Croatia - the state, the total area of 56,5 thousand square meters. km., is located in south-eastern Europe. It has borders with Slovakia and Hungary to the east and south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the south - a small border with Montenegro, in the east with Serbia. On the west by the Adriatic Sea.
The most popular is the largest tourist region - Istria, where the hotel's main focus base of the country. Every year dozens of new hotels being built, and therefore difficult to recommend a specific option. Nevertheless, the most famous and attractive are the chain hotels LAGUNA and SOL. Most hotels have a category 3 *, which are consistent with European standards. In turn, on the Peninsula there are many old and new cities in developing resorts. Among which are Porec, Umag, Rovinj, Pula, Rabac, Duga Uvala, Opatija.
In Porec most popular among Russian tourists hotels Laguna Gran Vista 3 *, Laguna Istra 3 *, Laguna Galijot 3 *, Parentium 3 *. This resort has the largest hotel room base and infrastructure. The most prestigious is rest in Opatija, Rovinj and Umag, where you can select hotels Sol Elite Koralj, Sol Aurora, Sol Umag, Melia Eden, Sol Club Istra (in Rovinj), Millenium, Ambassador (in Opatija). Istria climate is drier and cooler compared to Dubrovnik and Wednesday. Dalmatia. Beaches are mostly concrete platform or stones.
In Istria than anywhere else in Croatia, the influence of Italian culture at the local - Slavic village. Smart goat (coat of arms of Istria) and winged lion (emblem of Venice) is often a friendly neighbor to the gate of the local towns. The beautiful coastline, the high hills, unique monuments of culture - so in a few words can describe the peninsula of Istria. And next to him on the shores of the Gulf of Kvarner - fabulous, "toy" towns in the Venetian style, carpets of flowers, studded with pebbles of cozy coves and rocky shores. To view the most important sights of the edge, you'll need a week.
For beautiful scenery and beaches highlights Central Dalmatia and the adjacent islands (Brac, Hvar). Beaches pebbly and sandy places, are considered the best in the country. Moreover, the pines grow here just a few meters from the sea.
The most famous in Croatia is the region of Dubrovnik, where the Soviet era went to our tourists. At the same time it is the most expensive resort because of the small hotel room base and prevailing financial traditions.
Probably the most ancient architectural monuments on the territory of Croatia - the remains of defensive structures Illyrians, scattered throughout the coast. Best of all, they survived on the Peljesac peninsula and the island of Mljet. After the conquest by the Romans of the Croatian lands began actively building in Istria and Dalmatia. To have survived, in particular: one of the largest in the Roman Colosseum, Arch of Sergius, the temple of August - all in the town of Pula and I dated in. AD, as well as the remains of the monumental Palace of Diocletian (IV century AD.) in the city of Split. Among the buildings of Byzantine architecture can be identified, for example, Evfrazievu basilica (VI cent.) In the town of Porec with its beautiful mosaics, the remains of an early Christian basilica in the ancient capital of Dalmatia Beauty (near Split).
In the Croatian coastal cities preserved many beautiful specimens of medieval architecture. First of all, mention should be made about a hundred starohorvatskih temples, dating back to IX-XI centuries. (Period suschestnovaniya independent Croatian state.) They are built in a strict Roman style with a surprisingly sharp proportions. Such, for example, the small church of St. John in the town Podatsa on Makarska Riviera. But the most famous buildings of Romanesque architecture - the rotunda of St. Donat in Zadar, one of the most massive religious buildings in Europe in the IX. And the church of St. Mary the Great in the town of Rab on the island of the same name.
Characteristic of the Dalmatian architecture can be regarded as the Gothic-Renaissance style. Thus, the Cathedral of St. Lovro with a bell tower in Trogir was begun in the Gothic style in the XIII century. And completed in the Renaissance style in the late XVI century.
A classic example of mixing Gothic and Renaissance architecture of many buildings is Dubrovnik, this "pearl of the Adriatic". And it all started in the middle of the XV century. When one of the city's major buildings, Knezhev yard (Prince's palace), was subjected to a Gothic reconstruction. By the way, Dubrovnik on the number of perfectly preserved to our days of medieval buildings (walls and towers, public buildings, churches , houses and palaces), you can easily compare with Venice or Amsterdam.
Cathedral of St. James - Europe's only church, fully erected from solid stone blocks. Sebenico decorated the apse of the cathedral carved stone heads of the 74-incredibly realistic portraits of his contemporaries. In 2000, UNESCO included the cathedral in the World Heritage List.
Zagreb - the capital of Croatia. Medieval Zagreb was formed to the XVI century. two ancient cities of twins, Kaptola (Kaptol) and Hradec (Gradee). In Kaptole in the XI century. Diploma Hungarian king Ladislav (1094, first written mention of Zagreb) was established by the diocese. Hradec (or Grich) is a village of artisans. According to the "Golden Bull" (1242) Hungarian king Bela IV, he received the status of "free royal city". Both cities - Kaptol and Hradec - were ardent rivals and often with weapons allowed dispute. Officially, judicial independence and Hradec Kaptola was abolished only in 1850, V1776, due to the severe fire in what was then the principal city of Varazdin Croatia, the Government moved to Zagreb, and since it is he is the capital.
Baroque churches and buildings in the classicist style attached Zagreb brilliance Austrian Vienna and Graz. But city life is more oriented to the rhythm of the Mediterranean-like in Rijeka and Split. When the rays of the sun falling on Hradec and Kaptol, girls wear open "tops", and boys - T-shirts, waistcoats, and all are rushing into the air, for the city. If it is still cool, the owners of cafes render tables and chairs on pavements, and the long wait for the visitors they do not have ... Zagreb - a city that lives by the sun, which illuminates it with only the best side.
Buie (Buje). Like many Istrian towns, is located on the top of the hill overlooking the beautiful panorama. In clear weather from the city and see the beach towns Savudrija (Scrvudrija), Umag (Umag) and Novigrad (Novigrad) - Recreation and Sport.
Local historians had been rescued from decay and destruction of the historic building of the town Grožnjan (Groznjan), and the boutiques and galleries located in its center, and beckon to walk and look at their counters.
Porec. Small (17 000 inh.) Old town (47-km tour); Poreč many buildings erected on the foundations of Roman buildings. Former "Decumanus Maximus" (in ancient Rome's main thoroughfare from east to west, which has always led to a forum) today called Dekumanskoy Street (Dekumanska ulica) and ends at the forum - Marafor Square (Trg Marafor). Here you can still see the remains of several columns. Facades of houses in the style of the Venetian Gothic style and decorated with square Dekumanskuyu street. In the evenings it is a favorite walking place of citizens: here eat ice cream and discuss the purchase. Shop-Museum: offers copies of antique ceramics and works of young Croatian artists.
For many, the Croatian city is a surprising combination of past and present, modernity and history. And Rijeka (Fiume, the Italian name), the largest port of Croatia - is no exception. On the one hand, its streets filled with cars and the ferry pier is always lively - in fact it is from here to sail along the coast sent handsome ships "Jadrolinija. But history intrudes into the daily hustle and bustle: a noisy bus terminal peacefully side by side with a beautiful neo-Gothic church of the Capuchins, and literally tens of meters from the pier is a historical home (now pedestrian) street in Rijeka - Korzo (Korzo). There are many outdoor cafes where you can sit down and read a local newspaper, and at the same time to admire the elegance of the city towers (Gradski toranj), which are placed on the front of images of representatives of the Habsburg dynasty: Leopold I and Charles VI.
National Park Plitvice Lakes. To drive from the coast to this national park should be scheduled about 2 hours because the road will pass through a narrow pass Vratnik (Vratnik), 698 m above sea level, and it leads to a serpentine mountain road that now and then up and down scurry cars. National Park (Nacionalni Park «Plitvicka jezera») will certainly remind fans of Indian militants Utah and Arizona.
Roads, sensibly furnished information signs, leading you past roaring waterfalls (all are 92 waterfalls!) Whose water through the mossy rock crevices falls into sixteen different altitude lakes. In gray limestone basins - the calm turquoise water. Lush vegetation grows where the roots of grass, shrubs and trees can catch a miracle. In this green paradise in Europe the last remnant of the forest; here found their refuge hornbeams, spruce and stone oaks, among which are at home, many species of birds - hoopoes, blue kingfishers, owls and cuckoos (just over 120 species of birds).
National park "Paklenica". For Starigrad (Starigrad) inconspicuous pointer will put you within a few kilometers on the road to the national park "Paklenica» ( «Paklenica»), occupies 102 km2 (180-km round). Bobble klokochut at the bottom of two deep gorges - Mala and Velika Paklenica Paklenica - and burst out. Mountain Brook Velinka finding a way between the rocks towards the sea.
Island Murter (Murter). To swing bridge town Tisno (Tisno) converge all streets harbor, the bridge connects Tisno with a large island Murter (area 18 km2). Croats were put on this hilly island of olive and fig trees. In summer there are always a lot of tourists. Campus Betina (Betina), numbering 1000 inhabitants, is located on the north-east of the island and is famous for its cafes and bars in the port area. Sitting at tables and enjoy coffee or a delicious popsicles, tourists enjoy watching the local fishermen, who are busy mending nets day after a night of fishing.
Nearby is the town of Murter. The narrow lanes of the city curves down to Central Square (Trg Rudina) with lots of cafes and bistros, and on the waterfront is a major yachting center. Murter is a place for tourists sailing in the sea excursions to National Park Kornati.
Sibenik. History is located on the shore of a large bay near the mouth of the river Krka Sibenik (over 42 000 inh.) (300-km tour) is typical for Dalmatia. Over the centuries it passed from hand to hand: the Byzantines, Venetians, Bosnians, Austrians, French, Italians - many sought to take possession of Sibenik. Nevertheless, the city, protected from the sea late renaissance castle of St. Nicholas (Tvrdava Sv. Nikole), built on a separate island, grow and develop. Now Sibenik - is a large administrative and tourist center, an important transportation hub.
National park "Krka". The longest (72 km) Dalmatia the Krka river originates from the highest peak of Croatia - Mount Dinara (1831 m), located in the Dinaric massif. On the way to the coast of the Krka flows past the ancient town of Knin, which remained a powerful and majestic starohorvatskaya fortress. Not far from the Knin start of the national park "Krka" (315-ykm tour), established to protect the unique nature of the place where the river enters a narrow canyon.
Area protected area of 142 km2. Here its clear mountain water forms numerous waterfalls and lakes, such as a stretch of river length of 50 km can count eight large waterfalls in height from 8 to 60 m. Between the waterfalls Rosca (Roski slap) height of 26 m and Skradinski beech (Skradinski buk) in height 46 m on a tiny island Visovats (Visouac) is a Franciscan monastery with a rich library. Center of the park is the ancient town Skradin (Skradin), once a large settlement of the ancient Roman province of Illyricum.
The island of Vis (Vis). From Split (p. 43) to Visa, a small island with a population of 4300 people, only 2,5 hours sailing on the ferry. At a small island - ancient history. VIV in. BC here was founded the first Greek colony (Issa) in the territory of the Croatian Adriatic. Hence Greek colonists began to move to the mainland coast. It is Wiese Greeks first planted in the Croatian lands vine - an integral part of the landscape of modern Croatia.
Large settlements of the island - Vis, ferry wharf, and the Komi-Ms, a fishing port. Gourmets consider lobster caught by local fishermen the best in the Croatian Adriatic. They say that the most meaty lobsters caught in the network at night under the full moon. There is also grown palm trees, which are then planted on the embankments of coastal towns and delight the eye of many tourists. In 1976 the island was closed to foreigners, and only in 1989, authorities lifted the ban.
Hvar Island - darling of the sun. Hvar - the longest (68 km) island of the Croatian coastal area - known for its wonderful climate. This is the sunniest place in the Adriatic - 2718 hours of sunshine per year. This is better to arrive in May and June, when the bloom delicate purple lavender and white-red-pink oleanders. In addition, at this time less tourists, and prices are lower.
Island of Brac - miles of beaches. This is the third largest Croatian island with magnificent kilometers of gravel and sandy beaches. There are old airport, which takes on average for the season about 40 000 tourists. Many pine forests, vineyards and olive groves, the locals gather sage, basil and rosemary. In Dalmatia, probably no more or less well-known works (eg, the Palace of Diocletian in Split), wherever used brachsky famous white stone, which is mined in quarries near the island's largest town Puchishche (Pucisce, north-east of the doctor). This stone served, in particular, and for facing the White House in Washington.
Omis (Omis). This small town (6000 inh.) (30-km tour) is on the edge of the gorge, which created thousands of river Cetina (Cetina), down from the Dinaric mountains. The advantageous location of Omis caused its rich history. Once this place was a settlement of the Illyrians, then the largest Roman city. In VII-XI centuries. Omis is becoming an important center of the powerful tribes of the Croatian principality Neretvaniya which dominated almost the entire Adriatic. Even the Venetians paid tribute to the Neretva princes for 150 years and only managed to win by deception Croats. The past century full of wars and battles, now resemble the remains of city walls in the form of a square tower and half-demolished walls, all to be referred to as the fortress of Stari Grad and is on a high mountain slope. Rise there is good 300 meters; Get over it and not regret seeing the opportunity Cetinjski marvelous panorama of the valley and the city itself.
Makarska Riviera. Beautiful sand and pebble beaches on the shores of small coves, which are located in the fishing villages and modern hotels, alternate with jutting out into the sea by low steep cliffs. Pine trees, fig trees, cypresses, oaks and rocky Mackey Biokovo down from the ridges on the coast, which bends just repeat the busiest highway in the middle of the season. Makarska Riviera, sheltered from the cold continental winds, high mountain chain Biokovo, stretches for 60 km from the town of Brela in the north to the town of Hradec in the south.
Brela (Brela). This town (51-km tour) has long been popular among fans of beach holidays, as the local pebble beaches, framed by pine trees, are considered among the best on the Riviera. The ancient borough - Gornja Brela (Gornja Brela) - runs along the old coastal street, which then rises to a spur towards Pisac (Pisak).
Neretva Delta. To the northwest of the port city of Ploce (Ploce) are the most beautiful lake Bachinsky (Bacinska jezera) - a favorite vacation spot of many tourists coming to Croatia - and begins to Ploce Neretva River delta, in these places channels differentiate the earth, that they become similar to the rice fields of Chinese peasants. It is grown, in particular, various citrus and kiwi. The unique natural world of the river delta is protected in several ornithological and ichthyo-bird sanctuaries.
Stone (Ston). This town (600 inh.) Is located on a narrow isthmus connecting the peninsula with the mainland. Its strategic importance to understand the ancient Romans, who built the capacity to mount Starigrad, and dubrovchane, who came here in the XIV century. To protect the local salt-works and the summer residences of the nobility was built on the isthmus powerful defensive complex with long, thick walls and mighty towers (XIV-XVI centuries.). In the city itself because of the relatively frequent earthquakes, unfortunately, there is still some sites, mainly in the Gothic-Renaissance building XV-XVI centuries.: Office of the Dubrovnik Republic, palaces Sorkochevich noble family, the prince and archbishop and the cathedral. Outside the city walls, on the slopes, you can see some beautiful ranneromanskih churches, and high towers on the mountain Pozvizd a magnificent view.
The walls of Ston defending the peninsula from the south, and from the north the same function performed Mali Ston Castle, built in 1336-1358 gg. The town inside the fortress was created under the plan, so its streets intersect at right angles. In the center of the church is preserved in the XIV. And later repeatedly updated, with the bell in 1419 Small Ston embankment was constructed on the model of Dubrovnik. Now in this quiet town of 200 people reside, engaged mainly in growing oysters and mussels. The fact that Malostonsky channel just north of the Neretva flows into full-flowing, namely fresh water makes the meat of the shellfish great taste.
Crooks. The road from Ston leads into the interior of the peninsula. Low mountains alternating with valleys, where there are fruit trees (fig trees, oranges, lemons), and many vineyards. On the road offers a magnificent view of the northern and southern coast of Peljesac with cozy bays and fine sand-pebble beaches. In the small bays are the fishing villages and tourist campsites.
One of these villages - crooks (Zuljana; 200 inh.) (29-km) - situated away from the main road on the south shore. In the town of merit only a two-renaissance-baroque church of XVI-XVII centuries., But next to him - one of the best in the pebbly beaches of Dalmatia.
Orebic (Orebic). This town (1500 inh.) (63rd km) lies at the foot of the highest (961 m) mountain in the peninsula - St. Elias (Sv. Ilija). Even a long time local residents were famous as an excellent sailors, and the very place named in honor of hereditary family sea captains. In the XIX century. Orebic was the second largest (after Rijeka), a port city on the Croatian coast. On the age-old maritime traditions indicate, in particular, exhibits Maritime Museum (Mon-Fri 9.00-12.00 and 18.00-20.00) in the city waterfront. And around to the west of the city Franciscan Monastery (XV century., Gothic - Renaissance, an interesting exposition), close to the protected cypress forest, is the picturesque cemetery once glorious orebichskih sailors. It has a beautiful view of Korcula and Peleshsky channel. Captains of ships sailing past the sirens greet their famous ancestors, and from the monastery church in response to them is heard bells ringing.
Island of Korcula. In the season ferries run between Orebic and Korcula, the hourly, in the off-season - several times a day. Korcula Island occupies an area of 279 km2, inhabited by its 17 000 inhabitants. This is one of the most beautiful and wooded islands of the Adriatic, which has an ancient history. Thus, in caves near the town of Vela Luka found traces of a Neolithic man.
Well preserved remains of Greek and Roman settlements. Local residents have long been engaged in fishing and the production of olive oil, and in the Middle Ages korchulane were known as stonemasons (white stone with a small island Vrnika) and shipbuilders. One of the oldest branches of the local economy - winemaking.
The capital of the island (3200 inh.) Situated on a small peninsula. When you swim to Korcula, it seems that the mighty fortress is hiding large settlement. In fact, Korcula - a tiny town, and, standing on the central square, through narrow gaps between the buildings you can see the medieval ramparts.
When you climb up an embankment on neobarochnoy grand staircase (1908), pass through gates in the tower of Big Revelin (Veliki Revelin), you feel that transported in the Middle Ages.
Vela Luka (Vela Luka). City on the west coast of the island (4400 inh.) (110-km round). This walk ferry to Split. Here you can relax on the beaches of the famous island-park Oshyak (Osjak). Near Vela Luka is a popular resort rehabilitation Cal wasps (Kalos), where with the help of a unique local medicinal sea mud and thermal springs successfully compete with rheumatic diseases.
• February: Carnival in Rijeka, Samobor and other cities.
• June / July: International Children's Festival in Sibenik. Cinema, puppet theater, stage shows, games and contests. Zagreb Festival folk and classical music, dance, theater, jazz and pop music.
• July / August: Numerous holidays fishermen, pirates, sea and islands. Every seaside town is looking for an excuse to take in their own compatriots and foreign guests. Sounds of traditional music, dancing and folklore groups, and in the evening grandiose fireworks. Participants are invited to a rich fish and meat menu and, of course, magnificent Dalmatian wine.
• Summer festival of classical music in the city of Osorio (island Cres) - "Musical evenings in Osor.
• International film festivals in the Coliseum, the Pula.
• Musical evenings in the church of St. Donat in Zadar (classical and church music).
• Festival of music, theater and ballet in Split - Split summer.
• «Dubrovnik Summer Games - one of the world's largest music and theater festivals, during which organizes performances of artists in many Croatian towns.
• Music Festival in Omis (Traditional Choir).
• August: "Sinska Alka" - a traditional colorful tournament sinskih heroes in honor of the victory over the Turks on August 15 1715. Held annually since 1715. Riders compete in three-meter accuracy of hitting a spear in a small metal ring, "alku.
• September / October: Festival of Baroque Music in the churches and palaces, the Varazdin.
• October: The holiday chestnut "Marunada" in Povran. Guests are offered a variety of dishes from the chestnuts.
Official holidays and weekends Croatia:
January 1 - New Year's
March-April - Easter and Easter Monday
May 1 - Labor Day
May - Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord
May - Festival of Remembrance
May 30 - Day of state formation
June 22 - Day of struggle against Fascism, the Croatian National Uprising Day
June 25 - Statehood Day
5 August - Victory Day and the gratitude of the Fatherland
August 15 - Assumption
8 October - Independence Day
November 1 - All Saints Day
25 - 26 December - Christmas
The predominant religion:
Catholic (76,5%), Orthodox (11.1%), Muslim (1.2%), Protestant (1.4%).
Fragrant coffee espresso, delicious cakes and ice cream from any fruit and berries can be tasted in slashcharne-ice-cream.
Yelovnik or Croatian menu.
Thanks to excellent ecological situation in the country of Croatian products are renowned for their quality. Race for the air dried ham - prosciutto and soaked in olive oil and cheese from sheep's milk from the island of Pag-usual snacks. Lobsters, lobster, tuna, squid, mackerel, sea mullet, octopus, oysters, and rizhot-rice with clams and spices - all of favorite seafood specialties. On the coast, traditionally dominated by the fish, in Slavonia you prefer to offer a sharp goulash with potatoes and a variety of dishes from poultry.
All of the coast and in mountainous areas Leakey love lamb prepared in any way with spices and served with various garnishes. In the towns of Istria in the autumn many dishes of venison and mushrooms. In Dalmatia, to meat and fish is often served boiled blitvu, local vegetables, like spinach.
The history of viticulture and winemaking in Croatia has more than six millennia. The modern traveler will see vineyards everywhere. To date, the country's officially registered more than 700 wines, including 76 considered to be elite.
Of the country banned the export of objects of cultural and historical value (only possible with a permit issued by the State Office for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage), skins of wild animals, drugs, weapons and ammunition (requires authorization).
Major car hire companies Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz has offices in Rijeka, Split, Zagreb. All agencies of the cheapest car is considered''Reno-4''. Daily rent cost 20 euros, plus 0,2 euro per kilometer (at least 100 km) or 300-350 euros per week, regardless of mileage. 30% of car insurance are included in the rental price, but if a crash occurs, you will pay the first 1500-5000 euros. Full insurance is an additional 6.8 plus 6.8 euros insurance against theft. In Hertz car will, if you are 18 years old, provided that the rights of at least one year, other companies rent cars to persons over 21 years. Also in all resorts are many private houses for rental cars, motorcycles and mopeds.