Sunday, 3 July 2022

Overrated? Boring? Some Bizarre Complaints About Croatian Destinations

July the 3rd, 2022 - Croatian destinations are used to lying on their laurels and attracting praise across the board, but there are still people who aren't so impressed with what this country has to offer. From ''overrated'' Dubrovnik and ''busy'' Split to ''boring'' Rijeka and ''claustrophobic'' Makarska, here's what some less than thrilled visitors claim.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for some, Croatian destinations are pure paradise, for others, it's quite the opposite. The Republic of Croatia, just like any other country, evokes conflicting opinions when it comes to the definition of the quality of a destination. On forums, travel blogs and tourist-oriented portals, there are numerous polemics about Croatia to be read.

While for some, Croatian destinations are undiscovered sensations for a great holiday, with the dramatic coastline lapped by the clear blue Adriatic Sea and numerous islands, offering fair prices, fine food and good local wine - others accuse Croatia of being too hyped up. Let's look at some of the most common (and often rather odd) complaints about various Croatian destinations.

"Honestly? Croatia disappointed me. Yes, my expectations were high, and we also visited the most popular Croatian destinations during the busiest times, which could have affected my impression. The prices are lower than in, for example, Venice, but they're also lower in Verona. I didn't save a significant amount of money compared to what I'd need to spend in most Western European countries,'' claims American blogger Jenna, who chose the boiling month of August for her holiday, visiting Plitvice, Split, Dubrovnik, Peljesac and Korcula, writes punkufer.

"Crowded Split"

Tourists like the architecture of Split, but they say that it's impossible to enjoy it because of the huge crowds (have they ever visited Barcelona or Paris, we wonder...) They also complain about the driving of local buses where drivers apparently don't adhere to the rules and regulations, as well as ''unfriendly'' restaurant owners and staff.

"Unrefined Hvar"

"A beautiful island where the people aren't really the nicest, and the beaches are full of sea urchins and sharp rocks", think foreign tourists who for absolutely zero reason expected sandy coves, and we can only assume a dead and empty sea without any marine inhabitants to speak of. Visitors from other parts of Croatia, on the other hand, complain about the high prices of food and drinks, as well as apartments that aren't worth the money they're being rented out for. One of the criticisms was directed at the bike paths, which didn't meet expectations on a good part of the island.

"Overrated Dubrovnik"

One of the tourists who recently visited Dubrovnik believes that it's a waste of time and money to visit a place where everything worthwhile requires a boat to reach peaceful bays and islands. Dubrovnik is also the target of criticism because of the large crowds in the middle of the summer tourist season, which "reduces travel to waiting in line.'' Another bit of proof that it's very important to choose the ideal time for your trip to Croatian destinations, especially Dubrovnik. We aren't really sure why anyone would pick the height of the summer season and expect to be able to peacefully and comfortably see all it has to offer.

"Expensive Opatija''

For some it's fabulous, for others it's much too expensive as a destination with unattractive concrete beaches - Opatija is not for everyone. Tourists complain about the lack of entertainment facilities and good clubs, and Croatian tourists complain that the sea doesn't smell as nice as it does further the south in the country.

"Boring Rijeka''

"Industrial cities can be dynamic and full of interesting locations, but Rijeka just isn't like that at all," complain tourists who included it in their list of overrated places - and most likely only got to know it very superficially.

"Claustrophobic Makarska"

Although this area has plenty of beautiful beaches and wonderful views to boast of, the minus is the hordes of tourists whose towels you have to jump over on your way to the sea.

"Squeezing between French people who just keep on smoking one cigarette after the other and loud swimmers isn't an ideal way to relax," comments blogger Andrea from Australia.

"Zagreb the transit point"

"The best thing about Zagreb is the motorway down to the sea," wrote journalist Anne Haeming for the German Spiegel Online at one time, stating that Zagreb lacks entertainment. On forums, tourists often say that the city is nothing special because there are too few interesting events and locations.

"Lethargic Vir"

"My wife says that Vir has no soul," complains a Croatian tourist who was quite disappointed by this gorgeous island. Vir causes disapproval on many forums because of the ''atmosphere, too little shade, as well as unattractive new buildings.''

 

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

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Fit for a Queen: US Travel Channel Lists Nin Beach Among Most Beautiful

July the 3rd, 2022 - Croatian beaches are no strangers to magazines and portals listing them as among the most beautiful in the world, and while the Central Dalmatian island of Brac's well known Zlatni rat (Golden horn) beach is often getting the most limelight, one Nin beach, the Queen's beach (Kraljicina plaza) has caught the eye of the Americans.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a very interesting old legend is tied to the name of the aforementioned Nin beach, given that the sheer beauty of this long beach attracted the wife of the first Croatian king Tomislav, Jelena. When the pair came to Nin, they spent many warm family moments on this Nin beach, where Jelena discovered the benefits of its healing mud.

The long stretch of beach and calm shallow waters are perfect for family trips with children and those who want to enjoy a more tropical atmosphere on a beach quite unlike those typically found along the rugged and dramatic Croatian coastline. There are amusement parks for children and restaurants and cafes nearby, so you don't have to go far to enjoy a coffee or lunch with a view of the Nin lagoon and of the imposing Velebit mountain range.

The only problem with this particular Nin beach will be the lack of shade on offer, but for those who want to take advantage of the long, hot summer days and replenish their vitamin D stocks, this will only go hand in hand with their plans. For everyone else, there are umbrellas and sunbeds which offer an escape from the harsh rays.

For those who love activities, the Nin wind is suitable for windsurfing, and you can rent pedal boats or enjoy flying kites.

Near this stunning Nin beach is the largest known locality of naturally occurring healing mud in all of Croatia.

The healing mud was used by tens of thousands of visitors on summer mornings, and it was also used way back during Roman times. Queen Jelena herself allegedly used it.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Continental Croatian Tourism Blossoming This Tourist Season

June the 29th, 2022 - Continental Croatian tourism is blossoming this tourist season much like the rest of the country's tourism is, with returns to pre-pandemic levels being recorded across the board by this previously deeply hindered sector.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, continental Croatian tourism is waking up, and up in the north of Croatia, more precisely in gorgeous Medjimurje, things are almost at the level of the record year of 2019. Ivica Grudicek from HRT checked out the popular Terme Sveti Martin to see how they survived the global coronavirus pandemic, and also to see how they're managing to deal with the current problems - rising energy prices as a result of inflation and an ongoing lack of labour.

Nusa Korotaj, the general manager of Terme Sveti Martin, said that Terme Sveti Martin were a valuable asset back during the pandemic, and that now things are slowly returning to how they once were before that. As she explained, they have returned to the figures from back in 2019, and maybe the revenues will be even higher this year.

"We have to take into consideration that inflation is indeed high, so the cost side of things isn't even close to the period from back in 2019, it is a challenge for us and for all directors in the hotel industry," she emphasised, adding that before the global coronavirus pandemic, Croatian guests visiting Sveti Martin were the most numerous of all, with 60 percent of overnight stays being recorded by them, and all other overnight stays were guests from neighbouring countries. During the coronavirus pandemic and immediately afterwards, guests were mostly locals, but, as she now says, foreigners have started to return.

"We have a lot of guests from Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland," said Korotaj, which is a clear indication of continental Croatian tourism making a comeback.

The rise in energy prices is having a strong impact on business, and as Korotaj noted, this is currently the proverbial cancer wound of all of the country's hoteliers and managers, especially those with thermal capacities to boast of, because they are highly dependent on energy.

"As far as the workforce is concerned, our colleagues down on the coast are having some big problems, but the situation here at Sveti Martin it is different. The vast majority of employees are local people and they have been workinb here for many years. We also have several Indians and hard-working Ukrainian women employed here,'' she said, adding that they are ready and equipped to welcome the summer season.

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

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Million Overnight Stays Realised in Dubrovnik as Tourists Pour into City

June the 29th, 2022 - The City of Dubrovnik, Croatia's southernmost city and tourist Mecca, has realised one million overnight stays through the eVisitor system. Here's a look at which nationalities are making up the majority of this impressive figure.

As Morski writes, according to Croatia's highly praised eVisitor tourist check-in and check-out system, 1,029,182 overnight stays have been realised in the City of Dubrovnik from the beginning of the year to June the 25th, 2022, which is a very encouraging increase of 411 percent when compared to 2021, according to the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

In the same period, 324,117 arrivals were realised in the city, which is an increase of 415 percent when compared to the same period back in 2021. At the same time, foreign tourists made up 289,745 of these arrivals (595 percent more than in 2021) and 944,783 overnight stays (526 percent more than in 2021), while Croatian tourists made up 34,372 arrivals (62 percent more than in 2021), and 84,399 overnight stays (67 percent more than in 2021).

From January the 1st to June the 25th, 2022, the most numerous tourists staying in Dubrovnik were from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, the rest of Croatia, France, Ireland, neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Compared to the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019, from the beginning of 2022 to the end of June, Dubrovnik has now succeeded in realising about 63 percent of 2019's tourist traffic, as reported by local portal Dubrovnik dnevnik.

According to the types of accommodation being stayed in by tourists, from the beginning of this year to June the 25th, 169,049 arrivals were realised in Dubrovnik's many hotels (marking a 441 percent increase when compared to the same period back in 2021), and 92,592 arrivals in private accommodation (375 percent more). There were 579,848 overnight stays registered in the Pearl of the Adriatic's hotels (equal to an increase of 493 percent) and 334,769 overnight stays were registered in private accommodation (an increase of 349 percent compared to the same period back in 2021).

Currently, 18,237 tourists are staying in Dubrovnik, which is 154 percent more than in 2021 making up 83 percent of the realised tourist traffic compared to the same day back in pre-pandemic 2019. The most numerous guests are from: the United Kingdom, the United States of America, other parts of Croatia, Germany, Ireland, France, Norway, Finland, Spain and Poland.

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

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac Talks Tourism Success for 2022

June the 26th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has spoken about this year's summer tourist season, which by all indications is looking as if it will be an improvement even on the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac joined a recently shown programme of the N1 Studio live show from the City of Osijek in Eastern Croatia and revealed whether or not there is any fear regarding the figures related to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, whether or not there are expectations fot this to fluctuate during the very height of the summer and how this could affect tourism as we go forward.

"Croatia has developed the ''Safe stay'' project together with the Croatian National Institute of Public Health. All protocols in that regard have been agreed upon. That project is now at the level of recommendations. The novel coronavirus is still very much among us and that's why we must all continue to make sure we do adhere to the necessary (remaining) measures,'' said Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

She also pointed out that we must be careful not to find ourselves in the dark red zone on the ECDC map once again, which would be an enormous blow to what currently seems like an extremely promising main tourist season.

"Over recent years, we've proven to tourists and residents of this country alike with this project that we are a responsible tourist destination. We have to take care that we are not dark red on the map. According to the last map, we aren't and I think that together we can take care to not end up geting into that critical situation,'' she said.

Speaking about the tourist results so far in 2022, she said that at the end of June, the country had already passed 20 million registered overnight stays.

"These numbers are extremely good," she said, adding that now, the Republic of Croatia has some extremely important projects related to the extension of the tourist season in order to go towards year-round tourism to deal with and perfect.

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

First Concrete Croatian Tourism Data Arrives: 2019 Who?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Croatian Continental Tourism Offer Boosted With New Hiking Routes

June the 16th, 2022 - Croatian continental tourism has had yet another boost in the form of new hiking and mountaineering trails which are sure to attract not only nature lovers but those who love a nice glass of local Eastern Croatian wine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at 253 metres above sea level, it isn't exactly the highest, but it is the easternmost checkpoint of the Croatian Mountaineering Bypass. Skandala is located in the heart of the Srijem vineyards on the magical Fruska gora, just above the well known wine destination of Ilok.

The beautiful rolling hills, landscapes and views of seemingly endless rows of vineyards are worth every step. A mountaineering stamp significant for mountaineers, a break in one of the wineries with a glass of fine local wine and enjoying part of the country few give enough credit to are more than enough of a reason to head to Eastern Croatia.

Of the six new hiking trails set to provide a spring in the step of this form of Croatian continental tourism, as many as four lead across Skandala. Two trails are named after it, the longer one is 14 kilometres, the shorter one is nine, both are circular, starting from the Vukovo lookout point, leading through vineyards to the highest peak of Liska at 297 metres above sea level, and back over Skandala, returning to the starting point.

From Bapska to Principovac, there is a 22-kilometre-long hiking trail, also the longest of these six new ones. Whoever decides to hike along it will follow the paths of Odescalchi, the famous Ilok prince's family, who planted the first Traminer vines on the Principovac country estate way back in 1710. Those who walk the 17-kilometre-long Lovka-Rados trail, which leads to the Easternmost Croatian settlement and its vineyards, will also enjoy the beauty of the vineyards and a refreshing glass of said Traminer.

Hikers will be able to enjoy the silence of Srijem on the 12-kilometre-long Slovak House (Slovacka kuca) trail that leads from Rados to Liska, and the 6.5-kilometre-long trail that leads from Principovac to the highest peak through vineyards and forests.

"In addition to mountaineers, cyclists, recreationists and athletes, these six new hiking and mountaineering trails are attractive to all sorts of nature lovers, as well as to lovers of high quality wines. These trails pass through famous vineyards such as Principovac, Vukovo and Rados, they're arranged, marked out, properly traced, mapped, and are connected to the already existing well-known hiking and biking trails of Srijem and Slavonia.

This new Croatian continental tourism offer local to Srijem and Slavonia is the result of successful cooperation between the Tourist Board of Vukovar-Srijem County and the Croatian Mountaineering Association (Cibalia) from Vinkovci, whose members regularly hike in this beautiful area,'' stated Rujana Busic Srpak, the director of Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Minister Nikolina Brnjac Announces 1.25 Billion Kuna Payout for Tourism

June the 14th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has announced a massive payout totalling 1.25 billion kuna for Croatia's most important economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport has opened an e-consultation on a public call/invitation for grants entitled "Strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises and encouraging the green and digital transition of the tourism sector", worth 1.25 billion kuna, it was announced on Saturday.

Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that the aim of the call was to direct as much money as possible to tourism companies, meaning that a significant 60 percent of the total amount provided for tourism under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), or 1.25 billion kuna, is intended directly for investments in the private investment.

"Of that, 1.02 billion kuna is intended for high value-added investment projects such as accommodation facilities and accompanying facilities such as theme and amusement parks and other innovative content in tourism, which will truly transform the Republic of Croatia into a year-round tourist destination," explained Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

She also noted that all interested parties (enterprises, companies) will be able to apply for the public call/invitation under equal conditions, but also that the criterion for selecting projects will be their quality and readiness for implementation, since the deadline for using the funds is the end of 2025.

Given the last two pandemic-dominated years which had an unprecedented and extremely negative effect on the economy, and as such on travel and tourism which accounts for as much as 20 percent of the country's GDP, announcements such as this one will provide an extremely welcome spring in the step of all those companies operating within the sector.

Consultation with the interested public on this public call will remain open until the end of this month, more specifically until the 27th of June, 2022.

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

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Beginning of Hvar Main Tourist Season Excellent So Far

June the 14th, 2022 - The beginning of the Hvar main tourist season has been excellent so far, with the Suncani Hvar hotel chain rubbing their hands with satisfaction.

With two pandemic-dominated years causing issues and very valid concerns among all those working within the country's most economically powerful sector - tourism, continuing news about excellent tourist numbers during the pre-season and now during the beginning of the height of the summer season are more than welcome.

As Morski writes, things are looking great for the Hvar main tourist season, as there are 1,200 tourists in the aforementioned company's hotels, reservations so far have been very good, and June so far is better than the pre-pandemic June of 2019.

The current visitors to the beautiful island of Hvar come from all over Europe, including Spain, Britain, and Germany. Tourists accustomed to inflation in their own countries are no longer bothered by the current higher Croatian prices, and they aren't complaining about ferry ticket prices or about prices in restaurants and cafes.

''The prices are completely fair,'' said one tourist.

''Hotel occupancy is over 90 percent, most guests at the moment have come from the markets of the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and in principle they are all guests of higher purchasing power. They stay 3 to 4 days, they like to eat and drink well and they also like excursions and boats,'' explained one employee of the Suncani Hvar hotel chain.

While Hvar has been doing well to gradually begin moving away from its title of the ''Croatian Ibiza'', this Central Dalmatian island continues to be a mecca of good fun. Nightclubs and beach bars are still recovering from the coronavirus-induced damage and are expanding when it comes to their offer.

Everything is ready for another Hvar main tourist season during which this popular island will surely be at the top of various top destinations, both in a global and European sense.

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

Friday, 10 June 2022

Discover Magnificent Croatia: Something For Everyone

June 10, 2022 - A look at magnificent Croatia through the eyes of new TCN intern Adriana Tasovac!

As somebody who frequents Croatia on a regular basis, I emphatically and inarguably consider it a premier destination for an idyllic holiday. There are so many amazing activities for every member of the family offering an array of discoveries. You could: go Island hopping, traverse through nature, take guided tours through cities and towns, immerse yourself in its culture, and many more! 

A country also known as the land of a thousand islands, it comes as no surprise that, Island hopping is a very popular choice to see many of the islands around Croatia’s coast. The private cruise yachts offer an in-house chef and captain. This number one “to do trend”, from one setting to another offers, enjoying sizzling summer sunsets on pristine beaches, swimming and diving in the crystal clear, blue seas, and guided tours on many popular islands like Hvar, Vis (of Mamma Mia 2 fame), Pag, Korčula (recently proclaimed as the 5th most beautiful island to travel to), and more. 

WhatsApp_Image_2022-06-10_at_4.56.52_PM.jpegGradina beach, Vela Luka, Korcula Island

For nature lovers, who prefer a more mountainous escape, Plitvice Lakes National Park is the place to be. This visit embraces hiking trails and native flora and fauna for all the wildlife enthusiasts. There is an abundance of parks to choose from, and with all the breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforests, one is bound to fall in love with these parks. They also offer a variety of adventurous activities such as mountain climbing and exotic animal spotting.


croatia-812260_1280.jpgPlitvice Lakes National Park, Plitvička jezera | Pixabay

To all the “Game of Thrones” fans out there, this one is for you. The coastal city of Dubrovnik has been one of the most prominent filming locations for the exteriors of Westeros’ capital city, King’s Landing. Another beautiful city, Split, helped shape the landscape for the famous series’ location of Daenerys Targaryen’s throne room. The old and impeccable architecture is something that supporters and non-supporters of the show can equally enjoy and appreciate. Guided tours through these stunning locations add feeling to the story that the buildings tell. 


dubrovnik-city-2236067_1280.jpgGame of Thrones Filming location, Dubrovnik | Pixabay

Croatia’s history has played a significant role in molding its rich and diverse culture today. A great influence on its gastronomic culture is the food and wine. Many residents on the islands and in smaller towns have developed gratitude for the finer details in life. An appreciation for food that brings them joy. Croatians have developed a fine sense of taste by creating cheeses, wines, rakija (brandy), oil, and many other delicious treats. Most of these delicious treats have already found their way into delis and supermarkets all over the world. 

A scrumptious cheese called “Paški Sir” which is made from sheep’s milk originates from the Island of Pag. Locals of Pag willingly display their love for the cheese, by sharing the cheese-making process at many of their cheese farms.

20140507_Paški_sir_cheese_from_Pag.jpegWikimedia Commons


Another enriching site to experience the culture, is through wine. Tasovac winery, is a fairly new winery that specialises in multiple tantalising wines. There is a wine variety for every palate. “Plavac Mali” is a traditional Croatian variant commonly found on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. 
Tasovac Winery, Žrnovo, Korčula

In a nutshell, Croatia offers a variety of interesting and extraordinary activities for the whole family to enjoy. The unique and memorable experiences are well worth a visit and return to this beautiful country. Discover Magnificent Croatia on your next holiday. 

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

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