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 prestigious British publication, The Sunday Times, in its Travel edition, has published a report on Croatia as an indispensable destination during the winter, i.e., holiday season, both online and on the cover of its print edition.
Citing the main Advent attractions and the beauties of the natural landscape in winter attire, the article's author, Mary Novakovich, invites readers to visit and explore various regions of our beautiful country, both continental cities and places by the sea, precisely during the cold months.
"Frozen waterfalls, medieval castles, carnivals, and new airline routes throughout the year are key reasons to visit Croatia outside the summer season," emphasizes the journalist, who says she is consistently impressed by Croatia's tourism offerings after each trip to our beautiful land.
As destinations that particularly exude winter charm and provide an attractive experience, natural landscapes such as Plitvice Lakes, Krka National Park, Medvednica, and Biokovo are especially highlighted.
Dubrovnik is recommended in winter
For carnival and festival enthusiasts, a visit to Dubrovnik is recommended, known for its annual winter cultural and musical entertainment and diverse concerts and performances in the city center. The Rijeka Carnival is also a must-visit, being the starting point for a dazzling parade, colorful costumes, and a festive atmosphere, Novakovich emphasizes in the text.
The winter fairy tale in the midst of baroque and rococo architecture in Varaždin, as well as in the historical core of Split, is an essential point of travel during Advent in Croatia, according to the journalist. Advent houses, winter gastronomic specialties, Christmas hits, and illuminated streets are the main assets for achieving excellent mood, both for the youngest and the older generations.
According to everything mentioned in the article, Croatia is recognized as a destination for an ideal winter escape from crowds and enjoying the blessings of the Christmas atmosphere, which is undoubtedly another step towards the development of our year-round tourism.
The Croatian Football Federation confirmed to UEFA that it has selected Neuruppin as the base camp for the Croatian national team during Euro 2024.
The base camp in Neuruppin consists of the Mark Brandenburg resort on the shores of Lake Ruppiner and the associated training ground Volksparkstadion, which is only a seven-minute drive from the hotel.
Photo - HNS
The Croatian Football Federation chose four options in each of the three Euro regions on July 11, 2022, the first day it could be done. In September of this year, a delegation from the Croatian Football Federation visited the selected options. Immediately after the final draw, which placed Croatia in the northern region, national team coach Ivica Olić, team manager Iva Olivari, and spokesperson Tomislav Pacak conducted a final inspection of the best options in the region. In agreement with HNS President Marijan Kustić and coach Zlatko Dalić, it was concluded that Neuruppin is the best option for the Croatian national team.
"We always start with the duty to provide the team with the best possible conditions. Therefore, in 2022, we started the whole process, without burdening the national team staff with this topic before and during the qualifications, of course. Neuruppin was rightfully one of the most sought-after camps in the entire UEFA catalogue, and I am pleased that our logistics have handled it excellently and surpassed many other national teams. We are excellently positioned geographically for group competition, we will have an idyllic environment and excellent sports conditions for work, which is most important for the team," emphasized HNS President Marijan Kustić.
Photo - HNS
Neuruppin is located 75 kilometres from the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where Croatia opens Euro 2024 against Spain. Hamburg (225 kilometres) and Leipzig (227 kilometres), where Croatia plays against Albania and Italy, are also quickly accessible by bus, so the team won't need flights in the first round of the tournament. The Mark Brandenburg resort has an excellent fitness centre and rich recovery facilities, while the training centre with a top-notch pitch ensures privacy for the team.
New fuel prices will come into effect across Croatia from Tuesday and will remain valid for the next 14 days.
According to sources, fuel prices will continue to decline. Starting Tuesday, the price of petrol (Euro 95) will be 1.43 euros, a reduction of 1 cent, while the price of diesel will be 1.44 euros, a decrease of 2 cents. This pricing regime will be in place for the next 14 days.
According to the website autotraveller Croatia has the eighteenth cheapest petrol out of 45 countries in Europe. And when just the European Union countries are selected then Croatia is the fourth cheapest country to fill up in. For example, a litre of Euro 95 in the Netherlands costs as much as 2.12 euro and in Germany 1.80 euro.
Croatia eagerly awaited the Euro 2024 group stage draw outcome, revealed at a ceremony in Hamburg. Placed in Group B alongside formidable contenders Spain, Italy, and Albania, the national team faces challenging group matches. Spain have won the Euros three times and Italy were the last winners in 2020. In fact, Group B has been already nicknamed the “group of death.” Albania topped their qualifying group ahead of both Poland and Czech Republic.
And Croatian coach, Zlatko Dalić, commented “Definitely the toughest group that could have been, the current European champions, the current Nations League winners, and the third in the world. We will have a very tough task, but I believe we will handle it. Our goal remains to advance from the group.”
Croatia’s first match at Euro 2024 is against Spain on the 15th of June in Berlin.
The intrigue deepens as Croatia contemplates potential Round 16 opponents. In Group B dynamics, the group winner advances to face one of the strongest third-placed teams from Groups A, D, E, and F. Should Croatia secure the second spot in the group, they will face the second-placed team from Group A, a challenging mix of Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, and Scotland.
An additional scenario unfolds if Croatia advances as one of the four third-placed teams. In this case, they will confront the first-placed team from either Group E or F, where football powerhouses Belgium and Portugal await.
The jubilee tenth edition of the Dubrovnik Winter Festival has begun, larger, more diverse, and expansive than ever. And the grand opening of the festival in the heart of the historic core of the Old City was a real hit with large crowds and a party atmosphere.
Photo - Tonci Plazibat/CROPIX
Following the lighting of the first Advent candle in front of the Rector's Palace and the official ceremony marking the beginning of the festival, one of Croatia's longest-standing rock bands, Prljavo kazalište, took the stage. With their timeless hits, Prljavci ensured a lively atmosphere on Stradun, attracting numerous locals.
Photo - Tonci Plazibat/CROPIX
The 10th Dubrovnik Winter Festival continues all the way through to the 6th of January 2024 and for the full list of events from the first week follow this link.
Mayor Mato Franković lit the first Advent candle, the candle of hope and faith, on the Advent wreath in front of the Rector's Palace last night. The service was led by Father Mihovil Žuljević-Mikas, parish priest of the Holy Cross parish in Gruž, with the participation of parishioners and others. The mixed choir of the Gruž parish, led by Professor Marija Brčić, sang Advent songs.
During the prayer, Father Žuljević-Mikas emphasized that in this time of general fear and uncertainty due to raging wars, 'hope is most necessary' and encouraged prayer for peace in the world. After the service, those gathered continued socializing with snacks and tea.
In Advent, four candles are lit, each with its own significance. The first Advent candle symbolizes hope and faith, the second love, the third joy, and the fourth represents peace.
Dubrovnik's Instagram scene dazzled this week with breathtaking snapshots capturing the city's timeless charm. From the iconic Old City red rooftops to azure Adriatic views, these top 5 photos showcase the enchanting beauty of Dubrovnik. Explore the picturesque streets and coastal vistas that stole the spotlight on Instagram.
The goal of limiting the planet's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is no longer achievable, but the world must now take decisive action to keep it below two degrees, especially wealthier nations responsible for the highest greenhouse gas emissions, said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in a speech at the COP28 climate summit on Saturday.
In his address in Dubai, the Prime Minister warned that the grim reality is that global warming is accelerating rather than slowing down, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise instead of falling.
He reminded that, for the first time in human history, on November 17th, the Earth reached the symbolic warming limit of two degrees higher than the pre-industrial period, which was until recently unthinkable and is a clear warning that more must be done.
However, the world is doing the opposite, the Prime Minister continued. Half of the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from the past two centuries have been emitted in the last three decades.
"Now it is clear that the original goal from the Paris Agreement of warming less than 1.5 degrees is beyond our reach," Plenković said, calling for intensified efforts to keep it below two degrees, which is a monumental challenge but "nothing compared to the consequences that such warming would cause."
Scientists are unanimous about these consequences, the Prime Minister said: unprecedented migrations, political and economic instability, and endangered biodiversity, food security, and world peace.
Croatia ranks 12th in the world in meeting UN goals
Plenković mentioned that Croatia, in the warmest year ever recorded, experienced record floods and the largest storm ever.
He emphasized that Croatia stands out within the European Union as the fifth in electricity production from renewable sources and eighth in the consumption of such energy.
Croatia has shown a commitment to a sustainable future, supported by the fact that it ranks 12th in the world in meeting the United Nations sustainability goals.
In addition, Croatia is taking significant steps to incorporate ecological principles and criteria into public management and procurement, and through emissions trading systems, Croatian operators have managed to reduce emissions by 42 percent. Trading is expanding to the transport and construction sectors.
Croatia is also harnessing its enormous geothermal potential, preparing numerous projects, collaborating with Spain on the DONES fusion development project, participating in the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project, and aiming to play a significant regional role in the future supply of this energy source.
Wealthier countries must not do less - Photo Twitter Vlada
Plenković said that Croatia is not a major polluter but still aims to double its efforts in the fight against climate change because it concerns the future of our children.
"If Croatia, which recovered from a devastating war three decades ago, can now do more than its share, larger and wealthier countries must not do less," emphasized the Prime Minister.
"This is especially important because we know that the richest 10 percent are responsible for half of carbon dioxide emissions, while the poorer half is responsible for only 8 percent," he concluded, urging the world to act without delay.
The day before, Plenković met with Mohamed Alabbar, the largest investor in Dubai, and on that occasion, Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, once again lit up in the colors of the Croatian flag.