Central Croatia comprises Moslavina and Turopolje, Banovina and Kordun, Posavina, Podravina, as well as the capital, the city of Zagreb and its surroundings.

Geographically, the area is characterized by mild hills and river plains. Historically and economically, each region has developed its own specific features that are offered today as tourist attractions to visitors.

In addition to the traditional trades – agriculture and livestock farming – Moslavina is characterized by wine growing and exploitation of Moslavina oak timber. Discovery of oil and gas fields has stimulated the economic and social development of the region and has also reflected in the region’s tourism through development of thermae (spa) and institutions founded upon therapeutic properties of the mineral oil naftalan.

Turopolje is mostly agricultural territory, but there is also a significant area covered by the forests of hundred-year-old red oak inhabited by many species of birds. Subsequently, tourists have shown great interest in bird watching.

Banovina and Kordun are characterized by excursion areas along Mrežnica and Korana rivers, which are joined by Krka and Dobra Rivers as they flow through the city of Karlovac that dominates this area.

Posavina, the area along river Sava south of Zagreb, enriches the Croatian tourist map with another nature park – Lonjsko polje Nature Park – that in addition to its exceptional landscapes – meadows, pastures and floodplain forests – enchants with the specific architecture, folklore, crafts and popular cultural heritage.

Podravina is the borderline Croatian area along river Drava, towards Hungary, bound by the mountainsides of Macelj, Kalnik, Bilogora, Papuk and Krndija. Podravina is famous globally and within art circles as the birthplace of naïve painting represented by Ivan Generalić, Mirko Virius, Ivan Lacković Croata, Mijo Kovačić, Ivan Večenaj and Franjo Mraz.


North-western Croatia comprises Hrvatsko zagorje and Međimurje, which are amongst the most developed regions of Croatia.

Picturesque hills of Hrvatsko zagorje attract many tourists who visit the numerous spas and medieval castles, the most famous of which are Trakošćan and Veliki Tabor. There are inhabitation traces in this area dating back to the stone age found near the city of Krapina (Krapina Early Man), and there are also significant archaeological finds of Roman thermae on the locality of present-time Varaždinske toplice. Hrvatsko zagorje is also where Croatia’s most famous pilgrimage site – Marija Bistrica – is located. The entire region gravitates towards Varaždin, as the largest city in the area, but also towards Zagreb in the hinterland of which it is located.

Međimurje is the northernmost area of Croatia, bound by the rivers Mura and Drava, and bordering Hungary and Slovenia. The area gravitates towards ÄŒakovec as the strongest urban centre. Regional development is based upon small entrepreneurship in textiles, footwear, agricultural production, as well as industry drawing upon traditional trades, such as basket weaving.


Eastern Croatia is mostly comprised of Slavonia, plus the easternmost territory of Hrvatska Baranja and Zapadni Srijem.

Slavonia is the Croatian granary, for the terrain is prevalently plain and the soil is the most fertile in the entire Croatia. It is a historic Croatian province where agriculture, livestock farming, food and timber industry was first developed. Besides boundless fields there are also numerous hunting grounds, vineyards of Kutjevo and Đakovo. Symbols of Slavonia are its forests of red oak and its gourmet sausage “kulen”.

The most important centres are Osijek, the largest Slavonian city, then Đakovo, Vukovar – the city globally known for the destruction it suffered during the war – and also Vinkovci, Virovitica, Slavonski Brod and Požega.

Slavonia offers the attractions of continental tourism: hunting tourism, spa, wine cellars, lavish and delicious continental cuisine, folklore heritage and natural attractions, the most prominent being Kopački rit – the wetlands area nature park and ornithological reserve alongside Dunav and Drava Rivers, as well as the mountain area of Papuk that has also been designated as a nature park.

Baranja stretches between Drava, Dunav and the Hungarian border. Its main centre is Beli Manastir, located 32 km from Osijek.

The easternmost part of Croatia is called Zapadni Srijem, and Ilok, its cultural, administrative and economic centre, is best known for its wine cellars.


Istria is the largest Croatian peninsula, as well as one of Croatian regions and one of administrative units – “zupanija”. Istria of today develops both coastal and continental tourism, as due to its Mediterranean climate, it remains attractive throughout the entire year.

As an area of early civilization, it has an exceptionally rich cultural and historical heritage, whereas the natural beauty of its coast and inland make it a particularly desirable touristic destination.

Istrian tourism is supplemented by attractive programs: wine roads, cyclist routes, eno and gastro offers, hunting and fishing tourism, equestrian, eco and agro tourism, and the extraordinary accommodation capacities.

Pazin is the administrative centre of Istria; and Pula, with approx. 58,500 inhabitants, is its economic centre.

Istrian coast boasts such touristic Adriatic jewels as: Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, Vrsar, Rovinj, Pula, Rabac… But, Istrian allure is also in its inland, with its small medieval towns situated at elevations, and rural farms that reveal all the magic of agro-tourism.

In Istria, one can spend a magical vacation on the beaches, return to nature by staying in its quiet and peaceful inland, discover historical heritage, indulge in Istrian tastes and smells, autochthonous wines, delight in natural attractions, select amongst numerous possibilities for active vacation, rejuvenate in wellness centres and choose from many cultural events.

Hrvatsko primorje entails coastal part of Croatia from Rijeka to Karlobag, with cities Bakar, Kraljevica, Crikvenica, Bribir, Novi Vinodolski and Senj, which used to be the most prominent city of this area, but resigned this role to Rijeka in 19th century. This entire area is now predominantly touristic.


Lika and Gorski kotar are mountainous karst areas of Croatia that see tourism as their greatest contemporary potential.

Gorski kotar is situated between Kvarner Bay and the valley of the river Kupa that runs along the border with Slovenia; and between the mountains of Lika spread the wide, fertile fields.

Rich in woodland potential, as well as exceptionally lively and preserved animal life, with its fresh mountain climate, they are attractive to tourists throughout the year, for winter tourism and winter sports, mountaineering, hiking and excursions.

Croatian mountainous regions are especially attractive due to vicinity of the Adriatic Sea, as they make it possible to stay in the fresh and crisp climate of mountain guesthouses and hotels, from whence it takes only a short trip to the near-by summer resorts on the coast.


Dalmatia is the coastal region of Croatia, spreading from Zadar and the island of Pag in the north, to Kotor and Ostro in the south. It is Croatia’s most famous historic province. Situated in Croatia’s utmost south, Dalmatia is the region of the sun, warm seas, olives, wine, fish, song and picturesque villages of stone-built houses. Dalmatia is the Mediterranean at its most authentic, as well as Croatia’s biggest tourist region.

Dalmatia features three large cities: three-thousand-year old Zadar, Split – the seat of the Roman emperor Diocletian, and Dubrovnik at the furthest south, included in UNESCO’s world heritage list. Along the entire coastline there are tourist places and rivieras – Šibenik, Zadar, Makarska…

From the shore a view opens to countless islets, exactly 1100 of them, making the Croatian Adriatic coastline one of the most indented in the Adriatic and, therefore, favourite yachting destination.

Whilst there is rich cultural and artistic programme available in the Dalmatian cities, with offers of excursions to numerous cultural and historic sites of different civilizations, smaller Dalmatian towns offer holidays in peace and quiet, within an atmosphere filled with details of tradition.

A network of highways provides Dalmatia with an excellent connection to the continental Croatia and there are also trains and three airports: Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. Numerous coastal and international ferry lines dock in Dalmatian ports connecting the mainland and the islands.    Send article as PDF