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 Editor's Review
Croatia
 
Croatia is literally and metaphorically both a Central European and Mediterranean country – even its odd crescent shape means it seems to face two completely different directions. The inland region centres on capital Zagreb, itself divided sharply between a frankly boring new town and the old town that rivals Budapest and Prague for its restaurants, shopping and historic buildings. Between Zagreb and the coast lies the outstandingly scenic Plitvice Lakes National Park – a stunning sequence of 16 lakes linked by spectacular waterfalls. Park wildlife includes bear, wild boar, deer and wolves. Then as the country opens out to an immensely long coast, it transforms to a trans-Adriatic Venice and Italian riviera. A glorious stretch of several thousand kilometres of beaches, inlets and islands, the latter including Krk and Hvar – hard to pronounce perhaps but gorgeous to stay on. Split is perhaps the best mainland jumping off point. Further north lies the almost hidden Istrian peninsula with the lovely small town of Pula at its tip. And then, ‘the jewel of the Adriatic’ Dubrovnik. Almost a mirror image of Venice – to which it was a serious trading and cultural rival – but with cobbled streets replacing canals. It also boasts one of the most wonderful elevated strolls in the whole of Europe, round the ancient walls.
 

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