Saturday, 31 July 2021

US Sixth Fleet Command Ship Visits Split

ZAGREB, 31 July 2021, 2021 - The command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet, USS Mount Whitney, is visiting the southern Croatian Adriatic city of Split, and its commander said on Saturday that the US-Croatian partnership on land and at sea is crucial for the military cooperation and common security of the two countries. 

The US vessel arrived on Friday and visited the Split shipyard, while reporters were invited to visit the ship on Saturday.

US Chargé d'Affaires Mark Fleming said they were glad to be in Split and that the defence cooperation between the United States and Croatia was the corner stone of their bilateral relations.

Over the last 10 years, US military aid to Croatia has reached nearly HRK 4.5 billion, which is more than $700 million, for training, equipment, infrastructure building and specialised military training, Fleming said. Since Croatia joined NATO 12 years ago, US and Croatian personnel have served together from Afghanistan to Iraq to Kosovo. The US-Croatian partnership on land and at sea is crucial for the military cooperation and common security of our two countries, he added.

US naval ships often stop in Croatia for maintenance and mutual security operations. The northern port of Rijeka has been the centre of US-Croatian cooperation since 2011, benefiting from contracts with the US Navy worth nearly HRK 900 million. This year three US naval ships have been berthed in the Kraljevica shipyard for regular maintenance.

In April, US Navy EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) divers held a training course on humanitarian mine clearance for Croatian Navy personnel and launched a project to develop an EOD training facility for the Croatian Navy.

Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander of the US Sixth Fleet, said that Croatia stands as an important NATO ally, facilitating the maintenance of US Navy forward deployed ships.  

Croatian shipyards are world class, and mine action capabilities ensure a continued maritime presence and security in the whole region, Black said.

Dave Pollard, Commander of USS Mount Whitney, said that the US-Croatian military cooperation and sharing the same values brings stability and prosperity to this region.

After the visit, USS Mount Whitney will begin a two-week scenario-driven integrated exercise that will provide high-end training at sea and ashore against a challenging adversary force.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Mediterranean Film Festival to Take Place in Split on 17-26 June

ZAGREB, 13 June, 2021 - The 14th Mediterranean Film Festival begins in Split on 17 June with the screening of the Turkish feature film "When I'm Done Dying" by Bir Nefes Daha and the Croatian documentary "Split" by Renata Poljak.

The opening ceremony will take place at the summer cinema theatre "Bačvice". The other venue of the festival is the Dom Mladih (Youth Centre).

The programme of the festival, which runs through 26 June, includes films from Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Montenegro, France, Côte d'Ivoire, Slovenia, Morocco, Malta and Palestine, as well as Croatia.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

European Throwing Cup To Take Place in Split On 8-9 May

April 25, 2021 - The European Throwing Cup, which consists of Shot Put, Discus Throw, Hammer Throw, and Javelin Throw, will be held in the biggest Croatian Adriatic city of Split on 8 and 9 May.

The organization of the event, which will bring together 564 athletes from 44 countries, was discussed recently by Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the Croatian Athletics Federation president, Ivan Veštić.

Veštić said that the purpose of hosting the competition was to make Split a popular European destination for track and field events.

He informed the minister that the shot put event would be held at the historical Salona venue dating back to ancient Roman times.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

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

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

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

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

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

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

b) Beaches


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

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

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

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

d) Heritage


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

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

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

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

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

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

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

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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

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

2) Football


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

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

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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

3) Zagreb


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

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

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

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

5) There was a war here


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

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

6) Wine


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

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

7) Croatian produce


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

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

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

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

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

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

Chocolate


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

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

Beer


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

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

8) Innovation


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

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

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

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

10) People want to live in Croatia


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

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

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

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

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

Gastronomy


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

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

Coffee


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

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

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

Handball, music

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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

Saturday, 2 January 2021

PHOTOS: Extraordinary Plants of Klis Fortress Show Two Sides of Dalmatia

January 2, 2021 – High on the mountains, overlooking the city of Split, the historic settlement of Klis stands on the border between two distinct climate regions – the Mediterranean and the Dalmatian hinterland. The sometimes rare and extraordinary plants of Klis Fortress are characteristic of both. A new book details the flora you can find on both sides of the Dinaric Alps

The views from Klis are spectacular. The great city of Split lies below you, perched on the edge of the glistening Adriatic, beyond it, the islands of Čiovo, Šolta, Brac, Vis and Hvar. It's a view that has been admired for over 2000 years.

klisfortress7.jpegThe view from Klis Fortress

That's how long a fortress has stood here. Restructured and rebuilt several times over the millennia, within the walls of the impressive Klis Fortress lie much of the recent history of these lands – of the Illyrians and the Romans, the arrival of both Slavic people and of Christianity, the defence of Christian Europe from the Ottomans. So steeped in history are these walls, little wonder the fortress was chosen as a filming location for the popular Game Of Thrones series.

Klisfortress2.jpegKlis Fortress

With its view so irresistibly inviting the eye, you could be forgiven for missing the plants of Klis Fortress. That's unfortunate. The fort straddles the top of the Dinaric Alps – one half existing within the sub-Mediterranean climate of the Dalmatian hinterland, the other on the distinctly warmer side of the Adriatic. This creates a unique environment for a wealth of flora. Not used as a fortress since the threat of Ottoman invasion subsided, these days the structure usually welcomes only tourists. The plants of Klis Fortress have reached into the grounds of the buildings, indeed into its very walls.

Cymbalariamuralis_Ivy-LeavedToadflax.jpegCymbalaria muralis - Ivy Leaved Toadflax within the walls of Klis Fortress

One person for who the plants of Klis Fortress did not go unnoticed is Ivan Limić. He lived in Klis all of his life, before leaving to get his degree, then a masters, at the Forestry department of the University of Zagreb. Today, he works for the Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation (IAC) on a PhD student's position. Having a specific interest in botany, he knows the plants of Klis Fortress better than most and after he met botanist Vedran Šegota of Herbarium Croaticum while in Zagreb, they decided they should work on a project together. After several years of work, that project - a book, 'Biljke Tvrdave Klis (Plants of Klis Fortress)' – has finally been released. Although helmed by co-authors Vedran and Ivan, it has actually been a project that involved a much greater group of contributors, not least the community of Klis and some of the best botanists in Croatia.


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Ivan Limić, co-author of 'Plants of Klis Fortress', relaxing in a Black Pine

TCN talked with Ivan Limić to find out more about the book and about the plants of Klis Fortress

I first met Vedran when I started volunteering at Herbarium Croaticum Zagreb. I was in the city doing my degree. My main interests are forest silviculture and soil erosion, karst melioration, assessment of atmospheric deposition, study of flora, plant determination in Mediterranean region forest ecosystems and the effects of forest fires in those areas. We talked about doing a joint project because we shared similar interests. Vedran came to visit me in Klis and I wanted to show him around the fortress, but looking specifically at the flora. That's when we decided we should do a book about the plants of Klis Fortress.

Geraniumpurpureum_LittleRobin.jpegGeranium purpureum, the little-robin

I walked around Klis Fortress all my life. When you live in a place, you not only acquire so much information about that place over the years, you also have an emotional connection to it. That's not something you can read in every book. Hopefully, with our book, we managed to get a sense of that emotional attachment across, so that you can really feel the place.

Agave_americana_Limic_14.jpegAgave americana

In a way, the special thing about the plants of Klis Fortress is that they are not so special at all – they are extremely characteristic. But, they are characteristic of two completely different climate regions.

On the south side of Klis Fortress, it is very warm and sunny – the Mediterranean climate. You can find species like Aleppo pine. On the northern side of Klis Fortress, it is colder – the sub-Mediterranean climate. Here, you can even get snow in winter and the most common species is Black pine. Two completely different climate regions in just a 50 metre stretch diagonally along the ground. That's what makes it extraordinary.

Salvia officinalis_Sage.jpgSalvia officinalis (sage)

The plants of Klis Fortress include more than 300 species. We have around 100 of them listed in the book. Of those, 16 are species endemic to this area. Some of those are extremely rare - you can find them in very few places in Croatia - such as Fibigia triquetra. That plant is actually one of the reasons why this book exists. When I was a child, people used to tell me that some of the plants of Klis Fortress were very unusual and very rare. I used to walk around the fortress, looking at all the plants, trying to guess which ones were the unusual and rare species.

Fibigiatriquetra_AdriaticFibigia.jpegFibigia triquetra

The man who first identified this as a unique, endemic species actually discovered his first specimen inside Klis Fortress. All of the studies and writings he made about the plant were done here. That plant is now the symbol of Klis Fortress.

Polypodium_cambricum_Limic_4.jpegPolypodium cambricum

You can find our book in Klis library. Anyone can borrow it. It's also available at the entrance to Klis Fortress, where you buy the tickets. We wanted to give the opportunity to anyone who comes here to learn about the plants of this region – that's why we made such an effort to have the book in five languages. It was designed as a guide to the plant species of the whole Mediterranean mountain region in Croatia, so it's not just for the plants of Klis Fortress or the people who come to Klis Fortress itself.

Klis-Tordylium1.jpgTordylium

Most of the photography in the book was done by ourselves. It was important to take the photographs across four different seasons. That's one of the reasons it took almost two years to write this book.

latin_Inulaverbascifolia_eng_Inulaverbascifolia.jpegInula Verbascifolia

As we were making progress on the book, people in Klis began to find out what we were doing. It ended up becoming a project of the wider community. The mayor of Klis supported the project financially so that we were able to publish the book professionally and the library of Klis edited and published the book.

Ephedra_major_Limic_3.jpegEphedra major

Others contributed to the design of the book and the translations, of course. Almost all of them donated their time and work to the project for free. It is quite difficult to translate some of this specific text correctly and we wanted to get it absolutely right.

Agaveamericana_CenturyPlantMaguey.jpegAgave americana

In the end, we ended up getting contributions from Italy and France, we had one colleague from the French embassy who helped and some of the best botanists we have in Croatia contributed to the book to make sure everything was absolutely correct. For that reason, the book was approved and recommended by the Botanical Society of Croatia and can be found in the Botanical library.

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All images © Ivan Limić / The Plants of Klis Fortress

Thursday, 10 December 2020

VIDEO: Man Takes His Pet Chicken Shopping in the City Streets of Split

December 10, 2020 – Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, to go to the dućan (store) with his owner, of course! Residents bewildered to see one man taking his pet chicken shopping in the city streets of Split.

Understanding Croatia is often like looking through a kaleidoscope – the closer you look, the more it shifts in and out of the focus of comprehension. Nowhere is that more true than in the seaside city of Split.

Visitors are not the only ones to see this. Split's inhabitants know it too. Despite its reputation for the unorthodox, happenings in Split are still capable of raising the eyebrows of those who live there. And, that was certainly the case a couple of days ago, when residents of the Gripe neighbourhood were bewildered to see one man going shopping accompanied by his pet chicken. Their casual walk to the shops, which sees the pet chicken being led on the kind of leash you'd more usually find on a dog, was captured on video. It is one of the more curious chick flicks TCN has seen this year.

Gripe in Split is a family neighbourhood, known for its sporting facilities and the old fortifications which lie on the hill after which it is named. Even in times of social distancing, it's not uncommon to find neighbours milling around, chatting to each other on a weekend morning. Their idle gossip was given egg-stra fuel on Saturday when the man and his pet chicken made their remarkable hen-trance.

As the weather across Croatia turns colder, this is the traditional time for pigs to be turned into the sausages and bacon that will last through the winter. The chickens and turkeys are safe for now, although only for another week or so. Perhaps this timing egg-splains the walking of the pet chicken? Maybe the owner didn't want to let the prize bird out of his sight so close to Christmas? Or perhaps, given that a camera seems to have been at the ready to film their exploits, the walking of the pet chicken was just a welcome moment of tomfoolery? Whichever it may be, the footage does have an endearing quality. Poultry in motion, if you will.

Monday, 16 November 2020

PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo in Split Before Portugal Croatia Game

November 16, 2020 - Excitement for tomorrow's Croatia Portugal game is building as one of the world's greatest footballers is again pictured in Croatia - Cristiano Ronaldo in Split

Tomorrow night will see the last chance for the Croatian National Football Team to remain in League A in the UEFA Nations League when they take on Portugal at Poljud stadium. Excitement for the game is building as one of the world's greatest footballers has again been photographed in the host town. Cristiano Ronaldo in Split is not a sight you get to see every day.

Screenshot (69).pngCristiano Ronaldo in Split, as seen on the sports pages of Jutarnji List © screenshot Jutarnji List

Croatian football fans were first notified of Cristiano Ronaldo in Split when the Portugal team were pictured arriving together in the city on Sunday. Ronaldo was the last man to leave the team bus. Today, a new photograph has emerged of Cristiano Ronaldo in Split. Published on the sports pages of Jutarnji List, the Portuguese captain was photographed looking out from the balcony of the Amphora Hotel in Žnjan to the east of the city. If the hotel balcony Cristiano Ronaldo in Split was pictured in is his, the Juventus forward will have a glorious, unobstructed view of Brac island from his room.

Playing under manager Zlatko Dalic, the Croatian National Football Team will be desperate to avoid relegation to League B in the UEFA Nations League with the result against Portugal tomorrow. Meanwhile, Portugal have little to play for - their hopes of finishing at the top of League A's Group 3 were ended by their defeat to France in their last match.

Screenshot (70).pngCristiano Ronaldo in Split, as seen on the sports pages of Jutarnji List © screenshot Jutarnji List

The Croatian National Football Team have been drawn in one of the most difficult groups within this year's UEFA Nations League. Portugal are the defending champions of the league and France are the current World Cup holders. Croatia have lost four of their last five matches in the competition, their only win so far being against Sweden. Sweden are currently at the bottom of Group 3 with only three points, the same as Croatia. Croatia are placed third, above Sweden, having scored more goals. The final standing of the teams will also depend on the result of the Sweden France game which will be played simultaneously.

To get the most up-to-date news about tomorrow's game and the Croatian National Football Team, plus all international Croatia sports and domestic leagues, be sure to follow Total Croatia News dedicated Sports pages

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

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

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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Hidden Dalmatia: Wild Rides on the Cetina River

September 2, 2020 – Filled with thrills, history, incredible nature and scenery, the Cetina river is the largest in Croatia to flow into the Adriatic.

There are many ways of looking at the sea. A holidaymaker's perspective would be between their feet, lay on a beach towel, perhaps shaded by scented pines. In the distance, an island that maybe they might visit. Although not before the theatre of their Mediterranean restaurant lunch.

Locals hold a different view. For them, the sea is a constant companion. In his poem, 'More' (Sea), pre-eminent 20th-century Croatian poet Josip Pupačić talks with the sea. And the sea talks back to him. For Pupačić, the sea is part of the land, and the land is part of his life. Their conversation is whispered - "good morning" - but not due to nearness. Pupačić is not on the beach. He is in the mountains above the coastal town of Omiš. His home village, Slime, is some 20 kilometres inland. Connecting the sea to the land, and his village to Omiš is the Cetina river.

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"Good morning". Daybreak over Omiš, where the Cetina river meets the sea, as seen from the restaurant balcony of Hotel Villa Dvor. The hotel's restaurant is the best place to take coffee in town, the view is spectacular © Marc Rowlands

Not so famous as international travellers like the Danube, Sava and Drava, the Cetina river is nevertheless a giant. It is the largest river in Croatia to drain into the Adriatic. It surges downwards from a height of almost 400 metres over the course of more than 100 kilometres. Along its length lie evidence of lives, like Josip Pupačić's, connected to the land and the sea for centuries. Not that you would ever see this through your feet on the beach.

But, those visiting Omiš, Split and the Makarska riviera have the opportunity to see. The Cetina river has never been more accessible. From canyoning, rock climbing and hiking to kayaking, white water rafting and the most exhilarating zip-line in Croatia, a whole range of thrilling activities now open up this wild river, its history and its stunning, natural surroundings. A unique experience for those taking a holiday on the Dalmatian coast, the Cetina river offers a glimpse into both the hinterland and the past, a taste of sweet, freshwater to wash off all the salt.

Several springs occur at the river's start, high in the hills of the hinterland near a village called Cetina. Located not quite halfway between Drniš and the nearby Bosnian border, there is nevertheless one spectacularly coloured lake attributed as the main source. It is several hundred metres deep and is within eyesight of two defensive medieval fortresses, Glavaš and Prozor.

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The source of the Cetina river © Cabrio2

The river soon widens into an artificial lake, the first of several points along its course where man has harnessed its awesome power (the river is a large source of hydroelectric power). It then runs near the first major town on its path, Sinj, before passing the ruins of the 700-year-old Čačvina fortress on its way to the town of Trilj, where it meets the river Ruda. This is not the only tributary to flow into the Cetina river. Dalmatian folklore numbers the springs and streams at 360 (Tako ti trista i šezdeset vrila šta se u Cetinu sliva). But actually, many more flow underground from Bosnia. Three pretty bridges assist Trilj residents in living on the waters. Below the town sit the excavated and well-preserved remains of Roman garrison Tilurium.

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The Cetina river canyon, south of Trilj © Trilj Tourist Board

Before long, the river enters a deep canyon, its start marked by the remains of the fortified town Nutjak, which clings to the cliffside. Running for at least 30 kilometres, this beautifully bordered stretch of river is the first to offer the thrills of white water rafting. The experience here is made visually daunting by the high cliffs which loom above you. Between the exciting sections of sharp, uneven descent, the river here can also run smoothly, its course slowed by dams. At one time it ran so fast as to be able to power traditional mills placed along the banks.

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The remains of Nutjak, next to the Cetina river, south of Trilj © Trilj Tourist Board

The south east-running canyon finally ends just after Blato Na Cetini, although the high cliffs remain as the river edges south, through Dio Kanjona Rijeke Cetine, before it drops down violently via the Gubavica Falls near Zadvarje. At Slime, it takes a sharp turn westwards for the 20 kilometre home stretch to Omiš. This is the most popular section of the river for white water rafting.

It's just over 15 kilometres between Slime, where you set off, and Radman's Mills, the proletarian picnic eatery, where you disembark. The journey takes around three hours. You need your sunscreen. Several companies run rafts here, although the more established options, such as Kentona Rafting, are usually the safest and the best.

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The rafting course between Slime and Radman's Mills is at time thrilling, at others, incredibly tranquil © Marc Rowlands

Following simple and clear safety instructions, rafts are boarded. It's reassuring to see your guide and navigator wearing the same helmet and life jacket as you. Not every company on the river insists on such. TCN's guide is young Marin from Omiš. This is his regular summer job. Although he's made this raft journey hundreds of times, he retains an infectious enthusiasm. By the time he's finished nautical university in Zadar, the boats he will steer will be considerably bigger.

Unlike the section south of Trilj, this is not a canyon. This is a valley. The topography changes throughout. Narrow, foaming stretches hurry you between intimidating rocks. Then, calm. The river widens. You have to dig your oars in to keep pace.

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You pass many waterfalls while rafting on the Cetina. Local folklore says 360 springs feed the river © Marc Rowlands

A hundred shades of green, brown and yellow surround, from mosses, water reeds and grasses, to low lying trees that make you thankful for your headgear. The cliffs are often at a distance, affording a wide and spectacular panorama. At other times, huge shards of karst like stalagmites suddenly rise from nowhere, dominating the immediate view.

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Rafting on the Cetina river © Marc Rowlands

Insects such as dragonfly skirt the water surface, moving incredibly fast. Other residents are not so hurried - turtles laze in the sun on branches by the waterside. Even from a considerable distance, Marin spots them easily. He guides the boat nearer, waiting patiently until everyone sees.

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A turtle by the Cetina river © Kentona Rafting

Other than the voices of companions, the hand of man is imperceptible. No telegraph poles can be seen overhead nor electricity cables, not once the sound of a distant car. You can almost hear the force of the crystal clear water, as fish speed up underneath to avoid the encroaching raft. Ducks atop the water nonchalantly follow suit.

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Rafters pause for a swim in the cool waters of the Cetina © Marc Rowlands

It seems like half the 360 springs feeding the river occur here. Waterfalls burst from the rock face overhead - sometimes linear, forceful and gushing, at others, so widely dispersed as to send a fine film of mist across your face as you pass underneath. There are many opportunities to stop. And no compulsion to quickly reach the end. Marin knows the best places to pause. He sits smiling by the beached raft as everyone takes a swim in a wide, idyllic pool. The water is refreshingly cool - not that much colder than the midsummer sea. Further on, he points out the high rocks from which thrillseekers can jump.

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Thrillseekers jump from high rocks into the Cetina river © Kentona Rafting

One small section of the river is too perilous for inexperienced rafters. We are left by a path and walk less than five minutes to meet Marin on the other side. This section contains a cave, once a popular stop-off point, but now considered too dangerous - upon entering, the drop in temperature is considerable. This rafting is open to anyone above the age of six. Despite sunburn and the beginnings of blisters where the oar has rubbed, the end comes all too soon. You'd gladly repeat the journey tomorrow.

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Though filled with thrills, even younger children can enjoy rafting on the Cetina river when taken by experienced guides © Kentona Rafting

The last eight kilometres of the Cetina river are taken calmly, by small passenger boat. There are no rapids here, just a smooth expanse of green-blue water with several hundred metres of wild vegetation separating it from the cliffs on either side.

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Children take the wheel of the passenger boat on the lower section of the Cetina river © Marc Rowlands

The water here is calm and there's lots of space to manoeuvre the boat, so children take the wheel. They pass groups of birds, resting on the water, and a kayak. Taken at your own pace, this canoe is the best way to explore the reed-edged banks.

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A couple explore the riverbanks by kayak © Marc Rowlands

About halfway to the town, the peacefulness is interrupted by screams. Not frightened but excited, they are coming from people crossing overhead on a zipline. The wire is so high - 150 metres - you can barely see it from the water. Only when people pass directly above can you follow the line.

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Flying through treetops beside the Cetina river © Zipline Croatia

This is Croatia's most spectacular zipline. The backdrop is everything. From high on the rock, you race down over the foliage, treetops just a metre or so from dangling legs. And then the land falls away. Isolated in the sky, seconds become minutes. The Cetina river looks monstrous from here, dominant, immovable, timeless.

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© Zipline Croatia

The activity holds a series of eight ziplines. It's a course. If you take the first, you have to do them all to reach the end. There's no chickening out. The total length of cables is over 2000 metres, the longest of which is 700 metres. Not every zipline on the run is as high as 150 metres and not all pass over the water - those which don't whizz precariously through tall treetops. The view from each is breathtaking. To cross the entire polygon of cables with a group of ten, plus two guides takes two and a half hours. After completion, a short journey by road takes the smiling adventurers back to Omiš. There, on the popular city beach, lazing tourists ponder the waves through their feet, unaware of the history and the thrills on the epic Cetina river behind them.

You can book a place with Kentona Rafting here and here

The eight zipline course above the Cetina river can be booked here

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

Incredible and Mysterious 10 Rajcica Wells near Klis

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T
he lower course of the Cetina river © Marc Rowlands

 

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

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

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


 

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Bosnian Ethno Music Giants Mostar Sevdah Reunion Play In Split Tonight

August 16, 2020 - The world's most-famous contemporary Sevdalinka outfit, Mostar Sevdah Reunion, hold their first concert of the year in Croatia, as part of the 66th Split Summer Festival

The emotion-wracked melodies of the traditional Sevdalinka (or Sevdah) folk music have rung out across Bosnia for over 500 years. But, for the most famous contemporary band playing this style, the music fell silent on New Year's Eve.

That was the final performance by Mostar Sevdah Reunion, whose return to the live circuit has been halted by COVID-19. But, tonight (Sunday 16 August), at 9pm, they return to the stage.

The band will play a concert at 9pm in Sustipan in Split, the peninsula which lies south-west of the harbour, as part of the 66th Split Summer Festival. There, the emotionally-charged sounds of sevdah, sometimes described as the blues or soul music of the Balkans, will once again be set free.

The Balkan region has the richest and most unique range of folk musics in the whole of Europe; nowhere other than here can you hear styles, scales and rhythms from the near and far east infiltrate into European folk music styles. This melting pot of styles grants the region an exciting and diverse range of authentic folk musics, years ahead, in terms of progression and ambition, to other European styles (indeed, there's a reasonable argument to be made that jazz music emanates from Bulgaria and not America). Sevdah is arguably the most emotive of all the traditional folk musics from the area which encompasses the former Yugoslavia. It has fans across the whole region.

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Mostar Sevdah Reunion

Emerging with their debut album in 1999, Mostar Sevdah Reunion have done more than any other contemporary band to place sevdah music on the world stage. They have recorded with true giants of sevdah and Roma music, such as Esma Redzepova, Šaban Bajramović and Ljiljana Buttler. In concert, they have appeared at Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Barbican Center in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Kremlin State Theater in Moscow, the Art Palace in Budapest, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Nice Jazz Festival and WOMAD Festival. Mostar Sevdah Reunion have had several documentaries made about them.

The word sevdah comes from the Turkish word sevda which, in turn, derives from the Arabic sawda, a word often associated with a pining heart or unrequited love. Alongside the sevdah music they take their name and inspiration from, over the band's 25+ year career Mostar Sevdah Reunion have become famous for mixing jazz and even Latin styles into their music. In recent years have opened their repertoire to include a classic catalogue of Romani songs.

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