Few countries in the world have as many geographical and
natural diversities on such a small land surface. For this
reason, many people consider Croatia one of the most beautiful
countries in the world. One of Croatia's greatest assets is
its well preserved suroundings. Together with the existing
differences between north, south, coastal, and continental
regions, they offer adventure, variety, and rare beauty.
Hospitality tops it off, and makes Croatia a country everybody
The Adriatic Coast and Islands
Croatia's coastline is laced with numerous islands,
indented with beautiful bays, and distinguished by gorgeous
peninsulas. Pleasant temperatures are easy to find, especially
on the island of Hvar, which has 2,718 hours of sunshine
yearly. The swimming season lasts about four or five months
with an average temperature of 24 degrees celcius. The clear,
clean beaches on Croatia's larger islands are perfect for
those who wish to soak up the sun. The islands of Krk, Cres,
Brac, Hvar, Pag, Korcula, Dugi Otok, Mlijet, Rab, Vis and the
Kornati Islands are among the largest. There are also a number
of picturesque bays. The best known include The Bay of Kvarner
and The Bay of Sibenik.
A trip along the coastline is an unforgettable adventure.
Beginning in Istria (Croatia's largest peninsula): Rovinj,
Pula, Brijuni Islands and Motovun are four beautiful stopovers.
The list of places to see is endless and narrowing it down may
be difficult. Further south are Opatija, Crikvenica, Zadar,
Sibenik, Primosten, Trogir, Solin, Split, Makarska, Dubrovnik,
and Cavtat. Each has its own style and character, and will
make your coastal experience a memorable one.
The Croatian Highlands
Nature lovers will feel at home when they visit the forest
region of Gorski Kotar. Leaf and coniferous forests cover 63
percent of this area and the flora is rich and of a large
variety. Cold snowy winter days and crisp summer evenings
characterize this region.
Velebit Mountain, the largest of Croatia's mountain range,
spreads 165 kilometers lengthwise. It has been proclaimed a
universal wildlife refuge by UNESCO. While hiking, you can
observe rich plant and wildlife, and a landscape where
binoculars and cameras can be put to excellent use.
Villages in Croatia
Rustic architecture in a natural setting of low-lying
meadows, grasslands, fields, and century-old oak forests can
be seen in Slavonia, Zagorje, and Podravina. Surroundings are
decorated with chapels and walls of ancient castles. There is
so much more to see and experience, sights difficult to find
anywhere else in Europe and the rest of the world.
Croatia has a total of 300 protected natural locations.
Classification, denotation and preservation of natural beauty
was started a century ago, showing the Croatian people's
desire to preserve their natural surroundings. Only some of
the more significant locations are mentioned here, but all are
Croatia has seven national parks: the Brijuni islands, the
Kornati islands, the island of Mlijet, Krka Waterfalls,
Paklenica Canyon, Plitvice Lakes and Risnjak Mountain. These
parks occupy 76,310 hectares of landscape.
Many national parks, such as the Velebit and Biokovo
mountains, are located away from cities and transport routes.
Others, such as Medvednica (Zagreb), and Kopacki Rit (Osijek),
are situated close to Urban areas.
Protected vegetation forests are full of rare plants and
plant families. Some are located in natural surroundings,
while others are situated in city outskirts. The island of
Lokrum near Dubrovnik, Rauchova lugarnica (Rauch forest) near
Zagreb, and the top of Japetic Mountain near Samobor, are
examples of vegetation forests located near major urban
Croatia has nine botanical sanctuaries and one zoological
reserve. The only marine reserve is located in Istria.
There are a total of twelve bird sanctuaries, and twenty
national parks. Croatia is also home to fifty
characteristically significant landscapes.
You can find ten monuments of natural beauty in Croatia. Of
twenty-six geomorphical wonders, the best known is The Blue
Cave on the island of Bisevo.
Croatia's cities have a total of seventy-three protected
In Trsteno near Dubrovnik, and in Opeka near Varazdin,
there are twenty arboretums.
There are fifty types of protected plant life in all of