Croatia is a country in Southern Europe on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, to the east of Italy. It is surrounded by Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the north, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east and Serbia and Montenegro in the northeast and south east.
Korcula - Island in Dalamatia
Neretva River Area in Dalmatia
Mediterranean and continental; continental climate predominant with hot summers and cold winters; mild winters, dry summers along coast
Geographically diverse; flat plains along Hungarian border, low mountains and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands
In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became an independent communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
Visitors now to Croatia's more popular towns would see little physical evidence of this violence. Croatia's coastal areas are especially stunning, and have the hybrid charm of Eastern European and the Mediterranean.
For more and detailed information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Croatia
Most Western European and North American nationals can enter Croatia with a valid passport and without a visa. For German citizens even entering with a valid identity card is possible. The document of identity must be valid at least three months longer than you plan to stay in Croatia.
Croatia Airlines - natioanl carrier, recently became a partner of sky alliance - so lufthansa flights are available
Additionaly many Croatians use Ljubljana Airport (for EasyJET flights to London-Stansted), Trieste and Graz (for RyanAir flights to London-Stansted), which are all within few hours of reach from Zagreb and Rijeka. Some also use Tivat Airport (in Montenegro) which is within easy reach from Dubrovnik.
Very good network of bus, cheap and regular.
Coming in from Trieste, Italy is popular among Europeans, for Trieste is a RyanAir destination. One crosses the Italian-Slovenian border first, and then the Slovenian-Croatian border, but they are very close to one another. Border security is high, but that's just normal.
Ferries are cheap and go regularly between various places by the coast. They are not fast but it's the best way to see the beautiful Croatian islands of the Adriatic Sea.
Many Croatians speak German as their second language, but Italian isn't uncommon either. People in the tourist industry most often speak quite good English, as does the younger generation, especially in the tourist areas of Istria, along the coast down to Dubrovnik, and in the capital, Zagreb. Don't count on elder people to speak English.
Croatian is not an easy language to learn, but the people like when foreign travellers use it for basic things such as greeting and thanking.
There is a lot of luxurious camping for ten dollars (1 tent, 2 people).
Similar to many European countries, long-distance ferries and buses in Croatia are often met by people (often little old ladies) offering rooms for rent in their apartments. It is worthwhile to bargain with them a bit, and perhaps get use of a kitchen or morning coffee as well. It is also advisable to have them show the exact location of their place on a map of the area, to ensure that it isn't in the far-flung suburbs.
There are still many landmine fields left thoughout the country. If one sticks to well-trodden trails in the west and also urban areas there is no need to worry, but poking around in the brush is strongly discouraged.
Remember Croatia used to be a war scene in the 1990-ies. One should not start debates about the war or politics, unless you are certain that the Croats are interested. But if one asks politely about the history of the country, the Croats will gladly respond.