Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Public Holidays in Croatia 2022: A Nation Obsessed With Long Weekends

Croatians are passionate advocates of requesting time off work between public holidays and weekends, effectively creating additional mini vacations throughout the year. A look at the nation's obsession with long weekends, plus a list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022

2021 was a rough year for Croatians. No, not just because of the pandemic and a whole slew of related (and unrelated) socio-economic issues. It was a depressing year because we were deprived of one of our favourite things in life: long weekends. 

While it’s probably safe to say that everyone enjoys taking time off work, people in Croatia take their annual leave very seriously and make extreme use of their PTO balance. See, we don’t just appreciate the occasional long weekend when a public holiday happens to fall on a Friday or a Monday.

Instead, we prefer public holidays to fall mid-week, so that we can take matters into our own hands and create as long of a weekend as possible with a few savvy time-off requests.

Holidays falling on Tuesdays and Thursdays are ideal. Take one day off work between the holiday and the weekend, and you have yourself a mini four-day vacation. It’s called ‘spajanje’ in Croatian, the act of ‘connecting’ holidays and weekends by the means of PTO use. If you manage to pull this off several times a year, it means taking your annual leave to another level.

Each December, as the year draws to a close, we all hurry to check our calendars to see what the next year will bring. Alas, 2021 didn’t provide us with a lot of reasons to rejoice, as most major holidays fell on weekend days. Labour Day (May 1st) was a Saturday, as well as Christmas Day. Statehood Day, Assumption of Mary and St Stephen’s Day all happened to fall on a Sunday. Rude. What a waste of national holidays. 

towfiqu-barbhuiya-bwOAixLG0uc-unsplash.jpg

Are we Croatians a bunch of lazy bums who’d do anything to avoid going to work? It may seem like this is the case, but technically, we’re not slacking off as we still get the same number of days off in a year either way. We’re just very particular about how we schedule our holidays to maximise our annual leave. Why turn down a few additional short vacations each year? 

And yes, we’re aware we're not reinventing the wheel here; workers around the world love booking a few days off around public holidays to bag an extra long weekend or two. It’s just that no one seems to be as excited about this as Croatians are. The national urge to connect holidays and weekends is such a wide-spread phenomenon in Croatia, no self-respecting media outlet would fail to inform the public what they have to look forward to in this regard. This time last year a grim headline on tportal warned, ‘The 2021 holiday calendar is a nightmare. We’ll be working more than ever’. A bleak prospect. 

Things are looking up in 2022, though. It’s the last week of December, and there’s no end to enthusiastic articles about the coming year being a ‘long-weekend paradise’ and advising when to take a day off to get the most out of your annual leave. 'It simply wouldn’t make sense to have a weekend off, go to work on Monday and then have a day off again on Tuesday', says an article on Dnevnik. 'Go ahead, take a day off and connect those two!'

It’s truly a national sport. 

notebook-ga9acb7b19_1920.jpgCroatians to themselves in 2022, probably.  

So, what opportunities do Croatian workers have to take a mini vacation in 2022? We start off with a disappointment, New Year’s Day falling on Saturday.  

Luckily, we won’t have to wait long thanks to Epiphany on Thursday, January 6th. Take a day off on Friday, and you get a nice four-day vacation to recover from the stressful Christmas holidays... or whatever else you prefer to use as an excuse.

June is a particularly fruitful month in this regard. Corpus Christi is observed on June 16th this year (Thursday), while the following week brings the Anti-Fascist Struggle Day on June 22nd (Wednesday). You’d have to take five days off work, but it would mean getting out the office for 11 days in total. Not too shabby. 

There’s also All Saints’ Day on Tuesday, November 1st if you have any leftover time off on your balance. On top of all that, a few other holidays happen to fall on various Mondays and Fridays this year, so there are plenty of long weekends to enjoy either way. 

manasvita-s-9q5vptiE2TY-unsplash.jpgTake a day off.

Of course, not everyone gets to make use of this perk as taking leave, PTO or otherwise, heavily depends on profession. It’s mostly office workers and other 9-5 employees on a Monday-Friday schedule who benefit from ‘spajanje’. Others, from medical professionals to those working in the service industry or the media, don’t even bother marking public holidays on their calendars. Every day is a workday, especially in a tourism-oriented country. 

On a more serious note, what to expect on public holidays in Croatia? If your visit happens to coincide with one of Croatian national holidays, you might not even notice the difference. Government offices and banks will close on holidays, but most supermarkets, restaurants and bars typically remain open.  

Easter Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day are notable exceptions, as most businesses close down on those days. Chances of finding an open store on one of these four holidays are slim, so stock up on groceries and other essentials beforehand. 

Public transport in Croatia continues to run on all holidays. Depending on the location and the holiday in question, some services might operate on an adjusted schedule so remember to look up the timetables a day or two in advance.

 

Here’s the list of all national holidays in Croatia in 2022: 

New Year's Day: Saturday, January 1

Epiphany: Thursday, January 6

Easter Sunday: April 17

Easter Monday: April 18

Labour Day: Sunday, May 1

Statehood Day: Monday, May 30

Corpus Christi: Thursday, June 16

Anti-Fascist Struggle Day: Wednesday, June 22

Victory Day: Friday, August 5

Assumption of Mary: Monday, August 15

All Saints' Day: Tuesday, November 1

Remembrance Day for the victims of the Homeland War and Remembrance Day for the victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja: Friday, November 18

Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25

St. Stephen's Day: Monday, December 26

  

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Croatian Motorways Ready for Tourism Season with Even More Amenities

June 1, 2021 – Investments in the yearly maintenance of Croatian motorways are sizeable, but justified when compared to the revenue generated, particularly during the summer season.

Croatian motorways are a crucial part of Croatia’s tourism infrastructure. They are also a very important factor in connecting various regions of the country. The topography of Croatia often makes local roads inefficient. Year after year majority of guests coming to Croatia with cars have very positive comments on the motorway system. However, the entire thing doesn’t come cheap.

With the constant need for maintenance and updating, Hrvatske Autoceste (Croatian Motorways Ltd - HAC) is hard at work every year to prepare the infrastructure for the summer season. The surge of cars on Croatian roads will once again happen in a year, starting in June. Index.hr reports Croatian Motorways Ltd invested 404.9 million kn (around 54 million EUR) into this year’s maintenance and upgrading of the motorway system. Much of this money has been invested in rest stops along the motorways. This is one part of the investment travellers to Croatia will immediately feel. Upgrades made in rest stops are mostly in interiors, bathrooms, and operational technology. HAC also notes the emergency services are going to be reinforced.

New and Updated Services

Along with the standard 24/7 road assistance patrolling the motorways, additional contractors will provide more complex roadside and system maintenance services. Teams of emergency medical services and over thirty vehicles with automatic defibrillators will be on hand as well. Much like the majority of other businesses, HAC expects higher revenues in 2021 than the previous year. In 2020 the numbers were very low due to COVID19 pandemic restrictions. Because of this, HAC started this year with around a hundred employees less than 2020. Estimated revenue from motorway tolls in Croatia this year is 2,18 billion kn (around 290 million EUR).

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

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Holiday Homes in Istria Already Full, Expected Excellent Summer Season

February 23, 2021 – Istrians are hoping that the upcoming season will be significantly better than last year, with holiday homes in Istria already fully booked.

As HRT reports, Istria is already ready for the tourist season, which Istrians hope will be significantly better than last year. They are most optimistic due to the proximity to the most important markets from which their guests come by car. Apart from the coast, the peninsula's interior is becoming more and more interesting for tourists.

Five hundred tourists are resting this winter in Poreč, mostly athletes. Most of them have been guests in Istria for many years.

"You have hundreds of kilometers of beautiful mountain bike trails for training, you are close to us, we do not depend on airplanes, we come quickly by car, we stay at sea, you are excellent hosts for everything we need," said Matthias Krick from Germany.

In the long-term tourist champion of Croatia, Poreč, they are ready for an excellent summer season. The announcements are great.

"It's going very well. There are bigger announcements for Easter, May 1, and later 'rush hour.' We are preparing as if the season will be great, and we strongly believe in that," says Nenad Velenik from the Tourist Board of Porec.

Phones in the tourist boards of central Istria are constantly ringing. The Istrian green oasis has never been bigger bait.

"The advantage is that the holiday homes in our county are isolated, scattered on the beautiful hills in the greenery. After the lockdown and isolation in big cities, especially in Germany where our guests come from, people wanted nature, beauty, and spending holidays with their loved ones," says Sanja Kantaruti from the Central Istria Tourist Board.

And travel agencies are also ready, just waiting for the opening of borders and transparent rules.

"We even have questions from guests about whether renters are vaccinated, what the vaccination situation is in Croatia, what the current situation is. They want to be safe, travel safely, and get home safely. We hope that all this will be resolved and that the borders will be opened, and we are ready," said Alen Babić, owner of a travel agency in Poreč.

A favorite and close destination of Germans, Austrians, Italians, and Slovenes, Istria is ready to present the tourist season well in not at all enviable circumstances, just like it did last year.

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Monday, 7 October 2019

Vukovar Remembrance Day Could Become Croatian State Holiday

This week, the Croatian Government announced plans for potential changes to the holiday calendar as we currently know it, and Vukovar could be set to get its very own day.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of October, 2019, the subject of a potential new holiday would be Vukovar, Croatia's hero city. The draft law that would put things into motion for a state holiday in the name of Vukovar has now been finalised, and the city's residents have been waiting for it for a long time, N1 writes.

Three years after the Croatian Government began toying with such an idea, the draft law has now finally been completed. Defense Minister Tomo Medved has now confirmed it as such. However, the minister hasn't revealed any new details, but it looks like Memorial Day could soon become a national holiday in Croatia. It also seems that the draft law does not define what many in Vukovar expected - bilingualism.

"In this way, people who have experienced trauma in Vukovar, the suffering, Croatian veterans and all others - can be sure that nobody will forget about it," said Ljiljana Alvir from an association which deals with the families of missing persons, of which there are many in the case of Croatia's famous hero city.

''The draft should see the light of day soon. The only problem is that it was promised during a government session in Vukovar back in 2016,'' explained Medved.

"The adjustments were related to the holidays, ie, the calendar of holidays, and I believe that we'll soon release the law on Vukovar and the law on regulated holidays into public procedure. You have had the opportunity to hear from the Prime Minister, he announced certain changes to the law on holidays, and this law is directly related to that law, "claims Croatian Defense Minister Tomo Medved.

The minister so far doesn't want to confirm directly whether or not this means that the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Vukovar, which is celebrated on November the 18th every year, will become a public holiday, but unofficial information indicates that everything is going in that direction.

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