Monday, 29 August 2022

First Row to the Sea! Fiat Driver Parks in Shallows on Murter Beach

August the 29th, 2022 - We all want to be as close to the sea as possible when summer arrives in Croatia and the temperatures become, frankly, intolerable. Some people take this to the absolute extreme, however, parking their cars quite literally on the beach, with the shallows of the sparkling, refreshing Adriatic Sea lapping at their alloys. One Murter beach was recently a victim of such parking.

As Morski writes, an unfortunate lack of intelligence and an even more lack when it comes to adequate punishments for people parking all over the place during the summer months have led to an increasing number of bizarre incidents all along the Adriatic coast. One Murter beach which should have been full of swimmers, those keen to get a bit of a tan and those seeking to relax with a good book under a parasol was visited by a car.

On Facebook page called ''Live from Slavonia's roads'' recently published photos from one Murter beach where a tourist took the expression "first row to the sea" a little too literally, parking his Fiat Grande Punto car literally in the shallows on the beach. It seems that some people will quite literally stop at nothing to get in the crystal clear waters of the Croatian Adriatic Sea, and why would you bother clambering over rocks and getting yourself overheated when you can quite simply drive directly into the sea?

"Greetings... this isn't somewhere in Slavonia, it's Murter... I couldn't resist not sending this picture to someone... So that everyone can see how rude and arrogant people have become...'' the post which contained the photos read, with an array of comments echoing the sentiments of just how pompous some people can be, especially when it's every man for himself when it comes to getting a good spot on the beach!

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

First Fair of Traditional Wooden Shipbuilding is Being Held on Murter

June 4, 2022 - The first fair of traditional wooden shipbuilding is being held in Betina on the island of Murter. Numerous events were prepared in three days, from a panel discussion on the future of wooden shipbuilding to a regatta and a presentation of old ship crafts.

''Nothing can be replaced by wood, as long as there is wood in the mountain, the ship can last until then'', says Ante Njemac Balin. Ante is ninety years old and the oldest is the Betina caulk, reports HRT News. He says that he also worked abroad in the shipyard of iron ships, but the wooden ones are unrivaled.

And just as an honor and thanks to all Betina shipbuilders, a fair of traditional wooden shipbuilding was organized. As a place to connect all shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers for these wooden beauties, but also the presentation of the entire island heritage.

''There are also our family members, presenting local food and drinks because all this together makes a beautiful tourist product, but it is actually a question of local identity, said Mirela Bilic, marketing manager of the Museum of Betina wooden shipbuilding.

''The education system, awarding concessions to traditional crafts is now up to state institutions and we believe that they are the ones who need to start and stabilize wooden shipbuilding, start the young generation and give them hope that there is a future in wooden shipbuilding, said Marinka Fržop, president of Betinska gajeta 1740.

''There is work, you just need to be creative and look around a little for it, and when it comes to the market, you need to be economical. We're required to be both traders and craftsmen, and it's difficult to incorporate that, but the Internet is there today - to make a living,'' says Ljubomir Ante Fržop, a Betina traditional wooden shipbuilder.

A handful of events are planned for the three days of the fair - from traditional craft workshops to the regatta of wooden traditional boats, and of this is being done as a kind of ode to Betina, along with Korčula, the most famous and oldest seat of excellent shipbuilders.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Croatian Music Festivals in 2022: Return to Normal, Full Summer Run

January 26, 2022 – Following one cancelled year and a hesitant 2021, Croatian Music Festivals in 2022 look to return to normal operations. Even before the end of January 2022, two favourite events in Tisno, Dalmatia – Defected Croatia and Dekmantel Selectors – have this week sold out all tickets!

For a whole new generation of young dreamers and visitors, Croatia is on their annual wish list because of its music festivals. Set by pristine waters and beaches, in the guaranteed sunshine of a Dalmatian summer, photos of Croatia's music festivals have travelled across the world and brought international acclaim.

In 2020, all of these music festivals (except veteran domestic events at Martinska, Šibenik) were cancelled. Even in 2021, neither full confidence nor the full schedule had returned – Ultra Europe (Split) and Love International (Tisno) remained absent.

However, if early indications are anything to go by, trust in the summertime spectaculars seems to have completely returned for Croatian Music festivals in 2022. In fact, even before the end of January 2022, two favourite events in Tisno, Dalmatia – Defected Croatia and Dekmantel Selectors – have this week announced they've sold out.

News revealed exclusively to Total Croatia News informs that the rest of the summer music festivals held at The Garden Resort, Tisno are not far behind - almost all are within sight of completely selling out all tickets.

How the lineup looks for Croatian Music Festivals in 2022 and where to buy tickets

loveinternmain.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Love International, Tisno

In every corner of the country, you can find Croatian Music festivals in 2022. Some of these might have traditional folk music and dance, others might offer favourite local rock and pop acts who mostly sing in Croatian.

But, for international visitors looking for Croatian Music Festivals in 2022, there are an identifiable number of festival locations and events. By and large, these are the events that young people travel to Croatia specifically to attend.

Ultra Europe in Split: 8 July 2022 – 10 July 2022

ultra.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Ultra Europe in Split

A 3-day event in Split with the world's top EDM DJs, incredible stage design and production with a definite wow factor. DJs confirmed so far include Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, Joseph Capriati, Martin Garrix, Nina Kraviz, Oliver Heldens, Richie Hawtin, Tiësto, Timmy Trumpet and Vini Vici.

This 8th Ultra Europe in Split will - for the first time - be followed by an extension of the party on several Croatian islands. The main festival takes place at Youth Park in Split from 8 July 2022 – 10 July 2022.

On 11 July 2022, Ultra Brač will visit Brač island's 585 Club. On 12 July 2022, there will be an afternoon beach party on the Pakleni islands, near Hvar island. Later that day, a nighttime event Resistance Hvar will take place at Carpe Diem Beach Club, Hvar island.

The Resistance Closing Party Vis is the last event and will take place on 13 July at the old Fort George (Fortica) on Vis island.

Tickets for Ultra Europe in Split can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details and entry requirements for Ultra Europe in Split can be seen here.

The Garden, Tisno 2022

defected2sd.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Defected Croatia at The Garden Resort, Tisno

With the relatively recent addition of Defected Croatia, Outlook Origins and Dimensions to the 10+ year reputation of the Garden Resort roster, this festival site can now truly claim to be the epicentre of underground electronic dance music in Croatia.

Across its summer-long run, some of the world's best underground DJs visit this place, its beach and boat parties, plus the incredible open-air Barbarellas nightclub in nearby Pirovac. Each event lasts several days and is limited to between 5000 – 7000 people.

Up-to-date details of entry requirements for The Garden Resort, Tisno 2022 can be seen here. Here's the calendar of events for The Garden, Tisno in summer 2022...

Love International: 13 July 2022 – 19 July 2022

loveintern.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Love International

With a renowned reputation as one of the most welcoming and easy-going of all Croatia's festivals, the adored Love International returns after two years in 2022. It has been much missed. House, disco, techno and Balearic music in the main will this year come from the likes of Ben UFO, Craig Richards, Eliza Rose, Shanti Celeste, Saoirse, Moxie, Horse Meat Disco, Antal, Hunee, Palms Trax and Midland.

Tickets for Love International 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details for Love International 2022 can be seen here.

Suncebeat: 21 July 2022 – 28 July 2022

suncebeat.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Suncebeat in Tisno

The longest-running festival associated with The Garden resort, Suncebeat traces its love affair with Croatia back to Petrcane, near Zadar, over 12 years ago. Actually, Suncebeat's heritage is even older – it's a spin-off event of the UK's 30+-year-old Southport Weekender. It, therefore, draws a slightly older crowd of house, disco and soul music aficionados.

The first wave of artists released for this 13th Suncebeat includes The Blessed Madonna, Kerri Chandler, Kenny Dope, Dave Lee ZR, Dam Swindle, Miguel Migs, Mark Farina, Horse Meat Disco, Natasha Diggs, Mike Dunn, John Morales, DJ Spen, DJ Spinna, Sadar Bahar, Terry Hunter, Children Of Zeus (live), Lukas Setto (Live), Djeff, Dan Shake, Ash Lauryn, Hyenah, Marina Trench, Lakuti, Elkka, Rich Medina, Boo Williams, Mafalda and CinCity.

Tickets for Suncebeat 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details for Suncebeat 2022 can be seen here.

Outlook Origins: 28 July 2022 – 8 August 2022

outlook.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Outlook Origins in Tisno

A scaled-down version of the original Outlook, which used to take place in Pula. The event earned a reputation as being one of the most significant annual events for UK bass music and its soundsystem culture – covering music styles like reggae, dub, grime, drum n' bass, garage, dubstep, jungle, hip hop and more.

Line-up to be announced.

Tickets for Outlook Origins 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details for Outlook Origins 2022 can be seen here.

Defected Croatia: 4 August 2022 – 9 August 2022

defected.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Defected Croatia

Days and nights filled with sunshine, smiles and house music from one of the most successful independent house music record labels in the world. The 2022 line-up includes Moodymann, Carl Craig, Danny Tenaglia, Bob Sinclar, Honey Dijon, Jayda G, KiNK, A-Trak, Boys Noize, Heller & Farley, Kenny Dope, Mark Farina and Spen

International tickets for Defected Croatia 2022 have sold out. The last few remaining domestic (ex-Yu) tickets for Defected Croatia 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details for Defected Croatia 2022 can be seen here.

Dekmantel Selectors: 25 August 2022 – 30 August 2022

dekmantel.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Dekmantel Selectors

A deliberately intimate and scaled-down sister event to the mammoth underground European festival Dekmantel. With a line-up that you could well describe as the DJs' DJs of choice, this year the underground selections come from the likes of Hunee, Daniele Baldelli, Kode9, Shanti Celeste, John Talabot, FAUZIA, Eris Drew, Identified Patient, Vladimir Ivkovic & Young Marco, Carista.

International tickets for Dekmantel Selectors 2022 have sold out. Up-to-date line-up details for Dekmantel Selectors 2022 can be seen here.

Dimensions: 1 September 2022 – 5 September 2022

dimensions.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Dimensions

Techno, electro, drum n' bass, house, hip hop, reggae and bass music on this 10th anniversary year come from the likes of Helena Hauff b2b DJ Stingray 313, Raresh, Blawan, Mala, Caliber, DVS1, Marcellus Pittmann, Tama Sumo, Peach, Saoirse, Laurine, Francesco Del Garda, Soichi Terada, Sherelle, Eris Drew & Octa Octa, Sonja Moonear, D. Tiffany & Rosa Terenzi, Gene On Earth b2b The Ghost, DJ Storm, Batu.

Tickets for Dimensions 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details for Dimensions 2022 can be seen here.

Šibenik Music Festivals 2022 – Martinska, Seasplash and Project Vojarna


Located on a perfectly secluded seaside peninsula, just outside the city of Šibenik, the Martinska venue hosts a summer-long run of intimate music festivals within fantastic natural surroundings. Events range from punk music and live concerts to more modern electronic styles. Most famous internationally is the reggae and dub event Seasplash Festival which celebrates its 20th birthday between July 14th - 17th 2022.

vojarna.jpgProject Vojarna

Just over half a decade old, Project Vojarna is a dance music event born from the collaboration of Šibenik electronic music enthusiasts. In its current standing, the main event is a 10-hour open-air rave held at a former military barracks just outside Šibenik. Each year the event grows in fame and stature. This year's event will take place on 23 July.

Up-to-date line-up details, links for tickets and entry requirements for all events at Martinska, Šibenik can be seen here.

Up-to-date line-up details, links for tickets and entry requirements for Project Vojarna, Šibenik events can be seen here.

InMusic Festival Zagreb: 20 June 2022 – 23 June 2022

inmusic.jpgInMusic Festival, Zagreb

The largest and most prestigious event for rock music and alternative in Croatia, InMusic has certainly put the country – and Zagreb – firmly on the international rock festival map. Taking place around Zagreb's Lake Jarun, the festival site welcomes campers from all over Europe for its four-day run.

2022's incredible line-up includes The Killers, Kasabian, Deftones, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Royal Blood, White Lies, Gogol Bordello, IDLES, Amadou & Mariam, Sleaford Mods, Fontaines D.C. Hinds, The Comet Is Coming, Dry Cleaning, Tamikrest and Nick Mason.

Tickets for InMusic Zagreb 2022 can be purchased here. Up-to-date line-up details and entry requirements for InMusic Zagreb 2022 can be seen here.

Solardo Presents Higher Dubrovnik

After two years of unforgettable sell out shows in Dubrovnik, mighty Manchester duo Solardo aim for a hat trick in 2022. In conjunction with Pollen Presents, Solardo announce their largest festival to date from September 23-27th: The pair curate their biggest ever line up with international tastemakers, showcasing some of the world's top house and techno talent, a testament to the Manchester duo’s musical depth. The first wave of names include Marco Carola, FJAAK, Nicole Moudaber, Mall Grab, Maya Jane Coles, Vintage Culture, Nic Fanciulli, Lee Foss and many more. After multiple sell out shows at WHP, Circus Liverpool & London, Higher is now set to grow into a multi venue event across this historic city

Lineup: Solardo, Marco Carola, Mall Grab, FJAAK, Nicole Moudaber, Maya Jane Coles, Vintage Culture, Nic Fanciulli, Lee Foss + more


Date: 23rd - 27th September

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

BSH Island

BSH Island is one of the jewels in the Croatian festival crown and has been leading the way in the local scene in recent years. Its first edition in 2020 brought something new to the region, and the follow up in 2021 made a mark on the international stage and now it returns to Island of Pag for the bigger than ever third edition. This follows two much talked about festivals on Zrce Beach - BSH Island, which included a legendary party in the breathtaking 17th century Fortress overlooking the sea hosted by Amnesia Ibiza, and the epic Amnesia takeover Croatia festival. It was a truly unique experience that offered something completely fresh away from the clubs on Zrce beach, and when you add in the fact that accommodation came in the form of a beautiful yacht docked at Noa Beach Club, it's no wonder BSH Island has made such a special impact. 

Lineup: Archie Hamilton, Ben Sterling, Blackchild, Dennis Cruz, Paco Osuna, wAFF + more


Date: 29th June - 3rd July

Location: Noa Beach Club, Zrce Beach, Croatia

Zrće beach on Pag island

zrce.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Hideout Festival, Zrce beach, Pag island

The summer-long run of parties on Zrće beach on Pag island continued last year. Although, in 2022 you should expect a return to pre-pandemic levels of attendance and hedonism. Along with that, the bigger named DJs will likely be returning in force during 2022.

hideout.jpgCroatian Music Festivals in 2022: Hideout Festival

Taking place from Sunday 3rd July - Thursday 7th July, Hideout Festival 2022 is representative of this return to form. DJs like Andy C, Jamie Jones, Eats Everything, Camelphat, Jayda G, Hot Since 82, Sam Divine, Solardo, Shy FX, Richy Ahmed, Sonny Fodera, Skream, Gorgon City, Mike Skinner, Paul Woolford, John Summit, Alan Fitzpatrick, Darius Syrossian, DJ Seinfeld, Maya Jane Coles, Denis Sulta and Chelina Manuhutu will play house, techno, drum n' bass and UK bass music sounds to a crowd of 13, 000+

The sixth edition of Sonus Festival (here) takes place at Zrce between 20 August and 26 August 2022 with DJs like Adriatique, Âme, Amelie Lens, Andrea Oliva, Ben Klock, Chris Liebing, Dax J, Dixon, Hot Since 82, I Hate Models, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, KiNK [live], Loco Dice, Maceo Plex, Monika Kruse, Pan-Pot, Patrick Topping, Ricardo Villa, lobos B2B Zip, Richie Hawtin, Richy Ahmed, Rødhåd, Seth Troxler, Sonja Moonear, Stephan Bodzin [live], Sven Väth, Black Coffee, Carl Cox, Denis Sulta, Desiree

Information about events in the summer season on Zrće beach, Pag island can be seen here.

Tickets for Hideout Festival, Zrće beach, Pag island can be bought here

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Croatian Gajeta Photo Becomes Official European Union Postcard

October 28, 2021 – A Falkuša gajeta from Komiža on Vis island and a Betina gajeta from Murter are shown in a competition-winning Croatian photograph which will now become an official European Union postcard

If you're reading this, chances are you already know Croatia is very often 'postcard-pretty.' Well, it seems you're not the only one to think so.

One Croatian photographer's work has won over judges in a competition to find an official European Union postcard. The photograph (main picture), taken by Hina journalist Andrina Luić shows two sailing boats – a Falkuša gajeta and a Betina gajeta. Both are traditional wooden ships commonly seen in Croatian waters. In the background, the Betina gajeta is instantly recognizable as Croatian because its sail carries a red and white checkerboard pattern.

European Union postcard competition

71299576_928242307537251_4078243795999653888_n.jpg© Dani u Vali

The 'Greetings from the Islands' photo competition was published in September by the European Commission's Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat (here). Andrina, who is from Lukoran on Ugljan island, took her winning photo two years ago in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. The sailboats were snapped during the festival of ships, sea and sailors 'Days in Vala' (here). The event is organized by Cronaves of Split, of which Andrina is a member. They are a society with an aim to promote Croatian maritime heritage.

Andrina's photograph will now help promote Croatian maritime heritage all across the continent. Thousands will see the traditional wooden ships and their sails when the image is made into an official European Union postcard. The picture triumphed above other island photo entries from Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal and elsewhere in Croatia. The evaluation criteria were originality, creativity, overall artistic impression and composition, and visual appeal. Each competitor was only allowed to enter one photo into the competition. It would seem that Andrina - who has been taking photographs for many years - made exactly the right choice.

Falkuša gajeta from Komiža on Vis island and Betina gajeta from island Murter

Neven_Jović.jpgTraditional gajeta ships from Betina in a regatta around island Murter © Neven Jović

A Falkuša gajeta is a thinner and faster version of the Murter-style gajeta. Falkuša boats have been used for fishing in the area of islands Vis and Korčula since at least the 16th century. They were adapted to the needs of fishermen from Komiža on Vis island, who would regularly travel far out into the open sea - as far west as the Palagruža archipelago - to chase their catch.

The template of these boat designs was taken to Betina on Murter island by Korčula shipbuilder Paško Filippi in the first half of the 18th century. There he founded a shipyard and began building his boats, adapting them to the slightly different climate and the very different needs of the locals.

The people of Murter and its surroundings needed a boat as much for transportation of goods as they did for fishing. Therefore, the Betina gajeta was made stronger, wider, bigger and more load-bearing, with a deck at the bow and stern. They were commonly used to transport goods between Murter and estates on the Kornati islands.

You can today visit an award-winning museum (here) dedicated to the history of this wooden boat building in Betina, island Murter. Or, if you can't make it there any time soon, you can now make do with one of Andrina's postcards until you can.

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.

tamara-shatkova (6).jpg

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!

tamara-shatkova (3).jpg

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 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 


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. 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.

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