In the age of development of air tourism, it would seem that a bus can only travel short distances, but this is not the case. Bus tours to Croatia are still a very popular destination among travelers.
If you are planning a vacation to Croatia and are reading this article, then you have a reason not to fly by plane. The first thing you need to know: to Croatia for citizens of Russia and Belarus you need a Schengen visa. For citizens of Ukraine - no.
On the map below you can see the distance from Minsk to the coast of the Adriatic Sea (why from Minsk I will tell you a little below). It is 1800 km away. In detail in the article by the link you can find general information about Croatia.
Cost of a bus tour to Croatia
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Let's go back to the map that was at the beginning of the article. There are also bus tours from Moscow and St. Petersburg, prices here start from 500 Euros per person, but even Moscow agencies sell these tours with a small note that the tour group gathering takes place either in Minsk or Brest, and for you they simply buy a train ticket to Minsk.
To buy a tour in Minsk, citizens of the Russian Federation need all the same documents and visas as citizens of Belarus. And in Minsk tour agencies the price for Russians and Belarusians is absolutely the same. The manager doesn't care what your passport is.
Despite the lack of direct air communication with Croatia, over 15 thousand Russians rested in the resorts of this country in the summer. The epidemiological situation in Croatia is one of the best in Europe, and representatives of Croatian tourism hope that this will become a weighty argument for the resumption of direct flights with Russia.
As the head of the tourism office of the Republic of Croatia in Russia, Mr. Raiko Ruzicka, told Vestnik ATOR, in the first 9 months of 2020, more than 22 thousand Russians have visited Croatia. The total number of Russian overnight stays exceeded 141 thousand. Compared to the same period in 2019, the Russian tourist flow to Croatia fell 6.6 times, the number of overnight stays decreased 6.8 times.
However, in the summer, Croatia, with which the Russian Federation suspended direct flights due to the pandemic, was visited by more than 15 thousand Russian citizens. According to Mr. Ruzicka, this result can be called excellent.
As in previous years, Russians most of all went to the resorts of Istria and Kvarner. Rest in Dalmatia was also in demand: our compatriots booked hotels and apartments in the resort towns of Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar.
Mr Ruzicka recalled that Croatia was one of the first countries in Europe to open its borders for tourism, including for citizens of third countries.
“For 9 months of 2020, more than 7 million tourists visited Croatia, and this is even more than expected and forecasted at the time of the opening of the borders in May 2020. The epidemiological situation in Croatia remained stable throughout the summer season ... The country's authorities took timely measures against the spread of COVID-19 and strictly controlled the situation with ensuring the safety of both the local population and tourists coming to rest. All this predetermined the growth of inbound tourist traffic. Croatia was and remains one of the few European countries where positive statistics on coronavirus remain at the moment. The incidence rates are lower than in Europe, the number of deaths is minimal, ”said Raiko Ruzicka.
According to him, the summer season 2020 has brought new trends to Croatian tourism. Due to the reduction in traffic in Europe and to ensure greater travel safety, many Europeans traveled to Croatia with their own vehicles. Overall, Croatia has managed to maintain the geography of its main entry markets. Many tourists come from Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and other EU countries.
Russians can still visit Croatia, including for tourism purposes. To enter Croatia, you must fulfill a number of requirements. First, a citizen of the Russian Federation must have a valid visa. It can be a Schengen multivisa or a national multivisa for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, a national visa for Croatia. Recall that currently the consular services and visa centers of Croatia in Russia do not issue tourist visas.
Secondly, you need proof of residence in Croatia. This can be a hotel reservation, voucher, lease agreement and other documents confirming paid accommodation in the accommodation facility in accordance with the requirements.
When entering Croatia, you must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 in English, valid for no more than 48 hours. If there is no document on passing the test, then the tourist will have a mandatory 14-day self-isolation. If the expiration date of the test is overdue, then the Russians will have to take a PCR test already in Croatia (it is paid for independently) and go through a 7-day quarantine upon arrival.
On what conditions Russians will be able to enter Croatia in 2021, and whether this Balkan country will promote its tourism product on the Russian market, Vestnik ATOR was told at the tourism office of the Republic of Croatia in Russia.
According to Croatian media reports, Croatia will not require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination from foreign tourists. This information was confirmed by the head of the Russian tourism office of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Raiko Ruzicka, in an interview with ATOR Vestnik. According to him, Croatia, as in the last summer season, will be open to Russian tourists.
In 2020, more than 24 thousand Russian arrivals and almost 154 thousand overnight stays of our compatriots were recorded in Croatia. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the closure of borders and the suspension of direct flights, the flow of tourists from Russia to Croatia has decreased by more than 6 times. In total, for the entire 2020, there were 54.4 million overnight stays in Croatia, 80% of which were foreign tourists.
According to Raiko Ruzicka, Croatia is actively preparing for the 2021 summer season, taking care of the safety of tourists now. So, until the end of January, strict restrictions have been introduced in the country; for entry, foreign travelers need a PCR test for coronavirus.
“Although Croatia still has one of the lowest incidence rates of COVID-19 in the European Union, the country's government is committed to preventing a third wave of coronavirus. Therefore, in January, new restrictions were introduced, which, in February, are planned to be softened. In addition, vaccination against COVID-19 has started in Croatia, which will also help improve the epidemiological situation, ”said Mr Ruzicka.
He also added that in order to maximize the safety of tourists in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Croatia is introducing a new marking system for tourist sites that comply with strict antiquated protocols. Such conscientious hotels, apartments, yachts, restaurants and other facilities will be awarded the special “Safe stay in Croatia” label.
“The new project“ Safe stay in Croatia ”will be presented to the public in a few weeks and will be accompanied by very detailed protocols in all segments of the tourism business,” said Raiko Ruzicka.
The Republic of Croatia is a state located in the west of the Balkan Peninsula. In the northwest, Croatia has a border with Slovenia, in the northeast - with Hungary and Serbia, in the south - with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The country conditionally consists of two parts: a continental one, stretching in the basin of the Sava River, and a coastal one, stretching in a narrow strip along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The total area of the country is 56,594 km², the water area is 33,200 km². Croatia also owns a large number of islands, a total of 1185 pieces, of which only 67 are inhabited. The capital of Croatia and the largest city in the country is Zagreb.
The history of this area goes back many centuries: the first archaeological finds in Croatia date back to the Neolithic era and are examples of the Impresso cardiac ceramics. By the beginning of our era, the entire territory of present-day Croatia, called Illyria at that time, was conquered by the Romans. Slavic Croatian tribes appeared in those places only in the 7th century, forming the Croatian kingdom, which soon became the strongest in the region. In subsequent times, Croatia experienced Hungarian, Turkish, Austrian rule, part of the country was part of the Venetian Republic, while the other part of it - the Dubrovnik Republic - largely retained its independence.
Croatia found itself practically within its present borders in 1939, having received the status of autonomy (i.e. banovina) within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. At the end of World War II, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was created, which, in addition to the federal republics of Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, also included Croatia.
In 1991, Croatia declared independence, but soon after that, JNA forces were brought into its territory, and a war of independence began, which lasted until the end of 1995. The declaration of independence by Croatia was the beginning of the collapse of the SFRY. Finally, the integrity of Croatia was restored in 1998.
Today Croatia is a popular tourist destination, one of the best countries for ecotourism in Europe. This is largely facilitated by the reverent attitude of the Croats to their own natural resources: the presence of a huge number of national parks and protected areas, the impeccably clean sea, beaches marked with the blue flags of the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education). Another treasure of the country is 20 mineral springs and one unique deposit of the rarest medicinal oil called "naftalan".
The easiest way to get to Croatia is by plane. The all-year-round service is carried out by regular flights, in the summer they are supplemented by charter flights organized by tourist companies.
For example, Aeroflot operates regular flights to Zagreb and Split from Moscow several times a week. There are also regular flights to Zagreb from St. Petersburg.
From late April to mid-October, Transaero and other Russian airlines organize charter flights from Moscow to Pula, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik or from St. Petersburg (to Pula and Split) once a week, and from June to September to Pools fly twice as often. Also charters to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik rise from Yekaterinburg and other large cities of Russia.
In summer, charter flights also fly from Kiev and Minsk to the main resort centers - Pula, Dubrovnik and Split.
In addition, a number of airlines offer connecting flights in European cities.
The coastline of Croatia, which is almost 2 thousand kilometers long, is extremely indented. The coast is home to a great number of islands and islets covered with luxurious Mediterranean vegetation. These resorts have been popular for forty years, but nature is treated with care, therefore Croatia is one of the most heavenly corners of southern Europe.
Impossible to resist the charm of the remote islets that lie outside the beaten tourist trails, quiet coves and tidy fishing villages. Many coastal towns and villages are living museums of Mediterranean culture. There are many historical monuments that have survived from the era of Ancient Rome and later times. Inland, there are many places of interest for nature lovers. Mountains alternate with lakes and swamps, which are home to a variety of birds.
A lot has changed in the country since the 1990s. In just five years, the country has gone through several major stages of development: the collapse of the communist system, the war for the survival of the nation and the establishment of independence. Now Croatia is once again a safe and comfortable holiday destination that attracts tourists from all over the world. The people are proud of the freedom they have won, so the country is in high spirits.
The national culture is deep, unique and bears the imprint of the country's unique geographical position. The adherence to work and order, characteristic of the peoples of Central Europe, is combined with spontaneity, liveliness and love of life, distinctive features of the southerners, Catholicism of the West meets Orthodoxy and Islam of the East.
Croats have always considered themselves Western Europeans, unlike other South Slavic peoples of the former Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, they are carriers of many common features of the Balkan culture. Croats oppose themselves to the Serbs: these peoples have a complex relationship, despite the fact that they have lived side by side throughout their development.
Serbs settled in Eastern Europe at about the same time as the Croats - one and a half thousand years ago - and they have almost the same language. Many regions of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have a Serbo-Croatian population. The mixed ethnicity is one of the factors that made the breakup of Yugoslavia a tragedy for many. Despite the events of recent years, the fates of the two nations are still intertwined.
Serbs make up a significant percentage of the country's population. Serbian refugees who fled the country during the 1995 military campaign are invited to return. Now the state faces important tasks of the post-war period: the restoration of the economy in the regions destroyed by the war and the return of refugees to their homes. The republic also suffers from the problems inherent in post-communist countries as a whole. The collapse of industry caused an increase in unemployment.
The wages of the majority of the population are low, and the emerging class of entrepreneurs is clearly corrupt. Western economic aid and investment came to Croatia more slowly than other Eastern European countries. That changed when the nationalist anti-Western government was ousted in the 2000 elections, and Croatia again took its place in the large European family.
1). The outlines of the country on the map are crescent-shaped. The population is 4.5 million. About 85% are Croats, who speak a Slavic language reminiscent of Serbian and Bosnian and belong to the Catholic Church. About 13% of the population are Serbs who profess Orthodoxy. They live mainly near the state borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia;
2). According to the form of government, Croatia is a parliamentary republic. The head of the country is the president, who is elected through direct elections. However, at present, its functions have been largely curtailed. The Croatian Parliament consists of two chambers. The House of People's Representatives has 151 members and the House of Regional Representatives has 68 members. The prime minister and most of the cabinet are usually elected from the first chamber;
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