Sunday, 18 August 2019

The British daily newspaper The Guardian has listed ten Croatia's islands that enthralled their journalists with their beauty.

The list entitled ''10 of the best small islands in Croatia'' describes Croatian islands that are poorly populated and intact and are not popular tourist hot spots.

''These Adriatic islets, many sparsely populated and little visited, are perfect for boat rides, great walking trails, lovely beaches and the odd bit of culture'', wrote The Guardian.
Here is the list of the Ten Croatian Islands chosen by The Guardian:

1. Lopud near Dubrovnik

2. Sveti Nikola near Porec

3. Veliki Brijun (the Brijuni islands)

4. Susak (northern Adriatic)

5. Silba near Zadar

6. Kornat (the Kornati Archipelago)

7. Solta near Split

8. Sveti Klement (the island of Hvar)

9. Bisevo (near the island of Vis)

10. Proizd (near the island of Korcula)

If you’re thinking about visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia’s largest tourist destination and the city credited by Lord Byron as being ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic,’ you’ll most likely come armed with the latest Fodor’s guidebook or a recent review of the top Game of Thrones film site locations that you absolutely cannot miss. You will probably also notice that prices in the city centre and old city, are similar to what you can expect to pay in the tourist capitals of neighbouring European countries, and Dubrovnik is no exception. However, if you’re worried that the price hikes mean you’ll have to go low budget while in Paris, relax, we have you covered. Below we’ve compiled a list of five fun and free things that you can easily do in Dubrovnik while still living large and ensuring your friends back home are every bit as envious as they should be:

King’s Landing - Game of Thrones Filming Locations

When it comes to the GOT franchise, you don’t have to worry. The entire city of Dubrovnik, or “King’s Landing” is an open-air GOT museum and just walking around you are likely to recognize many sites you will likely recall from seasons past. If in doubt we are here to remind you of the Big Three. The most memorable scene in Season 5: Episode 10 entitled ‘Mother’s Mercy’ was noted for the famous “Walk of Shame”, in which Cersei Lannister was forced to walk naked through the streets of King's Landing. Cersei’s walk began at the top of the Jesuit Staircase, an elegant Baroque structure located immediately south of Gundulic Square. The steps lead up to the ‘Uz Jezuite Ulica’ (Uz Jezuite Street), and end at the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius right next to the Collegium Ragusinum and the Jesuit College. If you can’t find them, just ask the locals for the ‘Spanish Steps’ (Skale Spanjola’ as Croatians call them).The second most recognizable GOT site to see? The narrow strip of beach between Lovrijenac castle and the tower ramparts flanking the left side of Pile Gate. If you look down over the platz-like terrace between the two cafes situated on opposite ends of the square, you will notice that the rock like boulder upon which Lovrijenac castle stands has some rather medieval looking wooden doors built right into it. This is where the Battle of Blackwater Bay (Season 2: Episode 9) took place (the beach is also noted for the scene where Cersei, Tyrion, Joffrey and Tommen saw Myrcella off to Dorne in Season 2: Episode 6).

game of films filming dubrovnik

Game of Thrones filming in Dubrovnik 

Finally, the scene where everyone’s beloved bad boy, Oberyon Martell (The Red Viper), finally bit the dust at the hands of The Mountain (Season 5: Episode 8) takes place just outside Dubrovnik at the abandoned Hotel Belvedere (located approx. 2km out of the old town on a steep beach). The hotel was built in the 1980s and destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence. Today it is abandoned and demolished and while you are not allowed to enter the building itself, you can still see the set’s amphitheatre floorvisible from the outside (the only thing that is different is that the Lannister coat-of-arms was replaced after filming with the large checkerboard shield on the Hajduk Split soccer team emblem.

Luza – The ‘Game of Film’ Exhibit

If you still can’t get enough of the Game of Thrones film sites, calm down, we’ve got you covered better than Coppertone on a baby. Located right next to the Sponza Palace, and under the arched gateway of the Bell Tower off of Luza Square, the Dubrovnik Cinema now hosts the ‘Game of Films’ exhibit. Opened in February 2017, the exhibit showcases photographs of the films and series that were shot on location since Game of Thrones transformed the city into King’s Landing. While the exhibit is free, rest assured that the GOT franchise has done for Dubrovnik what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand - turned the city into a tourism mecca worthy of the moniker, ‘Hollywood of the Adriatic.’

game of films exhibition

Hollywood on the Adriatic 

The exhibit also showcases the other franchise about to make the city a global tourism magnet, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, which will open to much hype in December 2017. Another recently shot blockbuster is the Leonardo DiCaprio directed version of Robin Hood starring Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Taron Egerton and other Hollywood big names rumoured to premiere in 2018.

Fjaka – The Art of Dalmatian Chill

What Hygge is to the Danes, so Fjaka is to the Dalmatians. ‘Fjaka’ (pronounced: ‘Fyaka’) is essentially the zen-like art of doing nothing or engaging in very little but doing it with a flair and panache which predates chill. Fjaka can literally be described as an uber-relaxed form of living. Over the centuries, the people of Dalmatia have perfected the art of Fjaka and taken it to the next level. Thus, whether they are simply strolling about aimlessly (emphasis on ‘slowly’), relaxing in chaises’ or cafes, or sitting with their head back facing the sun, Fjaka is emulated and absorbed by young and old alike. It’s truly a disciplined and inherited way of life in every Dalmatian town, and perhaps nowhere is it better displayed or observed than in Dubrovnik. Please do not for a second mistake Fjaka with laziness, as it’s not even remotely close. Fjaka is actually a psychophysical state of the mind where there is a momentary aspiration to do absolutely nothing. Except the moment never evaporates, and before you know it Fjaka has taken over your day. When this happens and Fjaka engulfs you, do not resist it and try to engage in work, rather slow down the Dalmatian way (‘polako’) and you will notice that any and all desire to engage in unnecessary physical labour of any sort shall pass.

fjaka

Take it easy you are in Dubrovnik 

If you feel bad about doing nothing for hours, simply calm down and Fjaka on, and know that even the well-dressed and sociable engage in Fjaka. Notice the way the women carry themselves and dress, you’d think they had planned that outfit for hours. Not so. They are masters of their own Fjaka domain and you can be too. The best places to engage in Fjaka include the Stradun where you must walk slowly (snail’s pace will do) and stare straight ahead, pretending not to be irritated by the throngs of tourists. Get that gelato, enjoy that cup of espresso, and do it all with the same Fjaka-like-laissez-faire attitude displayed by the locals. Fjaka can also be experienced at any of Dubrovnik’s side streets where you not only lounge about aimlessly for hours on end enjoying coffee after coffee (at a minimal cost, we promise!), but you do it sitting side by side with your bestie while carrying on a silent conversation. Fjaka usually goes hand-in-hand with people watching, but it’s done in a way so that only certain muscles of your neck are used. In this manner, you are exerting minimal energy and conveying a Fjaka-like performance worthy of an Academy Award. Had enough of Stradun and side street Fjaka? Head over to Buza outside the southern city walls, pick a rock, lay back next to the sea, bask in the sun or go for a topless swim. There is no better way to graduate from Fjaka 101 than to don the birthday suit and throw your cares and worries to the Adriatic. If you’ve made it this far you’ve earned the Fjaka black belt and will get a pat on the back from the locals…once they are done Fjaka-ing.

Church Gazing: Off the Beaten Path

Most guide books will tell you that the Church of Saint Blaise (Crkva Svetog Blaza), the Cathedral and the Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries are must see’s, and I am not going to debate that. These four structures are surely among Dubrovnik’s finest and oldest and best of all they are easily to be seen as three of them are located right on the Stradun (the Franciscan Monastery, the Cathedral and the Church of Saint Blaise) while the other (the Dominican Monastery) is next to the Revelin Fortress gate. Dubrovnik is a church and chapel lovers Nirvana, and no matter which street you happen to stumble upon, there is sure to be at least one church, chapel, cloister or religious building located on it or next to it (and not all are Christian either).

dubrovnik cathedral

The Dubrovnik Cathedral dominates the skyline 

While the Church of Saint Blaise (the city’s patron saint who was born an Armenian native) boasts baroque facades and has visitors gasping, die-hard enthusiasts will want to explore and discover others. My favourites include the tiny Chapel of Saint Nicholas located on Prijeko street in the Jewish quarter, Saint Ignatius church which is ornate and majestic and located right atop the Spanish Steps, and the Serbian Orthodox church (‘Crkva Svijeti Blagovijesti’) which is resplendent with stunning Byzantine icons and fantastic acoustics. Be sure not to miss out on the second oldest Jewish synagogue in Europe located on a side alley on Zudioska Street (Jewish Street) right off the Stradun. The Synagogue is located next to a small art gallery with lovely paintings and etchings displaying Jewish life in Dubrovnik as it once was.

Stroll and Window-Shop

Others would tell you to climb Mount Srd (Mount Sergej) which hovers above the city and boasts a fortress built by Napoleonic forces, but I won’t do that as that would involve activity and motion which breaks the cardinal rules embodied in Fjaka (number 3 in this article). Instead, replenish your water bottle in any of Dubrovnik’s perfectly safe public fountains and discover the hawkers and vendors doing a bustling trade at the fruit and vegetable market on Gundulić Square. Every morning Dalmatian locals from the vicinity of Dubrovnik set up their stalls of fresh produce and flowers and throw in traditional cottage craftwork. You can barter, strike up a conversation, or simply admire the statue of the square's namesake, a 17th century Croatian poet named Ivan Gundulić (he’s a great writer and considered something of a Croatian Shakespeare).

window shopping stradun

Window shopping on the Stradun 

The free buck does not stop there however, you can stroll onwards and enjoy endless hours of window shopping on the Stradun (the Croatian version of the Plaka district), on Luza square, or on any of the hundreds of narrow side streets which give Dubrovnik its old-world character. My favourites include the silver and gold filigree shops that line the narrow street called ‘Ulica od Puca’ (Public Street). Here you will find hipster art galleries and jewellery stores, vying with the best in Italian brand name apparel and local Croatian designers. A sure-fire favourite and best of all you never have to actually open your wallet.

By Mirella-Marie Katarina Radman

 

 

The construction works on the beach in the bay of Lapad are slowly but surely coming to an end. The majority of the heavy works seem to have been completed and the sand on the beach has been laid.

However there is lots of work remaining on the beach and the deadline for completion has already passed. According to a statement from the PR for Uvala Lapad beach the “Sunset Beach” was supposed to be finished by the end of June. “Realistic time of completion and opening of the beach is expected end of June, as it stated in the concession contract. So all in all, works are going well, all will be on time, Uvala will get an amazing beach with bar, pastry shop, restaurant,” read the statement that is clearly untrue.

And as this popular beach is surrounded by many hotels many tourists have been complaining that the noise from the construction works is ruining their holiday. These photos were taken today and it is clear that there is still some way to go before the beach is fully completed.

lapad uvalal beach

lapad beach 1

lapad beach 2

lapad beach uvala 2

lapad beach 33

lapad comes to and end

A few days ago, an agreement was signed on a new tourist investment worth 50 million Euros in Croatia.

The company Romana as an investor and the DER Touristik Hotels (DTH) Group signed a management agreement on building a new hotel - Iti Romana Makarska, the first hotel of the brand Iti in Croatia.

The investment of the Romana company in the four-star hotel is estimated at 50 million Euros, whilst the hotel will be managed by the DTH Group. The construction of the hotel with 267 rooms is scheduled for June 2018.

In addition, this investment will open 200 new jobs, whilst additional capacity will significantly extend the tourist season, primarily through health and sports tourism.

''The complex will be a guideline in our strategic development and a demonstration project in terms of quality and operational standards beyond Croatia's borders as well'', commented Christian Grage, the president of the DTH Group, adding that by signing the agreement on management of the hotel, DTH would have bigger influence already in the design phase and later in the construction phase thus they can make their suggestions in time.

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This year brings a special way to mark International Kissing Day in Dubrovnik! On Thursday, July 6th, you can send your kiss out to the world from Dubrovnik.

-Come to Porporela on Thursday, 6th of July from 8 PM to 11 PM, and send a picture of your kiss on a special „Kissing Bench” with #kissfromdubrovnik! Every couple that takes a photo on the „Kissing Bench” can get their photo on a polaroid in the Magic Mirror – the Dubrovnik Tourist Board wrote in their event on Facebook

To make the setting even more special there will be live romantic guitar music. Dubrovnik is perfect for romance, isn't it?

kiss from dubrovnik

One of the most popular DJ’s on the planet will perform in Dubrovnik tonight – DJ Afrojack. 

This will be the first time that this Dutch DJ has played in the region and it is sure to be a rocking night. Recently he has collaborated with world renowned musicians such as Beyonce, David Guette and Pitbull and tonight he will be playing in the Culture Club Revelin in Dubrovnik.

And with the Gumball 3000 Rally in Dubrovnik tonight, which DJ Afrojack is taking part in, there are sure to be some celebrities in the nightclub tonight. Afrojack regularly features in the top 10 of DJ Mag Top 100 DJs.

Go on jump in the Adriatic Sea, it’s one of the cleanest seas in the world. Findings from the Department of Public Health of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County have confirmed the quality of the sea water in the county, and yes it’s super clean.

Of the 116 beaches in the county 115 beaches were graded as having water of excellent quality, only one beach in the entire region failed to get the highest ranking. From the 19th to the 30th of June samples of the sea water in the region were collected and the results show that 99 percent of the beaches have sea water of excellent quality.

The only beach to miss the highest grade was the beach in front of Hotel Osmine in Slano which was graded as satisfactory quality. Throughout the summer months the sea water in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County is checked and tested.

A few day ago British Airways established new flights between the Croatian city of Pula and London.

''These two cities will be connected from the 1st of July to the 30th of September 2017 with flights operating twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. We can only hope that this will be an excellent start to a long-time partnership. British Airways will fly Airbus 319 aircraft with a capacity for 143 passengers to Pula'', commented Svemir Radmilo, the director of Pula Airport.

British Airways aircraft are also operating from London Heathrow to Zagreb and Split and from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik.

Apart from EasyJet, Norwegian Air shuttle, Thomson Airways, Ryaniar, and Jet2.com, British Airways is the sixth air carrier to connect London and Pula. However, it is the first to connect Pula Airport with the busiest airport in Europe - London Heathrow which has an annual traffic of 75 million passengers.

The British Airways fleet consists of 295 aircraft that fly to 183 destinations worldwide and with which Pula will be connected this summer through one transfer flight.

''Passengers from Great Britain make the largest market for Pula Airport, with more than 31 percent share in the total passenger traffic and with an annual growth of 20 percent. As from this season we are connected to the European leading airports – London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Amsterdam'', concluded the director of Pula Airport Svemir Radmilo.

The Croatian Ministry of Tourism has announced that it will allocate almost 25 million Kunas of grants for over 600 projects aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the tourism economy.

The Ministry has published the results of the program for grants allocation in 2017 under the title ''Competitiveness of the Tourism Economy'' for supporting 606 projects with 24.9 million Kunas.

The funds are intended to increase the quality and the additional offer of hospitality facilities, the development of new products in a destination, sustainable development, internationalization of business, usage of new technologies etc. Beneficiaries are small business entities (non-public sector companies, crafts and cooperatives), family farms that provide hospitality and/or tourist services, and physical persons-private renters.

The Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli has emphasized that this year, apart from projects on the continent; special attention is paid to the development of tourism on Croatian islands as well as to sustainable development and the usage of new digital technologies for connecting agriculture with tourism, i.e. destinations with a local offer of domestic products.

The 19th annual Gumball 3000 Rally is coming to Dubrovnik. From the 1st to the 7th of July 150 high-end luxury supercars will blast from Riga in Latvia to the Greek island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea and tomorrow the streets of Dubrovnik will echo to the sound of these monster cars.

The spectacular cavalcade of over 150 classic, wacky and futuristic hypercars set off from Riga on Sunday 2nd of July and embarked on an incredible journey through Vilnius, Warsaw, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Tirana and Athens before crossing the finish line in Mykonos on Friday July 7th.

Around 150 cars and two Harley Davidson motorbikes are taking part in this year’s rally and the founder of Gumball Maximillion Cooper will also be taking part as well as a host of celebrities. DJ AfroJack, Grammy winner Eve, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, megastar Cee Lo Green and Channel 4's SAS "Who Dares Wins' host Jason Fox will all be featuring in the race over 3,000 through eleven countries in only six days.

In partnership with Christie's Auctioneers (Kerring Group), Laureus Sport for Good, the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, the Gumball 3000 Foundation raises money throughout the event to support multiple youth based project to improve education, infrastructure and recreation in low income communities around the world.

If you want to catch these cars in Dubrovnik they will be in the Port of Gruz from 6.00pm to 10.00pm tomorrow evening.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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