Saturday, 23 September 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.


Welcome to the epitome of maritime elegance and adventure at ACI Marina Veljko Barbieri in the charming enclave of Slano. Nestled within a picturesque bay, this relatively newly inaugurated marina offers not only a secure haven for seafaring enthusiasts but also a gateway to explore the enchanting Elaphite islands and embark on a luxurious journey to the historic city of Dubrovnik. Join us on a voyage into the heart of this tranquil retreat, where modern sophistication harmonizes with the rich maritime history of Dubrovnik's shores.

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Nestled within a picturesque bay, the relatively newly inaugurated ACI Marina Veljko Barbieri in Slano stands as the epitome of refined elegance, making it the perfect embarkation point for cruising the enchanting Elaphite islands or embarking on a luxurious journey to the historic city of Dubrovnik. This exquisite marina, proudly named after the visionary creator of the renowned ACI marina chain, Veljko Barbieri, has been meticulously designed in a location that has long served as a secure sanctuary for all seafaring vessels. Cradled within a serene bay, it offers not only a safe haven but also a delightful fusion of natural beauty and modern sophistication.

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For those seeking an active retreat along the scenic shores, the marina offers a 50-kilometer bicycle trail, inviting visitors to embark on invigorating adventures. ACI Marina Veljko Barbieri is idyllically situated in the expansive and breath-taking bay that shares its name. The charming town of Lopud, nestled along the bay and the eponymous island, awaits just around 10 nautical miles from Slano. This area, adorned with lush vegetation, is steeped in Dubrovnik's maritime history and is home to the picturesque Šunj Bay.

As you approach this haven of tranquillity, you'll find ACI Marina Veljko Barbieri nestled in the north-eastern corner of the spacious Slano harbour. This harbour, renowned for its historical significance, extends one nautical mile into the mainland along the northern shores of the Koločep channel. Sheltered from all winds, it has been a sought-after mooring destination for mariners since ancient times. Navigating the Slano harbour, you'll pass through a 340-metre-long passage nestled between the Gornji and Donji capes. On the Donji cape, marking the western boundary of the bay, a lighthouse guides your way with its luminous presence. Along the local boardwalk, a mere 150 meters northwest of the marina, you'll find the harbour light.

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To reach the marina, set your course on a north-eastern trajectory upon entering the Slano harbour. The waters within the marina are deep enough for secure navigation, boasting depths that range from 10 to 35 meters, with shallower stretches closer to the shores.

In the bustling streets of Dubrovnik, where tourists often ponder where to find affordable dining that doesn't compromise on quality, Academia emerges as the ultimate solution. It epitomizes "value for money" in every sense.

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Exceptional Value: Academia's menu offers an enticing variety of dishes, all competitively priced. Whether it's Veal Risotto with Peas, Roasted Chicken Fillet with Creamy Gorgonzola, or Sea Bass Fillets with a Dalmatian garnish for just €13, your taste buds and your wallet will thank you. Even desserts like the Cake of the Day and Homemade Crepes are budget-friendly at €3 each.

Free Parking: Parking in Dubrovnik can be daunting, but Academia alleviates this woe with two levels of free underground parking. Enjoy the convenience without worrying about sun-damaged cars, exclusively available to restaurant patrons.

Spacious Setting: Whether you prefer the modern, cool interior or the sun-kissed terrace outside, Academia provides ample space for relaxation.

Daily Menu: The restaurant's Daily Menu features a diverse selection of dishes, ensuring both affordability and culinary exploration. It's not just about value for money; it's about savouring a variety of cuisines.

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Academia, nestled in the Lapad suburb of Dubrovnik, boasts easy accessibility. It's within walking distance of the Old City and well-connected via regular bus routes.

Academia: Where affordability meets culinary excellence in Dubrovnik

Zagreb Airport's General Manager, Huseyin Bahadir Bedir, has made an exciting announcement regarding the airport's anticipated passenger numbers for this year. With consistent month-over-month growth, Zagreb Airport is poised to reach new heights in 2023.

Mr. Bedir stated, "Passenger numbers are growing from month to month. By the end of the year, we expect to handle some 3.7 million travellers, which will exceed the figures from 2019. Zagreb Airport will continue to work on expanding its flight network and offering a seamless travel experience to its guests."

During the period from January to August, Zagreb Airport successfully welcomed 2,446,623 travellers through its doors. This achievement marks a remarkable increase of 7.5% compared to the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019 and a substantial 23.8% surge compared to the previous year.

The airport's consistent growth reflects not only a recovery from the challenges posed by the pandemic but also its efforts to enhance connectivity and improve passenger services. The vision of becoming the busiest and most passenger-friendly airport in the region is becoming a reality as Zagreb Airport continues to attract travellers from all over the world.

The airport's commitment to expanding its flight network and providing a top-notch travel experience reaffirms its dedication to serving as a key gateway to Croatia and the broader European region.


Of the nine airports in Croatia, only Rijeka had fewer passengers in July than in the same month last year, while the most passengers passed through Split Airport, 742,800, which is 37 percent of all passengers at all airports in July, according to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS). The data also shows that in the first seven months, there were 20 percent more passengers at all airports than last year.

In total, there were nearly two million passengers at all airports in Croatia in July, which is 12.7 percent more than in the same month in 2022, and Split Airport had the most passengers among all airports and recorded a 16.2 percent increase.

The second airport is Dubrovnik with 444,800 passengers, an increase of 4.7 percent, while the third is Zagreb Airport with 366,400 passengers, an increase of 12 percent compared to July of the previous year.

The most significant increase among all airports in July this year, 23.1 percent, was recorded by Zadar Airport with 283,300 passengers, while Pula Airport had 7.3 percent more passengers, or 107,800.

Rijeka Airport, on the other hand, had just over 37,000 passengers, a decrease of 7.6 percent compared to July last year, while Osijek Airport, with a small base of just over 5,700 passengers, saw an increase of as much as 182 percent.

The two island airports, on Brač and Mali Lošinj, had more passengers in July than in the same month last year - Brač had nearly 4,500 passengers, an increase of 28 percent, while Lošinj had 367 passengers, an increase of 1.4 percent.

Since the beginning of the year, in the area of the Dubrovačko Primorje Tourist Board, there were 27,146 tourists who achieved 166,874 overnight stays, which is a 22 percent increase in arrivals and a 14 percent increase in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

In hotels in the municipality area, 80,052 overnight stays were recorded, which is a 21 percent increase compared to the same period last year, while in household accommodations, there were 70,365 overnight stays, a 7 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

In comparison to 2019, during the first half of September, there was a 10 percent increase in overnight stays, and since the beginning of the year, overnight stays are at 98 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

The most numerous guests in hotels since the beginning of the year have come from Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Belgium, while the most numerous guests in household accommodations have come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Croatia.

On Saturday, September 16th, the renovated complex of the Rector’s Palace on Lopud was ceremoniously reopened. Numerous dignitaries attended the event, which began with the blessing of the palace by Bishop Roko Glasnović.

The host of the event, Vedran Kosović, the President of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, addressed the gathering and spoke about how this was indeed a significant day for the Society. It signifies the continuation of relentless work in preserving, restoring, and presenting our heritage. Following the restoration of the Palaces in Slano and Pridvorje, this is the third Rector’s Palace open to the public, with the fourth in Janjina awaiting final touches and furnishing.

One of the strategic decisions of the Society is to restore the Rector’s Palaces to showcase how the Republic managed these areas. The next project, the Society's efforts, will be focused on the Rector’s Palace in Orebić.

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Kosović emphasized, "Each Rector’s Palace has its own unique story, from its construction, service to the Republic, use after the Republic's fall, to the present day. None of them are the same; each has its own path, and each should be approached differently. What stands out regarding the restoration here on Lopud is the natural collaboration between the Society and the Caboga Stiftung Foundation. It's not just the amount donated to the Society that impresses but also the way this collaboration was achieved. From day one, it was simple, entirely open, and with a great deal of mutual respect. The Caboga Stiftung Foundation is the largest donor in the history of the Society, and the name of Mr. Ivo Felner will be engraved in golden letters in the society's history."

County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić welcomed the efforts of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities and expressed that Croatia has gained another gem of heritage. He congratulated everyone involved in making this project a reality, especially the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities and the Felner family, as well as the Caboga Stiftung Foundation.

The grand opening was attended by Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek. She said, "It is a complete pleasure and a unique opportunity for me to open two such heritage cultural objects day after day. There are no words or thoughts to describe the excitement and joy of addressing this event today.”

The total amount spent on this investment, covering all technical documentation, construction and craft work, supervision, interior design, equipment, and setup, amounts to €2,026,000, entirely provided through a donation from the Caboga Stiftung Foundation.

In a significant development along the Bosnian-Croatian border, law enforcement officials from the Gruda Border Police Station made a startling discovery on September 15, seizing more than 11 kilograms of marijuana intended for distribution to consumers in the Dubrovnik and surrounding areas, according to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Police Department.

The alert was raised when officers patrolling the state border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, in the vicinity of Osojnik, spotted an individual carrying a suspiciously large travel bag around 3:30 PM local time. Suspicion of illicit activity led the police to intercept the individual, who was identified as a 32-year-old Croatian citizen. A search of the bag revealed a staggering 11 packages of marijuana, with a total weight of 11,184 grams, containing a high level of THC.

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The confiscated narcotics, along with the apprehended suspect, were subsequently taken into police custody. Investigative efforts revealed that the 32-year-old had procured the drugs in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the intention of further distribution in the Dubrovnik region and its vicinity. The suspect is expected to face charges related to drug possession and trafficking, and further investigations are underway to trace the origins of the illicit substance and the network behind its distribution.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Police Department commended the vigilance and dedication of the Gruda Border Police officers in preventing these drugs from reaching the streets and potentially causing harm to the local population.

The Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) has reported that consumer prices in Croatia surged by 7.8 percent in August compared to the same month last year, marking the first annual increase in inflation after eight consecutive months of decline.

This latest data, based on the second estimate of the Consumer Price Index, underlines the country's economic situation as inflation continues to make headlines. In August, the inflation rate was not only significantly higher compared to the previous year but also saw a 0.5 percent uptick compared to July of the same year.

The second estimate confirms the initial assessment made on August 31 regarding the annual inflation rate. However, it did make a minor adjustment to the monthly rate, which was initially reported at 0.6 percent.

The latest data on inflation in Croatia highlights the ongoing challenges faced by the economy. As prices continue to rise, both consumers and policymakers will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure economic stability and adjust policies as needed.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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