East of Italy across the Adriatic Sea, Croatia expects 200,000 American visitors this year, nearly double the number in 2005. The country tied for the No. 2 hot destination this year in a survey by the U.S. Tour Operators. Here, tourists sunbathe in the port of Hvar.
A view of the Croatian town of Hvar.
This May 2007 photo shows the port of Bol on the Croatian island of Brac.
Croatia's most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, is on the island of Brac in the Adriatic Sea.
Hobbyists prepare to race 4-foot-long remote sailboats in the mainland Croatian port of Split, May 2007.
Among the tourist attractions are the ruins of Diocletian's Palace in Split, a UNESCO heritage site. The palace was built in A.D. 293 for the Roman emperor. Here, the sky can be seen through a hole in the roof of the ruins.
A ferry crosses the Adriatic Sea from Italy to the Croatian coast.
The lighthouse of Sestrice at the central Adriatic national park archipelago of Kornati is shown in this June 10, 2005 photo. Croatia's Adriatic lighthouses are a lure for travelers.
The island of Palmizana with its beautiful bays and unspoiled nature walks is part of the Pakleni Otoci (the Infernal Islands) archipelago off the Croatian coast of the Adriatic.
An aerial view taken in June 2004 shows one of 20 small Croatian islands which have been put up for sale as foreign investors flock to get their own little piece of Mediterranean paradise.
A diver is surrounded by fish off Korcula. Most tourists visiting Croatia stay close to the country's Adriatic coast, with its more than 1,100 islands and islets.
The medieval coastal town of Dubrovnik is the pearl of Croatia's growing tourist industry. In September 2006, a replica of an old sailing ship was anchored in front of the walls.
A morning view shows fishermen's boats off the Savudrija lighthouse on the northern coast of the Adriatic peninsula of Istria.
The Adriatic Sea reaches deep into the land mass of Europe, between the extensive coastlines of Italy and Croatia. It's the closest and most accessible part of the Mediterranean to Central Europe.