I am traveling to Zurich with a single-entry Schengen visa.
While coming back can I travel to Croatia for 3 days and then return to India (Country of Origin)?
No, you cannot. Unfortunately the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Croatia clearly states that you need a multiple entry visa in order to do so.
In line with the Government’s decision, aliens who are holders of:
- uniform visa (C) for two or multiple entries, valid for all Schengen Area member states;
- visa with limited territorial validity (LTV visa), for two or multiple entries, issued to the holder of a travel document that is not recognised by one or more, but not all of the Schengen Area member states, and which is valid for the territory of the member states recognising the travel document;
- long-stay visa (D) for stays exceeding three months, issued by one of the Schengen Area member state;
- residence permit issued by one of the Schengen Area member state;
do not require a visa for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the Republic of Croatia not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
I have traveled to Croatia from the Schengen area before and while doing so, you will obtain an exit stamp from the Schengen area (mine was from Slovenia) and then an entry stamp into Croatia.
While leaving, you will get an exit stamp from Croatia and an entry stamp into your next destination (mine was back into the Schengen area in Slovenia).
Until Croatia officially becomes a part of the Schengen area and lifts its border controls (scheduled for 2016), they have instituted a policy of visa-free travel for Schengen visa holders, but this still requires you to enter and exit the Schengen area.
On joining the EU, Croatia extended a ruling for holders of Schengen visas that was first introduced in 2012. This regulation allows holders of Schengen visas to enter, stay and transit in or through Croatia WITHOUT the need for an additional visa (for tourist purposes). This ruling continues this year and is in effect from 1st January 2014 up until 31st December 2014.
Note that this visa free travel is valid until the end of 2014 but will likely be extended the same way it was extended in 2013 or 2012.