Croatia is an Adriatic and a Central European country. It stretches in the form of an arc, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south. Geographically, it is situated on the cross-roads between Central Europe and the Mediterranean.
Croatia also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. These borders total 2,028 km altogether. Over 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 (with a population of just under 800,000), Osijek in the northwest, and the ports of Rijeka, and Split in the south. The official language is Croatian, which is written in the Latin script.
Croatia has an amazing coastline, 4,057km of which belongs to 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) which has a land area of 462 square km.
The climate is Mediterranean along the Adriatic coast, meaning warm dry summers and mild winters, with 2,600 hours of sunlight on average yearly – it is one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe! In the interior of the country, the climate is continental with hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
The uniqueness of Croatia lies in its diversity. Situated between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Croatia provides visitors with the opportunity to ski in the winter and swim during the summer months, all within driving distance. With its 1.185 islands, islets and reefs, it is the most diverse coast on the Mediterranean.
From the coastal to the continental parts, Croatia’s rich cultural heritage, combined with its magnificent natural beauties, make it the perfect place to spend your vacation.
Split is the second largest city in Croatia., and is the largest city on the Adriatic coast. Emerging from a Greek settlement founded between the 3rd and 4th centuries
The Split Riviera is six kilometres of beautiful pebble beach and tamarisk.
Split is the economic and administrative center of Middle Dalmatia, with about 200,000 inhabitants.
It is also the jumping-off point for exploration of the coast and islands of the beautiful Croatian Adriatic.
Many of Split’s historical and cultural buildings can be found within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace. In addition, numerous museums, the National Theatre, and old churches and other archeological sites in the Split region make it an important cultural attraction.
Split is a busy port, with an international airport and regular ferry services with the nearby islands, the north and south Adriatic, Italy and Greece. The merchant and passenger ships of the Split shipyards may be encountered in almost all the seas of the world. In addition, the city has large chemical works, metallurgy plants, and workshops for the production of solar cells. The fertile fields around Split represent a good base for agriculture, while cultural monuments, superb landscapes and unparalleled seascapes make it a tourist’s wonderland. Split is also a university seat and host to numerous scientific institutions.
Dubrovnik is a most beautiful port, with many exquisite buildings. Situated in Southern Dalmatia in the most beautiful part of the Adriatic coast. Rich vegetation, beautiful lakes, rare islands, white pebble beaches and the crystal clean sea, all make this region to an unforgettable experience for every visitor.
Dubrovnik Region is characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate, with mild and wet winters and hot and dry summers. Tourism as a tradition dates back to over one hundred years ago. Dubrovnik Region consists of numerous small “jewels” that are worth visiting, small authentic villages, untouched islands and, of course, the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the crown jewel of them all.
The best period to visit Dubrovnik is regarded to be from April to October. Peak temperatures in high season (July, August) can reach 38°C (100°F), and the water surface at that point reaches a comfortable 26°C (79°F). High season presents obvious advantages for visitors looking for fun and excitement, but also for those seeking to explore the cultural life of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Region since most cultural events (Dubrovnik Summer Festival) take place during that period. For those wishing to find some nice hidden place of peace and quiet there are many places along Dubrovnik region; magnificent Konavle, the picturesque Peljeąac peninsula and the islands Korčula, Mljet and Lopud, to mention just a few.
The Makarska Riviera stretches for 60km, between the towns of Brela and Gradac, with the main town being, of course, Makarska. The Riviera is one of the most famous tourist locations along the Croatian coast and is also one of the most beautiful with countless sandy beaches, pine trees, sparkling water and peaceful bays. The area is also known for Biokovo Mountain, which overlooks the coastal area.
The town was a Roman settlement and was just on the edge of the Roman Empire and, at different times, was under the rule of both the Turks and the Venetians.
One of the main sights in the town is the Franciscan monastery, which was built in 1614. The basement of the monastery houses a Malacological museum which apparently has the largest collection of snails, shells and mussels in the world. Another important sight is the Parish Church of St. Mark, on the main square (Kacicev trg), which was built in 1776.
There are also some fascinating museums like the Maritime Museum; the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments; the Museum of Croatia; and the Mestrovic Gallery which is housed in his summer residence which was completed in 1939 and designed by Mestrovic himself.
There are seven national parks in Croatia, three being in the mountainous regions (Risnjak, Paklenica and Plitvička Jezera), and four in the coastal regions (Kornati, Brijuni, Krka and Mljet).
|Opatija, often called the Nice of the Adriatic, is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Croatia and a place with the longest tourist tradition on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. In 1889 Opatija was declared the first climatic seaside resort on the Adriatic, which strengthened its position as the most fashionable tourist resort.|
The Rector’s Palace – Dubrovnik’s most important architectural building. The beautiful arches and sculpted columns of this Gothic-Renaissance building should not be missed.
The 2 km-long city walls. – The walls are interspersed with towers, forts, and gates. The large Minceta Tower is the most impressive fort while Fort Lovrijenac offers a spectacular view from its cliff-top vantage 37 meters above the sea.
Old Town – (Stari Grad through Pile Gate (Vrata od Pila), which leads to the pedestrian throughway known as Stradun.You will see on your left side the Renaissance Church of St. Savior followed by the Franciscan Monastery. On the right side is Onofrio’s Great Fountain.
Stradun – is intersected with many small streets where you can find shops and restaurants with outdoor seating. Stradun itself buzzes with people, street musicians, cafes, and shops.
Diocletian’s Palace – The ruins of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace date back to the late 3rd to early 4th century A.D
Brac Island (Otok Brac),
Grgur Ninski Statue
Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius
How to get there
Two airlines have direct, scheduled flights from the UK to Croatia, Croatia Airlines and British Airways, whilst Aer Lingus have flights from Dublin to Dubrovnik. Most European airports have flights to Croatia.
The majority of Croatia’s European visitors arrive by car. This isn’t as surprising as it sounds, considering the majority of Croatia’s visitors come from nearby European countries – Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Republics.
However, you may be feeling quite adventurous and decide to drive from the UK to Croatia. You can choose to drive all the way to your chosen destination, or drive to an Italian port and then take a car ferry across.
If you drive directly to Croatia, the best, quickest and cheapest route would be through Germany, thanks to the superb autobahns.
Dover – Calais – through Belgium – towards the direction of Frankfurt – Nuremberg – Regensburg – enter Austria near Linz – straight down to Graz – to Maribor in Slovenia – towards Zagreb.
You’ll most likely have to rest one night in Germany, at your halfway point. If you’re particularly keen on driving to Croatia, you can probably achieve this journey in just over 2 days.
It is certainly possible to travel by train from elsewhere in Europe to Zagreb, Pula, Rijeka and Split, but in the case of the latter, you’ll definitely have to travel via Zagreb. If you’re travelling from northeast Italy – Venice and Trieste – this can add on quite a few hours to your journey, in which case it is better to travel by bus.
There are currently only ferry services from Italy to Croatia – no services exist from any other European country.
You can take ferries (or catamarans) from the ports of Venice, Rimini, Civitanova, Ancona, Pescara or Bari – from which one you travel depends on your destination. See the following table for route and ferry company
The bus service is first class: even the smallest villages have some sort of bus connection. There are express buses which cover longer distances and are very comfortable. Bus travel is also inexpensive, and the new motorways in parts of the country have reduced journey times.
In almost every larger town, there is a bus station (Autobusna Stanica) where tickets are sold and timetables are clearly displayed.
There is a wealth of summer festivals in Croatia. Here is a small selection:
Dubrovnik Summer Festival: music, drama and ballet from July to August.
Split Summer Festival: from mid-July to mid-August there are concerts, plays and art exhibitions around the town. Open-air opera on the Peristil is the main attraction.
In Hvar, the cloisters of the Franciscan Monastery host classical music recitals in July and August.
Porec hosts jazz concerts in the courtyard of the baroque Sincic Palace in June and July.
Eating Dining Shopping
Croatia’s specialty items include cravats, leather goods, and lace.
Dubrovnik – History
Dubrovnik has a remarkable history. An independent, merchant republic for 700 years (abolished by Napoleon in 1806), it traded with Turkey and India in the East and had trade representatives in Africa. It even had diplomatic relations with the English court in the middle ages. (There is a letter from Elizabeth I on display in the City Museum in Dubrovnik). Its status was such that powerful and rich Venice was envious of this Croatian-Slav city.
The old town was completed in the 13th century and remains virtually unchanged to the present day. Tall ramparts surround it and there are only two entrances to the old town which lead to the Stradun, the city’s promenade.
Splits – History
The height of Split’s history came in 295 AD when Roman emperor Diocletian ordered a residence to be built there for his retirement. It took ten years to build this magnificent palace and Diocletian lived there until his death in 313 AD. After that, many Roman rulers continued to use it as a retreat. In the 7th century, when the Roman colony of Salona was abandoned, many of its inhabitants sought sanctuary behind the palace’s high walls and their descendants lived there until the present day.
Useful telephone numbers
International Phone Code for Croatia: 385
Area Code for Split and Dalmatia County: (0)21
Emergency Number ;112
Airport Information ; Tel No – 203 556
Train station: 338 582
Tourist Office:( SPLIT- TEL 021 348 600,)
Holiday rents online:
National Transport Line
24 hour medical service tel; 94