Monday, 12 September 2022

Waterfalls, Cheese and TV Shows - How Do Foreigners Recognise Croatia?

September the 12th, 2022 - Just what is it that makes Croatia so recognisable to foreign visitors? From Game of Thrones to waterfalls and Christmas events, the list is varied.

As Morski writes, the well known travel blog Travel Drafts Croatia has stated that ''Croatia is a beautiful country in the Western Balkans, which is actually a part of the former Yugoslavia... Although it is a very popular destination among newlyweds, families with children and backpack tourists, this country has recently experienced a small renaissance".

Game of Thrones

One of the most watched series ever to be produced used the Croatian city of Dubrovnik as King's Landing, the fictional capital of the seven kingdoms in the series. Because of this, among other things, word spread about how beautiful this city is. Tourists flock there to see where Cersei had her Walk of Shame, and to tour the sets of the hit series.

The blog then goes on to state that would-be visitord should know that the city is full of tourists during the hot summer months and is much easier to explore during the off-season.

Beautiful waterfalls

Krka National Park is home to the most famous waterfall in all of Croatia, known as Skradinski buk. Plitvice Lakes are also home to numerous beautiful waterfalls. Although they are not so well known individually, this is one of the ten world heritage sites located in Croatia which is under UNESCO protection and one of two natural sites under UNESCO protection.

Red tourism (so-called)

Red tourism is travel to communist, socialist or ex-communist/socialist countries, usually by people originating from non-communist/socialist countries to learn about the heritage of those forms of government. Tours of communist monuments are a great way to learn about what life was like in Yugoslavia. The blog recommends people to start with the Podgaric monument, which is one of the most striking examples of all of this form of ex-Yugoslav public art.

Even traditionally beautiful places like Dubrovnik offer opportunities for people seeking red tourism. Here, you can tour the Red History Museum, which is the first interactive museum in all of the Republic of Croatia dedicated to educating visitors about what life was like during communism.

The World Cup and football

Croatia made it all the way to the finals of the 2018 World Cup. Although they ended up losing to France, they were the pride of Europe and showed the world exactly how outstanding and passionate Croatia is when it comes to the most popular sport in the world. The blog notes that the footballing tradition in Croatia is strong, explaining how the country has actually competed in the World Cup five times as an independent nation. Croatia had its very first performance back in 1998, when it came third! Of course, before that, the Croats competed in the larger Yugoslav team.

Beautiful islands

The Greek islands may be more famous, but the Croatian Adriatic islands are just as (if not more) beautiful. From Pag to Hvar, each one is a small perfect gem located in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. One of the most popular ways to experience the Croatian islands is to go on a sailing adventure and visit the most beautiful islands in the country/ Different islands have different reputations. There are islands known for their nightlife and parties, while others are known as real family-oriented places. Others have a more romantic atmosphere.

There are over one thousand two hundred islands dotted along the Croatian mainland, and almost fifty of them are inhabited. The blog tells its readers to be sure to do their research beforehand and choose the right island (or combination of islands) to suit the type of trip they might want to take.

Ancient Roman ruins

The blog says that if its readers enjoy visiting ancient Roman ruins, then they'll absolutely love visiting Croatia. In Split, you'll very easily find the Diocletian's Palace which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Diocletian, one of the most famous Eastern Roman emperors, ruled from the year 284 to the year 305. Back during that time, his palace was built in the very heart of the City of Split (Spalato), which was his main residence. Other important historical landmarks in Split that are part of this UNESCO World Heritage List include churches from the twelfth century and palaces from the fifteenth century.

The cravat

Considered an original Croatian product, it spread throughout Europe during the seventeenth century thanks to Croatian soldiers serving in the Thirty Years' War, where it became a recognisable fashion detail. The French were among the first to adopt it, and it entered their language under the name cravate, and later also in other European languages ​​under similar names. Croatian ties, or cravats, are slightly wider than modern ties and are an extremely popular Croatian souvenir, especially in Zagreb, the country's charming capital.

Croatian honey

The Balkans is a region famous for homemade honey. While all countries in the region produce honey and claim that theirs is the best, you really don't want to miss trying it in Croatia. Or buying it as a souvenir.

Christmas markets

While many people think of Croatia as a summer destination, it is actually a fantastic place to go in the winter too! The Zagreb Christmas Market has been awarded the title of "Best European Christmas Market" for three years in a row. The people of Zagreb really turn their city into a winter wonderland, with an ice rink, amazing lights, traditional food and drink, and festive shows.

While Zagreb gets the most attention, Dubrovnik and Split also have great Christmas markets that are worth seeing, the blog adds.

Pag cheese

This hard cheese with an extremely distinctive and strong taste comes from the island of Pag and is made from sheep's milk. It is considered the most famous specialised cheese in all of Croatia, and can be found in many markets outside the country.

Lavender fields

The blog lets its readers know that the most famous lavender fields are located on the stunning Central Dalmatian island of Hvar. This island has been growing lavender for centuries, and during the months of July and August the fields become beautiful, and the air is permeated with the distinct smell of lavender.

''Croatia is an absolutely amazing country and I strongly encourage you to plan your own Croatian adventure! The top five destinations that you should not miss are Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice Lakes, Zagreb and the island of Hvar. However, Rijeka is currently famous for its role as the European capital of culture, so you should put it on your itinerary for Croatia,'' Travel Drafts tells its readers.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 12 September 2022

GinIstra: First Rovinj Gin Festival Set to Take Place This Month

September the 12th, 2022 - The first gin festival is set to be held in the gorgeous Istrian city of Rovinj at the end of this month. GinIstra will more than likely prove a hit among visitors and locals alike.

As Morski writes, over more recent years, and speaking on a global level, there has been an increasingly present trend of people drinking gin. The creation of new, special, more diverse and even more specific flavours has naturally led to an increase in the production activity in the field of distillates. This is also the situation here in the Republic of Croatia, where there are currently around 40 active gin producers, eleven of which are located in Istria County.

In order to valorise local producers and introduce them to the production and the distillates themselves, on September the 30th, the first gin festival appropriately named "GinIstra" will be held in beautiful Rovinj, which will aim to gather producers and the profession in one place.

Nine producers from the area of ​​Istria have confirmed their participation in the upcoming GinIstra festival, and these are the distilleries AurA, Damijanic, Imagine spirits, Istarska kaptilpa, Martesi, Old school distillery, OPG Cehic, Rossi and Sempervivum. In addition to the presentation of almost twenty different types of gin, visitors will have the opportunity to listen to panel workshops, and on top of the rich entertainment programme which will be put on during the very first GinIstra festival, awards will be given for the best gin according to the evaluations of the profession, i.e. the Commission for evaluating all of the submitted samples.

The first GinIstra festival will be held in the white hall of the Academia Banquet in Rovinj, on Friday, September the 30th, from 16:00 until midnight, as reported by local portal Glas Istre (The Voice of Istria).

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Driver of Dubrovnik Newlyweds Fined for Parking in Heart of Old City

September the 12th, 2022 - A pair of Dubrovnik newlyweds were fined in the amount of 2000 kuna due to their driver's behaviour behind the wheel and his disrespect to the UNESCO-protected city itself.

As Morski writes, a driver of two Dubrovnik newlyweds who completely nonchalantly parked his car next to the Small Onofrio fountain in the very heart of the ancient old city last week did not get permission to do so from the Dubrovnik city utilities. Because of him deciding to park his car carrying the Dubrovnik newlyweds inside the walls, no more and no less than on Stradun itself, he was forced to pay 2000 kuna out of his own pocket as a fine.

As local Dubrovnik portal DUlist found out from the Dubrovnik City Administration, the car entered the heart of the walled city with a permit for wedding purposes, but that permit didn't include parking the car there under any circumstances.

This type of permit only applies to cars physically entering the historic core and letting the newlyweds exit the vehicle, after which the car may no longer remain within the walls and must leave, let alone park. This time, that didn't occur, and the car remained parked near the Small Onofrio fountain during the church wedding ceremony, which took place in the church of St. Blaise (Sv. Vlaho).

From the Dubrovnik City Administration, thoughts about the complete abolition of permits to enter the historic core of the city for wedding purposes can be heard more and more loudly. Many people are of the firm opinion that there is nothing more beautiful than walking from Pile Gate or Ploce Gate to the Church of St. Blaise, and that this practice of entering the city's core with a car for newlyweds is actually unnecessary, and is often abused.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Registration Books Placed on Peaks of Montokuc and Veliki Planjak

September the 12th, 2022 - Registration books have been placed on the peaks of Montokuc and Veliki Planjak in the gorgeous Mljet National Park in Dalmatia, with more to come.

As Morski writes, island hiking registration books have now been placed on the peaks of Montokuc and Veliki Planjak, with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) and rangers of Mljet National Park having placed boxes with the aforementioned registration books in them for hikers on the most visited peaks in Mljet National Park. They will also soon be installed on the island's highest peak, the 514metre-high Veliki grad.

Cooperation with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service on Mljet has been going on for many years now, and it was formalised through a joint European Union (EU) project whose goal was to improve the visitor infrastructure and the safety of visitors of their partner, NP Mljet, along with the Mljet Tourist Board and Desa, by whom the Croatian Mountain Rescue branch was equipped. The premises for the branch were provided by the Municipality of Mljet itself.

There are over 200 kilometres of hiking and mountaineering trails at Mljet National Park, and over more recent years, the season during which foreign visitors start descending on the island has been as early as March, lasting all the way until the end of October. Outside of the main summer months, most visitors are active lovers of the nature of Croatia's greenest and one of the most hilly islands.

The duties of the Croatian Mountain Rescue teams in Mljet are otherwise regulated by the contract between JU NP Mljet and HGSS, and they last from the beginning of June to the end of September each year.

This year's on-call activities at Mljet National Park will end on October the 8th with the Mljet Trail race. The race will connect the most attractive trails and viewpoints of the national park in three categories (6 km, 13 km and 23 km), with height differences of 197m, 527m and 841m.

Participant registrations for the Mljet Trail are now open, and you can find out more about the race by clicking here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

EuroBasket: Finland Stops Croatia Again 94:86 (45:43)

September 11, 2022- After the loss against Finland meant Croatia's goodbye in the WorldCup qualifiers, today the two teams met again in Berlin in the Round of 16 of EuroBasket. For the second time within just 2 months, Finland prevailed over Croatia thanks to a sensationally strong performance by Lauri Markkanen (43 points).

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The game started with four fast points by Croatia before Finland came around for their first lead. After the checkered team around Bogdanović followed to tie the game again, the remainder of the first quarter (20:21) and the entire second quarter remained tight. Thanks to a remarkable tip-in buzzer beater by Markkanen with 0.1 seconds to execute, Finland took a slight advantage into the locker rooms at halftime (45:43).

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Another tied third quarter (22:22) meant the decision would have to come in the final ten minutes. Ramljak scored an important three-point shot for Croatia to tie the game 77:77 five minutes into the final quarter before coach Mulaomerović's team lost control of the game. Finland scored 10 points without response to secure the win at 87:77 with still 2:25 to play. 

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Markkanen and his teammates did not let go of their lead and finished the game 94:86. Finland's top scorer had 43 points recorded in the stat sheets and became one of only 10 players to ever score 43 or more points during a European Championship. 

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While Bogdanović (23), Smith (17) and the rest of the Croatian team will now head home, Finland will face Spain on Tuesday for a spot in the semi-finals. 

Result by quarters: (FIN-CRO) 20-21, 25-22, 22-22, 27-21


Box score can be found here

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Eventful Slavonia and Baranja: World Fishing Championship in Osijek

September 11, 2022 - On Thursday, 8th September, the 68th World Fishing Championship of the discipline "fishing with a hook on a float" was officially opened with a ceremonial parade of all participants. The competition trails are located on the water surfaces of Stara Drava near Bilje and Topoljski Dunavac in the municipality of Draž.

The championship is organised by the International Sport Fishing Federation for Freshwater Fishing (FIPS), and is hosted by the Society of Sports Fishing Associations of Baranja. 33 countries of the world are participating in this year's competition, and each team has five fishermen. Thus, in the area of ​​Osijek-Baranja County, more than 500 participants, coaches and supporting staff, and another hundred judges and official staff are participating in the championship. The competition tracks are located on the water surfaces of Stara Drava near Bilje and Topoljski Dunavac in the municipality of Draž.

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Osijek-Baranja County


The championship was officially opened by the technical director of the International Sport Fishing Federation for Freshwater Fishing Roland Marcq, who especially greeted the fishermen from Ukraine.
The representative of the President of the Croatian Government was Deputy Prefect Josip Miletić, who expressed his belief that the participants of the competition will carry everything they experience in Osijek-Baranja County with pride in their hearts.

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Osijek-Baranja County


"It was not easy to prepare the trails, but I hope that you are satisfied with the conditions and that you will take away nice experiences, and the Osijek-Baranja County continues to financially and organisationally support all major sports competitions, recognising their importance for the wider community", said Miletić with a fisherman's greeting "successfully and clearly".

"This year, 10 more countries gathered than at last year's competition in Italy, and we have been waiting to become hosts for five years," said Anđelko Martinčević and added that Hrvatske Vode invested HRK 4 million in the renovation of the trails, and Hrvatske Šume more than 250,000 kuna for the renovation of greenhouses.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

4th, Royal HeadOnEast Festival to Showcase Best of Slavonia and Baranja

September 11, 2022 - Although the east of Croatia lives and breathes hedonism all year round, there is a moment every year when it shines really, really brightly. For the fourth year in a row, during the two-day festival of hedonism, the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board will offer to the world the best of Slavonia and Baranja in one place. On September 30 and October 1, HeadOnEast is taking place in Osijek!

As proclaimed by the County Tourist Board, Hedonism is in the east!

The three-day entertainment event, aptly named "HeadOnEast" or simply - Hedonist, invites all pleasure-seekers to head east. You will enjoy, as befits true hedonists, the best that Slavonija and Baranja have to offer.

 

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Dubravka Petric / Pixsell

During those days, the old Fortress in Osijek amazes with numerous themed passages and streets, unique content and imaginative activities, along with the smells of the region's best gastronomic delicacies. All this rests on the presentation of the rich offer of Slavonia and Baranja - from well-known events to a diverse cultural offer. Discover how to live hedonism to the fullest and be inspired by the flavours, colours and beauty of this region.

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Davor Javorovic / Pixsell

All clear! Hedonists, there is no surrender - except surrender to pleasure.

This year, it carries the "royal" title because the main program will take place in the parks of King Petar Krešimir IV and King Tomislav. In addition to the art of light, the mandatory parts of this year's HeadOnEast traditionally include other types of art, wine, beer and all kinds of gastronomic delicacies. An excellent music line-up will be in charge of spicing it all up. This year's list of hedonists includes Fluentes, Gelato Sisters, Z++, Massimo, Daleka Obala.

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Davor Javorovic / Pixsell

Up to date information about the event and the program can be followed in detail at visitslavoniabaranja.com, Facebook page Visit Slavonija Baranja and Instagram profile visit.slavonija.baranja.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

American Robin Purchases Croatian Company Flow and Form

September the 11th, 2022 - The American company Robin has purchased the Croatian company Flow and Form, which has its office in the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after raising 30 million US dollars in investment capital, the American company Robin, which develops platforms for hybrid modes of operation, has acquired the Croatian company Flow and Form, which deals with software.

As announced by the American startup, the common goal of the acquisition of the Croatian company Flow and Form is to define what the future of work looks like and to build the world's best platform for hybrid work – Robin.

Flow and Form, which has an office in Zagreb, started operating back in 2017, and over the years since, it has proven to be one of the leading agencies with recent results in providing high-quality digital solutions for optimising living and working spaces. As the chief executive officer (CEO) of Flow and Forme, Marko Pavlovic, stated, the company's most important mission from the very beginning was to make every space a better place to live and work.

"In a partner, we were looking for someone for whom people are more important than the offices themselves, someone who wants to make the work experience easier for their users and employees. And we found that in Robin. Teamwork is needed to create a world where workplaces function better," said Pavlovic, adding that by joining forces with Robin, a team that shares their goals and values, they will ensure their faster adaptation to changes, keep up with the growing demand for hybrid ways of working and develop solutions that help leaders in their industries, making their offices places where their employees want to be and want to work.

The fact that the Croatian company Flow and Form is one of the leading companies in the real estate technology industry has been well and truly proven by the creation of more than a billion dollars in market value through the marketing of successful products for their clients. The company was included in the list of 50 fastest growing technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe according to Deloitte's 2021 list, and since back in 2014, Robin has enabled companies of all sizes to do their best work by building technology solutions that drive a better employee experience in the workplace.

Their platform allows employees to choose how and from where they work using real-time office maps and room, desk and equipment reservations, all while helping employers track office space utilisation, desk reservation statistics and more.

Support from Croatia

In July 2022, Robin raised a new round of investment (Series C) of a massive 30 million US dollars, which enabled them to expand internationally, increase the number of employees and deepen their strategic partnerships. Thanks to the cooperation with the Croatian company Flow and Form, Robin has successfully entered not only the Croatian market but that of the whole of Europe.

The Croatian company has stated that this is great news for the Croatian economy because it will now participate in the rapid growth of a top SaaS (Software as a Service) company, in a completely new industry on this market - workspace technology. Micah Remley, CEO of Robin, emphasised that their clients, especially here in Europe, will now have the support of their teams in the Republic of Croatia, which enables Robin to offer an even better experience using its product and build innovative solutions for its users.

"From the beginning, we were impressed by the amount of top quality talent and the technical abilities of the team in Croatia. Through this acquisition, we can see an opportunity not only for product development with experienced teams based in Zagreb, but also for supporting our European and global expansion from our Zagreb office," stated Remley.

Robin is otherwise headquartered across the pond in the American city of Boston and currently has over 200 employees, with clients from 80 countries on all six continents, including Toyota, Mailchimp, Fender and Peloton.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Less Croatian Tourists in Commercial Accommodation Than in July 2021

September the 11th, 2022 - There were less Croatian tourists staying in commercial accommodation up and down the country in July 2022 than there were back during the same month last year.

As Morski writes, in July 2022, commercial accommodation facilities across the nation received 4.3 million tourists, equal to 23 percent more than last year. With an impressive 25.2 million overnight stays, that number for July was also up by 20.6 percent, according to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), which shows that 93 percent of tourists in that accommodation were foreigners, and that there were 9 percent less Croatian tourists than there were last year.

A total of 335.2 thousand Croatian tourists came to stay and were registered in commercial accommodation during the month of July, achieving 1.6 million overnight stays, which is 9 percent less than back in July 2021.

In almost all of the Croatian Adriatic counties, Croatian tourists and their number of realised overnight stays were less than they were last year, between 7 and 11 percent less to be more precise.

Foreign tourists accounted for 93 and 95 percent of the total arrivals and overnight stays in this accommodation segment for the month of July 2022, meaning that there were 26.6 percent more of them than last July (four million), and they achieved 23.2 percent more overnight stays (24 million) compared to the record July of 2019. These figures still represent a lag of 0.7 percent when it comes to arrivals and one of 1.6 percent when it comes to overnight stays.

Overall, July 2022 was a mere percent behind the same month back during the pre-pandemic July of 2019 in terms of occupancy of commercial accommodation, but 0.4 percent more tourists came.

Among foreign visitors, the most numerous in July were the faithful Germans, and in commercial accommodation they accounted for 21.2 percent of the total number of foreign overnight stays and an increase of 19.2 percent compared to the number of overnight stays realised by Germans back in July 2021. Almost 70 percent of German tourists chose only two counties for their stay - Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar, which also accounted for about 50 percent of all commercial tourist arrivals and overnight stays in July.

In terms of overnight stays realised in July, Slovenians come second, followed by the Czechs, Poles and Austrians.

When it comes to the type of accommodation, among all types of commercial offers, tourists mostly chose rooms, apartments and holiday homes (private accommodation), which accounted for more than half of July's overnight stays, or 14.2 million of them, which is 19.6 percent more than in July 2021, but less than in July 2019, by 2.5 percent.

Campsites came in second place with almost 6 million overnight stays or 19.4 percent more than in July 2021 and 5 percent more than in July 2019, while hotels with 3.5 million overnight stays were up 26 percent compared to last July, and in the minus of just 3 percent when compared to July 2019.

The CBS also stated that back in July 2022, 410,000 rooms, apartments and places for camping were offered to tourists in commercial accommodation, with 1.1 million permanent beds, which is 4.6 percent more than last year, and by about 2.4 percent less than in 2019.

In the first seven months of 2022, a total of 9.8 million tourists stayed in commercial accommodation facilities, or 67 percent more than last year, and 47 million overnight stays realised in total represent an encouraging increase of 54 percent, as reported by HRT.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Can Doubling of LNG Terminal's Capacities Satisfy Croatian Needs?

September the 11th, 2022 - Can doubling Krk's LNG Terminal capacity produce enough to satisfy the Croatian market's needs this winter?

As Morski writes, in order to tolerate the cold weather this winter, and in the absence of cheap Russian gas, some countries are urgently trying to establish floating terminals before winter, with which they would buy liquefied gas mainly from the USA, but also from other sources.

In August, the Croatian Government decided to invest an additional 180 million euros in expanding the capacity of the LNG Terminal on the island of Krk, and RTL reporter Boris Misevic spoke with the director of LNG Croatia, Hrvoj Krhen.

The current capacity of 2.9 billion cubic metres of gas is converted into 6.1 billion cubic metres, and as for the financiers, a smaller part of the money, 25 million euros of it, will go to the technical modifications of the LNG Terminal, and 155 million euros will go to the construction of the Zlobin Bosiljevo gas pipeline.

''Regarding capacity expansion of the LNG Terminal, we're going to make a technological modification on the vessel, so that we'll install one additional module for regasification and in this way we will increase the possibility of delivering the amount of natural gas into the system,'' explained Krhen, adding that there will be no problems with the supply, that the terminal will continuously supply gas, and that the operation itself will be completed within a period of thirty days.

When asked if they can fully supply the whole of the Republic of Croatia with gas in the event that the delivery of Russian gas stops, Krhen said:

''For the part of the year which requires heating that begins on October the 1st, we've announced 31 carriers, which is the equivalent of 2.7 billion cubic metres of natural gas that will reach the domestic market via the LNG Terminal. We believe that with domestic production and storage capacities, that gas will be available to our market. The LNG Terminal, along with production capacities and storage capacities, can meet the market's needs for natural gas,'' he emphasised.

When asked if there is a danger that the tenants of the terminal will transfer somewhere else and the gas eventually ends up not being supplied to Croatia, he said that there is no room to worry about anything of the sort occurring.

''We have six tenants and all these companies operate here on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and so far, considering the quantities delivered since the beginning of operations, which are over 3.2 billion cubic metres, the vast majority of this gas has remained here in the country,'' concluded Krhen.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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