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 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.
Lauda is offering return flight tickets from Vienna to Dubrovnik for only 20 Euros! The Austrian airline, which is a subsidiary of the popular low-cost airline Ryanair, will commence flights from Vienna on the 29th of March this year and many of the flights are on sale at only 9 Euros for a single ticket.
Ryanair started flights to Dubrovnik last year when it connected Dublin to the southernmost airport in Croatia. And has now expanded its offer by teaming up with Lauda to add Vienna flights. In fact, this new connection is available to book either on Lauda’s website or on the website of Ryanair.
From the 29th of March Lauda will fly four times a week to Dubrovnik, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and will continue flying all the way until the 24th of October. The flight time from Vienna to Dubrovnik is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Of course this ultra-cheap ticket price comes with its conditions. The 9 Euros flights are classified as “Value” tickets which basically means passengers can’t book their seat and are only allowed to carry on board a small bag that according to the airline, “must fit under the seat.” So that’s not the normal size hand luggage that you might be used to. You can of course upgrade to more expensive tickets, which offer seat reservations and hold luggage, but these tickets are more expensive.
Check out the Ryanair website here
At the end of January this year almost 140,000 people were registered as unemployed in Croatia, which is a massive 11.9 percent less than from the same month from 2019. The Croatian Employment Bureau (HZZ) have released figures for the beginning of this year which show that 139,924 people were registered as unemployed in January, up by 8,171 from December 2019.
Across the country the area with the highest unemployment rate was the Split-Dalmatia County with over 24,000 people registered as unemployed. And the county with the lowest rate was the Lika-Senj County, which is unsurprising as this is the least populated county.
Undoubtedly the general rise in economic levels, driven in a large part by tourism, across the country has had a factor on the decrease in unemployment levels. However, one major factor is also the flood of people leaving Croatia to find jobs in other European Union countries. Estimates suggest that upwards of 300,000 people have left since Croatia became a full member of the EU and citizens gained the rights to work across the union.
From the total of 139,924 people registered as out of work in January this year only 39,261 actually received unemployment benefits from the state. Meaning that over 80 percent of unemployed people didn’t receive benefits.
The unusual weather conditions, that have seen Dubrovnik both basking in warm sunshine and freezing in bitter north winds, took a different turn today as a twister spun close to the ancient Old City.
The surveillance cameras of the Dubrovnik Fire Department located high above Dubrovnik on the Srd Mountain caught these stunning images of a twister whipping up the sea water over the Adriatic Sea.
These twisters aren’t uncommon in the Dubrovnik region although they very rarely actually make it to the land as their power is only enough to carry them over the flat sea water.
Dubrovnik will once again have direct flights from the UK capital after a winter pause. British Airlines will connect London Gatwick and Dubrovnik Airport three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The first flight after the winter break will be on Wednesday the 12th of February.
The two-hour 45-minute flight from London is being offered at prices starting from only 39 Euros for a one-way ticket.
During the summer months British Airways runs a daily service from London to Dubrovnik.