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We represent the major car hire companies like:
Avis Car Hire, Hertz Car Rental, Europcar Car Hire, Alamo Car Rental, Budget Car Hire,
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Croatia Country Information
After more than a decade of civil and ethnic unrest, Croatia is once again emerging as an attractive tourist destination. With its magnificent coastline, 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, Roman ruins and picturesque medieval villages, it is fast becoming a rival to the magical Greek islands - alluring for lovers of fun, sun, local colour, great food and history.

The most prominent feature of Croatia's tourist industry is its Dalmatian coastline, which is indented with rocky cliffs, peninsulas and small inlets. Numerous good quality hotels and marinas have been resurrected or constructed in the past few years, and the Croatian province is once again beginning to enjoy a tourist boom reminiscent of its heyday in the 1930s. There is a special atmosphere to Croatian towns and villages, many of which are built on the sites of ancient Greek settlements dating from the 4th century BC. This, coupled with a welcoming and determined population, Mediterranean climate, scenic beauty and lush vegetation, is aiding Croatia's rise from the ashes of war into one of the world's tourist hotspots.

Basic Information:
Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European style round, two-pin plugs are standard.

Money: The official unit of currency is the Kuna (HRK). One Kuna is divided into 100 Lipa. ATMs are plentiful throughout the country and banks, authorised bureaux de change, post offices or most hotels will exchange foreign currency or travellers cheques. Banks open Monday to Saturday and some banks also open on Sundays in the main cities. Major credit cards are widely accepted at the main hotels and restaurants, and may be used to draw cash from ATMs, which are widely available throughout the country.

Language: The official language is Croatian.

Travel Health: There have been confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Croatia. No vaccinations are required, however there is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis for those travelling in forested areas during the summer months. The bird flu virus was found in dead migratory swans and stringent measures have been taken by the Croatian authorities to contain the virus. Travellers to Croatia are unlikely to be affected, but should avoid any contact with live birds and ensure poultry and egg dishes are well cooked. Medical care is fairly good, with free emergency medical care available to UK citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), though some medicines are in short supply in public facilities. Non-UK nationals are advised to invest in health insurance.

Tipping: In tourist or upmarket restaurants a tip of 10% will be appreciated, but otherwise it is usual to round up the bill if the service has been good unless a service charge has already been added. Tour guides expect to be tipped. Most other services receive a small tip by rounding up the bill.

Safety Information: Most visits to Croatia are trouble-free, and there is no particular threat of terrorism. Busy tourist areas are prone to petty theft. Outside the normal tourist routes travellers should be aware that unexploded mines might remain, particularly in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina.

Local Customs: Passports, or some form of identification, should be carried at all times.

Business: Business in Croatia is conducted in a formal manner; punctuality is key, dress should be smart and conservative (suits and ties are the norm) and polite greetings are made with a handshake. Titles and surnames are usually used unless otherwise indicated and business cards are exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. English and German are widely spoken, but any attempt at speaking some Croatian will be appreciated. Women tend to hold high positions in business and are well respected. Building a good working relationship is important in Croatia and it is useful to work with a reliable local partner. Although Croatia appears typically European in its dealings, business can take some time to conclude. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international access code for Croatia is +385. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The city code for Zagreb is (0)1 and (0)20 for Dubrovnik. Public phones take phone cards, which can be bought in post offices and hotels. GSM operators have active roaming agreements with most international networks, and cover most of the country. Internet cafes are available in the larger towns and cities.

Duty Free: Travellers to Croatia can enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 1 litre wine and 1 litre spirits; 250ml of eau de cologne and one bottle of perfume. Regulations apply to firearms and radio instruments. No item of archaeological, historical, ethnographic, artistic, cultural or scientific value may leave the country without a license issued by the appropriate authorities.

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Shopping in Croatia
Shopping in Dubrovnik may not come close to other European cities, but this little Adriatic jewel offers a unique shopping experience of its own. The Stradun is a great place to start where little shops can be found lining this marble-paved street, but the best bargains can be found down the maze of pokey side streets leading off the Stradun.

For those who love a good shopping mall, head to the Lapad Shopping Center in Lapad where all the usual international chain stores can be found. Or take a trip to the Old Town for the best variety of shopping. Most locals organise trips to Italy a few times a year to stock up on the latest fashion, but some local designer boutiques can be found in the Old Town where fashionistas are guaranteed to pick up original designs, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny.

Many local markets boast Dubrovnik's finest bounty where interesting souvenirs can be bought such as embroidered tablecloths and linen, Dalmation wine, spirits (known as rajika), and delicious preserves and dried fruit, all beautifully packaged. The morning market at Gunduliceva Sqaure is great for souvenirs, while the morning market at Gruz is great for fresh local produce.

Most shops are open Monday to Friday from9am to 8pm and Saturdays from 9am to 4pm, but during the tourist season, many shops keep longer hours. A VAT of 18.5% is added onto all non-essential products and services purchased in Croatia. Tourists can reclaim tax on purchases to the value of HRK501 or more on departure of Croatia. Tax back forms can be collected at points of purchase and should be filled out and stamped at the store.

Climate in Croatia
Dubrovnik has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The wettest months are October, November and December. Summer days can be intensely hot, but humidity is moderate and gentle breezes ensure very cool, pleasant evenings.

Croatia Entry Information

  • Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must present a passport (it may be expired up to six months). Visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals must have a passport valid for at least period of intended stay. A visa is not required for passports endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject, for stays of up to 90 days. Other UK passport holders should check with the embassy whether a visa is required for travel.
  • Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport valid for period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay and a visa is required.
  • Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealanders must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals must have a passport or National ID card valid for the period of intended stay. No visas are required for stays of up to 90 days.

Passport & Visa Information
Passport/Visa Note: All visitors require documents and tickets for onward or return destinations and sufficient funds (at least €100 or equivalent per day, or €50 if in possession of a tourist voucher or confirmed invitation).

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Airports in Croatia

Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)

  • Location: The airport is situated about 15 miles (24km) south of Dubrovnik.
  • Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from last Saturday in March to end of October).
  • Contacts: Tel: +385 20 773 100.
  • Getting to the city: The Croatia Airlines bus meets scheduled flights and runs between the airport and the main bus station. Passengers can get off at the stop outside the main gate to the old city on the way to the main bus station. Taxis are also available.
  • Car rental: Car hire companies at the airport include Hertz, Avis, Budget and Thrifty.
  • Facilities: A bank and exchange office are open daily. There are also souvenir shops, duty free, and snacks and drinks available.
  • Departure tax: None.

Special Events in Croatia

  • Dubrovnik Carnival - Dating back to the 14th century, the Dubrovnik Carnival still upholds many of the same traditions where people parade down the streets of Dubrovnik dressed in gaudy costumes while the sounds of drums and trumpets fill the air and events such as jousting competitions.
  • Dubrovnik Summer Festival - Few would question Dubrovnik's claim as one of the most stunning cities on the planet, and during the summer months festivities take hold of this charming destination with a number of music, theatre, fringe and fireworks performances.

Attractions in Croatia

  • Diocletian's Palace - Roman Emperor Diocletian, having abdicated his throne in AD 305, decided to spend the last years of his life in Dalmatia and built a palace for that purpose on the bay of Aspalathos, on the south side of a peninsula extending into the Adriatic Sea.
  • Archaeological Museum - Founded in 1820, the Archaeological Museum in Split is the oldest museum in Croatia. Its displays include many archaeological artefacts from prehistoric times, the Greek colonial period, and from the Roman, early Christian and Medieval ages.
  • Andautonia Archaeological Park - Near the village of Scitarjevo, close to Zagreb, are the remains of the ancient Roman town of Andautonia, which have been excavated and provide a fascinating tourist attraction.
  • Korcula Island - One of the bigger Adriatic islands, Korcula Island boasts beautiful views, secluded beaches, vineyards and olive groves, and pretty towns and harbours. Korcula Town is the island's main town situated on the north west coast and the old town, sticking out into the sea, is typically Dalmatian, likened to a small Dubrovnik, with its red roofed houses, fortifications and enclosing walls. Marco Polo is said to have been born here and his house is now a museum.

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    Driving Information

Drinking and driving:
Strictly forbidden for all drivers less than 24 years of age - nil percentage of alcohol allowed in driver’s blood. Legal limit for drivers 24 years and over; alcohol in drivers blood is 0.05%, exceptions to this rule apply to professional drivers. Tests for narcotics may be performed if tests prove positive severe consequences include confiscation of vehicle, severe fine and removal of driving licence. It is prohibited to drive after taking any medicine whose side effects may affect the ability to drive a motor vehicle.

Driving licence:
Minimum age at which a UK licence holder may drive temporarily imported car and/or motorcycle (exceeding 125cc) 18.

Fines:
The police officer will impose a fine on the spot; the fine must be paid within eight days at a post office or bank. The police may hold your passport until evidence of payment is produced. The driving licence of a foreign motorist can be suspended for up to 8 days for driving with excess alcohol, driving without prescribed medical aids e.g. glasses, driving in a state of exhaustion or whilst ill. The licence must be collected within 3 days of the end of suspension.

Fuel:
Unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane), diesel (dizel) available and LPG available at most filling stations located on motorways. It is forbidden to carry petrol in a can. Credit cards accepted at filling stations; check with your card issuer for usage in Croatia before travel.

Driving Distances:
Dubrovnik to Split - 260kms (4 hours/20 minutes)


Lights:
Dipped headlights are compulsory for all vehicles in reduced visibility, fine imposed for non-compliance. Dipped headlights are compulsory in the daytime from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March (out of the daylight saving time period), fine for none compliance.

Motorcycles:
Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory. The wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both the driver and passenger. Children under 12 cannot travel as a passenger. A fine will be imposed if the passenger on a
motorcycle is found to be under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Motor Insurance:
Third party insurance compulsory.

Passengers / Children in cars:
Children under the age of 12 cannot travel as a front seat passenger, with the exception of a child under 2 years seated in a suitable child seat. The seat must be fitted facing in the opposite direction of travel with the passenger
airbags turned off. Children from the age of 2 up to 5 years of age must be seated in a suitable child seat; other children must be seated using a suitable child restraint, using a booster seat where necessary.

Seat belts:
Compulsory, for front seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.

Speed limits:
Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers.

In built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h), outside built-up areas 55 mph (90 km/h) but 68 mph (110 km/h) on expressways and 80 mph (130 km/h) on motorways, unless otherwise indicated by road signs. If towing a trailer/caravan the speed limit is reduced to 55 mph (90 km/h).

All motorists under 24 years of age must not exceed: 49 mph (80 km/h) on normal roads outside built-up areas: 62 mph (100 km/h) on expressways and 74 mph (120 km/h) on motorways.

Minimum speed on motorways; 37 mph (60 km/h).

Compulsory equipment:

  • Spare bulbs - This does not apply if the vehicle is fitted with xenon, neon, LED or similar lights) First-aid kit (excluding motorcycles)
  • Warning triangle - two triangles required if towing a trailer. (excludes motorcycles).
  • Snow chains - During winter months, especially in the Gorski Kotar and Lika regions.
  • Reflective jacket - All drivers of motor vehicles (except motorcycles with sidecars and mopeds under 50cc) must have a reflective safety jacket (EN- 471) in the vehicle and wear it whenever they have to get out of the vehicle at the roadside, in an emergency. Be aware however that car hire companies may not supply them to persons hiring vehicles.

Other rules / requirements:
The use of spiked tyres is prohibited. It is generally prudent to have winter equipment ready between November and the
end of April. This may consist of winter tyres marked M+S on the side walls or snow chains for the driving wheels. Vehicles not adapted to winter conditions may be prohibited from driving and can also encounter a fine.

The authorities at the frontier must certify any visible damage to a vehicle entering Croatia and a certificate obtained; this must be produced when leaving the country.

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