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

IMG_5397_1.jpgPhoto credit: Mario Romulić

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. 

Mile_Gojsalića_Statue_by_Ivan_Meštrović_at_Omiš_2011-12-16_2_1.jpgPhoto credit: By Ivan T. - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17699310

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

Zima_Plitvice0245_1.jpgPhoto credit: Mario Romulić

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

Modro_jezero_1.jpegPhoto credit: By Yacht Rent from Croatia - modro jezero Croatia, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81974343

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.

For more on Croatia's top travel destinations, follow Total Croatia.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

 

 

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 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


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What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


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What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

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Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


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What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


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What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


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What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


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What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


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Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


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What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


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What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


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What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


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What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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Monday, 8 February 2021

TripAdvisor Named Plitvice Lakes Third Best National Park in Europe

February 8, 2021 – According to TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice list, Plitvice Lakes National Park took a high place and was declared the third best national park in Europe for 2021.

TripAdvisor compiled a Traveller's Choice list of the top 10 best national parks in Europe for the first time. Croatian most famous national park Plitvice Lakes took third place on the list and thus got another recognition by visitors.

As written on the TripAdvisor webpage, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is impressive in both winter and summer.

"The bubbling, turquoise crystalline pools of Plitvice Lakes National Park comprise one of Croatia's most popular tourist destinations. Just a two-hour drive from Zagreb, the national park offers 50 acres of forest and lake. In winter, it's a wonderland of frozen waterfalls. In summer, the park is lush with greenery. Wooden walkways and hiking trails traverse the porous karst limestone. This World Heritage Site is a veritable wildlife haven, home to everything from birds to boars and even bears," writes TripAdvisor.

Yorkshire Dales National Park in the United Kingdom took first place, and Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland overtook Plitvice Lakes National Park in second place. Check out the full list:

1. Yorkshire Dales National Park, United Kingdom

2. Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland

3. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

4. Peak District National Park, United Kingdom

5. New Forest National Park Hampshire, United Kingdom

6. Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Spain

7. Sierra Nevada National Park, Spain

8. Uludag National Park, Turkey

9. Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, Spain

10. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Italy

And what do Plitvice Lakes National Park look like right now? Check out at the live video stream.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

PHOTOS: Epic Croatia Weather Photography Stuns The World

December 20, 2020 – The 13 winners of the incredibly popular World Meteorological Organization annual competition have just been announced, and two fine pieces of Croatia weather photography are among them. These spectacular images of Croatia weather photography show all 9 Croatian photographs which reached the final in 2020 and all 10 Croatian finalists who similarly stunned the global audience in 2019

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced winners from the 2020 competition
LošinjSandroPuncet.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zrinka Balabanic Beach Sv.Duh -Pag island.jpgPhotographer: Zrinka Balabanic Photo taken: Pag island

Thanks to its popularity as a tourist destination, lots of people are now used to seeing beautiful photos of Croatia. Although, the images they usually see are of idyllic beaches, cloudless skies, stunning nature and turquoise blue seas. But, as anyone who knows the country will tell you - and as these photos show - Croatia isn't always like that.

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced runners-up from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Mislav Bilic (Croatia)Dubrovnik - Lapad Peninsula.jpgPhotographer: Mislav Bilic Photo taken: Lapad Peninsula, Dubrovnik

Out of season, Croatia can experience vastly different weather conditions to those advertised in travel brochures and blogs. And, whenever there's a spectacular weather occurrence, usually there's a photographer out there, braving the elements, trying to capture it.

Over recent years, some of the best Croatia weather photography has featured in the annual competition organised by the World Meteorological Organization. 2020 has been no different.

The other five Croatian finalists from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia222.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Sandro Puncet Isolated cloudisland Lošinj, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zoran Stanko Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy.jpgPhotographer: Zoran Stanko Photo taken: Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy

Maja Kraljik Umag, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Maja Kraljik Photo taken: Umag, Istria

Igor PopovicRijeka, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Igor Popovic Photo taken: Rijeka

The winners of this year's competition have just been announced and the two fantastic examples of Croatia weather photography within the top 13 will take their place in the 2021 World Meteorological Organization calendar.

The 10 Croatian finalists from the 2019 competition
Danica Sičič Srobreč, Croatia2019-min.jpgPhotographer: Danica Sičič Photo taken: Srobreč, Dalmatia

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera2019.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Božan Štambuk Bundek Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Božan Štambuk Photo taken: Bundek park, Zagreb

Miroslava Novak (Pribislavec, Međimurje) 2019.jpgPhotographer: Miroslava Novak Photo taken: Pribislavec, Međimurje

As well as the two winners, two further examples of Croatia weather photography came in the runner-up category, of which there were 12 in total.

Francesca Delbianco  Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Francesca Delbianco Photo taken: Zagreb

Ivica Brlić Sava river Davor, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Ivica Brlić Photo taken: Sava river, Davor, near Slavonski Brod

Nataša ŠafarKarlovac, Rečica2019.jpgPhotographer: Nataša Šafar Photo taken: Rečica, near Karlovac

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera201922222.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Over 1000 photographs from all over the world were entered in the 2020 competition. The submissions were narrowed down to a final selection of 70 contenders. As TCN reported back at the start of October, no less than 9 examples of Croatia weather photography made it into the final 70, taken by 7 Croatian photographers.

Danijel PalčićPagIsland2019.jpgPhotographer: Danijel Palčić Photo taken: Pag island

Aleksandar Gospic Ražanac, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Aleksandar Gospic Photo taken: Ražanac

Croatia regularly punches well above its weight in the annual competition, as we can see from these 10 examples of incredible Croatia weather photography that were among the finalists in 2019.

All images courtesy World Meteorological Organisation

Friday, 18 December 2020

PHOTOS: 11 Incredible Croatia Treehouses to Stay In and Escape to Nature

December 18, 2020 – Staying in one of these amazing Croatia treehouses offers perfect seclusion and a welcome return to nature

Sometimes you just want to be alone. Parties and crowds have their time and place, but sometimes what you need is an escape to the countryside. Journeys into the wild can be more than just a breath of fresh air – they're a chance to reconnect with nature, a getaway from laptop screens, the buzz of overhead cables and the sounds of the city. Staying in one of these splendidly situated Croatia treehouses will provide a true return to nature. Sometimes basic and closer to camping, at others, luxurious and with every amenity you'd expect from a stylish seaside villa, all of them allow you to get up close to wild surroundings you've come to be amongst.

Treehouse Cadmos Village, Komaji, Konavle near Dubrovnik
CadmosVillage2.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

Sat between the branches of Cadmos Village Adventure Park, this small treehouse overlooks the Konavle valley, with the Sniježnica mountain in the background. Its position within the family-oriented adventure park marks it as the perfect place to crash out after a day of paintballing, rope bridges, climbing, cycling, zip lines or archery.

CadmosVillage1.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

The treehouse sits on a seven-metre-high platform with a terrace where you can take in the view. Solar-powered, it can accommodate six people in three bedrooms and has a kitchen, dining area and showers. It's 25 kilometres from Dubrovnik from here, ten kilometres from Cavtat and just five kilometres from Dubrovnik airport.

CadmosVillage3.jpg© Treehouse Cadmos Village

Mlin Treehouse, Sveti Vid Dobrinjski, Dobrinj, Krk island
tree-house-ivan-juretic-7mliin.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Sitting in the trees behind the Holiday House Mlin near Dobrinj, in the interior of island Krk, Mlin Treehouse is small in size – just eight square metres inside – but has a definite wow factor. This can be attributed to architect, Ivan Juretić, who has designed here a building full of unexpected angles and intermittent panels which allow light to stream into the property.

mlin1.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Dobrinj itself is a great place to get away to, and you're only a couple of kilometres from the sea here. Better still, the main Holiday House Mlin has its own private pool – you should probably check before booking if you're allowed to use it.

tree-house-ivan-juretic-8mlinkrk.jpg© Ivan Juretić architects

Tree House Gorski Lazi, Tršće, Gorski Kotor
GorskiLazi1.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

This treehouse in Gorski Kotor looks little more than a garden shed from the outside and, indoors, the two double beds found here are indeed tucked tightly into the corners. But, the experience at Tree House Gorski Lazi isn't supposed to be taken exclusively within the rustic interior, it's one to be enjoyed on the outside and within the natural landscape.

GorskiLazi2.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

To encourage this, a large, open-air terrace sits in front of the house from where you take in the view – grassland rolls gently below you before being engulfed on all sides by surrounding forests that change colour spectacularly through the seasons. They rise to cover nearby hills, mountains completing the perfect vista on a near horizon. Further encouragement to spend your time in this spot is the barbecue and loungers situated here, although there's a gas stove in the kitchen below the house if you fancy something quick. The house is located 15 kilometres from Risnjak National Park.

GorskiLazi3.jpeg© Tree House Gorski Lazi

Treehouse Resnice, Barilović, Karlovac County
Resnice3.jpg© Treehouse Resnice

Sat within the treetops of eight hectares of natural forest in Barilović, Karlovac County, Treehouse Resnice is one of the most homely and inviting of all Croatia treehouses. From the dwelling, the rivers Mrežnica and Korana are just a couple of kilometres walk, inviting you to take romantic and peaceful walks of exploration in either direction. But, truth be told, you might be just as happy hanging around the house - Treehouse Resnice is beautifully constructed, with no less attention paid to its interior design.

resnice-treehouse-2.jpeg© Treehouse Resnice

A balcony on the house encompasses a supporting tree and you can rest here in a hammock. There are two additional structures next door specifically for relaxing and dining outside. Indoor and outdoor dining areas, complete with barbecue, extend its offer throughout the seasons. The double bedroom is found in the loft, beautifully decorated beneath wooden beams.

Treehouse Resnice1.jpg© Treehouse Resnice

Robins Hood, Zakrajc, Skrad, Gorski Kotor
Robins3.jpg© Robins Hood

Situated in the small settlement of Zakrajc near Skrad, between the Zeleni Vir water spring and the Kulpa river which acts as a natural border between Croatia and Slovenia, the topography surrounding the Robins Hood lodging is a gift to hikers and walkers. Streams and the river cut through rocks and hills, there are lots of pretty settlements and forestland to pass through.

Robins4.jpg© Robins Hood

The mountains of Gorski Kotar provide an impressive backdrop. Far from neighbouring eyes, this is one of the Croatia treehouses if you want to be alone with your surroundings, although the owners who built this place do also have a highly-rated restaurant in nearby Delnice and might extend an invitation.

Robins1.jpg© Robins Hood

Sanjam Treehouses, Lika
Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia2.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

The uninhabited settlement of Drenovac Radučki in Gospic, at the foot of Mount Velebit, offers what seems to be perfect countryside seclusion when viewed exclusively from the windows or terraces of the two ultra-modern Sanjam Treehouses in Lika. Occasionally, you might hear a car pass on the nearby road from Karlobag to Knin. But, not so often. It's surprising to think that from here, in summer months, folks are swimming in the waters of the Adriatic less than 10 kilometres away. For visitors with a car wanting to escape the crowds after a day on the beach, these Croatia treehouses are an extremely inviting option.

Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia23.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

The interior design is contemporary, sparse and uncluttered, featuring every home comfort you could wish for on any extended stay. One house has 43 square metres, with two bedrooms, while the other has 39 square metres and one bedroom. The experience here might not be so secluded and carefree if you're staying at the same time as neighbours you don't know – the treehouses are quite close and the view from one terrace faces the windowless, rear facade of the other. For an extended family or group taking both houses simultaneously, it's the perfect spot.

Sanjam Liku Treehousecroatia24.jpg© Sanjam Treehouses Lika

Plitvice Holiday Resort, Grabovac, Rakovica
Plitvice Holiday Resort2.jpg© Plitvice Holiday Resort

The five pretty treehouses of Plitvice Holiday Resort in Grabovac sit beneath towering trees and overlook a few more traditional glamping huts and a water feature through which wooden walkways snake. Yes, you might have neighbours here, but if you're looking for a superior camping spot that will keep you close to the nearby Plitvice Lakes, this is a lovely option.

Plitvice Holiday Resort1.jpg© Plitvice Holiday Resort

Each of the houses has two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, plus a kitchen and a terrace and all come with WiFi and air-conditioning for the warmer months and heating for the cooler ones. The surrounding locale and views are pretty year-round.

Plitvice Holiday Resort3.png© Plitvice Holiday Resort

Obonjan Treehouse, Obonjan island, Dalmatia
Obonjan2.jpg© Obonjon island

Obonjan island has in recent years been run as a private camping site, catering only for adults. Music festivals have taken place there, revellers dancing between the pine trees, doing yoga by the beach or swimming in the seas close by. The island offers a range of camping accommodation options and in 2018 set up this, its first treehouse, with a view to expanding the offer with more builds.
Obonjan1.jpg© Obonjon island

The small and simple construction has a unique appeal among the Croatia treehouses listed here as it lies just eight metres from the inviting blue of the Adriatic. It has an en-suite bathroom, fridge, air‐conditioning, electricity and a small external terrace with table and deck chairs.

ObonjanTree-House-008.jpg© Obonjon island

Riverland Mrežnica, Zvečaj, near Duga Resa, Karlovac County
RiverlandMrez2.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

Small and simple camping huts, the appeal of the two Croatia treehouses of Riverland Mrežnica is undoubtedly the truly fantastic views. Windows and terraces overlook (as the name suggests) the Mrežnica river, the view framed between the branches in which the treehouses sit.

RiverlandMrez1.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

This green backdrop surrounds on all sides. Each treehouse accommodates two people, with double beds, located immediately below the roofs, accessed via wooden step ladders. You can take a bike or a boat to explore the nature around you.

RiverlandMrez3.jpg© Riverland Mrežnica

Zlatna Greda, Baranja, nr Osijek
ZlatnaRek2.jpg© Zlatna Greda

The appeal of the countryside around Osijek and Baranja is becoming better known and reasons for visiting Bilje Municipality, just north of Osijek, now extend much further than the beautiful Kopacki Rit Nature Park that can be found there. To the park's immediate north, Zlatna Greda is an adrenaline park and eco-farm offering cycling, rowing, ziplines and the perfect door into the surrounding nature.

ZlatnaRek1.jpg© Zlatna Greda

Although Zlatna Greda is the sole inclusion on this list of Croatia treehouses which does not offer overnight stays, it can be rented for several hours and is a good spot for groups to rest, take lunch or dinner and watch the sunlight fade. It can accommodate a group of up to 12 people and there are several tiers of accommodation – both dormitory and private rooms – available elsewhere in the complex.

ZlatnaRek3.jpg© Zlatna Greda

Tree Elements, Donji Nikšić, Rastoke, Karlovac County
treel2.jpg© Tree Elements

Not close to completion yet, the images here show how the Tree Elements Croatia treehouses in Donji Nikšić will look when finished. Situated within a 28 thousand square metre plot, bought specifically for the purpose by a young entrepreneur, build of the first two treehouses is ongoing, their progress delayed by the unforeseen happenings of 2020.

TreeEl1.jpg© Tree Elements

The plans look special and we confidently expect to see them rising further from the ground in 2021, when visitors will be able to take advantage of the wonderful surroundings of forest, streams and the nearby river Korana. The village of Rastoke, with its cascading waterfalls and waterside eateries, is also extremely close by.

treel3korana.jpg© Tree Elements

Friday, 13 November 2020

AROUND ZAGREB VIDEO: Zagreb to Zagorje in a Yugo Car

ZAGREB November 13, 2020 - Continuing our series on things to see and do Around Zagreb, in this video we took a tour in a Yugo car from Zagreb to Zagorje to see some of the sights and sample some Zagorje cuisine

The Yugo is a car that was made in the former Yugoslavia. Zagreb tour guide Antonija Buntak loves these classic old-timers. She now takes people on trips around her home city, Zagreb, and Croatia in a Yugo. We took her Yugocar Adventure tour from Zagreb to Zagorje.

Lying north of Croatia's capital - just 45 minutes from Zagreb to Zagorje by car - in Zagorje you escape into a picturesque landscape of vineyards, traditional agriculture, gently rolling hills, pretty houses, and historic castles like Veliki Tabor. We visited the Old Village Museum of Kumrovec to see how the people of Zagorje used to live. And we tried traditional, homemade Zagorje food at Grešna Gorica. This restaurant specializes in the famous gastronomy of Zagorje and sits atop one of the region's small hills. It is surrounded by nature and has a great view.

“Almost everyone here above the age of 32 drove a Yugo at some point in their lives,” says Antonija. “When I turned 18, it was my first car. My dad gave it to me.”

A professional tour guide for 15 years, Antonija decided two years ago to combine her enthusiasm for these classic cars and her career. She launched Yugocar Adventure and now gives people an informed tour experience from the perspective of these classic cars.

Antonija currently has two different tours of Zagreb available on her website, where she writes a great blog about the trips. She also makes hand-tailored tours upon request and recently took one group on a two-day trip around the waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes and the huge abandoned Željava Air Base near the Bosnian border.

118274293_2796918510543230_474001840566622371_n.jpgYou can take a Yugocar Adventure tour around the city of Zagreb, to Pltvice Lakes or to Kumrovec and Zagorje. Experienced tour guide Antonija also designs tailor-made trips in a Yugo upon request.© Yugocar Adventure

“After the Zagreb city tours, I think my second most popular tour is going from Zagreb to Zagorje, to Kumrovec, which is where Tito was born,” says Antonija. “It is not a Yugonostalgic trip. Kumrovec has been turned into an Ethno village, so you find out a lot about farmers lives in continental Croatia, you find out about crafts and traditions, which has nothing to do with communism. Basically, I'm always trying to cover Croatian culture and history. I'm just not focussing on the previous (communist) system. Although, I did get a few requests for a tour of socialist Zagreb, looking at places like the tower blocks in Novi Zagreb, so I'm thinking of writing a blog about that and offering it as another tour.”

People from many different countries have taken tours with Antonija in her Yugo car. She says she is frequently stopped at traffic lights by people with fond memories of the Yugo car, “I had the same one back in 1985!” is the type of comment she regularly gets. Indeed, on our trip from Zagreb to Zagorje a driving instructor in the next car at the traffic lights asked Antonija where he could buy a Yugo from - they're apparently good cars in which to learn driving.

Production of the Yugo car commenced in 1980. Its interiors were made in Split, Croatia and its brakes were made in Varaždin, also Croatia. Originally titled the Jugo, it was renamed Yugo in a bid to sell the car outside Yugoslavia. An affordable family car, the Yugo has sometimes been derided as slow and unreliable, but people who look after their vehicles claim that with the proper maintenance, this is not true. On our trip from Zagreb to Zagorje, we certainly had no problems with our Yugo.

Yugo's production ended on 11 November 2008 with 794,428 cars having been made, of which around 250,000 were exported to other countries.


On these links you can check out the other features in our Around Zagreb series:

Around Zagreb: Meet Zagreb Statues, Dressed for Tie Day

Around Zagreb Mirogoj Cemetery on All Saints

PHOTOS: Around Zagreb Dolac Market with a Michelin-starred Chef

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Plitvice Lakes National Park Announces Cheaper Ticket Prices Until End of Year

October 27, 2020 - Plitvice Lakes National Park announces cheaper ticket prices until the end of the year. 

Namely, from October 26 to December 31, one-day ticket prices will be 80.00 kn for an adult, 50.00 kn for students, and 35.00 kn for children (7-18 years). Also, in the same period, the prices of two-day tickets will be 120.00 kn for adults, 70.00 kn for students, and 60.00 kn for children (7-18 years), reports HRTurizam.

"Plitvice Lakes National Park is special in every season, and autumn has a unique magic, so we invite everyone to discover it, surrounded by the colors and smells of forests and the sounds of waterfalls," said Plitvice Lakes National Park.

HRTurizam believes this is certainly an opportunity for travel agencies to make exciting weekend arrangements to offer a much broader tourist story of Lika because anyone can come for a day to Plitvice Lakes National Park, without the need for travel agency services.

Otherwise, Lika is slowly but surely developing from year to year, and thus offers a wide range of activities and facilities, from canoeing on the Gacko river, sleeping in treehouses, Deer Valley, the Velebit House, buggy rides, horseback riding tours, Lika gastronomy, cheese roads, and more. If you are targeting Zagreb, you can offer a full day trip to Karlovac and the surrounding area. From the phenomenal freshwater aquarium Aquatika to the new beer tour in the city of beer, which is on the way to Lika. 

Plitvice Lakes National Park has also prepared a new gastronomic offer in their restaurants. Thus, in all facilities at the Park, you can taste traditional Lika dishes. And better yet? The National Park cooperates with small family farms, as well as local producers within the Lika Quality system, which consists of 57 producers with 160 products.

As Plitvice Lakes National Park points out, chefs from the Lika House have prepared new gastronomic offers for the autumn and winter seasons. Thus, visitors to the National Park will have the opportunity to order dishes such as traditional soup with lamb, potatoes and vegetables, tortellini stuffed with cottage cheese (handmade tortellini with pumpkin cream, arugula pesto, fried pumpkin seeds, sauteed mushrooms, cow cheese) and many others. 

Plitvice Lakes National Park also invites visitors to buy tickets online, and they have even offered promotional prices in their accommodation facilities. Thus, bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Hotel Jezero begin at 294.00 kn per person.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Monday, 26 October 2020

PHOTOS: Plitvice Lakes in Autumn Tones Create Beautiful Contrast

October 26, 2020 – On this day 41 years ago, Plitvice Lakes was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A look at the famous park in late October when it is covered in autumn tones.

One of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe and definitely a must-visit place in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park, is known for its magnificent travertine barriers that create 16 clear lakes separated by the numerous cascading waterfalls.

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Although Plitvice Lakes are known for the crystal clear water of lakes and green vegetation, in autumn their appearance turns into a real colorful landscape due to the yellow and orange leaves of the surrounding treetops.

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Plitvice Lakes are located in the Korana River valley where the travertine barriers block it, and the area of the national park stretches through Karlovac and Lika-Senj counties. Whether it is spring, summer, autumn, or winter, Plitvice Lakes exude their unique beauty at any time of the year, and autumn stands out as it creates a beautiful contrast between the orange leaves of the deciduous forest and the clear green waters of lakes.

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Anyone who visits Plitvice at this time of the year will not remain indifferent walking the wooden paths watching the waterfalls that make their way through the diverse vegetation. The lakes are now filled by the contrast of variegated deciduous treetops and clear lake water, as well as the contrast of fast and loud waterfalls defying calm parts of lakes.

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