Sunday, 13 October 2019

EM Bioglobes to be Thrown into the Sea at Korčula by Schoolchildren

This Monday, October 14th at 11 am the first EM Bioglobes throwing will be organized in Korčula.

The EM Bioglobes are an innovative product, which contains the "good bacteria" and other substances. When they get deposited at the sea bottom, the bacteria from them can clean around 1 square meter of the bottom. The EM Bioglobes are based on the innovative Effective Microorganism technology, developed in the eighties by the Japanese professor Teruo Higa, used in various settings to improve growth and yield of selected plants, but that have recently been used to improve the status of the seabottom.

In Korčula, the children from the Korčula elementary and highschool will participate in the throwing, along with the interested members of the public. The event will be organized near Punta Jurana, and hopefully not all 1000 globes prepared will end up at the same place! Before the globes are dropped, samples will be taken from the seabottom. The sampling will be repeated after two weeks, and those samples analysed to determine what effect they had on the status of the bottom where they were deposited. The results of this pilot project might lead to additional similar actions in the next year. The project is organized by the Adriatica Association for the Research and Preservation of the Natural Diversity of the Mediterranean, based in Korčula, as a part of their Month of Natural History. Last year we wrote about the similar Week they organized on Korčula, but have since decided to expand their activities to the whole month.

This is not the first time similar activities will be taking place in Croatia, as similar bioglobes have already been thrown into the sea in Rab and in some other locations in Croatia, but the results of those efforts are not widely known. Hopefully, we'll be able to read about and recognize the results of the EM Bioglobes deposited at the seabottom in Korčula!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Korčula Ranked Among Top 5 Islands in the World

Big 7 Travel, one of the world's leading travel websites, dedicated to tourism and destinations, published their comprehensive list of the 50 best islands in the world, and Croatia's Korčula found itself very near the top of the list, among the world's top 5 islands.

Number 5 is the position that Korčula ranked on that list, and first to fourth place were given to Flatey Island near Iceland, Palawan Island in the Philippines, Espiritu Santo Island in the Vanuatu archipelago and Norway's Sommarøy.

Each of the islands on the top 50 list got a brief description, and Korčula was introduced as "one of the must-visit destinations on Croatia’s South Dalmatian coast. It’s a little further out to get to than most of the other islands, so you can enjoy less crowds and a more laid-back feel. People call Korcula Town “Little Dubrovnik” because of its medieval squares, churches, palaces and houses, while the beaches and the dense forest offer incredible scenery." They also included a link to their destination website, dedicated to Croatia.

The methodology used to create the top 50 list included the votes by the website visitors (over a million and a half votes), previous sources and opinions by the website editors.

Korčula has probably gotten used to the flattery by the international and national media, as it has regularly been appearing on similar "The Best Of" lists, but still it is always nice to hear that a Croatian island has been given the compliment as one of the world's top 5 islands. In the past two years, towns on the island of Korčula have been given the Večernji list Tourism Patrol Award: Korčula Town in 2018, and Lumbarda in 2019.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Property of the Week: Rare Chance to Buy in Gorgeous Korcula Old Town

September 18, 2019 - TCN is off to the birthplace of Marco Polo for the latest Property of the Week, a rare chance to buy in the idyllic old town of Korcula. 

It is, quite simply, one of the most divine places on the Adriatic coast, a small stone settlement of such perfection and heritage that it is impossible not to fall in love with it at first sight. 

Take a moment to appreciate its majesty from this early morning stroll in April this year.

A destination which is taking the right approach to tourism - quality over quantity, with a focus on its indigenous strengths - culture, heritage, gourmet, sailing and nature. 

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And now, a slice of historic Korcula could be yours! In the words of our friends from Trgostan: 

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An old stone house in one of the most sought-after locations in the Adriatic, within the historic core of Korcula old town, on four floor and of 120 sqm net (indoor area), consists of a one-bedroom two-story apartment and two en-suite bedrooms, so it may function as three rental units or as a spacious three bedroom/three bathroom house, with old stone preserved details, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, in a quiet street, but very close to the sea and all amenities, rarely on the market.

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For more information, prices and to book a viewing, check out the original Trgostan listing.

To learn more about this magical island, check out the Total Croatia Korcula in a Page guide.  

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Friday, 13 September 2019

Yachts of Bill Gates, Roman Abramovich Anchored Off Korcula Coast

September 13, 2019 - The coast of Korcula is decorated with luxury as the yachts of billionaires Bill Gates and Roman Abramovich sail into the area.

The Planjak islet is located near the famous town of Korcula, situated to the northeast of the island. A local hotspot that draws in weekend beachgoers, Planjak is only accessible by water taxi, taxi boat, or kayak, as there is no public transport to the island. Located across the sea from southeastern shores of Badija, Planjak boasts three pebble beaches and is no stranger welcoming the sun all day long. Its colorful, crystalline sea makes it hard to skip, so it’s no wonder why some of the world’s biggest billionaires chose this area precisely to park their yachts on Thursday. 

Namely, Dalmacija Danas reports that the yachts of two world billionaires - Bill Gates and Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich, were anchored off the shores of Korcula, near Planjak on Thursday.

The two yachts likely anchored next to one another by chance. The Power Play Yacht is owned by Bill Gates, an American business magnate and one of the richest people in the world. You might know him better as the founder of Microsoft. The Power Play yacht has spent the better part of the summer cruising the Adriatic. Recall, Gates and his family were said to be exploring the coast of Montenegro at the beginning of August, though we are unsure if Gates is on his yacht currently. 

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Ivica Trojanović

We do know that Gates loves Croatia and the Adriatic and often spends his summers swimming and sunbathing around Dalmatia. He even recommends Croatia to his friends.

But Gates’ yacht isn’t the only big player sailing the Korucla area, as the 110-meter-long yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is calling this part of the coast its home for now, too. Namely, the Eclipse, which was once known as the largest yacht in the world, is known around the world as the ‘$1.5 billion yacht’, though estimated costs range between $500-700 million.

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Ivica Trojanović

The Eclipse was spotted in the Cavtat area at the end of August and is often spotted sailing around Dubrovnik. 

You can check out the toys of these two famous billionaires in the photos by Ivica Trojanović.

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

Friday, 23 August 2019

Konoba Gulin in Vela Luka: Where Good Food Meets UNESCO Protection

Honestly, when the plans were made for my little group to go to Konoba Gulin, a restaurant near Vela Luka, for a dinner, I knew almost nothing about the place. But, after the first visit, I am sure there will be many happy returns.

The first thing you should know about Konoba Gulin is that it's owned and managed by a real character: Tonči Miletić. He will take your phone calls to make a reservation (a word of advice, the kind you really should take: make a reservation, if you're planning on eating there during the high-season; we witnessed him turning more than a dozen people down, who came without reservations, so don't make that mistake in August), he will call you on the day of your arrival in the morning to tell you what's on the menu that day, and he will welcome you to his restaurant like you're a part of his family.

And then his friends will come, and the group will start singing, and even if you're not the biggest fan of klapa a cappella music (just like I for one am not), sitting just above Vela Luka, on a terrace with the view of the sea, in the olive groves on an August evening, you will have to admit that their song is just perfect for the setting.

So, as I said, I had no idea who he is, who the group is, so I asked, and it turns out it's not just any group of Tonči's friends, it's the quite well-known Klapa Ošjak from Vela Luka, who have recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and who gained national attention last year when they sang during Oliver Dragojević's farewell from Split, upon his arrival in Vela Luka, and at his funeral. Tonči from the restaurant is the first tenor, and in addition to listening to him and his friends sing, if you get a chance, you should look at him sing: he's smiling the entire time while he's singing, and that's amazing to see!

He says about himself that he's one of the rare people around who's involved with three separate UNESCO protected heritages: the klapa song, the olive trees in Croatia and the dry stone walling. 

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And, yes, he can make dry stone walls! The entire restaurant is made of the traditional dry stone, and it is an impressive feat, to be able to do something like that. When I talked to him, I told him that if I were able to sing like he does, I wouldn't do anything else in my life, but the same goes for the dry stone walls, as they're so, so impressive you just want him to do as many meters of them as possible. 

Then there's the food. Like I already mentioned, when you come to Konoba Gulin, it's either going to be fresh, or you're not having it. We wanted to have some tuna steaks, he said that he would try to get some, but then called to tell us that there's no tuna today, but that he got a perfectly fresh swordfish, and would we care to have some of that? Well, of course we would, and yes, if you're wondering, it was perfect. As fresh as it gets, and prepared expertly on their grill by Tonči's son, who refused to get out of my perfect shot, because he needs to deal with the fish for the other customers (of course he was right and I was wrong: get your photos later, lady, once everyone has eaten!) 

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The view from the terrace is, like I mentioned already, amazing, perfectly positioned to experience the most beautiful sunset, and that's just one of the wonderful things you will get to enjoy while at Konoba Gulin.

If you're anywhere near Vela Luka, make yourself a favour and go to Konoba Gulin for one of those truly astonishing, authentic experiences of Dalmatia. Just make a reservation before you do!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Formula 1's Bernie Ecclestone Visits Beautiful Island of Korčula

As Morski writes on the 17th of August, 2019, on Saturday afternoon in front of Hotel Korčula, a beautiful yacht named "Petara", owned by no less than Formula 1 owner Bernie Eccleston, was moored. The name of the yacht was taken from the names of Eccelston's two daughters, Petra and Tamara.

Bernie is otherwise listed as one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, and it's long been known that he is a big fan of the beautiful island of Korčula, becoming a somewhat ''traditional'' guest. In other words, there hasn't been a summer in recent years in which the Brit hasn't visited Korčula. Back in 2010, he was also interested in buying HTP Korčula, an idea which never came to fruition in the end, according to a report from local portal Korčula onlinečula online.

Bernard Charles Ecclestone, better known in the spotlight as Bernie Ecclestone, is a successful British businessman and one of the leading men of Formula 1.

His father was the captain of a fishing boat, and young Bernie, from the tender age of sixteen, dropped out of school so that he could fully devote himself to what he loved doing the most, and most importantly, what he wanted the most. 

That craving, which paid off and unbelievably so, was car racing. After several races, he stopped competing in 1951 and returned in 1957 as a manager of the Connaught team. He purchased the Brabham team back in 1972 and Nelson Piquet became the 1981 and 1983 World Champion.

In the 1980s, he took an enormous financial risk by becoming the president of the Formula 1 Constructors' Association, but it paid off, as the sponsors made a lot of profit. He sold Brabham in 1988 and moved to Gstaad for two years, and in 1996, he founded a new company, Formula One Management, which sells distribution rights to the International Automobile Association located in Geneva.

His ex-wife Slavica Ecclestone, a Croat, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, began her modeling career in the 1970s in Zagreb, Korčula online reports.

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

Friday, 16 August 2019

Aminess Paying Employees 500 Kuna Bonus for Successful Tourist Season So Far

August 16, 2019 - Aminess Hotels & Campsites will pay its employees a bonus of 500 kuna for successfully completing the first part of the tourist season, reports Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam.

The bonus, which will be paid in August with the July paycheck, will be awarded to all employees hired by July 15, 2019, including part-time and full-time employees, and students.

The Aminess hotels and camps in Novigrad, Orebić, and Korčula, employ 650 people in the peak season. 

“The company has one of the highest payroll bases for tourism, and with incentives and benefits increasing year after year, accommodation, and hot meals, we are continuously investing in improving the conditions of all employees and offer numerous career advancement opportunities. Regardless of their employment status, everyone is provided with a wide range of training and advanced training programs, such as communication and team leadership skills, foreign languages and presentation and IT skills,” Aminess points out.

Aminess also launched the Aminess Gourmet Lab project this year, which, under the leadership of Chef David Skoko, aims to educate young chefs, waiters, bartenders and other members of the Aminess gourmet team. Also, with the aim of improving work and relationships with guests within the company, the Aminesss Idea project has been launched, which gives employees the opportunity to express their opinions and give their suggestions in order to achieve even better results together. Employees with the best ideas for their contribution earn a cash prize.

In order to provide even better quality accommodation to employees coming from other parts of Croatia and the region, the company has started constructing the first hotel for employees in Novigrad, which will spread over 2,500 square meters.

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Aminess

The hotel will have a reception, a shared kitchen with a dining area, parking, and an enclosed bicycle storage room, while most of the rooms will have double beds with a private bathroom, French balcony or terrace, modern furniture and a TV, as well as a heating and cooling system. In addition to free Wi-Fi, employees will also have a shared lounge area, as well as specially equipped laundry, drying and ironing facilities.

The hotel, with all the prerequisites for participating in the commercial market, will be ready for the 2020 season.

The high level of quality of working conditions in Aminess is also evidenced by the fact that a majority of seasonal employees return to the company year after year, but also thanks to the Employer Partner Certificate, which has been awarded by SELECTIO to Aminess since 2017. 

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

Monday, 12 August 2019

Lumbarda on Korcula Wins 2019 Vecernji List Tourist Patrol

August 12, 2019 - Congratulations to Lumbarda, winners of this year's Vecernji List Tourism Patrol award. 

A nice boost for tourism in Lumbarda on Korcula, which has won the prestigious Tourism Patrol award, Croatia's oldest tourism award, organised by newspaper Vecernji List since 1975. Vecernji reporters visit all the major destinations incognito and assess the quality of the tourism offer of each destination, before announcing a champion. Winners from 2013-2018 were Vis, Trogir, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Korcula Town.

Lumbarda is known for its great beaches, relaxed lifestyle and one of Croatia's finest white wine grape varieties, Grk. TCN last year reported on the top 5 things to do in Lumbarda

In recent years, Korculan tourism has been focused on quality and not quantity, and the results are already being seen in a much higher level of tourism offer, as well as recognition. Although I haven't fact-checked, this is possibly the first time that the Tourism Patrol award has remained on the same island two years in a row. 

Take a tour of the destination with the Lumbarda Tourist Board in the video above. 

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Korcula in a Page guide

 

 

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Why International Wine Experts are Heading to Dalmatian Islands

August 4, 2019 - The exciting indigenous grapes on Dalmatia's islands are attracting increasing international interest. Great piece by Kate Hawkings in The Buyer on a visit to Korcula.

When I moved to Hvar in 2003, I had no idea it was a wine island or that, in fact, I had bought a house in the Dalmatian wine capital, Jelsa. I carried on in innocent ignorance for about 7 years until I started researching for the first edition of my guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide. 

And then I became fascinated. Not only did Hvar have some excellent winemakers, but the grapes themselves made the Hvar wine story even more interesting. It is said that there are 130 indigenous varieties all over Croatia, and I had no idea that Hvar was so rich in them. 

The most famous is Bogdanusa, literally a 'gift from God', but there is also Prc and Darnekusa. I want to say Kuc as well, although from memory this exists elsewhere under a different name.

And then the longer I stayed, the more I discovered, most notably with Jelsa winemaker Teo Huljic, who introduced me to the Mekuja grape (he is the only one to make a 100% Mekuja, just 600 bottles). The following year, he opened one of only 70 bottles of Palarusa, an almost forgotten grape that even some Hvar winemakers had never heard of. Kortolaska is another rare variety only found on Hvar. 

The more I looked, the more impressed I became. the islands of Croatia seemed to excel in indigenous varieties - you can learn more about them in Indigenous Wine Varieties on Croatian Islands.

And international wine experts are taking an increasing interest. The most high-profile of these, of course, is Jo Ahearne MW, the first Master of Wine to make wine in Croatia, much of it from Hvar's indigenous varieties. 

Jo was featured in a great in-depth piece largely set on Korcula by Kate Hawkins in The Buyer. 

Read on to find out why the international wine community is getting excited

Learn more about the wines of Croatia in the Total Croatia Wine guide.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

St. Theodore's Celebration and Procession in Korčula

For centuries, the town of Korčula has celebrated the feast day of St. Theodore, the co-patron saint of the town (the other patron saint is St. Mark, and the Korčula cathedral is dedicated to him) on July 29th. It's the biggest celebration of the town in the year, and yesterday Korčula had the chance to welcome the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in the morning, and in the evening the traditional procession for Sv. Todor (which is what St. Theodore's is called in Korčula) was held.

At midday, the celebratory ringing of the bells on top of the cathedral took place, and hopefully in the video below you can see that it's done by manually hitting the bell:

Not unlike other similar processions, Korčula's procession of St. Todor includes a walk around the town, starting and finishing at the cathedral, with members of the confraternities carrying religious objects, including the highly revered relics of the saint, St. Theodore of Amasea. As we've already written during our coverage of Korčula, it has three religious confraternities, founded and maintained by laymen but closely related to the church.

All Saints confraternity was founded in 1301, St. Rocco in 1575 and the youngest brotherhood, St. Virgin Mary of Consolation (St. Michael) was founded in 1603. Each of the confraternities has their own church, rules, goals and projects in the community they support, but the processions through the town are one thing that brings them together each year. There is one big procession in the spring, for the Easter celebrations, and another major one is the procession through the town as a part of the celebration of St. Theodore's day.

The tapestry, thanking St. Todor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The video below shows yesterday procession, as seen from close to Hotel Korčula on the western side of the Korčula Old Town. You can see the different confraternities, the relics and hear the choir and citizens of Korčula who have joined the procession singing a religious song: 

 

After the procession, the two celebratory performances of moreška, performed by the two groups performing the dance: one at the monument, and the other one at the open-air theatre.

All photos and videos by IT.

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