What makes Croatia special?

How long do you have?

Of course, we are (very!) biased but to be honest, a list of things that make Croatia special would be unbelievably long. Here is a list of the top 11 things (Croatia is even too amazing for a mere top ten list!) that make Croatia one of the best countries to visit in Europe, and of course, the world:

1. Climate:

Croatia has a pleasant climate with over 2700 sunny hours a year – mostly in southern Croatia and the islands. Summer temperatures between June and August are usually around 30° C, which brings sea temperatures to a wonderful 20-24° C. Winter temperatures are a bit lower, between 5 and 10° C, even below 0° C in certain parts of Croatia. Check here to see when the best time to do a Croatia Sail is!

2. Stunning Natural Landscapes:

Croatia boasts a diverse and picturesque natural environment. From the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea and beautiful beaches to breathtaking National Parks such as Plitvice Lakes and Krka Waterfalls, the country offers an incredible range of stunning landscapes for such a small territory.

3. Historical and Cultural Heritage:

Croatia has a rich history and cultural heritage. Its cities, such as Dubrovnik and Split, feature well-preserved historical architecture, including medieval walls, fortresses, and ruins. The old town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you can see examples of Venetian, Roman, Greek, Austro-Hungarian and even Ottoman architecture across the length and breadth of Croatia.

4. Island Paradise:

Did you know that Croatia has over 1000 islands along its coastline? Obviously, with so many to explore, Croatia is heaven for island lovers. Each island has its own unique charm, from the lush Brijuni islands off the coast of Istria and lively islands of Central Dalmatia, to the stunning Kornati archipelago and mysterious islands with strange, sometimes disturbing histories such as Lokrum and Goli Otok, there is an island for you!

5. Filming locations

It’s not secret that many scenes from the Game of Thrones TV series were filmed in Croatia. See this article here dedicated to that theme: We even have a dedicated walking tour for fans of the show: Game of Thrones Walking Tour.

However, it is not more widely known that Croatia has been the back drop for several other big-name shows and movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi (partly filmed in Dubrovnik), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (filmed on the Croatian island of Vis, not in Greece!), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (mostly filmed in Croatia), and the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (filmed all over the Croatian coast).

6. Culinary Delights:

  • Croatian cuisine reflects the country’s diverse influences, blending Mediterranean, Italian, Hungarian, Germanic, Turkish, and Balkan flavours. Seafood, olive oil, wine, and local specialities like pasticada and peka contribute to Croatia’s unique culinary identity. Find more about the food served on board your Go Croatia Sail boat here.

7. Warm Hospitality:

We have to talk about the people from Croatia! Although they can at first seem like stereotypical Eastern Europeans, with a cold demeanour and lack of facial expressions, Croatians are actually very warm, welcoming souls under the façade and have a wicked sense of humour. In addition, visitors are often pleasantly surprised by how widely and well English is spoken across the country. In fact, Croatia is ranked 11th out of 113 non-English speaking countries for English proficiency.

You can also prepare yourself to impress locals by learning some Croatian basics here!

8. European Union:

Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, contributing to its integration into the broader European community. This has influenced economic development and increased opportunities for international collaboration. The Euro is the official Croatian currency since 2023.

9. Music Festivals and Nightlife:

Croatia welcomes some of the best world music festivals including Ultra Music Festival in Split and Hideout on Zrce beach – find out more here. Besides festivals, the nightlife offers some of the well-known clubs such as Revelin in Dubrovnik, Carpe Diem in Hvar and Deep in Makarska.

10. Outdoor Activities:

The diverse geography of Croatia provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, climbing, sailing, diving, and kayaking. So if you want a relaxing holiday, a sporty vacation, a trip filled with adventure or a festival-hopping party zone, Croatia is the place for you!

11. Sport:

Every fan of football has probably already heard about the Croatian national football team and Luka Modric. The remarkable achievements of this small nation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia (securing second place) and the 2022 edition in Qatar (attaining third place) astonished the global audience. Players were welcomed by half a million Croats after the 2018 World Cup as national heroes, with zero incidents.

Apart from this, Croatia punches way above its weight in tennis (boasting several players in top 50, multiple Grand Slam champions and winners of the Davis Cup), water polo (Olympic, World and European Champions), handball (Olympic Champions), basketball (Olympic silver) and even skiing (Janica and Ivica Kostelic won multiple Olympic medals), despite having no proper ski resorts!

For a country with a population of just under 4 million, their sporting exploits are nothing short of extraordinary.

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