Saturday, 16 December 2017

A laid back reindeer appeared today sitting on a bench just outside of the Old City of Dubrovnik.

Santa’s helper immediately became a hit as tourists and locals took the opportunity to have a selfie. And you too can have antlers, because right next to the reindeer is a pair of antlers for you to pose underneath.

It looks like the reindeer will be just as popular as the Teddy Bear on Stradun. We can only presume, because the Dubrovnik reindeer doesn’t have a red nose, that he isn’t Rudolph.

install reindeer on pile 3

reindeer pile 2

Gale force south winds battered the Dubrovnik coastline today bringing roiling seas and rain for most of the day.

And as the Adriatic crashed into the shoreline so did the plastic bottles that we are unfortunately used to with these weather conditions. A reader sent us this photo and video showing piles of plastic bottles washed up on the beach in the picturesque village of Molunat in Konavle.

The vast majority of these plastic bottles are brought with the winds from Albania, which can be proved with the labels still on the bottles, and not only Konavle but also the island of Mljet have problems collecting huge amounts of plastic.

The Christmas season is a wonderful time of joy and togetherness, beautiful decorations and thousands of Christmas lights that bring people in a festive mood.

This year Advent fairs organized in larger cities across Croatia are attracting numerous foreigners as well as local people who enjoy in wonderful aromas and taste spreading from street food stands as well as in a rich Christmas program and accompanied events.

People always say, ‘’There is a child in each and every one of us’’, and that is true. Every year this child eagerly waits to enjoy in beautiful decorative lights and sights bursting from all over the place trying to figure out who has the best Christmas decorations.

Many cities have decorated their streets and squares in their own distinctive way, however, this year the city of Pula has prepared something special. The city and its citizens can surely enjoy in their Christmas decorations and be proud of one thing – they have the largest digital Christmas tree in the country.

Igor Brenko, the owner of the Ara Electronic company, is the author of the largest digital Christmas decoration in Croatia. He has also designed the largest hanging light sphere ball three years ago.

This interesting ‘tree’ is a ten-metre high decoration with 7,500 digital LED lights. The largest Croatian digital Christmas tree was placed in the city of Pula at the beginning of December.

Croatia has been declared the world’s best olive region in the world, according to Flos Olei.

For the third time in a row, the country was awarded the best olive region on the planet. Last year Flos Olei experts selected Istria as the best quality olive region in the world for the second time in a row and included it in its catalogue for 2017.

This year, Flos Olei, a reputable Italian-English world guide for extra virgin olive oils was presented in the centre of Rome, Italy on the 9th of December 2017. More than 500 world producers from all continents attended the event. Croatia had 75 representatives from Istria.

On this occasion, twenty of the world’s best olive growers from Italy, Spain, Chile and Enio Zubin from Buščina near Umag in Istria presented their olive oils at the luxury Westin Excelsior Roma Hotel. Some of the oils reached the price up to 40 Euros per two and a half decilitres.

It is interesting to note that among all colleagues from leading olive-growing countries, Zubin produces the smallest quantities of olive oil. For example, he produces 48 hectolitres of organic olive oil a year, whilst his colleague from Spain Casas de Hualdo from the region Castilla-La Mancha produces more than 7,600 hectolitres a year!

The promotion of the Istrian and Croatian oils in Flos Olei was especially encouraged by the director of the Istrian Tourist Board Denis Ivošević thanks to whom Croatian olive growers have been present in the guide for 12 years.

‘’This is the most important place for professionals to discuss about olive growing, from producers to distributers. Nine years Istria has been present in this guide as the second best olive region in the world, whilst for the last three years, we are the world’s best olive region with the largest number of olive growers included in this guide. This only confirms Istria’s primacy in the world’’, commented Ivošević.

The Tourist Board of Kotor, Montenegro, presented their Christmas and New Year’s program in Dubrovnik today.

Ana Nives Radovic, the director of Kotor Tourist Board, was more than happy to visit Dubrovnik and share their rich December program with the local media. And Kotor has a lot to offer!

For New Year’s, Kotor will have a special rock program with five rock concerts on New Year’s Eve and five more on January 1st. There will be bands such as ‘Partibrejkersi’, ‘Let3’, ‘Obojeni Program’ and many more, that will create a unique rock atmosphere.

What they are especially proud of is their Christmas program, named ‘From Christmas to Christmas’, including both – the Catholic and Orthodox Christmas, which are equally celebrated in this city in Montenegro. The program includes gastro events, concerts, traditional presentations and much more. Children are especially included with a special fair, where they can sell their artwork, concert of Kotor music school and a great New Year’s Eve celebration just for the youngest.

kotor press conference dubrovnik 2017 12

Interest from Dubrovnik media as Kotor Tourist Board present holiday program for 2017 - Photo Mark Thomas 

- We try to combine programs and offer something to everybody – said Ana Nives Radovic and added that everybody is more than welcome to visit Kotor during the holidays.

And after all the festivities, Kotor holiday program will end with gastro feast ‘Papolada ala maka’, attractive to tourists and locals.

For all those interested in visiting Kotor this festive season, the director of Tourist Board emphasized to book you accommodation as soon as possible as demand is expected to be high.

For more information visit the website of the Kotor Tourist Board here 

Keep your finger on the pulse of Dubrovnik and your diary up-to-date with all of the major events in the run in to the festive period. Christmas and New Year in Dubrovnik are always a time when the city comes alive, with countless concerts, performances, shows and much more. We all need a little help with what to do in Dubrovnik this Christmas...here it is. 

Check out our events guide for the festive season in Dubrovnik

DUBROVNIK WINTER FESTIVAL - PROGRAM

SATURDAY, 16 DECEMBER

11.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
Christmas Tale
Dubrovnik Children's Choir, Lazareti Dance Studio, MAK Theatre Zagreb, Ad Libidum Trio of Elves, Linđo's Treasure – Show of the youngest members of Linđo Folklore Ensemble and four Santas with 1,500 gifts for children
(Organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.)
19.30 IN FRONT OF DUBROVNIK CATHEDRAL
Lighting of the 3rd Advent Candle
21.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
PAVEL concert

FRIDAY, 22 DECEMBER

20.00 VALAMAR LACROMA HOTEL
Dubrovnik Christmas Concert
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra

xmas concert 2017 dubrovnik

SATURDAY, 23 DECEMBER

17.30 STRADUN
Live Nativity Scene in the Stradun
(Organised by the Dubrovnik Bishopric.)
19.30 IN FRONT OF DUBROVNIK CATHEDRAL
Lighting of the 4th Advent Candle
21.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
MARKO TOLJA SEPTET concert

SUNDAY, 24 DECEMBER

12.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
Traditional Christmas Carols performed by Linđo Folklore Ensemble,
Libertas Choir and Dubrovnik Brass Band

TUESDAY, 26 DECEMBER

12.O0 STRADUN
MOTOCYCLE SANTAS

SATURDAY, 30 DECEMBER

21.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
THE FRAJLE concert

christmas carols in dubrovnik 2016

SUNDAY, 31 DECEMBER

10.30 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY FOR CHILDREN
Arrival of Santa and elves
12.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
Traditional Christmas Carols performed by Linđo Folklore Ensemble,
Libertas Choir and Dubrovnik Brass Band
21.00 IN FRONT OF ST BLAISE’S CHURCH
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
PRAVILA IGRE
DINO MERLIN
SONGKILLERS
22.00 LAZARETI
New Year’s Eve Party at Lazareti
(Organised by the Lacroma d.o.o.)

MONDAY, 1 JANUARY

12.00 STRADUN
New Year’s Concert with oysters and sparkling wine
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra
Ivan Josip Skender, Conductor
Nikolina Pinko, soprano
Waltzes, polkas and popular arias
14.00 STRADUN
New Year’s Race
(Organised by the Extempora Association)

“We expect an increase of tourists in Dubrovnik over the festive season by between 10 and 15 percent,” commented the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic. Will the Dubrovnik Winter Festival be able to attract enough regional tourists to the city to make up for the lack of international flights? If we are to believe the early indicators, then it would appear that bookings over the Christmas and New Year period are up on last year.

Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and British Airways are all operating flights to Dubrovnik this winter period. “Croatia Airlines with three flights a week to Frankfurt, low-cost Vueling with two flights a week to Barcelona and Rome and three flights a week to Zagreb with Croatia Airlines means that we have much better connections than last year,” said Vlasic. Adding that the tourist board has entered into a partnership with Turkish Airlines this winter for joint promotion of the flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik.

dubrovnik festive tourism 2017

 Busy main street, Stradun, as Dubrovnik Winter Festival proves popular - Photo Tonci Plazibat 

And the hotels are announcing great bookings for the festive season. Hotel Excelsior and Hotel Kompas, the two hotels of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels Group that are open this winter, have reported that they are almost fully booked for this Christmas period. The majority of the guests are from the UK, followed by guests from Ireland, Spain and Portugal. “In Hotel Excelsior we will organise our traditional New Year’s Eve party along with a varied entertainment program,” commented the spokesperson for ALH, Zrinka Marinovic.

And the five-star Hotel Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik is also reporting successful indicators, “The season has continued with a successful post-season and we are very satisfied with the bookings for the New Year and Christmas period,” commented the manager of the marketing department for Valamar, Nike Labas. Rixos Libertas is also singing from the same hymn sheet. Last Christmas period they recorded 95 percent occupancy and this year they are expecting 100 percent.

And it isn’t only the hotel business that is awaiting a busy festive period, the private apartments and villas of Dubrovnik are also reporting solid results. “So far there have been 269 reservations for private accommodation with the average length of stay a healthy 3.1 nights,” commented the Dubrovnik based agency Direct Booker. In total is offering 35 percent of the 2,340 accommodation properties that they manage in the city during this winter period. “Dubrovnik is competing as an attractive destination, not only in the summer but also in the winter,” added Direct Booker.

With all the indicators suggesting that this Christmas and the New Year will be one of the best on record for Dubrovnik’s tourism industry it would seem that the slogan of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board “A City for All Seasons,” is slowly coming true.

 

The tenth Cake party was held today in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik and was just as popular as ever.

This jubilee party is organised every year by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and they invite media houses, hotels, restaurants and organisations to donate a cake which is then sold at promotional prices with all proceeds going towards a good cause.

torty cake 2017 3

 

This year a whopping 12,600 Kuna was raised as the slices of cake flew out at an amazing rate. All the funds raised will be donated to the Society of dystrophic, disabled cerebral and paediatric paralysis of the Dubrovnik Neretva County.

Slices of cake were sold at 15 Kuna and along with the sweet delights a whole morning of entertainment was organised in front of the St. Blaise Church. 33 different organisations in the city donated over 50 cakes and desserts and once again the Dubrovnik Cake Party was a huge hit.

dubrovnik times torta party

 

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board thanked all the participants who donated the cakes and the citizens who once again showed their great festive spirit in this holiday season!

cake party 2017 1

The latest episode in the Star Wars franchise “The Last Jedi” hits the screens on December the 14th in Croatia and thanks to a new teaser trailer video released yesterday we now have a good idea what Dubrovnik will look like in the sci-fi blockbuster.

star wars teaser video dubrovnik

The Star Wars cast and crew filmed in Dubrovnik at the beginning of last year with several locations in and around the historic Old City used as backdrops for the movie. The main street through the heart of the Old City, Stradun, was the centre of attention and a massive film set transformed the 16th century facades into a galaxy far, far away.

Dubrovnik plays Canto Bight in the movie, described as a casino planet, and the latest video show stunning scenes of filming in Dubrovnik as well as glimpses of the final cuts.

Rian Johnson, the writer/director, of The Last Jedi commented that “Croatia was the perfect location to shot Canto Bight. We are in this alleyway in Dubrovnik smashing speeders, and it was just one of those Oh my God what are we doing moments.”

speeding car on stardun star wars

Dubrovnik awoke to a cold morning as temperatures dropped to only 3 degrees with the northerly wind giving a “real feel” of minus.

The mountains of the Konavle region reassembled an Alpine scene as a fresh covering of snow blinked brightly in the midday sunshine. The forecast for the next ten days is for rain, storms and generally overcast weather meaning that Dubrovnik could well be in for a wet Christmas and not a white Christmas.

snowy mountains in konavle 2017 december

snow konavle december 2017

Mostly cloudy

11°C

Dubrovnik

Mostly cloudy
Humidity: 71%
Wind: ESE at 17.70 km/h
Sunday
Rain
6°C / 12°C
Monday
Rain
6°C / 10°C
Tuesday
Mostly sunny
5°C / 8°C
Wednesday
Mostly sunny
4°C / 9°C

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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