) is a country in Southern Europe on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, to the east of Italy. It is surrounded by Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the north, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, Serbia in the northeast and Montenegro in the south east.Regions
Dalmatia - a strip of mainland and islands between the Mediterranean and Bosnia and HerzegovinaIstria - a peninsula in the northwest, bordering SloveniaKvarner - seashore and highlands north of DalmatiaSlavonia - northeastern area of forests and fields, bordering Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia and HerzegovinaCentral Croatia - north central highlands, location of ZagrebCities
Zagreb - the nation's capital.Dubrovnik - an historic coastal city.Split- ancient port city with Roman ruins.Pula - biggest town in Istria with the Roman amphitheatre (commonly called Arena)PoreÄRijekaÅ ibenikMakarskaVaraÅ¾din - Croatia's former Baroque capital.Vukovar ZadarOther destinations
PloÄeDugi RatOmiÅ¡aljOmiÅ¡ - coastal jewel built by the PirotsRuskamen - most beautiful beaches on Adriatic.Njivice - Island of KrkBol - island BraÄ
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included the following Croatian sites on its World Heritage List:Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of DiocletianOld City of Dubrovnik Plitvice National Park Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of PoreÄ Historic City of Trogir The Cathedral of St James in Å ibenikIslandsBraÄÄŒiovoCresDrvenikDugi otokHvarKorÄulaKornatiKrkLastovoLopudLoÅ¡injMljetMolatMurterPagPaÅ¡man - Island of PasmanRabÅ ipanÅ oltaUgljanVirVisÅ½irjeUnderstand
Northern Croatia has a temperate continental climate whereas central, semi-mountainous and mountainous regions have a mountainous climate. The entire Adriatic coast has a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Spring and autumn are mild along the coast, while winter is cold and snowy in central and northern regions. The average temperature in the inland in January ranges from 0 to 2Â°C, August 19 to 23Â°C. The average temperature at the seaside is higher: January 6 to 11Â°C, August 21 to 27Â°C.Terrain
Geographically diverse; flat plains along Hungarian border, low mountains and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands. There are 1,185 islands; the largest ones are Krk and Cres. The highest point is Dinara, at 1,830 m.History
Croatian lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became an independent communist state under the strong hand of Marshal Tito. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
Visitors now to Croatia's more popular towns would see little physical evidence of this violence. Croatia's coastal areas are especially stunning, and have the hybrid charm of Eastern European and the Mediterranean.Get in
North American and many other nationals can enter Croatia with a valid passport and without a visa. The citizens of EU member countries and Bosnia and Herzegovina can even enter the country with a valid identity card. The document of identity must be valid at least three months longer than you plan to stay in Croatia.By planeCroatia Airlines, the national carrier and member of Star Alliance, flies to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, DÃ¼sseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Tel Aviv, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Vienna, Zurich and - during the tourist season - Manchester.Adria Airways - Slovenian national carrier flies from Ljubljana to Split and DubrovnikAdriajet - charters from Scandinavia to Dalmatia (unchecked)Aer Lingus Dublin - DubrovnikCSA Czech Airlines - SkyTeam member; flies from Prague to Zagreb all the year, and to Split during summer.Darwin Airline will start flights between Geneva and Dubrovnik (Thursdays and Sundays) as well as Zurich and Dubrovnik (Saturdays) in March 2007.EasyJet has flights to the following destinations in Croatia: * London Gatwick - Split * London Luton - Rijeka* Bristol - RijekaEstonian Air is flying every Wednesday and Saturday from Tallinn to Dubrovnik.GermanWings - cheap connection from Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart and Hamburg, to Zagreb, Split and DubrovnikHLX (Hapag-Lloyd Express) - flies to Rijeka and Dubrovnik from Germany, has good overview of cheaper flightsIntersky flies from Friedrichshafen to ZadarNorwegian connects Oslo with Rijeka, Split and DubrovnikRyanair flies from London Stansted to Pula. Also from Dublin to Pula.Scandjet is a Scandinavian low fare airline that connects Sweden, Norway and Denmark with Croatia. It flies from: * Oslo to Split* Stockholm to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik* Gothenburg to Zagreb, Pula, Zadar and Split* Copenhagen to Pula, Split.SkyEurope - cheap connection from Bratislava, Prague and Budapest to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik in the summer season TAP Portugal is flying from Zagreb to Lisbon three times a week (Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays).Wizz Air flies between Zagreb and London (Luton Airport)Additionally you can use airports in neighbouring countries: in Ljubljana (for EasyJet flights to London Stansted), Graz, Klagenfurt and Trieste (for Ryanair flights to London Stansted) which are all within few hours of reach from Zagreb and Rijeka. Some also use Tivat Airport (in Montenegro) which is within easy reach from Dubrovnik.By train
The rail network connects all major Croatian cities, except Dubrovnik. There are direct lines from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece. There are indirect lines from almost all other European countries.
Tourists coming from or going to neighbouring countries should note the following EuroCity and InterCity railway lines: EC "Mimara": Berlin - Leipzig - Munich - Salzburg - Ljubljana - Zagreb IC "Croatia": Vienna - Maribor - Zagreb IC "Kvarner": Budapest - Zagreb - RijekaBy car
To enter Croatia, a driver's licence, an automobile registration card and vehicle insurance documents (including Green Card) are required. If you need road assistance, you should dial 987. The following speeds are permitted:50 km/h - within built-up areas90 km/h - outside built-up areas110 km/h - on major motor routes130 km/h - on motorways80 km/h - for motor vehicles with a caravan trailer80 km/h - for buses and buses with a light trailer
When driving in the rain, you should adjust speed to conditions on wet roads. Driving with headlights is obligatory during both day and night. Use of mobile phones while driving is not permitted. Maximum permitted amount of alcohol in blood: 0.0 per ml! Use of seat belts is obligatory.Hrvatski Auto Klub
is the Croatian Automobile Club dedicated to promoting greater traffic security. Its site offers minute-by-minute updates, status of national traffic, weather, numerous maps and webcams located all over Croatia. Content is available in Croatian, English, German and Italian.By bus
Very good network of buses once in the country - cheap and regular.
If you are coming from Italy there are two buses daily from Venice leaving at 11am and 1:45pm going to Istria, with a final stop in Pula. There are opperated by two different bus companies, but you can by tickets for both buses at the A.T.V.O bus office at the Venice bus station. The office is in the bus station, but located outside on the ground level across form where all the buses park. Both buses pick up at spot b15. It is roughly a 5 hour bus ride, with spots in Trieste and Rovinj. You can also pick up the bus at the bus station in Mestre, fifteen minutes after the scheduled bus leaves Venice.
Coming in from Trieste, Italy is popular among Europeans, for Trieste is a Ryanair destination. You cros the Italian-Slovenian border first, followed by the Slovenian-Croatian border, but they are very close to one another. Border security is low, officers will board the bus to see passports, but you do not have to exit the bus. Buses go to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.By boat
Ferries are cheap and go regularly between various places by the coast. Although they are not fast they are probably the best way to see the beautiful Croatian islands of the Adriatic Sea. Jadrolinija
is the main Croatian passenger shipping line that maintains the largest number of regular international and domestic ferry and shipping lines. The following international lines are serviced by car ferries:Rijeka - Zadar - Split - Hvar - KorÄula -Dubrovnik - BariSplit - Ancona - Split KorÄula - Hvar - Split - AnconaZadar - Ancona - ZadarZadar - Dugi otok - AnconaDubrovnik - Bari - DubrovnikBlue Line International
also covers the international line:Split - Ancona - SplitGet around
National airline company Croatia Airlines
connects major cities in Croatia to each other and foreign destinations. Due to the comparatively short distances and relatively high hassle of air travel - especially when you travel with luggage - domestic air travel is used mostly for getting to end points - e.g., Zagreb to Dubrovnik (see map) and vice-versa.By train
The rail network connects all major Croatian cities, except Dubrovnik. If you want to visit Dubrovnik, you will have to travel by train to Split, and then go on the bus for Dubrovnik.
Rail is still the cheapest connection beetween inland and coast. As of 2004 you can ride on the new 160kph "tilting trains" that connect Zagreb with Split and other major cities in Croatia such as Rijeka and Osijek. If you make a reservation early enough you can get a substantial discount.
Hrvatske Å¾eljeznice - Croatian Railways site in Croatian, German and English has timetable and prices.
Tickets are not usually sold on-board, except if you happen to get on the train on one of the few stations/stops without ticket sales. However, only local trains stop on such stations. In all other cases, the ticket you will buy from the conductor will cost considerably more than the one bought outside the train.By bus
A very comprehensive coach network connects all parts of the country. Bus service between major cities (intercity lines) is quite frequent, as well as regional services. The most frequent bus terminal in Croatia is Bus Terminal Zagreb (in Croatian "Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb").Autobusni kolodvor Zagreb - Bus Terminal Zagreb, timetable information, content in Croatian, English is under construction.CroatiaBus - bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian and English.Autotrans Rijeka - bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian and English.Autobusni promet Varazdin - bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian, English and German.Contus - bus company - timetable informaton, prices, content in Croatian and English.By boat
The only way to get to the islands of Croatia is by ferry or catamaran. If your plan on using either you should check these web sites because they have a regular ferry and catamaran lines.Split Tours - a local ferry/catamaran company, but also a travel agency.JadrolinjaBy thumb
Hitchhiking is generally good. If you can get to a highway toll stop simply ask people to take you with them as they open their windows to pay the toll. The toll collectors usually won't mind. The tricky part, of course, is to get to the toll stop. If you are in Zagreb and you are, like most people, heading south, take the bus 111 from the Savski most station in Zagreb and ask the bus driver where to get off to get to the toll stop. Next best place to ask people to pick you up are tank stations. Unlike in the US tank stations are safe places in Croatia. And finally, just using the good old thumb will work too if everything else fails.Talk
See Croatian phrasebook
Many Croatians speak English as their second language, but Italian and German are very popular too(largely because of the large annual influx of Italian and German tourists). People in the tourist industry most often speak quite good English, as does the younger generation, especially in the tourist areas of Istria, along the coast down to Dubrovnik, and in the capital, Zagreb. Elder people will rarely speak English, but you shouldn't have any problems if you switch to German or, in some cases, Russian.
Croatian is not an easy language to learn, but the people like when foreign travellers use it for basic things such as greeting and thanking.
The Croatian language is not identical with Serbian, Bosnian or Bosniak, but is similar. They are mutual intelligible but people in Croatia will usually frown upon attempts to pass words and expressions used in surrounding countries off as Croatian.Buy
ATMs (in Croatian bankomat
) are readily available throughout Croatia. They will accept various European bank cards, credit cards (Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, American Express etc.) and Croatian debit cards (Cirrus, Maestro, Visa electron etc.). Read the labels/notices on the machine before using.Tax-free shopping
If you buy goods worth more than 500 kuna you are entitled to a PDV (VAT) tax return when leaving the country. Note that this applies to all goods except petroleum products. At point of purchase ask the sales person for a PDV-P form. Fill it out and have it stamped on the spot. On leaving Croatia the receipt will be verified by the Croatian Customs service. A PDV refund in Kunas can be obtained within six months, either at the same shop where you bought the goods (in that case the tax will be refunded to you immediately), or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together with the account number into which the refund should be paid. In this case the refund is dealt with within 15 days of receipt of the claim. There is another, much easier way to receive the refund. Buy your goods in shops with a "CROATIA TAX-FREE SHOPPING" label. This label is displayed on the shop's entrance, usually next to the labels of credit and debit cards this particular shop accepts. Using an international coupon, refund is possible in all countries-members of the TAX-FREE international chain. In this case the service charge is deducted from the tax refund amount.Eat
Croatian cuisine is quite diverse so it is hard to say which meal would be "typically Croatian". In the eastern continental regions (Slavonija and Baranja) spicy sausages kulen
and kulenova seka
is a must-try. ÄŒobanac
('shepherd's stew') is a mixture of several different kinds of meat with a lot of red spicy paprika. In Hrvatsko Zagorje and Central Croatia pasta filled with cheese called Å¡trukli
is a famous delicacy (it is said that the best Å¡trukli in Croatia are served in the Esplanade Hotel restaurant in Zagreb), as is purica s mlincima
(baked turkey with a special kind of pastry). Sir i vrhnje
(sour cream with cottage cheese) can be bought fresh on the Zagreb main market Dolac. Croats love a bit of oil and you will find plenty of it in piroÅ¡ka
. In mountainous regions of Lika and Gorski kotar meals made of mushrooms, wild berries and wild meat are very popular. One of typical dishes in Lika is police
(oven-baked potatoes covered with bacon) and several kinds of cheese (smoked cheese and Å¡kripavac
Coastal region is well known for truffle delicacies and soup maneÅ¡tra od bobiÄ‡
(Istria), Dalmatian prÅ¡ut
and paÅ¡ki sir
(Pag-island cheese). Dishes made of fresh fish and other products of the sea (calamari, octopus, crabs, scampi) shouldn't be given a miss!
Croatian cuisine has yet to come up with a Croatian fast food representative. The market is dominated by globally ubiquitous hamburgers and pizzas but you will also find "burek" and "Ä‡evapÄiÄ‡i" imported from the medieval Ottoman empire which stretched from Turkey to neighbouring Bosnia. The latter two dishes are widely popular in the entire South and Eastern Europe. Burek is a type of cheese-pastry whereas Ä‡evapÄiÄ‡i
are seasoned minced meat shaped in finger-size portions served in bread and often covered with onions. Although definitely not a fast meal (takes several hours to prepare) also foreign in origin is the so-called sarma
or sauerkraut rolls filled with minced meat and rice.
Desserts: What it lacks in the fast food department Croatia makes up with a myriad of desserts. Probably the most famous is its delicious creamy cake called kremÅ¡nite
but different kinds of gibanica
(similar to strudel and pie) such as orehnjaÄa
(poppy) or buÄnica
(pumpkin and cheese) are also highly recommended. DubrovaÄka torta od skorupa
is delicious but hard to find. Paprenjaci
(pepper cookies) are said to reflect the Croatian tumultuous history because they combine the harshness of the war periods (pepper) with the natural beauties (honey). They can be bought in most souvenir shops though fresh-made are always a better choice. Rapska torta
(The Rab island cake) is made with almonds and locally famous cherry liker Maraschino
. It should be noted that this is hardly an exhaustive list and even a casual glimpse in any Croatian cookbook is likely to be worth the effort.
Chocolate candy "Bajadera"
is available throughout shops in the country and along with "Griotte"
is one of the most famous products of the Croatian chocolate industry.
Unavoidable ingredient in many meals prepared in Croatia is "Vegeta". It is a spice produced by "Podravka".Drink
Alcoholic: Try many different kinds of wines. Also worth trying is rakija
,a trype of brandy which can be made of plum (Å¡ljivovica
), grapes (loza
), figs (smokovaÄa
) and many other types of fruit and aromatic herbs. Pelinkovac
is a bitter herbal liquor popular in Central Croatia, but is said to resemble in flavour to cough-medicine.
Non-alcoholic: Sometimes although very rarely you may find "sok od bazge" (elder-berry juice) in the continental region. Worth trying!
On a more general note, Croatia produces a broad palette of high quality wines (up to 700 wines with protected geographic origin) and brandies, fruit juices, beers and mineral water. On the coast people usually serve "bevanda" with meals. Bevanda is heavy, richly flavored red wine mixed with plain water. Its counter-part in northern parts of Croatia is "gemisht". This term designates dry, flavored wines mixed with mineral water.
Two most popular beers are "KarlovaÄko" and "OÅ¾ujsko", but "Velebitsko pivo" has received a semi-cult status in the recent years. It is served only in some places in Zagreb and Croatia.Sleep
Private accommodation is the right choice for independent traveler or holiday maker. Apartment-style accommodation offers a flexible alternative to hotels while private rooms are great option for shorter stays.
You can find ads for apartments and holiday homes online. These are often more expensive than those you could get directly, but they are generally much nicer and more comfortable than what you will usually get on the spot from the people at the ferry or bus terminal when you arrive. Use local agencies or check the property before you accept the deal. In High Season reservation is highly recommended.Hotels
In Croatia there are 3 major types of Hotel Accommodation:mass tourism usually **/ *** hotel resorts***** luxury hotelssmall private hotelsDo
Sailing is a good way to see the coastal islands and networks of small archipelagos. Most charters leave from Split or the surrounding area on the North or the South circuit, each offering its own pros and cons. A good way is to book a package with a company at home, but many Croatian companies also offer both bareboat and crewed charters:Blue Magic Yachting offering bareboat and crewed yacht charter in Croatia. Sailing boat charters, motor yachts charter, luxury megayachts and gulet charter in Croatia.Croatia24's Yacht Center Croatia Blue Yacht Charter - Unique holiday experience cruising the Adriatic internationally acclaimed Sunseeker yachtsCroatia Yachting - offers bareboat and crewed yacht charter in Croatia. Wide range of sailing charters, motor yacht charter, luxury megayachts and gulets cruising in Croatia.Dalmacija.net - Croatia Yacht Charter - Unique sailing experience. Moorings and Waypoint Partner. Offering bareboat and skippered sailing boats, motor boats in Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Zadar, Pula, Rovinj - Croatia - Adriatic SeaGulet Croatia , one of the leading providers of Gulet charters, cruising and sailing holidays in Croatia.Master Charter - gulet, sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran and luxury yacht charter offering good prices and customer service.Navis Yacht Charter - Croatia registered company offering selection of sailing yachts, catamarans and motor boats and luxury yachts.Sailing Europe - Sailing vacations in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Montenegro. A good contact center and LiveChat service.Sundance Yacht Charter Waypoint Plus Group is leading Adriatic Group specialized for yachting and nautical tourism in Croatia.Windward Islands , one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Croatia. Operating from 8 international offices (USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Monaco).Yacht Charter Croatia - Croatian charter company that offers megayachts, motor yachts, sailing boats, cruising vessels (Gulets) - bareboat or crewed - on a very good website on over 10 languages and details for each and every yacht in the offer. You can also find yachting tips and yachting guide on their page.Activity holidays
A number of organisations run activity holidays in Croatia:Adriatic Adventures offer activities such as hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, exploring the medieval cities of Dubrovnik and Split, the idyllic islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis and KorÄula and the Krka, Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes National Parks.Naturist resorts
Croatia was the first country in Europe to start with the concept of commercial naturist resorts. According to some estimates about 15% of all tourists that visit the country are naturists or nudists (more than one million each year). There are more than 20 official naturist resorts as well as a very large number of the so-called free beaches which are unofficial naturist beaches, sometimes controlled and maintained by local tourist authorities. In fact, you are likely to find nudists on any beach outside of town centres. Naturist beaches in Croatia are marked as "FKK".
Most popular nudist destinations are Pula, Hvar and island Rab.Health tourism
Increasingly Croatia is becoming a popular place for health tourism. A number of dental surgeries have experience in treating short term visitors to Croatia. Stay safe
There are still many landmine fields left throughout the country. If one sticks to well-trodden trails in the west and also urban areas there is no need to worry, but poking around in the brush is strongly discouraged.
During summer make sure you use adequate SPF to protect yourself from sunburn. There are no ozone holes over Croatia but it's fairly easy to burn in the sun. If this happens make sure you get out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and rehydrate your skin. The locals will often advise covering the burnt spot with cold yoghurt bought from the supermarket.
In case of an emergency you can dial 112 - responsible for dispatching all emergency services such as fire departments, police, emergency medical assistance and mountain rescue.Stay healthy
There are no vaccination required to enter Croatia.
If you're going camping or hiking in continental Croatia during summer, you should be aware of ticks and tick-carrying diseases such as encephalitis
. Approximately 3 ticks in 1000 carry the virus.Respect
Remember Croatia used to be at war scene in the 1990s. One should not start debates about the war or politics, unless you are certain that the Croats are interested. But if one asks politely about the history of the country, the Croats will gladly respond. Socially, displays of affection among the younger generation are the same as Western European standards, but the older generation (over 65) still are quite conservative.
(Hrvatska ), officially the Republic of Croatia
), is a country at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Central Europe. Its capital is Zagreb. Croatia shares land borders with Slovenia and Hungary on the north, Serbia on the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the south and east, and Montenegro on the south, as well as a sea border with Italy to the west. It is a candidate for membership in the European Union and NATO. History
The Croats settled in the Balkans in early 7th century and formed two principalities: Dalmatia and Pannonia. The establishment of the TrpimiroviÄ‡ dynasty ca 850 brought strengthening to the Dalmatian Croat Duchy, which together with the Pannonian principality became a Kingdom in 925 under King Tomislav.
In 1102, Croatia entered into a personal union with the Hungarian Kingdom. After the 1526 Battle of Mohacs the "reliquiae reliquiarum" of Croatia became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527.
It was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, from 1918-1929, and Kingdom of Yugoslavia, from 1929-1941.
In 1941-1945 an Axis puppet-state known as the Independent State of Croatia was set up, and after the victory of the Allies, Croatia became a constitutive republic of Yugoslavia.
In 1991 Croatia declared independence, and a long and bloody war was fought (originally between the Croatian government and the Yugoslav People's Army), and then mutating into a conflict between independent Croatia and the rebel Serbs, with the support of Serbia proper. The war ended with a Croatian victory in 1995. Geography
Croatia is located in Southern Europe. Its shape resembles that of a crescent or a horseshoe, which flanks its neighbours Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. To the north lie Slovenia and Hungary; Italy lies across the Adriatic Sea. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.
Its terrain is diverse, including:plains, lakes and rolling hills in the continental north and northeast (Central Croatia and Slavonia, part of the Pannonian plain);densely wooded mountains in Lika and Gorski Kotar, part of the Dinaric Alps;rocky coastlines on the Adriatic Sea (Istria, Northern Seacoast and Dalmatia).
The country is famous for its many national parks.
Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast and a semi-highland and highland climate in the south-central region. Offshore Croatia consists of over one thousand islands varying in size.
National Geographic Adventure Magazine named Croatia as Destination of the Year in 2006. national parks- part 1national parks- part 2 Politics
Since the adoption of the 1990 Constitution, Croatia has been a democratic republic. Between 1990 and 2000 it had a semi-presidential system, and since 2000 it has a parliamentary system.
The President of the Republic (Predsjednik
) is the head of state, directly elected to a five-year term and is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of two terms. In addition to being the commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the procedural duty of appointing the Prime minister with the consent of the Parliament, and has some influence on foreign policy. His official residence is PredsjedniÄki dvori.
The Croatian Parliament (Sabor
) is a unicameral legislative body (a second chamber, the "House of Counties", which was set up by the Constitution of 1990, was abolished in 2001). The number of the Sabor's members can vary from 100 to 160; they are all elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The plenary sessions of the Sabor take place from January 15 to July 15, and from September 15 to December 15.
The Croatian Government (Vlada
) is headed by the Prime minister who has two deputy prime ministers and fourteen ministers in charge of particular sectors of activity. The executive branch is responsible for proposing legislation and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of the republic. Government's official residence is at Banski dvori.
Croatia has a three-tiered judicial system, consisting of the Supreme Court, county courts, and municipal courts. The Constitutional Court rules on matters regarding the Constitution. Counties
Croatia is divided into twenty-one counties (Å¾upanija
) and the capital Zagreb's city district (in italics below): Economy
Croatia economy is service based with service sector accounting for 67% of total GDP.
Industrial sector is dominated by shipbuilding, food processing and chemical industry taking a significant portion of Industrial output.
Croatia's largest companies are Agrokor, Ina, Pliva, Podravka, HEP, Vindija and T-Hrvatski Telekom.
Industrial Sector represents 27% of Croatiaâ€™s total economic output and agriculture represents 6%.
Agricultural sector in Croatia started to thrive in recent years; exports of blue water fish experienced a surge in demand especially from Japan and South Korea. Croatia is a strong producer of organic foods and much of it as of late is being exported to EU as are Croatian wines, olive oils and lavender.
Tourism is a notable source of income during the summer. With over 8.9 million foreign tourists in 2006 generating a revenue of over 7 billion euros, Croatia is ranked as eighteenth most popular tourist destination in the world.
Trade is starting to play a major role in Croatian Economic Output.
In 2006 Croatia exported goods in value of 10.4 U$ billion (FOB) (19.7 billion including service exports.
The estimated Gross Domestic Product per capita in purchasing power parity in 2006 was cca. USD 15500 or 48.9% of the EU average for the same year.
Croatian preliminary GDP data for 2007, puts Croatian GDP at 68,208 billion USD, or just over 15,355 USD per head (Real income) putting Croatia ahead of EU member-states Romania and Bulgaria.
The Croatian economy is post-communist. In the late 1980s, at the beginning of the process of economic transition, its position was favorable, but it was gravely impacted by de-industrialization, war destruction as well as losing the markets of Yugoslavia and the SEV.
Persistent economic problems still remain: unemployment (11.9% in 2006) and slow progress of economic reforms. Of particular concern is the heavily backlogged judiciary system, combined with inefficient public administration, especially issues of land ownership. The unemployment is very high in eastern parts of Croatia (Slavonia and Dalmatia), reaching 20% in some areas, and relatively low in larger cities, Istria, Kvarner, Zagreb-area, being under 7%. Unemployment has been constantly declining by 5% over the last 7 years.
The country has since experienced faster economic growth and has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner.
In February 2005, the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU officially came into force and Croatia is advancing towards full EU membership. The country expects some major economic impulses and high growth rates in the coming years (currently Croatia suffers from high export deficit and considerable debt). Croatia is expecting a major boom in investments, especially greenfield investments. Demographics
The population of Croatia has been stagnating over the last decade. The 1991–1995 war in Croatia had previously displaced large parts of the population and increased emigration. Some Croats who fled the country during the war are returning. The natural growth rate is minute or negative (less than Â± 1%), as the demographic transition has been completed half a century ago. Average life expectancy is approximately 75 years, and the literacy rate is 98.5%.
Croatia is inhabited mostly by Croats (89.9%). There are around twenty minorities, Serbs being the largest one (4.5%) and others having less than 0.5% each. The predominant religion is Catholicism (87.8%), with some Orthodox (4.4%) and Sunni Muslim (1.3%) minorities.
The official and common language, Croatian, is a South Slavic language, using the Latin alphabet. Less than 5% of the population cites other languages as their mother tongues. Culture
Croatian culture is based on a thirteen century-long history during which the country has attained many monuments and cities, which gave birth to a number of historical figures. The country includes six World Heritage sites and eight national parks. Among a list of notable people that came from Croatia are three Nobel prize winners, and numerous inventors. Some of the world's first fountain pens came from Croatia.
Croatia also has a place in the history of clothing as the origin of the necktie (cravat
). The country has a long artistic, literary and musical tradition. Of particular interest is the diverse nature of croatian cuisine.Communications in CroatiaHolidays in CroatiaMilitary of CroatiaProtected areas of CroatiaTourism in CroatiaTransport in CroatiaSport in CroatiaCroatian War of IndependenceList of CroatiansLaw enforcement in CroatiaInternational rankings of Croatia References
AgiÄiÄ‡ et al., Povijest i zemljopis Hrvatske, priruÄnik za hrvatske manjinske Å¡kole (History and Geography of Croatia, a handbook for Croatian minority schools), Biblioteka Geographica Croatica, 292 pages, Zagreb:2000 (ISBN 953-6235-40-4) Further Reading
Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics Cornell University Press, 1984.Mirjana Kasapovic (ur.), Hrvatska politika 1990.-2000. Zagreb: Hrvatska politologija 2001. Pavol Demes and Joerg Forbrig (eds.). Reclaiming Democracy: Civil Society and Electoral Change in Central and Eastern Europe. German Marshall Fund, 2007. ISBN 978-80-969639-0-4 External links
The Croatian government's official website @ vlada.hrBasic facts, website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign AffairsCroatian National Tourist Board @ croatia.hrGeneral information about Croatia @ www.hrCroatia - Overview of History, Culture, and ScienceTourist attractions in CroatiaCroatia DirectoryUnited Nations Development Programme: CroatiaCroatian World Network (Croatia.org)State Institute for Nature Protection - Croatia