Friday, 17 June 2022

Dalmatia to Host 1st World Cup of Basketball Veterans Next Year

Jun 17, 2022 - The first World Cup of Basketball Veterans will be held in Split and Omiš next April, with once-famous basketball players from Europe and even the NBA expected to compete. 

"We have been successfully organizing the Masters Handball World Cup for five years, so we decided to organize a competition of the same level in basketball, so from next year in Omiš and Split, in addition to handball veterans, basketball veterans will compete in the first World Cup," said sporting event organizer Mario Čaljkušić, as reported by Dalmacija Danas.

A well-established team started organizing the International Camp of Handball Goalkeepers eleven years ago, and then the Masters Handball World Cup, bringing the biggest names in international handball to Omiš. There is no doubt that they will be equally successful when organizing the basketball tournament.

"The hardest part of the job was getting to know the whole organization and we can freely say that in the last few years it has been going routinely. Not only for us who are involved in the organization, but also for the people who take care of the hall, hotel accommodation, transport, as well as volunteers, sponsors, and city and county structures. It is already a well-established system, and when we decided to do basketball, we joked that we just need to change balls, a handball for a basketball, and replace goals with baskets, as everything else will be the same," laughed Čaljkušić and added:

"Of course, we consulted and involved several basketball experts in the organization, but we will inform the public when the time comes."

The World Cup of Basketball Veterans is scheduled for April 13-16 next year, and registrations have already been launched on the official website. Moreover, a dozen teams have already applied for competitions to be organized in three groups, "5 v 5", "3 v 3" and "wheelchair basketball", in three women's (+35, +40, and +45) and four men's (+35, +40, +45 and +50) categories.

Given that the organizers brought many big names from the world of handball, it would not be surprising that once-famous basketball players from Europe and even the NBA League come to the World Cup of basketball veterans. So far, the project has been supported by many famous names such as Nikola Vujčić, Aramis Naglić, Aleksandar Petrović, Krešimir Lončar, Mario Kasun, Bruno Šundov, and Teo Čizmić, and a roundtable on current basketball events was announced. Representatives of the Croatian Basketball Federation also announced their arrival.

"I support the initiative and look forward to participating in the roundtable if my commitments allow. Basketball has a lot of problems that need to be openly discussed and pointed out what we as professional people think is not good. Of course, I am looking forward to meeting again many famous people from the world of basketball that I have not seen for a long time," said Aleksandar Petrović.

"Veteran sport is very popular all over the world, even among basketball players who may not be ready for professional sacrifices as they used to be, but still enjoy playing and socializing, which is why we all started training together a long time ago, as children. I am glad that this project has come to life in our country and I have no doubt that it will be successful," said Nikola Vujčić.

The final of the World Cup is planned to take place at the basketball temple at Gripe, where the story of the great and powerful Jugoplastika, unofficially the best basketball club in Europe in the 20th century, won three consecutive European titles.

"Our club supports all basketball projects, so we will actively support the World Cup of basketball veterans. We are looking forward to opening the doors of our home to all who actively live basketball, regardless of the fact that they have long since retired, and we are considering putting together a team of our veterans to compete in the official competition," said director of Split Basketball Club Edo Blažević.

The fifth edition of the Masters Handball World Cup, despite the problems created by the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine, gathered over 1,000 competitors and guests, so there is no doubt that the Veterans Basketball World Cup will yield similar, if not better results.

"I have to admit that I was a bit envious of handball players when I saw how many of them gather at veteran competitions and that I wondered why something similar is not organized for us, former basketball players. And here, it was as if I had summoned the organizers. I am glad that they started this project, and I am especially glad that my club will be actively involved in it," said the sports director of Split and one of the players of the famous golden generation of Jugoplastika, Teo Čizmić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Split Destinations You Can Visit Using Public Transport

May 24, 2022 - You can spend a large part of your itinerary in the city centre, but did you know that you can get to know many interesting Split destinations by bus? We're going to show you how.

Whether it is a short visit or for a week, the City of Split can fill your itinerary with activities of all kinds, sights, gastronomic spots, and much more. But what if you feel the need to explore your surroundings? Surely from the window of your plane, shortly before landing, you noticed that Split is much more than just its centre. In the high season, you may want a little respite from the crowds, so why not explore some of the nearby Split destinations? By using public transport, you can save yourself the fees of renting a car to visit these relatively local destinations, as well as the tedious search for parking in the city.

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Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL

The public transport system in the City of Split is called Promet (Traffic) and its buses can take you beyond the centre. The bus network is divided into four zones, and that is how ticket prices are determined (based on proximity to the very centre). If you're very clear about where you're going, you can buy your tickets at the Tisak stands indicating the area you are going to, or you can also pay the bus driver himself, indicating the exact destination you are going to.

The prices of bus tickets by zone are as follows:

Zone 1: 9 kuna

Zone 2: 13 kuna

Zone 3: 17 kuna

Zone 4: 21 kuna

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Image: Promet Split

Now, the question is, where do you want to go? Generally, everything in the centre of Split is part of Zone 1. You can choose between beautiful and less crowded beaches, small and picturesque old settlements, or even historical places beyond that zone. The choice is yours. Here are some ideas for Split destinations you can visit in zones 2, 3 and 4 with the city's public transport system.

ZONE 2

Solin

Solin is located very close to the centre, just northeast of Split. Originally called Solana, it was a Greek colony founded in the 3rd century BC, and later a Roman colony. At that time, it ended up becoming the fourth largest city in the entire Roman Empire. For a zone 2 ticket to Solin, you can go ahead and visit its impressive ruins. You'll need to get on bus number 2 (Split - Poljička - K. Sućuraj (Strinje) - Split Airport), or bus number 38 (Split - K. Stari - Resnik).


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The ruins of Solin. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Stobreč

On the southern loop of Split zone 2, Stobreč is the first destination you can get to. It's ideal if you are looking for somewhere nearby to relax and with a good number of bars and restaurants. Stobreč also has a golf course, if that's your thing. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš) or number 25 (Split-Stobreč).

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Overview of Stobreč. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Podstrana

Passing Stobreč, you'll reach Podstrana. Podstrana has a large number of beautiful beaches, with bars and restaurants on them. I always say, if you are looking to enjoy the sea in Split and away from the crowds, go to Podstrana. If you're looking for something other than the beaches, you can also go hiking in the surrounding hills or kayaking on the Žrnovnica river. Did you also know that legends say that Podstrana is where the famous King Arthur could have been buried? You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš) to get here.

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The sword of Artorus, in Podstrana. (Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL)

ZONE 3

Kaštela

Please note that there is more than one Kaštela! It won't be something that will have much relevance when paying for your ticket, since they're all in the same area. Kaštela is located northwest of Split, on the way to the airport. No matter which Kaštela you decide to go to, be sure to enjoy its promenades, beaches, and marinas! You'll need to get on bus number 2 (Split - Poljička - K. Sućuraj (Strinje) - Split Airport), or bus number 38 (Split - K. Stari - Resnik).

Krilo

If you pass Podstrana, heading south, you will enter zone 3. There are many places that you can visit almost in succession: Mutogras, Jesenice, Sumpetar, Dugi Rat... Krilo has very nice beaches, as well. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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Krilo. (Photo: Tino Juric/PIXSELL)

ZONE 4

Duće

Duće is one of the last destinations in zone 3 to the south. Many continue on to Omiš, but Duće is a place that deserves all your attention for its beautiful beaches and camping sites. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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At the beginning of Zone 4, just before Omiš, you'll find Duće. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Trogir

Passing the Split Airport, you'll find the very ancient and picturesque town of Trogir. Often regarded as the miniature version of Split, its beautiful promenade and narrow streets will stick in your mind for a long time. A good idea is to find pristine beaches in the bridge-connected island of Čiovo. You'll need to get on bus number 37 (Split - Split Airport - Trogir).

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Trogir. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Omiš

Omiš is one of the most popular and largest towns on the coastal road between Split and Dubrovnik. Just 40 minutes from the center, Omiš is a true jewel of the Dalmatian coast, with beautiful old streets, the Cetina canyon, and wonderful beaches. You'll need to get on bus number 60 (Split-Omiš).

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Omiš. (Photo: Mario Romulić)

For more information on Split's bus system, be sure to check the official website of Promet.

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

Friday, 8 April 2022

Omiš Bypass Project One of Croatia's Highest Priorities

April 8, 2022 - Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure Oleg Butković spoke for HRT about major transport infrastructure projects in Croatia that are underway and plans for the future. He especially commented on the Pelješac Bridge and the Omiš bypass.

"We do not have the exact date of the Pelješac Bridge opening yet, but everything is going well. The bridge is finished, and we are now concentrating on the access roads. As for the bridge itself, the procedure is more about documentation, and access roads are being worked on in a hurry. We expect the opening of the Pelješac Bridge and part of the access roads in mid-July. This year we will witness a massive event. It is a large infrastructure project, the most important because it is about merging the state territory," said Butković.

"I must be satisfied because despite COVID-19 and all the recent events, major infrastructure projects, including the Pelješac Bridge, were built at a good pace, so there were no delays," he said.

The opening of part of the access roads will cover a little more than 12 km, but the completion includes the Ston bypass and the Ston bridge, which should be completed by the end of this year. However, Butković added that there were some delays in that part due to unforeseen circumstances.

"By the end of the year, we will connect southern Dalmatia, which includes the Pelješac Bridge, 30 km of access roads with the Ston Bridge, and a large project, which is impressive with a 500 m across Ston Bay."

A specific opening date for the bridge with part of the access roads will be known in May, and the opening will be sometime in July.

"The Omiš bypass project is also being done. Last year we broke through the Komorjak tunnel; now, the bridge over the Cetina is slowly springing up. I toured it about ten days ago, the view from the bridge is really impressive. It is one of the most impressive projects, and it is complex because there are big bridges and tunnels. The Omiš Bypass project will be completed in a year and a half at this stage, but we must solve the entire multimodal platform," said the Minister of Transport.

Butković pointed out that the biggest traffic problems are in that part of Croatia. The 50,000 vehicles a day on the existing old D8 highway from Split to Omiš in the summer and through Omiš is simply unsustainable, he says. 

"I would say that the construction of the Omiš bypass is one of the highest priorities in Croatia today. The completion of its construction will be financed in the next financial perspective. We have confirmed from the European Commission that the entire multimodal platform from Solin, Split to Omiš will be financed with European funds. Croatian Roads is also preparing the project's next phases," he said.

He added that the Ministry would announce a tender for the section from Omiš to Dugi Rat by the end of this year.

"We recently visited the Omiš port, one of the largest port infrastructure projects in Croatia today. It is about 90 million kuna; the road is being relocated, the new port will improve and make life easier for people in that part," he said.

"According to all the announcements, the season should be good for our Jadrolinija liner, but recent events are likely to have consequences for tourism. According to Jadrolinija, we had certain interventions at the end of 2021 since they did not have any help from the state during the entire period of the pandemic.

Jadrolinija is stable; they should start purchasing new ships this year. The plan is to build three new "Postira" because the famous "Postira" is over 50 years old, but it sails. I can't talk about procedures and tenders, but modernizing is crucial for Jadrolinija," said Butković when asked about plans for Jadrolinija.

He pointed out that procuring new ships is also a priority of Jadrolinija.

"Without new ships, we will have a problem in a few years when tenders are announced because there is always a danger that someone who has more modern ships will take over the line. Therefore, the process to modernize and buy new ships must go faster," the Minister of Transport concluded. 

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Thursday, 24 March 2022

€24m Omiš Bypass To Be Finished By End Of 2025

ZAGREB, 24 March 2022 - Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković visited construction sites in Omiš on Thursday including the Omiš bypass and connection to Cetina Bridge as well as works to the town's port, announcing that the bypass Omiš-Split road should be completed by the end of 2025.

Butković underscored that the Omiš bypass is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Split-Dalmatia County and is valued at HRK 180 million.

The access road to the bridge should be completed by the end of this year and next spring a section of 3.5 kilometres should be completed, he added.

A multimodal platform that is in that section is being financed from the next EU perspective. Butković announced that a call for tenders would be advertised by the end of this year for the road to Dugi Rat.

The Omiš bypass included two tunnels and a bridge across the Cetina River, the minister explained and added that the Komorjak tunnel is more than 600 metres long and the Omiš tunnel is just over 500 metres while the bridge is 216 metres long.

 

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Public Humiliation, the Old-Fashioned Way: Pillars of Shame in Croatia

February 27th, 2022 - Public shaming nowadays mostly takes place on social media, so we tend to forget that it once used to have a much more tangible form. Have you ever seen a pillar of shame in Croatia?

In a village called Salež, not far from Buzet town in Istria, stands a solemn monolith. A human figure carved in stone, weathered and overgrown with moss.

It’s not an old deity you’re looking at, but a pillar of shame, a once popular tool for punishment by public humiliation.

Transgressors of all kinds were tied or chained to stone pillars, typically set up on town squares or other public places of gathering, and left to the mercy of the mob. The more severe the offence, the longer the convicts had to endure the misery, with more serious crimes often warranting corporal punishment on top of the humiliating public exposure.

buzetsalez.jpgPillar of shame in Salež, Istria / Buzet Tourist Board Facebook

Pillars of shame existed all over Europe, Croatia being no exception. Public shaming was judicially sanctioned until emperor Joseph II banned it as a method of criminal punishment in the 18th century.

The practice lived on in other ways; most recently, it moved to the virtual space where it assumed a more insidious form. Social media only seems to instigate the mob mentality, and gone are the days of public punishment lasting an hour or two - your past transgressions are forever saved for anyone to find. The internet never forgets, and the old stone pillars and chains almost seem benign in comparison.

In Croatia, several pillars of shame survive to this day. The anonymous figure in Salež is arguably the most unique of the lot - and the most unsettling - as it’s the only one that has a human form.

Among the locals, the pillar is known as Berlin, getting its name after berlina, a type of four-seat carriage that once operated on the route Berlin - Paris and was used for transportation and public shaming of convicts. Berlin the pillar is made of white stone that isn’t naturally found in the area. The figure wears a cap, and is resting its left hand on his chest, on a spot once used to clip the chains with which the convicts were tied.

There’s an inscription in Latin on the front of the figure, barely visible, translating to justice to this poor province.

A local named Mate Grižančić recalls that the village elders used to speak of the pillar being brought to Salež on a carriage adorned in flowers, pulled by six of their strongest oxen. A parade of eighteen girls dressed in white followed the carriage as it rolled into town.

buje_servolo-min.jpgChurch of St. Servulus in Buje / istra.hr 

Another pillar of shame in Istria is found in Buje. The town is truly the best of both worlds where Istria is considered: it spans over two inland hills, giving off the classic Istrian-hilltop-town vibes, with the sea glimmering on the horizon as the coast is only 10 kilometres away.

1024px-Buje__Zupna_crkva_Sveti_Servula_-_01.jpgPillar of shame, church of St. Servulus in Buje / Creative Commons 

At the highest point in town, in front of the imposing Baroque church of St. Servulus, you’ll find a pillar that was reportedly used for public humiliation in the 17th century, and later as a flag pole. Spot the Venetian lion on the pillar and elsewhere in town, remnants of the long period of Venetian rule.

An honorary mention goes to Sveti Lovreč, one of the best preserved fortified medieval settlements in Istria which gets its name from the small church of St. Lawrence.

Perched in the centre of the main square is a pillar of shame that’s only partially preserved, standing on a pedestal.

Sv_Lovrec_trg3_JD_s.jpgSveti Lovreč, pillar of shame in the bottom right corner / Image by Central Istria Tourist Board

Public shaming sure seems to have been a popular method of punishment in Istria - what about the rest of Croatia?

Quite a unique landmark is found in Vinica near Varaždin. It’s locally known as pranger, named after the German term for a pillar of shame. Originally located at the Vinica fortress, the pranger was moved several times and is now installed at the Matija Gubec Square.

The three-sided pillar is slightly reminiscent of an obelisk; each side is crowned with a man’s head, carved in stone. The three faces all have different features, but share a chiselled moustache as a common trait.

19114_275988945861000_1938103996_n.jpgPillar of shame in Vinica / Zagreb Nekada Facebook

Next to the central figure, the year 1643 is engraved, followed by a Latin inscription:

IVSTAM MENSVR(AM) TENETE

Measure honestly, it warns. Together with the round stone vessel installed on the pedestal, the inscription points to the fact that the Vinica pillar doubled as a measuring tool. Grain and similar produce were measured with the help of stone pots since medieval times; the merchants who were caught trying to cheat their customers ended up tied to the pillar and were given a thorough thrashing - verbal or otherwise.

On the coast, a famous specimen of its kind is found in Zadar, standing at the northwest side of the Roman forum.

Given its former purpose, the slender column looks much more intimidating than its Istrian counterparts. Fourteen metres tall and ancient Roman in origin, the column was repurposed into a pillar of shame in the Middle Ages. 

1200px-Forum_zadar_1.jpgRoman forum in Zadar, pillar of shame on the left / Creative Commons

Nowadays one of the most popular spots in town, the location surely used to instil unease in the local population back in the day. Offenders of all kinds were chained to the pillar and left exposed in public for several hours on average.

Women who were caught emptying their night pots through the window or throwing any other kind of garbage into the street got an hour on the pillar. A sign was hung around their neck that read šporkulja - a title that doesn’t translate well, but indicates the woman was messy or dirty.

1052123_01549c44f77896ed1b471c4f63eb8560.jpgPillar of shame in Zadar / Marco Verch, Creative Commons

Other offenders were given a sign as well, listing all their transgressions; theft and solicitation were the most common offences. The gathered masses were happy to hurl insults at them, as well as a wide range of objects. If a person was accused of theft, they’d get a lashing on top of being harassed by the public.

Offenders were often forced to pay a fine for the privilege of pillar use after the entire ordeal - a whole new level of adding insult to injury.

Further south, in the town of Omiš famed for its pirates, a pillar of shame stands on a square near the river Cetina. The final item on our list, the elegant column bears the insignia of the Venetian general, and it’s believed it dates to the 17th century.

 

Monday, 21 February 2022

Zagreb to Dubrovnik: the Ultimate 10-day Road Trip Itinerary

21 February 2022 - It’s never the wrong time to start planning the perfect getaway to the paradise that is Croatia. We decided to give you a hand in planning the perfect 10-day road trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik (plus some bonus island time!) that showcases the best the country has to offer.

The best way to discover Croatia is by car, giving you the freedom to go off the beaten path and chart your own adventure around the country, all the way from Zagreb to Dubrovnik.

Before we jump into it, do be aware that most car rentals in Croatia are manual transmissions! Automatic cars are available for rent, though mostly by larger rental companies like Sixt, and are more expensive.

If you’re not a confident driver, no need to worry, there are plenty of private bus companies that run daily trips to most cities and tourist attractions during the high season (June - September). In larger cities such as Zagreb and Split, bus schedules are also available online. Transfers between major ports and the islands are also regularly serviced by ferries and catamarans.

Day 1: Zagreb

Welcome to Zagreb, the capital and largest city of Croatia! Nicknamed the city of museums, Zagreb is home to over a dozen award-winning museums such as the Archeological Museum, with over 450,000 artifacts and monuments.

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The gorgeous buildings of Upper Town in Zagreb. Visit Zagreb/Facebook.

Cultural landmarks of the city include Ban Jelačić Square which has existed since the 17th century, the Zagreb Cathedral, or the magnificent Croatian National Theater whose unveiling ceremony was attended by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. So, make sure you squeeze in some time for a walking tour to absorb the sights of Zagreb’s Old Town.

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Evenings on Tkalčićeva Street, Zagreb. Visit Zagreb/Facebook.

Hungry? Head to Dolac market, Zagreb's main open-air farmers market to pick up some fresh, seasonal produce and souvenirs. You can also choose to end your day with a tasty meal and local wine from any of the excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes along Tkalčićeva Street.

Day 2: Rovinj

After a bustling day in Zagreb, the enchanting city of Rovinj is a splendid change of pace. Perfectly situated on the Istrian peninsula, the city boasts a rich heritage, from being settled by Venetian tribes, to becoming part of the Byzantine and Frankish Empires, all reflected in the diversity of the city’s architecture, art, and culture.

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This stunning setting has been a popular film setting for movies such as "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard". Rovinj Tourist Board/Facebook.

Stroll along the beautiful cobbled streets and narrow alleys of Rovinj Old Town and make your way towards St. Euphemia Cathedral. Along the way, you should pass by Grisia Street, lined with souvenir stalls and galleries with the most unique pieces to add to your collection.
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The charming, picturesque streets of Rovinj's Old Town. Rovinj Tourist Board/Facebook.

If you have time to spare, take a day trip to Sveta Katarina, a small picturesque island that’s a mere 10-minute water taxi ride from the pier. Spend the afternoon taking a dip in the aquamarine waters of the bay, or hike on one of the numerous trails dotted around the island, or both!

Alternatively, sit back and relax on some of the most beautiful beaches in Istria such as Amarin, Borik, or Valdaliso Beach.

Day 3: Pula

Before leaving the Istrian Coast, make Pula the next stop on your road trip. Serving as the capital of Istria, Pula was the main military port for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the height of its military glory. Today, remnants of these times are reflected in the city’s breathtaking landscape.

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The Pula Arena frequently hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year. Pula Plus/Facebook.

The famous Pula Arena, one of the most well preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world, is a must-see! Another not to be missed landmark is the Temple of Augustus, a monument dedicated to the first Roman emperor in honor of his rule.

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The unique shape of Fort Puna Christo. Pula Plus/Facebook.

Also check out the impressive Fort Punta Christo, which includes an underground section to explore and a well-stocked rooftop bar for refreshments after. You can also enjoy magnificent 360-degree views of Pula from the Venetian Fortress (Kaštel) which also houses the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria.

Day 4: Plitvice National Park

Although Croatia boasts some of the best coastlines in the world, Plitvice Lakes National Park consistently appears in the top must-see places to visit in Croatia, and for good reason! This UNESCO World Heritage Site holds the title as the oldest and largest national park in Croatia, famous for its gorgeous turquoise lakes. Well worth the detour inland.

plitvice_lakes_national_park_facebook_small.jpgThe main walkway of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park/Facebook.

Be aware that the park can get very crowded during the season! To avoid this, just be prepared to visit early (7-8am), or better still, stop by during off-peak seasons where the park transforms into the perfect winter wonderland.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park/Facebook.

Day 5: Zadar

After a day in the lush forests, take a scenic drive back to the Dalmatian coast and spend a day in the charming city of Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. Today, cozy cafes and art galleries are seamlessly woven into remains from the times of Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus.

Enjoy a relaxing stroll through Old Town and admire the historical architecture including the Church of St. Donatus, the Landward Gate, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, and the Roman Forum.

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Ruins in the Old Town of Zadar. Zadar Region/Facebook

Along the way, catch the famous Sea Organ, and a sunset so beautiful, it even captivated Alfred Hitchcock! Just after sunset, take in the light show at the Sun Salutation, an installation created by Nikola Bašić, the same artist who designed the sea organ.

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The Landward Gate, Zadar. Zadar Region/Facebook

If you have some time in between, head to Pag Island to try some of the famous Paski Cheese or to Nin, home to Queen’s Beach, the longest sandy beach in Croatia. Other gorgeous beaches along the coast of Zadar include Kolovare and Borik.

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Award-winning sheep's cheese from Pag Island. Pag Tourist Board/Facebook.

Day 6: Split

Welcome to Split, the largest city in Dalmatia, and second-largest in all of Croatia. The city was founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos between the 3rd and 2nd century BC.

It was later where Diocletian's Palace was built for the Roman emperor in AD 305. The palace also houses the Peristil, or the main square, another great place to enjoy some coffee and people-watch in addition to the Riva promenade.

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Enjoy a drink inside the walls of the Diocletian's Palace, Split. Visit Split/Facebook

While exploring the Old Town, stop by the Green Market, the largest farmer’s market in Split, to pick up some fresh, organic produce. Turn the corner and it is difficult to miss the 8.5-meter statue of Gregory of Nin, sculpted by world-renowned artist Ivan Meštrović. Rubbing the statue’s toe is said to bring good luck, so much so that it has been worn smooth by visitors over the years.

You can also squeeze in a light hike up Marjan Hill, also known as the “lungs of Split”. Its summit is an ideal place for a picnic, offering marvelous views of the harbor and neighboring islands.

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The crystal clear waters of Bačvice beach. Visit Split/Facebook

Fancy another beach day? Bačvice beach is a popular hangout spot in the center of Split. Relax at one of the many cafe bars and watch the locals play picigin, a traditional ball game. Rumor has it this beach is also where the sport originates from.

Day 7: Krka/Omiš/Trogir

Don't be too quick to leave Split. From here, there are several options for day tours to surrounding attractions.
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Some of the most stunning waterfalls in Croatia can be found at Krka National Park. Krka Nationa Park/Facebook

For nature lovers, Krka National Park is another national park about an hour’s drive from Split. Spend a day walking along well-maintained trails that wind along some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. Again, make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds!

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Try white water rafting in Omiš. Tourist Board Omiš/Facebook

For those craving more action, head to the picturesque town of Omiš which offers one of the most dramatic scenes on the coast. The city is nestled in a canyon surrounded by gray, craggy mountains, contrasting the peacock blue waters where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea. Omiš offers white water rafting, free climbing, ziplining, abseiling, and canyoning, amongst other activities for visitors seeking a bit of a thrill on their vacation.

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Just one of the many well-preserved remains scattered around Trogir's Old Town. Visit Trogir/Facebook

For the history buff, head to Trogir which has the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in all of Central Europe. Take a walk around the Old Town, surrounded by walls comprising a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

Day 8: Hvar

With over 1,000 islands, it wouldn’t be a complete trip to Croatia without doing some island hopping. From Split, take the 1-hour ferry ride over to Hvar. Its beauty and vibrant nightlife have made it a regular vacation spot for the likes of celebrities such as George Clooney and Beyonce.

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Hvar is one of the longest and sunniest islands in Croatia. Hvar Tourist Board/Facebook

Start by wandering around St. Stephen’s Square, the largest square in Croatia and don’t miss the Cathedral of St. Stephen and the Hvar public theater. For the best view, climb to the top of the Španjola Fortress to get an unobstructed view overlooking Hvar Town and nearby Pakleni Islands. You can even rent a small boat (no license required) to explore these islands on your own!

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The view from the top of the Španjola Fortress is unparalleled on the island. Hvar Tourist Board/Facebook

Once you’ve taken in all these sights, enjoy another relaxing beach day at one of the many pristine beaches such as Malo Zaraće, Dubovica, or Pokonji Dol.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for another day trip, book a tour with one of the local travel agencies to the Blue Caves on Biševo and marvel at its clear, iridescent blue waters.

Day 9: Korčula

After the buzz of Hvar, take the ferry to the tranquil town of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula, the birthplace of famed explorer Marco Polo and home to some of the best Croatian wines.

From Vela Luka, take a scenic drive towards the town of Korčula, also known as “little Dubrovnik”. Along the way, stop by the numerous family-run vineyards that welcome visitors for wine and cheese tastings.

Grk is a white wine variety grown almost exclusively on Korčula, other white wines such as Pošip and Rukatac are also premier Croatian wines, often served on celebratory occasions. For fans of red wine, do grab a bottle or 2 of Plavac Mali.

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Vineyards of Korčula island. Visit Korčula/Facebook

In Korčula, walk off the afternoon’s indulgences exploring the streets of the Old Town with its architectural influences by the Venetian Renaissance, before capping off the night with a meal and more wine at any of its superb restaurants.

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Korčula town. Visit Korčula/Facebook

Day 10: Dubrovnik

There’s no better way to end the trip than with Dubrovnik. And yes, there is no shortage of Game of Thrones tours to indulge your senses, but there is so much more to this medieval city than where Cersei Lannister did her walk of shame.

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The beautiful Saint Blaise's Church in Dubrovnik was built during the 10th century. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

Talk a walk along the city walls and through Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street. From here, you can also catch Onofrio’s Large Fountain that used to supply Dubrovnik with fresh water during the Middle Ages and other impressive structures including the Clock Tower, Saint Blaise's Church, Saint Ignatius Church, Cathedral of the Assumption, and the Franciscan Monastery.

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The view from beyond the walls of Dubrovnik looking upon Fort Lovrijenac. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

Watch the sunsets and reminisce on your amazing road trip through the country at one of the cliff bars along the city walls, before capping it all off with an exquisite meal at one of the many Michelin-starred or recommended restaurants Dubrovnik has to offer.

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Nothing like a luscious meal to top off a fantastic experience road-tripping in Croatia. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

And that’s all folks, you’ve done it! Croatia in 10 days! Bear in mind, this is merely the appetizer of what Croatia has to offer. Customize this guide to better suit your tastes and pace and remember, don’t hesitate to ask the locals in order to unlock the best secrets each location has to offer.

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

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Do Summer Showers Impact Microbiological Water Pollution? Omiš Watercare Project Presented

December 11, 2021 - Do heavy summer showers affect the quality of the sea? After extreme rains, there is a slight increase in bacteriological sea pollution. However, these values are so low that Omiš beaches are still within excellent sea quality parameters, reveals the Omiš Watercare project.

Rain greeted the participants of the Omiš Watercare project's final meeting, where the results of the impact of summer showers on microbiological pollution of the Cetina River and the famous Omiš sandy beach were presented. 

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"Cetina is the source of life and economy in much of Dalmatia, from Vrlika to Omiš, all places and cities are connected to the Cetina, and our islands Brač and Hvar depend on it. Therefore, the importance of this river in our lives is indescribable, and that is why we hope that the results of the research are encouraging and that they will give us guidelines for its preservation and protection," said Žarko Kovačić, Deputy Mayor of Omiš, with a warm welcome to the participants.

On behalf of the organizers and partners in the project, Split-Dalmatia County, Anđelko Katavić, Head of the Administrative Department for Economy, EU Funds and Agriculture, explained the complementarity of this with another project implemented by the county on sustainable use of the Cetina River Basin:

"One of the greatest natural resources of our county and state is water, and on the example of the Jadro River, we see how many problems can be caused by more and more frequent showers that increase the parameter of drinking water turbidity. As the name of the project itself says, water should be taken care of, and the knowledge, equipment and instruments we have implemented through the project allow us to react in the event of an emergency as soon as possible."

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Generally speaking, the quality of the Split-Dalmatia County sea is excellent; only in some places near rivers and streams is the bathing level lower quality. Martin Bućan, meeting moderator and senior advisor from the Administrative Department for Economy, EU Funds and Agriculture, answered if this is happening at the mouth of the Cetina River. 

He explained that automatic water sampling was carried out in the downstream part of the Cetina estuary, using two automatic measuring stations that measured several parameters such as water and air temperature, pressure and humidity, precipitation, wind direction and speed. In addition, specially installed measuring probe water parameters such as salinity, temperature, pH, turbidity, etc., were also examined, including E. coli bacteria and intestinal enterococci in the laboratory. At the same time, at regular intervals from May to October this year, seawater samples were analyzed near the mouth of the Cetina River at six locations in Omiš. Fundamental physicochemical quality indicators and bacteriological indicators, i.e., the presence of E. coli and intestinal enterococci, were also analyzed in seawater samples. Seawater samples were always taken during the morning hours and after completing the sampling of automatic stations. Sampling was carried out in different meteorological conditions, during sunny weather and after heavy rainfall.

“Out of a total of 42 seawater samples collected from six measuring stations after rainy weather, 39 were rated excellent, one sample rated good, while two samples were inconsistent. Therefore, research has shown that there is a slight increase in bacteriological pollution of the sea after extreme rains. However, these values are low on Omiš beaches and still within the parameters of the sea category of excellent quality," concluded Martin Bućan.

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All data obtained from the probes and physical sampling of the sea are transferred to the Watercare project online application, presented by Goran Kopčak from Ericsson Nikola Tesla, an external contractual partner. He explained the functionalities and user interface of the created network application through which numerous stakeholders in the project can access data. Furthermore, thanks to the machine learning concept application, the platform will automatically be able to alert the responsible persons of the County, Civil Protection Headquarters, the City of Omiš, firefighters, and others due to the risk of the increased possibility of bacteriological pollution in the sea.

Once again, the Watercare project confirmed the importance of bringing together all stakeholders with scientific research institutions, which was further argued in their presentation by Marko Mimica and Gina Bilankov from EHCR. They presented a feasibility study to implement innovative solutions of the Cetina River and guidelines for coastal water management following international regulations, as well as the possibility of further financing the developing activities from this project from EU funds.

Water management solutions for reducing microbial environment impact on coastal areas is the full name of the project worth a total of 2.8 million euros, which lasts almost three years and is implemented within the cross-border cooperation program Interreg Italy - Croatia.

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

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Olmissum from Omiš Among Best 16 Futsal Teams in Europe!

October 31, 2021 - The Olmissum futsal club from Omiš has advanced to the UEFA Futsal Champions League! 

Croatian futsal champion Olmissum advanced to the Elite round of the Champions League as the winner of Group 7 in the main qualifying round, with all three victories won at home in Omiš, reports 24 Sata.

In the last round, Omiš defeated Armenian club Leo 5:0 on Saturday and ended the tournament with a maximum of three victories, with 14 goals scored and only one goal conceded. Goals for the Croatian champion were scored by Horvat (17), Jurlina (25, 32), Hrstić (28), and Juretić (32).

Olmissum will thus play among the 16 best teams in Europe. In the Elite Round of the Champions League, four groups with four teams each will be drawn, and only the group winners will go to the Final Four.

Olmissum placed in the Elite round of the Futsal Champions League for the second time in a row. The club was founded in 2015, made its way through the Third and Second Leagues, and then last year, in its first season in the Premier League, they played in the Champions League. Unfortunately, last year, they were knocked out by the Russian team KPRF.

Behind the Olmissum project is the Milavić family, former owners of the Studenac retail chain. The club's leader is Mijo, who wanted to return part of the family earnings to the community. With the city's help, he initiated and financed the construction of the Ribnjak Sports Center, in which they invested 30 million kuna of family money. After that, he founded a futsal club. The idea, the name, design of the jerseys, and coat of arms are all the work of Mijo Milavić.

"There was no futsal club in Omiš at all. Moreover, our neighbors from Dugi Rat took the lead and won local tournaments. So we started from scratch, I called a childhood friend Josip Škorić, who played before, he called the goalkeeper coach Ivica Krstulović Opara, we hired coach Ivica Osibov, and we started," Milavić revealed.

"We broke through the Third and Second Leagues, planned the team, and grew. Osibov was succeeded on the bench by Duje Maretić, who was never a senior coach. We decided to gamble and it paid off. He led us to the championship title."

After placing in the First League, the Omiš team did not reach for instant solutions and players from abroad and instead put together a team of local players.

"We have offered everyone the same - a healthy environment, a great atmosphere, and stable finances. And that suits everyone. We are building a club, not just a team; we have invested money in the hall, so in the conditions, not just in the players. We are growing step by step - the visual identity of the club, the mascot, the anthem, specially designed jerseys, and the youth are important to us. We have everything we need to be stable and recognizable. And above all, we have a young team with character that will stay together for a long time."

For now, the club's financing is based on the Milavić family company, which covers most of all costs.

"It can be said that we covered 99 percent of the club's budget and that little by little, we started looking for sponsors. So far, we have spent time and energy getting the club on its feet, and now we will move on. You know the saying: "First you need to fix and make up the girl, and only then look for a boyfriend."

Mijo Milavić is a sports fanatic, but little is known that he is also a big fan who travels to all Croatia national team matches and is a passionate jersey collector. He also ordered and financed the billboards that welcomed Ivan Perišić and Croatia at the entrance to the town of Omiš after their success at the 2018 World Cup. 

"In the 80s and 90s, my family manifested its identity nationally, and lately, we have turned it into local patriotism. We try to help the local community as much as possible through some of our projects. Olmissum is our flagship; it is a club that has 130 children in the youth categories. We want to provide all of them with the best conditions, enable them to be the best, to strive for the maximum, and for their successes to be a signpost for life," concluded Milavić.

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Friday, 15 October 2021

Omiš in Autumn, the Perfect Time to Visit Mountains, the Cetina and the Sea

October 15, 2021 – With local seafood currently at its best and cooler temperatures inviting runners, hikers and cyclists to this spectacular location, Omiš in autumn is one of the best destinations of the season.

When temperatures cool on the Croatian coast, the telltale signs of tourism start to fade. Villages that were full of people in summer become very still. Only in the larger places does life go on unaffected.

The seaside city of Omiš is one such place. The charming Omiš Old Town streets hold their special atmosphere throughout the year. Autumn, in particular, is a favourite time for visitors to come.

IMG_3546sdfghjk.JPGEarthenware shades of rooftops in Omiš Old Town © Marc Rowlands

Arguably, this is the time of year when Omiš's famous and distinct cuisine is at its best. Omiš's special bounty of seafood comes from its position on the Cetina river. The best-tasting Mediterranean fish and shellfish love these conditions, where the freshwater meets the saltwater. And, in autumn, the prawns, scampi and calamari are at their biggest and best. The restaurants of Omiš offer fresh, seasonal specialties every day. Their tables are taken by relaxed visitors from all over the region, drawn to the city now the summertime rush has subsided.

IMG_6040sdfghjklo.jpegSeafood is an autumn specialty at sister Omiš restaurants Puljiz and Bastion. © Marc Rowlands

But, in the hills above and behind Omiš, and along the long promenades of the Omiš riviera, different kinds of visitors can be found. The cooler temperatures of autumn are perfect for cycling, running, hiking and walking.

edfgbhnjmh.JPGStarigrad Fortress, Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Sitting 262 metres above the city, the 15th century Starigrad Fortress is a mildly challenging hike. But, even older children can easily manage it. And the views from the top are incredibly rewarding. Autumn's cooling winds blow along the water surface, cleaning the vista. You can see so much detail on the islands opposite Omiš when the air quality is like this.

For those who prefer sport and recreation of a different kind, autumn in Omiš holds four of the city's most eagerly anticipated challenges

Omiš in Autumn: Dalmatia Ultra Trail

Dalmatia_Ultra_Trailrfvbhnjk.jpgOmiš in Autumn © Dalmatia Ultra Trail

With between 60% and 80% of its entrants coming from overseas, Dalmatia Ultra Trail is among the most internationally famous of all Croatia's cross country runs. And for good reason. The scenery is spectacular. There are three route options, allowing the race to be accessible to runners of varying abilities.

Mountain Dut

Starting from the Roman town of Solin, just north of Split, Mountain Dut is the biggest challenge of this Dalmatia Ultra Trail. On a course with a total distance of 122 km, runners will ascend to Putalj and Klis, site of the famous fortress, crossing along the Dinaric Alps before dropping down to Gata in the Omiš hinterland. From there, they drop down into the spectacular Cetina river valley and run parallel to the river until Kostanje.

wedfgvbhjnmk.JPGIn the hills near the village of Gata, Ivan Meštrović's statue of Mila Gojsalić overlooks the Cetina river and Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Returning up into the hills to visit the traditional village of Zadvarje, the trail next takes runners down to beautiful Brela. Runners will pass by beautiful Brela beaches, then those of the Omiš riviera villages Pisak, Marušići, Mimice and Medići. Then, it's back up to the final stretch of hills, visiting the old village of Lokva Rogoznica on the way, before finally descending to Omiš.

Mountain Dut 2021 starts on Friday 15th October at 9pm from Solin. Trail runners have 32 hours to complete the course. Each finisher will be awarded with 5 ITRA qualification points.

Dalmatia_Ultra_Trailf.jpgOmiš in Autumn © Dalmatia Ultra Trail

Sea Dut

At 56km in length, Sea Dut offers a challenging trail set before the entire Makarska and Omiš riviera coastline. Starting in Makarska, runners rise up to the village of Kotišina, famous for its botanical gardens and castle. Thereafter, they ascend Biokovo mountain, the trail reaching almost 875 metres above sea level. They stay atop the hills all the way to Brela, where they drop down to the beach. Thereafter, they take the same course as Mountain Dut, past Pisak, Marušići, Mimice and Medići, up to Lokva Rogoznica, then down to Omiš.

Sea Dut 2021 starts on Saturday 16th October at 8am from Makarska. Trail runners have 15 hours to complete the course. Each finisher will be awarded with 3 ITRA qualification points.

tergdhgjfhkg.JPGDalmatia Ultra Trail visits some of the most traditional and timeless sections of the Omiš riviera © Marc Rowlands

Ethno Dut

With a total distance of 18km, Ethno Dut is the most accessible of the Dalmatia Ultra Trails here. Starting in Dugi Rat, runners make a moderate ascent into the hills of just under 400 metres above sea level. They maintain roughly the same altitude for the entire trail, passing Jesenice and Tugare, before dropping down into Omiš.

Ethno Dut 2021 starts on Saturday 16th October at 1pm from Dugi Rat. Trail runners have 5 hours to complete the course. Each finisher will be awarded with 1 ITRA qualification point.

Omiš in Autumn: Omiš Half Marathon

Omiš_Half_-_Marathonswdfrgtyhuj.jpgOmiš in Autumn © Omiš Half Marathon

With a backdrop of mountains and the Cetina river, the half marathon in Omiš is perhaps Croatia's most spectacular. Where else can you run a virtually flat course with such scenery accompanying you?

Of course, the striking route is facilitated by following the Cetina river canyon. When doing so, runners pass some of the best rafting, kayaking, trekking, hiking and free-climbing locations in Croatia.

In 2021, the event again has two races - the half marathon and a recreational 6 kilometre race. Both take place within the Cetina river canyon.

Omiš_Half_-_Marathonsdfghn.jpg© Omiš Half Marathon

The Omiš Half Marathon takes place on Saturday 23rd October 2021.

You can register here and entries will be accepted in person between 8 am - 9 am on the day of the race. For more details, check the event's Facebook page.

UEFA Futsal Champions League 2021

244202666_2964388060467686_6950115119302343745_n.jpgZeleno Plavi © MNK Olmissum

With the tournament celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, there's no better time for the Fifa accredited UEFA Futsal Champions League to be coming to Omiš. Better still, the hometown Futsal team, MNK Olmissum are the current national champions. They won both the cup and the league in the 2020/2021 season!

MNK_Olmissumdf.jpgChampions! © MNK Olmissum

It's been two decades since a Croatian team reached the semi-finals of the tournament. Currently, MNK Olmissum are ranked within the top 16 of all European futsal clubs. To proceed in the competition, the hometown heroes will have to come top of their group. They face opponents Leo (Armenia), Diamant Linz (Austria) and KMF FON (Serbia). They will host the group at their home ground of Ribnjak, Omiš between October 26 and 31. The matches will be televised, but what better way to enjoy than in-person?

Omiš in Autumn: Dalmatian Trail League - Mosor Grebbening

GrebMarko_Hermansdfghjk.jpg© Marko Herman

The spectacular section of the Dinaric Alps that lies to the west of Omiš is known as Mosor. It starts near Klis, above Split, and runs to the Cetina river. Mosor Grebbening is a series of trail runs through this epic mountain terrain. In 2021, it is the 9th round of the famous Dalmatian Trail League.

The event contains a choice of three adult trails and one children's race. All of the races start or end in the village of Gata, in the Omiš hinterland.

Mosor_GrebbeningdfgvbhIvo_Pešić_Golub.jpg© Ivo Pešić

Starting in Klis and finishing in Gata, Sivonja is the toughest trail. It is 37.50km in length and has a 2590m ascent. Runners have 12 hours to complete the course.

Still a tough ask, Tovar is the slightly easier choice. At 17km and with an ascent of 1270m, you're given 8 hours to complete the trail.

At 8 kilometres in length and with a 400 metre ascent, Pule is the most accessible race. It should take way less than the 4 hours allocated. The children's race is an 800 metre dash around Gata.

GrebMarko_Hermansdfghj.jpg© Marko Herman

Mosor Grebbening takes place on Saturday 13 November 2021.

Registration for the races: exclusively via the online registration form here.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Taste the Mediterranean: A Day of Exploring Traditional Croatian Gastronomy in Omiš

October 9, 2021 - To promote Split and Dalmatia as a leading Mediterranean food, wine, and travel destination, the Taste the Mediterranean Festival headed over to Radmanove Mlinice, Arsana Tasting House, and Cetina river canyon for an authentic experience of Croatian Mediterranean identity and traditional Dalmatian gastronomy.

The TTM Festival is finishing strong. For the last day of the 4-day festival, the participants departed from Briig Boutique Hotel in Split at 9:30 am and arrived safely in Omiš and were received by Arsana Tasting House. There, they were greeted with traditional food and wine including soparnik, prosciutto, and Dalmatian wines Pribidrag from Vinarija Mimica and Debit from Vinarija Ante Sladić. 

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Naturally, visiting Omiš would not be complete without exploring the Cetina river. The gloomy weather did not stop the guests from having a wonderful time in one of the most beautiful attractions in Dalmatia - the beautiful canyon of the Cetina river. "Even the rain couldn't spoil the spirit of our chefs", said one of the event coordinators.

To fully experience the rich history of Dalmatian cuisine, TTM headed over to the famous restaurant Radmanove Mlinice where they were treated with traditional Croatian food from appetizer to dessert. The menu consisted of fritule (Dalmatian fritters), fried frog legs with tartar sauce, salted and marinated anchovies, olives, and white-wine braised octopus with olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Since a traditional Dalmatian meal would not be complete without serving peka, the restaurant served veal "peka" (under the lid) with potatoes and salad as this afternoon's special main course. Radmanove Mlinice also showed the invited guests and chefs how traditional homemade bread is prepared using peka. 

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Since two of the main goals of the TTM festival are the exchange of experiences with other Mediterranean countries and education for students and professionals in the hospitality and restaurant industry, chef Ippei Uemura of Tabi Restaurant, Marseille, who won the Young Talent of the Year Gault & Millau France also conducted a masterclass for the students of Jure Kaštelan High School in Omiš.

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After a fun day outside of Split, the TTM Festival team returned back to Split to prepare for the last part of the programme which includes exclusive dinners in restaurants Zrno Soli which will be hosted by chef Stjepan Vukadin and Zora Bila which will be hosted by Chefs Sandra and Dane Tahirović. The exclusive dinner specials of TTM Festival were proven to be a hit and were enjoyed by all attendees. 

Also as part of the Taste the Mediterranean festival, the Split Restaurant Nights runs until tonight. This event offers tourists and locals special 3-course Mediterranean-Dalmatian menus including wine which is offered at promotional prices in 15 participating restaurants. The restaurants include Restaurants Atlantida, Bajamonti, Brasserie on 7, Bokeria, Corto Maltese, Dujkin dvor, Fantažija, Konoba Fetivi, Konoba Marul, Laganini, Mazzgoon, Pandora Greenbox, Portofino, Sidi bar and Šug.

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