Full of life
Full of life
Discover Croatia, country that offers unique combination of untouched nature, compelling architecture, rich history, phenomenal gastronomy and endless fun. This country is situated between Central and Southeast Europe by the Adriatic Sea. Croatia is mainly known for its beautiful coastline that is 1778 kilometers long and consists of more than a thousand islands with each being more beautiful and charming then the previous one. But there are more to this country than just an islands and coastline; there are impressive mountains, wild forests, National Parks and Parks of Nature, green plains and lush rivers. Whatever you can imagine, you can find here because Croatia really is a place where dreams become reality.
The cultural, economic and political center of Croatia is its capital – city of Zagreb with a population of nearly one million. Zagreb is city full of remarkable and interesting people, great architecture and rich cultural life. It is city with a soul. The heart of the city is Ban Josip Jelačić Square that is always full of life and people who usually meet under the old clock to discuss politics or sports. On that same square there is also a Manduševac Fountain where you should toss a coin for good luck.
Best thing about Zagreb is that the city is full of parks, green spaces and gardens. One of the most popular parks is Zrinjevac, known for its beautiful fountains, music pavilion and busts of important Croatian figures. There is also famous promenade in the Upper Town where you can enjoy stunning panorama of Zagreb. You should visit Botanical Gardens and Maksimir zoo. Art lovers will specially enjoy this city. They have around 30 active theatres to visit, along with 30 museums, numerous galleries and many music festivals. Ballet and opera lovers can visit the Croatian National Theatre and film lovers will be thrilled to know that the city of Zagreb is home of The World Festival of Animated Film Animafest that is second oldest of its kind in Europe. There are thousands of reasons to visit this beautiful vivid city and yet, it is usually overlooked by visitors. Do not make the same mistake that most people do, come to Zagreb, you won’t be sorry!
Just north of the capital there is a peaceful region called Hrvatsko Zagorje, famous for its beautiful green hills, country roads and charming little houses. During years, this region was home of many Croatian kings and queens and because of that, numerous castles are preserved until this day. One of them is Trakošćan Castle, the most famous castle in Croatia which is currently a museum with a permanent and rich collection of furniture and paintings. Hrvatsko Zagorje is famous for its natural springs and beautiful hotels such as Terme Tuhelj in Tuhelj where the water has a high mineral content.
This region has rich history and culture. Beside many medieval castles, there are also beautiful churches and archeological sites that attract people from all over the Europe. The capital city of the region is Krapina, a city famous for the Festival of Kajkavian Culture. While you are there, you must visit The Neanderthal Museum, one of the most modern museums in Central Europe where you can learn amazing story about life and culture of the Krapina Neanderthal. You can also enjoy many multimedia components and visit Hušnjakovo hill.
Nearby there is an open air museum called Kumrovec old village where you can experience life in this area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kumrovec was also a birthplace of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the president of former Yugoslavia. You should visit the city of Varaždin too, small baroque city with remarkable museums, castles and churches. Every year in Varaždin there is festival called Špancirfest during which the whole city is ruled by artists and musicians. The best time to visit this region is probably fall when you can enjoy the scent of grape from vineyards and a scent of apples from the orchards.
On the very east of Croatia, in the area between rivers Sava and Drava, the beautiful region called Slavonia is situated. This is a fertile region with heartbreaking history. Slavonia suffered more damage than any other region in Croatia during the Homeland War and that heavy past is visible even today. The land in this region is the most productive in the country and here you can find fields of wheat, corn, sugar and sunflowers. There are no hills or mountains like in other parts of Croatia; the terrain in Slavonia is completely flat. There was a time when this region was really prosperous and today it is still in the process of regaining its strength. Tourism is not as developed as it is in the other parts of country, but it is slowly growing.
Slavonia is famous for its spicy food. Slavonian cuisine is mixture of Hungarian, Austrian and Oriental cuisine. It usually uses dairy products like cheese and butter and pork meat like sausages and kulen. Typical Slavonian meat meals are čobanac and paprikaš, as well as sarma. Slavonia is also famous for its wine.
You cannot leave Slavonia without visiting the city of Vukovar. This city has rich history but in the last 20 years it is mostly known for its tragic fate during the Homeland War when it was completely devastated. While you are there, you can visit Vukovar City Museum where you can learn more about history of the city and its famous citizens. The city of Osijek is famous for its architecture. This is Slavonia’s largest city and the city of culture with numerous theatres, museums and galleries. Also, this is the only city in Slavonia with a substantial tourist infrastructure, which is very important to know. Only 12 kilometers from Osijek the Nature Park Kopački Rit, one of the largest wetlands in Europe with 293 bird species, is situated. Though the birds are the biggest stars of this Nature Park, you can also see 44 species of fish and 21 species of mosquitos. The best time of year to visit this place is during the spring and autumn.
One of the most beautiful parts of Croatia is Istria, heart-shaped peninsula near the border with Italy. Istria is also one of the most popular summer destinations and its cities of Poreč and Umag are always among best holiday resorts in Croatia. There are numerous cities and sights to see while visiting this part of country and we will mention some of them.
City of Poreč is a beautiful city of culture, tourism, and entertainment. What once was a small seaside town during years shifted into popular tourist destination thanks to its attractive position and rich tourist offer. If you want to visit city that has everything you ever wanted to try, you should come to Poreč. You can enjoy and relax on the beach, you can play sports, go clubbing and dining, you can explore city’s rich cultural heritage… Sky is the limit. No matter what kind of holiday you choose, you should go and see Euphrasius’ basilica which is stunning work of art that will leave you breathless.
On the Western coast of Istria there is city of Rovinj, known as city of romance and art. The city of Rovinj is the most visited tourist destination in country. While visiting, you can enjoy sand and pebble beaches, you can go walking, running or cycling or explore the city. The downtown streets are full of life, with numerous restaurants, cafes, shops and galleries. Also, visitors can choose between various hotels, resorts or private accommodation. City of Rovinj is popular destination not just for people from foreign countries, but also for Croatian people who want to fully enjoy their vacation, have fun and enjoy rich culture and authentic architecture.
Near the base of Istria peninsula there is stunning historical city – city of Pula, the largest city in Istria. The most important monument in Pula is the Roman amphitheater called Arena, built during 1st century AD. This impressive structure is the sixth largest in the world and today it hosts many concerts and events, including Pula Film Festival. There are many monuments to see while visiting city of Pula, some of them are Triumphal Arch of the Sergil, The Temple of Augustus, The Forum as well as town’s cathedral.
The sport center of Istria peninsula is city of Umag which is a host to the ATP tournament. This vivid city is many people’s favorite tourist destination and it attracts visitors with diversity and rich tourist offer. It is important to mention that over the last few years tourism significantly developed in this area and because of that, this destination can offer you best accommodation in the area. You can choose between family hotels, villas, suits or colorful campsites.
Istria peninsula is a home of beautiful city surrounded by the sea on one side and nearby Učka Mountain on the other side – city of Opatija. The city has rich history and culture and it is one of the most desirable destinations in Europe. Thanks to its great location, city of Opatija provides visitors with countless activities, clean beaches and fine restaurants. There is something for everyone.
There is one more stunning location worth visiting in this area, and that are The Brijuni Islands, collection of fourteen islands and islets. This place is famous for being home of the Ulysses Theatre, co-founded by famous Croatian actor Rade Šerbedžija but it also has rich and interesting history as it was once used as the private residence of Yugoslavia’s president Josip Broz Tito. The best way to get around is by tourist train which will guide you through safari park where you can see all animals on the island, including zebras and lamas.
After Istria Peninsula, go and visit Kvarner – lovely combination of islands and highlands. This area includes gorgeous islands of Krk, Lošinj, Rab and Cres with cities of Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski. This place is ideal for those who want to spend their holiday not just by enjoying sun and sea, but also by being active and exploring nearby forests and mountains. Near Kvarner there is one more Croatian region called Lika where you can enjoy peace and silence, untouched nature and wild forests. Lika is a home of Croatia’s most popular National Park – National Park Plitivička jezera. The beauty of this attraction lies in its 16 lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and placed in the forest populated with many wild animals like bears, wolves and deer. The park is open every day throughout the year so there is no excuse for you not to come.
And then there is Dalmatia… home of thousand islands and islets, stunning beaches and incredible gastronomy. Region of Dalmatia is really one of s kind. From charming cities like Zadar and Šibenik on the north, to vivid tourist destinations like Split and Dubrovnik… This region has it all. It is a land of clean sea, Mediterranean sun, olive oil, fish specialties, quality wine and authentic architecture. This is also part of the country with richest culture and numerous monuments included in the UNESCO List of Word Heritage, including Diocletian’s Palace in Split, St James’ cathedral in Šibenik and Old City in Dubrovnik. Whether you are sea lover who likes to spend his holiday on the beach, relaxing and sunbathing, someone who is looking for a more active holiday, history and art lover or a person who wants to get to know his holiday destination through local gastronomy, Dalmatia is a place for you.
All of this is Croatia, country with incredible and rich history and culture, land of diversity and contrasts. The magic and appeal of this country comes from its interesting people, quality wines and exceptional gastronomy, as well as its stunning land and beautiful emerald green sea. This is Croatia’s strongest features. Come and discover Croatia, home of beautiful sand beaches, tall magnificent mountains, wild rivers and preserved forests. It does not matter what time of year it is or what kind of holiday you want to spend, this country has it all! So pack your bags, buy your tickets, Croatia is waiting for you!