Wednesday, 17 August 2022

TCN Photo Contest: We Have a Winner!

August 17, 2022 - Organized by Total Croatia News, and with a unique collaboration with Plitvice Lakes National Park, the TCN Photo Contest has a winner, who will be able to visit the largest and oldest national park in Croatia with a companion!

On June 20, Total Croatia News announced their first collaboration with the largest and oldest national park, and definitely one of the most beloved, Plitvice Lakes. With spring over and paving the way for summer, Total Croatia News sought to encourage both locals and visitors to Croatia to share their best photographs of the country's natural beauty. While the goal was to promote such beauty through the eyes of numerous users on Instagram, Total Croatia News and Plitvice Lakes would reward their favorite photograph with two tickets for the author to visit the National Park, courtesy of Plitvice.

Through Instagram, our followers and more users shared their photos, and those who complied with the rules entered the competition.

After the deadline for submission of photos, representatives of Total Croatia News and Plitvice Lakes National Park chose one winning photo and two photos with special recognition. The winners of the TCN photo contest are the following.

The winner of the photo contest organized by Total Croatia News in collaboration with the Plitvice Lakes National Park was Elena Tessitori (@ienatessi), from Arta Terme in Italy, who submitted a spectacular photograph with a view of the National Park from high, showing its beautiful colors. Elena is the winner of two tickets to Plitvice Lakes, courtesy of the National Park. Congratulations, Elena!

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Likewise, Total Croatia News and Plitvice Lakes National Park have wanted to give special recognition to two very good photographs and their authors. An honorable mention goes to Stefania Hodak (@iloveplitvice), a Croat from Drežnik Grad, who showed Plitvice at another time of year, just as beautiful and worth visiting. Congratulations, Stefania!

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Photo: Reshma R.

And also an honorable mention to Reshma R (@reshmaramjyothi), originally from India and currently residing in Münster, Germany, whose photo of what she considers her favorite place in the world evokes feelings of peace and fantasy. Well done Reshma!

Congratulations to the recognized authors and all the participants of this TCN photo contest, who did not make the task of choosing only three photographs easy. We congratulate your great work and your originality. We encourage everyone to continue sharing the natural beauty that Croatia offers in all its regions, national parks, and nature parks. Likewise, we would like to thank Plitvice Lakes National Park in a very special way for its generous collaboration, willingness, and great work in managing the National Park and promoting the country as a top natural destination.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice Lakes National Park, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Additionally, feel free to visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Nature Parks HERE.

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Plitvice Lakes National Park Struggling for Staff, Some Facilities Closed

July the 13th, 2022 - The Croatian labour force continues to dwindle as a result of ongoing demographic issues and the ease of simply heading off to another EU member state to find work, higher wages and more general economic stability. Even Plitvice Lakes National Park is suffering.

The global coronavirus pandemic only forced the hand of this longtime trend, seeing what were qualified and skilled chefs, waiters, bar staff and people in other such positions go off to work either elsewhere, or train for new careers as the virus saw what put food on their tables closed during lockdowns. Now that Croatia's tourist season this year seems as if it's going to be just as good (if not better) than that of the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019 - you just can't get the staff, yet again.

These issues aren't just plaguing the coast, although that part of the country is undoubtedly being hit the hardest. Plitvice Lakes National Park, the most well known Croatian national park of all, is struggling to come across qualified staff, and some of their facilities have unfortunately had to remain closed as a result of these problems.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Plitvice Lakes National Park, known for its gorgeous cascading waterfalls and unreal hues of blue and green, is by far the country's most visited national park, attracting hoardes from all over the world.

This year, there are forty percent fewer guests than the record year of 2019, so the park's management decided not to open some facilities at all. They are also struggling with finding employees, they are missing waiters, cooks and salespeople the most. Most visited back in 2019, at the peak of the summer tourist season, more than twelve thousand people entered Plitvice Lakes National Park on a daily basis, writes HRT.

"It's actually in our interest that those excessive crowds don't happen again, and financially we are very close to reaching the figures we saw during those record years," said Tomislav Kovacic, the director of the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park.

This year, due to the absence of large groups back during the pre-season as well as the absence of some guests who would usually arrive by plane, the park's management decided not to open some facilities such as the Bellevue Hotel, and the Borje camp and its accompanying restaurant.

"It's primarily our assessment that the facilities are not needed for this summer season, but they are ready if the need arises in August, we will manage to open them up in a few days if that ends up being the case,'' Kovacevic assured.

Although they had announced two tenders in which they'd have hired seasonal workers for summer 2022, there were still not enough applications for the positions of cooks, waiters and shopkeepers within the park's grounds.

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

TripAdvisor Lists Plitvice Lakes National Park Among Top Attractions

ZAGREB, 5 July 2022 - American travel website TripAdvisor has listed Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park among top attractions and top destinations for nature lovers.

Plitvice Lakes National Park has been recognized by Tripadvisor as 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Award winner for Top Attractions – Croatia, Europe, ranking second out of 10 and for Top Destinations for Outdoor Enthusiasts — World, ranking 22 out of 25, the national park's management said in a statement.

With these awards, Plitvice Lakes National Park has been included among the 1% of best sites to visit worldwide.

"In a year of heavy competition and changing traveler priorities, Plitvice Lakes National Park exceeded expectations and has been lauded as one of their favorites. Based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, the Travelers’ Choice Awards honor the best in travel, recognizing the places that delivered the most exceptional experiences," the statement said.

"Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Winners," said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. "The Travelers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Best of the Best is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travelers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity."

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Win Two Tickets to Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park with TCN!

June 20, 2022 - Total Croatia News has organised a photo competition in collaboration with Plitvice Lakes National Park with the theme ''Croatia's Natural Beauty in Spring'', on the occasion of the official start of summer on June the 21st. The winner will be awarded two tickets to visit the largest and oldest national park in all of Croatia.

With spring drawing to a close and making way for summer, we think now is a good time to celebrate and highlight the photos our readers and followers have taken during these colourful months which boast Croatia's natural beauty. As such, Total Croatia News is pleased to announce the launching of this photo competition, a collaboration with Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Five photos will be chosen by a jury made up of members and representatives of Total Croatia News. These photos will be highlighted and shared on our respective websites and social media accounts, and one winner will win two tickets to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park.

How can I participate?

The steps to participate in the photo competition are:

  • Share your photo on your Instagram profile (your profile needs to be public).
  • Be sure to include the location where you took the photo. It can be on the photo, or below in the caption.
  • Use the hashtag #TCNxPlitvice
  • Tag @totalcroatianews and @plitvicelakesnp
  • Follow @totalcroatianews and @plitvicelakesnp

That’s it! You're now participating! Remember that you can only participate once and submit just one (1) photograph.

The deadline for submitting your photo is on Friday, July the 7th at midnight. Photos with a later date will not be placed in participation in the contest.

Don't forget that:

  • The theme of the competition is “Croatia’s Natural Beauty in Spring”. All photos around Croatian cities, towns, national and nature parks are allowed, but we encourage you to highlight the nature that surrounds you.
  • The following are allowed: photographs taken with smartphones, non-professional digital cameras, professional digital cameras, non-professional analog cameras, and professional analog cameras.
  • The following are allowed: photographs of all styles, colours, angles, and orientations (vertical or horizontal).
  • Not allowed: photographs that include obscene content or photos taken with drones.

For more information, rules, and FAQs, you can download the contest guidelines HERE.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice Lakes National Park, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Additionally, feel free to visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Nature Parks HERE. Both are now now in whatever language you select from the list.

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

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Cooperation Between Plitvice Lakes National Park and Ruidera Lakes in Spain

ZAGREB, 14 June 2022 - A cooperation agreement between the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Spanish Ruidera Lakes Nature Reserve was signed on Tuesday in Plitvice, in the presence of Croatian and Spanish officials for sustainable development and the Spanish Ambassador to Croatia, Alonso Dezcallar Mazarred.

The Minister of Sustainable Development of the Castilla la Mancha region, Jose Luis Escudero Palomo, said that the experiences and methods of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in protecting limestone barriers would mean a lot to the Spanish side because limestone barriers in the Ruidera Lakes Nature Reserve had suffered great damage due to hydropower projects.

He called on the signatories of the agreement to use the opportunities in the European Union Green Deal and submit their programs for EU funding for the protection of nature and biodiversity, specifically to protect their national treasures.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, the director of the Nature Protection Directorate, Igor Kreitmeyer, emphasized that significant funds for visitor infrastructure had been invested in the Plitvice Lakes Nature Park over the past five years to make visitor pressure on nature as low as possible.

He added that "it is very important for experts to share their experiences in the management of protected areas."

"That is important in terms of preserving healthy ecosystems. Our only way out is to fight climate change, to function in a sustainable way as a whole, and that means living in a way that is promoted in protected areas,” said Kreitmeyer.

He praised the Castilla La Mancha region for being advanced in promoting environmental policies and wished that Croatia would learn how to better promote those policies in park management.

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

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Plitvice Lakes National Park's Bookings Dominated by Foreign Visitors

May the 29th, 2022 - The gorgeous Plitvice Lakes National Park's bookings over this ongoing long weekend have been excellent, with foreign visitors dominating.

As Novi list/Marin Smolcic writes, the current very encouraging arrivals and stays on the grounds of Plitvice Lakes National Park continues being maintained, we can definitely count on an excellent season, the famous park's director, Tomislav Kovacevic, believes.

The last two weeks have boasted some great, albeit it a little too hot for some, weather conditions for Croatia's most beautiful and oldest national park. Just like in the summer months, there have been recent days on which there have been queues at entrances one and two of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and there has typically been a longer waiting time for guests seeking transport on electric boats and on the park's much loved panoramic trains.

Speaking about the gorgeous nature, flora and faun which this park boasts in abundance, everything flourished and gorgeous green hues quickly dominated Plitvice Lakes National Park's landscape. From a tourist point of view, the situation is very similar in terms of guest arrivals. This was confirmed to by the director of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Tomislav Kovacevic.

''Given that this extended weekend is as it is due to Statehood Day, we can't count on there being huge crowds, there will mostly be domestic guests paying a visit to the park, and this will more than likely continue be a common situation for us because we still have a busy occupancy of our hotels about 80 percent compared to the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019. The share of foreign guests is now more than 80 percent of the total number of visitors to this national park,'' Kovacevic said.

Due to the intensified COVID-19 epidemic in the Far East, there are still no organised visits to the Plitvice Lakes National Park by guests from China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea, who in previous years accounted for a significant share of the park's overall number of visitors.

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

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Five Places You Must Visit During Spring in Croatia

March 10, 2022 - This month, the frigid temperatures and strong winds of winter have already begun to turn into warm and colorful days, thus welcoming spring. Is it worth visiting during this time of year? Of course. And here are five places you cannot miss during spring in Croatia.

Winter in Croatia is a difficult concept to criticize. Despite low temperatures, strong winds, snow, or rain, Croatians have always found a way to positively view the arrival of the winter months. In central and eastern Croatia, the cold and snow are not strong enough to break the spirit of its inhabitants. Winter is synonymous with the holiday season, with cities and towns brightly and colorfully decorating their streets, and filling their parks and plazas with fairs and concerts.

In the same way, along the Croatian coast, the locals take back the cities from the tourists and the storms are intermittent since sunny days predominate. Thus, the people who live in front of the Adriatic find a great excuse to put on their best coats, their sunglasses, and get together with their friends and family to have a coffee in the rivas and old towns of their cities.

However, it is true that when the day darkens at five in the afternoon or the temperature of the sea is too cold to take a dip, summer days are missed throughout the country. For this reason, the arrival of spring is always welcome in Croatia and invites those who reside in the country to venture outside their homes without having to wear more than two pieces of clothing. The beginning of spring in Croatia is March 20, and so that you can plan your next adventure, we share five places that you cannot miss at this time of year.

Zagreb

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of spring in Croatia is some of its 8 national parks or 12 nature parks. However, the Croatian capital of Zagreb is literally a spectacle of colors and a great atmosphere during this time of year. Although the official date for the beginning of spring is still 10 days away, the inhabitants of Zagreb are already witnessing the first blooms in their avenues, streets, and parks. If you're coming to Zagreb during spring, you probably won't know where to start.

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Flowers blossoming in the gardens of King Tomislav Square. (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

Stroll through the beautiful parks in Zagreb's upper town, from Zrinjevac to King Tomislav Square, where you could even sit in its gardens reading a book while enjoying the atmosphere and the colors of its flowers and trees. If you want to go for exercise and at the same time enjoy the blossoming in the spring, visit the parks of Jarun, Bundek or Maksimir, in which you could also organize a picnic with your friends. Or maybe organize a walk through the Zagreb Botanical Garden, in the upper town of Zagreb. You will see that when you get home and check your phone, you will have probably taken more than a hundred photos throughout the day. Zagreb is home to many of the best spots to be during spring in Croatia.

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Cherry trees in the district of Prečko, Zagreb. (Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL)

Bonus tip: visit Šulekova street in Zagreb in Spring, which has become famous for its spectacular colors thanks to the blossoming of its cherry trees. Don't forget to go with someone who can take amazing pictures of you for your Instagram!

Plitvice Lakes National Park

It really is impossible not to highlight the national and natural parks of Croatia when talking about a change of season. I do not mention a season in particular because each one offers something magical and different. For example, when we talk about Plitvice Lakes National Park, we cannot compare the four seasons, just enjoy them to the fullest. Autumn's intense red and orange colors beautifully contrast with turquoise lakes, resembling a frame straight out from a fairy tale. Winter covers the park with snow, and the result is a mixture of whites and turquoises that will make your jaw drop. And not to mention the summer, where the green forests also serve as a refuge from the high temperatures with their shade.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park, stunning all year round. (Photo: Vedran Bozičević)

But we all know that, in a place as diverse in flora as the Plitvice Lakes National Park, it is essential to witness its colorful show during spring. It's arguably the perfect time, as it's neither too cold nor too hot to overwhelm you as you wander through the park, and it's one of its most photogenic times of the year!

Find HERE the prices and rates of the tickets to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Split

We also don't want to overwhelm you with a shower of colors, if that's not your thing. And it is not because Split does not have them, but the experience of spring in the Dalmatian city is lived in a different way. Spring in Croatia comes in different shapes and colors. Although the trees and parks of Split are also beginning to regain their leaves and greenery, the arrival of spring means that the return to the sea and the beaches is getting closer. You will feel that wearing a coat could be unnecessary, with temperatures that can rise up to 17 degrees. Even with the water still relatively cold, some brave souls are already starting to visit the city's beaches to take a dip, realizing that the frequent sunny days and rising temperatures will dry them out quickly once out of the water.

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The Diocletian Palace in Split, not during summer, but in April. (Photo: Milan Sabic/PIXSELL)

But without a doubt, the most exciting thing about spring in Split is the progressive reopening of many restaurants, bars, and cafes throughout the season, which have already finished their respective maintenance and are beginning to prepare for the arrival of the busy summer. If you were in Split during the winter, and you will stay here until at least the beginning of summer, you will witness a city that is becoming active every day. Also, ferry lines are starting to increase and you can have the privilege of visiting more islands and destinations without the crowds. And beware, enjoying spring in Split is something that can be replicated throughout the Croatian coast, from Istria to Dubrovnik!

Krka National Park

If you change your mind and would indeed like to see the spring in Croatia blooming at its best, there will always be a national park or nature park near you. The Krka National Park has nothing to envy Plitvice Lakes since its sixteen plunging waterfalls, winding hiking trails, and vast expanse of lush, green forests place it as one of the most visited destinations in the entire country. Krka, apart from being recognized for its spectacular sceneries, is also a very popular destination for adventure lovers. Whether on foot or by bicycle, it is never enough to discover all the wonders that the national park hides. And if you had to pick an ideal time of year to visit, the spring months should be at the top of your list.

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Very close to Šibenik, and less than an hour from Split - Krka National Park. (Credit: Krka National Park)

Although the new measures taken by the National Park, which prohibit visitors from bathing in the falls, have reduced the saturation of people in the main circuit of Krka, summer is still the time of year with the highest volume of tourists. If you are looking to connect better with the nature of Krka, you will surely find it in spring with almost as pleasant weather, colors everywhere, fewer people, and... cheaper prices!

Find HERE the prices and rates of the tickets to visit the Krka National Park.

Osijek

Of course, spring comes everywhere, and not only on the coast and in central Croatia. Moreover, it could be said that spring in eastern Croatia arrives with incomparable intensity. The vast forests, fields, and crops in Slavonia and Baranja are a visual delight both for those viewing it from above with their drones, as well as for those on foot. This part of Croatia is often mistakenly considered a cold, nothing-happening region, but few have the privilege of enjoying its energy and warmth all year round, even in the harshest of winters. And all the more reason, you'll want to check it out for yourself in a season with better weather and full of greenery.

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Cherry trees in King Krešimir IV park in Osijek. (Photo: Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL)

There are so many places to visit in this region during spring, but what better place to start than in the largest city in eastern Croatia, and the fourth largest in the country. Osijek is famously known as the greenest city in Croatia, with more parks and public green areas than any other town in Croatia. Wherever you go in Osijek during the spring, you will come across an immeasurable number of trees and gardens full of vibrant colors. Some of the parks that you cannot miss are King Tomislav Park, Sakuntala Park, or King Krešimir IV Park, protected as the first monument of park architecture in Croatia.

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Cherry trees in King Krešimir IV park in Osijek. (Photo: Dubravka Petric/PIXSELL)

These are just five examples of places that you cannot miss during spring in Croatia, but believe us when we tell you that the whole country, throughout its territory, has some magic waiting for you during the most colorful season of the year.

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

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Interesting Legends Behind 4 Popular Tourist Destinations in Croatia

July 28, 2021 -  Croatia is mostly visited by tourists because of its long Adriatic coast but it's also blessed with enchanting rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Not many visitors know that the surreal crystal clear blue and emerald colors of Croatia's different bodies of water are also home to many mysterious mythical creatures, historical heroines, and legendary tales. Get to know the mythical inhabitants of Croatia and explore the world of epic Croatian folklores in 4 popular tourist destinations in Croatia. 

Cetina and the Story of Mila

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Gushing under two mountains, the Dinara and Gnjat, and passing through the scenic towns of Sinj, Trilj, Zadvarje, and Omiš where it finally meets the Adriatic Sea, the Cetina River is one of the most beautiful canyons in Croatia and is a famous day trip destination for both locals and tourists. Considered the longest river in Dalmatia with its length of 101km, Cetina is a perfect place for canyoning, zip-lining, freshwater kayaking, and white water rafting. The clear blue water of the Cetina River has been a generous source of clean water and freshwater fish for the people of Dalmatia over the centuries. Thanks to the nymph named Cetina, this beautiful river came to life. According to legend, Cetina  desperately dreamed of conceiving a child and was tricked by the sexually ravenous God, Zeus, who promised to bore her an offspring after their union. After many weeks of waiting, Cetina did not get pregnant and upon realizing Zeus' trickery, the heartbroken nymph wept endlessly until her tears formed a river and eventually, the Cetina dried up and turned into stone. The Neolithic people believed that a person who wishes to conceive will be blessed with a baby of good fortune after bathing in the tears of the late demigoddess. There is also another story in Cetina that is historically significant to Croatian people. It is the story of a brave and clever woman who single-handedly defeated a whole Ottoman army -  Mila Gojsalić.

In 1530, Ahmed Pasha led a powerful Ottoman army to conquer the Republic of Poljica, now known as the modern-day Omiš. The army terrorised, pillaged, and ravaged the people of this place for a long time, but just before their final attack and Poljica's fall, a young beautiful woman named Mila Gojsalić appeared before the army.  According to stories, Mila was very beautiful and her charm easily bewitched Ahmed Pasha who fell right under her spell. Mila pretended to be in love with the leader of the Ottoman army and she ended up sleeping in the leader's tent. That evening, Mila sacrificed her chastity and life for her people. After making sure that Ahmed and his men were asleep, she snuck into the gunpowder storage with a torch and blew up the whole military camp. The powerful blast killed Ahmed Pasha and most of the Ottoman warriors, including the beloved heroine of Poljica. Although some stories claimed that Mila escaped the camp and plunged from the high cliffs down to her death in the river of Cetina. 

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The heroic act of Mila ignited courage from the people of Poljica who began to fought back until every single one of the Ottoman invaders was dead. To honor Mila's sacrifice and bravery, the greatest Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović created a statue of her. In the village of Gata, overlooking Cetina and Omiš stands the statue of Mila Gojsalić - a heroine who watches over the people of Omiš day in and day out.

Plitvice Lakes and The Black Queen

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The Plitvice Lakes National Park is probably the most famous national park in Croatia. Millions of tourists flock to visit this magnificent landscape that is consisted of 16 crystal shades of blue and emerald lakes which are connected by many rivers, streams, caves, and waterfalls and are surrounded by luscious green woodland. This incredible scenery was created by the endless stream of waters that have been flowing over limestones and chalks for thousands of years, until eventually forming natural dams through deposits of travertine barriers. All thanks to nature's wonderful phenomenon, a series of 16 beautiful lakes came to life!

But Croatian folklore, on the other hand, believes that Plitvice Lakes appear magical because it was, indeed, magical. Legend has it that a long time ago, the area of Plitvice only had one source of water - the Black River (Crna Rijeka). Unfortunately, the area was struck with a long-lasting horrible drought which dried out the Black River, and the crops, livestock, and people began dying. In despair, the people prayed and cried all day to the heavens for some rain, but for a very long time, their prayers were left unanswered. They were close to giving up when the Black Queen, who had just left her fairy palace to head to an area near Plitvice, happened to hear their pleas. After witnessing the damage of the drought to the people, the Black Queen said, “I am sad to see that you are suffering!” After that, the winds and thunder started to roar and strong rain came and poured for days and days on end until the Black River overflowed and 13 lakes appeared. People believed that the Black Queen cried for the people's misfortunes and her black and white tears formed the Black River and the White River in Plitvice. Together with the Matica River, they form the first lake and it was named Prošćansko (prošnja = prayer), to commemorate the prayers of the anguished people. For their token of gratitude to the Black Queen, the people of Plitvice built her a castle on the hill above lake Kozjak, where she can admire the splendour of her own creation.

Imotski's Red and Blue Lakes and The Wicked Gavan Family

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A small town that is perfect for travellers who wish to steer away from the frenzy of tourists, Imotski is Dalmatia’s hidden gem packed with nature, culture, history, and friendly locals. Unlike the busy coastal cities of Dubrovnik and Split, Imotski possesses a different charm -  tucked in the inland region of Dalmatia without the Adriatic Sea, this town, instead, offers an array of unique and breath-taking landscapes to its visitors. Imotski is rigged with incredible karst formations such as hidden caves, sinkholes, karst rivers, lakes, and canyons. The distinctive geographical formations of Imotski inspired countless folk tales including fairies, heroines, and goblins.  Perhaps the most famous of these intriguing formations are the Red and Blue Lakes, two magnificent karst lake formations which, according to Croatian folklore, have emerged to swallow the palace and wealth of the wicked Gavan family.

Named after the reddish color of the surrounding cliffs, the Red Lake is a beautiful karst lake and the third largest sinkhole in the world. It can't be reached on foot and without special equipment. Meanwhile, the Blue Lake is easily accessible and is located just beneath the historical Topana Fortress in Imotski. Locals and tourists are welcome to swim in the calm, turquoise blue water of the lake. The stunning and serene blue lake, however, hides a story of the evil Gavan family who used to live in the area of Imotski. According to folklore, Gavan with his wife, Gavanica, and their children, were the wealthiest and most powerful family in Imotski. Nonetheless, the Gavan family was known to be very cruel and vile towards their servants and neighbours and the only thing that mattered to them was their wealth. An angel heard about Gavan’s horrific acts and decided to descend down from heaven to test the Gavan family. The angel disguised as a beggar and knocked on the Gavan's palace door to ask for help. Gavanica opened the door and refused to provide any help to the beggar. The angel then asked Gavanica, “Are you not afraid of God’s punishment?” The arrogant woman replied, “What good can God do for me when I have my Gavan?” It was then that the angel revealed his disguise and punished the Gavan family. It was believed that the ground where the Gavan’s palace stood cracked open and swallowed the Gavans and their entire wealth. The locals still believe that the deep hole, now covered by the Red and Blue Lakes, still contain the palace and wealth of the family and on windy days when the bora wind blows, the screams of Gavan and Gavanica can still be heard around the area of these lakes. The locals also claim that beautiful fairies who live in the Fairy Cave in the Blue Lake have been sighted basking in the beauty of the lake at sunset and dawn. There is a current rumor that no human has ever managed to set foot on the Fairy Cave.

Stories of fairies and foes aside, the Blue Lake transforms into a spectacular football field every few years when it dries up. Many people flock to Imotski to witness these rare and out-of-this-world football matches on Imotski’s mysterious lakebed.

Krka National Park and The Tragic Love Story of Bogdan and Miljeva 

3S8C0742_Panorama.jpgPhoto credit: Mario Romulić

One of the most visited national parks in Croatia, Krka National Park has it all - the iconic Skradinski Buk waterfall, Neolithic cave, Roman architecture remains, Krka Monastery and so much more! It is also very accessible especially if you are coming from the coastal cities of Split and Šibenik. The park which is filled with dazzling waterfalls, gorges, and the 73km-long Krka river that gushes through a karstic canyon of 200m deep are intertwined by walking paths, hiking trails, and wooden bridges. The park has five main entrances: Skradin, Lozovac, Roški Slap, Krka Monastery, and Burnum, and all are accessible by car. But before becoming Dalmatia’s most famous tourist attraction, Krka National Park is built from the tragic love story of Bogdan and Miljeva.

A long time ago, the mighty Prince Bogoje lived in the area of Krka. In Bogočin, he built a beautiful palace for his son, Bogdan, who was set to marry a lovely noblewoman who lives in the town of Ključ across the river Čikola. That woman’s name was Miljeva and she was the daughter of influential Ban Domagoj and his wife Čika. Bogdan and Miljeva were cherished by the townspeople and on their wedding day, a large gathering of seven bans and twelve county prefects have gathered in Bogočin to witness the union of the beloved couple. The wedding was a success and everyone headed to the palace to celebrate the newlyweds where a tragic fate awaited the couple. During the celebration, a terrifying dragon descended into the party and dragged Princess Miljeva to the bottom of Lake Brljan. Prince Bogdan came to rescue his bride but the beast drew him to the river of Krka as well. This tragedy broke the heart of Prince Bogoje who used up all his wealth to grieve the loss of his son and Miljeva. With his riches, he built Aranđelovac monastery, a place to pray for the souls of the lovers. He also built the towns of Čučevo and Nečven to symbolize the love between Bogdan and Miljeva. In addition, he built two bridges which connect Roški waterfall and river Miljacka. Local folks believed that anyone who wishes to cross the bridges has to shed two tears to pay homage to the tragic fate of Bogdan and Miljeva's love. In the end, Prince Bogoje tore down the Bogočin palace and set off from this grief-stricken town into the unknown. Meanwhile, Miljeva’s mother, Čika, secluded herself to pray for the late lovers in a tower she built in Ključ. 

Because of this tragic love story, Bogočin is known by the locals as a “fairy town”, the river near Ključ is named Čikola and the area between Bogočin and Ključ is called Miljevci.

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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.

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