Croatia — Overview
Following the end of Croatia’s War of Independence, this breathtaking country has, perhaps unsurprisingly, become the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. Visitors will find resorts, health spas, beautiful coastlines, over a thousand offshore islands, state-of-the-art marinas, medieval cities, cultural events, ecotourism, magnificent Blue Flag beaches, remote mountains, and nature reserves.
Every enjoyable activity is here, from adventure sports to lazy beaches set in environments ranging from sophisticated and luxurious to basic and unspoiled. Croatia has a rich heritage, displayed in ancient cities and towns, interesting museums and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The natural landscapes are diverse, with verdant agricultural plains along the border of Hungary and highlands backing the Adriatic coastline and its islands.
Croatians are friendly and hospitable, proud to show off their country to inquisitive visitors. The town of Opatija was a well-known spa retreat by the late 19th century, and many other towns along the coast offer luxurious services to health conscious European travelers. Tourism’s importance to the economy has resulted in high standards of hotels, restaurants and transportation.
The jewels of Croatia are undoubtedly its spectacular coastline and its offshore archipelago of tiny islands, many of which are resorts in their own right. The capital, Zagreb, and the major beaches offer a lively nightlife and a variety of water sports and boat trips. Excursions to nearby villages and places of interest are trouble-free and fun.
Public transportation is cheap, comfortable and inexpensive, with bus and train services more comprehensive than many other European coastal destinations. The upgraded Croatian rail network connects all major cities with the exception of Dubrovnik, and is the cheapest way to get inland. Regional and intercity coach services are frequent, with shorter journeys time-wise than by train. Domestic flights link most major cities, although they’re mostly used for long north-south routes such as Zagreb to Dubrovnik. The best way to see the shore towns is by ferry, admiring the dramatic scenery along the way.
- Admire the coastal city of Split’s rich 1700-year history and its UNESCO World heritage sites
- Rejuvenate at Opatija, a spa town in a breathtaking bayside setting
- Visit Dubrovnik in the far south, a UNESCO World Heritage site and “Pearl of the Adriatic”
- Wander around Maritime Pula, originally Roman, with temples, an amphitheater and quaint Old Quarter
- Spend a few days in Zagreb for its medieval Upper Town, Mimara Art Museum and sacred Old Town Gate
- Relax at the stunning beaches and pine forests of Kraljevica
- Escape to Krka and Komati, two offshore islands known for their national parks, great diving and snorkeling
- Appreciate nature at Plitvice National Park and its famous lakes