Going to Croatia without visiting the coast is a bit like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower...What can I say about its thousand kilometre long rugged coast, with hundreds of little coves, bays, beaches, and exceptional towns and villages! The countryside is breathtaking: steep mountains that plunge directly into the blue waters, perfect for picturesque photos. Another advantage is that you can visit historic sites and Venetian influenced towns (like Dubrovnik and Split) and still be only a few minutes away from the sea!
Although the coast is one of the favourite destinations for holiday makers in Croatia, mostly because of its magnificent towns like Split and Dubrovnik, in summer the crowded beaches and streets full of people can sometimes be a bit exhausting, so why not try the idyllic scenery of one of the country's 700 islands: steep coasts that plunge into the sea, deserted beaches, turquoise blue water and wonderful sea beds. We particularly recommend the islands of Vis and Lastovo, which still have few visitors.
A trip to central and eastern Europe is often synonymous with a diet of potatoes and cabbage! However, despite its small size, Croatia has a surprising variety of gastronomic specialties in the different regions of the country. Istria, where you can feel the Italian influence, is probably the richest, and has a cuisine based on delicious olive oil and lcoal truffles. Slovenia is strongly influenced by Hungary, with paprika and breadcrumb batters, and the coast has delicious freshly caught fish and seafood. And when you know that there is a lot of good quality wine, what more do you need to be convinced!
Perhaps one of the darkest points in the country's contemporary history, the war is still on everyone's mind. Although Croatians often don't like the constant questions that visitors have about this part of their history, they aren't mean with their words when it comes to talking about conflict. Most towns have a museum that commemorates the victims of the conflict, and the physical signs are still visible in the towns that were on the front line. Dubrovnik, which was besieged by the forces of Serbia Montenegro for several months, is a case in point, even if Slavonia and its martyred town, Vukovar, in the east of the country, is the place where the country felt the war most.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is often ignored by tourists, who prefer (perhaps logically!) the coast and the pleasures of the seaside. But Zagreb merits more than that. Its centre is a small jewel of Austro-Hungarian architecture which really livens up at night. Zagreb is the most progressive, tolerant and youngest town in the country, and it has an exceptional night life: whether you want concerts, night clubs, bars or restaurants you can find them there. Whereas those who prefer culture will love the city's many museums.
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