• Croatia (Hrvatska in Croatian) is a crescent-shaped country of 4.3 million people. Roughly 89 percent of the population are Croats, who speak a Slavic language akin to Serbian and Bosnian, and mostly practise the Catholic Christian faith. There is also a sizeable Serbian population (about 4.5 percent of the total), who largely belong to the Orthodox Church.

Politically, Croatia is a two-chamber parliamentary democracy with a directly elected – though nowadays largely ceremonial – president as head of state.

Opinion surveys conducted throughout the 2000s repeatedly revealed that locals consider Croatian-born, ethnic Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) to be their greatest national figure of all time, closely followed by communist strongman Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980).

The average Croat consumes over 5kg of coffee a year (almost twice as much as the average Brit), and spends an estimated 183 hours a year drinking it.

• Croatia’s Janica Kostelić is the most successful female Olympic skier of all time, winning a total of four gold and two silver medals at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics.

The total length of Croatia’s dramatic mainland coastline is 1777km. The highest mountain is Dinara (1831m) on the border with Bosnia-Hercegovina, and the longest river is the Sava, which rises in Slovenia and passes through Croatia for 562km before joining the Danube in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

10 great winter destinations in Eastern Europe

10 great winter destinations in Eastern Europe

Forget the plummeting temperatures and long dark nights, winter is a hugely rewarding season in which to visit Eastern Europe. Frozen rivers, frosty branches an…

28 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Coastlines don’t come much more idyllic than Croatia’s 2000km of ruggedly beautiful Adriatic shore. Along this magnificent stretch are ancient Roman remains…

09 Nov 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Croatia’s 5 best honeymoon destinations

Croatia’s 5 best honeymoon destinations

With its breathtaking beaches, dramatic sunsets and palm-fringed ports, Croatia has never been short on romance. Transforming these raw materials into the holid…

14 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
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