Thursday, 7 October 2021

Mediterranean Monk Seal Supposedly Sighted After 10 Years Near Pag

October 7, 2021 - The last time a Mediterranean monk seal was seen in Croatian waters was in 2011, near Proboj. In the past, the species was hunted vilely, and therefore its small population and the rarity of its sighting. Ten years later, fishermen have once again seen one swimming in the waters of Pag.

A Mediterranean monk seal was spotted in the waters of the island of Pag, writes Morski.hr. According to the information of several fishermen, the Mediterranean monk seal was seen in the Pag Gate at the junction of the Pag Bay and the Velebit Channel, and in the area of ​​Punta sv. Nicholas.

As Radio Pag reminds us, the Mediterranean monk seal on the island of Pag was researched more than 30 years ago by prof.dr.sc. Hrvoje Gomerčić from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb, who stated in his paper on this research that two Mediterranean monk seals had a habitat near the Pag Bridge.

During the research, Professor Gomerčić stated that as early as the beginning of the 1990s, this pair of Mediterranean monk seals were no longer seen in their habitat. The Mediterranean monk seal was seen again on Pag in 2008 near Dinjiška, and in 2011 near Proboj, and now ten years later it has been seen in the waters of Pag.

It is assumed that these are Mediterranean monk seals that came to Pag from another area, but there are also opinions that they may live permanently in the waters of Pag. The answer to this question, however, should be given by experts.

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) lives on reefs, in caves and grottoes, in isolated and hard-to-reach rocky areas. There is enough of all this on the shores of the island of Pag and that is why scientists believe that Pag is an ideal area for the life of the Mediterranean monk seal.

Although it was a resident of the Adriatic, it is known that in 1964 the last specimen of the Mediterranean monk seal that lived in the Croatian part of the Adriatic was killed. This species was exterminated in the Adriatic mainly by fishermen and fishing tools, so it did not exist for decades. It reappeared in the early 2000s, and the last one seen in the northern Adriatic, in 2014, died of old age. Since then, there have been no members of its species in the Croatian sea, just as there were none before it.

The Mediterranean monk seal is protected by the Nature Protection Act, and according to the Ordinance on the amount of compensation for damage caused by illegal actions on protected animal species, the fine for killing a Mediterranean monk seal is 100,000 kuna. The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals and probably the rarest seal in the world.

Source: Jutarnji List

For more information about the Mediterranean monk seal, check its profile at the Blue World Institute website.

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

Friday, 1 October 2021

''Your Pag'' Won Silver Klapa at Viva Film Festival in Sarajevo

October 1st, 2021 - The film ''Your Pag'' was directed by the experienced Antea Ratković and greatly highlights the attractions of the island, such as its destinations, landscapes, activities, gastronomy, and people. At the recent Viva Film Festival in Sarajevo, it won the Silver Klapa in the tourism category.

At the international documentary film festival Viva Film Festival, held in Sarajevo, the promotional film "Your Pag" won second place in the competition of tourist films: the Silver Klapa. The inclusion in the festival program alone was a success in itself because as many as 1,775 films from 131 countries were submitted in three categories: ecology, tourism, and religion.

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Photo: Viva Film Festival Official Facebook Page

31 works from 28 countries found their place at the Festival, including "Your Pag". After the award received in Poland, the tourist film of the island of Pag thus again won international recognition.

Let us remind you that the promo film was shot last year at numerous locations on the island of Pag. This is the result of cooperation between the tourist boards of Novalja, Pag, Stara Novalja, Kolan, and Povljana. The message of the film is "No Man is an Island..yet we are all looking for one…" and shows everything that makes the island of Pag and the people who live on it recognizable.

The film "Your Pag" is directed by Antea Ratković, who already has experience in shooting tourist promo films for which she was awarded, Moonstone Production d.o.o. was in charge of production, and Libra d.o.o. for the script.

''Your Pag'', directed by Antea Ratković

A total of ten works from the same number of countries were in the competition of tourist films. In addition to the Croatian representative, there were also films from Austria, Colombia, France, Egypt, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, and Russia, where the first prize went, the Golden Klapa.

The international festival of ecological, tourist, and religious film Viva Film Festival was held for the seventh time. It is a documentary and short film festival hosted by Sarajevo, but the program is held throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was founded by an international team of film professionals, ecologists, diplomats, religious leaders, and scientists, and the first edition was held in 2015.

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Zrće COVID-19 Testing: 2-3 Infections Out of Average 2,000 Daily Tests

August 8, 2021 - Zrće COVID-19 testing is producing better results than expected. Out of almost 2,000 daily tests, only 2-3 return positive. 

The party island of Pag, and especially Zrće, remembers better days. Although up to five thousand people are there at night, it cannot be compared to 2019, when up to 13 thousand young people danced until the early morning hours. But tourism officials say the season is still better than last year. There are 4 testing points on the beach. More than 90 percent of the guests are foreigners, reports HRT.

Marsha came from Germany and broke her foot on the first day of her vacation in Novalja. She was so drunk that she didn't even notice, she told HRT. She added that ‘it doesn’t matter, mainly that she is negative for coronavirus.’

And to enter the beach after 9 pm, a negative test result or a Covid confirmation is required, along with the obligatory identification, so that there is no cheating. And then it all needs to be shown again in front of the club.

"We test an average of about 1,500 to 2,000 people a day at all points on the beach. On average, two to three of them are positive per day. One day there were eight of them," said Darko Božićev, a representative of the beach concessionaire.

They are being tested, among others, by Hilmo Demirović - a young medic who likes what he does on Zrće, even though he is there until 4 am. In case of a positive result, he explained, that person is automatically isolated through the passage, sent home, and is contacted by the epidemiologist immediately.

Then, if there is a possibility of repatriation or own transport - that person immediately returns to their place of residence, said Ivan Peranić, Chief of the Novalja Civil Protection Headquarters. 

Hassan from Germany and Alexander from France hope that they won't suffer that fate. They were vaccinated and said they had to come to Zrće. Alexander's mother was born in Split.

"Unfortunately, there is a lot of resistance in our country for vaccination - especially among young people. Unlike these young guests who are vaccinated in 90 percent of cases. That is fantastic," said Šime Oštarić, director of the Zrće beach concessionaire.

When it comes to the number of guests, the situation on Zrće is better than last year. But they are hoping for even bigger numbers soon. 

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and choose your preferred language.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Austria Goes Zrće: Austrian Embassy in Zagreb Claims 250 COVID-19 Cases Connected to Croatia

July 31, 2021 - The Austrian Embassy in Zagreb has claimed that 250 positive COVID-19 cases in Austria are connected to the Austria Goes Zrće event in Novalja. 

"According to the information provided to the Embassy by the Austrian authorities, the festival "Austria goes Zrće" held in Novalja is likely the cause of the spread of coronavirus infection among the participants in that event. As of today, 250 festival visitors have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Austria."

This is the answer from the Austrian Embassy in Zagreb to Novi List's question about how the Austrian media pointed out that in Croatia, at the festival in Novalja from 17 to 24 July, as many as 94 Austrians became infected with the coronavirus.

This caused a great deal of shock, and the competent services in Novalja reacted immediately to refute everything. According to their medically-based data, not a single Austrian left Novalja infected. Moreover, in Novalja, there are secured accommodation facilities in which all infected, if they wish, can spend an epidemiologically defined period before returning to their countries healthy.

The Austrian embassy wisely emphasizes the category of "probable," which, of course, gives the story a different light. Therefore, there is no definite claim because in Novalja, as in all other Croatian tourist centers, rigorous measures of testing and protection of tourists are implemented. After all, stringent police measures are in place to control the implementation of prominent epidemiological measures.

Given the seriousness of the situation and the severity of the claim, inquiries about the implementation of measures to clarify the situation were sent from Novi List to the Croatian Embassy in Austria, which in turn redirected them to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Still, neither they nor the Ministry of Interior responded to Novi List. 

More than 19,000 people came to the festival from Austria, most of them in their own cars or buses, according to Austrian media.

Judging by the statement of the Austrian embassy, ​​they diplomatically distanced themselves from the categorical claims of the Austrian media, claiming that the festival was a 'probable cause'.

The Novalja Civil Protection Headquarters and the local Tourist Board on Thursday refuted the articles according to which the "Austria goes Zrce" Festival was a breeding ground for at least 94 Austrians suffering from Covid-19. They pointed out then that there were 12 coronavirus positives in their quarantine and that there were no Austrians among them.

The head of the Novalja headquarters, Ivan Peranić, sharply denied the reports that there were 19,000 Austrian tourists at the festival and that there was a mass infection among them. He pointed out that in a week, from July 17 to 24, 12,151 tests were performed. Some people, he added, have been tested several times. 16 coronavirus positives were detected, but none of them were from Austria.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel, testing, and quarantine rules, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Pag Island Transformation: From Party Destination to Adventurous Vacation

July 29, 2021 -  For a very long time, the island of Pag's chief tourist attraction has been loud, late-night parties at Zrće beach. Now, as the events of the past year and a half forced the tourist sector to give up their rinse-and-repeat method of operating, Pag has finally seized upon the many opportunities of its unique landscape. Enter Pag Outdoor Summer, aimed at transforming Pag into a destination ideal for an adventurous vacation. A look at the Pag Island transformation. 

Pag is slowly but surely reinventing itself as a multifaceted destination. In the past few years, Moon Island, as it's been nicknamed due to its vast barren landscape, has been going through a touristic renaissance.

Perhaps taking note of the example set by the island of Hvar, Pag is taking its place in the world as a luxury tourism destination with its UNESCO-protected intangible heritage (Pag lace), award-winning Camping Village Šimuni,  champion cheeses, and the star-studded cast of regular visitors, such as Zlatko Dalić, Luka Modrić, and Dejan Lovren, who owns a four-star hotel in the town of Novalja.

Or maybe the tourist directors have simply learnt the importance of clear and optimistic communication from Boškinac, Croatia's latestMichelin star restaurant and boutique hotel, which has been fully booked all throughout the season of 2020 when even the most popular destinations suffered losses.

When I was a child, all of Pag's riches - the cheese, the lace, the salt - even the 1600 years old olive gardens of Lun were poorly advertized to potential markets. Just like a treasure, they have been kept from the world, but not because they were considered too precious to share. It was because there was no one with the skills and knowledge of how to utilize them. Thus, the island was left to the winds of chance (and since Pag gets the front row seat when it comes to the effects of the Bura wind, this was an intended pun).

Though it left a large portion of the island bare of much vegetation, the Bura wind provided unique conditions for a number of activities: from the production of the famous Pag cheese to posing as a set for film crews in search of unusual locations - the opportunities which were luckily recognized and seized.

Last year, when maintaining good health became more important than ever, the people in charge finally came up with a plan for turning Pag's understated natural beauties into a tourist product.

Finally, the times were changing. Pag Outdoor Weekend was born.

What is particularly encouraging about this project, as I have found out through my research, is the fact that the plan of making Pag  an active tourism destination actually started years ago with the collaboration of Pag's six tourist boards. Thus, five years ago, the predecessor of Pag Outdoor - Pag Island Trail & Trekk race - colloquially known as Life on Mars, as a tribute to Pag's distinctive terrain - was presented to the world. 

In 2021, the tourist boards decided to take a step further with the creation of Pag Outdoor Summer, a project which will try to extend the season and diversify the tourist offer. 

The project is based on four main activities: biking, hiking, cycling, and kayaking. Nothing was left to chance. Long before the first tourists arrived, the first phase of building, marking, and tidying a comprehensive infrastructure of trails infrastructure had been finished, ably supported by a financial injection by the Ministry of Tourism.

Accompanied by professional guides and mountaineers, tourists are invited to take part in free hiking, cycling, and walking tours all across the island. The routes carry attractive names sure to pique your interest: The Embrace of Stone and Wind (a cycling tour to Pag's windmills), The Sunny Hour Tour above the Vlašići settlement, known for its sand beaches and for the dreamers who fancy walking under the starry skies - The Night of the Full Moon tour, which ends on a beach overlooking the town of Pag just in time to catch the first glimmering rays of the Sun at dawn. (Be sure to check the photo gallery below.)

So far, the public reaction has been more than positive. Although Pag has long been known as a great hiking destination among nature lovers, never before has there been an organized attempt to market it to the wider public. Though only the area around Novalja can boast green Mediterranean forests, all across the island, Pag's mountain trails are bathed in the scent of lavender, sage, and precious immortelle - and if you start your trek in Pag, you'll be greeted by a nature reserve Dubrava -Hanzine, which translated to English means 'a forest of oaks'. Yes, on an island where few evergreens survive, there are endemic species of deciduous trees!

If you continue hiking further up, the stony greys of the mountains will contrast with the deep blues of the sea surrounding Pag Bay, and the relief carvings the persistent Bura wind has created in the rocks are sure to awaken your imagination.

Pag is the northern Adriatic's best-kept secret - don't miss a chance to discover it.

An overview of trails covered by Pag Outdoor:

 camera: Elvis Šmit

video editing: Alan Crljenko

 And this is how it looks in practice:

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credit: Fran Bukša

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credit: Alan Crljenkio

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credit: Elvis Šmit

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credit: Alan Crljenko

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credit: Fran Bukša

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credit: Alan Crljenko

alan_crljenko_3.jpg

credit: Alan Crljenko

 

 

For more on travel in Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Sonus Festival on Pag Island Moves to August 2022 Due to COVID-19 Uncertainty

June 9, 2021 - The popular Pag Island music festival Sonus has been postponed until next summer due to the restrictions and uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sonus organizers released a statement about the news on Tuesday: 

"Because of the global ongoing uncertainty around the Coronavirus pandemic, it is with a heavy heart that we cancel Sonus Festival 2021. Given all the limitations and restrictions we expected to encounter, we do not believe that we could have presented an experience worthy of what Sonus stands for. Safety comes first, and so we have made the tough decision to postpone to the week from August 21st - August 25th, 2022. 

When the time finally comes, you can expect a typically world-class Sonus line-up - a high calibre selection of the house and techno talents who have helped make Sonus one of Europe's most essential summer festivals."

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Says Sonus's Robin Ebinger, "This is a hugely difficult decision, but it is in everyone's best interests, and we are optimistic that soon we will all have the Pag Island sand between our toes again. To all 2020 ticket holders: please check your inbox for more details regarding a refund or the ticket transfer process."

Because a lot of fans have kept hold of their 2020 tickets, and with high demand expected for the 2022 ticket sale, make sure to sign up for the limited Early Bird Private Pre-Sale starting on the 18th of June to secure your chance to dance next year! 

You can stay up to date with all Sonus new HERE

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

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Promotional Film "My Novalja on the Island Of Pag" Wraps Up Production

May 15, 2021 - A German film crew visited Novalja last week to shoot a promotional film called ‘‘My Novalja on the Island of Pag’’, and will premiere in mid-June 2021.

The Tourist Board of the City of Novalja, in cooperation with the company Pointers Travel d.o.o. and in co-production with the German production company Blue Planet TV from Berlin, agreed to collaborate on a 22-minute report on the tourist destination Novalja called Meine Novalja Auf Dem Inseln Pag (My Novalja on the Island of Pag)

As turistickeprice.hr reports, from 6 to 13 May 2021, the German film crew visited the city of Novalja and shot a promotional film that will be shown from mid-June 2021 through a minimum of 30 broadcasts on numerous TV stations throughout the Western European market. Five people from Blue planet TV production and two people from the Osijek company Pointers Travel d.o.o., video and TV production department, took part in the production of this format, and they are also actively involved in the organization of production.

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The host of the travel promotional film with the working title "My Novalja on the Island of Pag" is the famous German actor Oliver Hörner, who will guide viewers through a report on Novalja and all its peculiarities.

The report will be shown and promoted through numerous channels, which will achieve multi-million viewers, namely: broadcasting on ANIXE auf Reisen (one of the most popular German travel channels), NTV, RNF (Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar, Mannheim). Also, the report will be distributed via the Waipu TV platform, as well as Amazon Prime and Samsung TV Plus channels.

‘‘Our expectations are that with this project and the recorded report, Novalja will certainly become an even more important destination, which in this way will directly access the German-speaking market and beyond and show all its attractions that make it special and set it apart from other tourist destinations’’, said the Director of the Tourist Board of Novalja, Marina Šćiran Rizner.

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The filming started in Novalja: on its squares, in the churches of St. Catherine and Our Lady of the Rosary within which there is a floor mosaic from the 4th century, in the City Museum from which one enters the unique Ancient aqueduct from the 1st century, on the Rose of the Winds, the city beaches. Furthermore, it was filmed in the Straško camp, the Liberty, Olea and Boškinac hotels, Novaljsko polje, Stara Novalja, the Žigljen ferry port, the Pag bridge and numerous beaches in the City area.

Through the magical Gardens of Lun Olives, where the famous actor was greeted by a girl in traditional costume with a basket of local delicacies, he rode a horse to the oldest olive, tasted raspberry oil, and drank tea from Lun olive leaves.

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In the early morning hours, when the team was hosted by extremely kind hosts - the owners of the family farm VIDAS, Mr. Oliver taught the sheep how to make Pag cheese, and for breakfast, homemade delicacies were served, such as Pag curd. At the host family farm Škunca, the team enjoyed the immortelle fields, listening with great interest to the story of organic production and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants.

‘‘This is my first time on your island and I am really amazed by its landscapes and places. I can't help but get the impression that adventures like cycling, trekking, kayaking are waiting for you around every corner. I am also delighted with your cultural and historical sites. I will definitely be back to your beautiful island again’’, Oliver Hörner pointed out with enthusiasm.

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All the interesting content listed here, framed in the story that will be told through this film, will surely intrigue and arouse interest in choosing a destination for German tourists for the upcoming summer season, convinced that Novalja will be their first choice.

‘‘Tourists from Germany have been realizing almost the largest tourist traffic in Novalja for many years, and our mission is to constantly invest in promotional activities in the main traditional emitting markets, which in the 2020 season showed their loyalty in choosing Croatia and Novalja as their first summer destinations’’, added Marina Šćiran Rizner.

The promotional film was filmed in the city of Novalja, which is located on the island of Pag, and you can find more information about what it can offer you on your next trip, in Total Croatia’s Pag in a page, HERE. Total Croatia’s articles are now available in your language!

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Pag Becomes One of the Most Desirable Active Croatian Destinations

April 12, 2021 - PAG OUTDOOR is turning Pag into one of the most active Croatian destinations. 

As hrturizam.hr reports, it all started with the synergy of the Tourist Boards of the island of Pag (Novalja Tourist Board, Pag Tourist Board, Kolan Tourist Board, Povljana Tourist Board, and Stara Novalja Tourist Board) which have been participating in the promotion of the island as one destination for many years. In parallel with the development of the Pag Outdoor program, last year's Pag Summer Outdoor Weekend program was implemented, and today the first and most comprehensive phase of building the bike and trails infrastructure of the island is coming to an end.

The success of the Pag Outdoor project was accompanied by the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which provided 150,000 kunas for the implementation of the entire project. The arrangement of all trails on the island of Pag is currently underway. Thus, the Tourist Board of the City of Pag continues to break through, trace, clean, and soon mark new trails in its area that will be included in the Pag Outdoor project.

"Two new, fantastic trails funded by the Tourist Board of the City of Pag are Alan Crljenko, Pag mountaineer and nature lover, a man who knows every corner of our beautiful island and we continued our excellent cooperation that began two years ago when the hiking trail from Lokva to Glacier to St. Quirina. In the meantime, the island's tourist boards have launched a joint Pag Outdoor project, and this trail has fit in perfectly with our planned activities. All three trails will have the common name The Other Side of the Moon…, and we do not need to explain the name in particular," said Vesna Karavanić, director of the Pag Tourist Board.

"After two years and the completion of the first hiking trail, the time has come to build two new trails near the town of Pag on Ledenik, one of the most beautiful and attractive parts of the island of Pag. One will go in a circle around Punta Mikula, and the other to the bay of Veli Zaton. I am happy that the trails will be traced, breached, cleaned, and marked by mid-June. In this way, this gem of Pag's nature will soon be available to all who want to enjoy it, but at the same time, it should remain as nature created it. Therefore, I appeal to the awareness of all future visitors, as well as the authorities, that this fascinating part of the island is preserved in its original, natural form," said Alan Crljenko.

Martin Čotar, a celebrated Croatian cyclist and certainly, the first person for the development of cycling tourism in Croatia, agreed with his statement, emphasizing that it is very important to preserve everything so that it is not destroyed and the natural beauty remains as it is now.

Outdoor islands of Pag are connected by four standard activities (bike, trail, climbing, kayaking), but since it positions them in an absolutely unique environment of Pag nature, they become one of the development moments where tourism of this island of interesting shape will develop in several directions.

The time will extend the calendar season to at least eight months, and at the same time enrich the tourist offer with these attractive facilities and definitely become a motive for coming to the island of Pag. Most importantly, everything is done according to standards, not pro forma.

Because "Moon Island" will, through this project, become one of the most desirable active or outdoor Croatian destinations with a complete outdoor story.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Party Tourism in Novalja No Longer the Focus, More Content for Locals Announced

April 7, 2021 - Renowned for Zrće Beach and the partying that goes on there, party tourism in Novalja is no longer in focus, as the mayor is shifting towards content for the local community.

Novalja on Pag island is one of Croatia's biggest hotspots to visit over summer. Zrće Beach is a world-renowned synonym for partying and all the crazy fun things that come with sipping cocktails on the beach next to the clear Adriatic Sea at any time of the day while some of the biggest names of the international DJ and music scene are in their finest element.

Still, as the Croatian tourist offer, in general, tries to break out of the perception that Croatia is great „only for summer“ and also tries to popularise other parts of the country that are a bit further from the coastline, Novalja is on a mission of its own - to break the stereotype that „it's just for partying“.

As Večernji List reports, Ante Dabo, the mayor of Novalja for two the past two terms, is more than aware that Zrće is vital to Novalja's tourism, but the town is heavily working to offer more content to visitors.

„From 2017 to 2019, we invested 48 million kuna in capital projects and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we invested 51 million kuna in 2020 alone“, said Dabo for Večernji List.

One of such projects is using the town's own funds for the Grozdenica culture centre. This new centre is imagined to be the core of cultural events in Novalja, and given it's a multifunctional hall with 210 seats and a stage with the most modern equipment, there is no doubt it will spot on for hosting cinema screenings, conferences, concerts, and theatre plays.

The new port and Marina are also part of the branding scheme to further position Novalja by attracting nautical tourism.

„We reduced taxes so new hotels could be easily opened, but we will allow building hotels that have less than four stars. We want quality hotels that will accept guests in the winter months to extend the season. We relied more on private accommodations but we also have hotel capacities of high standards and 600 more beds in comparison to 2019“, said Dabo commenting on changes in urban planning that forbids building hotels that have less than four stars.

The mayor also adds how Pag has rich cultural and archaeological findings along with heritage, natural wonders tracking, and bike tracks for recreational tourism.

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Ante Dabo screenshot / LIKA CLUB

Caring for locals and not just for visitors

Zrće brings money, Zrće is a party hotspot, and Zrće is also loud and a threat to the peace of locals who don't visit clubs and events themselves. As Večernji List reminds, Dabo became known to the broader public in Croatia for introducing rules of conduct for tourists and for reducing the noise from Zrće.

„Zrće is too big of a brand to say it's not needed for Novalja, but everyday activity on Zrće needs to be reduced. That's the solution to compromise for party people and for other guests who are interested in a more peaceful vacation“, said Dabo referring to Novalja's need to escape from the monoculture of partying.

Locals are happy too as Novalja has the biggest budget when counted by the number of residents in all of Croatia, according to the Institute of Public Finance. A lot is also done for young families. By further rebuilding the kindergarten, Novalja will have more significant capacities to take care of the kids while parents are working. A low-energy building was built with the partial help of the EU funds, and the firefighter station is being reconstructed (also by EU funds) to ensure every service for protection and rescue can be in one place. The EU project of developing an entrepreneur zone Čiponjac worth 10 million kuna is also done, an entrepreneur incubator Ragan worth 12.5 million kuna, and a design to boost local-level entrepreneurship recently started, too. Business spaces are offered to new and young entrepreneurs at affordable prices.

The biggest project for Novalja, however, is Aglomeracija Novalja, which enhances agglomeration and water infrastructure with a new biological purifier for wastewater. Fifty kilometers of pipes are incorporated in the new sewer system that stretches through Metajna, Barbat, and Stara Novalja to the new purifier in the Vrtić district. Aglomeracija Novalja, worth 72 million kuna, and financed by EU funds up to 72%, makes Novalja a small town that is revitalizing, despite the corona crisis.

Learn more about Novalja and the island of Pag on our TC Page.  

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

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from March 22-28, 2021

March 28, 2021 – From Croatian destinations drawing more attention to Covid business support plans in April, here are TCN's five highlights of the week, recapping the big events in Croatia from March 22 to 28, 2021.

Looking back on the past week, after a year of downfall, it is clear that Croatia is recovering in a very positive way. The pandemic has put the world on hold for a while; despite the uncertain times, Croatia is moving forward. Businesses around the country will continue to receive government support in the form of financial aid throughout April, there are plans for mass vaccination in Zagreb after Easter, and another boost for Croatian tourism is in the works - and that is just part of it. 

From Monday to Sunday, we list five events featured on the front pages of Croatia's news portals.

PM Andrej Plenkovic Confirms Covid Support for Businesses in April 

Following a recently held cabinet meeting, Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic confirmed that the government will continue to provide support for companies that qualify during April. Additionally, the government will reimburse electricity bills for all citizens affected by the Petrinja earthquake to aid. The HAC toll fee collections along the Zagreb-Sisak motorway will also be reimbursed. 

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Andrej Plenković. Photo: Davorin Visnjic/PIXSELL

Mass Zagreb Citizen Vaccination to Commence After Easter 

Despite the recent vaccine delivery dynamics Croatia has been through, Dr. Zvonimir Sostar, the director of Zagreb's Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute, confirmed a large vaccination will be organized in the Capital. The aim is to vaccinate around 6,000 citizens a day, six days a week which approximately equals 36,000 vaccinated people.

 syringe-3359627_1280-2.jpgPixabay

Just over 100,000 people have been vaccinated in Zagreb in two different phases. Due to vaccine shipment delivery issues, Croatia hasn't received the Moderna vaccine for the third week in a row, affecting the plans. But the country is hopeful the situation will improve following the Easter holidays. 

Plaja-Beach Finder: Croatian App to Digitalise All of Country's Beaches 

To help tourists answer the famous "Where is the beach?" question, a Croatian mobile app made by a Split resident will make everyone's life a little bit easier. Research has shown that this is the most common question asked by tourists in all areas of Croatia, from Dubrovnik all the way to Pula. After working in tourism for 15 years, Dejan Gepo saw the need to create an online beach guide to suit everyone's needs and minimize paper waste with useless and outdated maps. 

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Pixabay

Each beach has a detailed description written by the Tourist Board, including the location, content on offer, and images. There is a navigation option that enables tourists to find the beach easily, and there is an option where you can virtually view every beach via 360 views. Users can provide comments and rankings for each beach depending on experience, enabling tourists to find their perfect beach match. 

The Plaja-Beach Finder mobile app has been available for download since January the 24th this year and has been downloaded more than a thousand times so far.

EuroNight Train: Slovaks, Austrians Introduce Line to Split, Tickets On Sale 

Despite the continued uncertainty that Coronavirus presents and the reduction of air traffic, Austrians and Slovaks will introduce a brand new night train line in the summer of 2021. The route, starting from Bratislava, passes through Vienna and Graz with the Dalmatian City of Split as the final stop. 

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Pixabay, Split

The EuroNight train plans to commence on June 18th, 2021, to run twice a week until the end of the summer season, mid-September 2021. Tickets can already be purchased from Vienna to Split,  29.90 euros for seats and 69.90 for beds.

The night trains allow guests to travel in a more sustainable way and aids in reducing climate change. 

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Defeats Cyprus 1:0 in Rijeka 

After losing to Slovenia last week, Croatia came back strong and won against Cyrus as an outstanding highlight of the week. Croatia and Cyrus played last night in Rijeka for the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers Group H.

Croatia's coach, Zlatko Dalić switched up the lineup for the game, going for a 4-3-3 formation. Croatia was powerful from the start of the game with Mario Pašalić scoring from a header for 1:0, in the 39th minute. Luka Modrić also recorded his 135th cap for the national team, making him the most-capped player in Croatia history! 

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Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

The loss to Slovenia complicated their road to the World Cup, as only the group winner qualifies directly for Qatar 2022. Croatia will play Malta on Tuesday in Rijeka at 20:45. 

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

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