Friday, 1 October 2021

New Bronze Sculpture of Šibenik Unveiled In the City

October 1st, 2021 - As in Zagreb, Split, and other Croatian cities, a new bronze sculpture of Šibenik has been officially unveiled and warmly received by city residents. It is a scale sculpture that serves as a miniature of the Dalmatian city, and now adds to its various attractions.

As reported by Slobodna Dalmacija, eight hundred kilograms of clay, 1.5 tons of bronze and almost two years of hard work, sculpting, studying the theory of space, mathematics, and geometry were all needed by the Zagreb painter-graphic artist with Šibenik address Zvonimir Vila to create his city plan in volume, a new bronze sculpture of Šibenik called Šibenik stina. It was placed on the square in front of Krešimir's home where the city administration is located, and it was ceremoniously opened on Wednesday night on the Day of the City of Šibenik.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Other cities have models, mostly industrially processed, but Šibenik got a work of art, high relief, in fact, a sculpture of its historic city center that creates a story of space, brings emotion, and leads the viewer to the old Šibenik streets, rocks, thighs, and squares, points to its historical and cultural heritage as well as the very life of Šibenik, as the mayor of Šibenik Željko Burić said, satisfied that Šibenik is now a part of that life.

The creation of the sculpture, which Vila determined the dimensions of 4x2 meters on a pedestal about 60 centimeters high, was initiated by the Šibenik Tourist Board, and the money was provided from European funds.

''The goal was initially to make a model of the city center as our largest and most valuable resource and potential, as other cities have. However, we decided to give it to our Zvonimir Vila, who made a sculpture out of the model. The process was long, there were technical, financial, and administrative problems, and the pandemic bothered us. The new bronze sculpture of Šibenik is there now and I am overjoyed about it. Šibenik has gained another cultural value and tourist attraction'', said Dino Karađole, director of the Tourist Board.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

''I am glad to be in my city tonight and I just told the mayor that I don't recognize anything anymore. Whether it is good or not, I do not know, but I know that this sculpture, it is good that you call it that, and not a model, speaks of the spirit of Šibenik. However, why this sculpture on this day, the feast of St. Michael? Simply because saints personify cities. That symbiotic relationship between a saint and a city, an equation that has been confirmed in a thousand examples. What are St. Vlaho, St. Duje, St. Krševan to Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, it is St. Mihovil to Šibenik. I think it is a happy choice that this work was given, not so much to the sculptor, but to the graphic artist, because he succeeded in what is most important in Šibenik, and that is the labyrinthine feeling you have in this city of incredible topography. If you were to make a model, 3D, 4D or as it is done today, you would get a good informative picture, but here you have a real work of art'', said the art historian dr. Sc. Josip Belamarić.

''I did this quite emotionally and hard. When I took the job, I knew it wasn’t easy, but it was challenging. The sculpture was made with the classical sculptural technique, first in clay, and later also with the classical method in bronze by his colleague Ante Jurkić, who did a great job of casting'', said Vila, the author, also thanking all of those who supported him in the arduous and long process of creation, especially many citizens and tourists peeking into his studio while he worked.

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Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Vila also admitted that he would have preferred his work, as originally planned, to be located in Poljana. Nothing is more logical, he says, than for the sculpture of the old town to be in the old town, and not outside its borders, although only 50 meters from Poljana. However, the authors of the architectural-urban project of arranging Poljana did not accept this proposal.

In any case, the people of Šibenik will not be bothered by the location of the new bronze sculpture of Šibenik. A large number of people came to discover the sculpture, and the strong congratulations to Vila and numerous selfies were taken on the first evening near Šibenik stina.

For everything you need to know about the historic city of Šibenik and all things you can do and see, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide: Šibenik in a Page. Now in your language!

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

16 Super Reasons to Visit Croatia Now: September October 2021

September 22, 2021 – The sun is shining and we'll still be swimming in the sea for some time yet, although the weather and warm Adriatic are far from the only reasons to visit Croatia now

Here are a full 16 reasons to visit Croatia now, in September and October 2021
The weather is fantastic and the forecast is great!

Screenshot_205.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot © Marc Rowlands

Screenshot_204.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot

The sea is still warm enough for swimming

242336077_6243047692432629_2508322542701942610_n.jpgSwimming in very late September 2021 on the Omiš riviera, one of the best reasons to visit Croatia now © Marc Rowlands

The very best Croatian food

241480915_6170941186309947_1327304007351009063_n.jpgDomestic bacon and prosciutto, a classic Croatian 'tapas' served at the last surviving inn on Biokovo mountain, Vrata Biokovo © Marc Rowlands

There's no shortage of the finest fresh fish and seafood now the rush have tourists have gone. Want to cook them for yourself? Buy straight from the fishermen on the beach. You can't do that in peak season – it all goes to the restaurants. Also, Croatia's fruit and vegetables are ripe and at their best right now.

241126505_6138144742922925_8968400606881277475_n.jpgUnique, miniature squid, served in ink, with a medley of fresh, roasted vegetables at the restaurant of Camping Labadusa on the island of Čiovo, 2021. Yes, this is how amazing food is at some campsites in Croatia © Marc Rowlands

From figs, melons, mushrooms and truffles to salad greens, pumpkins and mandarins, Croatia is currently the land of plenty. And, the lunchtime specials – Marenda (Dalmatia), Gablets (Zagreb) are outstanding and super cheap right now. Looking for an amazing 50 kuna lunch in Dalmatia right now? Try Konoba Marenda in Šibenik, Konoba Joskan in Omiš or Gastro Diva or Konoba Kalalarga in Makarska?

242356626_6243046882432710_3401854122891850972_n.jpgRoast beef and beetroot risotto with sour cream, pomegranate and apple. Marenda of Konoba Joskan in Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Sports, activity and recreation

242223445_6222414447829287_952918838844562246_n.jpgCycling in Šibenik © Marc Rowlands

Now the temperature have grown more gentle, it's the perfect time to get sporty or active in Croatia. Why not try cycling and hiking in and around Šibenik? Or how about golfing in Zagreb? Inland Dalmatia is a great place for quad biking. Try it in Drniš, Knin, near Vrlika or in Imotski. If you want to try a range of activities and sports, then maybe head for Omiš. You can try canyoning, white water rafting, diving, mountain biking, hiking and a thrilling zip line in Omiš.

Peace, quiet, relaxation

IMG_3328defcvbnjuhgfcv.JPGThe peaceful beach at Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje, pictured in late September 2021 © Marc Rowlands

The kids are mostly back at school, the students have finished partying and are returned to university. Right now, Croatia's campsites, beaches and lunchtime restaurants are quiet and chilled. Romantic couples walk undisturbed across the sands or sip wine as they watch the sunset. The only sound you often hear is the lapping of the waves against the shore.

Idyllic camping

IMG_3321edrfghjnk.JPGRelaxing and peaceful, individual terraces of each glamping unit in Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje © Marc Rowlands

If you want to get up close to nature, camping in Croatia is one of the best ways to do this. And, right now, the country's campsites are at their best. Incredibly peaceful and way under full capacity, there are no more children, families or teenagers. You can bring your own mobile home or even tent – it's cool enough to sleep under canvas now (tents are too hot during the height of a Croatian summer).

241130404_6149405168463549_8737034291319710149_n.jpgUnforgettable sunset views at Camping Rožac, Trogir © Marc Rowlands

Looking for a brilliant Croatian campsite for late September / early October 2021? Camping Rožac, Trogir here has incredible sunset views, whereas the beach at nearby Camping Labadusa here on Čiovo island's other side is a faultless slice of paradise. Further south, the glamping offer of Kamp Adria Village Baško Polje here is also among the finest in Croatia. All three sites are nestled under strongly scented pine trees, just metres from the shore.

IMG_2401dfvgbhnjkiuyhgb.JPGIncredible paradise beach at Camping Labadusa on the island of Čiovo © Marc Rowlands

Discover some of Europe's greatest white and sparkling wine in continental Croatia

AnyConv.com__IMG_2044fgvbnmjnhg.jpgVineyards of Koprivnica-Križevci County winemakers © Marc Rowlands

Been to the Croatian coast before? Then no doubt you've tried some of Dalmatia's famous red wines. Unlike other places, where white wines usually accompany the lighter seafood, pasta and fish dishes of the seaside and summer, on the Croatian coast it's the red wines that rule. Big, gutsy red wines like Plavac mali and Syrah are found by the Croatian Adriatic.

IMG_1802wsdfgh.JPGWinemakers of Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

Less well known are Croatian white wines Even more hidden are Croatia's sparkling wines. Because, if you want to find them, you have to move away from the sea and come inland. For the best sparkling wines, look to Zagreb County.

IMG_2122.JPGWinemakers of south Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

For brilliant white wines, there's a thick strip of continental Croatia you simply must get to know. Its north is the Drava river and the sandy soil runs along its length from Koprivnica and Đurđevac to the start of Baranja. Up into the hills of Baranja and to the border with Hungary the vineyards stretch. To the east, Aljmas and Erdut, to the south Ilok, then west through Kutjevo and back to Zagreb County. Now is the time of the newest wines, of harvest celebrations. Now is the best time to walk the wine roads and trails of this massive white wine super-region.

It's the perfect time for a city break

AnyConv.com__ETugIXoWoAA2NmI_1.jpgVisit Croatia now: Zagreb © Alan Grubelić

Nobody wants to be trapped in a bustling city in summertime's 40-degree heat. The high temperatures never subside. The concrete retains it. When things really heat up in Croatia, you need the cooler mountain air or the sea, which at night absorbs the heat of the day. But, right now is the perfect time to go exploring Croatia's bigger cities.

Why not try Osijek, with its kilometres of cycle routes and parks, epic riverside promenades and the best-preserved complex of baroque buildings in Croatia? Certainly, Osijek's Tvrda and its Secession architecture should be seen by everyone once.

croatia_slavonija_osijek_0001.jpgVisit Croatia now: Osijek © Romulić & Stojcic

Or, how about Zagreb, the country's social, cultural and economic capital? There are different happenings in Zagreb streets and parks almost every day. And the atmosphere is second to none.

In Istria, you can linger for much longer on the Roman Forum at this time of year. No need now for running urgently between shadows. You can instead afford to take your time as you wander around the epic Roman architecture here. You'll find more unmissable Roman architecture in Croatia's second city of Split, by way of Diocletian's Palace.

A packed events calendar

_MG_9181fgvbnh.JPGEvents of Zagreb parks 2021, captured by © Marc Rowlands

Croatia's event calendar explodes at this time of year. In Zagreb and Dubrovnik, famous music festivals fill the parks and streets. Elsewhere, this is one of the most important times of the year for food and drink festivals...

Harvest time

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It's harvest time, and when the local produce is collected from the trees or fields, usually there's an accompanying celebration. The party always extends well beyond championing the local produce. These are some of the best events in Croatia – accessible to all ages and appealing especially to gastro fans.

For example, Ivanić-Grad's pumpkin festival - Bučijada - always has a great music and entertainment programme attached. Held on October 1, 2 and 3 in 2021, it draws folks from far and wide to the pretty Zagreb County town. You won't have to look hard to find fun events like this all across Croatia at this time of year, celebrating everything from walnuts and almonds to grapes, olives and mushrooms.

Budget flights are still available

d75218b48e994601038e90bf5fc21f51_XL.jpgVisit Croatia now: Budget flights from Ryanair

Not only are budget flights still available, but the summertime routes to all Croatian airports are also still in play. Everywhere in Croatia is easily accessible right now. And for very little cost.

Last minute deals and inexpensive accommodation

AnyConv.com__IMG_3340edrfghjnmkjhgfd.jpgPrivate pool of the 4-star Boutique Hotel Noemia, Baška Voda © Marc Rowlands

It's no secret that prices plummet on Croatia's coast at this time of year. Smart operators do their best to extend the season by dropping prices. You can pick up incredible deals at this time of year everywhere from restaurant dining to luxury resorts, villas, apartments and hotels with full or half board.

Sailing in Croatia

AnyConv.com__IMG_3354ertyhujhgfd.jpgA regular visitor to Brela, Baska Voda and Split returned again in September 2021 © Marc Rowlands

The season for sailing Croatia is nowhere near as short as that enjoyed by most sunbathers. You only need look at the daily newspapers to read about the latest luxury yacht to sail into Croatian Adriatic waters. But, you don't need to be a Russian oligarch to enjoy the beautiful bays, beaches and islands of Croatia. Charter yachts in Croatia can be found at reasonable rates – especially in late September and early October!

Volunteering

IMG_20210915_165305139_HDR.jpg2021 volunteer divers at Calypso Diving in Omiš © Marc Rowlands

Late summer, early autumn and spring are the best time to come volunteer in Croatia. In late summer and early autumn, it's the Adriatic that needs a little love. Volunteer divers undertake ecological missions to clean the seabed around the coast. It's surprising just how much trash falls into the seas after a summer season.

IMG_2818edcvbnhgf.JPGExperienced divers, pictured in 2021 at Trogir Diving Centre © Marc Rowlands

If you're a qualified diver, why not come and help out? Try Trogir Diving Centre here, the oldest diving school in Croatia. Or try Calypso Diving in Omiš here. There, you don't even need to be qualified - beginners can learn from scratch and earn their first diving certificates in return for their volunteering!

242151424_6227553893982009_4396189167021449696_n.jpgVolunteer divers at Calypso Diving in Omiš, 2021 © Marc Rowlands

It's the best time to explore Croatia's National Parks and Nature Parks

241316764_6170947642975968_6841343418900551668_n.jpgThe famous Skywalk of Biokovo Nature Park on the Makarska riviera in Dalmatia, 2021 © Marc Rowlands

In the preserved and protected wilderness of Croatian National Parks and Nature Parks, there's sometimes very little shelter from the sun. They can be tough to explore at the height of summer. Mountainous parks like Paklenica, Velebit and Biokovo have incredible hiking trails that are best enjoyed at this time.

241631995_6170951239642275_3522302139938915487_n.jpgBiokovo Nature Park peaks in 2021 © Marc Rowlands

Elsewhere, you can trace the waterways and waterfalls of Krka National Park, Kopački rit, Plitvice lakes and Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje in relative calm right now. No long lines of queueing tourists spoiling your photos. The island parks like Mljet, Kornati and Brijuni are all the more idyllic when there's nobody else around.

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There are much worse places you could be working remotely

Working.JPGVisit Croatia now: September October 2021 © Marc Rowlands

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

PHOTOS: Beautiful Locations of Active Šibenik's Sports and Recreation

September 22, 2021 – From cycling and kayaking to hiking and an epic zip line, see the fantastic natural landscape that holds active Šibenik's thrilling offer.

When temperatures ease off, the Croatian coast welcomes a whole different type of guest. Spring, Autumn and Winter is the favourite time for sports enthusiasts and fitness fans to visit. And, few places on the Mediterranean have an offer complete like active Šibenik.

Outside of the peak season, the stunning nature that surrounds Šibenik is free from the bustle of visitors. Cyclists and runners speed by unobstructed. Maybe they'll pass a couple of hikers enjoying the same trails and spectacular views?

St_Nicholas_Fortress.jpgSt Anthony's channel, St Nicholas Fortress and the cycle and walking path that reaches it via an island © Šibenik Tourist Board

In the evenings, during their rest time, active Šibenik's guests have the city's best hotels, restaurants and charming Old Town almost to themselves. They share the cafe, bar and restaurant terraces only with Šibenik residents, relaxing once more now the city is returned to them.

Key to Šibenik's year-round appeal for fitness and sport fans is the city's unique landscape. No place in Croatia has natural assets like Šibenik. It is surrounded on all sides by a remarkable and startlingly varied topography.

Firstly, between Šibenik city harbour and the open Adriatic is a long waterway – St. Anthony's Channel. It is bordered on either side by two huge stretches of wild nature. Then, at the rear of the town, elevated up from sea level and next to Barone Fortress, the area of Šubićevac. Here, the entrance to the vast Šubićevac Forest Park, much of it an untamed, natural landscape. Thirdly, the vast Krka National Park, which lies just 10 kilometres north-east of Šibenik

Active Šibenik: St Anthony's Channel

SibenikfromAnthony2.JPGSailboats and speed boats sharing St Anthony's channel © Marc Rowlands

An epic 2000 metre long waterway, St Anthony's Channel is both a gateway to the open sea and the entrance to the city for anyone sailing into Šibenik. It is 140 – 220 metres wide and is bordered on each side by near untouched Dalmatian nature. On one side, sheer cliffs for one wall of the channel. At the top, dense pine forests, walking, hiking and cycling trails. Also, the famous recreation site of Martinska.

cyclepathsib.JPGCycle paths of Šibenik © Marc Rowlands

On the opposite side of the channel, a very different layout of the land. Here, the pines are much lower and closer to the channel. Between the two, idyllic beaches - the best in Šibenik – line a pathway designated for running, walking and cycling. Those on bicycles drop down from small hills on the interior. After following the path at the side of the water, their ultimate reward is the spectacular St Nicholas' Fortress. On both sides of St Anthony's Channel you'll see incredible views of Šibenik, its harbour and the side opposite.

_MG_9430rygujtkr45.JPGCycling across a section of St Anthony's channel © Marc Rowlands

For those who prefer recreation on the water, St Anthony's Channel is perfect to explore by kayak. It's also one of the easiest ways to discover all of Šibenik's best beaches. Sticking close to the pine-sheltered coast, beautiful sailboats pass you in the centre of the channel, on their way to or from the city.

Active Šibenik: Šubićevac Forest Park

2019-07-24_1627_1.jpgView over Šibenik, with Šubićevac Forest Park at the rear of the city © Šibenik Tourist Board

To visitors, Šubićevac Forest Park is the least famous of all Šibenik's recreational areas. A huge stretch of forestland, much loved by city residents, it rises above the city near Barone Fortress. The section of forest closest to the Šubićevac is designated as a city park. Within this part, you'll find a children's playground, specially designed to be accessible to all, including children with special needs.

jusosibenik3.jpgEasily accessible section of Šubićevac Forest Park © Javna ustanova Športski objekti Šibenik

Throughout this section, designated paths for cycling and walking. Running to the southeast, a much larger area of near untouched forest. Here, a wilderness ripe for runners or hikers to explore. It's worth seeking out the tiny Church of St Michael here.

jusosibenik2.jpgPaths through forest wilderness © Javna ustanova Športski objekti Šibenik

Residents say the very best views of Šibenik come from Šubićevac Forest Park. Certainly, they are breathtaking.

jusosibenik1.jpgThe best views over the city? It's a tough one to call - Šibenik has many contenders © Javna ustanova Športski objekti Šibenik

Active Šibenik: Krka National Park

otok-visovac.jpgIsland in Krka National Park © Šibenik Tourist Board

A series of wide pools, fed by cascading waterfalls, Krka is one of Croatia’s best known and most spectacular National Parks. Famous water features like the unforgettable Skradinski Buk dominate the park's postcard images. You'll find it near the park's most southerly entrance, very close to Šibenik. But, beyond this eye-catching introduction lies a further 109 square kilometers of spectacular National Park to discover. The best way to experience it is by walking, hiking or cycling.

vidikovacgoris02jpg.jpgCountless captivating viewpoints © Krka National Park

Hiking and walking trails of Krka National Park

lozovac01jpg.jpgWalking and hiking trails © Krka National Park

The park's hiking and walking trails give you the most thrilling views of this epic landscape and its wealth of flora and fauna. At the side of the trails, educational panels detailing the plants and animals you pass.

kljucica05jpg.jpgEpic landscape © Krka National Park

There are three circular trails: Skradinski buk (1900 m), Roški Slap (1360 m) and Krka Monastery (2100 m). A walking/cycling trail also leads to Skradinski buk from the Skradin bridge (3400 m), while from Lozovac, it is possible to take a forest trail (875 m) down to the park's longest waterfall.

roskislap10jpg.jpgWalking over waterfalls © Krka National Park

The shortest trail is 300 m long and leads to Bilušića buk, while the longest trail is Stinice-Roški slap-Oziđana pećina and covers 8.5 kilometres. In total, there are 7 spectacular waterfalls to find as the river Krka descends through the park.

Cycling routes of Krka National Park

vidikovac.jpegBreathtaking views on the cycling and walking routes © Krka National Park

Bicycling through Krka National Park is a journey of endless enjoyment. If your perfect cycling route offers stunning landscapes, then this is the place for you. But, if you're curious to learn about the park's cultural and historical heritage, then cycling also helps you unlock these park secrets.

mostrokislap.jpgCycling © Krka National Park

No less than fourteen cycling routes crisscross the park. They are divided into three types:

Road route - perfect for racing bikes and dedicated cyclists

Trekking & family route - a mixture of paved roads and gravel paths, perfect for city bikes, mountain bikes, families with children and cyclists of any age and ability.

Mountain biking route – a mixture of gravel paths and unarranged forest paths, with sharp ascents and descents, designed for mountain bike enthusiasts in good physical condition and with advanced cycling skills.

tonkaijaskradin.jpegCycling above Skradin © Krka National Park

Šibenik zipline

On the northeast corner of the park, stretching across an epic canyon, one of Croatia's most thrilling ziplines. Flying from cliffs hundreds of metres above, so vast is the canyon that you can barely see the thrillseekers at the end of the first line. And, after that, there are still another two to go!

For more information and/or booking any of these activities, visit/contact Šibenik Tourist Board here

For more on great things to do in Šibenik, be sure to check Total Croatia News's dedicated pages here

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

New Šibenik Panorama Oil Painting by Local Artist Welcomes Guests (PHOTO)

September 1, 2021 - A new Šibenik panorama oil painting can be noticed along the D33 road, welcoming tourists to the popular coastal Croatian town. 

Welcome boards are often old and worn, which hardly gives an excellent first impression. However, it's important to remember that welcome boards are usually a tourist's first contact with the destination, reports HRTurizam

Šibenik decided to take the initiative and ensure they gave off a good first impression with a creative project. Namely, earlier this week in Lozovac, along the D33 road, a large double-sided welcome board was set up showing an oil painting panorama of Šibenik, painted by Šibenik graduate painter Lana Martinović Čala of LANAart.

The welcome board was erected on the site of an old welcome board implemented more than twenty years ago, which had been partially devastated and neglected.

The Šibenik Tourist Board financed the construction of the board, and the price of the entire project (technical implementation and preparation) was around 50,000 kuna.

"We intend to replace it next year with similarly cheerful with colorful visuals and replace several other old signs placed at the entrances to Šibenik," said the Šibenik Tourist Board.

"Now everyone who comes to us knows that they come to the city of culture and art, the city of all artists, exhibitions, festivals, and music, the city of fun and good food, the city full of colors and life, the city of happy and good people, the city of friends and positives, the city that grows and becomes better and better, to my city, the city of Šibenik," said Lana Martinović Čala.

Visitors can find the LANAart Gallery located in the heart of Šibenik. In addition to a large selection of art paintings, B.Sc. painter Lana Martinović Čala hosts drawing and painting courses for adults and schoolchildren and creative workshops for children.

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

The 10 Best Destinations For September Holidays in Croatia 2021

August 17, 2021 – With warm waters still perfect for swimming, but more space on the beach and at the best restaurants, September holidays in Croatia are the smart choice for discerning visitors. 

Much to everyone's surprise, the coast has been fully booked throughout August. Indeed, many who came last minute struggled to find accommodation. But, that doesn't mean you need to miss out. September holidays in Croatia are perhaps even better than July or August. The beaches are quieter and the sea is still warm. The waiters in the restaurants are less stressed and busy. The best tables and views are always available. Indeed, the Croatian welcome feels that much warmer in the ninth month.

Here's a look at our pick for the best destinations for 2021 September holidays in Croatia.
Omiš

old.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

In Omiš, not only do you have Croatia's most underrated seaside city to explore, but also a whole remarkable riviera. A series of stunning villages - Nemira, Stanići, Ruskamen, Lokva Rogoznica, Medići, Mimice, Marušići and Pisak - offer postcard-pretty scenes with the Adriatic lapping at small fishing boats. Each comes with its own idyllic and uncrowded beaches.

21868215_10156015116624410_555677073_o.jpgOmiš © Senka Vlahović

The city itself has an Old Town that is full of intrigue – ancient architectural detail, winding, white-stone streets, sheltered squares with restaurants offering traditional Mediterranean food and also some that's unique to Omiš. Also, the Cetina river and canyon gifts Omiš an incredibly varied offer – rafting, river swimming, zipline, kayaking, nature photography, riverside restaurants – that no other coastal destination in Croatia can compete with.

If you want to learn more about Omiš and its incredible offer, read our detailed guide.

Brela

201251368_4090729184298801_2977464117068100083_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

With Brela's shoreline not far off 10 kilometres in length, it could rightfully claim to be the Croatian village most blessed with beaches. Oh, and what beaches they are! Incredibly clear, turquoise seas, quiet coves, small pebbles and often shaded by ancient pine trees that sometimes stretch out over the sea.

146254804_3715045301867193_3511865349649961953_n.jpgBrela © Vice Rudan Photography

Away from the coast, you'll find intriguing heritage in the foothills alongside exemplary restaurants. Decide which you want to visit and they give you a free ride there and back from your accommodation by the shore. You'll be rewarded with traditional Dalmatian food – seafood, peka, pašticada and more – and incredible views of the sunset framed by Biokovo mountain, island Brač and Brela's epic and uninterrupted beaches.

If you want to learn more about breathtakingly beautiful Brela, read our detailed guide.

Makarska

206836234_4119940851377634_8129877583474515472_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

There's no shortage of beaches in Makarska but, in July and August, you might struggle to find a quiet and secluded spot just for yourself. You won't have that problem in September – arguably, it's the best month to be here.

236899549_4251621594876225_9066465384493055383_n.jpgMakarska © Vice Rudan Photography

Makarska is an incredibly popular destination in peak season for a very good reason – its offer is fantastic and huge. At the rear of the city, the huge Biokovo Nature Park (which you can read about here), with a fantastic offer of nature, views, recreation and activities. Within the town itself, a port which remains small enough to be charming, unhurried and traditional, but big enough to grant fast and regular boat trips to some of Croatia's most desirable island destinations. You can hop over to several on day trips from Makarska. If you want to find out more about the massive offer in Makarska, then read our detailed guide.

Šibenik

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A city completely reinvented specifically for visitors, in truth Šibenik is a destination just as suitable for a long weekend break throughout the year as it is a summer holiday. In the centre, an incredibly charming Old Town, filled with atmospheric stone stairways, historic squares, fascinating architectural details and the world-famous Cathedral of St. James.

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Three Venetian fortresses hold hidden histories of the city's successful defence against the Ottoman Empire – each uses multi-media or augmented reality to tell their tales. Events take place on Šibenik streets and city centre parks throughout late summer. There is a range of quality restaurants – one even has a Michelin star – activities like cycling, zipline, kayak and canoe. Also, the further you travel down Šibenik's famous St. Anthony's channel towards the open Adriatic, the more secluded and quiet the see-through seas become. Gorgeous.

If you want to find out more about the endless entertainment and excitement of Šibenik, then read our detailed guide and see our dedicated TCN Šibenik pages.

Primošten

238640369_4621303521236055_2517203873394563661_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Primošten © Jeremiasz Gadek

The island on which the settlement of Primošten was founded helped protect this place and its residents from attack. Separated from the mainland, you'd have to pass across a drawbridge, through city walls and between military towers to enter. However, the surrounding sea also restricted city limits, leading to the development of wonderful and unique architectural solutions.

The Old Town of Primošten is that much more delightful to walk around in September, free from the bustle of fast-moving peak season tourists. In fact, Primošten is much more enjoyable taken at a gentle, even lazy pace. Away from the Old Town, Raduča, and Mala Raduča are considered to be among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Just back from the shore, on the mainland, Primošten's famous vineyards. Šibenik-Knin County has some of the most frequently awarded smaller wine producers in the whole of Croatia.

Tisno and Murter

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The island of Murter sits extremely close to the Croatian mainland. So close, in fact, that a short bridge connects the two. On each side of the bridge, one half of the town Tisno, known across Europe as one of the most famous sites for dance music festivals.

In fact, the festivals continue on the outskirts of Tisno in September 2021, with two of the best known of them all taking places in the month's first two weeks (Outlook and Dimensions).

236335331_3062014214034876_6848389841683692665_n.jpgAs shown above, beautiful Jezera @druckerroman

But, there's a lot more to Tisno and specifically the island of Murter than just the music festivals, as thousands of happy returning visitors will tell you. The settlements of Betina and Jezera on the island are incredibly beautiful, so too the larger town of Murter, which also has an incredibly famous restaurant offer. Across the whole island – and on the mainland in Tisno – you'll find incredible beaches and bays. On the opposite shores in Pirovac, one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world.

To find out more about Tisno, Betina, Jezera and Murter, read our detailed guide

Pula

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There are few cities whose Roman Empire heritage can compete with Pula's. Pula Arena is not only one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, but also it is still a living part of the city's cultural and social life. Attending a music concert or film festival there is an unforgettable experience. More unforgettable Roman monuments come in the form of city gates and walls, a temple, an open-air theatre and forum.

Outside of the Roman heritage, there's a Venetian hilltop fortress right in the city centre, with exquisite views of Pula, its bay, nearby peninsula and the wider Adriatic. Nearby, the must-see Brijuni National Park (read about it here) and a short drive in any direction will take you to some of the most breathtaking and secluded beaches in Croatia.

It really is hard work summing up the immense offer of Pula in just a few short sentences. You'd be better advised to read about the fuller picture in our detailed guide.

Čiovo

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With a UNESCO world heritage site – Trogir – sitting proudly and loudly on its doorstep, the island of Čiovo sometimes stands in the shadow of its famous neighbour. But, sometimes it's worth listening more closely to those who are more softly spoken.

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Čiovo not only has the advantage of having the incredible Trogir as part of its very own offer but also it holds all the classic features that everyone looks for in a Croatian holiday – crystal clear seas, pristine beaches, breathtaking nature and unforgettable views. In particular, the southwestern section of the island, Okrug, has an incredible beachside promenade and a series of irresistible bays.

If you want to read more about Čiovo and Okrug, then read our detailed guide.

Zagreb

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Of course, not all of the best Croatia holidays in September 2021 need to be taken on the coast. In fact, the capital city of Zagreb has become the country's most popular city destination over recent years, including the warmer months. Zagreb in September has the added bonus that summer holidays are over for most city residents, prompting the return of the city's entertainment and event calendar in full force.

Garden.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

All of the nightclubs are back open, catering for the return of the city's university students. The cafe bar terraces are full, with a wonderful atmosphere, as tanned friends reconvene. Art galleries and museums show their very best displays and food festivals or pop-up bars can be found in Zagreb's irresistible city centre parks. Some of September highlights include the 54th International Puppet Theatre Festival and massive one-day open-air rave We Love Sound with world-famous techno DJs Len Faki and Chris Liebing.

If you want to know more about the peerless Croatian city of Zagreb, then read our detailed guide.

Dubrovnik

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The great southern city of coastal Croatia. A famous filming destination for movies and TV series. Not that the Pearl of the Adriatic needs any extra help with promotion. A global superstar for centuries, thanks to its status as an independent city-state, its well-known walls have been welcoming strangers for much longer than tourism has existed. They continue to do so and at the height of summer, competition for space in the city is at a premium.

All that can easily be avoided by visiting Dubrovnik outside the peak season. The walls and winding streets are much more easily enjoyed at an unhurried pace. And, when you're not trailing immediately behind a sluggish crowd of 500, fresh off a cruise ship. No queues at the restaurants, the best tables available. Truth be told, there's a strong case for Dubrovnik as the perfect destination even later than September – the quieter it gets, the better the experience seems to be.

If you want to preview a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dubrovnik, then read our detailed guide

Total Croatia News contacted the Tourist Boards of each of the destinations recommended, who confirmed that - at the time of publication - there are accommodation vacancies available for the month September 2021

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

48 Hours in Šibenik: Fortress, Museum, Krka National Park with Šibenik Card

August 4, 2021 – Allowing free entrance to the city's best sights, plus discounts on everything from restaurants, activities, accommodation and a National Park, you can unlock the UNESCO city for less with Šibenik Card.

No fewer than 200 of Croatia's islands lie off the coast of Šibenik city and the wider Šibenik-Knin County. These are some of the very best waters for sailing in Croatia. Also, less than half an hour away, one of the most famous music festival sites in Europe (not to mention one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world).

Thousands of visitors pass within striking distance of Šibenik. Everyone has heard of the famous city – its famous fortresses, its Michelin-starred restaurant (Pelegrini), its Old Town, its UNESCO cathedral and its well-known events. There are countless reasons why anyone on holiday nearby should definitely make a stop in Šibenik. And, now there's one more.

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Šibenik Card is a VIP passport to the city's best attractions. From the city's UNESCO Heritage Sites and Fortresses to Museums and boat trips, you'll get free entrance to many of the city's must-see destinations with Šibenik Card. Even greater is the discount offer that Šibenik Card also carries. Bargain price visits to Krka National Park, activities like canoeing, kayaking and cycling, restaurants even accommodation are included in the Šibenik Card discount scheme.

In fact, there are so many great things to see and do in Šibenik, you'd be well advised to set aside a long weekend or at least 48 hours if you want to truly discover this magical, reinvented city. Here's a suggested itinerary for two days in the city and how you can make the tour with the Šibenik card.

Šibenik Card: Day 1

8am: Cycling / Kayaking / Windsurfing in Šibenik

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There are several great activities you can do if you want to get to know the geography of Šibenik. Kayaking will let you see the shoreline from close up. Windsurfing gives a wider perspective on the channel, not that you'll have much time for idly spectating on this thrilling ride. Taking a cycling tour between the city and either of the peninsula's between the centre and the open Adriatic is seriously one of the very best things to do in Šibenik. Amazing!

If you're visiting in summer, plan such activities for early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Certainly, you can do activities during the strongest hours of summer sunshine in Šibenik – just make sure to apply generous amounts of high factor sunblock (a hat is also a good idea!). Alternatively, why not visit Šibenik for a long weekend in May, September or October. These months hold perfect warm, sunny days in which you can enjoy the great outdoors all day.

You receive 20% discount on all these activities with your Šibenik Card.

10.30am: Circle Boat Line / St. Nicholas Fortress

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After getting your blood circulating first thing in the morning, you deserve to sit back, relax and let someone else do the work. There are few better ways to do this in Šibenik than on a boat. Why not take the Circle boat line? It's completely free with your Šibenik Card and it will allow you to cross all of the key points of the city's waterfront without ever going near a road. You can get on and off as many times as you like with your Šibenik card.

Alternatively, if you want to get acquainted with one of Šibenik's two UNESCO Heritage Sites, why not take the boat tour to St. Nicholas Fortress? You'll never have seen anything like it before. The photos are impressive enough, but they really don't depict the full offer. Not only are the fortress guides among the best in the city, but also there's a fascinating augmented reality aspect awaiting when you arrive.

You receive 20% discount on a guided tour of St. Nicholas Fortress with your Šibenik Card, including return boat trip from the city centre and down St. Anthony's channel.

1pm: Lunch

Some of Šibenik's best bars and restaurants offer generous discounts from your bill on the Šibenik Card, including;

-20%

Restoran Mendula, Ul. kralja Tomislava 15 A

SHE bio bistro, Zlarinski pro. 2

Bistro i kavana Pucalina, Ulica kralja Tomislava 9

-15%

Bistro Luce & Brigita, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 10A

-10%

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 7

Restoran Pjat, Trg Pavla Šubića I 3

Pub & Wine bar Scala, Put Gimnazije 5

Restoran Peškarija, Obala palih omladinaca 10A

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana

2.30pm: Šibenik City Museum

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Perhaps one of the most understated parts of the city offer, Šibenik City Museum holds fascinating exhibits of pottery, tools and architecture. You can trace the history of the peoples, culture and even the cuisine of those who've lived in the Šibenik area for millennia.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

3.15pm: Civitas Sacra Museum

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This cool and interactive museum tells the tale of the long and revolutionary construction of Šibenik's St. James Cathedral. Still very much a focal point of the city's Catholic worship, this museum is the best place to learn about the cathedral without intruding on solemn worship and attendance. It's the perfect place to visit in preparation for seeing the real thing up close.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

4pm: St. James Cathedral

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A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cathedral of St. James is a Renaissance masterpiece that took a century to build. On its facade are 71 different sculpted faces, said to be former residents of the town or contributors to the building. Try to look at as many as you can. You might be very surprised to see how some of Šibenik's former residents looked! After you've taken in the brilliant white exterior, prepare your senses for the celebration of colour inside.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

5.30pm: Šibenik Old Town

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One of the greatest pleasures of a visit to Šibenik is an unhurried walk around its Old Town. It is an incredibly atmospheric place, with countless unique winding alleys and stone stairways. Keep a look out for some fascinating architecture on your journey.

Unlike some ancient architecture in Croatia, the walls of Šibenik Old Town are completely free to walk around.

7pm: St Michael's Fortress

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The first of Šibenik's fortresses to be renovated, St Michael's Fortress is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Few pieces of architecture represent Šibenik better than this. Inside the fortress, you'll walk through floor-to-ceiling displays and find out about the former life of the fortress and its residents. From the roof, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the entire city, the Old Town and St. Anthony's channel. In the height of summer, this view is best enjoyed in the morning - before it becomes too hot - or at sunset. Unforgettable, as is catching a music, dance or culture event in 1000-seat theatre that now sits atop St Michael's.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

8.00pm: Šibenik events

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Throughout the whole year, Šibenik is alive with events. Depending on when you visit, you might find gastro festivals and cultural discussions in city parks, Children's processions through winding stone streets, dance festivals on public squares, incredible traditional and classical music performances and animation films projected on large screens in the heart of the city. Locals and visitors alike gather on the streets to enjoy. This is a city where some of the best culture takes place outside. And you're warmly invited to join in.

Šibenik's street events are all completely free.

9.00pm: Dinner

Dinner discounts are the same as those at lunch within restaurants accepting the Šibenik Card (see above).

11pm: A great night's sleep

You can get discounts at some of the city's very best accommodation offers with , including rooms to suit every budget or necessity. They include;

Amadria Park Resort 4* – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Superior City Hotel Bellevue 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

Heritage Hotel Life Palace 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

D-Resort Šibenik 4* – 15% regular rooms, 20% accessible rooms

Hostel Scala – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Šibenik Card: Day 2

8am: Krka National Park

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7 magical waterfalls, boat rides to island monasteries, Neolithic caves, Roman heritage, an eco-ethno village, freshwater swimming, traditional cuisine, wildlife, spectacular nature, hiking and cycling trails. You could spend a week exploring Krka National Park and not get tired of the landscape or its offer. Unmissable.

20% discount at each of the Krka National Park entrances, throughout the whole year, with Šibenik Card.

1.30pm: Lunch

Back to the city for lunch in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

3pm: Aquarium and Terrarium

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Discover the world of Adriatic fish and plants as well as some tropical varieties. This is the perfect place to escape the heat of a midsummer afternoon.

Free with Šibenik Card

4pm: Šibenik Zip Line

Race across the spectacular scenery of the Cikola River Canyon, on the edge of Krka National Park, on Šibenik Zip Line. You'll run along a course of three separate lines, suspended hundreds of metres above the canyon floor. Thrillseekers will not be disappointed.

20% discount with Šibenik Card

5.30pm: Shopping in Šibenik

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Searching for souvenirs from your time in Croatia? Looking to take back home something unique, handcrafted or locally designed? Want to pick up some nice new sunglasses for the rest of your holiday? There's nowhere better than the big city for shopping. A wide range of city stores and services offer discount with Šibenik Card. They include

Optika Glavadanovic –20%

Deni Design –20%

Gallery Juraj Dalmatinac –20%

Souvenir Shop Skrinjica –20%

Lana Art Gallery –20%

8.00pm: Barone Fortress

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The most recently renovated of all Šibenik's fortresses (although, there's one more on the way!), Barone Fortress is unique in several ways. Firstly, it currently holds the most advanced augmented reality section of all the city fortresses. These vividly unlock the history of the building and the city. Secondly, this is the highest and furthest back of all the forts. As a result, the views you get from Barone are breathtaking, not least the sunset. Enjoy it with a glass of wine from the cool bar you'll find on the fortress top.

Free entrance with Šibenik Card

9.30pm: Dinner

Back to the city centre for dinner in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

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11pm: Romantic walk by moonlight along Šibenik waterfront, the perfect end to 48 hours in Šibenik.

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You can buy Šibenik Card at:

Slaptours/Avalon Agency, Obala hrvatske mornarice 1, Šibenik.

Civitas Sacra, Interpretation Centre of the Cathedral of St. James, Kralja Tomislava 10, Šibenik.

Amadria Park Šibenik.

Souvenir shops in Amadria Park hotels.

Šibenik Tourist Board office, Tourist Information Center, Fausta Vrančića 18, or Obala palih omladinaca 3, Šibenik.

Vinoplod Winery Shop, Velimira Škorpika 2, Šibenik.

CoWorking space – Trokut Šibenik, Velimira Škorpika 7, Šibenik.

Or you can download a digital version to most phones here

Single card: 140 kn (approximately 19 €)

Family card - 2 adults, any number of children: 340 kn (approximately 45 €)

All photos © Šibenik Tourist Board or Marc Rowlands

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Spectacular Start to 10th Anniversary Šibenik Dance Festival

July 20, 2021 – The streets of Šibenik are overflowing with life this July. On town squares, streets and in parks, different events appeal to every generation and demographic. On Monday 19th, the opening of the Supertoon animation festival sees families gather to watch feature-length cartoons in the Old Town streets. Above their heads, in St. Michael's Fortress, a much more startling evening's entertainment is taking place. It's the opening of the 10th anniversary Šibenik Dance Festival.

'Burning Water' by renowned Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis is not always easy to watch. Commissioned specifically for the ballet company of Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka, the dancers have had a year to perfect it since its Capital of Culture premiere.

REreIMG_9266.jpgA spectacular backdrop of Šibenik, the Adriatic and sunset greet attendees at the opening of the 10th annual Šibenik Dance Festival © Marc Rowlands.

The audience takes their seats at sunset. But, as the performance begins, everything is enveloped in black. Minimally lit, androgynous dancers arrive on stage in a most unorthodox manner, their bodies twisted and contorted beyond regular, recognisable movement.

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“That is the signature style of Andonis Foniadakis,” says Šibenik Dance Festival director Zorana Mihelčić. “Everybody knows it because he's so well established; very nervous, interrupted movements. I personally love his work and right now he's one of the most frequently requested choreographers in the world.”

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Having helmed Šibenik Dance Festival from its start to this, its 10th anniversary, Mihelčić is more than satisfied with its progress. And, so she should be. In the seats on opening night, German, English, Slovenian, Croatian, and at least one Scandinavian language are heard. On the stage, an international touring ballet troupe and world-renowned choreographer. This is a far cry from the festival's beginnings.

Evolution of Šibenik Dance Festival

“We started Šibenik Dance Festival 10 years ago as a small review of dance studios and awarded dancers. But not, professionals,” says Mihelčić. “At that time, it was held in the square just in front of Šibenik cathedral. It grew steadily each year until 2014 when the first of our fortresses was renovated. Within a month of St. Michael's opening, we secured permission to hold our opening night there. That really put us on the map and we've been there ever since.”

“We now have two programmes running simultaneously; we kept the amateur and student dancers programme, which was our foundation. But, now we have professional, international dance companies as a major part of each event.”

relabby1.jpgIlijana's dancers, part of the student / fringe programme of Šibenik Dance Festival © Mladen Božičković

Continuing throughout this week, Šibenik Dance Festival manages to entertain everyone currently in Šibenik. Committed fans of contemporary dance and art will visit more spectacular venues like Barone Fortress. On Wednesday 21st, a visit there by Zoltán Fodor's Inversedance – an incredibly well-respected dance company from Budapest. They arrive with a new performance 'You and the World'. Its premiere was just one month ago. The next night, Thursday 22 July, jazz and hip hop dancing, again at Fortress Barone and the Association of Ballet Artists of Serbia.

In Arsen Art House, conceptual and contemporary pieces by Rita Gobi from Hungary and regional star Isidora Stanišić on Tuesday 20th. The festival concludes in the same venue on Friday 23 with a conceptual piece called 'Body Shots'. It's a co-production between Germany's CocoonDance Company and Zagreb Dance Center.

Research-BODY-SHOTS-CocoonDance-Zagreb-Dance-Center-ZPC-photo-by-Neven-Petrović_1st_10.jpg Body Shots by CocoonDance / Zagreb Dance Center © Neven Petrović.

Although, for many visitors, the highlight of Šibenik Dance Festival is still the public performance on the city streets by youngsters and amateur dancers.

“This year, it's a really exciting mixture, accessible to everyone,” says Zorana Mihelčić, clearly excited about the performances to come. “20 minutes of great tap dancers from Dubrovnik, then 10 to 15 minutes of very young students from the ballet school in Split. After that, contemporary dancers from Požega, also salsa, hip hop fusion, classical and contemporary ballet. It will be great.”

re20210720_031136.jpgAs shown above, final applause for the 2021 festival opening night. Festival director Zorana Mihelčić can be seen in the bottom right-hand corner. 

The free public performance of youngsters and amateurs at the 10th anniversary of Šibenik Dance Festival takes place at Poljana square, just in front of Šibenik National Theatre on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 July between the hours of 19.00 and 22.00.

All photos © Šibenik Dance Festival unless otherwise accredited.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Šibenik Features in Season 6 of Below Deck Mediterranean!

June 30th, 2021 - The most-watched American reality series Below Deck Mediterranean, which was filmed last year in Croatia in the Šibenik area, started showing on popular cable television Bravo TV, said Iva Bahunek, head of the Croatian Tourist Board in Los Angeles.

"The show will last at least 16 weeks, which is the perfect time period for additional promotion of Croatia. Namely, this is the period when Americans most often book their trips for next year, and an additional benefit is the fact that this series is shown in other countries as well. The production team assessed that of all the seasons so far, the most attractive and most interesting is the season filmed in Croatia, which is even more pleasing," Bahunek pointed out, adding that this was the first Hollywood production to be filmed entirely and without interruption over the past year outside the U.S. during the global pandemic.

HTZ reports that this popular American reality show is broadcast on the Bravo TV network, one of the most-watched American cable televisions, which in 2020 recorded a large increase in "on-demand viewing", with 427 million, as well as 222 million "live broadcasts". The concept of the series includes following the professional and private lives of the crew and their guests on mega yachts, and so far a total of 15 seasons of this reality series have been filmed, consisting of three separate units: Below Deck, which is filmed in tropical destinations, then Below Deck Mediterranean, which is filmed in the Mediterranean, and the latest variant of the Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which, unlike other variants of the series, is filmed on large sailboats.

Many American viewers of Bravo TV, before the start of the Below Deck Mediterranean broadcast, were able to enjoy the beauties of Croatia, more precisely of Split through the broadcast of the Below Deck Sailing Yacht 2 franchise.

And even cooler news? 

Most of the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 6 crew visited the Break Time shop in Split, shortly after filming for the season ended in Šibenik!

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"We got to hang out with them a bit in our VIP area upstairs and we are now so excited to find out what adventures they had aboard M/Y Lady Michelle together, in the weeks before they came to Split," said Break Time. You can read more about it here!

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

To follow the latest travel updates, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 4 June 2021

Outdoor Stages Open Šibenik Summer Festival Season 2021

June 4, 2021 – Šibenik Spring Festival, Croatian Festival of Travellers, the 61st International Children's Festival and Let`s Rock see the streets of the city become a stage this June as Šibenik summer festival season 2021 begins.

Life and laughter will once again spill out onto seaside street this month as Šibenik summer festival season 2021. Public events have been much missed in the last year. But, having pioneered safe events in 2020, Šibenik is ready to welcome all who want to come.

City parks, streets and squares, open-air fortresses and outdoor stages are the host venues for Šibenik summer festival season 2021. Guests are invited to come and enjoy the events in the sunshine and sea air, or under the stars. If you still don't know how to get there, there is a Sibenik taxi for you that will take you wherever you want.

Šibenik summer festival season 2021 kicks off this June with four exciting events. Between them, they appeal to every type of visitor, from families to young people, international travellers and fans of more local culture. Here's a look at what you can enjoy...

Šibenik Spring (Tuesday 8 June – Saturday 12 June 2021)

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The fullest flavours of fine, local cuisine will tempt you at Šibenik Spring. A gastronomic treat to tantalize your taste buds, no less than seven of the Šibenik region's best cooks, caterers and restaurants will set up stalls in the city's most beautiful green space, Robert Visani Park. Tables and chairs, bean bags and blankets will be set up beneath the park's trees. Under the branches, guests will be entertained by entertainers and local DJs as they enjoy food and drink with friends.

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Festina Lente, Yum Pastry Shop, Mediteran - Primosten, Fine Food Murter, Pjat and Bistro Pucalina are the caterers taking part this year. Entrance to the event is free - you only need to decide which of the tempting foods you'll buy.

Croatian Festival of Travel 10th Anniversary Edition (Thursday 10 June – Sunday 13 June 2021)

Travel and tourism fans will come to Šibenik this June for the tenth-anniversary edition of the Croatian Festival of Travel. Here, they'll hear the stories and tales of experienced travel guides, writers and other professionals who have crisscrossed the country and the world. The latest travel books and photos will be on display, to help inspire your next journey.

The event program will take place outdoors, on the lawn at the Azimut. While on the Friday and Saturday evenings, the main part of the program will take place outside, at the Fortress of St. Mihovila. This year's guest speakers include natives Jasen Boka, Jurica Galić Juka and famous travel and photojournalist Davor Rostuhar, who will present his 'Love Around the World' to Goran Milić. Chef Ivan Pažanin and famous basketball player Dino Rađa are debut guests at this year's festival.

61st International Children's Festival (Saturday 19 June – Saturday 3 July 2021)

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For the 61st time, the city of Šibenik becomes the childrens' stage. Bursting with creativity, their imaginations and ideas will fill the streets. Their colourful procession will once again make its way around the town. Additionally, there's a whole week of workshops, performances and entertainment. Included in the fun calendar of events are outdoor cinema, yoga, gymnastics, theatre performances, music, dance and mime that will keep younger guests endlessly entertained.

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Let`s Rock Festival (Monday 21 June – Tuesday 22 June 2021)

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Some of the most exciting names in up-and-coming contemporary Croatian music will launch Šibenik's world-famous 2021 music festival season this June. Over two days, no less than 22 bands and music artists will perform across three outdoor stages at the Fortress of St. Mihovila at the second edition of this Šibenik festival.

Among the highlights on Monday, instrumental, progressive folk rock from Zagreb's Doringo, Americana flavours from one-half of the Valentino Bošković duo with his Kensington Lima outfit, and new electronic artists Peki Pele and The Siids. On Saturday, highlights include Zagreb instrumental funk rock trio Sfumato, decorated Rijeka composer and singer Boris Štok and the Željka Veverec-fronted Je Veux, whose 'I Glow' album topped all 2020 end-of-year critics reviews.

Šibenik summer festival season 2021 continues

6fb84404cbe36ffa9de3c754f7252ac3_XL.jpgMartinska © Seasplash / Pozitivan Ritam.

The city continues to be the epicenter of events in Croatia throughout July, August and September. At the Martinska open-air venue, no less than five music festivals will safely welcome international guests. Their highlights include the 19th Seasplash reggae and soundsystem culture festival (July15 – 18). In nearby Tisno, the Garden venue is ready to welcome back another full summer of international music festivals. Their highlights include Suncebeat (from 22 July), Outlook Origins (from 29 July), Defected (from 5 August), Dekmantel Selectors (from 26 August) and Dimensions (from 2 September). If you want to see a bigger calendar of 2021 Šibenik summer festivals and events, then look here.

All images © Šibenik Tourist Board unless otherwise accredited.

Friday, 28 May 2021

In Love With the Frozen Moment: Meet Tonka Lokas From Šibenik

May 28, 2021 - Sometimes, the best way to learn, discover or connect with a Croatian city is through photography. And not just with drones, but also from a more humane and honest point of view. A great example is through the eyes and lens of Tonka Lokas, a talented and promising 23-year-old photographer from Šibenik. 

Sometimes I wish I could brag about a past where, as a child, I discovered through a game or a hobby something that would eventually develop into a passion or professional interest. This is the case of many painters who began by scribbling on the walls, singers who won first places in school competitions, or novelists who wrote letters to their college sweethearts. But that wasn’t my case.

In an unsafe city, I grew up within four walls for protection. Don't get me wrong, all my childhood memories were fond and I constantly look back to make sure of it. How? Surely the box full of photographs that are at my parent’s house plays an important role there. Photography, in general. But you will see later that I am not the best one to explain why.

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I say this because I believe that being in contact, from a very young age, with everything that surrounds you and moves, is stimulating. See how people interact in the street, how the other children play in the park, listen to what a couple of old men are talking on a bench, wander through the market stands on a Sunday morning... a lot to deconstruct in our little heads. But again, that wasn’t my case.

I’ve been living in Croatia for less than two years, and photography has helped me connect with a country that I am still trying to decipher and get to know better. And like me, every day I saw dozens of tourists or foreign students walking through the streets of Rijeka, Split, and Zagreb with a camera under their arms, capturing moments, people, expressions, scenes... it helps us to interpret what is around us, and later it facilitates the communication process with those we love.

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But I also thought that it would be incredible to be able to learn more about a country or a city through the eyes of a person who grew up next to that place. And that’s the story of Tonka Lokas, from Šibenik.

A few months ago, I decided to share my photos on my Instagram account. I did not generate the impact that I expected, but I felt curious about learning more from the people who started following me. Especially those based in Croatia, hoping that through their pictures I could learn more about this country and maybe find some inspiration. And that’s how I discovered Tonka Lokas, a 23-year-old nurse, born and raised in the historical Dalmatian city of Šibenik, and her unique way of observing her city through a lens.

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Tonka Lokas, from Šibenik

I immediately felt captivated with her photographs, since it is exactly the perspective with which I like to observe what happens in the street every day. It is true that on many occasions we involuntarily criticize everything that doesn’t suit our artistic preferences, but I think that as far as sitting and reflecting if a photograph is good or not, I prefer to think that each one of them serves a purpose. Even if that purpose is to get more likes.

And it is that, in recent years, most of the photographs that I see about Croatia are those taken from the point of view of a bird with a drone. And that’s fine! But it’s just one way to see it. I felt, honestly, that people were ignored. And this is not just in Croatia, but I believe it’s happening all around the world. Tourism? Sure. That’s the purpose, of course. There's so much to enjoy and discover through our own eyesight. Let’s never forget about the richness of the human factor within the culture. In this particular case, I saw a purpose to tell certain stories that we tend to ignore or pay no attention to when we walk from one place to another in our town or city.

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I was pleased to meet a different set of eyes. Ones that observed humanity, emotions, stories, relationships… Almost as if the photographs were taken with them, with each blink. A personal observation through the ancient streets of Šibenik, those that Tonka has been walking since she was very little and that now she photographs with her camera. It seemed to me like an incredible opportunity to learn more about her amazing life story and the city of Šibenik through her words, but especially, through her lens.

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Tonka lives in a little apartment with her boyfriend Božo, their baby girl named Marica, and many, many cacti, which in fact she loves a lot. I was surprised to learn that Tonka did not study or is currently studying photography, as I had initially thought. Instead, she graduated from medical school, majoring as a nurse. However, photography has indeed been part of her life as she grew up.

What memories do you have from your childhood? Is there any connection between it and your photography? Are they any photographers in your family?

My childhood was filled with games and fun, especially because of the international children’s festival that takes place in my city every year. I discovered photography while attending one of the festival's workshops. My family had a little digital Sony camera and I always played with it. That workshop helped me to learn how to use the camera properly, at least as much as I managed to learn at the age of 10. And so began the love of the frozen moment. There were no professional photographers in my family, but my uncle was our family photographer and because of him we have a lot of childhood pictures.

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Are you studying, or did you study photography?

I am not studying photography, but I plan to go to Zagreb for a photography course this fall, so I will see what opportunities will open up for me after that.

When did you first realize that photography was your passion?

I think I became aware of that in high school because that’s when I got a little Lumix camera from an old photographer. Exploring all the buttons and settings made me happy and I learned something new every day. I was constantly annoying my friends by taking their pictures, but I have to thank them for putting up with all my ideas and supporting me in the beginning.

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It is well said that photographers are artists just like a painter, an actor, or a composer. But why did you choose photography? How does it help you express what you see and feel?

Art is something that makes us alive. For me, any expression of thoughts and feelings is art. As a child, I loved to look at photos and ask my parents to tell me what happened and what they talked about on the day it was taken. The background story of the photo is still my main concern/topic while talking about photography.  

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How would you describe your photos? What are you trying to tell the world through them?

My first solo exhibition was called ”Notice”. I could even say that this title is my motto in photography. I want to show people what they miss while staring at cell phones or walk with their heads down. I want to convey the emotion of people who know how to be both happy and sad but are equally beautiful. Every person has a different smile, wrinkles, worries... Every person tells their story, although I don't know the life stories of all these people, I like to imagine myself and I give that freedom to everyone who looks at my photos. You don't have to be a child to be able to fantasize.

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Most photographers that are from, and those who come to Croatia, see it as the ideal place for landscape pictures, sunsets, drone photography… but you seem to be more interested in people. How come?

Croatia is a beautiful country and it sure does get photographed a lot nowadays. I don't mind seeing other people's photos of nature, sunsets, landscapes... but when I find myself in nature I enjoy it as intended, without a camera. Ok, occasionally I capture a sunset or two.

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Your pictures are mostly from Šibenik. What makes it different from other Croatian cities?

Šibenik is my small town, full of great and creative people and artists. I know it's every stone and street and I love it's every single corner. I grew up there and I plan to stay there. 

 ''Every person tells their story, although I don't know the life stories of all these people, I like to imagine myself and I give that freedom to everyone who looks at my photos. You don't have to be a child to be able to fantasize''.

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Being a photographer, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Would you like to work as an independent photographer, work for a magazine, agency…?

In 10 years from now? I dream of having a space dedicated to teaching young people and children about photography and doing workshops. I'm afraid that true photography fades slightly due to technology and high-end cameras on mobile phones. It's all great, don't get me wrong, but we take it as given, and I like to see it as something more. That's what I'd like to show to those younger generations; a love of cameras and developed photographs.

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Nowadays, we see that most pictures shared through social media stand out for their bright and saturated colors. Why are you choosing the black and white format?

For me, black and white photography has a soul. And it all revolves around the imagination and emotion I want to convey. Talking about street photography, where everything is full of colors, we can say it's difficult for photo viewers to dig the emotion I experienced taking that photo. People are easily attracted to color, and maybe I’m just in love with a colorless world where we’re all equal.

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How is a day in your life? Do you prepare yourself exclusively to take photos when going out? Or do you wear your camera as an accessory and it happens spontaneously?

I always carry a camera on my shoulder. I stop in one place, look around and catch spontaneity in people. We are most honest when we do not know that someone is taking our picture.

Who are your main photography references?

I strongly rely on a feeling while taking photos, so I can't say I look up to anyone in particular. But some of my favorite photographers are Bruce Gilden, Lee Friedlander, and Diana Arbus.

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What are your short-term plans as a Croatian photographer? Are you currently working on a project? Are you planning on traveling?

My next plan is to realize an exhibition that I have been thinking of for quite some time. And of course, to learn, work and thrive in the photographic world. I love to travel, but because of the Covid situation, we all have to be a little more patient.

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Besides photography, how would you describe your life in Croatia? What else do you like to do?

Life in Croatia is beautiful and relaxed. As young people, we have a lot of options to travel. My boyfriend and I travel a lot. Lately, it's mostly around Croatia, let's say once a month. Our goal is to visit as many islands as possible and of course the entire Dalmatian coast. We are Dalmatians and winter is not very dear to us, so we haven't started touring eastern Croatia yet. 

I work as an emergency ambulance nurse and I love my job very much. As hard as the job is, at the end of the day it’s nice to know you’ve helped someone! 

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I believe that photographers like Tonka Lokas are living proof that documentary photography or street photography can still tell us thousands of stories every day in a city. I could not count the times that I have made excuses to believe that it is impossible: I do not have the camera I need, I should buy more lenses, due to the pandemic I do not know what photos I could take, maybe this city is not interesting enough... but the Images of this young photographer from Sibenik revive an inspiring phrase that I often hear from time to time: ''If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff''. Sometimes that's all it takes: paying attention.

If you want to see and learn more about Tonka’s amazing photography work and upcoming projects, you can do so by following her on her Instagram account.

You can learn more about what Šibenik can offer you on your next trip in Total Croatia’s Šibenik on a page, HERE. Total Croatia’s articles are now available in your language!

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

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