Sunday, 31 October 2021

Best Croatian Nature and National Parks For Autumn 2021

October 31, 2021 – With treetops turning orange, red, yellow, purple and brown, the Croatian landscape is at its most colourful right now. These are the best Nature and National Parks for Autumn 2021

Krka National Park

Krka_National_Park2.jpg© Krka National Park

Famous for waterfalls that crash down only a few kilometres from the beaches of Šibenik, there are in fact a series of 7 waterfalls in the park. Several are far from the shoreline. You'll find some deep in the hinterland of Šibenik-Knin County because Krka National Park extends over 100 square kilometres. The river valley and its surroundings are crossed by numerous cycling paths and hiking trails. Now is one of the best times to explore them.

Krka_National_Park.jpg© Krka National Park

If you want to read more about Krka National Park, then look here

Where to stay: The city of Šibenik is truly a year-round destination, with famous fortresses, restaurants, first-class accommodation and brilliant options for active recreation.

Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park

Samobor_by_silvijabutkovic.photographer.jpg© Silvija Butković

Covering a vast 342 square kilometres, Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park is an epic and varied landscape. Best explored on long hikes, you'll discover rolling hills, mountain meadows, water mills sitting by streams, historic churches and chapels and charming rural communities.

Samoborsko_Zumberak.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Where to stay: If you want the contrast of a big city stay, then Zagreb is just 30 minutes to the east. But, if you prefer perfect seclusion within similar rural splendour, why not try one of these amazing Zagreb County holiday homes.

Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve

Veliki_Pazut.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Although not classed as a national or nature park, this special zoological reserve really comes into its own during autumn. Within this season, the migration of birds has a great effect on the population of places like Veliki Pažut. From further north, residents who will spend all winter here are arriving to settle in. They are joined by temporary visitors who are just stopping off on their way further south. The thinner foliage in the autumn trees also makes it easier to spot deer who roam the forests on all sides of Veliki Pažut.

Goran_ŠafarekD__6321_DxO-1.jpg© Goran Šafarek

If you want to read more about Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve, then look here

Where to stay: Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve is located at the confluence of the rivers Mur and Drava in Legrad, Koprivnica-Križevci County. You could easily visit on a day trip from Zagreb. If you want to stay for the weekend, for an urban stay with lots of cultural options, try the stylish Apartmani Marbis (here) in Koprivnica, here. Or, if you want a secluded rural stay or you're on a weekend of wildlife photography and wish to remain very close to Veliki Pažut reserve, try Guest House Zajec in nearby Kuzminec (here).

251333204_10159958327839108_4607408917831515375_n.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Medvednica Nature Park

Park_prirode_Medvednica.jpg© Medvednica Nature Park

Sitting on the border of Zagreb, to its south and Zagorje, to its north, Medvednica is a protected area of mountains that is largely covered with thick forest. This makes for a wonderful natural habitat for birds and butterflies and others, which you can see while you walk, run or cycle through the park. The higher up the slopes you climb, the more rewarding the views. And, new to autumn 2021, the Medvedgrad Visitors Centre has just opened. It's a great time to go check it out.

zagreb_zagorje_julien_duval.jpg© Julien Duval

Where to stay: Medvednica Nature Park is on the doorstep of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, with some of the best city accommodation options in Southeast Europe.

Kopački rit Nature Park

Kopacki.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Kopački rit Nature Park © Mario Romulić

Truth be told, Kopački rit Nature Park is not at its best in summer. It's not just about the millions of warm weather mosquitoes. The waters of this marshland are at their lowest during summer and the wildlife population retracts. By autumn, rain has helped refill the Danube and Drava rivers, both of which feed Kopački rit.

Kopacki2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Kopački rit Nature Park © Mario Romulić

The deer have just finished their rut and can be seen freely making their way through the forests. And, the bird population is spreading further throughout the park in response to the rising waters. Without question, boat trips on Kopački rit are best taken when water levels are at their peak.

If you want to read more about Kopački rit Nature Park, then look here

Where to stay: Kopački rit Nature Park is on the doorstep of Slavonian capital Osijek, which has many great accommodation options. Try Guesthouse Maksimilian (here) in the heart of the old city fort, Tvrđa.

Northern Velebit National Park (Sjeverni Velebit National Park)

Nacionalni_park_Sjeverni_Velebit2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Northern Velebit National Park

The whole Velebit region is a protected Nature Park. And, within it lie two National Parks. As its name suggests, Northern Velebit National Park is the most northerly. The park is exploding in colours rights now as the forests and fields turn from green to brown, purple, yellow, orange and red.

Nacionalni_park_Sjeverni_Velebit.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Northern Velebit National Park

What's even more spectacular is the contrast between these colours and the unique geological anomalies that are protected within the park - Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. Mystifying and beautiful, these rock formations cover an area of around 22 square kilometres and contain no less than 40 summits that lie over 1600 metres. Between them, you’ll see Skrbina Draga and the Veliki Lubenovac field. Hiking in autumn and spring is hands down the best way to explore the extraordinary Northern Velebit National Park.

If you want to read more about Northern Velebit National Park, then look here

Where to stay: The Kvarner town of Crikvenica is a great place to base yourself for exploring the Nature and National Parks of northwest Croatia. Učka Nature Park, Risnjak National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Northern Velebit National Park are all within 60 to 90 minutes drive of the town. Jadran Hotels and Camps have several year-round hotel options in Crikvenica.

Paklenica National Park

PaklenicabyIvan_Coric_Photography2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić Photography

Paklenica National Park is the second National Park within Velebit Nature Park. Like its northerly cousin, Paklenica is a joy to explore on long hikes. But, these mountains have a wholly different landscape. Paklenica is dominated by two distinct and dramatic canyons - Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica. Following either, away from the coast and further into the park, will lead you to black pine forest and spectacular karst rock formations. Paklenica is also famous as a climbing location. Recreational and expert climbers from all over the world come here to tackle the rocks between spring and autumn.

PaklenicabyIvan_Coric_Photography.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić Photography

If you want to read more about Paklenica National Park, then look here

Where to stay: If you're looking for a city stay with many cultural, activity, event and restaurant options, the vibrant university town of Zadar lies on the shore just an hour from Paklenica National Park. But, if you're visiting solely to explore this wonderful National Park and want to stay close by, the much smaller seaside town of Starigrad is where you'll find the main entrance to the park.

Lonjsko polje Nature Park

Lonjsko_polje.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Covering a massive 505 square kilometres, Lonjsko polje is the largest protected wetland in Croatia and the Danube basin. It is also the third-largest Nature Park in Croatia, its floodplain fields and forests are habitats for more than two-thirds of all birds in Croatia.

247218663_4254117711377441_2820130146317535557_n.jpg© Lonjsko polje Nature Park

Like Kopački rit, Lonjsko polje is best enjoyed outside of peak summer and the 'mosquito months'. Bicycle and walking trails along with its flat landscape make this an incredibly accessible park to all. The park s also famous for its accommodation and food offer, the latter featuring river fish and wild meats like boar and deer which are traditionally common in autumn.

If you want to read more about Lonjsko polje Nature Park, then look here

Where to stay: Lonjsko polje is around 90 minutes drive from Zagreb and an easy day trip from the capital. But, if you want a more rural escape, as mentioned, the park is known for its accommodation offer. You can see more of it here.

Biokovo Nature Park

biokovo2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Biokovo Nature Park © Marc Rowlands

Offering some of the very best views in Dalmatia, Biokovo Nature Park is arguably at its best in autumn. Why? Well, the powerful Bura and Jugo winds are more common at this time of year. Visiting Biokovo the day after they've visited is incredibly rewarding. The winds clear the air and, as a result, the visibility is truly incredible. You can pick out tiny detail in the islands.

biokovo.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Biokovo Nature Park © Marc Rowlands

Turning away from the sea and islands, Biokovo has an incredible mountainous landscape of its own that is no less thrilling to the eye. You'll discover it best on long hikes. Autumn and spring are the very best times to hike on Biokovo.

If you want to learn more about Biokovo's hiking routes, then look here. And if you want to read more about Biokovo Nature Park in general, then look here.

Where to stay: Having experienced an explosion over recent years in the number of holiday homes available, the nearby city of Imotski is well equipped to welcome visitors. And, unlike some of the coastal options near Biokovo, the visitor offer in Imotski is not negatively impacted by the change in the seasons. Theirs is a year-round offer. Furthermore, the city's 11 lakes are due to join Biokovo within a new UNESCO Geopark from 2022. If you want to read more about Imotski, then look here.

Plitvice Lakes, most famous of the National Parks For Autumn 2021

Nacionalni_park_Plitvička_jezera_Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Plitvice Lakes National Park

The most famous of all Croatian National Parks is a treat in any season of the year. Plitvice's waters are full and more vibrant than ever at this time of year. And, the surrounding nature draws from an incredibly varied colour palette. Perhaps best of all, you have so much more of the park to yourself when you visit outside the warmest months.

Nacionalni_park_Plitvička_jezera_Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Plitvice Lakes National Park

If you want to read more about Plitvice Lakes National Park, then look here

Where to stay: There are many different kinds of rural accommodation options in the vicinity of Plitvice Lakes National Park. But, if you want to combine your stay with a city break, there's nowhere better than Karlovac. The city on four rivers has its own incredible nature to explore, plus amazing culture, heritage and excellent food options. Actually, the city is famous throughout Croatia for its recipes with autumnal chestnuts. And, it's only an hour by car to Plitvice Lakes. If you want to learn more about Karlovac, then look here.

Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to sincerely thank Ivan Čorić, Silvija Butković, Mario Romulić and Goran Šafarek for the kind permission to use their photography here.

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Plitvice Lakes October Promo Offers Feature Discounted Tickets and Accommodation

September 30, 2021 - Plitvice Lakes October promo offers are running from October 15-24, with everything from discounted ticket prices to accommodation packages and special restaurant menus!

In this inspiring and much-loved autumn season, local and international tourists are encouraged to walk along the forest paths and embrace the colorful leaves with a view of the impressive Plitvice Lakes National Park waterfalls and lakes, reports Jutarnji List.

From October 15 to 24, Croatia's most popular national park has prepared promotional ticket prices:

Adults and students: 100 kn per person
Children (7 - 18 years): 35 kn per person
Children up to 7 years: free

If you are thinking of a slightly longer stay and overnight in the national park, take advantage of the autumn accommodations, including 1, 2, or 3 nights with breakfast or half board at the Hotel Jezero and a ticket to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. To complete the Plitvice autumn atmosphere, the park has prepared a combination of discounts on numerous facilities depending on the number of nights - boat rental on Lake Kozjak, use of the Finnish sauna at Hotel Jezero, relax massage, a ticket to Barać Caves, and Europe's largest cave park Grabovača and horseback riding at the nearby Terra Ranch. In addition, discounts for lunch or dinner at Vučnica bistro are offered to everyone who decides to spend the night with breakfast during the entire stay.

Shrouded in the soothing atmosphere of Plitvice Lakes and only three hundred meters from the emerald greenery of Kozjak, Hotel Jezero is located where the eponymous restaurant Jezero is located, which offers stunning views and relaxing greenery. 

Suppose you are looking for a wide range of specialties of local flavors prepared in new ways and still served in the original ambiance. In that case, the national restaurant Lička kuća is a location you must visit. In addition to traditional flavors, Lička kuća offers traditionally prepared lamb and veal peka with Lika potatoes. During October, visitors can find a promo menu of 120 kn per person at Lička kuća.

Lunch at the Poljana restaurant is a feast for all the senses - with the smell of fresh ingredients, local flavors, and a view that feeds the soul. During October, visitors can enjoy promo menus from 55 to 80 kn per person.

Find all the October details at: www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr.

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

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Plitvice Holiday Resort Introduces First Mobile Wellness Center in Croatia

September 4, 2021 - A new wellness center is located in the unique ambiance of Plitvice Holiday Resort and is the first mobile wellness center in Croatia!

This is new quality content for the Resort, which delighted visitors with the concept of treehouse glamping a few years ago. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to book accommodation at these treehouses, due to the excellent occupancy.

The wellness center is designed following nature and the 4 elements - earth, air, water, and fire, and offers a handful of facilities for guests. The wellness area has a Finnish sauna with a view of nature, an infrared sauna with a salt wall (salt room), a unique experience shower, a relaxation area, an outdoor covered and heated terrace, and a hydromassage pool and cacoon deck chair.

You can see photos of the mobile wellness area HERE.

The wellness area is rented for a minimum of two hours with prior reservation at the reception as a complete unit to ensure the guests' complete privacy.

"Conceptually the first mobile wellness center in the Republic of Croatia is designed to provide guests with complete privacy, peace, relaxation, and enjoyment in the immediate natural environment and is additional content in the winter and before and after the season. Made in collaboration with Spa2o design d.o.o. from Zagreb (construction and equipping) and Abstracto studio d.o.o. from Zagreb (architecture and interior design), it is intended primarily for guests of the resort as additional content and offers. Still, there is the possibility of renting to outside guests," said Damir Stanišić, director of Plitvice Holiday Resort and added that after use, the wellness center breaks for an hour to thoroughly clean, disinfect and prepare the area for new guests because they want to provide guests with complete security to experience this unique project.

As for the season, Stanišić points out that they are delighted and that in August, they recorded 7% more guests than in 2019, while at the level of the whole year, they are at about 90% compared to 2019.

"If May and June had been better, they would surely have better numbers than in 2019. As for the offseason, the announcements are excellent, and we continue to match the results from two years ago. We currently have a lot of inquiries for team building programs from companies, and now we will see if the epidemiological situation will be reflected in the offseason, ”adds Stanišić.

When talking about continental tourism, the season is just beginning because while summer is the peak season at sea, on the continent, the peak season is the pre-season and post-season.

“In the past two years, we have significantly raised the content of the entire resort. In addition to the already mentioned wellness, we built a bowling alley, multifunctional sports fields, arranged a cafe and restaurant, social zones, beauty salons, massage offers, and charging stations for electric vehicles in addition to the already mentioned wellness center. We also offer e-scooters and e-bikes; we have entertainment all year round, not only in the peak season as before… so that guests really have a wide range of what to do in our resort. Furthermore, we have excellent cooperation with other partners in the context of additional content in the destination," concludes Staničić.

The new content of Plitvice Holiday Resort is just a continuation of investing in raising the quality of the entire resort. The first transformation from a classic camp began in 2014-2015 with mobile homes and a pool complex. In 2018, a lake zone with houses by the lake and canopies were created, and in 2019, they were categorized as a four-star camp and tourist resort.

Thus, the entire complex has diversified accommodation for everyone, from tents, mobile homes, bungalows, glamping, classic hotel rooms, canopy accommodation, and 5 categories of campsites or types of pitches by quality, from standard, comfort, premium, exclusive, and VIP exclusive.

For more, make sure to follow our travel section.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Plitvice Lakes National Park Ranked Among Three Best in Europe!

August the 26th, 2021 - Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the most beautiful nature parks with stunning waterfalls you'll ever see, has quite rightly been ranked among the top three in all of Europe.

This beautiful park, among the oldest and largest in all of Croatia, with the vast majority of it being located within Lika-Senj County, attracts endless amounts of visitors from all corners of the world each and every year. The astonishing landscape and colour of the waterfalls make you feel as if you've been transported into another world. It's no surprise that the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes National Park has been listed among Europe's top three.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while the hot summer months draw crowds to the coast, there have been no fewer visitors to Plitvice Lakes National Park, and not soaring temperatures and potential extreme weather conditons of other kinds contributed to less crowds.

The weather in Lika can be interchangeable and far less predictable than the weather on the coast, but people adore this place in all conditions, come rain or shine. 

Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park is the winner of this year's Travellers Choice Award, and as such, Plitvice and this beautiful part of Lika have been listed among the top 10 percent of attractions for visitors in the world! In addition, Plitvice Lakes National Park is third on the list of "Best of the best" national parks in all of Europe, and 21st on the ranking list in the category of "Best of the best" national parks on the planet.

Plitvice Lakes National Park stood out from the crowd not only with its timeless natural beauty which is enough to leave anyone breathless at first glance, but by providing excellent services and experiences to its millions of visitors and guests from all around the world.

For more on national parks in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Speleon Underground Heritage Center to Open in Plitvice Area Next Year

July 12, 2021 - At the Barać Caves in the municipality of Rakovica, the construction of the 20 million kuna Speleon Underground Heritage Center has begun, which should open its doors to tourists next year to enable sustainable development in the Plitvice area.

As the director of the Barać Caves Public Institution for Management of Protected Natural Values and project manager Tihana Oštrina said, earthworks have been carried out on the site of the old school in Nova Kršlja, basements have been excavated, and the construction of foundations will begin next week, reports HRT.

This is one of the major investments in tourism for Karlovac County, which will create a modern infrastructure for various educational and recreational activities, and is expected to contribute to tourism development in the entire Plitvice region, which is mostly in Lika-Senj County.

The project is 85 percent co-financed by the European Union from the European Cohesion Fund. With NP Plitvice Lakes, their common goal is to disperse visitors and extend their stay in the Plitvice area, but not so that the pressure is only on the lakes.

The architectural curiosity of Speleon is a circular shape representing four themes of natural heritage: speleology, geology, archeology, and paleontology. The entrance will be made of large glass rocks, as an opening to caves, and the whole building will improve infrastructure and provide a unique, innovative, and attractive display of cultural and natural site values for all visitors, including those with special needs.

The circular building will cover 1,200 square meters, of which 850 will be intended for a permanent exhibition, all with scale models, replicas, LCD screens, displays on the so-called smart glass, through animations, multitouch screens, as well as sensory chambers.

The Visitor Center will also have a multifunctional hall, a showroom, a children's playroom, a speleological documentation library, catering facilities and a souvenir shop, and a parking lot. The works are performed by the Construction Craft Špelić from Slunj.

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

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Plitvice Lakes Through the Lens of a Croatian Digital Nomad Permit Holder

June 1, 2021 - Digital nomads give back to communities in various ways. The second in a new series on TCN, following the lens of Steve Tsentserensky, one of the early recipients of the Croatian digital nomad permit. Where better to continue than Plitvice Lakes National Park?

One of the discussion in Croatia these days surrounds digital nomads. What EXACTLY does Croatia get from digital nomads, especially if they do not have to pay income tax locally with the 12-month permit?

It is a classic Croatian tourism short-term mindset, which has become sadly familiar over the decade I have been writing about the subject. 

For me, there are three key wins for Croatia - and they all cost nothing.

1. Permit holders may not pay tax, but they are spending on rent, food, drink, entertainment once they leave their virtual office. Think of them as long-stay tourists if you will. I never heard of anyone here complaining about tourists spending here.

2. The mindset. This, to me, is one of the most exciting aspects of the digital nomad era. People with fresh ideas, different experiences, stimulating lifestyles. If they are moving to Croatia because it is so great, perhaps Croatia has something to offer, rather than the sad path of emigration. 

3. The fabulous free promo from digital nomads, clearly in love with this beautiful country. They decided to come, love what they find, and want to tell the world how amazing Croatia is - through blogs, Instagram posts and various other forms of social media. Kind of like the national tourist board's job if you like. Only better. 

This series will focus on the last point, the fantastic free promotion of Croatia by these longer term visitors. TCN is thoroughly enjoying our working partnership with one of the early recipients of the digital nomad permit. Steve Tsentserensky from Ohio. Steve first came to my attention with this fabulous video of Zagreb.

We are big fans of Steve's work, and we met recently over a beer or three in Zagreb. Steve will be travelling around the country over the next 12 months (actually, we thing a little longer) documenting Croatia through his lens. We thought it would make a nice feature on the site, as well as showing how just one nomad with the permit is spreading the word about this beautiful country, so that others may see and come. 

And so continues our new series - Croatia through the lens of a Croatian digital nomad permit holder, this time in Plitvice Lakes National Park. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I will shut up now. 

You can follow Steve on Instagram.

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Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatian Tourist Collaboration Between Gospić, Plitvice and Udbina Approved

June 3, 2021 - Taking advantage of the tourist offer at your availability, a Croatian tourist collaboration between Gospić, Plitvice and Udbina has been approved to promote tourism in the country through joint activities between their area.

In order to further contribute to the promotion of Croatian tourism, but also to jointly carry out activities in their areas, the tourist boards of the city of Gospić and the municipalities of Plitvice Lakes and Udbina, received approval to join a Croatian tourist collaboration, reports Turističke Priče. Namely, in order to jointly develop and promote tourist products, tourist communities will act as unique destinations through joint activities.

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Nikola Tesla Memorial Center, in Smiljan, outside Gospić

This is a story that is not new in Croatia and has proven to be a successful project that contributes to the development of destinations. An additional advantage is that the area of ​​Plitvice Lakes, the town of Gospić, and the municipality of Udbina are located within a radius of 50 kilometers, they touch each other and are located in the same, Unit of Regional Self-Government, Lika-Senj County.

Plitvice Lakes National Park has a world natural pearl and a large number of tourists who can complete their stay in the National Park by visiting the town of Gospić, which is the center of the county, and choose one of many additional sports, tourism, adrenaline or cultural activities.

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Plitvice Lakes (Photo: Mario Romulić)

The lack of promotion of the historically known and significant area of ​​the Republic of Croatia, the municipality of Udbina, or medieval Krbava, would change with this project and the destination would get a historically and religiously significant role than it has so far. Udbina with its position, historical and cultural significance, religious tourism and natural features, and well-known eco production can greatly contribute to the development of a common tourist destination in the marketing activities ahead, complete the tourist offer, and to the satisfaction of tourists visiting us.

The Croatian tourist collaboration between the three tourist boards will be able to work better on the development of the tourist product and promotional activities of Lika as a character and define the tourist brand of the destination or micro-region as a whole.

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Udbina (Photo: Lika Tourist Board website)

The development of a diverse offer and the generation of demand is a prerequisite for year-round tourism, which tourist boards strive for and which must ensure stability and a much more significant impact of tourism on the entire economy. Through year-round tourism, moving away from seasonality, and offering a quality and recognizable product throughout the year, you can conjure up everything that rural destinations have to offer. The aim is to provide visitors with useful and interesting information about the tourist offer of the destination and to show the attractiveness of the destination. In this way, new visitors will be attracted and the destination will be positioned on the tourist market while building the image of the destination as safe, which offers a diverse offer, and keeping this recognizability as a permanent trademark.

Tourist boards are facing the definition of potential future resources, product inventory, and programs for developing the Outdoor offer.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Also, visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Natural Parks HERE. Both now in your language!

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

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

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Plitvice Lakes in June: Half Price Tickets for Visitors!

:June 2, 2021 - A new month begins and the Plitvice Lakes in June will have special prices and offers for those who wish to visit the national park in the first weeks of summer

Plitvice Lakes National Park continues to offer reduced ticket prices in June, reports turistickeprice.hr. This time the price of a single ticket for adults is 150 kuna, which is, considering the usual June ticket price, a 50% discount. The individual price for students is 70 instead of 200 kuna, and for children from 7 to 18 years 35 instead of 120 kuna.

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Plitvice Lakes (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Two-day ticket prices have also been reduced. For adults, they amount to 230 kuna in June, for students 110 kuna, and for children from 7 to 18 years, 60 kuna.

For those visiting Plitvice Lakes in June, until the end of the month, Hotel Jezero offers packages of two or three nights with half board service, a ticket to the Park, and an hour of renting a rowing boat to explore the corners of Plitvice's largest lake Kozjak. The June offer also includes two or three nights in the bungalows of the Korana camp, with BB or HB service and a ticket to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

In addition, there are discounts on an hour of renting a rowing boat on Lake Kozjak, riding tours on the Terra ranch, the services of the Adrenaline Park Plitvice, and discounts on lunch or dinner in the restaurant of Camp Korana, if you choose bed and breakfast. For all of you who decide to stay for three nights, with all the above discounts, the package includes a ticket to Barać's caves, while an hour of renting a rowing boat on Lake Kozjak and renting Nordic walking poles are free.

The rich gastronomic offer of the Park is even richer than on May 28, when the restaurant Lička kuća was reopened, which offers autochthonous dishes in an autochthonous ambiance. There is also the Vučnica bistro, which is located two kilometers from the southern entrance to the National Park. Let's say that the restaurant of the Jezero hotel is offering menus at promo prices until the end of June.

The offer for Plitvice Lakes in June, which also includes discounts for Croatian Tourist Card owners, the entire gastronomic offer of the Park, and an overview of everything you can visit near the Plitvice Lakes National Park can be found on the official website of the Park.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Also, visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Natural Parks HERE. Both now in your language!

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

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

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Plitvice Lakes Offers to be Ready for Visitors in May!

April 21, 2021 - Those interested in visiting one of the most beautiful national parks in the world will be able to, as great Plitvice Lakes offers have been announced for May.

Known for their magic during the four seasons of the year, the Plitvice Lakes offer their visitors dreamlike settings. From trees covered in snow in the winter that contrast with the turquoise color of the lakes, to a powerful combination of greens and blues in the summer, it is always a great time to visit one of the most popular national parks in the world.

And the month of May should not be an exception because, in addition to being in full bloom during spring, Plitvice Lakes offers include not only better prices to visit the natural attractions, but also to enjoy the best amenities and activities in the National Park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park through seasons (Plitvice Lakes channel)

As turistickeprice.hr reports, after lowering the prices of tickets and certain services in April, the Plitvice Lakes National Park announced that all visitors will be able to enjoy the spring magic of the Park in May as well. Thus, the April reduced prices will remain next month. This means that a single ticket for adults will still be 80 kuna. Let us remind you that the full price in this part of the year is 180 kuna, which is a discount of more than 80%. Other special prices from April remain the same. Students will pay 50 kuna instead of 110 kuna, and children from 7 to 18 years 35 kuna, instead of 50. Two-day ticket prices have been reduced, and will be 120 kuna for adults, 70 kuna for students and 60 kuna for children.

Spring packages are on offer at the Jezero Hotel, located in the heart of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, until the end of June. They include two or three nights with half board, a ticket to the Park, and an hour of renting a rowing boat to explore the corners of Plitvice's largest lake Kozjak. But Plitvice Lakes offers even more to their visitors in May.

For example, until June 30, at a price of 750 kuna per person, they offer two nights with breakfast, a ticket to the National Park for the entire stay, as well as a 50% discount on a one-hour rental of a rowing boat on Lake Kozjak. In addition, take advantage of a 20% discount on lunch or dinner at the Vučnica bistro, a 20% discount on the use of the Finnish sauna in the hotel, a 20% discount on RELAX massage in the Fors Fortis salon, a 15% discount on the ticket price to Barać's Caves, a 15% discount on prices of services at Ranch Equus Igni.

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See the entire offer for May, which also includes discounts for Croatian Tourist Cardholders, the Park's gastronomic offer, and a picnic lunch for Labor Day in the Plitvice Lakes National Park on the official website of the Park.

For more about the nature and national parks in Croatia, be sure to check our Total Croatia 2021 guide to all of them HERE.

For more news about travel in Croatia, follow our dedicated page.

Friday, 19 March 2021

International Poetry Day Croatia: Non-Croatian Poets about Croatia

March 21, 2021 - In honour of International Poetry Day Croatia, TCN's Ivor Kruljac met with non-Croatia poets to share their views on Croatia through their art.

Since 1999 and the 30th General conference of UNESCO, March 21 is recognized as International Poetry Day. As said by the United Nations official website, the date was dedicated to poetry to celebrate „one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity“, which history remembers practiced in every culture on every continent. 

„Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings“, states the UN.

Supporting linguistic diversity and an opportunity of endangered languages to be heard within their communities along with encouragement to bring back the oral tradition of recitals, the promotion of poetry teachings and poetry in the media, as well as connecting this ancient art form with other art forms such as music, painting, and theatre, are all goals of the International Poetry Day. And here at TCN, we want to do our part and connect poetry with what we always struggle to report on: Showing all aspects of Croatia.

To the fans of contemporary poetry, it's no secret that poets today are very much alive, productive, and regularly present their work. If not in books then at poetry events, open-mics, and on social networks – either from their private accounts, blogs, or in groups dedicated to this wordy-art.

We asked non-Croatian poets through social networks and private group chats dedicated to poetry who either visited Croatia or know about Croatia to send us poems about Croatia with a promise that the top 5 will be published and authors presented. Now, to be fair, while the author of this article is a poet, that is far from being a legitimate poetry critic and the rest of the TCN's editorial team (at least to public knowledge) aren't even poets. The idea was to pick the poems based on how it resonates with us as individuals who gave the art a chance. The academic acknowledgment is nice, but resonating with the audience, the everyday people, should be the goal of any art publically displayed, right?

To be honest, there wasn't really any competition as, by the end of the deadline, we received only four poems. Nonetheless, the beauty of these poems and great resonation with TCN was there and we are happy to publish these poems and ranked them, from fourth place to the very best. You can decide for yourselves which poem you like best (and the messages you see in their work), but here the four poems that „knocked on the doors of our mailbox“ (metaphorically, quite poetically, speaking).

#4: „Croatia“ by Jesus McFridge 

Poets such as Charles Bukowski and Walt Whitman are very well known by their name, but just as in many other arts, poets are no exception in sometimes preferring to use pseudonyms to present their work while keeping their identity unknown and privacy secured. Such is the author that goes by the name of Jesus Mcfridge. Quite active in a Facebook group Poetry Criticism For Cool Cats, he revealed in his application that he is from California and described himself as a „24-year-old American that watches too much television“. He added that his knowledge of Croatia is limited to the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he has fallen in love with the Croatia national football team's checkered uniforms. Despite never visiting Croatia, after „Croatia's tragic loss in the 2018 World Cup final“, he found himself also crying just as many Croatians did.

„In this poem, I have attempted to capture the feeling of this tragic loss that we have shared together, despite the vast seas that separate us“ concluded Mcfridge in his application.

His bittersweet poem simply titled „Croatia“ indeed brings some painful memories but presented in a short and funny way allows us to look at the past in a brighter way, bring back smiles, and give us the strength to cheer for our Croatia national team as they prepare for the next trophy hunt.

 

Croatia

They

Almost won

The world cup

But

Mandzukic scored

An own goal.

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Jesus Mcfridge © Jesus Mcfridge

#3 „Daniela's song“ by Christian Sinicco (English translation by Daniela Sartogo)

Christian Sinicco was born in Trieste, Italy, and his poetry is published in various anthologies and magazines and an editor of the magazine Argo with which he has dealt with the widest overview of poetry in the Italian dialect from 2000 to the present day. He published three books of poetry: „Passando per New York“ (Lietocolle, 2005), „Ballate di Lagosta“ (CFR, 2014) and „Città esplosa“ (Galerie Bordas, 2017). He won the first Italian Slam Poetry Championship and served as the president of the slam poetry association LIPS - Lega Italiana Poetry Slam (2013-2014) and is the current vice president of Poiéin. He is also active in a global initiative of slam poets organizing the world slam championship which early results can be followed on Twitch.   

He participated in numerous book festivals including four festivals in Croatia: Zagreb Contemporary Poetry Festival, Forum Tomizza (in Umag), Pula Book Fair, and Rijeka Book Fair.

His second book of poetry „Ballate di Lagosta“, translates as Lastovo Ballads and it's actually a preview while Sinicco plans to soon publish the full book dedicated to this beautiful Croatian island on the southern coast.

„I was on Lastovo several times. I know a poet from there, Marijana Šutić and I spent a vacation there with other poets such as Ivan Šamija and Silvestar Vrljić“, said Sinicco in his application where he offered a poem from „Lastovo ballads“ which already seen its presentation on a prestigious literary site Versopolis.

„Daniela's Song“ may not bring out the most visual and most explicit Croatian motives, but the discrete and specific localization of Croatia is there all wrapped in a love poem to touch the heart and help us remember the summer sweethearts and romance in Croatia.

Daniela's song

I.

She talks about how beautiful it is without knowing where to go

perhaps into the water of the sun like her cheek

simply necessary as the wet dream

in a wider galaxy if it can be understood,

she seduces you through valleys and dusty vineyards

with eyes towards the bay with the waterfall:

Za Barje the sign said, and so also barked the dog tied

under the cypress – his teethed mouth was the buried reason

the fishermen had left him there – near a house

covered with ivy and blackberries, in which had grown

an apple tree with sour fruits and roses

that only you will taste:

avoiding the asphalt and dirt road holes you followed Daniela

targeting yourself and the asphyxia of your life

that follows the path to erect the intelligence of the species

that on the concept of work has built its republic of theft,

then you saw her dancing on the beach between the warm rocks

and the boat pulled out of the lobster pot, the fishermen are back:

good and evil are triangles of waves that spread

on the sea towards the two islands where we swam

– the fish are not aware of it,

and so the man under the pine and his child

with the mask, another fisherman with the fishing line,

only you maybe on the petals you bite as the words

 

II.

after quite a while we are outdoors and eat figs

at dusk time on this meadow

sliced on the wooden bowl,

we take the bread and tear it many times

because paradise is close to the fire

and the village to our left rises white in pink

made with scales like the barracuda

Korčula has no intention to leave our sight

I shouted as my usual self

you lit the candle and made me notice

we are not alone, but you can stay calm

slowly also the hut

and its fire have become attractive

calming the natural tension

of a darkening sky, not preventing us

from tasting the happiness

of a grilled fish, of tomato and capers

you are attractive when you smile

with a glass of water on the lips

too quietly they get up,

wanting to be born in the response they seek outside

the people at the tables next to us, and from the cottage

where they grill they come to clear up

a woman and the cook, as in a ceremonial

we ask for the check with the hands

they will be intertwined when we emerge from the field

toward the parking lot where we’ll get in the car

and head out to the highest point

of a series of bends, before descending to the valley

the vault of stars surprises us

we stop everything, propped on pillows of a land

that is still hot, we’re sure

that the star will fall, and it comes true

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Christian Sinicco © Daniele Ferroni

#2 „The Lakes of Plitvice“ by Vanni Schiavoni (English translation by Graziella Sidoli)

Born in Manduria, Italy, but living in Bologna, Vanni Schiavoni published five poem collections: "Nocte" (1996), "The Suspended Balcony" (1998), "Of Humid and Days" (2004), "Salentitude" (2006), and  "Walnut Shell" (2012). He also published two novels "Like Elephants in Indonesia" (2001) and "Mavi" (2019) and edited the poetic anthology "Red - between eroticism and holiness" (2010). Most recently, he also published poetical plaquette „Croatian Notebook“ which features twelve poems dedicated to six Croatian sites: Plitvice Lakes, Kornati, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik. Schiavoni wrote the "Croatian Notebook" after a week-long journey in the summer of 2017. His birthplace Manduria is located in the region of Puglia which is 30 miles away from the Pelagosa (Palagruža), the most distant Croatian island, and his surname originates from the name of the Slavonia region in Eastern Croatia.

„For me, it was not just a holiday trip but a journey in and out of everything that I am, a travel diary through which to bring out the game of mirrors between me and that place, between what I am and where I come from and what I have encountered“, said Schiavoni. This journey impacted him with images of the signs of Italy engraved in stone, mournings of the war, communist history („most heretical Communist party in the east in front of the largest Communist Party in the west“, as Schiavoni puts it) and as he added, „the same Adriatic Sea which gives both of us fishes and earthquakes“.

His poem „The Lakes of Plitvice“ is a lovely description of the mixture, the game, and visual eye-candy of the waters in Croatia's oldest National Park, and it linked with a search for bravery and the encouraging point that good and beauty can defeat evil and change it to something better.  

THE LAKES OF PLITVICE

The first day they always plunge down into the same spot

the river rapids that come to the encountering

of the white river with the black river

and the more we think ourselves ready with our shrewd eyes

the fewer the adjectives made available to us before that wonder:

the green rush pushes our pupils towards a wild frenzy

it pushes them inside the tearful torrents by our feet

in the shrouded darkness of the sequential caves

and in the vertical caverns sculpted

as if by a hand capable of it all.

Yet Judas must have passed by this place

and though perhaps not the one with burning lips

a simple Judas must have become lost

in this mysterious grid of remorse.

These lakes fall into lakes as lashings on yielding branches

they flow into other waters and so they rain

endlessly

and perfectly untouched.

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Vanni Schiavoni © Dino Igmani

 

#1  „Dubrovnik Rock“ by William Vastarella

After Schiavoni and Sinicco, our first-ranked poet is the conclusive evidence there is something so incredible about Croatia it really inspires poetically-inclined neighbors across the Adriatic. Born in Napoli in 1974, William Vastarella is a teacher of Italian Literature, geography, and History. He's has a Ph.D. in semiotics from the University of Bari and writes for several literary and cultural magazines in Italy. He also edited several poetry anthologies as well as semiotic essays. Vastarella visited Croatia several years ago and had a cultural and relaxing holiday on the seaside. „I found her so full of the Mediterranean spirit that I wrote a poem in Italian. I tried to translate it in other words, trying to leave intact the sounds of that memory“, said Vastarella about his poem on Dubrovnik.

The poem „Dubrovnik Rock“ is fantastic in the way, Vastarella visually invokes the images from the history of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Republic and the relationship it had with Italians at that age with the waves of the Adriatic Sea as the link between Italy and Dubrovnik but also between past and present.

 

Dubrovnik Rock

Other singers claim to feel

singular vibes in the waves

Nearby this shore,

and so do I.

Ragusa, Dubrovnik

A name is not enough

To trap a soul.

I ask myself

Who’s the other side

Of the other side

As the seawater shuffles.

I touch with my finger

and now I know it’s real

the steel and the wood of the boat

powerful works of man

that wipe out weapons

and I ask no more.

I realize

we have been both

pirates and emperors

centurions and barbarians

through the centuries

each one to the other

a flurry flow

of slavers and Slavs,

slayers and saviors.

Sometimes when the north wind blows,

melting the white in waves,

painting clouds of amazing blues

mirroring the water in the sky,

space seems to become so narrow,

so easy the neighborhood,

then all

the voices of the ancient age

of an ancient game

of thousands lost

in that spot of time,

that spot of sea,

mutate in a mute roar singing

in which merge the rage of riot

and the call for help of a lot

castled in the rock

waiting for a drop of rain to drink

or friend sails on the horizon.

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William Vastarella © Vito Signorile

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

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