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Croatia - Country Information

Croatia extends from the furthest eastern part of the Alps in the north-west to the Pannonian lowland and the banks of the Danube in the east; its central part is covered with the Dinara mountain range, and its southern part includes the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Sailing tips - Country information

Basic information

Population: 4,437,460 inhabitants; the majority of the population are Croats; national minorities are Serbs, Slovenes, Hungarians, Bosnians, Italians, Czechs and others.

Government system: Croatia is a multi-party parliamentary republic.

Official language and script: Croatian language and Latin script.

Time zone: Croatia belongs to the GMT +1 time zone. The zone changes to GMT +2 the last Saturday in March until the last Sunday in October.

Religion: The majority of population are Catholics, furthermore Orthodox Christians, Moslems and members of Protestant churches.

Capital: Zagreb (779,145 inhabitants) - the economic, traffic, cultural and academic centre of the country.

Coastline: 5,835 km, out of which 4,058 km comprise a coastline of islands, solitary rocks and reefs.

Number of islands, rocks and reefs: 1,185; the biggest islands are Krk and Cres; there are 50 inhabited islands.

Highest peak: Dinara: 1,831 m above sea level.

Climate: There are two climate zones in Croatia; a mild continental climate, partly also a mountainous climate, prevails in the inland, whereas a pleasant Mediterranean climate prevails along the Adriatic coast, with an overwhelming number of sunny days - summers are dry and hot, winters mild and moist. The average temperature in the inland: January 0 to 2°C, August 19 to 23°C; the average temperature at the seaside: January 6 to 11°C, August 21 to 27 °C; the sea temperature amounts to about 12°C in winter and 25°C in summer.

Currency: Kuna (1 Kuna = 100 Lipa). There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Lipa, and 1, 2, 5 and 25 Kuna as well as bank notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Kuna.Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices, travel agencies, hotels and camps. The working hours of the majority of banks are from 7am till 7pm on week-days, and till 1pm on Saturdays.

Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa).

Average costs of a meal (plus wine) for two: 40 €

Useful information

Electricity: Voltage of city power grid - 220V, frequency 50 Hz.

Water: Tap water is potable throughout the whole Croatia.

Telephone code: The telephone code for Croatia is +385.

Travel documentation: Passport or other internationally recognised identification documents. Tourists may stay in Croatia for up to three months.

For further information: Diplomatic representative bodies of the Republic of Croatia abroad, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia (phone: +385 1 4569 952).

Customs regulations: Customs regulations of the Republic of Croatia are in line with the standards of the European Union countries. Foreign currency can be freely brought in and taken out of the country, home currency up to the value of 2045 €. More expensive professional and technical equipment should be registered at the border. If bringing dogs or cats along, they need to have an International certificate from a registered veterinarian stating that at least 15 days (and not more than six months) have passed since their vaccination against rabies.

Tax rebate for foreign citizens: Tourists who make purchases in Croatia (apart from petroleum derivatives), which exceed 67 € per receipt, may reclaim VAT ("PDV"). Upon purchase the sales person will provide the buyer with a form PDV-P (on request), which should be filled out and stamped on the spot. Upon leaving Croatia, the receipt must be verified by the Croatian Customs service. PDV refund in Kuna can be obtained within six months, either in the same shop where the goods were purchased (in which case the tax is refunded immediately), or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together with the account number, to which the refund should be paid. In this case the refund is paid within 15 days upon receiving the claim.

Health service: There are hospitals and health centres in all bigger cities, and first aid clinics and pharmacies in all towns and places. Foreign tourists do not pay for medical services if the Health Care Convention was signed between Croatia and the country they come from. The expenses of health services provided to people coming from the countries, with which the Health Care Convention was not signed, are charged directly to users according to the price list. For patients whose lives are in danger there is the emergency transport via air (helicopter) or sea (powerboat).

National holidays:

January: 1st January - New Year's Day
6th January - Epiphany
April: Easter, including Easter Monday
May: 1st May - Labour Day
June: Corpus Christi (Movable feast)
22nd June - Anti-Fascist Resistance Day
25th June - Statehood Day
August: 5th August - Victory Day and National Thanksgiving Day
15th August - Assumption
October: 8th October - Independence Day
November: 1st November - All Saints' Day
December: 25th and 26th December - Christmas Holidays

Working hours: Shops and department stores are open between 8am and 8pm, and on Saturdays from 8am till 2 or 3pm. A smaller number of stores close between noon and 2pm. Many stores are also open on Sundays, especially in the summer, and a smaller number of them are open 24 hours a day (in bigger cities). Public services and companies usually work from 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday.

Post and Telecommunications: Post offices are open from 7am till 7pm, and on Saturdays until 1pm. There are post offices in bigger cities which are open until 10pm during the summer. Stamps are sold in post offices and at news-stands. Public telephones can be used only with phone cards, which can be purchased in post offices, at news-stands, in hotels and tourist complexes.

Mobile telephone network: There are three GSM operators in Croatia: VIPNET (dialing code 091), T-Mobile (dialing code 098 and 099) and Tele 2 (dialing code 095).

TV, radio and press: There are 4 main Croatian TV channels: 1st and 2nd channel of HRT, Nova-TV and RTL. State radio station broadcasts news in foreign languages (English and German) several times daily during the summer season. Foreign editions of daily newspapers, weeklies and monthlies can be found at all news-stands of "iNovine" and "Tisak".

Environmental protection: Protection of the biodiversity is consistent with the EU regulations that are currently in force. The water quality of the Croatian Adriatic Sea is high for swimming and consistent with the EU criteria. In case of an accident or contamination of the sea, please contact the National Centre for Sea Search and Rescue on the number 195 (free of charge), which is a part of international institutions of the same rank. In case of an accidental environmental contamination on mainland, report it to the National Information Centre on the number 01/3717 111.

Official Ministry with the Government: Ministry Of Environmental Protection and Nature, phone number: 01/0317 111

Fire prevention: Make sure that you have done everything to prevent a fire!
Do not throw lit or flammable objects into the environment!
If you see a fire, please inform others in your vicinity; report it immediately on the telephone number - 193; try to extinguish the fire till the fire-fighters arrive, but so as not to endanger yourself or others!
Take notice of signs forbidding the lighting of fires!
Take care that your parked vehicle does not obstruct access to the fire engine!

Important telephone numbers:
Ambulance: 194
Fire-service: 193
Police: 192
Assistance on the roads: 1987; [email protected] (If calling from outside of Croatia or using a mobile phone, dial +385 1 1987)
General information: 18981
Weather forecast and road conditions: 060616 666
Road information and help: Croatian Automobile Club (HAK), phone number: 072 777 777

Radio news in foreign languages (during the tourist season): On the Programme 2 of the Croatian radio, along with the regular news in Croatian, the Croatian Automobile Club (HAK) gives traffic reports in English, German and Italian along with nautical news several times per day. Apart from that, every hour news and traffic reports are broadcast from the following studios on the Programme 2 of the Croatian radio: Programme 3 of the Bavarian radio, Programme 3 of the Austrian radio, RAI Uno, British Virgin radio and Czech radio. Throughout the day nautical news are broadcast in English and Croatian.