Croatia is a country full of contrasts.
The greatest attraction here is the Coast of the Adriatic Sea with thousand islands, peninsulas, bays and rocks emerging from the sea. It is often called the coast of thousand islands. The biggest of all 1185 islands scattered around the dark blue sea, out of which 66 are inhabited, are: Krk, Brac, Hvar, Pag, Korcula, peninsulas: Istria, Peljesac. The well developed Coast of the Adriatic Sea, with huge amount of islands, bays and channels represents the 'dalmatian type'. It is the second in Europe (after Norway) most exceptionally diversified coastline.
Within the territory of Croatia there are also vast plains (Slavonia), mountainous areas (e.g. Croatian Zagorje, Mountainous Kotar and Lika), mountain ranges (Kapela, Velebit and Pljesivica), and picturesque lakes and waterfalls (world famous cascade of 16 tectonic and karsic Plitvice lakes or charming waterfalls on the river Krka).
The Adriatic Sea with its warm waters is mainly a tourist attraction, and is visited by holiday-makers from all over the world. Along the coast the beaches are sandy (however there are not many of them), gravelly, pebbly and rocky. Adriatic waters are warm (average temperature in the open sea is 22-25oC), very salt and clean. Here tourists can enjoy the sight of dark blue sheet of water, white rocks and distinct greenness. The Adriatic Sea is a perfect place for sailing, surfing or scuba diving. Along the coast are situated cities - cultural monuments, holiday and health resorts, with hotels, boarding-houses, restaurants or charming cafes. All of it makes Croatia a touristy country.
Croatia's varied climate results from its geographical location.
• Inland the climate is continental, getting warmer as we move to the east. Summer is usually warm and sultry. In winter the average temperature is 0oC.
• In the mountains there is harsh climate with severe winters, heavy snowfalls and low temperatures.
• On the Coast of the Adriatic Sea there is Mediterranean climate with short, mild and rainy winters. Summer is sunny, warm, sometimes even hot and dry, in summer there is mild and warm wind (mistral) blowing from the sea.
Along the coast and on the islands occurs typical, Mediterranean flora. There are, for example, palmtrees, cypresses, cactuses, edible chestnuts, fig trees, almond trees, olives, pome-granates, lemons, oranges and grapevines.
The capital city, Zagreb, is situated on the river Sava at the feet of the Medvenica mountains. It is a cultural, political, economical and industrial centre of Croatia. There is a university, museums, theatres, cinemas, an opera house and many galleries, sports stadiums, recreation areas and parks.