Croatia

Croatia borders on the Adriatic Sea – a part of the Mediterranean with good quality seawater, clean beaches and rich coastal flora and fauna. The International Blue Flag certificate for exceptional quality of the environment has been awarded to 22 of Croatia’s beaches and marinas. Croatia has become one of the most popular seaside getaway destinations in Europe and can be experienced by multi-day sailing tours along the coast, or by plonking down at one of the various islands dotted along the peninsula.

The coastline is varied, with hundreds of uninhabited or abandoned islands to see and discover. Croatia also has a vast countryside with stunning plains and limestone mountains, you can try a bike tour on the numerous bike routes stretching throughout the country. Horseback riding, rafting, canoeing, kayaking or balloon trips are all adventure tours on offer in the Croatian mainland.

Croatia has a landmass of nearly 57,000 square kilometres and shares a boarder with Slovenia to the North West, Hungary to the North East, Serbia to the East, Bosnia & Herzegovina to the East and Montenegro to the South. The mainland has an incredible stretch of ~1800 kilometres of pristine coastline to the West. As of 2015 Croatia had a population of 4.3 million inhabitants.

In 2013, Croatia welcomed nearly 11 million international tourists, up from 9.1 million visitors in 2010. Places of interest include the 900-year-old capital city Zagreb and the old coastal city of Dubrovnik with the small authentic villages surrounding it. Dubrovnik or the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ as it is also called, was built in the 13th century and has remained virtually unchanged until now although it suffered badly during the seven-month siege in 1991 when the Serbs shelled the city from the surrounding mountain tops. A former independent merchant republic, Dubrovnik has lost nothing of its bustling and jovial flair.

Make sure you check out a couple of the islands spotted along the coast – keep in mind that the larger islands (such as Korcula and Hvar) can become overcrowded with many sailboat arrivals during peak season.