Croatia is a country of dramatic mountainous landscapes, a long and lovely coastline, plus a rich history that reflects its location at the crossroads of Europe. Easy to visit from the UK, it's currently enjoying major upgrades to its infrastructure and better roads, improved hotels and resorts that can be compared with the best in Europe. Food in Croatia is similar to many other central European and Mediterranean countries (pizza, pasta, meat dishes, and fish) and seafood is a speciality along the Croatian coastline. Croatia also has some excellent wines and beers; try Zagreb's Ozujsko pivo or Karlovacko pivo or Tuborg, brewed by Carlsberg Croatia. In Dalmatia, red wines such as Faros or Dingac are delicious, and you should also try Croatia's favourite plum brandy, sljivovica, - or travarica, a fragrant herbal liqueur.
The history of Croatia is as varied as its landscape, having been influenced by the Celts, Roman, Byzantines, Slavs, Venetians and even the Austro-Hungarian Empire! Lovers of the great outdoors come to Croatia specifically for its adventure-sports facilities, including sailing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing whilst city destinations such as Dubrovnik and Split are Unesco world heritage sites, as are the cathedrals in Trogir and Sibenik and the basilica in Porec. Croatia's rocky stretch of Adriatic coast is particularly beautiful, with numerous small pebble coves backed by pinewoods, giving on to a crystal-clear turquoise sea.
Croatia Holiday Highlights
Croatia enjoys a Mediterranean climate on the coast, with warm summers making July and August the peak season on the Adriatic; and this is definitely the time to visit if you like busy beaches, a buzzing nightlife and plenty of company. Peak-season daytime temperatures can be very hot, however, so if you enjoy sightseeing, choose June or September, when temperatures are cooler - plus there are fewer crowds. Autumn is a good time to enjoy inland Istria and national park areas, and mild winters on the Adriatic coast make sightseeing in historic centres such as Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik relaxing and enjoyable.
Taxis are widely available in Croatia, and the most reliable way of booking an airport transfer in advance is via a taxi company that offers a web-based service. Booking online is especially helpful during the tourist season when local taxis can be hard to find and expensive. If possible, ensure that your taxi-drivers speak English. In popular tourist areas, taxis are freely available and costs are generally reasonable.