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20 January 2014 09:13
Dubrovnik in Croatia boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site
British holidaymakers searching for sun, sea and culture are turning to Croatia in increasing numbers, new figures reveal.
The EU's newest member welcomed around 400,000 UK visitors in 2013, a 25% increase on the previous year.
Brits are being tempted to Croatia by a mixture of warm summer beaches, breath-taking coastlines, the unspoilt natural attractions of eight national parks and medieval harbour towns.
Food and drink lovers will want to explore Istria. The peninsula has close cultural ties to northern Italy and is well known for its ports that date back to the Venetian era. Vineyards producing the rich red Teran wine are scattered throughout its inland hills while the local woodland is home to pungent truffles.
Istria's top seaside destinations include Porec and Rovinj while Fort Punta Christo near Pula hosts open-air electronic music festivals.
Dalmatia to the south offers holidaymakers a warm Mediterranean climate and pine-scented islands as well as a plethora of historic buildings in Dubrovnik and Split, which are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The region's coastline is backed by the spectacular mountains of the Dinaric Alps.
The islands off the Dalmatian coast attracting the largest number of tourists include Hvar, Korcula and Pag.
Visitors to Hvar should enjoy dining out at its chic seafood restaurants while quieter Korcula's medieval walled old town is free of cars. Zrce beach near Novalje on Pag, meanwhile, hosts a series of open-air music festival every summer.
The Dalmatian coast also has a lot to offer tourists. The Makarska Rivijera is backed by Mount Biokovo, boasting turquoise-coloured waters and fine pebble beaches. Meanwhile, wine lovers may choose to head for the Peljesac peninsula, whose hillside vineyards produce the red Dingac.
Croatia's most visited inland attraction, meanwhile, are the lakes and spectacular waterfalls of the Plitvice National Park.
As with other destinations
travel insurance is a must for holidaymakers travelling to Croatia.
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