Tuesday, 17 August 2021

The 10 Best Destinations For September Holidays in Croatia 2021

August 17, 2021 – With warm waters still perfect for swimming, but more space on the beach and at the best restaurants, September holidays in Croatia are the smart choice for discerning visitors. 

Much to everyone's surprise, the coast has been fully booked throughout August. Indeed, many who came last minute struggled to find accommodation. But, that doesn't mean you need to miss out. September holidays in Croatia are perhaps even better than July or August. The beaches are quieter and the sea is still warm. The waiters in the restaurants are less stressed and busy. The best tables and views are always available. Indeed, the Croatian welcome feels that much warmer in the ninth month.

Here's a look at our pick for the best destinations for 2021 September holidays in Croatia.
Omiš

old.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

In Omiš, not only do you have Croatia's most underrated seaside city to explore, but also a whole remarkable riviera. A series of stunning villages - Nemira, Stanići, Ruskamen, Lokva Rogoznica, Medići, Mimice, Marušići and Pisak - offer postcard-pretty scenes with the Adriatic lapping at small fishing boats. Each comes with its own idyllic and uncrowded beaches.

21868215_10156015116624410_555677073_o.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

The city itself has an Old Town that is full of intrigue – ancient architectural detail, winding, white-stone streets, sheltered squares with restaurants offering traditional Mediterranean food and also some that's unique to Omiš. Also, the Cetina river and canyon gifts Omiš an incredibly varied offer – rafting, river swimming, zipline, kayaking, nature photography, riverside restaurants – that no other coastal destination in Croatia can compete with.

If you want to learn more about Omiš and its incredible offer, read our detailed guide.

Brela

201251368_4090729184298801_2977464117068100083_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

With Brela's shoreline not far off 10 kilometres in length, it could rightfully claim to be the Croatian village most blessed with beaches. Oh, and what beaches they are! Incredibly clear, turquoise seas, quiet coves, small pebbles and often shaded by ancient pine trees that sometimes stretch out over the sea.

146254804_3715045301867193_3511865349649961953_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

Away from the coast, you'll find intriguing heritage in the foothills alongside exemplary restaurants. Decide which you want to visit and they give you a free ride there and back from your accommodation by the shore. You'll be rewarded with traditional Dalmatian food – seafood, peka, pašticada and more – and incredible views of the sunset framed by Biokovo mountain, island Brač and Brela's epic and uninterrupted beaches.

If you want to learn more about breathtakingly beautiful Brela, read our detailed guide.

Makarska

206836234_4119940851377634_8129877583474515472_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

There's no shortage of beaches in Makarska but, in July and August, you might struggle to find a quiet and secluded spot just for yourself. You won't have that problem in September – arguably, it's the best month to be here.

236899549_4251621594876225_9066465384493055383_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

Makarska is an incredibly popular destination in peak season for a very good reason – its offer is fantastic and huge. At the rear of the city, the huge Biokovo Nature Park (which you can read about here), with a fantastic offer of nature, views, recreation and activities. Within the town itself, a port which remains small enough to be charming, unhurried and traditional, but big enough to grant fast and regular boat trips to some of Croatia's most desirable island destinations. You can hop over to several on day trips from Makarska. If you want to find out more about the massive offer in Makarska, then read our detailed guide.

Šibenik

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A city completely reinvented specifically for visitors, in truth Šibenik is a destination just as suitable for a long weekend break throughout the year as it is a summer holiday. In the centre, an incredibly charming Old Town, filled with atmospheric stone stairways, historic squares, fascinating architectural details and the world-famous Cathedral of St. James.

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Three Venetian fortresses hold hidden histories of the city's successful defence against the Ottoman Empire – each uses multi-media or augmented reality to tell their tales. Events take place on Šibenik streets and city centre parks throughout late summer. There is a range of quality restaurants – one even has a Michelin star – activities like cycling, zipline, kayak and canoe. Also, the further you travel down Šibenik's famous St. Anthony's channel towards the open Adriatic, the more secluded and quiet the see-through seas become. Gorgeous.

If you want to find out more about the endless entertainment and excitement of Šibenik, then read our detailed guide and see our dedicated TCN Šibenik pages.

Primošten

238640369_4621303521236055_2517203873394563661_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Primošten © Jeremiasz Gadek

The island on which the settlement of Primošten was founded helped protect this place and its residents from attack. Separated from the mainland, you'd have to pass across a drawbridge, through city walls and between military towers to enter. However, the surrounding sea also restricted city limits, leading to the development of wonderful and unique architectural solutions.

The Old Town of Primošten is that much more delightful to walk around in September, free from the bustle of fast-moving peak season tourists. In fact, Primošten is much more enjoyable taken at a gentle, even lazy pace. Away from the Old Town, Raduča, and Mala Raduča are considered to be among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Just back from the shore, on the mainland, Primošten's famous vineyards. Šibenik-Knin County has some of the most frequently awarded smaller wine producers in the whole of Croatia.

Tisno and Murter

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The island of Murter sits extremely close to the Croatian mainland. So close, in fact, that a short bridge connects the two. On each side of the bridge, one half of the town Tisno, known across Europe as one of the most famous sites for dance music festivals.

In fact, the festivals continue on the outskirts of Tisno in September 2021, with two of the best known of them all taking places in the month's first two weeks (Outlook and Dimensions).

236335331_3062014214034876_6848389841683692665_n.jpgAs shown above, beautiful Jezera @druckerroman

But, there's a lot more to Tisno and specifically the island of Murter than just the music festivals, as thousands of happy returning visitors will tell you. The settlements of Betina and Jezera on the island are incredibly beautiful, so too the larger town of Murter, which also has an incredibly famous restaurant offer. Across the whole island – and on the mainland in Tisno – you'll find incredible beaches and bays. On the opposite shores in Pirovac, one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world.

To find out more about Tisno, Betina, Jezera and Murter, read our detailed guide

Pula

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There are few cities whose Roman Empire heritage can compete with Pula's. Pula Arena is not only one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, but also it is still a living part of the city's cultural and social life. Attending a music concert or film festival there is an unforgettable experience. More unforgettable Roman monuments come in the form of city gates and walls, a temple, an open-air theatre and forum.

Outside of the Roman heritage, there's a Venetian hilltop fortress right in the city centre, with exquisite views of Pula, its bay, nearby peninsula and the wider Adriatic. Nearby, the must-see Brijuni National Park (read about it here) and a short drive in any direction will take you to some of the most breathtaking and secluded beaches in Croatia.

It really is hard work summing up the immense offer of Pula in just a few short sentences. You'd be better advised to read about the fuller picture in our detailed guide.

Čiovo

Life-is-simple-just-add-seaTatinja-beach-Okrug-GornjiDino-Caljkusic.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Tatinja beach, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić

With a UNESCO world heritage site – Trogir – sitting proudly and loudly on its doorstep, the island of Čiovo sometimes stands in the shadow of its famous neighbour. But, sometimes it's worth listening more closely to those who are more softly spoken.

18891579_14644fromaboveOV-1536x864.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Čiovo and Okrug

Čiovo not only has the advantage of having the incredible Trogir as part of its very own offer but also it holds all the classic features that everyone looks for in a Croatian holiday – crystal clear seas, pristine beaches, breathtaking nature and unforgettable views. In particular, the southwestern section of the island, Okrug, has an incredible beachside promenade and a series of irresistible bays.

If you want to read more about Čiovo and Okrug, then read our detailed guide.

Zagreb

220862634_10160017442313221_7939799732839949953_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

Of course, not all of the best Croatia holidays in September 2021 need to be taken on the coast. In fact, the capital city of Zagreb has become the country's most popular city destination over recent years, including the warmer months. Zagreb in September has the added bonus that summer holidays are over for most city residents, prompting the return of the city's entertainment and event calendar in full force.

Garden.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

All of the nightclubs are back open, catering for the return of the city's university students. The cafe bar terraces are full, with a wonderful atmosphere, as tanned friends reconvene. Art galleries and museums show their very best displays and food festivals or pop-up bars can be found in Zagreb's irresistible city centre parks. Some of September highlights include the 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival and massive one-day open-air rave We Love Sound with world-famous techno DJs Len Faki and Chris Liebing.

If you want to know more about the peerless Croatian city of Zagreb, then read our detailed guide.

Dubrovnik

1920px-1_dubrovnik_pano_1.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Dubrovnik © Chensiyuan

The great southern city of coastal Croatia. A famous filming destination for movies and TV series. Not that the Pearl of the Adriatic needs any extra help with promotion. A global superstar for centuries, thanks to its status as an independent city-state, its well-known walls have been welcoming strangers for much longer than tourism has existed. They continue to do so and at the height of summer, competition for space in the city is at a premium.

All that can easily be avoided by visiting Dubrovnik outside the peak season. The walls and winding streets are much more easily enjoyed at an unhurried pace. And, when you're not trailing immediately behind a sluggish crowd of 500, fresh off a cruise ship. No queues at the restaurants, the best tables available. Truth be told, there's a strong case for Dubrovnik as the perfect destination even later than September – the quieter it gets, the better the experience seems to be.

If you want to preview a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dubrovnik, then read our detailed guide

Total Croatia News contacted the Tourist Boards of each of the destinations recommended, who confirmed that - at the time of publication - there are accommodation vacancies available for the month September 2021

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

French Road in Brela: How Napoleon put Croatia on a Path to Independence

August 10, 2021 – The fascinating French Road in Brela, Dalmatia, actually leads nowhere. But, although unfinished, it is an incredible reminder of the modern era that Napoleon's short reign ushered in. It put Croatia on a path to independence.

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Some of the best heritage in Croatia today is the remnants of empires that once ruled here. Roman arches and an amphitheatre help define the city of Pula. In Split, emperor Diocletian's Palace does the same.

Atop hills in the centre of Šibenik, four Venetian fortresses remind of their undefeated stand against Turkish invaders. In nearby Drniš, the westernmost minaret of the Ottoman Empire attests to that city's differing fate. Meanwhile, in Zagreb, the grandiose architecture and carefully curated parkland tell of the capital's prestigious past within Austro-Hungary.

Napoleon, the First French Empire and the Dinaric Alps in Dalmatia

Few signs of the First French Empire's time in this territory remain. However, there's strong evidence to suggest Napoleonic rule had a much more profound effect on Croatia than mere aesthetics. Indeed, it was at the hands of the French that Croatia was placed on a road that would ultimately lead to independence. But, that's not the only road they left behind.

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In fact, the French began the most advanced infrastructure project attempted in Croatia since Roman times. Plans left behind give an incredible insight into how Napoleon's empire hoped to modernise – and hold onto – the region. They wanted to build a huge, contemporary road network across the Dinaric Alps.

Not only would this stretch down the entire length of Dalmatia - from Zadar in the north, to Metković and Dubrovnik in the south - but also it would criss-cross over the mountains. In doing so, hinterland cities like Knin, Drniš, Sinj and Imotski would be connected to the coast by modern roads for the very first time.

Unfortunately, the First French Empire was here for an insufficient time that the road be finished. However, a great piece of the French Road in Brela stands as a testament to the boldness of the project. It is the largest and best-preserved section of the road in existence.

Governor Auguste de Marmont and the need to construct the French Road in Brela

After the fall of the Roman Empire, transportation through Dalmatia did not improve for over 1000 years. As a matter of fact, it only got worse! In ancient times, the average distance of daily travel was just 12 kilometres a day for an ox cart. 20 km a day for a heavily laden mule and 30 km a day for those on foot, including an army at regular march.

This slow progress was a serious hindrance to Napoleon’s forces, who first began moving into eastern Adriatic territories from 1797. Indeed, it wasn't until a decisive victory against the Austrians in 1809 that the First French Empire finally managed to take full control of the region.

Marmont_as_Marshal_of_the_Empire_by_Jean-Baptiste_Paulin_Guérin_1837.jpgMarmont as Marshal of the Empire, by Jean-Baptiste Paulin Guérin (1837) © Public domain

Installed as the first governor of the Illyrian Provinces was Auguste de Marmont. His tenure would prove to be the greatest and most influential of all who took the position. He immediately set about transforming the region's infrastructure, including commencing work on the French Road in Brela. However, it was the changes in society brought by the French that would be truly irreversible.

Napoleon and French rule in Croatia

Coat_of_arms_of_Illyrian_ProvincesSodacanSamhanin_1.pngVersion of the coat of arms of the Illyrian Provinces © Sodacan/Samhanin

A major priority was to establish French bureaucracy, culture, and language. The French also introduced compulsory national service. Locals were conscripted into regional regiments of Napoleon's army and/or put to work on the infrastructure project. While these sound like impositions similar to those set by any empire controlling the region, in fact, French rule was incomparable. Because within the French system lay many new benefits for the locals.

Although they did not altogether succeed in removing the medieval feudal system from the Illyrian Provinces, the French brought about the first real taste of emancipation for the populace. The importing of the French legal system meant - in principle - every citizen was equal under the rule of law, irrespective of social standing or wealth. French was made the official language of the provinces. However, all the respective states were allowed to speak and work in their native languages.

Tabla_carinarnice_Ilirskih_provinc_iz_Radeč_pri_Zidanem_mostu_1809_1.jpgAlternate version of the coat of arms of the Illyrian Provinces © Public domain

Separation of church and state was introduced and the judiciary nationalised. The tax system was made uniform, abolishing some tax privileges in an attempt to create a fairer society. Inhabitants of the Illyrian Provinces had Illyrian nationality. The French embarked upon an overhaul of the education system within the provinces. One example was the founding of a French-language military school in Karlovac, the headquarters of the Croatian army. However, it was not only the French language that was taught but also French culture and history.

The Illyrian Provinces inspire the Illyrian Movement

People who lived in the Illyrian Provinces learned exactly how life had changed, how universal rights were established, following the French Revolution. While the awareness of national identity was becoming more widespread across Europe within this broad time period, French rule within this particular region must be viewed as a catalyst for the awakening of such sentiments in Slovenia and Croatia.

Ljudevit_Gaj_1898_Theodor_Mayerhofer_1.pngLjudevit Gaj by Theodor Mayerhofer, taken from Đuro Šurmin 'Povjest književnosti hrvatske i srpske' Zagreb 1898 © Public domain

In 1814, a further period of Austrian rule replaced that of the French within the territory. As a result, work on Illyrian Province projects like the French Road in Brela ceased. But, within less than a decade and a half, linguist and writer Ljudevit Gaj and other members of Zagreb's intelligentsia, began a process of national revival and a standardisation of language and alphabet. It is no coincidence that their Illyrian Movement referenced the same regional history as had Napoleon's Illyrian Provinces. Within the foundations of this Zagreb-based movement lay both a future of amalgamated states of southern Slavic peoples, free of Austro-Hungary and also the future independent Croatia.

Legacy

Re-evaluated through the eyes of an independent nation, French rule assumed greater appreciation than it did at the time of its occurrence. Certainly, French rule is not nearly so ill-remembered in Croatia like it is in other countries. Subsequently, you can find squares, fountains and streets here all named in respect of the brief French period, not least the famous Marmont ulica in Split.

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But, the most beguiling and intriguing remnant of the Illyrian Provinces in Croatia is the French Road in Brela. It zig-zags almost 100 meters up Biokovo mountain. Although, never at a gradient greater than 6° (in order to accommodate carts, horse riders and easy walking).

Looking at it today, you are tempted to imagine the radically modernised Dalmatia that would have emerged had it been completed. But, when you remember your view is taken from within a wholly independent Croatia, it's easier to appreciate the consequences of French rule, rather than regret anything unfulfilled.

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Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to thank the following for their invaluable help in the construction of this article: Vice Rudan Photography, Tourist Board of Brela, doc. dr. sc. Marko Rimac, department of History, Split University, dr. sc. Tvrtko Jakovina, University of Zagreb. All photography and video by Vice Rudan unless otherwise accredited.

If you want to learn more about the fantastic holiday destination that is Brela, then please see our detailed guide

Friday, 30 April 2021

BSH Berulia: Bluesun Opens First Hotel on Makarska Riviera, COVID-19 Testing at All Locations

April 30, 2021 - Just before the May Day holiday, on April 29, Bluesun has opened its first hotel on the Makarska Riviera - the 5-star BSH Berulia in Brela.

Thus, all guests who have booked other Bluesun hotels in Brela will be accommodated in their most sought-after and most luxurious hotel, regardless of the price range. According to Bluesun, other hotels in their destinations will open gradually, in line with market demands, which is expected at the end of May, reports HRTurizam.

Interestingly, Hotel Berulia in Brela is one of the capital works of Ante Rožić, and the famous Bernardo Bernardi designed the interior. The hotel is divided into individual compositional units, which brings the rooms closer to nature, and all other design procedures lead to the fact that architecture and nature permeate as much as possible, from the fact that the body of the building is "broken" and "pierced" by the atriums. The corridors and staircases partly turn into an exterior space that extends to the terraces. The hotel and outdoor facilities cascade down to the intimate beach of Berulia, respecting the morphology of the terrain and entering it minimally invasively.

"Bluesun Hotel Berulia opens its doors on Thursday, April 29, when we expect about 100 guests, while May Day itself will welcome between 200 and 250 guests. These are mostly domestic guests and guests from nearby auto destinations. The exact number of guests, given the situation, is difficult to estimate because they all have flexible conditions for changing and canceling reservations. Still, we do not expect the number to deviate too much from the current situation. Namely, we are in daily contact with guests who confirm their arrival, and we also record new reservations after confirming the opening of the hotel," said Stjepko Šošić, Bluesun's Director of Revenue Management.

Holiday village Velaris *** in Supetar on Brač and Bluesun camp Paklenica **** in Starigrad Paklenica have already been opened.

Bluesun provides COVID-19 tests / Contactless check-in at all destinations.

For guests to start their holiday safely, they have provided contactless check-in at Bluesun this season. The procedure is quick and easy - and the link is sent to the guest by mail after the guest enters all the necessary information, while upon arrival at the hotel, they pick up the key to their room. By ensuring such minimal contact and avoiding gathering people around the reception, the highest safety and health standards are respected.

"For our guests, we will organize RAT (ANTIGEN) and PCR testing for COVID-19 in Brela, Tucepi, Bol, Supetar. Guests wishing to do so should contact the hotel reception. Testing will be performed on Mondays and Fridays for each listed city so that the arrival time is fixed and the results are issued accordingly. The results of antigen tests will be issued during the stay in hotels, while PCR will be issued and sent by the end of the day for Tucepi and Brela and Brač the next day by 12:00. In case of a positive test result - our employees are educated, and our protocols for such situations are carefully developed," said Josip Rikić, Bluesun's Director of Hotel Operations. 

The price of the PCR test is HRK 560, and the price of the RAT (ANTIGEN) test is HRK 200. The Lablus Split Polyclinic will perform testing in all Bluesun destinations:

Tucepi - testing at hotel Alga for the whole destination
Brela - testing at hotel Soline for the whole destination (until the opening of Soline, in hotel Berulia)
Brac - testing at the Elaphusa Hotel and the Velaris Resort

Since the beginning of April, good booking numbers and great interest in the main season have been recorded, according to Bluesun.

At the moment, it is difficult to plan anything and stick to the numbers, both because of the flexible cancellation conditions that everyone had to introduce this year and because of the last-minute bookings that will dominate. Also, precisely because of the flexible cancellation conditions and the uncertain situation, guests book in several places. A few days before departure, they will finally determine which accommodation and destination to choose, which will further disrupt any long-term planning.

Although the state of reservations doesn't mean much right now, it is good that there is interest.

"Through our own sales channels and major OTA partners, we had the same number of bookings for the main season as in the same week of 2019. Vaccination in Croatia and major markets, strict adherence to epidemiological measures, as well as the possibility of testing at destinations, certainly give optimism for this season," concluded Šošić.

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

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

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Brela

May 2, 2020 - Tourism is on hold, but most of us have plenty of time. So let's look at the virtual resources available to explore Croatia virtually. We continue our new Virtual Croatia series with the tools to discover Brela.

A few weeks ago I wrote that being a tourism blogger in the corona era was about as useful as being a cocktail barman in Saudi Arabia. I feel less useless now, a few weeks later, and I am encouraged by the number of Croatian tourism businesses who are contacting us wanting to start thinking of promoting post-corona tourism. 

One of the challenges of writing about tourism at the moment is that there is nothing positive to write about. With people confined to their homes and tourism in Croatia currently not possible, many have decided to go into hibernation until it is all over. 

I think that this is a mistake, and I have greatly enjoyed the TCN series by Zoran Pejovic of Paradox Hospitality on thinking ahead to tourism in a post-corona world.  You can find Zoran's articles here.

Way back on March 14 - several lifetimes ago - I published an article called Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Zagreb. The way I saw things, now was an OUTSTANDING opportunity for tourism promotion. People have time, they yearn for their freedom and former lives, so give them the tools to thoroughly research and enjoy your destinations, and you will have then longing to be there. And when they do come, they will have a deeper understanding of the destination due to their research. 

South Africa and Portugal were the first to do their post-corona tourism promotion videos several weeks ago (Post-Corona Tourism Planning: Lessons from South Africa and Portugal), a trick which has been followed by other tourism countries, the latest being Croatia with the national tourist board campaign, #CroatiaLongDistanceLove, going live yesterday.

But while these campaigns create longing and market presence, they don't really educate. People now have time to really get into destinations. And dreams of escape to somewhere more exotic are high on the list of priorities of many. 

So TCN has decided to help with that education with a new series called Virtual Croatia, where we will be helping you discover many of Croatia's destinations with all the best virtual tools available on your self-isolating sofa at home. 

We started last week with Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Tools to Discover Hvar.

After this, we put our a press release (which you can read here in English and Croatian) offering a free article to any local tourist board in Croatia who would like the free promotion in our Virtual Croatia series

The Sinj Tourist Board was the first to respond, and now you can see just how rich the tourism offer is in this proud Alka town - your virtual tools to Discover Sinj. This was followed by DIscover Opatija.

Next up, Valentina Vitkovic, Director of the Brela Tourist Board, who sent me some virtual tools to help us discover Brela, one of Croatia's most Instagrammable destinations. 

Let's begin! 

I left my heart in Brela

Discover Brela from above

Brela has some fantastic beaches, some of the best on the Adriatic. Take a tour!

More aerial magic, with Brela in 4K.

Beaches, beaches, beaches

Let's explore those beaches in greater detail. Punta Rata.

One of the most beautiful gravel beaches of the world is in a protected area, a cape covered in pine forest. In July 2004, the American Forbes magazine listed this beach among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Among the most famous ones, such as Copacabana, St. Tropez, Costa del Sol, and the exotic beaches in Belize, Antigua and the Maldives, there is also a small part of the Croatian beauty and for a good reason. In 2014 The Huffington Post website described Brela as a dream destination and a perfect reason to get on a plane to Croatia as soon as possible. According to Belgian website European Best Destinations - Punta Rata was one of the most beautiful beaches in 2015. The beach has been a winner of numerous prizes in Croatia as well. 

Alongside Punta Rata and Podrače, one of the most delightful beaches in Brela is also Jakiruša beach. It is situated on the west end of Brela. Feeling of peace and tranquillity is guaranteed.

The Podrače beach in Brela is one of the most photographed beaches of Croatia. It is in very close proximity to Punta Rata beach. The European Parliament published a video on their Twitter profile providing suggestions on where to go swimming this summer. The first place was taken by our magnificent pebble bay – the Podrače beach in Brela. In 2015 beach Podrače was listed among the 15 most beautiful and desirable vacation destinations by the site European Best Destinations. The peak of the picturesque stone embracing this turquoise blue bay in the past was used by local inhabitants for the production of sea salt by evaporation of sea in shallow pools 

The most famous and most patriotic rock in all Croatia

Brela Stone is one of the most famous rocks in all Croatia, perhaps the most famous. And one which appears in thousands of photos and Instagram feeds each year. And in 2014, just head of the opening match of the World Cup in Brazil, where Croatia took on the host nation, it assumed a very patriotic look.  

An adventure paradise - parasailing

Brela is also a great adventure tourism destination - by land, sea and air. Let's start with the bird's eye view - parasailing.  

Get active on two wheels

Cycling. 

Or walk and bike.

Climb for the best views

You don't have to take to the air to get incredible views - how about a bit of rock climbing?  

The clear waters of Brela, perfect for diving, kayaking, semi-submarines and dolphins!

But those crystal clear waters of the Adriatic will entice you back in for a swim very soon. And there is plenty to do, both above and below the water.  

Discover Brela underwater - this is great diving terrirtory. 

Or glide along the surface on the Adriatic above water by sea kayak. 

Or combine above water with underwater with the semi-submarine tour - great fun for the kids. 

 But respect the locals and be prepared to share the Adriatic with them - including dolphins!

Traditional UNESCO romantic music - Klapa Brela

 

Nothing beats the romantic memories of your summer in Dalmatia than a fabulous dinner of local fish and great wine to the sounds of the enchanting male a capella music of Dalmatian klapa, a tradition which has been inscribed as UNESCO intangible heritage. Meet Klapa Brela.  

A walking tour of Brela

Discover Brela close up with this walking tour of the town and its environs. 

The Napoleonic Road

The road represents an exceptional architectural contribution in road construction from the beginning of the 19th century (built during the period 1810-1811). It was never completed so it is possible to reconstruct all phases of its construction. It was built, or rather laid, on a slope of Biokovo, between 357.41 and 443.73 meters above sea level. The rise does not exceed 6%, in order to make the road very comfortable for driving carts, horse-riding and walking. The architect Frane Zavoreo is the project engineer of the French road on Biokovo.

Interpretation boards are positioned along the road, in order to bring you closer and to provide you an understanding and to explain you the manner and purpose of building this truly exceptional and valuable road. In addition, the entire road is a wonderful viewpoint on Brela, the Riviera of Makarska and the islands!The French road is listed in the Register of Cultural Goods of Croatia on 25th September 2017.

Brela as it once was - Karavan in 1984

And finally, a step back in time - Brela and the Makarska Riviera as It Once Was back in 1984.  

Official Brela Tourist Board

Discover Brela via the official Brela Tourist Board website.

THIS. IS. BRELA. When can we expect your visit? 

To discover more of virtual Croatia, you can follow this series in our dedicated section, Virtual Croatia

If you are a local tourist board in Croatia and would like your destination featured in this series for free, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Virtual Croatia (and destination name)

Friday, 31 January 2020

Small Municipality, Big Vision: Brela Turns to Technology

January 31, 2020 - A small municipality with a big vision. Meet Brela, located in the heart of Dalmatia, a few kilometers away from Makarska and Omis. 

Dalmacija Danas writes that for several years now, Mayor Stipe Ursić and his team have been bringing the municipality new projects and several state-of-the-art technological solutions that would be envied by larger cities in Croatia and even in more developed European countries.

After paving almost all roads in the town, investments in beaches and the promenade followed, and the construction of a new kindergarten worth HRK 10 million is currently underway. The municipality is increasingly turning to the introduction of high technology in its area.

In 2015, Brela became one of the first municipalities in Croatia to modernize the entire public lighting system (over 900 lighting fixtures) by replacing old harmful lights with modern LED technology that is entirely environmentally friendly and saves up to 75% of electricity. This has allowed the Municipality of Brela to save up to half a million kuna a year. The Ministry of Environmental Protection funded seventy percent of this project.

However, one of the major infrastructure problems in the municipality itself was the slow ADSL Internet, and there were numerous complaints from tourists who did not have an adequate internet connection. The municipality then decided to solve the problem and bring the latest technological solution. 

Namely, in 2018 and 2019, thanks to a project worth HRK 3 million, the Municipality of Brela became the first municipality in Croatia with super-fast internet, i.e., with optical technology. In two years, every household has received fiber optic cable and now every inhabitant has access to fast internet of a maximum 500 Mbps, which is up to 100 times faster than what they had before. It is all done at the expense of the new service provider.

After numerous letters of intent, the municipality called on the new operator for this investment because it guaranteed the logistical support as well as almost immediate issuance of all necessary permits in the form of excavating new channels, installation pipes, etc. This is a great success considering that Brela has only 1700 inhabitants, and larger Croatian cities cannot boast such modern technology.

However, the Mayor and his team continue to work on implementing new technologies for their residents and guests, and bring the latest solutions to make their lives easier, especially in the peak tourist season when up to 10,000 tourists visit Brela daily. Of the newer solutions mentioned, one of the most important is redeploying the fleet of utility controllers who now all drive electric vehicles, which is another example of how the emission of harmful gases is reduced and nature itself in Brela is protected.

The project currently under construction is the installation of "smart" bus waiting rooms, which are a novelty on the market. Namely, Brela has decided to install several smart bus stations powered by solar energy or renewable energy sources. These modern stations feature LED lighting, mobile chargers, WiFi wireless HotSpot Internet, bus timetable screens, and season and event information. It serves both guests and residents of Brela and is especially helpful to students traveling to school.

The municipality also funded the first smart board for the Brela Primary School. After numerous smart solutions, the Mayor and his team are not giving up, but look forward to new challenges and advances in technology that will further facilitate everyday life.

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

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

From Osijek to Makarska, Booking.com Users Rate Croatian Hosts

What do Croatian and international travellers think of their hosts when staying in private accommodation? How do they rate them, how much interaction is too much and are privacy and inside information the key?

As Lea Balenovic/Novac writes on the 9th of April, 2019, almost two thirds of Croats believe that the host is a key factor when staying in an accommodation facility, and those who are the best rated in the Republic of Croatia, both from domestic and foreign guests, can be found in in Rakovica, Osijek, Bibinje, Korenica, Kaštela, Makarska, Brela, Senj, Trogir and Podstrana.

They are the results of research conducted by the world's leading rental company, Booking.com, on a sample of 21,500 travellers worldwide. As the survey showed, 63 percent of international travellers and 62 percent of Croatian travellers think that their stay was better because of their engagement of the host who did everything they could to make it a better stay for them.

Most travellers want to feel "at home," as they have indicated in such surveys. For 62 percent of international travellers, the main advantage of non-hotel accommodation is the ability to take advantage of the knowledge and information available from the host and decide to stay in a property owned by someone who actually comes from the region in which the property is located. The same goes for 48 percent of Croatian travellers.

Nearly half of the international travellers who partook in the survey, or more specifically 45 percent of them, and 59 percent of Croatian travellers consider the local knowledge and information at their disposal from their host important for their overall budget because they hope to be given insider advice that will help them save some cash and avoid potential tourist traps.

However, while it seems that all travellers who took part in this survey generally consider the same things to be significant, each traveller is looking for a different type of engagement from their host. Therefore, some travellers are satisfied with a simple warm welcome, while others have slightly higher expectations from their hosts.

For example, 52 percent of international passengers and 40 percent of Croatian travellers believe that their host should only be seen once during their stay in order to make them feel welcome, and more than a third of international travellers and almost the same number of Croatian travellers expect their hosts to contact them only during their arrival, registration, and then again when they eventually check out and leave the premises.

What is often even more challenging to hosts is the fact that many travellers also expect them to have some sort of sixth sense and know just how much of a personal touch is needed for each traveller. 69 percent believe that hosts should intuitively know the right amount of time they should be spending with their guests, and that is also what 73 percent of Croatian travellers think. For four out of five international travellers and the same number of travellers from Croatia that means respecting their need for personal space, which means that the feeling of privacy is key.

The hosts also agree. Namely, nearly 80 percent of Croatian hosts think that the most important thing for guests is to be able to properly ensure their privacy.

"Our research reveals that it's very important for the owners and managers of accommodation facilities to find a balance which ensures the best experience, regardless of whether guests are staying in a vacation home, an apartment, in accommodation with their hosts or any other type of facility," explained Olivier Grémillon, the vice president of Booking.com, adding the fact thatt "what is crystal clear is that there is nothing like the ability of ordinary people to turn something into an unforgettable experience."

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Lea Balenovic for Novac/Jutarnji

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Slovenian Climber Jernej Kruder Finally Conquers Vruja Cove in Dalmatia

Remember the last time you tried something dangerous and difficult, fell down and got up to try it once more - 63 times? No, me neither. Slovenian free-climber Jernej Kruder does; he just did it in the past several years, attempting to climb the Vruja cove near Omiš in Dalmatia.

The plan started four years ago, when Kruder, a world-class climbing athlete and his friend from Croatia, Ivan Kuvačić, also a climber, first envisioned the climb up the 30-meter high route, which has never been attempted before. Kruder analyzed the cliff, decided how it would be best to climb it, bolted the line for the ascend and started his attempts. In the past three years, Kuvačić told Croatian media, he fell 63 times and had to start all over again, because in this sport, once you lose your hold, in order for the climb to be considered successful, you need to start all over again. And he did. Again and again. 

And then, on a cold day that was the New Year's Eve, last day of 2018, Kruder finally did it. He managed to complete the first successful ascent of this huge roof project! The first person to complete a climb almost always gets to give it a name, and Kruder decided to call it "Dugi rat", which is coincidentally also a name of a place in Croatia. The village also near Omiš has nothing to do with that name - in Slovenian it means "A long struggle", which is an appropriate name for something that took that long and included so many failed attempts. 

Now that the Vruja cove climb has officially been succeeded, Kruder has proposed it receives a 9a+ climbing rank, which is definitely the highest rank in Croatia (and there aren't that many climbs with that rank world-wide, either). Climbers love new ascends, and a one with such an amazing story and a view to die for will certainly attract many other climbers, wanting to repeat Kruder's first ascend.

And 2018 is a year the Slovenian climber will remember: in addition to his last-day-of-the-year Vruja cove success, he also won the overall Bouldering World Cup! 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

No Reservations: Mayor of Brela Enforcing Order on Local Beaches

Leaving your towel on the beach overnight to have your spot waiting for you in the morning? Not anymore. 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Inland Treasures to Discover from the Makarska Riviera: Imotski Through the Tunnel

The Makarska Riviera is known for its beaches and island-hopping options, but there is plenty going on inland, as TCN discovered on a recent stay at Hotel Berulia in Brela.

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