Croatia

Croatia is a country that’s big on natural beauty. Its interior is a patchwork of vineyards, forests, olive groves and lakes, while along the coastline you’ll find white-pebble beaches, beautifully clear waters and a generous sprinkling of pine-clad islands. It’s not short on sights, either, with a history that stretches back over 14 centuries. Walled medieval cities are filled with grand architecture, and smaller towns feature cobbled streets and Venetian-style houses topped with terracotta tiles. Culture and tradition still play a big part in local life, with plenty of festivals and events going on throughout the year.

Down in the south of the country is the Dubrovnik Riviera. The city of Dubrovnik takes centre stage here, with a walled Old Town and a harbour area lined with seafood restaurants. Head further along the coastline and you’ll find quiet seaside towns and half-empty beaches. Up in the north, you’ll find the Istrian Riviera. There’s much more of an Italian feel up here – towns like Rovinj are filled with Venetian bell towers and houses, and the cuisine features plenty of pizza and pasta dishes. In between the two is the Split Riviera. For a dose of history, head for the UNESCO-listed Roman palace in Split; for beaches, hire a bike or wander along the coastal path to discover picture-perfect pebbled coves.

Population 4,284,889
Capital  Zagreb
Language  Croatian
Time Difference  GMT+1 | ET+6
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Destinations in Croatia

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Athenian Riviera

The Athenian Riviera does exactly what it says on the tin, doling out beachside hotels and marinas as it wriggles from south-east Athens to the rugged cape of Sounion.

Corfu

North-easterly Corfu is practically within throwing distance of Italy’s heel – and it’s got a Venetian capital city, terracotta-topped villas and swathes of green Adriatic countryside to prove it.

Crete

Crete is the biggest Greek Island, stretching out through the Aegean Sea. It’s been popular for millennia, so you can tour everything from Bronze Age settlements to big beach resorts.