CROATIA, Europe’s historical gem

Following the pattern from last summer, Croatia continues to be a popular choice amongst Indian travellers. Here are a few recommendations for that perfect itinerary coupled with the smooth connectivity with Emirates offering daily flights to Zagreb from Dubai.

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Historic cities and the beautiful coastline are some of Croatia’s top attractions. This country has been passed between many kingdoms and empires, adding to its rich yet diverse history and culture. Along the coast, centuries-old towns are packed with old buildings basking in the glory of the Mediterranean sun.

In 2017, 18.5 million arrivals and 102 million overnight stays were recorded in Croatia, marking a double-digit growth from the previous year. This historic tourism growth helps the country reaffirm its position as one of the most upcoming and popular tourist destinations. Tourism contributes to over 25 per cent of the total GDP thus reassuring the country’s commitment to the industry.

The vibrant capital city of Zagreb is home to museums, galleries, restaurants and shopping. The city boasts of a charming medieval old city with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent most European capitals. The main sightseeing area is the medieval Gornji Grad. Here, attractions include the cathedral with its Neo-Gothic façade and twin steeples; the Croatian Sabor (Parliament); the Church of St Mark with its coloured tiled roof; and the tower of Lotršþak. An interesting diversion from history is the much-loved museum of broken relationships. A unique yet popular attraction is the botanical garden located in downtown Zagreb. Laid out over five hectares, the garden has 10,000 species of plants from around the world, including 1,800 exotic ones. A must-try is the popular local vegetarian pasta filled with cheese, štrukli.

The cherry on the cake is the country’s most glamorous tourist destination, Dubrovnik. More popularly known as king’s landing from the television series, Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik’s city walls and forts are sure to take your breath away

A two-hour drive away from the city is Croatia’s most visited inland attraction, the national park and lakes of Plitvice. The oldest and largest national park in Croatia, Plitvice lakes are internationally popular and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Plitvice National Park encompasses steep forested hillsides surrounding 16 emerald-blue lakes connected by waterfalls. The limestone karsts have created unbelievably picturesque lakes. The thing that strikes you the most is the clarity of the water. It sparkles with a jewel-like intensity in shades of emerald and sapphire.

Croatia offers an experience full of magic and can take you travelling through time. The cherry on the cake is the country’s most glamorous tourist destination, Dubrovnik. More popularly known as king’s landing from the television series, Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik’s city walls and forts are sure to take your breath away. Centering on the magnificent old town, contained within sturdy medieval defensive walls, this also has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. Best explored on foot, the charm of Dubrovnik includes fortresses, towers, and cannons along the way. From high up on the walls, you can enjoy amazing views over the old town rooftops and out across the glistening Adriatic Sea. Breathtaking and charming, the city is buzzing with love and energy, a must explore place or you might be taking the ‘walk of shame’. For 15 years, Croatia popularly promoted itself with the tagline, the Mediterranean as it once was. True to that, Croatia is the picture-perfect holiday destination ‘Full of life’.

Emirates’ commitment to Croatia

The new route in Croatia is an important one for Emirates as it strengthens the airline’s European footprint and tap into a new part of the continent – the south eastern part with Zagreb centrally location at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. “With Emirates’ direct flights, Croatia will not only become the centre of South East Europe in connection with the Middle East but will also connect other countries like India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan,” says Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, VP India & Nepal, Emirates.

The service to Zagreb, Croatia, is operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER with a three-class cabin configuration, offering eight private suites in First Class, featuring automated sliding doors for privacy, personal mini-bar and fully inclined seats, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy. “Zagreb is an ideal destination for tourism, leisure and Business. A very walkable city, both the upper and lower parts of the town offer visitors an insight into the past, with the 19th century style of architecture prominent across the capital. Tourists can also enjoy the parks, or visit one of the many theatres, museums and art galleries dotted around the city,” adds Ahmad. This route has proven to be really popular for Indian passengers whether it was leisure, business, honeymoon or MICE travel.

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