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    Croatia has emerged triumphantly as a safe, stable,and attractive tourist destination, having put years of civil andethnic unrest behind it. With its magnificent coastline boastingpicturesque islands, islets, and reefs, and a countryside scatteredwith Roman ruins and medieval villages, Croatia is fast becoming arival to the magical Greek islands for luring those looking forbeautiful beaches, great food, and a rich history.

    After centuries of being geographically sliced anddiced to suit empires, conquerors, and political and ethnicdivisions, Croatia has been left with a diverse cultural legacy anda wealth of historical attractions. The long Adriatic coastlineforms the western leg of the arc-shaped country, tapering to theunique ancient seaport of Dubrovnik in the south, while the landbetween the rivers Drava and Sava form the northern section. Thecapital, Zagreb, sits in-between.

    Although Croatia's history is dramatic, theatmosphere of this balmy Mediterranean country is now tranquil,with sleepy old towns and impossibly picturesque lakes and beachesjust begging travellers to relax. The wonderful landscape is easilyexplored on foot or by mountain bike as the country iscriss-crossed with good trails. The food and wine is so deliciousthat a bit of exercise might be necessary too.

    The most prominent feature of most Croatian holidaysis the glorious Dalmatian coastline, indented with rocky cliffs,peninsulas, and small inlets. Many good quality hotels and marinashave been resurrected or constructed in the past few years, rapidlymaking Croatia more popular as a cruise destination.

    There is a special atmosphere in Croatian towns andvillages, many of which were built on the sites of ancient Greeksettlements dating from as far back as the 4th century BC. With areserved but hospitable population, a Mediterranean climate, scenicbeauty, and lush vegetation, Croatia is one of Europe's besttourist hotspots.

    Croatia's popularity as a European holidaydestination has grown rapidly over the last few decades. There ismuch to see and do along its magnificent coastline, boasting over1000 islands, islets, and reefs. Most visitors come to Croatia forthe cruising, boating and beaches, but the country also boastscultural attractions and plenty of ancient history.

    Many of Croatia's cities are built on the sites ofancient Greek and Roman settlements dating from as far back as the4th century BC. Explore the Roman ruins in Zagreb and Split, strollthrough the cobblestone streets of the fairytale medieval villages,or just enjoy taking in the local cuisine and history. The CroatianHistory Museum in Zagreb features an impressive display ofNeanderthal remains, while culture vultures will enjoy a trip tothe Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.

    Dubrovnik, and in particular its medieval old city,is one of Croatia's top holiday destinations, boasting exquisitebeaches along its rugged coastline and a very picturesquecityscape. Split is a great base for exploring the Dalmation coastand is a breathtakingly beautiful old town. It is a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site and promises some exciting attractions, such as thecity of Trogir and Brac Island just off shore.

    Spring and autumn are good seasons to visit as milderweather, fewer crowds, and lower prices mean tourists can explorethe country more freely; however, summer (June to August) is peakseason and the best time to enjoy the country's stunningbeaches.

    Travelling by bus is economical, while ferries andcatamarans are the only mode of transport to the islands and a wayof life on the coast. For a more relaxed but slightly moreexpensive option, hiring a car allows visitors to get off thebeaten track and explore the stunning country at a leisurelypace.

    Diocletians Palace

    Roman Emperor Diocletian, having abdicated his thronein AD 305, decided to spend the last years of his life in Dalmatiaand built a palace for that purpose on the bay of Aspalathos, onthe south side of a peninsula extending into the Adriatic Sea.

    The spot he chose is now the very heart of the cityof Split and the palace is still one of the city's main touristattractions. The building and the entire historic Split inner cityarea around it have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Within the palace walls are a network of narrowcobblestone alleyways that house a mixture of residentialapartments, modern shops, cafes and restaurants, ancient Romanrelics, and a magnificent cathedral.

    The palace is interesting in that it was designed tocombine a luxurious residence with the defences of a military camp,having towers and fortifications on its landward sides with threemonumental gates.

    Originally situated on the water, the palace is nowfronted by the city's popular waterfront promenade and faces ontothe harbour. The buildings are made from local white limestone,quarried on the nearby island of Brac.

    Diocletian's Palace Diocletian's Palace Judith Duk
    Archaeological Museum

    Founded in 1820, the Archaeological Museum in Split is theoldest museum in Croatia. Its displays include artefacts fromprehistoric times, the Greek colonial period, and from the Roman,early Christian, and Medieval ages.

    Most of the relics found in excavations of the Roman city ofSalona are displayed here, and there is an interesting collectionof submarine archaeology. The museum also contains a largecollection of antique coins and a prominent library. Outside themuseum there is a lovely garden with a covered walkway and a numberof statues on display, which makes for a good opportunity to wandera bit and take some photographs.

    Those who have smartphones can make use of the free wifi audioguide, which is informative and enhances the experience. Althoughthis museum is not extensive, it remains very interesting and agreat place to get familiar with Croatian history.

    Address: Zrinsko-Frankopanska 25
    Ancient artefacts on display Ancient artefacts on display Connie Ma
    Franciscan Monastery

    The original Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik was built in the13th century in the Pile area. But when war broke out in the 14thcentury, the monks were forced to relocate to gain the protectionof Dubrovnik's formidable defensive walls.

    Parts of the current monastery, and most of the church, have hadto be rebuilt over the centuries due to damage. But parts of thecomplex date back to 1317. This Franciscan church and monastery,still enclosed in the walls of medieval Dubrovnik, boast one of themost beautiful Romanesque cloisters in Dalmatia.

    Within the monastery complex there is also a working pharmacy,which has been in business since 1317 and is thought to be thethird oldest pharmacy in the world. A museum houses relics from theoriginal medieval pharmacy such as medical books, instruments, andweight scales, as well as some gilded church relics.

    The massive monastery library, one of the richest in Croatia, isrenowned globally by historians for its inventory: it contains some30,000 volumes with 1,500 handwritten documents. The monastery is agreat refuge after sightseeing in the heat and crowds of the city.It is cool and quiet and also has some tranquil gardens to ventureinto.

    Address: Placa 2
    Franciscan Monastery Interior Franciscan Monastery Interior Sailko
    Dubrovnik City Walls

    The impressive walls enclosing the ancient city of Dubrovnikwere laid out in the 13th century and became an ongoing project foralmost two centuries. They are among the finest in the world andare featured prominently on the HBO Series, Game of Thrones.

    The fortified walls are up to 10 feet (3m) thick on the sea sideand at least twice as thick on the land side. Made to guard againstinvasion by the Turks in the 15th century, they reach 82 feet (25m)in height. Visitors can access the walls via a steep stone stairwayand once they reach the top they'll be rewarded with superb viewsover the old city and out to sea.

    A walk around the old city from this fascinating vantage pointis a must for visitors to Dubrovnik. In fact, it's a good way toget acquainted with the city. The detached Lovrjenac Fort to thewest of the old city stood guard against both land and sea invasionand is also worth a visit for some stunning views.

    Dubrovnik City Walls Dubrovnik City Walls Judith Duk
    Marin Drzics House

    Marin Drzic is Croatia's best-known literary genius,immortalised in his Dubrovnik home which serves as a museumdedicated to the famous playwright and author. It gives visitors agreat insight into the writer with a 40-minute presentation on hislife and work.

    Drzic was born in Dubrovnik, probably in 1508, and hewas a popular playwright, entertainer, and musician. The houseitself has been restored to reflect the 16th-century Renaissanceperiod that Drzic lived in.

    The Marin Drzic House is more than just a memorial.Indeed, it is an exhibition space and museum of theatre. The museumcollects theatrical material for study and further disseminationand it is the only institution of its kind in Croatia.

    The museum has a collection of posters, programmes,and photographs from performances of Drzic plays all over theworld. While the exhibition provides a good introduction into thehistory and culture of Dubrovnik itself, those without a particularinterest in Croatian literature and theatre may find the museum abit obscure.

    Address: Siroka ulica 7
    Marin Drzic's House Marin Drzic's House Sailko
    Cathedral Treasury

    Dubrovnik has had at least three cathedrals on thesame site during its long history (some argue there have been asmany as five since the 6th century). The first was a Byzantinebuilding dating from the 7th century; the second a RomanesqueCathedral which was destroyed by the great earthquake of the 17thcentury; and at present the beautiful Baroque structure which wasdesigned by Italian architect Buffalini from Urbino and completedin 1713.

    Within the current cathedral, called the Cathedral ofthe Assumption of Mary, there are several magnificent statues andpaintings, including the appropriately themed 'Assumption of Mary'by Titian, which dates back to about 1552. This cathedral hasstunning Baroque features as well as valuable art and is definitelyworth a visit.

    The cathedral also has a treasury where hundreds ofreligious relics are stored. There is a cover charge for seeing thetreasury, which is rich in artefacts, icons, and paintings. Theorganisation of the artefacts is somewhat chaotic but there issomething intriguing about this mysterious collection of treasures.Visitors will also see the archaeological excavations that continueon the cathedral site.

    Address: Kneza Damjana Jude 1
    Dubrovnik cathedral Dubrovnik cathedral Judith Duk
    Andautonia Archaeological Park

    Near the village of Scitarjevo, close to Zagreb, are the remainsof the excavated ancient Roman town of Andautonia. Andautonia was aprominent administrative, economic, cultural, and religious centreabout 400 years ago.

    Archaeologists are still excavating the site. However, at theAndautonia Archaeological Park, visitors can view a26,910-square-foot (2,500 sq m) area of the Roman City, includingparts of the main street, city baths, colonnades, and sidestreets.

    There is a museum at the site which exhibits artefacts from theGreek and Roman periods. Additionally, tourists can also visit thepresent-day village of Scitarjevo to get a glimpse into rural lifeand see some traditional wooden housing.

    Address: Archaeological Museum: 19 Nikola Subic ZrinskiSquare
    Website: www.amz.hr
    Andautonia Andautonia Fraxinus
    Croatian History Museum

    The building that houses Croatia's history is itself a part ofthat history. Situated in the historical town centre, it is thebeautiful Baroque palace, Vojkovic-Orsic-Rauch, built at the end ofthe 18th century and formerly the private residence of threesuccessive baronial families. In the late 1930s the palace becamethe residence of Zagreb's mayors, before being designated as arepository for the historical relics of the city. It currentlyhouses more than 140,000 artefacts in various collections, fromstone monuments to fine art, religious artefacts to heraldry.

    The exhibitions in this museum are not permanent but constantlychanging so that all the collections get an airing. This means thatit is possible to visit the museum many times and never tire of theexhibitions. The artefacts are grouped into 17 collections whichinclude maps, coins, religious items, stone mouments and militaryuniforms, among other thing. Despite being quite a small museum theexhibits are well-curated and interesting.

    Address: Matoševa 9
    Croatian History Museum Croatian History Museum Andrew Nash
    Croatian National Theatre

    The building housing the Croatian National Theatre(or HNK Zagreb) is as much a national treasure as the world-classtheatre, opera, music, and ballet productions that take place onits stage. Construction began on the theatre building in 1894, withCroatian artist Vlaho Bukovac painting the ceremonial curtain whileViennese artist Alexander Goltz decorated the ceiling of theauditorium.

    The building was officially opened byAustro-Hungarian emperor Franz-Joseph I at the end of 1895. Thetheatre is owned and operated by the Croatian Ministry of Cultureand it is constantly busy with full performing arts programmes. Atthe entrance to the theatre visitors can see the famed wallfountain called 'The Source of Life', designed by Croatian artistand sculptor Ivan Meštrovic in 1905.

    The Croatian National Theatre has hosted famousartists and performers from all over the world and culture vulturesshouldn't miss seeing a show. If travelling with a group, themezzanine boxes are a wonderful way to experience the performancestogether. It's worth taking a walk by simply to admire the buildingeven for those who don't have the time to catch a performance atthe venue itself.

    Address: Trg Marsala Tita 15
    Website: www.hnk.hr/en
    Croatian National Theatre Croatian National Theatre Diego Delso
    Town Squares

    Praska Street, in the lower part of old Zagreb, leadson to a sequence of attractive park squares, each flaunting theirown attractions and worth a walking tour. Zrinski Square features amusic pavilion dating from 1895 and fountains, with theArchaeological Museum at No.17.

    This square also features a row of busts ofdistinguished Croatians and the palace of the Croatian Academy ofArts and Sciences, which houses the Strossmayer Gallery. OnStrossmayer Square is a monument to Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer,founder of the academy, as well as several other historicbuildings.

    Tomislav Square features the Art Pavilion, fronted bya monument to Croatian Renaissance painter Andrija Medulic. KingTomislav rises on horseback at the southern end of the square.Starcevic Square is home to the City Library and Hotel Esplanade,and gives access to the Botanical Gardens and Frane BulicMonument.

    In Marulic Square, the University Library buildingstands as a magnificent example of Art Nouveau architecture. MimaraMuseum is on Roosevelt Square, and the neo-Baroque CroatianNational Theatre stands on Marshal Tito Square. Any or all of thesesquares are worth a visit so it is best to take a leisurely strollaround them all with camera in hand.

    Jelacicplac Square Jelacicplac Square Miljenko Hegedic
    War Photo Limited

    Located in the historical centre of Dubrovnik, theWar Photos exhibition space features temporary, changingexhibitions of photographic works relating to war and conflict. Thephotos aim to showcase war as it really is, exposing the horror andbrutality that is experienced by innocents and combatants alikethrough the photographic medium.

    War Photo Limited exhibitions are intended to beeducational and showcase the work of world-renownedphotojournalists. Although they have no political agenda, the mindsbehind War Photos Limited consider war a disease and the intentionis to expose its cruelties and rid people of the perception that itcan be at all glorious and righteous. They showcase some of theirexhibitions at schools, universities, and other educationalcentres.

    Anybody interested in military history or photography(or indeed the strength of the human spirit) will be fascinated byWar Photo Limited. As the exhibitions change frequently, it is ofcourse possible to visit the space many times and the documentationof particular wars and atrocities is very informative and wellhandled. Although some exhibitions may be quite shocking, a visitto War Photo Limited is an overwhelmingly rewarding experience.

    Address: Antuninska 6
    War photography War photography David
    Brac Island

    Brac's main claim to fame is the strip of beach nearthe resort of Bol that stretches out like a finger into the sea,featuring on almost all Croatian tourist brochures. Brac is thelargest of the central Dalmatian group of islands and its majoragricultural products are wine, olive oil, and fruit. The island isalso known for its exported white stone, which was even used tobuild Washington DC's White House.

    Bol and Supetar are the two main resorts on Brac,with attractive old towns and a laidback charm. Bol is thewindsurfing capital of Croatia, and Brac is a great destination fora number of watersports. The rest of the island boasts numerousvillages and dramatic coastal scenery.

    Like much of Croatia, the beaches on Brac Island aremainly rocky, boasting stunningly clear blue water and calm seas.If you are desperate to find a sandy beach head down to Lovrecina,which has its own beach bar and restaurant and is a lovely spot tospend the day. Brac is generally less crowded than Split and otherpopular areas on Croatia's mainland, but can get very busy duringthe peak summer months.

    Brac Island Brac Island Zuffe
    Sponza Palace

    Built between 1516 and 1522, the Sponza Palace was the centre ofmedieval Dubrovnik. Apart from featuring the customs office, thepalace once also housed a number of the Dubrovnik Republic's stateoffices, the mint, the bank, the treasury, and the armoury.

    A mixture of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles, Sponzais one of the most beautiful palaces in the city and has beenwell-preserved so visitors today can still enjoy its stunningfacade.

    It has been suggested that the architectural style of thiswell-preserved old palace gives some indication of what the publicbuildings in Dubrovnik may have looked like, before they weredestroyed in an earthquake in 1667. Although this natural disastercaused considerable destruction to Dubrovnik, the palace itself waslargely undamaged.

    Today, it houses the Dubrovnik archive, which contains 7,000volumes and about 100,000 individual scripts. The atrium of thepalace is an art gallery which showcases various exhibitions fromcontemporary artists as well as those who were prominent inDubrovnik's past.

    Sponza Palace Sponza Palace Marcin Konsek
    Dubrovnik Port

    Lined with palm trees, Dubrovnik's Old Port is amajor focal point of the city thanks to its unforgettable scenery.Located right next to the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site ofthe Old Town, the port features great shopping at small marketsalong its tiny cobblestoned streets as well as fantasticsightseeing opportunities.

    Known as the 'Jewel of the Adriatic', the beauty andfun of the Old Port makes Dubrovnik a popular cruise port. Thecruise liners generally stop off at the modern Port of Gruz inDubrovnik, which is less than two miles (2,5km) from the Old Town.The old harbour has a rich history as a trading hub and continuesthis tradition through its delightful markets and quaint shops.

    Many different kinds of boat tours are operated fromthe Old Town harbour and these trips offer a wonderful chance toexplore the stunning coastline from the water. Many of these tourswill point out attractions and landmarks, and provide insights intothe port's history and Dubrovnik in general.

    Dubrovnik Port Dubrovnik Port Dennis Jarvis
    Stradun

    The biggest, longest, and widest street in Dubrovnik, theStradun dates back to the 13th century, while the uniform housesthat line it were mostly built in the 17th century. The street is958 feet (292 metres) long and is the commercial, entertainment,and spiritual centre of Dubrovnik. The shiny, slippery,marble-paved Stradun is the main walkway of Dubrovnik's Stari Grad,and the best place to get a feel for the pulse of Dubrovnik.

    The Stradun holds many of the city's monuments and some greatrestaurants and shops. One of its more famous attractions isOnofrio's Fountain, which is located in a small square near thePila Gate and Franciscan Monastery. This large fountain was builtin 1438 by the famous Italian architect from Naples, Onofrio dellaCava. After sustaining severe damage in a 1667 earthquake, thefountain was repaired and now features 16 masked faces, known asmaskeroni, which supply water via an aqueduct. This constructionwas a masterpiece of its time. A smaller Onofrio's fountain islocated on the opposite side of the Stradun.

    Stradun Stradun Diego Delso

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Croatia's climate differs quite dramatically from thecoast to the interior of the country. The coast has a typicallyMediterranean climate with hot, dry, and sunny summers (June toAugust) and relatively mild, sometimes wet winters (November toFebruary). Summer temperatures average around 79°F (26°C) but itfrequently gets as hot as 90°F (32°C).

    Winters are significantly colder but they are notsevere and along the coast snow is unusual. Winter temperaturesseldom drop below 41°F (5°C). Visitors should experience some sunnydays in autumn and even a few in winter, but the colder months canbe rainy.

    In the interior of Croatia the climate is continentaland more extreme with colder winters and more common snowfall;temperatures in winter frequently drop below 32°F (0°C). Summers,on the other hand, are similar in temperature to the coastalregions but feel hotter in the interior due to the lack ofrefreshing cool breezes from the sea.

    The peak tourist season in Croatia is in the summermonths when the weather is hottest and driest, but the best time tovisit is probably September or May when the weather is still warmenough for swimming but the country is less crowded.

    Franjo Tuđman Airport Zagreb
    Location: The airport is situated 10 miles (16km) southeast ofZagreb.
    Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Sunday inMarch to end October).
    Getting to the city: A convenient bus shuttle operates between the airport and theCentral Bus Station in Zagreb, running from about 7am until 1030pmand scheduled to meet arriving flights. The journey takes roughly30-45 minutes.
    Car Rental: Car rental agencies at the airport include Hertz, Dollar Thriftyand Europcar, among others.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the terminal.
    Fascilities: The airport has a bank, post office, tourist information kiosk,24-hour left luggage services, business lounge, conferencefacilities, and shops selling souvenirs and luxury products(including duty-free). There is also a restaurant and a fewcafes.
    Parking Parking for visitors costs HRK 27 for one hour, up to a dailymaximum of HRK 150.
    Rijeka International Airport
    Location: The airport is located near Omisalj on the island ofKrk.
    Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Sunday inMarch to end October).
    Getting to the city: Bus services travel from the airport to Rijeka, Kraljevica,Omisalj, and Crikvenica.
    Car Rental: There are a number of car rental companies, including Sixt,CarpeDiem, and Last Minute.
    Airport Taxis: Licensed taxis operate at the airport.
    Fascilities: Facilities include coffee shops, a souvenir store, restaurants,ATMs, duty free, baby care facilities, currency exchange, and aninformation desk.
    Dubrovnik Airport
    Location: The airport is situated about 15 miles (24km) south ofDubrovnik.
    Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Saturday inMarch to end of October).
    Getting to the city: An Atlas Bus meets all scheduled flights and runs between theairport and the main bus station. Fares are set at HKR 40.Passengers can get off at the stop outside the main gate to the oldcity on the way to the main bus station. Taxis are alsoavailable.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies at the airport include Hertz, Avis, Budget,and Thrifty.
    Fascilities: A bank and exchange office are open daily. There are alsosouvenir shops, duty free, and snacks and drinks available.
    Parking There is a parking lot attached to the airport, offering bothlong-term, and short-term rates.
    Split Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 16 miles (25km) west ofSplit.
    Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Saturday inMarch to end of October).
    Getting to the city: Croatia Airlines operates a bus between the airport and the mainbus station, on the waterfront, in Split. Taxis are alsoavailable.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz,National and others.
    Airport Taxis: There are taxis available outside the terminal during operatinghours.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a restaurant and café, duty-freeshopping, banking and currency exchange services and a postoffice.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport with discounts available forlong-term parking.
    Pula Airport
    Location: The airport is located four miles (about 6km) northeastof the city of Pula.
    Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Saturday inMarch to end October).
    Getting to the city: A bus service connects the airport to the station in Pula.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Hertz, Budget, Sixt, andAlamo.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the arrivals area.
    Fascilities: Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, restaurants andcafés, internet access, a nursery, and duty-free shopping.
    Parking Short- and long-term public parking available.
    Money:

    The official unit of currency is the Kuna (HRK). One Kuna isdivided into 100 Lipa. ATMs are plentiful throughout the countryand banks, authorised bureaux de change, post offices, and mosthotels will exchange foreign currency.

    Banks open Monday to Saturday and some banks also open onSundays in the main cities. Major credit cards are widely acceptedat the main hotels and restaurants, and may be used to draw cashfrom ATMs which are widely available throughout the country.

    Language:

    The official language is Croatian.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style,round, two-pin plugs are standard.

    Entry Requirements:

    US citizens must present a passport valid for three monthsbeyond period of intended stay. Visas are not required for stays ofup to 90 days.

    UK nationals must have a passport valid for the period ofintended stay in Croatia, or valid for three months beyond periodof intended stay, depending on the endorsement in the passport. Forstays of up to 90 days, a visa is not required for holders ofBritish passports endorsed British Citizen, British National(Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas TerritoriesCitizen, British Protected Person or British Subject. Other UKpassport holders should check with the embassy whether a visa isrequired for travel.

    Canadian citizens must have a passport valid for three monthsbeyond period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is required forstays of up to 90 days.

    Australian citizens must have a passport valid for three monthsbeyond the period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is requiredfor stays of up to 90 days.

    South African nationals must have a passport valid for threemonths beyond the period of intended stay in Croatia, and a visa isrequired, unless already holding a multiple-entry Schengen Cvisa.

    Irish nationals must have a passport valid for the period ofintended stay in Croatia. No visa is required.

    US citizens must present a passport valid for three monthsbeyond period of intended stay. Visas are not required for stays ofup to 90 days.

    New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for three monthsbeyond the period of intended stay in Croatia. No visa is requiredfor stays of up to 90 days.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All foreign passengers to Croatia must hold return/onwardtickets and the necessary travel documentation for their nextdestination, as well as proof of sufficient funds (at least EUR70.- per day of stay, at least EUR 30.- per day of stay if holdinga confirmed invitation or a tourist voucher). It is highlyrecommended that your passport has at least six months validityremaining after your intended date of departure from your traveldestination. Immigration officials often apply different rules tothose stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    No vaccinations are required. The medical facilities and care inCroatia are fairly good, with free emergency medical care availableto EU citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Somemedicines are in short supply in public facilities. Non-EUnationals are advised to invest in comprehensive travel insuranceand those who need particular medications should take the supplyneeded for the duration of their stay with them, with a doctor'sletter on hand to get them through customs.

    Tipping:

    In tourist or upmarket restaurants a tip of 10 percent will beappreciated, but otherwise it is usual to just round up the bill ifthe service has been good, unless a service charge has already beenadded. Tour guides expect to be tipped. Most other services receivea small tip by rounding up the bill.

    Safety Information:

    Most visits to Croatia are trouble-free. Crime levels are lowand violent crime is rare; however, petty theft can be a problem inbusy tourist areas so it is worth keeping a careful eye onvaluables. Outside the normal tourist routes, travellers should beaware that unexplored mines might remain in rural areas,particularly in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina.

    Tourists are urged to be cautious in former conflict areas,including Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, KarlovacCounty, areas around Zadar, and in more remote areas of thePlitvice Lakes National Park. They should stay on known safe roadsand areas. If in any doubt, check with authorities before settingout into remote areas.

    Local Customs:

    Passports or some form of identification should becarried at all times. I some towns and cities, it is prohibited, orconsidered inappropriate to walk around town centres shirtless orin swimming costumes.

    In some places, such as parts of Dubrovnik, there issignage indicating that people are required to cover up and thatfines will be imposed on those that don't comply. Even when thereis no such signage, travellers are advised to be sensitive to localconventions and sensibilities.

    Business:

    Business in Croatia tends to be quite formal. Punctuality iskey, dress should be smart and conservative (suits and ties are thenorm for men), and polite greetings are made with a handshake.

    Titles and surnames are usually used unless otherwise indicatedand business cards are often exchanged at the beginning of ameeting. English and German are widely spoken but any attempt atspeaking some Croatian will be appreciated. Women frequently holdhigh positions in business and are well respected.

    Building a good working relationship is important in Croatia andit is useful to work with a reliable local partner. AlthoughCroatia appears typically European in its dealings, business cantake some time to conclude. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm,Monday to Friday.

    Communications:

    The international access code for Croatia is +385. The outgoingcode is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for theUnited Kingdom). The city code for Zagreb is (0)1 and for Dubrovnik(0)20.

    Duty Free:

    Non-EU travellers to Croatia can enter the country with thefollowing items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine, 1 litre of spirits,and up to 16 litres of beer; and other goods up to the value of HRK3,200 if arriving by air, or HRK 2,200 if arriving by other meansof transport. Regulations apply to firearms and radio instruments.No item of archaeological, historical, ethnographic, artistic,cultural, or scientific value may leave the country without alicense issued by the appropriate authorities.

    Useful Contacts:

    Croatian National Tourist Board, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 469 9333 orwww.croatia.hr

    Croatia Embassies:

    Embassy of Croatia, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 5885899.

    Embassy of Croatia, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 73872022.

    Embassy of Croatia, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 562 7820.

    Embassy of Croatia, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 3421206.

    Embassy of Croatia, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6286 6988.

    Embassy of Croatia, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 476 7181

    Consulate of Croatia, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 274 998850.

    Foreign Embassies in Croatia :

    United States Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 661 2200.

    British Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 600 9100.

    Canadian Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 488 1200.

    South African Embassy, Budapest (also responsible for Croatia):+36 1 392 0999

    Australian Embassy, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 489 1200.

    Embassy of Ireland, Zagreb: +385 (0)1 627 8920.

    New Zealand Consulate, Rome, Italy (also responsible forCroatia): +39 06 853 7501.

    Croatia Emergency Numbers : 112 (General Emergency Helpline)
    Croatia
    Mljet Island

    Covered by small villages, forests, and vineyards,Mljet is famous for its national park on the western half of theisland. Main attractions include the two saltwater lakes of VelikoJezero (Great Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake), as well as a12th-century Benedictine monastery.

    The lakes are popular spots for swimming and thebeauty of this unspoilt oasis attracts nature lovers and those insearch of peace and tranquillity. Mljet is said to be Croatia'sgreenest island while in Greek mythology it allegedly captivatedthe legendary hero Odysseus for seven years.

    Mljet is popular with couples because the lack ofcrowds and pristine natural beauty, making it ideal for romanticgetaways. It is also a great option for those who enjoy outdooractivities like hiking, swimming, mountain biking, hunting, fishingand kayaking. There are of accommodation options on the island anda variety of great places to eat. Mljet could easily keep anoutdoor enthusaist suitably occupied for an entire holiday.

    Website: www.mljet.hr
    Mljet Island Mljet Island Jose Miguel
    Hvar Island

    Off the coast of Split, just 15 nautical miles (24km) from BaskaVoda and accessible by ferry, is the island of Hvar, which aboundswith Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterraneanatmosphere.

    Hvar has been populated since prehistoric times, witharchaeologists finding evidence of life on the island dating backto 3500 BC. The island is noted for its fertile soil and was thesite of the world's first parcelling out of arable land by theancient Greeks, who farmed here.

    It is now mainly a wine-growing area, with the island's maintowns of Vrboska and Jelsa famed for their Dalmatian vintages. Hvaris dotted with picturesque villages, many of which remain fairlyuntouched by time and tourism, and are well worth a visit for aglimpse into rural island life in Croatia.

    Must-see attractions in Hvar include the incredible HvarFortress which can't be missed by history buffs and anybody whoappreciates a great view. It is a bit of a climb to get to the oldfortress but from the site you can see the whole town and harbour.No visit to Hvar would be complete without a visit to DubovicaBeach, which is often delightfully free of the usual crowds.

    Website: www.hvar.hr
    Hvar Island Hvar Island Gaucho
    Dubrovnik Riviera

    There is enough to do in the area surrounding Dubrovnik to fillany holiday and leave visitors desperate for more time. In closeproximity to the city of Dubrovnik there are lots of picturesquevillages and stunning resorts to explore.

    About 11 miles (18km) away, on the road to Split, is the quietbay of Zaton, with its sandy beaches and pine forest. The town hasnumerous restaurants, a relic of the days when it was the chosenretreat for the aristocrats of the Dubrovnik Republic.

    The village of Tristeno features the Arboretum, aGothic-Renaissance park on the coast. In the centre of thisvillage, visitors are awed by two gigantic sycamore trees which arereputedly 500 years old and standing 197ft (60m) tall.

    Even closer to the city, the towns of Kupari, Srebreno, Mlini,Soline and Plat lie along a chain of hills descending to the rim ofZupa Bay, known as one of the most beautiful resorts on theDubrovnik Riviera.

    Here, visitors will find plenty modern hotels offering a varietyof watersports to keep guests entertained. Also very close toDubrovnik is Lapad Beach, a popular sandy beach with a number ofbars and restaurants make a lovely spot to while away a sunnyafternoon.

    Dubrovnik Riviera Dubrovnik Riviera Thomas Kohler
    Trakoscan Castle

    Trakoscan is a legendary 13th-century Gothic castlethat was home to various influential families for centuries beforefinally falling into abandoned disrepair in the second half of the18th century, when it belonged to the Draskovic family.

    In the 1950s, the castle was taken over by the stateand turned into a living museum, reconstructing life in a medievalcastle. Visitors can explore four levels, including the dungeon,and finish their tour with a stroll through the surroundingparklands.

    Trakoscan Castle is a spectacular journey for theimagination as it feels so authentic. Guests can wander withfreedom through the stone corridors, up and down the windingstaircases, and into the various rooms. It is also a greatattraction for the younger children as the castle, lake, and forestsettings transport the little ones to a fairytale world.

    The castle features original artefacts from itshistory, including furniture and weaponry, and displays areinformative and well laid out. As wandering through the castle, andits beautiful grounds, can be somewhat tiring, visitors often stopfor a break at the restaurant by the lake.

    Trakoscan Castle Trakoscan Castle Maxman
    Elafiti Islands

    A popular excursion from Dubrovnik is a day trip to the offshoreislands of Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan, which are part of a largerarchipelago northwest of Dubrovnik. They are the only inhabitedislands in the group and the most popular for visitors.

    The islands are an escape from the mainland crowds and boastolive groves and orchards, sand and pebble beaches, 15th-centurysummer residences, and several interesting churches andmonasteries.

    Kolocep is the smallest and closest island to Dubrovnik, and itis beautifully covered in green vegetation. Lopud is the mostvisited and is famed for the stretch of sandy beach at Sunj. Sipanused to be the summer getaway of choice for aristocratic familiesin Dubrovnik and is fascinating from an historical point ofview.

    Each of the islands has something unique to offer visitors andit is worth investigating them all if time allows. Kolocep andLopud are both car-free islands but they are tiny and easy to getaround on foot. You can choose to stay on one of these charmingislands and accommodation here is generally less expensive than inDubrovnik.

    Kolocep Kolocep August Dominus
    Korcula Island

    Korcula Island is one of the bigger Adriatic islands, boastingbeautiful views, secluded beaches, vineyards and olive groves, aswell as pretty towns and harbours. Korcula Town is the island'smain commercial area and is situated on the northwest coast.

    This old town, sticking out into the sea, is typically Dalmatianand often likened to a small Dubrovnik, with its red-roofed housesand enclosing walls. Some theorise that Marco Polo was born hereand his rumoured house is now a museum open to the public. The townis also famous for its 15th-century Moreska sword dance which isperformed during summer.

    Other main towns on the island include the tourist centre ofLumbarda, which is surrounded by vineyards and coves, and the porttown of Vela Luka on the east coast. Korcula is said to have been afavourite Greek holiday spot over 2,000 years ago and since then ithasn't stopped delighting visitors with its culture and greenlandscapes. Of the 1,000 or so islands in Croatia, Korcula is oftenranked most highly as a holiday destination by tourists.

    Korcula Island Korcula Island Simon Pearson
    Trogir

    Trakoscan is a legendary 13th-century Gothic castlethat was home to various influential families for centuries beforefinally falling into abandoned disrepair in the second half of the18th century, when it belonged to the Draskovic family.

    In the 1950s, the castle was taken over by the stateand turned into a living museum, reconstructing life in a medievalcastle. Visitors can explore four levels, including the dungeon,and finish their tour with a stroll through the surroundingparklands.

    Trakoscan Castle is a spectacular journey for theimagination as it feels so authentic. Guests can wander withfreedom through the stone corridors, up and down the windingstaircases, and into the various rooms. It is also a greatattraction for the younger children as the castle, lake, and forestsettings transport the little ones to a fairytale world.

    The castle features original artefacts from itshistory, including furniture and weaponry, and displays areinformative and well laid out. As wandering through the castle andits beautiful grounds can be somewhat tiring, visitors often stopfor a break at the restaurant by the lake.

    Trogir old town Trogir old town Judith Duk
    Sibenik

    Sibenik is an historic town, located in centralDalmatia. A notable feature about the town's history is the numberof civilizations which have laid claim to the territory: Betweenthe 11th and 12th centuries, Sibenik was claimed by Venice,Byzantium, Hungary, and the Kingdom of Bosnia.

    After the First World War, Italy briefly claimedSibenik, and during World War Two it was occupied by the Germansand the Italians. As one might imagine, the town is the product ofdiverse influences and has a rich cultural heritage.

    Sibenik is home to the crowning glory of theDalmatian Coast: the Cathedral of St Jacob. The cathedral was themasterpiece of sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac and is reputedly thelargest church in the world to be built entirely from stone.

    It is unusual for its 71 stone heads on the exteriorwalls, a beautiful baptistery, the domed roof complex, and variousworks of art in the interior of the building. The city also makes agood base from which to visit the nearby Krka National Park.

    Sibenik Harbour Sibenik Harbour Macic7
    Plitvice Lakes National Park

    The Plitvice Lakes have been declared a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site and the national park that encloses them is theoldest in Southeast Europe. It is the natural beauty of the 16green and turquoise lakes, linked by waterfalls and surrounded byforests, attracts thousands of visitors every year.

    Wooden walkways meander over, around and across themagical watery setting that was formed by mineral deposits in thewater creating travertine barriers within the constantly changinglimestone landscape.

    The lakes are divided into lower and upper lakes andtrails are well marked. Visitors can cover the 11 miles (18km) ofwalkways on foot, but the park entry ticket also includes the useof buses and ferries that cover certain sections.

    The incredible lakes are not all the park has tooffer; it is a heavily forested area with an extremely diversevariety of flora and fauna, including rare European species likethe brown bear and wolf. It is one of the last regions in Europe inwhich these two species can be found living in the wild.

    Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park Judith Duk
    Makarska

    About 30 miles (47km) south of Split is the popularresort town of Makarska, with its cobblestoned streets and naturalharbour nestled in the shadow of Mount Biokovo and fringed with thetwo green peninsulas of Osejava and St Peter.

    This beautiful spot offers secluded beaches washed byan azure sea and lies at the heart of the Makarska Riviera, whichis characterised by pine forests and a string of white pebblebeaches. Makarska was an important trading port throught itshistory, which spans occupation by the Venetians, Turks, French andAustrians, all of whom left a taste of their culture and traditionbehind.

    The town boasts a world-renowned collection of seashells, a Franciscan monastery dating from the 16th century, aVenetian fountain, and several churches and Baroque palaces.However, its main attraction is its splendid natural beauty.

    The main tourist area of Makarska is lined withfashionable boutiques, cafes, and bars, all a stone's throw awayfrom the yachts and catamarans docked in the harbour. Popular photospots include a few beautiful churches and cathedrals dating backto the 13th century, as well as monuments dedicated to FriarAndrija Kaèiæ Miošiæ and Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Makarska Beach Makarska Beach vacation2
    Rijeka

    The commercial capital of the idyllic Adriatic Coastis the cultural city and holiday destination of Rijeka, with itsinternational harbour lending it a cosmopolitan flair. Rijeka isnot only the gateway to the beautiful coastal island resorts, but atourist's delight in itself with its charming historicbuildings.

    A stroll along the Korzo Promenade in the old part oftown provides an eyeful of classic buildings and a variety ofstreet cafes ideal for resting your feet and enjoying the passingparade. Rijeka also has an annual carnival full of lively music anddancing, providing a glimpse into ancient Slavic folklore andmythology. Revellers don masks to scare away evil forces and thereare numerous events, concerts, and the carnival parade.

    There is plenty to eat, drink, see, and do in thisvibrant port city. The best way to see Rijeka's cultural andhistorical attractions is to follow the well-worn tourist path thattakes in all of the most important sights of the town.

    Most of them are accessible by foot, as they arelocated in or near the city centre. To see Rijeka's remarkableTrsat Castle, visitors need to grapple with some formidable stonesteps. But it is certainly worth the climb.

    Rijeka Rijeka Roberta F.
    Krk Island

    The largest island in Croatian archipelago, Krk is ahaven of sparkling beaches and lovely holiday towns. Nicknamed the'Golden Island', Krk is the nearest Croatian island to mainlandEurope and has a laidback Mediterranean atmosphere.

    Getting to Krk from the mainland is made easy by a4,500-foot (1.4km) bridge. Once there, visitors are spoiled forchoice as there are many beaches and villages to explore. Krk Townis the largest and most popular hub for tourists with manyrestaurants, shops, and bars in the attractive Old Town area.

    The best beaches are found in Baska, which boastsmore than 30 beaches connected by a promenade. Though most arecovered in pebbles, soft mats and chairs are available for hire.Other popular beach towns on Krk include Njivice and the sandycoastline of Klimno Bay, though often these towns have more tooffer than just beaches. Vrbnik is home to vineyards that producesome of the best white wines in Croatia, while the August folkfestival in Dobrinj draws crowds from all over the country.

    Krk Island is popular for weekend excursions from theCroatian mainland. However, visitors can easily spend a weekexploring the winding streets and hidden corners of the island. Ahaven for watersports, diving, bird watching, and hiking, there islots to see and do on Krk for just about anyone.

    Krk Krk Berthold Werner