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With a rich and colorful history and beautiful coastline that can stand alongside any coast of Europe, Croatia is in many ways a popular tourist destination, according to the website Argophilia.com, which recommends to readers to spend this summer in Croatia. Because of its undiscovered beauty, a fascinating cultural heritage and areas that are not yet overcrowded with tourists, you can easily opt for a holiday in Croatia, with a much more difficult decision about where exactly on the Croatian coast to spend it and which of the many attractions to visit, writes Argophilia.com. As one of the many options it proposes the Croatian islands, which are the perfect choice for both shorter and longer holidays. "With hundreds of islands, starting with the largest with an ancient past, to the smallest islands in Croatia, the offer will certainly spoil you," writes the author and cites their relative closeness to one another as an advantage which makes the voyage from one island to another very simple. Islands that are especially recommended this year include Korčula, Hvar, Brač, Mljet and Rab. Korčula impressed the author with its rich history and sandy beaches, Hvar as a combination of modern luxury and history, Brač because of Zlatni Rat and a rich offer, Mljet because of its beautiful and unusual nature and Rab because of nudism. Agrophilia www.agrophilia.com
The European Commission and European Environment Agency have recently published a guide on water clarity of European beaches. Croatian beaches and swimming areas are famous for their clean seas and beautifully preserved beaches, with more than a hundred marked with a blue flag, which earned them, since recently, the second place in Europe as far as water purity is concerned. In 2011 more than 93 percent of coastal and slightly less than 90 percent of inland bathing areas met the minimum standards prescribed by the directives of the European Union. While the coastal swimming areas reported better results than last year and were a whole percent higher, the inland ones had slightly poorer results. Only 1.5 percent of coastal and 2.4 percent of inland swimming areas did not meet the criteria in 2011. The rest of the beaches remained unrated due to the lack of data. The ranking of countries compiled on the basis of more stringent criteria is led by Cyprus, in which 99.1 percent of beaches met the stringent standards. Cyprus is followed by Croatia and Malta with 97.7 percent, Greece (94.1 percent) and Germany (87.8 percent). In Cyprus, samples were taken from 112 beaches and in Croatia from 910 beaches. 906 of them were coastal and 4 were inland. In Croatia, 889 met the strict criteria for swimming areas. The remaining 21 met the minimum requirements, and thus there were no beaches recorded with water that is unsuitable for swimming. The highest percentage of swimming areas that do not meet minimum water quality criteria are in the Netherlands (10.1 percent), Latvia (6.5 percent) and Belgium (5 percent). When coastal beaches are concerned, Croatia has outperformed all competitors, except Cyprus and Malta, with which it shares second place. It is followed by Greece, where 94.1 percent of coastal beaches with excellent water quality were recorded, followed by Portugal with 88.2 percent, Spain 84 percent, Italy 83 percent, Montenegro 72.8 percent and France with 65.1 percent. Research of cleanliness of bathing waters was performed in the countries of the European Union and Croatia, Montenegro and Switzerland. It has been conducted since 1990 with an aim to improve water quality, and thus tourism and tourist visits. This year over 22 000 beaches were included, of which about two thirds were coastal beaches, and a third were lakes and rivers. European Commission www.ec.europa.eu
Famous American chef, gourmet, travel writer and TV star Anthony Bourdain, author of the Emmy-winning culinary travelogue show "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" visited Croatia - and was literally swept off his feet. The "Croatian Coast" episode was filmed back in October last year, and premiered in late April on the Travel Channel. Immediately upon arrival, the 56-year old Anthony admitted that in addition to the images of war in the 1990s, he had no idea about Croatia, but after he started his culinary travelogue adventure along the Croatian coast and enjoyed the natural beauty, all he could say was: I`m a f .....ing idiot! "Croatia is the next big thing. If you were not here, you are a f .....ing idiot! I'm an idiot! This food is world class, the cheeses are world class and the wines are world class", said Bourdain completely thrilled with Croatia. He began his journeyin Rovinj in Istria, then in the Lim Channel where he tasted oysters and mussels prepared using a traditional recipe with olive oil, garlic, bread crumbs and white wine. The road continued to Motovun and the surrounding forest, where he participated in the search of rare and expensive white truffles with a local specially trained dog, and then to the tavern Mondo in Motovun, where he tasted Istrian white truffle dishes. It pays to visit Motovun, and the price of a lunch is the same amount as a hamburger in Manhattan, says Bourdain who then tried a variety of fish dishes, the most interesting to him being those of fish offal. The television crew then continued their journey across the Zadar archipelago, where Bourdain first tried his hand at hunting tuna, and then to a menu with freshly farmed tuna. What followed was the gastronomic paradise on Pag, which he compares to the surface of the moon, where he enjoyed the lamb tripe and octopus and the obligatory cheese. The famous gourmet was particularly delighted with the Skradin risotto. The television travelogue was completed with grilled fish on Kornati. The wittiest writer among chefs and the best chef among television reporters, in one 42 minute episode which was filmed in Croatia during eight days, particularly praised the excellent Croatian wines that he said were among the best in the world, and was most impressed with the red wine from Skradin, which he said was divine. Bourdain`s world popular show "No Reservations" has 120 million fans worldwide, and in the eighth season this number has grown due to the very simple and interesting scenario in which Anthony visits a foreign country, where he tries authentic culinary specialties, gets to know the local customs and foods, and then spices everything up with his distinctive cynical humor. Travel Channel www.travelchannel.com
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently visited Croatia and judging by the impressions while sailing across the Croatian Adriatic, which he shared on Twitter, he fell in love with Pula and its historical heritage. "Croatia is beautiful. Pula is a fantastic little town with beautifully preserved Roman ruins. Probably the best preserved arena in the world, 2000 years old", wrote the newspaper magnate Murdoch recently on the social site on which he previously announced that he will majestically sail and cool off in the Croatian sea. Murdoch was "caught" in thick shade in Fažana with newspapers in his hands and his sailing boat could be seen in front of Brijuni Islands, where it was anchored for two days.
One of the most popular travel magazines in France, Destinations, by the publishers Milan Presse / Bayard Presse, has recently dedicated its edition to Croatia. “Destination: Croatie”, with a circulation of 100 000 copies, on 116 pages, brings an overview of all Croatian regions, introduces the diversity of the Croatian tourism product and announces a major cultural event to be held in the autumn of this year the Croatian Festival in France (Croatie la voici). All Croatian regions are presented through numerous topics, accompanied with a series of attractive photographs. Here, one can find articles about the cultural heritage of Dubrovnik, Croatian national parks, Istria and its lifestyle, the trendy city of Zagreb, the islands of Kvarner and at the end it reports on Croatian artists who will participate in the Festival Croatie la voici.