Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Via Vino: Zagreb Wineries Meet Autumn Art, Music, Food & Cinema

October 6, 2021 - Just a short drive from the Zagreb is part of Croatia's fantastic wine story. A new autumn initiative from the Zagreb County Tourist Board brings art, music, food and cinema to Zagreb's vineyards. Meet Via Vino. 

One of the things that visitors to Zagreb often comment on is just how accessible it is.With its abundant parks, it is a great city to walk in. 

Those who are a little more adventurous are discovering just how accessible - and fascinating - the region around Zagreb is. The launch of the Around Zagreb initiative last year, bringing the very best of the city of Zagreb, Zagreb County, and now also Zagorje, has added a new dimension to Zagreb tourism.  

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The Zagreb County Tourist Board has been particularly active in recent times promoting the authentic treasures of the region, as well as helping to bring the indigenous products of its producers to the market. One small example of this is the development of the Zagreb truffle hunt, something that perhaps even many locals are not aware of. Local producers are bying into the brand of authentic Zagreb County and its local products, and one can now enjoy Zagreb truffles in strukli, as well as pralines. And the latest Zagreb truffle delicacy was unveiled at the Via Vino press conference this morning - ajvar with black truffles. 

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A new initiative called Via Vino has been launched by the Zagreb County Tourist Board, which was unveiled at a press conference in their office in Zagreb this morning, complete with new promotional video of the wine roads of Zagreb County. The Croatian capital is blessed with several wine regions surrounding the city on all sides - Sveta Ivana Zelina, Samobor, Jastrebarsko, Ivanic-Grad, and Zapresic. 

From October 15 to November 15, the wineries of Zagreb County will be welcoming visitors to experience their wines, while also combining that experience with some signature events combining art, food, wine and music. 

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Via Vinaria takes place every Friday and Saturday within the month, when more than 50 wineries in Zagreb County will open their cellar doors for wine tasting. A great day out from the city, and a chance to enjoy the county's alluring nature while sampling its finest wines. 

Looking to catch the latest Bond movie in some style?  Via KINO is the place to be on October 15 at the Braje vineyard in Plesivica, where chestnuts and Portugiesac will accompany 007's final mission. Additional sustenance will be provided by Marin Medak and his Food Truck.

Via KINO will take place on October 23rd. in the central park of Velika Gorica. Although this is not a wine region, the screening of the film will feature an exhibition of photographs of winemakers, accompanied by homemade spirits by Brigljević distillates and gin. As this area is known for truffle hunting, you will have the opportunity to taste truffles in typically continental dishes.

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Via VINO will also enrich the Via ART event, which takes you along the picturesque Samobor road of pleasures, with recognizable wines, selected delicacies and an exhibition in the vineyard! It takes place on November 6 and follows the well-known feast of St. Martin, patron saint of winemakers. Take a look at the exhibition of photographs of winemakers from Zagreb County in the Samobor Museum.

Have you ever experienced a classical music concert in a vineyard? A good wine is like a good concert, it lasts a short time, but it is remembered for a lifetime. It’s new in every sip and changes with each new note. Therefore Via NOTE on October 16 brings concerts to the fairytale environment of the falling slopes of the vineyards of the Schwartz manor in Nespeš, in Sv. Zelini. The atmosphere will be enriched by the offer of dishes from Food Truck by Marin Medak, as well as a selection of wines from the Litterarii winery.

"We all already know that Zagreb County is the green living room of Zagreb. It offers sustainable tourism, numerous outdoor facilities but also an unforgettable eno-gastronomic experience, 365 days a year," said the director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board Ivana Alilović.

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"As a year-round destination, it offers new facilities every season. Thus, our wine roads and events related to eno-gastronomic content are currently very attractive. The rich gastronomic offer and the increasingly strong development and branding of wine roads - from Plešivica to Zelina and Ivanić-Grad as the home of škrlet - are one of the strongest assets for the tourist and economic development of Zagreb County.

"We are proud that for the first time the Zagreb County Tourist Board is conducting such a large destination campaign in which over 60 key entities in the area of ​​the Zagreb County wine scene are participating. For us, this is a big step towards positioning the entire Zagreb County as an authentic boutique destination." 

For visits to wineries it is necessary to make an appointment in advance.

Admission to the events is limited, and for those who do not have a Covid passport at the entrance, a Covid test will be organized which is included in the ticket price.

The Via VINO event is organized by the Zagreb County Tourist Board, who you can contact for more information.

Learn more about the direction of tourism in Zagreb County in this TCN interview with Zagreb County Tourist Board director Ivana Alilović.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Žumberak Samobor Protected by Zagreb County TZ via Sustainable Tourism

September 5, 2021 – In a series of spectacular new photos, we see this vast, beautiful park and learn of Zagreb County Tourist Board's efforts to balance preserving nature, improving the park's visitor offer and implementing development necessary for the quality of life of the local population, via sustainable tourism and the EU-sponsored Pronacul project.

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For residents of Zagreb County, City of Zagreb and their visitors, the most convenient thing about Žumberak Samobor Mountains Nature Park is that it's right on your doorstep. Less than 90 minutes drive to the west of the Croatian capital, it's an easy escape into a spectacular natural landscape; epic, rolling hills, gushing waterfalls and streams beside which historic water mills lie.

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It's the perfect place to go to free yourself of the noise, pressure and stress of life in the city. Particularly if you love hiking or cycling. There are 300 kilometres of cycling routes and 350 kilometres of hiking trails through Žumberak Samobor Mountains Nature Park. That's plenty to explore.

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In total, a vast 342m2 of beautiful rural landscape is protected as a Nature Park. Partly, what makes Žumberak Samobor Mountains area so charming is that it is a topography that has been moulded by its inhabitants. Their agricultural efforts can be traced in the lines of fields, the dry stone walls, the crops, animals and produce found here. Their piety is the reason for the rich wealth of historic sacral buildings you can visit in the park.

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But, this is an area that has undergone extreme population decline over recent decades. In fact, the park area is one of the least densely populated places in Croatia. The agricultural endeavours that helped shaped this pretty place are nowhere near as popular as they once were. However, the park is still inhabited. Traditional life can still be seen in Žumberak Samobor Mountains.

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One of the best ways to preserve this beautiful Nature Park, the lifestyles and endeavours of those who live there, is to receive visitors. Visiting such thrilling epic nature is so rewarding in itself, its strange to think that just be being there you're helping to preserve it.

Pronacul: Balancing Tourism, Development and Preservation of Nature

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Žumberak Samobor Mountains Nature Park and Zagreb County Tourist Board have long been working to balance 1) the preservation of the protected area, 2) increasing and improving the park's visitor offer and 3) implementing development necessary for the quality of life of the local population.

It is to that end that Zagreb County Tourism Board have submitted Žumberak Samobor Mountains Nature Park to join the EU-sponsored Pronacul project. Joining partners in Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Serbia and Bosnia in the scheme, Pronacul's key aim is the promotion of natural and cultural heritage and the development of sustainable tourism in protected areas. The total value of the project is 1.770.348,98 EUR.

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For more ideas of great places to visit and great things to do in Zagreb County, be sure to read our dedicated pages here

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Zagreb County Employment Rate Rises by 3.3 Percent

August the 4th, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has threatened jobs like never before, with countries which rely very heavily on tourism suffering unimaginable uncertainty. Croatia is one of them. Things are slowly recovering however, and the Zagreb County employment rate has risen.

Economic issues in Croatia weren't ''born'' when the pandemic struck the globe, but they were certainly made exponentially worse with intermittent lockdowns and issues with transport, travel and tourism. While the Zagreb County employment rate perhaps isn't the one you'd expect to see much growth in comparison to the coast, things are looking up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, with the highest total revenue of 6.1 billion kuna in 2020 and the largest number of employees - 2,377, Lidl Hrvatska (Croatia) from Velika Gorica neat the City of Zagreb maintained its dominant role among leading companies based in Zagreb County.

The largest exporter was the company Hospira Zagreb from Prigorje Brdovecki (809.5 million kuna), according to Fina, which, for the pandemic-dominated year of 2020, shows a good picture of Zagreb County's economy in which 9258 enterprises had their headquarters last year. With its 63,044 employees, there is a 3.3 percent increase in Zagreb County employment levels.

The average monthly net salary for Zagreb County employees amounted to 6,144 kuna, which is 2.7 percent higher than it was back in 2019 and 2.9 percent higher than the average for that category at the Croatian level.

According to the processed AFS for 2020, companies operating in this continental Croatian county achieved 56.9 billion kuna of total revenues (0.1 percent more than back in 2019).

Compared to other counties, Zagreb County is highly ranked according to a number of indicators: it is in fifth place according to the number of companies headquartered there, third according to the number of employees, second according to total revenues and realised net profit, and number one according to the indicator of labour productivity measured by net profit and the number of employees, making it the country's best in that regard at the moment.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Successful Tourist Board Synergy: Around Zagreb Promotes Capital and Surroundings

June 22, 2021 - The Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board are again cooperating in promoting Zagreb and its surroundings through a unique destination campaign - Near the city, Near the heart / Around Zagreb. 

Near the City, Near the Heart is a joint promotional campaign created to develop a year-round platform to promote the rich offer of the capital and its surroundings, reports HRTurizam.

In this sense, as a destination campaign, it addresses key markets, promoting the outdoors, greenery, and nature with a focus on health and sustainability, and raising awareness of Zagreb and its surroundings as a desirable environment and tourist destination.

This year's edition of the campaign introduces certain novelties, and they are presented in more detail by the director of the Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld: “The success of the campaign so far has prompted us to improve our platform and present it to key markets. So - with a refreshed visual and itineraries - we created a new section, 'Did you know?' which presents interesting things from our environment. We are now launching the campaign in the markets of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Germany, and we will soon expand it through cooperation with Krapina-Zagorje County."

"The campaign will be conducted online through advertorials and banners for a month. Advertorials will be adapted linguistically for each individual market and will present a rich cultural offer, with a focus on living in greenery, recreation, and sustainable tourism, all through interesting stories that present the current offer of Zagreb and its ring," explains Darja Dragoje from TZGZ.

In the last two years, the cooperation between these two tourist boards has grown into a whole series of campaigns and concrete tourist products that the guests of the capital can enjoy. The profession also recognized the partnership cooperation of these tourist boards as an example of cooperation in the field that brings very concrete results to all stakeholders.

The Zagreb County Tourist Board director, Ivana Alilović, says: "Domestic and foreign tourists do not think about administrative borders, but about the content. Precisely for this reason, the cooperation between the tourist boards of Zagreb and Zagreb County was logical. I am delighted that the director of Binenfield recognized the great potential of Zagreb County because Zagreb and the ring together are stronger. We have combined urban and rural, and with health and cultural tourism, rich outdoor content, and authentic enogastro offer, we have made this destination even more attractive. The enogastro service will focus on the new campaign, which with new visuals tells a new story of a metropolis and its surroundings, which complement each other with quality and rounded tourist products. With such facilities, we extend the stay of guests in both destinations."

The entire offer is united on aroundzagreb.hr, and information is currently available in Croatian, English, German and Slovenian.

For more, follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Gorica Evenings Celebrates 45th Edition With An Outdoor Cultural Program

June 8, 2021 - After more than four decades of successfully organizing an enriching cultural program aimed at people of all ages, Gorica Evenings will celebrate its 45th edition in style with concerts, cinema, theater, art, and more in the open air from this Thursday 10 to June 20 in Velika Gorica.

For the 45th year in a row, the Gorica Evenings have enriched the tourist and cultural offer of Velika Gorica, but also of the Zagreb County in general. The traditional event is organized by the Velika Gorica Public Open University in cooperation with associations and other Velika Gorica organizations, reports Turističke Priče.

In addition to a diverse cultural program, Gorica evenings are a combination of open-air concerts, theater performances, open-air cinemas, children's programs, and more. This year's 45th edition of the event runs from 10 to 20 June at two locations in the center of Velika Gorica, in Dr. Franjo Tuđman and Stjepan Radić Square, brings a rich program for children and adults.

Interesting plays are intended for theater audiences and children, and the first is scheduled by Tonka Bontonka Scene Gorica. This play for children will also be the first event of the 45th Gorica Evenings. There are also lectures for art history lovers at the Galženica Gallery, as well as performances, which will be presented to the public by participants in the Drama Studio and Guitar Course of the Velika Gorica Public Open University.

The Gorica evenings will be enhanced by klapas, which will present their acapella singing repertoire. It will be at a meeting that will serve as an overture for the Omis Festival. The youngest will show their creativity at workshops for children.

Fans of the seventh art will come to theirs every Wednesday. Namely, Dr. Franjo Tuđman Park will host the Open-Air Summer Cinema, which will show Hollywood blockbusters, animated dubbed films, and comedies. Screenings are scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m.

The highlight of the Gorica evenings will be, as always, open-air concerts. In addition to Gorizia's Mungos and the already traditional VG Blues, Rock & Country festival, Klapa Kampanel and the popular Bosutski bećari will sing and play.

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

Monday, 7 June 2021

Zagreb Beyond the City: County Tourist Board Director Ivana Alilovic Interview

 June 7, 2021 - Despite the pandemic, there have been a lot of new initiatives from tourism in Zagreb and the surrounding area in the last 12 months. Meet one of the driving forces behind this - Zagreb County Tourist Board Director, Ivana Alilovic.

1.One of the most interesting new tourism initiatives in 2020 was the launch of the AroundZagreb.hr, which brought the tourism offer of the city and the county together for the first time. Tell us a little about the project, how it started and the results so far. 

The promotion of Zagreb and its surroundings is a project that was planned over 10 months before its release, and we successfully implemented the campaign. This is the first time that our two tourist boards are cooperating in partnership and we are happy that we have created a real destination campaign and that we are working together to promote our capital and its surroundings. The joint cooperation was created as a result of mutual trust and partnership, and with our first cooperation and complementarity we show that even in these extraordinary conditions there is always the possibility to create great projects, because tourism knows no borders.

The friendship between Zagreb and Zagreb County is expressed in these extraordinary circumstances, mutually confirming mutual trust and partnership, which resulted in the destination campaign "Close to the city, close to the heart". In preparation, we followed the trends in the travel market and then we launched a joint campaign in three foreign languages: English, German, Slovenian and, of course, Croatian.

At a time when the health situation is under the magnifying glass everywhere in the world, when it is important to adhere to new rules of social behavior, when we want to return to the basics - family, friends, nature and closest business partners, business and tourist travel trends are changing. This is exactly how the new offer of Zagreb and its surroundings began, which focuses on staying in nature, green city oases and staying outdoors in general, with an emphasis on health, safety and sustainability.

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(Photo credit Robert Klaric)

"Around Zagreb" brings numerous ideas for inspiring trips, creative examples of how to spend, for example, three days in Zagreb and its surroundings, the most interesting gastronomic recommendations and a list of cultural and entertainment events to truly get to know the Croatian capital and the beautiful green ring that surrounds it.

The platform is continuously updated with new materials and suggestions and for now the feedback is excellent.

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2. You have not been in the job that long, but one can already notice a lot more energy in the Zagreb county promotion, including some rather surprising tourism products not promoted before. Truffle hunting close to Zagreb Airport? Really?!? Tell us more. 

Yes, that is true. We started to work actively to promote gastro branding ‘Turopolje and Zagreb County’, although Istria is synonymous for truffles, black truffles can be found in Turopolje and Žumberak area. It is important to point out that in May 2020 we started promoting a new attraction ‘black truffle hunting’ in ‘Turopoljski lug’ and offered visitors a new and innovative tourist product, for which there is a growing interest and interest of tourists. We have also established a value chain of the catering offer in a short period of time, we have started with the promotion and innovative approach to the development of the gastronomic offer with truffles in combination with the autochthonous cuisine of the Zagreb County.

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The fact that there are black truffles in Turopolje is a great potential for our destination. We made a promo video about truffle hunting and you can also taste them in local restaurants.

It is necessary to connect value chains, to create new tourist products in the destination, only in these new times we can be an attractive destination for all of us.

The emphasis is on sustainable, green and above all safe tourism in the green ring of Zagreb. First of all, discover the undiscovered from today, take home the unforgettable memory of truffle hunting.

Croatian Forests’ and the Zagreb County Tourist Board signed an Agreement on Business Cooperation for the Purpose of Promoting truffle and truffle-related tourism.

The agreement was signed with the aim of joint cooperation in promoting truffle growing, research and development of the Center for Mushroom Research, as well as publishing and branding truffle growing in the forest area of Zagreb County.

It is necessary to develop the awareness of the local population and partners, and cooperation with ‘Croatian Forests’ gives us a flywheel because it is necessary to define the market and have support in the use of the forest area of Zagreb County, which is managed by ‘Croatian Forests’ for the purpose of developing the project "truffle hunting" and similar projects or events for the purpose of promoting truffle farming. I believe that we are on the right path for truffles to become a brand and a motive for coming to Zagreb County.

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(Photo credit Sveta Nedjelja Tourist Board)

3. How hard is it to attract tourists in the city to come and discover the county, and what are your main strategies to entice them?

Since the beginning of the crisis, I emphasize that special focus and demand will be on continental and rural tourism. But just as continental destinations, despite all the challenges, need to impose and position themselves. This is exactly what we did with the platform and the "Odmor nikad bliže" campaign. The goal is, of course, to position the entire Zagreb green ring towards Zagreb as much as possible as an ideal weekend destination close to the city bustle. Judging by all the market research and data from the eVisitor system, it can be seen that we have hit the niche well with our campaign. We wanted to position ourselves and send a message that guests in our county can stay in a green, rural and protected environment. And all just half an hour from Zagreb. At the moment when everything stopped, it was necessary to react and position ourselves, so we decided to start the campaign and we did not hesitate in that segment, it turned out to be a complete success. We need to keep up with innovative trends such as the digital revolution, ever-higher environmental standards and the sustainable development of local communities. It is necessary the development of eno-gastronomy, cultural tourism which is promoted as one of the motives for coming to the destination. I emphasize that authenticity, security and nature are the key trends in tourism.

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(Zagreb County Tourist Board Director Ivana Alilovic, left, has been tirelessly promoting the authentic local products on offer in the region)

4. I was certainly surprised at the wealth of tourism options just outside the city, all of which can be enjoyed during a day trip. Give us a little flavour of what awaits with five of your most recommended things to see and do. 

I would definitely first suggest a visit to our web platform “Odmor nikad bliže”/Vacation in Zagreb County “which aims to inform readers about tourist products of Zagreb County such as wine roads, holiday homes, gastronomic offers and micro destinations that are located in the county and tell the reader that the holiday was never closer.

I always recommend going to Samobor, with its preserved old town and numerous cultural sights, is a lure for excursionists not only because of its charm but also because of the beautiful green surroundings. Mountains and hills, vineyards, forests, streams, picturesque villages, old forts, caves, irresistible local food and a fine drop - all this awaits you in a geographically small, but crowded area near Zagreb, which is our flagship of tourism.

Between Samobor and Zagreb is Sveta Nedelja, which is deservedly on the list of the most visited destinations. We suggest a tour of the lakes Rakitje, Orešje, Kerestinec and Strmec. It is your choice whether to indulge in fishing, recreation or just enjoying the preserved nature, in the company of many birds that like to gather here. Along Lake Kerestinec, the view will surely attract you to the neglected medieval castle of Erdödy, the scene of a turbulent history. A return to the 21st century offers a tourist tour of the world-famous electric car factory Rimac Automobili, which sends its innovations to the world from the Holy Sunday plant.

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Among the most visited destinations in Zagreb County is Ivanić-Grad, known for the gastronomic festival Bučijada or wine festival Škrletovo, a pleasure for the taste buds, and not far from the center is the unique Naftalan, a spa built on the only European source of medicinal oil, which also offers excellent wellness services.

Traditionally, the most visited destination is located in Turopolje, a quiet, mostly lowland rural area with an abundance of untouched nature, rich cultural heritage and an interesting past. Its center is Velika Gorica, the largest city in Zagreb County, and the best starting point for research.

At the foot of Plešivica is the town of Jastrebarsko, and on the Plešivica hills you will often see hawks in the air, which were bred for hunting in the Middle Ages and the town was named after them. A place with a long history for hundreds of years, it is the natural center of this area and the starting point for excursions around the area and one of our most visited destinations.

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(Photo credit Tibor Grujic Marivo)

5. You also ran a great campaign before Christmas on buying local authentic products. Tell us a little about that, and which products were a hit?

We had a campaign called “Christmas magic in your home” with which we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of buying local products at this time of pandemic. Each destination has its own authentic story and its own local products and souvenirs. Zagreb County is rich in craftsmen. It is full of hardworking people who turn the natural resources of their homeland into unique, local products. One of the goals of the Zagreb County Tourist Board is to raise the world about the importance of buying from local producers and helping producers in branding and promoting products that we can be proud of.

The dedicated work of small craftsmen, artists and manufactories from our area should be especially emphasized because these products deserve all the attention. Combining traditional and modern, their creativity refreshes the heritage and enriches the entire offer of their region. I think this year hit were fabulous 'strukli with truffles' and the Zagreb County truffle praline.

We are very proud of the intangible cultural heritage of Zagreb County. The most popular dessert, ‘Samoborska kremšnita’, is now legally protected as an autochthonous Samobor - Croatian brand.

Also, autochthonous gastronomic product of the Zagreb County ‘Rudarska greblica’ has been approved a protected designation of geographical origin at the European level. With this label, ‘Rudarska greblica’ becomes the 29th Croatian product with a protected name in the European Union and the first protected gastronomic product in the Zagreb County.

This is a great compliment to the originality and preservation of our tradition, especially when today we have the first recognition for the ‘Rudarska greblica’ to which the European Union has established intellectual property rights. The Zagreb area has contributed to the Croatian and, as of today, European list of protected geographical indications, which emphasizes the relationship between a particular geographical region and product name, where the special quality, reputation or other characteristics of the product can mainly be attributed to its geographical origin.

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6. The pandemic is hanging over everything. How do you even prepare for a tourist season with such uncertainty? What kind of season are you expecting?

In these difficult, uncertain and challenging times it is hard to anticipate results and expectations but what we know for sure is that the main criteria will be the epidemiological situation. So, the success of the tourist season and tourist results is subordinated to the epidemiological situation.

The trend of staying in nature and turning to rural areas will continue this year as well. People's habits have changed and staying in nature, excursions and escape from mass tourism will surely mark this year as well. We can say that the results of surveys conducted by some sales platforms in tourism are now the most relevant for assessing and planning activities in the tourism sector. According to indicators, from 60 to almost 80% of guests are ready to go on vacation this year as soon as the epidemiological situation with Covid-19 allows. So, there is still an unquenchable hunger for travel. A stronger opening is to be expected only in the 2nd quarter of 2021, which strengthens our assessment of the reorientation of our activities to domestic tourism. The trend is to stay in nature, excursions and escapes will surely mark this year as well. Zagreb County will remain the most attractive weekend destination and I am sure that this year we will record increased interest in our destinations in the ‘Zagreb Green Ring’. The emphasis will be on safety and hygiene, new markets, and purpose travel and going to near destinations. Zagreb County will remain the most attractive weekend destination and we will certainly record increased interest in all destinations of the ‘Zagreb Green Ring’ this year as well.

In March 2021 Zagreb County announced a million-worthy competition for grant support to entrepreneurs in tourism. Grants are awarded for the renovation and equipping of accommodation units and the development and improvement of additional facilities such as swimming pools, wellness and other recreational, sports and entertainment facilities. The pandemic will pass, tourists will come again and that is why we support entrepreneurs to add value to their accommodation facilities.

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(Photo credit Ivanic Grad Tourist Board)

7. Where do you see the potential for tourism growth for Zagreb county?

This ‘new time’ requires a personalized, honest and thorough approach to the guest, who wants to experience the local community in an authentic way based on experience. The focus is on a new meaning in sustainable coexistence with local communities, nature, culture and history of these areas. Since our destinations abound in many additional facilities from wine roads, cultural routes, untouched nature of Žumberak which offers you detoxification from the hustle and bustle of the capital, intangible cultural heritage with the stamp of Europe you can taste, truffle hunting, castles, promenades, educational trails… We are yet a year-round and attractive destination. The trend of interest in holiday homes on the continent is constantly growing. We definitely need to raise the quality of accommodation because there is a great demand for holiday homes in rural accommodation and that is why this tender is a complete success because we will raise the quality and strengthen the content and very soon, we will have concrete progress.

We are aware of the potential that our destination has. For example, we have a strong scene with domestic distilleries engaged in the artisanal production of gin, which is in a big positive trend with craft breweries. Also, special attention is needed to health tourism as one of the fastest growing tourist products, given that in Ivanić-Grad there is a “Special Hospital Naftalan” where work was done on the reconstruction and extension. With cycling and bike trails, a green story and all of the above, we can conclude that we have great potential, which we must turn into quality resources.

It is of great importance to us to unite Zagreb County tourist boards for the purpose of networking, intensive cooperation and joint action of Zagreb County tourist boards and relevant stakeholders with the aim of intensive promotion of the ‘Zagreb Green Ring’ region and existing tourist products and programs. Our goal is certainly integrated quality management of the Zagreb County tourist destination product, which will reduce the gap between the level of quality that tourists expect and the level of quality that the destination is able to provide and deliver, improving the quality and content of Zagreb County tourism product, increasing tourist satisfaction and tourist spending in Zagreb County and the benefits for entrepreneurship in tourism. 

Also, Zagreb County Tourist Board is the organizer of the photo competition for the selection of the most beautiful photographs of the Zagreb County, called "Photo Zagreb County". The purpose of the competition is to show the cultural and historical sights and traditions of Zagreb County, a story or experience from one of the events, active vacation in nature or rural areas, which will further promote the visit and research of Zagreb County.

Our vision is to create the identity of the destination, and in order to realize that vision, the process must be alive for all visitors and tourists who come to the destination. With our photo competition we want to see a unique experience, based on the feeling and experience of the destination, and through the lens of each of us to highlight the unique attributes of a particular destination with what makes it different from the others, authentic. In this way, we want to influence the preservation and promotion of identity and tradition and the image of the destination in general.

8. And finally, tell us about your favorite place and favorite thing to do in Zagreb county? 

The whole county is attractive as a tourist destination, each part of it has its own peculiarities and similaritie. Since we are located in the wine-growing region of 'Bregovita Hrvatska', it is certainly a great pleasure to visit our valuable winemakers. Check-out coopers collection Golub family, which is designed as a permanent exhibition at the ground floor of the old house.

Feel the spirit of old times and visit Mlinareva Iža, the original miller's house where the miller's family once lived. The sacral heritage consists of numerous churches and chapels of the Jaska region that attract the attention of every passer-by. Jastrebarsko is an ideal destination for lovers of active tourism and nature. Explore every corner by bike, on foot or by air because there are many opportunities: bike trails and routes (Jaska Bike), hiking, horseback riding, orienteering, motocross, and for those looking for adrenaline - paragliding from Japetić or Plešivica.

I would definitely recommend tasting local products in Zagreb County.

In a relatively short period of time, three good news came from Samobor, after the ‘Rudarska greblica’, Samobor kremšnita’ and the ‘Samobor češnofka’ became a protected product. Protection at national level is an important first step towards gaining the status it deserves on the European gastronomic map. The diligent hands of the people of this region write the history of taste, and it is up to us to taste them and experience this original story with all our senses.

To learn more about the magic of Zagreb beyond the city, visit the Zagreb County Tourist Board website

Monday, 24 May 2021

Zagreb County Bistra Community Becomes Living Ecomuseum

May 24, 2021 – Preserving the traditions, crafts and heritage of a fascinating corner of Zagreb County, the entire Bistra community has dedicated itself to becoming a living, breathing ecomuseum.

One of the best ways Croatia preserves its heritage is to keep it in use. Diocletian's Palace in Split and the multiple Roman remains in Pula are not preserved behind glass. People live in and among these monuments. They are very much part of the social fabric of today.

Now, one municipality in Zagreb County is about to embrace such notions across its whole territory. The entire Bistra community, located less than 5 km north of the edges of Zagreb City, will become a living, breathing ecomuseum.

reScreenshot_136.png© Udruga Ekomuzej Bistra

What is an ecomusem?

While sustainability is an aspect of the ecomuseum concept, an ecomuseum is not strictly about ecological strategies. Instead, it is more about designating a territory - in this case, the Bistra community - as an ever-evolving social and cultural museum.

Whereas a normal museum might be a building, exhibits and guides, an ecomuseum is a place, its heritage, the people who live there … and the skills and memory they have which define the area.

reUdruga_Ekomuzej_Bistra.jpg© Lovro Bauer (Fabrika arhitekti d.o.o.)

Old school building in Poljanica Bistranska

Central to the Bistra community ecomuseum project is the renovation of a special old school building in Poljanica Bistranska. It is a significant and nationally protected work of industrial architecture from 1878. Within Zagreb County, it is one of the few preserved school buildings from that period. Back in the days when it was a school, it held a garden and orchard where school children grew fruits and vegetables to eat and distribute to the poor.

reEkomuzej_Bistra_-_photoby_Lina_Malek_4.jpg© Lina Malek / Udruga Ekomuzej Bistra.

The building is in the process of undergoing a HRK 11,979,150 renovation, largely funded by the European Union from the European Structural and Investment Funds. Upon completion, the building will showcase examples of how the Bistra community have lived through the ages. Additionally, it will have a permanent exhibition called Bistra 1209 (when Bistra is first mentioned). Traditional culture, life and customs of the Bistra community will be displayed. For example, wedding customs, folklore, traditional decoration of people and space, agriculture, produce, superstitions and beliefs.

reEkomuzej_Bistra_-_photoby_Lina_Malek_6.jpg© Lina Malek / Udruga Ekomuzej Bistra.

Ecomuseum in the Bistra community

Outside of the building, more aspects of the Bistra community to be protected under the ecomuseum project include, buildings, industry and arts & crafts. For instance, over 200 traditional wooden hut structures have been identified in the area. Some are incredibly picturesque and still very much in use.

reScreenshot_137.png© Udruga Ekomuzej Bistra

Within the region's key arts & crafts, the production of jewelry will be preserved. The making of kraluš – a type of neck jewelry using multicolored glass beads – is traditional in this part of northwestern Croatia. Within the canon of this recognised, regional skill, the Bistra community has two inclusions unique to them - bistranski kraluš and kravatlin.

Within the section of industry, the area's traditional production of wood charcoal in vuglenice (charcoal pits) is included. A centuries-old practice, it was once highly significant to the economic sustainability of the highland and forest regions of Croatia.

reUdruga_Ekomuzej_Bistra2.jpg© Lovro Bauer (Fabrika arhitekti d.o.o.)

The completion of work on the old school building of Bistra community ecomuseum is expected by September 2023. But, the development of the area itself as an ecomuseum is a project that is happening now and will never end. Like Bistra's beloved Medvednica Nature Reserve or it's famous Oršić Castle in Gornja Bistra, you can go discover and enjoy them today.

Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to extend their thanks to the following for providing the assets and information necessary for this article: Zagreb County Tourist Board, Klementina Batina and Lina Malek of Udruga Ekomuzej Bistra.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Zagreb County Horse Riding Trail Covering Nearly 100 Kilometres Presented

April the 27th, 2021 - Zagreb County horse riding is a perfect way to see some of the beautiful rolling green hills and other areas of the countryside in the City of Zagreb's vicinity, and a brand new almost 100 kilometre trail for precisely that has been presented.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, strengthening continental and rural Croatian tourism through 85 kilometres of trails for experienced horse riders, as well as for for beginners is part of a plan that will enrich the tourist offer of Zagreb County.

The beautiful nature located a mere stone's throw from the capital will now be able to be enjoyed by keen and experienced horse riders and all those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, as was explained the mayor of Orle, Ervin Vujica, who emphasised the fact that the Zagreb County horse riding opportunities are very close to the heart of the capital and that the municipality of Orle is now set to become the first in this part of Croatia with marked trails of this type.

On Sunday, May the 2nd, 2021, the grand opening of the first and longest trail (23 kilometres) will be held, realised in cooperation with the Miklin Equestrian Centre, which has existed and been in operation for about 30 years now.

“Our equestrian centre has been gathering lovers of these noble animals for many years and it provides them with the experience of riding in almost untouched nature. We're looking forward to embarking on this new project in cooperation with the Municipality. When creating the Zagreb County horse riding trails, we rode more than 203 kilometres and chose 85 kilometres of different trails, each of which carries a special experience, some are intended for experienced riders and some are for beginners, and the natural environment is diverse,'' explained the owner of the Equestrian Centre, Ivan Miklin.

Vujica explained that the focus of the Zagreb County horse riding trails lies primarily on rural development, which means in the near future, the opening of accommodation facilities for all visitors and providing the highest quality gastronomic offer from local family farms will take place. 

He also added that this is one in a series of development projects in the municipality of Orle to contribute to the tourist offer of the entire county. One of the initiators of the project, Zeljko Matejcic, pointed out that these Zagreb County horse riding trails located in the municipality of Orle will attract horse lovers from all over Croatia, as well as from the rest of Europe.

For more, make sure to follow our travel page. For all you need to know about Zagreb in 2021, bookmark Zagreb in a Page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Croatia Rally 2021: Everything is Ready for the International Racing Spectacle!

April 9, 2021 - Everything is ready for the Croatia Rally 2021, and the best rally crews in the world have already started testing the Croatian asphalt.

Today's most famous rally drivers will collect points for the World Rally Championship (WRC) from April 22 to 25 at the Croatia Rally. Croatia is the third stage in this year's WRC calendar, and it will be driven on the local roads of Zagreb, Karlovac, and Krapina-Zagorje counties, and the City of Zagreb, reports GP1.

At today's press conference, a detailed plan of all upcoming activities as part of the sports spectacle in Croatia for the first time was presented. The plan was presented by Daniel Šaškin, President of the Croatia Rally Organizing Committee, Davorin Štetner, President of the Croatian Car and Karting Association, Slaven Dedić, Director of Croatia Rally, and Željko Štefanić, director of the Croatia Rally competition. Support was also given by Tomislav Družak, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and Milan Pavelić, Head of the Zagreb City Office for Sports and Youth. WRC Director-General Jona Siebel also addressed the audience with a video message. The press conference was attended by Krešimir Šamija, Director of the Sports Directorate at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

"After years of preparation and thousands of hours of work, we have only 13 days left until the start of the World Rally Championship in Croatia. We are extremely proud and excited that today's best drivers will race on our roads and that we have succeeded in our intention to make Croatia part of a top rally story that is watched by almost a billion spectators around the world every year. It is a great success that would not have happened without our partners and sponsors' strong support, whom I thank from the bottom of my heart. It should be mentioned more than a thousand people will work hard to organize the largest sporting event in our country after many years. The eyes of the entire automotive world will be fixed on our country these few weeks, and I am sure that we will justify the trust of the FIA and the WRC Promoter," said Daniel Šaškin.

The best crews in the world can expect a total of 300 kilometers of speed tests, which are characterized by narrow and winding roads with numerous passes. The Croatian stage of the World Rally Championship is characteristic because it is the first completely asphalt rally this season. Numerous changes to the asphalt surface will require teams to adjust vehicle settings and find optimal tires.

"By organizing this spectacle in challenging conditions, we will show that Croatia is a responsible partner for the world's biggest events. With the strong support of primarily the City of Zagreb and other local government units, the Croatian police, firefighters, and other institutions, and of course, many Croatian automotive clubs, we are ready for the final step of the organization itself. In April 1906, 115 years ago, the First Croatian Automobile Club was founded - the predecessor of the Croatian Car and Karting Association, and we will mark this great anniversary during the WRC race. The most important people in world sports led by FIA President Jean Todt have announced their arrival in Croatia. Croatia is expecting incredible media promotion at the international level because hundreds of the world's strongest media report on the event," added Davorin Štetner.

A total of 68 crews have been confirmed for the Croatia Rally, and Croatia will have as many as seven representatives - Niko Pulić, Viliam Prodan, Martin Ravenščak, Krešimir Ravenščak, Ivica Siladić, Mateo Butorac, and Željko Magličić. It should be noted that Pulić is registered to compete in the elite WRC class, while other local representatives will drive in Rally4 vehicles with front-wheel drive.

Experts point out that among the favorites to win the Croatia Rally is Belgian Thierry Neuville, who is the best on asphalt. He will fight for the trophy with rally legend and seven-time world champion Sébastien Ogier. His performance was confirmed by Estonian Ott Tänak, who is currently fifth in the overall standings. The biggest surprise this season, the young 20-year-old Finn Kalle Rovanperä, leads in the overall standings after 4th place in Monte Carlo and 2nd at home in Finland.

-You can follow all information and news on the official website rally-croatia.com and the official channels on Facebook and Instagram.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Croatia Rally 2021: WRC Stars Coming to Zagreb, Karlovac, and Krapina-Zagorje Counties!

March 23, 2021 - We're less than a month away until the start of the Croatia Rally 2021, the third race of the World Rally Championship.

HRT reports that this year, there will be more than 300 km of special stages at the Croatia Rally. Due to the epidemiological situation, the Super Special speed test will not be held at the Zagreb Fair. Still, the itinerary remains attractive and challenging enough for the best drivers in the world. The best crews and speedsters in the world will thus race in Croatia, particularly in the area of Zagreb and Zagreb, Karlovac, and Krapina-Zagorje counties.

The competition will begin with a ceremonial start in front of the National and University Library in Zagreb on April 22. It will last until April 25, when crews are expected to finish at Zagreb's St. Mark's Square.

"We hoped until the last moment and believed that we would be able to organize races at the Fair. But the epidemiological situation did not go our way. These are tests that would gather a larger number of people in a small space, and part would be driven inside the pavilion, so it would be difficult or impossible to maintain the prescribed epidemiological distance. The health of all participants is our number one priority, and we decided to shorten the itinerary. The rest of the competition will be held according to the schedule," said the Croatia Rally president of the Organizing Committee, Daniel Šaškin.

Despite the shortened route, Croatia Rally remains the first competition with more than 300 km of speed tests after the Rally Catalunya - Costa Daruda 2019. FIA ​​and WRC delegates were satisfied with what was seen in Croatia during last week's inspection. They believe holding the rally in a big city like Zagreb is a big plus, where, in addition to service, there will also be locations for the ceremonial start and finish. They also rated the speed tests as attractive and challenging.

"What makes us happy are the applications, and it is already clear that all WRC stars will be driving in Croatia, who will be fighting for important championship points on our tracks. Conceptually, after shortening the Croatia Rally route, it did not change significantly. The only location that will not be driven is at the Fair, near the service parking lot, and all other locations outside Zagreb will remain as planned. Friday and Saturday are reserved for expressways in the Samobor hills, Žumberak, and the Karlovac area. On Sunday, they will drive across Sljeme and in the vicinity of Kumrovec," said rally director Slaven Dedić.

Croatia Rally will score points for WRC, WRC-2, WRC-3, and Junior WRC. There will be a big fight in all classes, and currently leading in the strongest category is 20-year-old Finn Kalle Rovanperä, a Toyota driver. Second place is held by Belgian Thierry Neuville from Hyundai, while third is the seven-time world champion, Frenchman Sebastien Ogier from Toyota.

It is expected that the teams in Croatia will present the latest evolutions of cars for the first time because, in the first two competitions of the season, they did not need the maximum potential of competition vehicles due to wet and snowy conditions. The organizers still hope that the spectacle will not pass without spectators.

"In Estonia last year, the authorities allowed the holding of WRC competitions with the public in specially designated zones. I believe that something similar could be organized in Croatia. We have 150 kilometers of tracks, which potentially offer views from the road's left and right sides. There is no shortage of room to keep the epidemiological distance, and we have prepared special COVID protocols. They will have to be adhered to by all participants, officials, and spectators if allowed to come. For those who will not be able to be by the track, there are broadcasts on Croatian Radio and Television that I believe will have a large audience," concluded Šaškin.

You can read more about Croatia Rally 2021 HERE.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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