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Croatia

Discover the Mediterranean Magic of Croatia

The country at the east coast of the Adria is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Croatia is located south-west of the Pannonian lowland and has 4.5 million habitants. Neighbour countries are Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hungary. The country has a long history and was already settled by the Illyrians in pre-Christian times. Since the 12th century Croatia had different political connections to Hungary. Not till the end of World War I. the country disengaged oneself from the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy and the kingdom Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia developed. Since June 1991 Croatia is an autonomous state.

Croatia’s natural variety influences the climate of the country. In the north there is a continental climate, typical for Central Europe, within the country you mostly find a rough mountain climate and is much colder. Bora-gravity-winds in the Vellbit-mountains create the threshold of the Mediterranean climate which dominates the southern part of the country with warm temperature and lots of sun.

A rich cultural heritage and numerous natural highlights are typical for the holiday destination Croatia. A big advantage of the country is the multiplicity of sights and attractions on a small area. Romans, Greek and Venetians left their marks in the old towns of Zagreb or Dubrovnik. A very special place is the museum town Trogier which is located on an artificial island. The square Johannes Paul II. is bordered by impressive buildings from different epochs. The Diocletian’s Palace is the symbol of the town of Split. This huge complex had been constructed on behalf of the emperor Diocletian in the 4th century. The Sveti Jakov cathedral is one of the biggest and most famous sights in Dalmatia. In Istria in the town of Pula, visitors can discover a Roman amphitheatre from the time of the emperor Augustus.

Croatia has more than 1,000 islands which are all multi-faceted and bordered by beautiful sandy beaches. The island of Cres is the biggest island in the Adria. Rich in contrast is the island Rab with lots of tors and a southern flora. The most beautiful beach area in Croatia is the Golden Horn on the island of Brac. One of the most impressive natural beauties is the Plitvitz Lake National Park with its cascading waterfalls. The Krka National Park is also full of waterfalls and opulent vegetation.

Vacation Rentals and Holiday Homes in Croatia

Regions in Croatia

Istria
The peninsula Istria is located in the north-west of Croatia. Between Kvarn Bay and the Gulf of Trieste there are diversified coast landscapes. Untouched nature is protected by nature reserves and available for the public. Small villages with Venetian charm and a mild climate make Istria an attractive holiday destination. The capital Pazin is towered by a huge castle. In the biggest city of Istria, Pula, 3,000-year-old history comes alive. The west coast of Istria is a popular destination for bathing holiday. In Medulin you find the only sandy beach in the region. Furthermore, Istria is famous for its wine and truffles.

Zagreb and the surrounding area
Zagreb is not only capital of Croatia, but also the biggest settlement in the country. It is located on an altitude of 122 meters in central Croatia, on the foothills of the Medvednica mountains. The town at the river Save is surrounded by beautiful landscape. The mountain area of Zagreb is a great place for hiking. The highest peak is the 1,032-meter-high Sljeme which is accessible by ropeway. Outside the city of Zagreb the Medvedgrad castle and the Veternica caves are worth-seeing attractions. Core of the old town of today’s Zagreb are the former settlements Kapitol and Gradec. Further attractions are the Lotrscak-Tower, the Stony Gate, the church St. Markus and the 100-meter-high skyscraper Eurotower.

Northern- and Southern Croatia
The northern part of Croatia has less Mediterranean character and looks more like central European countries. The most famous place in northern Croatia is the town of Zagreb with its numerous sights. Along the rivers Save and Drau excellent wines are growing. Many wineries open their doors to the public and offer guided tours. In the southern part of Croatia you find the highly frequented beaches of the Makarska Riviera. In the outback the Biokovo mountains raise up to a height of 1,700 meters. Old paths are passing ancient monasteries and long-forgotten villages. Due to its Medieval old town, Dubrovnik carries the expression “Pearl of the Adria”. A very impressive way to explore the south of Croatia is to drive along the quayside Adria Magistrale.

Kvarner Bay
Kvarner Bay is the most popular holiday region in Croatia. The coastal area is located at the upper Adria and is bordered by the peninsula Istria in the north. The southern part is connected to Dalmatia. As the region is surrounded by mountains, it has a very mild climate. A very important place at Kvarner Bay is Rijeka, the third largest town in Croatia. Exciting bathing vacations can be spend in Crikvenica. Another worth-seeing place is the island Krk with the stalactite caves Biserujka which is accessible by boat. Other islands are Rab and Losinj. All the villages along the Kvarner Bay are full of history and culture. This can be experienced during events like carnival or wine-festivals.

Northern- and Southern Dalmatia
Northern Dalmatia is a historic region at the east coast of Croatia. The area is rich in sunshine and has a Mediterranean flair. A touristic center is Zadar, the second largest town in Dalmatia. Worth a visit is also the harbour city Nin. Southern Dalmatia is closely located to Bosnia-Herzegovina and ranges up to the bay of Montenegro. A famous place is Dubrovnik, whose old town is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other interesting places are the ruins of the antique town Narona and the botanical gardens of Trsteno.

Croatian Islands
Croatia has more than 1,000 islands which are mostly opened for tourism. The total coastline of all islands has a length of more than 4,000 kilometers. The most popular and biggest holiday islands can be found at Kvarner Bay. Some of them are Cres, Krk or Rab. The island Pag is located in the middle part of the Adria and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The islands of central Dalmatia are located at the southern Adria. On the island of Brac you find the most beautiful beach in Croatia, the Golden Horn.

Exploring culinary Croatia

Are you planning to spend your next holidays in Croatia and are you wondering what the food will taste like? Delicious, of course! However, it is quite difficult to define the Croatian cuisine exactly because each region has developed its distinct cooking traditions over time and even the preparation and ingredients of the "national" dishes can vary from one place to another. In general, Croatian food can be described as a mix of Mediterranean and eastern European flavours. Especially Croatia's coastal regions offer a rich palette of Mediterranean tastes with plenty of seafood, while spicy meat dishes dominate the inland regions. Enjoy!

The tastes of maritime Croatia
If you love seafood, Dalmatia is the place to be. On the southern Croatian coast, fresh fish is a staple food and therefore you can expect to sample some of the best seafood dishes in the entire Mediterranean. Dalmatian sea food ranges from all sorts of grilled fish to delicious fish stews and excellent shellfish dishes. The local recipes are simple yet extremely tasty and reveal unmistakable French and Italian influences by using copious amounts of olive oil, garlic and other Mediterranean herbs such as basil, oregano, sage, rosemary and thyme. Our absolute favourites are black risotto and brudet/brodet, a mouth-watering fish stew from Zadar prepared from different kinds of fish and shellfish. If you visit Dubrovnik, don't miss the opportunity to try some Ston mussels and oysters, which this city is so famous for. Although the locals' diet is mostly based on seafood, konobas (traditional Croatian restaurants) also serve delicious meat dishes such as pašticada and peka. Being bordered by Dalmatia to the north and central Croatia to the east, Istria offers dishes that are extremely diverse, ranging from Mediterranean to continental dishes. Like in Dalmatia, seafood is very popular in Istria and the local chefs love using the same aromatic herbs mentioned above. The Istrian peninsula is particularly famous for its delicious homemade pasta and truffles. Fuži and pljukanci (types of pasta) are served with different sauces such as venison, ham, asparagus or truffles, which occur here in abundance, thanks to the favourable climate. The culinary highlights of the Kvarner region, which lies between Istria and Dalmatia, include ham from the island of Pag, lamb, sheep's cheese, chestnuts and Rab cake. This heavenly almond cake, which was first created by nuns on the island of Rab, is absolutely worth a sin and so are this region's sweet pies and tarts made with fresh wild berries.

The flavours of continental Croatia
In contrast to the aromatic, seafood-based cuisine of Croatia's coastal regions, spicy meat dishes are what awaits you when spending your Croatia holidays far away from the coast in the eastern part of the country. And be warned, food in Slavonia is hot – hotter than anywhere else in Croatia because the locals love seasoning their dishes with plenty of paprika and garlic. This love for hot and spicy food spilled over from nearby Hungary and so it's hardly a surprise that there is even a typical Croatian meal called "paprikaš ". Paprikaš is a stew and it is usually made with meat (a different variety uses freshwater fish), potatoes, spicy sausages, peppers and, of course, plenty of paprika, which is also a key ingredient in kulen, the famous Slavonian smoked pork sausage. It is paprika that gives this specialty its distinctive red colour and spicy taste. Besides beef and pork, poultry is also frequently consumed in central Croatia. A specialty from Zargoje is turkey with mlinci, which is a kind of thin flatbread. When visiting Zagreb, Croatia's capital city and the northwest of the country, you will certainly notice that some desserts are very similar to some popular Austrian sweets – this is no coincidence. This region once formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and this is how štrudla (strudel), kajzeršmarn (Kaiserschmarrn) and kremšnita (cream slice) found their way into the Croatian cuisine. In contrast, the delicious walnut and poppy seed rolls are of purely Slavic descent.

Croatia also produces a wide range of exquisite wines and excellent liqueurs. These fine drops complement any traditional Croatian meal perfectly and will be the highlight of your Croatian food experience.