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About CROATIA

Welcome to Croatia…

Croatia (Croatian: Hrvatska) is a country situated in south central Europe and Mediterranean region.

It is one of the most ecologically unspoilt parts of Europe. It is also one of the most diverse; although the country covers just 56 542 km2, there are three completely different landscapes: Continental, mountain and Mediterranean. The country encompasses the Mediterranean sea with 1 244 islands, wild Mountains and fertile lowlands and many of the country´s sites of natural beauty are protected, with 8 national parks and 11 nature reserves.

The country´s long and rich history has left Croatia with cultural and historical monuments from prehistoric times to the present day and it contains 7 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Croatia is among the countries with the most protected intangible cultural heritage on the UNESCO List – so far, 10 phenomena. And it still hides many undiscovered regions, destinations, legends, stories, cuisine and other traditional particularities and curiosities.

Basic facts:

  • Central European and Mediterranean country
  • Area: 56,542 square kilometres
  • Population: 4.29 million
  • Capital town: Zagreb
  • Other main cities (by population): Split, Rijeka, Osijek
  • Official language: Croatian, using the Latin alphabet
  • Official currency: Kuna (100 Lipa = 1 Kuna)                                                                                                                                                     
  • Main religion: Roman Catholic
  • Climate: mild mediterranean
  • The sovereign state of Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system
  • Croatia’s economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors and agriculture
  • Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world


Popular places to see:

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia- a cultural, scientific, economic, political and administrative centre of the Republic of Croatia. It is a town with amazing architecture influenced by Austrian and Hungarian characteristics, beautiful green park areas, tasty food  prepared with local ingredients and rich night and cultural life. Museums, galleries, unique bars and typical restaurants are just one small part of the overall of the town of Zagreb.

Top sights in Zagreb: Trg Bana Jelačića, Funicular Railway, Dolac Market, Lotrščak Tower, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Mark´s Church, Museum of Broken Relations…

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Varaždin is the city of baroque, young people, music, flowers and bicycles. „Little Vienna“with rich natural legacy interwoven in parks, a must see destination, located in the North of Croatia on the southern bank of the River Drava. It is the tourist, cultural, economical, educational and sporting centre of North-western Croatia.

Top sights in Varaždin: Old Town Castle of Varaždin, The Gallery of Old and New Masters, The Herzer Palace, The Museum of Firefighting…

 

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Rovinj is one of the most popular and most developed tourist centre in Croatia, situated on the west coast of Istria. The old town is built on the island, which was only connected with the mainland in the 18th century. Known as one of the most picturesque and romantic towns on Mediterranean, over the last few decades Rovinj attracts a large number of tourists, most of them faithfully returning year after year.

Top sights in Rovinj: The Old Town, The Church of Saint Euphemia, Rovinj town walls and gates, The Museum, The Balbi Arch…

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Opatija – a magnificent coastal town on the Adriatic Sea and a well-known 19th-century health resort, is today a popular holiday destination for tourists from all over the world, a place of luxury hotels, former villas and private summer residences that have been turned into beautiful hotels, wellness centres, congress halls, and swimming pools. A mild and pleasant climate makes Opatija a perfect destination all year long.

Top sights in Rovinj: The Lungomare- the seafront promenade, historic sites such as the Maiden with the Seagull and the Fountain of Helios and Selena, famous green parks such as the Park of St. Jacob and Park Angiolina…

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Zadar is one of the oldest towns in Croatia, an ancient city, built in the center of the Croatian Adriatic, full of historical and cultural monuments.

Top sights in Zadar: Forum Romanum, St. Donat’s church, ‘Greeting to the Sun´, Museum of ancient glass…

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Šibenik is a medieval jewel of Croatian coast, situated along the mouth of Krka on the most picturesque part of the eastern Adriatic coast. Fortresses, that once were the key strategic constructions for the defence of the town, today are venues where open air concerts and cultural manifestations take place. The rich cultural and historical heritage of the city is visible in the impressive Cathedral of St James, in numerous churches, monasteries, palaces.

Top sights in Šibenik: famous cathedral of St. James – under UNESCO protection, Krka Waterfalls National Park in the vicinity of the town…

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Split is the capital city of the province of Dalmatia and lies on the Adriatic coast, central Dalmatia, on the Split (Marjan) peninsula. The story of Split is already 17 centuries old, dating to the time the Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to build his Palace right on the peninsula near the great Roman city Salona, where he wanted to spend the last years of his life. During these 1700 years the Palace slowly turned into a city, which to this day lures with its rich tradition, glorious history and beauty of its natural and cultural heritage.

Top sights in Split: Diocletian´s Palace, cathedral of St. Duje, city squares – Pjaca, Fruit square, Town Museum, Gallery of Ivan Meštrović, Prokurative, Marjan hill…

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Dubrovnik – a town where freedom was main moto of the city politics, where culture, artistic and architectural forms have reached the highest level – embraced with double system of fortification walls. Fortification towers, picturesque narrow streets, sacral monuments, palaces and specific geographical position have resulted with famous nickname for this town – often called ‘The Pearl of Adriatic’.

Top sights in Dubrovnik: The Old City Walls, Stradun, church of St. Vlaho (St. Blaise), Orlando´s column, Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries, Mount Srđ, island of Lokrum…

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Islands in Croatia:

Croatia has more than thousand islands, reefs and cliffs. Larger ones are inhabited and have small charming villages with own stories, tradition, beauties, customs, cuisine…

Top islands to visit: KRK, PAG, LOŠINJ, BRIJUNI, KORNATI, BRAČ, HVAR, VIS, KORČULA, MLJET, LASTOVO

National Parks:

There are 8 national parks: National Park Plitvice Lakes – which is the most famous, islands Kornati, National Park Krka Waterfalls, Paklenica, Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Island Mljet.

Food & Drinks

Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is known as a cuisine of the regions, since every region of Croatia has its own distinct culinary tradition. Its roots date back to ancient times. The differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those in mainland and those in coastal regions.

Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with neighboring cultures—Hungarian and Turkish, using lard for cooking, and spices such as black pepper, paprika, and garlic. The coastal region bears the influences of the Greek and Roman cuisine, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine, in particular Italian (especially Venetian). Coastal cuisines use olive oil, and herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage, bay leaf, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and lemon and orange rind. Peasant cooking traditions are based on imaginative variations of several basic ingredients (cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables, nuts) and cooking procedures (stewing, grilling, roasting, baking), while bourgeois cuisine involves more complicated procedures and use of selected herbs and spices.

Traditional Croatian dishes to taste: crni rižot (Black risotto), janjetina (Lamb), pašticada s njokima, rožata (caramel crème flan with a nice hint of lemon)…    

                           

Wines & Liqueurs to try:

  • Plavac (red wine)
  • Postup (red wine)
  • Dingač (red wine)
  • Graševina (white wine)
  • Žlahtina (white wine)
  • Malvazija (white wine)
  • Prošek (dessert wine)
  • Maraschino (liqueur)
  • Rakija (Croatian name for spirits), commonly made from: Lozovača / Loza (grapes) (it.: Grappa),Travarica (Loza with herbs), Šljivovica (plums), Kruškovac (pears), Drenovac (cherries)
  • Pelinkovac (liqueur)
  • Orahovac (walnut liqueur)
  • Medovina (honey liqueur)

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CROATIAN SOUVENIRS – What to buy in Croatia?

1.Traditional Croatian Cravat (Tie)

Cravats were a part of the uniforms of Croatian soldiers during the 17th century. The necktie is today more than a decorative piece and is adapted to modern culture.


2. Croatian Lace

Croatian lacemaking was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. It was traditionally crafted to decorate bedding, tablecloths, linen, dresses etc. The three most famous cities for lacemaking are Island of Hvar, Island of Pag and Lepoglava.

3. Licitar Heart

It is the heart cake decorated with colorful details – made with flour, water, yeast and sugar.

4. Cheese

One of the most famous  is Paški sir – from the Island of Pag where the sheep are all the time outside and eat aromatic herbs and grasses sprayed with salt by the strong wind Bura.

5. Olive oil

As Croatia is a Mediterranean country, olive oil is one of the essential ingredients in Croatian cuisine. The most expensive and the purest, highest quality olive oil is Extra virgin olive oil.

6. Lavender

The main area for lavender are villages on the Island of Hvar, also throughout Dalmatia and Istria. It is a gorgeous purple plant and its dry flowers are often in decorative bags and usually used in closet to defense against moths or thrown at weddings or to fill the pillows…