, at the latest 3 months from the day of purchase. Foreign nationals must claim Tax refunds within six months of the receipt issue date.
Phone 112 for emergency help. Calls to this number are free of charge. Calls can be made through all operators and all telephone devices by dialing 112.
Electricity in Croatia : Voltage of city power grid – 220V, frequency 50HZ
Water: Tap water is drinkable throughout Croatia.
The telephone code for Croatia is +385.
Time zone: GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two in summer.
Travel documents : Passport or another internationally recognized identification document. Tourists may remain in Croatia for up to three months.
System of government
Croatia is a multiparty parliamentary republic.
With 792 875 inhabitants, Zagreb is the economic, transport, cultural and academic center of the country.
The transport of house pets across state borders is possible only with the necessary veterinary documentation certifying the animals’ state of health. Cats and dogs must be fitted with an electronic identification system (microchip). Up to five pets can be imported at border crossings approved for the circulation of certain house pets, whilst the import of larger numbers of animals must be made at a border crossing where there is a border veterinary inspection.
Foreign visitors who are covered by health insurance in their own country are not obliged to pay for emergency medical services during a private stay in the Republic of Croatia if a convention on Social Security has been signed between Croatia and the visitors’ country of origin, i.e. if they have in their possession a certificate stipulated by such a convention confirming their right to health care. Health care (including transport) is used for emergency cases in the manner and according to regulations valid for Croatian citizens covered by Social Security, with identical participation in health care costs (participation). Persons coming from countries with which no such convention has been signed personally bear the costs of health services rendered.