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Geography* Croatia is an Adriatic and a Central European country. It stretches in the form of an arc from the Danube in the northeast to Istria
in the west and Boka Kotorska in the southeast. Its area is 56,538 sq.km., and the area of the coastal sea about 31,900 sq.km. Geographically, it is situated on the cross-roads between Central Europe and the Mediterranean.
Geographical position Croatia is situated close to densely populated and industrially developed European countries. Many internationally important transport routes cross Croatia. The importance of the geographical position of the Republic of Croatia is also enhanced by the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost gulf of the Mediterranean which is the closest to the central part of the European continent. The most important routes are centered along the Sava river, the Adriatic and the Drava river; there are also several important transversal routes from the Austrian and Hungarian border to the Adriatic coast (to Rijeka and Split). Natural and Geographical Features The area of Croatia can be divided into three major natural and geographic parts: The Pannonian and Peri-Pannonian area comprises the lowland and hilly parts of eastern and northwestern Croatia; mountains higher than 500 m are rare and of an insular character. Most of this area is being used for farming and livestock breading. Slavonija and Baranja in the east are the most suitable for growing cereals; the humid valleys and the hills are richly afforested while the northwestern part, which gravitates to  Zagreb, is industrially the most developed. The hilly and mountainous area, which separates Pannonian Croatia from its coastal part, is less developed. Its future development will be based on its transit importance, the growth of the already existing wood and timber industry, and the still underexploited potential for the production of healthy food, and winter and rural tourism. The Adriatic Area includes the narrow coastal belt separated from the hinterland by high mountains. This is predominantly a karst area with very dry summers. The few streams mainly follow narrow gorges in breaking their way through to the sea. The Croatian coastal area may further be divided into the northern (Istria nad Kvarner) and southern part ( Dalmatia). It also lends itself to a longitudinal division into the islands, the coast proper and the immediate hinterland. The Croatian Adriatic coast is one of the most indented in the world: it has 1185 islands and islets with a total coastline of 4,058 km, the total length of the mainland coast being 1777 km. The largest island is Krk; other large islands include Cres, Brac, Hvar, Pag and Korcula. The largest peninsulas are Istria and Peljesac, and the largest bay is Kvarner Bay. Area Total state area 89,810 km2, Territory area (land) 56,610 km2, Aquatorium area (internal sea line) 33,200 km2, Marine economy region (territorial sea line) 23,870 km2, Total economy area 113,680 km2, Coastline length 5,835 km, Coastline length of mainland 1,777 km, Coastline length of islands 4,058 km Relief A considerable part of Croatia lies at an altitude of over 500 m, but there are no mountains higher than 2000 m. Lowlands prevail in eastern and northwestern Croatia, while the highest mountains in the mountainous part are found in the area which separates the continental mainland from the Coast (Risnjak 1528m, Velika Kapela 1533m, Pljesivica 1657m) or close to the sea (Ucka 1396m, Velebit 1758m). The highest mountains in Dalmatia are Biokovo (1762m) close to the sea and Dinara (1831m) in the hinterland. Rivers Croatia’s rivers belong to the Adriatic and the Black Sea basin. The rivers in the interior are large and calmer (Sava, Drava, and Danube). The coastal rivers are shorter and have a higher gradient. The longest coastal rivers are the Mirna and the Rasa in Istria and the Zrmanja, the Krka and the Cetina in Dalmatia . Karst streams running partly underground prevail in Lika.  Lakes  Croatia has no large lakes (the largest, Vrana, near Biograd has an area of 30 sq.km. The most attractive are the Plitvice Lakes (a chain of 16 lakes with the river Korana as the effluent), the Red and Blue Lakes near Imotski (unique karst phenomena), freshwater lake Vrana, a crypto depression on the island of Cres and lake Prokljan (along the Krka river near Sibenik). The best know man-made lakes are Lokve and Bajer in Gorski Kotar, Trakoscan in Hrvatsko Zagorje and Peruca along the river Cetina in Dalmatia. Lake Kopacevo and the surrounding swamp forests in Baranja are a major hatching ground and bird habitat. Adriatic Sea It stretches from the northwest to the southeast between the Balkan and Apennine peninsulas for 783 km, its average width being 170 km. Its average depth is 252 m; its northwestern part is shallow (maximum 23 m in the Bay of Trieste), while it is much deeper in the south (1200 m in the South Adriatic basin). The prevailing winds are the cold bura, the humid jugo and the refreshing mistral.  Climate Northern Croatia has a continental climate. Central, semi mountainous and mountainous regions, as well as the entire Adriatic coast, have a Mediterranean climate. Spring and autumn are mild along the coast, while winter can be cold and snowy in central and northern regions. Northern Croatia has a continental climate. Central, semi mountainous and mountainous regions, as well as the entire Adriatic coast, have a Mediterranean climate. Spring and autumn are mild along the coast, while winter can be cold and snowy in central and northern regions.  Environment The in love ones with nature will be been useful. In addition to the diversity of the landscapes which astounds all the visitors, Croatia has eight national parks, all more astonishing the ones than the others. Most known is without any doubt that of the Lakes Plitvice, protected as of the end from the XIXe century. Sixteen lakes connected to each other by water falls within the karstic plate. Zone of combat during the conflict between the Croatian army and the Serb separatists, the park carried a long time the after-effects of the war, but is become again an extremely visited place. Open the eyes at the time of your walks, it would remain there brown bears and gray wolves! Water reserves and falls, it is also what fills with wonder in the national park at Krka (1985), the river digs there the karstic plate of the back-country of Sibenik, creating cascades and lakes. In the mountains in the north of Rijeka, the national park of Risnjak, protected since 1953 is. With tops culminating with 1 528 m, it owe its name with the lynxes which populated the area at last century. Their return in the close Slovenien mountains lets hope that they reappear by here too. In the north of the solid mass of Velebit is a space declared national park since last year. It acts of Sjeverni velebit (septentrional Velebit), which includes/understands the highest tops of the karstic solid mass. Paklenica is since 1949 another national park of the chain of Velebit. The two throats Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica are dug in the karst of Velebit. At the top of the cliffs which overhang the sea come to be posed vultures scratch and peregrine falcons. Lastly, the islands of the Dalmatian coast are also the place of protected natural wonders. The Kornati islands are a chain of 150 islands gathered out of 300 km2, of which the major part is a national park. These islands peeled in the medium of crystalline water are uninhabited. The national park of Mljet includes since 1960 a third of the island of the same name in the south of Dalmatie. What to be astounded by these salted water lakes in the heart of a vegetation of pines of Alep and jasmine. The national park of Brijuni is as for him well-known for its history. Vacation resort of Tito, which spent six months of the year there, the covered islands of pines of Brijuni are also a protected natural space, where move in freedom of the hundreds of hinds and other animals offered to the president by the foreign statesmen. In addition to the national parks, Croatia also has ten natural reserves, mainly spaces of mountains. A second protected zone was touched by the war, on the face of Slavonia Eastern occupied by the Yugoslav federal army. It acts of the ornithological reserve of Kopacki Rit, natural reserve since 1967. It is a broad zone of marsh between the Danube and Drave, where always hundreds of cormorants live, will hérons ashy, storks, sea eagles with white tail. Transparent water of the Adriatic will leave of it more than one astonished. Perhaps in addition to the black holothurides vulgarly called "cucumbers of sea" and sea urchins which you will not louperez, you will cross of the sars, mullets, etc.

 

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