Thursday, 24 February 2022

Norwegian Airlines Croatia Summer Flights Announced to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula!

February 24, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the Norwegian Airlines Croatia summer flights have been announced to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula this year. 

After SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Airlines has announced its summer program, reports Croatian Aviation.

Namely, Norwegian has announced 17 regular international flights to four Croatian airports in the upcoming summer flight schedule - to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula!

This well-known airline has confirmed its summer flight schedule, which will significantly increase the number of rotations and routes to Croatia compared to last year. In addition, the largest number of lines,  or 7, has been announced to Split Airport.

7 lines to Split
Bergen - Split, three times a week, from June 18 to August 13,

Copenhagen - Split, from two to seven times a week, May 3 to October 29,

Helsinki - Split, two to five times a week, from March 30 to October 29,

Oslo - Split, one to seven times a week, from April 23 to October 29,

Stavanger - Split, twice a week, from June 18 to August 13,

Stockholm - Split, two to five times a week, from May 4 to October 29,

Trondheim - Split, twice a week, from June 18 to August 13.

6 lines to Dubrovnik
Bergen - Dubrovnik, once a week, from May 18 to August 13,

Copenhagen - Dubrovnik, up to twice a week, from April 2 to October 29,

Helsinki - Dubrovnik, twice a week, from May 3 to October 29,

Oslo - Dubrovnik, two to seven times a week, from June 4 to October 29,

Stavanger - Dubrovnik, twice a week, from June 18 to August 13,

Stockholm - Dubrovnik, up to four times a week, from May 7 to October 15.

3 lines to Pula
Helsinki - Pula, once a week, from June 4 to August 6,

Oslo - Pula, twice a week, from June 1st to October 1st,

Stockholm - Pula, once a week, from June 10 to August 12.

1 line to Zagreb
Copenhagen - Zagreb, twice a week, from June 25 to August 13.

Norwegian will operate up to 55 times a week on 17 announced routes to Croatian airports, thus offering almost 21,000 seats in the peak summer season weekly. The schedule could still be reduced according to passenger demand and the pandemic.

Thus, with this summer flight schedule, flights from Stavanger, Helsinki, Bergen and Trondheim have been relaunched, while the airline also returns to Pula Airport. The Copenhagen-Zagreb line will run only twice a week, though Croatia Airlines also operates on this route throughout the year.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Zagreb to Dubrovnik: the Ultimate 10-day Road Trip Itinerary

21 February 2022 - It’s never the wrong time to start planning the perfect getaway to the paradise that is Croatia. We decided to give you a hand in planning the perfect 10-day road trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik (plus some bonus island time!) that showcases the best the country has to offer.

The best way to discover Croatia is by car, giving you the freedom to go off the beaten path and chart your own adventure around the country, all the way from Zagreb to Dubrovnik.

Before we jump into it, do be aware that most car rentals in Croatia are manual transmissions! Automatic cars are available for rent, though mostly by larger rental companies like Sixt, and are more expensive.

If you’re not a confident driver, no need to worry, there are plenty of private bus companies that run daily trips to most cities and tourist attractions during the high season (June - September). In larger cities such as Zagreb and Split, bus schedules are also available online. Transfers between major ports and the islands are also regularly serviced by ferries and catamarans.

Day 1: Zagreb

Welcome to Zagreb, the capital and largest city of Croatia! Nicknamed the city of museums, Zagreb is home to over a dozen award-winning museums such as the Archeological Museum, with over 450,000 artifacts and monuments.

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The gorgeous buildings of Upper Town in Zagreb. Visit Zagreb/Facebook.

Cultural landmarks of the city include Ban Jelačić Square which has existed since the 17th century, the Zagreb Cathedral, or the magnificent Croatian National Theater whose unveiling ceremony was attended by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. So, make sure you squeeze in some time for a walking tour to absorb the sights of Zagreb’s Old Town.

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Evenings on Tkalčićeva Street, Zagreb. Visit Zagreb/Facebook.

Hungry? Head to Dolac market, Zagreb's main open-air farmers market to pick up some fresh, seasonal produce and souvenirs. You can also choose to end your day with a tasty meal and local wine from any of the excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes along Tkalčićeva Street.

Day 2: Rovinj

After a bustling day in Zagreb, the enchanting city of Rovinj is a splendid change of pace. Perfectly situated on the Istrian peninsula, the city boasts a rich heritage, from being settled by Venetian tribes, to becoming part of the Byzantine and Frankish Empires, all reflected in the diversity of the city’s architecture, art, and culture.

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This stunning setting has been a popular film setting for movies such as "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard". Rovinj Tourist Board/Facebook.

Stroll along the beautiful cobbled streets and narrow alleys of Rovinj Old Town and make your way towards St. Euphemia Cathedral. Along the way, you should pass by Grisia Street, lined with souvenir stalls and galleries with the most unique pieces to add to your collection.
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The charming, picturesque streets of Rovinj's Old Town. Rovinj Tourist Board/Facebook.

If you have time to spare, take a day trip to Sveta Katarina, a small picturesque island that’s a mere 10-minute water taxi ride from the pier. Spend the afternoon taking a dip in the aquamarine waters of the bay, or hike on one of the numerous trails dotted around the island, or both!

Alternatively, sit back and relax on some of the most beautiful beaches in Istria such as Amarin, Borik, or Valdaliso Beach.

Day 3: Pula

Before leaving the Istrian Coast, make Pula the next stop on your road trip. Serving as the capital of Istria, Pula was the main military port for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the height of its military glory. Today, remnants of these times are reflected in the city’s breathtaking landscape.

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The Pula Arena frequently hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year. Pula Plus/Facebook.

The famous Pula Arena, one of the most well preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world, is a must-see! Another not to be missed landmark is the Temple of Augustus, a monument dedicated to the first Roman emperor in honor of his rule.

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The unique shape of Fort Puna Christo. Pula Plus/Facebook.

Also check out the impressive Fort Punta Christo, which includes an underground section to explore and a well-stocked rooftop bar for refreshments after. You can also enjoy magnificent 360-degree views of Pula from the Venetian Fortress (Kaštel) which also houses the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria.

Day 4: Plitvice National Park

Although Croatia boasts some of the best coastlines in the world, Plitvice Lakes National Park consistently appears in the top must-see places to visit in Croatia, and for good reason! This UNESCO World Heritage Site holds the title as the oldest and largest national park in Croatia, famous for its gorgeous turquoise lakes. Well worth the detour inland.

plitvice_lakes_national_park_facebook_small.jpgThe main walkway of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park/Facebook.

Be aware that the park can get very crowded during the season! To avoid this, just be prepared to visit early (7-8am), or better still, stop by during off-peak seasons where the park transforms into the perfect winter wonderland.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park/Facebook.

Day 5: Zadar

After a day in the lush forests, take a scenic drive back to the Dalmatian coast and spend a day in the charming city of Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. Today, cozy cafes and art galleries are seamlessly woven into remains from the times of Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus.

Enjoy a relaxing stroll through Old Town and admire the historical architecture including the Church of St. Donatus, the Landward Gate, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, and the Roman Forum.

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Ruins in the Old Town of Zadar. Zadar Region/Facebook

Along the way, catch the famous Sea Organ, and a sunset so beautiful, it even captivated Alfred Hitchcock! Just after sunset, take in the light show at the Sun Salutation, an installation created by Nikola Bašić, the same artist who designed the sea organ.

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The Landward Gate, Zadar. Zadar Region/Facebook

If you have some time in between, head to Pag Island to try some of the famous Paski Cheese or to Nin, home to Queen’s Beach, the longest sandy beach in Croatia. Other gorgeous beaches along the coast of Zadar include Kolovare and Borik.

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Award-winning sheep's cheese from Pag Island. Pag Tourist Board/Facebook.

Day 6: Split

Welcome to Split, the largest city in Dalmatia, and second-largest in all of Croatia. The city was founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos between the 3rd and 2nd century BC.

It was later where Diocletian's Palace was built for the Roman emperor in AD 305. The palace also houses the Peristil, or the main square, another great place to enjoy some coffee and people-watch in addition to the Riva promenade.

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Enjoy a drink inside the walls of the Diocletian's Palace, Split. Visit Split/Facebook

While exploring the Old Town, stop by the Green Market, the largest farmer’s market in Split, to pick up some fresh, organic produce. Turn the corner and it is difficult to miss the 8.5-meter statue of Gregory of Nin, sculpted by world-renowned artist Ivan Meštrović. Rubbing the statue’s toe is said to bring good luck, so much so that it has been worn smooth by visitors over the years.

You can also squeeze in a light hike up Marjan Hill, also known as the “lungs of Split”. Its summit is an ideal place for a picnic, offering marvelous views of the harbor and neighboring islands.

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The crystal clear waters of Bačvice beach. Visit Split/Facebook

Fancy another beach day? Bačvice beach is a popular hangout spot in the center of Split. Relax at one of the many cafe bars and watch the locals play picigin, a traditional ball game. Rumor has it this beach is also where the sport originates from.

Day 7: Krka/Omiš/Trogir

Don't be too quick to leave Split. From here, there are several options for day tours to surrounding attractions.
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Some of the most stunning waterfalls in Croatia can be found at Krka National Park. Krka Nationa Park/Facebook

For nature lovers, Krka National Park is another national park about an hour’s drive from Split. Spend a day walking along well-maintained trails that wind along some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. Again, make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds!

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Try white water rafting in Omiš. Tourist Board Omiš/Facebook

For those craving more action, head to the picturesque town of Omiš which offers one of the most dramatic scenes on the coast. The city is nestled in a canyon surrounded by gray, craggy mountains, contrasting the peacock blue waters where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea. Omiš offers white water rafting, free climbing, ziplining, abseiling, and canyoning, amongst other activities for visitors seeking a bit of a thrill on their vacation.

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Just one of the many well-preserved remains scattered around Trogir's Old Town. Visit Trogir/Facebook

For the history buff, head to Trogir which has the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in all of Central Europe. Take a walk around the Old Town, surrounded by walls comprising a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

Day 8: Hvar

With over 1,000 islands, it wouldn’t be a complete trip to Croatia without doing some island hopping. From Split, take the 1-hour ferry ride over to Hvar. Its beauty and vibrant nightlife have made it a regular vacation spot for the likes of celebrities such as George Clooney and Beyonce.

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Hvar is one of the longest and sunniest islands in Croatia. Hvar Tourist Board/Facebook

Start by wandering around St. Stephen’s Square, the largest square in Croatia and don’t miss the Cathedral of St. Stephen and the Hvar public theater. For the best view, climb to the top of the Španjola Fortress to get an unobstructed view overlooking Hvar Town and nearby Pakleni Islands. You can even rent a small boat (no license required) to explore these islands on your own!

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The view from the top of the Španjola Fortress is unparalleled on the island. Hvar Tourist Board/Facebook

Once you’ve taken in all these sights, enjoy another relaxing beach day at one of the many pristine beaches such as Malo Zaraće, Dubovica, or Pokonji Dol.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for another day trip, book a tour with one of the local travel agencies to the Blue Caves on Biševo and marvel at its clear, iridescent blue waters.

Day 9: Korčula

After the buzz of Hvar, take the ferry to the tranquil town of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula, the birthplace of famed explorer Marco Polo and home to some of the best Croatian wines.

From Vela Luka, take a scenic drive towards the town of Korčula, also known as “little Dubrovnik”. Along the way, stop by the numerous family-run vineyards that welcome visitors for wine and cheese tastings.

Grk is a white wine variety grown almost exclusively on Korčula, other white wines such as Pošip and Rukatac are also premier Croatian wines, often served on celebratory occasions. For fans of red wine, do grab a bottle or 2 of Plavac Mali.

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Vineyards of Korčula island. Visit Korčula/Facebook

In Korčula, walk off the afternoon’s indulgences exploring the streets of the Old Town with its architectural influences by the Venetian Renaissance, before capping off the night with a meal and more wine at any of its superb restaurants.

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Korčula town. Visit Korčula/Facebook

Day 10: Dubrovnik

There’s no better way to end the trip than with Dubrovnik. And yes, there is no shortage of Game of Thrones tours to indulge your senses, but there is so much more to this medieval city than where Cersei Lannister did her walk of shame.

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The beautiful Saint Blaise's Church in Dubrovnik was built during the 10th century. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

Talk a walk along the city walls and through Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street. From here, you can also catch Onofrio’s Large Fountain that used to supply Dubrovnik with fresh water during the Middle Ages and other impressive structures including the Clock Tower, Saint Blaise's Church, Saint Ignatius Church, Cathedral of the Assumption, and the Franciscan Monastery.

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The view from beyond the walls of Dubrovnik looking upon Fort Lovrijenac. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

Watch the sunsets and reminisce on your amazing road trip through the country at one of the cliff bars along the city walls, before capping it all off with an exquisite meal at one of the many Michelin-starred or recommended restaurants Dubrovnik has to offer.

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Nothing like a luscious meal to top off a fantastic experience road-tripping in Croatia. Dubrovnik Tourist Board/Facebook

And that’s all folks, you’ve done it! Croatia in 10 days! Bear in mind, this is merely the appetizer of what Croatia has to offer. Customize this guide to better suit your tastes and pace and remember, don’t hesitate to ask the locals in order to unlock the best secrets each location has to offer.

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

Saturday, 19 February 2022

13 SAS Croatia Lines from Scandinavia this Summer, Most Flying to Split Airport

February 19, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 13 SAS Croatia lines from Scandinavia have been announced to Split, Pula, and Dubrovnik this summer. 

Croatian Aviation reports that SAS Scandinavian Airlines announced the upcoming summer flight schedule in which it plans to operate on 13 international routes to Croatian airports.

Namely, SAS Scandinavian Airlines is planning 13 regular seasonal routes to three Croatian airports - Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik. The summer program to Croatia announced for this year offers far more flights than last year, especially compared to 2020.

Most lines to Split
SAS is planning the largest number of operations to Split Airport, with seven lines announced:

Copenhagen - Split, from 16.04., once a week, from the end of June to the end of August every day, two weekly flights available until the end of October,

Oslo - Split, from 14.05. once a week, from the end of June to the middle of August every day, one weekly flight available until the end of October,

Stockholm - Split, from 07.05., twice a week, from the end of June to the middle of August every day, one weekly flight available until the end of October,

Bergen - Split, from 27.06., twice a week until mid-August,

Gothenburg - Split, from 14.05., once a week, from the end of June to the middle of August every day, one weekly flight available until the end of October,

Kristiansand - Split, from 28.06., twice a week until mid-August,

Stavanger - Split, from 27.06., twice a week until mid-August.

Scandinavian Airlines is planning 34 flights a week on these seven routes to Split Airport in the peak season. 

Four lines to Pula
SAS also announced four international flights to Pula Airport:

Copenhagen - Pula, daily from 26.06. to 13.08.,

Oslo - Pula, from June 27, twice a week until mid-August, three flights a week announced in July,

Stockholm - Pula, from June 24, four flights a week until mid-August,

Gothenburg - Pula, from June 26, three times a week until mid-August.

Only two lines to Dubrovnik
This summer, SAS will operate on only two regular lines to Dubrovnik. Namely, a line from Copenhagen has been announced, which should run daily from the end of June to mid-August, and a line between Stockholm and Dubrovnik, which will run twice a week in the same period.

SAS is announcing CRJ900, E195, B737-700 / 800, A319, A320, and A321 aircraft on routes to Croatia, with a capacity of 90 to 200 seats, depending on the aircraft type.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

New Skate Park Opening on Hidrobaza Beach in Pula

February 17th, 2022 - Construction works are drawing to a close at Hidrobaza beach in Pula, which is getting several new facilities including a skate park, a climbing wall and cycling areas

Hidrobaza beach in Štinjan, Pula has been renovated in stages since 2016, when three breakwaters were built to shield the beach from strong waves and ensure retention of loose gravel.

The place has a lot to offer, including a dog-friendly beach, an accessible area for people with disabilities, shower stalls and other related facilities. There’s also a promenade, a children’s playground, a basketball court, and several hospitality facilities in the area.

As reported by Glas Istre, this year's investments in the amount of HRK 2.1 million are financed by the City of Pula without any additional funding from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The skate park is almost ready to open, with the last of the works completed two days ago. As the freshly poured concrete has yet to dry, the park is still fenced and watched by security guards.

Construction was carried out by the Cesta company, assisted by the company Tonbe from Zagreb, the latter specialising in construction of concrete skateparks and special elements for extreme sports manifestations and events.

Members of the August Šenoa Skateboard Club jumped in to help as volunteers. The biggest skate club in the county is also known for establishing the Vladimir Film Festival, an international event centered around skateboarding culture which put Fažana town on the international skateboarding map.

‘This is a phenomenal skate park. It’s pure California. The sea is 20 metres away, you can nearly make the jump off your skateboard’, said Nikola Racan, an experienced skater and one of the founders of Vladimir Film Festival.

‘It’s perfect. It spans over 500 square metres, it’s not too big or too challenging, and it has a lot of surface. This made Hidrobaza the best place in Croatia. It’s going to be really popular, and it’ll be interesting to see who’ll be having more fun, kids or adults’, added Racan.

For years now, Racan has also been involved in another project, a long-promised and much desired skate park in Fažana near Pula. The plans and designs are there, but the municipality hasn’t shown understanding, although the skater scene in Fažana is one of the most prominent in Croatia. It’s believed that a new skate park would help extend the tourist season in Fažana, as the town could host events that would attract skaters from all over the world.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Don't Feed the Gulls! Istria Doubles Down on Seagull Control

February 17th, 2022 - As part of the ongoing efforts to keep the seagull population in check, several cities in Istria are appealing to the public to follow a few rules of conduct

A staple feature of the Adriatic coast, seagulls have been more of a nuisance than a pretty sight in recent times. The sleek white birds are growing more daring by the day, nesting in urban areas, rummaging through rubbish bins, and commonly seen swooping in and ripping tasty-looking snacks straight out of the hands of unsuspecting tourists.

The avian marauders are becoming more aggressive and are known to harass people outdoors. They're predominantly food-driven and will attack whenever a prospect of scoring a snack is involved. 

Efforts have been made to keep the Caspian gull population in check, particularly in western Istria where a project was implemented 10 years ago with the goal of decreasing the numbers of pesky gulls in urban areas.

The project was initially launched in Poreč in 2011, and soon resulted in a 70% decrease in the population of seagulls in town. Novigrad, Rovinj and Pula have joined the initiative in the years since, with the local tourist boards appealing to the citizens to report any sightings of seagull nests on residential and commercial buildings.

Pula is now doubling down on seagull control, as reported by Morski.hr. Drones are being used to monitor the areas known as seagull habitats, and fake eggs are being planted in their nests to keep the gull population under control. The birds can't tell the difference and accept plastic eggs as if it were their own; they're known to be calmer and less aggressive during this time, and once the 'incubation'  period is over, they leave the nests in search of new adventures. 

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The Veterinary Hospital Poreč which manages the project has published brochures containing detailed information on Caspian gulls that inhabit the Istrian coast. The birds that once only used to nest on uninhabited rocky islands have now moved to urban areas; as they prefer to nest on flat surfaces, they’ve been choosing flat roofs of hotels and family homes to build their nests.

The gulls nest from April to June, laying 3-4 eggs at a time that take about a month to hatch. They have a long lifespan and are known to live for up to 35 years! That’s a lot of time to procreate, and seeing that they have no natural predators, the gull population would likely keep increasing into oblivion if it weren’t kept in check with humane control measures.

Whether you’re only visiting Istria or staying long-term, what can you do to help? Remember to close garbage disposal bins and don’t leave any garbage on the ground around the bins, on beaches, or in any other outdoor areas. Garbage bags are not to be left outside overnight, especially in historic city centres, as the gulls are drawn to plastic bags which they got to know as their main source of food. And above all, never, ever feed the gulls!

The City of Pula has put up brochures with more information on their website - available in English, Italian and Croatian.

Think you’ve spotted a seagull nest in town? You can report the sighting by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Edelweiss Summer Flights to Croatia Announced from Zurich to Pula, Split, Dubrovnik

February 16, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Edelweiss summer flights to Croatia have been announced from Zurich, Switzerland to Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik. 

The Swiss leisure airline Edelweiss has announced several flights to Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik in the upcoming summer flight schedule, reports Croatian Aviation.

Namely, the sister company of the well-known Swiss International Air Lines is planning three routes to Croatia in the upcoming summer flight schedule, as it has operated in previous years. Compared to last year's summer flight schedule, slightly more weekly operations from Zurich to Pula, Split, and Dubrovnik have been announced, which is great news for all Swiss tourists looking to soak in the Croatian sun this summer. 

A320 aircraft with a capacity of up to 174 seats in the passenger cabin in this carrier's fleet have been announced on all routes to Croatia. The only exception is Split, according to which Swissa A220 aircraft should also operate at the peak of the summer season.

The Zurich-Pula line should begin operating on May 28, and two flights a week have been announced, every Wednesday and Saturday, until the end of the summer flight schedule, i.e., on October 22 this year.

The Zurich-Dubrovnik line has been announced from April 15, also twice a week, every Monday and Friday, until October 24 this year.

Significantly more weekly operations have been announced between Zurich and Split, and at the same time, this line will be the first to start operating on April 8. Edelweiss will gradually increase the number of weekly operations to Split, and as early as June, 5 flights a week have been announced, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

In addition to Edelweiss, a few other airlines fly from Croatia to Zurich, such as Croatia Airlines and the British EasyJet.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 12 February 2022

Former Military Base in Pula to Become Home of Green Industry, Drive Progress and Change

February 12th, 2022 - Pula Mayor Filip Zoričić has big plans for Vallelunga, a suburban area that was last used as a military base and now stands empty, yet full of potential. If everything goes according to plan, Vallelunga just might become Croatia’s Silicon Valley

‘I don’t know what those who came before me had planned for this space; after all, it doesn’t even matter anymore. What matters is that transforming Vallelunga into the generator of green industry in Pula was the basis of my pre-election campaign. Considering that I won the citizens’ trust with my campaign, it’s absolutely my obligation to bring my promises to life’, said Zoričić for Novi list/Edi Prodan, adding that he wasn’t one of those people who, immediately upon winning the coveted chair, become the opposite of everything they stood for in their pre-election campaign.

‘Even though my conduct as a mayor, most of all my transparency in regards to allocating funds from the city budget, as well as my so-called ‘ordinariness’, are infuriating to the current political establishment, I remain exactly who I promised to be. And in the same way, I’ll do my best to implement everything I’d announced over the next four years. And the place to begin, the place of radical transformation of Pula, is right here’, said the mayor about Vallelunga.

He calls it a beautiful area, full of fantastic flora; the proximity of the sea and the unique view of Pula only add to its appeal. Vallelunga is also known for numerous structures left behind by various armies that resided in the area over the course of some 150 years. The last one being the Croatian Army which withdrew after a short period of time, allowing for the area to finally become open to the public.

At present, Vallelunga is under the authority of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets. Since the beginning of his mandate, Zoričić has sent a letter of intent to the Ministry on three occasions, specifying what the City of Pula is planning to do with this area of massive potential.

‘Our wish is for this space to be expropriated for a period of one hundred years, and for us to create business incubators where start-ups would be developed, a centre for the development of digital technologies and new considerations of energy for the future. This is a space which, in our opinion, should never be used for the purposes of tourism or housing, at least not in a typical sense’, Zoričić explained his plans for Vallelunga.

The former army barracks and military depots are now vacant, ruinous, and shamefully neglected. Croatia is full of post-industrial and post-military ruins, but there aren’t many to be found in locations as fantastic as this one. In this case, it’s a breathtaking bay, a part of which also houses the city of Pula.

The Pula mayor’s vision for the neglected suburb is in stark contrast with the typical tendency in these parts to approve foreign investments in tourism only to collect taxes; he strives for something completely different to hotels and camps operating in full capacity for 100 days a year. 

‘Since the census data were published, demography has been the most important topic of discussion on all levels. From the cabinet of the Government and the Parliament, to terraces of cafés. And yes, it’s true that [demographics] can be helped with a financial incentive granted to families who decide to have more children. We also saw an increase in the number of newborns in Pula last year, but this in itself cannot drive change. Change can only be made possible by investing in a new industry that will attract - new people’, said Zoričić with resolve.

Locals are fond of Vallelunga; they love to spend time outdoors and aren’t happy that the area was left to ruin. People come here to sunbathe, to repair their fishing nets, moms are taking babies out for walks; locals are cycling, jogging, walking their dogs.

‘Try to imagine this place as a big park, a compound of renovated objects built of ecological, modern materials; young people creating a new industry, or rather a green industry as we like to define it. What I definitely want to point out is, when the said transformation happens, because I’m sure that the Government will soon positively respond to our letter of intent, all the people that we see around here now will still be able to do everything they’re doing today. Or rather, they’ll be able to do even more, because of the large green areas that will allow for many more activities’, he said.

Zoričić says the project is well underway, far from only being wishful thinking. The City is already working on the framework, and has signed on Infobip, CARNET and the University of Juraj Dobrila in Pula as partners. They’re now waiting for the Government’s decision in regards to the Vallelunga area.

‘Everyone’s amazed by Infobip or the fact that Rimac brought experts from around the world to Sveta Nedjelja. It’s exactly what we’ll see here at Vallelunga, and all these young and smart people will have one of the most beautiful workspaces on the planet. I truly don’t understand why we so lightly decide that life is better somewhere else without even trying to do what we’re good at in the place where we already live’, said the mayor.

He’s not impatient in regards to the Government making a decision regarding the state property at Vallelunga, saying he understands it’s a complex question. Our coastline is one of our most important resources, and it’s understandable that we as a nation would care about retaining control over it.

‘People have the right to be cautious as they’re constantly subjected to the terror of manipulation, setups and affairs of corruption, so they’re more likely to accept a space that’s devastated and neglected than the idea of it being given to someone. I guarantee two things: when Vallelunga is appropriated by the City of Pula, there won’t be any tourist and hospitality facilities apart from the most essential ones, nor will there be any apartments for sale. Yes, housing units can be implemented, but only for the purpose of temporary accommodation of visiting experts, scientists, or persons in need of accommodation in the first few months of their residence in Pula. There will be nothing commercial of the kind that proved to be detrimental to our coast, such as the cheap construction of tourist apartments. This is my promise’, said Mayor Zoričić.

Monday, 7 February 2022

Over 10,000 Boats in Croatia Removed from Vessel Register for Unpaid Fees

February 7th, 2022 - Some of the affected boat owners claim to have paid all the required fees and had their vessels removed from the register regardless

At the end of last year and early this year, many fishermen and private vessel owners in Croatia were unpleasantly surprised to receive notices informing them that their vessels have been removed from the state Vessel Register. Reportedly there are tens of thousands of vessels that have been affected by this decision, as their owners have allegedly failed to pay the necessary fees for the past two years, reports Glas Istre/Marcello Rosanda.

However, most affected owners claim to have not received any bills or notices regarding the said fees in the first place, raising the question as to what actually happened and who is responsible for the outcome.

While some boats were removed from the register for justifiable reasons, most were not, the main reason for the latter being the unpaid fees for the use of maritime property and for the prevention of sea pollution. Many bizarre cases followed, such as in Pula, where some boat owners claim to have paid all the required fees and had their vessels removed from the register regardless.

‘The most bizarre thing about this case is that people didn’t receive the bills at all, nor any notices. It makes it seem as if the port authorities had deliberately dragged this out until the situation led to a mass removal of vessels. Instead of sending warning notices or starting enforcement proceedings, they immediately removed people’s vessels from the register. To make matters worse, some of them are now unable to re-register their vessels because, according to certain regulations, their boats are considered too old. The Republic of Croatia encourages fishermen, it wants to help this sector through the means of an operational programme for maritime affairs and fishing. There are efforts to improve the fishing flora and energy efficiency, to introduce new products and protect traditional fishing, which makes one wonder why the port authorities, i.e. the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, would counter these positive efforts for such a banal reason’, said biologist Neven Iveša for Glas Istre.

Iveša has a PhD from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb and teaches at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Pula. As one of the vessel owners affected by the removal from the register, he recently filed an appeal at the Administrative Court in Rijeka.

Article 6 of the Ordinance on Compensation Fees for Navigation Safety stipulates that the fees in question are to be paid according to the invoice issued by the Ministry within the period specified in the invoice. The vast majority of boat owners have reportedly never received such a bill, meaning there was no basis to make a decision to remove their vessels from the register.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Balkan Beats: 3 Music Treats to Enjoy This Month

February 3, 2022 - It appears we have a music-themed month on our hands with Zagreb Music Fair and a few delicious live shows lined up in the coming weeks. We bring you a selection of three performances in Zagreb and Pula that are all rooted in traditional music of the Balkans, some partially, some in full. Enjoy!

 

Zoran Majstorović & JazzIstra Quartet - Musical Migrations / Zagreb, February 4

First up, Zoran Majstorović and the JazzIstra Quartet performing in Zagreb this Friday. They’ll be playing the six pieces which make up the album Musical Migrations, composed by Majstorović and recorded in 2020.

The album was written for a jazz orchestra featuring a multi-instrumentalist, in this case Majstorović himself. Musical Migrations are influenced by American jazz and traditional music from various parts of the world, combining musical elements originating from multiple cultures in six original compositions. Every piece is a story of its own, with three of them inspired by traditional music of the Balkans and Istria in particular. Here's a rundown as presented in the event description:

The opening track Baal Un is an interpretation of balun (a form of traditional Istrian dance) in an abstract drum’n’bass performance. La Tierra Y El Cielo is inspired by Latin music and flamenco, with a mandolin adding a touch of Mediterranean sound. Wangari combines the music of West Africa with American swing and is dedicated to Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Duck’s Remarks draws inspiration from island music, featuring Jamaican reggae, Hawaiian ukulele, and a dose of free jazz.

In the video above, listen to Oro Machno, named after the Istrian village Koromačno and combining the Balkan oro in 9/8 with melodic elements of the Istrian scale. And finally, Not Giving Up on Our Species, a composition in which delta blues and the New Orleans sound meet Istria and the Balkans.

Zoran Majstorović - guitar, oud, saz, kamal
Branko Sterpin - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bojan Skočilić - double bass, bass guitar
Borko Rupena - drums

 

Kulturni centar Mesnička (Mesnicka Cultural Centre), Zagreb
February 4, 9pm start

The album will be available for purchase at the venue.
Admission is free, with voluntary donations welcome.

 

Alice In WonderBand / Zagreb, February 13

On the second weekend in February, Močvara club in Zagreb will host Alice In WonderBand, a duo from Serbia known for their captivating blend of folk music and performance arts. They bring Balkan folklore to life in a unique way, performing traditional music through a combination of singing and body percussion.

Ana Vrbaški and Marko Dinjaški are artists and performers who have been life and stage partners for 25 years. The Alice in WonderBand project was conceived at Fruška Gora in 1998, and has since made its way all over the region. They perform traditional songs from Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Turkey and Hungary.

Their shows are a mesmerising fusion of music, theatre, dance and acrobatics performed using a special skill of body percussion. Watch the video below to see them skip, clap, tap and twirl, all the while belting out some serious tunes:

Močvara, Zagreb
Sunday, February 13, 8pm start
Tickets can be purchased here and at the venue before the show.

 

Tamara Obrovac Quartet / Pula, February 23

Singer, songwriter, composer and flutist, Tamara Obrovac is a powerhouse best known for her Istria-inspired flavour of ethnic jazz. The immensely talented artist is performing in Pula on February 23 with one of her long-standing ensembles, a quartet whose line-up hasn’t changed since 1997!

They’ll be playing new compositions written by Obrovac for an album coming out later this year.

Have a taste of their sublime sound with a 2018 performance:

Tamara Obrovac - vocals
Matija Dedić - piano
Žiga Golub - double bass
Krunoslav Levačić - drums

 

INK Pula (Istrian National Theatre Pula)
Wednesday, February 23, 8pm
Tickets can be purchased here

Friday, 28 January 2022

New Medical School Building in Pula Inaugurated

ZAGREB, 28 Jan 2022 - The completion of construction on a new HRK 61.7 million ( €8.2m)Medical School building in Pula and the start of classes were inaugurated on Friday, with Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs attending.

"This school is of strategic interest for the city and the county, as well as the wider area, as evidenced by student trends on the labor market after they graduate from this school, notably in primary healthcare and health tourism," the minister said.

The new premises with modern equipment will provide students with better upbringing and education conditions as well as a higher quality of acquiring knowledge and skills in demanding jobs in healthcare, he added.

The construction of the new school building, completed in less than two years, was a joint project by Istria County and the City of Pula, with both financing it equally.

Istria County head Boris Miletić said the school was near the new building of the Pula General Hospital, which was completed in December, and that a future hospice will be located nearby.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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