It is encouraging to see Croatia rising from the ashes of civil and ethnic unrest into one of the most enticing tourist destinations in the world.
At the very glance of the map, Croatia is perceived as an arch, delineated by the borders with industrially developed countries of Europe. A great number of transport routes of international significance cross the country, most of which are situated along the Sava river, the Adriatic Sea and the Drava river.
Due to its geographical position, Croatia stretches both to the Pannonian and Mediterranean natural-geographic regions, with narrow Dinaric region between them. Close to the north-western border of the country there is a region of the Alps. This mountain chain, with its sub-alpine belt nearly touching Croatia's borders, is very important to the country's location.
Although Croatia might seem hilly and mountainous, its peaks do not exceed 1900m above the sea level. Half of the country's area (mostly eastern and northern parts) is lower than 200m. One third of its territory is covered in forests, although huge areas have been cleared out for cultivation. The coastal regions abound in man-made pine forests which are extremely important for tourist sphere. Coastal plains are predominant in Istria, Ravni Kotari and near lower banks of river Neretva.
Croatia's population totals about 4.430 million, 89.6% of which are Croats, 4.5% - Serbs, 0.5% - Bosnians, 0.4% - Italians, 0.4% - Hungarians, 0.37 - Albanians, 0.3% - Slovenes.
Religions in Croatia
The majority of population are Roman Catholics (88%), to Orthodox Church belong 4.4%, 1.3% are Muslims and 5.2% of population do not belong to any confession.
The official language of the Republic of Croatia is Croatian language.
Capital city of Croatia
The city of Zagreb is a capital of the Republic of Croatia and a special unified territorial and administrative unit.
Coast of Croatia
The secret of Croatia's charm lies in its splendid 1777 km coastline, relatively untouched by the civilization. Croatian coastline has as many as 718 islands, only a small number of which are inhabited. Moreover, there are 389 cliffs and 78 reefs there, which along with the islands cover the area of about 3,300 km2. The Dalmatian coast is broken into long fragments of islands and peninsulas hugging the shore so closely that it is impossible to tell until you come closer whether it's a peninsula or an island.
Climate of Croatia
The coastal regions of Croatia, which are most visited than other regions of the country, enjoy a Mediterranean climate with average summer temperatures of 24°C -26°C and with winter temperatures ranging from 2°C in the north and 9°C in the south. The water temperature during summer months is 25 to 27°C. The sunniest spot in Croatia is the Island of Hvar which receives more than 2700 hours of sunshine annually. The cold and dry bura wind, blowing from central and Eastern Europe down to the coast, usually lasts from several hours to a few days, which can be quite disturbing. It tends to be especially strong near Gulf of Kvarner and North Dalmatia. The inland has mostly continental climate, with more rainfall in the west and less in the east.
Planning a visit to Croatia
Travelers planning to visit Croatia must have a passport with the validity for the whole period of intended stay. European and American citizens do not need a visa for tourist and business trips lasting up to 90 days. However, visitors might need a special transit visa required by countries they pass through en route to Croatia. Visitors who don't plan to stay at a hotel must register with the local police within 48 hours of arrival. Those who don't do that may be subjected to a fine or a possible deportation. In addition, visitors may be asked to prove they have enough money for covering subsistence during their stay. Those who intend to stay at a hotel must have one hundred Euros per day. Individuals who are staying as the guests of Croatian citizens must be able to provide proof of invitation. The daily subsistence rate for them is fifty Euros per day. Those who are planning to sail to Croatia should stay informed about the entry laws. It is allowed to enter only a specifically designated port and you can be penalized if you don't inform the Croatian authorities about your intention to enter a non-designated port.
Medical services for tourists
The health service is rather good, with free emergency treatment for individuals with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and those coming from the countries which have signed the Health Care Convention with Croatia. Tourists from other countries are advised to procure a health insurance. Those planning a visit to forested regions in summer are recommended to get vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis.