Monday, 26 April 2021

New Marina To Be Built in Sucuraj on Hvar, Worth Half a Billion Kuna

April 26, 2021 - Former Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Ludovik Cernak seeks concession to build a marina with 250 berths in Sucuraj on Hvar, a project worth half a billion kuna. 

A few years ago, there were open protests in Sucuraj on Hvar and the very thought that a large marina would be built in their town, primarily due to fears for the fate of a nearby beach, now the news that the Ministry of the Sea has announced its intention to grant a concession has been accepted. The construction of the nautical facility includes a planned 250 berths.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, the tender documentation stipulates that the state grants the selected partner the right to manage the maritime domain for 30 years. It is a little more than 100 thousand square meters of sea and land space, and the value of the concession for the entire duration is estimated at almost half a billion kuna.

The potential investors will have to submit their bids by June 18 to the Zagreb headquarters of the relevant administration.

"With the realization of this project, which we have been working on for several years, a marina will be built in Sucuraj, which will be among the 20 leaders in our part of the Adriatic in terms of size. To get to this stage, we had to make an urban development plan, enroll in the "maritime domain," and obtain all necessary certificates from the relevant ministries. Still, we are not sorry because the nautical tourism port will bring us progress and revive the eastern part of the island as a whole," says Ivan Slavić, chief of Sućuraj municipality.

However, this is a repeated tender for the same future marina, originally announced in 2018, because the Government then awarded the concession to the Czech company "MFA Invest" from Brno. Still, the procedure was subsequently annulled as a foreign potential investor did not provide a bank guarantee of one percent of the total project value.

Now, a new procedure is starting at the initiative of Czech and Slovak investors, namely the mentioned company and the company "Marina Sucuraj," which was founded last year by the real estate "Sitno Holding Real Estate" from Bratislava, owned by entrepreneur Ludovit Cernak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy in two mandate during the 1990s; and the former president of the right-wing Slovak People's Party, whose member and later president of that state is Ivan Gašparovič. 17 years ago, he became the owner of the football club "Slovan" from the Slovak metropolis, which was then in a deep financial and results in crisis, and after "recovering" under the leadership of members of the Cernak family, five years later he was sold to entrepreneur Ivan Krotnik.

A potential foreign investor on the Croatian islands is currently much better known for last year's purchase of 77,000 square meters of municipal land near Lukoran in Ugljan for just under 20 million kunas. Although the deal did not go without "tails" and calling out local oppositionists for (too) cheap sale of public plots, a representative of Cernak's company, after signing a contract with the Municipality of Preko, announced that in four years, it would build a settlement with 220 villas, two moorings with 150 berths and a hotel with 500 beds, with a total value of as much as 150 million euros.

As for the project in Sucuraj, if, in the end, the mentioned investors get a concession, the initial amount of the permanent part of the fee will be two kunas per square meter of occupied maritime property. However, the amount of the permanent part of the concession fee after the tenth year of operation will increase every five years by 50 lipa per square meter of occupied space at sea and on land, and the minimum variable part of the fee will be two percent of the revenue generated in the area entrusted with the management. 

"I believe that these are serious investors and that they have long ago made all the necessary calculations related to the job they are entering, and as far as the benefits for our municipality are concerned, we expect new employment in the first place. The marina will employ 12 to 15 full-time employees and a dozen more seasonal workers. Still, we are certainly counting on the accompanying facilities and activities that will be necessary during the operation of the marina", said Chief Slavić.

However, Sućurani expects a longer tourist season to realize the new content because they already have a lot of ships sailing through the Hvar and Neretva canals. When they have an attractive port on their sea route, the number of boaters will surely grow.

The first onshore gas station will be built in that part of the island, and a private initiative will be strengthened in the surrounding bays so that tourists can enjoy the beauties of the unique landscape and good gastronomic offer of their hosts and spend evenings and nights in a safe harbor—the easternmost town of Hvar.

To find out more about Hvar, click HERE

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Vinarija in Stari Grad to Unite Most Valuable Natural and Cultural Resources in Area

April 24, 2021 - In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Culture, Vinarija in Stari Grad will sustainably unite the use and promotion of the most valuable natural and cultural resources in this area.

StariGrad.hr reports that after successfully purchasing and obtaining the use permit, the main project will be drafted, the realization of which will once again make Vinarija an important driver of the Stari Grad's economic development.

The Vinarija revitalization project is being developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Culture. Its goal is to sustainably unite the use and promotion of the most valuable natural and cultural resources in this area.

The new facility will be managed by the Stari Grad Plain Management Agency, which will get a new headquarters and an additional segment of its business in Vinarija. In this sense, new spaces and facilities have been conceived within the Vinarija building, which will become a central tourist point for visitor tours and the presentation of the overall historical heritage of Hvar Island. 

There, tourists and visitors will be able to taste and buy local products from local producers who will bring their wines to Vinarija, bottle them, brand them, store them and sell them.

In addition to wine, the production of essential oils and herbal products is also planned, which will also be sold on the shelves of local product stores located within the facility.

The new production and presentation complex will be a significant added value in the tourist offer and valuable help to local producers who will place their products under a unique and recognizable brand in one place.

During the development of the project, workshops will be organized where all interested parties will receive detailed information about the implementation of the project, and the developer will provide valuable feedback to help define the final details.

The main project will be prepared to meet the main objectives of the Vinarija and Stari Grad Plain revitalization and the EU funding project requirements, as it will be followed by applying for EU funds and providing the financial basis for successful implementation.

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

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from March 29 to April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021 - From new epidemiological measures imposed due to the increase in COVID-19 infections to the arrival of Ryanair, here are TCN's five highlights of the week, recapping the big events in Croatia from March 29 to April 4, 2021.

At the end of March, the fight against the pandemic was in its final stages, taking into account the government's efforts to promote the return of the tourist season, the reopening of business in the country, and the announcement of mass vaccinations in Zagreb after Easter. Despite this, the novel coronavirus has once again warned that its presence continues to threaten the population, and this has since manifested in the increase in cases across the country. On the other hand, sporting and cultural events have also stood out as we entered a new month this week.

Croatia U-21 reaches the EURO Tournament Quarterfinals

The eyes were not only all firmly on the senior team, who, after starting the qualifying process with an away loss against Slovenia, got back on track with six points against Cyprus and Malta in Rijeka. Luka Modric also became the most capped player in the history of the Croatian National Team.

Some good news also came for those who follow the younger generations, as the U-21 team won their ticket to the quarter-finals of the EURO tournament in a dramatic fashion. Those led by Igor Biscan failed to win the match, but a Bradaric goal in injury time allowed Croatia to climb to second place, thanks to the other teams' results and goal difference. 

Now, the little Vatreni will have to face Spain on May 31.

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Koper, Slovenia (Credit: PIXSELL)

Ryanair announces flights to Croatia

After several years in which the Zagreb International Airport was in deficit in terms of both airlines and low-cost flights, it finally reached an agreement with the well-known Irish low-cost company Ryanair. This agreement was announced through a virtual press conference, in which it was detailed that the capital of Croatia will now be connected to European cities such as Paris, Brussels, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Memmingen, Milan, Rome, Podgorica, Oslo, Gothenburg, and London.

Zagreb wasn't the only city to rejoice with this news, as the airline also confirmed 17 new flights to Zadar International Airport in a separate conference, and passengers will be able to choose from a wide variety of European destinations from July 2021. While many still believe this news might affect the future of Croatia Airlines, others including the company itself assure that the regional base establishment of the popular airline in Zagreb will not only create more jobs but also transform the capital's tourism.

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Credits: Pixabay

The Prime Minister reveals the National Recovery Plan

After a cabinet meeting which was held last Thursday, PM Andrej Plenkovic announced through a press conference all the details surrounding the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which aims to reform and transform the country in regard to several different issues such as healthcare, employment, education, science and research, infrastructure, and more. The estimated investment would stand at 18 million kuna and the objective is to carry out these reforms within five years, more precisely between 2021 and 2026.

Plenkovic added that the plan consists of modernising scientific research and educational systems, increasing the quality of the healthcare and pension systems, improving employability through a more efficient programme, and carrying out the reconstruction and structural renovation of numerous homes and buildings in the country, in such a way that they are not only better prepared in case of natural disasters, but that they're also more adapted to the most recent demands for energy efficiency.

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Zagreb (Credits: PIXSELL)

The traditional Za Krizen Procession was held on Jelsa

Despite the reduced capacity of followers and pilgrims this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the island of Hvar celebrated its 2021 edition of its traditional Za Krizen (Behind the Cross) procession in the town of Jelsa, inscribed as intangible UNESCO heritage since 2009. TCN covered an event that usually gathers thousands of people around the island as they follow the carriers, but this year had to settle with only the participants and few witnesses in the streets.

The overnight processions were held in the towns of Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirce, Vrbanj, and Vrboska. The event started simultaneously in the six towns at 22:00 pm as the habitants have done for centuries, and ended at the main square.

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Jelsa (Credit: PIXSELL)

The measures against COVID-19 are tightened due to the large increase in cases

A month ago, all the cafes, bars, and restaurants in the country were reopened, after many weeks without serving their loyal customers, as an extreme measure to combat the virus. The condition was to serve only outdoors on the terraces and with a limited capacity. The streets were filled with life and joy again. However, one month later, the numbers have dramatically increased and although it is unlikely that a complete lockdown will be imposed again, the government has announced that new measures will take place in order to reduce the infections and it will last until 15 April, before being reviewed again.

In Split-Dalmatia County, for instance, which has seen a big increase in new infections, the mandatory wearing of face masks at outdoor venues with an increased flow of people will be introduced, as will a ban on the sale of alcohol from 8 pm to 6 am. The work of cafes will be restricted until 8 pm, and it will be possible to serve food and drinks only in the open. Foreign language schools will switch to online classes again.

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Split (Credit: PIXSELL)

From Monday to Sunday, we list five events featured on the front pages of Croatia's news portals.

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Thursday, 1 April 2021

Za Krizen 2021 Tonight on Hvar: Live Streaming from Jelsa

April 1, 2021 - 500 years of tradition will continue on Hvar tonight, as the UNESCO Za Krizen 2021 procession in 6 villages will take place, albeit in a much-reduced capacity. Where to watch it live from Jelsa. 

It is the most magical night of the year in Jelsa.

And last year, it was definitely the most surreal night of my 15 years in Jelsa, as I was the only person on the main square as the Za Krizen (Behind the Cross) procession, which has been inscribed as intangible UNESCO heritage since 2009, took place once more against a backdrop of huge national controversy. From memory, it was the only public event which took place in Croatia in the whole of April, 2020, due to the lockdown, requiring the intervention of both the Prime Minister and Health Minister (a Jelsa native) to allow it to proceed in much reduced circustances. 

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Where normally there are thousands of pilgrims joining the six overnight processions in Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirce, Vrbanj and Vrboska, as you can see from the webcam above, there was just one fat Irishman as the procession started. Due to the lockdown, no other media could come to the island, and TCN was just one of two media who happened to be living in Jelsa and so able to attend. 

Due to my privileged position, and knowing how important the precession is to the soul of each Jelsa native, I stayed up through the night and filmed all six, culminating in the Jelsa procession returning to the main square about 06:15 the next morning. My wife Miranda did an excellent job editing the video above. 

There was understandable opposition to the procession all over Croatia. Everything else had been banned in the country, and yet this procession was allowed to go ahead. There was some selective photography in the media the following day, trying to prove mass violations of the measures in place at the time. Given my unique perspective on the night, as well as the outstanding work of the Hvar police, the actual situation could not have been further from the truth. It was a pleasure to be able to put the record straight in Jelsa Za Krizen, Croatia Not Wuhan & Cabin Fever Perspectives. A chance to give something back to that lovely little town which gave me so much in my 13 years there.

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The six processions will start simultaneously at 22:00, as they have done for centuries. The Jelsa cross-bearer, Dario Belic, will be carrying the cross for the second time, which has only happened a few times in the 500 years of the procession's history. It is considered a high honour to carry the cross on the 22km pilgrimage, and the local custom is to sign up a child at birth to carry the cross. The names of future cross bearers have been allocated up to 2051. Dario was put down for 2021 way back in 1986. However, his first experience carrying the cross came 20 years ago after the untimely death of a relative who was supposed to carry that year. Dario stepped in back then, but tonight is about fulfilling the commitment made at birth. 

And, as last year, while numbers will be severely restricted, you will be able to follow events live in Jelsa, both from the church and the main square. Last year, there were more than 10,000 people all over the world tuning in. I was struck by the passion of Croatians all over the world last year, as I posted live video footage through the night as each procession entered Jelsa. An experience I had almost to myself all night, and one I will never forget. 

You can find the two live webcams on the Zupa Jelsa website.

What's it like to carry the cross? A few years ago, Hvar TV did this fabulous feature story behind the scenes with a cross-bearer from Pitve. Highly recommended, and with English subtitles. 

You can learn more about the island in our Hvar in a Page guide.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Maslina Resort on Hvar Listed Among Best New Hotels by Elle Decoration

March 23, 2021 – With the anticipation of a corona-free summer, Elle Decoration featured Maslina Resort on Hvar as one of the 'The Best New Beach Hotels' in Europe 2021.

Britain's most stylish homes magazine, Elle Decoration, showcases inspirational homes and hotels with design expertise that transform living spaces 'from tired to inspired'. Only the most stylish and aesthetically pleasing interiors are featured on the list, and this year, Maslina Resort on Hvar made the list for "The 7 Best Hotels by the Beach to Book in 2021."

Situated in Maslinica Bay on Hvar, the resort provides its visitors with a perfect combination of luxury and wellness. The focus of the resort is Mindful Luxury, with the aim to provide all visitors with a "high-end hospitality experience inspired by the rich cultural and natural heritage of Hvar."

The Elle Decoration writes:

"Settled just along the shore from the cobbled streets of Hvar island’s sleepy Stari Grad, Maslina’s series of wood-fronted pavilions are designed to create ‘a vertical rhythm’ with the surrounding trees. And it’s here that Léonie Alma Mason sought inspiration for the interior, too, layering the subtler shades of blue and dark grey found in the pines with Iroko wood and stone from neighboring Brač. The holistic, natural approach is heartfelt – think restorative spa treatments powered by herbal goodness from the organic garden – earning Maslina a Green Pearls eco stamp of approval. While the low-slung, landscaped approach minimizes intrusion, its happy byproduct is maximized views of the crystalline Adriatic, which stretches out from every room."

Among Maslina Resort, located on one of the most popular islands in Croatia, six other stylish resorts across Europe made the list: Oku in Ibiza, Ekies All Senses in Greece, Strandhotel Zoomers in the Netherlands, the Royal Senses in Crete, Hospedaria in Portugal, and Panoptis Escape in Mykonos.

In the past year, hotels around the world have been affected by the ongoing global pandemic, including beach hotels. With the hope of a corona-free summer and easing of restrictions, that first post-lockdown holiday will be one to remember, so why not do it in style?

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

2021 Goes Green: All You Need to Know About St. Patrick’s Day in Croatia

March 17, 2021 - As the final arrangements are being finalized to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day one more year in several countries around the globe, here is everything you need to know about how one of the world’s most popular holidays will be celebrated in Croatia.

Each 17th of March, the Irish population and the Irish diaspora around the world commemorate the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity there. The holiday has evolved over time to become a worldwide display and celebration of Irish culture, through colorful parades, special foods, dancing, drinking, and very importantly, a whole lot of GREEN.

Although there will be no mass parades and celebrations this year due to the COVID-19 situation, Tourism Ireland is ensuring that this important day can be celebrated safely all around the world. As a matter of fact, they’re proud to announce that a record has been set in their 12th annual ‘‘Global Greening’’ initiative here in Croatia, both in municipalities and the number of sites participating. Thus elevating the number of municipalities to nine (9), and the sites across the country to fourteen (14). Next, we will share the details of the celebrations that will be held in each of them:

  • Zagreb: the Croatian capital is going ‘‘green’’ for the fifth time this year. Among the sites that will change their colors will be the Zagreb fountains, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Klović Palace Gallery, and the Meštrović Pavilion.
  • Rijeka: also remains a strong supporter of the ‘‘Global Greening’’: Trsat Castle, the ‘‘Molo Longo’’ port cranes, and the fountain in the Adriatic Square will once again link Croatia and Ireland.
  • Split: the Dalmatian city will light up its fountain in front of Prokurative.
  • Dubrovnik: for the very first time, the ‘‘Pearl of the Adriatic’’ will include the Small Onofrio Fountain in the celebration.
  • Zadar: this year, its ‘‘greening’’ will be moved to the ‘‘Greetings to the Sun’’ installation.
  • Pula: the Istrian city is also changing its contribution this year - the roundabout at the entrance to the city will show its citizens and visitors that the city celebrates its Irish link.
  • Varaždin: the northern city is back for a second time, as the Croatian National Theatre will be the city’s ‘‘green representative’’ this year.
  • Hvar: it is one of the two Croatian newcomers to the initiative, and its Fortica will be quite a sight in their first year celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
  • Oriovac: the other first-time participant and the only Slavonian municipality taking part, will green its Turkish fountain.

When will you be able to witness the greenings of the fourteen sites across the country? On St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, 17 March at 19:00! Be sure to be there at nightfall with your camera, and the right company!

More information on the 12th annual Global Greening initiative can be found at Tourism Ireland’s site
For additional information regarding the Global Greening in Croatia, feel free to contact Bernard Vrban, Public Affairs Officer, at +385 (0)91 627 8934 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Americans in Croatia: From Short Hvar Stay to Digital Nomad Visa Success

March 7, 2021 - Americans in Croatia are very welcome guests, and many would come for long if it was possible. It is now, if you are a remote worker. Meet Jessica Romano from San Francisco, officially the first approved digital nomad on Hvar. Congrats and welcome!

"As you probably know, Paul, Americans in Croatia can only stay for a limited time. We LOVE Jelsa, and your apartment is really great, and we would rent it through the winter if we could stay. I read on TCN about this digital nomad visa? Is it coming soon? Do you think I could get one?"

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Americans in Croatia - from a temporary stay in Jelsa to a 12-month permit.

That was back in early November when Jess and Thibaud rented our Panorama Penthouse Jelsa apartment for a couple of months. Some nice and unexpected income so late in the year. And there would be more rental income out of season if they were allowed to stay longer. Currently, Americans in Croatia can only stay 90 days at one time. 

So there we were, in a situation where we both wanted to engage with Croatian bureaucracy (my favourite hobby) to get a result for Jess. She and Thibaud are amazingly thoughtful and respectful guests, even baking cookies for my punica, which makes me a little bit cooler in my punica's eyes by association.  

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I helped where I could, as did several others. It seems that Jess and Thibaud have been a hit in the Jelsa community, helping several people, as well as bringing a little colour and fresh perspective to the long Dalmatian winter. 

And yesterday, some great news, as Jess informed me that she heard back from the authorities at MUP and has been approved for a 12-month stay. 

Great news and congrats. Jess kindly took the time to tell me more about, winter in Jelsa, and what the visa means for her. 

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Firstly, how are you enjoying winter on Hvar? Has the reality been a little different to what you were expecting? In what way? 

I’ve been enjoying it - Hvar is beautiful year-round! I didn’t have many expectations heading into the season, especially as Covid-19 dragged on into 2021. Due to pandemic restrictions, most restaurants and cafes were closed, and people haven’t been out very much. Since this is my first winter season on the island, I don’t have a point of comparison; generally, the slow pace and absence of crowds has been great. The weather and temperature has been mostly mild, but I was surprised by 1-2 week-long rainy stints. We are familiar with jugo and bura by now. I told friends here that I’ve felt quite tired during jugo, and they said that I’m officially a local now. Alas, those cloudy periods make the sunny days even more wonderful. It can get quite warm when the sun is out - if you haven’t looked at the calendar, you might think it’s summer at times! I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors - hiking, walking, rock climbing & running - and recently bought a car to explore the island. I feel as though you could live on Hvar for years and not discover all of the unique villages, ruins, beaches and trails here. Even though most wineries are closed in the winter, some offer tastings by appointment, and I’ve stopped by local producers to pick up bottles to enjoy at home.

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You recently became a TV celebrity - tell us about that experience. You did a great job promoting the digital nomad lifestyle to a domestic audience. I think a lot more people here now understand it better. 

Who thought we’d ever be on Croatian TV?! Wow, what a fun experience. We were delighted when the Puls team reached out to feature us in their digital nomad series, and were especially excited to share our positive experiences in Croatia. We shot the film over a few days - at our apartment, in Jelsa & Hvar town, and near Zavala. Filming the reportage is a lovely memory for us, as was spending time with the producers, Maja and Jura. They are a joy to work with and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. The reportage captured moments of our everyday life. It also showed that digital nomads can benefit from living in Croatia and that likewise, Croatia can benefit from digital nomads integrating into the community. We are so grateful to the people of Hvar (and Croatia, as a country) for embracing us.

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An American on Hvar. That can only happen for a finite length of time, normally, but you had good news come recently - your application for the digital nomad visa has been approved. Congrats! Tell us more. 

Puno hvala! It’s exciting to be one of the first people to receive approval for Croatia’s new digital nomad visa. It is rather incredible that Croatia created and approved the digital nomad visa in such a short period of time.

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Tell us about the process and what you needed exactly? 

Since I had already obtained a temporary residence permit and some of the requirements overlap, the change was relatively simple. I applied shortly after the visa was announced in January and submitted my paperwork through the Hvar police station. Shout out to Ivana for helping us through the process! The digital nomad visa is new for everyone, the MUP and applicants alike, so it felt like we were all learning together. I provided proof of employment (on official company letterhead), proof of health insurance (foreign and travel), proof of income (pay stubs), the completed application form, a copy of my passport and a small photo for the ID. I paid a fee - if I recall correctly, it was 600kn plus 70kn in stamps. I signed a document to request the revocation of my temporary residence permit in order to apply for the new visa. The MUP provided me with a document stating that I was legally in Croatia while ‘between’ visas. The whole process took 4-6 weeks. Big thanks to all of our friends and acquaintances who advised me through the process, including you(!) and Jan de Jong.

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What exactly does it mean for you and your lifestyle to now be able to stay in Croatia for 12 months?

Being able to stay in Croatia for an extended period of time means two big things for me. Firstly, I have more options on the table regarding where I want to live and work. Secondly, it actually provides some stability as we all enter a post-pandemic world. Like many people, my life shifted in 2020 - there were circumstances I couldn’t control but there were choices I could control. One of those choices was to relocate to Europe. My original intent was to stay for a few months and then travel around the continent but I wanted to stay in Croatia. After my tourist visa expired after 90 days, I applied for and was granted a temporary residence permit. The digital nomad visa provides a longer-term solution for staying in Croatia and removes the stress and uncertainty of having to re-apply for extended temporary residence. Now I don’t have to worry about leaving Croatia for a year and can focus on my life and work here. Something I didn’t fully realize before landing in Croatia is that it takes several months to settle into a new place. Getting comfortable with the environment, people, way of life - it all takes time. Having the option to stay for a year gives me the opportunity to more deeply explore the culture and what it would be like to live in Croatia long-term. I wouldn’t be surprised if other digital nomads choose to lay down roots in Croatia - either through starting businesses, buying property or becoming part of the community - because they have the chance to spend sufficient time here before making those decisions.

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What message do you have for fellow international remote workers about life in Croatia off-season. What are the pros and cons?

Croatia is an excellent option for digital nomads all year-round. It’s worth noting that my perspective is based on spending the majority of my time on Hvar - which is a place that I’ve grown to love and can recommend highly! But from what I know, there are many awesome destinations within the country, and there’s somewhere for everyone. Big cities, tiny villages, and everything in between - as well as over 1000 islands (though not all of them are inhabitable). The landscape varies vastly across the country, from mountains to farmland to (a very long) coastline. I was slightly concerned about being able to find a high-speed internet connection, but it’s not been a problem. Most Croatians I’ve met are willing to speak English, so there is no language barrier in terms of being able to get around and communicate generally. Every location has its perks and quirks - as long as you are determined and have an open mind, you’ll be able to make it work. There’s heightened energy and tangible efforts around making Croatia a premier destination for digital nomads, making it a great place to be right now.

Here is the great feature on Jess and Thibaud which aired on Croatian primetime  TV on HRT Puls. 

If you want to learn more about their story, they gave a great interview on TCN back in December, when the digital nomad opportunity was still not officially in place. Read Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Jess and Thibaud, from San Francisco to Jelsa.

That means that there are now at least two Americans in Croatia with the digital nomad visa. Meet the first-ever recipient of the visa - Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa.

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Are you a digital nomad who would like to spend 4 weeks as a guest of the City of Dubrovnik? Learn more in Dubrovnik Launches World's First Digital Nomad-in-Residence Competition.

For the latest news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

How many Americans in Croatia are there? We are looking to do a series on Americans in Croatia, so if you are here and would like to be featured, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Americans in Croatia.

Monday, 1 March 2021

Learning Croatian: Dalmatia's Shortest and Most Common Conversation

March 1, 2021 - How hard is learning Croatian really? Take some encouragement from the shortest and most common conversation in Dalmatia - just 4 words!

Having the perfect teacher can enhance your chances of learning a foreign language considerably, and there are no finer teachers than Professor Frank John Dubokovich, Guardian of the Hvar Dialects. 

With his expert knowledge and considerable patience (although not as patient as the waiters listening to his 30-second specific way or ordering coffee), I have learned things I never needed to know about Hvar dialect. Fun fact - did you know, for example, that there are 8 different words for 'chisel' on the island of Hvar. The bigger joke, perhaps, is that it is all but impossible to actually buy a chisel on the island. 

The Professor is a master at keeping words to a minimum, unless of course, he is ordering that coffee. In terms of mastering the basic Dalmatian greetings, there is nobody who can touch the Professor in terms of making each syllable count. His legendary Dalmatian Grunt, below, quickly went global when it was unleashed on an unsuspecting Internet a decade ago.

More archive footage has emerged of the Professor demonstrating the shortest and most common conversation in Croatia. It is a conversation you hear EVERYWHERE in Dalmatia. 

And it is incredibly easy to learn. 

One question, one answer, 4 words, 5 syllables. How hard can that be?

The conversation goes as follows:

Di si?

Evo me. 

Which literally translates as ('Di' is dialect for 'Gdje')

Where are you?

Here I am. 

End of conversation.

Deep. 

 And there you have it. Along with the grunt, you have greeted your companion, enquired after their health (sort of), and are now free to enjoy the morning newspaper. 

When it comes to coffee, however, the Professor has a LOT more to say. 

The only footage I have of the Professor ordering a coffee is this video with former Australia Socceroos assistant coach, Ante Milicic, who was so impressed by the Professor's teachings that he has his voice both as his ringtone and wakeup call. And no, I am not kidding. 

For more inspiring lessons from the linguistic colossus that is Professor Frank John Dubokovich, visit the TCN Talks YouTube channel

 

Friday, 26 February 2021

Croatian TV Showcases the American Digital Nomad Hvar Lifestyle in Jelsa

February 26, 2021 - What happens when you blend American digital nomads with the Hvar lifestyle? As HRT Plus reported last night, it is something close to heaven. 

It is rather a strange feeling watching your home on national television with someone else living in it, but what a lovely report from Maja Zrnic for HRT Puls which went out on primetime television last night. 

With all this talk of digital nomads, what is the reality like, and how is the Hvar lifestyle for digital nomads from the USA in Jelsa during winter, for example. 

A few weeks ago, we published a really great interview with Jess and Thibaud, who have been in Jelsa for a few months and are in the process of applying for the digital nomad visa. You can read the interview in Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Jess and Thibaud, from San Francisco to Jelsa

Soon after, Maja contacted me and said that was interested in doing a TV story on the couple. Introductions were made, new friendships forged, and Maja captured the Hvar lifestyle through foreign eyes in this ten-minuted feature, which aired last night. It is almost all in English with Croatian subtitles.   

And yes, I did feel a little homesick, not only for the Panorama Penthouse Jelsa apartment that was our home before we moved to Varazdin. But also a little nostalgic for those magical winter months on Hvar.

Maja did a really great job bringing out the Hvar lifestyle in the piece, and it offers a glimpse of how community life can slowly be enriched with the arrival of international digital nomads, who work through their laptops by day (or, in some cases due to time zones, by night) while fully integrating with the local community once work is finished. 

Read more about digital nomad life on Hvar in Hvar Digital Nomad Life with Kids: an Emerging Lifestyle.

For more news on digital nomad topics in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Hvar Digital Nomad Life with Kids: an Emerging Lifestyle

February 23, 2021 - After a long absence, one of the writing stars of the early days of Total Hvar is back - Ivana Zupan on Hvar digital nomad life with kids, an emerging lifestyle.

Three years ago, after living on Hvar for 10 years full time, I decided that I had to leave. Coming and going to the island was a great way to cope with its many downsides, and it allowed me to enjoy all the good there was. I was able to take my vacation during the summer months, for example. What a no-go for many islanders...

Back then, being a mother of an unschooler, I came to realise that without a like-minded community, I will not be able to keep my lifestyle, so I opted for city life to see if this would work out. We were lucky to find a great community in Bratislava. Our home-schooling study group - DOBROdruzstvo is the warmest, coolest and most amazing place for kids. Its fundamental sense for creating and nurturing relationships between people, building responsibility in our children’s own education, and emphasis on cooperation and solution finding is something which means a lot to me and to my daughter. I feel blessed and grateful for being a part of it for the last year and a half. The study group has a base in Bratislava, with a nice 'school' building and an outdoor space. Allowing the kids to come together and interact in a respectful environment. So it was, until recently.

In today’s world, there is probably not a country, where COVID measures would not affect our lives. There are different approaches with different results, some countries tend to be more strict than others, and the effects of such measures have been much debated. Slovakia is one of the countries where measures can be easily described as a Nazi-like experimentation camp. Forced COVID-testing once per week, or you are not allowed to go to work, to the bank, to the post office, send your kids to school etc. Not to mention, that masks are mandatory outdoors.

When this testing-madness was introduced back in October last year, I felt so angry as I was watching democracy in my homeland taking this huge slap in the face. More so that people were being obedient and supported it by attending the mass-testing. Very few of us found the strength to rebel against this blackmailing approach. Not an easy task in such a suffocating atmosphere, I must admit. I managed to stay sane by focusing on keeping our little homeschooling community going. Feeling that by continuing to create something new, while the old system was crashing down was the best I can do, given the circumstances.

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(A haven for kids to play hide and seek. Photo: Mgr. Daniela Bohata) 

Now we are back on Hvar. For two months now. I decided not to play along with the once-per-week-COVID-testing-or-you-are-not-allowed-to-live game. Back to unschooling. Looking for a small community with a few kids to join forces with other parents. Spending a lot of time outdoors with the kids. We are rediscovering the island and its hidden gems – like the Cliffbase in Sv. Nedjelja, where Katarina is slowly creating a digital nomad community. I hear there are still a few spots available.

The weekend trip to Cliffbase left me amazed about what a dedicated man can create at the end of the world. A wine cellar literally carved by hand in these huge rocks, just to name one. Miro Štec spent the last 20 years building this place. A lot of love and hard work went in.

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(A sunset at the Cliffbase in Sv. Nedjelja on Hvar. Photo: Mgr. Daniela Bohata)

I am not a climber, but I imagine it must be a heaven for them too. Not to mention I wanted to be 10 again to be able to play there at all those big rocks and hidden caves. Swimming in February, sharing food and stories with other mums. The flow there was simply perfect.

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{The steep path was a bit of a challenge for us, mothers, but the good old-fashioned cooperation helped, and we managed. Photo: Mgr. Daniela Bohata)

Daniela, the author of the beautiful photos came all the way from Makarska and now we are thinking about repaying her the visit and might be exploring Biokovo the next weekend. Let’s see how that one goes. In the meantime, you can find more about her work as a tour guide on her website.

If last year taught me something, it was not to plan that much. A huge lesson for me - the organised one. But, slowly, I am getting used to it - not knowing how this will progress, I am enjoying what I can while I can. So, here it is, a call to all digital nomads with kids out there. If on Hvar, get in touch.

If you are digital nomads with kids and planning on a stay on Hvar and would like to contact Ivana, email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Hvar kids.

People from all over the world are already enjoying the Hvar digital nomad lifestyle.  Read more in Digital Nomad Life in Croatia: Jess and Thibaud, from San Francisco to Jelsa.

The Croatian government has now published guidelines on how to apply for the Croatian digital nomad visa.

Meet Melissa Paul, Owner of Croatia's First Digital Nomad Visa.

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