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Croatia is often billed as the gem of Eastern Europe. This hidden gem often falls off of the radar of many travellers and yet, there are countless experiences waiting to be discovered. Considering that travel times to here from London are much shorter than other regions of the world, it makes a great deal of sense that you might be considering a Croatian holiday in the near future. In order to be best prepared for what lies ahead, we have put together this quick reference guide. Let's therefore take a look at some basic travel information before examining some of the top sights as well as what aspects have served to make this country so very popular over the years.
Although there are numerous regional airports which serve this country, the primary hub devoted to international travellers is Zagreb Airport. It is located just 10 kilometres outside of the city centre of the same name and experts estimated that more than 3.1 million international travellers passed through its gates in 2016. Some of the major carriers which operate to and from this location include:
Flights from London to Zagreb Airport will take just over 2 hours and 15 minutes. At the time that this article was written, there are 9 excursions available each week. If you happen to choose a connection out of another city such as Paris or Berlin, the total time could equate to up to 4 hours. Please note that this information is liable to change from time to time, so always perform additional research in advance.
The natural attractions to be found within Croatia are not to be taken lightly. Indeed, this country has one of the largest proportions of natural parks within any European nation. If you are fan of lakes and waterfalls, Plitvice National Park is not to be missed. Besides these attractions, there are numerous caves which can be explored as well as hiking trails within pristine alpine forests. Guided tours are available and it is also possible to camp here during the spring and summer. Krka National Park is another location to consider, as you can take advantage of river boat trips alongside guided tours of ancient monastic ruins.
Many are unaware that Croatia was once a part of the massive Roman empire. There is perhaps no better example of this unique historical connection than Diocletian's Palace. This is one of the most well-preserved Roman ruins in Europe and it provides a unique glimpse into the eclectic past of this country. You can view the throne room, an area devoted to a military garrison and a large outdoor plaza. A gift shop is likewise available.
Anyone hoping to enjoy fun in the sun needs to visit the island resort of Hvar. Many have compared this location to the French Riviera, and for good reason. Hvar is situated within the Adriatic Sea and therefore, it is known for its inviting temperatures as well as for its stunning beaches (many of these have achieved the vaunted Blue Flag status in terms of clarity and cleanliness). A hilltop fortress, walls that date back to the 13th century and countless restaurants further accentuate what this region has in store.
Isolation is never an issue if you plan on travelling to the Paklinski Islands. These are found just off of the south west coast of Hvar and they are known for their sense of utter seclusion. The waters here are quite shallow and their clarity will enable you to see many coral reefs immediately below the surface. While portions of these islands are protected, there are still many areas which can be visited. These are normally accessed by local ferry services. A handful of bed and breakfast establishments are likewise found close by. If you hope to get away from the crowds associated with major Croatian cities, these islands could be a great choice to keep in mind. As always, plan ahead and book your tickets in advance in order to enjoy the most agreeable deals as well as to appreciate all that Croatia has in store.