Interesting Facts about Croatia

I arrived in Zagreb, Croatia just one week ago. But in that short time I've already learned many curious, unique and intriguing facts about this small Eastern European country. Before arriving, I did my usual intensive research, where I discovered a lot of important information about the topography, culture and history of Croatia as well. Between my research and my first-hand discoveries, here are the most important and interesting things I've learned about Croatia thus far: Croatia is the world's 23rd most visited country.Croatia has been an extremely popular and famous tourist destination for Europeans since the early 1990s.The country is particularly popular for summer beach/ island vacations and for sailing. That's due to its extremely long, stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, its dozens of yacht marinas and natural harbors, and the fact that Croatia is so close to other European countries. Most Europeans can easily drive to Croatia or else catch a quick 1-1.5 hour flight. In more recent years British and American tourists have begun flocking to Croatia as well, mostly for summer vacations. TV series "Game of Thrones" was partially filmed in Split and Dubrovnik. Since the hugely popular TV series began filming many settings in Croatia's gorgeous historic coastal cities, American tourists have also been flocking to Croatia, making the country an even bigger tourist hot spot. Croatia has over 1777 km / 1101 miles of coastline on the Adriatic Sea.Croatia lies along the eastern shores of long, narrow Adriatic Sea. It runs from Slovenia in the north down to Montenegro in the south. Along the way, hundreds of bays, coves and harbors meander down the sea Math a total length of 1777 km / miles. But if you count all the shoreline along Croatia's 1000 islands, that adds another km of sea coast to the total. Croatia includes more than 1000 islands in the Adriatic Sea.Lying just offshore, there are over 1000 little islands and islets dotting the sea in Croatian waters. Most are long narrow rounded mounds of lightly forested land lined by pebble beaches and rocky shores. Many islands have famous little yacht marinas, while others provide beautiful bays for sailboats to anchor in while taking a break, admiring the stunning scenery, enjoying quiet peaceful nature or making an over-night stay. Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are scattered throughout the country. They include amazing natural wonders such as Plitvice Lakes National Park, gorgeous historic cities like Dubrovnik, ancient archaeological sites like Puce Roman amphitheater and smaller cultural sites. While Croatia’s stunning coastline offers beaches, islands and historic towns, the country’s interior is predominantly composed of porous limestone karst. It’s because of this limestone karst that Croatia’s amazing inter-connected waterfall-lake systems exist. Plitvice and Krka National Parks both feature these crazy water features and are extremely popular tourist destinations. It’s also the limestone karst topography that has created so many caves, both large and small, throughout the region. Some caves are also extremely deep. Amazingly, Croatia first became an independent country way back in 879 AD. It was established by the Croats who had arrived in the region in the earlier 800s, though scolars don’t agree on their origins.Over the centuries, Croatia has taken many different forms, including a Kingdom and various mergings with neighboring empires such as Hungary and the Hapsburg Empire. But in one form or other Croatia has been in existence for more than 2000 years !