INTRODUCTION A country with a thousand jewels to discover. Discover the coastline admired and coveted by all. Listen to the turquoise sea lapping against the rocky coves. Nowhere else will you find such varied natural environment from the islands, bays, coves, beaches, cliffs and national parks. With its unspoilt villages, beaches, Roman and Mediaeval Ruins, Croatia is a traveler’s paradise with something to indulge everyone. Explore the Dalmatian Coast with its UNESCO heritage listed buildings in Dubrovnik or Split, unearth the capital of Zagreb, a gem in its own right or uncover the natural beauty of any of the 900 islands, bays, coves, beaches and cliffs that Croatia has to offer. Indulge in leisure, entertainment anddelight, just like the Roman’s did!
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE The official language spoken is Croatian, though German and Italian are also spoken widely in different parts. English is widely spoken in Tourist areas.
CURRENCY The currency of Croatia is the Kuna (HRK), and most major credit cards are accepted.
VISAS Canadian travelers can travel into Croatia without a visa for a period of up to 90 days, provided they have a passport with at least 6 months validity.
TIME ZONE Croatia is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and also has daylight saving which is adjusted during summer, the same as the rest of Europe.
POPULATION Croatia’s population was estimated to be 4.5 million in 2009.
CLIMATE The climate of Croatia varies depending on location. Along the Adriatic coast, there is mainly a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. Inland, the climate tends to lean towards a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.
ELECTRICITY The electrical current in Croatia is 220V and the plugs have two prongs, therefore an adapter will be essential for any electrical appliances.
FOOD Croatian food is the result of the differing cultures which have influenced the country over the years. Therefore there is no uniformity in the type of cuisine which is available, as each region has its own specialty. Some traditional dishes which are popular include the Burek, a layered pie made with meat or cheese, Piroska, a cheese doughnut from Zagreb, Brodet, mixed fish stewed with rice from the Dalmatian region, and Manistra Od Bibica, a bean and fresh maize soup from inland regions.
GETTING THERE By Air: There are no direct flights from Canada Croatia’s main cities of Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik are linked by air to almost every point in Europe. By Sea: There is some ferry’s from Italy, and from Bari there is usually an overnight service during high seasons. Frequency does vary between seasons.
GETTING AROUND Getting around Croatia can be difficult. Croatia Airlines is the only airline which services domestic routes with regular flights from Zagreb to Brac, Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Zadar. Travel via the train network is increasing as the infrastructure is being improved, but there are some cities which are not yet linked via train. Another form of transportation is the bus system. This is relatively easy to use and is considered quite an excellent service as the bus network is far reaching and reasonably priced. Another option is to use a hire car. Driving is on the right side of the road and most signs are printed in English so navigation should not be too difficult.
ACCOMMODATION There are three main types of accommodation in Croatia, small private hotels, two-three star hotel resorts and five star luxury hotels. Croatia caters for most tastes and budgets with many hotels especially those in Dubrovnik, along the Dalmatian coast catering for every kind of traveler. Pre-booking is very highly recommended, especially during high season as most areas with reputable accommodation fill quickly. There are many types of accommodation from camping to private apartment style, or holiday homes, but these are generally more expensive than most hotels.
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS 2010 1 Jan – New Year’s Day 6 Jan – Epiphany 2-5 Apr – Easter 1 May – Labour Day 3 Jun – Corpus Christi 22 Jun – Anti-Fascist Resistance Day 25 Jun – Croatian National Day 5 Aug – Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day 8 Oct – Independence Day 1 Nov – All Saint’s Day 25 Dec -26 Dec – Christmas 31 Dec – New Years Eve
SHOPPING Shopping in Croatia is mainly for souvenirs and keepsakes. One item which is popular among discerning shoppers is the famous Pag Island Lace hand made by the women of Pag Island. These can be purchase from some souvenir shops in Zagreb and Dubrovnik but it is highly recommended to travel to the island if you have a chance to buy it personally from the women. Other must buy handicrafts include embroidered fabrics, scented sachets of lavenderor other fragrant herbs, stonework’s from Brač Island including ashtrays, vases, candlesticks and other items. Most recently there has also been a boom in the jewellery market where you can find gold and silver jewellery of astounding quality.
TIPPING Tipping in Croatia is fast becoming more like other European countries, however in most situations, it is still not expected. In higher class restaurants and hotels, a tip of 10- 15% is considered polite. For excellent service, we recommend a tip of A$10 for tour guides and $5 for bus drivers per day.
THINGS TO DO Dubrovnik: See the old town (formerly Regosa), a UNESCO World Heritage Listed area, with the surrounding ancient ramparts and fortress walls. Also visit the enticing cafes with traditional Balkan cuisine and the fabulous architecture built right up to the edge of the water. Other sites here include the Rector’s Palace, the Dominican Monastery, the Franciscan Monastery, the Cathedral and Europe’s third oldest pharmacy or even one of the beaches outside the fortifications of Stari Grad. Split: Visit Diocletian’s Palace, Treasury, Peristyle, Jupiter’s Temple and Cathedral and Mestrovic Gallery. Other must do sites include walking through the small picturesque streets towards the Cathedral of St Dominus, which was originally the mausoleum of Diocletian. Other magnificent locations include the beautiful waterfront with delightful cafés. Zagreb: Go to see Medvedgrad, the medieval fortress, Other sites in Zagreb include castles such as Trakoscan, Marusevac and Veliki Tabor. The Gornji Grad, St Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary are also very popular sights to see whilst staying in Zagreb. Islands: Stay at some of the fabulous Croatian islands including Hvar, Korcula, Vis, Krk, Rab and Losinj. On the Island of Rab there is a stark difference in the sides of the island with one side rocky and the other a pine forest. This environment is the setting for one of the most attractive towns in the region, with the stone buildings looking as if they climb out of the cliff side. On the island of Brac is one of the only sandy beaches in Croatia, near the town of Bol, and the Island of Hvar which is renowned for its rugged coastlines, wines and lavender fields. Dive of the island of Vis into the Blue Grotto, or explore one of the many shipwrecks or follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo on the Island of Korcula. Inland Istria: Visit one of the many fascinating and ornate hilltop towns and enjoy some of the local foods and wines. Often referred to as Croatia’s version of Tuscany, this area is likely to be appreciated by anyone who values good food. National Parks: Take a day trip from Split and visit one of the eight National Parks including the most popular being Plitvice. Plitvice is a UNESCO World Heritage protected park featuring 16 crystal blue lakes all connected by 92 cascading waterfalls created out of limestone and chalk deposits. The other popular National Parks include Kornati, which covers five of the archipelago’s 147 islands. Velebit, including the deepest cave in the world, Luka Cave, Paklenica, encompassing two very impressive and formidable canyons and a number of caves and vertical rock formations, Mljet, an island southwest of Dubrovnik encompassing deep bays, antique monuments and a 13th Century monastery. Risnjak is a smaller park with a wealth of animal life, Brijuni Islands, home to the infamous Brijuni safari park, and Krka Falls, near Simenik. These falls are commonly referred to as a must-visit to see the spectacular cascading waterfalls.
For your convenience, we offer daily departures from all major Canadian cities with our preferred scheduled airlines.