Thursday, 01 June 2023
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.


It's hard not to fall in love with Mljet, one of the most beautiful and the greenest islands in Croatia. This heaven on Earth holds many secrets and carries many myths and legends. One of the most known ones is the legend of Odysseus.

In front of the Odysseus cave there is a rock called Ogiran. During high tide or during strong southern winds rock is completely covered by the sea and is a great danger to the sailors. According to the legend, because of that Odysseus was shipwrecked and swam to the cave where he took shelter. The island was dominated by the nymph Calypso. Odysseus was charmed by her and the island and he was trapped there for seven years before the gods released him. Local people believe that Mljet is ancient Ogigija because Homer in the Odyssey states that the olive trees and vineyards are right next to the shipwreck which is actually the case on Mljet. However, this legend is often atributed to the island of Malta.

When it comes to the facts, Odysseus cave is located on the southern coast of the island, near Babino Polje. Odysseus cave is egg-shaped cave with a few tens of meters in diameter. It’s also called ‘’Pit’’, because looking at the land side, it looks like a big hole in the ground. The bottom is filled with water. Through layers of limestone, which is separated from the open sea, there is a breakthrough in the form of the tunnel so the cave can be approached by swimming or with the small boat. The sea depth in the tunnel of the cave is 8 to 10 meters and the tunnel is about 20 meters long. It’s possible to access it from the coast too, but with very steep improvised stairs.

Odysseus cave is used as a shelter for fishing boats and fishing tools: nets, longlines and paddles, and is the most unusual port all over the Adriatic and beyond.

In the summer, around noon, when the sunlight strikes the cave area, the sea provides a spectrum of colors, especially interesting for tourists and lovers of real natural phenomena. In the pit itself, because of the high rocks, the light never comes.



Dubrovnik is beautiful, everybody knows that, but not everybody have the talent to capture its true beauty. Our reader Pavol Hirjak has sent us a video that he made during his trip and is absolutely mesmerizing. Maybe because it shows mostly Dubrovnik waking up or going to sleep (sunrise and sunset) and it's combined with beautiful music. Watch this video that lasts less than a minute and fall in love with Dubrovnik again.

Over the past year British American Tobacco (BAT) has successfully integrated the biggest cigarette manufacturer in Southeast Europe, the Croatian TDR (Tvornica duhana Rovinj), into its global system.

Since its entry into Croatia and an investment of more than 500 million Euros for the purchase of the Croatian tobacco giant by the end of this May, BAT has continued with its investments and reached 52.8 percent of the market share in Croatia.

This year it has already invested 20 million Euros, whilst for the next period BAT has planned to invest additional 30 million Euros in a tobacco factory in Kanfanar near Rovinj. ''Thanks to the additional investments to improve quality, the factory in Kanfanar is among the first in the world to install the advanced TASTEloc technology thus is increasingly gaining in significance and importance within the entire BAT group’’, said the company in a statement.

''The British American Tobacco company as the largest investor in Croatia over the past few years has been extremely satisfied with business results achieved in this country so far. In comparison to the same period last year we are achieving growth in the market share each month. We have also begun to export cigarettes to some new foreign markets such as Germany, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and many others. In addition, I have to emphasize that we are most satisfied with quality and talented employees in the whole region. I am sure that all these indicators represent a solid basis for further growth and development of the company'', said Ram Addnaki, the CEO of the BAT Adria cluster.

The factory in Kanfanar produces around 7,5 billion cigarettes, of which 60 percent is exported to foreign markets. The BAT Adria cluster employs more than 2,500 workers., one of the world's leading e-commerce companies, with more than a billion guests who have stayed in some of the various accommodation facilities such as hotels, apartments, villas, hostels, farms, bungalows and cruise ships, collected reviews of travellers from all around the world in order to make the list of the best idyllic island oasis for a perfect holiday in 2017. They selected seven island destinations on recommendation of guests which include areas such as magnificent Japanese volcanoes and the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

Among seven world island destinations one of them is very important for Croatia. The small island of Kolocep near Dubrovnik found its place on this prestigious list for the perfect holiday in 2017.

''Covered with pine trees and carob trees and surrounded by crystal clear waters, Kolocep is the smallest and quietest of the three Elaphiti islands. There are two irresistible villages located in small bays of the island with only 163 inhabitants and no cars. Indulge yourself with a somewhat idyllic way of life that this island offers and spend time strolling through the olive groves and sightseeing pre-Romanesque churches'', said

Here is the entire list of selected island destinations for 2017:

Pantelleria, Sicily

Kolocep, Croatia

Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom

Meganissi, Greece

Saint John, Caribbean

Rishiri Island, Japan

Isola di Capraia, Italy.

All these destinations have received over 95 percent of recommendations of guests.


Tourists from UK just love Croatia and it's no surprise that the number of visitors from the UK between January and July has increased for 21 per cent compared with the same period last year. Telegraph has published an article with 23 reasons why they've fallen for Croatia. Here's the list:

1. It's hot
2. And easy to reach
3. It's still a good value
4. And the Game of Thrones appeal
5. It has the world's most atmospheric Roman ruin
6. And one of its finest amphitheaters
7. There are spectacular beaches
8. Incredible national parks
9. You can combine beach life with soaring mountains
10. Its capital is heaven for coffee lovers
11. With one of the world's quirkiest museums
12. They made the White House
13. There are some incredible summer festivals
14. And party towns
15. Parts of it remain virtually unknown
16. And it's got wonderful cities you never thought to visit
17. It's the birthplace of Marco Polo
18. And has one of Europe's tasties regions
19. You can even spot dolphins
20. It's got fascinating (if sobering) recent history
21. Because Dubrovnik is one of the world's bucket list cities
22. It's got a beach fit for a Bond villain
23. And the monument that looks like the Millenium Falcon

For more details visit the original article.

Last week distributors of Croatian wines in Japan together with representatives of several important retail chains toured Croatia in order to continue their cooperation in the export of Croatian wines in Japan.

During their visit to vineyards and cellars throughout Croatia seven Japanese distributors and potential buyers, who arrived in Croatia, tasted selected wines and authentic Croatian specialties. They decided to import Croatian quality wines and wine varieties that have until now been unavailable on the Japanese market.

The export of Croatian wines to Japan started last year. Then a large representation of Croatian wines was organized at the biggest trade fair in Japan earlier this year in February. The representation at the Supermarket Trade Show in Tokyo and the arrival of the Japanese partners to Croatia are part of a large project of promoting Croatian wines in Japan.

This project confirmed that Japan is a very demanding and very interesting market for Croatian winemakers who can supply this market with high quality authentic wines.
The Japanese drink around 364 million litres of wine a year, mostly wines from Europe amongst which Croatian wines are becoming more recognizable and important for the Japanese market.

During their visit to Vina Belje, the guests from Japan, to their surprise and delight, were welcomed by Mirko Filipovic ''Cro Cop'', who is very popular among the Japanese and surely the greatest ambassador of Croatian sports and Croatia in Japan.

Bob Geldof appeared today in the Gruz Harbour! An Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist apparently got off the MSC Cruise ship and went to Brsecine, where the yacht was waiting for him to start his Adriatic cruise, reports Dubrovacki vjesnik.

He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement. He co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?", one of the best-selling singles of all time and starred in Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as "Pink."

Geldof is widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. They went on to organise the charity super-concert Live Aid the following year and the Live 8 concerts in 2005.

''This is such a wonderful weather for all those activities we planned to do on our vacation. A dose of rain, a dose of sun, pleasantly warm and perfect for touring, excursions, walking and hiking. For our group which arrived here from Canada for the very first time, this is a dream come true holiday. Peace and quiet, relaxation and enjoyment in activities we love'', said with a smile a young Canadian who is visiting Bol on the island of Brac.

This year is a record breaking one for the Croatian tourism industry. Even in September almost all hotels along the Adriatic coast are booked to capacity till the end of the month despite this unstable weather. Some estimates say that this year Croatia has reached the best ever tourism results from 1987 when it was a member country of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia.

Although the weather conditions are quite tricky, tourists simply enjoy their holiday in Croatia. Tourists from northern Europe, where autumn with lower temperatures has already started, arrived on the Adriatic shores simply to enjoy in the mild and beautiful September weather.

''Rain?! Who cares about the rain? We enjoy swimming in the sea while it rains because the sea is warm, and we have never seen such a beautiful colour of the sea water. There are many stunning beaches in Australia, but this is something special. We are in Croatia for the first time and we will recommend it to everyone we know. We didn't opt for Croatia in September only for swimming, but considering the fact that it is a beginning of autumn every day in which we can enjoy in the warm and clear blue sea is like winning a lottery'', commented young tourist from Australia.

These off-season guests have also emphasized that there are lots of interesting tourist attractions in Croatia, the food is not expensive and they are very happy and feel quite safe here.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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