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Croatia is regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. It's tourism is on the increase and there is plenty to see and do on a Croatia holiday. To find out more, read our travel guide below.
Croatia is a croissant shaped country in the south of central Europe with an Adriatic coastline. The geographical features of the country are diverse with wooded mountains, hills and plains, lakes and rocky coastline. There are over one thousand islands off the coast of Croatia many of which are uninhabited. The country is renowned for the beauty of its National Parks and its remarkable coastline.
Croatia has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The war in the nineteen nineties halted the tourist industry but it has now recovered and Croatia is a very popular holiday destination. Its hot summer climate, its beaches and its clear blue waters attract many visitors every year. Dubrovnik and Split are both on the Adriatic coast. They are wonderful cities with fine architecture and many historic sites.
Croatia holidays are very popular with British holidaymakers thanks to the superb resorts, wonderful coastline and an exceptionally sunny climate with mild winters. Croatia holiday nightlife is pleasantly animated with attractive promenades and friendly pavement cafes. Beautifully clean Croatia beaches and the sparkling, warm Adriatic Sea ensure Croatia holidays are popular with families with children.
The climate along the Adriatic coast gives long dry summers and pleasantly mild winters. In north eastern Croatia the summers are hot but the winters are cold and snowy.
A Croatia holiday is perfect for beach lovers, sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts. Tranquil beaches are scattered along the coastline with its many small coves and bays and hundreds of islands. Resorts such as Bol, are known for their wide range of sporting activities both in and out of the water. Croatia holidays offer outstanding conditions for sCroatia divers, snorkellers and fishermen. There are also opportunities for river rafting and mountain biking.
The National Parks in Croatia, with their lakes, mountains and waterfalls, have a wonderful variety of flora and fauna. The mountain forests are home to the brown bear.
Split is the main city in Dalmatia and is the home of the Roman Diocletian’s Palace, reputed to be one of the best examples of ancient imperial palaces. Summer is particularly lively in Split as there many festivals are celebrated at this time.
Dubrovnik, in the south of Croatia, is also a city steeped in history and its old town has remained little changed over the centuries.
Croatia has had a long and turbulent history and the ancient sites, structures and monuments are testimony to this. The country has six World Heritage Sites and eight National Parks. Cities celebrate many festivals some of which are religious in the Catholic tradition.
Beer is cheap, baristas shake up the latest cocktails, DJs spin the latest sounds, and music ranges from Slavic to soul, rock and electronic, jazz, world and beyond. You could just nurse your tan after a hard day at the beach but you don't have to. There are plenty of night crawls you can do: trawl the Irish pubs, raves, cocktail bars, rock clubs and discos for a start. Just follow the migratory patterns of Croatians. When everybody is hard at work in winter, nightlife in big cities like Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Zadar are in full swing while the islands slumber. When the weather warms up and urbanites head to the islands, island clubs and discos explode into action and the big-city hotspots wind down. Summer nightlife really takes off on Hvar and Pag Islands.
Shopping in Croatia is more expensive than in Britain, but the quality of goods tends to be excellent. Certainly you should be prepared to spend more on food whilst in Croatia. There are many department stores for general shopping with supermarkets for food. Markets are very popular, selling fresh fruit and vegetables and traditional handicrafts at very reasonable prices. Souvenirs Traditional handicrafts like embroidery, woodcarvings and ceramics make good souvenirs and can be found in shops and local markets throughout Croatia.
In the coastal regions of Croatia the cuisine has a rather Mediterranean flavour, as you would expect, with lots of olive oil used in the preparation. However, Croatian cuisine does have its own distinct identity, especially in regards to the cooking of fish. The tradition of grilling and roasting fish and delicacies of the sea has been carried down from generation to generation, where the taste of the fish depends on the grilling technique and the type of wood chosen. There is also the tantalising Dalmatian olive oil method of cooking, gradelavanje, which gives the fish a particular and a fantastic taste. All along the coast and the isles, the fish menus are unrivalled - even the humble sardine will never taste quite so delicious. Many Croatian fish restaurants have their own fishing boats, so you can be assured of the freshness of the fish. Also, it is not uncommon to choose your own fish from a selection of different species kept on ice in the centre of the restaurant.
Croatia is where Catholic holidays and rituals are celebrated with enthusiasm. According to recent figures, nearly 90% of the population defines itself as Catholic, nearly 3% as Orthodox, 2.1% atheist and only 1.1% Muslim.
Religion goes a long way to explaining the bitter differences between the Catholic Croats and the Orthodox Serbs as well as the relatively traditional values that prevail in Croatia. Homosexuality is still frowned upon although attitudes are changing slowly. Paradoxically, there is wide tolerance for naturism and abortion is legal in Croatia.