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

Screenshot_204.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot

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.

croatia_slavonija_osijek_0001.jpgVisit Croatia now: Osijek © Romulić & Stojcic

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

d75218b48e994601038e90bf5fc21f51_XL.jpgVisit Croatia now: Budget flights from Ryanair

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

Friday, 14 May 2021

Croatian Diver Budimir Šobat Featured in Guinness World Records for Longest-Ever Breath Hold!

May 14, 2021 - Croatian diver Budimir Šobat surpassed his record for the longest time breath held voluntarily by 22 seconds, and this time, it was not just for his beloved daughter Saša - but for the people of the earthquake-distraught city of Sisak as well. Guinness World Records even featured Budimir for his feat earlier this week. 

A new world record for static apnea free-diving has been set in a pool in Sisak, Croatia, on the 27th of March, 2021. Ranked as one of the best divers in the world, according to the International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA), Budimir Šobat, better known as Buda, held his breath for a total time of 24 minutes and 33 seconds superseding his last successful attempt 3 years ago by an impressive 22 seconds.

 

Featured in the Guinness World Record published by Connie Suggitt on May 12, 2021, the celebrated Croatian diver proudly declared that the inspiration behind this feat was once again his daughter - who has been battling cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism throughout her life. When asked how he overcame the difficulties and dangers that come along with attempting a record like this, Buda answered: "The greatest motivation of all is my 21-year-old daughter, Saša, who has autism. My results are giving me the media space, and then I can speak about autism awareness". And even though the earthquake damage made it "almost impossible" for him to train during the beginning of this year, the 56-year-old diver persevered through his rigorous training and managed to perfect his breathing technique just a few weeks after resuming - making the impossible, possible.

He also mentioned that focusing on his heartbeat was the key to win in this mental sport - as how he views static apnea diving to be. After hyperventilating himself with pure oxygen for 30 minutes (the maximum amount of time allowed as per guidelines to ventilate before an attempt), he managed to stay underwater for 22 seconds more than the record he had set 3 years ago. "While I am doing my maximum static apnea, I have my eyes closed and all I am focused on is to try to hear my heartbeat. Once I heard it I became calm and ready to fight the time.", he revealed.

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Nikola Cutuk / PIXSELL

What makes this man even more remarkable is that he creates a platform through these events to raise awareness for people with disabilities. Last February 24, 2018, Buda dove as part of the "I'm Not Breathing" campaign in Zagreb which supported the autism centre his daughter goes to, and where he also successfully obtained the Guinness World Record for longest breath held voluntarily (male division) with a record of 24 minutes and 11 seconds. However, this year, the event was created to bring awareness and to raise funds for his hometown, Sisak, which was heavily affected by the recent major earthquake in Croatia that happened last December 2020. "We hope to raise some money for people in need because earthquakes destroyed the whole city of Petrinja," Buda said in an interview for Net.Hr. The funds collected will be used for the reconstruction of the Room of Miracles (Soba Čuda) of the Association of Persons with Disabilities of the Sisak-Moslavina County, whose premises were severely damaged by the recent earthquake.

Proving to all of us that the only person one should try to be better than is oneself, Buda claims his age does not hold him back at all. Quite the contrary, he believes it helps him persevere through the hardships so he could achieve even better results.

"I am addicted to training of any kind so I have no problem with motivation and I never stop dreaming about achieving the top results despite my age. Now I have proved that everything is possible if you are strong and dedicated. In fact, my age gave me a benefit of experience to stay calm at the critical moments."

Guinness World Record reports that the previous record was 24 min 3.45 secs, held by Aleix Segura Vendrell in Barcelona, Spain, on 28 February 2016.

The first documented attempt was by Robert Foster (USA), who voluntarily held his breath for 13 min 42.5 sec under 3.05 m on 15 March 1959.

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Istria: Diving Tourism Resulted in 200,000 Overnight Stays

Diving tourism in Istria resulted in 200,000 overnight stays and has become a strong motivator for visiting the peninsula.

According to Barbara Ban/Novac/JutarnjiList on November 14, 2019; as many as 200,000 overnight stays were recorded this year in Istria by tourists who came for one reason: diving. This number was reported at a meeting of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group at Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Pula on Wednesday. However, this figure does not include the number of day visits, which is very high during diving season, which lasts about six months.

- There are numerous diving centers operating throughout the year. Diving is a strong motivator for tourists who prefer a more unique vacation, so diving centers are also recognized as an important factor in the development of tourism in the County of Istria. Therefore, as the group pointed out at the Chamber of Commerce in Pula; it is important to cooperate with the local community, and network with other providers of tourism. By working together, they can create the highest quality destination service which meet the needs of guests in every segments of their stay.

This year, permits have also been granted for performing underwater activities in inland waters and territorial seas in areas where cultural assets are located, based on a public report issued by the Ministry of Culture.

- Diving centers are pleased with the cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and they have a mutual interest preserving the underwater cultural heritage of the Adriatic. Diving centers play an important role in the conservation of the undersea and ecology. After diving, divers often return with the waste they have collected offshore, says Marko Srečec, president of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group.

For this purpose, the group has launched an initiative with municipalities and cities for cooperation in the field of ecology and marine conservation.

- During the coming year, the group plans, among other things, to organize guest lectures at colleges and high schools in order to promote diving tourism as a profession and present activities to as many potentially interested young people who could find employment in diving centers, concluded Srečec.

For more information on tourism in Croatia, follow our travel section. More information about diving in Istria can be found here.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Verena Heinz: A Tragic Tale of a Diver's Life Lost in Croatia

Verena Heinz was a 20-year-old Austrian girl, who loved diving. Her love of diving was passed on to her from her father Dieter, an extremely experienced diver with over 15,000 dives under his belt.

Verena loved everything about diving, her father says that she started diving before she could walk, so she had a licence to operate a boat, she surfed, sailed, scuba-dived and free-dived. Dieter and Verena arrived in Malinska on the island of Krk on Wednesday, July 24th, had a light lunch and decided to go diving - that's why they came, after all.

They visited a local dive centre to ask the people who worked there to recommend some free-diving locations. One of the reasons why Verena came to Krk was to prepare for the arrival of Christian Redl, Austrian free-diving champion, who Verena helped train, so they were also scouting for the locations.

They took the advice and went to a diving location (most of the story is translated from an interview Dieter Heinz gave to Tomislav Kukec from Jutarnji list, who has been thoroughly reporting this tragic story ever since it happened). They had a meter-wide buoy with them, for protection, the water depth was around 15 meters at the location, and they dove alternately.

There were plenty of jet-skis and speedboats around them, but the visibility was excellent and they thought they were safe, marked with such a large buoy. Then a large speedboat started coming towards them at a high speed. They were certain that the driver would notice them and make a turn, they were quite visible, but that hasn't happened. The boat came way to close to them, the propeller of the speedboat's engine severed Verena's leg and she started sinking. Her father did everything he could to try to save his daughter, but Verena Heinz was too badly hurt to be saved.

The speedboat's driver came back to see what had happened and fell into shock. He is a 26-year-old, quite experienced man from Zadar, who was found not to have any alcohol in his system. There was another person on the boat with him, his 19-year-old colleague.

An ambulance came, took Verena to Rijeka hospital, her father says he wasn't allowed to come with, so he had to drive himself over there in his car, and once he got there he wasn't able to get any information about his daughter's condition, as supposedly none of the people working there knew any English or German (author's note: I find this very hard to believe, that none of the people working in a hospital in Rijeka couldn't communicate in English or German. It seems more likely to me that nobody wanted to tell the father in the state of shock what happened). Just one doctor spoke to him, informing him that his daughter couldn't be saved.

As soon as it happened, various versions of where the accident took place started appearing in Croatian media and official statements. First, it was said that the father and daughter team were diving at a distance from the coast of over 300 meters. That is forbidden; additionally, speedboats are allowed to reach full speeds at over 300 meters from the shore.

Dieter Heinz claimed that that is simply not true, that they were not that far from the coastline. He told the police and the reporters that he removed his diver's belt with the weights while he was trying to save Verena and that if they were able to find it, it would pinpoint the exact location of the accident. And that's exactly what the police divers were able to do, as yesterday it was reported that the weights (and Verena's leg) were found - at around 200 meters from the shoreline!

That means that the speedboat was not supposed to be going that fast (there was speculation that Dieter and Verena Heinz decided to dive right at a corridor which is dedicated to the boats, where they are allowed to go faster, but Dieter strongly denies that possibility). There's no explanation as to how it is possible that neither of the two people on the boat saw the pair of divers and their one-meter-wide red and white buoy, because at first they were in too much of a shock to give any statement, and later they maintained that the accident happened much further from the coastline. 

Another important fact is that it is not allowed to dive at over 100 meters from the shoreline, unless in an organized group and with a boat. Verena's father Dieter claims that this is not true, but the fact is that two people with one buoy should not be diving alone at 200 meters away from the shore in Croatia. That does not mean that the speedboat driver was allowed to go that fast, but there is a reason why such a wide buffer-zone exists, and unfortunately, we have (again) seen that reason this July.

The investigation into precise details of this accident continues. Dieter Heinz claims that he does not want the young speedboat operator to end up in jail, he just wants the truth to be known and that more people start paying more attention while at sea so that accidents like this one wouldn't happen as often as they do. Most public attention has been given to the horrible event when Tomislav Horvatinčić, a Croatian entrepreneur and serial traffic accident participant caused an accident with his yacht in which two Italians were killed.

Verena Heinz was finally laid to rest today, back in her home town of Strobl am Wolfgangsee, where some of her sporting and active friends held a moving tribute to her on Tuesday. Hopefully, her meaningless death will make people more aware of the rules and regulations at sea, and increased awareness of others who might be sharing the same space with us.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

SS Baron Gautsch - the Biggest Attraction for Divers in Croatia

One of the biggest attractions for divers in the Croatian part of the Adriatic is the sunken Austro-Hungarian passenger steamer ship, SS Baron Gautsch, which sank near Rovinj in 1914.

Divers love going to sunken ships, it is considered one of the biggest attractions of getting below the surface, seing what humanity has permanently deposited at the bottom. One of such destinations in Croatia that gets most attention and the biggest number of diving visitors each year is the SS Baron Gautsch wreck, located at the coordinates 44° 56' 25" N, 13° 34' 40" E at the depth of 28 to 40 meters.

Back in the day, she was the pride of the Austrian passenger navy, a 85 meter long steamboat that connected ports in Austrian Istria and Dalmatia before the WWI, but was used for humanitarian missions during the war. She was on one on the 12th of August, 1914 as well, taking civilians from Kotor to Trieste, when the captain got too close to the minefields set near the Rovinj port by the Austrian Navy. She hit one of the mines and sank completely within minutes, taking many of the civilians on board to the bottom. Many Austrian vessels were in the vicinity, and they managed to save 159 people from the water, while the official number of casualties stands at 147.

The wreck is situated at the bottom in an upright position, giving it an eery appearance of still afloat. The masts and other details have been broken, and propellers have been removed. The hole in the full of the boat, caused by the mine, is still clearly visible. Because of the depth of up to 42 meters, experienced advanced divers are allowed to make the dive.

The wreck is protected by the Ministry of Culture, so in order to dive to it and to explore, you need to dive with one of the authorised diving centers (most diving centres from Istria are authorised for this dive).

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Dubrovnik Divers to Clean Seabed in Zaton Mali

The Dubrovnik Diving Club announces another praiseworthy action, putting the underwater environment first.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

''View into the Blue'' On Way to Pazin!

Fancy perfecting your diving skills? Head to Pazin!

Friday, 18 May 2018

The 3rd Mares Underwater Photo Marathon Cup Shines Light on Krk Island

The southwestern waters of Krk Island were recently the location of the already prestigious underwater photography competition: the 3rd Mares Underwater Photo Marathon Cup

Sunday, 6 May 2018

View into the Blue: Free Diving Crash Course on Rab Island

May 6, 2018 - Ever wanted to try scuba diving, but don't have the time for a full course? You're in luck!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Babin Kuk Cleanup: Dubrovnik Divers Get to Work

One in a long line of many pre-season cleanup operations for the seabed of the wider Dubrovnik area.

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