Friday, 16 November 2018
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 fourth European Tourism and Strategy Festival opened today in Dubrovnik at Hotel Valamar President. The panel discussion entitled "Cruise Travel and Cities - Challenges and Opportunities" was attended by Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković, President and the President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association Cindy D'Aoust and renowned CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg.

“About a year and a half ago Dubrovnik was an example of unsustainable tourism, and all the world’s media wrote about how Dubrovnik was collapsing. Today all the world’s media are talking about how Dubrovnik started to be a sustainable destination. They are inviting us to the world's leading conferences to talk about what we have done," commented Frankovic.

mato frankovic talks at festival tourism

Dubrovnik Mayor speaks at congress

D'Aoust stressed that CLIA supports the idea of sustainable destinations for citizens and guests. "We have to think outside the box, not just thinking about doing things as we always did. The most important part of our co-operation is that Mayor Frankovic knew what his goal was, which was Dubrovnik's long-term success with regard to tourism. All partners, all factors involved in the story must cooperate and this is a way to success. Frankovic immediately understood and immediately contacted me," she said.

Greenberg emphasized the importance of managing figures “I've been coming here since 1984. Most of these conferences are concerned with how to increase or improve numbers, but today we are talking about how to manage them, to provide a great experience with increased numbers. When we stop looking at the numbers and start looking at the experience, and when the private and public sectors start to cooperate, as is the case here, the problems will be solved," said Greenberg.

The thee-day festival continues tomorrow in the Hotel Valamar President and concludes with an open day in the Port of Dubrovnik on Saturday.

Every journey starts with a first step, and now five dogs from the Dubrovnik Animal Shelter are hoping that with your help that first step will be a giant leap.

Aretha, Princess, Maxi, Luka & now a very recent addition, Ms Lola, are five loving dogs who through no fault of their own have found themselves in the Žarkovica animal shelter. These five dogs have a lot in common. They are all loving and caring animals, but that can almost be taken for granted. They are all getting on in years. They all currently reside in the animal shelter and they all would certainly struggle to survive the long, cold winter up on top of the mountain overlooking Dubrovnik. They are hoping for a brighter future. And most importantly they all have a lifeline. And you can all help make this happen.

A special public funding action, entitled “Free These 4 Oldies Before Winter!” was started last week in order to raise funds to transport these four and now a + 1 furry friend away from the biting Dubrovnik northerly winds and into a warm and safe surrounding in the UK.

The worthy project is the brainchild of a group of volunteers who are throwing themselves into saving these dogs with open hearts and care.

“We've just had our third visit volunteering at the animal shelter in Dubrovnik where over the last fifteen years just one woman, Sandra Sambrailo and her two helpers have been looking after over 300 dogs on a mountainside,” comments one such volunteer Annie Curran from the UK.

Adding that “Weather conditions are brutal in the wintertime as the shelter has no electricity, running water or sanitation. The terrain is rough and the dogs live in makeshift wooden kennels that help shelter them from the biting winds and freezing temperatures. We're really hoping to raise enough funds to pay for their transportation to the UK before the worst of the winter hits the mountainside and also to cover any potential immediate veterinary costs on their arrival in the UK.”

Annie is one of a small group of volunteers, including Tina Duk, Claire Scannell, Kerry Jones and Steve Enstone, who are fighting for these elderly dogs’s survival. Behind the scenes these volunteers have been working day and night to make this journey to the UK possible. Care and responsibility are the keywords as this would be the dog’s first road-trip of such magnitude. A specialised DEFRA registered courier service from the UK, Animal Couriers Pet Transport Services, has been selected to carry out the task and have confirmed collection for the 21st November 2018.

The group are planning to raise £2,000 to cover the costs of transporting and caring for these Dubrovnik dogs on route to the UK. Hopefully if they manage to raise more funds, then that will help towards providing living expenses & potential veterinary care on arrival for Maxi, as he only has a foster home so far with no shelter back up funds. A public funding website is up and running and they are already well on their way to reach their target. You can help them not only reach this target but exceed it. Go to the website now and donate, however small or large, because every little helps to give these dogs a safe and warm future.

“Žarkovica shelter Dubrovnik needs so much help, but they especially need some happy endings. Getting these fluffy little creatures off the mountain and into a home would brighten the day of Sandra and her dedicated workers and volunteers,” concluded Annie.

Meet the five furry friends

Aretha and Princess are firm friends. They have both lived together all their lives, they have slept together, played together and walked together, and they are absolutely bonded. These well-loved pets were reluctantly given to the self-funded Žarkovica shelter after their elderly owner moved to a nursing home and was unable to care for them. She really wants the two to stay together and Annie Curran has offered to foster them both in her own home in the UK until they move to a permanent home in the New Year. They are both inside dogs and have got used to been loved and stroked, life for them in the shelter is a million miles away from what they are used to.

aretha and princess

Aretha and Princess

Maxi is an elegant older gentleman, the wise old dog of the quartet. He is around ten years old and again the harsh Dubrovnik winter would be impossible for this proud old dog. He was rescued from this very shelter when he was just two years old, and now 10 years later has been returned because the family are moving away and not taking him with them. And finally Luka is a small and loving cross breed who has been offered a permanent home already. All the dogs really need is a safe, warm and cosy bed and lots of love… not so much to ask.

princess and luka

Maxi and Luka 

Last but certainly not least is Lola a Labrador cross who is the fifth member now jumping on board with the other four fur balls. Sadly Lola’s flight plans to her forever home in the UK fell through literally at the Dubrovnik airport just last week. Her new mother Rose MacDonald who met Lola while volunteering at the shelter was devastated, so this first ever specialised road trip could be an even happier ending if more animal loving readers donate.

lola dog shelter


“There are so many causes, so much need, but sometimes a particular cause or a particular dog catches our attention. Everyone who met these little dogs and heard their stories has been hoping to get them into homes before winter comes to the mountain” - Kerry A. Jones.

To help and donate just follow this link...thank you for your support 



The Dubrovnik based restaurants Taj Mahal have won the prestigious award as the second best restaurant in Croatia at the recent Days of Croatian Tourism. This Bosnian restaurant in Dubrovnik, in fact two restaurants with one in the historic Old City and the other in Hotel Lero, offers traditional cuisine, drinks and all served in an authentic interior. These very values have been recognised at the leading tourism event in Croatia and Taj Mahal for the first time in their short history have picked up an award.

taj mahal nagrada

Edin Macanović (on right on photo) picks up award in Hvar 

“We really couldn’t believe it when we finished second, it is a complete shock and a great honour. Especially when you take into account that we are a Bosnian restaurant,” commented Edina Macanović the co-owner of Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal story started back in 2004 with the first restaurant opening in the UNESCO Old City of Dubrovnik. “Back then our only advertisement was the comforting and inviting smell spreading from our grill and stove in the Old City restaurant’s tiny kitchen were we first started sharing our cooking traditions. People came and told their friends. And the homely atmosphere and our filling dishes have been popular with both locals and tourists ever since,” added Taj Mahal. And then in 2013 they opened a sister restaurant in Hotel Lero. Taj Mahal was quickly becoming a brand in Dubrovnik. The home of high quality Bosnian cuisine with guaranteed good service and a smile.

taj mahal interior dubrovnik

Taj Mahal in Hotel Lero

“It was a complete surprise that we were nominated amongst the first five restaurants in Croatia. In fact, we were very proud to be in the top five and on the evening when they announced us in second place we were blown away,” added Macanović.

food in hotel lero taj mahal

Edin Macanović was obviously pleased and surprise when he received the award at the Days of Croatian Tourism on Hvar.

And yes, as the first place went to the Sveti Nikola restaurant in Porec that means that Taj Mahal was the top rated restaurant in Dubrovnik. The third position was taken by Brasserie Adriatic in Rovinj. Meaning that two of the top three restaurants in Croatia are located in Istria.

With its unparalleled beauty and proud history, the Old City of Dubrovnik has been a constant source of inspiration for artists over the centuries. Authors have created timeless poetry, sculptors formed granite-hard stone into delicate figures and painters brought life to the city’s landscapes. The melody of the stone facades has also enthused composers down the centuries to sparkle in the Mediterranean sunshine.

And as you walk around the ancient city today you can still hear classical tunes echoing in the stone architecture. Dubrovnik is a living city, a city with a heart and soul, and music brings that soul to life. Children practising the cello, world famous artists tuning up before a major concert or friends gathered around with a guitar and piano, these are the sounds of Dubrovnik’s soul. The citizens are rightly appreciative of their history, especially their musical heritage.

Over the centuries these noble stone walls have been the inspiration to many a composer. Without doubt one of the kings of Dubrovnik composers is Luka Sorkočević. Born into a noble family in 1734 Luka began his musical education in Dubrovnik before moving to Rome to continue his learning. His style, often described as being between Baroque and classical, of composing encapsulates the elegance of the city. Whilst working in Vienna he met and rubbed shoulders some of the great composers of the day including Gluck and Haydn.

luka sorkocevic dubrovnik

Luka Sorkočević

His works are treasured to this day in the city. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra certainly hasn’t forgotten their most favourite son. Frequently the orchestra performs Sorkočević classics in one of the ambient surroundings of the Old City of Dubrovnik. And his brilliant pieces are brought back to life in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

For a real Dubrovnik experience find yourself a place in the Rector’s Palace on a balmy summer’s evening with the melodies of Sorkočević drifting through the sky. It is an unforgettable experience and one that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Three countries generated over half of the European Union's overall budget in 2017, Germany, the UK and France, hardly surprising as these are the three largest economies in the European Union.

The GDP for 2017 reached a massive €15.3 trillion with Germany with a GDP od €3,300 billion was the largest economy in the EU and generated a fifth of the entire European Union GDP.

The United Kingdom remained second despite a 0.9 percent drop in the EU GDP share between 2016 and 2017. It generated 15.2 percent of GDP, just 0.3 percent more than France (14.9 percent). The top three countries are followed by Italy (11.2 percent), Spain (7.6 percent), and the Netherlands (4.8 percent).

Croatia came in the bottom half of the economic list. In fact, Croatia’s GDP accounted for a mere 0.3 percent of the EU GDP in 2017. The same figure was produced by Bulgaria, Slovenian and Lithuania.

Nature’s own “vitamin bombs” hang from every corner of Dubrovnik, from private gardens to rows and rows of trees in orchards, citrus fruits have found a welcoming home in this region. Lemons, grapefruits, oranges, mandarins, clementines, limes...the list of citrus fruits that enjoy the favourable climate of the Dubrovnik region is endless. A combination of the guaranteed Adriatic sunshine and the plentiful supply of clean, fresh water make Dubrovnik a haven for these bitter sweet bundles of joy.

As with many other fruits and vegetables in Dubrovnik there is a season, these are fruits grown in harmony with Mother Nature and are not forced to grow out of their normal lifecycle. The manicured walled gardens of the historic Old City, the sprawling villages of the hinterland and the open plains of the river basins, each has their own varieties and their own methods. Without doubt the biggest supplier of citrus fruits in the region is the Nerevta River delta. Spreading over 30,000 acres the Neretva supplies the delta with a constant source of fresh water; of course the sunshine is plentiful as well. Try a Mandarin from Neretva, full of juice and brimming with aroma and you’ll be hooked.

oranges hanging in dubrovnik

When it comes to citrus fruits in Dubrovnik nothing goes to waste. Of course, when they are in season, the fruits are consumed in large measures, but then there are jams, marmalades, candid peels, fruit juices, desserts, liquors and even Christmas decorations. Many families in Dubrovnik pick them directly from the tree in the morning and make their own fresh orange juice for breakfast.

The region even has its own specialities. The “bitter orange” grown around the city is, as the name suggests, too sour to eat directly from the tree, however it makes excellent jams and cakes. And if you search the cobbled streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik you will even find bitter orange flavoured ice-cream.

What better way to get your daily dose of vitamin C than from a freshly picked citrus fruit. Loaded with Mediterranean sunshine and orange a day will keep the doctor away.

Plan your trip to Dubrovnik in 2019 with this guide to the main events in the city for next year. From the Dubrovnik Summer Festival to music, dance and gastronomic events the Dubrovnik calendar for next year is packed full of fun and entertainment. Whether you are a culture vulture or just looking to let your hair down you can experience some magic on the Adriatic in 2019.

24 January – 2 February 2019


This multi-day event traditionally opens the official program of celebrations around the holiday of St. Blaise and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik.

2 – 10 FEBRUARY 2019


Ever since the year 972, when people began to celebrate it, the feast day of St Blaise, the Dubrovnik patron saint, has been a quite special festival, typical of Dubrovnik. A series of church and secular concerts, exhibitions, book presentations and theatre guest performances are dedicated to the patron saint of Dubrovnik, whose statues look at us from the city walls and gates and whose caring hand guards Dubrovnik on his palm.

st blaise festival 2019 dubrovnik

1 – 5 FEBRUARY 2019


Our ancestors also had fun, and so should we... is a proverb which one can hear in Dubrovnik in February during the carnival, the time when everything is allowed, when people become someone else or show their true face... Experience the special atmosphere of the Dubrovnik carnival festivities characterized by jokes, laughter, merriment, joy, satire... feel the special spirit of the City at carnival time!

7 – 13 APRIL 2019

Quiet please, Dubrovnik and film love each other…

This Dubrovnik film event thrilled visitors, especially with the exhibition on the history of film making created on the principle of ˝Augmented Reality˝ through which tourists and Dubrovnik locals had the opportunity to become acquainted with all of the links between the City of Dubrovnik and film culture over the last hundred years, as well as other varied and appealing options for all ages. The organizers have had great incentive to create and interesting program for 2019 which will hold many surprises.

26 – 28 APRIL 2019

AKLAPELA (Dalmatian songs festival)

Aklapela festival of the best Croatian vocal groups nourishes the authentic vocal singing, a festival named by a pun of the words klapa and a cappella. Unlike other numerous established music festivals that are successfully held in Dubrovnik, Aklapela is an entirely national musical product and, with visionary artistic leadership, has the potential to become a referent value of Croatian ethno-music.

aklpaeple 2019 909

12 – 26 APRIL 2019


Dubrovnik musical spring is a new musical event organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. This is a cycle of concerts of classical music that will be held from 12 to 26 April 2019. It is designed to enrich the cultural offer of Dubrovnik.

22 - 28 APRIL 2019


The tourist orientation of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik – Neretva County represents a tremendous privilege and challenge to local winemakers. It brings thousands of curious visitors to their cellar each year, and many of them are knowledgeable about wine. The central event of the project „Wine Tourist Network – WiNe“ is the regional wine festival – Dubrovnik FestiWiNe which will be held in Dubrovnik again in April. The festival will gather more than 100 regional winemakers who will have the opportunity to present their wines to numerous wine professionals and visitors. Domestic high quality wines of authentic varieties represent powerful, underutilized competitive advantage of this area.

28 - 29 APRIL 2019


The attractiveness of this new sporting event is based on the fact that Dubrovnik – the host city is part of the UNESCO’s world Heritage. The terrain is very attractive for marathon running, especially 2K (two-kilometre long) race with a limited number of participants held on the Dubrovnik walls, Dubrovnik’s most important attraction. The half marathon route is 21.1 km long, starts at Ploče, passes through the Pile up till Kantafig in Gruž, with a turn near the Marina Komolac and finish in the best possible venue - Stradun. With the motto “More than a race” this new event, as planned, will be more than just a sporting event, through running healthy lifestyles will be promoted, all in the “hugs” of Dubrovnik historical monuments, with Klapa songs and the blessings of Dubrovnik’s patron saint - St. Blaise - as protected elements of intangible heritage in the UNESCO’s.

halfmarathon dubrovnik 2019 events

7 – 18 June 2019

Cycle of baroque music - ORLANDO FURIOSO

Orlando Furioso, organized by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, will be held from 7 to 18 June 2019 in Dubrovnik. It’s a cycle of baroque music.

13 – 16 JUNE 2019


This is a small festival, but a special and distinctive cultural event in which artists represent artistic talents from around the world. Le Petit Theatre du Festival every year raises the curtain revealing creations carefully selected and talented artists whether they are poets, actors, dancers, or something completely different.

21 JUNE 2019


The festival Ana in Town celebrates a young artist, a cellist with a recognizable musical style, Ana Rucner in a double role as classical musician and crossover instrumentalist. A fantastic concert at the dawn of the first day of summer and World Music Day on June 21st is an exceptional artistic event and unique view and experience of sunrise at the top of the Srdj Mountain.

21 JUNE – 5 JULY 2019


Midsummer Scene is an established theatre festival held in English that uses one of the most beautiful stage ambient – Dubrovnik’s St. Lawrence Fortress – which is the stage for Shakespeare’s most well-known dramas, realised through the cooperation of British and Croatian theatre artists.

28 JUNE - 5 JULY 2019


The festival is named after and organized in the memory of the world famous tenor Tino Pattiera, one of the major singers at the opera houses both in Europe and worldwide in the first half of the 20th century. The International Operatic Aria Festival Hommage Tino Pattiera was founded aiming to become another permanent operatic event in our city, to complete the operatic milieu of Dubrovnik, and to present the most beautiful operatic output of the greatest composers to its audiences.

1 JULY –31 AUGUST 2019


For many years the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist Board have been organizing music and entertainment programs on the Elaphite islands, and in Zaton and Orašac in order to present tourists the Mediterranean melody, folklore and folk traditions that have been cherished for ages. Within special programs with traditional folk festivities and holidays guests will be able to enjoy some thirty performances this summer such as: Dalmatian vocal groups concerts, folklore performances, classical music concerts and performances by Croatian music entertainers which will be held on Koločep, Lopud, Šipan, in Zaton and Orašac.

10 JULY–25 AUGUST 2019


The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is undoubtedly the largest and most representative cultural manifestation, not only in Dubrovnik, but in all of Croatia. It is held since 1950 and lasts every year from 10 July to 25 August.

70 dubrovnik summer festival 2019 opo

4 – 14 AUGUST 2019


Each summer on the island of Šipan the summer film school and film festival called “Šipan Film Summer School” is held. The event has an international character since the films, participants in the program, and festival guests come from Germany, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Under the auspices of the City of Dubrovnik, the film festival in Šipanska Luka lasts from August 4th to 14th, and ten selected films are shown. “Šipan Film Summer School” takes into account the specific situation of a Dalmatian island. In winter it is a closed environment, and in the summer months through cinema the island communicates with the whole world. School children from Šipan have the opportunity to be creative together with their peers from Europe and the around the world.



The end of August and almost whole September in Dubrovnik are reserved for great classical music concerts. For the seventh year the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra organizes the International Late Summer Music Festival Dubrovnik, which brings internationally acclaimed artists to the town. The music director of the festival is Austrian conductor Christoph Campestrini and the festival takes place from 27 August until 20 September 2019.

1 -12 OCTOBER 2019


Marija Pavlović, Artist in residence



Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra autumn concerts are covered with a new festival – Autumn Music Variety. Festival, as the name says, brings us a variety of music events.

17 -20 OCTOBER 2019


A number of new and interesting gastronomic programs are found within this unique project of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, which has become an exceptional supplement to the regular tourism offerings for tourist in the autumn month of October and has become a favourite among the locals, as well. The new edition of the Good Food Festival brings presentations of culinary specialties typical for our region, educational programs for children, tastings of regional wines, culinary workshops, and events such as “Dinner with a famous chef”, workshops on preparing Dubrovnik delicacies, special menus in Dubrovnik restaurants, an “Eat & Walk” culinary tour, as well as other surprises.

December 2019 – January 2020


The Dubrovnik Winter Festival is an event which reveals a new aspect of the City of Dubrovnik, featuring magical lighting highlighting its timeless beauty and uncovering the rich diversity of artistic expression through special events, entertainment programs, colourful cuisine with a touch of tradition, and ancient customs.

dubrovnik winter festival events 2019


The program of Dubrovnik’s winter festival – Advent in the City – begins with the lighting of the first Advent candle. The uniqueness of Dubrovnik is also visible during the month of giving. This year’s Christmas market will be set up on the most beautiful street in Dubrovnik, Stradun, where traditional craftsmen will present their handicrafts, Christmas decorations, and traditional Christmas cakes and sweets will be offered as well. Try to sing the traditional holiday songs, the Dubrovnik kolenda (carols), which have been sung on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve since olden times, offering congratulations and wishing everyone a joyful holiday!


Dubrovnik’s many visitors will bring in New Year’s 2020 while entertained by a spectacular music programme which will already begin in the morning hours of December 31st, New Year’s Eve. The New Year’s program includes a diverse, entertaining three-day program, in which everyone will find something interesting. The New Year will begin with the traditional New Year’s Day 10 km race, and a special treat will be a concert of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, paired with oysters and champagne, beginning on New Year’s Day at noon.

The dates and timings of these events was correct at the time of publishing – source The Dubrovnik Tourist Board

The Mayor of Zagreb has been awarded with the Order of Friendship by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a ceremony held on Sunday the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic, received this prestigious award for his efforts in strengthening Russian – Croatian co-operation.

On receiving the award from Putin the Mayor of Zagreb commented that he expects a developing continuation of the ties between the two countries.

And the Russian President added that he thanked Bandic for his contribution to the promotion of the relations with Russia and its culture.




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