Saturday, 24 July 2021

Ministar Ćorić Takes Part in Sea Clean-up Drive on Brač Island

ZAGREB, 24 July, 2021 - The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić, took part in an environmental drive on Saturday, cleaning up the seabed at one of the most famous tourist destinations in Croatia - Golden Cape Beach at Bol on the southern island of Brač.

It is one in a series of drives that will be held along the Croatian Adriatic coast by several diving clubs to protect the sea and nature from pollution and reduce the negative impact on marine habitats, the Ministry said in a statement.

"People are still not aware enough that the nature around us is the only one that we have. It is unbelievable how much waste people throw into the environment and the sea, even though there are legal and simple ways of waste disposal available. Of everyday items, one of the biggest polluters is single-use plastic packaging, which we have reduced to the maximum by the new Waste Management Act," Minister Ćorić said.

He called on people to think of their future and protect the environment for the sake of the generations to come, praising the participating organisations and individuals for helping keep the environment clean.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

CLICK HERE for more about Croatia.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Two Bike Storytelling Trails in Bol Make Brač Tourist Town Unique in the World!

July 16, 2021 - Two bike storytelling trails in Bol on Brač can be heard in three languages and are adapted for blind and partially sighted people!

The demand for the facilities offered by active tourism is growing day by day, and the supply is getting richer. In addition, domestic and foreign guests are increasingly turning to nature, so new hiking and biking trails in Croatian destinations are becoming more numerous.

Although the sun and the sea are still high on the list of demands of many tourists, some of them are looking for something more. As a result, some tourist boards have recognized the "new normal" demands and started preparations before this season, reports HRTurizam.

Thus, three months ago, the Bol Tourist Board on Brač, aware that active tourism is one of the prerequisites for extending the season, presented three new hiking and two new bike trails based on local legends. But as we find out, the story of enriching the offer did not stop there.

“Four years ago, we marked the trails, last year we made maps and told stories for the first time, and now we have put those stories and maps on the info boards. Anyone who can't read the stories can listen to them after reading the QR code on their smartphone. As far as we can see, the info boards are already attracting a lot of attention, and people are stopping, reading, and scanning," said Markito Marinković, director of the Bol Tourist Board.

Thus, the world novelty in Bol cycling was realized in an express period of only a few weeks, which has passed since the design, licensing, production, payment, and installation of signage, info boards, and accompanying software on two Bol cycling trails about 60 kilometers long that have at least one world novelty.

Two Bol cycling trails: 767 - Smell the intoxicating scents of Brač, and 768 - Brač villas from myths and legends, are the world's first Bike Storytelling trails and have their own stories that can be heard in three languages, Croatian, English, and German, using accompanying software, at the locations of large info boards located on the trails. Thus, Bol's storytelling trails are adapted for blind and partially sighted people, at least in the storytelling part.

“Cycling trails with Storytelling are a world novelty, and another novelty is the automatic launch of these stories on a mobile phone in three languages when the QR code is scanned. This morning we agreed with the Split-Dalmatia County Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired to place markers and descriptions in Braille on these codes on the info board, so blind and partially sighted people will be able at least to hear the story of these trails in their language. Furthermore, this morning we were contacted by colleagues from two Austrian tourist regions who are interested in this world novelty in cycling tourism," said Denis Špadina, President of the Cycling Association of Split-Dalmatia County, who added that the trail is not suitable for blind and partially sighted people, but they can feel the beauty on tandem bikes. 

Bicycle paths and new info boards are just one part of the rich tourist offer of Bol, which concerning 2020, records excellent results. According to Marinković, about 73% of tourist traffic has been realized compared to 2019.

Currently, the most numerous are Slovenian tourists, followed by Germans and Croats, who make up 11% of tourists in Bol. This is a large percentage considering that so far domestic tourists in the tourist traffic of Bol made up between four and five percent.

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

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

2021 Zoo Station Bol PWA World Cup Comes to an End, Croatian Competitors 2nd and 3rd!

July 7, 2021 - Polish windsurfer Maciek Rutkowski and Dutch windsurfer Sara Wennekes are the winners of the 2021 Zoo Station Bol PWA World Cup, due to which the world's best windsurfers have occupied Bol on Brač for the past week, thus further attracting and entertaining many tourists and sports enthusiasts.

During six days of competition, 39 men and eleven women competed in a total of 15 separate regattas.

PWA_Bol_Croatia_-_Roni_Marinkovic_photo_-_Enrico_Marotti.jpeg

Roni Marinkovic

Croatian competitor Enrico Marotti was also excellent, finishing second in the overall standings ahead of Matteo Iachin from Italy, and Palma Čargo, who finished second in the foil competition and third in the fin competition. Tuesday-Lou Judd from France was faster than Palma in the fin competition. Luka Mratović was 18th, Matko Jovanović 29th, Ian Anić 32nd, Ivica Podrug 36th, and Mistral Matulja 38th. In the women's competition, Katarina Pelivan was eighth, Lara Bulić ninth, and Urška Kavčič Desnica tenth in the fin competition.

Clive_Bevan_photo_-_Maciek_Rutkowski.jpeg

Clive Bevan

"I was happy to do my best, I rode great, and the equipment was fast and well-chosen. I am very pleased with the results. Congratulations to all the competitors on a great fight, they were all fantastic, and I like this success even more," said Enrico Marotti, from Volosko, a multiple Croatian champion, amateur world champion in 2018 and probably Croatia's best slalom surfer of all time.

Clive_Bevan_photo_Rutkowski_-_Marotti.jpeg

Clive Bevan

Twenty-one-year-old Palma Čargo from Split, who is also preparing for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, had a similar opinion: “It was wonderful for me to achieve such a good result at home. I felt great the whole regatta, and it was seen in the results. Congratulations to the winner and all the competitors who, I must admit, were not easy to overtake," she said.

Clive_Bevean_photo_-_Palma_Cargo.jpeg

Clive Bevan

This year, PWA Bol took place for the first time on Zlatni rat, and for the first time, it scored points for the championship with the highest number of points, which enabled us to see the best windsurfers in Croatia.

"I am extremely pleased with the regatta and the time it served us; the conditions were fantastic. I am most pleased that Bol has shown itself in its full light as one of the world's most attractive destinations for windsurfing, and it seems to me that Zlatni rat had never looked more beautiful than when it showed its sporting side. I thank the municipality of Bol, the tourist community, and companies for their trust, and I look forward to the arrival of the world's windsurfing elite in Croatia in the coming years," said Toni Bulić, regatta organizer, longtime sports lover, and owner of Zoo station Bol boards in Croatia.

PWA_Bol_Croatia_-_Roni_Marinkovic_photo_-_Sara_Wennekes.jpeg

Clive Bevan

Bol on Brač proved to be a real windsurfing mecca with a strong mistral and generally excellent conditions for the World Cup, which was greatly contributed by the beauty of Zlatni rat. As a result, the world's best windsurfers leave Croatia with great impressions and fond memories that will further promote our tourist and sports offer. Furthermore, competitors in the IQ foil Olympic class come to Zlatni rat in September to compete.

Photos: Roni Marinkovic and Clive Bevan @clivebevanphoto
Recordings: TRIO stories

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

World's Best Windsurfers on Brač for 2021 Zoo Station Bol PWA World Cup!

July 6, 2021 - The Windsurfing World Cup in the slalom discipline is currently underway on Brač - meet the 2021 Zoo Station Bol PWA World Cup!

The strong northwest wind has contributed to the attractiveness of the World Windsurfing Cup on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Until Wednesday, spectators and tourists have the opportunity to watch the competition of the world's best slalom windsurfers who run through the regatta from Zlatni rat to Bol at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

During a total of six days of competition, 39 men and eleven women will compete in a total of 15 separate regattas. Although this is not the first regatta in Bol, it is the first time to score points for the championship with the highest number of points, and therefore the first time that we are watching the cream of world windsurfing in Croatia.

After the first three days in the men's competition, the fastest was Maciek Rutkowski, a distinctive Polish surfer and winner of last year's Bol PWA regatta, ahead of 2019 world champion Basile Jacquin and Dutchman Jordy Vonk. Enrico Marotti, the best Croatian slalom surfer, is currently fourth.

In the women's competition, the fastest is the Dutch Sara Wennekes ahead of the Dutch Fabienne Hoogendam and the French Tuesday Lou-Judd, while Palma Čargo from Split was the fourth and best placed Croatian competitor.

Gledatelji_su_uzivali.jpeg

Clive Bevan

All competitors are delighted with the conditions in Bol and the strong, stable wind ideal for competition. And while the winners won't be known until Wednesday, July 7, the competitors shared their impressions of the competition so far.

"Excellent conditions in Bol; I hope it will stay like this for the following days," said Jordy Vonk, a Dutchman, otherwise a driver for windsurfing equipment manufacturer Duotone.

Rutkowski_i_Marotti.jpeg

Clive Bevan

“It was difficult to choose the right equipment, but this winter, I worked very hard to reach top speed with less equipment, and I knew it would pay off. I knew that a lot would depend on the start, and I was careful to be good, and I succeeded. I hope it will continue to be so, but it is definitely not easy. It is a long week, and there will be more eliminations," said Rutkowski.

"The equipment was fast; I'm looking forward to the competition in the coming days," said Enrico Marotti, from Volosko, a multiple Croatian champion, amateur world champion in 2018, and probably the best slalom surfer of all time. Palma Chargo had a similar opinion: "I had great decisions about the equipment; it was just right for me, I am satisfied," she said.

Jak_maestral_priodnio_je_atraktivnosti_natjecanja.jpeg

Clive Bevan

Last year's Bol PWA regatta was the only one held in 2020 due to the pandemic. Therefore, PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association) decided that this year's regatta in Bol, organized by Zoo Station Bol, will be scored on an equal footing with other well-known competitions, such as the one in Israel in June, and in Sylt in Germany and South Korea. This decision is also why we are currently watching the elite of windsurfing in Bol, which we have not yet had the opportunity to host in our region, and our competitors stand out.

"I am extremely pleased that the world's best surfers have come to us, and it is nice to see them fighting for the title in Bol," said Toni Bulić, regatta organizer, longtime windsurfer, and owner of Bol Zoo station - the cult "station" for sailing on boards in Croatia.

Photos: Clive Bevan @clivebevanphoto

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

2021 WTA Croatia Bol Open Watched by More than 2.7 Million Viewers Worldwide!

June 29, 2021 - The 2021 WTA Croatia Bol Open was a huge success, which is confirmed by the impressive numbers this year alone. Over 2.7 million viewers watched the women's tennis tournament around the world! 

More than 2.7 million viewers in a hundred countries, a commercial value of more than $8.2 million, a total of 84 broadcasting hours - this is what the WTA Croatia Bol Open looks like in terms of numbers.

The semifinal and final on June 11 and 12, thanks to the HTV broadcast, were taken over by 14 stations, including Fox Sports Asia, Eurosport India, London Live, TV Asahi, Dubai Sport. Thus, once again, the positive image of Bol on Brac toured the world from the Caribbean to Indonesia, India, Singapore, Japan, to Africa, the Middle East, and Great Britain.

It is known that tennis players adore this tournament, not only because of the organization but also because of the ambiance. Playing tennis on the island by the sea, near one of the biggest attractions, Zlatni rat beach, is a special experience. In addition, the Bol tournament traditionally opens the summer tourist season, and this year two important events were held with the theme of combining sports and culture - the opening of the "Jadran Lazić: 50 years of photography" exhibition at the Bol Cultural Center and the opening of the museum-gallery space in the Dominican monastery. 

The success of the 15th WTA Croatia Bol Open, led by organizer Feliks Lukas, is even greater given the circumstances in which it was organized - without spectators, with the strictest adherence to epidemiological measures and daily PCR testing at the hotel.

An incredible Croatian event at work, we can't wait to see what the next WTA Croatia Bol tournament will bring! 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 27 June 2021

93% More Overnight Stays on Hvar and Tourist Crowds on Croatian Islands Increasing

June 27, 2021 - There are 93% more overnight stays on Hvar than last year and crowds are increasingly forming on some of Dalmatia's most popular islands. 

Although the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) has just made Croatia 'green' on the "COVID map" of Europe, which means that according to the strict criteria of the institution, Croatia is among the safest destinations in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, judging by current tourism figures on islands in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia has been green for a while, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Hvar, Brač, and Vis have already been attracting large crowds. Data from the tourist boards of Supetar, Komiža, and Hvar shows a good start to the season, which is expected to be much higher than last year. 

"The city of Hvar is currently recording a 93 percent increase in overnight stays compared to June last year, and 36 percent compared to 2019, before the pandemic. According to the forecasts for July and August, we could be around 65 percent compared to the results from 2019," Petar Razović, director of the Hvar Tourist Board, reports optimistically.

Americans, Germans, and French are the most numerous guests in Hvar, while the locals are growing by about ten percent. With school holidays and intensified actions on offer, there will surely be more.

"With the delta variant, the loss of the British tourists is noticeable, we are at about ten percent compared to 2019, but a change in the regime could lead to a slight increase. Our primary goal is to protect the destination because God forbid the delta variant penetrates Hvar. That is why the new conditions for the arrival of British tourists will certainly be announced, both in the whole of Croatia and on our island," Razović announces.

People of Hvar, he says, tried to be as ready as possible for the season, so a large number of private renters responded to the vaccination campaign of the Ministry of Tourism (vaccination on the island is about 54 percent), and they are ready for boaters whose number already suggests that the season could be successful.

"We are even recording an increase compared to 2019! Hvar is this year's top destination for boaters. They come to us from all over Southeast Europe and the surrounding countries, possibly many Italians. Numerous boaters and shipowners have already announced an increased number of arrivals in the port of Hvar at the beginning of July, which indicates that we will continue with significant growth," said Petar Razović.

If Croatia remains "green," Hvar should still see the influx of car guests from Central Europe.

Apartments in Komiža on the island of Vis are also being filled earlier than usual. Bogoljub Mitraković, the director of the local tourist board, says that such a thing could not be said from a cursory glance at eVisitor, in which only five hundred and a few guests were registered yesterday.

"A decent number of people still do not report guests; the inspectorate is as it is. There are house owners, their friends, people who do not live in Komiža but have some connection with the place; there are apartment owners who do not register guests ... Everything. Unfortunately, that's the way it is," says Mitraković, noting that both Vis and Komiža are currently at 73 percent of overnight stays from June 2019.

And they had a relatively well last season with 60-70 percent of arrivals compared to the year before. However, it could have been even better.

"We still have two ferry lines this month. Last weekend there was a collapse ... On Monday morning, I came to buy a ticket for the ferry at 11 am, and there was only one at 6:30 pm. I don't know why Jadrolinija couldn't start driving three times a day a little earlier. It will be a simpler solution to keep people on hold at the ferry port. The Jadrolinija people are kind, but the lines to Vis already needed to be strengthened. They don't do us any favors like this," Mitraković thinks.

Last year, domestic tourists saved the season for Komiža, and now foreigners are slowly returning.

"Poles, Czechs ..., there are a solid number of sailors. The Blue Cave works well. Prices?! Um, a scoop of ice cream in Komiža is 12 kuna. Restaurants? People had to equip themselves, hire staff, and not everything is great every day. We have about thirty percent of renters who do not live on the island. And the same is now with the owners of an increasing number of restaurants," the director of the Komiža tourist board said.

Last weekend brought a bit more tourist activity than usual in Supetar on Brač, where they also expect a significant increase in the number of guests at the beginning of July. So far, they were mostly domestic, along with those from Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Slovenia.

"Currently, there is a minimal number of arrivals of guests from the United Kingdom, and Norway and Sweden, tourists who were among the most numerous in the pre-pandemic period," says Ivan Cvitanić.

"The announcements we have from hotels, but also the private accommodation sector, are good, and reservations have started in a much larger volume in the last few weeks. So, from today's perspective, it seems that this tourist season will be better than last year's, which, despite the pandemic, was very good in the end," Cvitanić says hopefully. 

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

Friday, 18 June 2021

New Line for Summer: Fast Boat Connecting Split and Sutivan Now Operating!

June 18, 2021 - A new fast line connects Split and Sutivan on Brač this summer, allowing tourists and locals even more options between the island and the mainland. 

Namely, since June 15, the new daily line has been in operation (excluding Sundays) from Split to Sutivan on Brač Island. 

SPLIT - SUTIVAN - SPLIT

Line operated by Krilo Shipping Company

Boat: KSC "Naranča"

Crossing time: 30 Minutes

Ticket price: 30 Kuna

Schedules:

Preseason and postseason: June 15 - July 1 & August 30 - September 15

SPLIT -> SUTIVAN

Monday - Friday from Split at 09:30 & 16:15

Saturdays from Split at 09:30 

SUTIVAN -> SPLIT

Monday - Friday from Sutivan at 10:15 & 17:00

Saturdays from Sutivan at 10:15

You can find the table with the details below:

Screenshot_2021-06-18_at_07.27.13.png

In the high season, the schedule changes, and the boat will proceed to Milna after Sutivan on the evening ride. You can find the table of the departures and arrivals in Sutivan and Milna below:

Screenshot_2021-06-18_at_07.28.05.png

SPLIT - BOL - SPLIT

Starting from July 1, the company will start connecting Split and Bol on a daily basis, twice a day.

Line operated by Krilo Shipping Company

Boat: KSC "Jaffa"

Crossing time: 60 Minutes

Ticket price: 100 Kuna for adults; kids from 4 - 12 years of age: 50 Kuna; infants 0-3 years of age: free of charge.

SPLIT -> BOL

Monday - Sunday from Split at 09:30 & 17:00

BOL -> SPLIT

Monday - Sunday from Bol at 11:00 & 18:30

You can find the table with the schedule below:

Screenshot_2021-06-18_at_07.29.38.png

 

The line is operated by tourist agency TransferCroatia.com (Accommodo vobis doo), located at Obala Lazareta 3 in Split (between coffee bar Jimmy and Terminal F, facing the port). The agency has sold tickets for Krilo for the last few years. KSC is a boating company with a regular year-round line connecting Split and Rogač on Šolta and Milna on Brač island.  

Tickets can be bought at Obala lazareta 3. Currently, cash payment is only accepted, but card payment will be introduced soon. 

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Bol Through the Lens of a Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Holder

June 7, 2021 - Digital nomads give back to communities in various ways. A new series on TCN, following the lens of Steve Tsentserensky, one of the early recipients of the Croatian digital nomad permit. Where better to start than photogenic Bol on Brac?

One of the discussion in Croatia these days surrounds digital nomads. What EXACTLY does Croatia get from digital nomads, especially if they do not have to pay income tax locally with the 12-month permit?

It is a classic Croatian tourism short-term mindset, which has become sadly familiar over the decade I have been writing about the subject. 

For me, there are three key wins for Croatia - and they all cost nothing.

1. Permit holders may not pay tax, but they are spending on rent, food, drink, entertainment once they leave their virtual office. Think of them as long-stay tourists if you will. I never heard of anyone here complaining about tourists spending here.

2. The mindset. This, to me, is one of the most exciting aspects of the digital nomad era. People with fresh ideas, different experiences, stimulating lifestyles. If they are moving to Croatia because it is so great, perhaps Croatia has something to offer, rather than the sad path of emigration. 

3. The fabulous free promo from digital nomads, clearly in love with this beautiful country. They decided to come, love what they find, and want to tell the world how amazing Croatia is - through blogs, Instagram posts and various other forms of social media. Kind of like the national tourist board's job if you like. Only better. 

This series will focus on the last point, the fantastic free promotion of Croatia by these longer term visitors. TCN is delighted to announce a working partnership with one of the early recipients of the digital nomad permit. Steve Tsentserensky from Ohio. Steve first came to my attention with this fabulous video of Zagreb.

We are big fans of Steve's work, and we met recently over a beer or three in Zagreb. Steve will be travelling around the country over the next 12 months (actually, we thing a little longer) documenting Croatia through his lens. We thought it would make a nice feature on the site, as well as showing how just one nomad with the permit is spreading the word about this beautiful country, so that others may see and come. 

And so begins our new series - Croatia through the lens of a Croatian digital nomad permit holder, starting in magnficent Bol. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I will shut up now. 

You can follow Steve on Instagram.

bol-steve-stensterensky_1.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_2.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_3.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_4.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_5.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_6.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_7.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_8.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_9.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_10.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_11.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_12.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_13.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_14.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_15.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_16.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_17.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_18.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_19.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_20.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_21.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_22.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_23.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_24.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_25.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_26.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_30.jpg

bol-steve-stensterensky_29.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bol-steve-stensterensky_27.jpg

 

bol-steve-stensterensky_28.jpg

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Brač Trips: 3 True Stories About Hospitality, Safety, and Entertainment on the Island

15 June 2021 - One TCN intern visited Brač three times and learned first-hand about hospitality, safety, and entertainment on the island. Even though these stories are unlikely reproducible, it shows a special atmosphere of the island where you can be a most unprepared and careless tourist and leave your fun up to islanders. A look at three Brač trips!

1. Supetar and Sumartin: before the tourist season

A story to tell about Brac is olives, olives, olives... Along the 40 km from Supetar, the ferry port, and administrative center, to the most eastern town of Sumartin. From time to time, olive trees are changed by other species, but mostly a road view looks really monochrome. The good news is that olive is an evergreen plant, therefore you can come on Brac out of the tourist season.

The bad news is monoculture. That is probably due to historical tradition. People say that during the Venetian rule on Brac no young man was allowed to marry until he had planted a hundred olive trees. Maybe, it also relates to a lack of knowledge about other plants. Some few people in Split can recognize Phillyrea (mock privet) trees, although it is also from the Oleaceae family, a close relative of the olive. A few know how an olive flower looks like while everyone cares only about olive oil. An olive flower is small and appears early. You can see it if you come to Brac from the end of April till the beginning of June.

2t04lhzQ.jpeg

A possible reason for the prevalence of olives there is also unpretentiousness. Why plant grapes to constantly tinker with them when you can plant olive trees and don't bother either yourself or your descendants within the next 400 years? In sum, islanders have more time to care about their guests when they care less about the garden! They do care as I've learned from my own experience coming well before the start of the season. There were barely any tourists and no young people on the streets.

There are kindergartens and schools on Brac, but to continue studying, you have to go to the mainland. Unless you've decided to become a stonemason. There is a known school of stonemasons in Pucisca. Besides olives, Brac stone is another export brand of the island. Diocletian's Palace in Split, the most beautiful churches in Croatia, the parliament buildings of Austria and Hungary, and the White House in Washington DC are made of this stone. Returning down to earth it seemed to me that sculpture is quite a popular hobby among the locals, therefore you easily notice interesting sculpting along the roads in villages like Selca and Povlja.

2t04lhzQ.jpeg

There are no faculties or universities on Brac. Students who left to study on the mainland unlikely to come during the winter season as well young tourists seeking a beach party paradise on Brac Bol in summer. Thus, I was going to spend my weekend walking and sightseeing alone. I took a bus from Supetar to Sumartin and went other distances between the villages by foot, 24 km in a day. However, I was most impressed by the social kind of entertainment - a village party in Sumartin on Saturday evening. I had done 24 km and wanted to drop dead on my bed for a few hours, but the hostel owner's daughter (of my age) who met me had another plan.  

We have a party up the street. You can come with me. I invite you! - No, thank you. I've walked 24 km. I'm bloody tired, I want to have a rest. Sure, I understand. You need to have a rest...But actually, you know, we are young, we don't need much rest, so, you can go to a party with me! - OK! [I didn't have the energy to argue]

The party was devoted to the end of construction of the ground floor of a house that one young guy from the village built. Village friends had slaughtered and roasted a lamb, they brought homemade wine and olive oil. I felt in the first few minutes my visit was not in vain. 

Organised 'village tours' are not popular among youth, it usually lacks true authenticity that you can meet as an independent tourist. It was the very case for me. I met fishermen, builders who speak only Croatian, students from Split (they speak English). Naturally, they played Balkan turbo-folk music. They were not good at dancing, so when guys didn't know what to do during a 'groovy' song, they grabbed heavy objects (a poker, a barrel, etc.) and began to lift them. Meanwhile, girls did sit-ups crazy fast! 

5mbbCFIg.jpeg

I was going to give a dance workshop and climbed up on the table, but two girls jumped in there after me and started a conversation. They literally attacked me with questions, therefore we stood on the table for an hour just chatting. Perhaps, we would never have such a chance at a nightclub party! A chance to meet at the village party a fan of the Russian tv-series 'Kitchen' ('Kuhinja') was even less, but Eni from Brac was flattering a lot to my Russian background. 

The most epic moment happened to me when a son of the owners of the house where we had a party - the biggest house in Sumartin, only the church is higher, - was showing me everything he owned: a house, a gazebo, a grill terrace, a bar, a garden, swimming pools, garages, etc. Let's say, a sightseeing tour accompanied by nice complaints. "When I go somewhere with friends, I pay for everybody... When I show my parents anything I like, they buy it immediately for me... It's so hard to be independent if your parents are rich..." Top complaints, huh? I really had top entertainment that night! Finally, it happens amid a contrast: while some people on Brac apply for EU funds for rural areas development, others suffer from a family abundance. It's a pity and simultaneously a good topic for reflection when you travel before the tourist season.

2. Sutivan and Milna: waiting for a miracle

My second trip to the island of Brac occurred in April. At this time islanders start slowly preparing for the season. A lot of places are still closed, but the atmosphere becomes more welcoming and bracing. Largely, I would say it's a good direction on Brac regardless of the season.

4e12L1kg.jpeg

A little derogation about the 'Su' towns. Su is Latin 'Sv', two letters have a similarity in writing and pronouncing. Sv is short for 'Sveti' (Saint in Croatian). In this way, Supetar is Sveti Petar, Saint Peter's town, Sutivan is Sveti Ivan, Saint Ivan's town, etc. I've already seen Supetar, ferry port, thus I just did a loop for my friend come from Split for the first time. Riva, St. Peter's church, Jobanova Street where you can easily think that Croatia is the most beautiful country in the world - that is Supetar. At the west exit from the city, we found a firehouse. I'm interested in fire departments on islands because they are voluntary, not municipal. Their volunteer showed us an old fire truck donated by Great Britain. When he learned I'm from Russia, he said that his neighbors here are Russian too. A wife lived for 5 years during the Chechen war in the 1990s. A husband is a healthy Russian man, he can drink a liter and a half of vodka. Great job!

We travelled from Supetar to Sutivan on foot. Further movements around the island were planned by bus. Waiting for the bus to Milna I put things from my bag at the bus stop. "Get up! Let's go! Don't forget your phone!" my friend commanded. I answered "No way! I would rather forget my own hand."

b64a_SEA.jpeg

Actually, I paid attention in Milna and noticed a lot of yacht tours on Dalmatian islands do stop on Brac in Milna bay. I liked Milna as soon as the bus began to approach it on the serpentine road. 

On the waterfront (literally 'first line' by the sea) there is an abandoned multi-storey house. I don't know what happened there, but the holes in the ceiling/ floor look terrible. A blockage on the stairs between the first and second floor doesn't let to climb up higher. Anyway, I would not recommend entering a house for safety's sake. In a corridor on the first floor, we found a nice retro 'archive'. A poster inviting for the Final concert of the 3-rd Concert-Opera Seminar in Milna on August 21, 1981, hangs in my room in Split. 

Waiting for a bus back to Supetar we were chatting with my friend at the bus stop. The topic was an exes' birthday: to congratulate or not. I implore you: Do not discuss such topics at the bus stops! When the bus came, I was lost in thought and... I forgot my smartphone at the bus stop. I realized it in a couple of minutes on the bus. But the bus, apparently, goes faster than it seems. I asked a driver to stop. I'd prefer to ask him to turn back to Milna, but we were on the serpentine road. We went 52 min down the serpentine on foot.

Somehow I was sure my phone was still there at the bus stop. It wasn't there! We asked in a nearby cafe - no one knew. We tried another cafe - it was closed. We asked men working at the marina opposite the bus stop - they were really enthusiastic to help me. They actually proved my hypothesis that everyone knows everyone on the island and it's very safe on the island. Men remembered their friend was walking with the children near the bus stop. Through 2-3 contacts we found his number. Unfortunately, he didn't answer the phone. Almost desperate I wandered back to the bus stop looking around.

99twZJYg.jpeg

A group of people came towards me. "I have nothing to lose," I thought and came to ask them about the phone. And then a woman coming in the front took my phone out from her purse! It was pure luck, because her company was moving to the parking place behind the bus stop to leave Milna. Then we tried our luck again, because we got off the last bus to Supetar. We've overcome the serpentine road before we succeded to flag cars down. One senior man gave us a ride to a crossroad, Supetar was out of his way. Then two young men drove us straight to the ferry to Split. One wondered whether my friend and I are daughters of those Russians who own a mansion somewhere nearby. "No, wait, it was the mansion of a Hungarian oligarch, not Russian," another guy said. Anyway, we were not, so they switched a topic.

3. Bol: ideal summer beach weekend chill trip

I was deliberately postponing a visit to Bol and Zlatni Rat on Brac to the beginning of summer. Out of the season, you always risk being disappointed there, especially when you've already learned something about the prominent horn-shaped beaches (Zlatni Rat in Croatian means 'Golden Cape', or 'Golden Horn'). Golden Horn needs sun to be gold. 

Besides sunny weather needed, a trip to Bol is easily organised leisure that few things could spoil. Ferry boat trips Split-Supetar and bus trips Supetar-Bol matches perfect, thus you don't lose time waiting. Also, it's pleasure to continue with a green promenade from Bol village to Zlatni Rat beach after a mountainy road to Bol. I would, perhaps, aware that there are a lot of people in the season. However, it has some advantages. For instance, my friends and I came on Sunday and saw a wedding on the square in front of the parish church (Zupna crkva Gospe od Karmela) in Bol.

5-i4tBog.jpeg

Returning from the beach we noticed that the return trips to Split are also perfectly matched. Therefore, you have all the possibilities: 1) to have dinner in Bol and go back to Supetar/Split by last trips; 2) to take the second to last bus to Supetar, have dinner there and go to Split by last ferry trip; 3) to go back to Supetar/Split by second to last trips and have dinner in Split. We choose first and enjoyed island hospitality in one of the restaurants in Bol. "Why is the place called Jadranka?" a question came to my mind. "My name is Jadranka," an owner answered to me. She was the only child, and (grand) parents called it after her. With her husband, they cook all dishes and keep this place already for decades. One more sign of true hospitality is that they remembered our friends who visited it two months ago.

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

Friday, 4 June 2021

Everything is Ready for the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Brač!

June 4, 2021 - Everything is ready for the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Brač, from June 7 to 12!

Next week, Bol becomes the center of women's sports again. After a one-year break, the WTA Croatia Bol Open returns to the tennis courts of Bluesun Hotels & Resorts. Along with the main tournament winners Sara Sorribes Tormo and Nadija Podoroska, five Croatian tennis players are coming to Brač thanks to the organizers' invitation, which is a record in the history of Croatian tennis, revealed today's press conference at Split's Artičok restaurant.

11wta.jpeg

Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"Along with Tereza Mrdeža and Tena Lukas, this year Ana Konjuh, Jana Fett and Bernarda Pera, from Zadar with a US passport, are also coming. Thanks to HRT's satellite broadcast, as many as 16 foreign televisions will broadcast the semifinals and finals from Bol to a hundred countries. This year's tournament was organized in impossible conditions. It was difficult to find sponsors when there was no audience, so I am immensely grateful to everyone who supported us," said Feliks Lukas, director of the WTA Croatia Bol Open.

1feliks.jpeg

Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

He added that 20 tennis players are already arriving on Brač today; the bus is waiting for them at Split Airport. They are being tested immediately in cooperation with one of the most famous epidemiologists, Dr. Marija Parčina. The results are ready by the time they arrive in Bol. Due to the top organization and strict adherence to all epidemiological measures, the WTA has recognized the Bol tournament as a Covid-free destination. This is the first WTA tournament without a bubble zone for tennis players.

The organizers were supported by the Croatia national team players Tereza Mrdeža and Tena Lukas, who achieved the best results in their careers in Bol. Teresa is in top form and is extremely happy that this year, thanks to the invitation, she will skip the qualifications, and Tena is emotionally attached to the tournament in which her entire family participates.

123wta.jpeg

Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"Bol and tennis are loved; they live together," said Markito Marinkovic, director of the Bol Tourist Board of Bol. He said that the tennis center is in a perfect environment, a few minutes from Zlatni rat, one of the most beautiful beaches, and announced a combination of sports and art in the week of the Bol tournament. Well-known photographer Jadran Lazić opens an exhibition of his works and presents his monograph on Thursday, and the Museum of the Dominican Monastery opens on Friday.

1.jpeg

Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

"The tournament is the start of the season in our hotels, and I would like to thank all our employees who do their best in these challenging times to have successful results. We have great announcements, and we are recording record bookings, even better than in 2019," concluded Hrvoje Veselko, President of the Management Board of Bluesun Hotels & Resorts.

Joško Stella, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director, said that this part of Dalmatia has all the prerequisites for the development of sports tourism, and the WTA in Bol is an example of a great tournament organization and a great opportunity to promote Dalmatia and Croatia.

1-everyone-wta.jpeg

Vladimir Dugandžić, Cropix / Lollipop PR

This year's 15th WTA Croatia Bol Open, the fifth organized by Feliks Lukas, is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and with the support of loyal partners - Split-Dalmatia County and County Tourist Board, Bol Municipality Tourist Board, Bluesun Hotels & Resorts, Adriatic insurance and for the first time Studenac, a well-known Dalmatian retail chain.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Page 1 of 23

Search