Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Lika Quality Label Boasts 169 Certified Products, 62 Manufacturers

The Lika Quality label is currently featured on 169 certified products by 62 manufacturers.

Small Lika producers of dairy, meat, bakery products, honey, fruits, vegetables, fruit products, drinks, wild herbs, souvenirs, and cosmetics gathered at the Plitvice Lakes National Park Hotel Jesero for the third distribution of 'Lika Quality' certificates, reports HRTurizam on July 16, 2019.

This was a special event for 26 manufacturers in Lika who joined the Lika Quality system, as well as for the 12 manufacturers who have been in the system since 2017 and extended the duration of their certificate on Tuesday. 

With the Lika Quality certification, quality products manufactured in Lika become part of a system that brands it as a gastronomic destination, which allows them to enter the market under a common brand.


Lika Destination Facebook

"The Lika destination is known for its beauty, and that is why it is branded as a protected area. Thanks to quality pastures, the food produced in Lika has exceptional flavor, which has been the inspiration for the development of Lika Quality and, besides everything mentioned above, Lika is branded as a gastronomic destination,” said Danijel Tušak, President of LAG Lika.

For the product to bear the Lika Quality label, it must meet the criteria established for each product category. Until recently, Lika Quality branded 98 products, and in the last round of certifications, several new manufacturers have been announced. Thus, today, there are 169 certified Lika Quality products and 62 manufacturers.

The idea to brand Lika as a destination for quality products came from the Lika Destination cluster, along with its partners. Cluster leader Petra Butković emphasized the importance of cooperation and the recommendations of producers, parks and all others involved in tourism to make Lika a globally renowned tourist destination in which tourism develops sustainably and to benefit the local population. Director of the Park Tomislav Kovačević congratulated all the producers and highlighted their support.


Lika Destination Facebook

"Plitvice Lakes National Park continues to contribute sustainably to the local community, family farms and tourism development in the area of Lika,” Kovačević pointed out.

Apart from awarding new certificates, the first sales point with Lika Quality products was also opened, which is located inside Plitvice Lakes National Park. Apart from Plitvice Lakes, Lika Quality products can be purchased in private hotels, restaurants, and shops.

By branding Lika's products, they have finally gained a deserved position in the market battle against imported industrial products. In addition, an opportunity for the long-term development of Lika has been created as a destination, while reviving its economy. 

Furthermore, a joint ticket for the Lika destinations is on offer, which will be available until November. Namely, at a promotional price, the ticket grants access to NP Plitvice Lakes, NP Paklenica, NP Northern Velebit, PP Velebit (Zavratnica Bay), PP Grabovača, Barać Caves and MC Nikola Tesla , which is another step towards creating a local identity as a unique tourist destination.

The Lika destination ticket is available at 300 kuna for adults and 200 kuna for children (7-18 yrs). 

To learn more about things made in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Grabovača Cave from Lika Offers Visitors Unusual Souvenir

At first it seemed like an April Fools' joke, but then it turned out there's nothing funny about it: Grabovača cave, located near Perušić in Lika region of Croatia, has started selling little bottles filled with the air collected at the bottom of the cave, and they sold the entire first series of the souvenir!

Tanja Šimundić Bendić wrote about that for Slobodna Dalmacija, how she has received the news about the new souvenir from the Grabovača Cave Park and decided that she needed to investigate if it was a joke or not. But to do that, she decided to take a bottle of ripe Split air, and made her way to Lika, to see the cave and the tourist story that is being created in one of the poorest counties in Croatia.

The bottles are filled with air from the bottom of the Samograd cave in the Grabovača cave system, and it's perfectly clean air: no allergens, no smog, just pure cave air. Tomislav Špehar, one of the park attendants explains that they don't want to bottle too much air, as it needs to stay deep in the cave. So the journalists and the people in the park exchanged gifts, the bottle of air from Split (with added pine needles from Marjan!) and the bottle of perfectly clean Lika air. After some consideration of the dangers of potential infestation with bark beetle (which has wreaked havoc on Marjan in recent years), they've decided that there is no real danger in letting some of the Split craziness into their cave. And out of the blue, came an idea: let's have a museum of air in Grabovača! So, if you decide to visit Grabovača, bring a little bottle of air from back home, to be exhibited at the Park!

The original idea for the bottled air as a souvenir of Grabovača came last year when they had over 6,5 thousand visitors. So last autumn they put the bottles inside the cave, where they sat all winter, getting filled with cave air, and in March they were closed and the original souvenir was offered to the tourists. And that souvenir took off, much better than expected. People are asking for the cave air (just like the journalist did), and it's a remarkable marketing tool. Once the visitors come, in addition to some bottled air, they also get to see the caves, the nature around them, they get to learn from the crew working at Grabovača Cave Park about the nature, caves, behaviour in caves, nature conservation etc.

And if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that the nature in Lika is spectacular. Lush green all around, with wonderful footpaths with lots of information ready for tourists, eco playgrounds, vistas, picnic zones... There are nine caves in the park, which has around 600 hectares of surface area, and ambitious plans to expand to over 6000 hectares and to almost 40 speleological objects. The temperature in the Samograd cave does not change much, it is constantly between 7 and 10 Celsius.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Gospić to Celebrate Tesla's Birthday with Tesla Power of Lights Event

Tesla Power of Lights is the name of the event that is to be held on July 9, as a part of the celebration of the 163rd anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla, a genius inventor who was born in Smiljan, a village near Gospić in 1856. The event Tesla Power of Lights will be held on Gospić's main square after the sunset (the expected start is around 9 pm), so that the spectacle of lights thrown in Tesla's honor can be more visible. 

The spectacle aims to show to the visitors all of those remarkable things Tesla invented which drastically changed the course for the humanity. It will also try to take the visitors back to the stormy night, back in 1856, when Tesla was born in Smiljan. A long-prepared laser show, remarkable lighting effects which will illuminate the skies all the way to Smiljan and a special lighting furniture created just for Tesla's birthday - all of those will be entertaining the visitors at the biggest birthday party in Croatia.

The attractive dance group called Atomi will perform the "light dance", which will include the silk dance performed on the main square which will, of course, be illuminated extra for the night. The educational train will be taking people all over Gospić all day, showing them all of the locations in the town which are somehow connected to the life and the work of this genius who grew up there. All of the buildings in which Tesla lived or worked will also get their own light-show for a day, and the story of his life in Lika will be told as the train passes by them. The band Diktatori will perform at the party. There will be stands with food and drinks all over the town centre for the visitors to enjoy, as they come to Gospić to celebrate Tesla's birthday.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Dubrovnik and Lika Promo Films Win Big at American Telly Awards!

With summer right around the corner, you're probably looking for a bit of travel inspiration to finally book that much-needed holiday you plan on taking this year. Thankfully, two popular Croatian destinations might just be the scratch to your travel itch. 

Namely, the promotional film of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board titled "Dubrovnik Riviera”, which was directed by Herve Tirmarche, filmed by Jajij Armija and produced by Spomenko Sarage and Balducchi Film, won the first place and the gold medal at the American Telly Awards festival, reports HRTurizam on May 22, 2019. 

The second place at the festival was awarded to the promotional film"Visit Lika”, created by the Tourist Board of Lika-Senj County under the baton of Bobby B. Grubic, a three-time Emmy winner. The video was also produced by Spokesman Sarage and Balducci Film.

The Telly Awards each year showcases the best works recorded for television and other media. Over 12,000 entries from more than 50 countries on five continents are received each year. The winners of the Telly Awards work from some of the most prestigious advertising agencies, television stations, production houses and publishers around the world.

The Telly Awards are judged by the jury, or members of the Council that is made up of more than 200 members, active professionals from various areas of television, marketing, and the like. This year, the Telly Awards celebrated 40 years. 

These two Croatian promotional films have already won several silver and bronze prizes at the world’s largest travel fair ITB, 2nd place by the jury and the best tourist film by student tourism management in Japan, and the bronze prize at "New York Festivals" which was awarded in Las Vegas during the "NAB Show" media event.

You can find the full list of Telly Award winners here, and watch the video compilation of the winners below. 

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

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Three Days After Elections, Indictment Against HDZ Official

ZAGREB, March 14, 2019 - Parliament Speaker and HDZ party secretary-general Gordan Jandroković said on Wednesday, in a comment on an indictment against member of parliament Marijan Kustić, who headed the HDZ slate and won a recent election in Lika-Senj County, and who has been charged with causing a traffic accident, that it was not customary for officials to resign after legal proceedings were launched against them.

The prosecutorial authorities in Osijek earlier in the day indicted Kustić for causing a traffic accident in which two persons were seriously injured while the parliamentary Conflict of Interest Commission said that it would consider Kustić's failure to report a valuable watch in his declaration of assets.

"The proceedings have just been launched and it is not customary for officials to resign when proceedings are launched," Jandroković told reporters in Zagreb, adding that his comment was the same with regard to the indictment against Kustić. "... I think it would be best... to wait for a non-final and then a final verdict in order to be able to pass judgement," said Jandroković.

Commenting on the timing of the indictment, three days after the early election in Lika-Senj County, Jandroković said that he was confident that there had been no pressure and that all institutions that had to be autonomous operated autonomously. "I'm also confident that the ruling majority and the government do not exert any pressure," he said.

Asked if the HDZ would support the new budget of Lika-Senj County or if a new election would have to be held, Jandroković said that Kustić had made it clear several times that the first step would be to form the majority in the Lika-Senj County Assembly, after which decisions would be made.

Asked if the majority in the county assembly could be formed with former HDZ official and Lika-Senj County head Darko Milinović, considering that HDZ political secretary Lovro Kuščević had said that it was not an option, Jandroković answered: "If the political secretary has said so, why would the secretary-general's opinion be different?"

More news about HDZ can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 11 March 2019

HDZ Wins Early Election in Lika-Senj County

ZAGREB, March 11, 2019 - The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led coalition won Sunday's the early election for the Lika-Senj County Assembly with 35.4 percent of votes, according to information released by the State Election Committee on Sunday evening,

The independent slate of former HDZ member Darko Milinović was second (20.4 percent), the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) was third (17.2 percent), the independent slate of Anto Dabo was fourth (9.8 percent) and the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) was fifth with 5.36 of the votes.

Parties that won less than five percent of the votes are the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Živi Zid Party, the HSLS/HNS coalition and Milan Bandić's party.

The New Lika-Senj County Assembly will have 13 members from the HDZ slate, seven from Milinović's slate, six from the HSP slate, three from Dabo's slate and two from the the SDSS slate.

The turnout was 51.2 percent.

The HDZ also won election for the Davor Municipal Council, while the SDP won the election for the Ogulin City Council. The independent slate of Marina Budimir won the elections in the town of Ilok.

More news about Lika-Senj County and the Lika region can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

New Level of Luxury in Croatia: T-Nest Resort in Lika

Yet another step in the direction of branding Croatia as a go-to location for luxury tourism, T-Nest Resort in Lika will soon be built and open its door to their guests. And the guests will be those people who are looking for fancy, luxurious accommodation in the forest, in intact nature, away from the seaside and the crowds there during the high tourist season.

The glamping resort will be built by a company owned by Goran Štrok, a famous Croatian hotelier and entrepreneur, who helped build and run numerous hotels in Dubrovnik. He sold his Dubrovnik company in 2011 and left Croatia to live in London, where he was working as a consultant in the energy business. Apparently, he misses Croatian tourism, so he's back with this project: a plot of land where the T-Nest Resort is being built is over 14 hectares large, it includes a lake, and the resort is planned to include a conference hall, 39 wooden and 31 canvas houses (some of them will be actual tree-houses, built in the tree's canopies), two restaurants etc.

The resort is located near Lovinac, a small village in Lika, and there isn't much around the resort's location - that's why it's said that the silence there can be deafening. The philosophy of the resort will be to keep everything as clean, sustainable and quiet as possible, so the guests will have the option to ride around on electric bikes, the cars will be Tesla electric cars (the Tesla connection is strong: T-Nest is actually short for Tesla's Nest, as Tesla was also born in Lika, not far from where the resort will be located).

Once the resort is completed, it's expected to be among the top "organic luxury" resorts of the world, offering a completely different kind of relaxation to what most other tourist locations are giving their guests.

Each of the houses will have a jacuzzi, sauna, luxury electronics, so that the guests can be fully immersed in nature, without giving up luxury. The planned investment is somewhere around 15 million Euro, and the planned price tag for the rental of the houses will be around 400-500 Euro per night. The construction began last May and is almost done, so the opening of the T-Nest Resort and the first guests are expected later this year, in the fall.

The resort will be open 10 months a year, not only for the high tourist season, and it will employ 70 people full-time and will be run by a foreigner, South-African Steven Pieters, a Croatian son-in-law who left Kempinski Hotel in Dubai to take the position of T-Nest Resort manager.
Monday, 21 January 2019

Lika-Senj County Launches Impressive New Tourism Promo Video for 2019

If you haven't visited Lika-Senj County yet, you'll be booking your next trip after watching this impressive new tourism video.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Plitvice Lakes Municipality Raises Sum for Parents of Newborns

As the Croatian demographic crisis continues, many Croatian towns, cities and municipalities have suggested and enforced their own measures to encourage people not only to stay where they are, but to bring new life into the country. What better way to do that than offer cash for each newborn baby? Plitvice Lakes Municipality (Općina Plitvička Jezera) has raised its amount by 2,000 kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of January, 2019, the right to a one-time cash sum is realised when at least one of the parents of a newborn child has a permanent place of residence in the area of ​​the Plitvice Lakes Municipality.

This very welcome news comes from the Plitvice Lakes Municipality itself and as writes, the amount of one-off cash sums paid directly by the Plitvice Lakes Municipality to the parents of newborn children from the area covered by that municipality has now been increased.

The amount given to new parents in the Plitvice Lakes Municipality has so far been 3,000 kuna for the first-born child, and then 500 kuna more for each child after that.

By the decision of Mayor Ante Kovač on January the 2nd, 2019, the Plitvice Lakes Municipality will now pay parents a sum of 5,000 kuna for every newborn this year, which is 2,000 kuna more than it has been so far.

The birth of the second child will see new parents receive 5,500 kuna, while for the third newborn child, the parents have the right to assistance in the amount of 6,000 kuna, or for each subsequent child born, 500 kuna more.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages for more on the Croatian demographic crisis and the measures being put in place by towns, cities and municipalities across the country to help combat the continuing negative effects.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Intangible Heritage of Croatia – Cheesecloth Cheese – Sir iz Mišine

December the 7th, 2018 - The intangible heritage of Croatia is complex and varied, so let us take a look at yet another one, which involves cheese. The preparation of cheesecloth cheese, locally called sir iz mišine, is a long tradition in Dalmatian inland, Dinara, Velebit, Lika, and the western Herzegovina area.

When the initial production of this piece of intangible heritage of Croatia first began isn't known, but even the ancient Illyrians prepared this type of sheep cheese. One of the theories says that production began when milk stored in sheep paunches accidentally started the fermentation process. This kind of milk had whey and cheese, which during that time, became a tradition to make.

The way of making the cheese hasn’t changed much from the beginning. Back then, the cheese was made from whole sheep milk but today it's done with skimmed sheep, goat, or cow milk too. It is preserved in sheep or goat paunches which gives it its typical smell and spicy flavour. It is usually produced during summer from extra sheep milk and it can be consumed from autumn onwards.

In order to make this cheese, one should follow several procedures. First, the paunch should be appropriately prepared, then the milking should be done and milk preparation should follow right after it. The whey should be prepared too. Making and preparing the sheep or goat paunch is important as it ensures good cheese making. The paunch should be properly washed, disinfected and dried from 15 to 30 days.

Knowledge and skill with regard to this craft is traditionally inherited from generation to generation. When everything is ready, the brewing process can start and the product can be stored in the paunches. Finally, the stored cheese needs to age, and then it is ready.

The brewing begins right after the milking and the brewing time depends on the temperature (ranges from 31-35°C to 35-40°C) and the strength of the whey. When the mixture forms a certain structure, the first layer is turned over to even up the temperature of the whole batch, then, it is cut into cubes and should rest until the whey turns into a greenish – yellow colour.

This cheese mass is then put in cloths and subsequently pressed.

After pressing the cheese, salt is added until there is enough cheese to be put into the paunch. If the paunch is filled with cheese one-time only, this ensures better quality. When the paunch is filled, the cheese is shredded and then crumbled. It is important to remove all the air from the paunch to ensure that it matures in controlled conditions (12-15°C). It takes 2-3 months to achieve its specific characteristics and to be ready for consumption.

To produce one kilogram of cheese, you'd need 7-8 litres of skimmed milk or 7-9 litres of fresh sheep or mixed sheep/cow milk. To produce 12 to 15 kg of cheese and 7-8 litres of slurry, you would need 100 litres of whole sheep's milk. The mature cheese is then taken out of the paunch and stored in low temperatures with the appropriate humidity and level of hygiene.

The area where this cheese is made is usually agricultural regions where you can find livestock like sheep, lambs, and goats. To keep this tradition going and in order to continue this type of cheese production, it is important to help to preserve small family businesses and agricultural estates which are involved in making it.

Nowadays, there are some differences in production as the sheep and milk used are different from the traditional type. In addition, technology is used to produce the cheese which makes it higher quality in the modern day.

Despite technology's influence, it is important to preserve most of the traditional ways of making the cheese active by passing down knowledge of this tradition. The final product is often a very rare find on markets and in stores but it can be found on agricultural estates and villages where they still make it.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more information on the intangible heritage of Croatia and much more.


SOURCE(S) (text and photos): HAH, Agroklub

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