Saturday, 5 June 2021

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Iž Island

June 6, 2021 - Croatia is known as the "land of a thousand islands" and yet, only a handful are popular and visited by tourists. There are so many more islands to discover in Croatia, and one of them is the quaint but highly underrated Iž Island with only 500 inhabitants.

I found out about the island of Iž because my very first friend in Croatia who is now one of my best friends was born and raised there. I met her for the first time when we both attended a violin masterclass workshop in Kaštela and she asked me and my Croatian husband if we could drop her off at where she was temporarily staying in Split. On the car ride home, my husband asked her where her hometown is and she answered, "Iž". Judging by my husband's reaction, she easily sensed that he has never heard of this place before and so she explained further, "it is a small island near Zadar and it is not very known because there are only around 500 people who live there and there is fewer every year." From then on, I have always been fond of visiting the small islands in Croatia and learning about the islanders' unique way of life. Coming from the city of Manila (Philippines),  which has a highly dense population of 24 million people, it was unimaginable for me to live on a small island where only a few hundred people reside; but after spending two blissful summers on Iž, it turned out that life on a quaint and unspoiled island is astonishingly delightful!

 #1 - Enjoy summer without the hustle and bustle of tourists

Located within both the Zadar and Kornati archipelago, Iž is nestled between the islands of Ugljan and Dugi Otok and can be reached daily by catamaran and ferry from Zadar.  Iž is surrounded by many islets and private beaches so it is an ideal destination for relaxing and tranquil getaways. The island is divided into two villages - Mali Iž and Veli Iž. In Veli Iž, you can find two shops, a couple of bars and taverns that open in summer, a small marina, and the church of St. Peter and Paul from the 14th century. Even in summer, the island doesn't get too crowded because most of the tourists go to nearby islands like Ugljan and Preko because they are closer to Zadar and are more accessible. Because of this, you can easily find a private corner by the sea on Iž and enjoy a quiet time for yourself. The island is also great for hiking because of the asphalt paths and roads that connect the whole island. To enjoy the views of this island, you can hike to the top of Korinjak which is the highest peak on Iž with a height of 168 meters. From that viewpoint, you can see the nearby islands such as Dugi Otok and Rava.

#2 - Vegetarian and vegan-friendly

In Veli Iž, you can find the Korinjak Hotel and Camp which is the only purely vegetarian hotel in the Dalmatian region. It offers Meditteranean-inspired vegetarian cuisine to its guest including raw food dishes, fruit and vegetable smoothies, gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan meals. It is a popular destination for long-time vegetarians and to those who are looking to change their diet and detox their bodies through various holistic retreats and workshops that are conducted in this hotel every summer including meditation, relaxation therapies for mind-body energy, yoga classes, pyramid meditation and sound, and organ therapies. The hotel also offers excursions and boat trips to hidden bays and secluded nearby islets where visitors can enjoy their own private beach and islet for the day.

 

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Moon gong retreat in Hotel Korinjak | Photo by: Kyla Ibero

 

#3 - Explore the island's rich and long history

The island of Iž has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Here, you can find traces of an Illyrian hillfort and Roma settlement. Previously named "Ez" by Emperor Constantine VII, the island was under the rule of the Zadar medieval commune but after a long feud, it was given to the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary and eventually ended up being owned by the Zadar aristocracy. Due to its long history, you can find architecture from as early as the 11th century such as the Church of St. Mary, located at the top of Mali Iž. Beside it stands a parish church which was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century.  Records of the earliest Croatian settlers from the year 1266 can be found on this island, too. Iž also holds a thousand-year Glagolithic history. The parishes in both Veli and Mali Iž used to celebrate the earliest Roman Rites in the Old Church Slavonic Language, not in Latin, and based it on the liturgical books from the old Croatian Glagolitic scripts. The most recent discovery of a Glagolitic inscription was from this island at the family house of Švorinić and it was a Glagolitic inscription in stone that dates back from 1685. There are as well a lot of Glagolitic manuscripts, liturgical books, and stone epigraphs currently preserved in Iž.

#4 - Enjoy traditional pottery-making and local homemade products

The island of Iž has a long-standing culture of traditional pottery making. A special clay pot called "Iśki Lopiž" is only found on this island. This pot was traditionally used for storing olive oil and traditional kitchen condiments. It is also traditionally used for making stews on Iž because it adds a special and delicate flavour to the dish. In Veli Iž, you can find an ethnographic collection of traditional ceramics, tools, and pottery. The island is also famous for producing excellent quality olive oil, homemade vinegar, and natural soaps!

#6 - Join in the fun summer and winter events

During summer, a traditional game on Iž called "pošimpijada" is played by the locals. It is a fun competition between participants who live in the southern part of the island (team Jugo) and participants who live in the northwestern part of the island (team Zmorac). They compete in various games such as sack race, rope pulling, chess, and water basketball. Every July 29, Veli Iž celebrates Iška fešta where locals dress in traditional costumes, prepare local dishes, and perform old island dances and songs. During the festival, they also elect the King of Iž, Rava, and Lavdara. After the election, the fiesta would commence and popular singers like Oliver Dragojević, Giuliano, and Dino Dvornik would come and perform. Also during summer, a lot of concerts and theatre plays are conducted on the island. Since the winter of 2017, the island of Iž has been importing trucks of snow every winter from Lika and creates a small ski resort that has a length of 60-metres. This brings great joy to the locals during winter and few tourists who come to the island to ski.

 

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Outdoor summer concert in Iž with The Hague Chamber Orchestra | Photo by: Kyla Ibero

 

#7 - Authentic gastronomy

A lot of konobas and restaurants open on Iž for the summer. Since the island relies on both agriculture and fishing, the food is always offered fresh and of top quality. The cost of dining here is also relatively cheaper than other islands, for example, a plate of freshly-caught grilled seafood costs around 70HRK. The konobas and restaurants on this island all have their own special house wine. The traditional Dalmatian-cuisine which is called "brudet" is prepared on Iž with an added twist since they use their special traditional clay pot which is the "Iški Lopiž" and this heightens and elevates this dish to another level. CLICK HERE for the recipe of the traditional stew cooked in Iž using the special Iški Lopiž.

 

Life of a Local on Iž

My friend and a local of Iž, Tena Milinčić, shares with us the way of life in this small and secluded island because to spend a summer on Iž and to permanently live there are two completely different experiences. 

Since there are only a few hundred people living on Iž, there are a few things that you cannot find on this island. First, there is no pharmacy - and the locals are kind of used to it. If they need to buy some medicine, they would have to take a ferry to Zadar or they would ask someone whom they know who is in Zadar to send it to them to Iž. There is a small ambulanta (clinic) on the island but it is not very well equipped. You cannot buy any medicine there and the doctor works only twice a week in Veli Iž and twice a week in Mali Iž. 

There are also only 2 small shops on the island so the locals are accustomed to taking the ferry to Zadar to shop for their household needs and to get other services that are unavailable on the island such as printing services and hospital/clinical services.

The schools and students are slowly disappearing, too. Nowadays, on the island, there is only an elementary school up until the 8th grade. There are only around 8 students in the entire school. Not even a vrtić (kindergarten) is open because there are not enough kids on the island to attend it. This is really sad and unfortunate because there used to be a lot of educational establishments on the island especially during the war when a lot of people migrated to the island to avoid the conflict. For high school and university, locals leave the island and usually go to Zadar and other main cities in Croatia to continue their studies.

Life on this island can be sometimes idle, but in this place, you can find freedom and tranquility. The bond within the community is strong and the locals are friendly and helpful, too!

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

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Sunday, 19 April 2020

Escapes To Croatian Islands Fall, Association Hopes It Stays That Way

April 19, 2020 — Within days after Italy's country-wide coronavirus lockdown, a few of the country's boat owners sailed for Croatia's coast to avoid the infection in their own country. They arrived in marinas, on island harbors and spent a week galavanting around Zadar's archipelago while local police responded to reports of unregistered foreigners. Some even escaped via ferry to their weekend homes off the Croatian coast, before the government prohibited non-residents from going to islands.

Those days appear to be over. For now.

The early trickle of new arrivals did not become a flood, according to the head of Zadar's Civil Protection Directorate, Šime Vicković. In fact, the number of new arrivals — nautical or otherwise — has fallen close to zero, he told Zadarski List.

The problems first began with boats sailing under Italian flags arriving at Dugi Otok in the first half of March, in some cases overnighting in the Telascica Nature Park before locals reported them to police.

Tensions grew as several Italians and Slovenes took up residence in summer homes on the Dugi Otok. Neighboring islands reported a similar influx of locals during the early stages of Croatia's coronavirus response. Their compatriots did not follow them.

"All these reports are controlled by the Maritime Police, and our headquarters had a report on boaters coming to Sali, but since then we have no more reports," Vicković told Zadarski. "Those who have entered our waters are monitored by the police, warning them that they are obliged to check in if they remain here in their property and, of course, to go into self-isolation."

Croatia's islanders, or boduli, expressed dismay over the unexpected arrivals. Many were not registering with Croatia's eVisitor system, living off the radar of authorities and giving a rosier picture of the state of the islands.

Locals also worried about their population, which skews towards pensioners and those most susceptible to the virus.

The situation is, however, much different now, especially since the number of those infected is in a slight decline. The national Civil Protection Directorate's decision to prevent non-residents from traveling to islands prevented Croats, Slovenes and Italians fleeing to their vacation homes. The move may have prevented outbreaks on islands.

The president of the Croatian Islands Association, Denis Baric, appealed to the authorities to continue to protect islanders as the government mulls loosening restrictions.

"Following the situation, we must appeal to the competent authorities to do everything possible to protect our islanders, who, due to their age, are the largest crisis group," he wrote in a statement. "We are aware that every day that business owners do not work has a direct impact on their survival, and presents a direct threat to their employees. We are all anxious today for our future existence, but we are determined that we will put the life and health of every individual first."

For now, only persons residing on the islands are allowed to purchase ferry tickets to go to islands, as well as those with ePasses. The latter has become a point of contention for some, as newer faces with tenuous connections to islands show up.

Barić said the islands had a strong network to help the elderly, benefiting from the sort of small-town environment where everyone knows everyone. The Islander association said allowing non-residents to migrate to islands at this moment is akin to allowing COVID-19 to spread on Croatia's islands.

The perception of a Croatian island as an oasis against COVID-19 remains true, with the exception of Murter. Infections along the Adriatic remain relatively low, compared to larger urban centers.

"We cannot help but look back and urge the authorities to do everything possible to protect our islanders, who are the largest crisis group because of their age structure," Barić said.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Construction of Sewage System on Island of Lopud Underway

As Morski writes on the 26th of January, 2020, two underground sewage pumping stations, five kilometres of new pipelines and a submarine outfall, as well as a wastewater treatment plant will soon be constructed on the island of Lopud, just northwest of Dubrovnik.

A contract for the construction of the sewage system, worth 12 million kuna in total, was signed today between a representative of the Dubrovnik water supply company as the investor, and the Zagreb-based company Energoherc as the contractor. The signing of the contract was also attended by the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic (HDZ).

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic said he was pleased to sign the third contract for the construction of a sewage network in the area of the City of Dubrovnik, on this occasion the island of Lopud, in such a short time.

''What's a particular pleasure is the fact that we're starting with the first Elaphite island, on which one of the most important problems is the lack of a sewage network. The fact is that our tourism rests on the clean sea, and this cannot be the backbone [of Croatian tourism] if there's no sewerage network in the City of Dubrovnik.

That's why it is extremely important to solve this issue for all of the Elaphite islands, and solve the question of all of the sewage network in the city. The island of Lopud's sewer network is the first operation to start this year,'' said the Mayor before thanking the aforementioned investor for another initiated investment, and Croatian Waters (Hrvatske vode), which provided part of the funds and is following this extremely important project. He asked the residents of the island of Lopud for their patience while performing the works.

''The island of Lopud is a tourist destination, but the fact is that during the season a small part of the work can still be performed without being a burden on the season itself. Without the patience and understanding of the residents, it's difficult to get the works done on time and with quality. But I believe we can all be happy because Lopud will get a quality sewer network. They will no longer be burdened by these problems that have plagued them on a daily basis,'' said Mayor Frankovic.

On behalf of the Dubrovnik water company as investor, the contract was signed by the President of the management board, Luksa Matusic.

''This is an extremely important investment for us. Lopud is the first of the Elaphite islands to receive a sewage system. The other islands are of no less importance to us, but we've resolved all of the property-legal relations and obtained a building permit here,'' said Matusic on this occasion, emphasising that this investment is being embarked on in cooperation with Croatian Waters and will endeavor to finish it as soon as possible.

He also touched on the wastewater problems that the residents of the island of Lopud have been suffering from for the last fifteen years and pointed out that the investor has been assisting as much as it can in the last two seasons, although it doesn't have any infrastructure in its ownership.

''After Lopud, I hope that Sudjuradj will be next, in cooperation with the City of Dubrovnik, which has some of its investments planned there. Kolocep and Sipanska Luka are after Sudjuradj, for which we have a building permit. Nobody is less important to us, but here we have all the prerequisites for investing immediately after signing the contract,'' explained Matusic.

The contractor is, as mentioned previously, Energoherc, whose director Ante Simic points out that Dubrovnik, when it comes to functioning, should be an example to the rest of Croatia, which obliges them as contractors to do the job with high quality and within the given deadlines.

According to the announcement, the first machines to carry out the works on the island of Lopud can be expected as of February the 1st, 2020.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Isolation as Zirje Has No Internet or Phone Connection for One Month

While life on an isolated Croatian island, away from the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland might look like a dream, the reality is often a stark contrast. These gorgeous islands, of which Croatia has more than 1,000 in total, are dotted along the glorious coastline like rough emerald gems, some are inhabited and some aren't, but the islanders have it far from easy. Zirje is just one example.

As Jurica Gaspar/Morski writes on the 4th of January, 2020, more complaints have come from Sibenik city councillor and environmental activist Anton Dobra after a series of traffic problems affecting the island of Zirje. This time, the complains have been about another, rather pressing problem; there has been no telephone signal and internet connection on Zirje for a month now. And we're now very deeply in the 21st century.

“Greetings from one of Zirje's peaks. What a wonderful view of the Kornati islands. Now, they're all going to say, ah, look at that Dobra guy, how he's taking photos of the sunset again, he's really gone mad.

But it's the morning, the bura has blown, it's freezing, and there's not so much as a seagull to be seen, let alone hear. But, there's a telephone signal and internet connection at the top of this peak. God forbid you slip and fall down this cliff, who would you call when your connection to the world from the island of Zirje has been gone for weeks? So, if you are thinking of falling down and breaking your leg a bit then you have to do it from up at the top of the hill.

For the past three weeks, I've been hunting squid from here, at 100 metres in height, and I must add that I've not managed to catch any, but I do it because at least here I'm sure that if my fuel runs out I can call someone for help. So, if any of you people know anyone from t-com, tell them there's been no mobile network for weeks. I mean... we don't have shops and ships when the bura blows, but for even our phone network disappear in the winter, well, you just can't believe it,'' Dobra wrote on social media.

Nevertheless, Morski were actually able to contact him, but as he says, that was only because he climbed to the top of the hill to grab some phone signal.

''I'm at the top of the hill now, the top of this hill in my car is practically my office now. I come in the morning and evening to browse through my emails. I'm shocked and sad that in the 21st century there's simply no telephone and internet signal on most of the island of Zirje. God forbid something happens...'' then Morski and Dobra were disconnected, and indeed until the conclusion of the original article, they were not able to reach him again.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

MEP Picula: Rural Areas and Islands Also Included in Green Deal

ZAGREB, December 12, 2019 - Over the next two years the EU will provide an additional 4 million euro to finance the transition of rural areas and islands to clean energy sources, following an initiative by Croatian MEP Tonino Picula. Through the European Green Deal, currently the most important EU document, the European Commission has decided to focus special attention on rural areas and islands, bearing in mind their exposure to climate change and natural disasters as well as the extraordinary potential for a transition to renewable energy sources that they have, Picula's office said in a press release on Thursday.

Seven months ago, Picula put forward two amendments to the EU budget, each worth 2 million euro. One concerned his initiative for the transition of islands to clean energy sources, which he launched four years ago, while the other proposed applying the same model to rural areas.

After an evaluation by the Commission and lengthy negotiations within the European Parliament and with the Council, the amendments have also been adopted through the EU budgets for 2020 and 2021.

As many as ten Croatian Adriatic islands, namely Cres, Ilovik, Lošinj, Male Srakane, Velike Srakane, Susak, Unije, Brač, Hvar and Korčula, are currently implementing preparatory projects for the transition to clean energy.

More island news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

MEP Picula: Two Million Euros for Energy Transition on Croatian Islands

As Morski writes on the 20th of November, 2019, at a recent Clean Energy Forum for EU islands, which was held in Croatia for the first time, Croatian MEP Tonino Picula presented the priorities and long-term initiatives of the European Parliament to finance the EU's energy transition.

''An agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament on the budget for 2020 secured through the action plan a new two million euros for technical assistance to the islands for applications for European renewable energy projects in the next two years,'' the Croatian MEP confirmed, who then delivered a speech in Split at the fourth Clean Energy Forum for EU Islands, which is being held in the presence of senior Croatian officials, as well as officials from other EU member states.

However, this is not the only piece of good news about European and Croatian islands to come to light, as representatives of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago announced their strategy and transition plan for clean energy within the Forum, with the aim to switch exclusively to renewable energy by 2040, which will be achieved in part by local community-owned solar power plants.

The Cres-Lošinj archipelago is among the six European islands to have recently announced their strategies and transition plans, the others being the Aran Islands (Ireland), Culatra (Portugal), La Palma (Spain), Salina (Italy) and Sifnos (Greece). The Forum will showcase a number of examples of good practice and foster dialogue between the various actors involved in the energy transition process of European islands, and participants will have the opportunity to see different technological solutions.

Picula welcomed the initiative by the Croatian islanders, who from the ten islands involved in the previous call for funding energy transition projects are now the leaders on a European scale.

However, he stressed that the sustainability of the European islands' energy transition requires both long-term and appropriate funding for complex, comprehensive projects and adequate investment in research and innovation to devise workable solutions to facilitate this energy transition, adding that he hoped that talks on the long-term financing of the energy transition of Croatian islands will begin during the Croatian Presidency of the Union in 2020.

''In its interim report on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021 - 2027, the European Parliament proposed the introduction of a special fund of 4.8 billion euros for a new European Union energy transition. These funds would facilitate and offset the transition to renewable energy for those most affected by the transition. The aim of the Fund would be to address social, socio-economic and environmental impacts on workers and communities during the transition, which also implies many EU islands,'' Picula emphasised in his speech.

Picula has been a focus of action since the start of his first term in the European Parliament. Back in 2016, he and his colleague A. Sant presented an Action Plan and submitted an amendment worth 2 million euros to the European budget, with the aim of securing funding for the energy transition of Croatian (and EU) islands.

The lengthy negotiations within the Parliament itself, as well as discussions with the Commission and the Council, led to the inauguration of the Islands Secretariat - the first working body dedicated solely to the islands. The Secretariat was set up within the European Commission in June 2018 and presented in Brussels. It is the first working body in EU history exclusively available to islanders.

MEP Picula has been working to preserve and improve life on the islands since the beginning of his term.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Parents of Island Children with Developmental Problems Demand Free Ferry Transport

ZAGREB, July 6, 2019 - Around 300 protesters rallied in Supetar on the southern island of Brač on Saturday demanding free ferry transport for children with developmental problems who live on islands and receive their therapy on the mainland.

The protesters blocked the passage of passengers and vehicles disembarking a ferry that arrived from Split for 120 seconds as a warning that parents from Brač who have children with developmental problems have been fighting for their children's right to free ferry transport for 120 months.

The leader of the local association of parents whose children have developmental problems, Maja Bonačić-Proti, said that they had been given promises many times that the relevant legislation would be amended to secure the right to free ferry transport for their children.

Even if amendments to that effect are put forward in the parliament in October, it will take three to six months to adopt them, she said.

"In the meantime, our costs are growing bigger and bigger. There has been enough of waiting, we want the relevant legal amendment be adopted under fast-track procedure so that we can get not only the right to free ferry transport, but also the possibility to live in dignity," she said.

A member of the association, Mate Mladin, said that there were 83 children with developmental problems on central Dalmatian islands and that around 300 children with developmental problems were estimated to live on all Croatian islands.

He said that a return ferry ticket from Brač to Split cost 200 kuna (approx. 27 euros), including fare car transport, which he said was essential for parents with children with developmental problems.

Since some of the children need to receive therapy several times a week, their ferry costs exceed 3,000 kuna (405.40 euro) a month, he said, adding that the cost of ferry transport was even higher for people who lived on the more remote islands.

A large number of parents whose children have developmental problems barely cover their basic living costs, he said.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Three Croatian Islands to Take Part in Maritime Heritage Festival in France

ZAGREB, May 25, 2019 - The Croatian islands of Murter, Hvar and Ugljan will be representing Croatia at the European festival of maritime heritage "Morbihan Week 2019", to be held in the French city of Vannes on May 27 - June 2, with an exhibition called "Croatia - Where Masts Write Stories".

The Croatian exhibition will be organised by the Split-based Cronaves association for the promotion of Croatian maritime heritage, and the maritime heritage of the three islands will be presented by the island towns of Betina, Vrboska and Preko.

The Croatian exhibition at the 10th festival of maritime heritage in the Gulf of Morbihan, in the north-western French region of Brittany, will be held as part of the pavilion "Le Grand Comptoir des Fêtes Maritimes d’Europe", said Plamenko Bavčević of Cronaves.

One of the reasons why the festival organisers invited Croatian participants this year is the festival of the sea and seamen in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, which will be presented at the festival, said Bavčević.

"We want as many French guests as possible to visit Hvar, and since Cronaves promotes the entire Adriatic coast evenly... the programme of this year's presentation also includes the Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding from Betina, the Jelsa Municipal Museum, the Lantina association from Vrboska, and Preko municipality on the island of Ugljan and its "Dom na žalu" institution of higher adult education, which have prepared a very interesting exhibition on small builders of wooden vessels," Bavčević said.

He added that the Gulf of Morbihan Week was visited by around 500,000 people and that around 1200 vessels from several European countries participated in the final parade in the Atlantic, which was why a large number of visitors was expected at the Croatian pavilion.

The head of the Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding, Kate Šikić Čubrić, said that presentation of Croatian maritime heritage at festivals of this type was important for the perception of Croatia as a country that lives with its sea. "Our vessels are unique in many ways and are an important part of the Mediterranean maritime heritage," she said.

The Croatian tourism sector, notably its marinas, will be presented in Vannes as well because Croatia is recognised in France as one of the best sailing destinations.

More news about Croatian islands can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Korčula and Lastovo Protest Lack of Transport Links

Due to the lack of transport links to the western part of the island of Korčula and the island of Lastovo, mayors of municipalities of Vela Luka, Blato, Smokvica and Lastovo have sent an open letter to Jadrolinija's CEO David Sopta, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, and Member of Parliament Branko Bačić, reports Dalmacija Danas on April 25, 2019.

“The island of Korčula is one of the most populated Croatian islands without a physical link to the mainland, while the inhabitants of the island of Lastovo and the western part of the island of Korčula are some of the most isolated ones, if we take into consideration time needed for them to reach their county seats. For this reason, most residents gravitate towards the county seat of the neighbouring county, which is connected with the islands by ferry and catamaran lines. For years these lines have been neglected, both qualitatively (types of vessels) and quantitatively (number of lines). Although fast and with excellent manoeuvring capabilities, the Lastovo ferry no longer has enough capacity for this line, and it could surely serve its purpose better on some other island line.

Accordingly, on January 28, 2019, a meeting was held in Dubrovnik on the topic of solving the problems of the (non-)existence of transport links to the islands in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, especially fast-ship and ferry connections to Vela Luka and Lastovo, initiated by Member of Parliament Branko Bačić.

Four significant conclusions were agreed upon at the meeting: It is necessary for Jadrolinija to immediately start the process of purchasing a used ship for the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo line, and continue towards constructing a new ship for the same line. The participants also fully supported the construction of eight local- and county-level ports in the area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It was established that the Jelena catamaran, the only one with the necessary maritime capabilities, should be permanently devoted to the Split-Vela Luka-Lastovo route. There is also the need for the fast-ship Dubrovnik-Lastovo line, for which the government has already given its consent, to be converted into a daily line to improve connections between Lastovo and the county seat, and to make it possible for high school students to attend the secondary school in Korčula, which is the wish of parents from Lastovo.

Given that we have received unofficial information that the purchase of the used vessel Panorama for the Split-Vela Luka- Ubli line has failed, and that the Jelena catamaran will no longer be used for the Split-Hvar-Vela Luka-Ubli route, please let us know as soon as possible whether this information is accurate and what is the plan for the tourist season that has already begun. We also ask you to reconsider the decisions mentioned above, so that in 2019 the inhabitants of the islands of Lastovo and Korčula would no longer be treated as second-class citizens,” states the letter sent by local officials.

Translated from Dalmacija Danas.

More Croatian island news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Croatia to Promote Maritime Heritage at a Festival in France

ZAGREB, April 7, 2019 - A project titled "Croatia – Where Masts Write Stories", which will promote Croatia at a forthcoming European maritime festival in the French coastal town of Morbihan, was presented by Cronaves, an association for the promotion of Croatia's maritime heritage.

Following an invitation from the organisers of the festival "Gulf Week - Gulf of Morbihan", which will take place in the northwestern French region of Brittany from 27 May to 2 June, Croatia will promote its maritime heritage, the Cronaves chairman Plamenko Bavčić said.

He said that the purpose of attending this biennial festival is to increase the recognisability of Croatia as a maritime country.

Over a thousand boats gather in the Ascension week every two years to put on an extraordinary spectacle in one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the organisers say on the festival's website.

Croatia's programme includes the presentation of tradition of small shipbuilding from Betina on the island of Murter and from the islands of Hvar and Ugljan.

More news about Croatian islands can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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