Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Good Energy Tour to Promote Solar Energy in Croatian Cities

October 13, 2021 - Solar energy in Croatian cities will be promoted thanks to the Good Energy tour, held for the second time in October and November this year. 

The Green Energy Cooperative (ZEZ) announces that, in cooperation with the European initiative Covenant of Mayors, the Association of Cities, and the Island Movement, it will conduct a Good Energy tour for the second time in October and November to promote solar energy in Croatian cities, reports Jutarnji List.

The first edition of the tour was held in autumn 2020 when the cooperative visited 11 Croatian cities in continental Croatia and Istria, and this year will include 12 new cities in northern and central Croatia (Čakovec, Ludbreg, Prelog, Zaprešić, Ivanić-Grad), Slavonia (Slavonski Brod, Pleternica, Slatina) and the coast and islands (Zadar, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Hvar).

"With 0.5 percent of electricity obtained from the sun, Croatia is at the bottom of the European Union in terms of using its solar potential. The Good Energy Tour is one of the initiatives we want to encourage its greater use. That is why we gave priority in choosing the host cities of this year's edition to cities that have stood out in their application for our public call for their commitment and readiness to invest further in solar energy, especially in the context of achieving the goals of the European Green Plan."

The cost of installing a home solar power plant, installation conditions, necessary documentation, opportunities for co-financing, association with fellow citizens to exchange energy, as stated in the notice, are just some of the valuable information that citizens will have the opportunity to learn first hand at free training on solar energy in the host cities of the Good Energy tour.

"The use of solar energy is no longer a matter of the distant future. Home solar power plants are affordable and usable in every part of Croatia, and we want to help citizens realize them in a way that will be maximally profitable for them," said the Green Energy Cooperative.

They also state that the campaign is locally focused to bring the opportunities related to the use of solar energy closer to as many citizens as possible through direct communication and encourage understanding of solar energy as a local resource that can be a carrier of Croatian cities. In addition to training on the installation of domestic solar power plants, the Green Energy Cooperative will support 12 host cities in the development and investment in solar energy projects through advisory activities as part of the tour.

They invite all citizens interested in participating in the free education to pre-register via the application form. The first cities that ZEZ will visit as part of the tour are Čakovec on October 19, Ludbreg on October 21, and Prelog on October 26, and detailed information on training in each city and tour schedule can be found on the website of the Green Energy Cooperative www.zez.coop.

The Croatian Parliament passed the Electricity Market Act on 1 October, an essential law in the green transition that transposes all the provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on standard rules for the internal market in electricity and amending Directive 2012/27 / EU (OJ L 158, 14.6.2019).

Adopting the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration, which has passed the first reading, is also expected and is adopted following Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on access to energy from renewable sources. The proposal for this law should be adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia at the end of October 2021, and its entry into force is expected by the end of November 2021.

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

Saturday, 29 May 2021

MEP Zovko Pushes for Croatia's Use of Opportunities from New European Bauhaus

ZAGREB, 29 May 2021 - The new European Bauhaus, an initiative about climate adaptation of the built environment, is an opportunity for Croatia to raise the architectural and living standards, notably in the quake-hit areas, Croatian MEP Željana Zovko told Hina on Saturday.

The idea about a new European Bauhaus was presented by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union speech last year. In her address to the European Parliament on that occasion, she outlined her plan to create a "new European Bauhaus" to kickstart a cultural and sustainable movement in the European Union.

The New European Bauhaus, named after the influential German design school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, will be part of the €750 billion NextGenerationEU investment and recovery plan put in place following the coronavirus pandemic. 

Zovko, a member of the European Parliament from the ranks of the European People's Party (EPP), says that the initiative "is still in its infancy", however, the purpose is to encourage citizens, experts and professionals to develop their communities in accordance with the principles of energy sustainability and taking spatial planning approach.

The European Union is set to provide financial support to innovative ideas in that regard, with the aim of ensuring the green and digital transformation of aesthetically pleasing structures, according to this Croatian MEP.

Green construction will be the basis of a new vision of cities and rural areas in the European Union, she said.

"The new European vision will satisfy climate neutrality, and at the same make cities and villages tailored to man" she added.

The European Commission has recently published "Renovation Wave", explaining that a refurbished and improved building stock in the EU will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system, as the building sector is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe and is responsible for more than one third of the EU's emissions.

The EC calls for effective action to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.

Until 2030, 35 million buildings are supposed to undergo energy efficient renovation.

Thus, the EC aims to double annual energy renovation rates in the next ten years. "These renovations will enhance the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and create up to 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector," the EC says on its web site.

New Bauhaus seen as opportunity for post-quake reconstruction of central Croatia

Earlier this year, Zovko sent a request to the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, for expanding the New European Bauhaus initiative to include the safety of construction and architecture, having in mind two devastating earthquakes that hit Croatia in 2020.

Zovko is confident that funds envisaged under the New European Bauhaus scheme could be made available for reconstruction of the quake-affected areas.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Green Energy Pal: FER Students Developing Personal Energy Consultant

May the 17th, 2021 - A talented team of innovative Croatian students from Zagreb's FER are jointly developing Green Energy Pal, which works as a personal energy consultant to its users.

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, Green Energy Pal is a student startup which is busy developing the aforementioned service, which isn't new but was expensive and as such has been very limited to only large companies until now.

''We look at electricity almost mechanically. There are sockets, plugs, bulb sockets, switches, timers, extension cords... all of that is mechanical. However, with the advent of smart lamps, smart thermostats, and even smart watches, which send consumption data over wireless networks directly to energy companies, it shows that electricity is becoming less mechanical and more smart,'' state the Green Energy Pal team, otherwise one of the ten finalists of this year's Student DIGI Award.

Green Energy Pal is a student startup developing a digital energy consultant. As previously stated, it isn't a new service in itself, but so far it has been limited exclusively to the largest companies that can afford it. All electricity sellers, in fact, have a team of consultants who offer large industrial plants, shopping malls, ports and office buildings energy audits, investment analysis and technology installations, all in order to optimise their energy consumption. Energy companies thus meet the needs of their customers, and they in turn pay for such a service, enjoy the additional savings and become their subscribers.

Ivan Pavic, a member of the Green Energy Pal team and an expert in the electricity market, says that such work is expensive primarily because it still needs to be done manually.

''Although such an approach is possible and cost-effective for large users, it isn't applicable for small and medium enterprises that don't have so much financial power or so many savings opportunities. That's why we're developing a digital solution in the form of a personal energy consultant called Green Energy Pal,'' explained Pavic.

Four doctoral students from the Department of High Voltage and Power Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb (FER) are working on the Green Enery Pal project. Two are focused on energy trends, regulations and needs, and the other two on software and hardware development.

In addition to Ivan Pavic, who is developing a business model, there's also an automation expert, the organiser of the first blockchain development meetup in Zagreb and the architect of their IT system, Alen Hrga, then there's a physicist, a power expert and head of development of their artificial intelligence algorithms, Ivan Sudic, and the head of the team and Master of Electrical Engineering, Domagoj Badanjak.

Ivan Pavic emphasised that this division isn't so fixed and that they complement each other a lot, explaining that they were pushed into this endeavor by friendship and good cooperation so far.

''All four of us are doctoral students at the Department of High Voltage and Energy at FER and we've worked together on many scientific and professional projects, and often together we guide students in preparing their own seminars and diploma theses, and we also write professional and scientific articles for magazines and conferences,'' stated Pavic.

Thanks to that, added Pavic, they are well acquainted with the current trends in energy. For example, the European Union (EU) has a very ambitious goal to become a leader in the fight against climate change, so for that, savings in electricity consumption have a strategic, political component, which will affect both regulation and the economy.

''I'd like to point out 2030 as the deadline for increasing energy efficiency by 32.5 percent, and to achieve such ambitious goals a great burden will fall on the profession, so energy consultations should be democratised, and that's our goal precisely,'' stated Pavic.

He added that their personal energy consultant, Green Energy Pal, is a combination of hardware and software that collects real-time data on its electricity consumption at the user's location, analyses it and then offers recommendations based on the results. The user manages the entire system via a web interface. In the background, sensors and a microcomputer are located in its location in the distribution cabinet. They send data to the Green Energy Pal cloud and there that data is analysed by artificial intelligence.

''It's the brain of our product and it recognises each device individually, be it a TV or an oven, predicts future consumption, analyses peak power and much more,'' said Pavic.

He explained that based on all this, the user can be given suggestions as to whether it pays to replace a device with something more economical, change their tariff, change their heating method, make an investment, and even include alternative energy sources in the system, such as solar or heat pumps. In addition, it can assess the performance of the charging station for electric vehicles as well as the benefits of selling excess energy back into the grid.

Pavic stated that so far, small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those in the catering and hospitality industry, have shown the most interest in Green Energy Pal, and that in the end they plan to offer their solution to households as well. With their startup, they also entered FER's SPOCK incubator, and also joined the BAIF Programme of the Croatian Employers' Association, as well as the STup and Student DIGI Award startup competitions.

''We were happy to enter the Student DIGI Award of Jutarnji list, because it's a confirmation of our idea, which gives us a bit of wind in our sails for the future. It wasn't easy to break through,'' concluded Pavic.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Complete Lightweight Plastic Bag Ban in Croatia This Year!

April. 30, 2021 - A complete plastic bag ban in Croatia will come into force at some point this year, says Sanja Radović, head of the sector for sustainable municipal waste management at the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development.

How to motivate citizens to get involved in waste separation at home? Bills are a good motivator, according to Sanja Radović, Ph.D., head of the sector for sustainable municipal waste management at the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development.

"If I know that my bill would depend on how much waste I set aside, then I will be highly motivated. If that is not the case, I am afraid that most citizens will say: 'Let someone else do it for me,'" Radović said in an interview for the show "Good Morning, Croatia" on HRT.

The separation of useful raw materials from household waste is significant for the environment. Until 2017, this issue in Croatia was not fully regulated, so a regulation on municipal waste management was adopted, which applies to every Croatian household. According to Radović, Croatia must meet the goal of reducing waste disposal at landfills, which is why the decree brought about a change in the collection method - the more mixed municipal waste is thrown away, the more that will be paid.

"We have to forget everything that was thrown in the landfill for years - we have to increase waste separation and recycling and reduce waste disposal," she notes.

Citizens, she continues, need to know what is going on with their waste and why they are expected to separate it.

"It depends on the type of waste - in Croatia, we have companies that process and recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic. With plastic, it’s a little more complicated because it depends on the type of plastic. Each type of waste has its own processor, and utility companies must hand over waste to them separated by type," she says.

Each local government has its own way of separating waste - it can be bins or larger containers.

"How which municipality and city will organize it is their business. What must be separated is paper in one bin, biowaste in another, mixed waste in a separate one, and other packaging in another," Radović explains, adding that each municipality and city must hire municipal wardens in charge of waste control.

The president of the 'Nature for All' association, Ana Rosandić, says that it is useful to know that the remains of raw food are separated into biowaste. At the same time, thermally treated waste is thrown into mixed waste. Caps are a different type of plastic from liter bottles and the ‘safest’ form of plastic and can be recycled to, for example, make children’s toys. Disposable masks should go to infectious waste, but since this is not available to citizens at their doorstep, they can be separated into mixed waste.

When it comes to plastic bags, Radović says that we distinguish between lightweight and very lightweight.

"You can get lightweight carrying bags in the store or buy them at the checkout, and very lightweight ones are for vegetables and fruits, which are torn from the roll. Croatia has been charging for lightweight plastic bags for several years to reduce consumption. What the new law on waste management, which is still in the process, brings this year, is a complete ban on lightweight plastic bags - it will no longer be possible to buy them," says Sanja and notes that the new measure was adopted because the waste reduction goals have not been achieved. Instead of plastic bags, it is recommended to use your own canvas bags.

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

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Sana Delikatese Presents Cool Edible Straws and Spoons!

April 20, 2021 - Since it appeared on the market seven years ago, the Koprivnica-based company Sana Delikatese has been following and setting food trends in Croatia. It is now taking a step further.

As Privredni.hr reports, the crisis caused by the pandemic hit Sana hard as a small developing company. Still, this time the company's team exceeded expectations in the innovation of new products. Inspired by the desire to preserve the environment, they presented Cool straws and teaspoons - edible and completely biodegradable products based on apple fiber.

"Cool straws are the only apple fiber-based straws in the world, and we are extremely proud that Sana and Wisefood present them to our market. We are sure that they will be a favorite summer addition to juices and cocktails. Cool teaspoons will make many balls of your favorite ice cream even better. We believe that with these innovative, environmentally friendly products, we have brought new solutions to our HoReCa partners, who now more than ever need to prepare interesting news for their guests and show their concern for health and the environment. We will delight many consumers as we have done in recent years as part of our motto Enjoy Healthy! If Cool straws and teaspoons will help at least a little in preserving our planet, our goal will be met", said director Silvija Repić.

These are edible straws and spoons that can solve many environmental problems that the world has been struggling with for years. Edible Cool straws are made from natural ingredients, primarily wheat and apple fiber, and sweetened with steviol glycoside. They are of exceptional quality and strength and last up to 60 minutes in cold drinks or smoothies and even up to 20 minutes in hot drinks.

Edible Cool teaspoons are made from rice and cornflour, and apple fiber and are sweetened with sweeteners. With them, you can eat as many as five scoops of ice cream and stir your favorite coffee or eat pudding. The teaspoons are gluten-free.

Precisely, biodegradable with these straws and teaspoons gives an additional advantage over other natural materials. Even if they are not eaten, they can be easily degraded in nature. Other products must first be collected to be recycled or prepared for compost.

For more about Made in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Croatia Longboards Offer Cool and Green Around-Town Travel

ZAGREB November 19, 2020 - Noticeably bigger than a skateboard, longboards are a cool alternative to urban travel. Meet Croatia's first longboard manufacturers, Crushboards, whose eco-friendly products are healthier to use and way more stylish than other green options

You can walk around some European towns and cities and wonder just where the future is going to fit in. The narrow streets seem to want to accommodate only cars, with pedestrians demoted to the narrow edges. Zagreb isn't like that. Osijek and other towns and cities in Croatia are not like that.

scooter-5723429_1920.jpgWith 220 kilometres of dedicated cycle paths, the city of Zagreb and its residents have been quick to adopt the latest green-friendly ways of getting around the urban environment

You only need take a glance at the generous cycle paths around Zagreb to see that this is a city that could easily take on the challenges of a future not reliant on fossil fuels – electric scooters, foldaway bikes, gyroscooters, electric skateboards and monowheels have joined bicycles on the streets of Zagreb as an easy means to get round the city. Could longboards be the next popular choice?

Started by three lifelong friends from Čakovec, Crushboards is the first company in the country to make Croatian longboards. Like a skateboard, only bigger, longboards are well suited to the urban environment of a city like Zagreb.

_MG_4831.jpegČakovčani (l-r) Marko Hlebar, Davor Nikolic and Sanda Bogdan inside the Zagreb workshop of Crushboards © Vedran Pažin

“This board is longer than a skateboard - 100 centimetres in length.,” Crushboards co-founder Marko Hlebar told TCN when we went to visit their workshop in Zagreb. He runs Crushboards with Davor Nikolic and Sanda Bogdan. “It's a bit heavier than a normal skateboard and uses different wheels. You can perform different tricks on each, dependant on the weight of the board, but the main thing for us is that a longboard is easier to ride on in the urban environment, in the city.”

101552412_123563706022912_7636344130213249024_o.jpgPractising on a Crushboards longboard inside a Zagreb park. The boards are intended as much for a regular inner-city commute as they are for such trickery

“The wheels are larger so it's easier to travel on one of these in the city than it is on a regular skateboard,” Marko tells us. “It's better for travelling to work or to appointments, your feet get less tired.”

Rather than being the latest cool evolution in skateboards, it turns out that longboards have been around for a long time. In fact, the very first skateboards that were made probably looked more like the hip, eco-friendly product made by Crushboards than a regular skateboard.

99329090_116518096727473_4946099507898089472_o.jpgCrushboards see their main product as part of a lifestyle choice - so, it's little surprise to learn they also make their own super-cool t-shirts and accessories

Skateboards were first made in America during the 1940s as a practice board for surfers who were prevented from taking to the waves because of bad weather. But, during its infancy, there were few options available to manufacturers in the skateboarding industry – boards were made using rollerskate wheels, whose size demanded a board closer to that of today's longboard.

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The longboard was, therefore, the first popular urban skateboard and remained so until the 1960s. It has fallen in and out of fashion ever since – the development of ultra-fast wheels saw them rise again in popularity due to them being well suited to downhill racing (the bigger board better absorbs the vibrations produced from speed). The relatively recent phenomenon of longboard dancing has also increased the boards' popularity in Asia.

Longboards and longboard dancing are a huge hit in some cities of Asia, in particular in South Korea

Like regular skateboards, several different types and designs of longboard exist for different uses. The ones currently made by Crushboards are specifically designed for urban travel. Their boards are made using several thin layers of different materials, which strengthen and provide flexibility when glued together. They are finished on the top side with either oak or walnut, with the other layers holding cherry, teak, fibreglass, carbon, kevlar and two veneers. The wheels and their mounts are currently imported, but Crushboards hope to eventually source as much of the materials required from sustainable sources within Croatia.

108604933_145240637188552_5716246914150156677_o.jpgInside one of Crushboards' longboards

With 220 kilometres of cycle paths occurring throughout Zagreb, the Croatian capital is quick to embrace green modes of transport. Many Croatians are also health-conscious – a motorised scooter or skateboard might get around the city quickly, but they don't increase your exercise quota. Perhaps there's room on Zagreb's streets for these cool urban alternatives to the skateboards of our youths?

All uncredited photos © Crushboards

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Sale of Single-Use Plastic Products Banned in Croatia from July 1, 2021

November 19, 2020 - The sale of single-use plastic products banned in Croatia next summer - a look at what that means from July 1, 2021. 

Vecernji List reports that the sale of disposable plastic products such as light plastic bags, q-tips, cutlery, plates, straws, and beverage mixing sticks will be banned in Croatia from July 1, 2021. This is determined by the new Law on Waste Management, the proposal of which was prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development following EU directives.

Under EU directives, Member States have an obligation to ban the sale of single-use plastic products until July 3, 2021, and Croatia has decided to do so on the first day of July next year. This will ban the sale of oxo-degradable plastic products, balloon-attached sticks, and plastic food containers made of expanded polystyrene, such as boxes with or without lids used to hold food intended for immediate consumption that doesn't require any further preparation such as baking, cooking, or heating.

From July next year, containers and beverage cups made of expanded polystyrene, including stoppers and lids, will also be banned. One of the most important innovations, which many will feel when shopping is the ban on light plastic bags. These are carrying bags with a thickness of more than 15 and less than 50 micrometers. Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and the Council on reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products with measures for disposable plastic products, which include a ban on selling them, was adopted last year.

EU directives set new, higher goals for waste separation and recycling by 2035, which were also implemented in the new Croatian Law on Waste Management, which is now being adopted. Thus, at least 55 percent of the mass of municipal waste must be recovered by recycling and preparation for reuse by 2025, while that percentage is 60 percent by 2030 and 65 percent by 2035. Also, the amount of municipal waste disposed of in landfills must not exceed 10 percent of the total municipal waste mass produced by 2035. And according to the latest preliminary calculation of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for the municipal waste separation rate in Croatia, in 2019, it was about 37 percent, which is an increase of six percent compared to 2018.

As for the disposal of municipal waste in Croatia, more than 60 percent is still disposed of in landfills. The bill stipulates, among other things, that 77 percent of the weight of beverage bottles, including their caps and lids, placed on the market during the year must be collected separately by 2025 to recycle disposable plastic products separately. That percentage by 2029 must be 90 percent. On the other hand, companies and entrepreneurs can be satisfied with the novelty of the law, which abolishes the obligation to appoint a commissioner for waste management and a deputy commissioner for legal entities that employ 50 or more persons. Also, the obligation to obtain a certificate of training in waste management is abolished for these persons. These certificates will no longer be required for directors, i.e., natural persons who manage the public service provider to collect mixed municipal waste.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Numerous Croatian Islands Chase Energy Independence in Coming Years

As Morski writes on the 29th of October, 2020, following the first two years of the EU Clean Energy Secretariat's initiative, these Croatian islands form part of a growing community of islands actively working on the energy transition of the European Union.

22 European islands will announce their clean energy transition programmes, thus taking a firm step towards decarbonising their energy systems with a special focus on citizen involvement. An additional 7 EU islands will announce their programs in the near future, reports the Island Movement (Pokret otoka).

A Ilha de Arousa (Spain), the Hvar Archipelago (Croatia), Brac (Croatia), Cape Clear (Ireland), Halki (Greece), Ibiza (Spain), Kasos and Symi (Greece), Korcula (Croatia), Kökar (Finland) ), Menorca (Spain), Pantelleria (Italy), Ouessant, Molène and Île de Sein (France) and Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna, Fair Isle, Foula and the Knoydart Peninsula (Scotland) have developed a transition plan adapted over the past nine months which also covers their individual needs and resources.

Most of these islands were pioneer islands selected back in February 2019 in a competition by the Secretariat for Clean Energy of the EU Islands, an initiative of the European Commission.

The islands' energy transition strategies have been written by island transition teams themselves, with the support of the Clean Energy Secretariat for EU Islands. A year ago, six pilot island initiatives announced their strategies.

An additional 7 islands currently in the process of final approval that will soon announce their transition plans are: Azores (Portugal), Mallorca (Spain), Marie-Galante (France), Belle-Île, Hoedic and Houat (France) and Crete Greece). They will be available on the website when they are ready.

The official announcement of the strategies will take place during the island's Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum, when decision-makers and representatives of the EU island community come together to discuss the future of the European Islands, EU Islands reports.

''These energy transition strategies are proof of the hard work and productive cooperation among islanders, both within their communities and between countries. It was truly inspiring to see what is possible when local people have the power and support to write their own future. We look forward to continuing to work with the EU's island communities to make the European Green Agreement a reality, both through this initiative and through other EU actions to support local energy transition,'' said European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.

Among these Croatian islands lies the Central Dalmatian island of Brac which wants to become energy independent by 2030 in order to provide its residents and visitors with a healthy environment. It plans to do so by increasing its own energy efficiency, installing renewable energy sources, arranging and improving public transport, and building a waste management centre.

The Hvar archipelago plans to be energy self-sufficient by 2035, and this transition should ensure the proactive involvement of both the islanders and energy communities.

Korcula wants to become carbon neutral by 2050 and become a green island where the community is guided by the principles of caring for people, caring for the environment, and preserving the common good and resources.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

PHOTOS: 22 Incredible Varazdin County Holiday Homes

October 20, 2020 - Escape to nature and peaceful seclusion in one of these incredible Varazdin County holiday homes

This year we've been forced to adapt. Our perspectives and priorities have changed. Sacrifices have been made. With stress coming from new angles, one sacrifice that many simply don't want to give up is their holidays. And nor should they.

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Introduced at just the right time for a new type of getaway, Varaždin County Tourist Board's 'My Varaždin Holiday' website showcases beautiful rural holiday homes that offer an escape into nature and peaceful seclusion. Here are incredible photos of 22 Varazdin County holiday homes from the portfolio.

Country House Imanje Pijevci

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Eva's House

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Flower Street House

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Taking a break and getting away from it all has arguably never been more needed. While the crowded parties and packed resorts of previous holidays must remain a memory for now, that doesn't mean you have to forgo your much-needed vacation altogether.

Hiža Golubić

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Holiday Home Bitosevje

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Holiday Home Boltar

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Holiday Home Brezovec

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Holiday Home Burg

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Most of the Varazdin County holiday homes are detached, offering privacy, peace and calm for you and your family or friends.

Holiday Home Kopjar

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Holiday Home Maturanec

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Holiday Home Milk & Honey

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Holiday Home Mintas

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Some 34 Varazdin County holiday homes are the first participants in the project. Each of the holiday homes is unique.

Kuća Lješnjaka

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Moments Pool House Trakošćan

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Oak Cottage / Apartman Matak

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Pool Jacuzzi Dreams

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Many hold a rustic architecture that blends in with their natural surroundings. Others are ultra-modern and hold outdoor swimming pools, indoor pools and jacuzzis.

Pool Village House

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Rural Holiday Home Domus Antiqua

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Rural House Gabriela

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Most have incredible views and stunning interiors. Each has a different story to tell. Not dependent on the season. Varazdin County holiday homes have a year-round appeal.

Villa Barbara

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Villa Mila

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All photos © Varaždin County Tourist Board / Siniša Sović / Domagoj Miletić

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Monday, 21 September 2020

Zagreb Streets Friendly For Feet - It's European Car Free Day Tomorrow

ZAGREB, September 21, 2020 - Residents and visitors to the Croatian capital will tomorrow learn how Zagreb street life was historically, as the city centre banishes almost all vehicles for European Car Free Day

What would Zagreb's residents of the past think of the city if they saw it today? The Croatian capital's boundaries now extend many kilometres into the surroundings, the huge Sava river is no longer any impediment to travel. The people of the city now live on both sides. Skyscrapers score the sky and well over half a million people can be seen on its streets, roads and highways.

Apart from the size and the unfamiliar building materials, the biggest shock would probably be the speed of the city. Buses and cars race down multiple-lane avenues and trams take you into almost every neighbourhood you'd want to visit.

Agram,_Capital_Palace,_with_Maria_Statue,_by_Fernkorn,_Croatia,_Austro-Hungary-LCCN2002710734.jpgKaptol, Zagreb in 1905, when almost every day looked like European Car Free Day

Tomorrow, Zagreb will return to a pace more familiar to former inhabitants as the city observes European Car Free Day. Motor vehicles will be banned from much of the city's centre between 8 am and 8 pm.

The area of the city centre observing European Car Free Day has the following boundaries; Trg bana Josipa Jelačića - Jurišićeva - Palmotićeva (western edge) - Boškovićeva (northern edge) - Hebrangova (northern edge) - Gundulićeva (eastern edge) - Ilica (northern edge) - Mesnička (eastern edge to Streljačka) - Mesnička - Demetrova - Ilirski trg - Radićeva - Trg bana Josipa Jelačića.

These streets form some of the oldest parts of Zagreb. Long have they been trodden by the pedestrians to whom they'll return tomorrow. Those travelling into the centre by car must park on the outskirts and take public transport into the heart of the city. Trams, taxis and buses will operate as normal.

1280px-BASA-142K-1-488-1-Zagreb.jpegCars began to be seen more regularly in Zagreb during the first half of the 20th-century. Not so much a European Car Free Day as a Croatian Tram Free Day - the city's famous tram network wasn't nearly so developed back then. The first city in Croatia to have trams was actually Osijek, who introduced a horse-pulled tram network in 1884.

The observance of car-free days is actually over 65 years old, although originally they were introduced in response to oil crises, not for environmental reasons. The more modern reason for having such days is to return city streets to pedestrians. Car-free days have taken place independently in European nations since the mid-1990s, and it 2000 they became aligned on the fixed date of 22 September. European Car Free Day is also a car-free day in many other countries outside of Europe, although this continent is the only one to currently observe it throughout its boundaries.

All uncredited photos lie within the public domain.

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