USEFUL INFORMATION

Currency: Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa coins, 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Kuna banknotes.

Foreign currencies: can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, post offices and at most tourist agencies, hotels and camping grounds. Banking hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m.

Credit cards: The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, Sport Card International. Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous.

Electricity: Voltage of city power grid – 220V, frequency 50HZ

Water: Tap water is potable throughout Croatia.

Time zone: GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two in summer.

Travel documentation: Citizens of the EU will need to enter Croatia, a valid identity passport, a visa is not required. Citizens of other countries and stateless please inquire at the appropriate consulate. Tourists may remain in Croatia for up to three months.

Public holidays: 1 January – New Year’s Day; 6 January Epiphany; Easter Sunday and Easter Monday; 1 May – Labour Day; Corpus Christi; 22 June – Anti-Fascist Resistance Day; 25 June – Statehood Day; 5 August – Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day; 15 August – Assumption; 8 October – Independence Day; 1 November – All Saint’s Day; 25 and 26 December – Christmas Holidays.

Important telephone numbers:

International dialing prefix for Croatia: +385

Ambulance 194

Fire-service 193

Police 192

Assistance on the roads 1987

General information 18981

Information about International telephone numbers 11802

(calling from outside of Croatia or using a mobile phone dial +385 )

HISTORY

The territory of present day Croatia was inhabited by Illyrian tribes, Celtic tribes, Greeks, Romans and it was a part of Byzantine Empire.

The Croats arrived to the Balkan Peninsula at the beginning of the 7th century from Poland. The Croats were organized in principalities that were united in the first Croatian state (910 – 1102) by Croatian King Tomislav. Later, Croatia retained its legal status and autonomy within the framework of the Hungarian empire (1102 – 1526) and as a member of the Habsburg crown (1527 -1918). Parts of Croatia were under Venice, Ottoman Empire and France. Croatia was a part of first Yugoslavia (1918-1941) and during the Second World War Croatia was called The Independent State of Croatia. In Tito’s Yugoslavia (1954-1991) Croatia was a republic.  Republic of Croatia was internationally recognized in January 1992 and on 1st of July in 2013 Croatian joined European Union.

Croatia is a point of contact of very different cultures and civilizations:

–       the border between Western and eastern Roman Empire in 395

–       between Francs and Byzantium in 9th century

–       between Western and Eastern Christianity in 11 th century

–       between Islam and Christianity from 15.19th century

NATIONAL PARKS:

1.PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. and it is one of the greatest natural wonders of Europe. There are 16 lakes (Upper and Lower lakes) surrounded by thick and pine forests and connected by foaming cascades and numerous waterfalls. Come and see this miracle of nature, wonder along the boardwalks and bridges and take a boat trip across the lake Kozjak, the biggest stretch of water here.
2.THE BRIJUNI ISLANDS , an archipelago that was one of Maršal Tito’s favorite resorts and was designated a National Park in 1983. The Brijuni archipelago consist of 2 large and twelve small islands that have been inhabited since prehistorical times. The island has a Roman Villa, a Byzantine fortress, a Romanesque tower, a baroque kaštel and the former president’s White Villa.
3.NATIONAL PARK KORNATI – The Kornati Islands are the largest and densest archipelago in the Mediterranean, which consists of 147 islands, islets and reefs comprising an area of 69 km2, spread over 230 km2 of surface waters.Upon entering the national park there are high rocks in the shape of poodles, the character of man, the head of a turtle and a duck. One of the most natural phenomena on Kornati are cliffs that are over and under the sea. Kornati are also known by so called Dry wall – hand-built walls between pastures. The islands abound in many karstic phenomena, such as holes, caves and caverns are the habitat of many birds. Today the Kornati islands are not permanently inhabited.
4.KRKA NATIONAL PARK – Among rivers in the Croatian karst, Krka is certainly the most amazing. It is well known for its waterfalls which are formed by deposition of travertine, a special kind of limestone. The river finally spills over into the spectacular Roški Slap and Skradinski Buk waterfalls. Between them there is a small lake with an Island Visovac with a Franciscan monastery dating from 15th century.
5.MLJET NATIONAL PARK – Western part of the island Mljet has been declared a national Park. Mljet is indeed unspoilt island that is covered by a dense Mediterranean forest. Mljet is also well known for it’s two salted lakes – Veliko and Malo Jezero that are located at the north end of the island. On small island in the middle of Veliko Jezero lake, there is old Benedictine monastery. Beside beach Saplunara (on the south of the island) , Veliko and Malo Jezero are favorite swimming spots for locals and visitors alike.
6.THE PAKLENICA NATIONAL PARK – The magnificent gorges of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica were eroded by two mountain rivers winding their way across the coastal karst slopes of the Velebit mountain. The cliffs of Velika Paklenica are very popular with mountaineers.
7.NATIONAL PARK NORTHERN VELEBIT – Construction of the Premužić’s trail was completed in 1933. and it opened access to the most impenetrable parts of Velebit to local people, numerous scientists and visitors. There are no steep climbs on the trail so that people not used to the mountaineering can easily manage it. It is the biggest and the most beautiful trail in Croatia. In the entire territory of Northern Velebit National Park so far there were found about 800 wild plant species. Discover a fraction of this wealth, about 500 plants, in the Velebit botanical garden.
8.RISNJAK NATIONAL PARK – Main protection phenomenon: forest and hydrogeological natural monument – Kupa spring. The spring of the Kupa river is situated under the north-eastern slopes of Mt. Risnjak. It is one of the strongest, largest and deepest springs in Croatia, one of the many as yet unsolved mysteries of the karst. The educational trail Leska is recommended to all visitors of the Park. On the 4,2 km long path there are 23 marked points with natural or cultural heritage of this area.

CROATIAN REGIONS 

ZAGREB
The capital of Croatia is located at the center of continental Croatia.
The city is divided into two large sectors; the old town (Gornji Grad or Upper Town), which includes the two districts of Gradec and Kaptol, situated in the hills, and the modern area (Donji Grad or Lower Town) on the plain. The large square dedicated to the Croat governor Jelačić (Trg bana Jelačića) is where the upper and lower towns meet. The old town is home to the main centres of religious, political and administrative power. The more moderm part developed after 1830 around a U-shaped series of parks and open spaces (known as the “horseshoe”). The major museums, including the Ethnographic Museum, Mimara Museum, Gallery of Old Masters and Gallery of Modern Art, are all located here, as well as the National Theatre. To the south of a series of gardens with sculptures lies the Botanical Garden. Around Jelačič square there are plenty of cafes.

CENTRAL CROATIA
Three distinct areas make up this part of the country; the lowlands around the capital, with numerous 18th century buildings constructed on the sites of ancient castles; the hilly area renowned for its wine production (Samobor and Karlovac), and the strip of border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, south of Sisak. The landscape of the area is varied, with areas of rolling plains alternating with vine-covered hills. Higher areas are covered in thick woods. In the cities and larger towns there are Baroque churches, monasteries, castles, fortresses and museums. Most suffered damage in the recent war. Some have now been repaired but others are still waiting to be restored.

SLAVONIA AND BARANJA
The region between the rivers Sava, Drava and Danube, is made up of a vast rolling alluvial plain with chains of hills at its edges which are covered in woods and vineyards. At one time the rivers turned the area into an enormous swamp for many months of the year. Baranja is a triangular area of land in the far northeast, bordered at the extreme tip by the rivers Drava and Danube and the Hungarian border. The plains are covered in fields of maize and the hills are given over to viticulture. In the southern corner, the Drava river regularly overflows from spring to autumn to create a broad area of marshland, now the Kopački Rit Nature Park. The park is an important wildlife sanctuary, a refuge for hundreds of different species of bird, including the rare black stork. On the right bank of the drava river is Slavonia’s main city, Osijek. It has wide avenues, parks, and 19th century, Viannese-style buildings, as well as an impressive Neo-Gothic cathedral.

NORTHERN CROATIA
This is an area of good, fertile agricultural land and the lush countryside produces an abundance of maize, tobacco and sunflowers. The hillsides are covered in vineyards as far as the eye can see and yield wines, good whites in particular, which can be bought along the Wine Road, from wineries or in the village shops. Despite these attractions, the region does not see a great deal of international tourism. This is particularly true of Međimurje, the valley crossed by the River Mura, granted to Croatia after World War I. Part of the population here is of Hungarian origin and the people have preserved their Hungarian customs and traditions.

ISTRIA AND KVARNER AREA
Istria is a triangular peninsula, traditionally divided into three areas. Whote Istria is a central plateau of karst or limestone with sparseareas of oak, pine and ash trees; grey Istria consists of a strip of eroded limestone with rich soil, used for wines and olive trees; and red Istria is a plateau furrowed by the rivers Mirna and rasa, farmed for cereals and vegetables. The most popular destinations in Istria are Poreč, Rovinj, Pula and the Brijuni national Park. Ther are also fortified towns: Buzet, Motovun, grožnjan and the smallest town in the world – Hum.
The Kvarner area includes the city of Rijeka and the coastline as far as Jablanac. The islands of Krk, Cres, Lošinj and Rab are delightful places to explore. Risnjak and Plitvice lakes national parks are part of Kvarner area. Many of the towns on the coast have an Italianate appearance, a legacy from centuries of venetian rule.

DALMATIA
To the north is Zadar, with its exceptional monuments, and the islands of the Zadar archipelago, the southern part of which is designated the Kornati National Park. The road travels on to Šibenik, with its perfectly preserved old town center and splendid cathedral, and Trogir, an architectural jewel. The ruins of the Roman town of Salona are just outside the city of Split, which developed within the Palace of Emperor Diocletian. The coastal road turns inland to cross the delta of the Neretva and reaches Ston, a point of access to the peninsula of Pelješac. Finally, on a rocky spur stands the medieval city of Dubrovnik, once known as Ragusa, now a UNESCO World Heritage “Site”.