Posts Tagged ‘croatia’

Croatia Travel Guide, Picture Perfect

February 26, 2017

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Croatia is one of Europe’ best traveling destinations, as it occupies an outstandingly beautiful stretch of the Adriatic Sea coastline, which makes it one of the top seaside spots to spend your summer vacation on the Old Continent.

Another cool thing about Croatia, and a little know fact for that matter, is that the country boasts over 1100 islands, together with a picture perfect scenery and crystal clear waters. If you’re seeking for plenty of sea and sunshine, forget about Greece folks.

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Okay, I am only kidding, Greece is a beautiful place too, but oh boy, just wait until you see the spectacular Roman ruins and the ancient walled cities of Croatia, not to mention the country’s unspoiled wilderness and national parks, its epic and imposing castles or the fabulous cuisine, which obviously  makes good use of the seafood which is plentiful. In Istria you’ll eat the best truffles in this part of the world, together with enjoying its buzzing cafe culture and fine wines, they all add to the appeal in a big way.

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Croatia is a relatively tiny country, with only 4.2 million people and a land surface of 56,542 square kilometers. However, strong essences are kept inside tiny bottles, and the same thing is very true about Croatia.

The country’s main city and capital is Zagreb, which can be described as the quintessential Central European metropolis. Everything in Zagreb, ranging from its cuisine (yes, I know, I talk a lot about food) to architecture is imbibed into that old school European spirit, reflecting the country’s traditional ties with the Austro Hungarian Empire.

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Zagreb is also a perfect starting point from which you may begin to explore the pastoral regions of Zagorje where you’ll be able to sip some of the finest wines in the known universe or to explore its historic castles. Or both, why not?

Croatia used to be a part of Yugoslavia, but after Yugoslavia split and Croatia went on its own way, the country suffered dramatic changes, in a good way. The most important  change from our point of view took place in the last decade and especially in the country’t tourism business.

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Until very recently, Croatia’s epic coastline was a well kept secret for “insiders only”, boasting its undeveloped and undiscovered natural beauty, which is arguably just as beautiful as Italy’s, but without the panache and fanfare.

Now you’ll be amazed by the huge numbers of tourists from Germany and Great Britain flocking to visit the Dalmatian region. Also, many westerners bought holiday homes in this beautiful area.

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There are also 2 gorgeous cities to visit on Croatia’s breathtaking coastline, and I am talking about Dubrovnik and Split. Be advised, these cities tend to be pretty crowded during peak holiday season, but they’ve still maintained their charm. The evenings in these coastal cities tend to be the most relaxed and quiet part of the day, and the perfect time for music aficionados to attend a classical music concert together with all sorts of cultural events in the city centers.

Croatia is not only composed of high profile tourist zones, as it also harbors a plethora of isolated places, where you can still enjoy the country’s local life, which is as traditional as it gets for a Central European country.

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Just take a trip to Plivice and you’ll understand what I am talking about. Plivice is well known for its lake strewn national park, which is amazing by any metrics. Also, while here you can explore the lush and untouched mountain ranges of Gorski Kotar and Velebit, which are havens for outdoors enthusiasts, especially hikers.

Getting back on the Adriatic Coastline, because the summer is almost here, Croatia will provide the intrepid traveler with the ideal scuba diving opportunities, sailing conditions and sea kayaking. If you’re into water-sports, Croatia has your name on it so to speak.

Croatia is Europe’s top naturist travel destination where you can get a good tan even where the son don’t shine if you catch my drift, and also a place where you can play outdoors or rest for hours savoring the sunshine on the beach.

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Croatia Travel Guide

February 6, 2016

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Croatia is a relatively small country, a former part of Yugoslavia and presently the Republic of Croatia, sitting at the crossroads of south-east Europe, central Europe and the Mediterranean sea.

Croatia has a land surface of just 56,594 square kilometers and a population of 4.3 million. The climate is diverse, a combination between continental and Mediterranean climates.

But why travel to Croatia, you may ask. Well, from a tourist’s point of view, Croatia is among the best seaside destinations in Europe, due to its wonderful stretch of the Adriatic, I mean the coastline in Croatia is absolutely magnificent folks.

There are over one thousand island to visit while in Croatia, a country which is also famous for its stunning scenery and the limpid waters.

If you want more than sea and sunshine, rest assured, because this country has more to offer. Croatia is a place filled with medieval-walled cities, unspoiled natural parks, amazing Roman ruins dating way back (2 millenniums), a delicious cuisine (truffles, sea food and what not) and a vivid city life, wrapped around a dynamic cafe culture, to top things up!

Are you convinced yet? If not, wait, there’s more, right after the break!

The country’s capital and the biggest city is Zagreb, which can be regarded as the quintessential Central European metropolis. Okay, maybe it’s not a metropolis in the truest sense of the word, but everything in this beautiful city, from the hearty cuisine to its architecture, reflects the country’s solid ties with the former Austro Hungarian empire.

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Zagreb and especially its vicinity is home to a vast array of old buildings, churches and vineyards.

Even if the culture remained the same, along with its beautiful architecture and friendly people, something really changed in the last decades, and that something is tourism.

The formed undeveloped and undiscovered coast of the Adriatic is now a world-recognized natural wonder, which attracts myriads of tourists year after year, boosting Croatia’s economy and street-rep. Basically, Croatia’s Adriatic coast is as beautiful as Italy’s, but without the drama and the fanfare.

There are gorgeous cities to be discovered in Croatia, like the legendary Dubrovnik and Split,  places where tourists from Germany and the UK are flocking every year and lots of them bought real-estate in these areas.

Beyond the tourist-traps, Croatia is home to many unspoiled places, where you can learn and enjoy the local way of life.

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What to see, what to do in Croatia

For art buffs, I must recommend the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments located in Split.

Bird watchers will enjoy a “field-day” in Slavonia’s Kopački Rit Nature Park, which is basically a huge areal of wetland, visited by innumerable species of migrating birds.

If you like Galapagos documentaries, the place which spawned the Theory of Evolution, courtesy of Darwin, well, Croatia has its own Galapagos, namely Brijuni National Park. The place is basically an archipelago consisting of fourteen unspoiled islands, on the west coast of Istria.

If you want to get rid of those pesky tourists, look no further than Kvarner Gulf island of Cres, which harbors a rare colony of Griffon vultures, along with an ancient settlement at Valun and the lazy  Cres Town.

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Mljet National Park is a top-notch destination for cycling enthusiasts while Blue Grotto offers a surreal diving experience, where you can explore ancient ship wrecks which were sunk off the Vis island.

Dubrovnik is arguably the most famous tourist destination in Croatia, being one of the few impeccably preserved walled-medieval cities in the Mediterranean area. The city is filled with old architecture and breathes the old Europe culture, the Old Town is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site while the Franciscan Monastery and the stunning baroque churches are absolute delights for your senses.

While in Croatia, hiking and climbing, island hopping, diving and cycling are all at your finger tips.

Let me enumerate just a few highlights :Velebit, Senj and Starigrad-Paklenica, Sjeverni Velebit,Paklenica, Zlatni Rat, the island of Brac (for windsurfers), all these places have their own magic and they offer beautiful tourist resorts and various ways for spending your time (and your money in the process).

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Croatian Food and Drink

Croatia is a place where seafood dishes are regarded as “the best there is”, along with Italian cuisine influences. Specialties include air dried ham, like prosciutto in Italy, sheep cheese, octopus salad with onion,potatoes, parsley and olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, cuttlefish (cooked in its own ink), black risotto, roast lamb and truffles. Regional drinks include red wines, white wines, strong spirits with honey, great local beers and excellent coffee.

Visa Requirements

Croatia is a member of the European Union, and to visit it you’ll only require an ID if you’re from the EU or a valid passport (no Visa though).

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