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Due to Croatia’s crystal turquoise waters, sun drenched Adriatic coast and vast national parks such as Plitvice, Croatia has recently been branded as the fashionable new escape for the rich and famous. But the Roman ruins, mediaeval towns, fishermen and quiet alcoves offer a paradise that represents much more than a passing fad.
Over thousands of years, Croatia was ruled by Romans, Venetians, Italians and Austrians, though Croats actually claimed the country in the early 7th century, reigning for two centuries before entering a union with Hungary in 1102. It wasn’t until 1991 that Croatia finally fully declared independence and became a sovereign state.
You’ll find much of this fascinating history in Zagreb, the rapidly modernizing capital. You can spy strong central European influences through architecture and food in Zagreb, mixed fluidly with Slavic folklore. Explore the mazes of the upper and lower town, the majestic cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, St. Marks Church and the Opera House for a varied overview of the busy city.
Split is the largest city in the region of Dalmatia due to Emperor Diocletian’s decision in 305AD to build a palace in Split for his retirement, and as the palace grew so did the city. With a local guide you’ll enjoy an in-depth sightseeing tour of this gracious city by the sea. Visit the Roman Palace of Diocletian, a well preserved fortress which was once encircled by 750 feet long walls. Highlights include remains of the original palace, a colonnaded square and the Temple of Jupiter. Wander down to the port and take an excursion to an Adriatic island, such as Hvar, where you can see the 16th century cathedral and loggia built by the Venetian architect Sanmicheli.
Croatia’s heavenly atmosphere is best evoked in the mediaeval city Dubrovnik, which is often called the Pearl of the Adriatic. Walk the city ramparts and visit the traffic-free old city, revealing Dubrovnik’s impressive history. See the Rector’s Palace, the City Walls, Onofrio’s fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. An UNESCO World Heritage site, Dubrovnik and its five bastions are sure to cast a spell on you! While there, why not take an excursion into Montenegro to see the only fjord in southern Europe and the 2,500 year old town of Budva? These hidden spots will reveal the true magic of Croatia.
Trafalgar - see the world from the inside
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