Croatia extends from the foothills of the Julian Alps in the
north-west and the Pannonian Plain in the east, over the Dinara
mountain range in its central region, to the Adriatic coast
in the south.
56,542 km2, with an additional 31,067 km2 of territorial waters.
Capital Zagreb (779.145 inhabitants - the administrative,
cultural, academic and communication centre of the country).
Length of coast:
5,835 km - including 4,058 km of island, islet and reef coastline.
Number of islands, islets and reefs
1,185. The largest islands are those of Krk and Cres. There
are 67 inhabited islands.
Northern Croatia has a continental climate; Central Croatia
has a semi-highland and highland climate, while the Croatian
coast has a Mediterranean climate. Winter temperatures range
from -1 to 30°C in the continental region, -5 to 0°C in the
mountain region and 5 to 10°C in the coastal region. Summer
temperatures range from 22 to 26°C in the continental region,
15 to 20°C in the mountain region and 26 to 30°C in the coastal
The majority of the population are Croats. National minorities
include Serbs, Moslems, Slovenes, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs,
Slovaks, and others.
Official language and alphabet
Croatian language and Latin alphabet.
The majority of the population are Roman Catholics, and in
addition there are a number of those of Orthodox faith, as
well as Muslims, and Christians of other denominations.
Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Lipa
coins, 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200,
500 and 1,000 Kuna banknotes.
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices,
post offices and at most tourist agencies, hotels and camping
grounds. Banking hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to
Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m. In the larger
cities some banks are also open on Sundays. Credit cards:
Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American
Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, Sport Card
International). Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous.
Voltage of city power grid ?220V, frequency 50HZ
Water: Tap water is
potable throughout Croatia.
The telephone code for
Croatia is +385.
GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two in summer
Passport or some other internationally recognised identification
document. Tourists may remain in Croatia for up to three months.
Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are in line
with the standards of European Union countries. Foreign currency
is freely brought in and taken out of the country (up to a
value of 3.000 euros); up to a value of 15.000 kn for domestic
currency. More expensive
professional and technical equipment
should be registered at the border. Dogs and cats, accompanied
by their owner, need to have an International certificate
from a registered veterinarian stating that at least 15 days
and not more than six
months have passed since their vaccination
against rabies. Tax refund for goods purchased in Croatia
over 500 kuna in value with a validated "Tax cheque"
at departure from the country. Information: Republic of Croatia
Customs Administration (tel 01 6102 333);
Purchase tax reimbursement for
Tourists making purchases in Croatia (apart from petroleum
derivatives) which exceed 500 Kuna per receipt may reclaim
At point of purchase the sales person will provide on request
a form PDV-P, which should be filled out and stamped, on the
spot. On leaving Croatia the receipt must be verified by the
Croatian Customs service. A PDV refund in Kuna can be obtained
within six months, either at the same shop where the goods
were purchased (in which case the tax is refunded immediately),
or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together
with the account number into which the refund should be paid.
In this case the refund is dealt with within 15 days of receipt
of the claim.
Foreign tourists do not pay for medical services if the Health
Care Convention was signed between Croatia and the country
they come from. Expenses of health services provided to persons
coming from the countries with which the Health Care Convention
was not signed are charged directly to users according to
the price list. There are hospitals and clinics in all the
major towns, and health centers, as well as pharmacies, in
all the smaller places. For patients whose lives are in danger,
there is emergency transport by air(helicopter) or sea (speadboat).
There is a network of veterinary clinics and centres in Croatia.
National holidays 2004.:
1 January - New Year's Day; 11 and 12 april - Easter, including
Easter Monday; 1 May - Labour Day; 10 June - Corpus Christi
(Movable feast); 22 June - Anti-Fascist Resistance Day; 25
June - Statehood Day; 5 August - Victory Day and National
Thanksgiving Day; 15 August - Assumption; 8 October - Independence
Day; 1 November - All Saints' Day; 25 and 26 December - Christmas
Shops and department stores are open between 8 a.m. and 8
p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or to 3 p.m.
A smaller number of stores close between noon and 4 p.m. Many
stores are also open on Sundays, especially in the summer,
and a smaller number in the larger cities are open 24 hours
a day. Public services and companies usually work from 8.30
a.m. to 4.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Post and Telecommunications:
Post Offices are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays
until 1 p.m. There are Post Offices in the larger cities which
are open until 10 p.m. in the summer. Postage stamps are sold
in Post Offices and at newsstands.
Public telephones can be used only with phone cards, which
can be purchased in Post Offices and at newsstands, in hotels
and tourist complexes.
of the biological diversity is in conjunction with the EU
regulations currently in force. The water quality of the Croatia's
Adriatic Sea is of high quality
for swimming and in conjunction
to the EU criteria. In case of an accident or contamination
of the sea, please contact the National Centre for Sea Search
and Rescue on the number 9155 (free telephone), which is a
part of international institutions of the same rank. In case
of accidental environmental contamination on land, report
it to the National Information Centre on the number 01/4814
911 For additional information about the environment: tel:
Tel: 0800 200 037, Web: www.mzopu.hr
Ensure that you have done everything to prevent a fire!
Do not throw lit or flammable objects into the environment!
If you see a fire, please inform others in your proximity;
report it immediately on the telephone number - 93; try to
extinguish the fire till the fire-fighters arrive and in such
a manner so as not to endanger yourself or others!
Take notice of signs forbidding the lighting of fires!
Take care that your parked vehicle does not obstruct accesses
to the fire or roads!
Important telephone numbers:
International dialling prefix for Croatia: 385
Assistance on the roads 987; email@example.com
(If you are calling from outside of Croatia or using a mobile
phone dial ++3851 987)
General information 981
Information about local and district telephone numbers 988
Information about International telephone numbers 902
Weather forecast and road conditions 060 520 520
Croatia's auto club (HAK) 01 4640 800; Internet: www.hak.hr;
unified number of tourist information for all of Croatia 062
International callers, dial: +385 62 999 999
This service is available in Croatian, English, German and
Italian from the 1st of April until the 30th of October.
Radio news in foreign languages
during the tourist season:
On Program 2 of Croatian radio, along with the regular news
in Croatian, the Croatian Auto Club (HAK) will give traffic
reports in English, German and Italian along with nautical
news a number of times throughout the day.
Other than on Program 2 of Croatian radio, alternating news
and traffic reports will be emitted every full hour from the
following studios: Program 3 of Bavarian radio, Program 3
of Austrian radio, RAI Uno, British Virgin radio and Chezch
radio. Throughout the day nautical news will be emitted in
English and Croatian.
shallowest part of our sea is in Istria, where the depth does
not exceed 50 metres. From Pula, the seabed mildly drops, making
a long, narrow valley which extends from Zirje towards Italy
which is called Jabucka kotlina. The biggest depth there is
about 240 metres. From Jabucka kotlina, the bottom rises to
Palagruza reef where the biggest depth is 130 metres. Towards
the south, the bottom drops steeply towards the Juznojadranska
dolina, where the biggest measured depth is about 1,300 metres.
The appearance of the underwater relief is the consequence
of tectonic movements, abrasion or erosion which were active
several million years ago, in times when certain parts of
the seabed were land or the coastal area. Uneven areas on
the bottom are constantly reduced by sedimentation of detritus
from the land. That process is slow, but constant.
In the Adriatic, the high and low tides have relatively small
amplitudes. In the southern part, the difference is rarely
above some forty centimetres, while in the northern part it
is somewhat bigger, so that it comes to 1 metre in Istria
and the Gulf of Trieste. In some narrow channels and bays,
the high tide can grow considerably during a strong sirocco.
That phenomenon is characteristic for big and deep bays of
the southern Adriatic. The tides are of a mixed type, which
means that their rhythm is semidiurnal during the new and
full moon, and of a daily type during the first and the last
quarter. Their amplitudes are very irregular.
Sea currents occur under the influence of winds, the difference
in pressure, temperature, and the differences in salinity.
With respect to the direction, they can be horizontal or vertical.
There are also bottom currents which appear as the consequence
of moving of water from warmer areas to colder ones, during
which the surface layer gets cold and descends towards the
seabed. Currents are weakly observable in the Adriatic.The
speed of currents changes in particular areas, but it also
depends on time periods. The average speed of currents is
about 0.5 knots, but they can also reach the speed of 4 knots.
Salinity of Sea
The total quantity of salt dissolved in one kilogram of sea
water is called salinity, which is usually expressed in grams
and as the permillage. The salinity of the Adriatic Sea is
38.30 per mill averagely, i.e. there is 38.30 g of salt dissolved
in 1 kg of water. In the northern part, the salinity is somewhat
lower than in the middle and southern part because of the
influence of the Po River.
The Adriatic Sea has a very marked annual change of the surface
temperature. The average annual temperature is 11°C. During
the winter, the sea is the coldest and the surface temperature
is about 7°C; very seldom, it can drop below that too. In
the spring, the sea becomes warmer, and the surface temperature
rises to 18°C. In the summer the surface of the sea reaches
a very high temperature, of up to 22 to 25°C, and in the southern
Adriatic and Istria up to 27°C. In the Adriatic, thermoclines,
i.e. parts of the water column of the same temperature, are
very well distinguished. The thermocline is most evident during
the summer, and, in the winter, the isothermal process arises,
i.e. equaling of the temperature throughout the water column.
In the summer, we can notice the first thermocline at the
depth of 3 to 5 metres, the next one is at about 12 metres,
and yet another one at 18 metres, while below 30 metres the
temperature is mostly constant throughout the year.
Waves in the Adriatic
Waves occur primarily as the consequence of the blowing of
winds. The bigger the reach, i.e. the surface across which
the wind blows, the higher the waves will be. Their strength
depends on the configuration and the exposure of the coast.
In that way, mixing of the surface layer with water from the
deep is enabled, and the interaction between the atmosphere
and the sea. We distinguish the crest and the trough of a
wave. The length of the wave is the distance between two troughs.
Most often, heights of waves in the Adriatic are between 0.5
and 1.5 metres, and they very rarely exceed 5 metres.
The climate at the Adriatic is typically a Mediterranean
one, with mild rainy winters, and hot and dry summers. The
air temperature changes depending on the area. Thus, summer
temperatures in July will be about 34°C in the northern part,
while in the southern part they will rise even to 38°C. In
the winter, the coldest temperatures are noticed in the northern
Adriatic (up to -16°C), while they will not have exceeded
6°C in the southern part.
At the Adriatic Sea, the bora, sirocco and north-western
wind blow most often.
this illustration is provided
(Cro.: bura) is a dry, cold downward wind blowing in bursts
from the north-northeast to the east-northeast direction.
The direction in which the wind blows is mostly influenced
by the configuration of the shore. The strength of bora is
explained by the existence of warm air over the surface of
the sea, and a cold layer of air above mountain ranges in
the littoral, which cause a strong streaming due to equating
of the pressure. Cold air tends to fill the void which occurs
due to the rising of the warm (lighter) air from the sea surface.
Bora blows mostly in the winter. In the summer, it usually
lasts for a day or several hours, while, in the winter, it
can blow as long as 14 days.
Sirocco (Cro.: jugo, siroko or silok) is a warm and moist
wind which blows from the direction east-southeast to south-southwest.
Its consequences are high waves and rain. Sirocco is a characteristic
wind for the southern Adriatic, where it blows longer and
stronger than in the northern part. In the summer, it usually
blows as long as 3 days, and in the winter even as long as
3 weeks. The signs of the oncoming sirocco are the calm at
the sea, weak changeable winds, dimness of the horizon, the
increase of the temperature and moisture, and the gradual
decrease of the pressure. Waves from the direction of the
southeast become bigger.
The landward breeze (Cro.: maestral, maestral, smorac) is
a daily, thermic wind blowing from the direction of the northwest,
and it occurs as the consequence of the difference in the
speed of warming up of the land and the sea. It is present
from the spring to the autumn, and, during the day, it often
changes the direction of blowing. The landward breeze is more
present in the southern Adriatic than in the northern Adriatic,
and it starts to blow earlier there.
The stiff breeze (Cro.: burin) is a wind blowing contrary
to the landward breeze. It blows during the night from the
direction of the north, north-east in the northern Adriatic,
and in the southern Adriatic, from the east or south-east.
It is the strongest before the dawn, and after that it stops
Data About Weather
Weather forecasts are made by the State Hydrometeorological
Institute, and they can be heard on VHF frequencies of coastal
radio stations and harbor master's offices. They are also
broadcast on FM stations or at the end of the news or within
broadcasts for seamen. Harbor master's offices constantly
send weather reports and warnings on their VHF operating channels,
in four languages. It is possible to get forecasts with the
presentation of the synoptical situation in all the marinas
and harbor offices.
Nautical Radio Service and Communications
The whole of the Croatian coast is covered by radio communications
rather well. The radio service for protection of human lives
and safety of navigation is provided by Plovput from Split,
through radio stations Split and Dubrovnik, which cover the
southern Adriatic, and Rijeka, which covers the northern part
of our sea.
According to the standards of the GMDSS system (Global Maritime
Distress and Safety System), the channel for automated receipt
of digitalized distress calls is the channel 70, after which
the communication is transferred to the operating channel
of the coastal station, i.e. a harbor master's office (16
or 10). GMDSS system has been in use since 1 st February 1999,
and on the present VHF channel for distress calls, the channel
16, constant listening will be possible still for some more
For a direct call to a harbor master's office, the channel
10 is used.
In Croatia, there are three commercial systems of wireless
telephony: mobile phone 099, Cronet 098 and VipNet 091.
Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous, and is
therefore known as "the cuisine of regions". Its modern
roots date back to Proto-Slavic and ancient periods and the
differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking
are most notable between those on the mainland and those in
coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the
earlier Proto-Slavic and the more recent contacts with the more
famous gastronomic orders of today - Hungarian, Viennese and
Turkish - while the coastal region bears the influences of the
Greek, Roman and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean
cuisine - Italian and French.
A large body of books bears witness to the high level of
gastronomic culture in Croatia, which in European terms dealt
with food in the distant past, such as the Gazophylacium by
Belostenec, a Latin-Kajkavian dictionary dating from 1740
that preceded a similar French dictionary. There is also Beletristic
literature by Marulic, Hektorovic, Drzic and other writers,
down to the work written by Ivan Bierling in 1813 containing
recipes for the preparation of 554 various dishes (translated
from the German original), and which is considered to be the
first Croatian cookery book.