This Mediterranean croissant-shaped country just has that “something”, that feeling you cannot describe. Something mystical, but laid-back. I don’t know if it’s the sunbathed coast and islands or its beautiful unspoiled mountains, but Croatia is definitely going to take your breath away.
We created a list of 17 interesting facts about Croatia, followed by the links to more information and inspiration.
1. Croatia, a country on the Adriatic Sea, has the mainland coast of 1777km (1104mi), but with its 1246 islands and islets it encompasses further 4058 km (2522 mi) of coastline – it’s the most indented coastline in the Mediterranean. The island of Krk is the largest, covering an area of 409 km2 and it’s also the most populated. The smallest island is Smokvica Vela with an area of only 1.04 km2.
2. Another interesting island in Croatia is definitely the island of Galešnjak in the Pašman Channel. It has a natural shape in form of a heart, and it’s usually called the Island of Love or Lover’s island.
3. The tallest island would be Brač, and with its Mount St.Vid rising 780m above sea level it’s also the highest point in the Adriatic.
4. If you’re into Game of Thrones, then you’ll be interested to know that King’s Landing is actually Dubrovnik. This city has one of the most preserved fortification system in whole Europe. Dubrovnik is also known as the “Adriatic pearl” (nicknamed by the English poet Lord Byron in early 19th century).
5. Dubrovnik is also famous for having one of the first medieval sewage systems in the world, and it’s still in use today.
6. Croatia has more sunshine than Australia?! Yup, the island of Hvar has more than 2800 hours of sunshine per year.
7. The smallest town in the world is Hum in Istria, with a population of around 20 people.
8. Besides the city walls of Dubrovnik being one of the most preserved fortification systems in Europe, The Walls of Ston are the longest preserved fortification in the World, after the Great Wall of China of course. The wall today is 5.5 km long.
9. Almost one third of the country is covered in forests, and about 10% is protected via 11 Nature Parks, 8 National Parks and 2 Nature Reserved. The most famous and the oldest National Park in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. One interesting fact about another National Park – Paklenica, is that it was used as the American Wild West setting for 11 movies about the fictional Native American hero Winnetou, filmed in 1960s.
11. The highest mountain in Croatia is Dinara Peak - 1830 m (6003 ft). It’s the symbol of the longest mountain chain on Balkans, The Dinaric Alps, that is stretching from Slovenia, over Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.
12. One of the deepest caves in the world (14th) and the deepest cave in southeast Europe is located in Sjeverni Velebit National Park. “Lukina jama” cave, discovered and explored in 1993, is 1431m deep and is home to the largest known colonies of endemic subterranean leeches (Erpobdella mestrovi). Yuck.
13. Croatia has some weird beaches – Zlatni rat beach, one of the top beaches in Europe, is famous because it changes its shape when the winds are strong enough.
14. The richest collection of Neandarthal remains in the world was discovered by professor Dragutin Gorjanovic Kramberger in 1899. in Krapina, near Zagreb.
15. The Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Istria, is the 6th largest in the world and the only one with all 3 rows preserved.
16. One of the best female skiers of all time is Janica Kostelić. She won four Olympic gold medals and two silver ones at Salt Lake City and Turin.
17. If you ever decide to go hiking in the beautiful mountains of Croatia – beware! Croatia is generally very safe, but there are still some undiscovered buried land mines. Always ask a local mountaineering club or someone responsible for guidelines and maps before exploring.