Croatia| Unspoiled Nature

You may have heard of people visiting Croatia and wondered to yourself, why? What makes this country, once part of Yugoslavia, such an attraction? The reason is the natural beauty that surrounds it — with long coastlines on the Adriatic Sea. Hikers, bikers, nature lovers and history buffs alike feel at home in this Eastern European nation, which encompasses more than a thousand islands.

Tourism has long been part of Croatia. Investment began while it was part of Yugoslavia and large modern resort hotels were built along the coast. Today, that rocky coast does not lend itself to large-scale development. However, it is breathtakingly beautifully, providing pebble coves near pinewoods from which you can see a turquoise sea.

But as unspoiled as it is, Croatia also offers riches in the forms of history and culture. Visitors can see Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian monuments in several cities, including the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Dubrovnik and Split. Dubrovnik, in fact, is a major draw with its marble streets and baroque buildings. Its ancient city walls offer proof that it is one of the best preserved medieval walled cities in the world. The city of Split, along the Eastern Adriatic, was founded as a Greek colony and later became a prominent settlement around 650 AD. Since then, it has been a part of the many civilizations that touched this area.

Returning to nature, one particularly scenic wonder in central Croatia is Plitvice Lakes National Park. This heavily forested national park contains 16 lakes that connect through waterfalls and cascades. Butterflies float about the lengthy wooden footbridges and pathways that move around and cross the water.