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Driving Directions Croatia

CROATIA, a republic of former Yugoslavia, made a unilateral declaration of independence on 25 June 1991. Sovereignty was not formally recog­nised by the international community until early in 1992. Located in south­east Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Adriatic Sea, to the north by Slovenia and Hungary, to the east by Yugoslavia, and the south Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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The country has a broad northern region and a long strip of land along the Adriatic coast. The region behind the Adriatic coast is mainly mountainous and includes the Dinaric Alps. Dalmatia is a lower-lying region located to the southwest along the Adriatic coast. The country’s chief farming region is part of the Pannonian Plain, which lies to the country’s east.

Croatia, this low-lying, agricultural region drained by the Rivers Sava and Drava which both flow into the Danube.

Over one-third of Croatia is forested, with beech and oak trees being predominant, and timber is a major export. Deposits of coal, bauxite, copper, petroleum, oil, and iron ore are substantial, and most of the republic’s industry based on their processing.

Before the outbreak of war in 1991, Croatia was a fairly prosperous republic of the former Yugoslavia, surpassed in productivity only by Slovenia and accounting for one-quarter of Yugoslavia’s national wealth. However, the region’s fighting has devastated the country’s land, economy, and infrastructure, and recovery is likely to be a slow process.

In Istria in the northwest and on the Dalmatian coast, tourism was a major industry. Although tourists are beginning to return, the tourism industry continues to suffer from the ongoing hostilities’ effects in other parts of the former Yugoslavia.

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Croatia sprawls along the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea on the Balkan Peninsula’s western side. Its long coastal region stretches from the Istria Peninsula in the north to the Gulf of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) in the south, becoming increasingly narrow. For a short distance, a branch of neighboring nation Bosnia and Herzegovina interrupts the Croatian coast. In the north, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, Croatia extends inland as far as the Danube River.

Croatia has three main geographic types: the Pannonian and Peri-Pannonian Plains of eastern and northwestern Croatia, the hilly and mountainous central area, and the Adriatic coastal area to Dalmatia in the south.

Tectonic fault lines are widespread in north-central Croatia and also run through the Dinaric Alps down to Dalmatia. These structural seams in the earth’s crust periodically shift, causing earth tremors and occasional destructive earthquakes.

Croatia borders the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea located between Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. Off Croatia’s coast in the north near Slovenia, the Adriatic Sea is very shallow, only reaching a depth of 23 meters (75 feet) in Venice’s Gulf. However, the waters off southern Croatia reach depths of more than 1,200 meters (3,900 feet).

Did you know about Croatia?

Plitvicˇka Lakes National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. The forests of the park serve as home to a number of bears, wolves, and rare species of birds. The park also contains beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and caves, which were formed by water flowing through and around the natural limestone hills.

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