Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Croatia Flight Cancelations in July from Eurowings, Austrian, Lufthansa, and easyJet

June 28, 2022 - The latest flight news as Croatia flight cancelations in July from Eurowings, Austrian, Lufthansa, and easyJet have been announced. 

Eurowings, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines have canceled a total of 55 return flights to Croatian airports announced in July this year, all to ensure regular operations due to a lack of staff within the airlines and at the airports to which they operate, reports Croatian Aviation

The three mentioned Lufthansa Group carriers canceled 55 return flights to Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Lufthansa has reduced the number of flights on only one route to Croatia, between Zagreb and Munich, so in July, it will operate 6 instead of 7 times a week on this route, for a total of 28 return flights.

Low-cost airline Eurowings reduces traffic on 10 international routes to six Croatian airports:

Cologne - Rijeka, instead of 13, announced 9 flights (canceled 4),

Cologne - Zadar, instead of 13, announced 9 flights (canceled 4),

Cologne - Zagreb, instead of 26, 14 flights announced (12 canceled),

Cologne - Dubrovnik, suspended line, last flight performed on June 12,

Dusseldorf - Rijeka, instead of 14, 11 flights announced (3 canceled),

Dusseldorf - Zagreb, instead of 13, 9 flights announced (4 canceled),

Stuttgart - Pula, instead of 7, 6 flights announced (1 canceled),

Stuttgart - Rijeka, instead of 9, 6 flights announced (3 canceled),

Stuttgart - Split, instead of 41, 38 flights announced (3 canceled),

Stuttgart - Zagreb, instead of 23, announced 14 flights (canceled 9),

In July, Austrian Airlines continues to operate daily to Adriatic airports, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik, but significantly reduces the number of flights to Zagreb airport. 

Instead of 53 scheduled return flights in July, Austrian has canceled 9 and now plans 44 flights on this route for July.

The Lufthansa Group is no exception among carriers. Companies and airports were not ready for high demand this summer, resulting in a shortage of workforce in all segments of air transport, from a lack of flight and cabin staff to the crew at airports (check-in, loading, and unloading of luggage, general reception and departure of passengers and aircraft). There are also standard problems with the workforce in air traffic control, which is why aircraft in the summer months rarely take off (and land) according to the planned flight schedule.

Given that the number of monthly flights by the Lufthansa Group to Croatian airports is relatively large, 55 canceled flights to Croatia in July is not a huge number, especially if this will relieve the pressure on the previously mentioned stakeholders and enable some normalization of air traffic in the peak season. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that British low-cost airline easyJet canceled 15 return flights previously announced to three Croatian airports - Pula, Rijeka, and Split. The airline also cites major operational problems at airports in London (Gatwick) and Paris (Charles de Gaulle).

On the route from London (Gatwick) to Pula, easyJet offered 27 return flights in July until Sunday, but three flights were canceled, and 24 are now available for booking.

There were supposed to be 13 return flights between Paris and Pula in July, but easyJet canceled four return flights, and only nine are now available.

easyJet has the largest number of summer flights to Split Airport, to which only six flights are currently canceled. Namely, between Gatwick and Split, 95 return flights are planned in July (previously 99), while between Paris and Split, 38 return flights are now available (previously 40).

easyJet continuously cancels flights on the new route between Rijeka and London, originally announced twice a week. The airline also cut the weekly operations in July and canceled announced flights on Tuesdays, leaving only flights on Saturdays on sale. For now, only flights on July 5 and 12 have been canceled, but the carrier has not yet revised the flight schedule for the second half of July, so further reductions may happen. 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Croatia Ferry Guide 2022: From Dubrovnik to Korčula, Lopud, and More

June 21, 2022 - In the newest TCN series, we take a look at the destinations you can visit by ferry from the main Croatian ports. In this second installment of the Croatia Ferry Guide 2022, where to go from the port of Dubrovnik?

When advertising the Adriatic Sea and the Croatian islands abroad, the experience of being on board a sailboat, yacht, or catamaran is usually highlighted. However, there is no destination a Croatian ferry can't reach, and why not mention that it's totally worth saving a good amount of Euros on sailboat rentals and crews?

Today we tell you more about the island destinations you can reach from the ferry port of Dubrovnik.

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Photo: Mario Romulić

First of all, how to buy your ferry tickets? There are three ways. The first is via the official Jadrolinija website. In it, you can not only see the updated sailing schedules, but you can also buy your tickets online. Simply choose the port of departure, the port of destination, and the date of your trip, and you will find the available times. Once you have chosen the time and the number of tickets, in addition to completing all your personal information, you can proceed to pay for your tickets online with a credit or debit card.

The second way is through the official Jadrolinija mobile app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Playstore for Android. The application is very easy to use and, just like on the website, just select the port of departure and you will be able to see the ports that you can travel to from the one you selected. The process is very similar, and you will find that it is even more comfortable and intuitive to use. Payment also allows the use of credit and debit cards.

Finally, the third type of payment is the most traditional and has its benefits. All ferry ports in Croatia have a Jadrolinija office, where you can go to buy your tickets in person. Sometimes one can be a bit confused before buying their tickets both on the website and in the app, so having a Jadrolinija agent to guide you is a great help.

Where is the Dubrovnik ferry port located? Unlike previously covered cities like Split or Rijeka, the port of Dubrovnik is not located in the old part of the city. The port of Dubrovnik is located in Gruž Bay, a 10-minute drive from the Old Town.

Bari

Apart from Ancona, Bari is the other destination in Italy that one can reach from Croatia by sea. However, Bari can only be reached from Dubrovnik. The ferries that depart from the Pearl of the Adriatic to Bari depart on Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays through line 54 (Dubrovnik-Bari). Just one per day. On Sundays, they leave Dubrovnik at 12:00 pm and arrive in Bari at 19:30 pm, while on Mondays and Fridays they leave Dubrovnik at 21:00 pm and arrive in Bari at 8:00 am. Passengers can travel from Dubrovnik to Bari in three ways: deck passenger, seat, or cabin. For the adult ticket (from twelve years old or older), the deck passenger ticket price is 528 kunas, the seat ticket is 588 kunas, and there are two types of cabins: outdoor shower and WC (1193 kunas) and indoor shower. and WC (1097 kunas). For the child ticket (from 3 to 12 years old), the deck passenger ticket price is 303 kunas, the seat ticket is 363 kunas, and there are two types of cabins: outdoor shower and WC (228 kunas) and indoor shower. and WC (208 kunas).

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Bol

Bol is one of the most sought-after island destinations in Croatia, and it is possible to get there from Dubrovnik. Every day, a catamaran leaves the port of Dubrovnik for Bol on the island of Brač. Through line 9811S (Dubrovnik - Korčula - Hvar - Bol - Split), the catamaran leaves Dubrovnik at 7:00 am and arrives in Bol at 11:40 am. The price of tickets, both for adults and children, is 280 kuna.

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Photo: Mario Romulić

Hvar

One would think that to visit the wonderful island of Hvar, it is necessary to be in Split. However, if you are in Dubrovnik, you can do it too. Via line 9811S (Dubrovnik - Korčula - Hvar - Bol - Split), a catamaran departs from Dubrovnik at 7:00 am and arrives in Hvar Town at 10:30 am. Ticket prices for both adults and children are 280 kuna.

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Photo: Mario Romulić

Koločep

The island of Koločep is one of the three inhabited Elaphiti Islands situated near the city of Dubrovnik. It is the southernmost inhabited island in Croatia. Two ferry lines go to Koločep: 831 (Dubrovnik - Suđurađ - Lopud) and 807 (Šipan - Lopud - Koločep - Dubrovnik). From Monday to Sunday, ships of line 807 depart for Koločep 5-6 times a day. The trip takes 30 minutes. Ferry line 831 departs from Dubrovnik on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and only one trip per day. It leaves at 9:00 am and arrives in Koločep at 9:45 am. The price of the ferry ticket for adults is 31 kunas for both lines. Ticket prices for children vary. On line 831 it costs 15.5 kunas, and on line 807 it costs 12 kunas.

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Photo: dronepicr/Wikimedia Commons

Korčula

Among the islands of Dubrovnik, the island of Korčula is surely the most popular. A catamaran of the line 9811S (Dubrovnik - Korčula - Hvar - Bol - Split) departs from the port of Dubrovnik every day, with only one trip per day. The catamaran departs at 07:00, arriving in Korčula at 09:00. Ideal for a day trip. The price of the catamaran ticket, both for adults and children, is 160 kuna.

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Photo: Mario Romulić

Lopud

Lopud, like Koločep, belongs to the Elaphite Islands archipelago. Lopud is the central island of the archipelago, well known for its sandy beaches, and is also the most developed of the three Elaphiti islands in terms of tourism. Like Koločep, two ferry lines go to the island of Lopud: 831 (Dubrovnik - Suđurađ - Lopud) and 807 (Šipan - Lopud - Koločep - Dubrovnik). From Monday to Sunday, ships of line 807 depart for Lopud 4-6 times a day. The trip usually takes 55 minutes. Ferry line 831 departs from Dubrovnik on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and only one trip per day. It leaves at 9:00 am and arrives in Lopud at 10:25 am. The price of the ferry ticket for adults is 31 kunas for both lines. Ticket prices for children vary. On line 831 it costs 15.5 kunas, and on line 807 it costs 13 kunas.

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Photo: dronepicr/Wikimedia Commons

Suđurađ (Island of Šipan)

Šipan is the largest island of the Elaphiti Islands archipelago. Those going from Dubrovnik will arrive in the town of Suđurađ. In the case of Suđurađ, and compared to Lopud and Koločep, ferry line 831 is more frequent. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, two ferries of line 831 depart from Dubrovnik to Suđurađ (9:00 am and 15:30 pm), while on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, they make a single trip. Travel time can vary from 65 to 110 minutes. Ships of line 807 make up to 4 trips every day from the port of Dubrovnik to Suđurađ. Trips take 75 minutes. The price of the ferry ticket for adults is 31 kunas for both lines. Ticket prices for children vary. On line 831 it costs 15.5 kunas, and on line 807 it costs 14 kunas.

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Photo: Dmitry Mozzhukhin/Wikimedia Commons

The ferry lines mentioned above are those with confirmed schedules for the next three months. Prices are subject to change. Visit the official Jadrolinija website for more information on other ferry lines from Dubrovnik.

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

Friday, 24 June 2022

Dubrovnik Hosts International Conference on Anthropological Genetics and Forensics

June the 24th, 2022 - Dubrovnik hosts the 12th International Conference on Anthropological Genetics and Forensics, which saw 550 scientists, doctors and other experts from across Europe and the rest of the world descend on the Pearl of the Adriatic.

As Morski writes, the 12th International Conference on Anthropological Genetics and Forensics brought together the above-mentioned number of individuals from various prestigious European and international universities and institutions to discuss forensics and personalised medicine in Dubrovnik on Thursday.

The conference was organised by the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences ISABS, the American Mayo Clinic and the Sv Katarina (St. Catherine) Special Hospital. ISABS President Dragan Primorac pointed out that the congress will primarily answer what the medicine of the future will look like.

''First of all, I'm referring to the development of pharmacogenomics, gene cell therapy in the treatment of a number of degenerative diseases, as well as cancer. The future of medicine is to break out of the clichés of the medical tradition. The new concept is personalised medicine, and that means that the right therapy goes to the right patient at the right time, which we can find out more about by analysing glycomics, genomics, proteomics and epigenomics. Those who don't accept that will not be competitive on the global market,'' said Primorac.

Dubrovnik hosts many famous names, and this time three Nobel laureates also took part in the congress: Sir Richard Roberts, Thomas Südhof and Aaron Ciechanover, and Primorac has announced that they will work with about 200 students from the USA, Europe and Croatia.

Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs pointed out that, in addition to the level of scientific thought and new achievements, the congress opened up opportunities for students to network and gain some new experiences.

''It's very important for young people. I'd especially like to emphasise forensics, but personalised medicine is also becoming more and more popular across the world, and that is certainly the future,'' said Fuchs.

Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic noted that the Ivan Vucetic Police Academy and the Centre for Forensic Investigations, Research and Expertise are scientific institutions within the Ministry of the Interior (MUP).

''Perhaps it's less known that these organiaational units of the Ministry of the Interior have scientific licenses, and in terms of forensics, the Ivan Vucetic Centre has an important role to play. The chief is a member of the American Academy of Forensics. We're at the very top of the global scale and we're certainly a leader in this part of Europe,'' said Bozinovic.

In cooperation with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the conference discussed new forms of cancer treatment, pharmacogenomics, translational and personalised medicine, gene and molecular therapy and diagnostics, regenerative medicine and the use of stem cells in treatment, as well as other achievements of modern scientific research.

For more on conferences and congresses Dubrovnik hosts, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 June 2022

Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls: 3. The Island of Lokrum

June 16, 2022 - Continuing the new TCN series exploring beyond the Dubrovnik walls, an escape from the crowds to one of the top treasures of the Adriatic - the island of Lokrum. 

For those who tell me that Dubrovnik is just a 2-day destination and that there is nothing really to do outside the old town, I smile. I don't think I have ever come across a destination in Croatia which has so much more to offer than the stereotype it possesses. There are so many things to do in and around Dubrovnik that I would argue a week is not enough. Indeed, the inspiration for this new TCN series, Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls, were last year's 10 Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence, who proclaimed that they were not ready to go home after a month in the city, and that one of the key messages Dubrovnik had to develop was the rich offer for tourists 'beyond the walls.' Yes, the old town is unmissable, but so too is the magic that is all around. Including one of my favourite places in all Croatia... 

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The island of Lokrum. 

I knew little about the island of Lokrum before I visited, except that it was one of the most-visited attractions in Dubrovnik, a place where locals (and tourists) went to escape the summer crowds and heat. But, as I quickly learned on my first visit a couple of years ago, Lokrum is so much more than that. In addition to being the cleanest place I have ever seen in Croatia, the wealth of nature, culture, heritage and overall magnificence is quite astonishing. Do not go to Dubrovnik and miss out on a trip to Lokrum. Your visit would be all the poorer. 

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Let's start with the cleanliness. Lokrum is a nature reserve which is taking itself very seriously. It is forbidden to smoke or light a fire on the island, dogs are not allowed, and it is not permitted to spend the night on the island. Indeed, only two members of the Lokrum Fire Brigade sleep on the island. The island is immaculate! And the beautifully maintained horticultural and botanical attractions serve to give Lokrum an even more squeaky clean feel. 

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Just 10 minutes by boat from the old city (regular departures from the old harbour take place every 30 minutes during the day from April to November),  the island of Lokrum is truly a world away, and the journey on the restored 50-year-old wooden boats is an experience in itself, as you watch the majestic old city disappear into view behind, before approaching the island from the far side, with the city out of sight. 

Welcome to Nature!

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Lokrum has its own biodiversity and unique climate, a fact that has been noted since ancient times, and the rich diversity of its plant life was enriched in 1959 when two hectares of land were allocated to the Botanical Garden, where the first exotic species were planted. Walk around today, and you can find about 400 indigenous species from Australia, South America, Africa, other parts of the world and the wider region. An extraordinary collection, and combined with the island's carefully manicured hedges and gardens, this is one area where Lokrum stands out from other islands. But only one, for there is so much more to this exceptional island. 

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The legacy of Game of Thrones is massive in Dubrovnik, with more than a few visitors knowing the city by its screen name of Kings Landing. Not only was the island of Lokrum also used as a filming location, but the hit HBO show  The garden of the old Benedictine Monastery was used to shoot scenes depicting the fantasy city of Qarth in Season 2 of the show. In this scene Daenerys Targaryen introduces herself to a few members of local society. Later on, just before she enters the House of the Undying, she is standing on the stairs that are part of Lokrum’s Gardens of Maximilian.

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The most important area for Game of Thrones lovers is a tin GoT museum in the former Benedictine Monastery. There sits the Iron Throne, the most important seat in the Kingdom of Westeros. Not only that, but it is free for visitors to sit in and take pictures.

While Game of Thrones may not be real, there is plenty of actual history on the island of Lokrum, which was first mentioned in 1023, with the founding of the Benedictine monastery and abbey. And it is the Benedictines who are responsible for the so-called Curse of Loktum, which is animated in the museum in the monastery basement. 

The last Benedictines left the island in 1808, when the island was sold to new owners. On their last night, the monks placed a complex curse on the island. Since then, anyone who tried to seek Lokrum for their own has met an unexpected and untimely death.

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The night before the monks left, they gathered in their hoods, lit their candles, turned them upside down, and with their heads bowed, whispering prayers and murmuring songs, slowly walked around their ancient holding, mourning their loss and saying goodbye to their beautiful home.

The legend, of course, adds drama to such a goodbye.

The dark and mysterious line of monks in the end cursed the future owners of the island under the flickering light of candles. The legend, to which certain deaths and accidents that happened to local sellers and owners were associated, would have faded away if not for the tragedies which befell the family of the Austrian emperor and the Croatian king Francis Joseph I, whose family members owned Lokrum.

The execution of the emperor’s brother, Archduke Maximilian, in Mexico, the assassination of his wife Elisabeth at Lake Geneva and the suicide of his son and heir Rudolph in Mayerling violently and forever impressed the legend in collective memory and enshrouded the island in dark shadows.

A happier legend took place more than 500 years earlier, when English King Richard the Lionheart's ship got into trouble in storms on the way back from The Crusades. Vowing to build a church on the land that might save him, the famous English king finally found shelter on Lokrum where he was shipwrecked, but survived. Keeping true to his promise, Richard built the promised church, although locals persuaded him to do so in the old town of Dubrovnik, rather than the island of Lokrum. It is said that the ensuing church was built on the site of today's Dubrovnik Cathedral.  There is an exhibition to the episode in the basement.

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One of Dubrovnik's more unusual claims to fame is that it is the birthplace of quarantine, with the first State-sanctioned quarantine stations set up on two nearby islands in the Dubrovnik Republic back in 1377. This concept was extended to the Lazareti, just outside the city walls, a beautiful stone complex which served as a 40-day quarantine area for traders, and which today is a multi-purpose event and entertainment centre, including arguably Europe's most beautiful co-working space. 

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Lokrum has its own Lazareti complex which is well worth a visit, if only for the incredible precision of the 16th-century stone walls, which are straight as an arrow and 100 metres by 100 metres. Inside the walls, it was intended to house a large quarantine facility, and you can still see the remnants of the toilets, fireplace and ventilation in the individual cubicles, but the complex was in fact never completed.  Some time later, the authorities realised that such a construction could be used against the republic if the island was successfully invaded. Some of the stone was therefore transferred to the city and used in the construction of Dubrovnik's iconic old town walls. 

That strategic importance was not lost on the French when they successfully invaded in 1806, and they began to erect a fort on Glavice hill, some 97 metres above sea level. The impressive fort, complete with ramparts and ditches, was then further developed by the Austrians in the 1830s. The legacy for the tourist today is a wonderful hike along Lokrum's narrow streets to the top of the fortress, where you will be rewarded with quite the magnificent views of the old town and surrounding area. I was fortunate enough to be on an official trip, and the Lokrum Fire Brigade had time to give me a rather magical tour. Get a flavour in the video below. 

Looking to swim? There are some great beach options on the island, including the best naturist beach in the world last year.

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For a more unusual experience, how about a drink and swim by the Dead Sea - not perhaps as famous as its Middle Eastern counterpart, but a cool place to swim and actually part of the Adriatic and once a cave. An ideal spot if you want to have a drink and relax while the kids splash around.  

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One of the many things I loved about Lokrum is how the island is being used to blend nature with work and education. Local schools regularly have classes and workshops here, a wonderful outdoor environment which can only inspire young minds. The recent Work. Place. Culture conference in Dubrovnik also took advantage of the stunning natural setting, with a relaxing day including workshops on wellbeing being held in the monastery gardens. 

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Even the resident peacocks decided to take part. 

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There are a couple of bars and a snack bar on Lokrum, but the best place to dine (and in idyllic botanical surroundings) is Lacroma Restaurant, a short walk up from the ferry. There is an excellent local menu, and the gin combinations with local herbs are a definite trip highlight.

And then, at the end of the perfect day in nature and relaxation, time for the short and picturesque journey back to Dubrovnik for the evening entertainment. Dubrovnik Beyond the Walls is indeed a magical place.  

Tickets to enter Lokrum, including the return boat journey, are 200 kuna. 

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Dubrovnik beyond the walls, a new way to look at the Pearl of the Adriatic. And with so many different options available, tailor your Dubrovnik experience to your specific needs. 

To learn more about the Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls series, follow the dedicated section

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls: 2. The Island of Lopud

June 16, 2022 - Dubrovnik is perceived to be a 2-day destination with everything concentrated inside the UNESCO old town, but it is so much more than that. Find out what, in the second of a new TCN series - Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls. Meet the island of Lopud. 

Seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes is always instructive. Almost a year ago, at the conclusion of the Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence programme, A Dutch digital nomad gave an initial presentation to the mayor, tourist board, media and public on his group's findings after 4 weeks as guests of the city. Their brief was to look at Dubrovnik through the eyes of digital nomads and to work with Dubrovnik to create an effective strategy for future development. His presentation was simple, concise, in many ways obvious, and made the whole room pause to think. 

His first slide showed the first 30 images on Google Images of Dubrovnik, and they all showed the same thing - the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the old town of Dubrovnik. One nomad commented that prior to coming to the city, he was not even sure if Dubrovnik had anything of interest or substance beyond the walls. The perception that Dubrovnik was a 2-3 day destination is one that changed during his stay of four weeks, and he announced that after almost a month, he was still not ready to go home. 

The magic of Dubrovnik for all these nomads was not the gorgeous old town, stunning as it undoubtedly was, but what lay beyond the walls - the rest of living, breathing Dubrovnik and its surrounding area. In some ways, it was an obvious point, but taking the focus away from the old town seems somehow innovative. And having thought about it, the perception of the reality of Dubrovnik as a destination can only change if we show Dubrovnik, the reality, rather than Dubrovnik, the Instagram poster child. 

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Welcome to Dubrovnik Beyond the Walls, a new TCN series showcasing the magic of this incredible city, but away from its photogenic famous old town. There you can take in centuries of history, culture and tradition, but if you take a bus, boat, or short walk, there are many other Dubrovnik experiences to be enjoyed which complement the famous main attraction. After our first feature article on the Island of Kolocep, also known locally as Kalamota, it is time to swim a little further to the second car-free of the Elaphite Islands, gorgeous Lopud. 

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One of the few constants in my Facebook feed during the summer is an almost daily dose of the magical sunsets of Lopud. A friend of mine has roots on the island, and it seems he never tires of the beauty of what he sees before him every evening. I felt that I knew the island's views long before he invited me to visit a couple of summers ago. 

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And it did not take me long to fall in love with yet another exceptional Dalmatian island, or to discover that the sunset views were just part of the magic. How about this for a bedroom room with a view, for example? No wonder he was spending less time in Zagreb...

There is an excellent and regular ferry service from Gruz harbour in Dubrovnik, which takes passengers to all three of the Elaphiti islands, stopping firstly on Kolocep, before arriving in Lopud just under an hour after departure. While most of the life on the island is concentrated in the village and riva close to the ferry, sun worshippers in search of a sandy beach make the journey and then hike to the other side of the island for a rare treasure - a high-quality sandy Dalmatian beach. 

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There are quite a few popular beaches in the Dubrovnik area. Some are popular with locals, some with tourists, but none is universally as loved as Sunj Beach. Sunj is located on the south-eastern end of the Island, facing Dubrovnik. Notably, it is Elaphiti’s most popular port of call for private and chartered boats. You can get to it on foot from Lopud village by following one of the marked footpaths through the woods. It bears the name of Czech writer and politician Viktor Dyk who was in love with Lopud. The path also features a monument built in his honour in 1936. Sunj Beach has some beach amenities available like a bar, restaurant and lounge chairs. It is indeed the most spacious sandy beach of Elaphiti and it will remain everybody’s favourite for quite some time.

For the buzz of daily life, however, simply step off the ferry and into the relaxed bustle of traditional Dalmatian island life, where the pace of life is slow and chilled. The riva appeared to me almost like a living room, with some residents actually bringing out chairs in front of the house to soak up daily life. 

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It did not take long on Lopud to work up an appetite. If you are into your seafood, just grab a coffee at a cafe on the riva and watch the catch of the day pass by. 

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Or check with the local restaurants what they have on offer for the catch of the day. There was something about the riva on Lopud that really appealed to me - something for everyone, including a family-friendly beach, local honey and fig selling their wares, full-time locals greeting Zagreb-based 'part-time islanders' with island banter. Relaxed, jovial, welcoming, safe. 

But Lopud also has some rather remarkable and unique treasures to boast, some of them really rather unusual. 

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Did you know, for example, that the island of Lopud is home to the tallest palm trees in Europe? 

And behind these majestic palm trees, which adorn the Lopud waterfront, is something really quite unusual and unexpected - the world's first concrete hotel, built back in 1936! 

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The hotel was opened by Czech owners just 3 years before the opening of the Second World War and is a major example of the bold architecture of Nikola Dobrovic, whose reinforced concrete hotel was his crowning work. It was designed in the shape of a ship from above, complete with a tennis court on the roof, and it looked out to the Adriatic through those impressively tall palm trees, as well as ubiquitous bitter orange trees, for which Dubrovnik is famous.   

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Then came the Second World War, an end to tourism temporarily and a new use for the young concrete hotel - an internment camp for the Jews of the Dubrovnik region. Some 600-700 were interned there. The glory days of this unique concrete hotel were undoubtedly the 1980s before the Homeland War. Life in former Yugoslavia was cheap, life was very liberal, and tourists came to visit knowing they would have a wonderful sun-soaked relaxing vacation at an affordable price. 

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Plans are in place to renovate the famous concrete hotel, reducing the number of original rooms to provide more spacious accommodation for modern needs. And while we wait, those tall palm trees will continue to sway gently in the evening breeze, as they observe yet one more of some of the best sunsets in Europe.

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And while Lopud might have set the pace in 1936 in the world of concrete hotels, today it is leading the way with luxury boutique hotel tourism. Located on the northern peninsula, LOPUD 1483 is a restored Franciscan monastery that has been overlooking the Elaphiti Islands and Croatia’s Dalmatian coast for centuries. After an extensive and sympathetic restoration by renowned art visionary, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, LOPUD 1483 has opened its doors to guests and this five-suite, 15th-century monastery is available to rent exclusively for private stays and events. It is one of THE places to stay on the Adriatic. 

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For those on more of a budget, there are two more hotel options, both in Lopud village. They are both close to the sea but are vastly different in their design and feel. Hotel Glavovic is a 3-star property and is a recently revived historical hotel originally opened in 1927. On the other hand, 4-star Lafodia Sea Resort is quite a different story. It is a big, modern, and stylishly designed property featuring plenty of amenities and amazing sea views. The island of Lopud also has an excellent range of luxury private villas, many of them with pools. 

The majority of Lopud Island’s dining spots are in Lopud Village with some dining options also on Sunj Beach. You will find great choices in the historical Lopud with restaurants Dubrovnik and Obala worthy of a special mention. Hotel Lafodia is also a place where you can find great cuisine. Their La Baja Bar & Grill is a cool option for enjoying a bite to eat or a refreshing drink next to the beach. This restaurant is known for featuring live entertainment in the evenings as well. Many of Lopud restaurants have terraces with amazing views over the bay and will not let you forget what a gorgeous place you are spending your vacation. 

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A quite magnificent island, and one which is less than an hour by regular ferry from Dubrovnik. The pace of life on the island of Lopud could not be more different from historic Dubrovnik. 

Dubrovnik beyond the walls, a new way to look at the Pearl of the Adriatic. And with so many different options available, tailor your Dubrovnik experience to your specific needs. 

To learn more about the Beyond the Dubrovnik Walls series, follow the dedicated section

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Iberia Croatia Flights Boosted from Madrid in July, Almost 20,000 Seats Available

June 15, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Iberia Croatia flights will be boosted from Madrid next month, namely running from Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik airports. 

Spanish airline Iberia, a Oneworld alliance member, plans to increase the number of weekly flights between Madrid and Croatian airports in July, reports Croatian Aviation.

The Spanish national airline already operates regular routes from its main base in Madrid to Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb.

Between Zagreb and Madrid, Iberia plans three flights a week in July, every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, while in the last week of July the number of weekly operations will increase to five. The airline is still selling daily flights between Zagreb and Madrid in August, but there is a possibility that will change.

Sixteen return flights between the two cities have been announced for July, exclusively with A320 aircraft, so 4,928 seats will be available on this route next month.

The Madrid - Split - Madrid line is currently running three times a week, while four flights a week have been announced for July; on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, also with A320 aircraft.

Seventeen return flights were announced on this route in July, and 5,236 seats are currently available.

Dubrovnik and Madrid should be connected on a daily basis in July. Iberia is planning daily operations with A320 and A319 aircraft announced on the route, and a total of 9,528 seats are available on 31 return flights in July.

Between Madrid and the three mentioned Croatian airports, Iberia is offering almost 20,000 seats in July. In addition to point-to-point passengers, the line is used by a significant number of transfer passengers, primarily from North and South America, given that according to destinations on the mentioned continents Iberia Airlines has developed a quality network of routes.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

 

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

29 Weekly LOT Croatia Flights from Poland this Summer!

June 14, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 29 weekly LOT Croatia flights from Poland will run this summer. 

LOT Polish Airlines has finalized its summer flight schedule to Croatia by announcing a new, third route to Rijeka and increasing weekly operations between Zagreb and Warsaw, reports Croatian Aviation

The Star Alliance Group group member will operate 9 international routes from Poland to 5 Croatian airports at the peak of the summer season, namely to Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb.

The largest number of weekly operations has been announced between Warsaw and Zagreb, where the airline's aircraft will operate 13 times a week, twice a day every day except Monday. Thus, LOT in Zagreb returned to almost the same number of flights as before the pandemic.

LOT already operates to Rijeka from Warsaw, once a week, and at the beginning of July, there are two more lines, from Zielona Góra (Sundays) and Rzeszów (Tuesdays).

Two lines have been announced to Zadar. From Warsaw once a week (on Saturdays) and from Rzeszów, also on Saturdays, from June 18.

On the line between Warsaw and Split, LOT will operate three times a week this summer, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, and Boeing 737-800 aircraft have also been announced on this line.

LOT will connect Warsaw and Dubrovnik on a daily basis, and will additionally operate on the line between Dubrovnik and Krakow (every Saturday). 

“Last year, we transported over 33,000 Poles to Croatia, and we hope for a much better result this year. I also hope that Croats will visit Poland in greater numbers," said the carrier’s CEO, Rafał Milczarski for Ex Yu Aviation at the beginning of June. 

"Croatia is becoming more and more popular among our passengers each year and is becoming of interest for travelers outside of Warsaw as well. As we continue to increase our offer, both Zagreb and Croatia as a whole are becoming popular for short weekend breaks as well," he added.

“Our performance in Croatia is the result of consistent work by our team as well as the growing popularity of Croatia in Poland and the increasing number of Poles who want to come to Croatia within two hours," said LOT Board Member for Commercial Affairs, Michal Fijoł.  

Overall, 29 weekly flights is a smaller number of operations compared to the 2019 summer flight schedule.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Cost of Living in Croatia: Zadar Most Expensive City, Dubrovnik Second

June 11, 2022 - A look at the cost of living in Croatia according to the world's largest cost of living database - Numbeo.

According to Numbeo, Zadar is the most expensive city to live in Croatia. Namely, the average family of four needs 18,973.92 kuna to live without rent, and a single person needs 5,486.52 kuna for monthly expenses. It is 10.45 percent more expensive than Zagreb, and the rent in Zadar is, on average, 22.08 percent higher than in the capital, reports Dalmatinski Portal

Second on the list is Dubrovnik. The average family of four needs 18,453.15 kuna to live in the Adriatic pearl without rent, while the average monthly cost for a single person is 5,390 kuna without rent. It is 9.34 percent more expensive than Zagreb, but the rental price in Dubrovnik is on average 12.65 percent lower than in Zagreb.

In Zagreb, a family of four needs 16,769.81 kuna to live (or 4,874.39 kuna for a single person).

In Rijeka, a family of four needs 15,370.73 kuna to live (or 4,392.67 kuna for a single person). It is 6.81 percent cheaper than the Croatian capital, while the rental price is 22.30 percent lower than in Zagreb.

In Split, on the other hand, a family of four needs 15,073.86 for living expenses (or 4,312.83 for a single person), making Split 6.93 percent cheaper than Zagreb, while the rent is 10.77 percent lower than in Zagreb.

Of the larger cities, life seems to be the cheapest in Osijek. For example, a family of four needs 13,295.23 kuna to live (single 3,894.22 kuna without rent), while in Osijek, the cost of living is 15.24 percent lower than in Zagreb, and the rental price is lower by 42.65 percent.

According to Numbeo, Croatia is one of the most expensive countries in this part of Europe. Croatia is in 59th place in terms of price, while Serbia is in 94th place. Kosovo ranks 134th and Bosnia and Herzegovina 96th. The most expensive countries in the world are Bermuda, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Barbados. 

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

Friday, 10 June 2022

The Art that Defines Croatia: From Lord Byron to Game of Thrones

June 10, 2022 - From renowned authors to thrilling narratives and illustrious actors and producers, there are certain masterpieces that reveal something essential about the crescent-shaped country of Europe. Croatia, a country overflowing with culture and a home to many creative souls, has faced richly deserved appreciation from various cultural works. These people and narratives have become integral to the country’s identity, demonstrating the way it is perceived through the eyes of foreigners. A look at the art that defines Croatia. 

Croatia has revealed itself to be a nation ‘forged in war’, emerging precisely in 1991 as an independent country. The centuries of unrest at the outer edges of earlier empires, as well as a devastating civil war when Tito’s Yugoslavia collapsed, had soon formed one of the most dynamic and creative countries in Europe; showcasing brilliancy to any tourist deciding to visit.

Starting from some of the distinguished books set in Croatia that depict the country’s enigmatic history, many will divulge in the “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon; A journey through Yugoslavia” written and published by Rebecca West. While those searching for a light-hearted novella might be lured into “Two Tickets to Dubrovnik” by Angus Kennedy as he depicts the area’s history and draws up a beautiful setting of the city. 

Moreover, not only are their books set in the celebrated central European and Mediterranean country but there are also authors who have shared their views on Croatia’s mesmerising landscapes. The great walled city of Dubrovnik, a popular tourist destination situated on the southern Adriatic coast, is famously known to be the “pearl of the Adriatic” as its picturesque views stun the most renowned poets of the world. This description from Lord Byron in the nineteenth century – one of the greatest Romantic poets in English Literature – has become unnoticed by numerous tourists that visit Dubrovnik every year.

Additionally, George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright who has been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Academy Award, shared his sentiments on the city’s sheer magnificence. Upon his visit to Dubrovnik in 1929 he revealed: “If you want to see Heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik”.

And of course, you know that it is no secret that Game of Thrones was set in Dubrovnik as its primary filming location, but were you aware that the country itself has been continuously producing fascinating talents within the movie industry? Some of these surprising actors and producers include John Malkovich – who has received Academy Award Nominations for his distinguished performances – and Goran Višnjić – a Croatian American actor making an appearance in both American and British films and television productions. 

For many, Croatia is the entrance to the New World, and the country’s distinct personality has been shaped by generations of shocking talents who have passed through or lived in the country. Its nation conveys incredible nature, astonishing history, and generations of artists who celebrate the beauty of such land. So, it seems that no aspect of the culture-rich country of Croatia has gone unexplored by authors or even filmmakers – making it a sight worth seeing!

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

Friday, 10 June 2022

Finnair Croatia Routes from Helsinki Boosted from June 20

June 10, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Finnair Croatia routes have been boosted to Split and Dubrovnik from June 20. 

Finnish airline and Oneworld alliance member Finnair will increase the number of flights to two Croatian airports in the second half of June, reports Croatian Aviation

Namely, Finnair will increase the number of flights to Split and Dubrovnik from June 20, while the number of weekly flights between Helsinki and Zagreb will remain the same as before.

The Finnish national airline will operate 24 return flights between Helsinki and Zagreb until the end of July this year. The line was introduced on May 1 this year, and operations continue three times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Instead of aircraft from the A320 family, the airline will mainly use smaller capacity aircraft, type E190 (100 seats) between the two cities, while A319 aircraft have also been announced on certain dates. 

By the end of July, Finnair will offer a total of 5,480 seats between Helsinki and Zagreb.

As for Split Airport, three flights a week are announced until June 19, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and from June 20, a fourth flight a week is available, every Friday. The stated number of weekly operations is planned through the peak summer season. Unlike the route to Zagreb, Finnair to Split is announcing A321 and A320 aircraft (209 and 174 seats). 

Between Split and Helsinki, Finnair will offer 11,840 seats by the end of July. 

The situation is similar in Dubrovnik. Until June 19, three flights a week are also announced, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and from the next day, a flight is also available on Thursdays. A320 and A321 aircraft have been announced between the two cities, but A321 aircraft will be more frequent in Resnik than in Čilipi.

Between Dubrovnik and Helsinki, the Finnish airline is offering 11,655 seats until July 31.

Finnair counted on a larger number of transfer passengers from Asia, but due to the war in Ukraine and the closure of Russian airspace, routes to Asia have either been significantly reduced or suspended, so most passengers are on lines to or from Croatia point-to-point.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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