A gem in the Adriatic, with sapphires and emeralds crafted in waves, crimson roof tops and the valleys singing the lavender lull. Croatia is a symbiotic experience of succulent delicacies and sunny pebble beaches. Small dreamy towns in Croatia feel like entries from a fairy tale. The pictures don’t justify its beauty, words don’t either. This is just an attempt to come close.

Croatia gained its Independence from Yugoslavia in the year 1991, after nine centuries of foreign domination. Taking its cradle steps towards recovery from the aftermath of the recent war, the locals today, have completely revitalized and unless one digs deep, the scars of the bloody massacre have been wiped clean. Croatia is no longer an off beat destination and tourism is, undoubtedly, one of its main industry.

Although Croatia is part of the European Union, it has managed to keep itself aloof from some of its rules. The currency used in Croatia is Kuna and although Euro may be accepted in some shops and restaurants, a very high conversion rate is usually charged. Getting a visa is another example of Croatia’s independent existence. If you are visiting Croatia alone, then a single entry Schenegan visa wouldn’t work. You will have to get a separate Croatian visa. But, if you combine Croatia with another Schenegan country, then a multiple entry visa will permit you entry in Croatia.

The peak season to visit Croatia starts end of June and goes on till September, with several music festivals performing during that time of the year. But with the peak season, comes a jam of crowd, steep prices, higher tariffs and lots and lots of burning heat. We visited in the first week of June and weather wise, during the day, the heat was already quite scathing! Evenings, however, are very pleasant and breezy.

Food in Croatia is influenced by its neighbors; Italian in particular, with sea food being staple. The region also boasts of its wine, with Grk wine (white) being an in-house speciality. Croatia is definitely expensive and lays many tourist traps to fall into. A little bit of planning and research proves to be prudent.

Locals are nice but not as sunny as the weather. Some say that the war is to blame while some say that the weather in the beautiful island is nice only for a few months and those months attract herds of loud tourists, making the locals grumpy. I would be too, if I was to work, when I could flock myself on a hammock and enjoy the gorgeous views at a scenic seafront perch!

Croatia has much to offer. Side trips to Montenegro, Bosnia- Herzegovina and Slovenia are easily possible from Croatia. An ideal itinerary for Croatia will include:

Day One: Fly into Pula

Day Two: Rovinj

Day Three: Zagreb

Day Four: Hike in Plitvice Waterfalls

Day Five-Six: Split (1 and a half day is sufficient)

Day Six- Eight : Hvar

Day Nine-Eleven: Dubrovnik

True to its travel slogan, Croatia is indeed full of life. It is no more an off beat destination and teaches one to stand proud when your neighbor conspires your fall, to appreciate beauty in the small things and to celebrate life with some siesta, wine and great food!

Stretan put!