Would you like to sail the sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea and experience the history of ancient Western civilization, but without the crowds of Rome or Athens? With its unspoiled beauty and unique cultural influences, Croatia is becoming the better way to experience Europe. Located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia boasts a Mediterranean climate and landscape similar to nearby Italy. However, due to the ravages of the Yugoslavian War in the 1990s, this crescent-shaped country has remained below the tourism radar, Take a look at the New York Times’s coverage of Croatia’s recent rise in popularity.
The Roman emperor Diocletian is often credited with causing the “Crisis of the third century,” which laid the groundwork for the birth of the second Roman Empire. The Croatian city of Split eventually grew from the area surrounding Diocletian’s elaborate palace. To view photos, read historical facts, and virtually experience Diocletian’s fourth-century abode, explore the content of one photographer's Web site.
While Croatia shares similar traits with nearby countries such as Italy and Hungary, it also has its own unique culture and way of life. Throughout history, Greeks, Romans, and Slavic tribes have claimed the land as their own. This mixture of influence has shown itself prominently in the cuisine of the country. To find out what Croatian specialty is considered an aphrodisiac, explore the gastronomy of Croatia’s Istrian peninsula here.
Croatia boasts more than 1,100 islands off its Dalmatian Coast. Many of the islands escaped the conflict and violence that plagued mainland Croatia after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Today, visitors are enjoying the town of Korcula, whose history is influenced by the ancient Greek and medieval Venetian settlers. Early summer is the prime sailing season in the Croatian islands, and the countless coves and bays in these waters attract recreational sailors from all across Europe. Both self-piloted and chartered yachts are available, and from Korcula it's easy sailing to the islands of Hvar (which boasts bountiful sunshine), Brac (with perhaps the Adriatic's best beach), Vis (where divers can explore a half-dozen shipwrecks), and nearby Bisevo (which has its own "Blue Grotto" sea cave). To view video clips of sailboats navigating Korcula’s harbor, explore the multimedia collection of the site below.