Croatia

Article

August 20, 2022

The Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska in Croatian) or Croatia (Hrvatska in Croatian) is a country in Southern Europe, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. It has been conquered alternately by the Romans, Venetians, Turks and Habsburgs. After World War II, it was one of the republics of Yugoslavia and became independent in 1991. Today, Croatia has about four million inhabitants. Thanks to the favorable climate, historical attractions and diverse archipelago, tourism has become an important means of livelihood. Croatia joined the European Union on July 1, 2013.

Geography

Location

Croatia is a 56,594 square kilometer country in the northwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Due to Croatia's peculiar shape, which resembles a crescent or a horseshoe, it has many neighboring countries: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on the opposite side of the Adriatic Sea, Italy. Bosnia-Herzegovina's short 20-kilometer coastline divides the Croatian mainland into two separate areas, so that Dubrovnik and its surroundings are an exclave separated from the rest of Croatia.

Surface forms and water bodies

Croatia's terrain is varied and can be roughly divided into three parts. In the south there is a rocky coastal strip. The northern and northeastern inland plains are part of the fertile Carpathian Basin. The area between the coast and the lowland is densely forested mountains. About 53 percent of Croatia is lowland, and the largest lowland areas are in the Carpathian Basin. To the west and south of the Carpathian basin is the central mountain belt of Croatia, which belongs to the Dinaric Alps. It is also home to Croatia's highest mountain, the 1,831-high Dinara. The mountain areas of Croatia are known for their karst land, where the water has formed, among other things, caves and dolines and other surface formations in the limestone rock. Croatia's coastal strip, on the other hand, includes the Istrian peninsula in the north, from where it continues along the Dalmatian coast to the Bay of Kotor. 26 of Croatia's rivers flow over 50 kilometers in the state territory. About 62 percent of the surface area belongs to the Black Sea catchment area and the remaining 38 percent to the Adriatic Sea catchment area. The longest rivers are the 562 km long Sava and the 505 km long Drava. The Kupa, on the other hand, is the longest river that flows entirely in the territory of Croatia. On the Adriatic side, the rivers are mostly short and flow on steep slopes. The largest river in the Adriatic Sea is the Neretva, only 20 kilometers of which are on the Croatian side. The karst country also has many rivers flowing underground, such as Lika and Gacka. The Adriatic Sea is a shallow sea, with an average depth of 173 meters. Croatia's coastline without islands is 1,777 kilometers and with islands 5,835 kilometers. There are a total of 718 islands on the coast, and about 50 of them are inhabited. The largest islands are Krk and Cres.

Climate

Croatia's climate varies from region to region, but the climate is mostly temperate. In the north and east, a continental climate prevails, due to which the winters are cold and the summers are warm. The Mediterranean climate affects the coastal areas, where the summers are warm and dry and the winters rainy. On the coast, the annual average temperature varies between 12 degrees and 17 degrees. Temperatures in the south are higher than in the north. In the Carpathian basin, the average temperature is 10–12 degrees, but in the mountains the average temperature is already below 10 degrees. On the Adriatic coast, the average temperature of the warmest month is over 22 degrees, while in the mountains the average temperature of the coldest month is below -3 degrees. Annual precipitation is less than 700 millimeters in the outer archipelago and up to 3,500 millimeters in the mountains of Gorski kotari. On the inland plains, the precipitation varies from 700 millimeters to 1,000 millimeters. The southern part of Dalmatia is hit by a sirocco wind from Africa, while in the northern parts the winter is cooled by the cold bora blowing from the northeast.

Nature

Habitats and vegetation