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Croatia - Country Profile

Summary

Croatia's 6000km of coastline has hidden bays, isolated fishing villages and Venetain walled towns making the country a must visit. While there are no sandy beaches to be found, the warm, crystal clear waters along the mounatinous coast are stunning. Every bend in the winding coast road leads to new vistas tiny hidden coves and fishing villages alongside rocky beaches and breathtaking sunsets.

The northern peninsular of Istria has a strong Italian influence and is famed for it's seafood cuisine. The Venetian influence extends further down the coast with walled cities throughout Dalmatia culminating in the fortress city of Dubrovnik.

Croatia is also home to two of the greatest national parks in the region, Krka near Sibenik with its stunning travertine waterfalls and the renowned and beautiful Plitvice Lakes further inland.

Highlights

Weather and times to visit

The coastline has a mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. The country fills up during July and August but the waters are warm enough from June until September. Inland has a more continental climate - the Plitvic lakes can freeze over in winter which can be a dramatic sight.

Language

The official language is Croatian which is very similar to Serbia and other Slavic languages. English is widely spoken in tourist areas as well as Italian (in Istria) and German.

Currency and Money matters

Croatia uses the Kuna which is widely available. Small coins and change can be hard to come by in many places. Travellers cheques usually attract a per cheque fee, but ATM are widely found across the country. Credit cards are widely accepted in larger hotels and restaurants.

Business Hours

Banks are open from 7.30am to 7pm weekdays an until midday on Saturday. Most shops in tourist areas open similar hours although may clsoe at lunch time.

Visas

Croatia is set to join the EU in July 2013 and is set to join the Schengen area some time afterwards. Border controls with Slovenia and Hungary are being relaxed at the moment. Visas are not required for most visitors. Croatian police require all foreigners to register themselves on arrival - this is usually handled by your hotel or campsite. The stretch of coast road to Dubrovnik passes through a 5km stretch of Bosnia-Hercegovinia - you passport will be required here, even for transit.

General Campsite Conditions

Croatian campsites range from small, family run parks to the massive 'Autocamps' holding thousands of holidaymakers. Many of these have permenant pitches and are used as second homes for visitors from Zagreb as well as Austrian and Hungarian visitors.

Campsites are generally good, but can have too few washroom facilities. The stretch of Dalmatian coast is home to campsites around almost every corner. The stony ground can become very hard and sandy in the dry summer - heavy duty tent pegs are recommended but these can still be hard to drive into the ground. Shade is at a premium - during the summer life under canvas can become unbearably hot if you don't have some shade.