Monday, 04 December 2023
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.


The jubilee 10th edition of theThe Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN) Awards features the greatest European stars of the aquatic disciplines who enjoyed another outstanding year. And we are proud to say that one of them is from Dubrovnik! 

The Croatian Water Polo Team and Jug goalkeeper Marko Bijac is the best water polo player in 2017. The only Croat who has so far won the Water Polo Award of the Year was Miho Boskovic back in 2012.

-Marko Bijac played a pivotal role in Croatia’s World Championships triumph (and he came second with Jug Dubrovnik in the Champions League) – it's stated at the LEN official website.

Bijac is the second goalkeeper in the history of this election who received the award (the first Italian is Stefano Tempesti) and this year he’s the only Croatian.

The Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN) was founded in Budapest in 1926. It is the oldest continental federation governing and coordinating the aquatic sports.



                                        Photo by Tonci Vlasic

Real estate prices in the European Union slightly accelerated in the third quarter of 2017, in comparison to the same period the year before, whilst their growth slowed slightly in Croatia, shows data from the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).

According to Eurostat data for the third quarter of last year, real estate prices in the EU increased by 4,6 percent compared to the same period of 2016, whilst in Croatia they increased by 3,8 percent compared to the same period of 2016.

Furthermore, among the EU member countries, the highest growth in real estate prices at the annual level was recorded in the Czech Republic (12,3%), followed by Ireland (12%) and Portugal (10,4%).

A decline in real estate prices was recorded only in Italy, 0,9 percent in comparison to the third quarter of 2016.
Croatia’s real estate prices in the third quarter of 2017 increased by 0,6 percent in comparison to the previous quarter when they increased by 3,7 percent, said the Eurostat report.

In the period from July to September 2017, lower real estate prices on a quarterly basis recorded only Romania (1,6%), Finland and Italy (0,5%) and Cyprus (0,3%).


High blood pressure or hypertension is one the sneakiest diseases in the world today. Some studies show that this disease causes one of eight deaths in the world.

According to a survey published by The Economist from the notable scientific magazine Lancet, Croatia is among the countries with the highest number of high blood pressure patients.

Dr Nediljko Pivac, a cardiologist from Split, commented that in Croatia men aged 40 to 50 years suffer from hypertension. When it comes to Croatian women, when they enter the period of menopause, the risk of suffering from high blood pressure increases, thus, women aged 65 years and older suffer from disease more than Croatian men.

‘’Around 47,5 percent of all deaths in Croatia are caused by cardiovascular diseases’’, said Dr Pivac.

According to the latest survey, the highest number of hypertension cases was recorded in Slavonia, followed by Dalmatia, which was quite unexpected given the fact that Dalmatian cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world. It seems that more and more people are buckling under the pressure of the fast lifestyle of today.

‘’A silent killer’’ as is usually attributed to hypertension, affects between 16 and 37 percent of the population globally. In 2010 hypertension was believed to have been a factor in 18 percent of all deaths (9,4 million globally).


According to the popular German automobile club ADAC, Croatia is the third on the list of favourite camping destinations among Germans.

The Croatian region of Istria is the most desirable regional destination among German motorists for the eighth year in a row. The popularity of Istria increased by 1 percent in comparison to last year, to a 13 percent of the share. Way behind Istria is Lago di Garda in Italy (5,2% share) and Dalmatia (5% share), whilst Italian camping spots Veneto and Friuli placed in the fourth place with 3,9 percent share.

Every year ADAC carries out a survey on travelling by car to a vacation among 170,000 routes made by ADAC’s experts for its members. The survey covers data on the use of the ADAC Maps Routenplaner for marking itineraries from Germany to destinations where Germans spend their holiday.

Out of a sample of 1,3 million inquiries made by ADAC Maps Routenplaner users, around 13 percent of them referred to Istria as the most sought after region.

In the category of countries, Croatia placed as the third auto destination with a 7,6 percent share, behind Germany leading the way with a 27,6 share and Italy with 18,1 percent share, but ahead of countries such as Austria (6,8 % share) and Turkey (6,2 % share).

Croatia was also ranked third of the list of favourite German camping destinations, after Italy and Germany, and ahead of France and Spain.


Day of Saint Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, is one of the most important events in the city od Dubrovnik. Thousands of citizens and their guests rush to the Old City on the February 3rd in order to participate in this traditional and beautiful day. 

That's why it's good to know that just today Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, sent a notice that all the buses that drive to the historical city of Dubrovnik will be free of charge on February 2nd from 2pm and during the day St. Blaise Festivity and the Day of the City, February 3rd.

If you want to discover more about Dubrovnik patron saint, be sure to check Five things you didn’t know about St. Blaise.

It certainly isn’t every day that the BBC writes about “fjaka,” in fact we doubt that they have ever written about it before. But in an article entitled “Dalmatia’s Fjaka State of Mind” they have broken the mould. For those of you who were still wondering a fjaka is basically an afternoon nap or a siesta, and it is extremely popular in the summer months in laid back Dubrovnik.

The writer Kristin Vuković explains in his article for the BBC that a fjaka is “a sublime state in which a human aspires for nothing.” This recent article on the BBC Travel section has certainly received lots of feedback.

Check out the full article here



The reach of Dubrovnik’s promotion is getting further and further. The Dubrovnik- Neretva County Tourist Board has presented the tourism offer for the first time ever at the OTM Travel fair in Mumbai, India. This large and important tourism fair was held from the 18th to the 20th of January at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board presented with the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Zadar Tourist Board as co-exhibitors.

Indian tourists are one of the fastest growing in the Dubrovnik County. In 2017 there were almost 15,000 tourists from India who achieved 37,000 overnight stays, this was 60 percent more than in 2016. One of the reasons for the growth in interest was the filming of the Bollywood blockbuster movie “Fan” starring Shah Rukh Khan. The film, which was released in 2016, was took $10 million at the cinemas on the opening weekend in India.

The airports of the region had an extremely successful 2017 with most of them showing a huge increase in passengers.

The busiest airport in the region, by some distance, was the Nikola Tesla Airport in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, which handled 5.3 million passengers last year, an increase of 8.5 percent over 2016. Then the top ten list was dominated by Croatia, Zagreb in second place with 3 million passengers, Split with 2.8 million and Dubrovnik Airport with 2.3 million passengers.

Split Airport recorded the largest increase in the region with an amazing 23 percent increase compared with 2016. In fourth place was Pristina, followed by Skopje, Ljubjana, Tivat and Pogorica in Montenegro and in tenth position was Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, the airport in the Bosnian capital, with 957,000 passengers, had its busiest year on record and dominated air travel in the country.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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