- Istria is largest peninsula in Croatia, located on the very west part of Croatia. It looks like a triangle ( see map on the left) and is very popular destination for tourist and travellers due to it's close vicinity to Italy, Slovenia and Austria, as well as it's large coastline, full of small and larger bays with hundred of places and villages offering tourist services.
- Dalmatia is Croatian region located on the very outh of Croatia. It includes hundreds of Croatian islands as well as mountains Velebit, Biokovo and Sveti Ilija on Peljesac Peninsula. Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik and Zadar are cities that are located on Dalmatian mainland as well as numerous smaller places like Sinj suitable to visit and spend some nice time there.
- Slavonia is Croatian region located on the very north-east of Croatia. It cover the area between River Sava and Drava and borders with river Danube (Dunav) on the East. Slavonia is a flat and fertile area so it's important source of food fro whole of Croatia. Slavonia is also known for it's Djakovo Lipicaner Horse Breed, that is bred in Djakovo for centuries.
- The Kvarner Gulf is the area in Northern part of Croatian Adriatic, bordered by Croatian mainland and Istrian Peninsula. Kvarner is one of the closest points of Adriatic Sea to Central and Western Europe, therefore, because of it's vicinity and mild climate, Kvarner was very popular tourist destination for Western Europeans since the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 19th century.
About Croatia - Located in the heart of Europe on the beautiful Adriatic coast bordering Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. Croatia is a country of more than 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, most uninhabited and preserved, perfect for eco-tourism. In 1999, Croatia won three international awards for the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean. Major cruise lines include Croatia in their itineraries. Some of the best-known resort towns along the Dalmatian coast are Dubrovnik, Split, Porec and Trogir, all of them listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Geographical position: Croatia extends from the foothills of the Julian Alps in the north-west and the Pannonian Plain in the east, over the Dinara mountain range in its central region, to the Adriatic coast in the south. Area of Croatia is 56,542 km2, with an additional 31,067 km2 of territorial waters. The Adriatic Sea is situated largely between the eastern coast of Italy and Croatia.
Capital: Capital of Croatia is Zagreb (780 thousand inhabitants) - the administrative, cultural, academic and communication centre of the country).
Croatian coast has length of 5,835 km - including 4,058 km of island, islet and reef coastline. There is 1,185 islands in Croatia. The largest islands are Krk and Cres. There are 67 inhabited islands.
Climate in Croatia: Northern Croatia has a continental climate; Central Croatia has a semi-highland and highland climate, while the Croatian coast has a Mediterranean climate. Winter temperatures range from -1 to 30°C in the continental region, -5 to 0°C in the mountain region and 5 to 10°C in the coastal region. Summer temperatures range from 22 to 26°C in the continental region, 15 to 20°C in the mountain region and 26 to 30°C in the coastal region.
Population of Croatia - Population in Croatia is 4.5 million. The majority of the population are Croats. National minorities include Serbs, Moslems, Slovenes, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and others.
Official language in Croatia: is Croatian language and Latin alphabet.
Religions in Croatia - The majority of the population are Roman Catholics, and in addition there are a number of those of Orthodox faith, as well as Muslims,and Christians of other denominations.
Currency in Croatia is Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa coins, 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Kuna banknotes.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, post offices and at most tourist agencies, hotels and camping grounds. Banking hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m. In the larger cities some banks are also open on Sundays.
Electricity in Croatia: Voltage of city power grid – 220V, frequency 50HZ
Water: Tap water is drinkable throughout Croatia.
The telephone code for Croatia: is +385.
Time zone: GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two in summer.
Travel documentation: Passport or some other internationally recognized identification document. Tourists may remain in Croatia for up to three months.
Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are in line with the standards of European Union countries. Foreign currency is freely brought in and taken out of the country (up to a value of 3.000 euros); up to a value of 15.000 kn for domestic currency. More expensive professional and technical equipment should be registered at the border. Dogs and cats, accompanied by their owner, need to have an International certificate from a registered veterinarian stating that at least 15 days and not more than six months have passed since their vaccination against rabies. Tax refund for goods purchased in Croatia over 500 kuna in value with a validated "Tax check" at departure from the country. Information: Republic of Croatia Customs Administration (tel 01 6102 333).
There are hospitals and clinics in all larger cities and first aid clinics and pharmacies in all places. Foreign tourists do not pay for medical services if the Health Care Convention was signed between Croatia and the country they come from. Expenses of health services provided to persons coming from the countries with which the Health Care Convention was not signed are charged directly to users according to the price list. For patients whose lives are in danger, there is emergency transport by air(helicopter) or sea (speedboat).
There is a network of veterinary clinics and centre in Croatia.
Shops and department stores are open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or to 3 p.m. A smaller number of stores close between noon and 4 p.m. Many stores are also open on Sundays, especially in the summer, and a smaller number in the larger cities are open 24 hours a day. Public services and companies usually work from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Post and Telecommunications:
Post Offices are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays until 1 p.m. There are Post Offices in the larger cities which are open until 10 p.m. in the summer. Postage stamps are sold in Post Offices and at newsstands. Public telephones can be used only with phone cards, which can be purchased in Post Offices and at newsstands, in hotels and tourist complexes.
The flag of the Republic of Croatia consists of three colours: red, white and blue with the Croatian coat of arms in the middle. The width and length ratio is 1:2. The colours of the flag are placed horizontally from top to bottom in the following order: red, white and blue. Each colour makes up for one third of the width of the flag. The Croatian coat of arms is placed in the centre of the flag, with the top part of the coat of arms (crown) covering part of the red section, and the bottom part covering part of the blue section. The central point of the coat of arms concurs with the point of intersection of the diagonals of the flag. The flag was officially declared on December 21, 1990.
Coat of arms:
The coat of arms of the republic of Croatia is historical in the shape of an escutcheon, which is divided horizontally and vertically making 25 red and white (silver) fields; the top left field of the arms is red. Above the shield is a crown with 5 points, and is connected to the shield on the top left and right corners over a mild curve. Within the crown 5 smaller shields are shown of historical Croatian coat of arms, which are from left to right: the oldest known Croatian coat of arms, coat of arms of the Republic of Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia.
Shields within the crown:
- The oldest known Croatian coat of arms consists of shield on a blue field with a yellow (gold) six pointed star (the Danica star with a white (silver) new moon (also known as „Leljiva").
- The coat of Arms of the Republic of Dubrovnik consists of a shield on a navy field with two red bars.
- The Dalmatian coat of arms consists of a shield on a blue field with three yellow (gold) leopard (or lion or lynx) heads. At one point in Croatian history this coat of arms functioned as the Croatian coat of arms.
- The Istrian coat of arms consists of a shield on a blue field with a yellow (gold) goat facing left with red hoofs and horns.
- Slavonian coat of arms consists of a shield on a blue field with two white (silver) bars, in between which there is a red field with a marten (mink) stepping to the left. In the upper blue field there is a yellow (gold) six pointed star. The coat of arms is outlined in red.
The legend of the coat of arms:
Croatia has a signifigint tradition in the game of chess with the legend of the Croatian „chessboard"coat of arms. The pattern of red and white squares (4x4) as the Croatian coat of arms first emerges in 1508 on the portrait of Freidrich Habsburg III, painted by Hans Burgkmair. On the document signed by the parliament on January 1st 1527 declaring Ferdinand Habsburg as the Croatian king there is a complete 8x8 chess board field. Later another legend emerged that the Croatian king Dr?islav (also mentioned King Suronja), was captured by the Venetians, and played three games of chess against the doge Peter Orseolo II. King Dr?islav won all three games and gained his freedom back, and according to some versions reign over Dalmatian cities as well. He then put the chess board on his coat of arms.
The Croatian national anthem:
The Croatian national anthem is „Ljepa naša domovino"(Our beautiful homeland). Author of the text is Antun (noble) Mihanovic. The song was first printed in the newspaper Danica under the title „Horvatska Domovina"(Croatian homeland). The score for the anthem was written by Josip Runjanin as a cadet in military school in 1846, while the melody according to legend was first harmonised by V. Lichtenegger in 1861. It was first sung as the Croatian national anthem under the title „Lijepa naša"(Our beautiful) during a Croatian-Slavonian economic exhibition in 1891.
National holidays in the Republic of Croatia:
January 1st New years day
January 6th Epiphany
Dates change annually Easter Monday
Dates change annually Corpus Christie
May 1st Labour day
June 22nd Day of Antifascist Struggle
June 25th Statehood day
August 5th Homeland thanksgiving day
August 15th Assumption of Mary
October 8th Independence day
November 1st All Saints day
December 25 and 26th Christmas holidays
Split is the main urban, cultural and traffic center of Dalmatia. This 1700 year old town is a part of UNESCO's world heritage, with its numerous archaeological, historical and cultural monuments among which the famous Diocletian's palace takes a special place. Split has an attraction and warmth of a modern Mediterranean town. It is also the metropolis of sport in which many famous and popular sports clubs and competitors take part. There are a lot of sports grounds, which can be used by recreation lovers, and beaches situated in the town and nearby it. The most famous are:
- Bačvice - a sandy beach, situated almost in the centre of Split
- Znjan - a gravel beach (approximately 5 km east of the centre of Splita)
- Kaštelet - a gravel beach (approximately 3 km west of the centre of Split)
- Kašjuni - a gravel beach (approximately 3 km west of the centre of Split)
- Jezinac - a gravel beach approximately 3 km west of the centre of Split)
- Bene - a gravel beach rocky boards (park-forest Marjan)
- Trstenik - a gravel beach (approximately 4 km east of the centre Split)
- Firule - sand (not far from the centre of Split)
- Ovčice - gravel (not far from the centre of Split)
This city is full of cultural life and entertainment, especially during the summer when Split, with its shops, yards and other places, becomes a big stage under the clear sky.
This elegant tourist destination, lies at the centre of the Riviera with the longest tradition of tourism in Croatia. The very attractive geographic position, enabling its warm seas to be quickly reached from many cities in Central Europe (only about 500 km from Milan, Vienna and Münich), lush green scenery and a pleasant climate (45° 20' north latitude) were some of the main reasons for its beginning and the quick development of its tourism at the end of the 19th century. Built mainly at the turn of the 20th century, Opatija has remained in complete harmony with Nature right up until the present day.
Well-maintained public gardens, the illuminated 12-km-long coastal promenade known as the "Lungomare", well-kept beaches and fountains provide a stunning backdrop for the villas and hotels that cater comfortably for up to 6,000 guests. Due to a relatively constant temperature (winter average 7.0 °C, summer average 21.9 °C), high air pressure and constant circulation of air, the climate in Opatija is relaxing and refreshing. The contrasts of sea and mountains, green parks and blue ocean, old buildings and modern comforts, noisy entertainment venues and quiet destinations for excursions all combine to make Opatija and its surroundings a very attractive tourist resort at any time of the year.
The tourist offering of Opatija includes its congress centre (with space for 500 to 800 delegates), 11 indoor swimming pools, wellness programmes, a casino, discotheques, a summer theatre with seating for 2,000, carnivals, festivals, and opportunities for shorter trips to nearby surroundings or all-day excursions to the Plitvice Lakes or Risnjak National Park, or even to Venice in Italy.
The characteristics of the climate have all the traits of a gentle Mediterranean climate with a warm sea, lots of sun and lush vegetation which paints a picture of Opatija as a kind of green oasis. Summer temperatures are relatively low beceause of the cool breezes to come from the Ucka mountains while in winter, the temperature is relatively high. Opatija is also a place for business meetings throughout the entire year as well as a center for convention tourism, scientific gatherings and congresses. In addition, for those ailing from cardio-vascular illnesses, there is therapy and rehabilitation available in Thalassotherapija.
The Pearl of Kvarner-Opatija is an ideal starting point for an inspired walk through the past of this region, as well as for taking pleasure in the intimacy of the still untouched present.
160 years of tourism:
Tourism first began in Opatija in 1844 when the leading citizen of Rijeka, a merchant called Higin Scarpa, built the Villa "Angiolina", and named it after his deceased wife. The Villa was soon being visited by many of the merchant's family friends and business partners, and a number of other distinguished people came to stay there as well. Most notably, the Croatian Governor Josip Jelacic spent his holidays here with his wife in 1850, and the wife of Emperor Ferdinand I, Empress Mother Mary Ann, spent the entire bathing season here in 1860. Opatija, with its sheltered location, mild climate and green landscapes soon attracted the attention of the Vienna Southern Railway Company, which bought the Villa "Angiolina" from Count Chorinsky in 1882. In 1884, after only ten months of work on the property, the Railway Company opened the "Kvarner", the very first hotel on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. The event marked the beginning of a very dynamic period of building activity in the region.
Climate – a moderate Mediterranean climate with mild winters and pleasant summers. Continuous circulation of air and sea aerosol. The average air temperature in summer is 21.9 °C, and in winter 7 °C. The sea temperature in summer goes up to 26 °C. The area averages 2,000 hours of sunshine a year.