Legend has it that, when giving out land, God forgot about the Croatians. On being asked to remedy the unfair distribution, he decided to compensate them with the most beautiful land of all, which he had been keeping for himself. That's Croatia- a small country for a big vacation. And no matter how much truth the legend holds, the only suitable word to describe this piece of land is 'heavenly'. It's a Holy Grail of sailors and divers, a paradise for sun-thirsty holidaymakers, and Arcadia for the hungry.
Some say real Croatia starts in Split and stretches southwards, a rather limited perception which could perhaps be justified given the kilometers of divine coastline, Makarska Riviera that never sleeps, incredible Dubrovnik (aka "the Pearl of the Adriatic"), wild and forested Mliet, or cozy, medieval Korcula with Marco Polo's alleged birthplace. The brilliance and vigorous temperament of the south are undeniable. But what about Krk, the so-called Croatia in a pill, thermal spas and dolomites of Plitvice, or cosmopolitan but at the same time inherently historic Zagreb that fuses what's best about Eastern and Western Europe? Too beautiful to be passed unnoticed in a frenzied, impatient fling towards the resorts.
Blessed by nature and cursed by destructive war, Croatia was at the edge of forever losing its luster. It has always had a bevy of things to attract visitors, from serene climate through malachite-colored waters to natural habitat somehow still intact by oppressive civilization, but 5 years of civil fightings deterred tourism for a little while. Today the country seems rejuvenated. And it's not just about splendid weather and reconstructed architecture. It's people with warm hearts, typically southern optimism and dramatic history behind it all. Just get a sizable bottle of sun cream, good map, unconventional guide book and discover beauty in its purest and most comprehensive sense.