Monday, 15 November 2021

Split Winter Tourism at Chops Grill: Chopsylicious Menu, Weekend Music, Christmas Flair

November 15, 2021 - Is Split winter tourism that hard to achieve? Croatia's second-largest city and the star of summer loses its buzz as soon as the seasons change. But it doesn't have to be that way. Our new TCN series looks at the Split businesses working hard in winter to give locals, and visitors, the environment they deserve. Continuing this week with Split winter tourism at Chops Grill. 

I was lucky to be introduced to Jasmina, the owner of Chops Grill, in my early days with TCN. That is something I am grateful for to this day. Not only is Chops one of Split's best restaurants, maintaining quality and culinary consistency year-round, but Jasmina and I have built a wonderful relationship over the years - and she continues to inspire me season after season. 

Chops Grill is not your typical Split restaurant, but a superb steakhouse that rewards guests with the best cuts of meat, American influences, and, of course, a Dalmatian touch. Jasmina and Chops also know no season and are applauded for working tirelessly year-round, adapting their offer depending on the time of year, from unique 3-course menus to on-the-go breakfast sandwiches. 

But what motivates Jasmina, Chops, and sister cafe bar Paradiso to bring the best to guests even in the winter? 

Croatia and Split had booming year-round tourism in the 1980s until the outbreak of the Homeland War, but now the Dalmatian coast sleeps through the winter. Why do you think that is?

First of all, I think we were a more affordable destination at that time. I know this because when I worked for Sunčani Hvar back in 2006, we had half-board offers that were very cheap per person through agencies. 

There also aren't as many big tour operators today. Everything is done online. Tourists do their own research and don't need agencies or operators as much.

And because nothing is state-owned, the prices are much higher, even in the winter. 

Back in the 1980s, many hotels offered health tourism, spas, and indoor pools, allowing older travelers to visit here even when the weather wasn't as nice. Today, we mainly have city hotels that do not have spas or facilities to accommodate winter tourism. 

If flights were not the problem, does Split have a winter tourism offer, and if yes, what is it?

I feel bad for tourists that visit Split in the winter, especially now. The only real options are for visitors to have dinner then drinks in a half-empty bar. Guests ask us what they should do after dinner, and we honestly don't know what to tell them.

The museums here are great and interesting for Croatian schoolkids needing to learn about the history of Croatia, but for international tourists, and even if I was a tourist here, there are no interactive museums where you could spend the day. When it comes to culture, we are also lacking in offering shows. HNK is amazing, but the program is mainly in Croatian, which doesn't tempt tourists - especially when musicals or drama plays are in focus. 


If I am on a city-break getaway with my husband, I would also want to go shopping, which is a huge problem here. My guests often ask where they can buy certain designer items. The people that come here are minimum middle to upper-class guests. They pay big money for their hotel room - around 300-400 euros. Most people on city-break trips travel without their kids - usually with their significant other or friends. This then targets travelers who want to go to a nice show, dinner, enjoy good cocktails, and maybe explore a museum. But they will also want to go shopping, and there isn't a designer shopping offer in Split. This is a problem we need to start addressing now. The wealthy Russian tourist cannot buy their Chanel in Split but can elsewhere. They could go to Montenegro instead. 

Istria already has a winter tourism offer, but Inland Dalmatia is not yet as developed. If you're coming to Split for 3-4 days, wouldn't you want to spend one day in nature with a local family that will serve you their homemade wines and products? Especially somewhere that is only a taxi ride away from Split? There are few places you can send tourists for that experience, and we see a lot of interest around this idea from our guests at Chops. We already have beautiful villas with pools in Imotski, but a nice family farm or winery where you can spend the day? Our current offer mainly targets Croatian families for a Sunday lunch. It's not a Michelin-star experience, but it's an authentic and local experience, and tourists would love it, too.

Are you aware of any initiatives to improve the winter tourism situation?

Only Paul and Total Croatia News, haha. I've been part of the tourism industry for a long time, and I don't know of anything happening at the moment. Oh, but I do know that the Mall of Split bus is running from the ferry port! 

Give us a few quick wins that could make Split a bit more attractive in the winter months?

Shopping, winery day trips from Split, contemporary/interactive art and museums, and shows. This is what I believe is most important for Split to offer in the winter. There also are not many destinations that offer both the beach and city-break getaways. Maybe Nice and Cannes if we are talking about cities comparable to Split. But what do they have? Shopping, art, and beautiful restaurants - but why? Because they have yachts. They have a similar climate, but it is not swimmable in the winter there either. Yacht owners, however, keep their yachts there in the winter. They check up on them and maintain them in the offseason. They know that bars and restaurants are open and that they can shop. Montenegro is starting to do the same thing. We have a lot of regular guests at Chops that live abroad but keep their yachts here in the winter, but what can we offer them? We also have an advantage compared to similar cities because these guests can easily fly into Split Airport, check on their yacht, and spend 2-3 days in Split. We need this tourism. 


Are you planning an event(s) of your own soon?

On Saturday night we had a lot of reservations, due mainly to our Chopsylicious menu, which we have been doing for the last 7 years! Once we announced it this year, the interest was crazy. Everybody wants to try the menu, which is an excellent value for money. Diners can taste some of our products during the winter when they have more time. We have adjusted the menu to the season. For example, we are not selling the wagyu for 200 kuna. Instead, we changed the menu and are using it to test new dishes for next year. We are tracking what guests like and improving what is needed. When next season comes, we can introduce it to our menu. It's a win-win situation. And guests who like the Chopsylicious menu revisit us in the summer or recommend us to friends and family!  




Besides Chopsylicious, we host two music professors from the Josip Hatze school who play inside the restaurant every weekend. Paradiso will be bringing in some light live music from next weekend, and we will begin decorating for Christmas as part of our winter wonderland. We have done it already for two years, and it's beautiful. This year we are going the extra mile to create a Christmas village. We will once again offer our breakfast sandwiches at Chops and Paradiso, so people will always have a place to eat and drink. 


Will you close at all this year?

We always close from January 6 to March 1. It gives us a small break, but we also need to use the time to prepare for the season with renovations. We cannot preserve everything and need to repaint, repair the chairs, and the like. We also use this time to create the menu. 

Back in 2020, we had plans to keep Chops open year-round. But, of course, the pandemic happened instead. That remains our ultimate goal, and I don't think we would have much trouble doing business even in January and February.

When winter tourism is mentioned, many locals say that they do not want it, as they are tired after the busy season. What is your perspective as a successful business owner?

We want it! We do need a break; everyone needs a break. I know I do because I have never worked harder on the operational side of things than this summer. But I only need about 15 days. I get nervous after that, haha. I need to do something actively; I cannot just twiddle my thumbs at home and not work because we had a 'successful season'. The Chopsylicious menu and our winter offer keep us busy, and I am happy we have that.


I would be terrified to close my doors for the entire winter. You cannot keep quality by doing that. Businesses that close in the winter also make the hospitality industry less desirable. It makes us a servant to our tourists. If you can work for an entire year, especially at a restaurant with a lot of business in the summer, and have good business throughout the winter with a year-round salary, then being a waiter is a beautiful job where you can support your family. Who wants to be a waiter only for 4 months? Then it's just a student job. 

We care about our suppliers a lot and try to find a lower-cost product in the winter than the premium products we offer in the summer. With our chefs and their innovation, we create affordable dishes that guests can enjoy in the offseason. For example, the tuna salad on the Chopsylicious menu uses lower-cost ingredients but looks beautiful. The most expensive part of that dish is that someone had to come up with it in their head. If I am looking at that as the owner, the cost of that dish is lower, but someone needs to think about how to create that using the products available. That is why I invest in my staff throughout the year, and that is how you can adapt your offer in the winter to make sense for your restaurant and your guests. 

What are the key steps in your opinion to getting more flights in winter? (Optional)

The Marriott (which will open eventually), Le Meridien Lav, Radisson Blu, and Atrium offer over 1,000 hotel rooms combined. All of those hotels have a spa, which I've already mentioned is crucial for city-break destinations. That's about 2,000 potential guests per day, offered beautiful hotels, great service and food, and indoor pools. If they all got together and spoke to a low-cost carrier about offering and filling these 1,000 rooms, that's a solution. It could almost be some non-formal tour operator. Say, for example, you buy the flight from a low-cost carrier and are offered reasonable rates at these hotels. This is especially important on the weekends when there are no business people from Zagreb in Split. But I truly believe these hotels with indoor pools need to come together; that is the only way it will work. Think - 2,000 people per day is 14,000 potential tourists per week. Those guests will be able to visit the hotel spa and swim, have a nice dinner in town, go to a cocktail bar, and even go to Joker for shopping!


I would also try to create a promo video for tourists showing them exactly how their 4 days in Split would look, instead of just sharing Croatia's most beautiful destinations from above, usually without people. You could create a beautiful 'day-in-the-life' type of promo video showing exactly what you can expect on your Split trip. We need to show tourists what they can do here and not just share aerial footage. 

Message to other businesses in Split?

If you stay open in winter, the summer will be easier since you can keep your staff. You'll offer better service, too. If you have both of those things, you'll earn even more money. And if we are all open during the winter, buying from our suppliers won't be as complicated!

Some businesses see each other as competition. If you have a city with many good restaurants, people visit for gastronomy, meaning they'll choose a new restaurant every day. Having more quality restaurants means more business for everyone. This would also help us to be recognized as an excellent gastronomic destination. We all need to support each other. Why can't other restaurants recreate the Chopsylicious idea? That is a wonderful idea, and it gives us more places to visit for dinner!

We also need to think about the minds of tourists and understand that they may not want to eat Dalmatian food every day of their trip. While local food should be enjoyed, it is impossible to expect that someone will eat grilled fish and blitva all the time. I know that when I am visiting Mexico, I cannot eat Mexican food every day. Sometimes you need a burger or pizza; comfort food that hits the spot and gives you a taste of home. And that is fine, too.

We offer eggs benedict on our breakfast menu and make the English muffins in-house because you cannot find them in Croatia. While we have to put in more work, knowing that our guests have that piece of familiarity is worth it.  We also can't expect that every tourist likes eating fish or can peel scampi! A lot of these experiences may be new to them. That's why we should think about what tourists have available at home and try to recreate it in our way with traditional influences. 


This is the direction we need to be going in. We should never lose our identity, but let's celebrate international cuisine with a Dalmatian twist. 

You can explore Chops HERE.

If you are a business in Split with a winter program, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject Split Winter Tourism. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Split Winter Tourism: The Daltonist Presents Chef Takeovers, Live Music, Art Exhibits

November 10, 2021 - Is Split winter tourism that hard to achieve? Croatia's second-largest city and the star of summer loses its buzz as soon as the seasons change. But it doesn't have to be that way. Our new TCN series looks at the Split businesses working hard in winter to give locals, and visitors, the environment they deserve.  First up, meet The Daltonist.

I'll never forget being congratulated after making it through my first Split winter as if I was nuts to attempt such a feat.

"How did you survive?" 

"How could you enjoy it after living in California and London?"

"Isn't winter in Split too boring for you?"

But the reality of my first winter in Split is wildly different. It's the reason I decided to stay in Croatia at all. Sure, it pales in comparison to the bustling summer months, but thanks to its mild climate and sunshine, I'm still wearing sunglasses here year-round. And if you can get through that one bad month of brutal bura, I promise the weather will reward you the rest of the year. 

Split winters, however, are not nearly used to their full potential. Instead, they are reserved for the locals to hibernate after a busy summer, with 50% of restaurants, bars, and businesses saying goodnight after a season well done. The once-lively old town becomes a ghost town, with the few flickering lights of restaurants and cafes reminding us they're still there should we wish to visit them. And those same businesses endeavor year after year, hopeful that this offseason will be the one to bring life back to Split. TCN is shining the spotlight on them in our latest series. 

First up, we meet owner Luke Stewart and marketing & brand director Flor Vignaroli of The Daltonist, a craft cocktail bar and gastropub around the corner from Pazar and just outside the palace walls. 


Croatia and Split had successful year-round tourism in the 1980s until the outbreak of the Homeland War, but now the Dalmatian coast sleeps through the winter. Why do you think that is?

Luke Stewart: I think a lot of it is cultural. I think now, compared to the 80s, there is much harder work in the summer. The summers are crazy and tiring. So you combine this culture of people not wanting to work so much with people having to work twice as hard in the summer, and I get it. Dalmatians love the sun. When the weather isn't good, it sucks the life out of all Dalmatian people, and I think that is also a big part. 

There is also no awareness. No one is doing anything to bring people. Just like Paul (Bradbury) said, if there are no flights, how will people come?

If flights were not the problem, does Split have a winter tourism offer, and if yes, what is it?

Luke Stewart: It's kind of like the chicken and the egg. If people were coming, people would do something, and at the same, if people were doing something, they would be more likely to come. Zagreb Advent started for locals, and it was very much a local event. Based on that example, you have to do something for people to start coming. But how do you do it?

Locals don't go out as much or spend as much money. So if you are trying to provide an offer that international people will come for, that needs to work locally in the beginning.  If locals don't want it, it's a catch 22. 

Being from Leeds, do you think tourists from the UK would visit Split in the winter? 

Luke Stewart: I think they could, but right now? No way. It is very much seen as a summer place because it is exactly that. If you google Croatia, you see beaches, beach clubs, the sun, boats, and the like. So why would people want to come here in the winter? Prague and Brussels are places people want to go to in the winter because they are cozy and festive. Zagreb did a great job at that, too. But the coast? No way.


Are you aware of any initiatives to improve winter tourism in Split?

Luke Stewart: I've been following what Total Croatia News has done around the subject, but in terms of tourism, not so much. In terms of winter hospitality, many of us are trying hard, and we do every year. Many really good places stay open all year, and there are a lot of places that only open in the winter that are essentially unheard of to foreigners - and they are amazing.

What would help develop things? If the city remembered that local hospitality is just as important as tourism. Everyone that stays open all year has this idea that tourism comes second - and it will come. But if you focus just on summer tourism, you lose the local vibe, which is something people would actually come for in the winter.

Give us a few quick wins that could make Split a bit more attractive in the winter months?

Flor Vignaroli: I am from a big city - Buenos Aires. The winter is the same as the summer - or even better. In the summer, everyone goes on holiday, and during the winter, you have an endless list of things to do. Of course, things have changed with the pandemic, but you have live music, art exhibitions, museums, and street events. The Riva is an excellent location to host events during the winter. It shouldn't just be a place where locals have coffee. The City needs to offer more to the people that live here. Whether they are paid or free events, it doesn't matter. In general, there is not much going on. Look at the Koteks building, for example. It just sits there. What an amazing location to host an event!


Luke Stewart: Dalmatia forgets that we are our own country; we are not just a holiday resort. You can't compare Dalmatia with the rest of Croatia as it is totally different. And it is almost like the mentality has shifted - that we are one giant holiday resort, that is what we are good at, and this idea of being a living and breathing city goes down every year. If that were fixed, that would be the change. People go to Prague or New York in the winter because of the buzzing local life - even when it's -10 degrees. The winters should not be about what we can do for tourists but what can we do as a city? If the city is alive and exciting, the tourists will come. Do you want to go on holiday to a city that's closed? It doesn't have to be waiting for you to arrive like in summer. But imagine going to a bar in Split for your first time, and it's December, and it's packed full of local people. 

Flor Vignaroli: When you're traveling, you want to see the local scene. Is there even a local scene in Split at the moment? You work hard for 4 months during the season, really hard, then you have nothing to do in the city you live in when you can finally relax. We want to provide locals with something to do. Otherwise, it's boring. We don't only work for tourists. We always make sure our prices are fair for locals. We have a big selection of quality beers that range in price. We try to serve the local population. 


Luke Stewart: We also don't bump our prices up in the summer. We sell a more premium product in the summer with a more premium experience. Our winter is cheaper not just because we are dropping prices and margins, but we are offering something simpler. We can serve eggs benedict in summer with shaved truffles for 100 kuna, but we aren't selling the same thing for 60 kuna in the winter. We have a different version that works out to be less for local people.

And what about the winter events at The Daltonist this year?

Flor Vignaroli: We are starting with live music, DJs on Fridays and Saturdays, and are working on doing different kinds of events, for example, a chef takeover with Mate Janković. We chose Mate to launch this new event series at The Daltonist. He will create a 5-course meal paired with Croatian Varionica beer. We are selling tickets in advance to make sure we can control the Covid measures. Our idea is to offer people something different. We want to provide events we would want to attend ourselves. Things are happening in other cities, but why can't we do that while supporting local artists at the same time? We want to showcase people from Split and foreigners. We want to host an art exhibition with Luka Duplančić at the end of November, and will continue with events in December. We also hosted a gin masterclass last month and did a bar takeover in Zagreb a few weeks ago, and we plan on doing the same in Split. 

Someone suggested we do an open mic night, so we are discussing that idea right now. We want to offer something different every day of the week. We have the space for it, so why not? 


Luke Stewart: Our goal this winter is to focus on community-based events. And mainly to have fun. You work your ass off in the summer. Hospitality is a fun job, and we all work in this because we don't want that boring 9-5. We have friends all over the country doing the same thing. So now, in the winter, we get to create events that are fun for us while giving back to the local community.

For example, our neighbor has the best coffee in Split (Soul Coffee). He attracts the morning crowd while we draw the evening crowd. But in the winter, it is too cold for him to work. We have zero interest in selling coffee, but because we have a good relationship, and his coffee is great, we are selling it at The Daltonist this winter. That way, his local customers get the Soul Coffee experience year-round, and we get to sell great specialty coffee. It's a win-win for everyone.

Winter is just as enjoyable for us as the summer. We don't plan on closing at all, apart from New Year's Day, as we are all too hungover to work. This winter will undoubtedly bring more challenges, especially since we killed smoking. But we really believe in it and aren't trying to stay open to make crazy money.


In the middle of the interview, an inspector visited The Daltonist telling them they had to take down the decorative plants hanging on the outside wall as someone had reported it. 

Luke Stewart: That would really help winter tourism. On a national, regional, and city level, the government is constantly trying to suffocate and choke the people who are trying to make things happen. People try to do nice things here, and then the inspector comes and tries to punish you for it. You're often driven to the point of wondering why you're even trying. It's really draining. 

In general, small businesses are enemies of the state. But small businesses drive community and culture. And that is what we bring people in the winter. If a business is allowed to thrive, it is good for the local and travel economies. 

Flor Vignaroli: Digital nomads, for example, want a nice co-working space and apartment, but when they close their laptop, they want to have fun. And where will they go if the city is dead? So that is a massive point of why we are doing what we are doing. For the local community and for the people wanting to live here. 

How has your clientele shifted moving from summer to winter?

Luke Stewart: We are still seeing a lot of foreigners, but we are also seeing people staying here long-term, from digital nomads to people escaping Covid at home. We noticed a lot more long-term visitors in the summer as well, whether it is for one month or three months. The digital nomad movement has been a huge part of that. So while there may be fewer tourists, it feels like a lot of foreigners are still here. 

The local crowd also comes back out in the winter. You don't see any locals in the summer because they're either working or staying away from Split. October is the month where we see the shift. We like it best when it's 50/50 - half locals, half foreigners. That's when we feel most like an international bar. And that's what winter tourism is about.
_MG_4041.jpegWhat are the critical steps to getting more flights in winter?

Luke Stewart: Umm... to try. Trying would be good. Don't sue people who are trying; that also helps. 

Flor Vignaroli: We are foreigners. We live here for a reason. We choose to live here because we actually like the country. But, of course, we want to see Croatia succeed. There is so much potential here. Why is so much not working? 

Luke Stewart: Croatia as a place is incredible. But I can't say the same for the Croatian state. We work in hospitality and don't even see ourselves as working in tourism. But I will say that I think that the Croatian coast needs to work on itself before it can expect people to come. Why would you want to go to Belgrade in the winter? It's alive with people, just like Zagreb. 

This winter tourism thing is backward. "If you come, we will do something." It should be that we are doing something because we want to, and then people will notice. You can see this in the mentality of some businesses. They think, "well, we are open, so why aren't you coming?" But it would help if you opened it because you believe in what you are doing, and then people will take notice. 

Flor Vignaroli: The City of Split needs to invest in culture. It's as simple as that. Invest in local artists, invest in making Split more attractive to its people. How hard is it to do a couple of cool events a month? There are so many cool artists and really talented people here, but you have to give them the space. 

A message to other businesses in Split?

Luke Stewart: The first thing that comes to mind is every business owner here, whether it's the summer or not, has trouble finding skilled employees. The reason is that skilled employees are not provided with year-round stable work, so they leave. If we had a year-round economy, we wouldn't have the brain drain and population decrease. Even if you only worked 3 months a year, it would be so much easier if the economy works year-round. The best workers leave to go elsewhere, and I think working year-round would revolutionize not just the winter but the summer as well. 


A big part of staying open in the winter for The Daltonist is that we have developed an amazing team, and we are all here long-term. Businesses rely on their people. When you can provide people with stable, year-round work, everything develops much faster. So we thought not about how little we could get away with but instead how much. That revolutionized things for us. And looking at things metaphorically, if you invest more into Split, there will be more tourism. 

If you are a business in Split with a winter program, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject Split Winter Tourism. 

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

After Dubrovnik's Success, Will North America and Split Airport be Connected?

October 20, 2021 - With the success of Delta and United Airlines in Dubrovnik, are flights between North America and Split Airport next?

In the first ten days of October, 80,000 passengers traveled through Split Airport, almost as before the pandemic. This year it holds the title of the busiest airport in Croatia, but with the winter flight schedule, only eight direct flights will survive. So for now, there are no announcements or direct flights from North America, although this is an excellent wish of tourist workers, but also Croats after the recent announcement of visa-free travel. 

After a successful first season, United Airlines announced flights between New York and Dubrovnik on May 1, 2022. As a result, the American market has become Croatia's strongest non-European market. They reached 55 percent of overnight stays from the time before the pandemic, statistics say.

"For us in Split-Dalmatia County, it is very interesting, and I can say more, given the completion of the Peljesac Bridge, I believe that it will be easier and more accessible for all American tourists to come to other destinations that are not only related to Dubrovnik," Jože Tomaš, President of the Split County Chamber, points out for HRT.

The announcement that Croatians could travel to the US without visas and the desire for more American guests in Split, Hvar, Trogir has again updated the story of direct flights to Split Resnik, this year's busiest Croatian airport.

"I think it is simply time for both the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism to start working on it. Unfortunately, we do not have enough capacity on our own, but we are ready to help and participate in extending the season," said the mayor of Trogir Ante Bilić.

They also want a possible connection with the other side of the Atlantic at the Airport. If there were no pandemic, Split would already be connected to Canada.

"We expect that these facilitations that have occurred around abolishing the visa regime will contribute to the fact that we are next in line to establish such a flight," said the assistant director of Split Airport Pero Bilas.

The Split runway is 600 meters shorter than the Dubrovnik runway, but that is not a problem, said Resnik Airport.

As with other airlines, the problem is the destination itself, which with its facilities generates a desire for flights, and in central Dalmatia, when there is no sun and sea, it isn't easy.

That is why this winter will be just as slow as the previous ones, except during the Christmas holidays. Croats can travel to the United States visa-free, for example, via Venice, which offers very tempting direct flights.

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

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

16 Super Reasons to Visit Croatia Now: September October 2021

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

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

Screenshot_205.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot © Marc Rowlands

Screenshot_204.pngVisit Croatia now: screenshot

The sea is still warm enough for swimming

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

The very best Croatian food

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

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

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

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

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

Sports, activity and recreation

242223445_6222414447829287_952918838844562246_n.jpgCycling in Šibenik © Marc Rowlands

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

Peace, quiet, relaxation

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

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

Idyllic camping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_1802wsdfgh.JPGWinemakers of Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

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

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

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

It's the perfect time for a city break

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

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

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

croatia_slavonija_osijek_0001.jpgVisit Croatia now: Osijek © Romulić & Stojcic

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

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

A packed events calendar

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

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

Harvest time


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!


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.


There are much worse places you could be working remotely

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

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Despite Bad Weather, 120,000 Passengers at Split Airport and Ferry Port this Weekend

August 28, 2021 - While the summer weather has disappeared, albeit temporarily, it has not affected the passengers at Split Airport and Ferry Port this weekend, with an expected 120,000 due to travel through! 

Although the weather conditions in recent days have hinted that summer is coming to an end, the figures from Split ports say otherwise, because 120,000 passengers in 190 planes and 16,000 vehicles will pass through them this weekend, reports T.portal.

The head of the Reception and Dispatch Service at Split Airport, Mate Melvan, confirmed there will be a pretty good weekend ahead with 190 planes and 40,000 passengers, although slightly more of them departing than arriving. 

"There is more pressure on departures than arrivals, but it is natural for this time of year. We can also confirm that the numbers are still high, the traffic is high intensity. We have already exceeded the figure of 400 thousand in August, which means we are heading towards one million this year. We will have the final results at the end of the month," Melvan added.

80,000 passengers and 16,000 vehicles will pass through the Split Ferry Port over the weekend. There, too, the departure of passengers to Split is more pronounced than earlier this season, which means that they are leaving the island for the mainland, reveals Jelena Ivulić from Jadrolinija.

"Due to the crowds in Supetar, we have had an extra line that sailed at 8:45 am from Split. Therefore, we do not have much pressure from Split, and although passengers still arrive, the truth is at a slower pace. Certainly, the season is not over yet since passengers are still coming," Ivulić said.

It is also interesting to note that by August 15, Jadrolinija had a total of 5.3 million passengers and 1.7 million vehicles on the entire coast, which is 85 percent of the turnover from the pre-pandemic 2019.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Split Taxi Charges 900 kn from Radisson Blu Hotel to Airport, Tourist in Shock (VIDEO)

August 24, 2021 - One Split taxi charges 900 kuna from the Radisson Blu Hotel to the Split Airport. The shocked passenger filmed the incident, which has now circulated around Croatian media. 

Taxi drivers working in the Kaštela and Split airport area were appalled by the actions of an illegal taxi driver who charged tourists 900 kuna to transport them from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Split to Split Airport. Taxi drivers note that the real price should have been around 300 kuna, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The passengers realized that it was illegal transportation when the driver did not want to take them to the airport but insisted on dropping them off at a nearby bus stop.

The passenger recorded the incident, and in the video, he emphasized that Split is a wonderful city and that, in his case, the problem is not the money but the incorrect behavior of the driver. Furthermore, he warned guests not to take illegal transportation so as not to find themselves in a similar situation.

The driver noticed that the guest was recording him on his mobile phone and asked him to delete the video, which he did not do, but shared publicly.

After paying the requested amount, the passenger greeted the driver with the words, “Don’t do that.”

You can watch the video (in English) below.


On the bright side, the local community has jumped in to show that this illegal taxi driver is not representative of the genuine hospitality in the region. 

One example comes from local tour guide Ives Cikatić, who replied to the tourist in the video posted in the Split Croatia Travel 2021 Facebook group. 

"Dear Sir

I am a local tour guide. I have worked in tourism since I was 17, that's 30 years now. I have witnessed all sorts of things and felt gutted for this kind of scam. Absolutely disgusting, disrespecting Croatia by acting like this, embarrassing all of us, working hard to present our beautiful country in the best possible way.

The thing is, even if he is illegal, if he charged 300kn, I could understand, but anything above it is an absolute rip-off, disrespectful and embarrassing. We are all humans trying to survive in these difficult times, while Corona messed up our lives. So I understand if someone is trying to make some money for a living, but this guy has gone way too far. I know he is not the only one.

However, for all the others, use other services like Cammeo taxi. They even have an app, and the price is 190kn. As a local, I use them often. In Zagreb, I have my favorite driver, and I call him the day before to let him know about the rides I will need. Also, there are others like Bolt, Uber, and regular taxis with taxi-meter in their cars.

The Airport Shuttle bus to Split port is I think 35kn, you can take rides mentioned above to dock in Trogir for the Bura Line & offshore boats, public transport from Trogir to Split by sea and enjoy the view and navigation to Split port. Also, use the public bus line number 37 that stops at the main road under the pedestrian Airport bridge there are ways.

I am sorry, Sir, that you had to go through this. If you ever come back to Split, you and your daughter will have a free tour from me as a professional tour guide, and I invite you to my home for a typical local dinner with my family and friends. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Thank you for speaking well about our country as you will pass it on to others, and thank you for referring to the things that aren't good so we can improve. That is what matters and is most appreciated.

Thank you for visiting Croatia, especially my hometown, Split, and once again, please take my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you had to go through.


Ives Cikatić"

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Joško Stella: Split-Dalmatia County in August Only 11% Worse than Record 2019

August 20, 2021 - Split-Dalmatia County in August this year achieved 89% of 2019's record tourist traffic. But that's not all. 

In August, the heart of the tourist season, Split-Dalmatia County is pleased to host an increasing number of tourists who will spend warm summer holidays by the sea, in the green heart of Inland Dalmatia, or on our islands.

In the first half of August, 89% of tourist traffic was recorded compared to 2019. There are as many as 88% more nautical guests compared to the same period last year. Almost all destinations in the County have reached or surpassed last year's figures, which means that we are well organized, and the realization of such a great season in excellent business conditions is the result of excellent cooperation between the private and public sectors in preparation, organization, and implementation of this tourist year. On this occasion, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Joško Stella revealed his impressions. 

What are the tourist results in Split-Dalmatia County?

The first half of August in Split-Dalmatia County is only 11% worse than the record 2019. On August 10, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020. With each new day, we are one step closer to the record year 2019, and it is necessary to remain organized and disciplined and adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures.

In the first 15 days of August, there were 418 thousand arrivals and 2.7 million overnight stays. Since the beginning of 2021, there have been 1,459,233 arrivals and 8,565,826 overnight stays, 55% more arrivals last year, and 47% more overnight stays than last year.

Which markets record the largest number of arrivals?

Observing the share of guests according to the countries they come from in 2021, we record excellent results from the Polish, German, Czech, Hungarian, Slovak, and French markets.

The French market is up 265%, Slovaks up 200%, Hungarians 180%, and Germans by 110%. Thus, on August 12, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020.

How much did this year's tourism results surprise tourism workers?

This year's uncertain and extremely stressful season for Split-Dalmatia County tourist workers, with a significant increase in tourist traffic in July and reservations and excellent announcements of guests in August, instills new optimism and hope that significant arrivals and overnight stays will mark the tourist months ahead and especially postseason. The number of guests visiting us has been growing steadily since mid-June, to be visited in July by 710,000 tourists who made 4.3 million commercial overnight stays, an increase of 62 percent in arrivals and 48 percent in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. 

The current guests from Central Dalmatia left satisfied. That they passed on their impressions to others is confirmed by the growing number of airlines from Europe to Split, which means that airlines are following the growing interest of guests to come to our county.

How much has the favorable epidemiological situation affected our target markets?

Due to the favorable epidemiological situation, for which everyone in the tourism sector has been carefully preparing, Croatia is classified as a risk-free area according to the new rules introduced by Germany on August 1 for its citizens returning from other countries. Following the circumstances dictated by epidemiological measures, our hosts in tourist places have made an effort to organize and offer guests some new outdoor facilities that will not jeopardize their safe stay and will give them a pleasurable and experience-filled vacation.

How did Split-Dalmatia County prepare to receive such a large number of guests in complex circumstances?

In August, as the most generous tourist month in the business year, Central Dalmatia is ready to welcome its long-awaited guests and tourist companies, hosts in family accommodation, marinas, and camps, following strict epidemiological measures and safety standards. Like the whole of Croatia, which is currently the safest EU member in the Mediterranean due to the epidemiological situation, Split-Dalmatia County hosts world-famous people every day, who send the best marketing message of our tourism to the world.

In special circumstances, we communicate information about our safety and readiness for tourism to foreign partners, CNTB offices, and foreign media, which are our frequent guests. Despite the complex circumstances, tourism staff is ready to respond to all job requirements to ensure a safe stay to the satisfaction of all guests who arrive on holiday in our county.

We also have excellent results in July. Which markets achieved the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays?

According to data from the eVisitor system in Split-Dalmatia County, 710,671 guests stayed in commercial accommodation in July, 62 percent more arrivals than in July last year. They realized 4,318,121 overnight stays, an increase of 48 percent. In July, the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays from foreign markets were made by Poles (119,839 arrivals and 913,073 overnight stays). Tourists from the Czech Republic recorded 74,972 arrivals and 554,399 overnight stays, Germans 69,804 arrivals and 447,828 overnight stays, and tourists from Slovenia 42,209 arrivals 328,234 overnight stays.

In the first seven months of this year, there were 1,033,065 guests in commercial accommodation in Split-Dalmatia County, which grew 70 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, 5,843,606 overnight stays were realized, which is an increase of 58 percent, compared to the first seven months of last year.

As much as 40% of all nautical nights were realized in Split-Dalmatia County. So what are the expectations for August and the post-season?

In July, boaters mostly visited the waters of Split-Dalmatia County. Thus, in July in Central Dalmatia, 41,202 boaters realized 257,492 overnight stays, almost 40 percent of all nautical overnight stays in Croatia.

In the first half of August, there were 19,212 arrivals and 152,467 overnight stays, 88% more arrivals, and 131% overnight stays. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 99,720 arrivals and 650,000 overnight stays, an increase of 155% in arrivals and 146% in overnight stays. We expect an equally good second part of August and a good post-season.

We are extremely proud that we have successfully realized a virtual display of sea routes in cooperation with colleagues from the county. Google Maps have the most users in the world, they number in the hundreds of millions, so it is imperative to be well-represented on them. These are the maps on which most navigation devices are based today. The vast majority of our guests use these maps when arriving at the destination. By bringing a virtual display of sea routes to almost every place in our county, guests can tour our entire coast before their arrival virtually. This service is a novelty globally and will make it much easier for boaters to find the desired destination. And when they actually arrive at the location, they will feel like they have already been there. So far, over 14 million views have been recorded. Also, this project has a significant social and communal purpose, achieving more transparent, accountable, and efficient management of maritime assets.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

What's On this Weekend? Top Split Events on August 14 and 15, 2021

August 14, 2021 - With thousands of tourists in the city looking for things to do from culture to music, a look at Split events on August 14 and 15, 2021. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021 

Neno Belan & Fiumens at Gradina: Just outside of Split in Solin, as part of the "Summer on Gradina" festival, fans of various music genres will be able to enjoy as many as thirteen great concerts by some of the most famous local performers. On Saturday night is Neno Belan & Fiumens! Presale tickets - 85 kn.


Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo: Football fans, rejoice! Beloved Split football club Hajduk faces Koprivnica-based Slaven Belupo in the 5th round of the Croatian First League. Hajduk enters the 5th round in 3rd place with seven points won in four games. Slaven Belupo won five points in four rounds and is currently in sixth place. The last match between Slaven Belupo and Hajduk was played at the end of April in Koprivnica which ended 1:1.


The match begins at 21:00 at Poljud Stadium and tickets can be purchased at the stadium or Hajduk fan shops before kickoff! 

Free Guy at Kino Karaman: Guy is a lone banker and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers that he is actually the background character in the world video game Free City. Hostages, robberies, building explosions, and shootings on the streets are part of his daily life. One day, robbers break into his bank where he works, Guy decides to take matters into his own hands. The film will show tonight at 21:00!

Sunday, August 15, 2021 

Triend Sundown: Barbarinac and Triend are teaming up to bring you a brand new concept and the meaning of a ‘sundown session’. This secret island retreat is located on the hidden outskirts of Split and will feature DJ Sola (CRO) and DJ Arboles (ARG). The event will kick off at 17:00 and will run through sundown and finish at midnight, with a return bus transfer from the center of town and a private boat trip to the island. Enjoy drinks, food, dancing, and more so long as you have your COVID-19 passport in tow. Tickets and more info can be found here;


Museum events all weekend

Peruško Bogdanić: From the Mediterranean at Meštrović Gallery - Peruško Bogdanić has been actively participating in the contemporary Croatian art scene with his solo exhibitions for almost half a century, starting in the mid-1970s. Critics have recognized and emphasized his sculptural forms created on the great Mediterranean heritage and the modern conception of form. The sculptor's work is marked by authorial features which, sometimes, read permeations with contemporary Croatian classics, Kantoci, Ružić, Bakić… and sometimes we also read points of contact with sculptors of his generation: Kuzma Kovačić, Kažimir Hrasta, and Slavomir Drinković. Despite these creative permeations. Bogdanić undoubtedly realized his own sculptural idiom, emphasized in contemporary Croatian fine arts as a separate and unavoidable section. With this new cycle structured from six vertical forms 180 cm to 300 cm high made of stainless steel (corten), and six sculptures of organic provenance (wood), differently shaped and dated to an earlier period, Bogdanić presents himself to the Split cultural public for the first time. with a larger and more complete solo exhibition entitled “From the Mediterranean."

David Maljković at Kula Gallery: David Maljković was born in 1973 in Rijeka. He lives and works in Zagreb. His more recent solo exhibitions include The Renaissance Society in Chicago, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Kunstmuseum in Sankt Gallen, BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Kunsthalle in Basel, Van Abbenmuseum in Eindhoven, Secession in Vienna. He has exhibited at the 11th Gwangju Biennale, the 56th Venice Biennale, the 29th Biennial in Sao Paolo, the 11th and 9th Istanbul Biennales, etc., and his works are part of the collections of many world museums, including the G. Pompidou Center in Paris, MUMOK in Vienna, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, MoMA in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Tate Collection in London.

Conor McGrady: Entering the control zone at Gallery of Fine Arts: At his first solo exhibition in Split, Irish artist Conor McGrady presents a series of recent works on paper that were created after the artist's research trip to Split and Vis in 2018. In accordance with his interest in researching various social phenomena that occur as a result of control of space, people, and national borders, the works exhibited in the Art Gallery are based on reading the Croatian present through segments he recognized as those arising from socialism. Through the legacy of ambitious architectural projects such as the Split 3 urban project or the large network of military bunkers and tunnels on Vis, McGrady maps the changes that have taken place in the transition from modernist utopian desires to political conservatism, turning right and retreating to individualism. In large-format drawings, he thus intertwines the ideological and aesthetic implications of these localities, giving them a broader framework through the exploration of contradictions and ambiguities that are present in all narratives of power and control.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Split Ferry Port Weekend Traffic Continues to Rise: 75,000 Passengers, Over 17,000 Vehicles

August 8, 2021 - Split Ferry Port weekend traffic is far from slowing down, with over 75,000 passengers and 17,000 vehicles expected this weekend. 

Traffic at the Split City Port is most pronounced this weekend - convoys of vehicles descend to the pier to board ferries, special lines to the islands are introduced, ships arrive from the Italian side of the Adriatic, larger groups of cruise passengers take a tour of Split, everyone rushes and wants to get to their destination as soon as possible, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

"With the synergy of all of us, we are bringing order to the port. We are well organized, but the numbers are relentless. This morning, more than 1,500 passengers and 500 vehicles arrived with two ships from Italy, from Ancona. We perform customs inspections in all four lanes, as many as we have. We have also set up a mobile device for document inspection and checking Covid passports. We process 200 vehicles in an hour, and I have to admit that no one is angry about what is waiting in the line because everyone sees how we work at full capacity," Joso Vujić, Commander of the Maritime Police, said at the Customs Pier, revealing that 90 percent of the guests have been vaccinated, while the rest have a certificate that they have recovered from the corona. A smaller part of them performs a quick antigen text in the port which takes 15 minutes and costs 75 kuna.

"This would go faster and faster if 60 percent of them did not have old documents, so we waste time scanning," explains police officer Stipe Šurlin.

Commander Vujić reveals that this year there is a huge number of French tourists on ships from Italy:

"Marco Polo" is now going to Stari Grad; it will pick up two hundred vehicles and over 600 passengers for Hvar, and then return to the Split-Ancona line again at 2:30 pm. We regulate it all."

"True, we are introducing additional ferries if necessary; we are coordinating the approaches to the pier because we expect an influx of more than 75 thousand passengers and more than 17 thousand vehicles for this weekend. As a result, we came with a turnover of 77 percent compared to the record 2019," concluded Jelena Ivulić of Jadrolinija.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Split Ports Expect 101 Thousand Passengers This Weekend

July 31, 2021 - The Split ports expect 101 thousand passengers will arrive in the city and the surrounding islands this weekend from numerous destinations around the world, Croatia as well.

The Split Airport will thus conclude July with a share of 48 percent of passengers compared to July 2019, and the city airport, where they do not hide their satisfaction with a share of 75 percent compared to July 2019, a record month for the airport, reports

The Split Airport expects 190 planes to land and takes off over the weekend, of which 150 are on a regular route, while the remaining 40 private planes will carry 36,000 passengers through the port.

"July should be completed with 350 thousand passengers, and for comparison last year in the same period there were about 170 thousand, while July 2019 ended with 720 thousand", said to Hina the head of the Passenger Reception and Dispatch Service of Split Airport Mate Melvan.

He noted that the last weekend in July and the first in August have been the most numerous in terms of tourism for years. "We are still monitoring the situation with the crown, and for now the season is going great," Melvan added.

''The weekend is also a record in the ferry port, where more than 65 thousand passengers and over 15 thousand vehicles are expected'', said the coordinator of Jadrolinija, Jelena Ivulić.

According to the data she presented by Saturday at 1 pm, two extraordinary lines to Supetar have been introduced, while the ferries to other islands are full. Passengers in vehicles in a column in Zvonimirova Street continued to wait for more than two hours to the ferry port.

"We are now at 75 percent of the numbers we achieved in July 2019. We are more than satisfied and we believe that the season will not end abruptly", said Ivulić.

She mentioned that the traffic pressure is from all sides, from the entrance to Split, but also at the entrance to the ferry port. "We recommend everyone who needs to go to the port to start as soon as possible and arm themselves with patience, but it is worth enduring for our islands", she said.

For everything you need to know about Split, from what to do, what to see, where to eat, where to stay, tours, and much more, check out the Total Croatia 2021 guide.

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

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