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.
This year Croatia has announced the opening of 40 new and newly renovated hotels in addition to several camps, resorts and motels.
''This investment boom in the Adriatic confirms that tourism is one of the most competitive sectors of the Croatian economy and that investors have recognised our efforts and our aim in the strategic development of tourism in Croatia. Continuous data of the tourist traffic and the consumption of tourists show to potential investors that Croatia is a country attractive for investments thus our task is to make Croatia even more attractive on the financial market with quality management of marketing, promotion and branding'', enhanced Anton Kliman the Croatian Minister of Tourism.
The Hotel Bellevue in Orebic in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has been completely renovated and will be opened on the 10th of July. The construction works of the hotel Villa Paradiso in the Zaton area and the ACI marina Veljko Barbieri in Slano are to be finished soon. Further investments has been announced for the Hotel More in Dubrovnik which has been expanded with additional 40 rooms, the hotel resort Hotels Plat and a hotel in Importanne Resort that is planned to be open in 2017.
With the Euro 2016 in France underway Croatia has gone football crazy and are glues to the small screens catching up on the action. However they aren’t the only fans watching the championships in Croatia. John Terry, the Chelsea and former England player, is currently staying in Croatia and enjoying the beauties of the country with his family. He has posted his latest photos on Facebook and Instragram bragging about his holiday.
‘’Great holiday with the family’’ he wrote under the photo of him and his wife Toni on their yacht anchored off Rovinj in Istria.
After Rovinj they visited the National Park Krka in the Šibenik-Knin County in northern Dalmatia on Sunday. Terry has posted the family photo from the park on Instagram after the great victory of the Croatia national football team over Turkey giving his thumb up for Croatia.
Terry has 2.3 million followers on Instagram so these photos are surely a great publicity for Croatia.
Croatians are really into football and almost nobody missed the game between Turkey and Croatia yesterday. A group of fans from Dubrovnik got really popular after posting a photo imitating one of the players, Vedran Corluka, who was hurt during the match and had his head wrapped in bandage couple of times.
They wrapped their heads in toilet paper and really thrilled the people, who posted them all around social media, on the most popular Croatian Facebook pages. They even got to the national media!
Fun fact: our graphic designer Kristian is the part of this fan group. Good to see The Dubrovnik Times team is becoming popular!
Injured Vedran Corluka on the field / Photo by: Ronald Gorsic / CROPIX
It is one of the natural wonders of the world; the Bay of Kotor will leave you scratching your head at its sheer beauty, truly unreal. So when the chance to cruise on the Bay of Kotor appeared I grabbed it with both hands. Montenegro is on the doorstep of Dubrovnik, a short drive and you are in the wilds of Montenegro, with its soaring mountains and long sandy beaches. The Montenegro: Bay of Kotor Cruise sounded very civilised.
Our tour with Croatia Excursions started in the charming seaside town of Herceg Novi where we boarded a speed boat; this was going to be a feature of the full-day tour, plenty of time of the Adriatic. “It is such a clean sea, and calm, how lovely to skim across the waves,” commented a couple from Sunderland to me. They were right, there is no better summer feeling than being on the Adriatic when the sun is shining, and we were going to have a great day at sea.
“We are on our way to the Blue Grotto,” the guide informed me. I felt a little embarrassed; I have lived in the region for eighteen years and never heard of this Blue Grotto. “You will see, it is amazing,” he added. A Blue Grotto in the middle of the Montenegro Adriatic, I was intrigued.
A small opening in a cliff top, just, and I mean just, high enough for us to squeeze under in our speedboat. We entered what was a large concert-hall like cavern, echoing high stone ceiling and a brilliant turquoise sea. “Now if you want you can go for a swim,” announced the friendly guide. He didn’t have to ask twice. In seconds half of my group was already diving into the warm sea. This wasn’t the only gem of nature we were going to see in Montenegro.
Back onto the speedboats and to our mid-Adriatic rendezvous. Waiting for us on the horizon was a long ship; even from a distance it looked impressive. We hopped onto the excursion boat “Le Couche D’Eau,” with its restaurant, bar, sun terrace; this was going to be our comfortable home for the trip into the bay of Kotor. Lunch was served, very elegant sipping local wine and traditional cuisine as the ship slipped through the Adriatic. We were basically sightseeing and enjoying lunch at the same time.
Into the bay of Kotor, a World Heritage Site since 1979, and I could hear the gasps of awe as the rest of the group saw this natural miracle for the first time. “I have never seen anything like this in my life, these are the kinds of views that you only see on postcards,” added my lunch partners from Belgium. They weren’t wrong; impressive is just too short a word. He glided onto the manmade island “Our Lady of the Rocks,” a fascinating island with a complicated and interesting history. According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of the Virgin Mary on the rock in the sea in 1452. A brief tour of the church on the island with its collection of icons, paintings and silver works and we were all back on Le Couche D’Eau.
“Culture, history and remarkable natural scenes, this small country is loaded down with options,” added the couple from Sunderland. All you could hear when the ship sailed towards Kotor was the sound of cameras clicking. The group, well to be honest me included, were filling their holiday albums ten times over.
Docking up in front of Kotor, a historic walled city at the end of the bay and a great place to end our tour, a very well organized tour it has to be said. Walking around the narrow cobbled streets of Kotor we were all left with the feeling that this full-day trip was both informative and satisfying.
By Mark Thomas
The Montenegro: Bay of Kotor cruise is a full-day excursion offered by the Gulliver Travel agency. For more information, including prices, dates and how to book, please visit the Gulliver Travel website here.
On the site 101Reasons it's possible to add any kind of list and people can vote on it or contribute by adding a reason. So, the list of the 10 reasons to visit Dubrovnik was made by people who voted which reason they find the most inviting and here is the list:
1. The islands
2. The impressive City Wall
3. It's the location of the Game of Thrones
4. Take the outstading Game of Thrones tour
5. The rich history
6. Watch outstanding theatre in a fort
7. The cuisine
8. The staggering range of music
9. Go to the pharmacy!
10. The wine
You can see the full list with the details here and also, you can contribute by 'liking' the reason you like the most or adding the reason of your own.
Croatia started their Euro 2016 campaign yesterday with a 1 – 0 win over Turkey in the impressive Parc des Prince stadium in Paris. A stunning volley from Luka Modric won the game in the 41st minute and Croatian supporters all over the world celebrated.
The atmosphere in the bars and cafes around Dubrovnik was great, in spite of the constant threat of rain in the city supporters were out in large numbers. Even a few tourists joined in the fun and dressed up in the Croatian colours.
Croatia next plays against the Czech Republic on Friday the 17th of June at 6.00pm (CET).
Check out our gallery by Tonci Plazibat
Croatia opened up their Euro 2016 campaign with a win against Turkey in the Parc des Prince in Paris. Almost 50,000 spectators filled the stadium in the French capital and were treated to a tense and exciting match.
A 25-metre wonder volley from Luka Modric in the 41st minute settled the tie and left Croatia top Group D with three points. Croatia dominated for most of the match and finished with 18 shots compared to only 7 from Turkey.
The next round sees Croatia take on the Czech Republic on Friday the 17th of June at 6.00pm.
Check out our photos from the Parc des Prince by Tonci Vlasic.
Over the past few years the most numerous tourists to Dubrovnik have been from Great Britain. Without doubt one of the factors is the number of direct flights that operate between the UK and Dubrovnik through the summer months. The low-cost airline EasyJet carried the largest number of UK passengers to Dubrovnik in 2015 and they have just announced that they will be increasing the number of direct flights for this year.
Until now EasyJet have operated three flights every week between Dubrovnik and Stansted Airport, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. However they are to introduce a fourth line, on Thursdays, due to the amount of interest from the UK market.
EasyJet have also announced that they will increase the number of flights between Pula and Gatwick Airport, from two to three.