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Croatia - Dalmation Coast Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Enchanting Villages, Exquisite Beauty and Crystal Waters

Our Expert Opinion

Croatia is one of the most appealing yachting destinations in the Mediterranean with crystal clean waters, ports and islands simmering with history and charm, world heritage sites, magnificent natural beauty and the most welcoming of people. Its offshore island are close together, making sailing distances short in typically calm seas.

What is Destination Known For?

Charming Wineries, Archaeological History, UNESCO Heritage Sights, Shimmering Natural Beauty, Island Hopping, Proud and Welcoming People, Watersports., Outdoor Adventure, and the Freshest of Seafood and Produce

Location and Size

The Republic of Croatia is located in southeastern Europe between Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea to the south. The country also shares boundaries with Italy, Hungary and Yugoslavia. With an area of about 21,851 square miles, the country is slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia. Croatia's territory includes 1,185 nearby islands in the Adriatic Sea, of which only 66 are inhabited.

History

Croatia, earlier the Roman province of Pannonia, was founded in the 7th century by the people of Croatia. In the centuries following AD 1000, the Croats came under the authority of the Turks, the Hungarians and the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg dynasty.

Before 1914, the indignation with Hapsburg rule kept soaring for three decades. The appeal of an independent state joining the South Slavic nations (into Yugoslavia) grew stronger during World War I (1914-18).

Croatia, on October 29, 1918, officially announced its independence and joined the union of Slovenia, Montenegro and Serbia to form the Kingdom of Slovenes, Serbs and Croats. The newly formed nation was named as Yugoslavia in 1929.

Yugoslavia was a monarchy from 1918 to 1944 and a communist nation from 1945 to 1991. The Serbs had the greatest amount of political power, leaving the Croats and other associations marginalized. In 1991, when a poll on independence was organized, the vast majority of Croats (97%) elected for independence from Yugoslavia which led to a four year war with a decisive Croatian victory in 1995. Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the EU in 2013.

Today, Croatia enjoys a very low crime rate and a notoriety as a safe destination. Tourism accounts for over 70% of the GDP.

Getting There

By Air: Split (SPU) and Dubrovnik (DUB) are Croatia’s biggest gateways on the coast. The easiest way to get to Croatia is by air, and during the summer season most parts of the country are accessible by flights from the UK and Ireland. There are currently no direct

flights from North America to Croatia, though most major airlines offer one- or two-stop flights via the bigger European cities, often in conjunction with Croatia Airlines, the national carrier. 

By Sea: It’s also possible to arrive in Croatia by ferry or catamaran from Italy. There is a year-round regular overnight ferry service from Ancona in Italy to Split in Dalmatia and the travel time is about 10 hours. Other less frequent lines include Bari in Italy to Dubrovnik, and Venice in Italy to several coastal towns in Istria.

Best Time to Go

Summer, especially July and August, constitute the peak season on Croatia’s coast and islands. The “shoulder-season” months of May-June and September-October are great times to visit. During these months, you can expect pleasant sunny days perfect for swimming in the sea and sunbathing, with all the traveler services easily available but without any crowds. It’s also the ideal time to enjoy great outdoor activities like mountain-biking, rafting, hiking and sea-kayaking.

Local Customs to Observe

Dobardan (good day) is the way Croatians generally greet each other. Handshakes are appropriate for first meetings and between business associates. Address people with their honorific titles plus surname. If you are unsure of titles then use "Gospodin" for Mr., "Gospodja" for Mrs. and "Gospodice" for Miss). Only close friends and family members tend to use first names. In cities, both men and women usually dress in business casual. On the coast and countryside, the “dress code” is more relaxed. If you visit museums or churches anywhere, plan to wear tops with sleeves and pants that go to at least the knee.

Helpful Fast Facts

Helpful Fast Facts

Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK) although euros are readily accepted in many places.

Time Zone: Central European Time (UTC+01:00)

Local language: Croatian is used primarily by the inhabitants of Croatia. German and English are the most common second languages. Most locals along the coast are quite fluent in English.

Population: 4,254,642 people (As of 1 Jan, 2016)

Airports: Dubrovnik (DUB) and Split (SPU)

Entry Requirements: A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years is required by all except EU nationals. EU nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU nationality and identity. Australian, British, Canadian, USA & other EU nationals don’t need a visa for tourist and business trips of up to 90 days in any 6 months period.

Departure tax: None

Legal Drinking Age: 18 years old

Smoking Regulations: In May 2009, Croatia passed a law banning smoking in all public buildings. However, that was modified four months later to give small bars and cafes the option

of allowing or not allowing on-premises smoking. The ban still applies to restaurants and larger bars and cafes.

Staying in touch : Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies.

Medical Information: If you find yourself in a serious or life-threatening emergency, or you need an ambulance, dial 112. Calls are free of charge from any phone, including mobile phones. Ambulance services are free in Croatia.

Public Holidays: New Year’s Day; Epiphany; Easter; Easter Monday; International Workers’ Day (May 1); Corpus Christi (May 26); Anti-Fascist Struggle Day (June 22); Statehood Day (June 25); Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders (August 5); Assumption of Mary (Aug 15); Independence Day (Oct 8); All Saints’ Day (Nov 1); Christmas (Dec 25) and St. Stephen’s Day (Dec 26).

Tourist Office: http://croatia.hr/en-GB

Shopping Information: You’ll find lots of small shops on al of the major islands. Local things to bring home include olive oils, Croatian wines, lavender products on Hvar, white stone souvenirs on Brac, Pag lace, rajika made from walnuts and figs, Bajadera chocolate, Istrian honey and ties. Yes, Croatia is the motherland of ties, and you will find some unique ones.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

  • Try Pag Cheese with some Croatian wine
  • Enjoy the stand up paddle board in Quiet Bay
  • Rent bikes on the idyllic and unspoilt island of Mljet
  • Listen to The Sea Organ that produces a haunting and unpredictable symphony
  • Kick Up Your Heels at the celebrity Carpe Diem Bar on an island off Hvar
  • Snorkel the Blue Cave on Bisevo
  • Enjoy a Moonlight Dinner on the Walls of Dubrovnik
  • Savor a wine tasting multi-course lunch at the Senjkovic Winery
  • Love Wine and Oysters? Head to The Pelješac Peninsula
  • Spend a night in a secluded cove in the Pakleni Islands

Major Local and Regional Events

  • INmusic Festival - June
  • Ultra Music Festival - July
  • International Folklore Festival - July
  • Soundwave Croatia Festival - August
  • Outlook Festival - September

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