Already by looking at the map of Croatia it's clear this is a summary of parts.
Myself living in Dalmatia, with many islands having their own culture and history, it's very clear Dalmatia at least is Mediterranean, which goes for all of the coastal districts.
So however geographically speaking Croatia is part of the Balkan and/or Central Europe, no doubt, but by culture and history for Dalmatia and Istria it's a "different thing".
(And than there also is a total difference in history, culture, climate and culture, when hopping from valley to valley from let's say Split to Imotski).
So in general Croatia is a strange phenomena, both by shape and diversity, but still a pleasant country to live in !