- Capital: Zagreb
- Political System: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
- Population: 3.9 million
- Official Language: Croatian
- Currency: Croatian kuna (HRK)
- Time Zone: UTC + 2, Summer Time: UTC + 3
- Phone Prefix: +385,
- Internet Domain: .hr and .eu
Croatia is at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe on the Adriatic Sea and is called "a tourist's dream come true". It has one of the ecologically best-preserved parts of Europe since the 10% of the country is protected: 8 National Parks and 12 Nature Parks among which are the Plitvice Lakes, the only natural good recognized by UNESCO. Croatian Adriatic sea is the purest in Europe according to the European Commission and some of its beaches are considered the most beautiful locations in the world. Also, it has hundreds of coastal bays, inlets, and coves. Offshore, more than 1,000 islands of varying sizes.
The country has a mild climate, temperatures are moderate along the coast. A dominant characteristic of the Mediterranean climate is its lack of extremes. It is also sunny much of the time - in fact, Croatia's Adriatic coast is one of the brightest in all of Europe, averaging 2,600 hours of sunlight yearly. Summers are warm, but not uncomfortably hot; winters, on the other hand, tend to be quite mild. The coastal city of Dubrovnik experiences a mild January temperature average of 9°C; frost and snow rarely occur. In July, the hottest month of the year, the temperature averages a pleasant 25°C, and scorching temperatures are almost unknown.
Good to know
There are 444 protected areas of Croatia, about 9% of the country. Those include 8 national parks in Croatia, 2 strict reserves and 11 nature parks. The most famous protected area and the oldest national park in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Velebit Nature Park is a part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. The total area of all national parks in the country is 994 km2, of which 235 km2 is sea surface.
English is the second language in Croatia - almost everybody, especially in the touristic cities speaks some English, and many people also speak at least another foreign language (German and/ or Italian being the most widely spoken language after English).
Food is a serious matter in Croatia. You can find all kinds of foods - from lamb to pork, from pizza and pasta to fish and salads. But you can also find wonderful green markets with open-air green and fish markets.
And you really must try the Croatian olive oil and of course, the local drinks: wine from the islands - white from Istria and red from the Peljesac peninsula.
Rent from locals, trave by bus
Croatian are very warm-hearted and are welcoming tourists - tourism brings more than 20 percent of the country GBP. People are renting their apartments and villas on the Dalmatian Coast to visitors from all around the world.
When in Croatia, it's better that you travel by bus, not by train, as in other countries. If not, you can rent a car, since taxis are pretty expensive.
Visit the Natural Parks
Discover most of the natural scenery from Croatia, not only the most known cities: Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. Walk around the Dalmatian Coast and take your time to visit Istria, Plitvice National Park and Paklenica National Parks.
If you really want an experience to remember, rent a boat and travel between islands, enjoying the view and taking a bath in the Adriatic Sea.