The Secret is out about Croatia
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Travellers Reviews

'The Secret is out'

Plitvice National Park Europeans have long known the delights of Croatia but the secret is out and many are now discovering this interesting, friendly country with its jewel-like Dalmatian coastline. To clear up any misconceptions, you should know that Croatia is not Kosovo and you will not be flying into a war zone. What you will find is a country where most people (especially teens) speak some English; a country which welcomes tourists, has sparkling clean toilets, litter-free streets, and little worry about crime.

Visas are usually not necessary. The local currency is the Kuna which is divided into 100 lipas. ATMs are everywhere so there is no need to carry much cash. July and August are the most popular times to visit and thus the most expensive. Go in April, May, September and October, and you'll still enjoy good weather plus a 50% reduction in prices. You'll find internet cafes and post offices in most villages. If you want to mail a postcard, ask for marke (stamps). Cuisine is like that of most central European or Mediterranean countries (pizza, pasta, meat dishes, and fish). The food is safe as is the drinking water. This is meat and dairy country so strict vegetarians may have a difficult time; however, Adriatic fish is plentiful and delicious. Make sure to sample Croatian beers which are very high quality. Zagreb’s' Ozujsko pivo, Karlovacko pivo, or Tuborg are especially delicious. In Dalmatia, try the red wines such as Faros or Dingac.

Dubrovnik is the most popular city. Visit the Placa, the wide promenade that divides the city. Must sees are the Franciscan monastery, Pile Gate, and Old City Wall ($20 to walk around the top and see forever). Outside Dubrovnik, drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a wonderland of lakes and waterfalls. Then go to the coast, spending at least one night in Rovinj, making sure to climb the Venetian tower which will give you a wonderful view of the town and harbour. Don't miss the Croatian hill towns of Poreč and Groznjan, where you'll enjoy sweeping views and intriguing art and sculpture galleries.

Prices range between bargain and moderate. Most B&B's go for about 100 Euros a night and are the best way to experience the flavour of the country. Croatia should be on everyone's travel list as it is a delight.

by Cynthia Wall

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