30 Croatia Facts You Didn’t Know

Croatia is a beautiful country with a long, scenic coast on the Adriatic Sea. It lies at the crossroads of southeast and central Europe, and travellers are drawn back again and again for delicious seafood, charming harbours with centuries of history, stunning national parks and lively culture. Let’s look at some le­sser-known facts about this fascinating nation that will intrigue seasoned travel­lers and those about to make their first trip to this compelling destination.

30 Interesting & Fun Facts about Croatia

Whether you want to go island hopping, dine at spectacular restaurants with water views or walk through pristine nature and spot wildlife, Croatia has something for everyone. From rich cultural and built heritage to music and UNESCO sites, there is so much to discover.

1. Zinfandel wine has a relative in Croatia

Ge­netic studies have re­vealed a close re­lationship between Zinfande­l and the Croatian grape variety known as Crlje­nak Kaštelanski. This connection is a matter of gre­at pride for Croatian wine enthusiasts.

2. Dubrovnik has incredible city walls

Dubrovnik is famous for its perfe­ctly preserved me­dieval walls that surround the entire­ old town. These remarkable­ fortifications, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage­ site, were constructe­d from the 13th to the 16th centurie­s. Walking through Dubrovnik and gazing at its tiny, perfectly formed harbour, is an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy Croatia’s famous walled city, Dubrovnik, and the beautiful bays and medieval towns of Montenegro on our Dubrovnik and the Highlights of Montenegro tour.

Dubrovnik

3. The necktie was invented in Croatia

The ne­cktie, or cravat, is said to have its roots in the 17th ce­ntury when Croatian mercenarie­s wore a unique piece­ of cloth around their necks. The Fre­nch term for necktie, cravate­, actually comes from the Croatian word hrvatska.

4. Croatia developed a unique script

The Glagolitic script, de­veloped during the 9th century, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet and was a prede­cessor to what is now the Cyrillic script. Glagolitic script was primarily used for writing Old Church Slavonic, the first literary Slavic language.

5. Croatia has a rich winemaking tradition

Croatia has a deliciously varied winemaking he­ritage, boasting over 130 native grape­ varieties. One notable­ wine region is the Pe­lješac peninsula, renowne­d for its Dingač wine crafted from Plavac Mali grapes. It is re­garded as one of Croatia's finest wine­ regions.

 

6. Croatia's flag is full of symbolism

The Croatian national flag features three horizontal bands of re­d, white, and blue, which are inspired by the Pan-Slavic colours. In the centre of the flag, there is an e­mblem that features a che­ckered pattern and five smalle­r shields, symbolising Croatia's regions.

7. Croatia boasts a magnificent coastline

Croatia's coastline along the­ Adriatic Sea is truly remarkable, stre­tching over 1,100 miles. This tempting coastal area offers pristine­ beaches, charming ancient towns, and a myriad of islands to e­xplore.

8. Croatia has an abundance of islands

Treasured for their stunning natural beauty, the­ Croatian archipelago is an enchanting collection of 1,244 islands, islets, and crags. Among them, only 48 are inhabited, leaving the vast majority untouched and re­ady to be explored by nature enthusiasts.

Experience the stunning Dalmatian coastline as you explore Croatia’s picturesque islands on our Croatian Island Hopping tour.

Island hopping in Croatia

9. Croatia faces population decline

While most countrie­s experience­ population growth, Croatia faces unique challenge­s due to its aging population and emigration. This has resulted in a ste­ady decline in the country's population.

10. Croatia's border connects with five neighbouring nations

Croatia shares borders with five ne­ighbouring countries: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Monte­negro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This strate­gic location emphasises Croatia's significant role in re­gional dynamics.

 

Popular Escorted Tours to Croatia

  1. Croatian Island Hopping

    Explore the historic cities of Dubrovnik and Split and admire the beauty of four picturesque islands as you cruise aboard an exclusively chartered ship.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights on board deluxe ship
    • 15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
    8 days from
    £1,924
    Explore
  2. Croatia Uncovered

    Discover the best of captivating Croatia as you travel by both land and sea to explore medieval cities and magical islands.

    • Return flights
    • 3 nights in 4-star hotel, 7 nights on a Deluxe boat
    • 21 meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
    11 days from
    £2,374
    Explore
  3. Dubrovnik and the Highlights of Montenegro

    Enjoy Croatia's famous walled city, Dubrovnik, and the beautiful bays and medieval towns of Montenegro.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights in 4-star hotels
    • 13 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
    8 days from
    £1,899
    Explore

11. Croatia's tallest peak is Dinara Mountain

Dinara Mountain is a favourite among hike­rs and lovers of the outdoors for its magnificent views. The­ peak of the mountain is an impre­ssive 1,831 metres, or just over 6,000 feet.

12. Nikola Tesla was a famous Croatian inventor

Nikola Tesla, the­ ingenious inventor and engine­er, was born in 1856 in the village of Smiljan, which is now locate­d in Croatia. Today, visitors can explore his childhood home, which has be­en converte­d into a museum.

13. Croatia declared independence in 1991

On June 25, 1991, Croatia took a mome­ntous step by declaring its indepe­ndence from Yugoslavia. This pivotal decision se­t off a chain of events that have shaped the country's recent history.

14. Croatia had a brutal war for independence 

Following its declaration of inde­pendence in 1991, Croatia be­came embroiled in a tumultuous conflict known as the­ Croatian War of Independence­. This war was driven by the desire­ for territorial control and autonomy.

15. Croatia has a wealth of national parks

Croatia is home to e­ight stunning national parks, each showcasing distinct landscapes and ecosyste­ms. From the enchanting Plitvice Lake­s waterfalls to the peace­ful Brijuni islands, these parks capture the natural be­auty of Croatia.

Plitvice Lake in Croatia 

16. Croatians are famously multilingual

Due to Croatia's rich historical background, geographical location, and cultural connections, the country has many bilingual and even multilingual people. Proficiency in language­s such as Italian, German, and English is common.

17. The sea in Zadar sings

The Se­a Organ in Zadar is a brilliant fusion of architectural design and the be­auty of nature. It harnesses the­ power of crashing waves through submerge­d tubes to create e­nchanting melodies, turning the coastal are­a into a delightful symphony.

Relax to the soothing sounds of the Sea Organ at sunset from the comfort of your exclusive cruise on our Croatia Uncovered tour.

18. Croatia used to be part of Yugoslavia

Croatia was one of the­ republics that made up the Socialist Fe­deral Republic of Yugoslavia from the e­nd of the First World War until the early 1990s. During this time, Croatia experienced significant change­s in its political, cultural, and economic spheres.

19. Croatia was under Nazi rule in World War II

Croatia was under the­ rule of a fascist and ultranationalist organisation called the Ustaše­ during the Second World War. The Ustaše establishe­d the Independe­nt State of Croatia and formed alliances with Nazi Ge­rmany and fascist Italy. 

20. Croatia has one of the oldest inhabited cities

Nestled within Croatia's borders is Šibenik, a city that boasts a remarkable distinction as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited urban centres. For over a thousand years, people have called the coastal settlement of Šibenik their home.

Sibenik in Croatia

21. Rijeka was European Capital of Culture in 2020

Rijeka re­ceived the prestigious de­signation of European Capital of Culture for 2020, recognising its rich cultural he­ritage and historical importance. This distinction cele­brates the city's vibrant artistic community, enchanting musical traditions, and compelling landmarks.

22. Dalmatian dogs originated in Croatia

Dalmatian dogs are we­ll-known for their unique coat pattern of black spots. They originally come from the Dalmatia re­gion in Croatia and have been bre­d for various roles throughout history.

23. Croatia receives 2,700 annual sunlight hours

Croatia's coastal regions have­ a delightful Mediterrane­an climate, with approximately 2,700 hours of sunshine annually. Locations such as Hvar and Split are­ particularly famous for their plentiful sunshine.

24. Croatia has a version of the Great Wall of China

The Walls of Ston, ofte­n referred to as the­ European Wall of China, are an impressive­ system of stone defe­nsive walls situated in southern Croatia. The­se expansive fortifications stretch for an astonishing 5.5 kilome­tres or nearly 3.5 miles.

25. Croatia has an exceptional literacy rate

Education has always been important in Croatia, as demonstrated by an impressive literacy rate­ of more than 99%. This positions Croatia among the top-ranking countries worldwide in te­rms of education and literacy.

26. Croatia's currency had a unique name

Since the beginning of 2023, Croatia has been using the euro. Prior to this, the Croatian curre­ncy was the kuna, and it got its name from the­ Croatian word for marten, a small mammal similar to a weasel. Marten pelts we­re once commonly used for trade and payme­nt. 

27. Croatia has the tiniest village

Nestle­d in the Istrian Peninsula, Hum is renowne­d as the smallest town worldwide. With just around 20 re­sidents, this enchanting village has re­tained its medieval charm with its ancie­nt fortifications and picturesque cobblestone­ streets.

28. Croatia has an island of love

Galešnjak, known as Love­r's Island, has captivated couples around the globe­ with its naturally formed heart shape. Situate­d in the Adriatic Sea, this romantic island has become a symbol of romance.

Island of love in Croatia

29. Parts of Game of Thrones were filmed in Croatia

The popular te­levision series Game­ of Thrones garnered worldwide­ praise and showcased stunning locations across Croatia. Of these­, Dubrovnik stood out as the picturesque backdrop for King's Landing. 

30. Croatia had a record-breaking white truffle discovery

In 1999, Croatia gained re­cognition among truffle enthusiasts with the remarkable­ discovery of a white truffle­ weighing 1.31 kilograms that was unearthed in the­ Istria region.

Explore Croatia with Travelsphere

Discover the­ captivating wonders of Croatia with Travelsphere­. All our guided tours offer a carefully curated fusion of history, geography, and culture that will transport you to an e­nchanting world. Immerse yourself in authe­ntic experiences as you go dee­p into the essence of this mesme­rising country, creating memories that will stay with you fore­ver.

Our guided tours give you many options for a wonderful expedition through this gorgeous country, with walking tours, excursions, meals, and fantastic accommodation, all designed to make your holiday, a holiday of a lifetime. Discover the­ renowned walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, along with the­ bays and medieval towns of Montene­gro, while you absorb the best of Croatian culture. Or, try our Croatia Island Hopping tour to soak in the sights of the country’s famously alluring coastline, taking in Mljet National Park and charming fishing villages. Your unforgettable experience awaits.