Monday, 8 March 2021

Cavtat Among 15 Best European Destinations for Vaccinated Travelers

March 8, 2021 – While the European Union is deciding on introducing COVID passports, some travel portals are already making lists of the best destinations for people who got vaccinated. One such list created by the European Best Destinations portal included Cavtat among the 15 best European destinations for vaccinated travelers.

The Croatian town of Cavtat has recently been nominated for the best European destination and won third place. However, this time, it has found its position on the list of the 15 best European destinations, but for vaccinated travelers. Namely, the European Best Destinations (EBD) has listed Cavtat among the 15 best European destinations for vaccinated travelers, as destination travelers will most likely be able to visit.

As EBD reports, Cavtat is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe due to a low number of COVID-19 cases and proximity to airports (in case of repatriation) and hospitals. Also, the authorities' health measures and a wide range of accommodation options favor Cavtat's title of one of the safest European destinations.

As EBD calls it, this precious key will open the doors to a country renowned for its hospitality, gastronomy, sun, natural wonders, and magnificent beaches. Cavtat is, therefore, perfect to recharge batteries, enjoy good restaurants, meet locals, stroll around, or bathe in the crystal blue waters of the Konavle region.

Cavtat is once again in the chosen company of European destinations, among them: Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia, Portuguese Madeira and the Azores, Greek Rethymno, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Kos, and Athens, Iceland, Spanish Seville and the Canary Islands, Copenhagen and Rubjerg Knude of Denmark, and the Swedish capital Stockholm.

The European Union is currently working on introducing the so-called COVID passport, and some European countries have already recognized it. Numerous European countries have announced that they will make it easier for vaccinated travelers and tourists to enter their country.

However, Croatia has not yet officially responded to the topic of COVID passports. The Croatian media have recently learned that Croatian politics generally supports all efforts that will result in easier border crossings, but only if it will not be discriminatory towards citizens. Therefore, Croatia will support COVID passports only if it would not be mandatory for passengers.

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Konavle Wedding Toast Named Another Croatian Protected Intangible Good

February 11, 2021 – The Municipality of Konavle has received yet another recognition of ''protected intangible good of Croatia''. After the art of making Konavle embroidery won the title, the Konavle wedding toast has now officially received the same status.

As reported from the Municipality of Konavle, the Konavle wedding toast has officially been given the status of a protected intangible good. Thus, in addition to the art of making Konavle embroidery, which was declared an intangible cultural good back in 2015, the Konavle wedding toast is the second protected intangible good to come from Croatia's southernmost municipality.

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Konavle is the southernmost part of Croatia / Photo: Cavtat Konavle Tourist Board

The Konavle wedding toast is a well-known longer speech performed at Konavle weddings which involves drinking to health and well-being. It is performed by a toastmaster before the wedding, before the baked or main meal at the wedding ceremony. The guests stand on their feet with their glasses of wine in their hands and actively participate in the toast.

Until the middle of the 20th century, the toastmaster would be one of the wedding guests or family members. Today, a toastmaster is invited specially for that occasion. Fortunately, in Konavle, this custom still lives on thanks to local toastmasters, who are also the bearers of this good. It is undoubtedly one of the most heartwarming moments at every Konavle wedding.

The Konavle wedding toast congratulates everyone, and especially the bride and groom, and prays to God for their success and happiness in their joint life to come.

Toasting at weddings is also common in other parts of Croatia, but the Konavle toast best reflects the centuries-old faith and culture of the people from the extreme south of Croatia. In Konavle, almost every village has its own kind of toast. However, when it comes to the general message given through it and the way it is expressed, all Konavle toasts are equal.

With the Konavle embroidery, the essential decorative element of women's costumes in this part of the wider Dubrovnik region, which is made on busts and cuffs, Konavle is now richer for another intangible cultural good.

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Konavle embroidery / Photo: Dubrovnik Tourist Board

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Croatian City Cavtat Nominated for the Best European Destination 2021

January 25, 2021 – Croatian city Cavtat is among the 20 nominated destinations to win the title of the best European destination 2021.

The European organization Best European Destinations (EBD) organized the selection for the best European destination this year, and the Croatian city of Cavtat is among the 20 nominated European destinations on the list, reports the National Croatian Tourist Board.

Apart from Cavtat, the southernmost Croatian city, the destinations chosen this year are Vienna, Rome, Kefalonia, Paris, Lofoten, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, Capri, Cornwall, Dordogne river valley, Tahiti, Soča river valley, Tubingen, Cappadocia, Ghent, Kotor, Sibiu, Braga, and Florence.

If you would like Cavtat to win the best European destination title, you can vote online via this link from January 20 to February 10, 2021. Voting can be done once in seven days.

Also, following the situation with the coronavirus in Europe, EBD grants the right to use the logo "European Safest Destinations 2021" to destinations with an extremely low incidence of COVID-19. Given the good epidemiological situation from the beginning of the pandemic, Cavtat received this valuable label, i.e., help and tools to promote the destination.

As a reminder, the European Best Destinations portal is a European organization based in Brussels, and the main organization's activities include the promotion of European culture and tourism. Addressing the audience through online channels, the portal has an essential role in promoting Europe as the number one destination globally. It also offers tourist information for more than 355 European destinations.

Five years ago, the Croatian city of Zadar won the title of the best European destination in this selection, while other Croatian destinations have repeatedly been included on the nominates' list. This is not the first nomination for Cavtat either. Namely, in 2019, Cavtat took eighth place in the same selection. The European Best Destinations portal then described Cavtat as "a real gem" and "one of the most attractive destinations on the Adriatic coast" due to its rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as offered services for tourists, and its gastronomy.

Last year, out of Croatian destinations, the city of Rijeka was nominated for the best European destination, and in the end, it took eighth place on the list. Three years ago, the Croatian island of Hvar took a high fourth place on this same list.

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Friday, 18 December 2020

PHOTOS: 11 Incredible Croatia Treehouses to Stay In and Escape to Nature

December 18, 2020 – Staying in one of these amazing Croatia treehouses offers perfect seclusion and a welcome return to nature

Sometimes you just want to be alone. Parties and crowds have their time and place, but sometimes what you need is an escape to the countryside. Journeys into the wild can be more than just a breath of fresh air – they're a chance to reconnect with nature, a getaway from laptop screens, the buzz of overhead cables and the sounds of the city. Staying in one of these splendidly situated Croatia treehouses will provide a true return to nature. Sometimes basic and closer to camping, at others, luxurious and with every amenity you'd expect from a stylish seaside villa, all of them allow you to get up close to wild surroundings you've come to be amongst.

Treehouse Cadmos Village, Komaji, Konavle near Dubrovnik
CadmosVillage2.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

Sat between the branches of Cadmos Village Adventure Park, this small treehouse overlooks the Konavle valley, with the Sniježnica mountain in the background. Its position within the family-oriented adventure park marks it as the perfect place to crash out after a day of paintballing, rope bridges, climbing, cycling, zip lines or archery.

CadmosVillage1.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

The treehouse sits on a seven-metre-high platform with a terrace where you can take in the view. Solar-powered, it can accommodate six people in three bedrooms and has a kitchen, dining area and showers. It's 25 kilometres from Dubrovnik from here, ten kilometres from Cavtat and just five kilometres from Dubrovnik airport.

CadmosVillage3.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

Mlin Treehouse, Sveti Vid Dobrinjski, Dobrinj, Krk island
tree-house-ivan-juretic-7mliin.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Sitting in the trees behind the Holiday House Mlin near Dobrinj, in the interior of island Krk, Mlin Treehouse is small in size – just eight square metres inside – but has a definite wow factor. This can be attributed to architect, Ivan Juretić, who has designed here a building full of unexpected angles and intermittent panels which allow light to stream into the property.

mlin1.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Dobrinj itself is a great place to get away to, and you're only a couple of kilometres from the sea here. Better still, the main Holiday House Mlin has its own private pool – you should probably check before booking if you're allowed to use it.

tree-house-ivan-juretic-8mlinkrk.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Tree House Gorski Lazi, Tršće, Gorski Kotor
GorskiLazi1.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

This treehouse in Gorski Kotor looks little more than a garden shed from the outside and, indoors, the two double beds found here are indeed tucked tightly into the corners. But, the experience at Tree House Gorski Lazi isn't supposed to be taken exclusively within the rustic interior, it's one to be enjoyed on the outside and within the natural landscape.

GorskiLazi2.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

To encourage this, a large, open-air terrace sits in front of the house from where you take in the view – grassland rolls gently below you before being engulfed on all sides by surrounding forests that change colour spectacularly through the seasons. They rise to cover nearby hills, mountains completing the perfect vista on a near horizon. Further encouragement to spend your time in this spot is the barbecue and loungers situated here, although there's a gas stove in the kitchen below the house if you fancy something quick. The house is located 15 kilometres from Risnjak National Park.

GorskiLazi3.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

Treehouse Resnice, Barilović, Karlovac County
Resnice3.jpg© Treehouse Resnice

Sat within the treetops of eight hectares of natural forest in Barilović, Karlovac County, Treehouse Resnice is one of the most homely and inviting of all Croatia treehouses. From the dwelling, the rivers Mrežnica and Korana are just a couple of kilometres walk, inviting you to take romantic and peaceful walks of exploration in either direction. But, truth be told, you might be just as happy hanging around the house - Treehouse Resnice is beautifully constructed, with no less attention paid to its interior design.

resnice-treehouse-2.jpeg© Treehouse Resnice

A balcony on the house encompasses a supporting tree and you can rest here in a hammock. There are two additional structures next door specifically for relaxing and dining outside. Indoor and outdoor dining areas, complete with barbecue, extend its offer throughout the seasons. The double bedroom is found in the loft, beautifully decorated beneath wooden beams.

Treehouse Resnice1.jpg© Treehouse Resnice

Robins Hood, Zakrajc, Skrad, Gorski Kotor
Robins3.jpg© Robins Hood

Situated in the small settlement of Zakrajc near Skrad, between the Zeleni Vir water spring and the Kulpa river which acts as a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia, the topography surrounding the Robins Hood lodging is a gift to hikers and walkers. Streams and the river cut through rocks and hills, there are lots of pretty settlements and forestland to pass through.

Robins4.jpg© Robins Hood

The mountains of Gorski Kotar provide an impressive backdrop. Far from neighbouring eyes, this is one of the Croatia treehouses if you want to be alone with your surroundings, although the owners who built this place do also have a highly-rated restaurant in nearby Delnice and might extend an invitation.

Robins1.jpg© Robins Hood

Sanjam Treehouses, Lika
Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia2.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

The uninhabited settlement of Drenovac Radučki in Gospic, at the foot of Mount Velebit, offers what seems to be perfect countryside seclusion when viewed exclusively from the windows or terraces of the two ultra-modern Sanjam Treehouses in Lika. Occasionally, you might hear a car pass on the nearby road from Karlobag to Knin. But, not so often. It's surprising to think that from here, in summer months, folks are swimming in the waters of the Adriatic less than 10 kilometres away. For visitors with a car wanting to escape the crowds after a day on the beach, these Croatia treehouses are an extremely inviting option.

Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia23.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

The interior design is contemporary, sparse and uncluttered, featuring every home comfort you could wish for on any extended stay. One house has 43 square metres, with two bedrooms, while the other has 39 square metres and one bedroom. The experience here might not be so secluded and carefree if you're staying at the same time as neighbours you don't know – the treehouses are quite close and the view from one terrace faces the windowless, rear facade of the other. For an extended family or group taking both houses simultaneously, it's the perfect spot.

Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia24.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

Plitvice Holiday Resort, Grabovac, Rakovica
Plitvice Holiday Resort2.jpg© Plitvice Holiday Resort

The five pretty treehouses of Plitvice Holiday Resort in Grabovac sit beneath towering trees and overlook a few more traditional glamping huts and a water feature through which wooden walkways snake. Yes, you might have neighbours here, but if you're looking for a superior camping spot that will keep you close to the nearby Plitvice Lakes, this is a lovely option.

Plitvice Holiday Resort1.jpg© Plitvice Holiday Resort

Each of the houses has two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, plus a kitchen and a terrace and all come with WiFi and air-conditioning for the warmer months and heating for the cooler ones. The surrounding locale and views are pretty year-round.

Plitvice Holiday Resort3.png© Plitvice Holiday Resort

Obonjan Treehouse, Obonjan island, Dalmatia
Obonjan2.jpg© Obonjon island

Obonjan island has in recent years been run as a private camping site, catering only for adults. Music festivals have taken place there, revellers dancing between the pine trees, doing yoga by the beach or swimming in the seas close by. The island offers a range of camping accommodation options and in 2018 set up this, its first treehouse, with a view to expanding the offer with more builds.
Obonjan1.jpg© Obonjon island

The small and simple construction has a unique appeal among the Croatia treehouses listed here as it lies just eight metres from the inviting blue of the Adriatic. It has an en-suite bathroom, fridge, air‐conditioning, electricity and a small external terrace with table and deck chairs.

ObonjanTree-House-008.jpg© Obonjon island

Riverland Mrežnica, Zvečaj, near Duga Resa, Karlovac County
RiverlandMrez2.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

Small and simple camping huts, the appeal of the two Croatia treehouses of Riverland Mrežnica is undoubtedly the truly fantastic views. Windows and terraces overlook (as the name suggests) the Mrežnica river, the view framed between the branches in which the treehouses sit.

RiverlandMrez1.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

This green backdrop surrounds on all sides. Each treehouse accommodates two people, with double beds, located immediately below the roofs, accessed via wooden step ladders. You can take a bike or a boat to explore the nature around you.

RiverlandMrez3.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

Zlatna Greda, Baranja, nr Osijek
ZlatnaRek2.jpg© Zlatna Greda

The appeal of the countryside around Osijek and Baranja is becoming better known and reasons for visiting Bilje Municipality, just north of Osijek, now extend much further than the beautiful Kopacki Rit Nature Park that can be found there. To the park's immediate north, Zlatna Greda is an adrenaline park and eco-farm offering cycling, rowing, ziplines and the perfect door into the surrounding nature.

ZlatnaRek1.jpg© Zlatna Greda

Although Zlatna Greda is the sole inclusion on this list of Croatia treehouses which does not offer overnight stays, it can be rented for several hours and is a good spot for groups to rest, take lunch or dinner and watch the sunlight fade. It can accommodate a group of up to 12 people and there are several tiers of accommodation – both dormitory and private rooms – available elsewhere in the complex.

ZlatnaRek3.jpg© Zlatna Greda

Tree Elements, Donji Nikšić, Rastoke, Karlovac County
treel2.jpg© Tree Elements

Not close to completion yet, the images here show how the Tree Elements Croatia treehouses in Donji Nikšić will look when finished. Situated within a 28 thousand square metre plot, bought specifically for the purpose by a young entrepreneur, build of the first two treehouses is ongoing, their progress delayed by the unforeseen happenings of 2020.

TreeEl1.jpg© Tree Elements

The plans look special and we confidently expect to see them rising further from the ground in 2021, when visitors will be able to take advantage of the wonderful surroundings of forest, streams and the nearby river Korana. The village of Rastoke, with its cascading waterfalls and waterside eateries, is also extremely close by.

treel3korana.jpg© Tree Elements

Thursday, 5 November 2020

VIDEO: Skipjack Tuna Not Seen in Croatia Since 1945 Caught Near Prevlaka

As Morski/Jurica Gaspar writes on the 4th of November, 2020, a passionate fisherman from Grude in Croatia's southernmost county of Konavle recently caught an unusual species of tuna near Prevlaka, close to the Montenegrin border.

''I caught a skipjack tuna! I thought it was an Atlantic bonito before we hooked it. The cleaned one weighs 6.9 kg,'' Denis Markovic told Morski, and the experts were then asked to reveal a little more about this species, which lead to the realisation that this is an unusual discovery indeed in Croatian Adriatic. Namely, this type of tuna in has not been documented in Croatian waters since 1945!

''There was a whole school of them. One fell off,'' Denis Markovic said when detailing his experience, which he recorded on video.

''You can see the fight it put up and her behaviour. It was extremely strong. It was caught with the shore jigging technique. It is rough to the touch, so it surprised me at first,'' he said.

''First I called my friend Ivan Radovac to ask what kind of tuna this is, at first I thought it was an Atlantic bonito, to which he replied that no, it was indeed a tuna. After an interview for Morski, I was contacted by the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split, they confirmed the species to me, told that it isn't protected and that it's the only one recorded here since the 40s, which is now a museum specimen,'' explained Markovic, who is ready to give the fish he caught near Prevlaka to science.

Pero Ugarkovic is the editor of the Podvodni.hr portal and one of Croatia's greatest experts on underwater flora and fauna, he decided to explain more about this unusual catch down in Prevlaka.

''According to the description, I suspected that it could be skipjack tuna. After seeing photo, there was no doubt, it's the species I've been waiting for a long time to appear in the Croatian Adriatic.

Is this an Adriatic species?

''This species was officially discovered for the first time in the Adriatic by Dr. Soljan back in 1945 close to Trogir. He kept that fish in the Natural History Museum in Zagreb. Together with Dr. Dragicevic from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, I tried to find out if there were any other finds like that in the Adriatic, and apart from that specimen, which is still in the museum, we were unable to obtain any other information.

This means that there is no other documented finding of skipjack tuna to date. It's possible that someone once caught one, but that they kept that information to themselves or among a close circle of people. I've heard of some alleged catches down in Montenegro, but without seeing an avtual specimen, a clear image or video, such a finding can only be considered indicative, or potential, but not official. It should also be noted that it isn't possible to know how many times skipjack tuna have entered the Croatian Adriatic without anyone ever seeing them.

Where does this species otherwise inhabit?

''This species lives all over the world, in tropical and subtropical conditions, it's one of the most important commercial and traditional fish species. Maybe more people in Croatia ate this type of tuna than, say, our own tuna, because if you look at the composition of canned tuna, you'll see that it contains it.

As for the Mediterranean, it appears exclusively in the western part of the sea, seasonally, mostly along the coast of Spain and sometimes on the western side of Italy. I've been following these topics on social media in all Mediterranean countries for a long time and I don't remember seeing this species more than 10 times. Just like in this case, they also appear in the western Mediterranean in the autumn period because the sea temperature is the most suitable for them then,'' Ugarkovic added.

Skipjack tuna are also commonly referred to as the ''tuna for the poor'' and it remains to be seen if any more of them will show up in Prevlaka or indeed anywhere else along the Croatian coast.

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Saturday, 29 August 2020

Light At End of Tunnel for Konavle?

August 29, 2020 - I have been travelling and working between the UK and Croatia for the past 4 years or so after falling in love with the county of Konavle during a cycle touring trip a few years back. I was kindly hosted by Marko Bradvica at Mikulići Nature Park, a man with a big dream regarding a small train!

There are a few generations growing up in the area that never remember Čiro ever chugging its way up the side of Sniježnica mountain on its way to Vojski Do or departing the harbour in Dubrovnik on its winding journey toward Mostar. The Čiro route, now a walking trail, offers stunning panoramic vistas of our beautiful coastline and beyond, a would-be attractive hike for tourists if the summer temperatures weren’t quite so high!

When I was first discussing with Marko the rich history of this often forgotten corner of Croatia the train regularly came into the conversation and since I’ve heard many romantic anecdotes from others describing a train line that did much for the people here and hopefully still will! Perhaps most notably a beautiful account from our friend Danielo who describes his first journey on the train during his first visit to then Yugoslavia as a student in the 1950’s have a read here.

The author Stanislav Vukorep wrote a book chronicling Čiro’s rich history titled ‘Pruge koje su zivot znacile’ or ‘The tracks that brought life’. So important was the train for transport and infrastructure back then, it enriched a large part of the Dalmatian coastline for many, an essential attribute to local commerce as we hope will be the case again.

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Recently Croatian tourism and the Dubrovnik strip especially, have been devastated by the effects of the Coronavirus. The usual tourist numbers in the area have plummeted; down by significant percentages comparative to a steady few years of exponential growth, hard times for many in the area however here at Čiro HQ we remain ever confident that the train will roll again. Previous to the virus, year upon year tourist numbers were steadily rising, 2019 reporting an increase of 13% over the previous year with a total of 1.3 million tourists visiting Dubrovnik and its surroundings.

So what do all these tourists do? Stari Grad or the Old City of Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic is a huge pull to tourists from all over the world. Its imposing walls lauding over the Adriatic Sea beyond yet quaint cobbled streets provide visitors with ample photo opportunities and an insight into its rich historical past, an absolutely fantastic place if you are happy to queue for a few hours just to get inside!

Limited space between those mighty walls restricts the number of tourists at the height of the season, one might only cope with half a day there before the crowds become oppressive and the beach beckons. Beaches are great, I myself am one of their largest fans however even time spent cooking in the sun with dips in the ocean for relief eventually become tedious, what next? ‘’Kovavle...’’, I say, ‘’...a train ride into the mountains’’, ‘’Huh? Konavle, train, what?’’ you quiz, ‘’Čiro!’’ I simply reply with a smile.

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I had the joy of spending part of my career climbing mountains in North Wales, UK. One of my favourite places to climb was the rock slabs overlooking the old slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. This town used to be a hub of activity with the mined slate being transported from the mountains to the sea via a small narrow gauge steam train until imported slate killed the local industry and business eventually dried up. The train was no longer needed so stopped running and mass unemployment ensued as the area slumped into disrepair along with its inhabitants. In the 1990’s a passionate group of people came together and brought the 200-year-old railway back to life as a tourist attraction. Visitors flocked to the restored railway attraction seeking mountain scenery, coastline views and to relive a nostalgic journey back in history. The town of Blaenau Ffestiniog had new life breathed into it and flourishes to this day with the restored train line now being extended further on into the valleys of North Wales.

At present, partly due to Coronavirus and the lack of tourists in our area, unemployment is down by approximately 30% over last year so we look with positivity to the future of Čiro. Not only would the proposed project provide many new job opportunities but would benefit a large part of the local population with the possibility of kick-starting many affiliate businesses.

So is there light at the end of the tunnel amidst these troubling and doubtful times? We very much hope so and look to a much brighter year next with hopefully our first passengers arriving with a new zeal for the area and its opportunities; we’re not done yet, choo choo!

James Manning

www.cirothetrain.com

Photos courtesy of Stanislav Vukorep

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Sunday, 21 June 2020

Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Cavtat and Konavle

June 21, 2020 - Tourism was on hold when we started this series of articles, but most of us have plenty of time. So let's look at the virtual resources available to explore Croatia virtually. We continue our new Virtual Croatia series with the tools to discover Cavtat and Konavle.

A few weeks ago I wrote that being a tourism blogger in the corona era was about as useful as being a cocktail barman in Saudi Arabia. I feel less useless now, a few weeks later, and I am encouraged by the number of Croatian tourism businesses who are contacting us wanting to start thinking of promoting post-corona tourism. 

One of the challenges of writing about tourism at the moment is that there is nothing positive to write about. With people confined to their homes and tourism in Croatia currently not possible, many have decided to go into hibernation until it is all over. 

I think that this is a mistake, and I have greatly enjoyed the TCN series by Zoran Pejovic of Paradox Hospitality on thinking ahead to tourism in a post-corona world.  You can find Zoran's articles here.

Way back on March 14 - several lifetimes ago - I published an article called Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Ways to Discover Zagreb. The way I saw things, now was an OUTSTANDING opportunity for tourism promotion. People have time, they yearn for their freedom and former lives, so give them the tools to thoroughly research and enjoy your destinations, and you will have then longing to be there. And when they do come, they will have a deeper understanding of the destination due to their research. 

South Africa and Portugal were the first to do their post-corona tourism promotion videos several weeks ago (Post-Corona Tourism Planning: Lessons from South Africa and Portugal), a trick which has been followed by other tourism countries, the latest being Croatia with the national tourist board campaign, #CroatiaLongDistanceLove, going live yesterday.

But while these campaigns create longing and market presence, they don't really educate. People now have time to really get into destinations. And dreams of escape to somewhere more exotic are high on the list of priorities of many. 

So TCN has decided to help with that education with a new series called Virtual Croatia, where we will be helping you discover many of Croatia's destinations with all the best virtual tools available on your self-isolating sofa at home. 

We started with Tourism in the Corona Age: 10 Virtual Tools to Discover Hvar.

After this, we put our a press release (which you can read here in English and Croatian) offering a free article to any local tourist board in Croatia who would like the free promotion in our Virtual Croatia series

The Sinj Tourist Board was the first to respond, and now you can see just how rich the tourism offer is in this proud Alka town - your virtual tools to Discover Sinj. This was followed by DIscover OpatijaDiscover Brela, Discover RogoznicaDiscover Stari GradDiscover OmisDiscover Lumbarda and Discover Jezera.

Today, Lucija Velizić from the Tourist Board of Konavle helps us tell you the story of the southernmost part of Croatia, of the tourism in Cavtat and Konavle. 

 

Discover Cavtat and Konavle - the Gems in the South

Konavle is a region with particular natural beauties and contrasts: mountain and valley, green hills and naked stone, the blue, and the green. Cavtat is the biggest town in the Konavle region.

Official promotional video for Cavtat-Konavle region, made in 2019.

A somewhat older promotional video worth watching.

Žal beach in Cavtat 

Get to know Cavtat old town and the beaches of Cavtat

When the guests really fall in love with a place, this is the kind of video they make. 

Another lovely video made by a guest of Cavtat

 

Look Beyond Cavtat to the Konavle Region

Intro video for Konavle

Sokol-grad, magical fortress worth a visit

A perfect location for an active vacation

A pathway commemorating Ron Brown

 

Official Cavtat-Konavle Website

Find more materials about Cavtat and Konavle on the tourist board website, or find out more about Konavle or Cavtat.

Cavtat has been put on the list of the safest destinations to travel to post-corona. 

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Will you give Cavtat and Konavle a try this year or in the upcoming years? 

To discover more of virtual Croatia, you can follow this series in our dedicated section, Virtual Croatia

If you are a local tourist board in Croatia and would like your destination featured in this series for free, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Virtual Croatia (and destination name)

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Preparedness 2019: Earthquake Stimulation Exercise Held in Konavle

Following the recent and tragic earthquake which struck nearby Albania, and which was felt quite strongly across Dalmatia, from Dubrovnik all the way up to Zadar, an exercise called Preparedness 2019 was held in Croatia's southernmost municipality of Konavle, which lies just south of the City of Dubrovnik and right next to the Montenegrin border.

The fact that Preparedness 2019 was held precisely in Konavle is not only meaningful because of its geographical location, being in the extreme south of the country and close to tiny Montenegro which of course borders Albania, where the epicentre of the recent earthquake was located, but because Dubrovnik and its surrounding areas have always been vulnerable to earthquakes in the past.

A devastating earthquake struck Croatia's southernmost city way back in 1667, and the entire city was totally destroyed and around 5,000 residents tragically lost their lives.

As Morski writes on the 28th of November, 2019, the Civil Protection Headquarters of Dubrovnik-Neretva County held the staff-command exercise, called Preparedness 2019, in the gorgeous rolling hills of Konavle. The exercise was attended by the chiefs of civil defense staff of the City of Dubrovnik and the municipalities of Župa Dubrovačka (Parish of Dubrovnik) and of course the Konavle Municipality.

The topic of the Preparedness 2019 exercise was the engagement and coordination of civil protection operational forces in the event of an earthquake hitting Dubrovnik-Neretva County once again, and according to the played out scenario of this particular exercise, the wider Dubrovnik area would be affected, with the epicentre of the potential earthquake being in Konavle.

The objective of the exercise was to test the capabilities of the local civil protection operations forces should such an incident occur in the area, to see how their activation is, and to further enhance the forces' overall familiarisation with the planning documents in the field of civil protection.

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

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Construction of Luxury Aman Resort in Cavtat Beginning This Year

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of May, 2019, the saga with the former Cavtat ''Macedonia'' hotel could well have a happy end, Večernji list reports.

The story dates back to the year 2013 when a group of investors announced that the currently abandoned and devastated site will the luxury Aman resort built there. Things were of course rather complicated, which isn't remotely unusual, and in the meantime the ownership structure of the investor's company has changed, but the key player, Greek entrepreneur Petros Stathis, didn't think for even one moment to walk away from the planned and desired Cavtat investment.

Passionate about business and temperamental like any real Greek, he is the owner of several Aman hotels and resorts groups, including Aman Sveti Stefan in neighbouring Montenegro and over in Venice. Business wise, he's mostly focused on the Balkan region. He is active in both banking and real estate world and was even the director of the famous Athenian Football Club AEK.

Unlike many before him, the industrious Petros Stathis refused to give up on Croatia, and at the end of last year, in Croatia's southernmost town in the extreme south of Dalmatia, he intensified his efforts to finally get the project of Cavtat's Aman resort off the ground. Otherwise, Aman is a chain of luxury hotels in 34 locations in as many as 21 countries, and the first resort under that name was opened back in 1988 in Phuket.

Such resorts usually have only fifty rooms, and each guest is matched by four employees on average. In an interview with Vecernji list, Petros Stathis revealed that things really are finally getting going, being ''raised from the dead'' as it were, and that such a resort in Croatia, more precisely in Cavtat, is no longer just fiction.

Soon, you're coming to Croatia, does this mean that the Aman project in Cavtat is definitely going ahead?

I can say with pleasure, that the short answer to your question is yes!

I'm thrilled to be able to say that we've made progress and we expect the machines to return to their location at the end of this year. Otherwise, it was never the case whether or not the Aman Cavtat project would be realised or not, but as I mentioned before, we had a complicated beginning and we had to overcome many obstacles.

It's great, of course, to return to Croatia, but this project, believe me, is more than me. This is also about Croatia and our partners and people from this community. Our focus has always been on the future and the realisation of the resort in Cavtat so that the country could further profit through the Aman project, just how other countries have benefited from it. Whenever we start these types of projects, we want to complete it according to the plan, but it's rare that all factors are in our full control.

A project of such magnitude requires coordination and cooperation. We made a huge effort and we were lucky that we had positive support from many sides. Soon it will be six years ago since the construction of the luxury Aman resort at the location of the former Macedonia hotel in Cavtat was first announced, the first machines even arrived at the construction site, but soon after that it all stopped.

What made everything slow down over the last few years?

It's no secret that this project has a complex history. Since taking ownership of the site, we have been working hard and working with all involved parties to resume construction.

Why is Croatia interesting for you to invest in and is it easier to invest in Montenegro, for example?

As an international company, we always look globally.

Each country has a different approach to investment and development. I personally love your beautiful country and its people. I have strong family ties in Croatia and I've spent many happy moments here. Croatia is a wonderful country, rich in history, with beautiful nature and positive people with a positive business attitude that reaches international business boundaries. But the potential offered by Cavtat is the most attractive part of this story.

This is a great opportunity for us and will have a major role in current investments in Croatia. Our goal for Croatia is the same as for any other country in which we've built and invested, which is to create the best we can and leave a lasting, positive legacy of which the country can be proud. The goal of this project is to build the most beautiful resort in Croatia, in keeping with the environment and local infrastructure.

This opportunity is huge and we hope to act as a catalyst for further internal development in Croatia, now and also in the future. It's incredible when you think that more foreign tourists visit Croatia than, for example, Australia. And this is almost double the annual level. Tourism makes up more than 12 percent of Croatian GDP, and this money goes to local wages, through the construction of hotels and other related projects.

This country has a talented, entrepreneurial workforce. Half of the population speak English, but Italian and German are also spoken. And just look at the innovations you're responsible for! Everything, from chemical pencils to parachutes, bulbs, MP3 code, all created by Croats. It's time for Croatia to become more significant on the world stage, and we want to play a key role in that story.

What is the value of the investment in Cavtat and when will the new hotel be completed?

This is a huge 50 million euro project that will build the best of the best in Cavtat. This is our approach to building every resort. To provide the best. We wouldn't even launch the project if we couldn't achieve the best possible. This isn't just a hotel. This is an investment in the development and the future of Cavtat, through which we'll support local development, jobs and employment. We'll start with the works at the end of this year, and later on we'll inform you about our opening plan.

How will the Aman resort in Cavtat look and what will it offer to its guests?

Personally, I can hardly wait to see how it will look once when it's done. This is a new level of design and unification with the landscape, and local, natural materials will be used. If you look at any other Aman resort we've built, including the ones in Montenegro in Sveti Stefan, you'll get a very good idea of ​​what Aman Cavtat will be like.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on investment and doing business in Croatia.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Pasjača Beach in Konavle Given the Title of Best Beach in Europe

Prestigious web-site European Best Destinations published their 2019 list of the best beaches in Europe, and Pasjača beach, located in Konavle was given the title of the best European beach, while Nugal beach in Tučepi was awarded a bronze medal for the third place!

Neither of the two beaches are routinely mentioned in the lists of best beaches in Croatia, but European Best Destinations researchers have worked hard on their research and have managed to bring the two jewels to the front of their list.

The article on their website explains that Pasjača beach is located 10 minutes away from Cavtat and around half an hour from Dubrovnik (not in high season, during the nightmarish traffic around Dubrovnik town!). The article about the beach explains that it's actually a miracle, created by man and nature working together. It was created when a tunnel was dug to help battle the frequent floodings of the fields located inland, and some of the rocks were left at the seaside. The waves turned the rocks into pebbles, and then into sand. After that sand has been lost to the sea, the people of the Konavle region kept bringing more rocks for the sea to grind and maintain the beach.

If you're into parties, loud music and being seen, this is not the beach for you, as there's nothing but the nature and quiet here. The closest village to the beach is Popovići, which is a nice kilometer walk.

The third beach on the list, Nugal beach in Tučepi, is a partly nudist beach, and a beach that's really not easy to get to. Located in Makarska region, it takes around half an hour to walk there, but it's totally worth it. It's also quite a private location, with a friendly atmosphere and no bars directly on the beach.

Both of those beauties are worth exploring, as are many other amazing Croatian beaches!

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