Croatia is the one of the fastest-growing destinations when it comes to tourism in the Mediterranean area. This country has a very rich history and food culture but the nature is what attracts the tourists the most. There are amazing beaches and shoreline but also the inland is filled with lakes, waterfalls and wonderful places to enjoy Crotia’s natural beauty. There are many popular ways to enjoy this country but one in particular has become common among tourists; spending a day in one of the 1200 islands and then heading back to one of the picture perfect villages to enjoy the atmosphere of an authentic Croatian tavern called Konoba.
Even though there is a high tourism boom in Croatia the government has given many encouragements to maintain the hotel prices down. But popular places like Hvar and Dubrovnik are quite crowed during summertime, so it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance. Croatia’s food culture has been influenced by many other countries and because of its geographical location, it’s very rich and diverse. Fish is cooked in many ways and seafood is cheaper in Croatia compared to other regions in Europe. Brudet is a fisherman's stew that mixes a tomato base and fish cooked on an open fire.
Buzara is a simple dish with mussels cooked with breadcrumbs, garlic, and wine. Raw seafood is delicious and very popular in Croatia. Meat is also cooked in several ways: If you prefer meat to fish Peka is a dish worth trying; it is meat and vegetables cooked in a terracotta pot. Boškarin is the typical Istrian oxen meat served at top restaurants.
If you want something completely different you can try the black risotto made with squid, olive oil, red wine and squid ink.
A very elegant and vibrant city is Zagreb, the Croatian capital that offers a lot of outdoor activities and museums.
If you not afraid of heights you can hop on to the funicular and visit the old town of Gornji Grad. The Zagorje Region is quite close to the city as well and definitely a location easy to reach. This region is full of medieval castles, vineyards and thermal springs.
Wine lovers will love to visit the historical town of Krapina and their winery; Zegorje is also a beautiful area to take a hike through the scenic highlands.
For nature lovers, the Plitvice Lakes National park offers 16 clear blue lakes, waterfalls and incredible mountains. This is one of the most celebrated Croatian National Park and it's a UNESCO heritage site.
Split is another beautiful city on the Dalmatian Coast, its top attraction is the Diocletian's Palace, but it also offers a lot in terms of sports activities like rafting, rock climbing, and sailing tours.
Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic, is one of Croatia's national treasures and the most touristic destination in the whole country. A walk along the scenic city walls it's just priceless.
Canadian citizens traveling to Croatia for tourism do not need a visa as long as they spend 90 days or less in an Schengen Country. This is because Canadian passport holders are generally visa-exempted and for this reason, they can enter the Schengen area as long as the duration of stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6-month period. For longer duration of stay, an Schengen Visa is mandatory. The Visa is issued directly by the Government of Croatia. If you intend to visit the country for more than 90 days you should contact the local embassy and ask for further information about how to apply for a visa.
There will be a change that has an impact for all the Canadian tourists from 2021 once the European Union is planning to initiate an electronic travel authorization, which is pretty similar to our eTA.
All Canadians planning to visit an Schengen Area Country have to have this electronic visa.
The difference between an Schengen Visa and ETIAS travel authorization is that an Schengen visa is valid only inside the Croatian borders but ETIAS can be used during its validation period also to cross the borders with other Schengen Countries.
Tourist traveling in a group must all get a valid travel authorization. There are some requirements for having an authorization:
As a Canadian citizen, you will need to double check that the validity of your passport extends 90 days after your arrival in Croatia.
Proof of funds:
You will need to bring documentation that proves you have sufficient finances to support your entire stay in the region.
You will need to provide a reason and documentation of your travel to the region. This documentation should support your travel itinerary.
You might also need to show additional entry documents depending on the countries you will be traveling to. Be sure to investigate each destination country and any additional paperwork required.
The Etias Travel Authorization is valid for a course of 3 to 5 years (this is currently under discussion and can be altered) and it can be denied at anytime. Because of this, it’s highly recommended to check the validity of the authorization for each traveler if traveling in a group before the departure date. If the validation is expired, it can result in a denied boarding on the day of traveling.
When entering in Croatia, you will still need to show your passport and go through customs. If your entry is permitted, your passport will be stamped at the customs with the date indicating your arrival date into Croatian territory.
When your entrance is clear and accepted, you will have free access to move within the Schengen region as long as you do not spend more than 90 days within a 180-day period.