Tuesday, 17 August 2021

The 10 Best Destinations For September Holidays in Croatia 2021

August 17, 2021 – With warm waters still perfect for swimming, but more space on the beach and at the best restaurants, September holidays in Croatia are the smart choice for discerning visitors. 

Much to everyone's surprise, the coast has been fully booked throughout August. Indeed, many who came last minute struggled to find accommodation. But, that doesn't mean you need to miss out. September holidays in Croatia are perhaps even better than July or August. The beaches are quieter and the sea is still warm. The waiters in the restaurants are less stressed and busy. The best tables and views are always available. Indeed, the Croatian welcome feels that much warmer in the ninth month.

Here's a look at our pick for the best destinations for 2021 September holidays in Croatia.
Omiš

old.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

In Omiš, not only do you have Croatia's most underrated seaside city to explore, but also a whole remarkable riviera. A series of stunning villages - Nemira, Stanići, Ruskamen, Lokva Rogoznica, Medići, Mimice, Marušići and Pisak - offer postcard-pretty scenes with the Adriatic lapping at small fishing boats. Each comes with its own idyllic and uncrowded beaches.

21868215_10156015116624410_555677073_o.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

The city itself has an Old Town that is full of intrigue – ancient architectural detail, winding, white-stone streets, sheltered squares with restaurants offering traditional Mediterranean food and also some that's unique to Omiš. Also, the Cetina river and canyon gifts Omiš an incredibly varied offer – rafting, river swimming, zipline, kayaking, nature photography, riverside restaurants – that no other coastal destination in Croatia can compete with.

If you want to learn more about Omiš and its incredible offer, read our detailed guide.

Brela

201251368_4090729184298801_2977464117068100083_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

With Brela's shoreline not far off 10 kilometres in length, it could rightfully claim to be the Croatian village most blessed with beaches. Oh, and what beaches they are! Incredibly clear, turquoise seas, quiet coves, small pebbles and often shaded by ancient pine trees that sometimes stretch out over the sea.

146254804_3715045301867193_3511865349649961953_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

Away from the coast, you'll find intriguing heritage in the foothills alongside exemplary restaurants. Decide which you want to visit and they give you a free ride there and back from your accommodation by the shore. You'll be rewarded with traditional Dalmatian food – seafood, peka, pašticada and more – and incredible views of the sunset framed by Biokovo mountain, island Brač and Brela's epic and uninterrupted beaches.

If you want to learn more about breathtakingly beautiful Brela, read our detailed guide.

Makarska

206836234_4119940851377634_8129877583474515472_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

There's no shortage of beaches in Makarska but, in July and August, you might struggle to find a quiet and secluded spot just for yourself. You won't have that problem in September – arguably, it's the best month to be here.

236899549_4251621594876225_9066465384493055383_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

Makarska is an incredibly popular destination in peak season for a very good reason – its offer is fantastic and huge. At the rear of the city, the huge Biokovo Nature Park (which you can read about here), with a fantastic offer of nature, views, recreation and activities. Within the town itself, a port which remains small enough to be charming, unhurried and traditional, but big enough to grant fast and regular boat trips to some of Croatia's most desirable island destinations. You can hop over to several on day trips from Makarska. If you want to find out more about the massive offer in Makarska, then read our detailed guide.

Šibenik

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A city completely reinvented specifically for visitors, in truth Šibenik is a destination just as suitable for a long weekend break throughout the year as it is a summer holiday. In the centre, an incredibly charming Old Town, filled with atmospheric stone stairways, historic squares, fascinating architectural details and the world-famous Cathedral of St. James.

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Three Venetian fortresses hold hidden histories of the city's successful defence against the Ottoman Empire – each uses multi-media or augmented reality to tell their tales. Events take place on Šibenik streets and city centre parks throughout late summer. There is a range of quality restaurants – one even has a Michelin star – activities like cycling, zipline, kayak and canoe. Also, the further you travel down Šibenik's famous St. Anthony's channel towards the open Adriatic, the more secluded and quiet the see-through seas become. Gorgeous.

If you want to find out more about the endless entertainment and excitement of Šibenik, then read our detailed guide and see our dedicated TCN Šibenik pages.

Primošten

238640369_4621303521236055_2517203873394563661_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Primošten © Jeremiasz Gadek

The island on which the settlement of Primošten was founded helped protect this place and its residents from attack. Separated from the mainland, you'd have to pass across a drawbridge, through city walls and between military towers to enter. However, the surrounding sea also restricted city limits, leading to the development of wonderful and unique architectural solutions.

The Old Town of Primošten is that much more delightful to walk around in September, free from the bustle of fast-moving peak season tourists. In fact, Primošten is much more enjoyable taken at a gentle, even lazy pace. Away from the Old Town, Raduča, and Mala Raduča are considered to be among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Just back from the shore, on the mainland, Primošten's famous vineyards. Šibenik-Knin County has some of the most frequently awarded smaller wine producers in the whole of Croatia.

Tisno and Murter

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The island of Murter sits extremely close to the Croatian mainland. So close, in fact, that a short bridge connects the two. On each side of the bridge, one half of the town Tisno, known across Europe as one of the most famous sites for dance music festivals.

In fact, the festivals continue on the outskirts of Tisno in September 2021, with two of the best known of them all taking places in the month's first two weeks (Outlook and Dimensions).

236335331_3062014214034876_6848389841683692665_n.jpgAs shown above, beautiful Jezera @druckerroman

But, there's a lot more to Tisno and specifically the island of Murter than just the music festivals, as thousands of happy returning visitors will tell you. The settlements of Betina and Jezera on the island are incredibly beautiful, so too the larger town of Murter, which also has an incredibly famous restaurant offer. Across the whole island – and on the mainland in Tisno – you'll find incredible beaches and bays. On the opposite shores in Pirovac, one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world.

To find out more about Tisno, Betina, Jezera and Murter, read our detailed guide

Pula

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There are few cities whose Roman Empire heritage can compete with Pula's. Pula Arena is not only one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, but also it is still a living part of the city's cultural and social life. Attending a music concert or film festival there is an unforgettable experience. More unforgettable Roman monuments come in the form of city gates and walls, a temple, an open-air theatre and forum.

Outside of the Roman heritage, there's a Venetian hilltop fortress right in the city centre, with exquisite views of Pula, its bay, nearby peninsula and the wider Adriatic. Nearby, the must-see Brijuni National Park (read about it here) and a short drive in any direction will take you to some of the most breathtaking and secluded beaches in Croatia.

It really is hard work summing up the immense offer of Pula in just a few short sentences. You'd be better advised to read about the fuller picture in our detailed guide.

Čiovo

Life-is-simple-just-add-seaTatinja-beach-Okrug-GornjiDino-Caljkusic.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Tatinja beach, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić

With a UNESCO world heritage site – Trogir – sitting proudly and loudly on its doorstep, the island of Čiovo sometimes stands in the shadow of its famous neighbour. But, sometimes it's worth listening more closely to those who are more softly spoken.

18891579_14644fromaboveOV-1536x864.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Čiovo and Okrug

Čiovo not only has the advantage of having the incredible Trogir as part of its very own offer but also it holds all the classic features that everyone looks for in a Croatian holiday – crystal clear seas, pristine beaches, breathtaking nature and unforgettable views. In particular, the southwestern section of the island, Okrug, has an incredible beachside promenade and a series of irresistible bays.

If you want to read more about Čiovo and Okrug, then read our detailed guide.

Zagreb

220862634_10160017442313221_7939799732839949953_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

Of course, not all of the best Croatia holidays in September 2021 need to be taken on the coast. In fact, the capital city of Zagreb has become the country's most popular city destination over recent years, including the warmer months. Zagreb in September has the added bonus that summer holidays are over for most city residents, prompting the return of the city's entertainment and event calendar in full force.

Garden.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

All of the nightclubs are back open, catering for the return of the city's university students. The cafe bar terraces are full, with a wonderful atmosphere, as tanned friends reconvene. Art galleries and museums show their very best displays and food festivals or pop-up bars can be found in Zagreb's irresistible city centre parks. Some of September highlights include the 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival and massive one-day open-air rave We Love Sound with world-famous techno DJs Len Faki and Chris Liebing.

If you want to know more about the peerless Croatian city of Zagreb, then read our detailed guide.

Dubrovnik

1920px-1_dubrovnik_pano_1.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Dubrovnik © Chensiyuan

The great southern city of coastal Croatia. A famous filming destination for movies and TV series. Not that the Pearl of the Adriatic needs any extra help with promotion. A global superstar for centuries, thanks to its status as an independent city-state, its well-known walls have been welcoming strangers for much longer than tourism has existed. They continue to do so and at the height of summer, competition for space in the city is at a premium.

All that can easily be avoided by visiting Dubrovnik outside the peak season. The walls and winding streets are much more easily enjoyed at an unhurried pace. And, when you're not trailing immediately behind a sluggish crowd of 500, fresh off a cruise ship. No queues at the restaurants, the best tables available. Truth be told, there's a strong case for Dubrovnik as the perfect destination even later than September – the quieter it gets, the better the experience seems to be.

If you want to preview a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dubrovnik, then read our detailed guide

Total Croatia News contacted the Tourist Boards of each of the destinations recommended, who confirmed that - at the time of publication - there are accommodation vacancies available for the month September 2021

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Croatia Music Festivals Return in 2021... including Exit Festival?

November 17, 2020 – After an absence of one season, Croatia music festivals return in 2021. Tickets for some of the biggest events are now on sale and, in today's media, it's suggested Croatia could even host 2021's Exit Festival as it is forced to move from Novi Sad, Serbia. Exit is the biggest music festival in the region.

At the Croatia music festivals site near Tisno, Murter island, 2020 was the quietest summer in almost a decade. Since 2012, the sprawling accommodation and beach complex has played host to Croatia music festivals running consecutively throughout the summer. Each attracting upwards of 5000 international visitors, summers on the beach at The Garden Tisno were one long party of dancing, drinking, partying and music. But, in 2020 everything fell silent.

As reported earlier in Total Croatia News, the festival hosts in Tisno took the opportunity to make improvements to the site in preparation for the return of events. That return is now almost certain to be 2021.

Tickets for the 2021 editions of all the major brands of international Croatia music festivals taking place in Tisno are already on sale. With the full calendar of 2020 Tisno festivals having been cancelled, many attendees have simply held onto their tickets. These tickets are now valid for 2021's rescheduled events. Dimensions, Hospitality On The Beach, Love International, Suncebeat, Outlook Origins, Defected Croatia and Dekmantel Selectors are the festivals already announced for summer 2021 in Tisno.

And far from being a modest return, could 2021 be Croatia's peak year as a host nation? In today's Jutarnji List, it is suggested that Croatia might become the new home for Exit Festival, usually held in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Provisions for workers within the events industry during the pandemic have been met differently across individual nations. In Croatia, the industry-wide crisis was highlighted earlier in 2020 by many famous event venues being lit in red. In Serbia, Exit Festival has incurred debts due to its cancellation and, according to Jutarnji List, the event is faced with losing its workforce due to a lack of financial support.

122774406_10158932491148698_1013880594007771696_o.jpgExit Festival is the largest event of its kind in the region. It is currently held in Novi Sad, Serbia. In 2021, could it become one of the Croatia music festivals? © Exit Festival

One route available to the event organisers is relocating Exit. As its organisers already hold one of the successful Croatia music festivals in Umag, Istria, Jutarnji suggests that Exit could possibly move to Croatia. Before fans of Croatia music festivals get too excited at the prospect, it should be noted that Exit also hold successful events in Montenegro, which is also a very viable alternative host site. And, it should be remembered just how much Exit Festival puts into the local economy - Jutarnji report that, since Exit started, 200 million Euros in tourism has been gained by Serbia from this one event. The article also suggests that Montenegro values Exit 2021 being able to put a potential 30 million Euros into its budget, with the attached value of Montenegro tourism promotion being over one hundred million Euros. It is difficult to imagine such a cash cow so easily being allowed to leave Serbia without financial assistance to Exit being readdressed by Serbian authorities.

A fresh sense of optimism has emerged in recent days, as news of successful COVID-19 vaccines now places the end of the pandemic within sight. However, it could be autumn or winter 2021 before enough people are successfully vaccinated for us all to relax, especially when considering mass gatherings like music festivals. But, as was proved by Croatia music festivals in Sibenik during summer 2020, a template does exist for the successful hosting of large events and music festivals, regardless of the progress of vaccination by summer 2021.

martinska.jpgThe Martinska site for Croatia music festivals hosted over 10, 000 people at events during summer 2020, creating a template by which large scale events can successfully take place while adhering to strict epidemiological guidelines © Seasplash / Pozitivan Ritam

As reported in TCN at the end of this summer, the Martinska music festival site near Sibenik welcomed over 10, 000 festival-goers across their 2020 season. Adhering to the strictest epidemiological guidelines, the festival site recorded zero cases of COVID-19 from its attendees. Whether or not everyone has received a vaccination shot by next summer, and regardless of whether Exit Festival is among them, fans should confidently expect the welcome return of Croatia music festivals in 2021.


Organisers of the Suncebeat festival visit the Croatia music festivals site in Tisno during summer 2020 to see new improvements awaiting those who attend 2021's events

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Divers and Volunteers Remove 2 Tonnes of Rubbish from Murter Seabed

The discarding of waste, particularly harmful plastic, is an enormous problem across the world that various governments and indeed the EU has been trying to address and deal with. In Croatia, the improper disposal of waste has gradually become a problem bordering a total loss of control. On beautiful Murter alone, a massive two tonnes of rubbish was collected from the seabed.

As Morski writes on the 22nd of May, 2020, May the 22nd marked the the Day of Biological Diversity and the Day of Nature Protection in the Republic of Croatia. Organised by the municipality of Murter-Kornati, the local tourist board and the Šibenik powerlifting club, a team of about ten volunteers and divers from the Najada diving centre managed to remove a concerning two tonnes of garbage from Murter's seabed to the surface.

''We undertook a diving-coastal action with about two tonnes of garbage… with 10 or so divers and volunteers… I don't know what this action is by number, but I know that there will be more being done this year than there were last year, and last year there were more than 30 of them. They were coastal, forest, natural and underwater diving actions. I can freely say without modesty that when it comes to environmental protection, we work mostly at the local level, and globally, in terms of Croatia [as a whole], I'm sure that we're at the top. It's amazing how much garbage we collected, tonnes and tonnes of it,'' stated Goran Simic, president of the Šibenik powerlifting club, who also went on to explain why the action was takrn.

''There was no money to be had from doing this. We did it because that's the normal thing to do! Everything will come back. Because a couple of people, municipalities and others have already asked us for advice because they do their own eco actions, we had enough of just talking and people taking money from the budget for fairy tales… Because now that you go through Grebastica, Brodarica, Zablace, Murter, Sibenik, Tribunj, Kaprije, Raslina and other places, the land and the sea will both be clean… That's why… We don't care who leans to the left, to the right, who is a centrist, who is a partisan or who is an Ustasha. See you on Sunday in Zablace, Soline from 17:00 to continue this,'' announced Simic.

Make sure to follow Total Eco Croatia if you're interested in both official and unofficial ways in which Croatia works to protect its environment.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Murter and Betina Quarantine Ends

April 19, 2020 — The first and only quarantine in Croatia is over.

Šibenik-Knin County announced there were no new positive cases of COVID-19 yesterday, and lifted quarantine measures for the Murter and Betina settlements.

The island of Murter was effectively cut off from the world on March 25, after an outbreak of the virus spread across the island. All told the island had 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 14 residents ordered into self-isolation and 162 others undergoing medical checks.

Epidemiologists tested two random groups of people on Murter on April 15 and 16, looking for signs of community spread. The tests came back negative.

"Epidemiologists have concluded that there is no need to extend the quarantine measures for Murter and Betina," the county's Civil Protection Directorate said in a statement. "The quarantine measures for the settlements of Murter and Betina, which have been in force since March 25, 2020, are being abolished as of today."

According to epidemiologists, the current situation in Murter is good. There are still 12 currently in self-isolation. The last new COVID-19 diagnosis came nine days ago.

"Health recommendations are still in place," the directorate said. "All health care measures and guidelines must continue to be respected responsibly. That is why we appeal to all citizens again, stay in your houses, maintain hygiene and respect physical distance."

The virus's arrival on the otherwise secluded island miffed many. Local authorities suggested an asymptomatic tourist visiting earlier in the season may have brought the virus in early-March.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Foreigners Self-Isolating in Croatia: Do You Feel Safer? Tamara from Moldova on Murter

April 5, 2020 - Do foreigners in Croatia feel more or less safe sitting out COVID-19 here than in their home country, and what are their experiences? A new series on TCN, with Tamara Shatkova from Moldova under quarantine on Murter as our 26th contributor.

Oxford University recently published some research on government responses to coronavirus which showed that Croatia currently has the strictest measures in the world. While inconvenient, this is a good thing in terms of reducing the spread of the virus, and I am certainly not alone in my admiration of the official Croatian handling of this crisis in recent weeks, both in terms of action and communication. 

But what do other expats here think? And how does it compare with the response in their home country? Would they rather sit this one out here or there? In the first of a new series on TCN, we will be featuring expats from all over the world to see what their views are on life in corona Croatia rather than back home. So far we have heard from expats in Croatia from Romania, USA, Ireland, UK, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Singapore, Holland, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Latvia, China, Honduras, Hungary and Germany. Next up, Tamara Shatkova from Moldova under quarantine on Murter.

If you would like to contribute to this series, full details are below. Now, over to Tamara.

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Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

We are very well, thank you! My husband, 7-year-old daughter and I live in Murter, which as you probably know and saw on the news is under strict quarantine! We cannot leave the island and actually are advised to not even leave our houses unless we need to go to the grocery shop or pharmacy. I personally have not left the house for 20 days. My husband does all the shopping for us and is also volunteering at the local Civil Protection Headquarters.

In my opinion, Murter has done an amazing job to slow down the spread of the infection and to keep its citizens safe.

One nice addition to our daily routine happens at 15:00 when we all sing the Murter anthem, and at 20:00 we all get out and send bengaljke (flares) into the air!

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Everything has been closed since March 16th, even before the lockdown in Zagreb and the rest of Croatia with quite strict restrictions: no more than 5 people can enter the grocery shop at the time, everyone needs to keep a distance of minimum 2 meters, wear face masks, gloves and disinfect your hands and shoes. We try to keep it the same at home: no shoes or jackets from outside, wash hands regularly and stay healthy! Lots of hot liquids and vitamin C!

(Beautiful Murter on April 2, 2020)

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business?

My husband has a restaurant and I’m a wedding planner, so we are totally depending on tourism, which is currently one of the most affected sectors not just in Croatia, but all over the world. My parents who are in Moldova are facing similar problems, all apartment bookings have been cancelled all the way until June, as the country is also in complete isolation.

As for weddings, so far most of the couples who planned May and early June weddings have postponed them to later dates in September, October or moved them to 2021. We all know it's going be a difficult season, but I'm always staying positive and hope for the best!

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In terms of financial help from the government towards small business, so far, we have not received any support, but we have filled out the application form and are waiting for a response.

Back home, in Moldova, no funding or extensions were provided for business and everyone is obliged to pay the salaries and taxes even though everything has been shut down. So far, there is only talk and no real actions or help from the Moldavan government.

What is your impression of the way Croatia is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

I don’t watch much TV, but what I have seen so far, I’m pretty impressed at how the Croatian Government is handling the pandemic and communicating to the public. Huge applause to Vili Beroš and Alemka Markotic. I feel very safe and am looking forward for this to be over.

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When did you realise that corona was going to be a big issue? 

On the morning of 16th March we went out for a coffee and we were told that tby15:00 everything would have to be closed down, including all F&B outlets. We had just opened our restaurant for the season two days before. Murter was full of tourists and preparing for big regattas. We never thought this was going to last so long, and I was hoping that they would solve it in a few weeks and we could get on with our lives, but since then a lot has changed. All spring regattas have been cancelled, and the island now has few coronavirus cases and we are in complete isolation under quarantine.

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Croatia doing better/worse?

I think both Croatia and Moldova are doing a pretty good job.

Moldova stopped all flights from Italy as soon as we got the first few cases of coronavirus. I think they reacted really quickly and that has helped to keep the numbers quite low. Plus they have put big fines for those who leave self-isolation and for businesses who keep working. In Croatia, this came at a much later stage. Here in Murter in March, we had tourists from nearby European countries who were supposed to be in self-isolation but they were going out and drinking with locals. I wish they have brought up self-isolation restrictions and fines at a much earlier stage.

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My advice what to do:

Always stay positive and be thankful for what you have! Use this time to spend with your family and kids! Do something that you didn’t have time to do before! Read, take an online course or perhaps start learning another language! See what else you are good at and how you can make your business even better, as the world won’t be the same after this is over! Nowadays, there are so many opportunities so use this time wisely!

Thanks, Tamara, stay safe and see you on the other side. If you are thinking of tying the knot and are looking for a fabulous wedding planner to help you along the way, look no further than Tamara and Adriatic Weddings Croatia.

TCN is starting a new feature series on foreign experiences of sitting out COVID-19 here in Croatia compared to their home country. If you would like to contribute, the questions are below. Please also include a para about yourself and where you are from, and a link to your website if you would like. Please also send 3-4 photos minimum to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Corona Foreigner

If you would be interested to record a video version for our partners www.rplus.video please let us know in the email. Thanks and stay safe. 

Foreigners Self-Isolating in Croatia: Do You Feel Safer Than in Your Home Country?

Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business? (PLEASE IGNORE IF THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU)

When did you realise that corona was going to be a big issue? 

What is your impression of the way Croatia is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Croatia doing better/worse?

What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation.

One thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis. 

TCN has recently become a partner in Robert Tomic Zuber's new R+ video channel, initially telling stories about corona experiences. You can see the first TCN contribution from this morning, my video from Jelsa talking about the realities of running a news portal in the corona era below. If you would like to also submit a video interview, please find Robert's guidelines below 

VIDEO RECORDING GUIDE

The video footage should be recorded so that the cell phone is turned horizontally (landscape mode).

There are several rules for television and video news:- length is not a virtue- a picture speaks more than a thousand words

In short, this would mean that your story should not last more than 90 seconds and that everything you say in the report should be shown by video (for example, if you talk about empty streets, we should see those empty streets, etc.).

How to do it with your cell phone? First, use a selfie camera to record yourself telling your story for about a minute and a half. Ideally, it would be taken in the exterior, except in situations where you are reporting on things in the interior (quarantine, hospital, self-isolation, etc.). Also, when shooting, move freely, make sure everything is not static.

After you have recorded your report, you should capture footage that will tell your story with a picture, such as an earlier example with empty streets.

One of the basic rules of TV journalism is that the story is told in the same way as a journalist with his text. Therefore, we ask you for additional effort. Because we work in a very specific situation, sometimes you may not be able to capture footage for each sentence of the report. In this case, record the details on the streets: people walking, the main features of the city where you live, inscriptions on the windows related to the virus, etc.

The same rules apply if you are shooting a story from your apartment, self-isolation, quarantine. We also need you to capture footage that describes your story.

When shooting frames to cover your reports, it is important that you change the angle of the shot (in other words, shoot that empty street from several angles). Also, when shooting a detail, count at least five seconds before removing the camera to another detail.

The material should be about 5 minutes long (90 seconds of your report + frames to cover your story).

After recording everything, send us to Zagreb, preferably via WeTransfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 30 March 2020

How Did Murter Get Coronavirus?

March 30, 2020 — Police laid spike strips across the road leading to Murter, a small island off the Croatian coast. It has the dubious honor of being the country’s only fully-quarantined location. A triage ambulance stays on the island, creating a de facto mobile COVID-19 treatment center. Delivery trucks carrying food and medicine can only reach the border, then await a police escort.

How did the virus manage to shut down a relatively remote island of reportedly 2,500 residents?

The answer lies in the weeks before Croatia’s nationwide lockdown.

The Dalmatian coast experienced a surge in foreign visitors in early March, as well as continental residents flocking to weekend homes on the coast — Murter among them. The coronavirus outbreak loomed over the horizon, as confirmed cases rose every day before the government shut down all nonessential business on March 19.

“With the start of the preseason in Murter, there was obviously a mix-up with Western European populations," according to county head Goran Pauk.

Locals who spoke with Total Croatia News confirmed Pauk’s assertion. They recalled the island cars registered in foreign countries zipping around the island and locales filled with unfamiliar faces. Murter's patient zero was likely asymptomatic. Small villages breed closer encounters, with infected locals unwittingly spread the virus to their neighbors. The sources requested anonymity for fear of adding to a game of broken telephone often prevalent in smaller villages. 

A similar wave of visitors from Western Europe and continental Croatia hit many other islands and coastal villages, well before the government barred people from leaving their legal residence.

Residents along the coast reportedly complained it was a demographic shift at the wrong time. Similar migrations from affluent cities to vacation homes helped the spread of coronavirus in other Western European countries, notably Italy.

Reports of Slovenians and Italians posting up in their weekend homes on the coast began trickling — in particularly from islands off Zadar’s coast. Dugi Otok and Preko, two islands within the Zadar archipelago, asked authorities to help track the influx of foreigners. 

Many settled down to ride out the pandemic on the coast. Locals complained they violated the government’s strict self-isolation rules. Some reportedly weren’t registered through eVisitor, the Croatian government’s main tool for tracking guests within the country.

Zadar’s local police asked residents to help report any unregistered arrivals. By then, Murter was well on its way towards a quarantine.

“Murter is not big and we can see in recent days that there is an increased amount of cars with foreign license plates,” the island’s Tourist Board Director Mateja Bašić told Jutarnji List days before the quarantine. “There are a lot of people moving here who do not live here over the year. They are mostly domestic, but there are also foreigners who have decided to stay here since the whole virus story began.”

It’s not that Murter and other smaller settlements didn’t try to slow COVID-19’s spread. The town’s Civil Protection Directorate introduced rules limiting the number of customers allowed into closed spaces and closing all non-essential businesses on March 16, five days before the Croatian government’s own measures.

Murter has become a small-scale version of what could await larger cities and towns across Croatia, should they face a similar spike in infections.

Locals cannot leave the quarantined area. Roads leading to the island’s settlements are bookended by a police checkpoint. Delivery trucks need a police escort into and out of the village, and drivers are not allowed to leave their trucks.

Murter’s quarantine began on March 25, after 15 cases were recorded on the island. The municipality introduced the strictest limits on movement in the country. Teams were created to care for the elderly. Like many islands, Murter’s population is overwhelmingly elderly, with numerous health problems and sparse medical options. The smaller societal circle also means higher odds of exposure.

“We don’t know who was in contact with who,” said Toni Turčinov, Murter’s mayor in the days after the quarantine. “We were all in contact with some infected person. We don’t know what to do or who to address.”

For the latest on coronavirus in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

War on Coronavirus: Murter Under Quarantine

March 26, 2020 - Murter and Betina are under quarantine as of yesterday.

Sibenik.in reports that the measure was passed because 8 of the 15 coronavirus cases in the area were recorded there. Mayor of Murter-Kornati Municipality Toni Turcinov described what life is like there today. 

“We have made several decisions to declare war against the coronavirus. The locals will be able to go out on the street, briefly, once a week, maybe twice, we are still deciding. Three shops are working, but since there are a lot of people who do not live there, they will also organize shifts. If necessary, we will release trucks with goods, and we have also raised three civil protection teams, one of which is tasked with taking medicines and other supplies in Lovisce, where there is a police blockade, as needed,” Turcinov said.

What the people of Murter were most concerned about yesterday is gasoline, because the gas station will no longer work.

What Turcinov is most looking forward to is the triage ambulance he has been seeking from the state for several days.

“The ambulance arrived and we located it near the church and kindergarten on a large plateau. They just plugged it in. We also have a team that looks after the elderly. We finally have everything we need and I have to commend all the locals for strictly adhering to the rules. The people of Murter have always been great fighters when needed, and so we will the fight against the coronavirus,” said the Murter Chief, noting that he is available by phone 24 hours a day.

In the neighboring Betina, which belongs to the Municipality of Tisno, all the shops are open, and the communal security officer Silivo Tomas is in charge of all the elderly and those who need any help.

As Chief Ivan Klarin said, there is no restriction on leaving homes in Betina, although the recommendation is to stay inside and only to go outside if urgent.

"We have put in place all measures that apply in the event of a quarantine," Klarin says.

Out of a total of 15 coronavirus cases in the area, eight are from the island of Murter, where 67 people are currently in self-isolation.

Follow our live updates on the coronavirus crisis.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Smoke-free Coast: Camp in Murter Swapping Free Drinks for Cigarette Butts

August 4, 2019 - Murter is the latest in the fight to make Croatia's coast free of cigarette pollution. 

Earlier this week, TCN reported that the City of Hvar installed biodegradable cardboard ashtrays to reduce the environmental impact of littered cigarette butts on the beaches thanks to a solution by the Volim Vlašići Association from the island of Pag. Recall, the ashtrays are disposable or reusable, made of paper (cardboard), are biodegradable, and have assembly instructions. 

Today, we bring you another example of a Croatian town joining the fight against cigarette pollution, reports Dalmacija Danas.

Namely, you might have heard of “Smoke-free coast”, the name of a campaign that delighted locals and tourists in Estepona, a small coastal town in southern Spain. The campaign is straightforward: bring a glass full of cigarette butts to any stall on the beach and in return, enjoy a cold beer or refreshing drink. 

The example of Estepona has caught on in Croatia, and the same practice has been adopted by a camp in Murter, who informed locals and tourists in the area via Facebook that they are joining the smoke-free action. 

“Following the example of a story from a place in southern Spain where you get a drink in return for a glass full of cigarette butts, we decided to apply the same practice. Camp Slanica, in cooperation with the Lostura beach bar, joins the action - anyone who brings a glass/bottle/bag full of cigarette butts to the beach bar Lostura, gets in return free juice or beer! Since the Murter-Kornati Tourist Board has installed ashtrays on all beaches in Murter at the beginning of summer, you can also freely use cans that serve as ashtrays and fill them with cigarette butts that you find on your favorite beach in Murter. With this action, we all contribute together to a cleaner environment, and at the same time we participate in the prevention of fires, since cigarette butts are a common cause of fires. Hurry up for the action and refresh yourself for the reward - collect, replace, cheers!,” said Camp Slanica on facebook.

NBC News reported that cigarette butts are the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with more than 60 million collected over 32 years. Not surprisingly, this number amounts to “about one-third of all collected items and more than plastic wrappers, containers, bottle caps, eating utensils and bottles, combined”, NBC said.

Much like plastic, cigarette butts take years to disappear from the environment and the chemicals they are composed of are harmful to everything from plants and wildlife to children. 

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

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Betina Shipbuilding Museum: Outdoor Exhibition Opened

On Saturday, June 8th, the outdoor exhibition of the Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding was opened. The exhibits of the museum presented to the public in the natural outside ambience testify the highest quality of the traditional wooden shipbuilding, as well as the methods of maintaining, the multiple uses that were designed for the ships, the sailing and the traditional materials. The newly designed outdoors exhibition of the Betina Shipbuilding Museum complements the permanent exhibition of the museum, by placing the objects into their original context. That allows the Betina-made gajeta, leut, pasara and many other boats located at the local port to be interpreted correctly, within their natural environment. 

The museum keeps and saves the knowledge and the tradition of the wooden shipbuilding which has always been (and remains) a part of the great Croatian maritime heritage. That heritage is an important part of the European culture of shipbuilding and living by and of the sea.

Croatian culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek opened the outdoor exhibition in Betina and said in her opening remarks that all of the successes of the museum can be attributed to those who work hard now to maintain and promote the craft (art?) of shipbuilding as a non-material cultural heritage. She added that the shipbuilders, as well as other woodworkers of the past, are equally as meritorious for that success, as they've never stopped transferring that knowledge and skills to the younger generations, up until today. The Minister added that the most worthy non-material worth to be accounted for is the strong bond of the local community with the shipbuilders and the shipowners. That bond is attested to by the name of the path between the port and the museum building itself, which has been called the "Shipbuilders' Path".

The museum can take pride of many accomplishments and awards it has won during the four years it's been open, including the latest one by the European Heritage/Europa Nostra award for Education Training and Awareness-raising, won recently.

The opening of the outdoor exhibition of the museum was held during the International 25th Forum of Mediterranean Maritime Heritage, organized by the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums (AMMM) in Betina Shipbuilding Museum this June.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding Wins European Heritage Award!

The European Commission and Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage organization, announced this year's winners of the European Heritage Award/Europa Nostra Awards, the most prestigious European awards in this area, funded by the Creative Europe program, reports HRTurizam on May 21, 2019. 

An independent jury of heritage experts from across Europe examined a total of 149 applications filed by organizations and individuals from 34 European countries and selected the winners. Amongst this year's winners in the Education, Training and Awareness-raising category, is the outstanding Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding.

The museum keeps its knowledge of traditional wooden shipbuilding, which is an indispensable part of the Croatian maritime heritage and thus an important part of European maritime cultural heritage.

Among some of the dedicated individuals and positive initiatives of European heritage awarded in 2019 are: the conservation of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin, a unique place of religious heritage destroyed in the 1997 fire which is now reopened to the public; the development of a digital archive of Roma, an internationally accessible space that makes Roma culture and history visible, and responds to the usual stereotypes and stories of the unexplored history that the Roma have told themselves; the commitment of one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in Europe that has been committed to heritage protection in Norway for more than 175 years; and a training program for displaced heritage experts from Syria, run by the German Institute in Istanbul, which serves as a powerful example for the countries of Europe, but also wider. You can find the full list here

Thee Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding is located in a protected cultural and historical building in Betina in the very center of town, in a building which has its own cultural, historical, and architectural importance. Betina is a small town of typical Dalmatian architecture, with around 800 inhabitants, mainly engaged in tourism, agriculture, fisheries, trades, and crafts.

“The town of Betina, on the island of Murter, is one of the few places along the Dalmatian Coast where the art of wooden shipbuilding has survived. It is known for its Gajeta, a sleek boat equipped with a lateen sail that has an important role in the daily life of the local community in Betina. In 2011, fearing the disappearance of a practice that has been so central in the culture of Betina for the past 300 years, the local community took action and formed the Betina Gajeta 1740 association. The association’s endeavors resulted in the foundation of the Betina Museum for Wooden Shipbuilding in 2015, an institution dedicated to the maritime heritage of the region. The Municipality of Tisno, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Culture have each provided financial support to the Museum,” writes Europa Nostra in their description about the award winner. 

The highlight of Betina shipbuilders can be summarized with the Gajeta, a wooden ship of 5 to 8 meters long and 2 to 2.6 meters wide, with a sail as the main propulsion. The craftsmanship of this wooden boat was recognized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and incorporated into the Register of Cultural Property of the Republic of Croatia as an intangible cultural heritage.

"The museum collection is a witness of the community’s generosity and passion for this topic. Many of the collected pieces have been donated and many of the Museum’s texts and video material feature locals who gladly shared their stories and experience. The Betina Museum is, however, much more than a displayed collection. The museum staff organizes and participates in folklore demonstrations, sailing and rowing regattas, workshops, lectures, and many other cultural events to keep the shipbuilding tradition alive," Europa Nostra continued on their website. 

“The project reinforces the central notion of the sea as a vital component of European heritage and reinforces community links with it. It also highlights the centrality of all aspects of maritime culture in daily life in the region,” the Europa Nostra jury stated. 

“The project also has a strong entrepreneurial element that realizes the economic potential of local inherited shipbuilding traditions, in response to unsustainable global trends in ship construction,” the jury concluded. 

Bravo to the Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding on this incredible honor! 

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