Zagreb is a vivacious new European metropolis that has well preserved its Central European charm, the capital city of Croatia and the country's political, economic, intellectual and cultural centre.
Istria is the most developed Croatian tourist region, closest and most easily accessible from Western Europe, whose landscape can be compared to that of Tuscany or Provence. The first know inhabitants of Istria were the Histri, from whom Istria received its name. Numerous peoples and cultures, from Romantimes to today, have left evidence of their cultures in the architecture, wall painting and in the rich church architecture. Vineyards and picturesque little towns are scattered all over the interior of the peninsula.
Porec - is probably the most visited resort in Istria, known for its hotel settlements, the Blue and the Green Lagoons, and the islet of St. Nicolas in the vicinity. A Roman colony since the 2nd century BC, Porec is a town with a preserved Roman urban pattern and numerous unique Ancient Roman, early and late medieval buildings, the most outstanding being Euphrasius' Basilica built in the 6th century on the site of an earlier basilica from the 4th century and of the even earlier Mauro's oratorium, of which floor mosaics have been preserved. Rovinj - is also a famous resort, with many historical sacral buildings and Renaissance and Baroque palaces. The old nucleus is situated on a peninsula, previously an island connected to the shore in 1763. The Brijuni Archipelago consists of two large and twelve smaller islands off the west coast of Istria. The archipelago is one of the seven National Parks of Croatia, abounding in rare plant and animal species, including a zoo park with animals from other climate zones. Some extraordinary examples of Roman and Byzantine heritage can be found on the islands. Pula is an ancient city on the southern tip of Istria, known for its 2,000 year old amphitheatre, one of the world's best preserved buildings of the kind, and other cultural monuments. Pula, the largest city and port in Istria, a communication economic and administrative center, is an attractive place to spend a holiday for many tourists, with some 2,350 hours of sunshine a year.
Kvarner adjoining Istria, has several popular resorts, from the celebrated tourist centre Opatija to Kraljevica and Crikvenica. The area is frequented by tourists in winter as well, due to its mild climate and easy accessibility. The carnival season, from January until March, is particularly interesting. Tourists who want to experience nature, certainly must visit the islands, with their well preserved flora and fauna. Opatija is one of the most popular resorts on the Adriatic. It used to be a favourite winter resort of the Central European elite and aristocracy, known for its well-tended parks, small botanical gardens, numerous cosy restaurants and elegant turn of the century as well as modern hotels.
2350 Sunny hours
Further down south, Dalmatia, is the apogee of the Mediterranean, bursting with colours, fragrances and shapes, unforgettable in the intensity of the experience of nature. It is a region of long beaches, pine woods and the ancient towns of Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Trogir, Omis and Dubrovnik, that testify to the rich cultural and historical heritage of Croatia. The islands of Hvar, Brac, Solta, Korcula, Vis, Mljet and others, although equally enchanting, are all unique in their character. Dalmatia is also known for its good wines and friendly people. Split is the second largest city in Croatia, and the regional capital of Dalmatia, built inside and around the historical Diocletian's Palace from the third century, included in the UNESCO world heritage list. The people of Split, who are particularly attached to their city and the hill called Marjan overlooking it, will proudly boast that there is no other place in the world like Split.
Dubrovnik, a medieval aristocratic republic from the 12th-19th centuries and the best preserved walled city in the Mediterranean, is one of Croatia's main tourist attractions and one of only three European cities ranked as a World Heritage Site of zero category by UNESCO, which the English poet Lord Byron named the "pearl of the Adriatic". The enchanting landscape, including the nearby islands, the beeches, the numberless historical sites, the colours, the shapes, the scents, the warmth of the climate and people... will all provide for an unforgettable experience.
There are manny beautiful islands in Croatia, like Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, Hvar, Brac, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean - Zlatni rat - which is also a windsurfing paradise. The island of Mljet which is situated between the island of Korcula and Dubrovnik. The most visited island is Krk, but in the Kvarner there are also Cres, Losinj, Rab, Pag - to mention only most famous.
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