Why Croatia?

Lively and lovely Split is second largest city and third sunniest in Croatia.

Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years. To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. You’ll get a chance to appreciate this gorgeous cityscape when making a boat journey to or from the city.

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Walk the streets of Trogir and experience its vibrant atmosphere.

Gorgeous and tiny Trogir (formerly Trau) is beautifully set within medieval walls, its streets knotted and mazelike. It’s fronted by a wide seaside promenade lined with bars and cafes, and yachts in the summer. Trogir is unique among Dalmatian towns for its profuse collection of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture (which flourished under Venetian rule); this, along with its magnificent cathedral, earned it World Heritage status in 1997. Trogir is an easy day trip from Split and a relaxing place to spend a few days, taking an outing or two to nearby islands.

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NPKrka is beautiful karst phenomenon with seven breathtaking waterfalls.

Stretching from the western foot of the Dinaric Range into the sea near Šibenik, the 73km Krka River and its wonderful waterfalls define the landscape of Krka National Park. The waterfalls are a karstic phenomenon: over millennia river water has created a canyon up to 200m deep through limestone hills, bringing calcium carbonate with it. Mosses and algae retain the calcium carbonate and encrust it in their roots. The material is called tufa and is formed by billions of plants growing on top of one another. These growths create barriers in the river that produce spectacular waterfalls. There are five main entrances to the park. As most people visit from Šibenik, the two most popular starting points are Skradin and Lozovac at the southern end. The other three entrances are at Roški Slap, Krka Monastery and Burnum, which can all be reached by car.

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Don’t you wish to be on this beautiful beach on Makarska Riviera?

The Makarska Riviera is a 58km stretch of coast at the foot of the Biokovo Range, where a series of cliffs and ridges forms a dramatic backdrop to a string of beautiful pebble beaches. The foothills are protected from harsh winds and covered with lush Mediterranean greenery, including pine forests, olive groves and fruit trees. The seaside towns here are orientated towards package tourism; this is one of the most developed stretches of Dalmatian coast. It is a great place for families as facilities are vast, and offers some active holiday possibilities. Note that in July and especially August the entire Riviera is jam-packed with holidaymakers, and many hotels impose a seven-night minimum stay.

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Do you recognize this beach on the Brač island?

Most people come to Bol to soak up the sun or windsurf at Zlatni Rat, which extends like a tongue into the sea for about 500m from the western end of town. It’s a gorgeous beach made up of smooth white pebbles, its tip shuffled by the wind and waves. Pine trees provide shade and rocky cliffs rise sharply behind the beach, making the setting one of the loveliest in Dalmatia. To get there, follow the marble-paved seafront promenade, fringed with subtropical gardens.

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Plitvice lakes national park, the absolute highlight of Croatia's Adriatic hinterland.

This glorious expanse of forested hills and turquoise lakes is excruciatingly scenic – so much so that in 1979 Unesco proclaimed it a World Heritage Site. The extraordinary natural beauty of the park merits a full day's exploration, but you can still experience a lot on a half-day trip from Zadar or Zagreb. While the park is beautiful year-round, spring and autumn are the best times to visit. In spring and early summer the falls are flush with water, while in autumn the changing leaves put on a colorful display. Winter is also spectacular, although snow can limit access and the free park transport doesn't operate. Unquestionably the worst time to visit is in the peak months of July and August, when the falls reduce to a trickle, parking is problematic and the sheer volume of visitors can turn the walking tracks into a conga line and cause lengthy waits for the buses and boats which ferry people around the park.

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On half way to Italy, Vis, former military island.

Of all the Croatian islands, Vis is the most mysterious – even to locals. The furthest of the main central Dalmatian islands from the coast, Vis spent much of its recent history serving as a military base for the Yugoslav National Army, cut off from foreign visitors from the 1950s right up until 1989. The isolation preserved the island from development and drove much of the population to move elsewhere in search of work, leaving it under populated for many years. As has happened with impoverished islands across the Mediterranean, Vis’ lack of development has become its draw card as a tourist destination. International and local travelers alike now flock to Vis, seeking authenticity, nature, gourmet delights and peace and quiet. The tiny islet of Biševo, next to Vis island, has little other than vineyards, pine trees and the spectacular Blue Cave (Modra Špilja). Between 11am and noon the sun’s rays pass through an underwater opening in this coastal cave to bathe the interior in an unearthly blue light. Beneath the crystal-blue water, rocks glimmer in silver and pink to a depth of 16m.

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In Croatia you can find your own secret bay to swim in.

The Croatian coast is absolutely astounding. There’s no shortage of beaches to take your breath away. The water is crystal clear and turquoise blue. Croatia has thousands of islands and islets.

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Crystal clear water of Adriatic sea is calling you to take a swim.

The average of sunshine hours is 2,600 per year. That makes Croatia one of the sunniest regions on the Mediterranean basin. Boating is one of the best ways to see Croatia. You can charter a boat for a day and explore the coastal islands and archipelagos. Sailing is a favorite, and very common, pastime of Croatians.

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The food is to die for.

Croatian food is a delectable combination of classic Mediterranean and Italian flavor with a new-world twist. Croatia is known for its impeccable wine selection. The country’s climate is perfect for vineyards, and there are many.

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Once you get here, forget about the time.

A modern country with modern features, yet Croatia embraces a laid-back vibe. You can experience the best of both worlds: a fast-paced city atmosphere with the ambiance of a relaxed coastal town.

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