Croatia, formerly called Yugoslavia, is an ancient city known for Dalmatians, 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the setting for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. With 1,200 breathtaking islands to explore, traveling Croatia by boat (or in our case by private yacht) is the best way to see one of Europe’s finest treasures.
Croatia is perfect for everyone from the history fanatic, the wine lover, to the national park bucket lister. Traveling by boat is the best way to avoid the local traffic and anxiety from too many tourists.
There are so many wonderful towns to see in Croatia and more ways to get around the small but mighty country. Join us as we guide you through some of the best experiences you can have in Croatia.
Where is Croatia?
Croatia is located in southeast Europe, shaped as a crescent the country is near the Adriatic Sea lined with low mountains and highlands. Bordering countries to the north include Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the east Serbia, a small border with Montenegro, and shares a maritime border with Italy.
Croatia is literally one of the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. The capital is the city of Zagreb and the entire country’s population is nearly 4 million.
The climate in Croatia is moderately warm and rainy with monthly temperatures ranging from −3 °C (27 °F) in January and 18 °C (64 °F) in July. The warmest areas are at elevations less than 1200 meters (3900 feet) along the Adriatic Coast. The sunniest parts of the country lie in the outer islands Hvar and Korčula, where more than 2700 hours of sunshine are recorded per year.
The country is one of the richest in Europe in terms of biodiversity! Croatia has four types of biogeographical regions – the Mediterranean along the coast, Alpine in Lika Gorski Kotar, Pannonian by Drava and Danube, and Continental in the remaining areas. The habitats which include submerged karst, as well as the underground habitats, are the most significant and unique. There are three ecoregions as well – Dinaric Mountains mixed forests, Illyrian deciduous forests, and the Pannonian mixed forests.
Croatia has 37,000 known plant and animal species, but it is theorized the actual number is upwards of 100,000. Invasive algae are consistently monitored and removed to protect the benthic habitat. The animal breeds are numerous, including five breeds of horses, eight of sheep, five of cattle, and two breeds of pigs. Croatia has 444 protected areas totaling about 9% of the country – this includes 8 national parks, ten nature parks, and two reserves.
Tourism in Croatia
Much of the tourism industry is concentrated along the coast of Croatia. with an estimated 11 million people visiting every year, it is no surprise the average stay is just around 5 days.
Because Croatia has unpolluted marine areas there are over 110 Blue Flag beaches and may be the reason it ranks as the 23rd most popular tourist destination in the world.
Naturism brings over one million visitors per year to Croatia making it the first European country to develop commercial naturist resorts.
Culture & World Heritage Sites
Croatia represents a blend of four separate cultural spheres. “It has been a crossroads of influences from western culture and the east since the schism between the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and also from Central Europe and Mediterranean culture.”
The UNESCO‘s World Heritage List includes ten sites in Croatia. The country is also rich with intangible culture and holds 15 of UNESCO’s World’s intangible culture masterpieces, ranking fourth in the world. A global cultural contribution from Croatia is the necktie, derived from the cravat originally worn by the 17th-century Croatian mercenaries in France.
In 2019, Croatia had 95 professional theatres, 30 professional children’s theatres, and 51 amateur theatres with more than 2.27 million patrons per year. Professional theatres employ 1,195 artists. There are 42 professional orchestras, ensembles, and choirs, attracting an annual attendance of 297 thousand. There are 75 cinemas with 166 screens and attendance of 5.026 million.
Croatia has 222 museums, visited by more than 2.71 million people in 2016. Furthermore, there are 1,768 libraries, containing 26.8 million volumes, and 19 state archives. The book publishing market is dominated by several major publishers and the industry’s centerpiece event—Interliber exhibition held annually at Zagreb Fair.
The Arts & Cuisine
Architecture found along the Dalmatian Coast and Istria exhibits Venetian influence with squares named after cultural heroes, many parks; features of Croatian towns display large Baroque structures. The works of Juraj Dalmatinac and Nicolas of Florence are exemplified in the Cathedral of St. James. The churches in Croatia are the oldest preserved examples of architecture from the 9th century.
Traditional cuisine varies from region to region, and Croatian cuisine heavily influences Italian and other Mediterranean dishes including seafood, cooked vegetables, and pasta. And lots of olive oil and garlic of course.
The annual production of wine exceeds 140 million liters, and it wasn’t until the 18th Century that the country explored alcohols outside wine. The annual consumption of beer is much less significant but still ranks Croatia in 15th place among the world’s countries at 78.7 liters.
Join us on the perfect combination of cruising with lots of time for touring cities and towns along the Croatian coastline. Guided walking tours of medieval cities of Split, Korcula, and Dubrovnik, and hand-picked tranquil islands including visits to the Mljet National Park and Sipan Island, the largest of the Elaphiti Islands.
As a former headquarters of the Yugoslavian military, the lesser known island of Vis, kept closed until 1989, offers breathtaking beaches along with its fascinating history. Close by is the island of Biševo, known for the mesmerizing naturally occurring light show of the Blue Cave. Between the expert-led land tours and exciting adventures of snorkeling and paddle boating in the water, there isn’t a more diverse, yet relaxing way to explore Croatia.
Grab your spot on our incredible 9-day cruise along the Dalmatian Coast visiting:
Split, Trogir, Bol, Hvar, Biševo, Vis, Korčula, Mljet, Šipan/Slano, Dubrovnik
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