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.
Had enough of lounging on the beach, sipping cocktails by the pool, it is time to get your pulse racing and the adrenalin pumping, it is time to get active in Dubrovnik. With the crystal, clear Adriatic and stunning countryside nature was kind to the region, it will also help you get physical.
Here are our recommendations for getting energetic in Dubrovnik. Let’s start in and around the Old City walls. As you come to the main gate, on Pile, to the historic core you will probably see the various stands selling kayak tours. We would advise a half day tour around the island of Lokrum or a trip from the Bay of Zaton, half day tour will cost around 280 Kuna.
It is a great way to see the Old City walls from a completely different angle. Now get your hiking boots on, it is time for a walk, and the Srd Mountain is our destination. It will take around 40 minutes at a reasonable pace to get to the top of the 412 metres Srd, and the views from the top are stunning. Now you are on the peak there is another great active choice, a buggy ride in the countryside. Strap yourself into a buggy and head out for a safari, a one-hour tour will cost you 240 Kuna. Now for some more water sports. Have you had a swim yet? If not then the Banje Beach is the next point of call. This iconic Dubrovnik beach, with views over the Old City and the island of Lokrum, also has a great deal of water sports, such as parasail, inner tubes and banana boats...great fun.
Moving away from the city and into the countryside, here are some more options in the fields of Konavle. Presuming you don’t have a bike with you there is the possibility to rent a bike for a day for around 170 Kuna and the best option to use it is in Konavle. Lots of sign-posted routes and good cycle paths, pick up a map at the Konavle Tourist Board in Cavtat. And whilst you are in Konavle check out the beach “Pasjaca” there are millions of steps down to it but it is unique, fantastic swimming spot.
Get in the saddle
In the picturesque Konavle you will find the Kojan Koral, horse riding in the countryside. Take a half day tour on your steed for the day, the price is 650 Kuna, and you will be able to get to places impassable by car. The tour takes you along the rugged coastline of Konavle and offers great views, yes take your camera with you. These guys know what they are doing; they have been at it for years, so the day starts with a few lessons in the riding school. Then you are off on an 11 kilometre journey through the pine trees, olive groves and plunging mountains.
See the Adriatic from a new perspective, deep down under the sea, it is time to go sub. At the Blue Planet Diving centre, based at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace you will get to experience scuba diving in the crystal, clear Adriatic Sea. The team are professional and if you don’t have any previous experience they will run you through the ropes in the swimming pool. Right in front of the hotel there is a shipwreck to explore, countless caves and a myriad of sea life. Blue Planet organises various tours with prices starting at around 500 Kunas for a half day trip.
Load up on sun cream, you are going to outside all day!
The average sea temperature in Dubrovnik in the summer is 24 degrees, what are you waiting for – jump in!
The population levels of Croatia are continuing to fall. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics has just released figures which don’t make pleasant reading, the trend of the decrease in population which started in the early nineties shows no signs of slowly up. According to estimates for 2015 the Republic of Croatia has 4,203,604 inhabitants, 2,028,640 men and 2,174,964 women. These figures are a decrease of 34,785 inhabitants compared with 2014, or a drop of 0.8 percent.
This is a country wide problem and not unique to the counties with low unemployment, the only region that saw an increase in population was the City of Zagreb, where an increase of 0.14 percent was recorded.
In 2015 the average age of the total population of the Republic of Croatia was 42.6 years (men 40.7, women 44.3), which places it among the oldest nations in Europe. And an aging population will certainly not help with the problem of the shrinking population.
Photo - Croatian Bureau of Statistics
With the temperatures soaring and a dip in the refreshing Adriatic Sea always a good idea here is our list of the top five Dubrovnik beaches to hit in the summer.
Frana Supila, Dubrovnik
Iconic Dubrovnik beach with cracking views over the Old City Walls. Grab a bite to eat in the beach bar.
Located on the Babin Kuk peninsular the Cava beach has recently been equipped with the Coral Beach Club offering a bar, sun beds, umbrellas and VIP lounges.
Golden sandy beach that is perfect for children as there is plenty of shallow water. A 40-minute walk across the island from the ferry stop.
St. Jakov Beach
Directly opposite the Old City of Dubrovnik the beach is best in the late afternoon as the sun dipping down over the city is a photo to keep forever.
Located in a sheltered bay on the Peljesac peninsular this sandy beach has plenty of facilities and a large parking lot.
According to the press release from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), at the international food industry fair World Food Moscow, which was held from the 12th to the 15th of September, Croatian companies achieved great successes by signing multimillion-dollar contracts with Russian distributors.
''Our participation in this international fair was a great opportunity for us to sign direct contracts with Russian partners, primarily for the placement of our food industry products on this large and very important market'', said Jakov Despot, the director of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's office in Moscow. He also added that the HGK's Moscow office, in cooperation with the Croatian Embassy and the Croatian Tourist Board's office in Moscow would continue their work on promoting Croatia's business interests and strengthening its position on the Russian market.
During the World Food Moscow fair the Croatian Chamber of Commerce organized a business conference and discussions for representatives of Croatian and Russian companies.
Many Croatian food companies such as Podravka, Maraska, Zvečevo, Badel 1862, Eurocompany etc. presented their products at the joint exhibition area organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The participation of the Croatian companies at the Moscow fair was organized by the HGK's office in Russia, with the support of the Croatian Embassy in the Russian Federation and the Croatian Tourist Board's office in Moscow.
After the recent warm and stable spell this weekend could see plenty of changeable weather, with high winds, storms and rain on the way. Saturday will see high winds in the morning with rain and thunder storms but by the mid-afternoon this should clear up and patches of sunshine are expected. Temperatures today are expected to reach highs of 28 degrees and the Adriatic Sea is 23 degrees.
For Sunday we will once again have a changeable day with scattered clouds and sun in the morning followed by rain and storms in the afternoon. Highs on Sunday should reach 27 degrees. The start of next week will also be a wet and windy one with forecasters predicting that the weather will start to settle on Tuesday when the sunshine will return. But don't forget your umbrella this weekend in Dubrovnik.
Due to the poor weather conditions the market, entitled “Countryside in the heart of town,” which was planned to be held on the top of the Srd Mountain today and tomorrow has been moved to the Lazareti complex to the east of the Old City of Dubrovnik. At this market small farm producers from Dubrovnik and neighbouring Herzegovina will sell the fruits of their labour.
Jams, natural juices, fig cakes, wines, cheeses, vegetables, marmalades and a whole host of interesting natural produce will be available from 9.00am to 10.00pm at this especially organised market.
The market “Countryside in the heart of town” is part of the Agribusiness project, a cross-border development through the European Union, aimed to promote agricultural values between Dubrovnik and the Herzegovina region.
According to an announcement by Mirko Sundov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, the highest military authority of NATO will meet in Split to discuss the implementation of decisions made at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016.
Chiefs of defence of 28 member countries as well as their counterpart the future alliance member Montenegro will participate at the conference of the NATO's Military Committee which is to be held in Croatia from the 16th to the 18th of September.
''This is the first time that a meeting of NATO at this level will be held in Croatia'', said the general Sundov to reporters on Thursday. He also added that the chiefs of defence would discuss the implementation of decisions that Heads of State and Government of NATO made at the summit in Warsaw and discuss current and future tasks.
The Military Committee meets twice a year at the NATO's headquarters in Brussels, whilst once a year the meeting is organized in one of allied member countries.
The Port of Gruz welcomed its millionth passenger on Thursday, a day earlier than 2015. Vesna Ridilovic became the millionth passenger through the port when she arrived on the ferry from Lopud, a ferry that she has been travelling on daily for the past 15 years. She was, to her surprise, greeted by representatives of the Port of Dubrovnik who presented her with gifts.
The Port of Dubrovnik have announced that by the end of the year the passenger numbers through the port on ferries are expected to be 10 percent more than last year. Whilst the number of cruise ship passengers is expected to be 5 percent more than 2015. By the end of the year a grand total of 1.35 million passengers are expected to have been handled by the Port of Dubrovnik.