Croatia is a very varied country full of tourist attractions. This variety is the reflection of the history that has characterized the different areas of the country. In Istria and Dalmatia, along the coast overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the Italian and Venetian influence is still alive. The imprint of many historic centers is clearly of a Venetian mold. Venice ruled these lands from the Middle Ages until the end of the Venetian Republic by Napoleon.
In Istria there is a minority of Italian, and the Italian language is spoken by a large part of the population and relations with Italy are always alive. While in Dalmatia the Italian minority has almost disappeared.
A COAST DOTTED OF ISLANDS
The main tourist area of Croatia is its coast, that is, the area which includes the regions of Istria and Dalmatia. Here the tourist attractions of coastal Croatia are the beauty of the sea, the hundreds of islands and the artistic treasures of the historical centers of the coastal towns attract tourists from all over Europe.
REMAINS OF ROMAN AGE
Along the Dalmatian coast there are important historical evidences from the Roman era such as the Diocletian’s palace in Split, the nearby ruins of Salona (Solin), the legionary settlement of Burnum near Tenin (Knin). In Istria the Roman amphitheater and the other Roman buildings of Pula, the excavations of Nesactium, the Roman remains of Porec (Parenzo) are worth visiting. In the interior of Croatia there are remains of Roman baths in Aquae Iasae, not far from the city of Varaždin, and the excavations of Andautonia near Zagreb.
MEDIEVAL HISTORICAL CENTERS
The Middle Ages are represented in the numerous castles and fortresses scattered throughout the country. In the many Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic religious buildings. In Venetian-style cities along the coast of Istria and Dalmatia. Among the most beautiful places to visit are the wonderful city of Ragusa of Dalmatia (Dubrovnik), a real jewel of the Dalmatian coast. But the cities, which are all located in Dalmatia, of Trogir (Traù), Sibenik, Split and Zadar (Zara) also have remarkable historical centers. While are located in Istria the splendid towns of Pula (Pola), Rovinj (Rovigno) and Porec (Parenzo), the latter with the wonderful Euphrasian Basilica a masterpiece of Byzantine art.
In the interior of the country the Austrian influence is clearly visible mainly in the historical center of the capital Zagreb, and in the city of Varaždin, a jewel of the Austrian matrix.
A WONDERFUL NATURE
Nature is another very varied and particular aspect of Croatia. The islands of the coast are an example of great scenic beauty. Some are protected in the three island national parks of Brijuni, Mljet and the Kornati islands. The most famous national park in Croatia is that of Plitvice Lakes, located in the mountainous interior of Dalmatia. This park is characterized, in an idyllic setting, by a series of ponds and waterfalls. Also in Dalmatia there are four other national parks that protect mountain and natural environments typical of the Karst landscape. These are the mountainous and wild areas of Risnjak and Sjeverni Velebit, the Paklenica gorges and the Krka waterfalls.
Croatia has several sites declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, of these only 2 are natural in nature i.e. the Plitvice Lakes and the beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe. While other sites are cultural and historical: the Diocletian’s Palace and the historical complex of Split, the Cathedral of St. James in Sibenik, the Euphrasian Cathedral of Porec (Parenzo), the historic center of Ragusa of Dalmatia (Dubrovnik), the historical center of Trogir, the Venetian defense works between the 16th and 17th centuries, the medieval cemeteries of tombs (Stećci) and the agricultural landscape of the Stari Grad area on the island of Lesina (Hvar).
The climate of Croatia.