To get to know Croatia, start on the coast. Just barely the size of West Virginia, Croatia has more than 3,600 miles of coastline and 1,200 islands. The jagged landscape of limestone formations rises up from the Adriatic Sea, transfiguring into mountains as it reaches for the clouds – Croatia’s coastline looks life-threatening. Fortunately, we travelers get to chill out on the pebble beaches peppered between the steep crags, go island-hopping by sailboat, hike in the national parks, tour ancient Roman ruins and medieval towns, and, my personal favorite, eat good food and drink good wine.
“When visiting Croatia’s coast, it’s important to know that the Venetian Empire controlled most of it between 1400 and 1800, roughly.”
When visiting Croatia’s coast, it’s important to know that the Venetian Empire controlled most of it between 1400 and 1800, roughly. The city of Rovinj was part of Italy until the end of WWII, and it remains bi-lingual today. There are many similarities between Italian and Croatian cultures, from Mediterranean cuisine and pasta to Venetian architecture and a laid-back attitude.However, Croatia has forged its own identity, one that mixes Western and Mediterranean histories. Its thriving tourism industry even helped the young country gain EU membership.