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

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

Life-is-simple-just-add-seaTatinja-beach-Okrug-GornjiDino-Caljkusic.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Tatinja beach, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić

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.

18891579_14644fromaboveOV-1536x864.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Čiovo and Okrug

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

220862634_10160017442313221_7939799732839949953_n.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Zagreb © Julien Duval Photography

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

1920px-1_dubrovnik_pano_1.jpgSeptember holidays in Croatia: Dubrovnik © Chensiyuan

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

148634907_3710909032323289_8739173190972631043_n.jpgView from Barone

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, 12 May 2021

Unique and UNESCO: The Fascinating and Futuristic Fortresses of Šibenik

May 12, 2021 – Using vivid modern techniques like 3D mapping and augmented reality, each of the Fortresses of Šibenik is unique. Here, we take a closer look at these fascinating, must-visit venues.

The city of Šibenik is surrounded by some of the most distinctive waters in Dalmatia. To the city's northeast, the great Krka river drops over gushing waterfalls, meeting Cikola river in the epic Krka National Park. Thereafter, it flows first into Lake Prokljan, then the bay of Šibenik. Around the water's edge in Šibenik, people enjoying in bars and restaurants. Or, in warmer months, sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

in_the_Channel_of_St._Ante.jpgThe Channel of St. Ante, with the City of Šibenik in the background and St. Nikola's Fortress in the foreground @ TZ Šibenik.

And yet, these special waters are not the only thing that makes Šibenik unique. There's much more to this city than just the sea. Not least, the unique Fortresses of Šibenik.

Actually, it's not that unusual to find a fortress, castle or fortifications in Croatian cities. After all, for several hundred years, this was the frontline of European defense against the invading Ottoman empire. However, Šibenik is unique within the entire Balkan region to have not one, but four fortresses from that era. Not only are they very well preserved, but also they have been completely renovated and thoroughly modernized.

Surprising multimedia and fascinating digital content now combine with fantastic views and unique architecture to draw visitors to the Fortresses of Šibenik. Subsequently, the four Fortresses of Šibenik now make up an unmissable part of any visit to the city.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. Michael's Fortress


REFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_6.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: St. Michael's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The oldest of the four fortresses of Šibenik, iconic St. Michael's is today known as one of the most prestigious open-air concert stages on this side of the Adriatic. But, it also a place where you can learn fascinating history via spectacular modern technology. Deep within the fortress, 3D mapping techniques make 15th-century water tanks spring to life. This vivid display will transport you through centuries of exciting Šibenik history, including the story of St. Michael and the dragon.

Foto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_3.jpgVivid multimedia trails through the Fortresses of Šibenik @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: Barone Fortress


reFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_14.jpgBarone Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The latest of the four Fortresses of Šibenik to be renovated, in Barone Fortress you get a whole new dimension of reality. Actually, Barone Fortress successfully repelled the fiercest attacks of the Ottomans in the 17th century and therefore changed the course of history in this area. Via augmented reality (AR), you can relive the sights and sounds of these key moments in European history. After the thrill of experiencing the battles, you'd be well advised to take a breather on the Barone Bar’s terrace. There, you can enjoy views of the entire city, while any younger visitors can have fun on the children’s playground.

REEEFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_4.jpgVivid multimedia trails through the Fortresses of Šibenik @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. Nikola's Fortress


REPHOTO_2.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: The UNESCO-protected St. Nikola's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

Within the Fortresses of Šibenik, St. Nicholas is unique. Not only is it the only one that sits on its own island within the sea, but also is a unique Renaissance-style Venetian fortification. As such, it is protected as a UNESCO monument of world architectural heritage.

The fortress was built on the island of Ljuljevac, in the Channel of St. Ante, where the waters of Šibenik bay meet the Adriatic. Owing to its protected status, the best way to access the fortress is on an official tour. Lasting around two hours, the tour takes you from Šibenik down the channel by boat. After arriving at the fortress, you're guided rounded the structure on a tour detailing the architectural highlights and history.

NickySibenik_Aerial_100.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: The UNESCO-protected St. Nikola's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. John's Fortress


johntvrdavasvivan04.jpgSt. John's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The medieval church of St. John the Baptist that once stood on a hill, north of Šibenik's historical centre, dates to at least 1444. It is around this church that St. John's Fortress rose up. Naturally, it's also where the name comes from. In early 1646, when it was speedily built, alongside its peers, it helped save the city from the Ottomans. Later, it continued to be used by resident armies all the way up until the times of Yugoslavia. Today, St. John's is the last of the Fortresses of Šibenik to be undergoing reconstruction. Its completion is imminent and its official reopening is planned for September 2021.

Three of the Fortresses of Šibenik are included in the pan-European Fortresses of FORTITUDE project, which links significant sites in Croatia to some in Montenegro and Bosnia. If you want to know more about that project - and learn a little more about the history of some Šibenik fortresses, then look here.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Sibenik-Knin to Finance Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Work in 2021

April the 10th, 2021 - Dalmatia's Sibenik-Knin County is set to finance the praiseworthy work of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) throughout the year 2021.

As Morski writes, the Sibenik-Knin County administration has been supporting the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and their hard work rescuing both people and animals from sticky situations, as well as their members, financially and in every other way possible since their very foundatio.

For twenty entire years now, Sibenik-Knin County funds make up about 25 percent of the total budget at the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service's disposal.

''I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service who have to work in extremely difficult conditions and who are often willing to risk their own lives to save those of others,'' said Sibenik-Knin County Prefect Goran Pauk.

Mislav Cupic of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service thanked the county prefect for his ongoing support, emphasising that their station has been achieving an exceptionally high-quality level quality of cooperation with the county since the very beginning.

The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service is otherwise an entirely public service that ensures readiness, drive, the availability of both people and equipment, as well as the maintaining of knowledge, skills and expertise of the members in a very demanding, high-risk and responsible rescue activities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You may remember the service for their amusing posts on both Twitter and Facebook, in which they frequently warned tourists against trying to tackle the likes of Biokovo in the boiling summer months with no water and in flip flops.

Trying to swim or float on a gigantic inflatable flamingo from the mainland to that island ''that doesn't look that far away'' is also listed among the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service's ''no go'' summer ideas.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

 

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Wild Sports on Promina, Breathtaking Mountain Activities in Drniš

March 14, 2021 – The annual season of sports on Promina mountain begins in a couple of weeks with the trekking event Promina Trail. Whether walking, hiking, running or mountain biking, Promina, Drniš and the neighbouring Čikola river valley offer stunning scenery and thrilling activities such as zip line and canyoning.

The Dalmatian Trail League visits the city of Drniš next week. On the Promina Trail event, runners, walkers and hikers can catch breathtaking views of the rivers Čikola and Krka, the historic Miljevci plateau that lies between them and, over 30 kilometres in the distance, the Adriatic sea. They will be gifted such exceptional sights from the Promina mountain.

Promina mountain near Drniš


naslovnaprominaaaaaa.jpgPromina mountain near Drniš © Općina Promina

Standing at almost 1150 meters high, Promina mountain is the highest peak in the area. Although the pretty, nearby town of Drniš itself is scattered across inclines of the Dinaric Alps, these gentle rises are nothing compared to Promina. The mountain dominates the skyline. But, Promina is much more than an impressive backdrop to photos. This vast area of natural wilderness is a brilliant place for recreation.

From far away, Promina looks like a rather intimidating rock. The grey of karst, omnipresent throughout Dalmatia, forms some of its colours. Greenery looks sparse and scorched by the sun. Indeed, there are parts of the Dalmatian hinterland that look so arid, you wouldn't be surprised to see them in a dry and dusty Sergio Leone western.

But, as you get nearer the mountain, green colours emerge and become more varied. Thick forests of oak and pine come into view. Their scent is year-round, following you on your route across the mountain. As you embark on your path upwards, you may pass mountain springs that feed into the Čikola canyon below.

viewfrompromina.pngView from Promina mountain during the Promina Trail event, held in March © Drniš Tourist Board

This part of Dalmatia, away from the nearby shoreline, often benefits in summer from slightly cooler temperatures. This refreshing air only increases the higher up Promina you go. By the coast, it's frequently far too hot in summer for any sports or activities that aren't centred on the beach and sea. That's not the case here. Activities and sports on Promina mountain are year-round.

Come in spring and summer and feel Promina's pine forests buzzing with life, a patchwork quilt of greens stretched out across the land below. In autumn, those greens give way to orange, brown and yellow. And, in winter, Promina looks pristine when capped in brilliant white.

Recreation, activities and sports on Promina mountain near Drniš


DrnisMainslotCropFin.jpgThe city of Drniš with Promina mountain in the background © Drniš Tourist Board

Activities and sports on Promina mountain include walking, hiking and running. Aside from recreation by foot, pathways up the mountain now also include mountain bike trails. Once you get up high enough, the entire topography of this part of the Dalmatian hinterland opens up. You trace two rivers – the Čikola and Krka – destined to converge at the nearby Krka National Park. Within the deep and picturesque river valleys they have formed, you'll find canyoning and zipline activities.

Promina Trail


isolatedonprominatrail.pngHigh on the mountain during the Promina Trail © Drniš Tourist Board

Activities and self-directed sports on Promina are available all year. But, the organised calendar of annual sports on Promina begins each March with the Promina Trail.

Certificated by ITRA (International running association), Promina Trail is part of the year-long Dalmatian Trail League competition. Some people enter all 12 races, which are held once a month. And, it's a brilliant way to see the varied landscapes of Dalmatia. Others choose to take part in just one or a few installments, including international visitors.

startofprominatrail.pngStart of the Promina Trail in the city of Drniš © Drniš Tourist Board

Though the starting point is less than 30 km from the coast, Promina Trail is one of the more remote stages of the league. Beginning on the wide, central streets of Drniš within just a few minutes you're out into a wide-open expanse of nature. There's more than enough room for all to feel free. Your mind can escape any thoughts of city living. And, if you deliberately choose to run solitary, you won't be interrupted by anything other than the drinks and food stations that line the route.

youthonPromina.pngPassing through forests on the Promina Trail© Drniš Tourist Board

The race has three routes which vary in difficulty. By having such options, the event opens itself to family participants who make prefer a walking pace, right up to competitive athletes. All races run through stunning scenery and finish at the same mountaineer's hut on Promina. All routes are one-way and marked throughout with flags or lanes and arrows at each turn. All runners must carry a cell phone and arrive with ID.

Liluša Cave - 9km ↑ 623m ↓ 76m. Liluša Cave track is designed for walkers, families, children including under 14s, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who wants to experience trail running. Orientation is simple. An easy walk, it takes 3 and a half hours.

Little Wheel - 20km ↑ 1099m ↓ 552m. The Mali Točak (Little Wheel) track is quite long, but it's not a technically demanding course. Children over 14 may enter, accompanied or with written permission.

Big Wheel - 30km ↑ 1604m ↓ 1057m. The Veliki Točak (Big Wheel) track is technically demanding and requires a high level of fitness. It's designed for experienced runners. Children over 16 may enter, accompanied or with written permission. It passes across Promina's highest peak before descending back to the mountain hut.

Promina Trail is organized by Mountaineering Association Promina. The registration and starting point for all three races is Poljana Town Square in the centre of Drniš. Registration starts at 8am.

Race start times:
Veliki Točak - 9:30am
Mali Točak - 10am
Liluša Cave - 10:30am
Organised meal - 1pm
Event end - 5pm

endofPromina.pngEnd stages of the Promina Trail © Drniš Tourist Board

Originally slated for Saturday 27 March 2021, in case of severe weather or the enforcement of epidemiological measures, the event may be postponed, with Sunday 28 March 2021 penciled in as a replacement date. Runners will be notified on social media networks and pre-registered runners by email.

On-line applications last until March 21 at the website https://stotinka.hr

Thereafter, runners can register on the day of the race, 27 March 2021

More info:
www.pd-promina.hr/PROMINATRAIL
Facebook page
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone: +385 98331922 - Božo - race leader
+385 981776924 - Tomislav - president of PD Promina

More activities and sports on Promina mountain near Drniš


askmenocanyon.jpegCanyoning in Drnis © Drniš Tourist Board

Mountain biking on Promina mountain near Drniš


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All of the tracks used in the Promina Trail and more are open year-round so walkers, hikers and mountain bikers can explore the mountain. You can check out a mountain bike trail here (there are more Drniš and Promina trails linked to the page)

Zip line Čikola / Zip line Šibenik near Drniš


Zipline_21fhjljhflh_1.jpegZip line Čikola / Zip line Šibenik near Drniš © Tourist Board of Drniš

Sometimes referred to as Zipline Šibenik, in order to attract visitors from the popular beachside city in summer, the Čikola zip line is actually around 30 km from Šibenik but just a few from Drniš. Transfer to the thrilling high wire by organisers is short and fast from either city.

The zip line course is 1.4 km long zip line and runs at an altitude of between 120 metres to 30 metres. There are three separate zip lines to complete in the run. Zipline riders control their own speed – you can take it easy and enjoy the breathtaking views, or you can go for maximum adrenaline rush and reach up to 70 km / h. You can take the lines alone or in pairs, with instructors available to partner you.

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Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

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

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

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

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

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

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

b) Beaches


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

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

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

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

d) Heritage


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

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

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

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

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

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

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

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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

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

2) Football


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

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

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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

3) Zagreb


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

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

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

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

5) There was a war here


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

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

6) Wine


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

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

7) Croatian produce


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

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

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

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

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

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

Chocolate


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

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

Beer


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

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

8) Innovation


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

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

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

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

10) People want to live in Croatia


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

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

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

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

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

Gastronomy


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

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

Coffee


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

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

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

Handball, music

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

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Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Hidden Dalmatia: Incredible and Mysterious 10 Rajcica Wells near Klis

February 17, 2021 – One of the most mysterious and beautiful sites in the Dalmatian hinterland behind Split, the incredible 10 Rajcica Wells - off the road between Klis and Drniš - are ripe for discovery by those wanting to escape into nature and they're the perfect place for picnics

The road from Klis to Drniš can sometimes feel like a step back in time. The 20-minute drive from the bustle of coastal city Split up to Klis is one that more and more visitors are wisely choosing to take. Perched in the high foothills of the Dinaric Alps, Klis's spectacular fortress, featured in Game of Thrones, is a captivating visit. The views it offers of the seaside city below will leave you breathless.

klisfortress7gdjkbgfasjkb.jpegThe view of Split from Klis Fortress © Ivan Limić

Pulling out from the suburbs of Split, the sights and sounds of towering apartment blocks, tourist-filled streets and city buses ebb away and the road climb begins. But, after visiting Klis Fortress, if you take the road to Drniš, things change again.

As you head through the village of Prugovo, the tell-tale signs of tourism decrease – perhaps a villa, here or there, maybe some modern buildings. But, between Prugovo's settled areas, a vista of classic inland Dalmatia opens up. A dry and sun-soaked landscape, filled sporadically with the green of trees and bushes and the weathered grey of Dalmatian rock. The edges of fields are marked by traditional dry stone walls. By isolated houses, trellises carry vines – tomatoes, grapes.

Prugovosjadfkjjldas.jpgPrugovo © Općina Klis

Between Prugovo and Gornji Muć, where you'd turn left for Drniš, the buildings are few and far between. A vast expanse of unblemished Dalmatian countryside sits on either side. On the road here, you're as likely to be passed by an agricultural vehicle as you are any car.

But, long before you reach Gornji Muć, there's an almost anonymous turning on the left. A simple road sign preceding announces the names of villages you've likely never heard of. At first sight, the road looks to lead up only to a red and white communications mast. Beyond it, a shallow valley on the right contains houses of the settlement Gizdavac. Otherwise, you're surrounded by slight, rolling hills and the low-lying bushes of an unadulterated wilderness.

Gizdavac-Prugovo_0204_2010_-_panoramio.jpgGizdavac / Prugovo © d.graso

A little further, if you take a right on the road – heading for Brštanovo and Nisko, instead of Lećevica - a gentle incline again but, here, there are no settlements. No sounds. The stone walls that previously edged your travel have gone. Your passage is now bordered only by roadside bushes. And then, as if from nowhere, tall, thin pines shoot up on either side. It's the first shadow seen on the road for quite some time.

150970951_328784161884992_3375819499453421533_n.jpg© Iva Kegalj / Don't miss Klis

The light soon returns, but on the route through Brštanovo and on to Nisko, the trees seem to fight for a place on the landscape – succeeding in some section. In others, it's the agricultural fields of settlers that have reclaimed the wilderness. The land here is a mixture of greens, some indigenous and agrestal, others purposefully placed in neat rows. The landscape is still.

If signposts to Brštanovo and Nisko were thin on the ground, you'd need a sharp eye - or to know exactly where you're going - if you're heading to the incredible secret this area holds. No fanfare heralds the 10 Rajcica Wells. They can't even be reached by car.

88naslovnabunjaies.jpgThe 10 Rajcica Wells near Klis © The Mladichi

To get to this mysterious oasis, you take your car to Nisko,and then keep an eye out for the sign which marks the way to tiny settlement of Čulići (the 10 Rajcica Wells can also be accessed from Lećevica). The short walk required from where you eventually is an enjoyable stroll through all of the landscapes you've just passed – wild countryside with Dalmatian rock erupting between the green or forestland, where you walk beneath the shade of pines. An agricultural road has recently been reconstructed to aid your passage through the forest. That your view is obstructed by these trees grants a thrilling sense of drama when, eventually, the meadow containing the 10 Rajcica Wells is finally revealed.

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The 10 Rajcica Wells (Bunari Rajčica) near Klis

Aside from an old stone wall that runs through the meadow, the 10 Rajcica Wells are the only telltale signs that this land has ever been touched by the hands of man. No buildings or telegraph poles are insight. No sounds interrupt the calm of the incredible scenery. If you're not alone at the 10 Rajcica Wells when you visit, it's because this is a popular place for those in-the-know to come for picnics. But, the 10 Rajcica Wells has the effect of calming all who come. The picnics taken here are respectful of the peacefulness, if not overwhelmed by it.

P3000412Limic3.jpgPicnic at the 10 Rajcica Wells (Bunari Rajčica) near Klis © Ivan Limić

When the weather is not quite right for picnics, the 10 Rajcica Wells are visited by an even smaller number of well-informed guests. Walkers and hikers take to the trails and come to gasp at the sight. Although, they too are not likely to be alone.

P3000416Limic2.jpgThe 10 Rajcica Wells (Bunari Rajčica) near Klis in glorious colours of autumn © Ivan Limić

Throughout the year, horses come to drink from the wells, as do a few cows who graze in and around the meadow. They've got used to sharing their dining room with humans. Some are curious and friendly, they might even approach, delighting any younger group members who get up close. Sometimes they might even be too friendly – a picnic sandwich or two has been known to be taken by the meadow's mooing residents. Perhaps they think it's a buffet? Best hold tightly onto your lunch – although there's little danger of the placid cows sneaking up to you. Most wear bells around their necks. Their ring is sometimes the only sound to pierce the silent scene.

IvaKegaljDontmissKlis5.jpg© Iva Kegalj / Don't miss Klis

If you've travelled from Split to discover the 10 Rajcica Wells - and you really should – this is a Dalmatia completely opposite from where your journey began. Just a kilometre or so from the county boundary between Split-Dalmatia and Sibenik-Knin, there's no sea here, no advertising hoardings, no intruding music or enticement. Here, the offer is peaceful nature and the wonder of your imagination.

881Bunjario.jpgRajcica Wells (Bunari Rajčica) near Klis © The Mladichi

Nobody is really sure who built the 10 Rajcica Wells. Some presume it was the Ottomans. But, around the locale, you'll often find people who refer to them as the 'Roman wells' (this would make them over 1000 years old). Others think that they are older still, built by the Illyrian tribes who perhaps also let their animals drink from the 10 Rajcica Wells. Indeed, in a submitted thesis, Croatian student Mate Puljak suggested that the name Rajčice (rather than emanating from a very modern Croatian word for tomato), is actually a name that comes from the surname of the Rajčić (Raichich) family, who he claims pre-date the Romans.

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The placement of the Rajcica water wells corresponds to the constellation of the Pleiades, claimed Croatian student Mate Puljak, suggesting the wells pre-date the Romans

"These are ritual water wells and their arrangement in space corresponds to a mirror image of the constellation of the Pleiades," he says. Myth from the nearby locale has it that they have never once dried up. In the days before village children could easily take a bus to the beach, the 10 Rajcica Wells were the summertime spot where many learned to swim. Year-round, their parents would visit the wells to draw drinking water for their family's homes.

882Bunjariii.jpgNear the start of David Lean's monumental 1962 film 'Lawrence of Arabia', Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) sets off on a journey of many nights camel ride through the desert accompanied by a Bedouin guide with whom he is newly acquainted. They soon become friends. In one of the movie's most iconic scenes, another Bedouin, Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) arrives from a distance by camel before shooting dead Lawrence's Bedouin guide for drinking from a well that belongs to him. In the ensuing exchange, to an angry and upset Lawrence, Sherif Ali points at the lifeless body and spits “He was nothing! The well is everything!” People of the Dalmatian hinterland are not nearly so protective over their wells. Although, local legend does have it that, in the recent past, each of the 10 Rajcica Wells was 'owned' by 10 different families of the region, 'theirs' being the one exclusively assigned for use by the family and their animals © The Mladichi

The people of the Dalmatian hinterland are rarely selfish. What they have, they'll invite you in to share. And the 10 Rajcica Wells are no exception. To that end, in addition to the recently reconstructed agricultural road, a further access road for the 10 Rajcica Wells will be made, educational nature trails will be appointed around the site and a viewpoint added. The picnic area will be arranged and better signage will open up the 10 Rajcica Wells to visitors. The cows may soon have more guests with whom they share their meadow. Although, they probably won't mind. Residents of the Dalmatian hinterland know that their secrets are too good to keep for themselves.

Screenshot2020-04-07at10.40.52Ante_Mula2.jpgRajcica Wells (Bunari Rajčica) near Klis © Ante Mula

On these links you can read the other features in our Hidden Dalmatia series:

Drniš - Drniški Pršut and Meštrović Roots

Soparnik - 100% Authentic Croatian Food

The Fantastic Food of the Cetina River

Baško Polje - Forgotten Paradise of Yugoslavia Holidays

Wild Rides on the Cetina River

Total Croatia News would like to express sincere thanks to Ivan Limić, Općina Klis, The Mladichi, Iva Kegalj, Don't miss Klis and Ante Mula for the photography used in this article which, without their assistance, would not have been possible

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