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Croatia is situated in the Balkan Peninsula on the Mediterranean sea in Central Europe. The peninsula gets its name from the Turkish word "Balkan" which is characteristic of the chain of forest covered mountains that run the length of the peninsula. Croatia is bordered by the Adriatic sea & Italy on the West, Slovenia in the North West, Hungary in the North, Serbia in the East, Bosnia & Herzegovina in the South East and Montenegro in the South. Croatia includes 1185 islands in the Adriatic sea, 67 of which are inhabited.
Croatia was originally part of the Greek Empire then was taken over under the Western Roman empire due to its proximity to Italy, today Ancient Roman ruins exist throughout most of the Dalmatia region. Slavic Croatian tribes from Poland first settled the area in the 7th Century and the country was ruled as its own state until 1102 when they formed a union with Hungary. This union lasted until 1918 after WW1, when Yugoslavia (Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia & Slovenia) was formed under the rule of the Serbian Royal family. The Croats felt resentful of the Serbian rule and in 1991 Croatia declared independence, which prompted invasion by Serbia. Croatia rose to defend their country and were liberated after 5 years and today Croatia is its own democratic country.
The Adriatic coast is one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe and has become popular as a tourist destination with many Mediterranean cruises stopping off in the region. The Dalmatian coastline has a lot to offer tourists with sunny beaches, bustling ports, and vibrant night life amongst ancient Roman ruins. The interior is less visited but is well worth visiting for its culture, vineyards and cellars, and outstanding natural attractions such as thermal spas, pristine forests, mountain streams, and waterfalls.