Traveling to Croatia first supposes to know some things aout its location, history and cultural background. Therefore I will begin my “travel review” with telling you that it lies in Central-Southern Europe, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea (which really is just a subdivision of the Mediterranean). Being close to Italy it is a predominantly Catholic country, although its former Yugoslavian neighbors are mostly Eastern Orthodox.
All over the country you can see signs of the former Communist regime, when Croatia was a part of the larger Yugoslavian Republic: old blocks of apartments – megalomaniac Communist style -, small roads, bad city systematization and out-of-this-world shops that seem to have remained there from the ‘50s.
However, it is a beautiful country to visit and quite cheap, also. The Medieval town of Dubrovnik is a wonderful destinations, with its defense walls and beautiful churches, doubled by a very interesting rocky beach. Also, if you like ancient monuments, you can visit the Arena in Pula, a very well preserved Roman amphitheater. Many say that it looks much better than its Italian correspondent, the Colosseum. Near the Arena you can also visit the Temple of Augustus and buy pretty much anything as the streets are crowded with small shops that sell cheap and fake things.
Well, if you are not that much into buying stuff or sightseeing historical monuments, than you can visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park. I did. And I was not disappointed at all. This carstic complex consists of a number of lakes near the Dinaric Alps which are separated by travertine blocks. Everything is surrounded by a luxuriant vegetation and the waterfalls, the greenish-blue lakes, the mountains that guard the complex give the National Park a Paradise-like appearance. Don’t – but I really mean don’t – miss it if you ever go to Croatia.
Concerning sunbathing and swimming, Croatia is a lovely destination. The water is quite salty and pretty warm, the mountains descend abruptly into the sea. However, the beaches are very rocky so make sure you bring – or buy there – some special swimming shoes so as not to hurt your feet. The food is not that diverse, but I was more than satisfied with all the varieties of fish and seafood freshly caught from the neighboring sea and rivers.