Tuesday, 04 August 2020
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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Croatia is a country well known for its natural beauties and stunning coastline of ''a thousand islands'' which attracts more and more tourists each year especially those with ''deeper pockets'' such as yachtsmen.

In the last five-six years there has been a large number of gay men who like to sail the Adriatic and consider Croatia as a gay friendly destination.

Each year more and more young men as well as young women opt for Croatia as their holiday destination on the recommendation of those who already visited our country. They choose Croatia as a supreme holiday destination which offers them peace and quiet, beautiful natural scenery, excellent cuisine, friendly hosts and true freedom in expressing their mutual love while sailing.

''They are great guests who prefer solitude during the day, they like hidden coves to freely enjoy their time with a partner, whilst in the evening they choose top restaurants for enjoyment in our cuisine. They are very demanding guests, but within reasonable limits. No acting, just hedonism'', says an owner of a boat charter company in Croatia.

These guests usually plan their summer holidays in advance; they rent a boat or a yacht and already know which route they will sail in order to take advantage of all the benefits of the Adriatic such as hidden coves and nightlife spots.

''They are extremely tidy, a yacht or a boat is spotless after seven days of their stay. These types of guests like to drink alcohol in large quantities especially all kinds of quality vodka as well as expensive cognac. As far as wines are concerned, they always like to try local brands especially wines on islands they visit. But they always require top products. Everything is top about them even their trained and sculpted bodies!'', says with a smile a lady skipper from Split.

Even those who are not GOT fans know it – Dubrovnik is King's Landing and an important part of the Game of Thrones series. While on the break from watching the series, since season 6 has ended and 7 has just started filming, the real fans of GOT may want to visit the famous filming locations.

That's why website Mashable has made a list of 5 essential trips for Game of Thrones superfans, organized by house. Dubrovnik, as King's Landing, is representing house Lannister that is currently ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
- To truly capture the Lannister experience in Dubrovnik, one need only stride about its rocky passages and gaze intensely to sea, scheming how best to maintain your power. But when you need to recuperate from all that angst, explore Dubrovnik's world-class dining scene for a feast fit for a Lannister. If you're feeling really extravagant à la Tyrion, Restaurant 360° is a Michelin Star eatery that serves classic Mediterranean dishes. For the Cersei sympathiser, Croatian viticulture is an art certainly worth appreciating – writes Mashable.

When it comes to filming locations they mention Stradun and ''walk of shame'' stairs near St. Ignatius Church and Trsteno Arboretum but as we all know – there are many more filming locations worth a visit. We're sure the Game of Thrones superfans already have them on their schedule.

When you are preparing to travel somewhere or when you reach the destination the most important things in that moment are where to sleep, what to do and where to eat. If you are a vegetarian or vegan in Dubrovnik it can get tricky because in Croatia many people believe that a meal without meat isn't a real meal.

But it's not all lost. Since Dubrovnik is touristic city, everbody do their best to please their costumers. Vilda Magazine brings few tips and tricks for vegans and vegetarians in Dubrovnik.

First is to stay in a apartment or a good hotel. Of course, if you're used to preparing your own meals in your own taste the best thing you can do is to rent an apartment with a kitchen where you can prepare your own breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can go to the green market and get local products. It could save you money, since restaurants can be quite expensive, but if you don't feel like cooking on your vacation then the alternative is a good hotel where you can check what they offer before you come.

Vilda Magazine also suggests restaurant Nishta, which has a complete vegetarian and vegan menu and Marco Polo, a regular restaurant that serves vegan food. Also, there is Bio&Bio shop, which can make your stay even more easier.

The most important tip they bring, in our opinion, is to be nice and ask. Yes, many restaurants don't have vegan food, but if you explain them what you want they will do their best to fullfill your wishes. Just don't be shy!

Bored of the same old restaurants, with the same familiar menus and the same tired interiors...looking for a gastronomic adventure with a difference. We just might have the solution, a blind supper club. On the 18th of September at 7 o’clock this first ever blind supper club will be held.

Not so much a meal, more a dining experience, the concept of a blind supper club might not be one you are familiar with. So to bring you up to speed, firstly the location is different to what you might expect; it is like a private club and definitely not a restaurant. You could be dining on the roof of a building, in a vineyard or in a cave. It’s blind because the menu of what you will taste isn’t revealed until the very last moment, and sometimes not until you sit down. Although this concept is new to Dubrovnik it is certainly popular in the US and the UK.

It is called the Gypsy Table and it will bring together the top culinary talent in Croatia to prepare the best locally-sourced products available, served up in the most beautiful and unique locations in the country all for a great cause…charity. Each future event will have a Croatian charity as the beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds from the event. What makes this even more special, is that the location will remain a secret until shortly prior to the event.

gzpsz tabel 2

This first ever Dubrovnik “Gypsy Table” is being organised by Croatian-American chef and adventure diner Richard Gruica aka Foodzilla and the head chef of the elite Dubrovnik eatery “Stara Loza” Damir Saric. Judging by this duos CV’s we can expect a night of creative cuisine.

“We wanted to explore the possibilities of a new gastronomic experience in Dubrovnik and a blind supper club ticks all the boxes,” explained Saric to The Dubrovnik Times. “Who knows where we will organise supper clubs, we have plenty of ideas but for now we don’t want to give too much away,” said the head chef. A Secret Location! A big part of attending a Gypsy Table dinner is the excitement of the unknown. Not only will the menu be a surprise, but the location as well. Guests will receive the information on the exact location up to 48 hours prior to the event. Maybe it’s a candlelit dinner in the courtyard of an ancient monastery or communal table atop a secluded hilltop. One thing for sure–it will be totally unique and an evening to remember.

The beneficiary for the dinner is the Žarkovica Aninal Shelter. The event will consist of an all-inclusive feast featuring amazing edible delights, craft beer, wonderful wines, hand crafted cocktails, music and much more. Tickets are 50 Euro per person or 90 Euro per pair. Tickets can be purchased directly at gypsytable.eventbrite.com or via gypsytable.com Tickets will not be sold to walks up and this will be strictly prohibited. 

And according to the team details of the next Gypsy Table Pop-Up will be announced at the conclusion of the first dinner, which will take part in the Dubrovnik Good Food Festival.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Richard Gruica at 385919500081 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can more details at gypsytable.com

Ryanair is making the Dalmatian city of Zadar a mini-hub, the low cost airline already operates to thirteen European destinations from the city and has now announced a new destination for 2017.

From March Ryanair will add Glasgow to their Zadar operations, with seasonal flights which will run twice a week. Tickets are not yet available for purchase on the airline’s website.

Ryanair predicts that it will handle around 315,000 passengers on flights to Zadar this year. This is still no news as to whether Dubrovnik will become another Croatian destination for the budget airline.

Dubrovnik is the absolute magnet for cruise ships in Croatia. According to new data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics a total of 395 cruise ships arrived in Croatia waters from the period of January to the end of July and over 63 percent of these ships came to Dubrovnik.

The average stay of a cruise ship is unsurprisingly very short, just two days in Croatian waters, and from the beginning of the year to the end of July 536,953 passengers arrived in Croatia. Compared to last year the number of cruise ships has increased by 2.9 percent and the number of passengers by 3.8 percent.

By the end of this year a total of 882,651 cruise ship passengers are expected to arrive in Dubrovnik on 636 cruise ships.

cruise graphic

Cruise ship movements in Croatia - Croatian Bureau of Statistics 

Croatia decides today in the general election. At seven o’clock this morning polling stations opened across the country for 3.74 million voters to decide the 151 members of parliament. Nearly 7,000 polling stations will be open until seven o’clock tonight and the preliminary results are expected to be announced at around 10 o’clock.

This is the second time that Croatian voters have been called to parliamentary elections in the past ten months after the previous government collapsed after just five months in charge. And according to pools it could be another close result with a possible coalition predicted.

The opinion polls show the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and their four party coalition leading and predicted to win 60 of the 151 seats. Whilst the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) forecast to win slightly less, meaning a coalition looks likely.
The former government, a HDZ/MOST coalition, collapsed after internal fractions and arguments after the political direction. The coalition started their short appointment on a wave of reform and change, however after five months of infighting reforms were still on the backburner.

Voters have been reminded that they are not allowed to use cell phones in the voting booths to take photos of their ballot papers.

A new world tourism trend has appeared in Croatia. It is all about walking holiday tours throughout Croatia and one of them was walked by an English couple who were more than happy to share their experience.

Rob and Jess Criswell from Manchester, UK, cycled in Istria from Motovun to Groznjan, and then walked to Roc and Ucka, and all the way to Moscenicka Draga on the Liburnia Riviera. ''We started from Motovun where we stayed for two days. The first day we rented e-bicycles and travelled 65 kilometres. We stopped in Groznjan where a jazz festival was being held, and then the next day we walked to Roc, from which we went on foot about 28 kilometres to Ucka. We'll stay in Moscenicka Draga for a few days and then we are heading to Pula. But we'll take a taxi to the largest Istrian city'', says Rob Criswell.

The English couple, in their early 50s, belong to a specific type of tourists who visit their desired destinations on foot. This type of active tourism has been popular in Europe for a very long time now, whilst it has becoming a trend in Croatia in the last 10-15 years. The English couple booked their vacation in Istria and Kvarner over the English agency Onfootholidays which organizes walking tours throughout Europe. It is a ''self-guided'' tour, a new trend where walkers travel by themselves with no guides but with detailed maps and notes provided for carefree walking to various paths and destinations.

The Croatian tour organized by the English agency includes forest and hiking trails from Motovun to Moscenicka Draga. The walking tours start in the late spring, whilst during August these tours are not organized due to the high temperatures. The price of the six-day tour organized by the Onfootholidays is £575 or a little more than 5,000 Kunas per person.

The Criswells from Manchester were the first group of walkers after the peak season. ''Everything was very well organized, the accommodation was provided as well as maps and directions with information on towns we planned to visit'', said the English couple. They also confirmed that walkers, when reached places to stay the night, enjoyed lovely food and excellent wines.

''We live in a city so this was a great anti-stress therapy for us. We enjoyed the landscape which is ever changing and absolutely beautiful. Nature is pristine and unspoiled, whilst towns like Motovun, Hum and Roc are really something special. This was exactly what we had expected, even more than that'', concluded Jess Criswell, the walker from Manchester.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook