Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
One of the loudest complaints from holidaymakers in Croatia is the price, or rather the high prices. In fact, it isn’t really the price that is the main gripe but the value for money. However, according to a recent article and survey in the renowned UK publication “Which” it seems that Croatia is in fact the cheapest of the most sought after Mediterranean destinations.
The Which article states that a “A three-star package holiday in Croatia could cost you an average of £350 less than a similar trip to Malta – and it was the cheapest location to visit across the board, including Greece, Portugal and Spain.”
It must be empathised that the price surveys included the whole of Croatia, if it had concentrated on Dubrovnik, which along with Hvar is the most expensive destination in Croatia, then the results could have been much different.
“Which? carried out snapshot research across a number of popular European short-haul destinations to determine which is the cheapest for October package holidays, including flights from London,” states the article.
Hotel Excelsior overlooking the Old City of Dubrovnik - Photo ALH
And here is what they uncovered about Croatia. “Out of all the destinations we looked into, Croatia was the cheapest to visit for a package holiday. At an average of £485pp, a three-star holiday in Croatia is more than £350 cheaper than a three-star holiday to Malta. Even when comparing the average price across three, four and five-star holidays, Croatia remained the cheapest destination, at £520 per head. That’s a difference of £347,” wrote Which. They also added that in October the weather can be changeable, and this October is a perfect example of that autumnal weather.
And with half-term in England a week away this publicity could certainly help boost the number of Brits who arrive on the Dalmatian coast. British Airways are still operating up to 11 flights a week between London and Dubrovnik and other carriers, such as EasyJet are also still flying until at least the end of this month. British Airways are offing return flights to Dubrovnik from around £240 and as an example of a package deal are offering seven-nights with breakfast in the five-star Hotel Croatia in Cavtat including flights for around £740pp. Or is you want to take a step up to the most iconic hotel in Dubrovnik, the Hotel Excelsior, with views directly over the Old City of Dubrovnik you can get a similar deal for £1,363pp.
1.25 million passengers passed through Croatian airports in August, an increase of 113.8 percent compared to the same month last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic meant that only 585 thousand passengers used airports across Croatia.
According to new data from the Central Bureau of Statistics the number of passengers that used Croatian airports in the height of the summer season was just over 64 percent of the number from 2019. It must be emphasized that 2019 was a record breaking year for Croatian tourism.
Over the first eight months of this year, 2.8 million passengers have travelled through all airports, which is 65.2 percent more than in the same period from last year. Highlighting the bounce back from the pandemic that Croatian tourism has seen, in a year that was well above expectations.
Split is the absolute leader and in August alone 491,000 passengers used the airport, a massive 81 percent more than last year. And Split airport is on course to be the busiest airport in Croatia this year, taking the title from Zagreb.
Even Dubrovnik airport beat the capital’s airport in August, with 288,000 passengers passing through Croatia’s southernmost airport, with Zagreb airport lagging behind with 193,000 passengers. However, with Ryanair creating a mini-hub in Zagreb airport this winter and operating to a number of European destinations the capital’s airport should have a strong end to the season.
Zadar Airport was in fourth place with just over 163 thousand, which is the largest increase among all airports.
The largest international passenger traffic in August was realized with German airports, 242 thousand passengers, which is an increase of 92.2 percent compared to the same last year.
Statistics show that airports, despite the growth in traffic compared to August last year, are still lagging behind the same month of pre-pandemic 2019.
For example, passenger traffic through Split Airport was 27 percent lower than in August 2019, through Dubrovnik Airport 45 percent lower, and through Zagreb Airport 48 percent lower.
In the last 24 hours, 1,947 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 10,331.
Among them, 871 people are in hospital, of which 114 are on ventilators.
Unfortunately, a further 15 people passed away in Croatia in the past 24 hours.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 426,613 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 8,877 have died, a total of 407,405 people have recovered, of which 1,412 recovered in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 20,531 people in self-isolation.
To date, a total of 2,963,298 people have been tested, of which 9,410 were tested in the last 24 hours.
As of October 15, 2021, 3,516,613 doses of vaccine have been used, and 46.04 percent of the total population and 55.19 percent of the adult population have been vaccinated. On 15.10.2021, 6,349 doses of vaccine were used, of which 2,962 people were vaccinated with the first dose.
Good news for Dubrovnik’s winter tourism scene comes in the news that the Russian airline, Ural Airlines, will continue to fly to Dubrovnik through the off season.
Ural Airlines will connect Dubrovnik with Moscow (Domodedovo Airport) once a week through the winter months in what is the first direct winter connection to Moscow from Dubrovnik.
Flights were planned to operate on a seasonal basis and were scheduled to end at the end of October. However, Ural Airline has included flights to Dubrovnik on their recently published winter flights schedule. This means that once a week, until the end of March, Dubrovnik will have a direct flight from Moscow every Saturday. Prices for a single ticket start at around 149 Euros.
Picture a little piece of heaven set in the heart of the world of the terra (magic land) that is Istria in Croatia. This beautiful Mediterranean setting is home to a collection of exceptional villas offering the ultimate in luxury and beauty without compromise. A holiday at Villas Borghetto guarantees the epitome of comfort and style combined with impeccable personal service that exceeds all expectations.
The selection of beautifully appointed villas located in a stunning Mediterranean setting overlooking the crashing waves of the rejuvenating Adriatic Sea as well as the lush olive groves and vineyards nearby. Each villa comes with a spacious outside area and there’s a sparkling private swimming pool at its heart, as well as comfortable sun loungers and a barbecue. The elegant, contemporary interiors are decorated and furnished to the highest of standards throughout and offer plenty of space for relaxation and state-of-of-the-art fully equipped kitchens. All of the opulent bedrooms come with stylish suite marble bathrooms and the most luxurious of linens.
The attentive, experienced staff at Villas Borghetto are dedicated to making dream holidays become a reality after careful discussion with every client. They are on hand to pay the closest of attention to detail and every trip for an incredible holiday experience unlike any other. There’s so much on offer in the fabulous region of Istria. Whether guests are looking to learn about the wealth of fascinating history and cultural heritage on their doorstep or get back to nature by exploring the stunning coastline, cliffs and untouched coves and beaches. There are also dense verdant forests and intriguing caves as well as the islands of the archipelago. A unique and diverse environment waiting to be discovered.
Istria is also a food lover’s heaven with incredible, tasty local produce and the chance to enjoy unforgettable meals made using local seasonal ingredients. Lovers of gourmet delights can sample the famous Istrian truffles, tuck into delectable seafood like the famous pilgrim scallops, sole and Adriatic squid, traditional dishes like beef and delicious seasonal vegetables including wild asparagus. There’s also premium olive oil and excellent wine on offer.
The team at Villas Borghetto aims to any stay with the best of excursions and activities to suit every taste. They can also transfers by land, sea or air, and beauty treatments and experiences or unique adrenaline-inducing adventures like scuba diving, paragliding or hang gliding. There’s a vast array of opportunities for creating an enriching holiday to suit every taste and all in the utmost of luxury and style.
So it’s no surprise that Villas Borghetto has been chosen by the experts at Luxury Lifestyle Awards as one of the winners in the category of Best Luxury Villa Rental & Accommodation Services in Croatia 2021. An exceptional holiday experience awaits every guest in the surrounds of breathtaking Istria.
Free Internet has now been installed and available in the centre of Čilipi, as part of the WiFI4EU initiative.
The internet in question has two inputs that the devices will recognize when searching for the network - "WiFI4EU" and "Konavle_FREE.”
A total of 11 access points have been set up, of which two are indoor in the area of KUD Čilipi and external in the area from the area of KUD to the House of Culture, including a playground next to the regional school and the playground with artificial grass.
The internet was installed thanks to a fund approved to the Municipality of Konavle by the European Commission through the application for the WIFI4EU initiative, in order to provide free internet to both locals and tourists visiting Čilipi.
In the last 24 hours, 1,851 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection were recorded, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is a total of 9,620.
Among them, 871 people are in hospital, of which 122 people are on ventilators.
And today a spokesperson for the Croatian government stated that over the past seven days 85 percent of people who have required a ventilator have been unvaccinated. Of the total number of new Covid-19 cases over the past week 77 percent were unvaccinated and 73 percent of the people in hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.
Over 1.86 million people across Croatia have been vaccinated, which is 55 percent of the adult population.
On Thursday, the government passed a decree according to which traders in petroleum products can sell petrol for a maximum of 11.10 per litre for the next 30 days, and diesel for 11 Kuna. The maximum price amounts include the price of the petroleum product, excise duty and VAT.
"I believe that in the next 30 days there will be a stabilization of prices on the market and that after that period we will continue to function normally as an economy," said the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić.
The prices of oil and oil derivatives in the Republic of Croatia are determined freely, in accordance with the rules governing market relations. However, for the protection of consumers, market regulation or other justified reasons, the government may, by decree, prescribe the highest level of retail prices for certain petroleum products, for an uninterrupted period of up to 90 days.
"Taking into account the current economic situation, the unpredictability of oil prices on the world market and the impact of fuel prices on overall economic activity and the standard of living of citizens, with the aim of unhindered further economic recovery, the government decided to stabilize gasoline prices for 30 days,” said the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
Fuel prices in Croatia have risen significantly again since Tuesday, meaning that a litre of Eurosuper 95 is now 26 Lipa more expensive than last week, which is a consequence of rising oil prices on world markets. And fuel prices in Croatia are also rising due to the high exchange rate of the dollar.