Friday, 12 November 2021

Makarska Introduces Free Public Transport for Its Citizens

November 12, 2021 - Good news for the inhabitants of the Dalmatian town, as Makarska introduces free public transport towards the end of the year. Here are the routes.

Organized by the City of Makarska, free public transport has started on the route Veliko Brdo - Makarska - Veliko Brdo as a pilot project, reports Slobodna Dalmacija. The test period will last until the end of the year and refers to the connections of the most remote local board with the city. Makarska Mayor Zoran Paunović was also on the first run.

In this test period, transportation is free for all citizens who have a permanent or temporary residence in the area of ​​the city of Makarska, which passengers will prove with an ID card or appropriate certificate. The carrier will issue them a monthly travel ticket on the spot on the bus.

makarska-introduces-free-public-transport_2.jpg

Departures from Veliko Brdo to Makarska are at 7.30 am, 8.33, 9.33, 10.33, 12, 13.30, 14.50, 16.50 and 19.20. Departures from Makarska to Veliko Brdo are at 8.25, 9.25, 10.25, 11.30, 13.20, 16.15, 18.15, 19.05 and 20. 27 hours.

Boarding and disembarking of passengers on the route Veliko Brdo - Makarska - Veliko Brdo is performed at three bus stops in the area of ​​Veliko Brdo, bus stop near Napoleon's monument, near the store "Tommy" in Ante Starčević Street, at the beginning and end of the city waterfront, below the bus station, the end of the roundabout next to the high schools and the end of the town market and the Music School.

The City of Makarska has concluded a contract on co-financing the line at the initiative of the Family Bus Service carrier, which, according to the publicly available register, is the only one with registered lines and issued county licenses for county public regular passenger transport between Veliko Brdo and Makarska.
This pilot project is a step closer to the organization of public transport and an opportunity for the City of Makarska to know first hand the real traffic demand and the justification for the introduction of public transport in Makarska.

Are you planning to visit Makarska? Take a look at the Total Croatia 2021 guide, where you will find all the information about accommodation, restaurants, things to do, tours, how to get to the riviera, and much more HERE. Now available in your language!

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

Sunday, 24 October 2021

President Calls on Makarska Citizens to Absorb As Much EU Money As Possible

ZAGREB, 24 Oct, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Sunday attended the special session of the city assembly of Makarska on the occasion of the day of that Adriatic city, and commended local residents for having done a lot for their community.

Addressing the session, the president called on the local authorities and citizens to make use of the funds available under the EU funding schemes as much as possible.

"Take the money from the EU funds and be greedy within the rules," he said.

He presented that data showing that since Croatia's admission to the EU eight years ago, the money disbursed to Croatia exceeded Zagreb's contributions to the EU budget by HRK 43 billion.

This means that the payments to Croatia were by 5 billion kuna higher than Croatia's contributions annually, he said elaborating that of those 5 billion per year, three billion were earmarked for agriculture, and "you have nothing of that", he said.

He praised the current generation of Makarska citizens of being on the right track.

You live in a small and relatively wealthy community with the resources that are not unlimited, he said, among other things, urging them to rely on their own resources to upgrade their community.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Valamar Places Revamp on Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija: The Details

October 6, 2021 - Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija will be the second hotel to join the new Valamar Places brand. 

The Imperial Riviera d.d. Supervisory Board approved an HRK 67 million investment in repositioning Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija as a Places hotel by Valamar. The investment continues the announced five-year cycle of investments in Croatian tourism worth HRK 1.5 billion, jointly launched by AZ pension funds and "Valamar Riviera."

After the successful privatization of the companies "Imperial" and "Hotel Makarska," and the subsequent merger and increase of capital in "Imperial Riviera," investments in the total amount of HRK 580 million were made, and the hotels "Parentino," "Meteor," "Padova," "Imperial" and Camp Padova were repositioned.

The COVID crisis has temporarily halted and slowed down the investment plan, which is why investments started in 2019 were finalized only in 2021. The approval of the Hotel Dalmacija investment represents a partial restart of the investment cycle. The tourist season has shown the potential for a rapid launch of Croatian tourism and an opportunity for further growth and development of high value-added tourism.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reveals, with the HRK 67 million investment, Hotel Dalmacija will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the standards of the Valamar Places brand. Recall, the Valamar Places brand is "a new hotel concept for modern travelers seeking freedom of choice and a vibrant Mediterranean holiday by the sea in properties that introduce guests to the destination in a unique way with full respect for nature and the environment."

Hotel Dalmacija will become the second hotel operating under this Valamar brand from next season. 

"After the successful investment in the renovation, modernization, and repositioning of the Valamar hotel "Meteor" in the last two years, totaling HRK 90 million, Imperial Riviera continues to invest in its facilities in Makarska. An additional impetus for the continuation of investment was provided by this year's successful tourist season, which showed the potential for a rapid recovery of Croatian tourism in the still present COVID circumstances.

The investment includes reconstructing the existing facilities and constructing a new swimming pool, with a sun deck and a new pool bar, and reconstructing the 190 accommodation units and all other spaces in a modern lifestyle design. In addition, the existing restaurant, ground floor, and lobby are designed as one unit, thematically separated by zones, and the current wellness facility will be branded in the Places Spa.

The focus will be on the unique atmosphere, ambiance, offer of local food and dishes, with people at its center. The target markets will be the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, and, of course, the domestic market," said Imperial Riviera, adding that lifestyle hotels today are a particular genre in the hotel industry, based not on the classic features of luxury and high gastronomy but on a specific type of service intended for target consumer groups who value unique experiences with people of similar affinities and affiliations.

"Makarska is a destination that has already successfully positioned itself in the market, so it was chosen as an ideal place to implement this type of hotel. This means contributing to the continuation of diversifying the hotel segment, not only in Makarska but also beyond," concluded Imperial Riviera.

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

Thursday, 30 September 2021

CRO Race 3rd Stage: Milan Menten Wins from Primošten to Makarska

September 30, 2021 - Belgian cyclist Milan Menten, a Bingoal Pauwels Saucers WB team member, won the CRO Race 3rd stage from Primošten to Makarska (167 kilometers) and also took the lead in the overall standings.

In the final meters, Menten overtook Dutchman Mick van Dijk (Jumbo-Visma), and 3rd place was taken by Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X). At the same time, excellent placement was achieved by the Croatian cyclist Josip Rumac (Androni Giocattoli), who remained one step closer to the podium in fourth place, reports HRT.

With a stage victory, Menten also took the lead in the overall standings with three seconds ahead of Skaarset, and four ahead of third-placed Van Dijk.

After a nervous start to the stage due to a very early first passing goal in Rogoznica, just eight kilometers after the beginning, which was won by Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X), an escape was formed in which five cyclists participated - Spaniards Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel), Italian Davide De Cassan (Friuli), German Robert Jageler (P & S Metalltechnik) and Pole Adam Stachowiak (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski).

The five had the biggest advantage of six minutes before the peloton started to catch them. Then, on the first ascent of the day, two Spaniards stood out from the leading group on Dupce, and Barrenetxe won the mountain goal in front of Azparren. 

On the descent towards Makarska, three cyclists caught up with the Spanish duo, and five cyclists passed through Makarska together before the final lap of 47.3 kilometers. Their advantage was 1:42 minutes ahead of the peloton.

That the leading five cooperated harmoniously is also shown by the results of passing goals in Makarska and Podgora, only nine kilometers away. In Makarska, Jageler won the passing goal in front of Stachowiak and Azparren, and in Podgora Barrenetxe in front of De Cassan and Azparren.

Until the southernmost point of this year's CRO Race in Živogošće, only Barrenetxe, Azparren, and Stachowiak remained in the lead. The main group reached them about 20 kilometers before the finish.

At the beginning of the last ascent of the day, the overall group leader, Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), broke out at the head of the group to attack his teammate and compatriot Sam Oomen. Unfortunately, the only one who could follow Oomen's attack was Norwegian Torstein Traen (Uno-X). The duo remained in the lead until the peak of the climb won by Traen, and the Norwegian managed to maintain a slight advantage over the group until entering Makarska. However, in the end, the group still caught him. 

Traen took the lead for the best climber and will wear a green jersey in the fourth stage, which will run from Zadar to Crikvenica (197 kilometers) on Friday, while Kooij kept the blue jersey for the best sprinter.

Croatian cyclist Fran Miholjević (Team Friuli) finished the stage in 48th place.

Upcoming CRO Race stages:

October 1, 4th stage: Zadar - Crikvenica (197 km)
October 2, 5th stage: Rabac / Labin - Opatija (137.5 km)
October 3, 6th stage: Samobor - Zagreb (156.5 km)

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska Becomes 2nd Hotel Under Valamar Places Brand

September 29, 2021 - Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the Valamar [PLACES] brand standards.

HRTurizam reports that the Supervisory Board of Imperial Riviera d.d. approved an HRK 67 million investment in repositioning Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska as [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar.

The investment continues the announced five-year cycle of investments in Croatian tourism worth HRK 1.5 billion, which AZ pension funds and Valamar Riviera jointly launched.

The Covid crisis has temporarily halted and slowed down the investment plan, which is why investments started in 2019 were finalized only in 2021. Still, the approval of investments in the Hotel Dalmacija represents a partial restart of the investment cycle. Namely, the tourist season showed the potential for a rapid launch of Croatian tourism and the opportunity for further growth and development of high value-added tourism, so Imperial Riviera decided to accelerate the investment cycle.

After the successful privatization of Imperial and the Makarska hotel, and the subsequent merger and increase of capital in Imperial Riviera, investments in the total amount of HRK 580 million were made in the past period, and the following hotels were repositioned: Parentino, Meteor, Padova, Imperial, and Padova.

With an investment of HRK 67 million, Hotel Dalmacija will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the standards of the Valamar [PLACES] brand.

From next season, Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska will become the second hotel to operate under the Valamar [PLACES] brand. The new concept is designed for modern travelers seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment.

Imperial Riviera has in its portfolio seven hotels, three tourist resorts, and two camps in the leading Croatian destinations island of Rab, Poreč, and Makarska, which makes a total of 3,498 accommodation units and a capacity to accommodate almost 10,000 guests. Valamar Riviera d.d. has been in charge of managing the tourism business of the entire portfolio since 2016.

The new hotel concept is based on getting to know the true local Mediterranean lifestyle of the destination or a focus on authenticity. The brand is intended for guests seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment. 

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

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Makarska Firefighters: ''Use of Fire Outdoors is Strictly Prohibited''

August 11, 2021 - Through a statement, the Makarska firefighters have warned all landlords and their guests that the use of open fire, such as fireworks or barbecues, is strictly prohibited.

HrTurizam reports today that the Voluntary Fire Brigade of the City of Makarska sent an appeal to all landlords, tourist workers, the tourist community, and all citizens of Makarska, to warn tourists that lighting fires in the open are strictly prohibited.

In addition to the dystopian images coming from Turkey and Greece from the fires that have already caused irreparable ecological damage and evacuated thousands of tourists and locals, the fires also continue to be a threat on the Croatian coast due to the high temperatures in the summer, the wind, and in many cases by the irresponsibility of the people.

Just a week ago, a fire in Trogir set off alarms and took a few days to fully extinguish. Even in Makarska, which has seen record numbers of tourists and guests this summer, it has also had to call on fire brigades and canadairs to put out fires in the area. For this reason, the Makarska firefighters have decided to pronounce on the matter through a statement.

According to their statement, last night they had 5 interventions related to barbecues, lighting candles, torches, and other fire uses close to the forests.

They emphasize that during the summer months it is strictly forbidden to use open flames in the open, as any form of barbecue in the woods, lighting wax candles, torches, smoking, and more. The Voluntary Fire Brigade of the City of Makarska, therefore, has asked renters and all other accommodation owners to warn their guests that the use of open fires is strictly prohibited.

"Let's all be the guardians of our city together and prevent a catastrophe in time. Even the slightest zeal is needed for just that to happen. Let's be responsible", emphasizes DVD Makarska.

Also, DVD Makarska is in the process of raising money for a set of firefighting suits for forest fires, and they are asking for help with donations. Find out more details HERE.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Makarska Registers 56 Thousand Guests, Highest Since 2019

July 31, 2021 - In a clear sign of recovery, Makarska registers 56 thousand guests on its riviera, reaching 70% of what was achieved in 2019, a record year for tourism in the Dalmatian town.

Tportal.hr reports that in the resorts on the Makarska Riviera, according to the data of tourist offices, more than 56,000 domestic and foreign guests spend their holidays, which is about 70 percent compared to the same time in 2019.

According to the number of tourists, Makarska leads with 15,800 guests, in Baška Voda where a 'bed more' is still sought, 11,500 tourists rest, in Tučepi there are more than 8000, and in Podgora 5.5 thousand, while the Municipality of Gradac hosts more than 6000 guests.

Almost all hotel houses on the Makarska Riviera operate without free rooms, so it is recommended to book accommodation in advance to continue your summer stay in hotels.

There are few vacancies left in holiday homes as well as apartments with private homeowners on the entire coast, and more beds are in demand in most tourist offices, according to tourist offices.

The last weekend of July was marked by significantly increased traffic on the roads of the Makarska Riviera and in ferry ports.

On the state road, the D8 is driven in longer intermittent columns with occasional shorter delays, and smaller crowds are created at the entrances to tourist places. Traffic was significantly increased on the state road 535 from Baško Polje to the Sveti Ilija tunnel in Basto, while at the entrance to the highway near Zagvozd, a convoy of vehicles was about two kilometers long.

The ferry Pelješčanka, which runs on the line Makarska-Sumartin, is full in both directions for today's and tomorrow's voyages.

There are two ferries on the Drvenik-Sučuraj line, the wait for boarding in Drvenik is about two and a half hours, and it takes so long to return from Hvar to the mainland.

Good occupancy of hotels, holiday homes, and family accommodation is expected in the summer, say the tourist offices on the Riviera, where the end of July pleasantly surprised hoteliers and tourism workers.

Are you planning to visit Makarska? Take a look at the Total Croatia 2021 guide, where you will find all the information about accommodation, restaurants, things to do, tours, how to get to the riviera, and much more HERE. Now available in your language!

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Digital Souvenirs from Croatia: The Personalised Makarska Video Postcard

July 5, 2021 - Modern technology blends with an old travel tradition on the Makarska Riviera. Meet the Makarska Digital Postcard - very cool. 

When was the last time you received a postcard from a friend on their travels?

Thirty years ago, it was a popular way for people to share their holiday experiences with friends back home. And sunny images of an exotic and distant land would brighten the day of many a friend back home as they sifted through the bills and final reminders in the morning mail. 

And while postcards still do exist, the effort of buying stamps, writing messages and posting in a digital age means that the classic postcard is a rarity these days.  But the postcard concept, adapted to the digital age, is very much alive on the Adriaic coast, with a very cool new product. 

Meet the Makarska Digital Postcard. 

The brainchild of Vice Rudan, whose Makarska Riviera Beaches project has arguably done more to promote the region visually than anyone, Rudan has designed the first Makarska Riviera story video postcard, the first digital souvenir from the Makarska Riviera. 

Using his enormous archive of video footage of the region, including many of the exclusive villas, the Makarska Digital Postcard is a personalised service enabling you to send your holiday greeting of your location with your own video message included, back to friends and family back home. No need to go to the post office this time, for we live in 2021, just a few touches on your smart phone and all your friends can see the magic of the Makarska Riviera, or have a tour of the villa where you are currently relaxing. 

Designed for modern needs and communication channels, it is a personalised story tourist video postcard specially adapted for smartphones and social networks in a vertical format of 9:16 perfectly suitable for Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and other digital media, lasting up to 30 seconds (reel and story length on Instagram and Facebook) 

The digital postcard is 15 MB in size, making it easy to deliver via Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram, Viber and other messaging services to friends and family, or by e-mail.

All the customer needs to do to personalise the postcard with their message is to film one vertical and one horizontal selfie video on location, write down a short greeting note and send to Rudan via Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber for editing inside chosen postcard from our catalogue.   

All places on the Makarska Riviera will be included from Brela to Gradac, all 16 places will have their own video postcard. So far, to date, postcard videos from Makarska, Brela - Punta Rata & Podrače and Gradac are included in catalogue, as well as Makarska Riviera Sunsets story video souvenir

There is also a section for villas with pools to order fully personalised villa filming and then to provide guests with their own story video postcard. They send only one horizontal selfie video which is edited inside the villa video last frame

Check out a sample Makarska digital postcard from a villa above. 

So, if you haven't sent a postcard for 30 years, and you are looking for a cool way to let your friends know how great your holiday is, and how beautiful Croatia is, why not check out the catalogue (which is expanding rapidly) on the Makarska Video Postcard website?

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Old Painting Confirms Dalmatian Breed is Croatian Dog

May the 26th, 2021 - The beloved Dalmatian breed is popular all over the world, having been the star of famous films and regularly appearing as a fire house dog in the USA. Despite its name pointing directly to its place of origin, many still don't realise that Croatia's Dalmatian coast is the origin of this much loved dog breed. One Croatian vicar from Makarska believes he has substantial proof that the spotty, clownish and friendly Dalmatian truly did originate on these shores.

As Morski/HTV/Dnevnik/Ivica Djuzel writes, in beautiful little Zaostrog in Central Dalmatia, they decided to further brand their rich cultural heritage. In the monastery of St. Mary, where the great folk poet Andrija Kacic Miosic spent part of his creative life, hangs a painting with the motif of the last supper from the 18th century. On the floor lies a dog which closely resembles the Dalmatian breed as we know it today. To most, this is proof that the famous Dalmatian breed is definitely an autochthonous Croatian breed.

Various treasures have been kept in the monastery of St. Mary in Zaostrog for centuries, and the great Fr. Andrija Kacic Miosic also created works there. For a long time, these invaluable pictures were hidden away from the public and prying eyes. Then the media got involved in the saga.

''One night someone rings the bell. I come down, to find two young Japanese people saying they'd like to see a picture. I asked them if they wanted to see the whole convent. They replied that they were only interested in the picture,'' Fr. Branko Brnas, the vicar of the Franciscan monastery, begins when in conversation with HRT.

Inside hangs the aforementioned painting with the motif of the last supper from the 18th century, proof is that the famous Dalmatian breed is an autochthonous Croatian breed. Oddly enough, it took a long time to admit that.

The locals then decided to roll up their sleeves and reveal this priceless piece of cultural treasure to tourists and, in accordance with the possibilities, brand the whole place in black and white to resemble this four-legged, fetch-playing global ambassador of Dalmatia. They are aware of the wild popularity of the Dalmatian breed around the world, and they started this branding back last summer.

''We've now launched a year-round project called ''Dalmatian Dog Image In House Village’'. We're continuing with our ''Black and White'' event during the summer in accordance with the epidemiological situation and we want to open the visitor centre after this season,'' announced Bozena Delas.

Local authorities will apply for financial support from available European Union (EU) funds, and local artists and designers also joined in. The bus stops were painted to look like the Dalmatian breed's unusual coat first. The ''Dalmatinac'' (Croatian for Dalmatian) sign will be designed in cooperation with the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb. The director of the Gradac Tourist Board, Davor Andrijasevic, believes that the Dalmatian's ties to its place of origin are often wrongly forgotten about.

In the municipalities of Gradac and Zaostrog, where 800 thousand overnight stays are realised, they have their own vision of tourist development. The strange and often monotonous days of the pandemic-dominated era awakened some creativity. Now, the first guests have begun to return, with 20 percent better results are expected this summer than last year.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Valamar Hotels Opening in Porec, Krk, Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik Before Easter

March 29, 2021 - It'll be a busy week with Valamar hotels opening in Porec, Krk, Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik before Easter!

Index.hr reports that just before Easter, the Valamar Riviera Hotel Group plans to open three hotels in Porec, two on Krk and one each in Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik, and will also operate two camps, on Krk and Rab. For the spring holiday, Valamar expects domestic guests, just as they had during winter. 

Valamar Riviera is the largest hotel group in Croatia, which manages 36 hotels and 15 camps in Istria (Porec, Rabac), Krk, Rab, and Hvar, and in Makarska and Dubrovnik, most of which open in May. Valamar also manages a hotel in Obertauern, Austria.

"In our northern destinations in the upcoming tourist season, we expect the most guests from Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Poland, and in the southern locations, guests from Great Britain, France, Germany, and Croatia. During this winter, there were mostly domestic guests in the open facilities of Valamar, and we expect them during the Easter holidays, mostly in the arrangement of weekend stays," said Valamar. 

Regarding tourist demand, they note that this year, similar to last year, higher demand is recorded by car destinations and camping resorts, with the expectation of intensified last-minute booking. Simultaneously, prices are said to be "dynamically determined through a 'revenue management' system according to Valamar's usual business practice."

"In all facilities and in 2021, the V Health & Safety program is applied following safety standards in Croatia and the recommendations of international health organizations, which in addition to high health, safety, and environmental standards, guarantees the improvement of cleaning protocols. Guests are provided with 24-hour support in case they need health care," said Valamar.

Valamar has also developed a package of measures through which it organizes all necessary health services for guests during their holidays, which includes the organization of antigen and PCR testing within the accommodation facility, as well as covering the costs of extended stay for people with COVID-19 and everyone included in their reservation.

Without giving exact figures, they point out that for this season, they are opening a "significant number of seasonal jobs," for which they offer a minimum net income of HRK 5,000 for the monthly fund of hours, accommodation, hot meals, and other benefits.

By the way, Valamar reached 7,000 employees in the record 2019 in the peak summer season, while according to the data from the business report for 2020, there were about 4,000 in the summer of 2020.

At the beginning of April 2020, Valamar launched the "Pause, Restart" program to preserve all jobs, which was extended until 31 March 2022 with the support of social partners. Under this program, all Valamar employees sent on standby without the obligation to work were provided with a salary compensation in the amount of 60 percent, but not less than 4,250 net kuna, with the support of the government's to preserve jobs in the affected industries.

Among the news for this tourist season is the launch of the lifestyle brand [Places] following the trend in the international hotel industry for lifestyle hotels that are aimed at creating a unique experience with authentic service, which emphasizes the most valuable in the destination and contributes to nature conservation and environmental sustainability.

Such hotels attract modern travelers, primarily "millennials" and young professionals. The first hotel under this brand is Hvar PlacesHotel in Stari Grad on the island (former hotel Lavanda from Helios Faros, which is in partnership with a pension fund PBZ Croatia osiguranje taken over in 2019).

They are investing around 53 million kuna in the hotel's renovation, and according to current plans, it will open in mid-May.

This is where guests from the markets of Great Britain, the USA, Germany, and Austria, but also Croatia, are most expected.

Hvar as a destination is "positioned in the market segments of younger, relaxed, and at the same time, experientially and environmentally aware people," said Valamar Riviera Vice President for Sales and Marketing Davor Brenko.

"We have high expectations from the new brand in the future, and in the next period, we plan to open several more such hotels," Brenko announced.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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