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.
If you don’t like steps don’t come to Dubrovnik! Anyone who has ever been to the historic Old City will know that every side street offers a multitude of steps. If you are looking for a free workout, then Dubrovnik is the place for you.
But just how many steps are there inside the ancient walled city. Quite a few years ago a young team of international students actually counted them, yes not the kind of job that is appealing to everyone. They worked out, over a series of days, that there are 4,343 stone steps in the Old City of Dubrovnik. We will have to take their word for it because we aren’t fit enough to check it. Not only did they count the steps in the core of the city but also on the Dubrovnik City Walls, which has a further 1,080 steps. That makes a grand, and it is grand, total of 5,423 steps in Dubrovnik.
So if you are planning to stay inside the Old City this summer be prepared for a daily fitness regime. There’s no need to visit the gym. A walk around the city walls and a few strolls back and forth to your apartment will give you a free “bum and thigh” work our every day.
Dubrovnik - a city of stone steps
Dubrovnik is beautiful, everybody knows that, but there is a sort of the hidden gem just around 15 minutes drive away from it – Cavtat!
This little town is part of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and is the centre of the Konavle municipality. Those who visit Cavtat mostly agree that there is a certain charm in this city. It's calm, small and beautiful and it has absolutely breathtaking sunsets.
This video made by Dario Skuric shows just some of the perfect sunsets in Cavtat (and a bit of Dubrovnik, too). Take a look and fall in love!
According to the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic realized in commercial and non-commercial facilities and the nautical charter (eCrew system), from January to end-December in 2017 there was 18.5 million arrivals (+13 percent) and 102 million overnight stays (+12 percent). That are truly historical tourist results for Croatia, which confirmed to be one of the most popular tourist destinations.
Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli and Director of the Croatian Tourist Board General Office, Kristjan Stanicic are pleased with these results and in 2018 they announce a stronger development of year-round tourism based on sustainable development and destination management.
Looking at the period from January to December, foreign tourists MADE 16.5 million arrivals (+14 percent) and 89.8 million overnight stays (+12 percent), while domestic tourists mad 12 million overnight stays, which is a growth of 14 percent. During the last year most of the overnight stays were made in Istria (28 million overnight stays), Split-Dalmatia County (19 million) and Kvarner (18.6 million). Following are Zadar County (13.7 million overnight stays), Dubrovnik-Neretva County (8.5 million), Sibenik-Knin (7.1 million), Lika-Senj County (3.2 million) and Zagreb (2.3 million). There were 2 million overnight stays (+15 percent) on the continent, and most of the overnight stays were realized in Karlovac County (576 thousand overnight stays), Krapina-Zagorje County (322 thousand) and Osijek-Baranja County (188 thousad).
When it comes to overnight stays, top destinations are Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Porec, Medulin and Umag. Of the total number of overnight stays, most were realized in households (35 million nights), hotels (25 million overnight stays) and camps (19 million), while 3.2 million overnight stays were made in the nautical charter during the last twelve months.
According to the Croatian National Bank (HNB) data, in the first nine months of 2017 tourism revenues were 8 billion, 724 million Euros, which represents a growth of 10 percent compared to the same period last year or more precisely 822 million euros.
In the third quarter, or July, August and September of 2017, tourism revenues amounted to 5 billion and 992 million Euros from foreign visitors, representing a 10 percent increase over the same period last year or 533 million more.
In the first nine months, the share of travel-tourism revenue in total GDP at current prices was 24 percent, which is 0.9 percentage points higher than in the same period last year.
A Croatia Airlines flight from Frankfurt to Dubrovnik was struck by a bolt of lightning at around 9.00pm last night. Just before landing at Dubrovnik Airport the Airbus A319 was struck by lightning but managed to land without any problems.
No major damage was reported, however from the photo it is clear to see where the lightning struck the nose of the Croatia Airline plane.
Overnight mechanics reportedly checked the plane over and it took off at 6.40 am on a flight to Zagreb.
Lightning damage on Croatia Airlines plane from Frankfurt - Photo Tango Six
The Croatian capital Zagreb will have direct flights to Canada this year with the reintroduction of flights with Air Canada after a long 27-year break. Flights between Toronto and Zagreb will begin on the 2nd of June and will be operated by the Rouge airline, a subsidiary of Air Canada.
According to a report on the specialist airline website EX-YU Aviation the airline firmly believes that this new route will be successful and have already reported great bookings. Air Canada will fly four times a week to Zagreb and stress that they will “Offer the best market coverage of any carrier between Canada and Croatia.”
From the 2nd of June until the 7th of October the airline will maintain regular flights, and due to the high number of Croatian diaspora that live in Canada these flights should prove popular.
As the year begins publicity for Dubrovnik is coming thick and fast, and one of the most publications in the world, National Geographic, has featured Dubrovnik on its cover page.
The February/March edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine has an elegant cover photo of the sun flooding down the Stradun through the heart of the Old City with the headline “New Classics.”
The lengthy article was written by David Farley, who spent a great deal of time in Dubrovnik researching the nooks and crannies of the city, more fabulous publicity for Dubrovnik before the summer season.
The fast pace of travel, the world is becoming smaller at the slide of a thumb across a smart phone. Whereas years ago the classic high street travel agency was the place to find deals and book fortnights in the Mediterranean sun, those analogue days are well behind us. Today, with budget airlines, AirBnb and Uber, you can book your flights, your balcony in the sun and even the taxi to pick you up from the airport all online. And it would seem that more and more people are doing just that.
According to the tech and travel company, Sygic Travel, 85 percent of tourists planned their vacation on a smartphone or tablet in 2017, whilst just four years ago they preferred to do it with a laptop. Travel is moving from lap to app. In 2017 the most popular destination worldwide was London together with its famous Big Ben.
Statistics also reveal that Android users are more conservative while spending money on accommodation or tours via mobile devices than iOS users.
“Today, most of travel planning is done with the help of a smartphone rather than a computer. Our data shows that in 2017 travellers from the whole world planned 77 percent of their trips in the iOS and Android apps (plus 8% on iPads respectively) while just 15 percent used the web planner on a computer,” says Barbora Nevosádová, Sygic Travel’s Marketing Director.
The 10 most popular cities of 2017 according to Sygic Travel were in descending order London, Rome, Paris, Prague, New York, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest and Venice.
Although there are only two and a half months left until the end of the winter flight schedule, Dubrovnik will get one more winter line in March – Avioradar reports.
The Norwegian airline Norwegian Air Shuttle start operations from March 3rd with its seasonal Dubrovnik-Oslo flights. That is about a month before the start of the summer flight schedule. Four flights are scheduled every Saturday until March 24th. This winter line came like a surprise, without any notice, because in December last year the flights in March weren’t for sale.
Also, the seasonal Split - Oslo line will begin operations four days before the beginning of the summer flight schedule, or more precisely two flights are scheduled during the winter flight schedule - on Wednesday, March 21st and Saturday, March 24th.