BEFORE YOU GO

READ THIS

Potent account of the devastating effects of the Homeland War

WATCH THIS

BAFTA-winning BBC documentary series covering Yugoslavia’s complex collapse

BUY THIS

Dubrovnik and Lokrum are King’s Landing and Qarth in the celebrated fantasy series


WHEN YOU'RE THERE

EAT THESE

Five foods for your kids to try on your trip round Croatia

PRŠUT Slices of salty Dalmatian ham, similar to prosciutto, that are smoked and dried in the wind – an ever-present on Croatian restaurant menus

ĆEVAPI Croatian equivalent of fast food: grilled mincemeat kebabs stuffed into a flatbread with chopped onions and a spicy red-pepper sauce

CRNI RIŽOT Creamy, firm, garlicy “Black Risotto” made with chunks of squid and cuttlefish. And their ink. Don’t let the colour put you off – most kids will enjoy trying this purely for the black tongue it will give them!

PEKA Hearty traditional Hvar dish of potatoes, vegetables and slow-cooked lamb or, for the adventurous, octopus; you’ll sometimes need to order it in advance, though

HONEY An easy one for unadventurous palettes, but still a slightly different taste, thanks to the fields of lavender that the bees on Hvar feed on

 

DO THIS (and don't do that)

A few handy pointers on life in Croatia

DO…

• Make sure you have enough cash on you, as quite a few cafés and small restaurants don’t accept credit cards.

• Make the most of the delicious ice cream – Croatian gelato is superb and a handy distraction whilst sightseeing.

• Take care if counting or signifying numbers with your fingers (ie in a market or restaurant or when buying tickets), as raising your thumb, index and middle finger together is a gesture that’s connected to Serbian nationalism.

DON'T...

• Forget to agree the cost of your taxi ride from Dubrovnik Airport to the Old Town – the (set) fare is advertised on a sign by the taxi rank, but it’s not unknown for drivers to try and charge half as much again once they drop you off in Dubrovnik.

• Be surprised if you see people lighting up at the table next to you, as despite smoking being banned in restaurants and large cafés it is still allowed in smaller ones.

• Forget that Croatia had a long (and fairly recent) struggle for independence, so avoid discussing the collapse of Yugoslavia (referred to in Croatia as the Homeland War) and making comparisons between nationalities of the former Yugoslavian states (particularly Croatians and Serbians).