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About Croatia
Croatia, the land of a thousand islands, is a small country in Southeastern Europe with a population of about 4.2 million people. Apart from the capital Zagreb, the other well-known towns in Croatia are Dubrovnik, Osijek, Varaždin, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, Šibenik, Opatija, Pula, Rovinj, Motovun, Poreč, and Makarska. Although Croatia's coastline is without a doubt its main attraction, Croatia is actually divided into five main regions, of which each is absolutely worth visiting and exploring on its own: Slavonia, Central Croatia, Istria, Kvarner, and Dalmatia.

The Adriatic Sea, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea, has over 1200 islands. It washes the coasts of six countries (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Albania), but almost all of the islands belong to Croatia. There are 1185 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs that are located along the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, making Croatia an exquisite Mediterranean tourist destination and definitely one of Europe's most popular summer destinations. Some of the most beautiful and most popular Croatian islands are Korčula, Vis, Hvar, Brač, Pag, Mljet, Krk, Rab, Cres, Lošinj, Dugi Otok, Lastovo and the Kornati islands, which are actually a Mediterranean archipelago comprised of around 140 uninhabited islands and islets, most of which belong to the Kornati National Park.

Croatia is roughly divided into two main climate regions. In the inland area, the climate is continental with hot, dry summers and cold, rainy and snowy winters. Along the Adriatic coast and on the islands, the climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and mild, often sunny winters.

As a testament to its rich history, as well as its cultural and natural heritage, Croatia has now 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are either historic buildings of outstanding cultural interest or true natural wonders. The most popular cultural attractions are the historical complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, the old cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir, the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, the St. James Cathedral in Šibenik, and the Stari Grad Plain on the island of Hvar.

Aside from World Heritage Sites of historical and cultural importance, Croatia also has two that are significant natural attractions, namely the Plitvice Lakes National Park and three primeval beech forests, two of them in the Paklenica National Park and one in the Northern Velebit National Park. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, with 16 beautiful turquoise lakes, various caves, majestic mountains, several breathtaking waterfalls and a diversity of birds and wild animals.

Croatia has eight national parks (Plitvice Lakes, Brijuni, Kornati Islands, Krka, Mljet, Paklenica, Risnjak and Northern Velebit) and eleven nature parks, including the mountains of Velebit, Biokovo, Medvednica, Papuk, and Učka with the best trekking and hiking trails in Croatia.

Throughout centuries this small country has been successful in many areas such as science, sports, literature, etc. Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientists and inventors of all time, was born in the village of Smiljan in today's Croatia, where you can visit his birth house and memorial center, Nikola Tesla Museum. Slavoljub Penkala who invented the mechanical pencil and the solid-ink fountain pen, Faust Vrančić who invented the parachute and Ivan Lupis Vukić who constructed the first torpedo are only a few of many famous Croats. Croatia is also the fatherland of a necktie. And you have probably all heard of famous brother and sister Ivica and Janica Kostelić who have won several gold medals in skiing, Goran Ivanišević, Croatian tennis legend who won Wimbledon in 2001 after entering into the main draw with a wild card, as well as Dražen Petrović and Toni Kukoč, famous Croatian basketball players, to name just a few of many famous Croatian sportsmen.

When visiting Croatia you must try its traditional food and explore Croatian cuisine which will surely delight your palate. And don't forget to get a taste of the cafe culture, too, when you visit Croatia. There are many cafes all over Croatia where you will find great pastries and, of course, great coffee, whether espresso or latte, that you can sip while mingling with the locals or simply watching people go by after a busy day.

Come visit Croatia and let yourself be seduced by its beautiful scenery, unpolluted nature, crystal clear sea and friendly people.

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