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Croatia Holidays | Cheap Holidays to Croatia

Croatia

With a long and beautiful coastline flanked by more than a thousand islands, Croatia holidas have become one of Europe's most popular coastal destinations. Croatia has only recently emerged as a tourism hotspot after many years of civil unrest, but tourists are losing no time in taking advantage of the country's many attractions.

Croatia's capital, Zagreb, is a stately European city with beautiful architecture, lively culture and nightlife, and plenty of first-class shops and restaurants to entertain visitors. The inland region of Croatia contrasts with the Dalmatian coast with its lush, forest-covered mountains and centuries-old castles. A paradise for outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, northern Croatia is also a great place to sample traditional Croatian culture, which dates back to Roman times.

The most popular holiday spots in Croatia are along the coast, however. Holiday resorts on the Adriatic rival the Greek islands for idyllic weather, stunning scenery and lively local culture, and cruises along the Croatian coast are rapidly gaining in popularity. Medieval port cities like Dubrovnik and Split offer cultural and historical attractions, while tiny towns on islands like Krk and Hvar are a great place to escape the bustle of big cities and enjoy the sleepy atmosphere of this Mediterranean gem.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

One of Europe's fastest growing tourist destinations, Croatia has much to see and do along its magnificent coastline, boasting 1, 185 islands, islets and reefs and enjoying a welcoming Mediterranean climate.

Although many visitors come primarily for the cruising, boating and beaches, Croatia also boasts cultural attractions and plenty of ancient history. Many of Croatia's cities are built on the sites of ancient Greek and Roman settlements dating from as far back as the 4th century BC. Explore the Roman ruins in Zagreb and Split, stroll through the cobblestone streets of the fairytale medieval villages or just enjoy taking in the great food and history. The Croatian History Museum in Zagreb features an impressive display of Neanderthal remains, while culture vultures will enjoy a trip to the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.

Dubrovnik, and in particular its medieval old city, is one of Croatia's top holiday destinations, boasting exquisite beaches along its rugged coastline and a very picturesque cityscape. Split is a great base for exploring the Dalmation coastline and is a breathtakingly beautiful old town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and promises some exciting sights, such as the city of Trogir and Brac Island just off shore.

Spring and autumn are good seasons to visit as milder weather, less crowds and cheaper prices mean tourists can explore the country more freely; however, summer (June to August) is peak tourist season and the best time to enjoy the beautiful beaches. Travelling by bus is an economical mode of transport, while ferries and catamarans are the only mode of transport to the islands and a way of life on the coast. For a more relaxed but slightly more expensive option, hire a car and drive yourself round this beautiful country.

Business

Business in Croatia is conducted in a formal manner: punctuality is key, dress should be smart and conservative (suits and ties are the norm for men) and polite greetings are made with a handshake. Titles and surnames are usually used unless otherwise indicated and business cards are usually exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. English and German are widely spoken, but any attempt at speaking some Croatian will be appreciated. Women frequently hold high positions in business and are well respected. Building a good working relationship is important in Croatia and it is useful to work with a reliable local partner. Although Croatia appears typically European in its dealings, business can take some time to conclude. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Climate

Croatia's climate differs quite dramatically from the coast to the interior. The coast has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry and sunny summers (June to August) and relatively mild, sometimes wet winters (November to February). Summer temperatures average around 79°F (26°C) but it frequently gets as hot as 90°F (32°C). Winters are significantly colder but they are not severe and along the coast snow is unusual. Winter temperatures seldom drop below 41°F (5°C). Visitors should experience some sunny days in autumn and even a few in winter, but the colder months can be rainy.

In the interior of Croatia the climate is continental and more extreme with colder winters and more common snowfall; temperatures in winter frequently drop below 32°F (0°C). Summers, on the other hand, are similar in temperature to the coastal regions but feel hotter in the interior due to the lack of refreshing cool breezes from the sea.

The peak tourist season in Croatia is in the summer months when the weather is hottest and driest, but the best time to visit is probably September or May when the weather is still warm enough for swimming and fun in the sun but the country is less crowded.

Communications

The international access code for Croatia is +385. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The city code for Zagreb is (0)1 and for Dubrovnik (0)20. Public phones take phone cards, which can be bought in post offices and hotels. GSM operators have active roaming agreements with most international networks, and cover most of the country. Internet cafes are available in the larger towns and cities.

Customs

Passports, or some form of identification, should be carried at all times. In some towns and cities it is prohibited, or considered rude, to walk around town centres shirtless or in swimming costumes - sometimes, such as in Dubrovnik, there is signage indicating that the practice is prohibited by law and offenders will be fined, but even when no such signage exists travellers should pay attention to local conventions.

Duty Free

Non-EU travellers to Croatia can enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 4 litres of wine, 1 litre of spirits, and up to 16 litres of beer; eau de cologne and perfume for personal use; and other goods up to the value of HRK 3, 200 if arriving by air, or HRK 2, 200 if arriving by other means. Regulations apply to firearms and radio instruments. No item of archaeological, historical, ethnographic, artistic, cultural or scientific value may leave the country without a license issued by the appropriate authorities.

Getting Around

Croatia is rapidly building its reputation as a world-class cruising destination, with Dubrovnik in particular a red-hot port now included in almost every eastern Mediterranean cruise itinerary. It's not hard to see why: known as the 'jewel of the Adriatic', historic Dubrovnik is a strikingly attractive city set like a shimmering diamond in the crown of its magnificent 13th-century harbour.

Dubrovnik cruise passengers can access the pedestrianised Old Town right from the port. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a renowned Franciscan Monastery with a working pharmacy dating to 1317, as well as plenty of lively, modern sights and sounds that draw a substantial influx of tourists and cruise passengers throughout the year.

The best of the invariably excellent beaches is probably Banja with its crystal clear waters and white sand. For a bit more seclusion (and the prospect of nudist sunbathing) get a ferry from the port to Lokrum Island. Don't miss Dubrovnik's annual Summer Festival over July and August when live music by international stars brings the peak tourist season to life.

The harbour is the centrepiece of the town but only yachts and small boats can dock there. Cruise ships will either berth at Gruz Harbour, 20 minutes from the Old Town, or anchor in the deep waters offshore affording passengers lingering views of Dubrovnik's romantic facade.

Cruises from Dubrovnik will take in other Croatian highlights such as Split, which is built up around Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace; Zadar, with its numerous historical sites; and Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo. On-course to these attractions passengers will enjoy views of the thousands of pristine islands that make up the Croatian Archipelago.

For those who wish to cruise from Dubrovnik, a good alternative to big cruise liners are the traditional Gulet cruises. These wooden vessels generally carry from 20 to 40 passengers and offer sleep-on packages of up to seven days. The small size of the Gulet allows it to access coves and harbours in the Adriatic that larger vessels are denied.

Health

No vaccinations are required, but it is recommended that all travellers get vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Travellers who plan to spend a significant amount of time travelling off the beaten track should consider getting a typhoid vaccination. There is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis for those travelling in forested areas during the summer months.

The medical facilities and care in Croatia is fairly good, with free emergency medical care available to UK citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), though some medicines are in short supply in public facilities. Non-UK nationals are advised to invest in comprehensive health insurance and those who need particular medications should take the supply needed for the duration of their stay with them, with a doctor's letter on hand to get them through customs.

Safety

Most visits to Croatia are trouble-free, and there is no particular threat of terrorism. Crime levels are low and violent crime is rare; however, petty theft can be a problem in busy tourist areas, so it is worth keeping a careful eye on possessions. Outside the normal tourist routes travellers should be aware that unexploded mines might remain in rural areas, particularly in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina. Tourists are urged to be cautious in former conflict areas, including Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zadar, and in more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and stay on known safe roads and areas. If in any doubt check with authorities before setting out into remote areas.

Tipping

In tourist or upmarket restaurants a tip of 10 percent will be appreciated, but otherwise it is usual to just round up the bill if the service has been good, unless a service charge has already been added. Tour guides expect to be tipped. Most other services receive a small tip by rounding up the bill.

Hotel facilities include restaurant, bar, safe box at the reception (extra charge), fitness room and tennis court. Guest rooms are equipped with air condition, TV and telephone. Address: Masarykov put 9, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Situated in the heart of the National Forest of Plitvicka Jezera, the hotel is wonderfully located for access to the main lakes and forest trails.Bedrooms are small and feature dark wooden furniture and dark orange carpets and bedspreads. Some rooms have..
Bon Repos - 2 Star complex is situated in a quiet bay called The Bay of Shellfish, approximately 2 km from the Old town of Korcula. There are 4 pavilions, named after typical Mediterranean trees: Jasmin (Jasmine), Cedar, Begonija (Begonia) and Cempres..
Bon Repos complex is situated in a quiet bay called The Bay of Shellfish, approximately 2 km from the Old town of Korcula. There are 4 pavilions, named after typical Mediterranean trees: Jasmin (Jasmine), Cedar, Begonija (Begonia) and Cempres (Cypress),..
Facilities and services include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, bar, elevator, safety box at the exchange office (extra charge), TV room, wireless Internet access at the lobby (extra charge), conference room and 24-hour reception. Rooms feature..
Hotel amenities include WiFi in public areas (extra charge), a seawater outdoor swimming pool with deck chairs and parasols for rent, restaurant, lounge bar, 24 h reception, safety box at reception (extra charge), children's playground, free parking and..
Complex amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, children´s pool, restaurant, parking (extra charge) and tennis courts (extra charge). The apartments feature a satellite TV, kitchenette, safe box (extra charge), Internet access (extra charge)..
Complex amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, children´s pool, restaurant, parking (extra charge) and tennis courts (extra charge). The apartments feature a satellite TV, kitchenette, safe box (extra charge), Internet access (extra charge)..
Opatija Hotel is located in the city centre of Opatija, Croatia. It consists of elegant rooms offering guests a modern comfortable and serviceable environment. The indoor pool, the restaurant with local and international cuisine, the bar, the tennis courts..
The Splendid Resort is situated 4 km to the Temple of Augustus, 5 km to the Arch of the Sergii as well to the Twin Gates. Services and facilities include reception, restaurant, bar, outdoor pool with separated children's pool, mini club (04-12 years),..
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