Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Split Policemen Rescue Tangled Dolphin Near Ciovo (PHOTOS)

October 27, 2021 - Not the everyday mission as Split policemen rescue a tangled dolphin just off the coast of Ciovo. 

The commander of the Split police vessel, Mate Merčep, and his two fellow police officers (Marko Tadić and Jure Katavić) from the Split-Dalmatia Police Department set out to monitor the state border towards Vis on Tuesday morning. However, a sudden call for help diverted them eight kilometers from their route, report Slobodna Dalmacija.

The policemen turned the vessel around and embarked on a new mission - rescuing a two-meter long and 70-kilogram dolphin, which they untangled from a net near Ciovo for about forty minutes.

"The fishers noticed a wounded and helpless dolphin and informed the 112 Center, and they informed us. If we had arrived half an hour later, the dolphin would not have been alive. He was wrapped in ropes that inflicted deep wounds on his body, so he didn't even move from helplessness. That bundle of ropes damaged the back of his fin, and about fifty meters of rope were wrapped around him," they said. 

Marko Tadić went down to the ship's edge and carefully tore those ropes after the three lured the dolphin to the boat.

"The dolphin received us as if he felt we wanted to help him. He was calm the whole time, and I guess he couldn't be any different since he was exhausted. Who knows when the poor thing got entangled in a fishing line? Maybe it was five hours, and maybe it was a couple of days, we don’t know that. While I was slowly cutting the ropes around the dolphin, I was careful not to cut the rope with which my two colleagues held the dolphin," Marko said.

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Split-Dalmatia County Police Department

"The dolphin jerked a little because he thought we had released him, but it didn’t go that fast. A professor from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb helped us with advice and guided us on the phone. He told us that when the dolphin breathes and dives several times, then he can swim away. That's how it was in the end," Katavić and Merčep added.

In March 2019, Merčep was on a similar animal rescue mission, saving a Maltese dog that was drowning in the cold in the Lora area.

"Now he is housed in Kaštela, and I am thrilled that he is safe and warm," said Merčep.

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

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

16 Super Reasons to Visit Croatia Now: September October 2021

September 22, 2021 – The sun is shining and we'll still be swimming in the sea for some time yet, although the weather and warm Adriatic are far from the only reasons to visit Croatia now

Here are a full 16 reasons to visit Croatia now, in September and October 2021
The weather is fantastic and the forecast is great!

Screenshot_205.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot © Marc Rowlands

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The sea is still warm enough for swimming

242336077_6243047692432629_2508322542701942610_n.jpgSwimming in very late September 2021 on the Omiš riviera, one of the best reasons to visit Croatia now © Marc Rowlands

The very best Croatian food

241480915_6170941186309947_1327304007351009063_n.jpgDomestic bacon and prosciutto, a classic Croatian 'tapas' served at the last surviving inn on Biokovo mountain, Vrata Biokovo © Marc Rowlands

There's no shortage of the finest fresh fish and seafood now the rush have tourists have gone. Want to cook them for yourself? Buy straight from the fishermen on the beach. You can't do that in peak season – it all goes to the restaurants. Also, Croatia's fruit and vegetables are ripe and at their best right now.

241126505_6138144742922925_8968400606881277475_n.jpgUnique, miniature squid, served in ink, with a medley of fresh, roasted vegetables at the restaurant of Camping Labadusa on the island of Čiovo, 2021. Yes, this is how amazing food is at some campsites in Croatia © Marc Rowlands

From figs, melons, mushrooms and truffles to salad greens, pumpkins and mandarins, Croatia is currently the land of plenty. And, the lunchtime specials – Marenda (Dalmatia), Gablets (Zagreb) are outstanding and super cheap right now. Looking for an amazing 50 kuna lunch in Dalmatia right now? Try Konoba Marenda in Šibenik, Konoba Joskan in Omiš or Gastro Diva or Konoba Kalalarga in Makarska?

242356626_6243046882432710_3401854122891850972_n.jpgRoast beef and beetroot risotto with sour cream, pomegranate and apple. Marenda of Konoba Joskan in Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Sports, activity and recreation

242223445_6222414447829287_952918838844562246_n.jpgCycling in Šibenik © Marc Rowlands

Now the temperature have grown more gentle, it's the perfect time to get sporty or active in Croatia. Why not try cycling and hiking in and around Šibenik? Or how about golfing in Zagreb? Inland Dalmatia is a great place for quad biking. Try it in Drniš, Knin, near Vrlika or in Imotski. If you want to try a range of activities and sports, then maybe head for Omiš. You can try canyoning, white water rafting, diving, mountain biking, hiking and a thrilling zip line in Omiš.

Peace, quiet, relaxation

IMG_3328defcvbnjuhgfcv.JPGThe peaceful beach at Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje, pictured in late September 2021 © Marc Rowlands

The kids are mostly back at school, the students have finished partying and are returned to university. Right now, Croatia's campsites, beaches and lunchtime restaurants are quiet and chilled. Romantic couples walk undisturbed across the sands or sip wine as they watch the sunset. The only sound you often hear is the lapping of the waves against the shore.

Idyllic camping

IMG_3321edrfghjnk.JPGRelaxing and peaceful, individual terraces of each glamping unit in Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje © Marc Rowlands

If you want to get up close to nature, camping in Croatia is one of the best ways to do this. And, right now, the country's campsites are at their best. Incredibly peaceful and way under full capacity, there are no more children, families or teenagers. You can bring your own mobile home or even tent – it's cool enough to sleep under canvas now (tents are too hot during the height of a Croatian summer).

241130404_6149405168463549_8737034291319710149_n.jpgUnforgettable sunset views at Camping Rožac, Trogir © Marc Rowlands

Looking for a brilliant Croatian campsite for late September / early October 2021? Camping Rožac, Trogir here has incredible sunset views, whereas the beach at nearby Camping Labadusa here on Čiovo island's other side is a faultless slice of paradise. Further south, the glamping offer of Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje here is also among the finest in Croatia. All three sites are nestled under strongly scented pine trees, just metres from the shore.

IMG_2401dfvgbhnjkiuyhgb.JPGIncredible paradise beach at Camping Labadusa on the island of Čiovo © Marc Rowlands

Discover some of Europe's greatest white and sparkling wine in continental Croatia

AnyConv.com__IMG_2044fgvbnmjnhg.jpgVineyards of Koprivnica-Križevci County winemakers © Marc Rowlands

Been to the Croatian coast before? Then no doubt you've tried some of Dalmatia's famous red wines. Unlike other places, where white wines usually accompany the lighter seafood, pasta and fish dishes of the seaside and summer, on the Croatian coast it's the red wines that rule. Big, gutsy red wines like Plavac mali and Syrah are found by the Croatian Adriatic.

IMG_1802wsdfgh.JPGWinemakers of Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

Less well known are Croatian white wines Even more hidden are Croatia's sparkling wines. Because, if you want to find them, you have to move away from the sea and come inland. For the best sparkling wines, look to Zagreb County.

IMG_2122.JPGWinemakers of south Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

For brilliant white wines, there's a thick strip of continental Croatia you simply must get to know. Its north is the Drava river and the sandy soil runs along its length from Koprivnica and Đurđevac to the start of Baranja. Up into the hills of Baranja and to the border with Hungary the vineyards stretch. To the east, Aljmas and Erdut, to the south Ilok, then west through Kutjevo and back to Zagreb County. Now is the time of the newest wines, of harvest celebrations. Now is the best time to walk the wine roads and trails of this massive white wine super-region.

It's the perfect time for a city break

AnyConv.com__ETugIXoWoAA2NmI_1.jpgVisit Croatia now: Zagreb © Alan Grubelić

Nobody wants to be trapped in a bustling city in summertime's 40-degree heat. The high temperatures never subside. The concrete retains it. When things really heat up in Croatia, you need the cooler mountain air or the sea, which at night absorbs the heat of the day. But, right now is the perfect time to go exploring Croatia's bigger cities.

Why not try Osijek, with its kilometres of cycle routes and parks, epic riverside promenades and the best-preserved complex of baroque buildings in Croatia? Certainly, Osijek's Tvrda and its Secession architecture should be seen by everyone once.

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Or, how about Zagreb, the country's social, cultural and economic capital? There are different happenings in Zagreb streets and parks almost every day. And the atmosphere is second to none.

In Istria, you can linger for much longer on the Roman Forum at this time of year. No need now for running urgently between shadows. You can instead afford to take your time as you wander around the epic Roman architecture here. You'll find more unmissable Roman architecture in Croatia's second city of Split, by way of Diocletian's Palace.

A packed events calendar

_MG_9181fgvbnh.JPGEvents of Zagreb parks 2021, captured by © Marc Rowlands

Croatia's event calendar explodes at this time of year. In Zagreb and Dubrovnik, famous music festivals fill the parks and streets. Elsewhere, this is one of the most important times of the year for food and drink festivals...

Harvest time

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It's harvest time, and when the local produce is collected from the trees or fields, usually there's an accompanying celebration. The party always extends well beyond championing the local produce. These are some of the best events in Croatia – accessible to all ages and appealing especially to gastro fans.

For example, Ivanić-Grad's pumpkin festival - Bučijada - always has a great music and entertainment programme attached. Held on October 1, 2 and 3 in 2021, it draws folks from far and wide to the pretty Zagreb County town. You won't have to look hard to find fun events like this all across Croatia at this time of year, celebrating everything from walnuts and almonds to grapes, olives and mushrooms.

Budget flights are still available

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Not only are budget flights still available, but the summertime routes to all Croatian airports are also still in play. Everywhere in Croatia is easily accessible right now. And for very little cost.

Last minute deals and inexpensive accommodation

AnyConv.com__IMG_3340edrfghjnmkjhgfd.jpgPrivate pool of the 4-star Boutique Hotel Noemia, Baška Voda © Marc Rowlands

It's no secret that prices plummet on Croatia's coast at this time of year. Smart operators do their best to extend the season by dropping prices. You can pick up incredible deals at this time of year everywhere from restaurant dining to luxury resorts, villas, apartments and hotels with full or half board.

Sailing in Croatia

AnyConv.com__IMG_3354ertyhujhgfd.jpgA regular visitor to Brela, Baska Voda and Split returned again in September 2021 © Marc Rowlands

The season for sailing Croatia is nowhere near as short as that enjoyed by most sunbathers. You only need look at the daily newspapers to read about the latest luxury yacht to sail into Croatian Adriatic waters. But, you don't need to be a Russian oligarch to enjoy the beautiful bays, beaches and islands of Croatia. Charter yachts in Croatia can be found at reasonable rates – especially in late September and early October!

Volunteering

IMG_20210915_165305139_HDR.jpg2021 volunteer divers at Calypso Diving in Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Late summer, early autumn and spring are the best time to come volunteer in Croatia. In late summer and early autumn, it's the Adriatic that needs a little love. Volunteer divers undertake ecological missions to clean the seabed around the coast. It's surprising just how much trash falls into the seas after a summer season.

IMG_2818edcvbnhgf.JPGExperienced divers, pictured in 2021 at Trogir Diving Centre © Marc Rowlands

If you're a qualified diver, why not come and help out? Try Trogir Diving Centre here, the oldest diving school in Croatia. Or try Calypso Diving in Omiš here. There, you don't even need to be qualified - beginners can learn from scratch and earn their first diving certificates in return for their volunteering!

242151424_6227553893982009_4396189167021449696_n.jpgVolunteer divers at Calypso Diving in Omiš, 2021 © Marc Rowlands

It's the best time to explore Croatia's National Parks and Nature Parks

241316764_6170947642975968_6841343418900551668_n.jpgThe famous Skywalk of Biokovo Nature Park on the Makarska riviera in Dalmatia, 2021 © Marc Rowlands

In the preserved and protected wilderness of Croatian National Parks and Nature Parks, there's sometimes very little shelter from the sun. They can be tough to explore at the height of summer. Mountainous parks like Paklenica, Velebit and Biokovo have incredible hiking trails that are best enjoyed at this time.

241631995_6170951239642275_3522302139938915487_n.jpgBiokovo Nature Park peaks in 2021 © Marc Rowlands

Elsewhere, you can trace the waterways and waterfalls of Krka National Park, Kopački rit, Plitvice lakes and Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje in relative calm right now. No long lines of queueing tourists spoiling your photos. The island parks like Mljet, Kornati and Brijuni are all the more idyllic when there's nobody else around.

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There are much worse places you could be working remotely

Working.JPGVisit Croatia now: September October 2021 © Marc Rowlands

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, 8 June 2021

Illegal Construction on Čiovo Stopped in Just Two Days!

June 8, 2021 - Illegal construction on Čiovo near Trogir was stopped in just two days, a rare occurrence in The Beautiful Croatia. 

It seems that the efficiency of the state authorities' reaction to the devastation and construction without a permit on the maritime domain is finally visible, as illegal construction on Čiovo Island was stopped in just two days! 

Namely, construction without "paperwork" in Arbanija was stopped in what seems like record time, and, as Slobodna Dalmacija finds out, Polish citizens were in focus. 

The disputed interventions were reported to the county application "Pomorsko je dobro". Everything was forwarded to the inspection of the Ministry of the Sea, then to the State Attorney's Office, the Construction Inspection, and the Port Authority. 

The foreigners obviously understood and were convinced by numerous examples that there is not much order in the country and began demolishing and building without a permit and occupying the beaches.

"Massive works are taking place without a permit at the address Cesta domovinske zahvalnosti 101 in Arbanija. We checked in the Administrative Department for Urbanism and Physical Planning in Trogir that investors do not have a permit for works of this scope, nor do they have a registered construction site. It is an extension of a large annex in front of the existing building, on an area of ​​more than 120 square meters, on the beach not a meter and a half from the sea, spreading to the area of ​​maritime property - the beach!

Along the way, they entered someone else's property by tearing down someone else's wall, totally exposing the backyard of neighbors living in Germany. They thus exposed their belongings in the yard to possible theft because they tore down the wall and protective fence, without permission, and with an explicit written ban on demolishing that wall by the owner of the neighboring plot," reads the letter of concerned citizens, who add this :

"The current owners and contractors are Poles, who have only recently bought a house, the new owner of the house is a company from the Czech Republic, with one employee! The owner is the company "New generation sicars and service". They came to Croatia without any respect for our country, our regulations, laws, and inhabitants. We have forwarded the reports to everyone and we ask you for supervision and investigation in order to protect the maritime domain and prevent devastation and unauthorized changes to the maritime domain."

The County Department of Maritime Affairs and Tourism, headed by the elected Deputy Mayor Stipe Čogelj, in cooperation with the Mayor of Trogir, Ante Bilić, sent a municipal warden to the scene.

"We were on the field, made a report and stopped the works and fenced the construction site with tape. The owner of the property is a company from Poland, and the work was also done by Poles, alleged friends of the owner, who disappeared from the construction site as soon as we showed up. They do not have the necessary permits and papers for the buildings where the works were found, while the house as a separate unit is legalized. The pool should not even be located there because the boundary of the maritime domain has not been determined. They submitted additional documents to us, but none of that covers the works, so we are sending a construction inspection," said the city administration of Trogir.

Fortunately, not only was this taken care of but everything was brought to an even larger institution - the Ministry of the Sea, so the employees of the Port Authority of Split were ordered from the relevant headquarters to go out on the field:

"Please, on the basis of the application, perform an inspection, suspend further construction on the maritime domain, and prohibit the use and economic use, place an official prohibition sign, all in accordance with Article 43 of the Port Authorities Act!

All institutions, from the local, regional, and state level, reacted efficiently and quickly, with united forces, and now, after the ban on the works, we are waiting for the famous one - the return to its original state!

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

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Trogir, a Tourist Destination Transformed Thanks to the Ciovo Bridge

February 29, 2020 - As tourist destinations grapple with more and more tourist traffic, how the new Ciovo bridge returned Trogir to its former glory without the Ciovo traffic. 

The Dalmatian coast is blessed with seemingly endless picturesque stone, walled towns and cities, each one a must-see - Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Primosten, Sibenik and Zadar, to name but a few. But come back in the peak season, and the experience will be somewhat different. As much as I love Omis and all its fascinating history, I have better things to do with my summer than sitting in traffic trying to get there, and Dubrovnik is not an option for me after late May. And until two summers ago, there was another name that I would have included in that list of gorgeous destinations to be avoided in peak season.

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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. 

But that all changed in the summer of 2018. 

Just a few minutes from Split Airport, and the ideal welcome and departure overnight stay for a Dalmatian holiday with no airport transfer stress, the old town of Trogir is one of Croatia's cutest and most compact heritage destinations. Itself a small island, its tourism fate has been inextricably linked to the larger island of Ciovo in recent decades. Tourism in Ciovo has exploded in recent years, and there has been considerable construction of new apartments, with the only access by land across the small Venetian bridge next to Trogir old town.   

The result was tourism chaos, huge queues, and much frustration for those heading to Ciovo and Trogir alike.

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This 1962 photo above is a nice comparison to the more recent one below. The lovely old town of Trogir has not changed that much at all in almost 60 years, while across the water on Ciovo, the tourism expansion has been significant. 

The one thing that certainly did not change, despite decades of talk and promises, was the infrastructure. The only Ciovo bridge access was the small original crossing. If another solution could be found to rid Trogir of the considerable Ciovo through traffic, could we see a return to the Trogir as It Once Was? 

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A new Ciovo bridge was finally announced and, after several false starts, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic opened the new 207 million kuna bridge in July 2018, 85% of which was financed by the EU.  

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You can get an idea of the before and after from these two photos, above and below. 

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The new bridge, which is between Trogir and both Split and its airport, means that all that traffic which used to clog up Trogir in season, does not even come close to the town, heading straight across the new Ciovo bridge, leaving locals and Trogir tourists who want to pop over to Ciovo along the old bridge with a much more pleasant experience. 

Trogir as it once was. 

Trogir Mayor Ante Bilic told TCN not only about the difference the new bridge has made, but what other traffic improvements are in the works: 

The new bridge has completely changed how Trogir functions, especially during the tourist season. It's going to be 2 years in July since the grand opening, and we've almost forgotten how our lives were complicated on a daily basis before the bridge was built. Still, we are very thankful for this important traffic solution which made our lives easier and with more quality, not to mention how much more convenient it is for thousands of tourists visiting Trogir.

I believe the new bridge was also a symbolic beginning of a new era for our town. Trogir, of course, needs more traffic investments and solutions to make it even more seamless. Our partners such as Hrvatske Ceste and Županijske Ceste have some great new plans for us in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the reconstruction of the town's western entrance, via Seget, which is a priority and then the main Čiovo road, from the old Bridge to Slatine. Maybe the most interesting project is making the old stone bridge a pedestrian area and building a new, small bridge starting from the bus station, that will connect the mainland with the old town peninsula. For sure, we have solved our critical traffic problem with the new Čiovo bridge but we are looking forward to new traffic projects.

Excellent stuff, and exciting times for Trogir, which recently launched its new branding, Trogir, Marked by Masters. 

TCN, in association with the Trogir Tourist Board, will be covering this exciting destination in greater detail throughout 2020, and you can follow the latest on our dedicated TCN Trogir page

Friday, 10 January 2020

Trogir Flooded Twice in 2019: Seaboard Repairs Not Enough

In ten days, repairs will begin on a damaged section of the Čiovo seaboard in Trogir. Therefore, Čiovo residents will finally have seventy meters of their damaged and destroyed seaboard repaired, but repairs won't be enough, the city's mayor warns.

Trogir is a historic town and harbor on the Adriatic coast in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia, and has a total municipal population of 13,260. The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. It is located 27 kilometers west of the city of Split.

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Trogir | Wikimedia Commons

The historic center of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites for its Venetian architecture since 1997.

“This investment is worth around 500,000 HRK (67,100 EUR). We had a problem with a ship which was illegally docked, but we have resolved it and the project should be finished in three months. In addition, we plan to make additional improvements the seaboard, port authority and town square,” said Ante Bilić, the mayor of Trogir.

Both the Čiovo and Trogir shorelines ended up underwater twice last year, in November and December. Many other Dalmatian cities have been experiencing similar fates according to HRT on January 9, 2020. Extreme windstorms (Bora), heavy rainfall and a sudden rise in sea level could be disastrous for coastal areas.

“It has happened in the past, but not as frequently. This can hardly be solved by raising the seaboard level because flooding also occurs from catchment and stormwater. We need to discuss these issues at the state level and with ministry of the environment, because this is everyone’s problem,” explained Mayor Bilić.

Scientists have been warning that sea levels could rise from 40 to 120 centimeters in the next hundred years. Without serious investment into preventative projects, the question is who will end up in the "front row to the sea."

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on environmental concerns and the effects of climate change in Croatia.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

He Did It! RokOtok 2019 Completed as Ribafish Swims to Ciovo. Congratulations! (VIDEOS)

July 30, 2019 - The most heartwarming project on the Croatian coast comes to a successful conclusion as Ribafish swims into Ciovo for the end of Rokotok 2019. 

One man. 

One promise.

Twenty-four days.

Seventeen islands.

Thousands of lives touched in a positive way. 

No need for words from me (if you are wondering what I am writing about check out RokOtok by Ribafish: The Most Heartwarming Project in Croatia in 2019). 

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We salute you, Ribafish!

And the rest we leave to videos of the last swim today to Ciovo. 

The arrival. 

And the last hundreds of lives to be touched during RokOtok 2019. But keep following the project for RokOtok 2020.  

 

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Monday, 29 July 2019

Welcome Heroic Ribafish at RokOtok Finish at Okrug Gornji, Ciovo Tomorrow!

RokOtok, the 2019 edition will come to an end on July 30, 2019, as the phenomenal Ribafish arrives on Ciovo as part of a 3-year mission to honour a promise to his son. Be there!

I am still laughing. And crying. 

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What a guy! As I wrote in a recent article, RokOtok by Ribafish: The Most Heartwarming Project in Croatia in 2019, I met a guy a few days ago who changed my life a little at the age of 50. As he has been changing and inspiring the lives of thousands of others on Dalmatia's islands on a very unique project. 

(I REALLY encourage you to watch this interview)

Not having the money to take his son to Disneyland, Ribafish promised his son that he would take him in time to all 50 of Croatia's inhabited islands and discover their country instead. Father and son had done 8 of the 50 islands when son Rok tragically died, aged just 12. 

People deal with loss and pain in different ways, and Ribafish decided to channel his energies in a positive direction. After sprinkling Rok's ashes in the Adriatic near their favourite beach, he decided to honour his promise to Rok and swim between the 50 inhabited islands of Croatia over three summers, with 17 islands in this, the first year. With his ashes in the sea, Rok would be constantly by his side. 

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But Ribafish went a little further with his RokOtok project. At every island, he gathers the children (from 30 to over 100) and talks to them about the environment, the importance of family time and nature, away from gadgets. There is a treasure hunt and each child receives a free copy of the book he wrote about conversations he had with Rok, which he asks them to read. It is a wonderful touch, and my kids were not the only ones who came home inspired by this man. 

RokOtok, the 2019 edition will reach its 17th and final island tomorrow, as Ribafish swims from Drvenik Veli to Ciovo. A superhuman effort, and  I am sure it will be quite a party. 

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The Ribafish welcome party will take place at Lucica Toc, Okrug Gornji, Ciovo at 18.00, so if you are anywhere in the area, go and support this man and project. 

I doubt there will be 550,000 people turning up as there were to welcome home the World Cup winners in Zagreb last July, but there should be, for the achievement is on the same level for me. 

Swim well, Ribafish, and thanks for touching so many hearts. 

You can follow the RokOtok project on Facebook

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Full disclosure - My article about Ribafish and the RokOtok project was supposed to be about his swim as far as Jelsa, as a friend of mine is in the support crew and asked if she could write an article. That was days ago, but I will publish it below to pay tribute to those - and many others - who have helped make this project a success. In the words of Gorana Gytha Galic (written around the time of the Jelsa arrival):

As you know, from previous TCN articles about the Rokotok project, here is a brief summary of islands so far connected.

The adventure started on July 6 from Dubrovnik and the first island with the Rokotok flag was Koločep.  Other islands which have been connected are Lopud, Šipan, Mljet, Korčula, Lastovo, Šćedro, Hvar, Vis, Budikovac and Biševo island.

The hardest swimming part was between Mljet and Korčula. There was a bura wind which blew between 18 and  20 knots and east Kurenat between 0.8 knots. Waves were between 1.50 to 3 meters. It took about 6 hours to swim the destination between Mljet and Korčula. That was the longest and hardest stage. Another long stage was between Hvar and Vis which took 5 hours.

The boat which is following Ribafish on his adventure is sailboat Bavaria 46 named Mango.

The captain of the boat from day one to day 17 was Lovre Uroda, who has a great spirit of adventure. From day 17 onwards the substitute captain is Dominik Perkovic.

The support crew had a couple of changes through the adventure. From the beginning to the end with Ribafish is head of organisation Kasandra Draganić. The medic in charge of Ribafish’s health from Dubrovnik to Šipan and from Korčula to Hvar was Marija Štanjel. Lifeguard on the board from Dubrovnik to Korčula was Ivan Jurić from Red Cross Dubrovnik. The cameraman who followed Rokotok from Šipan to Hvar was Igor Bogdanović.  

The medic from Šipan to Korčula island was Ena Kurtić. Todor Jurjević is lifeguard from Red Cross Dubrovnik and he was part of the crew from Korčula to Lastovo.

On Hvar, Ana Štanfel joined as a new medic, as designated lifeguard Nikola Stračárová joined from Red Cross Split and Gorana Galić as an assistant around the boat and activities. 

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On each island, Ribafish and Rokotok were greeted by approx. 30 to 200 children. After Ribafish talked to children about the ecology and importance of speaking and doing activities with their parents, they went on a  treasure hunt and afterwards, gifts were given to the children.

Islands yet to be connected this year are Brač, Šolta, Drvenik Veli, Drvenik Mali and Čiovo island where a big party will be organised for Rokotok at Okrug Gornji. At Čiovo island many people who support the Rokotok but couldn’t participate will join Ribafish and Rokotok event.  Island Čiovo is the last island this year to be connected with Rokotok. The journey continues in Summer 2020.

And a little more info from Brac to Solta:

The guys who followed Ribafish today were members of the waterpolo veterans club, Stari As: Stanko Mašković 1981, commander of  HRM rocket ship ( zapovjednik raketne topovnjače HRM) ; Hrvoje Barbir 1984, magister of IT;  Marin Burič 1983, tour guide; Ivan Jurić 1995, lifeguard.

It took 16 mins to cross the channel between Brač and Šolta, it could be faster but currents didn't allow, and there was a lot of traffic in the channel. For safety reasons we were followed by HGSS boat.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Čiovo Bridge Opened

After long delays, the bridge between the island of Čiovo and Trogir on the mainland has been officially inaugurated.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Bridge Between Čiovo and Trogir to Finally Open Next Week?

It isn't quite Pelješac Bridge, but it is yet another we've been waiting a long time for.

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