The sea, the beach and the sun but also history and culture, together with a mosaic of medieval towns make up this beautiful land of Croatia. Words can´t describe a country whose coasts are bathed by the mythical and historical beauty of the Adriatic Sea.
In Croatia we can find over 1,200 islands with beaches and unforgettable views where there are many tourists from all over the globe. Most come from nearby countries such as Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.
Its capital is Zagreb, located in the north of the country and the place where most of the major events occur. Croatia has a population of over 4.4 million, almost all of whom are Croatian speakers as it is the only official language in the country.
From History to modern times
From 1918, Croatia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia. In 1991 the country declared its independence, resulting from the War of Croatia where it emerged as winner.
Today, Croatia is a democratic and parliamentary republic. It is divided into 20 counties (which are formed by cities and municipalities) and the capital. The country is also divided into 3 regions. Northwest Croatia, Croatia Central and Eastern (Pannonian), and Adriatic Croatia.
The official currency in Croatia today is the Kuna though the country has been a member state of the European Union since 1 July 2013.
Rain, sun and good temperatures to be enjoyed!
The climate of the country depends heavily on the particular areas , as they are quite different in this sense. The mountains are colder although much less rainy compared with the coast.
However, if you think that summers are hot on the coast, you may be surprised that the temperature there usually does not exceed 25-26ºC. So if you want to visit Croatia in summer, it would be highly recommendable to do so between June and September.
In this period, the weather is quite predictable and stable because it has abundant sunshine and little rain. By contrast, winters bring more rain but, in turn, bring relatively mild temperatures around 10ºC.
The situation is different in the area of the capital. There, during winters, the temperature falls to 3°C with more rain and, in the mountains, snow. The summers are warmer, as temperatures reach around 30ºC.
Islands, parks and nightlife: it´s Croatia!
Most people visit Croatia during the summer months. In the summer, tourism in the country plays a more important role than in other seasons. It offers countless sights to enjoy and encounter no matter whether it’s the beaches or the cities that attract you to the country.
One of the most attractive places to visit is the city of Dubrovnik in the south of the country, on the Adriatic coast. The medieval city that is under UNESCO protection provides many attractions for all travellers.
The Franciscan Monastery with its famous pharmacy, the Gothic Rector's Palace, the Cathedral, the wall, good music and a vivid nightlife will not leave anyone indifferent.
Also very interesting to visit is (at least) one of its 8 National Parks such as the Brijuni or Krka and Mljet, the Učka National Park or simply relaxing in one of its islands, which will offer great opportunities to witness another culture that is also part of Europe.
More gems from Croatia can be found not only in the capital Zagreb, but also in the cities of Poreč, Rovinj, Split and Pula.
Among the religions of the country, Catholicism forms the largest part of more than 80% of the total population. For their part, Orthodox, Muslims and atheists are in the minority groups but surely and usually also play an important role.
Gastronomy: influence of different of countries
Croatian gastronomy depends on the region of the country. Each region has its own specialities and different ingredients to make them. The area of the coast, especially that of Istria and Dalmatia, is influenced by other countries − also Mediterranean − which means they use more ingredients like pasta, olive oil, seafood, rice and fish, among others.
The gastronomy of the hinterland, on the contrary, is more influenced by Austria, Hungary or Slovakia. There meat is more used, as well as cream and butter, among others. A typical drink can be found in wine or Croatian beer that accompanies many of their tasty courses.
All citizens of the countries of the European Union may enter without further documents than the national identity card or passport of their country.
To change currencies you can go, for example, to any bank, exchange office or post office. Some hotels and travel agencies also offer this service. The official currency, as we said, is the Kuna and its exchange rate in Europe is 1 euro = 7.6 kunas.
If you are travelling by car, remember that in Croatia it is mandatory to have your lights on no matter what time of day it is.
On its beaches it is advisable to wear sandals or water shoes to avoid the bites of small crabs or injury that could occasionally be caused by stones.
Editing by: Catherine Parker