Croatia, once part of the former Yugoslavia, has been an independent country for the past 25 years and is one of Europe’s emerging hotspots for international tourism. This stunning country located on the Adriatic coastline just across Italy is attracting more and more international visitors with each passing year. The country has a long and beautiful coastline, numerous islands, remarkable natural landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, excellent local cuisine, and warm and hospitable locals.
If you are planning to visit the country, here five things you should know about Croatia before planning your trip.
1. Home of More Than 1000 Islands
The country has over 1,200 islands and islets along with a coastline stretching over 3,900-mile featuring abundant turquoise waters and alluring beaches that are a major draw for international visitors. Over 80 percent of all Croatian islands are uninhabited with some of them have a lighthouse converted to accommodate isolated tourists.
Since most of the islands are secluded from the mainland, it is not easy to access them via a regular transportation system. That’s why Croatia sailing has become extremely popular in the country as it is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the Balkan. By cruising around the Adriatic Sea, you will get to explore the idyllic coastline, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, medieval towns, etc all within your budget.
2. Ruled by several Empires, Kingdoms, and Republics
The country has a rich and diverse history. It was once ruled by Illyrian kings, Venetian Rules, Roman and Byzantine Emperors, Ottoman Sultans, Hungarian Kings, and Habsburg Monarchs. Its past is easily visible through its architecture, monuments, and various ruins across the country.
The remnants of the past rules include several historical and cultural sites including Roman Amphitheatres and palaces, Byzantine mosaics and basilicas, Neo-Gothic cathedrals and castles, Venetian Palazzos, and Austrian buildings and villas.
3. Croatian Beaches are Among the Cleanest in Europe
Visitors to Croatian beaches always marvel at its crystal-clear waters. The country takes the quality of its public beaches very seriously with each year water of hundreds of beaches are tested according to EU guidelines. Most Croatian beaches are made of pebbles or rock; however, some sandy beaches are also found on Brac and Rab islands.
Sea Urchins are quite common in many regions, that’s why you will see many tourists using special water shoes that you can easily buy locally. There are also many nudist beaches, which might appeal to those who prefer a birthday suit to a swimsuit.
4. You will have to rent a car
Although the country has an efficient bus network linking to all major cities and towns, frequency on some routes is not that good. Train connections are good between Zagreb and the neighboring countries, but the domestic network is very limited and does not cover the entire country.
That’s why most tourists prefer renting a car and travel to their schedule. Car ferries and passenger vessels link the country’s mainland with the islands with increased frequency during the summer months.
5. Excellent Country to Visit Year-Round
Croatia is the ideal country to visit year-round with July and August being the peak tourist season. May and June are the shoulder seasons, while September and October get fewer tourists. Winter months are mild in the coastal region.
The country host festivals throughout the year such as Rijeka’s Carnival, Zagreb’s Christmas market, et and attracts a lot of European visitors. Then there are enchanting forests, waterfalls, and the Plitvice Lakes National Park lakes that stay stunning throughout the year captivating tourists and locals alike.