Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Walking Among the Treetops in Gorski Kotar May Soon Become a Reality

March 1st, 2022 - Seven locations in Gorski Kotar have been proposed for the construction of treetop promenades

The mountainous Gorski Kotar region would be a perfect setting for the so-called Walks in the Trees, i.e. promenades built a few metres above ground that make it possible to observe nature while walking among the treetops. Representatives of the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board are embracing the idea as they plan potential investments in the tourism infrastructure, writes Novi list.

At a recent tourism event in Slovenia, they got in touch with a prominent Czech investor Jan Hrebačka of the company Zažitkova Akademie who deals in construction of such facilities. He has shown considerable interest and requested additional information about potential locations in Gorski Kotar.

The tourist board contacted all local self-government units in this region and collected seven proposals as a result. In alphabetical order, Brod Moravice Municipality proposed the area around the Hunters’ House Lazica as a good location for a treetop walk. Delnice nominated the forest park Japlenški Vrh. Fužine proposed two options - the area along Lake Lepenica and the area around the lookout point on Preradović. In Lokve, there are plenty of scenic locations along the Lokvarsko Lake, Mrkopalj proposed the area Zagmajne, and Skrad proposed the mountain Skradski Vrh. Ravna Gora, Vrbovsko and Čabar have not yet come forth with their locations.

All the submissions are reinforced with data on the surface area of the proposed locations, as well as great video footage that will certainly help with the selection because it clearly shows the attributes of each proposed space. According to Gorski Kotar Tourist Board Director Petar Hrg, there are good chances of foreign investors deciding on one of the offered locations.

forest-g1721bd1da_1280.jpg

‘The fact that they were the first to contact us speaks of their interest in this area. They already have several such projects in Europe and each of them has become a tourist attraction, and the investors also benefit from the accompanying tourism infrastructure. Because of all this, the construction of such an attractive facility in any of the proposed locations would mean a lot for tourism in that particular area, but also for Gorski Kotar as a whole’, said Hrg.

He also pointed out that there are certain benefits associated with financing that could be seen as an incentive by the investor.

‘As a rule, this investor doesn’t call on the local self-government to participate, but starts the investment himself. Naturally, where these Gorski Kotar locations are considered, as well as any others that may be proposed later, each of the local self-governments will certainly try to set the best possible foundations through spatial planning and supporting infrastructure’ said Hrg.

Their potential future associates have been informed of this, and are soon coming to Gorski Kotar to visit all seven proposed locations.

‘We’ll strive to make the best possible impression on our guests, so that they wouldn’t only invest in one treetop promenade in this area, but more of them. In any case, their arrival presents us with a completely new idea for our region, which might motivate other investors to come up with similar ideas and ventures. Gorski Kotar is truly getting more and more interesting to many, which means that investors are increasingly turning to us. Of course, this should be appreciated, and we should try to attract as many of them as possible with a high quality offer’, said the Tourist Board director.

It should be noted that the proposal of the seven locations includes data on the proximity of big urban areas, the total population within 200 kilometres of Gorski Kotar, the strong tourist market of Kvarner and Istria which can easily generate visits to Gorski Kotar locations as well, etc. In short, this data can certainly convince potential investors that investing in tourism in the Gorski Kotar region is definitely worth their while.

 

Monday, 21 February 2022

Snowboarding Championship Moved from Delnice to Platak Over a Communication Breakdown

February 21st, 2022 - The Gorski Kotar town lost the bid to host the snowboarding event as all attempts of communication with the organisers fell through on both sides

Delnice, the biggest town in the mountainous Gorski Kotar region, was being considered for the host of an international snowboarding championship scheduled for March 5th, 2022.

The event was supposed to finally put the Delnice ski jumping ramps to good use, a facility that cost the County some 800,000 kuna when it was first built, only for it to never host any athletes or sporting events. Over time, the ramps became a sad symbol of pointless local investments, reports Novi list/Marinko Krmpotić.

A chance for Delnice to turn things around came when the town was presented with an opportunity to host a snowboarding championship in March 2022. The initiative came from Leo Pavela, a councillor of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, who reached out to president of Rijeka’s Snowboard Club Nine Miodrag Toskić to discuss potential plans for the organisation of the event.

‘Our goal was to use this international competition to present Delnice and Gorski Kotar in the media as Croatian ski destinations. At the event itself, we wanted to highlight the history of Delnice through the story of ski jumping, presentation of a former ski manufacturer and the promotion of Delnice as a centre for basic training of athletes. The entertainment programme was supposed to feature the best DJs of Gorski Kotar, and there were also negotiations to organise a sale of products made in Gorski Kotar’, said Pavela.

In October 2021, Toskić and Pavela met with Delnice Mayor Katarina Mihelčić and Director of the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board Petar Hrg. The parties agreed that the funds were to be raised in a joint effort, with Pavela tasked with securing 50,000 kuna from the county budget; the City of Delnice offered to allocate 30,000 kuna, and the tourist board was to provide 20,000 kuna.

This is where things got complicated, with a failure in communication that resulted in Delnice losing the bid to host the snowboarding event.

While the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board and the County both held their end of the bargain, Pavela and Toskić claim that Mayor Mihelčić failed to respond to their request for funding, first sent by Toskić on December 1st, 2021. An official reply was reportedly sent from the City of Delnice, but was returned to sender over an incorrect address several times in the span of two months.

‘It’s unbelievable that regardless of the fact that mail was returned to the local authorities several times, no one at the City of Delnice found it necessary to check the address or notify the organiser by email, or at least give him a phone call to resolve the issue. Such negligence shown by the City towards the event that was supposed to be very important for the promotion of winter sports in Delnice and Gorski Kotar resulted in the transfer of Delnice Snowboard Session to Platak, which saddened many people of Gorski Kotar’, said Pavela.

As the organisers didn’t receive a guarantee they’d get the promised funding in time, a decision was made for the snowboarding event to be held in Platak instead of Delnice. Platak is a ski resort located to the northeast of Rijeka.

1440px-Delnice__Croatia.jpgDelnice 

Delnice Mayor Katarina Mihelčić tells a different story. Approached by Novi list for a comment on the accusations, she called Pavela’s statements an arbitrary interpretation of facts.

‘All we asked of the organisers was to apply to the tender of the City of Delnice before February 18th, 2022 so that we could justify the allocation of funds from the City’s budget in the amount of 30,000 kuna. Moreover, we tried to inform the organisers of this both by email and regular mail’, said Mayor Mihelčić.

She provided a detailed timeline of the bizarre chain of events: on December 9th, the City of Delnice informed the organisers that the funds were not set aside in the city budget and that they need to apply to a public tender. In the same month, on the 10th and 31st respectively, the City sent two notices in the mail, but both letters were returned marked ‘Unknown recipient’.

Toskić called the Mayor’s offices on January 11th, 2022 to let them know he didn’t receive their reply, and gave them the email of the snowboarding club so that they could forward him a scanned copy. Three days later, on January 14th, he called again saying he didn't get the email and again gave them the same email address, along with his private email.

A month later, he emailed the mayor saying that the snowboarding club would be forced to move the championship to Platak if the City of Delnice doesn’t sponsor the event with 30,000 kuna.

On February 15th, a reply was sent to Toskić stating that the City of Delnice can allocate funds in the maximum possible amount of 5,000 kuna at this point, in accordance with the valid legislation regarding sponsorship. He was again encouraged to apply to the public tender, and the rest of the necessary funds would have been allocated from a different section of the budget, namely the funds intended for the development of tourism.

In return, Toskić sent a reply on February 16th stating that he doesn’t have time to apply to tenders, that he couldn’t launch the final phase of the organisation without signed sponsorship agreements, and that the entire championship would be organised at Platak instead.

‘We wanted to give them the funds, but only in accordance with legal provisions that clearly define the manner and purpose of the allocation. The Club was not able to meet those demands, and now they assign us the blame. I wonder why, and if it was all done on purpose to create another media affair’, said Mihelčić. The last part of her statement likely refers to a recent dispute between several parties interested in the lease of a business space in Delnice, with the public tender reportedly carried out in a somewhat questionable manner.

The Town of Delnice provided documentation to Novi list, including the email correspondence which clearly shows they demanded that the organisers apply to the public tender so that the funds could be allocated for the event.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Skiing Can Return to Petehovac Near Delnice Thanks to Cable Car Approval

February 13, 2022 - The Petehovac Mountaineering Center has all the necessary paperwork to operate its cable car - all it's missing is snow.

There will still be skiing on Petehovac! Of course, if there is snow. This is all thanks to the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County budget, more precisely to councilor Leo Pavela, who managed to get a financial aid of 55,000 kuna, thanks to which the cable car issue on Petehovac has been solved for this year and the next three or four years, reports Novi List.

In other words, this means that the Petehovac Mountaineering Center has all the necessary paperwork to operate the cable car, which is ready to get back into action. The snowmobile is also prepared, and all Petehovac needs is snow.

Petehovac Mountaineering Center workers are thrilled. Srećko Orešković and his son Bruno said:

"First of all, I sincerely thank the county councilor Pavela, but also everyone else in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County because, after our requests to many, they were the first to show great understanding and provide funds to pay for the cable car certification. For those who do not know what it is about, it should be said that this is a fundamental point without which there is no skiing. If we do not get the certificate, the cable car does not have a work permit. We would pay for that certificate ourselves if our laws were resolved properly. But the problem is that we have to pay for that certificate, even if not an inch of snow falls after that. That's why we used to be at a loss before, so we didn't even want to open the ski resort because it wasn't certain there would be snow. Now it is possible, and all we are waiting for is snow. If there is no snow this winter, we believe it will be next when we will solve that certificate again with county help and prepare for the season that will begin already in December if there is snow. Moreover, since the certification of the cable car is valid for the whole calendar year, we will be able to organize summer skiing on grass, for which we received very high-quality equipment and for which we are sure that this summer will be a hit of Petehovac," says Orešković.

Leo Pavela, councilor of the Kvarner and Gorski Kotar party, believes that this is only the first step in helping Gorski Kotar, especially from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County: "There are about 400 smaller ski resorts in Slovenia, whose work is regularly supported by the EU and the state, with as much as 60,000 euros for each ski resort.

This is normal for them, so they have highly developed winter tourism and numerous successes in winter sports. Gorski Kotar undoubtedly has all the conditions for the development of winter tourism. Still, they can't do it alone, and the help of the county and the state so far has been too weak, not even close to that provided by the Slovenian state to its entrepreneurs. These were the reasons why I insisted on helping to pay the so-called in-depth analysis and attestation for the cable car on Petehovac, and I think that the County should direct part of the funds of its small toboggan development project to Petehovac, more precisely the funds intended for the purchase of the conveyor belt," said Pavela.

Bruno Orešković used the opportunity to announce a significant investment of about 3 million euros in Camp Vrata Risnjak, which will be located at the entrance to NP Risnjak and offer the latest glamping and camping facilities:

"This is a location that will offer five-star services at the highest possible level. There will be 22 houses, two buildings, a wellness center, a sports center, a cinema, a restaurant, a shop, a tourist agency, an outdoor and indoor pool. We will provide funds with the help of the EU and very high-quality investors. The first works on the Risnjak Gate will begin this year if all goes well. Here, too, the County expressed its understanding by paying for the preparation of the necessary project documentation, and I hope that in the future, it will stand behind this project that will benefit the tourism of Gorski Kotar as a whole" said Oreskovic.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 28 January 2022

PHOTOS: Snowy Riversides and Magical Mountains of Croatia in January 2022

January 28, 2022 – The snowy riversides and magical mountains of Croatia in January 2022 show a spectacular and all-natural winter wonderland.

Snow finally stuck to the streets of central Zagreb for a couple of days this week. Early morning temperatures dropped to the lowest yet of this winter. Despite the chill, clear skies and sunshine days were enough to see the snow soon melt away.

But, far from the city, the snowy riversides and magical mountains of Croatia in January 2022 have kept their white blanket for longer. These all-natural landscapes look epic after the snowfall. For winter walkers and climbers – or even just lovers of photography – these images are way more spectacular than the bright lights and theatre of the Advent season.

Let's take a closer look at the winter wonderland of snowy riversides and magical mountains of Croatia in January 2022.
Gorski Kotar
Delnice, Lokve, Fužine, Stara Sušica, Ravna Gora

261435205_280374700697029_6373214118916472871_n.jpg© Turistička zajednica Gorskog kotara

Delnice2345678.jpg© Turistička zajednica Gorskog kotara

Vladimir_Franolić.jpgFrom above, Dvorac Stara Sušica © Vladimir Franolić

GorskiBranko_Lautar_Višnja_Bolf.jpg© Branko Lautar & Višnja Bolf

Gorski_Fužine_Jezero_Bajer_Marino_Kirinčić.jpgJezero Bajer near Fužine © Marino Kirinčić

GorskiGorskiBranko_Lautar_Višnja_Bolfrtghbn.jpg© Branko Lautar & Višnja Bolf

Japlenški_vrh_Forest_Park_Delnicedfghjmn.jpg© Turistička zajednica Gorskog kotara

GorskiBranko_Lautar_Višnja_Bolfsdfghjmn.jpgAnother view of Dvorac Stara Sušica © Branko Lautar & Višnja Bolf

Risnjak National Park and Snježnik Hrvatski

Risnjak.jpg© Risnjak National Park

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentil.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentildfgbhn.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentildfghbn.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentilfgt.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentilftgyh.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentilgfyhn.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Snježnik_hrvatskiĆuća-Žentilrftgvb.jpgSnježnik hrvatski © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

For more about Risnjak National Park, look here

Velebit
Northern Velebit National Park

VelebitNPDejan_Delač.jpg© Dejan Delač

VelebitNPDejan_Delač4rtgh.jpg© Dejan Delač

VelebitNPVedran_Katalinić.jpg© Vedran Katalinić

For more about Northern Velebit National Park, look here

Velebit Nature Park

Ljubičko_BrdoIvan_Cuca-Zentilxdfghnm.jpgLjubičko Brdo © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Ljubičko_BrdoIvan_Cuca-Zentilrtyh.jpgLjubičko Brdo © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Ljubičko_BrdoIvan_Cuca-Zentildrtyhgbn.jpgLjubičko Brdo © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Ljubičko_BrdoIvan_Cuca-Zentil.jpgLjubičko Brdo © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Ljubičko_BrdoIvan_Cuca-Zentilrf.jpgLjubičko Brdo © Ivan Ćuća-Žentil

Paklenica National Park

PaklenicaMario_Jurina.jpg© Mario Jurina

BojinacPaklenicIvanCoric.jpgBojinac © Ivan Coric Photography

BojinacPaklenicIvanCoricedfgvb.jpgBojinac © Ivan Coric Photography

For more about Paklenica National Park, look here

Kloštar Podravski, Podravina and Koprivnica-Križevci County

IvanN.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanN4rfghjn.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanN1234.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNdfghjmk.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNt5yhj.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNtghb.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNtyuhjnjk.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNtgh.jpg© Ivan Nemet

IvanNsdfghjkm.jpg© Ivan Nemet

For more about the Drava river in Koprivnica-Križevci County look here. For more about the area of Podravina containing Kloštar Podravski and Đurđevac, look here

Slavonski Brod

BrodMirna_Šikić.jpg© Mirna Šikić

Oriovac_na_ribnjacima_Slavonski_BrodAntun_Lukšić.jpgThe wetlands and ponds in Oriovac near Slavonski Brod are not only home to fish - over 50 species of birds visit these waters © Antun Lukšić

For more about Slavonski Brod, look here

Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park

ZumerakSvetiGeraDomagoj_Novosel.jpgThe high peak of Sveti Gera, on the western edge of Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park © Domagoj Novosel

The author would like to thank each of the photographers who kindly loaned their work to him for this article

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Weather Lore in Croatia: Lokve Folk Calendar Predicts the Weather in 2022

January 9th, 2022 - How did people go about predicting the weather back in the day, before the invention of measuring instruments? Looking into a traditional method preserved in Lokve, a town in Gorski kotar where folk meteorologists predict the weather for the year ahead based on a short period in December

We’re a bit spoiled these days with detailed weather forecasts awaiting only a few clicks away. Have you ever wondered how people used to go about this before weather apps and modern meteorology? With no measuring instruments yet invented, they had only their environment and the skies above to rely on, giving way to a diverse body of weather folklore.

There are many folk sayings and customs related to weather in Croatia - too many for a single post. This time, we’ll focus on an old tradition that’s been passed down for generations among the people of Lokve, a town in the Gorski kotar region.

Called ‘brojanica’ in Croatian, the traditional method allows for predicting what the weather will be like in the entire year based on a short period in December - a fine example of weather lore preserved to this day.

Local folk meteorologists in Lokve carefully track weather conditions and changes during the 12 days between the holiday of St Lucia (December 13th) and Christmas Eve (24th). Each of those days is associated with one of 12 months in a year; the weather conditions recorded on a given day are taken as a forecast for the whole related month, with some adjustments to fit the different seasons. E.g. if it’s cold and sunny on St Lucia, it’s expected that the whole month of January will be cold and sunny as well.

Lake_Lokve_near_Rijeka_-_panoramio.jpg

Lake Lokve / velfran

Novi list reported that the diligent folk meteorologists in Lokve kept a close eye on the weather this past December as well, resulting in publication of the 2022 Lokve calendar with the forecast for the entire year.

What awaits us in 2022? The calendar designer Nikola Pleše says we don’t have to worry about extreme weather this year.

‘Tracking of the weather conditions between St Lucia and Christmas Eve has shown that those 12 days didn’t bring any extremes, so based on our tradition and folk wisdom, we don’t expect anything too dramatic in regards to weather conditions this year’, he said.

The forecast for January has already proven to be true. ‘In the first week of the new year, St Lucia will unfurl a tall, grey fog over Lokve and only show us sunlight and moonlight in traces. From the 20th of the month, days will be clearer and calm, but colder’, says the calendar. And even though this refers to Lokve in particular, the nearby Kvarner bay has also been completely enveloped in thick fog for the first week of 2022.

In the poetic forecast for the month of February, it’s said that ‘the skies will hide behind a tall, thick fog, in which not even little birds will dare to make a peep. From February 15th onwards, the sun will rip the fog apart…’.

Not much for the people of Gorski kotar to look forward to in March either: ‘Days will remain drooly, full of fog, adorned by a rare snowflake or glistening frost’, up to March 20th when the northern winds are expected to sweep the fog away.

dawn-g0a8a41657_1920.jpg

Come April, the weather will finally start looking up, and in May, ‘days will be bright and warm, making people, birds and plants more cheerful.’ This trend will keep up in June, as the month is to be ‘sunny and dry, already in full bloom by Midsummer’s day (Ivanje), and more humid and hot towards St Peter’s Day (Petrovo).’

A lot of wonderful summer weather in July and August as well, leading to a bountiful harvest in September. ‘It will be a sunny, clear month, smelling of the abundance of everything we’ll have planted in Lokve soil this spring’, says the forecast.

And that’s about it when it comes to nice weather in Lokve this year. The last three months of 2022 will supposedly be quite damp, same as in the beginning of the year. A lot of fog, frost, and cold wind are expected in autumn, but it won’t be too cold until late December when the southern jugo wind will be replaced by the dry bura wind that will have the temperature drop sub zero and usher in the winter season.

trees-ged76e47a9_1920.jpg

The weather forecast for this year’s weather calendar was created by Mirjana Pleše and her daughter Ivana, Andreja Marković, Tanjica Šafar, Marijana Rakas and Eleonora Grgurić, with Nikola Pleše behind the calendar’s graphic design.

Beyond the folk traditions, Lokve is a fantastic destination for a day trip that will delight any fans of outdoor activities. The town is home to the cave Lokvarka, the deepest cave in Croatia open to the public. Not a fan of subterranean strolls? Head to the nearby Lake Lokve (Croatian: Lokvarsko jezero) for a scenic walk or a bike ride with a view. Make sure to contact the local tourist board beforehand, though - the (artificial) lake will be drained for a period of time in 2022 for regular maintenance, so you might as well know what kind of view to expect during your visit!

 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Opatija Celebrates Advent Again This Year With a Fully Decorated City

November 16, 2021 - Many cities on the Croatian coast seek to position themselves as attractive winter destinations, and the jewel of Kvarner Bay is not far behind, as Opatija celebrates Advent again this year with hundreds of thousands of special decorations in every corner of the city.

Winter will once again dress Opatija in lavish Advent attire, reports Turističke Priče. The most romantic and solemn part of the year is the best opportunity to get to know this famous European destination in a unique atmosphere. It is a time when holiday magic is felt in every corner of the city and makes every experience unforgettable.

Opatija celebrates Advent with hundreds of thousands of lamps and decorations, turning it into a winter fairy tale, which is why the staff of the landscaped city toured the world last year. In addition to the virtual walk, which aroused great interest last year, this year's Advent will offer a real touch with the city and the opportunity to enjoy a rich gastronomic and entertainment offer.

From November 26 to January 9, the Christmas atmosphere will expand to already known locations such as the Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion and Sv. Jakov, then, Angiolina Park, the Summer Stage and the city gloom (market), but also some new spaces - along the promenades in the area from the Savoy Hotel to Villa Madonna, on the terraces of the Continental, Milenij and Imperial hotels, in the Strauss cafe, all with a special offer food and drink.

''Opatija celebrates Advent by constantly raising the bar of quality and we always make new efforts to not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our guests. After our Advent fairytale shone like never before last year and conquered the whole world with its staff, we want to further enhance this holiday atmosphere and lavish landscaping of the city this winter in order to provide everyone with unforgettable memories. We are glad that the Most Beautiful Advent by the Sea, as one of the largest winter events in Croatia, has reunited many tourist entities in our city, which will be presented with a special arrangement and special program'', said the director of the Opatija Tourist Board Suzi Petričić.

An additional atmosphere during a walk through the city will be provided by the traditionally decorated shop windows along the main road as well as the smells of hot chocolate and various desserts from the famous Opatija cafes and pastry shops. This year, as in the past six years, the Tourist Board of the City of Opatija will award cash prizes to the most beautifully decorated shop windows, inviting business owners to get involved in arranging their shop windows and be part of the Advent atmosphere in the city.

To learn more about one of Kvarner's most impressive jewels, be sure to read our complete Total Croatia guide, Opatija in a page. Now in your language!

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

Monday, 25 October 2021

Dog Friendly Destination: "Paws in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" Published

October 25, 2021 - To promote Primorje-Gorski Kotar County as a dog friendly destination, a guide called "Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" has been published with tips for dog owners, recommendations for trips and walks, and detailed information on accommodations and beaches that allow dogs.

In the new project of the Coordination Working Group for the Protection of Animals of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, abbreviated KRAS, this Guide for dog owners " Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" was published for the local population and guests, reports HrTurizam.

The new pet friendly guide is intended for dog owners and offers useful tips and ideas, such as recommendations for trips or walks with a dog, with information on accommodation that accepts pets and beach locations for dogs in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County or Kvarner. The guide also contains many other useful details related to dog behavior, regulations for entering Croatia, dog health, and more, thus promoting the region as a dog friendly destination.

As we know, the Tourist Board of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County holds the quality label "Kvarner Family", a family accommodation branding system, from which other sub-brands such as ''Pet Friendly'' designate service providers that specialize in household pets and their owners.

These are, first of all, accommodation of "Kvarner Family" quality with an additional "Pet Friendly" offer, also restaurants with "Kvarner Gourmet" and "Kvarner Food" quality with a special place on the terrace for your four-legged friend, beaches where swimming for dogs is allowed, dog waiting shops, veterinary clinics, dog hotels, dog grooming salons, pet shops, and all other services that your pet may need during their vacation in Kvarner. 

Irena Peršić Živadinov, director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, commented on the tourist context of the guide, pointing out the greatest demand for content and locations where guests can stay with their pets. "At the European level, there is a noticeable increase in guests who come on holiday with pets. Problems and lack of information are not uncommon. For this reason, we have launched "Kvarner Pet Friendly", a label and brochure with locations where pets are welcome. This is a very nice addition which aims to make it easier for guests, but also to further promote Primorje-Gorski Kotar County", added Perišić Živadinov.

The guide brings together everything that tourists who travel with their pets need to know when they come to Kvarner, a dog friendly destination, and is available in a digital edition in Croatian and English. Download the guide attached.

Download the "Paws in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County" guide in English HERE.

If you want to learn more about pets in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide. Now in your language!

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

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Halubaj Bell Tower House Begins Construction in Viškovo

October 12, 2021 - The project that seeks to revitalize and boost social, economic, and tourist development not only in the Municipality of Viškovo but throughout the Primorje-Gorski Kotar county, began with the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House.

In the Municipality of Viškovo, the first phase of the project, which will give new impetus to the social, tourist, and economic development of Viškovo, but also of the entire Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, began with the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House, reports HrTurizam.

The house of the Halubaj bell ringer will have multiple purposes: an exhibition/presentation part with a permanent exhibition of the ethnographic collection of bell ringers, educational workshops, a program of entertainment and experiences, a souvenir shop, and a catering space. The realization of this project will enable tourists to participate in various activities and events related to the customs of bell ringers throughout the year.

Halubaj bell ringers are the guardians of the tradition, customs, and identity of Halubje and the Kastav region, and the "Annual carnival procession of bell ringers from the Kastav region" is a unique cultural asset that in 2009 UNESCO included in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. Two years earlier, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia declared the Halubaj bell ringers an intangible cultural asset.

halubaj-bell-2.jpg

Photo: Goran Kovacic/PIXSELL

“The house will be a place where we will proudly present the customs of our bell ringers. It will be the seat of the bell ringers from where we will motivate the new generations to make their first bell ringing steps. Thank you to all the bell ringers and their families who have kept these customs alive for centuries", said Damir Host, President of the Halubaj Bell Ringers Association.

The special feature of the House of Halubaj Bell Ringer is manifested in a unique occasion in which not only the tradition of the Bell Ringer but also four intangible cultural heritage recognized on a world level will be presented in one place.

Namely, the Municipality of Viškovo is an area where four goods inscribed by UNESCO in the intangible cultural heritage of mankind are paired in a special way: Annual carnival procession of bell ringers from the Kastav region, its coast, islands, and part of the hinterland.

The construction of the Halubaj Bell Tower House is part of the integrated project "Connect with Heritage" in which cities and municipalities, which make up the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka, through the ITU mechanism (Integrated Territorial Investments) are awarded 36.3 million kuna of EU grants. For the construction of the House of Halubaj Bell Ringer, from the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka, Viškovo was allocated slightly less than eight million kuna, while the total value of the project is almost 37 million kuna.

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

Monday, 30 August 2021

Irresistible Gorski Kotar: Tourist Board Presents Largest Virtual Walk in Croatia

August 30, 2021 - You can now explore the irresistible Gorski Kotar landscapes with the largest virtual walk in Croatia!

The Gorski Kotar Tourist Board has created the largest virtual walk in Croatia - 360° Gorski Kotar / Spring-Summer, reports HRTurizam

Thus, you can be virtually acquainted with a total of 168 panoramas in Gorski Kotar, 28 from the air and 140 from the ground. Panoramas by Rajko Mrvoš from ZooM video & photography are divided into: Gorski Kotar from the air, NP Risnjak, Brod Moravice, Čabar, Delnice, Fužine, Lokve, Mrkopalj, Ravna Gora and Vrbovsko.

Virtually explore Gorski Kotar HERE

According to data from eVisitor, Gorski Kotar realized 94.67% of tourist overnight stays and 95% of arrivals from the record 2019 by August 15.

In the first half of August this year, there were 10% more overnight stays compared to 2019. The greatest interest was expressed in accommodation in higher categories, and accommodation in households has 28% more overnight stays than in 2019.

“We are counting more than 30% of overnight stays of our domestic guests this year compared to 2019, and the number of reservations for the winter period is noticeable, especially private accommodation of a higher category. In addition, accommodation is already being reserved for the New Year and school holidays," said Petar Hrg, the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board director. 

Last week, the Gorski Kotar Tourist Board stated on Index.hr that certain accommodation facilities of higher categories, especially holiday homes, are booked for 150 to 240 days a year.

"Gorski Kotar is the green lungs of Croatia, and we are strategically focused on preserving our natural values, which we defined in the Master Plan for Tourism Development. We want to enrich the experience of our visitors throughout the year by planning investments in tourist facilities. This will be reflected in the demographic picture and the turn towards tourism as one of the stronger levers of development in this area," they said. 

Gorski Kotar's local self-government units want to enrich the sports-recreational and winter tourist offer with already prepared projects.

The Gorski Kotar Tourist Board president and mayor of Fužine, David Bregovac, said that more and more guests want to spend their summer vacation in mountainous areas and that Gorski Kotar has an advantage - the proximity to the sea.

"Our goal is to use the potential of the year-round destination, and I hope that the County and the state will join us with significant investments," said Bregovac, adding that Gorski Kotar is a safe region in which the epidemiological situation is systematically monitored.

They also stated that the average rating of Gorski Kotar accommodation capacities on Booking.com is 9.3 out of 10, on Google 4.7 out of 5, on TripAdvisor 4.6 out of 5, and Airbnb 4.9 out of 5. At the same time, about twenty Gorski Kotar restaurants are rated on Google with 4.4 and TripAdvisor with 4.

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

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Gorski Kotar's Eco-system, Tourism Suffer Due to Climate Change

ZAGREB, 20 June, 2021 - Climate change has left a huge mark on the forests of the Gorski Kotar mountain region in central Croatia, causing its tourism value to drop, experts say.

Over the past decade, ice, wind and the bark beetle have destroyed large parts of Gorski Kotar, whose economy, including tourism, is based on natural resources.

Dragan Turk, a manager at Risnjak National Park, says that due to natural disasters the national park will lose its value as a protected area. "If climate change is too fast, it will take more than 100 years for forests to regenerate."

Last week, an international team of experts presented the findings of a study on the effects of climate change in Gorski Kotar, warning that it could affect local tourism.

The study was conducted by the Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business in cooperation with Leeds Beckett University and Bocconi University in Milan. The Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service cooperated on the project.

In four years, ice, wind and the bark beetle have destroyed more than a million square metres of wood, which has greatly affected the eco-system, experts says.

Beekeeper Damir Zanoškar says the various corridors resulting from deforestation are probably the cause of the increasingly strong winds registered in recent years.

He says the Hrvatske Šume national forest management company should ask itself what the current model forest management is leading to. "Thousands and thousands of logs are being driven somewhere far."

Beekeepers have joined forces and launched a fir-planting drive because fir is well-adapted to Gorski Kotar and is very useful to bees. Zanoškar says big fir-planting campaigns could give Gorski Kotar its former aspect back in 20-30 years.

"Time is running out," he warns. "We need forests and we must take immediate action."

Experts say that although extreme weather occurred in the past as well, today it causes bigger problems and is not related to only one season. That's why climate projections should be taken into account when planning new projects and infrastructure, they add.

Climate change could affect the tourism industry, notably in southern Europe, experts say.

Warmer and drier summers can result in bigger droughts, wildfires and negative changes in plants and animals, which would make summer vacations in Mediterranean countries uncomfortable. At the same time, northern countries with more moderate summers could see a rise in tourist turnover, experts say.

If it adapts, tourism can expect positive results, otherwise the negative effects are inevitable, they add.

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