Plitvice (Pleet-veet-seh) is a 2 hour drive south of the capital. Located halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, Plitvice National Park is Croatia's largest tourist attraction. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1979. Plitvice once hosted over 800.000 visitors a year before civil unrest in 1991. In 2003, visitors number less than 300.000, and primarily (~66%) consist of German tourists.
The National Park covers a total area of 300 square km. It's highest point is at 1.280 and the lowest is 380m. 16 terraced lakes are connected by river and waterfall. Plitvice's largest waterfall, Veliki Slap, is 70m tall.
It is the water that gives the park its natural beauty, and also its natural abundance. The Upper Lakes sit on beds of dolomite, while the Lower Lakes have limestone beds. The dolomite was carved out by surface erosion, and the form is much more gradual. Limestone beds were carved out by river water, and the slopes are steeper. Lake Kozjak site between the Upper and Lower Lakes, and a twenty-minute boat tour is organized there.
Hvar belongs to the central island group of the Adriatic and is only 4.5 km from the mainland. Average air temperature is 16.5c with a high of 37c during the summer. Also, Hvar has an annual average of 7.7 hours sunshine per day and 3.8 hours of cloud. (By comparison Dubrovnik has 7.0 hours of sun shine and 4.4 hours of cloud; Nice /South of France/ 7.2 and 4.2 respectively).
The island itself is covered in pine and oak trees. Neighboring islands of Brac and Korcula are better know for their stone. Hvar is know for producing wine, lavender, rosemary, and honey. The Hvar lamb appears to be well-known, and fishing is an important local industry.
Three towns are on island Hvar. There is Sucuraj to the east, Stari Grad in the middle, and in the west, town Hvar connects to the mainland via ferry. Split is also linked via shipping services. It is about a three hour boat ride from Split to Stari Grad, or 1030 hours on a catamaran transport.
Stari Grad itself is a collective name for a group of small towns. Stari Grad (in greek Pharos for lighthouse) is the historical center of island Hvar. In town, there are remnants of Illyrian, Greek and Roman civilizations.
The best-known building in Stari Grad is The Tvrdalj, the fortified building of the poet Petar Hektorovic'. This dates from the first half of the 16th century. It was renovated in the Baroque style in the 18th century and was partially restored in the 19th century.