Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The appeal from the Society of Architects of Dubrovnik, the Association of Croatian Architects, the Croatian Chamber of Architects and the Society of Art Historians of Croatia was rejected, requesting the protection of the Pelegrin Hotel in Kupari on the basis of new scientific knowledge.

The appeal of the Conservation Department in Dubrovnik was also rejected, stating, among other things: "the high valorisation of the Pelegrin Hotel in the context of modernity makes it necessary to make a detailed architectural snapshot of the existing state of affairs before the beginning of any interventions at the Pelegrin Hotel according to the adopted methodology for documenting cultural assets."

According to the investment plans, the construction of a new hotel is planned at the position of the existing Pelegrin Hotel, and at the position of the Goričina Hotel a tourist settlement.


Dubrovnik is widely regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world. With its stunning stone architecture, glinting turquoise seas and panoramic views the city is a magnet for international marriage proposals and weddings every year.

So with the most romantic day of the year on the doorstep where can you take your loved one for that extra special dreamy view. We have chosen the top five most romantic spots in the city.

If you were thinking of popping the question on the 14th of February this list might give you some ideas.

On the top of the Srd Mountain – commanding views over the Old City, the islands and the endless Adriatic Sea this view will blow you away.

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Lovrijenac Fortress – this ancient fortress might have been the scene for bloody battles in the Game of Thrones serial but it also has a much more romantic side.

view from lovrijenac 2020

Porporela – the breakwater that protects the Old City from high seas is also a quiet spot to be with your loved one.


Gradac park – one of the oldest public parks in the city this tranquil and green park has romantic paths and wondrous views.

gradac park dubrovnik 2020

Stradun – the heart of the Old City and the most romantic street in the world.

romantic empty stradun dubrovnik 2020


Hotel Kazbek became the first hotel in Croatia to join the global cage-free initiative and has completely eliminated eggs from cage breeding from its whole menu.

Hotel Kazbek commitment to the cage-free initiative will have a positive impact on animal welfare and sustainable food sourcing at both the local and global level,” commented the five-star Dubrovnik hotel last year and is pushing forward with its sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Whilst many hotels have been slow to catch up on the “green” side of doing business Hotel Kazbek is an example of how the tourism industry can work hand in hand with sustainability. Only one other hotel in Croatia, Hotel Millennium in Osijek, has so far joined this worthy cause.

“Hotel Kazbek is committing to sourcing 100 percent cage-free eggs (shell, powdered and liquid eggs) throughout hotel by the end of 2025. Working with Udruga Pobjede, a member of Open Wing Alliance, the initiative is part of an overall goal to source only cage-free eggs across the entire global portfolio by 2025,” added Hotel Kazbek.

Initiated by The Humane League, the Open Wing Alliance brings member organizations together to create a unified front in a campaign to free egg-laying hens from cages.


On the 18th of February a new Croatian President will be inaugurated and the reign of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic as President will come to an end as Zoran Milanovic becomes the fifth president since Croatia became an independent country in 1990.

Grabar-Kitarovic (51) became the fourth Croatian President on the 18th of February 2015 and this week she completed her final foreign trip as the head of state when she visited Slovenia. It has been an extremely busy five years for Grabar-Kitarovic. And according to information provided by the Office of President to N1 she certainly filled her diary during her mandate as President.

kolinda at world cup russia

World Cup in Russia was a highlight of President's five-year mandate - Photo Wikipedia 

Here is a breakdown of exactly what President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic did during her time in the top political role in Croatia from February 2015 to February 2020:

- She carried out 51 visits within the Republic of Croatia. Of which 31 were official state visits and 20 working visits.

- She received 105 foreign and senior officials at her office.

- Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic made foreign 140 trips, travelling on 71 official visits and 69 working trips outside of Croatia.

- She received 14,081 official letters and petitions.

- During her mandate she received 1,930 gifts.

- Her office organised 18 Open Door Days.

- By the end of 2019 she had made 1,706 decisions on awarding decorations to citizens.

- She carried out 234 different programs inside of Croatia.

All the signs from Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic suggest that she will now, after five years serving as the President, take a break from politics and assume more of a behind the scenes role. There are even suggestions that she will continue her career outside of Croatia. And as she has already held leading positions outside of the country, such as the Croatian ambassador to the United States and the assistant secretary general of NATO for Public Diplomacy, it would come as no surprise that she finds a new role in the US or indeed Canada where she started her diplomatic career.


The summer season is just around the corner and more and more international airlines are offering amazing flight deals to Dubrovnik.

The latest airline to release crazy prices is Air Baltic on flights between the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, and Dubrovnik. The Latvian owned airline is offering return tickets for as little as 120 Euros. The flight time is around 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Air Baltic will start flights to Dubrovnik from Vilnius on the 2nd of May this year and will operate flights twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, until the 24th of October.

Check out the Air Baltic website here



The latest edition of the renowned Michelin Guide is due out later this month and Croatia could well add another two restaurants to the coveted star section.

Croatia currently has five Michelin star restaurants, 360 in Dubrovnik, Monte in Rovinj, Draga di Lovrana in Lovran, Noel in Zagreb and Pelegrini in Sibenik and according to report on the website plavakamenica.hr two more Croatian restaurants could soon find themselves on this list.

The new Michelin Guide to Croatia should be released by the end of this month and the website speculates that two more restaurants, one in the capital and one on the Dalmatian coast should receive stars.

“The most obvious contenders for the new stars are certainly Rovinj's Cap Aureo and Zagreb's Zinfandel, but Michelin's inspectors are often surprising,” commented Kult Plave Kamenice.


Dubrovnik might well be gripped in the hands of winter, however mild and sunny, but that hasn’t stopped the number of photos on Instagram.

Check out our top five Dubrovnik Instagram photos from this week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.



Canada remains the most attractive country outside of Europe for Europeans to take residence for the fifth year running, according to the latest report from global mobility experts, ECA International (ECA).

Fit for royalty with its clean air, free healthcare, low crime and political stability, Canada has retained its high position in ECA’s liveability analysis in its annual Location Ratings Report.

ECA’s liveability survey of over 490 cities around the world looks at factors including availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; climate; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

Canada has long been an attractive country for expatriates to live, boasting one of the world’s strongest economies, booming industry, and a strong focus on entrepreneurship opportunities. Many Canadian cities even outscore European hubs including London, Paris, Berlin and Rome despite the distance from home.

An additional important factor for mainland Europeans looking to relocate is that Canada is officially bilingual, with many Canadians speaking English as well as French, the third most widely spoken language in Europe.

As Harry and Meghan relocate across the Atlantic, Canada once again shines as the most liveable non-European country for European expats

UK nationals make up the third largest foreign-born group in Canada –after India and China – which has attracted a large foreign-born population of approx. 6,775,800 people* with a total 20.6 per cent of the population - the highest proportion among the G8 countries.

“Canadian cities have always provided a high quality of life for European expats, with consistently high scores putting Canadian cities above many European counterparts. Harry and Meghan follow in the footsteps of millions of European expats to Canadian cities, namely Toronto and Vancouver, which are relatively easy for European expatriates to adapt to. Choosing Canada to bring up their new family means they will experience lower crime levels, good public facilities, and better air quality,” comments Neil Ashman, Senior Location Ratings Analyst at ECA International.

Toronto ranks top for Europeans in Canada

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, fared the best of all the Canadian cities reviewed in ECA’s report. Despite extreme weather challenges that face residents and businesses in Toronto the government is making historic new investments in infrastructure to maintain its position as a world class city.

“Since 2016, the Canadian government has committed $14.4 billion on modernising public transport, green and social infrastructure, trade and transportation, making it a consistently attractive city for European’s living abroad.”

Northern European cities lead the way

Elsewhere, Copenhagen and Bern have scooped the joint top spot as the most liveable cities in the world for European expats.

Ashman said: “Northern European cities in places such as Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Switzerland, have consistently scored well for expat liveability. Excellent transport links, a high standard of healthcare and long-term political stability, mean that overseas workers from elsewhere in Europe can adapt to these locations with ease.”

Good news for 900,000 Irish passport applicants

Dublin has kept its position within the top 10 most liveable cities in the world. ECA’s liveability score of the Irish capital will be well received by expats and the record number of Irish passport applicants last year.

“Dublin has become a popular hub for the expats from around the world thanks to having the benefits of a large city while also managing to avoid the negative aspects. For example, crime rates and air quality are much better in the Irish capital than many other major European locations, while culture and infrastructure scores remain strengths too” said Ashman.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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