Croatia is a crescent-shaped country that faces Italy across the Adriatic Sea. Once part of the former Yugoslavia, Croatia gained independence in 1991 and established peace with Serbia in 1995. The slender coastal nation shares borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Most visitors stick to its coastal regions, which include Istria and Dalmatia. Its bays, deserted islands and beautifully preserved historic port towns like Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split and Pula are the major draws.
It’s hard to imagine as you walk the charming streets of Dubrovnik or sail the calm clear Adriatic seas that surround the thousands of small islands along her coast (only 66 are inhabited) that as recently as 1995 Croatia was fighting for independence from the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1991 and 1992 Dubrovnik was under siege and attacked by the Yugoslav People’s Army when they shelled the historic city. However, since the Dayton Peace Accord ended fighting in 1995, the city has been restored, making it and Split and Hvar, among the most beautifully preserved historic ports in the entire Mediterranean.
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