Croatia is known for its dramatic coastlines and azure waters. A perfect getaway, especially on a cruise or a private boat. In recent years, the country has seen an increase in tourism thanks to the old city of Dubrovnik playing an important backdrop to many scenes in the hit series “Game of Thrones.” Yet, it still remains somewhat unknown as a destination, especially for North Americans. Perhaps it is the long flight(s) that puts people off, but it also just hasn’t received the press that such a beautiful place deserves. And considering Greece can be just as hard to get to, yet is known to many as a place to go, there is no excuse not to put Croatia on your list.
A Little Bit About the History of Croatia
Croatia’s history is long and filled with conquering forces. Fossils of Neanderthals were discovered in areas of Croatia. It was later settled by ancient tribes and then the Greeks, who established trading ports. The Roman Empire spread to the area after that. Byzantine rule took over after, then the Ottoman Empire. Hungary and Austria laid claim to the region, then the Venetians. It later became part of Yugoslavia. In 1991, Croatia gained independence and in 2013, she became part of the European Union.
Needless to say, all this mixing of cultures created an incredible gastronomic experience. Delicious pasta and seafood dishes are found along the coast, including the famous black risotto known as Crni Rizot in Croatian. The risotto is colored by the squid ink it is cooked in. Make sure not to smile too much after eating this dish unless you brush your teeth! Arancini, otherwise know as sugared orange peel, is very popular and a great snack. For dessert, rozata is a customary dish, which is essentially a custard pudding.
Croatia’s geography is diverse. Near the Bosnian and Herzegovina border, some of the mountains in the Dinaric Alps reach elevations of up to 6,000 feet (over 1800 metres). The flat lands of Slavonia are where the Danube, Drava, Kupa and Sava rivers cross the country. The coastline offers thousands of islands and inlets with cliffs rising dramatically from the vivid blue waters. The oldest national park in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Croatia has a wealth of flora and fauna, with new species discovered in recent years. The climate along the coast is primarily Mediterranean. The waters along the coast offer tons of scuba and snorkeling spots. There are also many forests throughout the country and thousands of caves to explore.
Croatia’s economy is considered a “high income economy” by the United Nations, although it is a relatively cheap country to visit for Westerners. Tourism is an important sector of the economy, especially in recent years with the added fame of the Game of Thrones Series being filmed in Dubrovnik.
Marine tourism, meaning boat charters and cruises, are especially popular. There are many beautiful islands to explore including Hvar and Bisevo island, which has a famous partially underwater cave that glows blue.
Korcula island has vineyards, olive groves and small villages to explore as well as beautiful beaches. Sipan is another great island to visit and is renowned for its wine.
The Croatian Kuna is the official Croatian currency. Although Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, there hasn’t been much movement toward changing to euros. There are .15USD to 1 Croatian Kunas and .13Euros to 1 Kuna.
Needless to say Croatia is a pretty cool place to visit. Book your next trip through us.