Friday, 11 September 2020

HEP Puts into Operation Largest Solar Power Plant in Croatia

ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 - The HEP power company, on the southern island of Vis on Friday, put into operation the largest solar power plant in Croatia, worth HRK 31 million, 3.5 MW in power and expected to produce five million kWh of electricity a year, enough for 1,600 households.

With this first large solar power plant on a Croatian island, Vis has its own source of renewable energy and greater security of electricity supply, notably during summer when consumption is higher, it was said at the inauguration.

SE Vis is the first of seven solar power plants HEP will put into operation this year as part of an HRK 750 million cycle of building such plants from 2019 to 2023.

HEP CEO France Barbaric said the company expected to realize over HRK 4 billion in investment projects this year, a record amount, "notably projects with a large domestic component with which we are strongly contributing to the development and stability of the Croatian economy. Our focus is on projects which will improve the quality of life on the islands."

The inauguration of the largest solar power plant in Croatia is the beginning of what will happen in the next ten years, said Ivo Milatic, state secretary at the Economy Ministry.

He recalled that in 2017 the government had embarked on a new energy policy focusing on investment in green energy. "This power plant is the best example of such investment and, on behalf of the government, I congratulate HEP and Koncar on the realization of this valuable investment for Croatia's energy and economy."

Koncar is the company that built SE Vis.

HEP said a 1 MW, 1.44 MWh battery would be installed by SE Vis, the first of this size in Croatia, to balance the power supply system and keep the grid on Vis island stable.

HEP is investing about HRK 1 million in the improvement of the island's power infrastructure and next year it will invest almost HRK 30 million in numerous projects.

"SE Vis, together with the other solar power plant projects under construction, such as SE Vrlika, and those under development, such as the Bogomolje plant on Hvar island and others, will keep Split-Dalmatia County the leader in renewables in Croatia," said county head Blazenko Boban.

HEP announced that it would build additional 1,500 MW production capacities by 2030, nearly half of which would be wind parks and solar power plants, which matches the power of the Krsko Nuclear Plant.

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Thursday, 20 August 2020

PHOTOS: Lily Allen And Lepa Brena Arrive In Croatia

August 20, 2020 – Croatian coast a hit in August 2020 with international pop stars including Lepa Brena and Lily Allen

Croatia's coast has once again proved an irresistible draw to holidaying celebrities. The latest famous arrivals include regional pop megastar Lepa Brena and hit British singer Lily Allen.

Both Lepa Brena and Lily Allen have taken to their social media accounts over recent hours to announce their arrival in the country. Each has posted pictures of their vacations on the beautiful, sun-soaked coast of Dalmatia.

Lepa Brena, the revered originator of the massively popular regional pop-folk sound posted pictures from Mljet island, but Lily Allen has already travelled between Lastovo and Vis island. And while photos taken by Brena have been all about the beautiful Croatian scenery, Lily's have been smiling selfies as she thoroughly enjoys a break with her family. Here's how they saw Croatia through their social media on the first days of their visits.

Lepa Brena





Lily Allen





All images sourced from Instagram

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Komiza Hit of Dalmatia, Some Renters Full Until Mid-September

August 13, 2020 - Komiza, the small fishing town on the island of Vis, is a Dalmatian hit this summer. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that it's not only Komiza seeing swarms of tourists, but the interior of the island is also full, as is the town of Vis, which in August recorded 80 percent of its figures compared to last year.

Large queues can be seen on the way to the ferry in Vis town, and if you wait to get your ticket until an hour before departure, thinking, "there won't be crowds?" Think again. 

The coronavirus has forced people into nature and agriculture, which is a bonus for visitors to Vis, who can enjoy more than 50 swimming pools on the island for guests thanks to luxury villas.

There are so many tourists that, at times, towns look as if they'll burst at the seams, but everyone is happy to be the hit of Dalmatia, expressed a local. 

"In Komiza, you can't pass all the people, some renters are full until mid-September. A miracle in a small town. How, why? We have no corona. We are a corona-free destination. That one case? It wasn't ours. People here are safe, calm, free, that's why they come to us," one Vis renter said.

Komiza Mayor Tonka Ivcevic confirms this year's boom, saying that luxury holiday villas sold out first.

The past two weeks in Komiza have been at the level of last year. There are a huge number of yachtspeople, and the novelty is the family guests arriving by car - and there have never been so many.

Another novelty is certainly a significant number of Croatian guests who have recognized Vis as the safest holiday destination.

"To our surprise, no one expected there to be this much tourism. We met them, and we lowered the price of the Blue Cave from 100 kuna to 70 kuna. We also introduced free parking in the city parking lot. We are very satisfied," says the mayor.

The Komiza Tourist Board and its director Bogoljub Mitrakovic are also under attack, stating that some landlords have relaxed too much and are not registering guests. However, Mitrakovic warns such landlords to stop illegal work as soon as possible, also because the Tourist Board regularly asks the State Inspectorate to visit them.

"We send inquiries to the inspectorate every week, even for situations from last year. But they don't answer; the inspector is nowhere to be found. We have 1900 beds, but also a lot of unregistered guests. And that's the problem. Hotel "Biševo" has excellent results, all 300 beds are full from August 1 until today, and official data give us an 80 percent result in August compared to last year. Apart from the domestic guests who took the lead in July, there are a lot of Slovenes, Italians have returned, there are a lot of Britons, Austrians, Germans, French, Serbs… There are a lot of Poles who love diving; they like to explore shipwrecks. The only ones missing from Komiza are those from San Pedro, and the corona blocked them from coming. We are telling everyone to come, Komiza is safe, we are very careful about the measures at all our events, and there are a lot of them. Summer in Komiza is a hit, and I think we succeeded in that because of excellent marketing," says Mitrakovic, who gives thanks to the City and the Nautical Center for their help in organizing the events.

One renter Petra Muric says that you have to walk along the entire waterfront several times to find somewhere to sit for coffee; that the city has become like a ripe pomegranate that will burst at any moment.

"There are so many boaters that the rocks where you tie ropes are also filled. And on the mainland, some groups come naively without inquiring first, so they have to sleep in their cars. Families come with children, godparents. And how will you help them? Everything is full. It got to the point that the couches also filled up. Five of our apartments started filling up about 15 days ago, and we are occupied until mid-September. We had 30 calls a day. This summer, there is a change, there have never been so many locals, but it is evident that they have much less spending power than our standard guests, Scandinavians, Swedes, Dutch, Spaniards, Italians," says Petra.

It is not difficult for foreign guests to pay extra costs, and Komiza is not cheap. However, it is not as easy for the locals. Thus, long columns are formed in front of fast-food restaurants, and the shops are so crowded, they even run out of groceries.

Petra Muric adds that many people openly asked to lower the price of their accommodation. Some Zagreb agencies even called and tried to convince them that their 70 euro accommodation must be reduced by 50 percent.

"I had up to 30 phone inquiries a day for accommodation. In the end, I had to put on the ad that the 70 euro price, which is ten euro less than last year, is final. We are all full, the worst accommodation on the island is full, the situation is to give whatever you have. We have not experienced this yet," says Petra.

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Sunday, 1 December 2019

"The Most Famous Cat in Croatia" Lučki Returns to Vis Island!

If you've ever visited, you know that most of life on Dalmatian islands revolves around the ferries and their schedule. This week, Lučki taught us that the same is true even for the island cats.

Last week the news of a lost cat found its way to the Croatian media. That probably happened because it was absolutely not your usual story of a lost cat: this one involved a cat name Lučki, known to everyone on the island of Vis, especially in the town of Vis itself.

Lučki is a street cat, apparently living the good life on the island, with an unusual hobby: from time to time, he boards the ferry to Split, gets a lift there, walks around the ferry port in Split for a bit and then comes back home to Vis by sea. It all goes without any problems or issues, or at least it did until this week when Lučki made a mistake: he got on the wrong ferry. Instead of his favourite (and well-known) Petar Hektorović ferry, he boarded the ferry that takes the gas cylinders to and from the island, but which goes to Kaštela Port, and not to Split.

The people of Vis realised what happened to their favourite cat, and on Wednesday social media (and the more traditional media in Croatia) was filled with stories of a lost cat, with a plea from Vis for the people of Kaštela to help them find their beloved Lučki. They knew where he probably disembarked the ferry, and the Kaštela Facebook page shared the story:

For a few days, there was no news, but the best of news made the rounds in the media today: Lučki has been found, he is alive and well, and he's on his way back to Vis! While there are no details currently available about what exactly happened, the same Facebook page posted a video showing Lučki being transported back to his island on a ferry in a transporter, nice and clean and perfectly white. And he also got a nice big meal on the ferry - I mean, if you become a celebrity, at least you can get a nice meal out of that, right?

There's talk of buying him a GPS collar on the Facebook post, so he can be found more easily next time if his adventures in nature takes him on similar trips in the future. Hopefully, he just decides that once was enough, and lives the rest of his long life in the safety of Vis harbour, with occasional (brief) excursions to Split.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Konoba Senko on Vis: A Restaurant Like No Other

Dobra hrana (Good food), Jutarnji list's foodie magazine, brings us the story of Konoba Senko, a restaurant on the southern side of the island of Vis, a restaurant like no other, which is at the same time a place to have amazing food and to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Senko Karuza is one of the greatest Croatian modern writers, a master of the short story, who has decided to dedicate his life to a restaurant he created in a bay on Vis. The bay is called Mala Travna and is mostly visited by nautical tourists. And meeting Senko, whom people sometimes nickname "The Robinson of Vis", is an experience on its own. Often in a bad mood, seeming to hold a lot of contempt for the guests who arrive to "his cove" in high heels, with loud music and the "do you know who I am" attitude, if you show respect for him and his lifestyle, he'll prepare the most perfect seafood dishes of your life.

In the past, he used to tell guests to leave any electronics on their boats, as there's no electricity or GSM signal in the cove. These days, there's a generator (although not a really reliable one), but still no signal, so if you want to bring your mobile phones, you're allowed.

If Senko decides he wants to make food for you, first you'll get several of his awesome rakijas, then a soup made from the ingredients Senko had on hand to cook, then you'll be served a pasta dish, then a brujet (which is how a dish Italians call "brodetto" is pronounced in this part of Croatia) made with numerous types of fish. And then you'll be served with fish from the grill, the freshest kind of fish you'll find anywhere, taken from the sea that day, smoked while on the grill with the local herbs. The food is based on the traditional recipes, although modernised, and the authors of the review swear that what Konoba Senko offers is better than what most restaurants with a Michelin star in Croatia do. Of course, none of it is expected to go down without Vugava, a local white wine variety.

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

First Croatian Avocado Plantation Planted on Island of Vis!

As Morski writes on the 2nd of May, 2019, the very first Croatian avocado plantation has been planted on the Dalmatian island of Vis. The pear-shaped fruit can typically be found growing in Central and South America, it's very rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for the health of the organism.

It seems that the warm Mediterranean climate bodes well for the growth of avocados because those growing are advancing well and generally give generous yields. To make the story of the very first Croatian avocado plantation even more unusual, it was kickstarted by two Americans from Wisconsin, the Repanich couple, who, despite their advanced years, have some great business plans under their belts. Perhaps because they eat avocados each and every day.

John and Patricia Repanich, a lively couple in their eighties, replaced life in America with the birthplace of John's grandfather. Back when they lived in the US, they had nut plantations in California, as well as flocks of sheep, and when retirement age came around, out of all of the places in the world, they chose no less than the beautiful island of Vis as their new home, as was reported by HRT. For years and years before that, they'd already spent plenty of time enjoying Vis's stunning Brgujac bay.

''Once a farmer, always a farmer,'' says John. Pensions aren't for rest, it's best to keep your hands busy. Their avocado experiment was fruitful. Ten years ago, they planted their first tree.

When that very first plant ended up ''giving birth'' to hundreds of the avocados, the entrepreneurial American spirit was awakened in Repanich. From Sicily, the couple brought 150 plants to the Croatian island of Vis and started the very first avocado plantation in the whole of Croatia, the first fruit of which is due this autumn.

Avocados otherwise originate from the South and North American rainforests, where, at least according to numerous archaeological discoveries, they were eaten 8,000 years ago. The first avocados were utilised by the Inkas, the Olmecs and Maya peoples, who considered it a magical plant that nourishes the body from the outside and from the inside. It is very rich in good fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential to the health of the body.

Among other things, it benefits the heart, reduces blood sugar, helps with arthritis, and even helps people to lose weight. Experts think it is the top food for brain health because of its high share of omega-3 acids and vitamin E.

Avocados are diverse and can be eaten raw or be thermally processed in many ways, and perhaps the most famous avocado dish of all is Mexican guacamole. Thanks to Repanich's, the first Croatian avocados have become an attraction, so more and more people have been coming to Brgujac to see the premier Croatian plantation for themselves. Along with its olive oil and its wine, the island of Vis could easily also become a Croatian island known for its tropical fruits.

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Click here for the original article by HRT

Monday, 1 April 2019

Film about Vis Takes Home Main Award at Florence Film Festival

The stunning Croatian island of Vis takes to the screens as a film which showcases its sheer beauty rightfully wins big in Florence.

As Morski writes on the 1st of April, 2019, the film by Italian director Nicola Bongiorna "The Lions of Vis" won over both the public and panel in Florence, Italy, with a warm story about the Croatian island of Vis, its inhabitants, history, maritime heritage, fishermen, divers, and, above all, its story of love and respect for the sea.

"The Lions of Vis" (I Leoni di Lissa) won the main prize at the Florence Archeofilm Festival. Nicola Bongiorna's film describes the step by step process of a huge search under the sea for the wreck of a sunken Italian vessel - the Re d 'Italia ship from 1866, which sank with its 400 crew members.

The words of an Italian journalist, "The film isn't a historical story of the battle, but a story told through the astonishing beauty of the archipelago that speaks to the soul of the viewer, a film about the transparency of the sea that connects, and doesn't separate the people".

Some sequences of films from as far back as the 1930s and a film from the 1960s from the island of Vis were introduced, which the director used to reconstruct life on the island. Bongiorna also co-operated with prof. Josip Bozanić, who specialises in linguistics, and the film goes on to reveal many similar and even identical linguistic expressions used by people on both sides of the Adriatic coast.

Recalling the success of the film, the Italian media write that "the beauty of Dalmatia is borderless, and the islands are magical".

Nicola dedicated the film to no less than his own father, Mike, a renowned Italian TV quiz host, who taught him what it meant to fall in love with the sea.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.


Click here for the original articles by Pokret otoka (Island movement) and Slobodna Dalmacija

Friday, 22 February 2019

American WWII Airplane Found in the Sea Between Vis and Biševo

Croatian Radiotelevision reports on the newest finding in the sea near Vis: an airplane, probably an American WWII airplane found there recently!

A diver from Komiža Andi Marović, recepient of the Blue Ribbon for his efforts in salvaging the Adriatic from the ecological disaster, has found yet another wreck from the World War II. Supposedly it is a B24 bomber airplane, wound in the Biševo channel, and HTV crew was present for the dive. Last year, some divers thought that the spot seemed somewhat suspicious, but recently a piece of aluminium was recovered there, which lead the divers to dive at the spot once more. After 20 minutes at the bottom, and 4 hours of decompression (it was at the depth of 90 meters!), they resurfaced with smiles on their faces. The visibility at the bottom was excellent, so they discovered that the airplane is not in one piece, but most bits are there. 

- You can see the engines and propellers, bits of the body of the plane and many smaller parts such as the landing gear - the divers explained.

The crew has been finding planes around Vis regularly, and they know that there are as many as 27 allied planes from the WWII around Vis. It was an important hub of activity during the war, and you can read more about that here.

They speculate that the WWII airplane found might be the B24 bomber which was forced to land at sea 75 years ago, as historical records report. There were 10 people onboard, 6 parachuters were saved, while the sea claimed the remaining four, as well as the plane. 


Friday, 18 May 2018

Bizarre Weather: As Swimming Season Begins, Vis Welcomes Hail?

Yesterday's weather across the country was anything but usual. While some areas saw rain and clouds, others saw sunshine and blue skies - and one island, in particular, was pelted with powerful drops of hail.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Hungarian Crew Wins Regatta on Vis

Female crews marked the International Women’s Days.

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