Saturday, 22 January 2022
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 first advent candle in Dubrovnik will be lit tomorrow, the 27th of November, and preparations are all in place. Traditionally this advent wreath is located in front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral by the Rector’s Palace and this year is no different.

Tomorrow is a big day for Dubrovnik’s festive season as the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival kicks off tomorrow. After the first advent candle is lit at 7:00pm, and the first advent candle symbolises Hope, the actual Christmas decorations in and around the historic Old City will be illuminated at 8:00pm.

And then a concert by popular Croatian pop group Neno Belan & Fiumens will be held in front of the St. Blaise Church.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow is for rain and storms.

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This year’s Dubrovnik Winter Festival opens this weekend on the 27th of November with the traditional lighting of the first advent candle in front of the cathedral and then the big switch on of the Christmas lights in the historic Old City. The evening will finish with a free concert in front of the St. Blaise Church by Neno Belan.

From the 27th of November until the 6th of January Dubrovnik will come alive to the sights and sounds of Christmas with the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival. The program of events is out and it might be a little modest compared to pre-pandemic years but there is something for everyone, from festive workshops for children to free guided tours of the Old City and plenty of concerts.


One of the mainstays of the festival are the Christmas houses dotted around the historic Old City, from the Stradun to Pile, and one again these stands have been installed.

Check out the full program for this year’s Dubrovnik Winter Festival on the above link and download the program.


Croatian Health Minister, Vili Beroš, said at a government session on Wednesday that the proportion of newly infected with Covid-19 among those tested in the last 24 hours was 40.59 percent, and 250 people were hospitalized, of whom 174 or almost 70 percent were not vaccinated with a single dose.

“The capacities of the Covid wards are being expanded every day, and they are being filled mostly by unvaccinated patients. This deprives non-Covid beds for other patients. And 80 percent of the fatalities from the virus should not have died, they should still be among us", said Beroš.

So far, 63 percent of the adult population in Croatia has been vaccinated, but the vaccination coverage is still insufficient if we want to avoid last year's situation with an overloaded health care system.

He pointed out that there is still an increased interest in vaccination, and that last week more than 84,000 people were vaccinated, which is equivalent to "two Dubrovniks".

In the health care system, more than 77 percent of employees are vaccinated with the first dose, and more than 90 percent of doctors are vaccinated.


The most popular low-cost airlines in the world will connect two UK cities with Zadar for the 2022 summer season. Ryanair have launched ticket sales for flights from Birmingham and Bournemouth for next year. These new connections to Croatia will both start at the end of March 2022, reports Croatian Aviation.

The flight connection between Birmingham and Zadar will operate from the 30th of March until the 29th of October, whilst the Bournemouth connection will fly from the 29th of March until the 29th of October.

These two new flight connection means that Ryanair will be flying to a total of seven UK destinations from Zadar in 2022, including London, Manchester and Newcastle.


In the last 24 hours in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, 99 new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded.

These new cases are 55 males and 44 females: 32 from Dubrovnik, 14 from Metković, 13 from Konavle, 11 from Orebić, 5 from Župa dubrovačka, 4 from Ploče, three each from Blato, Pojezerje, Slivno and Vela Luka, two people each from Dubrovačko Primorje, Ston and Zažablje and one person each from Kula Norinska and Trpanj.

One male from Konavle (born in 1934) died.

152 people made a full recovery: 71 from Dubrovnik, 23 from Župa dubrovačka, 15 from Konavle, 9 from Metković, 8 from Vela Luka, 7 from Korčula, 6 from Orebić, 5 from Ploče, 4 from Ston, 2 from Opuzen and one person each from Lastovo and Mljet.

In the last 24 hours, 753 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 166,408 samples have been analyzed.

58 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, eight patients required intensive care, and seven people were on a ventilators.

There are 1,069 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violations of the self-isolation measure have been recorded.


The Dubrovnik Tourist Board will organise free guided tours in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik throughout the duration of the Dubrovnik Winter festival.

"Saturday winter morning in the city" is the name of the guided tour project and it all starts on the 27th of November, coinciding with the opening of this year’s Dubrovnik Winter Festival.

City tours will be organized every Saturday, starting from November 27 until December 18, with a guide in both Croatian and English, starting at 10:00am in front of the main office of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board on Pile.


“Due to epidemiological measures, the number of participants is limited so we kindly ask you to confirm your arrival on Fridays until 6:00pm, by e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone +38520312011,” stated the tourist board.

After a tour of the city with a professional guide, at 11.30am in front of the church of St. Blaise in the heart of the Old City, a performance by the Folklore Ensemble Linđo will be held.

“This free program will enrich and contribute to the diverse and rich offer of entertainment programs during the Dubrovnik Winter Festival,” concluded the tourist board in a statement today.

Subotnje jutro u gradu

Dubrovnik and their guests will enter the New Year on Stradun with the Dubrovnik pop group “Silente” and the rock band “Vatra” it was announced on Tuesday at the presentation of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival.

Over the festive period a total of 13 hotels will be open throughout Dubrovnik.

More than thirty large and small Christmas trees will bring the warmth of the holidays to all the city, and the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, in the period from November 27 to January 6, will once again feature festive houses throughout the city.

Try the holiday offer of gastronomic delicacies on popular houses set on Dubrovnik's squares and streets, sing traditional Christmas songs and Dubrovnik carols, see off 2021 and celebrate the New Year on Stradun and wish everyone happy holidays!


The Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik, Jelka Tepšić, stated at the presentation of the program that the Covid-19 restrictions and a smaller budget for the festival than in previous years meant that the program will mainly be focused on the historic city centre.

"A lot of creativity, effort and desire has been invested. Under the auspices of the festival there will be other smaller programs and quite a number of surprises. The festival will mark Dubrovnik carols. We want to offer quality content during the holidays, especially this year, when people need a little nice atmosphere and relaxation,” commented Tepšić.

The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnić, pointed out that domestic guests and those from the region are most expected at Advent in Dubrovnik.

“I hope they recognize our rich program. We currently have direct flights with Istanbul and Barcelona, but we are connected to the world via Zagreb. At the same time, 13 Dubrovnik hotels will be opened, some of which will offer their own Advent program and a special holiday offer,” said Hrnić.

The program of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival begins on Saturday, November 27, with the lighting of the first Advent candle, the inclusion of holiday lighting and a concert by Nena Belan and Fiumens in front of the Church of St. Blaise.

Tereza Kesovija, Klapa Ragusa and women's Klapa FA Linđo will perform at the charity concert on the occasion of the Dubrovnik Veterans' Day on December 6, accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, and all proceeds will go to the Covid department of the Dubrovnik Hospital. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will also perform at the Dubrovnik Christmas Concert on December 19, with several vocalists.

Dubrovnik Advent will be marked by a rich program of city institutions in culture. From the traditional Cod Days, Saturday performances of the Folklore Ensemble Linđo, thematic city tours "Golden Age of Dubrovnik" and Pop-up Christmas Carol Bus, and for the youngest Moto Father Christmas, North Pole Station in Lazareti, Colourful winter in Lapad Bay and the Advent train.

dubrovacki zimski festival 21 22 6

The program of the last day of 2021 starts at noon, when Dubrovnik bartenders will prepare New Year's cocktails in front of the City Café. The first day of 2022 will be marked by the New Year's concert of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra at noon, and in the evening by a concert from Klapa Rišpet.

The US State Department warned on Monday not to travel to Germany due to the current accelerated spread of coronavirus in that country, and Croatia is also on the list of high-risk countries.

The State Department’s Level 4 warning against travel to Germany is linked to the latest assessment of the situation by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Avoid traveling to Germany. If you have to go there, make sure you are fully vaccinated before the trip,” warns the CDC.

"Due to the current situation in Germany, even fully vaccinated people may be at risk of getting wider variants of Covid-19," adds the CDC.

Germany is facing an increase in the number of infected and medical experts and Chancellor Angela Merkel have warned that hospitals are already struggling in some regions.

The number of new cases of infection in the country is doubling every 12 days.

Germany and Denmark are among the countries for which a level 4 warning has been issued, the highest level of the CDC scale.

The Level 4 warning also applies to other countries in Europe currently severely affected by the pandemic, including Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Austria and the Netherlands.

For France and Italy, Level 3 applies, under which passengers are invited to consider their travel plans.

Prior to the pandemic, the highest level of warning was largely reserved for countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where crises and conflicts persist.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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