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 French national airline, Air France, has announced that it will launch flights to Dubrovnik this year. Dubrovnik will become the second Croatian destination to receive flights from Air France, after the capital Zagreb, and there will be fifteen return flights from Paris, with the first flight expected on the 14th of July.
From the middle of July until the 1st of September the airline will operate direct flights between Dubrovnik and Paris every Thursday and Saturday. It would appear that the airline is testing the interest of this new route before launching a more extensive service. Air France will face competition from Croatia Airlines on the Paris route.
One of the most iconic hotels in Dubrovnik, the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, is currently undergoing a complete overhaul. Reconstruction work on the hotel, which celebrated its 121st birthday on the 29th of January, began back in November and are expected to be completed by the middle of April.
One of the first hotels to open in Dubrovnik and a pioneer for the city’s tourism industry the new design looks like bringing a fresh and airy feel to this five-star hotel. The Hilton Imperial has a long and rich history and was the first building to have lifts, the first hotel to offer electric lights and even had steam-powered air conditioning.
The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik will reopen on the 15th of April and these renders give us an idea of the final finish.
There is no sign of property prices slowing in Dubrovnik, with the city reporting the strongest growth in prices in the whole of Croatia in 2017 meaning that once again Dubrovnik has by far the most expensive real estate in Croatia.
Last year property prices in Croatia rose on average by 4.18 percent, according to a survey carried out on 150,000 houses and apartments by a specialised property website. And Dubrovnik led the way with the average price of a metre squared of property in the city costing 3,362 Euros, a massive rise of 17.4 percent compared to 2016.
In Zagreb, the average asking price for a flat is 1,789 Euros and is around 8 percent higher than in 2016. Whilst in Split property prices are on average 2,550 Euros per metre squared.
It is not only the price that is rising in Dubrovnik, so is the demand. According to a local real estate the interest for the “right” property has never been higher. And when something comes onto the market at the right price it is normally sold within a couple of weeks.
Just as the celebrations ended and the holy mass completed the sun finally broke through the grey clouds and bathed Dubrovnik in sunshine.
The Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, is the most important date on the city’s calendar and people travelled from all over the county to attend, in spite of the terrible weather in the morning.
Dressed in folk costumes from all regions of the county, Konavle, Župa, the islands and the hinterland, the Stradun was awash with colour and tradition. The 3rd of February is the Day of St. Blaise, the day that Dubrovnik gives thanks to the saint who saved their city, the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
Check out our photo gallery from today
On the occasion of the Day of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik, the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, sent a congratulatory message to the city and its citizens.
Dear citizens of Dubrovnik,
In the festive spirit and with pride we celebrate the Day of our City and the Day of our patron saint, Saint Blaise.
Throughout the centuries and as time passes by opportunities change irreversibly, but Saint Blaise always stands firmly with the city and everywhere in Dubrovnik he is honoured as our patron saint.
We are proud of the legacy of our ancestors, this day was first celebrated in 1046, for giving us the Day of St. Blaise and the Day of the City, and we give thanks to the generations before us who built, guarded, defended and loved this city of freedom.
It is our job to preserve, and to develop, according to tradition, what we inherit, and to leave future generations the heritage of the city, which will be an inspiration, just as it is to us today.
On behalf of the City of Dubrovnik and me personally, I congratulate the City of Dubrovnik Day and the Day of St. Blaise.
The patron saint will always look over us all. Let's enjoy it and celebrate with joy.
Long live St. Blaise!
The Croatian national air carrier Croatia Airlines is expanding its destination network for the third year in a row. It is to introduce three new flights to Munich, Copenhagen and Dublin as well as to increase the number of weekly flights on existing routes.
For the first time in the history of the company, Croatia Airlines will launch regular international flights between Zagreb and Dublin on Thursdays and Sundays starting from the 3rd of May to the 28th of October 2018.
The novelty is also the seasonal flight between Dubrovnik and Munich, which will be operated five times a week starting on the 30th of April this year.
Among new routes is also the flight between Split and Copenhagen on Saturdays starting from the 5th of May to the 20th of October 2018.
In addition, the Croatian national air carrier carried a record-breaking number of 2,124,528 passengers in 2017 or 10 percent more in comparison to the previous year. The positive trend of passenger traffic is expected to continue in 2018.
Dubrovnik’s tourism industry has had a solid start to 2018 with 11,936 visitor arrivals recorded in January. The beginning of the year is traditionally slow for the tourism industry but thanks to more winter flights and a successful New Year period the city has set off the year in a positive mood.
The most numerous tourists in January, which saw an increase of 2 percent over January 2017, were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Korea, USA, Germany, Japan, Albania, Australia, Austria and Great Britain.
The clear winners were private accommodation, which in the city saw a 23 percent increase in guest numbers compared to the first month from 2017. From the 1st of January to the 31st of January 24,411 overnight stays were achieved in hotel accommodation.
The specialized Food, Wine & Travel (FWT) magazine has made a list of the 11 best travel destinations for 2018 and included the Croatian island of Lošinj.
American bloggers and travel writers chose all the 11 world destinations featuring many wonderful places around the globe.
When it comes to the island of Lošinj, the US travel blogger Cacinda Maloney recommended the island as a must-visit destination for 2018.
Maloney described Lošinj as an island of vitality, which remains in your memory due to the wonderful coast, crystal clear sea and fresh air. She also praised the beauty of the Čikat Bay, a hotel offer and top class spa programs emphasizing that the Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence in the category Best Destination Spa was awarded to the Bellevue Hotel last year. Maloney was also thrilled with the unique Apoksiomen Museum, a local gastronomic offer as well as with the neighbouring islands of Ilovik and Cres.
‘’Losinj Island in Croatia is, after all, known as the Island of Vitality where wealthy Europeans came to get away from the hard, cold winters for centuries. They came to this tiny island to cleanse their bodies and minds. Literally, before medical tourism was even a thing. It is said the island has special health benefits because of the fresh air mixed with sea salt and pine trees. But not only that, it is a gorgeous seaside village of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants with a simple way of life. You will absolutely be delighted to spend some time here along the coast of the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea’’, wrote Maloney for the FWT magazine.
According to FWT magazine travel experts, the best travel destinations for 2018 are:
1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Lošinj Island, Croatia
3. Abruzzo, Italy
4. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
5. Bordeaux, France
6. Capri, Italy
7. Sri Lanka
8. Lake Constance, Germany
11. Solomon Islands