Beloved by travellers in search of history and heavenly beaches, Croatia is comprised of an inland region to the north long and a long strip of territory which hugs the Adriatic coastline, tapering to the unique ancient seaport of Dubrovnik in the south. The capital, Zagreb, sits imperiously between the two, overseeing the north of the country which is bordered by Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Croatia is currently one of Europe’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, and it’s not hard to see why. There is much to see and do inland, but the magnificent Adriatic coastline is a truly unique attraction, boasting 1,185 islands, islets and reefs and a warm, welcoming Mediterranean climate, Croatia’s coast cries out to be explored and enjoyed.
Meanwhile, the Croatian countryside is liberally scattered with fascinating Roman ruins and dotted with beguiling medieval villages.
No wonder, then, that this up-and-coming destination is fast becoming a rival to the magical Greek islands, placing under its captivating spell ever more lovers of fun in the sun, cascading history, unique local colours and flavours.
Many of Croatia’s cities are built on the sites of ancient settlements, dating back to the 4th century BC. There are Roman ruins waiting to be explored in Zagreb and Split, and elsewhere you can stroll through the cobblestone streets of medieval villages that look as if they have been freshly plucked from a fairy-tale illustration.
There is a perfect balance of historic sights and contemporary delights. For example, in Zagreb, you can check out Neanderthal remains at the Croatian History Museum before enjoying the latest cultural offerings at the Croatian National Theatre.
Similarly, Dubrovnik is not only based around an atmospheric medieval old city, but is also one of Croatia’s top holiday destinations, offering modern attractions, exquisite beaches and breathtaking stretches of coast. Split is a great base for exploring the Dalmatian coastline and is also a beautiful old town with UNESCO World Heritage status.
Add a genuinely welcoming local population to the essentials of sun, sand and scenic sights, and it quickly becomes clear how Croatia is becoming recognised globally as a major holiday hotspot.
Spring and autumn are the recommended seasons to visit Croatia, as milder weather, fewer crowds and cheaper prices mean you can explore the country most comfortably.
The coastal region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters.
Inland, a continental climate is predominant with hot summers and cold winters.
Situated midway down the Adriatic coast, the average summer temperature in Split is over 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit), while the winter months of December-February average 8 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit).
The official language is Croatian, but English is widely spoken.
Croatia is a member of the European Union. You may need a visa to visit the country for more than 90 days. You will need return/onward tickets and proof of sufficient funds for your stay in the country. Please check rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
Most visits to Croatia are trouble-free, and there is no particular threat of terrorism. Well outside the normal tourist routes there may be unexploded mines in eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina.
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