Monday, 20 June 2022

Win Two Tickets to Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park with TCN!

June 20, 2022 - Total Croatia News has organised a photo competition in collaboration with Plitvice Lakes National Park with the theme ''Croatia's Natural Beauty in Spring'', on the occasion of the official start of summer on June the 21st. The winner will be awarded two tickets to visit the largest and oldest national park in all of Croatia.

With spring drawing to a close and making way for summer, we think now is a good time to celebrate and highlight the photos our readers and followers have taken during these colourful months which boast Croatia's natural beauty. As such, Total Croatia News is pleased to announce the launching of this photo competition, a collaboration with Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Five photos will be chosen by a jury made up of members and representatives of Total Croatia News. These photos will be highlighted and shared on our respective websites and social media accounts, and one winner will win two tickets to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park.

How can I participate?

The steps to participate in the photo competition are:

  • Share your photo on your Instagram profile (your profile needs to be public).
  • Be sure to include the location where you took the photo. It can be on the photo, or below in the caption.
  • Use the hashtag #TCNxPlitvice
  • Tag @totalcroatianews and @plitvicelakesnp
  • Follow @totalcroatianews and @plitvicelakesnp

That’s it! You're now participating! Remember that you can only participate once and submit just one (1) photograph.

The deadline for submitting your photo is on Friday, July the 7th at midnight. Photos with a later date will not be placed in participation in the contest.

Don't forget that:

  • The theme of the competition is “Croatia’s Natural Beauty in Spring”. All photos around Croatian cities, towns, national and nature parks are allowed, but we encourage you to highlight the nature that surrounds you.
  • The following are allowed: photographs taken with smartphones, non-professional digital cameras, professional digital cameras, non-professional analog cameras, and professional analog cameras.
  • The following are allowed: photographs of all styles, colours, angles, and orientations (vertical or horizontal).
  • Not allowed: photographs that include obscene content or photos taken with drones.

For more information, rules, and FAQs, you can download the contest guidelines HERE.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice Lakes National Park, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Additionally, feel free to visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Nature Parks HERE. Both are now now in whatever language you select from the list.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 20 June 2022

21 Weekly Turkish Airlines Croatia Flights in July, Korean Air Zagreb Charters Scheduled for October

June 20, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as over 20 Turkish Airlines Croatia flights will run in July, and Korean Air has announced their charter schedule for Zagreb later this year. 

Turkish Airlines has announced several flights to Croatian airports in July. The Turkish national carrier plans to operate 21 rotations a week to Croatia, 14 flights a week to the Croatian capital, and 7 flights a week to Croatia's southernmost airport, reports Croatian Aviation

According to the announcements and information available on the airline's official website, Zagreb will have 2 daily aircraft rotations on the Istanbul (IST) - Zagreb (ZAG) - Istanbul (IST) route in July. Flights will take place daily in the morning and evening.

Turkish Airlines' morning and evening departures from Zagreb to Istanbul are planned according to the following daily schedule:

Zagreb (STD): 08:55 Istanbul (STA): 12:10 Flight time: 2h and 15min

Zagreb (STD): 20:15 Istanbul (STA): 23:30 Flight time: 2h and 15 min

Narrow-body aircraft type A321 (43 rotations) and B737-800 (17 rotations) were mostly announced on the Istanbul - Zagreb - Istanbul route. It is interesting that according to the current schedule and flight announcement,  Turkish plans one morning rotation on July 9 with the B737 MAX 8 aircraft, while on July 15 it plans to do one evening rotation with the A320 aircraft.

On the Istanbul - Dubrovnik - Istanbul line, narrow-body aircraft type A321 and B737-800 were also announced in the largest number. Other types of aircraft on flights between Dubrovnik and Istanbul include the A320, A319, and B737-900.

Furthermore, as announced last week, Korean Air will operate charter flights to Zagreb this October and has now published the flight schedule.

Ex Yu Aviation reports that a total of four charters from Seoul to Zagreb will run on September 30, October 7, October 14, and October 21. Return flights are scheduled for October 8, 15, 22, and 28. Airbus A330-200 aircraft will fly on this route. Flights leave Seoul at 09:00, arriving in Zagreb at 15:25 the same day, with departure from Zagreb at 18:25, and arrival in Seoul at 12.15 the following day. 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Zadar Airport Records Pre-Pandemic Levels of Air Traffic

June the 20th, 2022 - Zadar Airport is recording impressive pre-pandemic results in terms of air traffic so far this year, as it seems that the horrendous coronavirus-dominated era is well and truly behind us.

The beautiful City of Zadar and its surrounding islands are highly popular destinations for foreign and domestic visitors, and now all epidemiological restrictions in Croatia and across Europe are now a thing of the past, Zadar Airport's numbers are finally climbing to excellent heights following two years of nail-biting stagnancy and depression.

As Morski writes, ever since the summer season officially opened, Zadar Airport's traffic has finally been at pre-pandemic levels. New airlines are also being introduced, and record numbers continue to be expected.

Over this past weekend, about 20,000 passengers will pass through the airport, both in departures and arrivals.

Zadar Airport had one of the best recoveries after the COVID-19 crisis last year and back in 2020, and this year the situation seems to be even better. There are four new airlines, charter flights have started, there are as many as sixteen new destinations and there is almost no European city with which Zadar is not currently connected.

This Dalmatian airport's traffic could exceed the record figures seen back during the pre-pandemic year of 2019 this year, and due to the growing number of passengers, the passenger terminal is also being expanded. This is a multi-year project, in the first phase a temporary building will be built for the reception and departure of passengers while the existing one is being expanded, writes HRT.

Most passengers are carried to and from Zadar Airport by the wildly popular Irish carrier Ryanair, which holds more than 60 percent of the routes, and it has opened its third base in Zadar.

''This is extremely important to us, given that Ryanair opens bases only at airports where it has many years of cooperation and trust. This year, there are fourteen new lines as far as Ryanair is concerned, which would mean ten to fifteen lines a day from Zadar Airport to all European destinations,'' said Nikola Barac, a spokesman for Zadar Airport.

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Split Airport Expecting Excellent July Results as Season Ramps Up

June the 20th, 2022 - Split Airport is rubbing its hands in anticipation of an excellent July as the height of the Croatian summer tourist season begins to ramp up.

After two dreadful years of coronavirus-induced issues directly affecting travel and tourism, the sector is understandably delighted with the current figures being recorded throughout all Croatian airports, as it seems the woes caused by the global pandemic are well and truly behind us now.

2019, the year before the world as we knew it changed in the most unprecedented manner, is remembered as being a record one. Numbers in terms of air and tourist traffic were phenomenal, and the desire to get back to that during those most difficult two years of 2020 and 2021 seems to finally be coming to fruition.

As Morski writes, proof that the summer tourist season across Split-Dalmatia County is heating up has definitely been confirmed by the fact that 40,000 passengers and 175 planes from 90 destinations and 24 countries were expected at Split Airport over this past weekend.

Mate Melvan from Split Airport stated that this is the beginning of what they refer to as ''June's striking weekends'', which bring a lot of people through the airport and signal a great July that could be at the record level of 2019 or hopefully even stronger.

From the beginning of this year until today, 660 thousand passengers have passed through Split Airport, and last year in the same period 116 thousand of them, which is a difference of 550 thousand passengers.

Compared to 2019, we have 80 percent of the turnover so far, and we expect to end the year within 80 percent. Split is now connected with 24 countries and 90 destinations, meaning the city is connected with the whole world,'' said Melvan.

There will be no less crowds at Split's ferry port either, where 50,000 passengers and 11,000 vehicles are expected over this four-day extended weekend, N1 reports.

Jelena Ivulic from the Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija stated that the pressure on the port has been on since Wednesday afternoon, meaning that they had to introduce two more ferry lines than they'd normally have over this past weekend.

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Flixbus Enjoys Croatian Pre-Season Results Which Outdo 2019

June the 20th, 2022 - The Croatian pre-season has been more than excellent for the wildly popular Flixbus company, which has recorded figures which even outdo those recorded back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, one of the largest international bus carriers, FlixBus, marked the sixth anniversary of its operations in the Republic of Croatia recently. Namely, on June the 16th, 2016, FlixBus started with the first bus lines from the four largest Croatian cities - Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka.

Very quickly, thanks to Croatian bus carriers, the network of bus lines branched out throughout Croatia, connecting smaller and larger destinations with each other and with the rest of Europe.

As Croatia has become one of the most desirable tourist destinations in recent years, FlixBus passengers in this country are not only residents of Croatia, but also many tourists who come from all over the world.

With the entry of FlixBus into the Republic of Croatia, the bus industry has undergone a transformation and technological modernisation, adapted to the needs of the modern traveller, and offered a high level of service during the trip.

Thanks to the high quality of the service, which was initially more similar to that in the aviation industry than the bus industry - an easy way to buy tickets, the availability of many destinations across Europe, and the ratio of service and ticket prices - bus travel is recognised today not only as an alternative to cars or planes, but for many as a first choice when travelling.

“With its innovative business model that has shown its flexibility and adaptability to the current market situation during the pandemic-dominated years, ie by monitoring passengers' movement needs, preserving the existing network of lines and upgrading them, FlixBus continues to provide people with unhindered movement.

The fact that passengers are loyal to these now commonly seen green buses and are eager to travel is indicated by the growth from the beginning of the Croatian pre-season of 20 percent more passengers when compared to the record 2019,'' said FlixBus CEE South, headed by Ante Grbes.

Although it was created as a bus platform, FlixBus has been insisting on intermodal transport since its very inception, primarily connecting buses and railways, which has not yet taken root in Croatia, but with the Croatian pre-season this year being as amazing as it has been for the company, it's likely that the next step is soon to come.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel and business sections.

Monday, 20 June 2022

First Concrete Croatian Tourism Data Arrives: 2019 Who?

June the 20th, 2022 - The first concrete Croatian tourism data is finally in, and it looks as if we can well and truly put the coronavirus-dominated years of 2020 and 2021 behind us. The Finance Minister believes that we could very much blow even the record year of 2019's numbers out of the water this summer season.

As Morski writes, Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric has expressed his hope that there will be no sudden and negative shocks to come, and as long as there aren't, this year could absolutely surpass the record year of 2019.

After two pandemic-dominated years, people are finally up and about and travelling once again. The epidemiological measures for Europe are now a thing of the past. Neither the Ukrainian war, nor the enormous jump in prices, nor the rage of ongoing and seemingly endless inflation are preventing anyone from hopping in their cars, on buses, trains and planes. This trend has been very clearly shown by all the announcements of the tourist season here in Croatia, but also the actual Croatian tourism data from the field.

After the excellent Easter tourist results, this new, concrete Croatian tourism data speaks very much in favour of the announcements of an excellent height of the summer tourist season. Corpus Christi (Croatian: Tijelovo) is one of the holidays by which one can typically assess what kind of summer season awaits the country, and the data on traffic generated for that holiday on the country's motorways heading in the direction of the coast show that this tourist season could surpass that of 2019.

According to Hrvatske autoceste (Croatian motorways), 38,387 vehicles entered the motorway via the Lucko toll station on the 16th of June, 2022. That is 4.4 percent more vehicles than were recorded back during 2019. At that time, 36,752 vehicles entered the motorway for Tijelovo at Lucko. Considering that Croatia is widely recognised as a car destination in Europe due to its highly developed and excellently built motorway network, this data is sufficient to be rubbing our hands together for some really great tourist months, Jutarnji list writes.

Minister of Finance Zdravko Maric joined in with the good announcements for the season a few days ago, saying that the value of fiscalised bills/receipts for the tourism sector in the first five and a half months of this year is 22 percent higher than the record tourist year of 2019, and that we have every right to expect a top quality tourist season.

The announcements of an excellent tourist season are supported by the concrete Croatian tourism data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) which notes that 1.5 million tourists stayed in commercial accommodation in the first four months of 2022, who realised 4.4 million overnight stays, which is 184 and 190 percent more than in the same period last year.

In the first four months of this year, commercial accommodation recorded one million tourists and almost three million more overnight stays than in the same months back in 2021, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced.

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

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Ana Đerek Wins Two More Medals at Gymnastics World Cup

June 19, 2022 - Croatian gymnast Ana Đerek won two new medals at the World Cup tournament. After Varna (gold on the beam and bronze on the ground) and Osijek (silver on the beam and ground), she climbed the podium in Koper twice on Sunday.

She gilded the ground floor and won silver on the beam, continuing an incredible series, the third SK in a row this season to win two medals each, reports 24sata. Or even better, she is thrilled for the fourth weekend in a row, since she had the Croatian Championship between Varna and Osijek, where she won gold twice.

The Olympian of the GK Marjan from Split opened the "vintage" in Slovenia with 2nd place on the beam with a score of 13,250. Only Hungarian Zsofia Kovacz (13,650) was better, while her compatriot Greta Mayer (12,450) was bronze. The second Croatian finalist on the beam today, Tina Zelčić (ZTD Hrvatski sokol) remained one step closer to the podium, she is fourth with 11,700 points in her third SK final in her career.

Ana Đerek's silver on the beam was the 18th medal in the World Cup tournaments, but only a few moments later she reached the 19th in her 33rd final thanks to gold on the ground floor.

She won it with a score of 12,900, and stood on the podium with silver medalist Poppy-Grace Stickler (12,750) and bronze medalist Greta Mayer (12,650). This is Ani's second gold this season after the one on the beam in Varna, but also the fifth in her career at SK.

''Three World Cups in a row, six medals, today gold and silver, I really couldn't be happier'', said Ana.

''Things happened this time on my own, considering that I made a small mistake at the beginning of the exercise on the ground floor where I think I thought that I had dropped out of the fight for gold, but in the end, things turned out so well that even with that one mistake I won gold'', she added.

The Croatian national team is now turning to the Mediterranean Games, and Tin Srbić, Jakov Vlahek, Mateo Žugec, Ana Đerek, and Tijana Korent, their coaches Lucijan Krce and Miroslav Končarević, and judges Dunja Lederer and Ratko Vuković will travel to Algeria on Wednesday.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić Won the Queen's Club Tournament!

June 19, 2022 - After a big drama, the Croatians and the world's best tennis couple Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić celebrated winning the Queen's Club, beating the British Lloyd Glasspool and Finn Harri Heliovaaru in the final.

It started badly for Pavić and Mektić, as they lost 3: 0 right at the start and the first set went to Glasspool and Heliovaara 6: 3, reports tportal.hr.

But after the Croatian tennis players lost the first set, they won the second set in the 'tie-break' 7: 6 (3), and the decision on the winner fell in the extended period, called 'super tie-break'. Pavić and Mektić did not allow any surprises and in the end, they celebrated 10: 6, thus winning the third title this year after Rome and Geneva.

It was also the 12th joint title for Mektic and Pavic, and their 15th victory in the last 16 matches. This is great preparation for Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season where they will be defending the title. Before Wimbledon, they will play in the ATP tournament in Eastbourne next week, where they have the status of the first holders.

2021 was an absolutely incredible year for Croatian tennis, due mainly to the success of the doubles team Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić. Not only did these two win Wimbledon before celebrating in the historic all-Croatian doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics, but they finished the year as the best doubles team in the world!

Let us remind you that Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won last year's Wimbledon after they defeated Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos in the final 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5 after two hours and 43 minutes of play.

In a year full of success, the 32-year-old from Zagreb and the 28-year-old from Split won nine titles, including the Wimbledon trophy and a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Naphthalene Oil, Europe's Unique Medical Tourism in Naftalan, Zagreb County

June 19, 2022 - Croatia's emerging medical tourism industry has some rather unique features, including good news for those battling skin diseases - Europe's only naphthalene oil. 

The story begins with a legend of a camel far, far away in a time gone by on the fabled Silk Road. A camel on one of the many caravans travelling on the famous trade route collapsed due to disease and exhaustion. Figuring out that there was not much they could do apart from making the camel comfortable, the merchants of the caravan left the camel in the shade in an oasis next to a large, dark lake, then departed on their way. Unable to stand, the poor camel slipped and fell into the dark lake. 

Months passed. The merchants passed the oasis again, this time in the opposite direction with the returning caravan, and they were astonished to find the camel alive and well, relaxing in the shade of the oasis. Noticing the darker colour of the camel due to the lake, the merchants concluded that the lake must have some magical healing powers, and they scooped up some of the dark liquid and continued on their journey. 

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And that is how naftalan, or naphthalene, came to be discovered. It soon became highly sought-after in eastern medicine as a remedy for skin diseases, and came into regular use in eastern medicine in the 19th century. But it could only be found in the oil-producing country of Azerbaijan, where the city of Naftalan was founded. Marco Polo paid tribute to it on his Silk Road travels 700 years earlier. 

And then, in the 1970s, far, far away in a country called Croatia (ironically the country of Polo's birth), a well of naphthalene oil was found close to the town of Ivanic Grad (which has its own oil-producing heritage), currently the only place in Europe apparently where one can find this dermatological treasure. 

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The unusual discovery is attributed to the remnants of what was once the mighty Pannonian Sea. Naphthalene oil has been formed from biological, organic material by the deposition of the remains of dead microorganisms, more precisely phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria, algae and higher terrestrial plants on the bottom of the sea or lake, where they were covered with mineral particles. 

Yet another unique treasure for Croatia!

Such a treasure indeed that in 1989 Special Hospital Naftalan was opened near Ivanic Grad, just 30 kilometres from Zagreb. In the last 30+ years, it has become a haven for patients with various skin complaints, and the team at Naftalan have successfully added a range of products and treatments. 

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Through years of work, the experts of Special Hospital Naftalan have developed naphthalene therapy, which was proven efficient for treating psoriasis, an unpleasant chronic disease, and the related psoriatic arthritis. Naphthalene has anti-inflammatory and desensitizing properties and affects the metabolism of proteins and electrolytes.

The treatment includes specific, unique procedures - baths in naphthalene tubs, iontophoresis with naphthalene, mastic therapy (a healing mixture of naphthalene, paraffin, and camphor helps to reduce pain and to recover after suffering a brain stroke), ultrasound combined with naphthalene or with phototherapy.

In addition to all the medical therapies, the hospital has developed an impressive range of cosmetic products based on naphthalene oils, creams, and shampoos, created and produced by the Naftalan subsiduary, Ivalan Terme. The aim is to develop the range into a full cosmetic line to satisfy the needs of customers with dry or problematic skin.

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Naftalan is the only hospital in Europe and one of the few in the world to provide treatment for skin and inflammatory rheumatic diseases using a unique natural resource - naphthalene mineral oil. Since opening its doors over 30 years ago, the special hospital has enjoyed considerable success and expansion, treating over 20,000 patients in that time. A high number of those guests come from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and Russia. 

Naftalan boasts 137 beds, of which 26 are luxury. The general facilities have been expanded, and one can now find a complex with three indoor and one outdoor pool, a new kitchen and restaurant, gym and multifunctional hall. There is a swimming school for children, recreational swimming, hydromassage, water exercises, Pilates and other fitness programs are available to both Naftalan patients and citizens. The pools are open to the public from 07:00 to 21:00. 

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- Health tourism is an important link in the tourism of our county, and Naftalan is certainly a diver in terms of capacity, significant investments and the tradition that the spa has. The key social challenges for the development of health tourism are the growth of costs of the EU health system, prevention and new forms of treatment and personalized medicine, demographic changes through constant aging and the need for a healthier lifestyle. Zagreb County is also recognized as the fastest-growing health tourism destination in the European Union and is considered a high-income industry that then vertically binds and strengthens many other segments important for the accelerated development of the entire region, points out the director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board Ivana Alilovic.

In addition to the dermatology offer, there are also 4 specialists working in the Department for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, with programmes for inflammatory rheumatic diseases, post-traumatic and post-operative care, and degenerative changes of joints and spine and vertebrogenic pain syndromes.

There are also 27 physiotherapists working on a range of modern physical therapies - combined with electrotherapy, kinetic therapy, massage, hydrotherapy with underwater massage and a pool with running thermal mineral water, accompanied by naphthalene therapy with electronically conducted process of regeneration and sterilisation of naphthalene.

The gyms are equipped with exercise machines, tubs for underwater massage, a space for naphthalene therapy with 24 tubs, a pool with thermal water, machines for thermotherapy (therapy with paraffin, naphthalene and camphor) and criotherapy, a room for massage, a cosmetic salon, a wellness zone with saunas, a whirlpool and a laconium.

An excellent addition to Croatia's medical tourism story, and one which owes its thanks to a camel all those years ago. One wonders how quickly the camel would have recuperated in Ivanic Grad...

You can learn more about the unique Naftalan offer on the official website

To learn more about what is on offer with health tourism in Croatia, check out the Total Croatia Health Tourism in a Page guide

 

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Satirical Cartoons by Polish Author Zaradkiewicz to Be Staged in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 - An exhibition of works of Polish cartoonist Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz will be staged in the Bogdan Ogrizović library, one of the city libraries in Zagreb, on 27 June.

The exhibition of his satirical cartoons is being organised by the Polish Embassy and the Croatian Cartoonists' Association.

Zaradkiewicz's works and activity include book illustrations, cartoons. prints, posters paintings and stage sets. He has received many awards and recently he was one of the winners at the World Press Cartoon Festival in Portugal.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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