Croatia (Republika Hrvatska)
State in the south of Central Europe and the Western Balkans, the former Soviet republic within Yugoslavia, which became independent in 1991. Name of the country comes to people as ethnonym - Croats. Croatia is a member of the UN since 1992, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO since 2009, the European Union since first of July 2013. Numerous islands of Croatia and the Adriatic coast make it an incredibly popular destination of international tourism.
Croatia is known for its stunning environment and is extremely rich in natural resources. Many visiting tourists will be able to surprise the stunning nature of this strange, spotlessly clean sea, about four thousand kilometers of coast, which are strewn with pine needles and decorated with rocks and coves. Someone feels the healing power of all of the local land and water - the good, Croatia has as much as 20 mineral springs and one field of unique healing oil. Main types of tourism in the country are excursions and recreation, beach vacation, leisure.
The location, grounds and landscape
It borders on the north-west with Slovenia, in the north-east - with Hungary and Serbia, in the south - with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro; in the west it is washed by the Adriatic Sea.
The country's territory is 56,594 km².
The country consists of two parts: the mainland, located mainly in the Sava river basin; Adriatic which is stretched as a narrow strip along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Population: over 4 million 435 thousand people.
Capital: Zagreb (horv. Zagreb, nearly 800 thousand inhabitants).
Biggest cities: Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek.
Languages: Croatian. In some cities the official status of Istria is Italian. Minority languages are Serbian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Czech, Ruthenian, Albanian, etc.
Religion: Roman Catholic (86.28%), Orthodox (4.44%), Protestant (0.34%), Muslims (1.47%), atheists and agnostics (4.57%).
Time zone: CET (UTC +1, summer UTC +2).
Telephone code: 385.
Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK), 1.00 USD ≅ 5.62 HRK, 1.00 EUR ≅ 7.63 HRK. One Kuna is 100 lindens (lipa). In circulation here are banknotes in 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 kunas, and coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 kuna, 20, 50 lindens.
Credit cards: MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are accepted everywhere.
The climate and the average temperature
Northern Croatia has a continental climate, Central – semi-mountain and mountain nature, near the coast - Mediterranean. Winter temperatures in the mainland usually reach an average -10° C, in the mountainous areas it’s -5° C to 5° C and 0° C to +10° C in the coastal area. Normally in the summer it is especially warm on most of coast (25° C to 30° C on average), temperature in the mountains normally don’t exceed 15-20° C, while in the continent it is generally about 25° C.
Flora and fauna
The country is a kind of exotic north oasis of the Mediterranean Sea with its many rare species of plants and animals. On its territory grow about 4,300 species of plants.
The vegetation is extremely diverse: in the south of Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast and on the islands - subtropical (in the foothills and mountains there are broad-leaved forests of hornbeam, oak, maple, interspersed with thickets of shiblyak). In the central highlands there are oak and hornbeam, beech and in the upper mountain zone - beech, fir and spruce forests. On the plains of Slavonia and Baranja there is natural vegetation steppe and forest-steppe with significant portions of deciduous forests of oak, linden, hornbeam, maple. Along the valleys of large rivers grows poplar, willow, oak, shrubs, common meadows. Large areas of arable land is occupied. Total flora of Croatia has 4300 species. Particularly rich flora is on the islands.
Fauna is characterized by lower species diversity. In mountain forests you can meet forest cat, brown bear, pine and stone martens, hares, foxes, wolves, deer, chamois, roe deer, badgers. For treeless well-warmed Dinaric slopes it is characterized lizards and snakes, in coastal areas the turtles are common. Avifauna is diverse, the most notable are such species as the eagle, hawk, falcon, grouse, partridge, stork, seagulls and a number of waterfowl. Cres Island is one of the few places in the world, it’s a home for a bald vulture.
Very large concentrations of birds are in wetlands within the landscape at the confluence of the Drava and Danube. In the Adriatic Sea there are usual many fish species. From aquatic mammals the most characteristic is the monk seal. The richness of flora and fauna of a small country show seven national parks, three of which are located in a mountainous region (Risnjak, Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes) and four are on the coast (Kornati, Mljet, Brijuni and Krka).
How best to get
Croatia direct flights to cities in Ukraine are not connected. Cheap tickets from Kyiv to Zagreb on the most convenient connecting flights are available through Vienna, Prague, Budapest. From Kyiv in the summer there charter flights to the main resort centers in the country: Pula, Dubrovnik and Split.
"Aeroflot" flies several times a week from Moscow to Zagreb. From late April to mid October it is organized charters to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik once a week and from June to September in Pula it plies twice as often. Internal flights Croatia Airlines are plied from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. You have a chance in summer to fly with a charter to the island of Krk once a week.
Best time to visit
Best time of year to visit the country is in the period from May to September, when the air is heated to 30-31 degrees and the water warms up to 22-24 degrees. It is noteworthy that on the Croatian coast there is the highest number of sunshine hours in Europe (2600). Warmest resort is South Dalmatia.
Popular tourist sites
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the country, which has more than 900-years history. This city still has a lot of special, medieval flavor. Take, for example, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in neo-Gothic style, which is still stored frescoes of the 13th century! Also Zagreb is a city of museums: the archaeological, historical, City Museum, and others are willing to accept millions of tourists from around the world.
Split is the second largest city in Croatia. It is situated on a peninsula between the cities of Zadar and Dubrovnik. Largest port is the second in the country after Rijeka. During XVII century there emerged a unique mix of styles - sublime Renaissance and Baroque fancy framed majestic Romanesque architecture.
Dubrovnik is one of the most famous cities of the Adriatic, the business card of the country. His fame is due to its well-preserved beautiful medieval fortress, the walls of which are fighting the waves. This is a city-museum with rich history and amazing architecture. It is worth visiting the Church of St. Blasius - the patron saint of the city, the Maritime Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, fountains, the famous Italian architect Onofrio de la Kavi, the oldest synagogue in Europe, art galleries, as well as visit the islands of Cavtat, Plat and Mlini. Noteworthy island of Korcula and Mljet, which is located in southern Dalmatia.
A trip to the National Park "Krka", National Park "Kornati", to the island of Hvar (Island pine forests and lavender, the sunniest place in Croatia), to the island of Brac is one of the most beautiful islands of the country.