Occupying a stunning stretch of the Adriatic coastline, Croatia is one of Europe's top seaside destinations. Boasting more than 1,100 islands, the country is renowned for its limpid waters and picture-perfect scenery.
But Croatia is much more than sea and sunshine; it has everything from historic walled cities and spectacular Roman ruins to imposing castles and unspoiled national parks. The fantastic cuisine (including exquisite seafood on the coast and truffles in Istria), fine wines and uzzing café culture add to the appeal.
The country's capital, Zagreb, is truly Central European. Everything from the architecture to the hearty cuisine reflects the region's centuries-old ties with Austro-Hungary and the city also makes a good base for visiting the historic castles and vineyards of Zagorje. Croatia is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has a glut of world-class museums and plays host to dozens of festivals.
Rugged mountain ranges such as Velebit and Gorski Kotar are a haven for hiking, while the Adriatic offers ideal conditions for sailing, scuba-diving and sea-kayaking. Those in search of a more restful holiday can enjoy hours of sunshine on the beach - and remember, as Europe's top naturist destination, Croatia is one place you can finally get that all-over tan.