Croatia borders on the Adriatic Sea – a part of the Mediterranean with good quality seawater, clean beaches and rich coastal flora and fauna. The International Blue Flag certificate for exceptional quality of the environment has been awarded to 22 of Croatia’s beaches and marinas. Croatia has become one of the most popular seaside getaway destinations in Europe and can be experienced by multi-day sailing tours along the coast, or by plonking down at one of the various islands dotted along the peninsula.
The coastline is varied, with hundreds of uninhabited or abandoned islands to see and discover. Croatia also has a vast countryside with stunning plains and limestone mountains, you can try a bike tour on the numerous bike routes stretching throughout the country. Horseback riding, rafting, canoeing, kayaking or balloon trips are all adventure tours on offer in the Croatian mainland.
Croatia has a landmass of nearly 57,000 square kilometres and shares a boarder with Slovenia to the North West, Hungary to the North East, Serbia to the East, Bosnia & Herzegovina to the East and Montenegro to the South. The mainland has an incredible stretch of ~1800 kilometres of pristine coastline to the West. As of 2015 Croatia had a population of 4.3 million inhabitants.
In 2013, Croatia welcomed nearly 11 million international tourists, up from 9.1 million visitors in 2010. Places of interest include the 900-year-old capital city Zagreb and the old coastal city of Dubrovnik with the small authentic villages surrounding it. Dubrovnik or the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ as it is also called, was built in the 13th century and has remained virtually unchanged until now although it suffered badly during the seven-month siege in 1991 when the Serbs shelled the city from the surrounding mountain tops. A former independent merchant republic, Dubrovnik has lost nothing of its bustling and jovial flair.
Make sure you check out a couple of the islands spotted along the coast – keep in mind that the larger islands (such as Korcula and Hvar) can become overcrowded with many sailboat arrivals during peak season. [/wptab]
Ethical Travel Issues and advice
Ethical Photography: Travelling presents an opportunity to photograph in lots of different destinations and situations, but sometimes there may be culturally sensitive issues to think about before reaching for the camera or other photo-taking device. There are lots of people in the world who do not have clean water, electricity, schooling or enough to eat, let alone access to mobile telephones, the internet and printed media, so they have no idea where their photograph may end up or how it could be used. Sadly, in this day and age, child prostitution, child trafficking and other crimes against children are facilitated via the Internet, and photography can play an unwitting and innocent role. Photography and its use is no longer straight forward, so perhaps it is time to stop and think a little about the ethics of photography.
Taking photos of the friendly people of Croatia is a highlight for many travellers and photographers. Smiles are universal ways to engage, as is showing people the photo you just took of them. If you show an interest in their work or ask them questions, they’ll be happy to have their picture taken. In some touristy places it has become common for people to ask for money for their photos to be taken. Do as you wish, but a photo of someone you shared a laugh with may have a better lasting impression than one you paid for. Don’t forget the same holds true for any porters and guides that may help you along the way. Take an interest in them and you’ll be rewarded with more great photo opportunities.