The Zagorje region, north of the capital Zagreb, is a land of rolling hills, while the fertile agricultural region of the Pannonia Plain is bordered by the Drava, Danube and Sava rivers in the east. Over one-third of Croatia is forested.
Croatia has an economy based mainly on light industry and services, while tourism is a notable source of income.
The best known feature of Croatia is the Dalmatian coast with its hundreds of islands and the historic cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar. Six World Heritage sites and eight national parks bear witness to Croatia’s immense cultural wealth. The richness of Croatia’s culture is reflected in its sometimes turbulent history, first as part of the Roman Empire and then as a frontier region on the border between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.
Croatian cooking features dishes like grilled meat, Dalmatian smoked ham, salted pilchards, sheep's cheese and paprika-flavoured salami. Croatia is also known for its wines, which are the result of an ancient wine-growing tradition.
Croatia as a candidate country benefits of EU financial assistance and during 2007-2012 Croatia will receive 749.8 million euro. The total EU financial assistance (CARDS and the pre-accession instruments) in the period 2000 - 2006 amounted to 507 million euro.