Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Celebrated Chef Hrvoje Zirojević Leaves Laganini after 8 Years, Moves to Dvor in Split

April 14, 2021 - After eight years at Palmižana hotspot Laganini, established Split chef Hrvoje Zirojević moves back home to lead the kitchen at seaside restaurant Dvor.

Split chef Hrvoje Zirojević invented new genres in Croatian gastronomy and catering at Laganini restaurant in Palmižana. With Zirojević's innovative and passionate but always elegant fish cuisine and excellent service set in the extreme conditions of a beach restaurant, Laganini has become a restaurant institution and a model for many similar attempts.

However, after eight intensive years at Laganini, Zirojević is taking over the kitchen at popular Split restaurant Dvor. He will be succeeded at Laganini by chef Matko Bukovec.

“I felt it was time for a new phase. No less ambitious, just different," Zirojević said for Plava Kamenica.

"Apart from wanting to be closer to my family, I want to apply in a new way everything that has proven to be a winning combination for both work and guest satisfaction."

Dvor, a restaurant in an attractive Firule location that Zirojević will run in cooperation with Split restaurateur Marko Balić, will boast a concept based on a specific interaction of traditional and modern cuisine that Zirojević very successfully established at Laganini, but applied in a different, broader way.

Dvor has an aquarium with live fish, fresh French oysters, and some classic French dishes such as cold duck breast. Still, the menu also includes risotto with shrimp and asparagus and Zirojević's signature dishes such as tuna rolls with goose liver, tartare with timut peppercorns, and onion and ceviche jam.

One of the huge assets of Dvor is a beautiful terrace with a garden on the sea, in which there will be a lounge area. Although preparations for the season are still ongoing, Zirojević is already receiving guests at Dvor.

"We started calmly and quietly; the situation is still uncertain due to the pandemic; it requires experience and caution. But regardless of that, I think that the restaurant must promote quality first of all, and we still have a lot of plans in that segment. If you are really good, you will find people wherever you are," says Zirojević.

Dvor, however, will not be difficult to find. It is located in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Split, behind one of the most beautiful terraces in Split, and has one of the best Croatian chefs.

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

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Hvar Legend Dagmar Meneghello Found Guilty of Illegal Construction

July 19, 2020 - Dagmar Meneghello, a famous former journalist and current gallery owner and patron of arts, living on Sveti Klement island near Hvar for the last 50 years, has been found guilty of illegal construction on the island and sentenced to six months in jail, suspended. 

Over the years, we've written a lot about Dagmar Meneghello and the tourist, artistic and botanical paradise she and her late husband were able to create in the last half-century on Sveti Klement (often called Palmižana), one of the several islets near Hvar town, called the Paklinski Islets (again, often erroneously called Pakleni otoci, which would translate to English as "Hell Islands" - they literally have nothing to do with "hell") - you can read some of those stories here, or here, or here... Now, the dream has once again found itself in the Croatian media, but this time because of these less charming reasons.

Vladimir Urukalo writes for Slobodna Dalmacija how the Split Municipal court found her guilty of illegal construction work performed on her property, and sentenced her to six months in jail, suspended. They claim that, back in April of 2015, she built two walls, a septic tank, some stairs on the terrain, and a small room, without any permits and against the law and zoning plans. She did all that, they say, while knowing that the construction was being performed on a protected area, one of the special interest for the state. 

She claims that she's innocent and has been wrongly accused, as the wall has been there for over fifty years, it has deteriorated significantly and the authorities were supposed to take care of its condition, but never did, so she had it redone, to prevent the slippage of the soil into the sea of the bay. As for the septic tank, she claims it was built 20 years prior, and the stairs were built entirely on her property, to allow visitors to descend to the beach. Her lawyers provided evidence that the wall has been there for at least 50 years, as well as the evidence that she had indeed requested interventions on it by the authorities. They admitted that the slippage of the soil has occurred, but that they have no money in the budget or the time to fix it - so Dagmar went ahead with the construction on her own. 



Wednesday, 13 June 2018

VERY Rare Real Estate Indeed: Who Wants to Live on Palmizana, Paradise Near Hvar?

June 13, 2018 - Hardly anyone lives there, but it is once of the most idyllic places on the Adriatic - a VERY rare opportunity to own on the fabled Pakleni Islands near the island of Hvar. 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Magic of Meneghello's and Palmižana through Photos

See the magic of Meneghello's and Palmižana through the talented eye of Ivo Pervan…

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Top 5 Hvar: Best Beaches on the Pakleni Islands

March 25, 2018 - TCN continues looking at the best beaches in Croatia. This time here is Top 5 Hvar, the best beaches on the Pakleni Islands.


© Romulic & Stojcic

Today we're exploring the beaches of the Pakleni Islands, a place many of you who have visited Hvar know well. The Pakleni Islands are located just off the southeast coast of Hvar island, and if you’ve ever stood on Hvar’s famous Riva promenade or climbed to the top of the fortress in Hvar Town, then you’ve undoubtedly made eyes with this chain of isles. 

Though popularly translated to “Hell’s Islands”, the Pakleni Islands actually get their name from the word ‘paklina’, referring to the pine resin once used for shipbuilding. The largest island in the Pakleni group is Sveti Klement, while Marinkovac (famous for Stipanska Bay) and Jerolim see the footprints of Hvar tourists steadily throughout the peak season.

At approximately 10 kilometers in length, the Pakleni Islands are a jewel of Dalmatia that attracts many sailors, sun-seekers, swimmers, nudists, and nature lovers throughout the busy summer. While they are anything but undiscovered today, Pakleni does boast some of the best swimming spots in the region - and with the scorching days quickly approaching, we’re confident you’ll be adding these sunny sanctuaries to your Hvar to-do list. 

Without further ado, here’s a look at the best beaches to visit on your Hvar Town holiday. 


We’ll start with a beach on Sveti Klement I have frequented for years and easily consider my favorite in the area - Vlaka. Located on Sveti Klement’s northern shore, Vlaka is the go-to for those looking to escape the busy crowds and blistering heat of Hvar town to instead relax in the quiet of a glistening bay. Home to vineyards, the remains of a Roman spa, and magical mud used by locals to heal their skin, Vlaka boasts very few amenities. In fact, the nearest restaurant, Dionis, is a good hike up the hill - but surrounded by olive trees, citrus, lavender, the smells of freshly caught fish on the grill, and a limited menu including only what the family-run establishment could find that day makes the trip well worth the effort. Their aubergine pie, local wine, and zucchini fritters have tourists returning to this rustic restaurant on each visit back to the island - and this, I promise, is something I can confirm. If you’re hoping to see Vlaka with a bit more life, an excellent time to visit is on the last Sunday in July where the inhabitants of the island celebrate their patron saint, Sv. Klement. Flagging down a taxi boat from Hvar's Riva makes Vlaka accessible in no time, and remember, it's smart to prepare your beach mats, snacks, drinking water, and anything else you might need for a day at the beach - you won't find anything to buy on these rocky shores.

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© Visit Hvar


Located in the bay next to Palmižana, beachgoers looking to steer clear of the typically rocky and pebbled beaches will find their safe haven at Perna, one of the only sandy beaches the Pakleni Islands' offer. Perna is a sandy-bottomed beach which welcomes those looking to break away from the loud music, beach bars, in-your-face-advertising and busy crowds - and yes, this is another beach where visitors should prepare their beach-day essentials, from snacks and water to mats and activities for the kids. Perna beach brings in tourists by taxi boat and even kayakers row their way to this bay for a visit. Perna bay is also one of the most interesting in the Pakleni chain as it has been home to tourism since 1906. To give you an idea, this is five years before the first hotel opened in Jelsa. 


© Romulic & Stojcic


While the island of Marinkovac in the Pakleni chain is most famous for Stipanska, one of my favorite bays here is Ždrilca. Located on the opposite side of Marinkovac island, Ždrilca is easily connected from Hvar Town by water taxi and accessible in minutes (and a round-trip ride here will cost you just 40 kuna). A good place to visit if you’re looking for a beach day with all the bells and whistles, Ždrilca not only offers wonderful dining options (Tre Grede being exceptionally good), but it also supplies all of the amenities including lounge chair rentals, umbrellas, bean bags, massages, and even mats covering the pebbled-beach for easy access to the water. A shallow beach that is inviting for both young children and grandparents, the more adventurous swimmers at Ždrilca can hop over the hill for a clothesless dip on the rocky coastline opposite the main part of the beach.

Though the video below shows Ždrilca and konoba Tre Grede in 1991, you'll be pleased to know that it doesn't look so different today. 


© Romulic & Stojcic



A beach most of you may know well is Stipanska, also located on the island of Marinkovac. Home to Carpe Diem beach, Stipanska is not only a paradise for those looking to enjoy a top-class beach club by day, but at night, Carpe Diem beach hosts a full moon party which sees Hvar nightlife at its peak. If you’re not looking to party at this beach until the early morning hours, Carpe Diem is a stunning island oasis for 20-somethings where all of the amenities can be found for the perfect beach day, from lounge chair rentals, cabanas, and umbrellas to chill music, a swanky restaurant, and hip cocktail bar. Perhaps best of all, for those looking to strip their swimsuits, Carpe Diem also claims to be nudist friendly. Carpe Diem beach at Stipanska is one of the closest beaches to Hvar town, and easily accessible by water taxi during the day and night. 


Last but not least, we bring you CNN’s top FKK beach in the world in 2011, Kordovon on Jerolim island. Though most people know Jerolim for ‘Amo Beach’, precisely where the taxi boat arrives, if you walk just 40 meters through the woods, quirky artwork, and nap hammocks, you’ll find a utopia that not only brings out the best in nude beach culture, but is one of the most relaxing ways to spend your day. Though lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent (and at one of the more reasonable prices in the area), Kordovon doesn’t offer much else for beachgoers. Mare’s Place, however, does offer cold drinks and some light snacks, and if beachgoers need to escape the scorching sun, they can chill under the pines and admire the driftwood-crafted art made by local artists. Jerolim's Kordovon beach is the perfect pebbled paradise and is located less than 10 minutes away from Hvar Town. 

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Learn more about Hvar on our TC page.

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

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Meneghello Villas, Bungalows, Houses

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Learning to Freedive in Croatia with World-Class Professionals (Video)

On the 26th September 2017, we learned to free dive with World Champion Lidija Lijić and Vitomir Maričić; it was an incredible experience and we made a video to prove it!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Learn to Freedive with World Champion Lidija Lijić

World Champion Lidija Lijić, along with freediving instructor Vitomir Maričić, will be holding two 6-day freediving courses on Saint Klement, Palmižana; from 16th – 22nd September and 23rd – 29th September 2017.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Times Names 20 Top Places to Stay in Croatia

On 27 May, 2017, The Times released another of its popular series listing twenty top places to stay in Croatia and we weren't surprised to find Hvar, seaside villas and lighthouses dominating the list.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković Unveils Exhibition “Passionate Beauty”

Plenković stated the government and Culture Ministry will find institutional and financial ways to support numerous projects in Croatian culture

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