Wednesday, 28 August 2019

8.5 Million Kuna Granted to Develop Coast in Omiš, Trogir, Kaštela and Tučepi

HRTurizam reports on August 27, 2019, that based on the Decision on the allocation of funds from the Co-financing Program for Capital Projects on the Maritime Property in Split-Dalmatia County for 2019, the County Prefect Blaženko Boban signed contracts worth HRK 8.5 million with the mayor of Omiš Ivo Tomasović, Deputy Mayor of Trogir Ruža Kovačević Bilić, Deputy Mayor of Kaštela Grgica Benutic and Ante Čobrnić of Tučepi.

The city of Omiš received HRK 1.5 million for landscaping Brzet beach, the city of Trogir HRK 3 million for the construction of the breakwater of Brigi Lokvice sports harbor, and HRK 2 million to Kaštela for landscaping the Glavica bay in Kaštel Lukšić. The Municipality of Tučepi also received HRK 2 million to improve the coastal zone from the marina to Gospin creek, all with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of Split-Dalmatia County through the development of coastal and marine infrastructure, as well as strengthening the tourist and economic resource base.

“It is well known that our County manages one-third of the total maritime domain of the Republic of Croatia. It was not easy to do all the preparatory work because only projects that have been awarded a 

building permit were financed, and the projects were co-financed in the ratio of half of Split-Dalmatia County, half of the units of local self-government. In this way, together with the local self-government units, we will change the overall view of our coastal towns. Therefore, let the contracts signed today be an incentive for other local communities to participate in such county competitions,” said Blaženko Boban.

Stipe Čogelja, Head of the Maritime and Tourism Managing Board, emphasized that the County has already prepared all the relevant strategic documents for beach management, from the Tourism Capacity Plan to the Beach Management Plan, and announced the development of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan foreseen by European Directives which only Šibenik-Knin County has so far. 

"We are ready for a new EU financial perspective from 2021, to apply for even more funding for sustainable coastal zone management," said Čogelja.

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

Monday, 26 August 2019

VIDEO: Playful Dolphins Frolic in Sea Close to Kaštela Near Split

Dolphins are by far one of the world's favourite marine animals, and managing to get close to them in the wild is something that many people only dream of. One lucky guy from Split managed to capture wild dolphins playing in the sea near Kaštela, just northwest of the City of Split.

As Morski writes on the 26th of August, 2019, one young Split resident had an unforgettable experience while swimming with his father. Namely, playful dolphins were swimming in front of the boat in the bay of Kaštela, bringing with them beautiful scenes of carefree play.

After a summer of headlines about numerous species popping up in the Croatian Adriatic, including Mako sharks, blue sharks, and even snakes who had accidentally fallen into the water from overhanging trees, the end of August is made even nicer with yet another wonderful video of the inhabitants of the Adriatic doing what they do best.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on the 24th of August, and the description states:

"Me and my dad were swimming under the Kaštela marina when we met 4 - 5 dolphins, and at one point, one separated from the others and arrived in front of our boat, Rocket and started to follow us. The video lasts about 8 minutes and I will try to show you the most interesting part, if there is interest, I might insert another piece of video,'' wrote the author of the video.

See for yourself what this unexpected and beautiful experience was like for the pair. Watch the video below:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Monday, 22 July 2019

A Digital Nomad Reflects on 63 Glorious Days in Croatia

July 22, 2019 - They are not tourists in the classic sense, but they do travel around and spend. A digital nomad reflects on 63 days in Croatia. 

After 63 days in Croatia it is finally time to move on. We stayed at three different locations, all of them great in their own way, so I wanted to share the details for those that are interested in learning more. This country is so special with the amazing water, weather, and people and the food is some of the best I’ve found! Our next 45 day journey starts today, but here’s an overview of our stay here:

croatia-digital-nomad (3).jpg

Leg #1: Kastel Kambelovac, just 20 minutes north of Split

We stayed in a very small one-bedroom unit with a direct view of the channel and a balcony that we ate on as often as possible. When we arrived May 15 it was a bit sleepy with not much activity and the weather was rainier and colder than usually, but within a few weeks it went from that to very hot, in the 90’s F. The energy of the city also changed come June, especially by June 15 which seemed to be the switch to summer. Within a few days people were everywhere, beaches were crowded, areas of the sea were roped off to delineate safe areas and the area became more bustling.

Split town, pretty easy to walk around when we arrived, also got busier and you could see more cruise boats all the time. When we first got here we weren’t that impressed, aside from the view and closeness of the water, but as we are now leaving we have become “part of the city” somewhat. We have conversations with restaurant people, some locals and I can see that over time it could grow on us. Learning the language, well, that’s another thing, as it is highly unlikely that we would learn Croatian beyond a few words. Very difficult and different than anything we were used to.

croatia-digital-nomad (4).jpg

Leg #2: Dubrovnik, actually a small village called Plat just 10 minutes south

We were only there for a week and when we walked into our unit we flipped as the balcony expanded to an amazing pano view of the channel and sea from a very high distance above. The unit itself was small, but very clean, and aside from not have a complete kitchen, worked beautifully. We found an amazing restaurant 100 yards down the street and ate there several times for amazingly good prices considering what they charge in Dubrovnik proper. We liked Dubrovnik Old Town, but as warned, it was crazy busy and hot in summer. We found some great places to enjoy the water and the beauty of Croatia is that you merely have to take a ride along the coast, and when you see a place that looks good, you stop. Parking is never a problem and you can do it any way you can!

croatia-digital-nomad (6).jpg

Leg #3, Lokva Rogoznica, a small village just south of Omis

This was the city whose name I could not pronounce, but loved immensely. As we rode into Omis the first time we, like everyone who does so, were amazed at the rock walls alongside the city. We were at this location for 10 days and this was a trip. The first time arriving we kept climbing up and up and up alongside the cliff wall. We finally get to this small village via several switchbacks and it looks deserted and empty. It mostly was but still enough people to create good energy and our unit was outstanding. We stayed with another couple for a novel experience, and each of us had two complete units with kitchens, baths, etc… Again, fantastic balcony very high up looking at the island of Brac. Several times rain arrived, we could see it doing so! And we watched lighting and heard thunder as though we were IN the storm. Pretty awesome.

croatia-digital-nomad (1).jpg

A car was required and we spent a lot of time at these beaches and in the town of Omis, plus did a great raft ride. We had a terrific guide and for about $35 spent 2.5 hours on the River Cetina. The only downside was my pixel phone was lost in the river (my bad) but otherwise, all good.

So, after 63 days the question is “Do we come back?” and the answer is a 1000% yes. Where, when are yet to be decided, but for anyone who lives or spends time in Croatia, you get it. For those that had no idea where it is, which included me just a year ago, get this destination on your vacation plan and bucket list. If you need help or suggestions on how to Travel Younger, just ask.

 

Norm Bour is a travel writer and blogger who teaches others how to “travel younger.” A Baby Boomer who permanently left the US in February 2019, Norm stays at different locations six weeks at a time, with no intention of stopping. He never traveled outside the US until 2016, but watched how the Millennials traveled affordably and with a great sense of adventure and fun. At age 64, he and his girlfriend decided to learn from those that were doing it right and is committed to inspiring Baby Boomers of any age to live their dream. Follow their journey at his Facebook blog under Travel Younger..

To learn more about the digital nomad opportunity in Croatia, check out the dedicated Total Croatia guide.

croatia-digital-nomad (5).jpg

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Seagull Bepo to Promote Family Tourism in Kaštela Riviera

The town of Kaštela is located by the Bay of Kaštela, consisting of seven villages: Kaštel Sućurac, Kaštel Gomilica, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Novi, Kaštel Štafilić, which used to be seven fortresses (which is exactly what the word Kaštela means).

Now, they've decided to tell the story of their town through an innovative project, including a children's book, a website, an audio story and an illustrated map of the town, by a local artist called Nataša Jukić, and the main character of the entire project is Seagull Bepo, a friendly face who will tell you the story of Kaštela throughout the multimedia project.

The first part of the project was the children's picture book called "Pearls sprinkled by the Sea" (Biseri posuti morem), bringing you the story of seven fortresses by the sea, written by Nataša Jukić and illustrated by Dona Tomić.

The picture book was translated into English, and understanding that this is a valuable tourist product that deserves to be expanded on has arisen. Local tales of the history of the town, tradition and culture are an integral party of the story. Actual locations (which you're still able to visit, such as the fortresses of Kaštela), as well as traditional delicacies of the region, including Crljenak Kaštelanski (admittedly, not a kid-friendly attraction of Kaštela), the old olive tree and local legends are shown in the fairytale book.

Many individual apartment renters have already included the picture book as a part of their offer to their guests, and others should consider doing so as soon as possible. Tourists love being challenged to find out more about the destination of their holiday. That is consistently listed as one of the reasons for their return to the same destination.

Seagull Bepo will serve as your guide through the story, and also to show you some Bepo-friendly places - locations where you will be able to browse through the book and get to know Kaštela for free. This is an excellent foundation to create a unique brand of family-friendly accomodation, similar to the Kvarner Family brand. Will Kaštela take full advantage of it, hrturizam.hr asks?

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Digital Croatia: Best Large ''Digital'' Cities Zagreb and Rijeka

Just how close are we to a real digital Croatia? The answer is unclear and as varied as ever, but some Croatian cities have shown promise with some rather impressive and encouraging results.

As Novac/Gradonacelnik.hr writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, although more and more cities are gradually digitising their business and investing in smart city solutions, and some of the most advanced have almost completely switched to doing solely digital business, generally speaking, Croatian cities are only in the very early stages of the much needed digital transition, just as Croatia is, as a country, at the very bottom in Europe in terms of the digital readiness of general society and the economy.

As the methodology for ranking cities in terms of digital readiness is only at its very beginning even at the European level, stories and analysis of the "smart city" concept development here in Croatia are still very much based on individual experiences, examples and projects.

That is why, in order to gain a real elementary insight into the digitalisation of Croatia's services and the communication of the country's many city administrations with citizens, experts from Apsolon, a consulting company specialising in digital business development, has undertaken the very first major study of the ''digital readiness'' of twenty of the largest cities across Croatia. This study, according to project manager and smart management director at Apsolon, Ivana Novoselec, is the basis for the further development of research tools and methodology that will track the development and progress of Croatia's cities on an annual basis.

In its study, Apsolon divided the cities into three categories - large (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek), middle (Zadar, Velika Gorica, Slavonski Brod, Pula and Karlovac) and smaller cities (Sisak, Varaždin, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Bjelovar, Kaštela, Samobor, Vinkovci, Koprivnica, Đakovo, Vukovar.)

The digital readiness index at Apsolon was set based on several criteria - the availability of e-services (the number of administrative services and their digitalisation rate in Croatia), the availability of site service information and the development of unified services for making payments in the city, then came the availability of city data, the level of citizen participation in decision making and communication channels between the city administration and citizens, ie, the availability of data and time in which citizens receive answers to their various questions. At this stage, Apsolon hasn't entered into the internal processes in Croatia's city administrations, but rather focused on what services are offered to the city's citizens and how long such things typically take.

After this type of indexing and ranking, the title of the ''digitisation champion'' among the Croatian cities was awarded to the City of Rijeka, thus confirming its status as the best city in the Smart City category which it won last year. Apsolon pointed out that the City of Rijeka has achieved the greatest advances in the systematic raising of the quality of its services, but also the opening of data and communication channels to citizens.

"Rijeka as the most advanced city in Croatia in terms of digitisation and is characterised in particular by the emphasis on openness and communication with its citizens. Its administration is oriented towards clear communication (a very clear centralised e-services approach with well-organised access to all automated services and available forms), openness and participatory management," said project manager Ivana Novoselac.

In many categories, especially those relating to the functional aspects of digitisation (advanced digital services, e-citizen connectivity, etc.), Rijeka is followed closely by the City of Zagreb.

The city of Pula is the most advanced middle-size city in Croatia, which also presents its services and available information to its citizens in a systematic and very detailed way, raising standards in terms of transparency and interaction with citizens, and is certainly a champion among cities with between 50.000 and 100.000 inhabitants.

In relation to the criteria relating to specific functional and technological solutions, Karlovac, Velika Gorica and Zadar follow. For the City of Karlovac the large number of available administrative procedures on its website and responses to citizens' inquiries are generally quick made it stand out from the crowd.

Among the small cities in Croatia, there is no distinctly dominant digital champion, but according to research findings in different aspects of digitisation, Dubrovnik, Samobor, Sisak, Koprivnica and Varaždin appear to be the most successful ones, according to this research. Among the prominent representatives of this category, Dubrovnik is strategically trying to profile as Smart City and has a high quality City Card, e-Visitor platform, is very active on social networks and it continuing to develop innovative application solutions. When it comes to the number of digitally available services, Koprivnica ranks above all.

Samobor, which is particularly active on social networks and is the category winner for social networking, has a very comprehensive and interactive website which separates the site accordingly and has adjusted all of the information for citizens and for visitors, as well as separating foreign visitors from domestic ones.

It should also be noted that Bjelovar is extremely proactive in the field of the digitalisation of its administration, it is working on applicative transparency solutions as well as on internal digitalisation processes. What is particularly commendable is Bjelovar's focus on the digitalisation of its internal processes.

Make sure to follow our dedciated lifestyle page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Novac/Jutarnji/Gradonacelnik.hr

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

From Osijek to Makarska, Booking.com Users Rate Croatian Hosts

What do Croatian and international travellers think of their hosts when staying in private accommodation? How do they rate them, how much interaction is too much and are privacy and inside information the key?

As Lea Balenovic/Novac writes on the 9th of April, 2019, almost two thirds of Croats believe that the host is a key factor when staying in an accommodation facility, and those who are the best rated in the Republic of Croatia, both from domestic and foreign guests, can be found in in Rakovica, Osijek, Bibinje, Korenica, Kaštela, Makarska, Brela, Senj, Trogir and Podstrana.

They are the results of research conducted by the world's leading rental company, Booking.com, on a sample of 21,500 travellers worldwide. As the survey showed, 63 percent of international travellers and 62 percent of Croatian travellers think that their stay was better because of their engagement of the host who did everything they could to make it a better stay for them.

Most travellers want to feel "at home," as they have indicated in such surveys. For 62 percent of international travellers, the main advantage of non-hotel accommodation is the ability to take advantage of the knowledge and information available from the host and decide to stay in a property owned by someone who actually comes from the region in which the property is located. The same goes for 48 percent of Croatian travellers.

Nearly half of the international travellers who partook in the survey, or more specifically 45 percent of them, and 59 percent of Croatian travellers consider the local knowledge and information at their disposal from their host important for their overall budget because they hope to be given insider advice that will help them save some cash and avoid potential tourist traps.

However, while it seems that all travellers who took part in this survey generally consider the same things to be significant, each traveller is looking for a different type of engagement from their host. Therefore, some travellers are satisfied with a simple warm welcome, while others have slightly higher expectations from their hosts.

For example, 52 percent of international passengers and 40 percent of Croatian travellers believe that their host should only be seen once during their stay in order to make them feel welcome, and more than a third of international travellers and almost the same number of Croatian travellers expect their hosts to contact them only during their arrival, registration, and then again when they eventually check out and leave the premises.

What is often even more challenging to hosts is the fact that many travellers also expect them to have some sort of sixth sense and know just how much of a personal touch is needed for each traveller. 69 percent believe that hosts should intuitively know the right amount of time they should be spending with their guests, and that is also what 73 percent of Croatian travellers think. For four out of five international travellers and the same number of travellers from Croatia that means respecting their need for personal space, which means that the feeling of privacy is key.

The hosts also agree. Namely, nearly 80 percent of Croatian hosts think that the most important thing for guests is to be able to properly ensure their privacy.

"Our research reveals that it's very important for the owners and managers of accommodation facilities to find a balance which ensures the best experience, regardless of whether guests are staying in a vacation home, an apartment, in accommodation with their hosts or any other type of facility," explained Olivier Grémillon, the vice president of Booking.com, adding the fact thatt "what is crystal clear is that there is nothing like the ability of ordinary people to turn something into an unforgettable experience."

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Lea Balenovic for Novac/Jutarnji

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Oleg Butković Visits Split Airport, Confirms New Terminal Opening Planned for June

You’re all pretty familiar with the construction going on at Split Airport by now, which has seen an investment of more than 450 million kuna go into a new terminal and additional facilities. It is only necessary, because more than three million passengers traveled through Split Airport last year alone. 

It is known that the project is progressing faster than planned and that the end of works, instead of the previously announced September, could be in June, that is, three months earlier. On Tuesday, the Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković and his associates came to see the project for themselves and stated that this is an investment of strategic importance for Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on March 19, 2019. 

Among other things, the media was interested in the name of the 'new airport', with one reporter asking the minister whether it would be named after Oliver Dragojević, with all due respect to the deceased music legend. Butković asked a question in return: "Don’t you think the new airport should be named "Airport Kaštela", since 95% of the space in which the airport operates and is located in the town of Kaštela?

At this point I have no answer to that question, it is a job for a broader debate at the local level, and after the debate is over, the proposal goes to the ministry,” Minister Oleg Butković answered, expressing satisfaction with the works that have been done so far.

The construction site the minister visited includes a 35,000 square meter passenger terminal, a 120-meter pedestrian bridge, a bus terminal for 50 buses and a parking lot with a capacity of 900 vehicles, as well as the reconstruction work of the existing terminal.

“The project is of strategic importance to Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split, and its realization will enable the passenger terminal capacity to be matched with expected traffic demand, achieving a high level of safety and quality of service at the airport and meeting the EU standards for the international border crossing at Split Airport,” added Butković. The first man at Split Airport, Lukša Novak, added that this season expects an increase in the number of passengers by seven percent, which means nearly four million passengers.

Split-Dalmatia County prefect Blaženko Boban, who visited the airport with the mayor of Kaštela Denis Ivanović and Split Andro Krstulović Opara, said that the meeting with the minister was constructive and added that the dynamics of the deadlines and traffic plans of the agglomeration of Split goes according to previous arrangements.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 1 February 2019

110 Years of Kaštela Tourism Celebrated at Croatian Embassy in London

The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the United Kingdom, with the support of the Croatian Tourist Board in London, organized the ceremony titled "110 Years of Kaštela Tourism" at the Croatian Embassy in London, reports the City of Kaštela on January 31, 2019. 

The presentation in London was organized on the initiative of Davorka Žanić Dražić, economic advisor at the Embassy in London. 

“In today’s world, there is a growing trend of branding countries through wine and cultural tourism, so I thought that the cultural and historical heritage of Kaštela and the story of the Kaštela Zinfandel certainly draws attention outside the borders of Croatia, especially considering that London is the seat of the most prestigious wine fair in the world,” Dražić said.

The exhibition presented the story of the beginnings of tourism in Kaštela, related to the launch of the railway line in 1877 and the establishment of steamships with Split, Rijeka, and Trieste, as well as the beginnings of organized tourism in 1909 and the first board for foreigners opened by Czech doctor Henrik Šoulavy. In the tourist offer at the time, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy various activities and medical services, as well as excursions, Dalmatian specialties, and wine.

On this occasion, the history of Kaštela wines and viticulture was presented with a focus on the story of the Kaštela Zinfandel (Crljenak) a genetically identical variety to the well-known American sort of Zinfandel. Professor Braća Radić and Živko Skračić prepared a video and gave a lecture about this Kaštela variety.

The event was also attended by the television crew of popular British television Channel 4, which generates millions of viewers, reports Dalmacija Danas

kaštela_321.jpg

HTZ

The filming’s goal was to show the wine tourism and culture of Kaštela and thus position Croatia as a desirable tourist destination on the British market. A special guest at the presentation was the award-winning British artist Aggy Dadan who was inspired by her visit to Kaštela and everything she had the chance to see in the area. Thus, Dadan presented the chocolate relief "From Split to Trogir", where she used the Kaštela Zinfandel. The artist also made a chocolate sculpture of a Kaštela woman in folk costume which will be featured on the Channel 4 show "Extreme Cake Makers".

kaštela_123.jpg

HTZ

The Channel 4 broadcast is of great importance for the development not only of Kaštela but also of the unique tourist offers in Croatia, which are increasingly sought by the British market. The episode is scheduled to air mid-April 2019, which is excellent given that it is in the peak period of the pre-season. 

The overall presentation, hosted by Ambassador Igor Pokaz, was attended by representatives of many prominent media houses, some of them being CNBC, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Telegraph, The Financial Times and The Independent, representatives of travel agencies, including IKB Travel, Prestige Holidays and Angela Shanley Associates Ltd, distributors specializing in undiscovered wines, Novel Wines, wine investors and various businessmen and wine lovers, representatives of British-Croatian Associations and Academic Communities of University College London, Cambridge and Oxford and others. The story of Kaštela also interested representatives of British Airways, which has introduced direct flights to Kaštela and Split from London City Airport for the first time this summer.

The Kaštela delegation at this event was represented by Deputy Mayor of Kaštela, Jadranka Matok-Bosančić, Tourist Board Director Nada Maršić, and others. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Move Over, Split: Kaštela Announces their Best Advent Yet

Mayor Denis Ivanović and his deputy Jadranka Matok Bosančić presented the program for this year's "Advent in Kaštela" event, to be held in Kaštel Stari and Kaštel Lukšić, from December 1, 2018, to January 5, 2019.

Friday, 6 April 2018

1500-Year-Old Olive Tree in Kaštel Štafilić to Get Its Own Interpretive Point

April 6, 2018 - The ancient olive tree in Kaštel Štafilić is getting some well-deserved recognition 

Page 3 of 5

Search