Destinations - Total Croatia Thu, 30 Mar 2023 11:10:15 +0200 en-gb Where to Stay and Eat in Split in 2022? What are the accommodation options in Split, where should you eat and party in Split?

  • Capital of Dalmatia, City of Emperor Diocletian – welcome to Split, Croatia!
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  • What to do in Split: 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay in Split?
  • Where to eat in Split?
  • Where to party in Split: bars, cafés and nightlife
  • Top 5 day trips from Split
  • 5 things you didn't know about Split
  • How to be a Split local?
  • Concerts, Festivals and Events in Split
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  • Where to stay in Split

    Many travellers to Croatia that have only recently discovered this destination are surprised when they learn Split is actually a rather new travel hotspot. It is an ancient, important regional centre, so there were always people travelling and staying in Split, but for much of its modern history it was mainly a transit point. A hub for further travelling to the islands or towards the south of the country. Today, it is being discovered by international travellers. This means the local accommodation is growing and becoming more diverse.  

    Split Croatia Hotels

    While there is plenty of choice in Split, peak season will often see many of the local hotels booked up. Booking early is a great strategy in normal year. In 2021, while the COVID19 related restrictions are still not lifted completely, last minute bookings will be more common. You might even catch some special offers and discounts.

    Recommended Split Hotels

    Radisson Blu Resort & Spa

    Radisson Blue is a 5 star seaside property with plenty of rooms and a wide range of amenities. It is a large resort complex that will appeal to all those wishing to relax in luxury and pamper themselves. Not far away from the historical centre of Split (30-40min walking), Radisson provides a rarely seen opportunity to enjoy all the comfort of a beachfront resort within a big urban area. Great service, amazing sea views, modern and spacious room, and a great spa centre will have this hotel ranking high on many people’s wish lists.

    Hotel Park

    It is often tradition that enriches a hotel. They know this well in the oldest Split hotel – Hotel Park. It was opened in 1921 becoming the first modern hotel in the city. Its café has been one of the centres of local social life for decades. After a thorough renovation Hotel Park continues providing excellent service to new generations of discerning guests. Great restaurant and a nice offer of wellness amenities, including a salt room, are going to appeal to many. The rooms in this 5 star hotel are endowed with a spirit of old world charm, while café and breakfast are going to make you sit and enjoy yourself for longer than you’ve planned. Hotel Park is conveniently located close to popular Bacvice beach and the city’s historical centre.

    Le Méridien Lav

    Although it sits just outside of the city borders, in suburban settlement of Podstrana, it would be a shame to omit this hotel from the list. Old Lav Hotel was a staple of luxurious accommodation in Split and synonymous with great service. After the acquisition by Le Méridien it was thoroughly renovated into a beautiful beachfront property with high quality standards. This 5 star resort style hotel is a great choice for those wishing to vacation in luxury, away from the main urban hustle and bustle. It provides top class amenities and dining so you will not have to leave the property during your stay unless you want to. With great spa & wellness centre and top class dining outlets, Le Méridien Lav will be your one stop shop for a relaxing and re-charging holiday.

    Cornaro Hotel

    Looking for centrally located accommodation, but don’t want to give up on great service, amenities of a larger hotel, and high quality standard in room design? Hotel Cornaro has you covered. This 4 star property is located a stone’s throw away from the Diocletian’s Palace. It is an elegant hotel with spacious rooms and pleasant public areas. The staff is very friendly and keen to help and their breakfast spread will provide the perfect start to the day. Of course, hotel’s location will be the main draw for many. While staying in Cornaro most of Split’s most famous landmarks and social life spots will be within easy reach.

    Marvie Hotel & Health

    Marvie is the first ever health hotel in Croatia. It features an amazing wellness & spa centre focused on relaxation and rejuvenations. On-site fitness centre is also available as are MediDerm anti-aging clinic and a dental medicine centre. Along with a large indoor pool, hotel’s rooftop pool terrace is especially popular with guests. All this is available within easy walking distance for Firule beach, close to all the necessary urban amenities and the historical centre. Marvie is a 4 star hotel with great reviews and plenty of reasons to make your stay in it a long one.

    Best Split Croatia Boutique Hotels

    Vestibul Palace

    “Centrally located” is a term used often to describe hotels. Vestibul Palace gives it a whole ne meaning. This boutique hotel is located at the very centre of Diocletian’s Palace. It was made by merging three different residences, one from Roman era, one originally in gothic style and one designed under renaissance era. It is hard to imagine a better foundation for a classy accommodation. Vestibul Palace offers beautifully decorated 5 star rooms and high service standards. It is one of the most renowned boutique hotels in the country. Along with amazing building and great accommodation, amenities offered to guests including private boat tours will have you booking your next stay as soon as you leave.

    Palace Judita Heritage Hotel

    On the main square within the historical centre sits Palace Judita. This renovated 16th century building houses a 4 star heritage boutique hotel with beautiful interiors reminiscent that evokes the ideals of classical luxury. Located on 13th century Narodni Trg (People’s Square), popularly known as Pjaca, you can be certain Palace Judita will help you connect with the authentic spirit of old Split. Along with beautiful décor and a good offer of additional services, one of the key strengths of the hotel is knowledgeable and very helpful staff. They will ensure you not only have a pleasant stay, but also give advice on how to use your time in Split the most effectively.

    Aparthotel Posh

    Newcomer on the scene, aparthotel Posh is a modern and sleek 5 star property. It offers brand new, superbly furnished suites and a lovely infinity pool terrace with sea view. It is located just above Zenta marina and Trstenik beach. That is a central location, close to the historical centre of Split and within easy walking distance to some of the best city beaches and related amenities. Key words in aparthotel Posh are design and space. All units are spacious, feature a full kitchen facility and are designed to suit all the needs of a modern travellers. The building itself is beautiful and compliments the location perfectly. Staff is very attentive and knowledgeable and the offer of additional services will make your stay at Posh an experience to remember.

    Heritage Hotel 19

    This beautifully decorated 4 star property is very conveniently located between the historical centre of Split and Marjan park. Riva promenade, main sightseeing spots, recreational areas and beaches are all within easy walking distance. The hotel itself features carefully designed interiors with outside dining terrace perfect for enjoying the pleasant Mediterranean weather. High standards of accommodation and great service in the heart of the city will tick all the right boxes for those looking for a boutique hotel in Split.

    Time Hotel

    While there are many amazing boutique hotels within the historical centre, not everybody wants to be in the centre of the action. In Gripe neighbourhood of split is a modern 4 star boutique hotel Time. It is the proof you don’t always have to go to a large hotel if you want your spa & wellness pampering while on holiday. Time features comfortable rooms of modern, clean design. It features a new wellness centre that boasts Finnish sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, massage and facial treatment rooms and much more. One of the key points is breakfast which is a la carte and offers enough amazing options to satisfy the most demanding of palates.

    Split Apartments, Air BnB’s, Villas

    Croatians love owning rental properties. Traditionally, Croatian people own their real estate and rarely rent. This is why many people today own multiple properties, often handed down to them from their parents or grandparents. Many of these get converted into apartments or houses for rent during the summer season or year round. With this in mind, there is plenty of choice out there, but the quality varies immensely.

    When looking for an apartment within Split make sure to get all the necessary information before making your decision. Some of the places can be tiny and look bigger in photos and some will be beautiful inside, but will be surrounded by ugly or poorly maintained buildings.

    On the upside, there are many apartments that were just recently renovated and adapted to renting. There are usually well decorated with new installations and furnishings and will offer all the luxury of a higher end hotel accommodation at a lower price.

    House and villas for rent are more numerous around the city than within Split. With amazing countryside area and beautiful islands, it’s not difficult to see why. For a family vacation or a romantic retreat definitely go for something outside of the main urban sprawl and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet and amazing natural beauty of the local area.

    What is the best area to stay in Split Croatia? (neighborhoods)

    Sprawled out under Klis Hill, Split is full of interesting neighbourhoods to stay in. Depending on whether you are after amazing views, different local communities or proximity to amenities, your choices might vary. Budget, of course, is another important aspect to consider.

    A few years ago, leading local tour guide, Ivica Profaca, wrote a very detailed overview of the neighbourhoods of the city for TCN. Starting with an overview of the neighbourhoods for your needs, Ivica then took us on the following weekly tour: Diocletian’s Palace; then the quiet labyrinth on Marjan; then Meje, the district with a view; after that a visit to the land of Hajduk; then the beach heaven of Bacvice and Firule; then off the beaten path; and finally, a journey back in time to the Socialist era.

    Where to Eat in Split?

    Best Split Restaurant?

    Of course, we are not going to tell you the best restaurant, simple because it would be impossible to do so. The fact is, there are amazing restaurants in Split in basically all the price brackets. It will be up to each individual hungry traveller to decide on what makes a restaurant great in their mind. However, we can tell you there are some great fine dining options in Split, but we might go for something a bit more personal and intimate. There are great little places all around Split’s most popular areas that will feature truly local dishes. Explore those if you are after something authentic to Split and you just might find the best restaurant in town, according to you.

    Recommended Split Croatia Restaurants

    With plenty to choose from, we could make a much longer list, but we'll leave something for your to discover on your own. To help you start your dining adventure in Split, here are some of our favourite restaurants.

    Zrno Soli

    Zrno Soli is a fine dining establishment located in ACI Marina in Sustipan. The restaurant features amazing views over bay towards Riva promenade. It is 10 years old and within that time it became renowned for great quality food and amazing service. The menu consists mostly of Croatian dishes with special emphasis on sea food. The presentation might be modern, but the aromas and tastes are very much traditional. It can be pricy, depending on what you eat and drink. But, if you are looking for a great restaurant where everything is up to par even for the most demanding clientele, you will come to Zrno Soli.

    Konoba Matoni

    Konoba ma:Toni is a charming restaurant close to Bacvice and the ferry port. It focuses on general Mediterranean inspired dishes. The key are locally sourced ingredients and seasonally changed menu. With beautiful indoor and outdoor seating area, it makes for a perfect place for a summer lunch or a romantic dinner. In Matoni they also pride themselves with a selection of vegan dishes and special kids’ menu. Wine list features some local and regional favourites and plenty of wines per glass.

    Bokeria Kitchen & Wine

    Speaking of good wine selection, Bokeria Kitchen & Wine is a place for all hungry wine lovers. Bokeria is set in the historical centre of Split and makes great use of the beautiful historic building it occupies. Food on the menu is mostly Mediterranean in its essence and relies heavily on the quality of primary ingredients and delightful simplicity. But, Bokeria will not shy away from some international favourites like burgers and tacos which will always come prepared with their on twist on the familiar theme. With great selection of wine that will be recommended by knowledgeable and pleasant staff, comes great selection of appetizers and bites that will make Bokeria perfect for both large meals and light lunches or snacks.


    Restaurant Mazzgoon features modern Croatian cuisine. Young team of the restaurant named after a stubborn burden animal push their own vision of what modern eating in Croatia should be. And people love it. Restaurant is within the city’s historical centre and outside seating will be a special treat, being surrounded by ancient buildings Food on the menu is creative and undeniably inspired by local favourites. The presentation of the food is beautiful and the overall vibe is of an energetic and exciting eatery well worth visiting more than once.

    Reastaurant Kadena

    We are finishing the list off with fine dining. Kadena restaurant is an upscale dining spot adjacent to Zenta port/marina. The emphasis is on high quality ingredients and perfectly presented dishes. Suitable for both private and business dining, Kadena provides everything you need to dine in style. Menu is rich with options. It features Croatian and international favourites including Wagyu beef. At Kadena, you will have great options for breakfasts and snacks as well as main afternoon and evening meals. Wine list is one of the best in Split with plenty of top quality Croatian wines as well as carefully selected international options.

    Best Split Fast Food and Street Food Places

    When in Split, you will have plenty of options for affordable and interesting fast food. Whether you are looking for a quick bite during your night out, or you want to have a full lunch to go, you will find something perfect for you. These are just some of the great places we enjoy visiting ourselves.


    Popaj (Popeye) is a local legend. It is a typical old-school Croatian fast food serving everything and looking less than appealing. However, the prices are great, food is delicious and long working hours saw many drunken nights end well because of their life saving greasy food. Popaj’s menu is full of hot sandwiches, pizzas, tortillas, burgers and of course – cevapi. Cevapi are a favourite street food of Croatia (originating in Turkey, came here via Bosnia) that has mostly moved away from the street and into restaurants. It is therefore a welcomed pleasure finding these delicious minced meat treats in their street food form.

    BBQ Skatula

    It is advertised like “the only true barbecue place in Split” and that just might be right. It certainly might be the best. Skatula specialises in delicious barbecue favourites like ribs or pulled chicken and pork. You can find Skatula at the corner of Pojisanska and Viska, next to Popeye. They do take-out and delivery. You will however get the best experience if you buy and eat their food right at the spot while it is still hot and succulent. BBQ Skatula is a must visit fast food place for all barbecue lovers.

    Sexy Cow

    More meat you say? No problem. Sexy Cow is your mandatory stop on the quest for meat based fast food goodness. They do have a Veggie Cow on their menu which is delicious, but the star of the show are meat dishes with emphasis on beef. There are rump steaks, burgers and chicken dishes in wrap form and they are all equally delicious. Sexy Cow is going to be on the more expensive side when compared to some other fast food places in Split, but the price is still very reasonable.

    Daddy Cool

    Take a break from all the meat and visit Daddy Cool, Split’s first falafel bar. Ok, you can still find meat in their food if you so want, but the vegan options might be the way to go here. Daddy Cool makes great falafels and makes them pop with a nice selection of topping and great pita bread. Hummus is another star of the show. Their hummus bowls will leave you happy and pondering your next visit. Find Daddy Cool in the historical centre of the city in Zrinsko Frankopanska Street.

    Misto Street Food Factory

    Don’t mind the complex name. Misto is actually a very cool place that is not just about the food, but also about the vibe. This is the kind of street food place where you get more for your money if you come to it and eat at the spot. It’s colourful menu includes burgers, zucchini and potato fritters, vegan flatbreads, kus kus and much more. Interesntigly, there is also a selection of cocktails to enjoy at very affordable prices. Misto is a family run business with creative and interesting menu powered by local ingredients.

    Where should I go for dinner in Split?

    Needless to say, it again depends on the type of dinner you want, but the truth is, most restaurants will offer completely different experience during the evening. Night time changes the look of the city. The historica centre with narrow, stone cobbled streets will offer a special setting during the evening. Places that are too hot to sit in during the summer day become transformed into a perfect setting for a romantic dinner. Also, restaurants with the view to the city’s promenade of Diocletian’s Palace will offer much nicer backdrop when all the lights are on and the stars are out.

    Are there any Michelin star restaurants in Croatia?

    This is a very common question. There are currently seven Michelin star holders in Croatia. None of them are unfortunately in Split, which is surprising and hopefully soon to change. Closest of these to Split are LD Terrace in Korcula town on Korcula island and Pelegrini in Sibenik. Michelin guide recommended restaurants in Split are:  ZOI, Zrno soli, Kadena, and Dvor. In Trogir there is also Konoba TRS.

    Is Split expensive for food and drink?

    When it comes to prices, Split will hae both extremes. There are certainly places that are overpriced and historical centre restaurants and bars will undoubtedly be on the more expensive side. But, there are also many options that are very reasonably priced and some downright cheap places for food and drinks. It is all up to you to get informed and definitely, check the menu before sitting down and ordering. There is no need to overpay when in Split.

    Where to party in Split: bars, cafés and nightlife


    Split Riva

    Riva is Split palm-lined promenade. If you leave this city knowing nothing else about it, you’ve missed the whole point of living in Split. Riva is by far the most popular and important social artery of the city. It has been a place of socialising and relaxing for centuries and today represents first stop for many travelling to Split. Enjoying your favourite beverage (coffee) in one of the numerous open terraces on Riva is an absolute must for many locals and guests alike. People watching is also a must as is getting lost in conversation. There is no excuse for visiting Split and missing out on the true spirit of Mediterranean living by not enjoying Riva.

    Most Instagrammable Split cafés and bars

    Lvxor Café and Restaurant

    Lvxor is located on Peristil Square. This information alone is enough to let you know it is set in one of the most beautiful and important spots in the city. Surrounded by impressive palace pillars, the Cathedral of St. Domnius and ancient Egyptian sphynx, Lvxor boasts one of the most impressive settings in Croatia. Interior is also amazing with the Roman-gothic column still preserved in the middle of the bar and beautiful decorated ceilings.

    The Daltonist Craft Bar

    Just outside of Diocletian’s Palace, this cool bar offers quite a selection of craft beers, cocktails and other drinks, as well as some welcomed bar food. It is the rustic interior of the bar and the presentation of cocktails that make is very Insta-friendly. You will hardly be able to resist snapping a few photographs while there. Don’t think for a second the look of the place is the only thing worth visiting Daltonist for. It is a great addition to Split bas scene and a great place to go out to with friends.

    Cinema Bar – CineStar 4DX, Mall of Split

    Mall bars and cafés often leave much to be desired when it comes to the décor and general feel. Cinema Bar in Mall of Split is an exception to this rule. This recently opened bar is a part of a CineStar multiplex movie theatre. It was designed by renowned Croatian interior designers Dean Franic i Sasa Sekoranja and is a total eye candy. Colourful, yet not overwhelming, Cinema Bar features an eclectic mix of furniture and spacious design. It is adorned with movie posters and books and provides for a great place for drinks with friends.

    Noor Bar

    Noor Bar advertises itself as “Probably the biggest small bar in the world”. Its tiny interior is beautifully decorated and well worth photographing, especially the dimly lit bar area. The bar is within the Diocletian’s Palace area, and the narrow street and nearby stairs offer seating opportunities for the patrons. The setting is amazing and it will make you stick around for quite some time. Bar’s famous cocktails are both delicious and beautiful to behold.

    Any of the Riva Cafés

    Realistically, any of the cafés on Riva promenade might find themselves on the list of instagrammable places simply for the location they occupy. Terraces of these bars and cafés will give you wonderful views of the promenade and the port. People walking down Riva will come in all shapes and shades of interesting – from the eccentric to the gorgeous.

     Is Split Croatia good for nightlife?

    With large population of young people and growing in popularity among young guests, Split is known as a city where you can have plenty of fun at night. This is especially true during the summer. So, Split is great for nightlife, but not during the entire year. Rainy winter and late autumn months could leave you bored at night.

    Here’s a look at some of the best nightlife in the city.

    Is Split Croatia a party place?

    Since globally popular Ultra Music Festival started doing their European festivals in Split, the reputation of the city as a party destination. If you are coming to Split for partying, know that you will have options, especially if you are looking into the surrounding areas and islands as well. Hvar Island and Split in one party vacation during the summer, might be the right recipe. However, Split is far from being just a party destination. You will be disappointed if you expect 24/7 partying on all the city streets and beaches. When travelling to party, take into account Dalmatian islands as well and take note of where and when big festivals are held.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Thu, 14 Apr 2022 16:30:43 +0200
    Top Things You Have to Do in Split in 2022? Find out what not to miss in Split and what you should know about it!

  • Capital of Dalmatia, City of Emperor Diocletian – welcome to Split, Croatia!
  • Split, Croatia Weather
  • Split Map
  • How to get to Split
  • Getting around Split
  • What to do in Split: 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay in Split?
  • Where to eat in Split?
  • Where to party in Split: bars, cafés and nightlife
  • Top 5 day trips from Split
  • 5 things you didn't know about Split
  • How to be a Split local?
  • Concerts, Festivals and Events in Split
  • Split for Kids
  • English-Speaking Split: Where can I find...
  • What to do in Split: 5 things not to miss

    Split is one of the most interesting and exciting cities in Croatia. Obviously, you will not have problems finding things to do when staying here. But, where to start? Out of all the amazing things to explore, which ones you should not miss?

    History and Culture

    Split is a historical city. First recorded mentions of an Ancient Greek settlement in the area of today’s Split date back to estimated 3rd century BC. Crucial urban development was the building of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace in 305 AD. The emperor used the palace to spend his retirement days in. Famously, this is where Split was born. Subsequently, it grew from within the vacant palace and turned it into the historical city centre we know and love today. For those who expect to see a palace as a building - in Split, the Palace is the city itself.

    Diocletian’s Palace and the Historical Centre

    Nowadays, Split's historical core is on UNESCO's list of world historical heritage, earning that status in 1979, even before Venice. It consists of Diocletian's Palace, and medieval (or later) buildings inside the Palace and toward Riva (waterfront) or to the west up to Marmontova Street and colonades on Prokurative. Also, the old town includes Riva, the colourful green market, and the area north of Palace, with city Giardino, Art museum complex, and statue of Gregory of Nin, among other things.

    This historical centre is perfect for exploration. Simply put on your walking shoes and get lost in the narrow streets of the ancient city. Discover small shops, cafés and eateries. Marvel at ancient architecture and take plenty of photos.

    Almost all historical attractions in Split are based in the city's centre, it's a collection of at least Top 10 "what to see" in Split, including Peristil Square, Palace's substructures, Diocletian's quarter, all the main city squares, churches, etc. Also, most of the popular restaurants and cafés are there. The most popular Croatian promenade – Split Riva is also adjacent to the historical centre.

    Don’t miss

    While exploring the historical centre, do not miss the Cathedral of St. Domnius (Katedrala Sv. Duje) and its 57m tall tower. This beautiful cathedral dates back to 7th century, with plenty of alterations done to it throughout history. The bell tower of the cathedral dates back to 13th century. Another must visit historical sight are the cellars of the Diocletian’s Palace, as is the nearby Temple of Jupiter. This temple was built in honour of the ancient Roman god Jupiter. Construction lasted between 205 and 305 AD. You can find it just around the corner from Peristil, before the entrance to the temple you can find one of twelve Egyptian sphinxes Emperor Diocletian brought over from Egypt.

    Pusti Me Proc Street (eng.“Let Me Pass Street”) is a narrow street, only 57 centimetres wide. It is just around the corner from the Temple of Jupiter. Typically, only one person can pass through the street at a time, and it surely makes for a great photo op!

    Museums and Galleries

    While Diocletian’s Palace itself is a living and breathing museum, the City of Split boasts many captivating museums and galleries that will have you hooked.

    The Split City Museum is located within a Gothic Palace once owned by the Papalic family who settled in Split in the early 14th century. The contents inside tell the story of Split’s history, through paintings, sculptures, documents and more. More information is available on the official website of the Split City Museum. On the same website you will be able to find information on the basement halls of Diocletian’s Palace. These halls will give you a unique insight into the construction and history of the palace, but also the early history of Split. Aside from their immense historical value, they are recently popular for being one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones Series in Croatia.

    Did you know that Split’s Archaeological Museum dates back to 1820 and is the oldest museum in the country? On display are archaeological finds dating from prehistoric era to early Christian and Old Croatian items. For more information, check out their website.

    Museum of Fine Arts is another important classical arts spot in the city. Notably, it features 3500 art pieces. The oldest ones date back to 14th century and the collection extends into the modern era. There are many valuable pieces by Croatian masters and artists from the territories of ex-Yugoslavia. Additionally, international artists featured all have a connection to Split.


    The setting at Ivan Mestrovic Gallery is worth the visit alone. Don’t let that sway you from going inside and enjoying the works of the most important Croatian sculptor of the 20th century and beyond. Ivan Mestrovic was a master sculptor, architect and writer. His work is seen today in many places around Croatia and the world. His statues are impressive and convey emotions so well it is almost unpleasant at time. Don’t miss his work while in Split.


    For more contemporary art you might want to check out Jaman Art Gallery. This hip gallery features the work of local academic painter Danijel Jaman. Undoubtedly, it is vibrant, colourful and energetic. Location of the gallery is within the historical centre and is definitely worth a visit.

    If you’re more into frogs, Split even has an option for you at Froggyland, where you can find a unique collection of 507 taxidermy frogs depicting the everyday life of humans. 

    Don’t Forget the Theatre

    Croatian National Theater of Split or HNK, as the locals call it, first opened back in 1893. It is one of the oldest surviving theatres in Dalmatia. At the time of its completion, the theatre could hold 1,000 people, making it the largest in South-eastern Europe at the time. HNK has seen it all - from many names to the great operas and operettas of Ivo Tijardović, the Italian occupation during WWII, to almost complete destruction in a fire of 1970. Today, HNK Split puts on hundreds of performances a year - from ballets and operas to plays, orchestra concerts and festivals. If you have the chance to visit the theatre, you won’t be sorry. Here is the full schedule of events.

    Make sure to explore beyond these recommendations as Split truly has something for everyone.

    Which Split Croatia Beach to choose?

    Not only is Split the most beautiful city with stunning people and a ton of things to see and do, but Split is also blessed with some fantastic beaches, several of which are within walking distance of the centre.


    There was no doubt which beach needs to be the first on this list. While it might not be the biggest, Bacvice is perhaps the most renowned beach in Croatia. It is a staple of Split. Short walk from the Diocletian’s Palace, this city beach is traditional swimming spot for Split locals. Today it is popular with locals and visitors alike. It is a sandy beach with plenty of shallow area, perfect for a game of Picigin, which originated in Split. The game itself is very simple. The only real goal is to keep a small ball in the air for as long as possible without holding it. With the shallow water and soft, sandy bottom, the game allows for fun acrobatics while running and jumping after rogue balls. Bacvice Beach features sun umbrellas and sunbeds for rent and has a paved area suitable for swimmers with reduced mobility.

    Znjan and Trstenik

    If plenty of amenities is your choice, go for Znjan or Trstenik. These two beaches are connected by a promenade and are both popular. Znjan is the busier of the two with plenty of food and beverage options around. It is popular with families and young people, so make sure to go there early if you are thinking of spending some time there. Alternatively, go for Trstenik. This pebbly beach is quite spacious and there are plenty of sun umbrellas and sunbeds for rent. It is managed by Radisson Blu Hotel and is very well maintained. There are also cafés around so you will have an option of grabbing a quick drink while there.


    Bene is a beach is perfect for those looking to stay active or simply looking for a bit more shade. Pine trees surround this interesting rocky beach with man-made plateaus and sandy bottom. It is a part of a recreational centre. Nearby there are tennis courts, an open air gym, football field and children’s playground. It is a perfect choice for those who wish to enjoy some physical activity on Marjan Hill and cool off in the refreshing Adriatic.


    Kasjuni is another beautiful beach in Marjan area. It lies towards the western point of Marjan and provides for nice views over the hill. It is a pebbled beach accesses by road, local bus number 12 or by walking or cycling from the city centre. There are amenities on the beach including a lounge bar and parasols and sunbeds for rent. Interestingly, the only Split nude beach is also very close.

    Kastelet and Jezinac

    Not really side by side, but very close to each other are beaches Kastelet and Jezinac. They are both very close to Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. Kastelet mainly attracts younger crowd, so be prepared for plenty of noise and activity. It is a good place to meet the locals. It is made up of either fine or larger pebbles. Jezinac is pebbly and sandy in parts and is popular with families as it provides a safe place for children to swim. Both there beaches have nearby cafés and bars and will have some basic amenities.

    Does Split Croatia have sandy beaches?

    Split is blessed with some sandy beaches. First that comes to mind is Bacvice beach, but nearby Firule is also a beautiful sandy beach. It is close, but usually not as crowded as Bacvice. Some beaches like Bene will have sandy bottom, while not having a sandy shore. Those that dislike sand getting in their beach gear will find this to be the perfect combo.

    Marjan – green lungs of Split

    Marjan Forest Park covers the westernmost tip of Split Peninsula. It is a green oasis, which has been cherished by the citizens of Split for generations and is considered the ‘lungs of the city.’ It covers a vast area, the size of New York’s Central Park and offers a myriad of activities and sites. Take the challenge of the Marjan vertical run. It is a great adventure destination in general, with biking and rock climbing of particular interest. There are countless paths what wend through the forests and along the coast, revealing a well-tendered landscape, jagged beaches, vista points, ancient chapels, and even a zoo.


    You can take an easy stroll or a jog to the peak of Marjan hill, Telegrin, marked by the Croatian flag at 178m above sea level offering breath-taking views over Split and the Adriatic horizon. Alternatively, conduct your Marjan discovery on bike, which you can rent from the Northern Entrance to the park (a.k.a. Marjanska Vrata) for 15kn per hour; there are plenty paved roads and off-road routes to choose from.

    Spots to Discover

    Sustipan: A peninsula that closes off the city harbour to the west is an old cemetery nestled on a cliff face. It is a popular rock climbing spot for if you have the gear.

    Sv. Jere Church: This magnificent little church was constructed into the rock face in 1500; a Croatian version of the Petra of Jordan if you will.

    Vidilica Café: Found at the summit of a flight of stairs from taken from the Varos neighbourhood, here you can sip your coffee while taking in the best city panoramas.

    The Zoo: Probably one of the smallest animal havens in the world but a great visit for kids.

    Kašjuni and Bene Beaches: We’ve already mentioned these wonderful beaches that provides a quiet city getaway in pristine nature.

    Getting to Marjan

    It is prohibited to drive through Marjan Forest Park but you can park by the Northern Gate (a.k.a. Marjanska Vrata). Get to the Northern Gate on foot by heading up Plinarska Street directly behind the National Theatre of Split (HNK), cross Prilaz Vladimira Nazora Ulica and continue west down Mandalinski Put. You can also get to Marjan from the city by climbing the stairs to Vidilica from the Varoš neighbourhood west of Riva promenade.

    Alternatively, you can access from the southern side by passing through the Marjan tunnel to the Meje neighbourhood and turn right at the T-junction and continue west along Setaliste Ivana Mestrovica until a ramp stops you from driving further. Park nearby and walk the rest of the way.

    You can also hop on bus 12 from Riva and get off at the last stop, directly by Bene beach.

    Hajduk Split – Torcida Split

    Where to begin with Hajduk Split? This iconic football club with long and illustrious history is more than just a football club. It is the single most recognizable symbol of the city. The club itself was formed in 1911 while Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Four college students, away at a university in Prague, Czechia, laid the foundation for Hajduk. Their names were Fabjan Kaliterna, Vjekoslav Ivanisevic, Lucijan Stella and Ivan Sakic.

    Crazy History

    Throughout its history, Hajduk Split conquered many national and local championships and cup titles. In 1924 ten of their players played in the starting line-up of national team of Yugoslavia in the game against Czechoslovakia. Famous Split composer Ivo Tijardovic composed an operetta in Hajduk’s honour in 1926 entitled “Queen of a Ball”. During World War II Hajduk was proclaimed the official team of the antifascist movement. They played a game against the team of the British Army in Bari, Italy, in front of forty thousand people. It is said this was the biggest attendance for a sporting event during WWII in Europe. During the 1970’s Hajduk won 4 Yugoslav National Championship titles and 5 successive cup titles. It became the first football champion of Croatia following the Homeland War of 1990’s.

    Currently, the club is in turmoil and it has been a while since it won a title. In 2008, Hajduk Split became a first sporting joint-stock company in Croatia. Through this model, the club is financed through local businesses, Split City Government and the fans. While the club is struggling at the moment, there is an inevitable feeling the return of Hajduk is just a matter of time. As the most popular local saying goes, “Hajduk lives forever”.

    For more on the club’s history and detailed information on their calendar and tickets, check out their website.


    Torcida Split, official supporter’s club of Hajduk is the oldest football “firm” in Europe. They were formed in 1950 in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. It is nothing short of ironic Torcida was formed in the city that houses Hajduk’s eternal rivals – Dinamo Zagreb. Torcida and its influence on local culture is the reason for the status Hajduk holds in Split and the rest of Croatia. Where ever you go in Split, you will see symbols of Torcida painted on sides of buildings and cars. Young and old are seen walking around with shirts bearing Torcida’s logos and chants. And this is not on game day. This is just a regular day in Split. There are branches of Torcida all over the country, especially along the coast.

    They can be seen as hooligans at times, but no one can deny this organisation is well known for stepping in when the community needs them. Torcida Hajduk has been seen organising relief efforts during disasters, like 2020 earthquakes in central Croatia. Every year they organise various humanitarian efforts and get involved in the community. But on game day, they create the type of environment you can’t help but watch in amazement and cheer on. Torcida is in many ways indivisible from Split local culture. If you take a look at their 70’s birthday celebration in Split, you will know just how true this is.

    Hajduk Experience

    While there are a handful of ways you can really dig deep into Split’s local life, partaking in the events of Split’s beloved football club, Hajduk, is certainly one of them. A game at Poljud stadium, which was built in the late 1970s for the Mediterranean Games, will not be your ordinary football experience, however. Thanks to Hajduk’s loyal and fanatical supporters, Torcida, the games at Poljud are a spectacle you’ll remember for a lifetime. From the flares to the songs and organized choreography, you just might become a Hajduk fan forever. The best games to catch are the derbies against Dinamo, Rijeka, and Osijek - and if there aren’t any games going on while you’re in town, you could always take a tour of the stadium instead. 

    5 Things You didn't Know about Split

    It has the oldest cathedral in the world

    We regards the Cathedral of Saint Domnius as the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world that remains in use in its original structure. It was consecrated at the turn of the 7th century AD

    Death of the last legal Roman Emperor

    On April 25, 480 the last legal Emperor of the Western Roman Empire Julius Nepos was killed on the streets of Diocletian's Palace. There is even a street bearing his name and a mural with his biography in the city.

    It has the most Olympic medal winners of any city in the world per capita.

    Split is a famous sporting city. From Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic to semi-religious phenomena of Hajduk to more than seventy Olympic medal winners.

    Morpurgo, the third oldest bookstore in Europe

    There are several things in Split which might go in the European top five in its category, one of them is Morpurgo bookstore. One of the most prominent members of local Jewish community Vid Morpurgo founded it in 1860 on the Split's Pjaca. It is the third oldest in Europe still operating in the same venue.

    It is the only city in the world that produces chocolate in the shape of a vinyl record which actually plays music!

    Work of a local chocolatier Marinko Biskic, chocolate records that play music are his attempt to connect his two greatest passions in life.

    For these and more fabulous facts about this amazing city, here are 25 things to know about the Dalmatian capital.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Thu, 14 Apr 2022 16:17:04 +0200
    Getting To, From and Around Split How to get to Split, how to get from Split to the islands, how to get around the town?

  • Capital of Dalmatia, City of Emperor Diocletian – welcome to Split, Croatia!
  • Split, Croatia Weather
  • Split Map
  • How to get to Split
  • Getting around Split
  • What to do in Split: 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay in Split?
  • Where to eat in Split?
  • Where to party in Split: bars, cafés and nightlife
  • Top 5 day trips from Split
  • 5 things you didn't know about Split
  • How to be a Split local?
  • Concerts, Festivals and Events in Split
  • Split for Kids
  • English-Speaking Split: Where can I find...
  • Split Croatia Map

    Detailed maps of Split, Split historical centre and the suburbs are available for download on the website of Split Tourist Board. Follow this link to access the downloadable .pdf files.

    How to get to Split


    Airplane is as very popular mode of travelling to Split. Split International Airport Resnik (SPU) handled 3,3 million guests in the year 2019. This made it the second busiest airport in the country. The numbers in the first half of 2021 are far from 2019 because of COVID19 related restrictions. Still, it is the belief of many that Split will soon bounce back to the recent numbers of passengers. Perhaps even increasing those of 2019.

    If you are landing in Split airport, you will most probably have no problems making your way around. It is a small airport and easy to navigate. Outside of the arrivals section you will find local taxis and the airport shuttle bus. Shuttle bus will take you to the city’s main bus station. Tickets cost 35kn and are available to purchase online from the operator’s website.

    Public buses are also available and they go from a nearby bus stand. Bus lines number 37 (Split – Trogir) and number 38 (Split Airport – Kastel Stari – Split) are both stopping there. You can find the timetable for all the lines here.

    In addition to this, all the detailed information about getting to and from Split airport can be found on our dedicated page.

    Split Airport

    Split Airport Resnik is around 19km away from Split due north-west. It is in the town of Kastela, very close to the historical town of Trogir. The first airport serving Split area was actually in the town of Sinj. It was opened in 1931. Split would get most of its passengers from here or via a seaplane port in Divulje village close to Trogir. It was in the sixties that the new airport was established in Resnik. The year of opening was 1966. Since then, Split airport grew and was modified. The latest and most important development was finished in 2019. In 2019 the airport expanded to accommodate up to 5 million guests per year. An important addition is the bridge connecting the airport to the bus terminal and parking lot.


    If you are traveling to Split from the direction of Zagreb or Rijeka and Istria, the easiest way will be to use the Croatian motorway network. A1 motorway leads you all the way to Dugopolje village where you need to transfer to the local road leading you down into the city. Drive from Dugopolje and entrance to Split can be affected by heavy traffic, but overall it is not a long drive. It is around 20km in length and usually takes around 25 minutes.

    If you are travelling from Kvarner or Istria via motorway, you will use A6/E65 motorway to get to Bosiljevo junction where you will transfer to A1 and continue to Dugopolje/Split.

    zagreb to split motorway

    If you are travelling from Dubrovnik, you will be able to transfer to A1 at Ploce town, some 100 km due north-west of the city. To get to Ploce you will use D8 Adriatic Highway (Jadranska Magistrala). Once you transfer to A1 motorway, simply follow the signs for Split and get off the motorway at Dugopolje.

    Anywhere along the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka you are travelling from, you can use D8 as an alternative to the motorway. Places like Sibenik, Zadar, Crikvenica and already mentioned Dubrovnik and Rijeka are all connected via D8. Without a doubt, it is a beautiful route with plenty of options for stopping and sightseeing. It can, however, be painfully slow as it goes through countless settlements, villages and towns. If you are driving, here are some useful things to know.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Split? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.


    Split Train Station is in the centre of the city, adjacent to the bus station and the ferry port. It is also very close to the historical centre. The most popular line to Split is from Zagreb, but you can get to Split via train from many other smaller stations. The train operator is the national carrier Hrvatske Zeljeznice. Check out their website for departure and booking information.


    split to hvar krilo

    Split has always been a busy port. With many populated islands in its vicinity, local traffic is very active. So is the traffic from the rest of Croatian coast. Split is connected with Dubrovnik by high speed catamaran. Kapetan Luka Shipping Company operates two lines details of which you can find below:  

    Split – Milna, Brac – Hvar – Korcula – Pomena, Mljet – Dubrovnik

    Split – Bol, Brac – Makarska – Korcula – Sobra, Mljet – Dubrovnik

    More info on getting from Split to Dubrovnik is available on our dedicated page.

    Jadrolinija, national ferry company is very active in Split. This is their route map with blue line standing for car ferries and dotted yellow line depicting fast passengers only boats:


    For all the detailed information on all the lines, check out their official website.

    Jadrolinija also connects Split to Ancona in Italy via their international line and this is the schedule:


    Their detailed price list for ferry to Ancona is here.

    For more options and detailed information about connections between Croatia and Italy, check out our page.

    Split to Hvar, Vis, Brac, Solta

    When it comes to local archipelago of Split, options abound. Having a vacation in Split and missing out on the surrounding islands is nothing short of silly. As seen from the image of local Split area Jadrolinija lines in the previous section, this carrier offers the most options. Do check out Jadrolinija’s Split routes on the following link.

    Aside from Jadrolinija, Kapetan Luka (Krilo) is also a popular option. Their lines connect Split to Hvar and Korcula. For more information check out the links below:

    For more information, Total Croatia has prepared special guides (for all modes of transport) to and from the city: from Dubrovnik; from Zagreb; from Zadar; and from Hvar.

    How to get around

    The old town and riva is pedestrianised, and therefore getting around on foot is the best option. Distances are not far, and it helps that the ferry, bus, and train terminals are all close by and next to each other.

    Split Public Transportation

    Split public transportation company is called Promet Split. Its buses connect all the different districts of the city, but also the surrounding area. Split has a large suburban zones gravitating to the city. It connects the areas of towns of Solin and Kastela, all the way to Trogir on one side and down to Stobrec and Omis on the other side. Inland, Promet Split lines reach all the way to the town of Drnis. They also cover the island of Solta. For detailed maps of their city and suburban lines, as well as ticket prices, check out their official website. Most of the locations within Split fall into Zone 1 in the company’s price list. Zone 1 tickets for a single ride cost 9kn when bought on the kiosk, 11kn when bought in the bus. Daily ticket is 30kn.

    For more detailed instructions on using Split public transportation, check out an intro guide from TCN on using the bus in Split.

    Taxis, Uber

    There are plenty of options when it comes to taxis in Split. Bigger local companies include Radio Taxi and Zuti Taxi (Yellow Taxi). Other options are the national taxi companies Cammeo and Eko Taxi, and Bolt.

    Taxis in Split can be expensive (and you should ALWAYS make sure their meter is on should you use them), so here’s what their official pricelists say:

    Radio Taxi


    Zuti/Yellow Taxi (eng: year round)




    Eko Taxi


    Bolt Taxi


    Uber is another option that is always among the most popular. Their prices are usually very competitive, but they do change to reflect the demand and supply. Make sure to check both UBER and taxi options when searching for a ride.

    Whenever possible, use taxi apps in Split. They usually offer significantly cheaper options with the click of your mobile phone. Uber, Zuti Taxi, Bolt, Eko Taxi and Cammeo are just some of the taxi apps you can download. For one thing, we promise they will make your life much easier.

    Car rental in Split

    Car rental companies are many in Split. Most of them offer reliable and decent service and many are franchises of globally known companies like Sixt, Last Minute, EuropCar and similar. There are also very good Croatian companies that are important players in the market like Nova Rent a Car and Oryx.

    Of course, just because these companies are good and trustworthy doesn’t mean you don’t have to perform your due diligence when hiring a car by giving it a detailed inspection. Go over your contract and don’t be shy about asking questions, especially when it comes to insurance coverage.

    Split Parking

    As many other coastal cities in Croatia, parking can be a struggle to find in Split. There is, however, street parking and plenty of garages around. In fact, we’ve made a full 2019 TCN city parking guide two years ago that is still mostly accurate. Split Parking is the city company in charge of street parking and many of the garages. Here is the link with the map with all the garages and here is the one with street parking (you have to zoom in a bit to get the exact locations). New addition to Split Parking’s arsenal is the mobile app. It allows you to search for available spots, access navigation to the parking and purchase tickets. Some of the reviews don’t sound too good, but it is still worth a try. Follow these links for Android and iOS.

    Top 5 day trips from Split

    Walking Tours

    With a city of such pedigree and rich history, you know walking tours are going to be popular. Historical tours are the most popular, but are also a great way of getting to know the layout of the city centre. We recommend doing them as soon as you arrive. With a good local guide, the city will let you in on its many secrets, legends and stories. Group walking tours are very affordable and simple and hiring a private guide will give you the most opportunity for customization.

    Game of Thrones filming locations are also a popular addition to walking tours, although for real fans of the show, they are best combined with a visit to Klis Fortress outside of the city. Other walking tours include food and culinary tours.

    Boat tours, charters, cruises

    These are some of the most popular day trips out of Split. With so many beautiful islands around, it is hardly a surprise island hopping is such a popular choice. With regular ferries to Solta and Brac which take just an hour, a day trip to the islands on a budget is more than feasible.

    Most, however, opt to go just that little bit further. Hvar, Vis and the Blue Cave on Bisevo remain the most popular options, and every tour agency will have a planned excursion. There are group options with bigger boats and ships that will see you enjoying your day out without spending too much. In larger groups you are also likely to meet interesting people and socialise during the tour. Private boat charters are also very popular as they enable you to discover less known and less crowded areas.

    Wine Tours, Countryside Exploration

    Around Split there are some amazing wineries and vineyards. Centuries long tradition of wine making has made local vintners into masters of their craft. Some of the most exciting wineries can be found around kastela, in the town of Skradin, and in Sibenik and Split hinterland. Croatian varieties are the most popular in the area and among them you will find the world famous Zinfandel, locally known as Crljenak Kastelanski.

    Wide and diverse countryside region of Dalmatia is also full of interesting local eateries, countryside estates and food producers. Culinary tours or simply long weekend lunches away from the city are very popular with locals and tourists alike. Many Croatians will swear the best food is found away from the urban areas. Along with beautiful setting and clean air, this type of dining experience is one you shouldn’t deprive yourself of.

    Nearby Towns and Sights (Sibenik, Trogir, Zadar)

    Again, the choices are almost too numerous to handle. Close to home, Klis Fortress is better known as Meereen to Game of Thrones fans (here is how you get there by bus from Split), and Inland Dalmatia is a fascinating cultural and adventure playground, just 30 minutes by car from the coast. Many locals have little idea what is ‘behind the mountain’. Here are 25 things they are missing – and you are, too. The UNESCO town of Trogir is just the other side of the airport, while the magnificent Krka National Park is an hour away by bus or car. Many make it a national park double by taking in Plitvice Lakes as well.

    For a comprehensive look at the nearby interesting detonations, check out our list of places within an hour of driving (pretty much) from Split.

    A bit further away to the north you will find amazing historical towns of Sibenik and Zadar. Other popular day trips are to Dubrovnik, Mostar, and Medjugorje (don’t forget your passport for all three) – long but rewarding days, and they all add to the diversity of the tourist offer of Split.

    Active & Adventure Tours

    One thing you will undoubtedly notice with Split locals is how everyone seems to be very fit. This is not just in your head, Split is probably one of the most active cities in this part of Europe. Sports and physical activity of all kinds are very popular, so it makes sense active guests can find something for them during their vacation in Split. Aside from all the activities you can do on Marjan Hill or in local sports and fitness centres, there is quite a selection of active day trips to consider as well.

    Nearby Cetina river provides great options for rafting or canoein trips. There are also extreme canyoning experiences for those brave and fit enough. There is a zip line over Cetina as well with the views that will leave you breathless. Sea Kayaking tours and stand up paddle tours are growing in popularity in Split area. Rock climbing is popular in Omis area. There are bicycle tours on island of Hvar and in the hinterland and hiking is great just about anywhere in the area. Snorkelling and scuba diving are also among the most popular activities. For those not looking for much physical strain, ATV safaris, jeep safaris or sailing might be better options.

    Top 5 Day Trips

    Our quick choice for five specific best day trips out of Split goes like this:

    Boat tour to Brac and Solta
    Wine tour on Hvar Island
    Krka Waterfalls tour (combined with Sibenik or local winery visit)
    Cetina River rafting
    Combination of Split history and Game of Thrones filming locations tour (with Klis Fortress)

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Thu, 14 Apr 2022 16:13:26 +0200
    Split in a Page 2022: Tours, Islands, Heritage, Food, Wine & Fun Split is the second-largest city in Croatia. It is much more than that as all who venture here discover as soon as they walk its ancient streets. This historical city is a place where the true spirit of the Mediterranean still lives on. Split is also a gateway to all the wonders of the Croatian region of Dalmatia. Discover its historical centre and beautiful islands, explore its narrow streets full of life and give yourself over to the local lifestyle.

  • Capital of Dalmatia, City of Emperor Diocletian – welcome to Split, Croatia!
  • Split, Croatia Weather
  • Split Map
  • How to get to Split
  • Getting around Split
  • What to do in Split: 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay in Split?
  • Where to eat in Split?
  • Where to party in Split: bars, cafés and nightlife
  • Top 5 day trips from Split
  • 5 things you didn't know about Split
  • How to be a Split local?
  • Concerts, Festivals and Events in Split
  • Split for Kids
  • English-Speaking Split: Where can I find...
  • Capital of Dalmatia, City of Emperor Diocletian – welcome to Split, Croatia


    It was formerly known as the Gateway to the Islands and a mere transit destination for the majority of tourists. Today, Split is one of the hottest destinations on the Adriatic.

    Its attractiveness to foreigners dates back several centuries. UNESCO World Heritage Site Diocletian’s Palace has reinvented itself from the Roman Emperor’s retirement home to one of the coolest places to eat, drink and explore culture in Croatia.

    Is Split Croatia worth visiting?

    What do you want out of your Split holiday? Local history and lore? The historical centre within the area of the Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian is brimming with stories and legends. Within its magical walls, there is a mosque, a synagogue, and a basement which is known all over the world thanks to its hosting of HBO’s Game of Thrones. But it is in the alleys and squares that the palace comes alive. There are always new bars, cafes or restaurants and a lot more to discover.

    Do you want to enjoy the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle? There is much, much more to the city than just the Palace. Walk along the stylish Riva, having enjoyed your two-hour people-watching coffee first, and continue along the new West Coast Riva and ACI marina, followed by a trip to Marjan Hill, the green lungs of the Dalmatian capital.

    Are you a fan of art and culture on your trip? Do you want to explore every second of your stay? There are museums and art galleries aplenty, including the famous Mestrovic Gallery. Clearly, there are beaches to explore, increasingly attractive shopping, and some truly magnificent day trips. Those same islands are out there, but with an increased tourism offer, and the growing prowess of Inland Dalmatia – a fast emerging cultural and adventure playground – is worthy of exploring.

    Depending on the time of the year you decide to visit, Split will give you plenty of Mediterranean vibe, amazing areas to explore within and outside of the city, areas for swimming or being active, as well as plenty of delicious local food and wine. If any of this sounds like your type of vacation, book your flights to Split!

    Is Split Expensive?

    Compared to some other parts of the country, it can be expensive during summer especially. However, with a bit of good quality information (that’s why we’re here), you will be able to pretty much avoid overspending. Compared to some popular European destinations, it is rather moderately priced or even cheap. Split is a popular travel destination, it stands to reason it will have its tourist traps and businesses that survive mainly on tourists. However, Split is also Croatia’s second largest city, so it is by no means solely dependant on tourism or foreign visitors. There are plenty of businesses catering mainly to locals and you will be able to find some great value-for-money places outside of the main historical area.

    Is Split or Dubrovnik better?

    There is no straight yes or no answer. Split being bigger than Dubrovnik holds the key to you answering this question for yourself. Both places are historical cities that make great base for exploring the interesting surrounding area. Split will of course have way more of city amenities to choose from, while Dubrovnik is more focused on tourism as a community. While Split has been a popular international travel destination since recently, Dubrovnik has a long tradition of tourism at a high level. With this in mind, Dubrovnik is perhaps safer and quieter as a destination. This means, Split is generally more exciting. There are some good options for nightlife during the summer in Dubrovnik, but Split will be the winner in this category.

    With regards to the islands, beaches and day trips you can take, both offer amazing options. It will probably be easier to find cheaper accommodation and dining in Split, but the prices in the best areas will usually be similar

    Split offers more in the way of adventure for independent explorers. It will also offer more of an active local social life and entertainment options. Dubrovnik will offer more in a way of preserved history. Honestly, you should simply visit both.

    How long do you need in Split Croatia?

    Split is popular for short stays. Surely, many people come to Split on their way down Croatian coast. This is ok if you want to simply visit it to scratch it off your list, but it will not give you a full picture of what the city and the area are like. Split is great for a longer stay of at least 5 days or a week. Within the first two days you can get to know the historical centre and the main tourist areas. After that, you will have enough knowledge to venture further and explore the countryside and some of the islands. What ever time you have left you can use to enjoy the city as a local. Find your favourite beach, restaurant and café. Learn some local phrases and chill out with your new friends from Split.

    Is Split pet friendly?


    Split is a pet loving city. You will find local cats around fearing nothing and many locals will take their dogs with them were ever they go. Having said this, dogs will not be welcomed in all the stores and businesses, so make sure to inquire before going inside. Seeing how most of the bars and cafés work with outside terraces, dogs are mainly welcome, but they are expected to be on the leash. Additionally, restaurants might be a bit more restrictive.

    Hotels make their policies individually, as do owners of the private accommodation. Some will welcome pets of all sizes, some will only accept small ones and some will have specific rooms or units that allow pets in. It is not unusual to have a pet surcharge in local hotels which you need to take into account when budgeting your trip. Some of these businesses will not accept pets at all.

    Promet Split, local public transportation operator allows small dogs and pets aboard, but only in carriers without the exposed heads. Seeing eye dogs and other service dogs are allowed on board.

    Jadrolinija, the national ferry company, allows dogs, cats and birds aboard their ferries. Certainly, owners assume the responsibility for all animal needs and safety of those around them. All animals need to be on a leash and dogs have to have muzzles except for seeing eye dogs. Small animals are allowed in indoor areas only in boxes or cages. Surcharges may apply for when transporting animals in cabins and indoor areas. Kapetan Luka / Krilo has similar rules.

    Split Croatia Weather

    Split, Croatia

    How to be a Split Local?

    Being a Split local is not one thing. There are numerous ways of living a true Split lifestyle. This is a city with a long history, but so are many others. What distinguishes Split from many historical places is its long history of being a large urban area. Split has its local culture and values. It is a city with a soul of a small town. True Split locals are hard to impress. Your famous name or face might be enough to get you special attention in some other places, but not here. Split locals have their own way of living. Their own “đir”.

    How to Blend in?

    Be cool. Be relaxed. Split way of doing things is without stress.

    Whatever your personal style is, make sure to wear it proudly.

    Be active in sports, music or art. You don’t have to pick all three, but you have to pick one.

    Have an opinion on everything, especially football and politics. Make your opinion heard. Don’t fact check.

    Even if you don’t like football, support Hajduk. At least when they’re playing against Dinamo Zagreb.

    Drink coffee on Riva. Go to Marjan Hill on the weekend. Learn to play picigin.

    The best thing you can do when trying to impress Split people is not trying to impress them. They don’t care. Neither should you. Individuality works and stress is unhealthy.

    When looking to be a Split local, find a favourite song by a famous local artist and shed a tear when you hear it.

    Be proud of Split. Complain about it during the winter and praise it during the summer.

    Learn how to pronounce “’Ko more ovo platit!?” and don’t even worry about what it means. Just say it when you feel good. You will feel good often, when you are in Split.

    Concerts, Festivals and Events in Split

    Being the second bigger city in the country. Split’s yearly calendar of events and festivals is understandably full of interesting happenings. Even with COVID19 related restrictions not fully lifted during 2021 it still makes sense to read up on what’s happening in Split before arriving.


    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival scene took off, giving the city a very vibrant cultural feel. The most famous event is Ultra Europe, but Days of Diocletian, the Feast of Sv. Duje, Advent in Split, and the long Split Cultural Summer all more than play their part.

    Split Summer Festival (Splitsko Ljeto) will go on in 2021 under special social distancing and other anti-COVID measures. We are still waiting for the posting of the official program online. Make sure to check for it here prior to your arrival. Split Summer Festival traditionally starts on July 14th

    Ultra Europe was set to go on in 2021, but there is not real confirmation on the part of the organisers. In fact, the speculations say they will most likely cancel it for this year. To stay atop of the information regarding Ultra Europe Festival, check out their official website.

    Split hosts some of the best film festivals in the country. Take the Mediterranean Film Festival, for example, in the outdoor cinema of Bacvice Beach. It has become one of the most important cultural events in the city. This year it is happening in late June, 17th to 26th to be exact. To check out the program or book tickets, follow this link.

    FIBRA Fest is going to go ahead in the beginning of July with some important national and regional music names like Edo Maajka, Vojko V or Detour in attendance. Catch more information on this open air festival’s official Facebook page.

    Learn more about the various festivals in the Dalmatian capital.

    Music and Entertainment

    Music and concerts are very important to the local population. When the weather warms up it becomes easier to find musical entertainment in numerous city clubs and outdoor venues. Pandemic measures made concert announcements very difficult. Most of the events are confirmed at the last minute. With this in mind, it is not easy finding out concrete information about events ahead of time in 2021. The best thing to do is to start checking for local events a few weeks before you come to Split. We will also be bringing important news and announcements on Total Croatia and Total Croatia News.


    All the sports lovers in Croatia are hoping to get back to the stadiums and arenas in 2021 after a year of mostly staying at home, watching the games on TV. Summer will see broadcasting of EURO 2020 games around the city, in cafés and other open areas. Towards September, we are expecting the start of the new season of popular team sports in Croatia. Hajduk football club will once again be playing on the beloved Poljud Stadium. Hopefully, this season the fans will be back in the stands. Famous basketball club KK Split will also head into the new season to the delight of numerous basketball fans in the city. Many other team sports like water polo, volleyball or handball are due to start towards the end of the summer. Let's hope we get to watch them again with the roaring noise of loyal fans in the background.

    Split Marathon

    Split Marathon is happening on 26th of September. It is a sporting event with multiple races: marathon and relay marathon, half marathon, 5K run and kids’ race for children up to 14 years of age. The races start from Riva and they go around some of the most beautiful parts of Split. If you can’t race, at least come and cheer. This event promises to be a true celebration of running in the sportiest city in Croatia. More information is available on the event’s official website.

    Sinj Alka

    Although, not solely a sporting event, but also a cultural-historical celebration, Sinj Alka is one of Croatia’s most renowned yearly events. It is held in town of Sinj and this year it is scheduled between 6th and 8th of August. Sinj Alka is a traditional equestrian tournament with a 306 years long tradition. The tournament commemorates a great victory in a battle between Croats and the overwhelmingly powerful Ottoman army in the year 1715. It is an impressive event where riders on horses, in full traditional costumes, gallop down the track and try to hit a small target suspended above the track with their spears. For more information, follow this link.


    Conferences and Meetings

    With meetings and conferences still badly limited by the global pandemic, it is going to be another challenging year for Split's business and professional events sector. However, this city is well known for attracting many national and international events. For example, Croatia Boat Show that features cutting edge boats and naval technology is a must-visit event for all the boating enthusiasts and professionals. GAST Fair that gathers professionals from the world of food and beverage technologies is also a yearly event worth keeping in mind. This year we are also to see Split Tech, 6th international conference on smart and sustainable technologies. It will take place on September 8th to 11th.

    Split for Kids

    As any other city full of amenities, there will be plenty to do for children in Split as well. Much like with adults, the activities will multiply during the summer. City beaches are mostly kids friendly and provide a great setting for fun in open air. Adjacent to the main beaches are usually bars and cafés all of which will have kids friendly options. In fact, fun in the sea will be the main theme for most of young travellers to Split.

    Split people are outdoorsy and so are their children. Use this and really explore the areas like Marjan Hill or local parks like Zvoncac. You could organise a cycling trip to local beaches for the entire family.  Or you could prepare a nice picnic and hike to the beach or park.

    Tours and Events for Kids

    Many of the main destinations around the city will also have lovely beaches and areas for children, so don’t worry about bringing them on tours. Please do however check with the operator that the tour is kids friendly. Adventure tours like jeep safaris, ATV safaris or sea kayaking will often cater to children, but will most likely have some age or height restrictions.

    If your children are interested in ancient history, or at least fantasy stories, make sure to take the time and tour Diocletian’s Palace and Klis Fortress with them. If they are of the age where they can begin to understand the magnitude and history of these places the memories created will last them a lifetime.

    Needless to say, large shopping malls or large hotels and resorts will have kids’ corners and specialised activities. If you are going to the cinema, make sure to inquire about the language of the program you are going to watch. While most movies are not dubbed over, program for kids often are.

    Certain festivals and events will offer activities for children. We already mentioned Split marathon, but there are others like Summer Theatre for Children on Bacvice organised by the Puppet Theatre of Split. There is also a children’s music festival worth mentioning. Mali Split Festival takes place in an open air venue and is quite a showcase of young talent.


    English-Speaking Split: Where can I find...

    It is not difficult to find English speakers in Split. The city is very open and lately has become a popular travel destination. It is also becoming more and more attractive to expats and digital nomads.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Doctor or Dentist?

    Being highly educated, many doctors and nurses will have at least a basic command of English language. General public hospitals will be able to take care of a foreigner that speaks English if the need arises. However, for more personalised service consider private clinics.

    AGRAM Special Hospital is a large private hospital and polyclinic. The list of their activities and departments is quite long: internal medicine, radiology, gynaecology, cytology, otolaryngology, neurology, ophthalmology, urology, dermatology, surgery, orthopaedics, laboratory diagnostics, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational medicine. AGRAM is also a good choice for COVID testing when needed. Speaking of COVID, Public Health Institute is a part of the national healthcare system and they have been doing testing since the start of the pandemic. They also have an online application form you can use to schedule your test.

    Bagatin Clinic might be your best choice for aesthetic surgery, dentistry and dermatology while in Split. Bagatin is located in Splitska Kuca Zdravlja which gathers several high quality health businesses. These are Hydrotherapy Centre, ENT and H&N surgery private practice of Dr. Zeljko Roje, Akromion Special Hospital – the largest private orthopaedic hospital in the country, Pediatri children polyclinic, Hormona women’s health polyclinic, and experts in field of neurorehabilitation Glavic Polyclinic. More info available here.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Veterinarian or Pet Store?

    More and more guests travel with their pets. If your furry companion needs medical attention, look no further than SplitVet or Raunig veterinatian offices.

    After a trip to the veterinarian, it only makes sends to reward your pet with something nice from the pet store. You will find great selection in both Pet Centar and Zoo City.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Hair Salon or Beauty Salon?

    No one should have a bad hair day on their vacation and neither should you. For the best hair care and styling turn to Diamond Hair Salon, Dalila Hair Salon or Studio Marina.

    Men have their own options in Split and the best one just might be Ritual Barbershop.

    When it comes to makeup and looking fabulous you have plenty of options in Split. Katarina Maric Makeup and Makeup Studio Daniela are some of our favourites.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Lawyer of Notary Office?

    Two great lawyer offices that will cover all of your legal needs are Nikola Bozikovic Law Office and Legal Office of Kasalo-Raic.

    Notary services in Croatia are needed in majority of legal activities. It can be a pain to find one out of regular working hours, as witnesses here. For professional notary services in Split, turn to notary public Zrinka Milic-Strkalj or notary public Mirjana Popovac.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Architect or Builder?

    There are some good quality construction companies in Split area. Some of the finest are Ima-Projekt and Lavcevic d.d. (they prefer e-mail contact on

    To help you envision and design that dream property you’ve always wanted, turn to Heros Architect Office.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Fitness or Yoga Studio?

    You will never be too far away from a good workout in Split! For your yoga needs, turn to Studio One. Some of the best fitness studios are Marjan fitness club, Fit Factory and Crossfit Split if you prefer crossfit.

    More information

    You can visit the local tourist board website for the latest official information.

    To follow the latest news from Split, check out the dedicated TCN page.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Thu, 14 Apr 2022 07:39:00 +0200
    Trogir in a Page 2022: UNESCO, Ciovo, History, Tours, Trips A UNESCO World Heritage Site on the doorsteps of Split Airport, meet Trogir, a delightful historic town: eat, sleep, sights, tours and day trips.

  • Welcome to Trogir!
  • Did you know about Trogir?
  • Getting to Trogir and around
  • 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay
  • Where to eat
  • Top 5 day trips
  • Trogir and beaches
  • More information
  • {YouTube}WlziMnLXdSQ{/youtube}

    Welcome to Trogir!

    As millions of passengers fly into Split Airport each year, the majority turn left out of the airport and head for Split. But for those who take the short 5-minute journey in the opposite direction to Trogir, a delightful historic old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    There is so much history and heritage to explore in its compact old town, before relaxing for a drink on its spectular riva. Ciovo is just a bridge away, as are numerous other fascinating destinations to explore.

    Did you know about Trogir?

    A goat town?

    The origin of the name Trogir dates back to the 2nd century BC. All the variations of the names are related to different legends of the founding of the city. There is one saying the antique name Tragurion is the name for an older Illyrian village meaning three stones in Albanian. This comes from a local story that Trogir owes its original foundation to 3 stones.

    Another name explanation comes from the Greek words Tragos meaning goat and Oros meaning hill. The literal meaning was the goat hill which relates to the nearby Kozjak mountain but another explanation is that Trogir was mostly a goat-herding area.

    During the 1st century BC Trogir had its Roman name Tragurium and with the arrival of Slavic nations in the 7th century, it changed to Trogir.

    The first pharmacy in Europe

    Trogir, thanks to its long-lasting urban heritage, is also the town which had the first pharmacy in Europe. The pharmacy opened on 29th October 1271 close to the main city square. The proof of this - the original owner’s document - is now in the Trogir city museum.

    The first pharmacists were from Italy and in 16th century the pharmacy was owned by Mr Seymour, the younger brother of Jane Seymour (one of the wives of Henry the VIII.). The pharmacy is not open anymore on the original location but the Trogir pharmacy has continued to keep its legacy.

    Kairos - the Greek god of the happy moment

    Kairos is the god of the happy moment and one of the main sights in Trogir. The Kairos relief dates back to the 3rd century BC and was found in Trogir in an abandoned house. Since its discovery, it has been kept in the Benedictine monastery next to the church of St Nikola. It is the oldest piece of the Kairos collection which you can in the museum.

    The legend says Kairos is faster than the wind and is hard to catch him by the tuft on his head. If you succeed to do so, you will grab your lucky moment and will have happiness throughout life. If you fail to catch him, he will continue to flow along the stream of happiness and you will miss your lucky moment. This presents the allegory of the happy moment or being in the right place at the right time – if you miss an opportunity or a lucky moment, it is unlikely you will have the same chance again and happiness might slip through your hands.

    Trogir as a film set

    Trogir was and still is used as a film set for different movies and shows. One of the most notable is a Croatian film called “Kaja ubit ću te” – this famous art film is based on the life of a Trogir man. It was completely filmed in Trogir and it is a story about the peaceful locals’ life interrupted by war. It is one of the valuable works of Croatian filmography.

    More internationally recognisable is definitely Stealing Heaven (1988.) when the streets of Trogir were ideal set for medieval 12th century streets of Paris.

    Additionally, famous Orson Welles filmed in “The Merchant of Venice” in Trogir in 1969 which was first aired recently at the Venice Film Festival in 2015. An Oscar nominated Italian film La strada lunga un anno also used streets of Trogir as a perfect film set.

    These are just some of the film titles filmed in Trogir as the town was set for shows like Winnetou, Doctor Who,  Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. More recently Trogir was a filming set for HBO shows – Game of Thrones and the lesser known DIG, when Trogir was a set for Jerusalem.

    A good overview of the close connection of filmmaking and Trogir can be found in the Museum of Trogir series of booklets - Kamera Atrakcija.

    Getting to Trogir and around

    If you are flying to Croatia, getting to Trogir could not be easier. The opening of the new terminal at Split Airport in 2019 expanded capacity to the already 3 million passengers using the airport on Trogir's doorstep.

    The airport is just five minutes away from Trogir by car/taxi/Uber, and many tourists decide to spend the last night of their holiday in Trogir, to avoid traffic or possible catamaran cancellations if they are coming from an island. It is the perfect way to end an unforgettable Dalmatian holiday.

    If you want to save on the taxi, walk out of the airport to the main road and go to the bus stop on the airport side of the road. The legendary Number 37 bus will take you to Trogir - and all the way to Split in the opposite direction.

    If you are driving to Trogir from the north on the A1 motorway, the Prgomet turn before Split will take you through the hills and a spectacular descent into Trogir. If you are driving from the south, exit at Dugopolje and descend to Split before following signs for the airport. That dual carriageway road will take you all the way into Trogir.

    Many tourists arrive by boat, of course, either by sailing into the town's marina, or via the wonderfully named Bura Line ferry service. This runs from Trogir to Split via Slatina on Ciovo from May to November. The journey to Split takes an hour and is a good alternative to the bus. The timetable is here.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Trogir? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    5 things not to miss

    Trogir has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It is known locally as the Little Venice of Dalmatia and The Stone Beauty (see the video above). The islet where Trogir is located lies in a narrow sea passage between the mainland and Ciovo island. The islet itself is just 500 m long and 250 m wide. The highest point is the tower of Saint Lawrence Cathedral at 47m. Here are 5 things not to miss.

    Radovan portal

    The portal of Radovan is the most valuable monument in Trogir from Romanesque times and is one of the most important monuments of this art period. The portal was finished in 1240 and is 50% work of Radovan and 50% work of his students. It represents different scenes from actual life, different seasons of the year and scenes from the Bible. Two lions on each side represent symbols of power and strength. Each side of the portal has different Bible motifs but also events from this era. These include images of the Saracens who attacked Trogir in the 12th century. Its complexity and art value have made it one of the most recognisable sights in Dalmatia.

    St. Lawrence cathedral

    One of the most visited sites in Trogir is St Lawrence cathedral. It took more than 4 centuries to build. You can observe the changes through the periods best on the cathedral tower from where you can enjoy a view on the central city square. The cathedral is the work of different artists and its base was probably the older basilica before the Saracen rampage.

    The official construction started in 1213. and is a Romanesque gothic basilica. Apart from the Radovan portal which is an exquisite work of art, other valuable works are the chapel and baptistry of St. John, another Trogir patron saint. The legend says St. Lawrence during his martyrdom said to his torturers “I’m well done, turn me over” and because of this he is the patron saint of chefs and comedians.

    Forts of Trogir – Kamerlengo and St. Marko

    Kamerlengo fortress got its name from the then city treasurer and got its recognisable image during the Venetian rule. The walls are located in the south-western part and it was built from 1420 to 1437. Its main purpose was to accommodate the Venetian army fleet. Nowadays it is a unique location for different events and concerts. One of the coolest festivals lately, Moondance festival, is also taking place in this historical fortress.

    Not a concert destination as Kamerlengo, but a home to Dalmatian music, St. Marko fort was historically important for the defence of Trogir and represents great Venetian heritage.


    After soaking yourself in the heritage and history of Trogir, it is time to visit the island of Ciovo, a wonderful extension of the old town of Trogir. Known historically as an island for plague victims and refugees, it became more intensively inhabited after the Turkish invasions of the 15th and 16th century.

    Noble Trogir families never built their summer houses there but the lands of Ciovo were used for agriculture. Nowadays it is known for much nicer reasons – as one of the family vacation summer destinations with great beaches and lovely coastal villages.

    Ciovo is the biggest island in the Trogir archipelago with tourist hotspots like Okrug Gornji, Slatine and Arbanija. All these villages are lovely destinations for a vacation and they get extremely busy during summer. Apart from its beaches, Ciovo is well known for its 20 kilometres long themed walking and bike paths.

    Cipiko palace

    Opposite Trogir cathedral, Palace Cipiko is actually several buildings connected into one. The oldest parts date to the early medieval age with some parts even further. The biggest makeover for the palace was in the 15th century when humanist and writer Koriolan Cipiko hired the biggest artists of the time. Names such as Nicola the Fiorentin, Andrija Alesi and Ivan Dunkovic began to work on it. The palace has gothic ornaments and a monumental courtyard.

    The Small Palace Cipiko is opposite the city loggia. Similar to the larger Cipiko palace, it has its recognisable image from the 15th century and has strong Renaissance characteristics.

    Where to stay in Trogir

    As stated above, Trogir is an excellent choice for nervous travellers, who want to ensure they get to the airport on time. Just 5 minutes from Split airport, spending the last night of the holiday there means a stress-free airport transfer in the morning.

    And the quality of accommodation is improving rapidly. If you are looking to really spoil yourself, luxury Hotel Brown Beach House and Spa is outstanding. Heritage lovers will struggle to beat the XII Century Heritage Hotel in the old town itself. To check out the full range of accommodation options, click here.

    Where to eat in Trogir

    The dining scene in Trogir is also rapidly improving. I had one of the best and most relaxed fine dining experiences in Croatia in Trogir, at the fabulous Don Dino in the old town (you can read about it here). Don't miss the ice cream across the street - superb!

    To check out what's hot and what's not at the moment, click here.

    Top 5 day trips

    Apart from being very handy for the airport, Trogir is a great place to base yourself for a holiday to explore the wider area. Here are 5 of the best day trips from Trogir:


    You're right on the doorstep of the Dalmatian capital, and it would be a shame not to visit. If traffic is friendly, you can drive there in 30 mins, but budget for an hour in the season. For a less stressful journey, take the 37 bus, or even better the Bura Line ferry which takes an hour.

    Diocletian's Palace is another UNESCO World Heritage Site not to be missed, but this is also the city of sculptor Ivan Mestovic and much, much more. Check out our Split in a Page guide.

    Krka National Park

    NP Krka/Romulic & Stojcic

    More than 10% of Croatia comprises national and nature parks, a wonderful statistic. And the parks are truly breathtaking. While Plitvice Lakes (yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the most famous, Krka National Park is more accessible from Trogir. It is also, at least in my opinion, a much better day out. You can reach it in under an hour heading north on the motorway. Learn more in Krka National Park in a Page.


    If UNESCO World Heritage Sites are becoming a theme of your stay, do not miss out on Sibenik. Apart from being the most underrated destination on the Dalmatian coast, it is also home to no less than two World Heritage Sites.

    Sibenik is a temple of stone, with some incredible fortresses. Even more incredible is what the local authorities are doing with the fortresses. Bryan Ferry concerts, for example. Learn more about this amazing city in Sibenik in a Page.


    Copyright Romulic & Stojcic

    While Ciovo is an island and very close to Trogir, there is nothing like putting a few waves between you and the mainland for the complete island experience.

    Dalmatia has some incredible islands, which are slowly becoming more accessible with increased boat connections. Croatia's premier island, Hvar, for example, will have 16 catamarans going to Hvar Town in peak season, making it the ideal day trip.

    It is also one of the most beautiful towns you will ever see. Added to the nearby Pakleni Islands, it is almost perfect. Find out what awaits you in Hvar in a Page.

    Inland Dalmatia

    From the Alka knights tradition in Sinj, to the 600-year-old working mills of Grab, the Roman barracks near Trilj and the fascinating Red and Blue Lakes of Imotski, and the mighty Cetina River and calm of Lake Peruca, before ending with a little archery at Klis Fortress (of Game of Thrones fame), Inland Dalmatia is a great family day out, full of education and surprises. I went on a teambuilding day there some time ago. It was a great success.

    Beaches and Trogir

    If you are looking for a great beach right by the old town, you will be disappointed. That is not to say that Trogir is not a great beach destination, it is and there is plenty of choice. But you have to work just that little bit harder to find your perfect spot.

    Most of the best beaches are on Ciovo, but if you want to avoid a little island hopping, your best best in Pantan, a sandy, gravel beach about 1.5 km east of the old town. To reach it, take the 37 bus to Split, getting off after the second stop. Then walk for 200m and turn right where you see the sign.

    But your best bet is to head to Ciovo. Here are our top 5 beaches on Ciovo.

    More information

    Tourist Board of Trogir
    Trg Ivana Pavla II/1​, 21220 Trogir
    Trogir tourist board website

    To follow the latest news from Trogir, check out the dedicated TCN page.

    With grateful thanks to Filipa Marusic from Sol Travel Croatia for her considerable input.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Thu, 17 Mar 2022 18:17:00 +0100
    What's It Like Living In Dubrovnik? Have you ever considered moving to Dubrovnik? Find out all you need to know about that possibility!

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    How to be a Dubrovnik Local

    Many who venture to Dubrovnik fall in love with its main attractions and the historical centre. But those who stay for more than a few days often leave enamoured by the local lifestyle. While this too is changing in the ever-evolving world we live in, local lifestyle in Dubrovnik is generally very laidback and a bit slow. Aside from few unfortunate events in the city’s recent history, modern living in Dubrovnik is pretty stress free. City’s low crime rates, clean environment and amazing climate make outdoor activities very popular.

    Dubrovnik’s Coffee Drinking Culture

    As already mentioned, sitting in cafés drinking coffee and talking about the problems of the world is by far the number one choice for locals. It is over coffee that Dubrovnik people will hold business meetings, socialise with their friends or go on dates. Sitting over coffee for hours is a crucial skill to master for all wannabe Dubrovnik locals.

    Beach, Sports

    Going to the beach is not a great luxury in Dubrovnik nor does it include getting the latest flashy swimwear. The beach is a daily dose of relaxant enjoyed throughout the summer and much of spring and autumn. Sports are enjoyed by many and they are usually football, basketball, water polo or tennis. Many sporting events, especially when it comes to team sports, end up with a trip to the local konoba (local type of restaurant serving simple traditional dishes). Which brings us neatly to…

    Food and Dining

    Much of Dubrovnik’s social life takes place behind a table. Having friends over to your house usually means preparing a meal. Most of the time, it is a meal featuring way too much food for the number of people coming over. Local food and local wine is the most important Dubrovnik social binder and it has been for centuries. Cooking skills are an important addition to anyone’s skill set in Dubrovnik.

    How to meet the locals

    Meeting Dubrovnik locals is not difficult if you how to pick the right situation. For example, a group of friends having a good time in a bar will probably not respond well to a single person or a couple they don’t know trying to start up a conversation. It might be easier to get included in the conversation of a smaller group. Asking for some sort of a local advice is usually a safe way to start a conversation as most locals will be eager to help. If there is some sort of a big sporting event on featuring Croatian national team, you won’t have any problems becoming a part of the group. All you have to do is cheer for the right team.

    As elsewhere, service staff in restaurants and bars is usually quite busy and they don’t have time to make friends. People engaged in similar interests like you will often be open about talking about it.

    There are no specific things one should take into consideration in Dubrovnik as opposed to other European countries when it comes to meeting locals. Some people will be open to conversations, especially younger people, while other will let you know from the start they are not interested.

    5 things Not to Do in Dubrovnik

    1. Swimwear and Bikinis in the Streets

    Many come to Dubrovnik because of the beaches and summer fun. But just because a certain area is close to the beach, doesn’t mean it is socially acceptable to go there in your bikini or speedos. This is especially true within the historical centre where the local government even imposed certain penalties for such behaviour. Dubrovnik locals are not that shocked about half-naked bodies, but the fact is that certain parts of the Old Town deserve a bit of respect. Many of the churches in the historical centre are active churches with regular services. Going to a place of worship for a commemorative service, for example, and coming out to a group of drunken beach goers singing off key is objectively a situation you want to avoid.

    2. Climbing Monuments, Churches and Railings on the City Walls of Dubrovnik

    With many younger tourists around, there are often situations when they find themselves doing things they might not do back home. Whether because they’ve had a bit of “liquid courage” or because they are trying to impress their social media followers, some visitors to the city will sometimes climb a railing of the city ramparts over a 50 metres drop. At the time it might also seem like a cool idea to try and climb the face of an 18th century church. Most of these exploits just make people look stupid and sometimes they end very badly.

    3. Littering and Trash

    Dubrovnik has its problems with trash and litter as much as any other travel destination. Still, it is quite a clean city when considering the sheer number of people visiting in a short amount of time. This is not by chance. There are many people working hard to keep the city clean and it is a good idea to not give them more work than they need.

    4. Asking for Information

    Asking someone for help getting around is absolutely fine. As mentioned before, most locals will be eager to help. However, bugging someone at work with a list of questions you might easily find answers to online is not ok. So, keep this in mind when approaching someone for information. Starting off with a cordial greeting is always a good thing in the eyes of the locals. Generally, it is good if you can take a bit of time to get some information about the city before getting there. Then again, you are already reading this page so you will be well prepared. Well done, you!

    5. Partying and Noise Levels

    You know who likes to party and be loud? Croatians. So, locals will understand your excitement about being on a fun holiday with friends. The problem arises when your group is keeping an entire neighbourhood up at 2am on a work day. Dubrovnik is small. when staying here, chances are you will have plenty of local neighbours that are working and need their sleep. Many locals are working tourism and hospitality jobs making your dream holiday in Dubrovnik possible. Let them rest and you will be thankful for it tomorrow.

    Respect the City

    Rules of behaviour within Dubrovnik are well defined through a special program entitled “Respect the City” which is a project by the local government already yielding great results. You can find out more about the program here.

    Digital nomads in Dubrovnik


    Dubrovnik has been one of the first destinations in Croatia to embrace the digital nomad opportunity. In October 2020, Croatia's first-ever nomad conference, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads, was held. This was followed by the world's first Digital Nomad-in-Residence Program in April 2021.

    At the press conference closing the DNIR program, Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic committed to providing a coworking space and to working to develop the digital nomad community in the city. You can find out more on the findings of the DNIR program on the dedicated TCN digital nomads section. For more on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the TC dedicated digital nomad page.

    Real Estate in Dubrovnik

    Looking for a luxury villa in the Dubrovnik region? Check out this 6-bed, 7-bathroom villa in Mlini, over 3 floors with spectacular sea view, offered by Savills/Dream Estates Croatia

    The real estate market in Dubrovnik has been a real roller coaster in the last 30 years. During 1980s, Dubrovnik was a popular travel destination generating tourism figures that are only now starting to be beaten. It was a coveted destination and a wonderful place to live in. Then came Croatian Homeland War of 1990s. Dubrovnik was under siege and suffered great destruction. After the smoke cleared, half the city was destroyed and city’s economy was on its knees. Needless to say, the price of real estate was very much down.

    Cavtat is a popular destination for holiday homes to the south of Dubrovnik. Duplex apartment with sea view in Obod, Cavtat, some 75m2 for 159,000 euro with Savills/Dream Estates Croatia.

    Many people around Europe and the world knew about Dubrovnik and they believed in the city’s comeback. So, they started buying properties and investing in their renovation. With rapidly increasing interest and very limited supply due to city’s size, it didn’t take long for the price of real estate in Dubrovnik to skyrocket. The city became too expensive for local people and it was in a real danger of becoming a victim of its success. Due to global shifts in real estate markets and other Croatian destinations becoming attractive to foreign investors as well, the worst scenario didn’t happen. Instead, Dubrovnik’s real estate market has become more stable, but no less interesting.

    Should I Buy a Property in Dubrovnik?

    If you are looking for investment opportunities in Dubrovnik, real estate is one of the most interesting option. The properties are not cheap, but they are usually very good at returning the investment through short term stay renting. This is true for apartments and studios within the city or houses for rent in the surrounding areas. With COVID19 hitting Dubrovnik’s tourism hard in 2020, there are more real estate owners willing to sell and negotiate price than there were in the past decade. Buying a place in Dubrovnik’s top areas will cost you, but it is one of the safest long term investments in Croatia. Providing you do not overpay dramatically, of course. This is exactly why you should always rely on the help of local experts when searching for a property.

    What are the Best Areas of Dubrovnik to Buy Real Estate?

    Old Town will always be the most attractive location, followed closely by the areas directly around it – Pile, Ploce, Sveti Jakov, and similar. With properties in these areas it is usually not about getting the best deal, but finding any properties on sale at all. The number is quite limited and the owners don’t want to part with them. You can be sure there is a good reason for that.

    Other than the historical centre, places like Gorica Sv. Vlaha, Vojnovic Street Area, Babin Kuk and Lapad are among the most popular residential areas with locals. Gruz is a busy hub and is perfect for those wishing to be centrally located. It is close to all the modern amenities of Dubrovnik and still within walking distance of the Old Town. Nuncijata and Kono areas vary in price depending on individual locations, but almost always guarantee great views.

    For the best advice and selection of properties, both commercial and residential, check out the Savills/Dream Estates Croatia website.

    English Speaking Dubrovnik

    Majority of Dubrovnik locals speak English at least at a beginner level. However, it is often difficult for foreigners to find local non-tourism services that will cater to English speaking guests simply because they don’t advertise to foreign customers.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Doctor or Dentist?

    Doctors and nurses in Dubrovnik’s general hospital and emergency ward mainly speak English and are used to dealing with foreign patients, but they are often swamped with work. If you are looking for medical services, including PCR or antigen COVID19 tests, your best choice might be Poliklinika Marin Med, located in Gruz. This privately owned health clinic offers a number of services and has plenty of experience with Dubrovnik’s visitors. Another great option is Poliklinika Glavic with its main location close to Uvala Lapad Area. While private health clinics are fairly new thing in Dubrovnik, dental services have been done privately for decades. There are many great dental offices in Dubrovnik with Dental Centar Jurisic being one of the most popular ones for foreign visitors.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Veterinarian or Pet Store?

    Having pet troubles while in Dubrovnik? There are a few options for you with Veterinary Practice For Small Animals Bobanovic being one of the best. Their office is in Lapad, on the address Ul. Kneza Domagoja 4, 20000 Dubrovnik. For pet food and supplies look no further than Pet Shop Scooby in Sipcine area.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Hair Salon or Beauty Salon?

    Many of the salons in Dubrovnik do have staff with some level of English language knowledge with some being very proficient. Consider Anja Hair Salon or Marijana Hair Salon. When it comes to beauty treatments, one to check out it Face the Day by Mia Jugovic, a face treatment and make up specialist.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Lawyer or Notary Office?

    Hopefully you won’t need one in a hurry, but for English speaking legal services you might want to turn to Viktorija Knezevic and her legal office. Notary offices are very important if you are handling any business in Croatia. If you need one, you will not go wrong with Niksa Mozara Office.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Architect or Builder?

    Plenty of foreigners come to Dubrovnik for real estate. Finding a good real estate agent is not simple, but at least they advertise to foreigners. Architects and builders on the other hand do almost all of their work with local people. For English Speaking architects and builders turn to construction company Alfa Plan.

    Where Can I Find an English Speaking Body Training or Yoga Studio?

    When vacationing it is easy to relax and forget about our fitness and health goals. While gyms in hotels offer plenty of choice for traditional work out, there are other options around Dubrovnik. To make sure you don’t miss your yoga practice while in Dubrovnik turn to We Du Yoga. For military style training, spinning or boxing style training visit Boot Camp & Cageball Dubrovnik  and for high intensity interval training check out HIIT by Ana.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Sun, 30 Jan 2022 19:46:19 +0100
    Things to do in Zadar: Trips, Conferences, Kids What is there to do in Zadar, what to visit, what about kids?

  • Welcome to Zadar!
  • How to get to Zadar and get around
  • 5 best things to do in Zadar
  • Accommodation in Zadar: where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Where to drink?
  • Nightlife in Zadar
  • Exploring Zadar- Best Tours
  • Active Zadar
  • Beaches near Zadar
  • Best day trips
  • Zadar events and festivals
  • 5 things you never knew about Zadar
  • A city of basketball and Luka Modrić
  • Digital Nomads in Zadar
  • Zadar Souvenirs
  • Conferences in Zadar
  • Zadar for Kids
  • Weddings in Zadar
  • Real Estate in Zadar
  • Map of Zadar
  • Weather in Zadar
  • Zadar and COVID-19
  • More information
  • Active Zadar


    The Zadar region has invested heavily in cycling tourism in recent years. Combine the Mediterranean with the mountains, and discover the diversity not only of the city, but the region beyond. Zadar Bike Magic is an excellent website and app to showcase the region's offer, with plenty to see and do for families, MTBers, and road cyclists. Check it out here.


    The Zadar region is a hiker's dream. There are no less than 5 of Croatia's 8 national parks within reachable distance, all of which comprise a fantastic day trip. Escape the city and find out just how beautiful natural Croatia truly is. Did you know that more than 10% of Croatia lies in its 20 national and nature parks?

    Learn more about the 5 closer to Zadar in the TC guides to Kornati, Krka, Paklenica, North Velebit, and Plitvice Lakes.

    Water activities


    With the Adriatic on the doorstep, it is no surprise that water sports are plentiful in Zadar. Sailing the Dalmatian coast is one of the great nautical experiences of Europe, but there are plenty of other activities to immerse yourself in the pristine Adriatic.

    Choose from kayaking, parasailing, SUP, scuba diving, rafting, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and the Petrcane water sports centre.

    Beaches near Zadar


    Zadar and surroundings abound with beaches. From the sandy (Zaton, Nin, Privlaka) to rocky (Kozino). As a special feature it should be pointed out that, unlike other big Dalmatian cities, one can swim in the very centre of the city. Zadar’s waterfront and the town beach Kolovare are very close. I certainly recommend going on a trip and swimming on Zadar’s islands that are well connected by boat lines.

    Best Day Trips


    Visit at least one national park

    As mentioned above, with so much natural goodness to choose from, the national parks within easy reach of Zadar make for a great day trip. Plitvice Lakes is the most popular, followed by Krka National Park. Paklenica will appear to the more active tourist looking for some hiking or rock climbing. But if you are looking to enjoy a little time on the water as well, the raw beauty of Kornati offers an additional island experience. Check out all the national and nature parks of Croatia in this TC guide.



    Just a few kilometres north of Zadar lies the delightful town of Nin, whose small size belies its rich tourism offer.

    Over a thousand years old, Nin is the oldest Croatian royal town, the cradle of the Croatian state and it is called the Croatian Bethlehem. The Nin bay hides a strange and unusual heritage: sandy beaches, medicinal mud, salt pans, a rich bird life and rare endemic plants. And if that wasn’t enough, Nin also has the smallest cathedral in the world. So plenty to see and do in a day – learn more from the Nin Tourist Board.

    Historic Split, Trogir or Sibenik, or perhaps all three!


    There are so many fantastic places in the near vicinity of Zadar that it would take more than one holiday to see them all. There are, however, some fabulous cities to take in just a little to the south of the city. Three of the best boast their own UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I would say you could probably do Trogir and Split in a day, but Sibenik is also worth a visit. Three fantastic historic locations oozing heritage and great discoveries.

    Visit an island

    Sailing the Kornati is obviously a great option, but visiting an island is part of the Dalmatian coastal experience. Here are some good options from an online review:

    Ugljan and Pasman you can visit by car. Take the ferry to Preko and then cruise around. Kali is one of the biggest fishing ports in this part of Adriatic, Mrljane on Pasman has a spectacular sandy beach, the Benedictine monastery in Cokovac is also very special and there are dirt roads that allow you to cross to the other side of the island of Pasman with special views of Kornati.

    And I would add to that list Dugi Otok and its wonderful beaches. And try not to miss Pag, one of the most incredible islands I have visited for its sheer diversity.

    Indulge in wellness luxury at Falkensteiner Punta Skala


    Looking to escape the crowds and indulge yourself a little? About 12 km north of Zadar, next to the small village of Petrcane is the luxury Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort.

    Punta Skala is actually the biggest investment on the Croatian coast, and its spacious 15 hectare site is an oasis of calm and luxury. In addition to two quality hotels and residences, it boasts the biggest wellness facilities in Croatia. There are also numerous kids activities to keep the little ones busy while you relax. A truly wonderful escape and day of pampering.

    Zadar Events 2021 and Festivals

    There is plenty going on in Zadar throughout the year. The current uncertainty due to the pandemic makes it a little difficult to publish a definitive list, however. For the latest confirmed events taking place, check out the latest on the Zagreb Tourist Board events page.

    5 Things You Never Knew about Zadar

    Zadar is a fascinating city, but did you know…

    Zadar is home to the first vacuum cleaner in Croatia – meet Baby Daisy

    Photo credit Ivica Ćurković

    Ever wondered why apartments in Dalmatia are so clean? Locals have been obsessing about keeping their homes clean for generations. Indeed the first ever vacuum cleaner in Croatia was used in Zadar, and is in proud private possession today. Baby Daisy is her name, and isn’t she beautiful?

    A rather unusual tour guide

    “Not many people in Croatia can claim to being fluent in the Japanese language, and even fewer people in Croatia can claim to being fluent in the Japanese language without any formal education…

    “29-year-old Lovre Štavun from the Dalmatian city of Zadar is perhaps one of the few people in Croatia who can claim that. The Japanophile is putting his skills to use and recently he became the first formally schooled tour guide in the Japanese language in the Zadar county and one of the very few Japanese-speaking tour guides in Croatia.” Read more

    Zadar, a city of firsts

    Zadar is a city of firsts, reflecting its advanced seat of learning and its ancient heritage. Just a few firsts to mention are the first university in Croatia in 1396, the first operation under anaesthetic in Europe, and the first comic strip in Europe.

    An ancient underwater city in the Adriatic dating back 3500 years

    Zadar, a city of ancient heritage with spectacular history all around. Including in the Adriatic Sea. A truly spectacular story of discovery just 20 kilometres from Zadar by a team from the University of Zadar. Read all about it here, or watch the video here, one of a series of five.

    Zadar and the Sound of Music connection

    Various famous Croats were born in Zadar, but their names may not be familiar to international audiences, but one name which may well resonate, especially for Sound of Music fans is Georg Ludwig von Trapp (April 4, 1880 – May 30, 1947), an Austro-Hungarian Navy officer. His exploits at sea during the World War I earned him numerous decorations, including the prestigious Military Order of Maria Theresa. Later, von Trapp headed the singing family portrayed in the heavily-fictionalized musical The Sound of Music.

    Conferences in Zadar

    Leave a lasting impression on your business partners by organizing meetings, conferences or company events in modern event space at Falkensteiner Punta Skala resort, Croatia.

    A spectacular beachfront setting near Zadar offers the perfect blend of space for relaxation, recreation and unique culinary experiences. Falkensteiner resort Punta Skala  is an unique and inviting venue that can accommodate up to 500 guests. With a location just 30 minutes away from Zadar International Airport and less than 300 kilometers away from the capital of Zagreb it is one of the best connected locations in Croatia. Learn more.

    Weddings in Zadar

    Is there a more romantic place to get married than the destination which has the most beautiful sunset in the world? We didn't think so. Foreign weddings on the Adriatic coast are on the rise, and Zadar is no exception. Market leaders, Adriatic Weddings Croatia have the coast covered and offer an outstanding service along the coast.

    Alternatively, if you are looking for a location which can accommodate all guests for the long weekend, as well as providing lots of entertainment for the kids, Falkensteiner Punta Skala is a perfect enclosed solution catering to all needs.

    Zadar for kids

    Dalmatia is extremely child-friendly, and exhausted parents certainly enjoy life in the cafes on the squares in the region. A chance to relax with a coffee, or something stronger, as the kids run around chasing pigeons, or making new international friends with no language in common. There is always someone looking out for the little ones, and this aspect of life remains one of my favourite experiences of the lifestyle in Dalmatia.

    But there is also plenty for the little ones to do! From playrooms, escape rooms, adventure parks, treasure hunts, and the nearby Biograd Fun Park, to water sports, horseback riding and a donkey farm, you will find it all in Zadar. Learn more here.

    If it is total peace of mind with the little ones that you are seeking, however, look no further than Falkensteiner Punta Skala. As a self-contained resort catering to every need, the kids will have plenty to do, allowing you to concentrate on the important task of Total Relaxation.


    With full support from nursery and babysitting, to animation programmes and swimming classes, there is plenty on offer to burn young calories throughout the day. Learn more about Falky-Land, the indoor and outdoor kids water world, complete with its own pirate ship, spa, slide, kids steam bath, and igloo. And more!

    For kids a little older and looking for an active holiday, the resort boasts an outdoor sports centre with 7 tennis courts, beach volleyball and multi-sports courts (basketball, badminton, futsal etc.), and a mini-golf course.

    And new for 2021 - meet Fortis Club, a sports, event and entertainment centre with 800 m² fitness / gym, extensive program of daily activities in 2 workout rooms, bowling, bar, restaurant, e gaming corner and event hall “Ventus” for up to 470 guests.

    For more information about Croatia for kids in general, check out the TC guide.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 26 Jan 2022 11:37:29 +0100
    Where to Eat and Drink in Zadar; Nightlife Which meals, drinks, nights out to enjoy in Zadar?

  • Welcome to Zadar!
  • How to get to Zadar and get around
  • 5 best things to do in Zadar
  • Accommodation in Zadar: where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Where to drink?
  • Nightlife in Zadar
  • Exploring Zadar- Best Tours
  • Active Zadar
  • Beaches near Zadar
  • Best day trips
  • Zadar events and festivals
  • 5 things you never knew about Zadar
  • A city of basketball and Luka Modrić
  • Digital Nomads in Zadar
  • Zadar Souvenirs
  • Conferences in Zadar
  • Zadar for Kids
  • Weddings in Zadar
  • Real Estate in Zadar
  • Map of Zadar
  • Weather in Zadar
  • Zadar and COVID-19
  • More information
  • Where to eat

    Top 5 restaurants

    Bracera Fish Restaurant at Falkensteiner Punta Skala

    Exquisite. Simply one of my best dining experiences on the coast. Fabulous fresh seafood served on the water in a wooded natural surrounding, with a trademark Zadar sunset to accompany the excellent selection of Croatian and international wines, Bracera is one of the best romantic dining experiences on the Adriatic.

    Butlers Gourmet and Cocktail Garden 

    Owned and managed by a couple from the Split region, their menu and attitude to service is fantastic and we've never had a bad meal. The restaurant has glass frontage with so much greenery inside you'll feel like you're in a jurassic movie. Open air sliding roof in the summer, and is located on the edge of poluotok overlooking the harbour. Traditional cuisine with a difference, slow cooked beef tail, truffled chicken, smoked pork kare, to name a few.


    A traditional restaurant with well defined and knowledgeable waiters and a great wine list. The Lamb Shank and Shrimp Buzara are to die for. Restaurant is in a great location positioned on the riva, only a short stroll from St Donats. 


    A slightly dated decor but boy do they pack a punch with their meat variety. Steak, steak and more steak! Seriously good fillets, addictive sweet tasting fries, and surprisingly good house wine. It's a little way from the town centre, but the restaurant sits on the waterfront near Borik harbour with great views. A must for any meat lovers!

    La Gavun

    Unbelievably cute fish restaurant with maybe only 20 covers. The owner has a delicate menu which I believe is changed on a regular basis. Very romantic and quaint with a really good wine list and memorable service. The prices I thought were very reasonable for a fish restaurant. Worth a visit!

    Mama Mia

    Newly renovated with warm decor inside and comfy chairs. Food menu is Dalmatian with a variety of pasta and meat dishes. They do amazing pizza which shows from the streams of take away orders, and my siblings rave about their vegetarian lasagne everytime we go. A busy spot that doesn't take bookings, so get there early!

    5 restaurants on a budget

    Crazy pizza

    Delicious pizza slices that go well with a beer or three! Smack bang in the centre of town.


    End of night burgers, wraps and fries at the bus station. It may surprise some, but these delights are not only eaten during the early hours of the morning. Very good fast food and way better than Maccy D's next door! 

    Donats Ice cream

    Famous ice cream sellers that have been serving for decades. A few tables surround the entrance overlooking the Cathedral of St Anastasia. Always has a few people in the line but well worth the wait.

    Gricko Grill

    A little off the beaten track, located on Franje Tuđmana drive, this diner is traditional with Croatian barbeque being it's fortee. Meat in pita is a stable diet for any local and they all head here for a pivo and a good feed. 

    Svabos Soul Food

    Downtown American style street food for very reasonable prices. A few tasty bites to try - loaded fries, pulled pork burgers, crispy pork belly potatoes, and combo selections. 

    International restaurants

    Ox - meet and eat

    Set in the cobbled streets of old town, with inside and outside seating, Ox serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eggs Benedict are surprisingly good and they serve an array of meat dishes from BBQ ribs to T-bone steaks to Chateaubriand.

    Vegetarian and vegan restaurants

    Art of Raw at The Garden Lounge

    Only open in the summer months, but a special place to drink cocktails and dine out for an evening. Dishes sampled, spaghetti courgette, spring rolls, empanadas, chia porridge, kale chips, carrot vanilla cake and pizza. A little pricey but really tasty.

    Where to drink

    Cafe bar Brazil

    Not somewhere you will party but wow, what a location. The only bar that sits on the Riva, directly opposite the sea organ and greeting to the sun. You can't ask for a better sunset location to sip a pivo and snap a memory.

    Tequila sunrise

    Located at the far end of the peninsula near Punta Bajlo beach, an old caravan park, now with surrounding pine trees and rocks to jump from. This is the best daytime bar for me. Shady spots to put up a hammock, a well stocked bar and a swimming location right on its doorstep!


    No dine in, no take away, no delivery, just really good pivo! Staff are spot on, great drinks list and good music with occasional live events. Only place in Zadar with decent guiness and 70+ whisky selections. 

    Caffe Bar Kult/Wine Bar Dišpet

    Two bars with connecting terraces, based in the old town. It's never too early to party here, a place to watch your favourite team play on the big screen, see live local music events or try to join in during Christmas sing alongs. It gets crazy busy during the weekends and during sport events, you will always find something to grab your interest.

    The Garden Lounge

    A great location in the old town with low level cushioned seating to really sink into the sunset vibe. Specialist cocktails are a bit pricey but worth buying a couple just for the view. 

    Nightlife in Zadar

    Ledana lounge bar and club

    Great to drink a coffee in the daytime but it really takes off at dusk. An integral part of the bar has a large terrace and is part of the beautiful gardens of Queen Jelena Madijevke set on top of the city walls. Live performances, DJ nights, concerts and parties pretty much every night during the peak months.


    A perfect pre-drinking terrace to get the legs moving. DJs on sets and the bar is always vibrant and busy, just what every tourist is looking for. 


    Set below Ledana, near the five wells square, this club is predominantly outdoors, supplying it's trade to R&B and house night. 21 and over in 2019 and growing in popularity due its location and DJ selection. 

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 26 Jan 2022 11:31:39 +0100
    How to Get to Zadar and Around, Best Tours What options are there to get to Zadar and how to get around it?

  • Welcome to Zadar!
  • How to get to Zadar and get around
  • 5 best things to do in Zadar
  • Accommodation in Zadar: where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Where to drink?
  • Nightlife in Zadar
  • Exploring Zadar- Best Tours
  • Active Zadar
  • Beaches near Zadar
  • Best day trips
  • Zadar events and festivals
  • 5 things you never knew about Zadar
  • A city of basketball and Luka Modrić
  • Digital Nomads in Zadar
  • Zadar Souvenirs
  • Conferences in Zadar
  • Zadar for Kids
  • Weddings in Zadar
  • Real Estate in Zadar
  • Map of Zadar
  • Weather in Zadar
  • Zadar and COVID-19
  • More information
  • Flying to Zadar

    Many visitors these days arrive by air. The arrival of Ryanair in 2007 not only revolutionised air travel to Zadar, but it was the first budget airline into Croatia. When it made Zadar its 54th European hub, the city was already benefiting from the ‘Ryanair effect’ in its tourism numbers.

    The airport is located about 20 minutes out of town, and the comprehensive Total Croatia guide to the airport will tell you all you need to know.

    Zadar is also extremely accessible by road, with no less than two motorway exits (named Zadar 1 and Zadar 2) on the main Split to Zagreb A1 motorway. Split, example, is just 90 minutes away by car.

    Bus to Zadar

    The main bus station is a short walk south of the old town, and it has excellent connections to the rest of Croatia. Buses in Croatia are generally on time, clean and increasingly offering WiFi on board. For the latest timetables, and to book tickets online, click here.

    If you are heading to destinations such as Vir, Nin or Petrcane (home of Falkensteiner Punta Skala), the bus station is even closer to the old town (see the map above)

    Driving to Zadar

    Zadar is also extremely accessible by road, with no less than two motorway exits (named Zadar 1 and Zadar 2) on the main Split to Zagreb A1 motorway. Split, example, is just 90 minutes away by car.

    The access road from Zadar 2 is straight and fast, but pay attention to the speed limit if you want to keep your holiday spending money for the city's excellent bars and restaurants.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Zadar? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Ferry to Zadar

    There are also numerous options by boat, and the city’s busy ferry port serves up to 36 destinations via 6 ferry companies, to nearby islands, other mainland destinations, and international connections to Italy. As elsewhere in Croatia, sailing schedules are seasonal. You can find the latest sailing information here.

    How to get from Zadar to Pag (Novalja), Sibenik, Split, Krka, Dubrovnik & Dugi Otok

    Google Search gives a good indication of where people are looking to travel to from Zadar. A more detailed TC explanation of how to get to some of these more sought-after places.

    Getting around Zadar by Bus

    The city also has great inter-city bus connections, although you should be aware that many of them take the coastal roads, and so a trip to Split can take 3 hours or more. There is also a well-connected city bus service to get you around town. More information on tickets, map and times on the Liburnija bus website.

    Taxis, Uber

    Uber is present in Zadar if the global rideshare app is in your comfort zone. Taxis are also plentiful, and you can find a list here. The main taxi ranks are by the bus station on Liburnska Obala, the main bus station, and the bridge connecting the peninsula to Branimirova Obala.

    Rent a car, car-sharing

    The car rental market in Zadar is competitive and affordable. For a comprehensive list of companies, click here. Another option for getting around which is growing in popularity is car sharing, and services such as Bla Bla car are commonplace.


    Cycling is increasingly popular in Croatia, and there are plenty of bike rental options, from mountain bikes to the more leisurely e-bike experience. You can check out a list of Zadar options here.

    Parking in Zadar

    In winter, you must pay for parking in Zadar from 08:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 14:00 on Saturday, with Sundays and public holidays free. For a map of all the parking in Zadar, click here.

    In summer, the paid period extends to 22:00, and the prices obviously increase. There are 4 zones for parking in Zadar, and you can pay by cash of SMS message (cash only). The zone codes, and summer and winter prices are:

    In Zone 1 - Code 708231, 6 kuna/hr in winter, 12 kuna an hour in summer
    For Zone 2 - Code 708232, 4 kuna/hr in winter, 10 kuna an hour in summer
    In Zone 3 - Code 708233, 3 kuna/hr in winter, 3 kuna an hour in summer
    Zone 4 - 2 kuna/hr

    Daily tickets are also available for a reduced price. Summer prices take effect from May 1 to September 30.

    How to get from Zadar to airport

    There are several ways to get to the airport from Zadar, apart from driving yourself. For all the options with bus, taxi, Uber and private transfer, check out the TC Zadar Airport guide.

    Private transfers

    If you are looking for a private transfer from Zadar to anywhere in Croatia, please contact Adriatic Transfers, whose national network covers the entire country, as well as international connections.

    Gondoliers for Venice, Barkajoli for Zadar


    What gondoliers mean to Venice, barkajoli mean to Zadar! For over 800 years they have been connecting the two ends of Zadar harbour with their small rowboats during all weather conditions and saving time for their faithful passengers. This tradition has been passed on from father to son for centuries and has survived despite the challenges of modern times.

    Exploring Zadar– Best Tours

    There is LOTS to see and do in and around Zadar if you are looking for a tour. Here are some of the most popular:

    Private walking tour of Zadar at sunset

    Book this walking tour in the old town of Zadar at sunset. See the famous Sea Organ and the largest Roman Forum on this side of the Adriatic coast. From US$4.

    Island of Pag and Nin Saltworks Private day trip from Zadar

    Discover the Island of Pag on a guided walking tour, learn about cheese production and visit the Nin Saltworks on a private day trip from Zadar. From US$190.

    Saharun beach and Zverinac island private boat tour from Zadar

    Discover some of Croatia's most stunning islands during this private boat tour from Zadar. Visit the beautiful Zverinac island and Saharun beach. From US$78.

    Private day-tour to Plitvice National Park from Zadar

    Hike in the oldest and largest National Park in Croatia and enjoy the unique and beautiful nature in Plitvice. From US$348.

    Zadar City Tour

    Zadar flaunts a roll-call of Roman ruins and intriguing sights all packed within its historic streets. You'll join a guide to see all the monuments, including the famed Sea Organ and Sun Salutation, then have some free time to soak it all up on this half-day excursion.

    After being picked up from your hotel, you'll venture into the historic centre of Zadar – a fascinating city on the shores of the Adriatic. Its churches – from Romanesque to Venetian – and elegant buildings as well as its mini-marina are a joy to discover. Wander around, visiting St Donatus Church, St Anastasia's Cathedral, the Roman Forum and People's Square, which lies at the heart of the action.

    No visit to Zadar would be complete without witnessing the sounds of the Sea Organ and the light show of the Sun Salutation, both created by visionary architect Nikola Basic. After a walk along the seafront, you'll have time to yourself to visit museums or sip on a maraschino and drink it all in. From US$29.

    Private island hopping tour by speedboat from Zadar

    This private boat tour is completely tailor-made: choose the departure time and the islands you’d like to visit. Enjoy a perfect experience on crystal-clear water!

    Spend the day visiting Ugljan, Preko, Sabuša beach, Muline beach, Iž, Ošljak, Galovac and the Kornati Islands National Park by speedboat.

    Your experienced skipper knows all the best spots on all of the islands and will give you tips on excellent local restaurants offering authentic Dalmatian food.

    Discover the best spots for snorkeling and see the marine life in the blue waters of Croatia. Travel to secluded beaches where you can relax and soak in the sun. From US$63.

    Krka National Park full-day tour from Zadar

    Discover the natural beauty of Krka National Park on this full-day tour from Zadar. Admire the park's magnificent waterfalls including Skradinski Buk. See the rich flora and fauna, explore the lake on a boat and take a refreshing swim.

    The park covers an area of just over 142 square km (88 square miles) including the famous Skradinski Buk waterfall, one of Croatia's most famous sights.

    Due to its special position and its various types of habitat, the park is characterized by exceptionally rich and varied flora and fauna. The abundance of various species of birds and the significance of Krka National Park for spring and fall migrations make this an ideal tour for both amateur and experienced birdwatchers.

    After the pick-up in Zadar, you'll be taken to Skradin, where you'll board a boat for a 30-minute ride on the lake. Take a guided walking tour past Skradinski Buk, and then visit the park's ethnographic collection, mills, and weaving workshops. From US$72.

    Kornati National Park full-day boat tour from Zadar

    Spend a day touring Kornati National Park, one of the most magical places in Croatia. This group of more than 100 islands and cliffs will seduce you at first sight!

    Visit this jewel of the Adriatic Sea sailing from Zadar. You'll leave in the morning and make your way to the park on a boat. Enjoy breakfast on board as you travel through the 109 islands that make up the park.

    Along the way, you'll stop two times for total of 3 hours to go swimming. Then relax as you are taken on a tour around the park, admiring the dramatic karst-limestone formations that tower around you. In the middle of the day, you will also be treated to lunch aboard the boat. From US$45.

    Wine and dine cooking class in Zadar

    Experience the local cuisine cooking for yourself in a class led by an expert chef.

    Prepare traditional dishes from the region using the best ingredients and learn how to pair your food with wine, of course with help from the experts. The chef will show you some special techniques and share their secrets to creating the perfect Dalmatian cuisine.

    Enjoy prepping your meal with your friends and family, then dig into your creation! From US$144.

    Zadar 4-hour private bike tour

    Discover Zadar from a different perspective on a private 4-hour biking tour. Explore the lesser-know spots to the Old Town and the famous promenade with an expert guide. Ride along the narrow streets and learn about the legends and secrets of Zadar. From US$116.


    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 26 Jan 2022 11:07:26 +0100
    Where to Stay in Zadar in 2022? What are the best accommodation options for you in Zadar?

  • Welcome to Zadar!
  • How to get to Zadar and get around
  • 5 best things to do in Zadar
  • Accommodation in Zadar: where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Where to drink?
  • Nightlife in Zadar
  • Exploring Zadar- Best Tours
  • Active Zadar
  • Beaches near Zadar
  • Best day trips
  • Zadar events and festivals
  • 5 things you never knew about Zadar
  • A city of basketball and Luka Modrić
  • Digital Nomads in Zadar
  • Zadar Souvenirs
  • Conferences in Zadar
  • Zadar for Kids
  • Weddings in Zadar
  • Real Estate in Zadar
  • Map of Zadar
  • Weather in Zadar
  • Zadar and COVID-19
  • More information
  • Where to stay

    Falkensteiner Resort Punta Skala

    Zadar joined the map of luxury accommodation on the Adriatic back in 2011, with the opening of Falkensteiner Punta Skala near Petrcane. The self-contained resort lies on an idyllic green peninsula without neighbours, the perfect escape for a truly relaxing holiday. We are delighted to partner with such a great resort for Zadar in a Page. Falkensteiner introduces the resort as follows:

    Welcome to the peninsula of unlimited holiday possibilities! Unforgettable moments await you in Croatia's best holiday resort, right on the Adriatic Sea. From the most beautiful holiday experience with the family to large and small sporting highlights for active holidaymakers. And with the great culinary offer in the numerous restaurants and bars and the largest and most beautiful spa in the country, epicures will also get their money's worth.

    The sustainably built and operated premium resort is located on a beautiful, exclusive peninsula not far from Zadar, surrounded by the sea on three sides, with a breathtaking view of the Kornati Islands and the imposing Velebit mountains. Especially active holidaymakers who are looking for more than just lying on their lazy skin will find their ideal holiday resort here: extensive sports facilities with tennis, beach volleyball and multi-sports courts, a mini-golf course or golf training, a new indoor sports centre with an 800 m² fitness gym, a wide range of daily water sports activities and sports programmes from CrossFit to yoga or numerous training camps for young and old with international sports stars.

    Falkensteiner Punta Skala comprises of three main accommodation options, all with their distinctive style and offer:

    Falkensteiner Hotel and Spa Iadera

    Experience luxury with a Mediterranean flair on the Adriatic coast. Amazing interior and architectural design, breathtaking panoramic views and a wellness world in black & white make the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera the best spa hotel in Croatia.

    Highlights include the 6,000m2 Acquapura SPA wellness area with Turkish Hammam bath; modern lifestyle architecture and Mediterranean flair; breathtaking comfort & exclusive 5-star service; and extensive sports and recreation opportunities. Dogs are welcome (from June to September).

    These outdoor facilities include 7 tennis courts, 3- multi-sports courts, 2 padel-courts, 2 beach volleyball courts, mini-golf, and a golf-training range.

    There is also more than 600m2 of modern, fully-equipped conference facilities. Visit the official website for more on this gorgeous hotel.

    Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora

    The exclusive Punta Skala resort is situated in picturesque surroundings on the beautiful Dalmatian coast. Specials, such as baby and children swimming courses, and beautiful facilities are included. In the Family Hotel Diadora everyone, our young and adult guests alike, can enjoy their holiday to the fullest. And babies are granted a VIP status. The Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora in Zadar is the best place to experience a relaxing and adventurious family vacation in Croatia.

    Highlights include the 2,000m2 Acquapura wellness and water world with outdoor pool facilities and water slide, located directly on the Adriatic. Falky land children's world, adventure playground, water world with Falky children's SPA will keep kids happy all day long. Additional facilities include childcare, baby necessities, large sports and animation programmes. There is access to the same sporting facilities as Iadera, above. For more information about Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora, click here.

    Falkensteiner Premium Apartments Senia

    Have you been dreaming of your own piece of paradise? Well this luxury resort in Croatia is the place where your dreams will become reality. A luxury apartment awaits you directly by the sea, in the heart of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort. You can choose from four different apartment layouts, with a range in size between 40-100 m². Within the resort you have plenty of possibilities to dine out: for example at steakhouse Planika, at fish restaurant Bracera or in hotel restaurants in neighbouring hotels Diadora or Iadera! More information.


    The Lazy Monkey is a hacienda-styled hostel & apartments, set in a peaceful surrounding community, close to waterfront cliffs and daytime bars.

    Located a pleasant walk from the old town we've shown that being outside the city walls, you can have the best of both worlds. Recently adapted towards the modern traveler, we have added studio apartments to our portfolio, supplying holidaymakers, digital nomads, and remote workers with an alternative vibe.

    With huge social areas including front patio, grassed sunspots, hammocks and free parking facilities, a commercial-sized kitchen, pool table, and comfortable under terraced seating, there is plenty of space for everyone. Check it out.

    Private accommodation in Zadar

    With more than 2,000 available accommodation units to choose from, it should not be hard to find the holiday home of your dreams... and budget. Check out the latest availability and selection here.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 26 Jan 2022 10:57:11 +0100
    How To Get To And Around Dubrovnik? How to get to Dubrovnik, and around it once you're there!

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    How to get to Dubrovnik

    Map of Dubrovnik

    By Car

    Compared to the rest of Croatia, Dubrovnik is a LONG way south. And, if you're driving from anywhere else in the country in 2021, you'll still have to go through another country. Because Bosnia and Herzegovina has a thin slice of the Adriatic coast near the town of Neum.

    However, the Peljesac Bridge project is nearing completion. It's a Chinese-built bridge that will circumvent Bosnia's strip of sea. No more time-consuming border crossing! Follow the bridge's progress on this dedicated TCN page. For the best advice on getting to Dubrovnik from Split, here is the comprehensive Total Croatia guide. Catamaran information is included. But, there's also the option of arriving in Dubrovnik by car ferry from Bari. Learn more in our Italy to Croatia section.

    Flights to Dubrovnik 2021

    More tourists than ever are now flying to Dubrovnik. Accordingly, the airport has improved facilities and the number of flights. Also, many use the airport to access neighbouring Montenegro. Routes and numbers of flights remain in fluctuation, as the pandemic of 2020 eases its grip. But, updates are happening all the time. All you need to know about Dubrovnik Airport and getting to Dubrovnik is in our Total Croatia guide. There are also some useful tips about crossing the border to Montenegro. It includes why it makes sense do to so via Bosnia in season.

    Dubrovnik Airport

    Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) was established back in 1936 in Gruda village in Konavle Valley. In the 1960s it moved to the present spot close to village of Cilipi. It is the most important traffic hub of Croatian south. In the year 2019 dubrovnik Airport recorded almost 3 million passengers that came and went through it. Considering Dubrovnik’s small size, this number is quite impressive. Majority of the guests staying in Dubrovnik fly into the city. This is why the airport, which is not too big, needs to be very efficient and safe. Dubrovnik airport is both these things. Strong northern wind called Bura sometimes causes problems. On especially windy days Dubrovnik Airport can be tricky to land on. The planes sometimes need to re-route to one of the other airports in the area. Check out our complete guide to Dubrovnik Airport for more info.

    By Boat

    When travelling internationally, you can get to Dubrovnik by Jadrolinija ferry from Italy’s Bari. Direct ferry line connects the two cities for quite some time. This line is a car ferry line and runs for much of the year. For the exact timetable and pricing, check out Jadrolinija’s website.

    When travelling within Croatia, Dubrovnik is connected by high speed catamaran to Split. Kapetan Luka Shipping Company operates these two lines. Find detailed information on these option here:  

    Split – Milna, Brac – Hvar – Korcula – Pomena, Mljet – Dubrovnik

    Split – Bol, Brac – Makarska – Korcula – Sobra, Mljet – Dubrovnik

    To travel within the local archipelago, you can turn to Jadrolinija local lines or G&V Line for traveling to Mljet Island or Korcula Island.

    Is there a Train to Dubrovnik?

    Unfortunately, there are no train lines running to Dubrovnik. The city was connected by train up until 1976 when the popular train called "Ciro" connected Dubrovnik to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More info about the old train line to Dubrovnik. When travelling by train from Zagreb towards Dubrovnik, the easiest route would be to go to Split and then change to a bus, airplane or a high speed catamaran. For more information on train lines around Croatia check out Croatian Railways' (Hrvatske zeljeznice) website.

    How to get from Dubrovnik to Hvar, Korcula, Kotor, Mostar & more

    Finding updated and accurate information on how to get to and from Dubrovnik from several popular destinations is sadly not as easy to find as it should be. In an effort to help rectify this, here is the TC 2021 guide on how to go From Dubrovnik to Hvar, Korcula, Mljet, Kotor, Budva, Tivat, Mostar & Medjugorje, Split, and Zagreb.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Dubrovnik? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    How to get around Dubrovnik?

    Dubrovnik Public Transportation

    Dubrovnik Public transportation company is Libertas. Libertas operates all Dubrovnik bus lines, both within the city limits and around most of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Their buses are fairly new, clean and efficient (depending on the city’s traffic). You can purchase bus tickets on many Libertas kiosks around the city and local newspaper stands. Details on the individual lines are available on the company’s website, as is the current price list.

    Taxis and Uber

    Taxi companies have been multiplying in Dubrovnik in the past few years. Biggest three are: Plavi taksi (Blue Taxi) – a local taxi organisation, Eko taksi, and Cammeo - both chapters of national taxi companies. There are also a number of smaller taxi companies on the market. All of them will compete for clients with low prices during the quiet parts of the year, while the peak season (June – August) will traditionally be more expensive. All of the biggest companies have their mobile apps that you can use for easier access and ordering. Check out their websites for more information: Plavi taksi, Eko taksi, Cammeo.

    Of course, the picture of city mobility would not be complete without Uber. Uber is present in Dubrovnik for the past several years and it has become very popular, especially during the summer. While thought of as the cheapest option, Uber’s prices change dynamically based on demand and supply, so they range from the cheapest to some of the most expensive on the market, depending on the time of day and period of the year.

    Rent a Car, Car Sharing

    Renting a car in Dubrovnik is popular, although best used when staying outside of the historical centre or the city limits. Traffic around the busiest areas of Dubrovnik can be tricky during the summer season, but also during certain days in autumn or spring. On the days when big cruise ships are visiting the city, the traffic can get quite jammed at certain periods. The road from Gruz Harbour to the historical centre is best avoided at these times. When it comes to car hire options, many of the major global companies like Sixt, Avis, Hertz will have their affiliates in the city and on the airport. Nationally strong Oryx is also present and offers good prices in off season periods.

    Recently, the first car sharing company started operating in Dubrovnik. Avant2Go is a new company that is trying to make life on crowded Dubrovnik parking lots a bit easier by offering a car sharing option. This solution, popular in bigger cities around Europe, is very new for Dubrovnik and we are yet to see how it plays out. On the other hand, Avant2Go's electric cars are brand new. They still don't have many users so you will find available cars easily. They are a possible solution for those needing their own vehicle for only a portion of the time spent in Dubrovnik. Their website contains more details.

    Scooters and Motorcycles

    Motorcycles and scooters are very popular among the locals. Scooters like Piaggios, Vespas and Yamahas up to 49ccm can be operated by anyone with a car driver’s license. Anything on two wheels with a bigger engine than 49ccm will require a motorcycle license to operate. As mentioned in our safety section, if you do decide to rent a motorcycle or scooter, know that the rest of the people on the road will expect you to be as skilful as the locals. So, practice away from the traffic. Motorcycle rental places are not very popular in Dubrovnik, but you will find several options for scooter rentals. These machines are pretty basic and sturdy, but many under-skilled and under-experiences riders use them. Make sure to inspect them properly before renting.

    Dubrovnik Parking

    The main benefit of motorcycles is the parking. There is ample motorcycle/scooter parking around the historical centre, especially in the vicinity of Pile Gate and Buza Gate, and it is all free of charge. With cars, it is a very different story. Car parking in Dubrovnik is one of the city’s burning problems.  Outside of the historical centre area there is street parking which is charged per hour. If you get a parking ticket, it will be in the form of one day parking ticket. Meaning, you have paid for 24hr of parking by paying the ticket.

    There are parking meters around the parking zones which you can use to pay for the parking. Most popular method with locals is to pay via mobile phone. This system works only with mobile operators that provide this service. Lately, the city’s parking company Sanitat has come out with a Dubrovnik Parking App which is available for download as well. Check out their webpage for more information. Parking in the historical centre area is even trickier with only two parking lots available to non-locals and they are both quite expensive during the busier half of the year.

    For more detailed instructions on how to navigate the complex world of Dubrovnik’s public parking, follow the link to our Dubrovnik Parking Page on Total Croatia News.

    How to get From Dubrovnik to Montenegro?

    Montenegro is the most popular destination out of Dubrovnik. It is a beautiful country of rugged landscape and picturesque bays. Traffic between Dubrovnik and Montenegro is very active and it can get slow. For all the information on how to get to Montenegro, turn to our dedicated page.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 24 Jan 2022 20:38:38 +0100
    Top 5 Things To Do In Dubrovnik in 2022 Top five things to do in Dubrovnik during your visit in 2022.

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    5 best things to do in Dubrovnik 2021

    1. Dubrovnik City Walls and Museums

    The famous walls of Dubrovnik have surrounded and protected its citizens since before the 7th century. In spite of numerous additions and modifications, they are deservingly considered among the greatest fortification systems of the Middle Ages. Indeed, they were never breached by a hostile army during that time.

    The very oldest systems of fortifications around the town were likely wooden palisades. By comparison, today's intact walls are mainly from the 12th–17th centuries. They have long been a source of pride for Dubrovnik. Indeed, in 1979, the old city of Dubrovnik joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Running an uninterrupted course of approximately 1,940 metres, the walls encircle most of the famous old city. They reach a maximum height of about 25 metres. Most date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. However, strengthening and extension continued until the 17th century.

    Highly imposing, especially when approached from the sea, they ensured independence freedom for an uninterrupted five centuries. Later, reinforcements came in the shape of 3 circular and 14 quadrangular towers, 5 bastions, 2 angular fortifications and the large St. John's Fortress. More than 120 cannons armed the outside of the walls.

    Are Dubrovnik City Walls worth the Price?

    Dubrovnik City Walls entrance fee is not cheap. During the spring of 2021 the tickets are are available for 50kn (Croatian Kunas, approximately €7) per person, but starting July 1st 2021 they are reverting back to the full price of 200kn (around €27) per adult. Children and young adults are 50kn person as are students with one of the approved student cards. This makes the walls quite a serious expense. So, are they worth it?

    Dubrovnik City Walls are one of the best preserved medieval fortification systems in Europe. Surrounding a still living settlement, they provide an amazingly unique sight. Their design enabled city guards to keep the entire surrounding area under a watchful eye. They have served as the most important military installation in the city’s long and turbulent history. These walls are every panoramic photographer’s or Instagram influencer’s dream. Beautiful and impressive, they will provide you with an opportunity to travel back in time.

    If there are things you are looking for, and you are not deathly afraid of heights, then Dubrovnik City Walls will be worth the price.  

    Traditional Museums

    Dubrovnik Museums are many. Still, none are too big or too lavish. In many cases, Dubrovnik museums are worth checking out because of the historical buildings they still occupy. Rector’s Palace is a great example. It is a former government building with some very interesting exhibits. But the exhibits are not the main appeal. The real value lies in the fact Rector’s Palace was the main government building and the residence of the Rector – the head of Dubrovnik Republic.

    Probably the biggest museum in Dubrovnik and the one with the most exhibits is Maritime Museum. This is not surprising. Dubrovnik has been a city of seafarers, ship builders and international merchants throughout its fifteen hundred year long history. This history is wonderfully laid out in the city’s Maritime Museum. It is located in St. John Fortress which overlooks the historical port.

    Museum Rupe is another one worth visiting in part because of the historical building it is in and the role it played in the life of Dubrovnik. The museums is in the old granary. It used to store wheat in order to stay prepared for possible siege by foreign armies. In case Dubrovnik is under siege, the walls would keep the people inside safe and the granary would ensure they have the most basic of provisions – bread. Today, Museum Rupe is an ethnographic museum housing traditional costumes, tools and houseware from various periods of the city’s history.

    City’s Aquarium is interesting for its glimpse into the underwater world of the Adriatic. Natural History Museum is quite new and constantly putting on interesting exhibits. There are other options like House of Marin Drzic (famous local writer) and Archeological Museum that are worth a visit if you are enthusiastic about the subject matter.

    Monasteries and the Cathedral

    Aside from these, there are two monasteries worth your attention, Franciscan and Dominican. Both house beautiful cloisters, examples of old jewellery and works of art. Franciscan Monastery is also home to one of the oldest working pharmacies in the world. The cathedral is open for visits, but if you want to see its small, yet impressive treasury, you will have to pay an entrance ticket.

    Modern Museums

    War Photo Limited is a war photography gallery/museum with a permanent exhibition focused on the 1990s Croatian Homeland War and the wider Balkan conflict. It is full of amazing photographs with quite an emotional charge.

    Another museum dedicated to the Homeland War with special focus on Dubrovnik’s role in the conflict in on top of Mount Srd in Fort Imperial. The historical fort dated back to the beginning of 19th century played a crucial role in the war of 1990’s. It was the last line of defence for Croatian forces in a struggle to repel Serbian and Motenegrin attacks. Especially interesting part of the museum is the “news room” with news stories showing footage of the war torn Dubrovnik.

    Outside of Old Town, make sure to visit recently opened Red History Museum. It is located in Gruz Harbour area and deals with time period of Yugoslavia. What was life like under communist / socialist rule is seen through exhibits depicting everyday life of local people during that time. You will also get an insight into important historical events that shaped Yugoslavia and Croatia. It is a fun and interesting museum and well worth your time.

    In Pile neighbourhood, just outside the historical centre you can find Love Museum. It is a small museum of love stories from Dubrovnik’s past and present. It is set up with care and is a fun visit, especially for couples.

    For more detailed look at Dubrovnik's historical and cultural riches, check out our guide to city's churches and places of worship and museums and galleries.

    2. Mount Srd, with or without Cable Car

    Mount Srd is a hill overlooking Dubrovnik. It is 415 metres tall. It looks dramatic as it towers over the city’s historical centre and Lokrum Island. Obviously, it makes for a perfect panoramic photography location. Mount Srd is popular for both locals and travellers to Dubrovnik. The top of it can be reached by car, cable car or on foot via a hiking trail.

    Dubrovnik Cable Car

    Don't fancy the walk? A cable car runs from the city to the peak. However, it is sometimes closed due to strong winds. It was also closed for a while in 2020 due to the pandemic. You can easily check the conditions and operation schedule at the start point. Indeed, this lower station for the cable car is in Ploce. It's only five minutes walk from the Old Town. The number 8 bus from Gruz harbour to the Old Town will drop you off at the right spot. Cable car ride is short, but lovely and provides winderful vistas.

    How do I Hike up to Mount Srd?

    Hiking trail to the top of Mount Srd zig-zags up the face of the hill. The trail begins above the historical centre, on Jadranska Cesta D8 (map below). There is a bus stand for Number 3 and 3a buses right next to it, but the hike from the Old Town to the start of the trail is also worth doing. The hiking trail leads to 19th Century fort Imperial. It provides amazing views and is suitable for beginners as well. The path is very rocky, so make sure to have closed, sturdy footwear. Bottled water and sunscreen are good to have with you, especially on a hot day.

    Hiking Trail Mount Srd - Dubrovnik

    3. Lokrum

    Lokrum by Romulic and Stojcic

    Sitting a mere 600 metres from Dubrovnik, Lokrum is a beautiful, natural island. But there is much more to its story than you might expect. The first known written mention of Lokrum was in 1023 when the Benedictine abbey and monastery came into existence. They still stand today. The name Lokrum comes from the Latin, 'acrumen'. In fact, this translates as ''sour fruit''. Apparently, it derives from the cultivation of exotic plants on the island. It's a tradition started in the time of the Benedictines.

    The last Benedictines left the island in 1808. On their last night, the monks placed a complex curse on the island. Since then, anyone who tried to seek Lokrum for their own has met an unexpected and untimely death. According to legend, Richard the Lionheart was shipwrecked on Lokrum in 1192. After returning home from the crusades, he pledged to build a church on the island in thanks. But, in response to the plea of citizens, the church was instead built on the nearby mainland.

    From Monks to Emperors

    Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg had a mansion built on the island in 1859. Maximilian's wife, the Archduchess Charlotte of Austria, originally purchased it. She retained ownership even after she and her husband became Emperor and Empress of Mexico.

    After Emperor Maximilian's execution, the island became the property of the Habsburg Family. Subsequently, a deal was struck between Franz Joseph I of Austria and Leopold II of Belgium. Charlotte had gone insane. Thereafter, in the name of his sister, Leopold renounced all of her and her husband's claims to property in the empire. Undeniably, Leopold was far more concerned with the acquisition of his sister's great fortune.

    The island was given to Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria as part of her marriage dowry. Eventually, Yugoslavia claimed it under the Treaty of Saint-Germain. But, Princess Elizabeth decreed that she was no longer a Habsburg. In other words, this meant she'd renounced her rights upon marrying. Therefore, Yugoslavia had no right to sequester the property. The case was settled by a payment of around $575,000 to the Princess.

    In 1959, a Botanical Garden was founded on the island. It contains native and imported, tropical and subtropical plants. In addition, families of peacocks inhabit the island. In fact, they're descendants of ones brought from the Canary Islands by Maximilian. Full of life, natural beauty and ideal swimming spots, the island is a must-visit. Relax, swim and leave the bustling city behind. You'll enjoy the space alongside locals as well as visitors. Dubrovnik residents love this place.

    Where do Dubrovnik Locals Go?

    Lokrum Island in known in Dubrovnik as a place of legends and stories, but also as a perfect getaway from the crowds in the city. Small group of dedicated locals will use every chance to get to Lokrum and re-charge their batteries. Swimming in clear waters, walking barefoot among Lokrum’s many exotic plants or sunbathing on the smooth rocks of the island’s western end; all this is waiting just 15 minutes away from the Old Town Port. Over the weekends Lokrum Island becomes a perfect setting for a family picnic in the island’s olive orchard. Regular boat line connecting the island to Dubrovnik operates from April to November. The first boat of the year is the one that local Lokrum lovers never miss.

    Best Instagram Spot in Dubrovnik?

    One of the very best spots to take a photo in Dubrovnik area is on Lokrum. It is Lokrum “Buza” which is a local dialect word meaning “hole in the wall”. The configuration of the terrain in this spot creates an opening in the rocks looking out to the sea. You can easily stand in front of it and take a picture with the sea in the background. It is a great spot to see and the island’s most prominent selfie location. As all similar locations, it is a bit overused in social media posts.

    Game of thrones Filming Locations on Lokrum

    Game of thrones is a wildly popular TV show that left its mark on Dubrovnik. Some people only heard of the city because of it. There are numerous filming locations in and around Dubrovnik which we will go into in one of the other chapters of this page. However, let’s not fail to mention there was filming on Lokrum as well. The garden of the old Benedictine Monastery was used to shoot scenes depicting the fantasy city of Qarth in Season 2 of the show. In this scene Daenerys Targaryen introduces herself to a few members of local society. Later on, just before she enters the House of the Undying, she is standing on the stairs that are part of Lokrum’s Gardens of Maximilian.

    The most important area for Game of Thrones lovers is a tin GoT museum in the former Benedictine Monastery. There sits the Iron Throne, the most important seat in the Kingdom of Westeros. Not only that, but it is free to visitors to sit in and take pictures.

    4. Dubrovnik Beaches

    Dubrovnik beaches are some of the most popular spots for travellers to this city. With warm Mediterranean climate and one of the cleanest seas in the world, it makes perfect sense many travellers look to cool themselves off in the deep blue waters of the Adriatic. Locals often spend time on beaches as well. They either arrive by land or on their private boats. Some locals actually practice swimming in the see throughout the year, regardless of the cool temperatures.

    Is it Safe to Swim in Dubrovnik?

    The sea around Dubrovnik is very safe. Larger beaches will have ropes with buoys around the area meant for swimming. Many tourists mistakenly think these are shark nets or similar, but they actually serve to direct the local boat traffic away from the swimming area. With virtually no dangerous kinds of sharks in the area and very few other types of potentially dangerous marine wildlife, swimming or snorkelling in Dubrovnik is very safe.

    Some dangers do exist. Swimming long distances, for example across channels to nearby islands, is not a good idea during the summer. The boat traffic is heavy and it is easy to not notice a single swimmer or diver in the water. Important to note is also that the shoreline is mainly rugged and rocky. So getting into the water while its very windy and rough is not a good idea unless you are on a beach. Getting out of the water onto rocks with waves hitting it is very difficult and potentially dangerous. Speaking of rocks, some of Dubrovnik visitors like to emulate local kids by cliff diving. This is only a good idea you know exactly that the spot you are jumping into doesn’t have any shallow rocks. This is also only recommended doing sober and you wouldn’t believe how many people need to be told this.

    Are there any Sandy Beaches in Dubrovnik?

    Many will be surprised by the lack of sandy beaches in the area. Most of Dubrovnik beaches are pebbly and rocky. In fact, locals often prefer rocky shore to the beach because of the lower noise levels and more privacy they offer. If you are looking for sandy beaches, best you can hope for in the city itself are very fine pebbles or rough sand as found on Sveti Jakov Beach or Banje Beach. Sandy beaches in Dubrovnik area are away from the city, on Elaphiti Islands, Mljet Island, Korcula Island, or in Molunat in Konavle Region.

    Dubrovnik Best Beaches

    Banje Beach

    Banje Beach is the quintessential Dubrovnik beach. It is situated a short walk from Ploce Gate – south-eastern entrance to the historical centre. The beach is pebbly with some fine pebbles making it easier to walk on barefoot. This beach is also a home to the East-West Beach Club, so you will never be too far away from a refreshing cocktail or a light lunch when spending time here. There are also sun loungers and sun beds to rent for those not wishing to sprawl out over warm pebbles. The main selling point of Banje Beach is undoubtedly its incredible view over the historical centre. It truly is a picture postcard swimming spot.

    Sveti Jakov

    Sveti Jakov (St. Jacob) Beach also boasts wonderful views over the Old Town and Island of Lokrum, but this one is further away from the historical centre. Getting to it means going through one of the most beautiful Dubrovnik neighbourhoods. After passing by Villa Sheherezade, Villa Dubrovnik Hotel and 16th century St. Jacob Church, you will find stairs leading you down to the beach. It is a long staircase you will curse on the way back. The beach is nestled in a small bay. It is pebbly going to rough sand. It features a beach bar/restaurant and is a beautiful place to enjoy even without swimming. The location of Sveti Jakov Beach means it is less popular than Banje Beach, but not much.


    Dance is definitely one of the locals’ favourite swimming spots. This rocky bay with concrete sunbathing plateaus is close to the 15th century monastery and Church of St. Mary. Local people faithful to Dance call themselves Dancari and are well organised into an organisation with an apt name – Republic of Dance. This beach is facing away from the historical centre and is thus less visible and less popular with the visitors. It is located just below Gradac Park, facing north-west. Dance is a great option for those wishing to enjoy a swimming spot with more of a local feeling. It is not good for those who like their beaches sandy and with plenty of amenities.


    Copacabana got its name from a far more popular Brasilian cousin. It is however much different with its pebbly bottom and a view towards Dubrovnik Bridge and the hills of Dubrovnik’s northern riviera. You can find Copacabana in Babin Kuk area of Dubrovnik. It features various amenities including a couple of cafés and a restaurants. This beach is very popular with families and is conveniently located close to some parking areas.

    Coral Beach Club

    Coral Beach Club is very close to Copacabana. It is however a different beach with its own beach club. It’s a rocky swimming area with some pebbly parts. Its beautiful lounge bar with comfortable seating and plenty of shade makes it into a perfect place for those more interested in nice views and tasty drinks than swimming. The view from the beach is towards Daksa and Kolocep Island, two of the Elaphiti Islands.

    Uvala Lapad

    The most popular large bay of Dubrovnik is Uvala Lapad (Bay of Lapad). This area with its promenade and numerous cafés and restaurants is the number one choice for Dubrovnik locals when wanting to relax with their children and friends. With numerous hotels and rental properties around, it is easy to see why Uvala Lapad is always a lively place. At the base of the bay is the local beach, lately called Sunset Beach. It is a newly redesigned beach with pebbly, rocky and concrete areas and plenty of amenities. It is perfect for families and beloved by children. If at any point you feel it is getting too crowded you can always take a short stroll to one of the rocky areas found all around the bay.

    5. Dubrovnik Walking Tours

    Dubrovnik’s historical centre is the setting for vast majority of the walking tours on offer. With much to explore it makes sense that these tours are both numeours and diverse. From historical tours to food tours, there is always a good reason to walk around the Old Town.

    History Tour

    Historical tours are traditionally the most popular in Dubrovnik. They come in all forms, from detailed museums tours to walking the City Walls. The choice will depend on your preferences and your budget. There are regular group tours that are fairly cheap and easy to book, but offer no options for customization. On the other hand, there are plenty of local guides you can hire for a custom tour based on your specifications.

    Game of Thrones Tour

    They say you can't visit Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower. Similarly, they used to say you can't visit Dubrovnik without walking its walls. And while that's still true, perhaps a Game of Thrones tour is also now essential? 'King's Landing' has become a global phenomenon since the HBO series aired. Game of Thrones tourism is BIG in Dubrovnik. Here is what you need to know.

    Is Game of Thrones Tour Worth It?

    Game of Thrones tours can be very cheap group tours, so they will not be a major expense. If you are interested in history more than the famous TV show, know that you will visit many of the same locations on both itineraries. When hiring a private guide you will be able to combine history with Game of Thrones filming locations.

    You are not a fan of the show? Then there is maybe no point in doing this tour. However, there are many who end up doing filming locations tours without ever having watched the show. Only they know why.

    Other Walking Tours

    There are too many other walking tours to name them all. Some of the more popular are food tours, tours dealing with Croatian Homeland War, Jewish heritage tours, bar hopping, wine tasting tours, ghost stories tours and many other. Dubrovnik offers more than just history and filming locations. As an inquisitive traveller you will have no problems finding activities that suit your taste.

    Honorable Mention: 6. Best Dubrovnik Sunset Spots

    Sunset Pool at Sun Gardens Resort

    Take a trip to Sun Gardens Resort, just outside of Dubrovnik to witness an amazing sunset location. Experience true luxury as you lounge by one of the best pools in the world, as stated by the Conde Nast Traveller. From dawn until dusk, the Sunset Pool is the perfect place to soak up the rays and watch the sun go down over the horizon. The spacious lounge area is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing with canopy umbrellas and cushioned benches providing the maximum comfort. With beautiful water features, a dedicated kid’s pool and a fantastic bar, this sea view pool has something for everybody. And if you want lunch without wandering too far from the comfort of the pool, our Sunset Bar & Grill is the perfect option. Try salads and grilled specialities, or sample something lighter, such as local fruits and desserts, all in a family-friendly environment.

    More information on the Sunset Pool is on the website of Sun Gardens Resort

    Top of Mount Srd

    Dubrovnik sunsets are nothing short of magical. There are plenty of areas from which you can enjoy the view to the setting sun. However, nothing beats the top of Mount Srd. On its north-western end, the plateau of Srd offers amazing views towards the sea and the scattered archipelago of Elaphiti Islands. Watching the sun go down from here is a must-have experience.

    Restaurant with the Best View in Dubrovnik

    There are many restaurants in Dubrovnik that boast nice views. Panorama Restaurant on top of Mount Srd, however, is rightfully hailed as having one of the best views in the city. Located directly above the historical centre, restaurant’s terrace provides breath taking views over the city and Lokrum Island. It is important to note, not all tables on the terrace will have this amazing view. So, if you are thinking of booking a table specifically to enjoy the panoramic vista, make sure to let the restaurant know this.

    Sunset Beach

    Sunset Beach in Uvala Lapad doesn’t bear that name by accident. The views from the beach over the bay of Lapad and onward to Elaphiti Islands is nothing short of amazing. It is hard to say which season of the year brings with it a nicer sunset seen from this beach. Its Sunset restaurant and a few cafés are great places to sit in, get a refreshing drink and wait for the mesmerising change of colours.  

    Adriatic Sunsets Tours

    For those looking to enjoy the sunset and not worry about organising the trip themselves, Adriatic Sunsets is a company offering great sunset panoramic tours. Their custom built panoramic vans offer small groups a chance to capture great photographs and get introduced to the area traversing most picturesque roads chosen by local experts. Adriatic Sunsets is a great choice for newcomers to Dubrovnik, as well as returning guests. When ever you visit Dubrovnik make sure to inquire about their itinerary and options. You will not be sorry!

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 24 Jan 2022 20:33:54 +0100
    Accommodation in Dubrovnik: Hotels, Apartments, Hostels An overview of the numerous accommodation options in Dubrovnik: hotels, hostels, apartments for rent, wellness and spa.


    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    Where to stay in Dubrovnik

    Accommodation options in Dubrovnik suit all budgets. But, the advice for all is the same - book early. Especially for peak season. Things sell out very quickly. And, then prices rise.

    Dubrovnik Hotels

    City with a long history of being a busy port and decades long status as a top class travel destination is bound to have plenty of accommodation options. Hotels in Dubrovnik are many and they differ in many respects. Before looking for a hotel, you need to ask yourself what kind of stay are you going for. Do you want to be in the middle of the action within the City Walls, or do you want to be outside the historical centre with a view of the ancient ramparts? Would you like to be away from the bustle of the Old Town? Do you want to be on the beach? The more questions like these you can answer, the easier your search will be.

    Dubrovnik offers plenty of options in 3 star, 4 star and 5 star properties, but they are all very busy in peak season. So, avoid last minute bookings.

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Your Perfect Holiday in Croatia

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Croatia's premier five-star resort is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. It offers an exquisite choice of 201 modern hotel rooms and suites, 207 luxurious residences and a villa. The beachfront location of the resort embodies the unique charm of the Adriatic coast. Located near 11 kilometres from UNESCO protected historical centre of Dubrovnik, the resort provides the perfect spot from which to explore and enjoy everything the region has to offer.

    Replicating the ambience of a traditional Dalmatian village, Sun Gardens offers a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustel of daily life. Couples and families find a perfect place to relax and reconnect in this idyllic oasis. Understated elegance and great comfort characterize the spacious rooms and suites in the resort, all of which offer exceptional amenities and boast amazing views from a private terrace or balcony. One-, two- and three-bedroom residences are spacious and comfortable. They feature fully equipped kitchens, cosy living rooms with balconies or terraces overlooking Mediterranean gardens, or stunning sea views.  Additionally, you can find an authentic Dalmatian 5-bedroom villa in the resort. It is sprawled over an impressive 662 sqm area. It features a private pool and offers complete privacy and seclusion with unrivalled sea views of the crystal blue Adriatic.

    Facilities and Amenities

    Rich resort facilities include a secluded beach, three outdoor pools, award winning spa, sports centre, gourmet heaven of restaurants and bars, kids' club, shopping area and conference center. Resort beach is surrounded by beautiful untouched nature giving an exclusive Mediterranean feel. VIP beach area offers a tucked away lounge area as well as personalized services and amenities. There are also three freshwater pools to choose from. Dedicated family Sunset Pool and Lemonia Pool with beautiful water features, a kids' pool and a fantastic bar, or adults-only Marina Pool – ideally out-of-the-way for couples to unwind in the Croatian sun. 3000 sqm awarded Spa is a story unto itself. Here, guests can enjoy individually designed spa facial rituals, nurturing body treatments or soothing body massages. Spa Centre features a Hydrotherapy pool, individual treatment rooms and suites, a relaxation zone with stunning views, an 18-metre lagoon pool, Thalassotherapy spa bath and several saunas.

    Sports and Fitness

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is also the perfect destination for sports and fitness enthusiasts. Guests can work out at SPA gym or in the fully equipped gym at the Sports Centre. They can also choose from a wide range of indoor and outdoor on-site activities. These include five-a-side football, tennis, squash, wall climbing and group classes. Lovers of outdoor and nature can also enjoy several exciting trails around the resort ideal for hiking or cycling. To complement guest’s stay in Dubrovnik, on-site travel agency organizes various day trips or half-day excursions to suit individual preferences. Also on offer are yacht charter, water taxi services, ren- a-car, and boat trips to nearby islands.

    To get more detailed info or to reserve your dream holiday in Sun Gardens, visit

    5 Best Boutique Hotels in Dubrovnik

    There are plenty of large hotels in Dubrovnik. They offer great amenities, good restaurants and often have their own beaches to enjoy. Only thing they can’t offer is a feeling of quiet intimacy. They can never be places where all the staff knows you, simply because of their size. If you are willing to trade some of the amenities and grandeur for a bit more peace and friendliness, then boutique hotels are the right choice for you.

    Villa Dubrovnik

    Villa Dubrovnik is without a doubt one of the nicest 5 star properties in Dubrovnik. It is located in Sveti Jakov area and offers amazing views, clean décor, great restaurant, direct access to a small beach and amazing service. The hotel is just far enough from the Old Town to avoid the crowds and the noise. It is still within walking distance to all major sights of the city.

    Kazbek Hotel

    Kazbek Hotel is a renovated 16th century summer residence of a local aristocratic family. It is located in Lapad Area, overlooking Gruz Harbour. It keeps the authentic feel and its history is very visible when staying there. Kazbek is a great choice for those wishing to be away from the main crowds, but also within easy walking distance to plenty of cafes, restaurants and beaches of Uvala Lapad area. Hotel Kazbek is also adjacent to a brand new yacht marina so it will undoubtedly be popular with those chartering boats from Dubrovnik.

    Pucic Palace

    Another building with long and interesting history, Pucic Palace is a baroque residence from the 17th century. It is located on Gundulic Square, in the heart of the Old Town. Gundulic Square houses one of the city’s farmer’s markets in the morning. In the afternoon local restaurants take over the square. Pucic Palace offers luxury accommodation and great service. Its location is perfect for those wishing to wake up in the middle to the sights and sounds of the ancient city.

    Stari Grad Hotel

    Another boutique hotel within the historical centre, Stari Grad Hotel occupies a 16th-century building and offers the only rooftop restaurant in the historical centre. The hotel is ran meticulously by a couple passionate about Dubrovnik. It offers a Thai spa as well and consistently ranks high with its guests. Stari grad is a 4-star property and offers excellent value for money for all those looking to enjoy the historical centre of Dubrovnik without sacrificing the full service aspect and luxury of high quality hotel accommodation.

    St. Joseph Hotel

    This is a newcomer on the local scene, but it is already a serious contender. St. Joseph is in one of the less crowded parts of the Old Town. What it lacks in amenities it more than makes up for with stunning rooms and great service. It is a wonderful option for those looking for accommodation mainly for quality rooms and a good night sleep, while they plan to spend most of the day exploring the local attractions.

    Dubrovnik Apartments & Villas

    Private accommodation was popular in Dubrovnik way before Air BnB, or even internet. There is a long tradition of homestays and apartments for short term rent and things haven’t changed much. The only thing different nowadays is much more offer. There are apartments for rent in Dubrovnik on every step. You will be able to find everything from small studios on the most popular city squares to larger family apartments with private parking and summer kitchens away from the noise.

    Houses for rent and villas with pools are also gaining in popularity in the last decade. They can be very lavish with prices fit for top class hotels or more modest places that feel like home. If you are looking for a budget house for rent, be aware that immediate area of Dubrovnik doesn’t offer much options. Much bigger choice of houses for rent is in the surrounding areas like Zaton, Orasac, Zupa Dubrovacka, or Cavtat & Konavle.

    Dubrovnik Hostels

    Being an increasingly popular destination for young travellers saw Dubrovnik’s accommodation scene crying out for hostels. With some old ones and plenty new options, hostel scene of the city is gaining momentum. Hostels are best booked ahead of time as they too get booked up during the season. Aside from the Old Town which is popular for sightseeing and nightlife, you might also want to consider Gruz Harbour Area when booking your hostel accommodation. This district is gaining in popularity among locals as well with recent years seeing some new bars, cafés and restaurants opening. The area is also within walking distance to the historical centre and is very well connected by public transportation.

    Which is the Best Part of Dubrovnik to Stay in?

    Important bit of information for those looking where to stay is that Dubrovnik is quite a small place. There are no locations within the city limits that are too far away from any of the places you might want to enjoy. Only problems are stairs and parking. Dubrovnik is very hilly, so accommodation units that seem very close to your point of interest might be much higher up. This results in you having to negotiate numerous stairs every day which is never fun. There are no dangerous parts of town or neighbourhoods you need to keep away from. It is all open for exploration and safety is not a big concern when choosing where to stay in Dubrovnik.

    Old Town is the most attractive and the busiest part of town. It is the best choice for those who wish to be in the heart of the action and enjoy the history. Areas just outside the Old Town, from Ploce all the way to Sveti Jakov, can be wonderful options for a more relaxed, luxurious vacation with amazing views of the historical centre. Uvala Lapad and adjacent Babin Kuk area are good options if you want to enjoy swimming and being more relaxed. They are both good choices for families with smaller children. Gruz harbour area is the best choice for those wishing to get a feeling of local life and those wishing to explore the surrounding area and islands.

    Peace and Beauty Just outside of Dubrovnik

    Just outside of the city limits you can find very interesting areas for accommodation as well. South of Dubrovnik is the area of Zupa Dubrovacka. It encompasses several villages. Those in the hilly areas provide amazing views, but often require you to have a car or some other mean of transport. Those close to the sea are going to be more expensive, but will enable you to enjoy all the amenities. There are areas like Cibaca where they are mostly flat, but a bit away from the sea. Here, you can get the best prices of accommodation and getting around will not be difficult. The views on the other hand, will usually be less than impressive.

    North of Dubrovnik lies an area housing a few great options for your Dubrovnik based stay. The most notable villages are Zaton and Orasac. Zaton and the adjacent Mali Zaton are set in a large bay and feature plenty of options for a vacation by the sea. Just a few minutes of driving from Zaton, you will find Orasac. This beautiful village has its traditional settlement in the hills. By the sea it features an amazing bay occupied by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Resort. Staying in this area allows you to be within easy drive to Dubrovnik’s centre and yet able to enjoy peace and lack of crowds. From Orasac you can easily get to Trsteno Arboretum. This garden of 15th century aristocratic summer residence is one of the area’s protected parks and was made famous as one of the Game of Thrones filming locations.

    Travelling to Peljesac Peninsula wine region or historical town of Ston is also much easier when staying north of Dubrovnik than within the city.

    Best Dubrovnik Wellness & Spa

    People travel for different reasons, but most of us need some pampering here and there. While one can argue Dubrovnik area provides many options for natural rejuvenation, a visit to a good wellness centre can significantly improve the quality of your holiday. With many guests and well run accommodation, there is no shortage of wellness and spa centres in Dubrovnik. Here are a few recommendations.

    Sun Gardens Spa, Orasac

    Just outside of the city lies the beautiful resort of Sun Gardens. This 5-star property occupies a picturesque bay in Village of Orasac. While not within walking distance from your Dubrovnik accommodation, top quality amenities of Sun Gardens are well worth a 20 minute drive along the coast.

    An award winning Spa Centre at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is a place to relax, rejuvenate and indulge. It is renowned as one of the most comprehensive spa centres on the Dalmatian coast. The spa is a perfect choice for a day of relaxation and pampering equally suitable for solo indulgence, luxurious couple's experience, or relaxation for the whole family. Guests can enjoy spa facial rituals, nurturing body treatments or soothing body massages designed to suit individual needs. The centre features a Hydrotherapy pool, individual treatment rooms and suites, a relaxation zone with stunning views, an 18-metre lagoon pool, Thalassotherapy spa bath and several saunas. Spa Centre at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has won top accolades from TripAdvisor and World Luxury Spa Awards as the best Luxury Resort Spa Croatia for several years in a row.

    Get detailed information on the resort’s website

    Hotel Excelsior Energy Clinic

    Excelsior sits just outside of the Old Town. It features wonderful views over the historical area and great offer of food and beverage outlets. Hotel’s spa centre offers a beautiful indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi whirlpools. Turkish and Roman baths are also on offer with Finnish sauna perfect for colder days. Fitness centre is also available is you wish to add a bit of workout to your days. Staff in the spa centre is attentive and professional. With all this and much more, Hotel Excelsior spa will definitely leave you wanting to come back.

    Spa at Villa Dubrovnik

    Sophistication is the name of the game in Villa Dubrovnik. While this luxury boutique hotel might be much smaller than others on the list, it does offer a beautiful wellness centre. Indoor pool featuring breath taking views dominates the centre. Cosmetics and preparations used are top quality and feature local ingredients. Massages and exfoliating treatments come highly recommended as do relaxing teas made with fresh local herbs. With amazing restaurants and picture perfect location, Villa Dubrovnik might be your choice for a spa day to remember.  

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:57:08 +0100
    Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik offers its visitors many restaurant, bistro, fast-food and pizza options, from Michelin-starred to budget.


    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    Where to eat in Dubrovnik?

    Dubrovnik Restaurants

    The healthy Mediterranean diet forms the base of Dubrovnik cuisine. Therefore, the city's dining scene has no shortage of freshness and quality. International foodies are now discovering what is on offer. Many Dubrovnik restaurants are Michelin-recommended.


    Top 5 Recommended Restaurants

    Cilantro Restaurant at Sun Gardens Resort

    Inspired by a desire to explore the Mediterranean region, award winning Cilantro restaurant is a dining gem that you mustn’t miss. Situated a short drive outside of Dubrovnik, Cilantro provides a perfect setting for a light lunch or a quiet romantic dinner with breath-taking sea views. Restaurant's open kitchen is nothing short of spectacular. Locally sourced ingredients bursting with flavour and modern culinary techniques make Cilantro the perfect choice for discerning diners. Experience authentic dishes full of mouth-watering aromas in chic surroundings.

    Find out more on Sun Garden’s webpage.


    The first (and so far, the only) Michelin star restaurant in Dubrovnik, 360 is a must-visit place for all the fine dining connoisseurs. Its modern culinary creations are beautifully presented. The atmosphere and the setting are amazing with wonderful views to the Old Town Port. Aside from top quality food, the restaurant also boasts one of the most impressive wine cellars in the country. Needless to say, 360 is one of the two most expensive restaurants in Dubrovnik, but it does offer more than just a casual dining experience. Reserve well in advance.


    Located just a stone’s throw away from the busiest parts of the historical centre, Kopun Restaurant offer many dishes inspired by the traditional cuisine of Dubrovnik region and the rest of Croatia. Their efforts to breathe in new life to the traditional cuisine made them popular with locals as well, which is something not many restaurants in the Old Town can say. It is a higher-mid range priced restaurant with great service and beautiful atmosphere of Ruder Boskovic Square.


    Pantarul is located in Lapad area of Dubrovnik. It is constantly rated as one of the best restaurants in Dubrovnik and for a reason. The menu is imaginative and it changes seasonally. It mainly features locally inspired dishes with a bit of an international twist. The emphasis in Pantarul is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Great food and friendly service will make youw ant to come back to this one.


    Nautika is nothing short of a Dubrovnik institution. It is a restaurant of long and glorious history and has always stood as the city’s symbol for upscale dining. It is a traditionally inspired restaurant offering some classics as well as some modern additions to their menu. Impressive wine list and excellent service are also a given whenever you visit Nautika. It is located just outside of Pile Gates, on Brsalje Square. The view from the terrace is towards Lovrjenac Fortress.

    Top 5 Restaurants and Eateries on a Budget in Dubrovnik

    Dubrovnik Stradun Street
    Bistro 49

    Located close to Gruz Hardour area, Bistro 49 offers a mix of traditional food and modern international favourites. It is close to the cruise ship port and the main bus station, in the district of Kantafig. It is known for great burgers, good pizza and nice selection of craft beer. During the day it is popular for younger visitors, while in the evening it makes for a good option for dinner with friends.

    Lucin Kantun

    Close to Dubrovnik’s main street, Lucin Kantun (Lucy’s Corner) is a charming place offering locally inspired food with strong emphasis on imaginative appetizers. The interior of the restaurant is reminiscent of kitchen and dining room area of a private home. Tables are tiny, but they suit the décor very well. This restaurant is a perfect choice for couples.

    Konoba Tabak

    Let’s go really local. Konoba Tabak is located in the middle of Dubrovnik’s modest business district in Gruz. It is a low key local bistro offering daily working lunches and a menu of simple dishes comprised mainly of locally sourced ingredients. Don’t expect luxury or service fitting of a five star hotel when visiting Tabak. What you will get is a simple local dining experience with lower prices than you’ll find in most other places in Dubrovnik.

    Buffet Kamenice

    Kamenice are a strange restaurant, but one that is impossible to omit when talking about Dubrovnik’s dining scene. This small eatery has stood the test of time and often feels frozen in time. It is known for simple seafood and serves amazing oysters by which it got its name. It is immensely popular regardless of its 1980’s feel and look. Oysters and fish are recommended in Kamenice, but what ever you order, it will be served by efficient and pleasant staff. Kamenice is located on Gundulic Square, one of the most popular local squares in the Old Town.

    Konoba Lokanda

    You can find Lokanda in the Old Town Port. It is a seafood eatery with a laid back feel. Lokanda features beautiful views over the port and serves rustic local food. It is a big place so the intimate feel of a small local bistro is not there, but the food is delicious and a good representation of some of the local classics. Unlike many places on this list Lokanda is good even for larger groups.

    Top 5 Pizzerias in Dubrovnik

    Pizzas are the essential fast food in Dubrovnik. It is hard to imagine a bigger crowd pleaser that a steaming hot pizza. Dubrovnik locals dine in pizzerias way more frequently than any other type of restaurant. So, you can be certain there is quite a selection when it comes to pizza places. These five spots are our favourites.


    Husband and wife duo run Castro with a passion you can taste in all their pizzas. Located on already mentioned Gundulic Square, Castro is a place for creative pizzas made with care. The service is great and the setting is very local. Reservations are not a bad idea as Castro is very busy during the summer and is also popular with both tourists and locals alike.

    Trattoria Sunset Beach

    Trattoria Sunset is a part of Sunset Beach in Uvala Lapad. It makes amazing pizzas and its location is perfect for families with children as well as anyone wishing to grab a quick bite after the beach. Aside from pizzas the restaurant offers a selection of food with a heavy Italian influence. While the other dishes are very good as well, it would be a shame to visit Trattoria Sunset Beach and miss out on their pizza.

    Tabasco Pizzeria

    Tabasco is a local favourite. For years this pizzeria has been synonymous with local house parties and ordering food on a lazy Sunday. It offers a selection of pizzas made with delicious thick crusts. Their pizzas are huge and reasonably prices. Located just outside of the walled city, under the cable car station, Tabasco offers pleasant shaded terrace, perfect for escaping the crowds and the heat.

    Tutto Bene

    Tutto Bene offers great pizza. They are however more than just a pizza place serving chicken wings, hamburgers and even kebabs. They have three locations, one in the historical centre which is a simple fast food place and two larger restaurants that offer full table service. One of these is in Uvala Lapad, while the other is outside of the city, in Zupa Dubrovacka area. Tutto Bene is a fun place with plenty of choices mainly revolving around fast food. Their pizza, however, should be your number one choice when visiting.


    Olive is within the Old Town, in a corner behind Church of St. Blaise. It is a popular stop for many Dubrovnik visitors. While most of the other pizzerias on this list offer delivery or take away options, Oliva features a Pizza Cut outlet window which makes it very popular for grabbing a bite on the go. With plenty different pizzas to choose from, large pizza size and friendly service, Oliva is a great option when in the Old Town.

    International Cuisine in Dubrovnik

    International cuisine in Dubrovnik might be gaining in popularity, but is still largely underrepresented. Items on local menus that come from Italian, Spanish or Austro-Hungarian historical influence have long been a part of the city's cuisine and locals rarely consider them foreign. Apple strudel for example is one of the most common and favourite local desserts. There is, however, a growing appetite for international cuisine among the locals.


    This can be seen in immense popularity of Shizuku Japanese Restaurant which recently changed to Trinity, an Asian food restaurant. Trinity boasts a good selection of delicious dishes made with care and attention. Reasonably priced, this restaurant always ranks among the best value-for-money restaurants in Dubrovnik. Interestingly, Trinity boasts one of the most interesting wine lists in the city with the prices extremely reasonable.


    If you are looking for international cuisine in the Old Town, look no further than Azur. Azur is a breath of fresh air within the City Walls of Dubrovnik. It is an Asian fusion restaurant among the sea of Mediterranean cuisine places. Two brothers with plenty of professional experience gathered around Asia own and operate Azur. Their passion and creativity is translated onto the menu that changes frequently. The restaurant is located in a small side street going from behind Dubrovnik’s Cathedral to one of the Buza Bars you can read about in our bar section.

    More International Cuisine Options

    Along with Azur, Bota Oyster and Sushi Bar is another restaurant within the city walls specialising in Asian cuisine, namely sushi, sashimi and similar Japanese dishes. Just outside of the walls is Takenoko, a Dubrovnik branch of the finest Japanese restaurant in Zagreb. Taj Mahal is interestingly not an Indian cuisine restaurant, but a Bosnian restaurant that is well worth visiting. Mexican food has been creeping into the menus of local restaurants for years, but we are still to see a serious Mexican restaurant in Dubrovnik. Out of all the options, Chihuahua in Uvala Lapad is well worth visiting if you are in the mood for Mexican style cuisine

    Dubrovnik Fast Food and Street Food

    Aside from already mentioned pizza, Dubrovnik’s fast and street food options have traditionally been found in city’s bakeries. Dubrovnik’s bakeries bake delicious fresh bread. Daily bread is one of the most traditional food items bought by Dubrovnik inhabitants. Bakeries is where you often find burek – the king of Balkan fast food. Burek is a Bosnian dish of Turkish origins. It is baked thin flaky dough stuffed with either meat, cheese, cheese and spinach or potatoes. Majority of Dubrovnik’s bakeries will have it and it will be delicious when fresh. 

    Local fast food shops will have hamburgers – that have been gaining in popularity in the last ten years – tortillas or more traditionally chicken breast sandwiches. Cevapi, another Bosnian dish, are less and less sold as street food and more as a restaurant dish. Fast Food Barba in the historical centre is dedicated to selling seafood based fast food and it definitely worth a visit. Other than it, surprisingly, there is hardly any seafood options when it comes to street food scene of Dubrovnik.

    Vegetarian and Vegan Dubrovnik

    Traditional cuisine of the area might have had nice vegetable based dishes in its offer, but locals would rarely have a meal without a piece of fish or a piece of meat. Because of this, it has been an uphill struggle for local vegetarians and especially vegans to try and find enough dining options for themselves. Vegan travellers to Dubrovnik get to experience this lack of offer as well. Two dedicated vegan restaurants in Dubrovnik are Nishta on Prijeko Street in the Old Town and Urban & Veggie in Gruz Harbour. Both are great places owned by passionate individuals. However, they are not enough to satisfy the ever rising demand. When looking for vegan and vegetarian food in Dubrovnik, aside from the two mentioned places, look for restaurants that have vegan options extending beyond grilled vegetable platters.

    Dubrovnik Bars and Cafés

    Dubrovnik people love their coffee and they never take it to go. Coffee drinking and lounging on open terraces of bars and cafés is easily the most beloved pastime in the city. With pleasant weather, clean air and beautiful views it is no wonder there are cafés where ever you look in Dubrovnik.

    Maraska Bar at Sun Gardens Resort

    Sun Gardens Resort, just outside of Dubrovnik is a perfect getaway spot. It features a number of restaurants and bars, with the special mention going to Maraska Lounge Bar. This lounge bar is popular for its modern ambiance, signature cocktails and spectacular views over the sea and the Elaphite islands. Choose from an irresistible selection of drinks, including signature cocktails, wine by the glass and best malt whiskeys. Visiting during the day? Let their skilled baristas make you a perfect cup of coffee as you relax and surrender to the warm Mediterranean sun.

    Check out their website for additional information.

    Top 5 Bars and Cafés to Be Seen in

    Sometimes it’s all about the service, sometimes about the quality, but sometimes it’s all about being seen.

    Gradska Kavana

    Gradska Kavana (City Café) is a traditional coffee spot on the main square in the Old Town area – Luza Square. It is not a place you come into straight from the beach or from your morning jog. Rather, it is a place where quality service and good coffee are just as important as people watching and being seen.

    La Bodega

    Very different place than Gradska Kavana, but on the same square. La Bodega is a nice café, but gets more of a reputation as a night spot. During the summer it draws in crowds of people and is slowly but surely being promoted into a party spot.

    Whats Up

    Vojnovic Street, half way between the historical centre and Uvala Lapad is known for being home to numerous cafes. Several of them might make this list, but we have decided to include Whats Up. It’s a café and bar with terrace facing the street. This is key on Vojnovic as the hottest cars and motorcycles in Dubrovnik are regularly paraded here for the viewing enjoyment of the cafés' patrons.


    Across from Rector’s Palace in the Old Town, NoneNina is a cocktail bar and a café. Its location and design make it perfect for attracting views of the passers-by. Combine this with good coffee and a large cocktail list and you have a recipe for a perfect spot to be seen in. Sipping on a colourful cocktail in front of a UNESCO protected monument dressed in your best clothes is a summer’s dream for many.

    SNEK by coNGo

    It is not by accident that three of the five places on this list are on the same square. Luza Square was the epicentre of social life of Dubrovnik for centuries. Today, many will get most of their coffees elsewhere, but when local people go into the historical centre for their caffeine fix, they want to be seen and they want to see others. SNEK by coNGo is a new (silly) name for a traditional Dubrovnik hangout spot. With its new décor and tables right on the main street, you are guaranteed attention while sitting here. The coffee is also very good.

    Top 5 Most Instagramable Cafés in Dubrovnik

    With the views that Dubrovnik offers, it is clear this section will be less about cafés that are instagramable themselves and more about cafés which are on great locations and offer wonderful views. There are plenty of well-designed cafés in the city, but vast majority of their guests will hardly ever see their interior. Dubrovnik is the real star of this story and it has always been.


    Panorama café and restaurant on top of Mount Srd is easily one of the most attractive places in Dubrovnik. With incredible views over historical centre of Dubrovnik, visiting Panorama without taking some photos would be silly.

    Cave Bar
    Hotel More

    Nestled in the 5-star boutique hotel More, this popular bar is an actual cave. It was discovered during the hotel's construction. Extending over three levels, it's a unique bar in Lapad peninsula. It accommodates up to 60 guests and offers a wide choice of alcoholic and soft drinks, teas, coffees and snacks. An elevator takes you from the hotel to the bar. Alternatively, just use the stairs through the tunnel. Once inside, you'll enjoy extraordinary uninterrupted views of Lapad bay.

    City Walls Cafés

    There are three cafés on the City Walls of Dubrovnik with the one on Mrtvo Zvono Square being our favourite. However, all three offer amazing vistas either over the city’s rooftops or towards the sea. City Walls visits are all about history and travelling back through time, but a cup of coffee or an ice cold beer with amazing views should always be an option.

    Buza Bars

    Buza Bars are two bars on the cliffs outside of the city walls. They get their name from local word “Buza” which means hole in the wall. This name is very apt here as you literally have to go through the hole in the City Walls of Dubrovnik to get to them. Buza Bars are not just bars, but are also popular swimming spots for locals and visitors.

    Dubravka 1836

    It is too easy to find a café terrace from which to take a great photograph. This list could have been filled up solely with cafés within the walls or by the sea. However, we have decided to include Dubravka 1836 instead. This popular café with a long tradition is located on Brsalje Square, outside of Pile Gate. Its terrace is facing the north-western corner of the City Walls dominated by Bokar Fortress. Across the little bay from it is Fortress Lovrjenac perched on top of a cliff. The scene is reminiscent of a fantasy movie and begs to be photographed while enjoying your Dubrovnik coffee.  

    Dubrovnik Night Life

    Dubrovnik is not known for crazy night life, but during the summer there are plenty of night spots frequented by locals and visitors. The most important club in Dubrovnik is Revelin Culture Club, listed on Top Dj Mag’s Top 100 clubs in the World. It is located within the historical Revelin Fortress and is known to host some of the best DJs out there. Elsewhere within the historical centre night life is concentrated around the main street and little side streets where many small bars operate. Buniceva Poljana is a place populated with a few night spots including Micro, Poco Loco and Trubadur Jazz Bar (which might be closed through 2021).

    In Gruz Harbor new hotspots are Dubrovnik Beer Company and Love Bar. Dubrovnik Beer Company is a local craft brewery and a bar. Its industrial design and numerous events popular with locals are making it into a preferred night spot for many. Love Bar is a terrace bar with regular live music or DJ performances.

    Interestingly, Belfast Pub, which is mainly a sports bar during the day, is turning into a happening night spot. It is becoming very popular with Dubrovnik locals especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:36:31 +0100
    What To Do In Dubrovnik: Festivals, Events... Dubrovnik is so much more than just the beaches and the bars. Find out what else there is to do and enjoy in this hub of history and culture.

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    Dubrovnik Festivals and Events

    Some of Dubrovnik's notable festivals and events:

    • The Festival of St Blaise, the beloved patron of the city, in the first week of February.
    • Mediterranean Fair of Healthy Food, Medicinal Herbs and Green in March.
    • Dubrovnik Festiwine in April.
    • Aklapela Festival, traditional klapa singing, late April.
    • Lindjo folklore ensemble perform from May to October.
    • Dubrovnik Summer Festival - July - August.
    • Dubrovnik Late Summer classical musical festival - August -September.
    • International Festival of Jams & Marmalades - early October.
    • The Dubrovnik Film Festival - October.
    • Good Food Festival - mid-October.
    • Dubrovnik Winter Festival and New Year's Eve celebrations - December.

    PLEASE NOTE: Many events across Croatia, including Dubrovnik, were put on hold because of the pandemic. Official announcements of many for 2022 haven't yet been made.

    Dubrovnik summer Festival

    Dubrovnik Summer Festival also known as Dubrovnik Summer Games is one of the most important cultural festivals in this part of Europe. It is a festival of classical performing arts that runs yearly from 10th of July to 25th of August. It has been running for 72 years. During the festival the city is symbolically given over to the actors and performers. Performances like classical, jazz or world music concerts, theatre plays, ballet and similar are taking place around the city on public spaces and in histroical buildings. If you find yourself in Dubrovnik in July or August, make sure to enjoy one of these perfomances in an unforgettable setting. More information is available on Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s website.

    Festival of St. Blaise

    If you think 72 years of tradition for Dubrovnik Summer Festival is long, how about 1049 years of the continuous yearly celebration of St. Blaise Festival? St. Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik. His statue can be seen in many locations all around the city. Dubrovnik locals find him inseparable from the idea of Dubrovnik. Every year on 3rd of February there is a celebration of the patron saint’s day. Colourful procession walks around the city featuring people dressed in traditional costume from various regions of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia and even some neighbouring countries. Celebrations are not limited to just that one day. There is usually a week of various activities and smaller events in the run-up to St. Blaise Day.  

    Dubrovnik winter Festival and New Year’s Celebration

    Don’t confuse Dubrovnik Winter Festival with its summer counterpart. The premise of this one is much less about culture and much more about giving locals and visitors entertainment options during the winter period. Being mostly a seasonal destination, Dubrovnik streets are generally empty during the winter period. Recently, the city decided to liven things up with small stands offered to local businesses that wanted to offer their winter-themed products. This resulted in the Old Town being brought back to life and once again becoming an epicentre of Dubrovnik’s social life.

    This festival ties in well with the traditional open air New Year’s celebration that is organised every year on Stradun – Dubrovnik’s main street. It is uncertain what these festivities will look like in 2021 because of well known COVID19 pandemic woes. However, keep in mind that visiting Dubrovnik during Christmas and New Year’s might be the perfect choice for you

    Weddings in Dubrovnik

    Recently, Dubrovnik is quite a popular international wedding destination. When you take a look at some of the pictures and videos of the city, this is hardly a surprise. Happy couples from all corners of the world make their way to the city and enjoy their special day, usually organising everything through local wedding agencies. These affairs range from basic, intimate ceremonies to multiday wedding marathons with numerous guests and complex organisation. Stag and hen travel parties are also finding their way to Dubrovnik, as are people looking to renew their vows. There was even a request to organise a divorce celebration in the city recently.    

    Weddings in Sun Gardens Resort Dubrovnik

    It is the lush Mediterranean gardens, attentive service and the postcard-perfect views that give that enchanted, romantic touch to Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. This resort is a part of The Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious collection of independent luxury hotels.

    It is set on the doorstep of the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, just a short ride from UNESCO World Heritage Old Town of Dubrovnik. The resort echoes the understated elegance of each of 201 hotel rooms and suites or 207 residences. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik boasts some of the most diverse and flexible grounds for hosting weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations. These include seaside swimming pool areas, beach, gardens, terraces overlooking the Adriatic Sea with glorious Elaphite Islands in the background, and a stylish elegant ballroom.

    The resort draws inspiration from the Mediterranean lifestyle and reflects the beauty of Dalmatian coast in every detail. Each event is tailor made and the resorts' events team works vigorously in the background to ensure everything goes according to guests' wishes.

    Don’t start planning your special day without checking out Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. For specific inquiries, send a message directly.


    Sporting events in Dubrovnik usually don’t have the grandeur of cultural or business events, but that doesn’t mean there are no options on the city’s yearly calendar. In fact, make sure to check online before travelling to Dubrovnik for any sporting events held in the city at the time.

    There is one sporting giant that resides in Dubrovnik. Water Polo Club Jug is one of the world’s most successful water polo clubs ever. Dubrovnik is a water polo city through and through. Local amateur water polo championship known as Divlja Liga (Wild League) is probably more competitive than many professional water polo leagues around the world. For a truly local experience, visit one of Jug’s competitive matches taking place at the main pool in Gruz or one of the Wild League games organised in the summer on local beaches.

    Another must-mention sporting event is Du Motion. This running event is comprised of four races: half marathon, race over the City Walls of Dubrovnik, 5K race and kid’s race. It is a celebration of running and sporting lifestyle and is usually organised in April. In the years 2020 and 2021 it had to be cancelled, but it will be back, hopefully stronger than ever.


    Dubrovnik Conferences and Meetings

    Meetings, incentive travel, conferences; all find Dubrovnik to be their destination of choice. Larger conferences and events usually aim for periods off main season and they sometimes bring very large groups of people to the city for an activities-filled stay. Some of the global giants like McDonalds, or Mercedes-Benz had their large events in Dubrovnik. Political, academic and administrative organisations are regular visitors to the city as well. With some great options when it comes to accommodation and great ground operators it is safe to say this trend will continue in force as soon as the pandemic related measures are lifted.

    Sun Gardens Dubrovnik was the setting for the global launch of the Rimac Nevera.

    Sun Gardens Resort's Meetings, Incentives and Conference Centre

    Designed to the highest meetings' industry specifications, the impressive 1,800 square meters of conference space and the choice of outdoor venues provide the platform for the perfect event at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, sits within its own beautiful grounds and extensive five-star amenities, 11 kilometers from the UNESCO Old Town of Dubrovnik. It offers an exquisite choice of 201 modern hotel rooms and suites and 207 residences.

    The resort's modern conference facilities are split over two levels. They include a business centre, a separate delegate entrance, pre-function areas with terrace overlooking the sea, 7 meeting rooms and a spacious ballroom for up to 1000 people. All this makes for some of the largest and most flexible meeting space in Dubrovnik and Croatia. This purpose-built facility has catered to the most discerning meeting requirements and has successfully managed many blue chip corporate conferences, automotive events, meetings and incentives over the years. A variety of 30 different event spaces are also available throughout the resort. Set among the beautiful Mediterranean grounds they offer exceptional scope to design highly varied and customized events, all from one convenient location.

    The rooftop terrace, three outdoor pools, the choice of restaurants and bars and onsite marina are just some of the additional on-site venues available for hosting memorable meetings or incentives. Oak Tree venue is the largest outdoor function space in Dubrovnik- With its seating capacity of 700 people for black-tie gala events, it rounds up the story of a numerous MICE possibilities. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik trully is an ideal choice for hosting large events.

    Find out more details on the web pages of the resort or enquire directly.

    Active Holiday in Dubrovnik

    With so much untouched nature and clean environment, it comes as no surprise many of Dubrovnik’s guests decide to enjoy an active holiday. Choices abound with some of the most popular as follows:


    Hiking and walking around Dubrovnik is the first go-to activity for health-conscious locals. With so many hills around it is clear many of the hiking tours will include climbing up steep hills and being rewarded by breath taking views. It is important to inquire about the difficulty level of these tours when booking.

    Sea Kayaking

    Sea kayaking is one of the most popular activities in and around Dubrovnik. With options ranging from sunset kayaking around the historical centre, to full day tours exploring the neighbouring islands, there is something for every age and fitness level to choose from. Most of sea kayaking tours are good for beginners as well, so don’t let your lack of experience deter you from enjoying the sun and the sea.

    Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

    Speaking of the sea, exploring the silent depths of Dubrovnik area is a special treat indeed. With interesting wildlife and dramatic cliffs descending to the abyss, scuba diving and snorkelling have always been popular in Dubrovnik. Many locals will engage in both of these activities whenever they get a chance. When in Rome…

    Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik

    There's plenty to see and things to do in Dubrovnik. But, if you feel like spreading your wings a little, there are a number of fascinating one-day trips. Here are our top 5:

    1. Dubrovnik Boat Tours

    Boats are always a popular option when visiting Dubrovnik. The sea is clean and inviting and the islands are dotted with hidden bays, cool beaches and picturesque villages. There are regular boat tours going to Elaphiti Islands usually named “Three Island Cruise” or “Fish Picnic”. If these are too touristy for you, why not charter a private boat? There is quite a selection of charter boats to choose from in Dubrovnik with speedboats being the most popular.

    Elaphiti Islands are the most popular island group for visitors and it is no wonder. They offer everything you might want from an island escape. More information about them is available on our Elaphiti Islands in a Page.

    Another popular option is the magical island of Mljet. Mljet is home to amazing beaches and one of Croatia’s most beloved national parks. Mljet is not close, but it is well connected by regular ferry lines and can be reached by car as well via Peljesac Peninsula. It is worth visiting and all the proof you need is in our Mljet Island in a Page.

    Lokrum Island is so popular we’ve already covered it in our Things to Do section. Lokrum is just off the coast of the historical centre of Dubrovnik. It is a protected nature reserve and one of the most popular spots for Dubrovnik locals looking to get away from the crowds. On it you will find a botanical garden, few Game of Thrones filming locations, couple of cafés and restaurants, and remains of an old monastery-turned private residence. It is connected by regular boat line from the Old Town Port and is a popular destination for sea kayaking tours as well.

    2. Ston, Peljesac Peninsula - Foodie Heaven, Best Wine Tours, Oysters, Great Wall of Croatia,

    Town of Ston
    The walls of Ston © Ivo Biocina / Croatian National Tourist Board

    Ston is a fascinating small town on the road from Dubrovnik to Split. Furthermore, its history is very much intertwined with Dubrovnik's. Actually, this little settlement used to provide up to 35% of the annual revenue for the Republic of Ragusa through its salt pans. You can visit them today.


    The salt was so important the republic built walls to protect it. People say Ston's are the longest fortified ancient walls still in existence outside China. Specifically, they stretch 5.5 kilometres. And, while they may not be as impressive as the Great Wall of China, they are still quite a challenge. Particularly if you take part in the annual Ston half-marathon.


    Ston has a little baby brother called Mali (Little) Ston, a quite divine slice of Dalmatian heaven for foodies. For here are some of the best oysters in the world. And my top recommendation is to seek out Bote Sare and its incredible floating oyster bar. A truly memorable day out.

    Peljesac Peninsula, Plavac Mali heaven

    © Croatian National Tourist Board

    Ston lies at the entrance to the Peljesac Peninsula, one of the truly undiscovered gems of Dalmatia. But, it has been well and truly discovered by the wine-drinking community. Because here you'll find the best Plavac Mali wines in the world. It's a powerful Dalmatian red which. And, its genes are related to Zinfandel (which originates in Dalmatia).

    Coupled with the white Posip and Grk on Korcula, this area has some of Croatia's best wines. There are plenty of wine tours where you can discover more. Afterwards, head to Mali Ston for an oyster or three.

    Korcula by Romulic and Stojcic

    3. Island of Korcula - Marco Polo, Historical Towns, Great food and Wine, Hidden Beaches

    Ah Korcula, the island home of the greatest traveller of them all, Marco Polo. Its exquisite Old Town is one of the great architectural gems of Europe. Actually, the streets are constructed in the shape of a fish. Not only does this maximise the breeze, but also it protects from the fierce Bura wind.

    Aside from Korcula Town, the rest of the island offers much to discover. Small villages like Cara, Smokvica or Lumbarda are home to some of the nicest white wine in the country. Local winemakers have been perfecting their skills for centuries and it shows. Hidden beaches are all around with some of the best sandy beaches found in Lumbarda. Vela Luka, on the far side of the island is a place perfect for relaxation and re-charging.

    An island of wine, culture, beaches... and sword dancing. Learn more about it in our Korcula in a Page guide.

    4. Dubrovnik Countryside - Rich History, Traditonal Food, Amazing Views

    Historical Center Cavtat Croatia

    Konavle is Croatia’s southernmost region. It was historically under control of Dubrovnik, but its turbulent past is too broad of a subject to cover in this short paragraph. The main role of Konavle was food producing as the area is known for fertile land. Today, it encompasses 34 villages and towns and is an explorer’s dream.

    From magical seaside town of Cavtat to small villages with great local restaurants, Konavle is an area you do not want to miss while in Dubrovnik. It is well connected to the city by road while Cavtat itself has several regular boat lines connecting it to Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

    Detailed information about Cavtat and Konavle can be found in our dedicated page.

    5. Montenegro - UNESCO heritage of Kotor and luxury of Lustica Bay

    Kotor in Montenegro © Chensiyuan

    Dubrovnik is not the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the region. Just across the border in Montenegro is the magnificent Bay of Kotor. The delightful old town of Kotor is its heritage jewel.

    Kotor makes for a great day trip. But, there is also a new attraction for those looking to escape the crowds. Indulge in some peaceful waterfront luxury at the new Lustica Bay development close to Tivat. Learn more about Lustica Bay. Also, find out what you need to know about crossing the border into Montenegro.

    6. Mostar and the Rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina


    Want more UNESCO World Heritage? Mostar is within easy reach. Its bridge is iconic. Destroyed in the war, it has been completely rebuilt. Enjoy the very Ottoman feel of the Old Town. Afterwards, watch daring locals dive from the bridge into the green waters of the Neretva below.

    Kravica Waterfalls

    Kravica Waterfalls is a beautiful natural formation on Trebizat River near the town of Ljubuski. It has only recently been discovered by international travellers who now frequently include it in their Mostar tour itineraries. It is a perfect refresher en route to or from Mostar.


    Religious tourists may also be interested in Medjugorje. It's only 25 km from Mostar. On 25 June 1981, it's said here the Virgin Mary appeared to six children on a remote hillside. Subsequently, Medjugorje is today the biggest visitor attraction in the country. Learn more about it on Total Medjugorje. Here's the Total Croatia guide to crossing the border into Bosnia.

    Vjetrenica Cave

    Close to town of Ravno and border with Croatia, Vjetrenica Cave is one of the natural wonders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a large cave the real extent of which is still to be discovered. It is known for cool 11°c temperatures that keep throughout the year. Visiting it in the summer is literally a breath of fresh air as the wind caused by the temperature difference continually blows outwards from the cave. Outside of it is a recently renovated train station building which today houses a wonderful local restaurant.

    Dubrovnik for Kids

    One of the major shocks to people coming to Dubrovnik form large urban areas is seeing local children playing in the streets at night, completely unattended. The safety aspect of the city does wonders to counter balance a relative lack of amenities for kids. Local children are still seen outside playing football in front of Church of St. Blaise or playing catch in any of the city’s neighbourhoods. In other words, Dubrovnik is a great choice for letting children enjoy the open air. It’s not a bad idea to be cautious just in case, but there is no reason to be overly protective while here.

    Sun Gardens Resort Offers Great Options for Families with Children

    Replicating the ambience of a traditional Dalmatian village, Sun Gardens offers a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Families find a perfect place to relax and reconnect in this idyllic oasis. One-, two- and three-bedroom residences are spacious and comfortable. They feature fully equipped kitchens, cosy living rooms with balconies or terraces overlooking Mediterranean gardens, or stunning sea views over the Adriatic.

    Parents can indulge by the pools, relax at the Spa or have a game of tennis, while children are taken care of by professionals in Marco Polo Kids Club. Daily enrolment (10 am to noon and 3 pm to 5 pm) in Kids Club is complimentary, while additional activities like Kids Lunch and Baby Club are subject to extra charge. Children from 7 to 15 can also have fun and engaging time in the summer Sports Academy and choose among football, tennis, swimming, basketball, squash and a sports camp.  In addition to the Marco Polo Club Activities and babysitting services, the resort offers possibility to pre-book baby equipment, like baby cots, bottle sterilizers, and potties.

    Be sure to find out more of their official website.

    So, where Should I Take Them?

    With so many museums and galleries, much of the tourism offer might not appeal to the little ones. On the other hand, there’s only so much delicious local ice cream you can bribe them with to be quiet. If you are travelling with children, think about the following options.

    Seaside and Fun in the Sun

    Lokrum Island is a go-to place for many Dubrovnik locals with children. There is a reason for that. Even though the island’s beaches are mainly rocky areas, there are some pebbly options and the island’s “Dead Sea” is a perfect spot for children. Dead Sea is nothing more than a tiny lake within an island, connected to the sea via a small passage. The sea within is of higher salinity and higher buoyancy. It makes for a fun swim. The island is full of beautiful plants and has a population of peacocks completely accustomed to people. With no cars and plenty of space for exploring, Lokrum is a great choice for kids.

    Many of Dubrovnik’s tours are good for children as well. Some of the sea kayaking tours cater to children and they might provide for an amazing experience as you steer your child in the direction of active and healthy lifestyle.

    Boat charter companies will usually offer snorkels for kids or even options for water sports if you inquire in advance. They will also know the best child-friendly beaches.

    Activities and Amenities

    City Aquarium might be worth a visit if you are travelling with children. As mentioned before, it is not the most entertaining of aquariums, but then again, it does not come with an added ethical dilemma of seeing trained animals perform.

    Cable Car going to the top of Mount Srd will undoubtedly be fun for children providing they don’t have a serious fear of heights.

    Majority of restaurants are adapted for kids somehow, but the little ones have special treatment in some of them like Pizzeria Castro for example.

    Ice cream is delicious and aside from being cautious about the quantity, you generally don’t have to be worried about the quality.

    Depending on the age of your children, they might enjoy exploring the ancient fortresses and ramparts. They might also enjoy learning about the film locations of movies and shows perhaps less gory than Game of Thrones.

    There are plenty of options, just make sure to get informed about the exact things that your child might be interested in.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:52:03 +0100
    What Else To Know about Dubrovnik 2022? There are many other interesting facts you should know before visiting Dubrovnik. Find them all here!

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    Game of Thrones and Other Filming Locations

    Where was Game of Thrones filmed in Dubrovnik?


    Dubrovnik Old Town has become synonymous with King’s Landing. So many memorable scenes took place there. Actually, these include one of the most iconic scenes of the entire series (dragons excluded!). Specifically, we mean the famous Walk of Shame by Cersei Lannister in the fifth season finale.


    The Stairs to the Great Sept of Baelor, where Cersei was forced to walk naked, are in fact baroque Spanish steps by Saint Ignatius Church. Of course, these were an amazing tourist attraction even before the filming of GoT.

    Red Keep

    Many plays and events have taken place at Lovrijenac fort in the past. In fact, it's the most famous fort in Dubrovnik. In GoT, it became Red Keep, a King’s residence. Also, it's where the Iron Throne is located.

    More Game of Thrones Dubrovnik

    Minceta tower, on the northern side of Dubrovnik Old Town, is where Daenerys keeps her dragons. Specifically, it's called the House of the Undying in the series.

    The Rector’s Palace, St. Dominic Street, Ethnoghaphic Museum of Dubrovnik, the atrium of the Belvedere Hotel, Pile, with the view of the Bokar and Lovrijenac forts and Bokar. These are also the locations you'll recognize. Significant portions of the plot of the series take place.

    The fortress on the Lokrum island, just off Dubrovnik, helped create Qarth. Gradac Park, a park just west of the Lovrijenac fort was the setting for the Purple Wedding between King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. (Spoiler alert for something that happened more than 5 years ago: the wedding does not end well for the young king). Take a closer look with this early TCN guide.


    How did King's Landing compare to the original Dubrovnik Republic of Ragusa?

    Game of Thrones fan in Croatia? It goes much further than King's Landing - your complete guide.

    Star wars: The Last Jedi

    News of Star Wars coming to film in Dubrovnik went off like a bomb during a quiet winter of 2016. Flying high on the wings of Game of Thrones fame, there was a lot of expectations from the film world’s most beloved franchise. Ultimately, the film didn’t garner the success everyone had anticipated and Dubrovnik ended up playing the fans’ least popular location. Dubrovnik takes on a role of Canto Bight, a gambling mecca of the Star Wars’ fictional universe. With plenty of computer generated and physical additions to the city streets, Dubrovnik ends up hardly recognisable on screen. Still, the city is forever immortalized on the big screen as a part of Star Wars universe and that is a big deal for die-hard fans.

    Which Star Wars scenes were filmed in Dubrovnik

    Outdoor scenes including chase scenes from Canto Bight were filmed in Dubrovnik. Main protagonists of that part of the story, Rose and Finn, are seen coming to the city and fleeing it by causing a stampede of horse-like animals known as fathiers. Landing scene was filmed just above Banje Beach, while the rest were filmed within the city. Main street – Stradun - and Od Karmena Street were used for the chase scenes. Interior of Rector’s Palace and stairs leading to Dominican Monastery complex were used as well, but the scenes were cut from the theatrical version of the movie.

    Big Budget Bollywood

    Bollywood movies are not known to be filmed in Dubrovnik. In fact, The Fan was probably the first one. The Fan is a story of a crazed fan out to destroy the star he’s obsessed with. The filming took place in Dubrovnik among other places and used a few locations within the Old Town area. Filming was done on Stradun, above the Old Town Port, within the port, and some action scenes actually used the iconic Dubrovnik rooftops. What is interesting to note is that The Fan shows Dubrovnik portraying itself rather than a fictional location or a foreign town.

    Shah Rukh Khan in Dubrovnik

    The Fan being filmed in Dubrovnik was a big deal mainly because of its lead actor. Shah Rukh Khan, arguably India’s biggest movie star plays a double role in the film. He plays both the crazed fan and the star he’s obsessed with. The arrival of the mega popular Shah Rukh Khan didn’t go without the attention of his fans, some of which travelled from their home countries to Dubrovnik, trying to get a glimpse of him during the shoot.

    Which Movies and TV Shows Were Filmed in Dubrovnik?

    Too many to name them all here. Dubrovnik has been a popular filming destination for decades, but prior to the new millennium it was mainly popular with lower budget productions. During various periods of Yugoslavia, many national productions made their way to Dubrovnik as did some East German and Italian film companies.

    Captain America (1990)

    There were some less than conventional films shot in the city like unintentionally hilarious Captain America (1990) which used several locations in the city. Dubrovnik was used to portray Italian locations with Lovrjenac Fortress being the setting for the climactic battle at the end of the movie.

    Robin Hood (2018)

    In the new millennium Dubrovnik has risen quickly as a popular filming destination. 2018 saw the release of big budget action movie Robin Hood. The film was shot in part within the historical centre of Dubrovnik and features big Hollywood names Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton.

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2021?)

    Latest big budget movie to be filmed in Dubrovnik is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent starring Nicholas Cage as himself. It was shot on locations in Dubrovnik and Cavtat and is due to be released during 2021.

    TV Shows

    Aside from the inevitable Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has lately seen some other TV shows being filmed in the city. Most notable is Lionsgate distributed Knightfall which ran for two seasons (2017 – 2019). Third season of the TV series Borgia was filmed partially in Dubrovnik in 2014. Because of the inability to film in Jerusalem, a few scenes of the series Dig were shot in Dubrovnik’s Old Town which played a role of the famous city in Israel.

    5 things you never knew about Dubrovnik

    1. Home to a real James Bond

    Dusan ‘Dusko’ Popov was a double agent working for MI5 during World War II. He had the code name ‘Tricycle’. The Abwehr coded him ‘Ivan’. Born 10 July 1912 in Titel, Austro-Hungary, his family were very wealthy.

    The Popov family moved to Dubrovnik when Dusko was very young. He spoke fluent German and had many highly placed German friends in the Nazi party. But, he secretly despised the Nazis. Actually, he'd had extremely unpleasant brushes with National Socialists during his university years in Freiburg. There, Popov earned a Ph.D. in law. Subsequently, he returned to Dubrovnik and briefly practiced as an attorney.

    Eventually, Clement Hope enrolled Popov as a double agent. Hope was a passport control officer at the British legation in Yugoslavia. Initially, he gave Popov the codename Scoot Thereafter, Popov moved to London. His import-export business provided cover for visits to then-neutral Portugal. Actually, for almost all the war, its capital, Lisbon, was linked to the UK by a weekly civilian air service.

    Role in World War II

    Popov used his cover position to report periodically to his Abwehr handlers in Portugal. He fed enough MI6-approved information to the Germans to keep them happy. The Germans were blissfully unaware of his true actions. Assignments given to him were of great value to the British in assessing enemy plans and thinking. Popov was famous for the playboy lifestyle he lived while carrying out his perilous wartime missions.

    In 1941, he was dispatched to the US by the Abwehr. Thereafter, he was to establish a new German network. He was given ample funds and an intelligence questionnaire. Of its three typewritten pages, one entire page was devoted to highly detailed questions about US defenses at Pearl Harbor. However, Popov made contact with the FBI and explained what he'd been asked to do.

    During a televised interview, Dusko Popov related having informed the FBI of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. He did so on 12 August 1941. However, for whatever reasons, neither the FBI or its chief, J. Edgar Hoover reported this to their superiors. Orr, if they did, no action was taken in regard to this apparent German interest in Pearl Harbor.

    Troubles with Hoover and Womanising

    Popov said Hoover was quite suspicious and distrustful of him. And, according to author William ‘Mole’ Wood, Hoover was outraged upon discovering Popov had taken a woman from New York to Florida. He threatened to have Popov arrested under the Mann Act if he did not leave the US immediately.

    In 1944, Popov became a key part of the Operation Fortitude deception campaign. Known as a shrewd womaniser, he lived an extravagant lifestyle. He published his memoirs ‘Spy, Counterspy’ in 1974. Popov has been cited as among Ian Fleming’s models for James Bond. He died prematurely in 1981, aged 69.

    2. Book keepers, pay homage to the founder of accounting

    Benedikt Kotruljevic, Republic of Dubrovnik local, is considered the founder of accounting. He was the first to write a book on commerce and trader’s act of conduct. He did so in the 15th century.

    3. Quarantine, a concept born in Dubrovnik

    Quarantine was first introduced in 1377 in Dubrovnik. And, in 1423 the first permanent plague hospital (lazaretto) was set up nearby. It was open by the Republic of Venice. Specifically, it was on the small island of Santa Maria di Nazareth.

    4. Dubrovnik has more rain than London

    Of course, we’re talking about general amounts of rain. Drizzle is not common. In fact, rains here tend to be very heavy, but very brief. Sometimes they cause erosions. Winter is the period of most rain. Actually, Dubrovnik annually has around 250 sunny days.

    5. Human rights in a city where slavery was abolished 600 years ago

    While much of Europe was accruing a lot of wealth by enslaving people, the Republic of Dubrovnik decided they didn’t want to have anything to do with that. In fact, they regarded such actions as shameful. Indeed, they prohibited slavery in the early 15th century. Thus, Dubrovnik became a pioneer in human rights. Interestingly, Dubrovnik was not the first. Nearby Korcula island abolished slavery some 200 years before, in 1214.

    Want to learn a little more about Dubrovnik? Here are 25 things to know.

    5 moments in History that Shaped Dubrovnik

    Barbarian Destruction of Epidaurus

    Before town of Cavtat was Cavtat, it was Epidaurus. After Romans colonised a previous Ilyrian settlement and renamed it to Epidaurus, it became a trade hub. The area has been populated for quite some time and according to the surviving records, it is safe to say Epidaurus was a stable town. This changed at the beginning of 7th century AD when Epidaurus found itself under attack by invading Barbaric tribes. These, mainly Slavic tribes, continued attacking until they completely destroyed the city in the year 614. Refugees from Epidaurus fled to the area of today’s Dubrovnik and started a new settlement. Actually, we don’t know for certain whether they started it or simply expanded it, but they were responsible for staring a town known as Ragusa – the old name of Dubrovnik. So, without the destruction of Epidaurus, we might now have gotten Dubrovnik.

    Formation of Dubrovnik Republic

    Dubrovnik was a merchant centre amidst a politically turbulent area. It was also very small. This meant it constantly had to balance the interests of bigger powers around itself in order to survive. The Venetian rule went on from 1206 to 1358 and within that period Dubrovnik grew wealthy and had mastered self-governance. When it went back under Croatian rule in 1358, the city government was not thrilled.

    Croatia was a part of Croatian-Hungarian Empire. Being a part of such a big force meant Dubrovnik would lose its small size and relative independence – very things that made it into a powerful merchant force. As a small place with no military power, Dubrovnik and its citizens posed no real threat to anybody. This meant easy access to foreign territories. Not only did this make it easy for Dubrovnik merchants to do their job, but they were one of the rare people in Balkan region who could have such a freedom of movement.

    It is because of this that Dubrovnik representatives asked for and eventually got a form of autonomy from the Croatian-Hungarian Empire. It was an incredibly important development. Dubrovnik had its own money, flag, diplomatic offices and government. It was essentially its own little country.

    Ottoman Empire Conquests of Balkans

    Soon after Dubrovnik became autonomous the entire Balkan area was trembling before the power of the Ottoman Empire. Turks came to this part of the world with the military force none of the countries around could match. The destruction went through Serbia and Bosnia and Croatia. All the while Dubrovnik managed to survive. Not by fighting, but by making itself important to the Ottomans.

    Dubrovnik paid yearly dues to the Ottoman Empire for its freedom, but that wasn’t the key to its survival. By being a small, catholic merchant force, it was possible for Dubrovnik Republic to act as a trade link between the muslim east and the christrian west of the Mediterranean. It soon became the only christian country with allowed continental trade routes through Ottoman controlled territories. At the same time, it was still under the protection of the Vatican and the Pope. The city profited immensely. This was known as the Golden Age of Dubrovnik.

    Opening of Hotel Imperial in 1897

    In January 1897, Dubrovnik saw the opening of the first large, modern hotel in the city. With centuries of being a popular trade port, Dubrovnik was no stranger to visitors from all over the globe. However, it was in the second half of the 19th century that modern tourism was born. With existing hotels being insufficient for many of the foreign travellers to stay in Dubrovnik, it was Baron Viktor Kalchberg who came up with the idea of building a modern hotel in Dubrovnik. At that time entire Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    It is safe to assume that without this hotel Dubrovnik would still find a way to become a beloved travel destination it did. However, Imperial was built and it became a symbol of a new era in Dubrovnik’s history, that of a travel destination.

    Croatian Homeland War

    History is long and it only feels its length when it is recent history. Over the centuries the city has gone through so many changes and life altering events, it is difficult to say which are truly the most important. Still, from today’s perspective, it is difficult to deny the dramatic impact of the war of 1990s in Dubrovnik.

    During some 7 months long siege, the city was shelled extensively. Its UNESCO protected city centre was half destroyed. The war took away from Dubrovnik the very thing that partially defined it through centuries – foreign visitors. This tiny city has been one of the most cosmopolitan places in all of the Balkan region. First because of the international trade and then because of tourism. After the war, it was empty and broken. Without tourism locals soon found that there was something missing in the city. Sound of foreign languages and many eyes glued to the breath taking scenery that is the Old Town. Buzz around town with people having the time of their lives, creating memories and simply being happy. It was all gone. Because of this, the return to the worldwide travel scene was nothing short of spectacular.

    After the war of 1990s, Dubrovnik came back more focused on tourism than ever before. The fall of some other industries is not something that should be taken lightly. It made the city dependant on an industry prone to huge oscillations. We are witnessing this during the COVID 19 pandemic as well. Regardless, Dubrovnik is today a bigger tourism magnet than ever. It is hard to say what the city would look like have it not been for the destruction and the shock of 1990s, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same.

    To find out more about Dubrovnik in 2022, follow this link.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Sat, 22 Jan 2022 11:24:40 +0100
    Hvar Island and Around When you visit Hvar town, you should absolutely plan to get to know the rest of the remarkable island of Hvar, as well as visit some nearby islands.

  • Pakleni Islands
  • Around the island of Hvar
  • Best day trips from Hvar
  • Beaches
  • Main Hvar town page
  • Getting to and around Hvar
  • Split to Hvar 2021
  • Top Hvar town experiences
  • Enjoying your stay in Hvar town
  • Pakleni Islands

    The Pakleni Islands are a natural extension of the town itself and an essential part of any Hvar visit. Several are easily accessible to regular and affordable water taxis. But while some of the 16 Pakleni Islands are bigger than others, they more or less look the same. Are they? Absolutely not!

    Here's a closer look at one of the most idyllic parts of the Adriatic Sea - which island will be your first choice on your next visit?

    Sveti Klement (Palmizana)

    The combined area of the 16 islands is 7.16 km2, most of which (5.27 km2) is located on the biggest island of them all, Sveti Klement. Also known as Veli Otok (Big Island) and Palmizana by some, Sveti Klement is the most popular destination, with plenty of diverse - and unusual - attractions on offer. 

    It was here in a southern bay called Vinogradisce (but more commonly referred to as Palmizana) where tourism began back in 1906, when local landowner Eugen Meneghello opened his villa to tourists. More than 100 years later, the Meneghello name has become synonymous with high-quality Hvar tourism, a relaxed shelter from the paparazzi for many A-list celebrities, as well as one of the most interesting places to visit on the Adriatic. Today, Dagmar Meneghello continues the tourism tradition started by her grandfather-in-law, and she has dedicated more than half a century of life to build one of the Adriatic's most inspiring places. In addition to her Meneghellos restaurant and luxury accommodation, and nearby Toto's run by her son Djenko, the Meneghello complex is a place of high culture, which its own art gallery, rich cultural programme, even an arboretum. A natural paradise where turtles and peacocks room. 

    Vinogradisce is a spectacular bay and the best place to head to for restaurant choice. From fashionable Zori's in the centre - one of Hvar's top wedding locations - to more rustic fare among the impressive olive trees at Bacchus, to Laganini - cocktail bar turned top fish restaurant under the innovative culinary creations of Hrvoje Zirojevic. So good in fact, that U2's Bono shared his appreciation of a 10-course extravaganza on the official U2 page before returning the following year. 

    Bono visits the Pakleni Islands

    Tourism actually began on Sveti Klement almost 2,000 years before, as one can discover on a visit to Vlaka (Vloka, say the locals) on the island's northern shore, also accessible by regular water taxi in season. For here, in this tiny hamlet with the only full-time Pakleni resident, one can find the remains of a Roman villa rustica, as well as a bay which still has some of the healing mud which made it so attractive. It is also home to Dionis ,a slow-food rustic experience which many locals will tell you is the best in the area. Wine lover? Meet the lowest vineyard in Croatia, just 1m above sea level, which was until recently the grape source for the popular Andro Tomic Sveti Klement white wine. 

    Sveti Klement is also a haven for sailors, being home to the main ACI marina for Hvar (there is another in Vrboska). The marina is the connecting point for the water taxis to the restaurants on the southern side, a very pleasant 200 metre walk through the pine trees until you are presented with your choice of paths to each of the five restaurants. 

    Marinkovac (Stipanska)

    The second biggest island also suffers from something of an identity crisis, with perhaps the majority of its visitors not even knowing the island's name. That is because the island of Marinkovac is better known for some of the Adriatic's most high-profile nightlife, which takes place in the bay of Stipanska, home of Carpe Diem Beach. Carpe Diem, which has been one of the main brands of Hvar since its arrival 20 years ago, operates a bar on the Hvar riva, as well as a popular beach club by day and one of the Adriatic's hottest nightspots after dark. 

    And yet... Head to the other side of the island by water taxi to idyllic bays such as Zdrilca and Mlini, and experience a tranquillity and slow-paced Dalmatian lifestyle and excellent local cuisine in top restaurants such as Tri Grede and Patak. 


    Much smaller, as well as one of the closest by water taxi, is the island of Jerolim, a naturist and chill paradise. Such a paradise, in fact, that it was named by CNN as the world's number one naturist beach back in 2011. The island is not just for naturists, however, but for those who just want to chill. It also has a reputation for being gay-friendly. One of the most relaxing spots on the Pakleni Islands is at Mare's Place, on the other side of the island. From the water taxi, head to the left of the restaurant there and walk through the woods for less than 100 metres - the thinnest point of the island. Here is magical Kordovon Bay, sometime photoshoot location for the likes of Vogue Magazine, but always overseen by wonderful hostess Mare. One of my personal favourite spots in Dalmatia. 


    The closest island to Hvar Town is Galesnik, a divine spot which also has a most romantic story about donkeys. As with all but  one of the Pakleni Islands, Galesnik is uninhabited by humans, but until a few years ago, it had rather a famous resident - a donkey named Mercedes. Although I never actually met Mercedes, she starred on the cover of my book, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes - An Expat Decade on Hvar. For years, Mercedes was the only permanent resident of Galesnik, and she was partial to the odd rakija from the local restaurant.

    But life was very solitary until one day about 6 years ago, an Englishman decided to answer his girlfriend's concern that donkeys are not meant to live alone by buying a male donkey companion and transporting it to Galesnik for a new life with Mercedes. All was well for a short while, but the new company seemed to wear out poor Mercedes, and she is sadly no more. 

    Donkeys aside, Galesnik has an excellent eco-ethno restaurant in the low-level stone building facing the town - one of the very best views, especially when combined with the excellent food. The building has previously been used as an arsenal and quarantine station, and its latest use is definitely an upgrade. To book the restaurant and arrange transport to Galesnik, ask at the Port Authority on the riva close to where the catamaran comes in. 

    Pokonji Dol

    While most tourists head to the Pakleni Islands for their beach time, there is an exception - the easternmost island of them all, Pokonji Dol. One of the most photographed things on Hvar due to its picturesque lighthouse in the middle of the small islet, the island lies in front of one of Hvar Town's most popular beach spots, a bay of the same name. The lighthouse, built in 1872, has played an important role in guiding shipping through the islands since its construction, but it was powerless to stop a luxury yacht which ran aground a couple of metres from the beach a few years ago. Take a look

    There are 16 islands in all, and we have covered the five most important ones above. It would not be correct to reveal all the secrets, as then there would be nothing to discover. The Pakleni Islands are a sailing and kayaking paradise if the water-taxi or speedboat transfer option is not for you. Nice little tours such as the half-day sailing and kayaking sunset tours.

    Some people call them the Hellish Islands. I can't think of many better versions of Paradise. 

    Around the Island of Hvar

    There is much more to Hvar, the island, than Hvar, the town.

    Stari Grad

    The first capital of the island and home to the main ferry terminal, Stari Grad - or Faros - as it was first known after being founded by the Ancient Greeks from the island of Paros 2,400 years ago, even has its very own UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its pedestrianised old town is exquisite, and recent investments in luxury hotels point to a brighter future. Learn more about this lovely town in the TC Stari Grad in a Page.


    A little further on past Stari Grad on the northern shore is the very pleasant town of Jelsa, which was my home for 13 years. A lot more laid back (and much cheaper) than Hvar Town, Jelsa is a family destination with great beaches and a pretty old town with the best ice cream, as well as some of the best winemakers in Dalmatia. Learn more in the TC Jelsa in a Page.


    Home to the ACI marina on the island, Vrboska is a sailing hub which is known affectionately as Little Venice after its small canal. Learn more about its amazing fortress church and 24 other things about one of the prettiest settlements in Dalmatia.

    Inland Villages

    Don't miss the inland villages that form the spine of central Hvar, as they are all unique and have something to offer. Velo Grablje was once the lavender capital of Dalmatia and hosts an annual lavender festival, for example, while Malo Grablje below has been completely abandoned for 50 years, and all property owners have the surname of Tudor.

    Dol is home to the edible dormouse festival, while Pitve is the oldest village on the island, dating back 2,000 years. Walking through them is a journey back in time, and you are likely to end up in interesting encounters with the locals.

    Milna, Zarace and Dubovica

    The southern coast on the fast road to Stari Grad has three gems worth exploring. Milna, the closest has some of the best fish restaurants on the island, as well as family-friendly beaches. Zarace also has good beaches and great restaurants, and it is shielded from the wind by unusual rock formations. And one of the picture postcard shots of Croatia is the magnificent stone house jutting out into the water at Dubovica beach.

    Through the Tunnel: Sveta Nedelja, Ivan Dolac and Zavala

    The Pitve tunnel is not for everyone. The Yugoslav military drilled through the rock in 1963 to bring water to the south of the island, and the 1.4 km drive is an adrenaline rush for many. Three fantastic locations await on the other side, as well as some of the best beaches on the island - Zavala, Ivan Dolac, and Sveta Nedjelja. And this is also wine country, with the steep Plavac Mali vineyards contributing to some of Croatia's finest wine.

    Best Day Trips

    There is plenty to explore all over the island, but if you would like to take in another experience as well, here are our top 5 day trips from Hvar.


    An hour away by catamaran, Split has become one of the hottest destinations on the Adriatic. The magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian's Palace is the centre stage, of course, but there is plenty more to explore and enjoy. Learn more in the TC Split in a Page guide.


    The birthplace of cricket in Europe outside the UK, home to a submarine base and secret military tunnels, the tiny island of Vis is fascinating. Your best way to visit is on a speedboat tour such as this one. You can learn more about this amazing island in the TC Vis in a Page guide.


    The island south of Hvar is one of the most beautiful on the Adriatic, and I often wonder what made Marco Polo leave such a divine spot to go on his travels. You have an affordable way to find out more about the island of Korcula as it has regular catamaran connections to Hvar Town throughout the year. Learn more in the TC Korcula in a Page guide.

    Blue Cave

    A must-see when in Hvar! Witness the magnificence of the Blue cave on Bisevo island. Take a dip in emerald waters inside the Green cave and float in Stiniva cove. Strap on your diving mask and explore a thriving underwater world of Vis island, before nibbling on local specialties in Palmizana bay. Learn more.


    There are no prizes for guessing which is the most iconic beach in Croatia. Zlatni Rat in Bol on nearby Brac takes that accolade, and it is a magnet for day trippers. Bol is a fun destination in its own right, and what better way to see it than a speedboat tour?


    The island’s beaches have achieved world renown, and CNN named Jerolim beach the top naturist beach back in 2012, describing it as a place of „untouched nature, rocky shores, and crystal clear sea.“ Did you know that Jerolim, the island of the same name, was also the first naturist island in Croatia? As one of 16 Pakleni Islands, Jerolim has been welcoming naturists for a long time.

    Most of Hvar’s beaches are rocky or with small pebbles. There are some sandy beaches (Perna on Pakleni Islands, Mina and Grebisce in Jelsa), but they are rare. However, with so many bays and coves to choose from, you will have no problem finding the perfect beach. Here are our top 5 beaches on this gorgeous island. Now take a tour of the entirely island's beaches in the video below.


    Beach Club Hvar

    Nestled just a short stroll from the town centre in one of the most picturesque parts of Hvar, Beach Club Hvar boasts eye catching architecture and unbeatable sea views. Established in 1927, Beach Club Hvar is the synonym for luxury, lavishness and style. Completely renovated in 2021, this timeless club provides a haven for those seeking unpretentious luxury. With its prime location and rich history, it is considered the quintessential Hvar landmark since its inception.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 06 Oct 2021 21:17:02 +0200
    Enjoying Your Stay in Hvar Town Where to stay in Hvar town? Where to eat in Hvar town and on Pakleni islands, where to drink, where to party in the party capital of Croatia?

  • Where to stay?
  • Dining in Hvar Town
  • Where to drink?
  • Nightlife in Hvar
  • Main Hvar town page
  • Getting to and around Hvar
  • Split to Hvar 2021
  • Top Hvar town experiences
  • Hvar island and around
  • Where to stay


    Palace Elisabeth, Hvar heritage hotel

    Only steps away from the city’s most emblematic attractions, Palace Elisabeth elegantly combines the beauty of its past with its luxurious present. Distinguished by unique architecture and exceptional design this landmark hotel captures the true essence of Hvar heritage.

    Adriana, Hvar spa hotel

    Perfectly located and uniquely designed for the ultimate in relaxation and romantic experience. Hotel Adriana is Hvar’s boutique hotel and a luxury spa oasis where you can enjoy a most stylish and revitalizing summer vacation.

    Amfora, Hvar grand beach resort

    Hotel Amfora is located in a private bay, featuring an exquisite cascading pool and offering a wide range of activities suitable for couples, families and business events. Includes six penthouse suites with an expansive open floor plan and uninterrupted views from terrace sides.

    Pharos, Hvar bayhill hotel

    Hotel Pharos redesigns the traditional hotel experience, allowing guests to discover Hvar, connect and explore. Enjoy modern interiors and an eco-conscious design with sunbeds nestled among olive trees allowing guests to immerse themselves in nature, right by the poolside.

    Riva, Hvar yacht harbour hotel

    Hotel Riva is located in a first-class location, right in the heart of Hvar's marina and is one of the first hotels in Hvar, opened in 1914. In 2022, this century-old hotel with striking and original architecture will change its name to Riva Marina, after the most significant investment this year in its complete renovation.

    terrace cam1 copy

    The new Riva Marina Hotel will have 50 new unique rooms and suites ready for this season, as the opening is planned for early June 2022.  The carefully designed hotel will also have a new restaurant and bar concept, where guests will be able to enjoy the iconic outdoor terrace that offers a unique view of the yachts and marina.

    For all the latest hotel offers in Hvar Town, click here.


    In 2007, there were no hostels in Hvar Town, but by 2016, there were almost 30 at the height of the party era. Today, there is still a great selection, and this type of accommodation can be social and cost-effective. For the best available deals, click here.

    Private accommodation

    The likes of and Airbnb have transformed private accommodation all over the world. You don’t need our help to find those sites, but if you are looking for something special, there is an excellent island-based company offering the very best accommodation and luxury villas.


    Located on the northwestern part of Hvar, just four kilometers from the city center, Camp Vira offers a selection of premium and comfort mobile homes with furnished terraces. In addition, nature lovers can choose a variety of spacious pitches. All guests have free parking available. Check it out here.

    Where to eat

    You can spend a LOT of money on dining out in Hvar Town, or you can eat very reasonably. The choice is entirely yours. Here are some places worthy of your hard-earned cash.

    Top 5 restaurants in Hvar town


    Traditional rustic Dalmatian food, the way Grandma used to make it, Agava has been one of Hvar's most popular restaurants since opening in 2014.


    Have you ever tasted art? Welcome to the world of Hvar fine dining - traditional Dalmatian fare with a modern interpretation of the latest trends. All served in a delightful 15th century palace.

    San Marco (Palace Elisabeth)

    Positioned on top of the famous Loggia, overlooking the main town square, San Marco provides a haven for those who want to enjoy delectable dishes with uninterrupted sea views. Enjoy tasty Mediterranean cuisine with innovative and artfully-presented dishes inspired by fresh, local products and aromas that together create a truly unique culinary experience.

    Black Pepper

    Romantically located on a quaint street on the steps towards the fortress, Black Pepper quickly became a tourist favourite with its excellent Mediterranean fare.


    Nestled in a side street just below Hotel Park, Dalmatino Steak and Fish House spent almost 3 years at the top of TripAdvisor when I lived on the island. One of the hardest working teams in the town, I can still taste the unusually delicious zucchini carpaccio with pine nuts a decade ago.


    No Hvar restaurant story would be complete without a mention of Gariful, the island's most famous (and most expensive) restaurant, which you can find next to Carpe Diem. This is where the celebrities hang out, and this is where you can find the most exclusive restaurant wine cellar in the town. Drunk Lobster is a signature dish.

    Top 5 on the Pakleni islands:

    The Pakleni Islands have a great selection of places to eat. Here are some of the best.


    What started out as a cool cocktail bar has developed into one of the premier dining experiences on the coast. Laganini Lounge Bar and Fish House is a cool place to while away the day with great tunes. And don't be surprised to find the likes of Bono enjoying a 10-course special at the next table.


    One of the hidden gems of the Pakleni Islands, Konoba Dionis is one of the top recommendations of most concierges for an authentic experience away from the crowds. And it truly is - there are not many tourists who make it as far as Vlaka on the northern tip of Sveti Klement.


    Another great Pakleni chill zone, located in Mlini on the other side of the island from Carpe Diem Beach, Mamato does rustic food, great drinks and relaxing bean bags in equal measure. Not so advertised, worth seeking out.

    Antonio Patak

    Ask a local for a Pakleni restaurant recommendation, and it will not be long before you hear the name Antonio Patak in the bay of Zdrilca on Marinkovac. Delicious fresh sea food right on the water - what more could you wish for?


    Pricier than most, Zori's returning clientele clearly think the price tag is worth the experience. Supremely located in the centre of the Vinogradisce Bay on 'Restaurant Row', Zori is also one of the island's popular wedding locations.

    Best budget restaurants


    Fig Hvar opened in 2015 with the intention of creating a fun and unique atmosphere that felt welcoming and relaxed.  The menu is inspired by the travels of its owners and the abundance of locally grown produce. They wanted to bring some variety to the culinary landscape of Hvar while celebrating flavor profiles that are creative and fresh.

    La Bocca

    Looking for location, location, location on a budget? You can do a lot worse than the pizza, pasta and grill option of La Bocca right on the main square.


    Simple traditional Dalmatia dishes, with ingredients sourced freshly from local garden, the abundant Adriatic, and the best Croatian meat suppliers, Bunar is a quintessential Dalmatian experience, with wine, beer and vibes to match.

    Big Bang

    On a budget and in need of a burger? It has to be Big Bang.

    Best fast food / Streetfood

    Lola Bar

    Lola Street Food & bar it's new cool place where you can have international street food and choose from burgers,spare ribs, falafel, spring rolls, curry, burritos, steam buns with pulled pork, dim sum and more.


    If you are staying in the Krizna Luka area, do make the time for this place. Eywa is a local owned waterfront restaurant with a spectacular sunset view. We offer authentic food as well as some of the more classic street food dishes.

    Vegetarian options in Hvar Town

    There is no 100% vegetarian place in Hvar. But Giaxa, Black Pepper, Fig, Di Vino, Lola Bar have some really nice vegan and vegetarian creations.

    Where to drink

    Top 5 bars

    Lola Bar

    Great for the street food mentioned above, and a chilled bar as well. This makes Lola Bar the perfect combination for a great night out.


    Something of a Hvar institution on the first side street on the right as you enter the square, Ka'Lavanda has been serving up great cocktails and great tunes on comfy streetside sofas for years.

    Back Lane Craft Bar

    It started with our love for whiskey and good life. Back Lane Craft Bar offers farm-to-bar ingredients, premium spirits, and expert mixologists in a very unique, local and authentic setting. Find a boozy antidote tailored to your malady of the moment.

    Central Park Club

    Just below Hotel Park, Central Park Club is a great place for live music. The spacious colorful interior with sofas, high ceilings and fireplace has an old world charm mixed with cozy smooth atmosphere.

    BB Club

    BB Club, featuring Shrimp House. Hotel Riva’s lavish terrace is the place to see-and-be-seen, where you get lost in the giggles, sound of champagne cork popping, shimmering summer bodies posing for selfies and relaxed lounge atmosphere. Sip, sample and socialize in BB Lounge or enjoy tasteful bites of fresh and organic delicacies at the Pasta or Shrimp House.

    Best places to drink on a budget


    Serving legendary mojitos since 1977, Sidro has one of the best people watching spots in the town, between the main square and Hotel Adriana. Great cocktails by day and excellent coffee in the morning.

    Jazz Barrr

    Cosy little jazz bar tucked away behind the riva with affordable drinks, Jazz Barrr is one of the best places for a night on a budget.


    If you had to confine lively Hvar nightlife to just one tiny bar, it would probably be Kiva. An island institution for 20+ years, the party quickly spills out into the local side street which is soon packed. One of Hvar's cult bars.

    Best wine bars

    Pršuta Tri

    The original and still the best. Just off the main square towards the fortress, Wine Bar Prsuta 3 was the first wine bar to open in Dalmatia. An outstanding selection of wines, served with light Dalmatian platters, don't miss it if you are a wine lover looking for a gregarious and knowledgeable host.

    Tapas & Wine Bar Gurme

    Combining wine with tapas, Tapas & Wine Bar Gurme holds some excellent tutored foor and wine pairings.


    A little more upmarket, meet Vintage, which claims to be Dalmatia's first truly five-star wine bar experience, with the finest wine list on the Adriatic.

    Where to Party? Nightlife in Hvar

    The new Ibiza, one of the world’s top 7 hen and stag night destinations, and a host of other claims about the party island. Really? Hvar Town is very vibrant in summer, with numerous night bars along the waterfront open until two am (Aloha bar, Kiva bar, Nautica bar, SEVEN, Sidro bar, BB Club, Lola bar, Jazz bar), and a few nightclubs where you can welcome the dawn. Every evening, Hvar’s waterfront turns into a dance floor full of young people eager to have fun.

    Among the most famous night clubs on Hvar, Pink Champagne and Carpe Diem stand out. Another party place on the island is a night and strip club Temple, 20-minute walk the steep hill from Hvar city center.

    Therefore, if you are looking to party, there is a decent amount of action. Just make sure you come between mid-June and the end of August, as the main club, Carpe Diem, is highly seasonal. And when the party’s over in the town, it continues at the Carpe Diem Beach Club at Stipanska beach on Pakleni Islands.

    The well-known Ultra Europe Beach party at island’s biggest hotel Amfora is the most significant party event of the year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was not held in 2020 and has also been cancelled for 2021.

    Party tourism has created plenty of controversy on the island in recent years, and the authorities claim to be working to reposition Hvar as a brand and destination.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 06 Oct 2021 20:28:09 +0200
    Top Hvar Town Experiences What are the top Hvar town experiences, the ones that no tourist should miss?

  • Main Hvar town page
  • Getting to and around Hvar
  • Split to Hvar 2021
  • Enjoying your stay in Hvar town
  • Hvar island and around
  • 5 Best Things to Do in Hvar

    Visit the Spanish Fortress for THAT View

    It is one of the great views of Europe, a magnificent vista overlooking historic Hvar Town, with the Pakleni Islands and pristine Adriatic behind. The view from the Spanish Fortress is magnificent. Too lazy to walk the steps from the main square? You can also reach by car. If you are a little more energetic, the view from Napoljun Fortress even further up is even more splendid. Check out what you are missing in the video below.


    A day trip to the Pakleni Islands

    As if Hvar Town did not have everything, the Pakleni Islands lying invitingly in front of the harbour are the cherries on top. Each island has its own personality and attractions, and the islands have become an extension of the town. Regular water taxis leave from the riva. Don't miss this.

    Visit the Blue Cave

    There is no question what is the most popular day trip from Hvar - a visit to the magical Blue Cave on Bisevo Island near Vis. Book your speedboat place here and enjoy a magical day on the Adriatic.

    Explore Hvar from the water, by sail or kayak

    Hvar's story is intertwined with the water, so why not take in a different perspective? The Pakleni Islands are a sailing and kayaking paradise, and you can explore them on a range of tours. Beginners welcome. Learn more.

    Taste the island of wine

    Hvar has an incredible wine story dating back to the Ancient Greeks in 2400 BC. This story includes several indigenous grapes grown only on Hvar, as well as wine tasting experiences like no other - underwater, in a cave and in a Romanesque cellar. Looking to make the most out of it? Check out the very best tours.

    Main Attractions

    Tvrdava Spanjola – Spanish Fortress

    Towering above all the revelling and the mega-yachts is the Spanish Fortress, built in the early 16th century, and offering spectacular views of the town and islands below. The fortress is not the original, and the 13th century city walls, constructed soon after the islanders requested Venetian protection in 1278, predate it by almost 200 years.

    Hvar was destroyed by the Turkish Fleet in 1571 and only the fortress saved the local population, but a freak lightning strike on the gunpowder stores caused further devastation, and many of the town's buildings can be traced to this period of reconstruction. The fortress can be accessed by car for visitors to Hvar Town and it is then a pleasant stroll down to the town.

    St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Main Square

    The central point of Hvar Town is the pjaca, or main square which, at 4,500m2, is the largest square in Dalmatia. Originally part of the bay, the land was filled in and fully paved in 1780; the fountain in the square dates back to 1520. In summer, the square is extremely busy, with all cafes and restaurants overflowing, but there is a much more tranquil feel after the season, as locals relax over a coffee.

    At the far end of the pjaca is St. Stephen's Cathedral, which was finished in the 18th Century, with construction of the current building starting in the 16th century. The first church on the site was built in the 6th century and was granted cathedral status in the 13th century when Hvar Town assumed the Bishopric from Stari Grad. The intermittent construction period gave rise to different architectural styles, and there are elements of Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance. Inside there are eleven Baroque altars made by artists from Venice.

    The Arsenal and Clues to an Earlier Civilisation

    Guarding the right-hand entrance to the pjaca is the impressive Arsenal building, with its 10m spanned archway. Built between 1579 and 1611 to house war galleys, the Arsenal is an imposing building on the waterfront and underwent renovation in 2009. It was also used as a storage facility for items such as cereal and salt. Coins were found in 1835 bearing the name Heraklea, leading to speculation that the ancient Greek settlement of the same name may have been located in Hvar.

    The Oldest Municipal Theatre in Europe

    On the first floor of the arsenal is a delightful sight that tourists sometimes miss - the oldest municipal theatre in Europe. Built in 1612, the theatre celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2012, and the current interior was renovated in 1803. It owes its existence to the then Prince of Hvar Pietro Semitecolo, who was inspired by the Italian theatre at the time and arranged for the construction with money from the commune of Hvar. The theatre reopened after a 20-year renovation in 2019.

    Franciscan Monastery and Benedictine Convent

    Walking along the riva past Carpe Diem, the Franciscan Monastery comes into view. Built in 1465, it was jointly financed by the nobles of Hvar and sea commanders as testament to their gratitude for many lives saved at sea near Hvar. The local contribution included 1000 gold coins from Antun Lucic, and his son, the famous poet Hanibal Lucic is buried under the main altar.

    Hanibal Lucic also had a part to play in the Benedictine Convent on Hvar, which has played an important role in the town since nuns first arrived in 1664. The house in which Lucic was born in 1485 was donated to the nuns by his descendants, and so started an important chapter in education in the town, as the nuns operated the first school in Hvar, from 1826 to 1866. They are still active today and, among other duties, produce some of the finest souvenirs from Hvar, in the form of intricate lace made from agave.

    All the main sights in Hvar Town are within easy walking distance of the main square, and there is ample to take in a cultural tour before taking in another incredible sunset over an evening drink.

    Museums in Hvar Town

    The Archaeological Collection in Hvar

    Started in 1966 and dedicated to the later Dr Grga Novak, a driving force in assembling the exhibition, the archaeological collection gives a comprehensive overview of Hvar's heritage. Starting with artifacts dating back to 6,000 BC and the Neolithic era, and including finds from shipwrecks, and art and architectural fragments from Hvar's long history, the 2,500 exhibits, assembled by donation and private collection, offer a fascinating insight into the island's past. Opening hours 1000 - 1300 and 2000-2300 in summer, by appointment in winter. The collection is housed in the former Dominican church of St. Mark's.

    Hanibal Lucic's Summer Residence

    A famous poet and influential noble, the name of Hanibal Lucic is intricately bound with Hvar Town. There is a restaurant on the main square which bears his name and he is buried under the alter of the Franciscan monastery.

    His summer house, the headquarters of the Hvar Museum, is a well-preserved example of the country houses of the Renaissance period, but with clear Gothic influences. Included in the museum is a reception room dedicated to the memory of Hanibal. The museum is also home to the local branch of the Croatian state archives. Opening hours 0900 -1300 and 1700 - 2300 in summer, 1000 - 1200 in winter (by appointment).

    The Natural History Cabinet in Hvar

    Located in the Hanibal Lucic Summer Residence, the Natural History Cabinet is a collection of 350 items which have preserved the natural history of Hvar. These include meteorological instruments, preserved plants and old history books.

    Wellness and Active Hvar


    Cycling tourism has really taken over on Hvar in the last 10 years. And for all your cycling needs, there is only one address you need - Hvar Life.


    Get out of the city and discover the natural beauty of Croatia's premier island with some excellent hiking opportunities. Traditional inland villages, olive groves, lavender fields, and ancient trials, they all await on a Hvar hiking tour.


    Hvar is a sailing paradise and one of the most popular destinations on the Adriatic. Exploring the Pakleni Island is a particular joy, and there are various tours available, from half-day sailing and a sunset sail to more ambitious itineraries. Local specialist And Adventure has the wind all ready in the sails.


    One major growth area in Hvar tourism in recent years has been sea kayaking. Almost unheard of 15 years ago, it is now one of the more popular water sports on Hvar. One of the pioneers, Hvar Sea Kayaking, offers a great range of tours, several of which include climbing from secluded bays. Beginner's tours are also popular.

    Scuba Diving

    Scuba diving is popular on Hvar, and nobody does it better than Aqualis Dive Centre Hvar.

    Aqualis means ‘you belong to water’ in Latin which gives a unique meaning to our journey. Finally, we choose Mala Garska Bay where the dive center is built right by the Adriatic Sea.

    In addition to the beautiful view and exclusive appearance, there is direct access to the boats and to the sea. Consequently, it makes daily boat trips more comfortable. The access to shallow water and pool makes teaching PADI and SSI courses easy going. Try diving for non-certified adventurers have never been this easy and fun. Free collection from Hvar bus station.

    Running - Hvar Half Marathon

    Love running and looking to challenge yourself on one of the most beautiful races in the world? The annual Hvar Half Marathon takes place each August along the old road from Stari Grad to Hvar. The steep initial climb is certainly worth it - which other race gives you views of the Adriatic on both sides.


    Or just chill. Hvar has its very own spa hotel, Hotel Adriana, and you can learn more of the vibes that await you at the award-winning Sensori Spa here.

    Alternatively, why not choose the ultimate waterfront pampering at the Bonj les Bains Beach Club, with your own private cabana and massage service right on the water?

    Exploring Hvar – Best Tours

    Blue Cave

    A must-see when in Hvar! Witness the magnificence of the Blue cave on Bisevo island. Take a dip in emerald waters inside the Green cave and float in Stiniva cove. Strap on your diving mask and explore a thriving underwater world of Vis island, before nibbling on local specialties in Palmizana bay. Learn more.

    Red Rocks and Pakleni Islands tour

    This tour takes you down the magnificent south shore of Hvar. You will see some sights that are only accessible to those that are lucky enough to sail. Breathtaking locations include natural wonder of Red Rocks and stunning Borce Green Lagoon, among others. We highly recommend adding wine tasting in one of Croatia’s best wineries, Zlatan Otok in Sveta Nedjelja, to your tour! Learn more.

    Zlatni Rat

    Visit Croatia's most iconic beach at Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) near the town of Bol on Brac on a private speedboat tour. Learn more.

    Sunrise Fishing Tour

    Start your morning with a magical fishing trip! Witness the sunrise from the open sea and watch the dolphins play, all while waiting for the catch of a lifetime. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and a glass of local wine in the middle of the open sea. Learn more.

    Sunset Getaway

    Enjoy the beautiful Hvar sunset from the best spot – floating in the middle of the sea. Sunset is the most special time to be out on the water. If you want to escape the crowds and watch the sun drown in the sea, this is a perfect cruise for you. Enjoy a private boat tour during this most peaceful time of day, while listening to your favorite music, drinking some delicious local wine and cruising around the gorgeous Pakleni islands. Learn more.

    Hvar Full Day Wine Tour

    A full day of wine and great food visiting two of Croatia’s premier wineries followed by a delightful authentic lunch/dinner is a spectacular setting. Learn more.

    Hvar, the Road Less Travelled

    Full day off-road tour of Hvar, complete with home-cooked lunch and wine! Learn more.

    Hvar Cooking Class

    Cooking class at family Tudor in the lavender village. Your personal invitation to enjoy a traditional island repast at the home of one of Hvar’s most celebrated residents. Learn more.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 06 Oct 2021 20:17:18 +0200
    Getting To and Around Hvar Everything you need to know about getting to and around Hvar town, including how to get to Hvar from Split, and how to move around the island to get the most out of the experience.

  • Main Hvar town page
  • Split to Hvar 2021
  • Top Hvar town experiences
  • Enjoying your stay in Hvar town
  • Hvar island and around
  • Air

    Although there is an air strip on the island (near Stari Grad), it only caters to very small aircraft (max 6 passengers). For those without their own private jet, Split Airport is the arrival point of choice, although many tourists also use Zadar and Dubrovnik.

    Catamaran and Ferry

    There are four commercial entry points to the island, the quickest of which is directly from Split to Hvar Town. Learn more about the options. If you are coming from Dubrovnik, there are several options by boat, as well as combining with driving up the coast.


    Coming to Hvar by car? There is no direct car access to Hvar Town these days, and your only two entry points are Stari Grad and Sucuraj. If you are renting a car, consider renting on the island itself - there are plenty of options. This keeps down the ferry cost, as well as giving you greater flexibility, as you may not want to rent every day.

    Speedboat transfer

    Looking to arrive in style, or make sure you make that early morning flight home? There is nothing quite like a speedboat transfer to kick off your Hvar holiday with a bang. Choose your level of comfort and power of boat with RentaBoatHvar, who will get you there safely and on time.


    Hvar has a well-developed bus network connecting the main towns, as well as the ferry. The bus timetable changes regularly, and the best advice is to check at the local bus station for the latest times. Hvar Town to the Stari Grad ferry will take about 40 minutes. There is always a bus waiting at the ferry.


    Is there an Uber on Hvar? Not yet, but it would be very welcome. Taxis are expensive on the island. Expect to pay 350 - 400 kuna from Hvar Town to the Stari Grad ferry.

    Water taxis to Pakleni Islands

    There is a much more pleasurable - and popular - taxi service in Hvar Town. The water taxis from the Hvar riva to the Pakleni Islands are a must do. The boats go out in the morning and return in the afternoon. A return ticket is valid for any returning boat. Last boats back are at 19:00.

    Rent a car

    There are several rental car options on the island. Prices tend to be a little higher, but that cost is offset by the saving on the ferry. And you can rent for the day, rather than the entire stay if you are coming from the mainland.


    Hvar has a growing reputation as a cycling destination. This has been enhanced by the Bahrain McLaren cycling team choosing the island for their winter training. The mountain biking is particularly good. If you are looking for quality bike rentals, look no further than the offer from Hvar Life.


    Scooter are an extremely affordable and fun way to see the island, and the summer months see the island roads full of them. If you have never tried, now is your moment. There are a number of rental options all over town.

    Parking in Hvar

    Parking in Hvar has exploded in recent years, and you will see a number of options as you arrive from Stari Grad. Prices range from 5-12 kuna an hour. Daily tickets are available.

    Private transfers

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer around Hvar? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Wed, 06 Oct 2021 20:03:21 +0200
    Croatian Rural Tourism in a Page: Food, Activities & Ethno Looking for safe, authentic lifestyle experiences on holiday and away from the coast? Meet the outstanding offer of Croatian rural tourism. A regional guide.

  • Introduction to Croatian rural tourism
  • Eastern Croatia - Slavonia
  • Northern Croatia
  • Central Croatia
  • Lika
  • Kvarner
  • Istria
  • Dalmatia
  • Introduction

    Croatia is famous for its sunny coast and wonderful beaches, rich cultural heritage in medieval cities and great food. However, there is a hidden side of Croatia still waiting for you to discover. Over 90% of Croatia’s territory is rural and more tourists are exploring opportunities to experience a different Croatian holiday. But rural Croatia is a still a mystery as there are scarce resources which could guide tourists to exploration. Forget about road signs – there are very few so you are likely just passing by when driving on beautiful highways. The signs are almost non-existent and internet information in foreign languages is short supply. If you decide to get off the highway or have a special vacation in rural Croatia – we hope this article will be at least somewhat helpful.

    So what you can actually do in rural Croatia?

    If you are a nature lover, good news for you. Eight national parks and 12 nature parks (see a Guide here) , and plenty other natural beauties are waiting for you. Getting there without car is a challenge, but you can rent one, or simply book a tour. The good news is that there are road signs for all protected areas. So if you are passing by don’t miss the opportunity to visit them. The clear waters, remarkable landscapes, and flora and fauna will amaze.

    Should you need some adrenalin boost at your vacation, there are plenty opportunities. Hiking, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, bungee jumping and other adventures waiting for you to discover beautiful sceneries. The same is true for cycling. Marked routes in all parts of the country combine with a growing number of rental agencies and bike&bed options.

    Perhaps the best way to know the country is to learn about its culture and cuisine. Therefore, before you start exploring rural Croatia, learn some important words. For many signs on the road might only be in Croatian. Also, agricultural estates, the best places for wine and food tasting may display in different ways, starting from brown signalisation to simple signs made by their owners. Follow the signs for OPG (family agricultural estate), agriturizam (agritourism), seoski turizam (village tourism), vinarija (winery), kušaona (tasting place), izletište (excursion site), and etno selo (ethno village) for your magical experience of rural Croatia.

    Croatia’s rich cultural heritage is only partially visible in cities. Rural areas are a cradle of Croatia’s culture as many lesser-known cultural sites are all over the country. Almost every village has an old church or a monastery worth paying a visit. And there are many ethnographic exhibitions and museums which can give you a good sense of what Croatia once was.

    Croatian rural tourism - Croatia as it once was

    And that is a slogan which rural Croatia is still offering. The Mediterranean as it once was was the nation’s tourism promo slogan for many years. It is still valid for rural Croatia. Locals produce great wines including from over 130 indigenous varieties, rakijas, liquors, and home-made juices, extraordinary cheeses and meat products such as prosciutto, ham and sausages, some of the best olive oils in Europe and are proud owners of biggest truffles in the World. Fresh fruits and vegetables, and grains are staples to serve delicious foods prepared using old recipes passed from one generation to another.

    Locals also care about preserving rural architecture and customs, such as a welcome drink. Do not refuse, your hosts would consider it rude. Plus, after spending some time in rural Croatia you can leave Croatia with a current slogan – Full of Life with an addition: Full of Countryside - if you decide to visit.

    To help you in getting around, we will take you through a tour of rural Croatia by its regions.

    Eastern Croatia - Slavonia

    What is now Slavonia on tourist maps is actually Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia. Bordering Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, this region is an absolute stop spot for all tourists coming to or from the coast through this route. Whether you simply want to take a break from driving or decide to relax after spending some time on crowded beaches, this could be a good option. You can almost forget about hotels in rural Slavonia, but there are plenty rural estates offering accommodation in nicely preserved ethno rooms.

    In terms of natural beauties, a visit to Nature Park Papuk – Croatia’s first geopark, or Nature Park Kopački rit in Baranja – one of the best-preserved floodplains in Europe are a must. The first one is one of the oldest mountains in Europe dating as back 500 million years. Backthen, it used to be an island in the Pannonian Sea. So, if you love hiking and adrenaline (don’t miss Adrenaline park Duboka), have had enough of Slavonia’s flat sceneries, and want to taste a river trout caught in front of your eyes – it is a place to visit.

    Psunj, Dilj, Krndija and Požeška gora mountains also offer different recreational activities. When close to Papuk, don’t miss a visit to local wineries at Zlatna dolina (Golden Valley) and in Ferićanci. Kopački rit is the largest European wetlands, a natural triangle between the rivers Danube and Drava. It is also the largest internal delta of the Danube. A myriad of different tours is available daily - over 2,300 different species are worth paying a visit!

    The oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe

    Culture? There are many castles, churches, monasteries, and other interesting places to visit. Slavonia is home to the oldest city-like heritage site Vučedol which is a must if you are close to Vinkovci. Vinkovci is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe. Visit ethno village Karanac, where you can learn a lot about Croatia’s rich village history in the Street of Forgotten Times run by local agritourism Baranjska kuća. Besides the displayed etno collection, they take full care to preserve old recipes of this area.

    Kulen, čvarci and other specialties at Baranjska kuća - Denis Despot
    Baranja specialities

    Here you can taste the best of traditional Baranja’s appetizers such as ham, kulen, kulenova seka and čvarci from the indigenous black Slavonian pig, and famous dishes like fish-paprikaš - a stew made from local river fish, čobanac (meat stew), carp smoked on wood, or zander – king of river fishes – perkelt (type of goulash). Many are common throughout the region. Desserts to try include taškice, makovnjača (poppy cake), orahnjača (nut roll), pasta with jam or poppy seeds, and gingerbread. The hosts are likely to make your stay memorable accompanied by local tamburica players. After these rich meals, spend a night at wonderful ethno rooms at the estate or elsewhere in Baranja. There are plenty of accommodation options. Check our Baranja in a Page article here.

    Rooms at Baranjska Kuća - Mario Romulić

    The largest quantities of Croatian wines are produced here. Rich and sandy soils make a perfect match with hot summers. But the quality resembles the quantity as wines are great across the region. If extraordinary wines are your thing, visit Zapadni Srijem (Western Srymia). Wines from this region were served at royal wedding ceremonies of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry. The biggest oak barrel is in Erdut, whilst Ilok wineries and a view from Principovac offer memorable experiences and great scenery of the Danube River.

    Northern Croatia

    When entering from Austria, Hungary, or Slovenia, you are passing through North Croatia. There are many unknown destinations waiting for you to discover such as Međimurje, Zagorje, Varaždin area, and Podravina.

    Picnic by Restaurant Međimurski dvori - Igor Nobilo

    Međimurje always offers more! This is one of the most developed rural destinations of Croatia. Due to its famous wines, agriculture based on biodynamic Rudolf Steirer’s methodology and stylish rural accommodation such as Holiday Home Lina. This small wine growing region is already famous at Decanter for having the greatest number of medals per vineyard areas in Europe. A visit to Terme Sveti Martin, a world known spa and a first EU Eco label estate in Croatia is a must for all those wanting peace and relaxation. They are also famous for connecting local food producers with their gourmet offer. So if you are in the healthy food and great wellness – this is a place for you.

    Međimurje is also famous for its 12 visitor centres displaying local heritage and natural wonders deriving from its rich Mura and Drava rivers and a first wine camp in Croatia located at agricultural estate – Wine House Hažić. When in Međimurje, there are plenty of restaurants such as Terbotz, Mala hiža and Međimurski dvori serving local dishes with weird names – pretepeno, kalapajsano etc. You certainly must try meat from tiblica. This is a traditional way of preserving meat in pig’s fat without a refrigerator. And a local dessert, tasty Međimurska gibanica which will not help you in losing any calories. Due to high season, you might want to reserve your table in advance. You can find more about this great destination in a Međimurje in a Page article here.

    Nettle bread at Zlatni Otrovanec - Bernard Tkalčec

    Podravina is less touristy, but certainly worth a stop. Bordering Međimurje and sharing the Drava river experiences, this mostly agricultural region offers one of the best local fruit and vegetables in Croatia. Driving through endless corn or sunflower fields offers unforgettable experience for all nature lovers. And the food taste is something you will never forget! Visit Zlatni klas Otrovanec agricultural estate which is open throughout the year. It offers interesting food combinations and accommodation in old barns. Have you ever tried nettle bread or pancakes? The nettle, with its numerous healthy benefits, is the basis of their kitchen. Apart from the two, they also make nettle juice, nettle pasta and soups. Pumpkin, barley and other grains, and a variety of meat from locally grown cattle on your plate will make you want to to take some for the trip as well.

    Graševina grapes at Vineda vineyards - Vineda archive

    Although this is not a famous wine region, locally produced wines are getting more and more recognition for their quality. A wine tasting in Podrum Vineda is a great experience. For culture lovers, Hlebine, a home village to Croatia’s naive art offers a world known gallery. If you are into horse riding, you can enjoy it at Zlatni klas, or Pustara Višnjica.


    Zagorje – a Fairy-tale at Hand! The Zagorje region is home to one of the biggest exhibitions of Neanderthal remains. There are castles, numerous thermal springs, and Croatia’s two ex-presidents Tito and Franjo Tuđman. The five Zagorje museums will satisfy all culture lovers. Krapina Neandartal Museum, Veliki Tabor Castle in Desinić, famous sculptor Antun Augustinčić Gallery in Klanjec, Museum of Peasant Revolts in Gornja Stubica, and etno Museum Old Village in Kumrovec where you can see Tito’s birth village and house provide a great insight into Croatia’s rich history from ancient to modern times.

    Its thermal springs and spas are well known since Roman times as well as their castles and villages. You can treat yourself at Krapinske, Tuheljske, Stubica or Sutina thermal spas, or Jezerčica. Before that, visit some of the famous tourist areas and restaurants such as Vuglec Breg, Zelenjak or Grešna Gorica. Don’t miss tasting local specialties such as the famous Zagorje soup, and štrukli. Or turkey with mlinci - a local pasta, all pleasantly combined with good local wines. For nature lovers, a secret piece of information – the region has over 40 varieties of orchids. Most of them are on Strahinjćica mountain.


    Varaždin area is a combination of what continental Croatia can offer for guests wanting to enjoy rich cultural heritage, great rural houses with stories and exciting sports activities. Trakošćan castle dating from the 13th century is a well-known destination offering a tour of the castle with a great walking path around Trakošćan lake. Arboretum Opeka, a protected horticultural monument, is one of the most important nature monuments in the Varaždin area and one of the most valuable horticultural objects in Central Europe. With its outstanding beauty and the diversity of species it is the first of the three arboretums in Croatia. Its basis is the sessile oak and chestnut wood. The herbal inventory of the park comprises around 14 000 specimens of almost 200 different species.

    Although this is a text about rural tourism, one should mention Varaždin. This Baroque town offers numerous cultural sites and exhibitions. There are 16 restaurants in this area offering local food varieties with a protected label, some of which offer horse and foal meat dishes, famous Varaždin cabbage and klipiči - a local variety of buns. And they put pumpkin oil in almost all salads – alongside with cabbage, this is the region’s most distinctive brand!

    Central Croatia

    The highways to the coast offer little information about Central Croatia, but there is plenty to discover.

    Around Zagreb, there are many interesting places to visit whether you are coming for a city break, stopping on your way to or from the beach, or simply want to enjoy a different taste of what greet Croatia has to offer. The areas of Samoborsko Gorje and Nature park Žumberak, Moslavina, Prigorje, Bilogora, and Karlovac area offer many opportunities for great wine and food tasting, adventures, sports and much more.

    Samoborsko Gorje and Nature park Žumberak

    Samoborsko Gorje and Nature park Žumberak are a place to visit for all nature lovers. Especially those more oriented towards excellent wines. At Žumberak, hiking and cycling on over 300 km marked routes in untouched nature are a great magnet for all those needing to detox from daily life and great views of Croatia and bordering countries. Plešivica is a part of Samoborsko Gorje where Croatia’s most famous sparkling wines are waiting for you.

    Camp reception at Etno kuća pod Okićem - Marijan Slakoper

    Wine road offers opportunities for wine-tasking in over 30 wineries. These are all about a maximum of 30 minute drive from the Zagreb-Karlovac Highway. Do not limit yourself to sparkling wines – others are great too. If passing at the end of summer, you might also enjoy grape picking, and if later – enjoy Portugieser noir. This is a fresh young red wine ready for consummation very shortly after harvesting. If in a need for a short stop with your camper, you can visit Etno kuća po Okićem, a tiny campsite with a great view of Okić, which also displays a small etno exhibition.


    Moslavina is a story of its own. A homeland to two golds – black and yellow ones is slowly making its name in Croatia’s tourism. As the region was once part of the Pannonian Sea, the black gold – oil, was found throughout the region and was a basis for its industrial production for a long time. But its product - a healing oil which exists only in Moslavina and in Azerbaijan is famous for treating psoriasis and rheumatoid diseases which you can do at Naftalan hospital in Ivanić-Grad. The yellow gold is škrlet, an indigenous wine sort which gives fresh citrusy flavour ideal for warm sunny days.

    Goats at Kezele family farm - Davor Konjikušić

    Probably the most famous place to visit in Moslavina and taste škrlet is Kezele family farm. This is open for tourists all year long. Whether you are just stopping for a meal, would like to have a picnic, or decided to stay for several days in nice ethno rooms, the charm of its hosts, the wine cellar, nearby lake, and their animals will make your stay memorable. Food here requires special attention.

    Bread from bread oven at Kezele family farm - Davor Konjikušić

    The family’s business originates on kotlovina, a dish made on a metal plate from medieval times. But they also offer a variety of dishes made from locally grown stock and vegetables. Be sure to try ham, cheeses, smoked and blood sausages, game meat, barbecue, and excellent local deserts like strudels. These are common specialties for the entire region, but Kezele’s do them based on old family recipes. You can also buy their wines, rakijas, liquors, jams, and souvenirs at the village shop at the estate. They also provide market space for local sellers.

    Lonjsko Polje

    A visit to Moslavačka gora, one of the oldest mountains in Croatia is a must as well. It is to become a third geopark on Croatia. Visit also nature park Lonjsko polje - one of the biggest and best-preserved natural flood areas in Europe. Lonjsko polje enjoys a truly special place on the map of European natural wonders. It is one of the last areas in Europe where traditional grazing still exists. Here you can see livestock still roaming freely on large joint pastures.

    It also houses the first declared “stork village” in Europe Čigoč. The architecture of its villages resembles old times when two-storied oak wood houses were built without any nails. This was so that they could be easily moved to dry areas during the high-water seasons. Discover the area by foot, bike, canoe, river ferry or boat – it’s only a few kilometres from Zagreb-Slavonski Brod highway!


    Prigorje is a small region of the Varaždin-Zagreb highway, famous for its wines. Indigenous Kraljevina Zelina and Kleščec can only be tasted in few wineries. The oldest wine-drinking rules were made in this region, so you need to get acquainted and always follow them. For nice meals, we recommend agritourism Ljubekov gaj close to Zelina (trying Kraljevina from their vineyard is a must) or family farm Rakić, close to Križevci. At both, you can find carefully prepared food using old, preserved recipes, and welcoming hosts – reservation required! At Rakić estate, their love for animals and great hospitality charms many. And you can book to stay at the farm for couple of days.

    Breakfast at Rakić family farm - Jasmina Rakić

    Bilogora is the longest mountain in Croatia and a place for peace and tranquillity. The region bordering Podravina, Slavonia and Moslavina is famous for horses. It is somewhat harder to reach, but its landscapes are marvellous. Stay at rural estate Na Malenom brijegu. This offers simple rooms, great local food, and plenty activities for kids. Although they are most known for different activities related to local legends, newly introduced is the marble playground!

    Horses in autumn at Agroturizam Na Malenom brijegu - Vladimir Vlajinić
    Karlovac region

    The area around Karlovac does not have a unique tourist destination name, but it certainly has a lot to offer. Karlovac lies on the banks of four beautiful rivers. As locals say - it may be true that all roads lead to Rome, but all roads also go through Karlovac. We would say almost all, if you are not entering from Italy, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia or Montenegro. Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting are very popular. You can book your tour in advance and have a short refreshing break here.

    The Kupa river is the longest of the four and hides a secret mystery – it is the only river flowing in the very opposite direction, like no other river in the world since its springs in Risnjak, 30 km away from the Adriatic. The Korana river flows out of the Plitvice Lakes which you will most certainly visit, through a canyon with many waterfalls and cascades.

    Kamačnik river canyon - Aleksandra Kuratko Pani

    Make sure to visit Rastoke mills where you can enjoy freshly caught river trout at beautiful Slunjčica waterfalls. If in Ogulin area, pay a visit to interesting Đula’s Abyss and Ivana's House of Fairy Tales. Enjoy a unique multimedia and interactive visitor's centre which celebrates fairy tales and their makers. If close to Vrbovsko, check out the Kamačnik river canyon and refreshing walks along river banks and amazing wooden bridges. The region is famous for venison and other game meat, river fish, mushroom dishes and tasty desserts made from wood berries and chestnuts. Strudels are highly recommended as this is already an entrance to Gorski kotar mountain range.


    When you notice that temperature at your car’s thermometer starts falling, it is time to get out and enjoy the fresh air and a completely different Croatia. Connecting Central Croatia and Adriatic coast, the mountain ranges of Lika are home to three national parks: Plitvice lakes, North Velebit, and Paklenica and Nature park Velebit which all host protected flora and fauna and offer magnificent sceneries and experiences. Hike and cyclee on marked routes throughout the region whilst you can also enjoy rafting and kayaking at Gacka river.

    Kuterovo and Plitvice Lakes

    In Kuterevo, visit the shelter for young bears, explore the mills on Majerovo Vrilo, a source of the river Gacka, and in Krasno the House of Velebit visitor centre. Caves are a must see - Cave park Grabovača and Barać caves are open every day – book your tour on time! Plitvice Lakes are the most famous gem of this region and dreams for your luxurious glamping can me met at Plitvice Holiday Resort, either in tree or lake houses, mobile homes, or deluxe tents. There are also plenty rural houses and apartments where hospitable hosts are waiting for your longer stay.

    Traditional Lika specialties - Maja Božinović Butina

    They will tell you a lot about the history and treasures of this region after welcoming you with local rakija. Lamb, goat, river fish, smoked meat, cabbage, potatoes, and dairy products are a basis of their simple cuisine which will leave its tastes in your mouth long after you depart. Try local cheeses such as škripavac, sheep cheeses and basa. This is soft cow cheese made in the old-fashioned way, delicious cicvara (type of porridge) from cooked polenta in milk and butter, fresh, marinated, or smoked trout or caviar, and venison specialities. The best desserts, like strudels are made from local berries, so not to be missed. As locals say here – Lika is not a stop-by station, it’s a destination!

    Lika is the birthplace of electricity as Nikola Tesla did his first experiments in the region. So a visit to the Memorial Centre “Nikola Tesla” in Smiljan is also a must. It is about 10 minutes’ drive off the highway to Split. Explore how Tesla’s early discoveries brought benefits to modern life and see more than 900 of Tesla`s inventions. And breathe some fresh air!


    A beautiful mixture of Gorski Kotar highlands and an entrance to the Adriatic with Krk, Cres, Lošinj, Rab and many other smaller islands.. Risnjak National Park and Učka Nature Park are both magnificent nature reserves offering various forms of recreation year-round. Don’t miss numerous educational and hiking trails with astonishing views: the Trail of Predators – the wolf, the bear, and the lynx in Tršće and Fužine, Fruits of the Mountains in Ravna Gora, the Bear Trail in Brod na Kupi, and Vražji Prolaz (Devil's Pass) and Zeleni Vir (The Green Whirlpool) in Skrad.

    Cres and Lošinj

    If on Cres, visit Beli Visitor Center to see how griffon vultures are been taken care of. Looking to buy souvenirs and supporting sustainable tourism, make sure you buy a local craft produced from sheep wool. If on Lošinj - you may try swimming with dolphins in the crystal-clear sea. If you are already in the region, you know that there are more than 1300 km of marked bike paths. Windsurfing is especially attractive for those eager for adventure, with the best locations in Baška on the island of Krk. Hang-gliding and paragliding can help you to enjoy beautiful landscapes. And snorkelling and diving in exploring the underwater situation. This is how ancient Apoxyomenos, a masterpiece of Croatian and world cultural heritage, was found. You can visit in the Mali Lošinj museum.

    Kvarner culinary specialities

    The cuisine is a combination of continental and coastal cuisine. Alongside with first-class fish, crustaceans, the largest Adriatic prawns, and other seafood, do not miss the food from the forest – mushrooms, wild berries, ”maruni” chestnuts, and game meat will definitely bring interesting tastes. Lamb from local farmers is a hit, particularly on Cres, Krk, and Rab. Some of the best cheeses in Croatia, from cow's, goat's and sheep's milk from the mountains, the coast, or the islands, are made here, as well as the famous and protected Krk prosciutto and olive oil. You can taste all of those in local restaurants, agritourism’s or tasting places. Srudels made from freshly picked wild berries are tempting in Gorski Kotar, and the traditional Rab cake if on Rab. It has a rich history – check it out.

    There are many wine tasting estates open for visitors where winemakers will welcome you for tasting and pleasant conversation. The most famous wine variety is indigenous žlahtina, a white sort which grows on the island of Krk. The žlahtina of Vrbnik is held in particularly high regard. Other indigenous sorts such as belica, jarbol, trojščina, and gegić are in high demand. But the other more famous varieties including merlot, white muscat, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and pinot noir, gris and blanc will definitely satisfy all wine lovers. After a visit, you might want to take the smells and tastes of Kvarner – home.


    Medieval Theme Park Sanc. Michael - Silvia Otočan

    Everyone goes to the wonderful Istrian coast and Brijuni National Park, some visit continental medieval towns such as Grožnjan, Pazin, Motovun, Hum and others, but rare visit true rural Istria. And this is changing!

    There are many hidden gems to be discovered in rural Istria any time of the year. Simply driving or cycling (extremely popular these days) through olive groves, vineyards, gardens, fields, pastures, and forests will give you positive energy of green Istria. For longer stays, there is a myriad of rural accommodation facilities, such as renewed old stone villas, or the new ones and many of them rather luxurious. Looking for the real rural Istria? Then book those which are based on agricultural estates.

    World's best olive oil

    Istria is the world’s best region for producing extra virgin olive oil so you can find out why. Apart from olives and olive oil, rural Istria is famous for home made pasta, truffles, asparagus, boškarin beef, and its wines. For breakfast or brunch, try a fritaja (a variety of omelette). This is made from local eggs with local seasonal ingredients such as asparagus. Only here can you try the unique Istrian “supa”, a mix of red wine, olive oil, salt, pepper and toasted white bread that villagers used to eat for strength or to recover after a period of illness – a proven elixir for the whole day!

    Istrian prosciutto and other delicacies at Agroturizam Familija Ferlin - Neven Ferlin

    Another soup to try is maneštra, made with local vegetables. Lunch or dinner usually starts with a glass of biska, medica, or rakija with common rue or a glass of Muscato or natural juice. Appetisers include sheep, cow or goat cheese, Istrian prosciutto (protected), bacon and sausages, which are mostly dried in the bura wind that blows here.

    Handmade pasta such as pljukanci, posutice, ravioli, njoki, and fuži go well with the sauce of boškarin beef, venison, home-reared chicken, asparagus, truffles, or vegetables. Truffles? Istrian ones are the biggest in the world. And there are few famous places where you can taste and buy them. Of the meat dishes, you must try ombolo and sausages with sauerkraut, žgvacet (goulash made from pieces of chicken, beef or venison in a thick sauce), and delicious dishes made under the bell, called “čeripnja”, or in a bread oven.

    Istrian desserts

    Try to leave some room for desserts! Fritule, kroštule, pandešpanja, povetica, bucolaj, pince (around Easter), breskvice, paštine, and cukerančići, which go wonderfully with Istrian dessert wines. For a taste of real pasta combined with meat and fresh local ingredients, we recommend a visit to Agrotourism Ferlin Family, Agrotourism Tikel, Agrotourism Dol and numerous other agritourism estates, reservation preferred. Your hosts will recommend what you should have from their own produce – take the advice!

    The indigenous grape varieties – Istrian Malvasia and Teran – are the most popular for wine making. But lesser-known ones such as refošk and sansigot are growing in popularity. And you can only drink them here. The doors of wine, cheese, truffle and olive oil tasting facilities are wide open during the tourist season. These are either on marked wine and olive roads or slightly off the beaten path. You can also taste these delicacies in numerous taverns, restaurants, and hotels in the interior and on the coast. Always check for availability and make sure to buy a few of these products to take home!

    Nature parks

    Besides the famous National Park Brijuni, make sure you pay a visit to Nature park Učka and Ćićarija mountain for hiking and beautiful sceneries of Istria and Kvarner. You can see Italy from here as well! The Seven Waterfalls trail starting in Buzet is a bit difficult, but definitely worth exploring as Mirna river provides unforgettable sceneries here. If you like caves, Istria has a lot to offer. Mramornica, Baredine, Pazin, Kingdom of Festini, and Romuald’s Cave can all be visited throughout the year, with advance reservation. Istria is a cradle of legends which is particularly interesting for children. Do not miss paying a visit to the Medieval Theme Park Sanc. Michael where they can enjoy escape rooms and numerous games from old times in a hand -made wooden medieval castle.


    The same as for Istria, if you are bored at the beach, or simply want a quiet Mediterranean vacation, visit continental, mostly rural Dalmatia!

    Drniš prosciutto at Agroturizam Kalpić - Ivana Kalpić

    Starting from Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Dubrovnik and other coastal and island cities’ surroundings, the rural areas are a homeland of Croatia’s rich history, excellent wines, rakijas and liqueurs from local fruits, olive oils, cheeses, prosciutto and many other agricultural products that you are likely to taste while in the Southern Croatia. In Dalmatinska zagora, Konavle, and on numerous beautiful islands there are many agricultural estates offering accommodation.

    Accommodation and activities

    Many old houses and ethno villages have been renovated. Additionally, many new villas and apartments are available to ensure your pleasant stay at Dalmatian villages. If you would like to avoid the high season, we recommend you come in spring or autumn for a longer stay. Fresh air with nice smells of Dalmatian plants, peace and locally grown food are good incentives for a short- or long-term visit to the rural Dalmatia. Numerous tasting facilities for wine, olive oils, cheeses, honey, and other products are all over the region.

    Dalmatia offers plenty opportunities for active vacation. These include hiking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, wind and kite surfing, jeep safaris, scuba-diving and other. The region hosts three national parks: Kornati, Krka and Mljet, nature parks Biokovo, Vransko lake, Telašćica, Lastovo, and Dinara, and Geopark Vis archipelago. There are numerous hiking trails and cycling routes and a lot has been invested here on marking and safety. Get acquainted with each of those in advance to avoid being rescued by the locals. Apart from its nature and a newly opened Skywalk, Biokovo is particularly known for visitor rescues.

    Besides the excellent sea food, there are many other local dishes that can take you to Dalmatia’s culinary history where many different cuisines have met.


    In Zadar area, make sure to taste Pag cheese, the most awarded cheese in Croatia, soaked in the flavours of Mediterranean herbs and salt, as well as Pag lamb. Meat delicacies such as Iž lopiž – a meat dish cooked in traditional clay pots and Nin šokol - dried pork collar dipped in red wine from around Benkovac are a great choice. In terms of drinks, try esteemed maraschino liqueur Made from Maraska sour cherries. Around small idyllic towns and villages, numerous families produce top-quality wines, so take the wine route in Ravni Kotari learning about maraština, crljenak, debit, and plavina, as well as wines from famous varieties such as zinfandel, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. On Pag, be sure to try the native gegić.


    In Šibenik area, the meal usually starts with a glass of home-made rakija made from cherries, pears, figs, blueberries, walnuts, jujube, and rose petals or the aromatic travarica with a truly unique herbal taste coming from many different plants. Absolute musts are autochthonous cheese “iz mišine”, ripened in lambskin, as well as Drniš prosciutto. Unlike the northern Adriatic region, here prosciutto is smoked, which makes it very special.

    Main meat dishes to try are arambašići, lamb under the bell, kumbasice, and unique Skradin risotto. It takes more than 10 hours to cook it and it is traditionally prepared by men. Skradin area also offers a unique Skradin cake - a mighty treat that was once served to newlyweds on their first wedding night. Other desserts like bruštulani (candied) almonds, figs and sorb apples are sure not to disappoint! Top quality wines here are made from the red varieties babić, lasina, and plavina. The white varieties debit and maraština are somewhat less common but certainly worth tasting, as is the dessert wine prošek. If you are up for a longer stay with nice hosts, we recommend a stay at Agrotourism Kalpić close to National park Slapovi Krke.


    In Split area, before meals we recommend liqueurs made of myrtle, laurel, and sour cherry, or the home-made rakija brandies – travarica, orahovica, rogačica, or smokovača. Dalmatian prosciutto and sheep cheese are indispensable as an appetiser or with wine tasting. In the hinterland, be sure to try the crayfish from the Cetina, Sinj arambašići, frog brudet, soparnik, pulestar – young rooster under the bell, and koštradina – cured mutton with collard greens or sauerkraut on cold days. On the island of Vis, be sure to try the Komiža pogača made with locally grown tomatoes and salted anchovies or sardines.

    Olive oil is an ingredient used in almost all dishes, and you can experience traditional production and top-quality tasting at the Olive Oil Museum on the island of Brač. Some of the grape varieties grown in this region are either related to or served to develop world-famous wines, such as the Californian Zinfandel. In numerous wineries and tasting rooms, you can taste wines from indigenous varieties such as tribidrag or crljenak kaštelanski, grk, plavac mali, pošip, and vugava. Dessert lovers should reserve some space for sweet rafioli – from Imotski or Makarska region, paprenjaci, the padišpanj cake of Trilj, or the hib made of figs and almonds with aromatic herbs.


    In Dubrovnik area, make sure to visit Pelješac, Konavle, Elaphite islands, and the Neretva river delta.

    Make sure to try Konavle cheese preserved in olive oil and other cheeses in the region made from various types of milk. Try indigenous specialities such as green manestra, šporki makaruli, the Neretva eel and frog brodet, lamb pikatić, tripice, young goat meat or lamb under the bell or spit-roasted, and cooked meat called lešada. For desserts, arancini (candied orange, grapefruit or lemon peel), kontonjata or quince cheese and mantala – cake made from red grape juice, Dubrovnik rozata, almond krokant (brittle), sponge cake pandišpanj, and Ston macaroni cake are highly recommended. The wines rank among the most prized wines in the world.

    Bread under bell at Agroturizam Antunović - Agroturizam Antunović

    The barren Dalmatian karst of the Pelješac peninsula is home to top-quality plavac mali from the wine-growing slopes of Dingač and Postup. The most famous white variety is the Dubrovnik Malvasia, but make sure to try wines from the indigenous sorts such as grk and pošip from Korčula and the Konavle variety kadarun. If you want to stay at a real Dalmatian farm, visit Agritourism Antunović on Pelješac, where the four generations are hard working on their land to offer tasty specialties in their konoba. They are famous for donkey milk, and you can try milking the donkeys at the farm.

    Donkeys at Agroturizam Antunović - Agroturizam Antunović

    As mentioned at the beginning – rural Croatia has a lot to offer – consider experiencing a different side of Croatia!

    Croatian Rural Tourism in a Page was compiled in association with the Croatian Rural Tourism Association.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 16 Aug 2021 18:50:18 +0200
    Zagorje in a Page: Castles, Vineyards, Spa Resorts Green hills, vineyards, spas and castles in a fairy tale landscape designed for rural retreats and casual road trips - that's Hrvatsko Zagorje. Plus a few unique museums and loads of interesting history.

  • Welcome!
  • How to get to Zagorje and get around
  • 5 things not to miss in Zagorje
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top 6 ideas for how to spend a day in Zagorje
  • 5 things you didn't know about Zagorje
  • Religious tourism
  • Festivals in Zagorje
  • Welcome!

    The historic region north of Zagreb, called Hrvatsko Zagorje (Croatian Zagorje) has all ingredients for enjoyable green holidays. Sightseeing options include castles, museums and historic sites; fun awaits in outdoor activities and water parks; rest and relaxation are guaranteed in spas, rural retreats and vineyards. And all of that and more in a spacious, tranquil, idyllic area, where the largest town has a population of 14,000.

    How to get to Zagorje and get around


    Zagorje gravitates to Zagreb, and this is also where the nearest major international airport is located. It takes about an hour or less to reach Zagorje from the Zagreb Airport, depending on your exact destination. The airport in Ljubljana is a two-hour ride away, and the airport in Graz is even less.


    Two major motorways pass through the region of Zagorje. The A2 Motorway (Zagorje Motorway) goes from Zagreb to Krapina and further to Slovenia. The A4 Motorway (Varaždin Motorway) goes from Zagreb through Varaždin and Međimurje to the Hungarian border, and further to Budapest. Zagorje is not a small region, and to get from one side to the other can be quite a journey, but all in all, the road network is good. And the scenery is lovely.

    Regular bus lines connect all major towns with Zagreb, especially as many people commute. For this reason, check out the Main Bus Station in Zagreb for timetables. Even though Croatian trains are not the fastest and most reliable in the world, if you have the time and prefer a train ride, hop in. There are lines to Krapina and Varaždin, covering a number of smaller towns along the way. Check out the timetables here.

    5 things not to miss in Zagorje

    Hrvatsko Zagorje, as its full name goes, is not the largest Croatian region, but it is quite widespread. Obviously, with plenty of sites, things to visit and do scattered all over, good planning is essential. You simply can't fit everything into one day. If you're doing a day trip from Zagreb, make a smart itinerary. Or even better, reserve at least a couple of days to explore this attractive region.


    There's an impressive number of castles and manors in Zagorje, around 50 of them. Some date to the late medieval period, when they were built mostly for defence reasons, as there were constant invasion threats. A lot of them originate from the age of Baroque and later, as homes or retreat places for local aristocratic families. Unfortunately, just a few of them have undergone renovation and open their doors for visits. Overall, which are the two that you simply shouldn't miss? Veliki Tabor and Trakošćan.

    Veliki Tabor

    This fascinating remnant of medieval times located on top of a hill dominates the area around the town of Desinić. It was built as a fortress in the 15th century but got reconstructed over the centuries. Veliki Tabor will fulfil all your fantasies about knights in shining armours and damsels in distress. Of course, there's a famous legend attached to it. Not at all surprisingly, it involves the tragic and forbidden love between a poor peasant girl called Veronika and Frederick, the count's son. Today, the castle it's a living museum, partly also a gallery, as well as the home to Tabor Film Festival.

    There are daily buses from Zagreb to Desinić (around an hour and a half), which is some 3 kilometers from the castle. Obviously, traveling by car is much more convenient. Furthermore, no day trip to Veliki Tabor is complete without having a hearty Zagorje lunch in the idyllic Grešna gorica, located directly across the castle.


    If Veliki Tabor is about knights, Trakošćan is about fulfilling all your Disney princess fantasies. Located in the far north of Zagorje, this neo-Gothic beauty dates back to the 13th century. Well-preserved and still looking like a postcard, Trakošćan is perched on a little hill and surrounded by a magnificent estate. It includes an English-style park and a lovely artificial lake.

    Photo by Romulić&Stojčić

    The castle itself is now a museum, displaying the life of the noble families that lived in it through different periods. Mind you, it's also possible to rent the Trakošćan castle for parties or meetings (imagine having your wedding inside a proper castle!). While there is an admission fee for a tour of the castle, you can enjoy its beautiful grounds for free. Luckily, there is also a hotel close by, so spending the night is an option.

    Any other castle?

    Oršić Castle in Gornja Stubica has an interesting purpose. It was built in the 18th century in Baroque style as an elegant residence for the aristocratic Oršić family. These days, it houses a museum. Ironically, it's the Peasants’ Revolt Museum, paying respect to the largest peasant uprising in Croatia, which took place in 1573. While telling the story of the peasant leader Matija Gubec and his unfortunate fate, the display also highlights the history of the region. Mihanović Mansion near Tuhelj Spa is now a restaurant and a very special venue for various events. Gjalski Castle near Zabok was once the home of Ksandor Šaver Gjalski, a famous Croatian writer from the late 19th century. Today it is a restaurant and hotel with a lot of history.

    Oršić Castle

    The attractive 17th century Bežanec Castle with beautiful surroundings is now privately owned and can be visited by appointment only. Part of it is an upscale hotel currently. The most instagrammable castle in Zagorje is surely Miljana, dating to the 16th century. It changed a number of owners throughout its history. Finally, at the turn of the 20th century, it was home to the charismatic chemist and politician Franjo Kajfež, who renovated it. Unfortunately, visits are not possible, due to further preservation and renovation works.

    A rare non-historic castle?

    In the midst of all these great historic buildings, there is something unique sticking out. If you drive down road 507, few kilometers before Krapinske toplice, all of a sudden a strange-looking castle will appear out of nowhere. With its 33 spiky turrets, bright colors and unusual design, it might remind you of a Lego castle. And you would be absolutely right, because that was the model. Empirej Castle was built some 20 years ago by a local businessman for his daughters. It is mostly an event venue, so you can rent it for your event or arrange a visit by appointment. For some, it's an abomination, for others an interesting novelty, but it does add a certain flair to the sleepy Zagorje scenery.

    The Krapina Neanderthal Museum

    Hušnjakovo Hill near Krapina is a world-famous Neanderthal site. That is where the largest collection of the Neanderthal man was found way back in 1899. It was declared the first paleontological natural monument in Croatia, and attracted flocks of visitors. Since 2010 they have more reasons to come, because of the new state-of-the-art Krapina Neanderthal Museum. It's a great family-friendly place to learn about evolution and the history of mankind, in a fun and interactive way. And on a location that couldn't be more authentic.

    Krapina Neanderthal Museum

    Vineyards of Zagorje

    The connection of Zagorje people with their vineyards and wine is legendary. Everywhere you look there are small vineyard plots and little wooden houses for storing the wine, called klet. Yet, for a long time Zagorje wine had a really bad reputation and many considered it drinkable only when mixed with sparkling water. Oh, how the times have changed! There is now a dozen of family-owned boutique wineries with outstanding quality and international awards. And many more are coming.

    Due to its geographic position and cooler climate, Zagorje soil prefers white grape varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Graševina, Silvaner. However, there are also some quite successful experiments with red blends. The higher acidity in the grapes makes this area capable of producing really fine sparkling wines. Some old native varieties on the brink of extinction are being rediscovered. Don't tell it to the French, but one of these old varieties, Belina, is a parent to more than 80 worldwide varieties, including Chardonnay.

    Which Zagorje wineries to visit?

    Spending a few hours at a wine tasting in one of the local wineries might be a very pleasant surprise and broaden your horizons. Among a few names to watch out for, both the hard-core biodynamic Bolfan and the all-around player Vuglec Breg have beautiful estates with lodging and restaurant. Petrač winery offers excellent wines and a breathtaking view; Kopjar has an impressive line-up and one of the best Sauvignon Blancs in Croatia; Zdolc is small and authentic, with some great value-for-money labels. Lovers of dessert wines and ice wines shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit Bodren. This little cellar, producing only sweet wines, is probably the most awarded Croatian winery.

    Land of thermal spas

    It was probably the Ancient Romans who discovered that Zagorje is rich in natural thermal springs. And naturally, it resulted in thermal spas designed for rest and relaxation. Nowhere in Croatia are there that many spas concentrated in one area.

    The most popular one is Terme Tuhelj, with a long tradition. There are numerous pools, both indoor and outdoor, and a big water park for kids. To boost your health, dip yourself into spring pools or try thermal mud. There are also several accommodation options, from camping to hotel.

    Stubičke Toplice is primarily known as a medical institution for rehabilitation, but also offer wellness facilities and accommodation for the general public. Jezerčica Spa in Donja Stubica is a relatively new facility, but already one of the favorite family destinations for city folks from Zagreb. The water park is not enormous, but everything is clean, comfortable and well-maintained. There's also a wellness area, hotel, camp and restaurant attached. Behind the spa complex, you can take a walk in a unique park containing nine stone labyrinths, designed as a place of calm and contemplation.

    Krapinske Toplice is another small town resort with centuries-old tradition of bathing in thermal waters. While there are several medical rehabilitation facilities, there's also Aquae Vivae, a new complex of indoor and outdoor pools, with water attractions and a wellness center. Villa Magdalena Hotel is a bit more upscale facility, focused on tourism, with pools and a spa area. Its special feature is a hydro-massage bathtub with thermal water and a panoramic view in every room.

    Kumrovec Staro Selo Museum

    For anyone born during Yugoslavia, Kumrovec is synonymous with its leader and life-long president Josip Broz Tito. Tito was born there, and his old family house-turned-museum with the iconic bronze sculpture in front it still attracts many visitors. Yet, most of them come to go back in time and experience the idyllic countryside life from times long gone. The old village of Kumrovec has been preserved as an open-air ethnographic museum.

    Kumrovec Staro Selo Museum features dozens of renovated old huts from the 19th century, each presenting a different stage in the village life, old customs and old crafts. In spring and summer, it can get quite lively on weekends, and there are often special exhibitions, workshops or demonstrations of crafts.

    Kumrovec Staro Selo Museum

    Where to stay in Zagorje

    The endless green hills and valleys of Zagorje can accommodate visitors in any way possible. It's all there, from camping and glamping to 4-star hotels and castles. Depending on your preferences and budget, it shouldn't be a problem to plan an overnight stay. Or stays. Actually, we would highly recommend it, if you wish to explore more than a couple of sites. And in most cases, it is cheaper and more practical than staying in Zagreb and driving back and forth all the time.

    Hotel Kaj in Marija Bistrica is a reliable place with good service and plenty of amenities. It includes a very good restaurant and a wellness & spa zone. As a rule, all spa resorts have more than solid hotels, like Villa Magdalena in Krapinske Toplice, Hotel Well in Tuheljske Toplice, or Terme Jezerčica Hotel. Some also have camping facilities and mobile houses. Sleeping in a castle is a luxury you can treat yourself with in Gjalski Castle or a bit more secluded Bežanec Castle.

    For those who prefer something more rustic and private, Vuglec Breg estate on top of a hill might be nice. They rent several charming old wooden houses of different sizes, traditional from the outside, but full of modern comfort. An infinity pool overlooking the vineyards definitely sounds tempting.

    Agroturizam is the Croatian version of a farm stay B&B, and sounds just right in a rural region like Zagorje. Take a look at Masnec farm, Lojzekova hiža, or Zaboky Village, among others, and you'll get the idea. There is a large selection of private apartments and houses to rent. For a bigger family or a group, a private villa with a pool surrounded by nature sounds tempting.

    Where to eat in Zagorje

    Hearty, flavorful and traditional would be three words that describe the cuisine of Zagorje well. The basis remains the old grandma-style countryside cooking with ingredients from local farms. Many dishes that we consider very typical for Zagreb actually stem from Zagorje, the city's rural hinterland. A lot of fertile farmland, cattle, orchards and vineyards guarantees that the table is full all year round.

    There are no modern experiments or hipster ventures here. Even the fanciest restaurants with Michelin or Gault&Millau recommendations rely on tradition. Hotel restaurants are the places where the tradition comes with a bit of creativity, in a classy setting. Magdalena restaurant in Villa Magdalena Hotel and Gourmet restaurant Academia in Hotel Kaj are fine examples that set a benchmark. Mihanović Mansion is another place that combines local flavors, good service and elegant ambience.

    Traditional favorites

    Vuglec Breg is usually full on weekends, which has a lot to do with their excellent homemade food and their wines from the estate. The eco-friendly Bolfan winery takes great pride in sourcing all ingredients from its immediate vicinity, and they are known for being creative when it comes to vegetarian dishes. The next category is picturesque eateries in the countryside, following farm-to-table philosophy and preparing honest dishes that everybody knows. Grešna gorica across Veliki Tabor castle is one of the pioneers in this niche. With its large outdoor space and a small petting zoo, it attracts a lot of family visitors. The charmingly bucolic Majsecov mlin, next to an old mill, has all the local favorites, same as the large and reliable Klet Kozjak.

    Temple Bar in Stubičke Toplice is an urban eatery that combines popular international food like burgers, steaks and pasta with traditional dishes. The selection of drinks is impressive. Oro Goro is perhaps the most famous pizza place in Zagorje, delivering huge pizzas with a local touch since 1994. Ribič restaurant in Veliko Trgovišće has a cult following due to its signature larger-than-life, delicious Vienna steak.

    What to try?

    Fresh cottage cheese and cream as an appetizer is the beginning of everything, and also the filling for many local dishes. The iconic Zagorski štrukli, one of the most famous Croatian specialities, come in many variants. These soft pillows made of dough filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, cream and eggs can either be boiled, baked, served in a soup or turned into a dessert. Definitely the dish number one, available in all eateries that have anything to do with Zagorje. There's a festival dedicated to štrukli - Štruklijada - changing places every year, uniting Zagorje on a plate.

    The appetizer is not complete without a platter full of local sausages, salami, bacon, cheese, cornbread. Soup is an essential part of a meal. Chicken or beef broth with homemade noodles is the most common introduction, while the filing Zagorje soup can proudly stand on its own. It's thick and rich, made with boletus mushrooms, cured meat, potatoes, root vegetables, white wine, and sour cream.

    Roast duck or turkey with traditional mlinci pasta sheets is the most popular main dish, usually reserved for family lunches or special occasions. Pisanica Stubica is a unique microlocal pork dish with a long history. It's sliced pork loin stuffed with plums, cooked in a sauce made from white wine, heavy cream, sour cream, and plum brandy, served with egg noodles. As in the rest of Croatia, all other kinds of meat are well represented on the menu, too. If anyone offers you bean salad with onions and pumpkin seed oil, served on the side, don't say "no"!

    Desserts are simple and delicious, based on seasonal local ingredients and grandma recipes. Strudels with fruit and pancakes are everywhere. Walnut or poppy seed rolls as well. Bučnica is a type of savoury strudel filled with grated squash and cottage cheese, topped with sour cream. Zlevanka is a modest, old-fashioned cake made with corn flour and cottage cheese, something like sweet cornbread.

    Top 6 ideas for how to spend a day in Zagorje

    Cycling in Zagorje

    The nature of Zagorje is almost perfectly suited for this type of active vacation. Mild rolling hills, lots of forests, rivers and lakes invite you to discover them on your bike. The tourist infrastructure for that has been developed recently. Consequently, there are numerous well-marked and maintained cycling routes in Zagorje. Wouldn't it be great to spend some time in Zagorje on a peaceful bike route, before jumping in a pool somewhere in one of the many spas of Zagorje?

    Varaždin County has a website and an application to help visitors navigate the routes. Of course, the international bike route Drava Route goes through 4 countries and part of it is in Zagorje - find out more on their website.

    From Kumrovec to Desinić

    One day should be enough for a nice tour of western Zagorje. Have a scenic drive, visit a few of the local attractions and end the day with a filling traditional meal, maybe squeeze in a wine tasting.

    Start the tour at Kumrovec village, a picturesque open-air ethnographic museum. Then head to Veliki Tabor, the impressive medieval castle near Desinić. Across the castle have a stop for lunch and relaxation at the popular Grešna gorica farm-to-table restaurant surrounded by nature. Zdolc winery in the hills above Pregrada is not that far, mind you.

    Up and down around Stubica

    The area around Gornja and Donja Stubica has a lot of options for sightseeing and family activities. You could start by having a swim in Terme Jezerčica, a cosy spa with amenities for all generations. Find more about local history at the Peasants’ Revolt Museum situated in a castle in Gornja Stubica.

    Stop by the legendary Gubec Linden Tree, and have a gemišt and štrukli in the charming rural café right next to it. Majsecov mlin is a beautiful countryside restaurant with its own watermill, an ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon.

    From Neanderthals to Medieval knights

    The romantic old Trakošćan castle and Krapina Neanderthal Museum are probably the two most visited locations in Zagorje, so why not combine them. In Krapina, go back to the Paleolithic and learn about human evolution in a fun and interactive way. Then head to Trakošćan, about half an hour away. Save at least a couple of hours to enjoy the beautiful castle turned museum and the stunning park around it. Hotel Trakošćan with its a la card restaurant is the closest and more than solid dining option.

    Winery hopping

    Wine lovers should definitely take a chance to meet some of the regions finest wineries. Just above the medical spa town of Krapinske Toplice, Petrač winery sits on a hill with some amazing views. Their sparkling wine and red blends are not to be missed.

    Just a bit further up north, you'll find Vuglec breg, which functions as a winery, restaurant and guest house. Once you set your foot on this lovely estate, it's hard to leave. Visit the cellar, have a glass of wine on a deck chair overlooking the vineyards, and treat yourself to a luscious Zagorje-style lunch or dinner.

    Tranquility of western Zagorje

    Even if you're not a religious person, Marija Bistrica is worth a visit. The largest and most important Marian shrine in Croatia offers plenty of interesting sites. Apart from finding inner peace in prayer, you can also find it on attractive walking and biking trails around the town.

    Marija Bistrica, photo by Romulić&Stojčić

    Explore regional heritage in one of craft shops dedicated to traditional wooden toys or licitar decorative honey dough hearts. Both crafts are on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Spend the afternoon in the green countryside, relaxing and tasting local specialties on a farm-to-table rural restaurant and winery like OPG Matoš. Or have a luxurious treatment in Bluesun Hotel Kaj's wellness and spa center, followed by a gourmet dinner.

    5 things you didn't know about Zagorje

    Two presidents

    The humble region of Zagorje gave us two great local historical figures of the 20th century, two presidents. The first is Josip Broz Tito, today a controversial character for some. He was the leader of the Partisan resistance movement in the region in the Second World War. After the war, he became the communist leader of Yugoslavia, and he held that position until his death in 1980. His birth house with a small exhibition is located in the village of Kumrovec, now part of the ethnographic open-air museum. The second famous Zagorje president is Franjo Tuđman, the first president of the Republic of Croatia and its leader during the Homeland War. His birth house is in Veliko Trgovišće, renovated and open for visits.

    Gupčeva lipa - Historic linden tree

    Next to the church in Gornja Stubica stands a huge old linden tree. It's definitely not just a tree, but a protected cultural monument and an important witness of history. Older than 400 years, it was alive during the Peasant Revolt of 1573. That's why it bears the name of the peasant leader Matija Gubec. The legend says he and his fellow rebels would meet under the tree, but unfortunately, there's no one else to confirm it.

    Birthplace of the Croatian national anthem

    On the road between Klanjec and Kumrovec you can spot a tall stone monument. It was erected in 1935, for the 100th anniversary of the day when Antun Mihanović published his poem Horvatska domovina. Later it was set to music and became the beloved Croatian national anthem Our Beautiful Homeland. The money to build and put it up came from crowdfunding, and it is said that over 20,000 people attended the unveiling.

    Antun Augustinčić's Gallery

    Antun Augustinčić, one of the greatest Croatian sculptors of the 20th century, was born and buried in Klanjec. He donated the largest part of his works to his hometown, and in 1976 the Antun Augustinčić Gallery was built. He is the author of the Peace Monument in front of the United Nations building in New York. The sculpture of Tito in front of his house in Kumrovec, and the memorial to the 1573 Peasant Revolt and its leader Matija Gubec is also Augustinčić's work.

    Home of Lepoglava lace

    The small town of Lepoglava, now better known as the home of the central Croatian penitentiary institution, was once the hub of the Pauline order in the region. Along with many good things they did for culture and education, they also introduced the art of lace making. This craft became a tradition that put Lepoglava on the world map, and has been kept alive for centuries. Lepoglava lace is a unique product, one of the most original souvenirs you can find in Zagorje.

    Lepoglava Lace, photo by Romulić&Stojčić

    Religious tourism

    Spirituality and travelling can certainly go together. The village of Marija Bistrica is the Croatian national Marian shrine and the most frequented pilgrim destination. The whole story goes back to the 15th century and a miraculous wooden statue of the Black Madonna. During the turbulent period of Turkish threats, a local priest buried it to protect it. For a while, no one knew where it was, until in 1588 a bright light shone from the choir of the church in Bistrica and the statue was discovered. Yet, another century of hiding and rediscovering went by. After its second finding in 1684, miraculous healing took place, and the word about the Saint Mary of Bistrica spread.

    Nowadays, pilgrims and worshipers come in thousands every year. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine in 1998. Today's Basilica of Our Lady of Bistrica was built in the 19th century, where the old church once stood. In 1880, during the construction, a fire destroyed everything except the main altar and the miraculous statue of the Mother of God. Around the church, other attractions include the Stations of the Cross to the Calvary, designed by Croatian sculptors, and a Park of Wooden Sculptures. Many hiking and cycling routes lead to Marija Bistrica.

    A detail from the interior of the Belec church, photo by Romulić&Stojčić

    There are numerous old churches and chapels scattered all over Zagorje, but St Mary of the Snows in a small hamlet of Belec is quite special. Built around 1675, it hides unique treasures inside, some of the finest examples of Baroque art in northern Croatia. The incredibly lush interior features five altars, a pulpit and a choir in gilded wood. Frescoes by Tyrolean painter Johann Baptist Ranger cover all surfaces, depicting the story of the Virgin Mary. Since the church opens for Masses only, a visit needs to be arranged by appointment.

    Festivals in Zagorje

    Every year there are plenty of traditional events and festivals to keep everyone entertained and involved. Naturally, most of them revolve around food, art and sports. It is interesting to note that both the beginning and the end of a calendar year are marked by two very important holidays for winemakers. St Vincent is celebrated at the end of January when the vines are blessed to yield a fruitful harvest. St Martin comes in early November, and that is when must turns into wine. Needless to say, both holidays are celebrated loudly and joyfully in many local wineries and restaurants.

    Every September, Tjedan kajkavske kulture, or the Week of Kajkavian Culture, honors the local culture through a number of events. It all culminates with the Festival of Kajkavian Songs, established in 1966. Throughout the decades, famous singers from the whole country have put on a Zagorje folk costume and performed in the Kajkavian dialect. Since 2003, Tabor Film Festival features a selection of short films from all over the world. The venue couldn't be better - the magnificent medieval Veliki Tabor castle.

    If you like history, medieval extravaganza awaits at the annual reconstruction of the Battle of Stubica. Fought in February 1573 as the final battle in the great peasants' revolt, today it gives the people of Zagorje a sense of pride and lots of fun. Eko, Etno, Fletno Festival in Kumrovec celebrates Zagorje heritage, tradition and customs, with plenty of food, drinks, music and entertainment bursting with local flavours. Among festivals dedicated to Zagorje specialities, Bučnica Fest focuses on the beloved summer strudel made with squash and cottage cheese.

    More information

    For more information, check out the websites of the Tourist Boards of Krapina-Zagorje County and Varaždin County.

    ]]> (Morana Zibar) Destinations Tue, 27 Jul 2021 19:28:47 +0200
    Stari Grad in a Page: UNESCO, Culture, Beaches & Lifestyle Whisper it quietly, but Stari Grad on Hvar is one of the rising stars of Croatian tourism, quietly building a luxury tourism offer to match its very own UNESCO World Heritage Site and fascinating 2,400 year history.

  • Welcome to Faros!
  • How to get to Stari Grad and get around
  • 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top 5 day trips from Stari Grad
  • 5 things you didn't know about Stari Grad
  • Beaches
  • Stari Grad for Kids
  • More information
  • {YouTube}a25mBttOI7c{/youtube}

    Welcome to Faros!

    Hvar Town may be the glitzy cousin on the island these days, but what is modern-day Stari Grad is where the island's urban life began, after the Ancient Greeks from the island of Paros found a very deep bay which provided shelter for their ships some 2,400 years ago. They named the new settlement Faros, after their native island, bringing with them olive trees and vines.

    They planted in the fertile soil next to the harbour in what is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stari Grad Plain. It was the start of a fascinating history of this gorgeous old town (Stari Grad literally means 'Old Town'). The town has long offered a cultured, historic and much more chilled alternative to Hvar Town, with a strong focus on excellent gastronomy.

    If you are looking for chilled and authentic Dalmatia with a bit of quality at an affordable price, there are few better options than Stari Grad.

    How to get to Stari Grad and get around


    There is actually an airfield in the Stari Grad Plain, but it is available for helicopters and light aircraft only. There are no commercial flights. Most air arrivals come to Split Airport. The TC airport guide explains how to get the onward connection to the ferry to Stari Grad. Other options are Zadar Airport and Dubrovnik Airport, from where you can connect to Hvar by road or boat.


    Many tourists drive to Hvar, and with Stari Grad just off the ferry, you are almost home as you disembark. Getting to the ferry is simple enough. The majority arrive from the north and the main A1 Zagreb to Split motorway. Exit at the Split signpost at Dugopolje and head to the centre. Then follow signs for the ferry (Trajektna Luka), and you are only a 2-hour ferry ride from heaven. Alternatively you can come from Dubrovnik and the south. Here is a guide on how to get from Dubrovnik to Split.


    The majority of tourists arrive by boat, and the main hub for ferry traffic is Stari Grad itself. The ferry terminal used to be in the town, but these days lies about 1 km out of town. Buses meet every ferry and take you to Stari Grad bus station. But you can also walk if you do not have too much luggage.

    The Stari Grad ferry goes all year, with 3 sailings in the winter schedule (October to late May). There are several more crossings in the summer season. The journey time from Split to Stari Grad is 2 hours. For a full range of options about getting from Split to the island, check out the detailed TC Split to Hvar guide.

    Private Boat Transfers

    Alternatively, you might be looking for a little more comfort and privacy, or in the market for a speedboat tour. Nikola of Nostress Boats offers an outstanding and competitive service for fast, efficient transfers, as well as some truly excellent day trips aboard his boat. Learn more on the Nostress Boats website.

    Getting around

    Everything within the town is walkable, and you do not need a car to enjoy Stari Grad itself. The local bus service has a reasonable network of connections to other main settlements if you want to explore on a day trip. Car hire is readily available on the island, and it is often a better option that renting on the mainland. Apart from the cost and wait of bringing a car across, you may only want to hire for 1-2 days. Scooters are a very popular way to get around the island. You can hire one at several outlets in the town.

    5 things not to miss in Stari Grad

    Croatia's only island UNESCO World Heritage Site


    While some empires rise and fall, the impact of the Ancient Greeks is very much still felt today. On arrival, they took control of a very fertile plain next to their new capital, dividing it into equal plots and introducing things for which Hvar is famous today - quality wine and quality olive oil. And 2400 years later, that fertile plain, nurtured by the Greeks, is one of Croatia's eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Stari Grad Plain. It is one of Hvar's great untapped tourism jewels, and it only took me 8 years of living here to realise it exisited. Take a tour of the history in the video above. 

    Tvrdalj of Petar Hektorovic

    The top attraction in Stari Grad is the Hektorović Tvrdalj, the ‘castle’ built by one of Croatia’s most famous poets, Petar Hektorović (1487 – 1572). Situated at the back of the largest square in the town, close to the court, Hektorović built an original legacy, and carved pithy and witty sayings in stone around the building in Latin, Italian and Croatian. The entrance bears the inscription: “Petar Hectorović, son of Marino, at his own expense and by his own effort built this for the use of himself and his friends.”

    With a long sea-facing wall preventing it from attack and intrusion, entering the courtyard is something of a surprise, and includes a large fishpool and herb garden. The main gardens have gradually been replanted over the last twenty-odd years with an astonishing variety of Mediterranean plants. Horses often graze in the paddocks alongside the gardens. There is a display of historical tools and agricultural equipment in an enclosed area to one side, and one can climb up a small tower nearby to look over the property. The house itself, which boasts one of the earliest indoor toilets in Europe, is not open to the public, but the gardens and fishpond are a delight to visit, especially in summer, when they are a refreshing oasis of shady peace to shelter in.

    Faros Kantaduri


    For such a small town (the permanent population was less than 1800 at the last census), Stari Grad has an incredibly vibrant cultural scene. In addition to several excellent museums, two theatres (and two fabulous amateur theatre groups) and a host of other cultural activities, the male voices of Stari Grad are known throughout the land, and if you ever get the chance to hear the Faros Kantaduri, don't miss them. For a taster, check them out in the video above. 

    Days of the Bay


    In 2016, a new festival came to Stari Grad, called Dani u Vali (Days in the Bay). Normally taking place in September in non-COVID times, Days in the Bay is an outstanding 4-day celebration of the very best of Dalmatia, with a focus on the sea and traditional boats.

    More than 100 traditional boats attend, and there are many events on land and sea. These include concerts, workshops, exhibitions, fireworks and the Dancing of the Sails. The gastronomic options are worth the visit alone.


    The sunsets in Dalmatia are magnificent pretty much wherever you are, but Stari Grad does them as well as anywhere. The open view out to the deep Stari Grad bay is the perfect backdrop for a setting sun. So grab an ice cream and walk along the picturesque riva watching the orange ball slowly sink to the horizon. Feeling romantic? Head to Lanterna beach, a short walk from the old town.

    My personal tip for the very best sunset? Drive to the top of Kabal Peninsula (about 12 km). You will see a sign for a tunnel. Here you will find some tunnels ordered by Tito to defend the island. They lie at the very top of the entrance to the bay. A perfect location to defend Stari Grad from attack. An even better place to observe a magnificent sunset with a picnic.

    Other things worth checking out

    Biankini Palace

    The impressive Biankini Palace, home of Stari Grad Museum, was the Neo-Renaissance family home of the Biankini Brothers and dates back to 1896. In the garden there is a Deodar Cedar which is as old as the building itself.

    Dominican Monastery

    Right at the back of the old town is the impressive Dominican monastery of St. Petar Mucenik which was founded in 1482, and then fortified with two rounded turrets in 1682 following the Turkish attack on the island. Here Hekorovic is buried, along with his mother, and his words are carved in stone above the church entrance.

    There is an impressive array of art on display, of which the most valuable is The Mourning of Christ by Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto, and the oldest inscriptions in Croatia, written in Greek from the 4th to 2nd Centuries, are preseved in the small museum.

    St Stephen’s Church

    St. Stephen’s is a baroque church built after the old cathedral and bishop’s court had been destroyed. Construction started in 1605, with the main façade thought to have been built by Ivan Pomenic from Korcula, who also constructed the current cathedral in Hvar Town. The interior is decorated with works by various Venetian artists.

    St. Jerolim’s Church

    On the other side of the harbour, the pretty St. Jerolim juts out into the water. Hermit friars – the emerites – lived in what is now one of the island’s best restaurants (Ermitaz) and the medieval church is now an art gallery.

    Where to stay in Stari Grad

    Ten years ago, finding quality accommodation was a real issue. The main hotels were of 2 and 3-star quality and had not seen much investment since the war, and the private accommodation offer was a fraction of what it is today.

    The first significant statement of intent that things might change came with the renovation of Apolon, a beautiful historic stone renovation at the end of the recently expanded riva. The 7 luxury rooms and accompanying excellent restaurant (the first on the island to enter the Michelin Guide) had high-paying guests relocating from Hvar Town in search of a more peaceful setting.

    Since then, the accommodation scene in Stari Grad has only gone in one direction. There are now a number of 4-star private accommodation options. But the real story is in the development of the hotel scene.

    When Maslina Resort opened its doors in the middle of the pandemic in August, 2020, it became the second 5-star hotel on Hvar, and only the 4th on any Croatian island. Located in an idyllic bay on the other side of the ferry, it has quickly established a reputation as one of the top places on the Adriatic for a luxury experience, attracting plenty of column inches in the travel media around the globe.

    The troubled Helios Group, which owned the tired flagship hotels, was taken over by leading Croatian hotel group, Valamar. They are now in the process of renovating the portfolio, starting with Hotel Lavanda. This hotel reopened in 2021 as the 4-star Hvar (Places Hotel).

    Four Seasons announced a 140-million euro investment to open a luxury resort in Brizenica Bay, just outside the town, but this is now looking increasingly unlikely.

    Check out the latest available accommodation offers for Stari Grad here.

    Where to eat in Stari Grad

    Stari Grad has an excellent gourmet scene, one which seems to improve year on year. It is also the one town on the island which has a good selection of places to eat all through the year, as Jelsa and Hvar almost close down. One of the many charms of Stari Grad and its delightful old town is how its art galleries, cafes and restaurants blend into the millennia of history. It has been a while since I checked out the food in the town, but a foodie local resident offered this selection as the top places to eat.

    Kod Barba Luke

    Superbly located by the water to take in those famous sunsets, Kod Barba Luke is a local institution. Located in a stone house dating back to 1643, it was the first restaurant to open in the old town back in 1970. The restaurant is still run by the same family, whose seafood and customer service are but two of many reasons to give Kod Barba Luke. a try

    Jurin Podrum

    One of the cosiest restaurants in Dalmatia, as well as one of the healthiest. Many people stumble across Jurin Podrum while wandering through the maze of streets in the historic old town, and few regret the find. An emphasis on fresh, fresh, fresh, whether it be catch of the day, or the vegetables sourced from the restaurant garden, the Podrum chef's creations evoke the taste of truly authentic Dalmatia.


    For location, rustic environment and traditional local fare, it is hard to better Ermitaz. Located on the water opposite the old town, its waterfront location and natural setting in pine trees make it a desirable location to while away an afternoon in the company of good food, wine and service.


    Unpretentious, good food, friendly service & local ingredients internationally-inspired to create your favourite meal & memories. Look 4 da NOOK & let us get you hooked! Variety of Vegetarian and Vegan dishes available, special dietary requests welcome. Deservedly number 1 on Tripadvisor at time of writing.

    Kod Damira

    A Stari Grad legend, and the very best place for a chat, gossip and the finest local food, Kod Damira is a must-visit if you are looking for affordable quality Dalmatian fare. The daily 'marenda' dishes are well worth the visit.

    Blue Doors

    A relatively new addition which is winning hearts and minds with its excellent service and inspiring menu and the freshest local ingredients. Ideally located close to the water in the shade but with superb harbour view. Good family option. Number 2 on TripAdvisor.


    Great fish restaurant with excellent cuisine and internationally renowned chef in the heart of the old town. Very friendly and friendly atmosphere in a very pleasant, Mediterranean atmosphere with overgrown terrace.

    Top 5 day trips from Stari Grad

    Hvar Town and Pakleni Islands

    There is no question which is the most popular destination on the island - Hvar Town and the nearby Pakleni Islands. One of the great destinations on the Adriatic, Stari Grad is the perfect place to be based for a visit. And after the visit, you can return to the tranquil oasis of calm of the island's first capital.

    There are regular buses between the two, and the drive by car will take you about 25 minutes. Want to know what makes Hvar Town so special? Check out the TC Hvar Town in a Page guide.

    Jelsa and Vrboska

    Stari Grad is the biggest settlement in central Hvar, but there are others worth visiting. Jelsa is the next biggest town, set in a very pretty harbour and with a VERY relaxed pace of life. Lots to see and do here, especially if you like beaches. And wine, for Jelsa is the Dalmatian wine capital, with several leading producers in and around the town. Learn more in the TC Jelsa in a Page guide.

    A very pleasant 3km walk along the coast from Jelsa in the direction of Stari Grad is the pretty fishing village of Vrboska, affectionately known as Little Venice after its short canal. Home to the island's ACI marina, the old town is gorgeous, and dominated by it unique fortress church. Learn more in 25 things to know about Vrboska.


    So many visitors to Hvar miss the magic of Split completely. On arrival, they are dashing from the airport to make the ferry. And then on the way back, their focus is getting to the airport on time.

    Split is a pleasant two-hour ferry ride from Stari Grad (and if the weather is good, the views on the open-top deck are unbeatable), and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian's Palace, is right next to your arrival point. There is a lot more to Split than the palace, however. Find out more in the TC Split in a Page guide.

    Zlatni Rat in Bol

    Alternatively, why not check out a speedboat tour with Stari Grad specialists, Nostress Boats? One popular nearby destination is Croatia's most iconic beach, Zlatni Rat in Bol on Brac. Spend the day on the beach and wandering around Bol. And don't miss the wine tasting at Stina in the centre of town.

    Southside beach heaven

    Hvar has plenty of outstanding beaches of its own of course, and many locals say that the best are on the south of the island. Take a drive through the Pitve Tunnel and discover southside beach, wine and adventure tourism heaven. The resorts of Zavala, Ivan Dolac and Sveta Nedelja have excellent beaches, while the wines of Zlatan Otok and the outstanding climbing in Sveta Nedelja are additional reasons to visit.

    5 things you didn't know about Stari Grad

    An abdicating British king came for lunch at Jurin Podrum

    Jurin Podrum as it once was, back in 1917

    Hvar Town may be the celebrity hang out these days, but it was not always the case. An early celeb visitor to Stari Grad back in 1936 was the abdicating British king, Edward VIII and his American wife, Wallace Simpson. They lunched at Jurin Podrum, an excellent family restaurant which has been run by the same family since 1917 in the heart of the old town.

    Mrs. JFK went waterskiing in Stari Grad bay, guarded by a Tito patrol boat

    There was a more flamboyant celebrity visit in 1964, as Jacqueline Kennedy came to visit, accompanied by a Yugoslav patrol boat sent by Tito. Among other activities the former First Lady got up to was water-skiing in Stari Grad bay.

    Returning to roots: the Faros to Paros voyage

    In 2003, a rather unusual expedition was organised to retrace the steps of the Ancient Greeks all those years ago - a voyage in a traditional sailboat, from 'Faros to Paros', Faros being the name the Greeks gave to what is today Stari Grad, close as it sounded to their native island of Paros. The voyage included taking gifts including vines and olive trees which had brought som much prosperity and goodness to the residents of Hvar, and which had originally come from Paros in 384 BC. There is a documentary on the journey (in Croatian) which you can watch here

    Lampedusa and the 150-year sardine connection

    Stari Grad has a proud sailing tradition, including some rather unusual features, including a strong connection with the island of Lampedusa, as explained by the local tourist board:

    Around 150 years ago, Tomažo Bonaparte, a Hvar ship-owner, went looking for sardines and arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa, not far from the African coast.
    After they heard about the successful fishing there, other Hvar ship-owners followed in his footsteps in the years that followed. The sailboat fleet sailed to Lampedusa every year, until autumn 1905 when the last Hvar sailboat "Giorgio", captained by Frano Maroević from Stari Grad returned to the island of Hvar.

    On Lampedusa, they organized sardine fishing, salted them and put them into wooden barrels transporting them in their ships to Black Sea ports and the eastern Mediterranean, where they sold them and returned to the island loaded mainly with corn. Some of them remained on Lampedusa and their descendants still live there and they have a special name – papor.

    Devolved Parliament: the Ministry of Other People's Affairs

    Thought the seat of power was in Zagreb?

    Welcome to the Ministry of Other People's Affairs, perhaps the first de-centralised ministry not based in Zagreb. Order yourself a rakija or bevanda at Bistro Kod Damira on the entrance of Stari Grad and join in the conversation.

    “We worry about business which is not our own. Who was where and what were they doing, who was drunk, who earns what, who has caught fish, planted olives, picked grapes and who is sleeping with who.” explained Minister Damir Čavić.

    Bistro Kod Damira, which is open all year, certainly attracts an eclectic crowd of Bohemians (and not so Bohemians), and is a favourite place for many locals and visitors alike. It is also superbly located as an observation and gossip point for such a ministry.

    Beaches of Stari Grad

    The Stari Grad bay has more than 40 beaches, bays and coves, a mixture of sandy, pebble and rocky. Many are accessible only by boat, so hire your own boat for the day and discover your own private beach.

    The Lanterna and Bonj beaches are either side of the town, but for some of the best beaches away from the crowds, explore the Kabal Peninsula north of the town. The 12km-long peninsula is littered with gorgeous coves, man of which are accessible by car but rarely visited. Zhukova, close to the Rudine villages is the most popular.

    Stari Grad for Kids

    Stari Grad is a GREAT destination for kids. Not only because the pedestrianised old town is free of cars and therefore much safer, as well as the child-friendly beaches, but also due to a rich programme of kids events and activities throughout the summer.

    The town has one of the most proactive and constructive summer programmes for kids on the coast. Choose between Little Town Pharos, Summer Music School, Creative Workshops, Little Sailing School, and Little School of Swimming and Water Polo. Learn more.

    More information

    For more information, check out the official Stari Grad Tourist Board website.

    To follow the latest news from Stari Grad, check out the dedicated TCN page.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Tue, 13 Jul 2021 19:26:39 +0200
    Slavonski Brod in a Page: Fortress, Sava river, Rafts, Hotel, Weather, Map City of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, Mario Mandžukić and Murder on the Orient Express - Slavonski Brod.

  • Welcome to Slavonski Brod Croatia!
  • Things not to miss in Slavonski Brod
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top 5 day trips
  • Things you (maybe) didn't know about Slavonski Brod
  • Slavonski Brod Weather
  • Slavonski Brod Map
  • How to get to Slavonski Brod and get around
  • Welcome to Slavonski Brod Croatia!

    Probably the least-visited major city in Croatia, Slavonski Brod is a fascinating place perfect for rest and recreation. Steeped in history and tradition, surrounded by nature and rich in culture and cuisine, you really should stop by. As we'll try to show here...

    Things not to miss in Slavonski Brod

    Soul of Slavonski Brod: the Sava river

    Sava river
    In blue, the Sava river © Ivica Krpan.

    Here separating Croatia and the Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia and Hercegovina, the Sava river is the very reason Slavonski Brod exists here. The river was once a vital international trading route. Today, it is still essential to the life of Slavonski Brod and its residents. But, rather than economic, its importance now lies in the recreation, sports, and fun you can find on the river and its shore.

    Poloj by the Sava in Slavonski Brod
    From above, Poloj © Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.

    Of all the many places for recreation in Slavonski Brod, Poloj is perhaps the best-loved. In summer its sand beach is filled with swimmers and sunbathers. Indeed, it's been like that for as long as anyone can remember. In fact, at one time it might have been even more popular than it is today.

    cyclist by Poloj
    As shown above, cyclist by Poloj © Aleksandar Gospić.

    Sitting just 3km east of the city center, the dedicated Poloj recreational lies at the tip of a large 'peninsula' that cuts into the Sava. It is surrounded by forest and has areas set aside for public barbecues and sports. Namely, beach volleyball and five-a-side football. Also, for the youngest, a children's playground and sometimes in summer, inflatables on the river.

    Behind the main recreation area, bike trails and several weekend houses - vikendica. People love to spend time here and most of those with a weekend home here actually have a normal residence just a couple of kilometres away. Crazy! If you live in Europe, then usually your holiday home is thousands of kilometres away! But, not if you live in Slavonski Brod. If you live in Slavonski Brod, then the best place in the world is down by the river, in Slavonski Brod. Truth be told, that logic is difficult to argue against. An amazing place it is.

    Vikendica by the Sava in Slavonski Brod
    Vikendica by the Sava in Slavonski Brod © Branko Skoković.
    Events on Poloj
    Pecenkijada on Poloj, Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, Pecenkijada on Poloj © Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.

    One of the best excuses to visit Poloj and indeed Slavonski Brod is the special events that happen here from time to time. In particular, look out for Fišijada, usually held on the first weekend in July. Specifically, it's a mass cook-off of traditional river fish paprikash and carp cooked over an open fire. One event that has to be seen to be believed is Pečenkijada, organised by Motorcycling Club Brod. At this event - unique in Croatia - hundreds of motorcyclists from clubs all over Croatia (and some international ones too!) descend on Slavonski Brod. Their purpose? The largest outdoor pig roast you ever saw.

    Splavarska - Slavonski Brod street of rafts
    Summer on Splavarska ulica
    Summer on Splavarska ulica © Ivica Galovic / PIXSELL.

    Splavarska ulica - rafting street. It sounds like an appropriate nickname for line of rafts on the Sava. But, it's not. Splavarska ulica is the only street in Croatia where residents live on top of the water. Beginning at Sports Hall Vijuš and Slavonski Brod swimming pool, Splavarska ulica then runs down the entire western shore of the 'peninsula' holding Poloj. There's no connection to normal city amenities, such as electricity. But, each of the 'houses' has its own number. You could post a letter to someone here and it would be delivered.

    In total, over a hundred rafts line the banks of the Sava in Slavonski Brod. Generally, their residents are locals who simply love nature and the peace of the river. In warmer months, many rafts are inhabited all day, every day. Although, almost all are full over weekends. In winter, raft residents mostly return to their main dwellings - usually in and around Slavonski Brod. Although, a few have been known to spend the winter here too.

    Mist across the Sava
    Mist across the Sava © Branko Skoković.

    All the rafts are unique. Generally, they are constructed by their owners and develop over the time spent on them. The rafts are fixed to the bank, but not to the river bottom. Indeed, they float atop the river and are capable of rising and falling as the river swells.

    Čika Mata - legacy of Mata Marković
    In autumn, the Sava in Slavonski Brod
    In autumn, the Sava in Slavonski Brod © Branko Skoković.

    There's a kind of residents association, 'Čika Mata', named after a pioneer of living aboard a raft on the Sava. Mata Marković lived on the river from at least 1936 until 1989. He spent his time helping to maintain the river's public bathing area and beach and teaching youngsters how to swim.

    rafts on the Sava in Slavonski Brod
    From the water, rafts on the Sava in Slavonski Brod © Čika Mata.

    Similarly, Čika Mata today helps look after the river so that it is accessible and people can better enjoy it. They organise ecological interventions and 'clean-ups' of the river and river banks. Previously, they also organised a small boat and rafting convoy which travelled the Sava from Sisak to Slavonski Brod. In detail, it took the 30 or so participants some four days to cover the 220 kilometres of river route.

    Torchlight procession of the Slavonski Brod river rafters
    Torchlight procession of the Slavonski Brod river rafters Čika Mata
    As shown above, torchlight procession of the Slavonski Brod river rafters © Youtube screenshot /

    Participants in several social and cultural events, Čika Mata are today an asset of Slavonski Brod's tourist offer. Indeed, if you want to visit a raft in Brod, but don't know anyone there, then you should contact them. Perhaps the most popular annual event they organise is the torchlight procession of the Slavonski Brod river rafters. Held on the last Saturday in August, it marks a celebration of the summer just ending. (Although, there's at least another month left on the rafts for most).

    Previously, the procession held a wonderfully traditional feel. Small fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and some swimmers would float from the city bridge down to Splavarska ulica. Their journey powered by the river flow and lit by the atmospheric glow of traditional flamed torchlight. You can see hundreds of city residents on the promenade this night, enjoying the spectacle.

    However, these days, an element of the event's charm has been slightly lost due to its popularity. You find boat motors much more part of proceedings today. Furthermore, the wonderful ambiance of traditional torches is now sometimes replaced with air horns and the familiar red of football terrace flares. Unfortunately, these are coloured red by strontium carbonate, strontium nitrate or lithium. Subsequently, thousands of tiny particles of these metal compounds are released into the air as smoke. Later, they descend to unnaturally pollute the very river being celebrated.

    Fishing Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, competition day for ŠRU Som fishing club.

    You'll find river fish featuring prominently on the traditional food menu of Slavonia. Both carp and trout, catfish and perch are popular and plentiful here. Accordingly, you'll see fishermen lining the Sava banks in Brod almost every day. Not only does Slavonski Brod have two of its own fishing clubs in ŠRU Som and ŠRU Sava, but also it is home to the Sport-fishing association of Brod-Posavina County. If you want to get a license or to find out more about fishing in Slavonski Brod, then these are the folks to speak with.

    Canoe and kayak
    Canoe on the Sava
    Canoe on the Sava © Ivica Krpan.

    Both recreational and serious sport in Slavonski Brod, canoeing and kayaking are extremely popular here. In fact, the city has at least two kayak and canoe clubs. Namely, Olimpik and Marsonia, the latter being almost 70 years old.

    Sava river promenade 'Kej'
    Summer on the Sava in Slavonski Brod
    Sunlight fills the banks of the Sava © Marica Marinić.

    At two and a half kilometres in length, 'Kej' by the Sava in Slavonski Brod is one of Croatia's longest riverside promenades. It stretches from the mouth of the river Mrsunja to the city swimming pools. Thereafter, it meets the promenade of Splavarska, in total creating almost 5 kilometres of uninterrupted riverside run. Brilliant for walking or cycling, on weekend nights it's a popular hang out for city youths. If you take a stroll, be sure to look out for the street art painted along the route.

    summer in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, summer in Slavonski Brod © Ivica Krpan.

    Bicycle is one of the best ways to explore the green city of Slavonski Brod. If you want to get to know the suburbs or head into the green villages surrounding, then there's no better way. Not only do you have the 5 kilometers of promenade to cycle, but also there's a further 10 kilometres of riverside road on the west of town. Alternatively, grab your passport and cycle across the bridge to explore another country.

    If you want to cycle the city, then you'll find bike-sharing stands at Ulica Andrije Štampara 23, Ulica Petra Krešimira IV 6, Ulica Stanka Vraza 2. You'll need to use your credit card and sign up to Nextbike, or download their app. If you want to know more about cycling activities and competitions in and around Slavonski Brod, then the city has several bicycling clubs. Namely, Biciklistička udruga Brod (BUB), who participate in road races, Festung, who help arrange some off-road bike trails in the surroundings and BCKlan.

    Gradski bazeni Vijuš
    As shown above, Gradski bazeni Vijuš.

    In warmer months, the Sava serves as the free city swimming pool, just as it always has. But, in colder months, that doesn't mean you have to stop. In fact, divers and water polo players year-round make good use of Gradski bazeni Vijuš - Slavonski Brod city pools Vijuš. Both large indoor and outdoor pools now make up part of the swimming offer here. Find them at the northwest corner of the Poloj peninsula, less than 50 metres from the Sava, just behind NK Marsonia's stadium.

    Sports hall Vijuš (Športska dvorana Vijuš)
    Sports hall Vijuš

    This sports hall, part of the same complex as the city pools, is not just for sports. Sure, the main hall upstairs hosts many of the indoor sports of the city - basketball, handball, football, gymnastics etc. But, downstairs, you'll find a bowling alley that is much more recreational than anything so strenuous.

    Sports hall Vijuš

    Slavonski Brod Fortress (Tvrđava Brod)

    Slavonski Brod Fortress (Tvrđava Brod)
    From above, Slavonski Brod Fortress © Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.
    Prince Eugene of Savoy

    Sitting on the throne of France for 72 years and 110 days, Louis XIV is the longest-serving monarch in history. But, his extended success was not born purely of rationale. Indeed, he was prone to idiosyncratic behaviour. And he was illogically vengeful. So, when he refused young Prince Eugene of Savoy's offer to serve in the French army, he needlessly created a formidable enemy for life. Instead, Savoy simply offered his services to the competing Imperial court in Vienna.

    Outliving Louis by over 20 years, Savoy became one of the most successful military commanders of the era in his six-decade-long career. Also, he was called on to fight against France many times. Indeed, one of his key achievements was to help save the Habsburg Empire from French conquest. The other being that he broke the westward thrust of the Ottomans. As a result, he liberated parts of Europe previously under Turkish occupation for over 150 years. In order to secure the border, Savoy ordered the construction of four forts. Namely, Stara Gradiška, Osijek and Slavonski Brod in Slavonia and Petrovaradin in Syrmia, today neighbouring Novi Sad.

    Slavonski Brod Fortress (Tvrđava Brod)
    Central structures of Slavonski Brod Fortress © Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.
    The star-shaped fort that defined Slavonski Brod

    Inspired by Dutch fortification concepts most modern at the time, Slavonski Brod Fortress must have looked an imposing conquest from across the river. Its intruding points, moats and overlapping geometric shapes are dazzling.

    At the time of its construction, it defined the town. Everything else was secondary. The local Slavic population was not politely asked to build it, partners in the endeavor. They were forced to do so.

    In the rest of the town, it was forbidden for them to make their own houses from anything other than wood. No stone was permitted. If the Ottomans managed to break through into Brod, they would have no advantage. Nothing to hide behind. The Austrian army would simply flatten the entire wooden town and defend from the fort. The local Slavs would just have to rebuild their houses again once the threat had passed. This defensive strategy for Slavonski Brod remained in place for the 18th and most of the 19th centuries. Yet, the fortress itself never once came under siege.

    interior section of Slavonski Brod Fortress
    As shown above, interior section of Slavonski Brod Fortress © Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.
    Sections and specifics

    The fortress consists of three defensive zones: internal, external and southern. You'll see it's protected by two moat areas. In the rectangular centre, four bastions connected by defensive walls. Both canon platforms and sentry boxes stood atop these bastions.

    Within the central part, the Cavalier - a large brick-walled two-storey building in the form of a horseshoe. Inside, up to 108 large rooms used for accommodating soldiers, artillery, bakery, hospital and blacksmith. In the very centre of the fortress square, the baroque chapel of St. Ann.

    Kapela svete Ane in the centre of Slavonski Brod Fortress (Tvrđava Brod)
    Kapela svete Ane in the centre of Slavonski Brod Fortress (Tvrđava Brod) © Matija Caban.

    Today, you can go to the fortress as part of Slavonski Brod's visitor offer. Inside, you'll see its buildings housing art, illustrations of its history, spaces for education and workshops.

    Traditions of south east Slavonia

    traditional attire in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, traditional attire in Slavonski Brod © Ivica Krpan.

    If you want to get to know the real Slavonski Brod and Slavonia, then you have to discover the traditions of the region. Lucky for you, there are only a few ways of doing this and all of them are big, big fun.

    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used
    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    Firstly, there's eating. If you want to discover traditional Slavonian food in Slavonski Brod, then read our full-proof restaurant guide below.


    Secondly, there's music. Anywhere you see the words 'tambura', 'tumburica' or 'bećarac' advertised as part of the music programme in Slavonski Brod, you should go. If it's a cultural, social or gastronomic event or even a restaurant, then it doesn't matter. Just go. Not only is this the traditional music of the region, but also it is good. By comparison, anywhere you see an advertisement for 'Najbolje cajke u gradu!', then maybe avoid. At best, you will leave a place like this with tinnitus and earache. At worst, a black eye and an impending paternity suit.

    Events and folklore
    Folklore Ensemble Brod
    As shown above, veterans of Folklore Ensemble Brod.

    Some of the best ways to experience local culture are at events. Furthermore, if you're looking for the real culture of the locale, pay particular attention to the resident folklore societies. Not only do they preserve the costume, song and dance of the region, but also they differ fascinatingly from village to village. In fact, there are 45 KUDs (folklore societies) in Brod-Posavina County. Furthermore, you'll find four of them preserving traditions in Slavonski Brod itself. Namely, Folklore Ensemble Brod, KUD Brodsko vinogorje, KUD Eugen Kumičić and KUD Podvinje.

    Also, one of the oldest folklore events in Croatia takes place in Slavonski Brod. It's called Brodsko Kolo and usually takes place in June. If you want to learn more about it, then check with the Folklore Ensemble Brod. Because they play a big part in its organisation.

    Fransiscan Monastery

    Baroque cloisters of the Franciscan monastery in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, cloisters of the Franciscan monastery in Slavonski Brod ©

    Markedly, you'll see little ornamentation on the exterior of the Franciscan monastery and church in Slavonski Brod. Not only does this display a modesty, a pious acknowledgment of the building's pastoral role, but also caution. Indeed, with 3.5 metre thick foundations, and 2 metre thick walls, there can be no doubt it was built to withstand possible attack. However, don't be fooled by the plain exterior. Inside, you'll find a richly decorated complex, one of the true Baroque treasures of Croatia. In particular, the cloisters on the monastery interior, the extravagance of the altar and the general decoration of the church interior.

    interior of the Franciscan monastery in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, interior of the Franciscan monastery in Slavonski Brod ©

    You'll find the monastery in the city centre, right by the river. When you visit, be sure to look out for its beautiful neighbour, the old Slavonski Brod Fire Station.

    Slavonski Brod fire station
    As shown above, the old Slavonski Brod fire station © Ivica Krpan.

    Where to stay in Slavonski Brod: Hotels, Rooms, etc.


    You'll find several hotel options in Slavonski Brod. The 4-star Hotel Savus is in the city centre with views over the river. By comparison, Art Hotel is just a couple of minutes away and is a modern 3-star hotel. With a range of rooms to suit any budget, the Hotel Central, Smart Hostel & Svečana dvorana enterprise should definitely be considered. They're conveniently located and have rooms at a very good price. If you're driving through Slavonski Brod and need a single overnight stay, then consider the funky and family-run Hotel Garten. You'll find them just off the A3 and they provide great traditional cuisine.

    Apartments, hostels, rooms etc.

    If you want to see a fuller list of apartments, hostels and rooms in Slavonski Brod, then look here. Or, check out what's available on the booking platform below.
    Of special mention
    Kuća za Odmor Mladen i Martina
    As shown above, Kuća za Odmor Mladen i Martina.

    Want to get out of the city and away from it all? Try Kuća za odmor Mladen i Martina. If you're looking for a rustic stay, with brilliant, authentic, local cuisine, then try Rodino Gnijezdo.

    Where to eat? What to eat?

    As shown above, Čobanac, a regional specialty © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board.

    If you're visiting Slavonski Brod or the surroundings, then one of the best things you can do is try local food. In particular, Slavonian food is known for strong, robust flavours. Both garlic and paprika are used abundantly here and you'll see some of the region's best dishes coloured a deep red by the latter. In particular, look out for stew-like dishes such as fish paprikash and čobanac. Also, river fish dishes. Although, watch out for the bones.

    Slavonski Brod restaurants

    If you want to eat Balkan grill, then try Podroom grill in the city centre. Although, for take away, a big favourite with Slavonski Brod residents is the authentic and Halal Bosnian grill, Čevabdžinica Aljko&Sin. Find it just across the bridge in Bosanski Brod. Apparently, theirs is Ćevapi worth travelling to another country for. Albeit one that's extremely close.

    Restoran and Pizzeria Uno
    As shown above, Restoran and Pizzeria Uno.

    If you want pizza, then Uno is the top recommendation. Although, the restaurant also has a substantial menu of authentic and seasonal local dishes too. Outside of the city centre, but also recommended are Rest-o-rane Duo at Osječka 270 and Grozd at Becić 11A, near the highway in Brodski Varoš.

    Authentic local: top tips

    Kuća Piva / Antik

    Put simply, Kuća Piva is one of the best pubs in the county. If you're a fan of craft ales or want to meet the local brew, then head here. It's an institution. Furthermore, if you're hanging out with someone from Slavonski Brod who loves beer and who loves Slavonski Brod, then they'll probably bring you here anyway. Attached to the pub are several offshoots. Specifically, there's a bar food section. Also, there's a restaurant section. Namely, Antik. Both Kuća Piva and Antik should be in your plans if you're staying longer than 24 hours in Slavonski Brod.

    Rodino gnijezdo
    Rodino gnijezdo, Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, a mystery dish from Rodino gnijezdo. Despite not having any idea what this is, we want to eat it!

    If you look at the Facebook page of traditional Slavonski Brod restaurant Rodino gnijezdo, then you will learn three things. Firstly, they are terrible at photography. Secondly, their food looks amazing and you want to try all of it. They really know exactly what to do with river fish and traditional favourites. Thirdly, every pop and rock star that is famous in Croatia and who passes through Slavonski Brod seems to eat here. This third part requires you to have an awareness of Croatian rock and pop stars, which is not something that anyone outside this tiny country has. Nevertheless, this is essentially all you need to know about any restaurant in Croatia. Therefore, you should definitely come here.

    Let3 at Rodino gnijezdo in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, a Croatian rock band happily leaving Rodino gnijezdo after a great feast. If you don't know who they are, then you'll just have to trust us. Not only are they famous in Croatia, but also in Čačak, Serbia.

    Top 5 day trips


    the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral
    As shown above, the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral @ Sergio Gobbo / HTZ.

    Just 40 minutes from Brod by car, the Slavonian town of Đakovo has one of Croatia’s grandest cathedrals. Without question, its interior is a bona fide masterpiece. Religious or not, you shouldn’t miss it.


    From above, Vukovar Water Tower and the Danube river
    From above, Vukovar Water Tower and the Danube river © Romulić & Stojčić.

    The only sizeable Croatian town sitting on the Danube, Vukovar offers the best of this river. From fishing and boating, to swimming and tours. Also, Vukovar has a wealth of contemporary street art murals on many building facades. If you want to learn more about Vukovar, then visit our detailed guide.

    Kopački rit Nature Park

    An explosion of colour © Mario Romulić.
    An explosion of colour at Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    One of Europe’s largest wetlands, Kopački rit is a wild-life rich paradise between the Danube and the Drava River. Founded in 1973 and designated a Nature Park in 1993, Kopački rit is the Danube’s biggest landlocked delta. Thousands of migratory birds make a temporary home here. For others, it’s a home nearer to permanent. Similarly, other animals come and go, also in response to the changing temperature, water level and seasons. If you want to learn more about the park, then read our detailed guide.


    Suza, Baranja
    Suza, Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    North of Slavonia, there’s a whole other region to discover in Baranja. Coupled with delicious wines, you’ll find food in traditional Baranja village restaurants is the real deal of regional cuisine. Or, go visit an OPG (family farm), take a pottery workshop, a cookery class or more. Bilje is the very first village in Baranja as you cross the Drava from Osijek. Not only does it hold Kopacki Rit and several great restaurants, but also some super OPGs and a small castle. If you want to read more about Bilje, Baranja, its unique winemaking traditions, and some of the OPGs, then look here.


    Super green Osijek, a city full of parks
    Super green Osijek, a city full of parks © Romulić & Stojčić.

    If you’re looking for something with more of a larger city feel, then choose Osijek. Not only is it by far the biggest city in Slavonia, but also it’s the cultural and economic capital. Notably, Osijek has one of Croatia’s best promenades, stretching for kilometres on both sides of the Drava. Also, its Old Town, Tvrđa has the best-preserved and largest ensemble of Baroque buildings in Croatia. Incredible. If you want to learn more, then read our detailed guide.

    Things you (maybe) didn't know about Slavonski Brod

    Croatia's greatest contemporary striker is from here - Mario Mandžukić

    Mario Mandžukić

    The greatest Croatian striker of the modern era, Mario Mandžukić, is from Slavonski Brod. In fact, he was born here on 21 May 1986. Fleeing war in the early 90s, his family temporarily relocated to Germany. However, they returned after the fighting stopped and, aged just 10 years old, Mario signed up to local team NK Marsonia. He stayed there until 2003, when he moved to spend a season at the city minnows NK Željezničar. The next season, he returned to Marsonia and in the summer of 2005 moved to NK Zagreb.

    After becoming the top scorer in the Croatian First League, he was bought by VfL Wolfsburg. But, after he became joint top scorer in the 2012 Euros, German giants Bayern Munich snapped him up. In his first season, Bayern won the Champions League, with Mandžukić scoring in the final. After one more season, he left Bayern for Atlético Madrid. But, just one season later, he was signed by Juventus.

    Mario helped Juventus win three consecutive domestic doubles (the Italian first league and cup) in his first three seasons. Also, he helped take them to the Champions League Final where he again scored. Mandžukić featured prominently in the Croatian National Football Team over two Euros and two World Cup competitions. After helping secure the team's place in their first World Cup Final in 2018, he retired from international football.

    One of Croatia's greatest writers lived here - Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić

    Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in Slavonski Brod © Ivica Krpan.

    Unquestionably, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić is Croatia's greatest ever writer for children. Though published over a century ago, her books like 'The Marvellous Adventures of Apprentice Hlapić' (Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića) and 'Croatian Tales of Long Ago' (Priče iz davnine) remain popular to this day. They have been translated into over 40 languages and have entertained children the world over.

    Mažuranić family

    In truth, Ivana Mažuranić had a very privileged start in life. Not only was she born into an aristocratic family, but also she later married into another. Born on 18 April 1874 in Ogulin, her father Vladimir Mažuranić was a writer, lawyer and historian. Significantly, in 1882 he wrote Prinosi za hrvatski pravno-povjestni rječnik (Croatian dictionary for history and law).

    Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić
    As shown above, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in later life.

    Both Ivana's grandfather and grandmother were extremely famous. Firstly, her grandfather was the famous politician, Ban of Croatia and poet Ivan Mažuranić. On the other hand, grandmother Aleksandra Demeter was the sister of well-known writer and national revivalist, Dimitrija Demeter. With her family, Ivana first moved to Karlovac, then Jastrebarsko, and then to Zagreb. In the latter, she briefly attended a girls' school. However, most of her education came from homeschooling, where she excelled in languages. Namely, Croatian, Russian, English, German and French.

    As shown above, brothers Dobroslav and Vatroslav Brlić, with fellow Slavonian Croatian nationalist, the lawyer and writer August Harambašić, between them
    As shown above, brothers Dobroslav and Vatroslav Brlić, with fellow Slavonian Croatian nationalist, the lawyer and writer August Harambašić, between them

    On her birthday, 18 April 1892, she married Vatroslav Brlić. 14 years her senior, Vatroslav was a lawyer and politician who came from one of Slavonski Brod's most prominent families. The wedding ceremony took place in St. Mark's church, Zagreb. One of their godparents on the occasion was the then-mayor of Zagreb, Milan Amruš. Thereafter, Vatroslav and Ivana went to live in Slavonski Brod.

    Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić's life in Slavonski Brod
    The main Brlić family home on Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić square, Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, the main Brlić family home. With a store downstairs, the family - including Ivana - resided in the substantial apartment upstairs. Today, it stands in Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić square and has been under renovation over many years.

    Despite her family's standing in Zagreb, Ivana fully embraced her new life in Slavonski Brod. Firstly, she devoted herself to becoming a housewife. Well, she pretty much had to. Ivana was the sole female within the main Brlić family home, where Vatroslav's brother and uncle also lived. By several accounts, she inherited a rather substantial task in fixing up the place to the standards of a Zagreb aristocrat.

    As shown above, Vila 'Brlićevac', the family's weekend house in the Brodsko Vinogorje neighbourhood, so called because of surrounding vineyards. In truth, Ivana much preferred this house to the main family residence and did much writing here. Eventually, it was inherited by Ivana's grandson, Dr. Vuk Milčić (1921-2008) who gladly opened the summer house to visitors, especially children, from all over Croatia.

    Subsequently, the couple went on to start a family, Ivana eventually becoming a mother of six. Ivana set about giving their children the same high level of homeschooling she herself received. Specifically, she taught them French and gave piano lessons. But, when it came time for the children to receive a wider education, they were sent to Zagreb. Not only were the schools better there, but their grandparents loved to host the children for extended periods. Also, this gave Ivana more time for writing.

    Ivana, Vatroslav and their family in Slavonski Brod.
    As shown above, an early picture of Ivana, Vatroslav and their family in Slavonski Brod. Ivana would have been in her late 30s here.
    Masterpieces of Croatian literature written in Slavonski Brod

    Markedly, Ivana had always enjoyed writing. Previously, before marriage, she had been a keen diarist and letter writer. However, her more poetic and fanciful writings were put to one side as she devoted herself to duties as a wife and mother. After around 10 years of marriage, that slowly began to change. Between 1902 and 1912, she published three booklets - collections of short stories and poems. They were well received, one even reviewed by great Croatian writer Antun Gustav Matoš. But, it would be her next two, committed books that would cement her international reputation.

    later picture of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and family
    As shown above, a later picture of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and family.

    In 1913, 'The Marvellous Adventures of Apprentice Hlapić' (Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića) was published. It was a great success. She followed it in 1916 with another masterpiece, 'Croatian Tales of Long Ago' (Priče iz davnine). In the latter, she invented fantastical fairytales that referenced ancient folklore, earning her comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen. Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić devoted the next two decades of her life to raising her children and to writing fiction. Thereafter, she went about preserving the massive, rich archives of the Brlić family. Within it, correspondence between family members and the great and good of Croatian society. Namely, Bishop Josip Strossmayer, Ban Josip Jelačić and others.

    Achievements and legacy

    Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature no less than four times for her writing. Furthermore, she was the first female to enter the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In Slavonski Brod today, you will find a square, a school, a theatre and concert hall named after Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić. The Brlić family library and archive that she worked so hard to preserve exist also. She is commemorated each year at a children's festival 'In the World of the Fairy Tales of Writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić'. Held in April and May, it is one of Slavonski Brod's most significant cultural events.

    statue of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić's Potjeh character
    As shown above, statue of Ivana's Potjeh character. Find it on 'Kej', the Sava river promenade © 035SB.

    Agatha Christie Murder on the Orient Express is set just outside Brod

    cast of 2010 'Agatha Christie's Poirot' version of Murder on the Orient Express
    As shown above, cast of 2010 'Agatha Christie's Poirot' version of Murder on the Orient Express © ITV Productions.

    Millions of people around the world have heard of Slavonski Brod. But, few of them even realise it. Because, the town is prominently featured - as 'Brod' - in one of the most famous murder mysteries of all time. Namely, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

    Emphatically, the most-translated author ever, Agatha Christie's books are enjoyed across the globe. Not only have hundreds of millions of her books been sold, but also more than 30 major films have been based on her works. No less than four feature-length movies have been made for Murder on the Orient Express alone. It is her biggest selling book.

    In the story, Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot is making his way from Istanbul to London on the Orient Express. After a brief opening in the Middle East, almost all of the rest of the story takes place in present-day Croatia. Specifically, between Vinkovci and Slavonski Brod. After the train's passage is blocked by heavy snowfall, it is stuck overnight between the two Slavonia towns. Subsequently, a murder takes place.

    Brod is mentioned several times in the book and is the final station within the story. Furthermore, its mention is made in each of the so-far filmed versions. Although, in the latest, Kenneth Branagh's star-studded 2017 effort, the snowy Slavonian landscape is depicted as Alpine and mountainous. In truth, the train journey between Vinkovci and Brod, like all the surrounding terrain, is completely flat.

    Slavonski Brod Weather

    The city of Slavonski Brod has a continental climate, with warm and humid summers and cold winters. The hottest months are July and August, with July also being the wettest. This region is prone to sudden, powerful rainstorms in summer afternoons. Generally, they don't last too long and the cool, fresh air they bring is welcome. Slavonski Brod benefits from around 831 mm rain per year by being extremely green, with trees and grassland surrounding the city. May, June, September and October are very pleasant times to visit. Although, the Sava river guarantees that Brod is fun and cool even during the height of summer. If you want to check out the weather forecast for Slavonski Brod, then look below.

    Where is Slavonski Brod? Map

    Slavonski Brod is located in eastern Croatia and is one of the principle cities within the historical regions of Slavonia and Posavina. Brod sits on the Sava river, which here serves as a natural border between Bosnia and Croatia. Indeed, its location meant that, historically, Brod was an important river port. Facing Slavonski Brod on the opposite shore is a settlement referred to as Bosanski Brod. Today, Slavonski Brod serves as the state capital of Brod-Posavina County. Its zip code is Slavonski Brod 35000 (postal code). GPS coordinates for Slavonski Brod are 45.1631° N, 18.0116° E .

    How to get to Slavonski Brod and get around

    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of just over 100km, Osijek airport is the nearest airport to Slavonski Brod. However, there are three much larger international airports all within striking distance. Namely, Zagreb (186km), Belgrade (191km) and Budapest (361km). If you want to learn more about flying into the Croatian airports, then check Osijek here and Zagreb here.

    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    By road and rail, Slavonski Brod is the best-connected city in Croatia's east. By road, Brod sits on Croatia's biggest east-west motorway, the A3. This connects Zagreb to Belgrade via Slavonski Brod. Also, via the A3, Brod is just 35 kilometres from European route E73. Running north to south, this connects central Hungary with south Dalmatia, via Slavonia and Bosnia. It is the quickest way to reach the Adriatic from Brod in a car.

    Slavonski Brod Bus
    Terzić bus of Slavonski Brod
    As shown above, Terzić bus of Slavonski Brod.

    Without question, the A3 is the quickest way to reach anywhere in Slavonia from Zagreb. Subsequently, almost every intercity bus travelling between Zagreb and Osijek, Vukovar, Vinkovci and Đakovo stops here. The journey time is around 2 hours and buses are extremely frequent. If you want to know more about travelling Croatia by bus, then look here. The local bus operator in Slavonski Brod is Terzić, whose website you'll find here. If you need to reach a suburb of Slavonski Brod, then theirs are the buses to take. A single journey ticket with Terzić costs 8 kuna.

    suburban bus lines of Slavonski Brod by Terzić
    As shown above, suburban bus lines of Slavonski Brod by Terzić.
    Train to Slavonski Brod

    There are two, long, east-west rail arteries running through eastern Croatia. Firstly, Varaždin to Osijek, via Koprivnica and Virovitica. At Koprivnica, this meets the high-speed rail line running between Zagreb and Budapest. However, it is still quicker to travel from Zagreb to Slavonia by train using the more southerly rail artery. Specifically, this line runs from Zagreb to Vinkovci via Nova Gradiška and Slavonski Brod. Trains are frequent, with the quickest journey taking just under three hours.


    More information

    The author of this guide has spent approximately 1 hour inside Slavonski Brod. Despite many attempts to contact the Tourist Board of Slavonski Brod and the Tourist Board of the County of Brod Posavina for help with this guide, sadly, no communication took place.

    Therefore, both the author and Total Croatia must SINCERELY thank the following Slavonski Brod residents and local patriots for their invaluable help in writing this guide; local photographers Ivica Krpan, Matija Caban, Marica Marinić, Ivica Galovic, Čika Mata, Branko and Angelo Skoković. Also, Stjepan Tonković and the entire community of 'Dodaj fotografije Slavonskog Broda'. Additionally, local guides Goran Stajic and Vera Pudic plus Ivan Đukić and the cheffing community of Slavonija. Furthermore, particular thanks to Nikola and family Knežević, families Brlić, Mažuranić and Ružić. Thank you!

    If you want more information about visiting Slavonski Brod and the wider region, then try contacting the following

    Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board

    Address: Petra Krešimira IV. 1, 35 000 Slavonski Brod, Croatia.
    Telephone: +385 35 408 393

    Slavonski Brod Tourist Board

    Address: Trg pobjede 28/1, 35000 Slavonski Brod, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 35 447 721

    If you want to get the latest news for Slavonski Brod, then check Total Croatia News here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Sun, 04 Jul 2021 18:03:00 +0200
    Čiovo and Okrug in a Page: Island, Beaches, Boat, Bays, Hotel, Map Boats, beaches and beautiful bays on the secret island that hides in plain sight - Čiovo and Okrug.

  • Welcome!
  • Things not to miss
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top day trips from Čiovo
  • Čiovo Island Weather
  • Where is Island Čiovo and Okrug
  • How to get to Čiovo and get around
  • Welcome to island Čiovo and Okrug Croatia!

    Čiovo and Okrug
    From the sea, Čiovo and Okrug © Okrug Tourist Board.

    For an island that experiences so much guaranteed sunshine, you could easily believe Čiovo to lie within a shadow. Of course, not a real one, but a metaphorical one. Well, when you're surrounded by world-famous, UNESCO-heralded places like Trogir, Split and nearby Šibenik, it's perhaps difficult to make your voice heard. But, those who know about Čiovo and Okrug, know this to be one of Croatia's most underrated islands. Little wonder that the City of Split and the City of Trogir each make a land grab for northerly sections of the island. By comparison, Čiovo's southwest belongs to the općina (municipality) of Okrug. All around the island you'll find brilliant beaches, bays and things to do. As we'll show here...

    Čiovo and Okrug
    As shown above, Čiovo and Okrug.

    Things not to miss

    Beaches of Čiovo and Okrug

    For an island of less than 30km2, Čiovo is blessed with many, many brilliant beaches. Almost all of the best ones are in the southern part of the island - Okrug. Although, there are a couple of notable exceptions.

    As shown above, typical relaxing on Duga bay beach
    As shown above, typical relaxing on Duga bay beach © Okrug Tourist Board.

    Shade under pines or enjoy perfect water at this small pebble beach. Maybe take lunch a a local tavern?

    Rudej (Stari Porat)
    Rudej beach, Okrug Donji
    As shown above, Rudej beach, Okrug Donji © Okrug Tourist Board.

    One of the two small boat mooring spots in Okrug Donji, Rudej has quite a rocky entrance to the sea. But, there's lots of places to shade here and quite spots to find.

    Planikovica beach Okrug
    As shown above, Planikovica beach © Okrug Tourist Board.

    A lovely stretch of quiet, clear blue on the northern shore of Okrug Gornji. Here you face views of the low hills and beachside properties on the mainland opposite.

    Krušica Kava
    Kava beach, Okrug Donji, Čiovo and Okrug
    Kava beach, Okrug Donji © Okrug Tourist Board.

    The most westerly beach on the island, here small pebbles aid your smooth walk into the sea.

    Tatinja beach, Okrug Gornji
    Tatinja beach, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić.

    A small, quiet and colourful beach, sitting at the apex of a long, deep cove. Find Tatinja on the island's southern shore, immediately below Okrug Gornji.

    Vela Draga
    Vela Draga beach, Okrug Gornji
    As shown above, Vela Draga beach, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić.

    The most easterly beach of Okrug and, alongside Orlice, the last section of Čiovo's southern shore suitable as a beach. Gravel and small pebbles make up the surface and visitors here. Generally, folks who come here appreciate there's a beach bar servicing this spot.

    Krčića and Slatine

    Two epic beaches on the northeast side of the island. With plenty of space, shade and accommodating shore, Krčića in Arbanija has lots of sections. If you're visiting Trogir and looking for the nearest, best place to cool off in the sea, then this is it. By comparison, Slatine, a little further east, is actually part of Split's beach portfolio. Again, this beach has several long, separate sections and coves.


    If you'd like to read more about Čiovo beaches, then look here.

    Bays of Čiovo and Okrug

    Generally, sailors, walkers and beach fans love exploring the Čiovo topography. The beaches and shoreline are made that much more exciting by multiple bays and coves. Not only do they grant shelter from any breeze, but also they are incredibly picturesque.

    Exploring Čiovo bays by boat is one of the best things you can do with a single-day boat hire in this region. Specifically, around Trogir and Split there are few better places to come and discover. Got longer than a day? Čiovo is an incredible stop off for those with larger, luxury yachts. You'll find great restaurants to visit, beaches and blue waters that it's tough to better. Just look at some of these...

    Mavarčica bay
    Mavarčica bay, Okrug Gornji
    As shown above Mavarčica bay, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić.
    Tatinja bay
    Tatinja bay, Okrug Gornji
    As shown above, Tatinja bay, Okrug Gornji © Dino Čaljkušić.
    Rastići bay
    Rastići bay, Okrug Gornji
    As shown above, Rastići bay, Okrug Gornji © Okrug Tourist Board.
    Duboka bay
    Duboka bay.
    As shown above, Duboka bay © timotej.

    The two largest bays on the southwest of the island are neighbours Duga and Duboka. Not only are the waters super clean, but also each has a great beach. Furthermore, you'll find several taverns (konoba) overlooking the waters. Subsequently, these bays are popular stop-off points for some very nice boats, their passengers looking for lunch. If you're holidaying on the island and want to spend a few hours spotting some nice yachts, then try here.

    Duga bay
    Duga bay, Čiovo and Okrug
    From above, Duga bay © timotej.

    Sports and recreation activities

    dropping anchor in Kava bay, Okrug
    As shown above, dropping anchor in Kava bay, Okrug © Okrug Tourist Board.

    Čiovo and Okrug are among the best places for sailing within this part of Croatia. Not only is the island itself great to discover by boat, but also it's the perfect base for exploring the wider region. Just a short distance away, the grand city of Split - a great day trip by boat. To the south, the famous islands of Šolta and Brač, each worth getting to know.

    To the northwest of Čiovo and Okrug, some of the most spectacular waters to sail in Croatia. Firstly, you can sail past the extraordinary natural topography of Rogoznica. Secondly, the beautiful village of Primošten - the old settlement sitting on an islet, almst detached from the mainland. Thirdly, the UNESCO-rich city of Šibenik, with its forts, full event calendar and great summer vibe. Beyond Šibenik, the spectacular archipelago of islands known as Kornati, part of which is a protected National Park.

    If you want to charter a boat on Čiovo, then try any of the multiple options found on the island's north coast, around Trogir Marina. Or, look along the beachfront of Okrug Gornji, around Okrug Gornji Marina and to its immediate north.

    Diving and snorkeling
    Trogir Diving Center
    As shown above, Trogir Diving Center excursion.

    Within the coves, bays and around the islets of Čiovo, you'll find some of the clearest waters in the Adriatic. Indeed, in many places, the sea floor is very near the water surface. Subsequently, this is a brilliant place for snorkeling. Both solo exploring and organised snorkeling tours are great for discovering Čiovo's waters.

    If you prefer a longer spell of discovering the depths, then sign up for an excursion with Trogir Diving Center. Both beginners and experienced divers are catered for. If you've never been diving before, then chose between their shoreline or boat Discovery dives. The team has more than 30 years of experience in teaching divers, so you'll soon learn all you need to know. Also, teaching courses are available in English, German and Croatia and they also organise snorkeling excursions. If you want to sign up or learn more, then contact them here.

    Cycling on Čiovo and Okrug
    A bike rests while cycling on Čiovo and Okrug © Dino Čaljkušić.

    Generally, Čiovo's shoreline slips gently into the sea. But, the island's interior is hilly. Although, at a height of just 209 metres, the highest point Rudine gives a good indication of just how hilly. In truth, the gradients aren't so steep. Indeed, the hills of Čiovo offer much greater views than they do a serious challenge. And, the best way to find your favourite view is on a bike.

    cycle routes of Čiovo and Okrug
    As shown above, cycle routes of Čiovo and Okrug © Okrug Tourist Board.

    Not only will cycling Čiovo give you the best views, but also help you find the best beach. Cycle routes through the island visit - or look down on - every stretch of shoreline. You'll pass through each of the island's settlements - Arbanija and Slatina on the northeastern coast, Žedno in the interior and Okrug Gornji and Donji on the west coast.

    Čiovo and Okrug

    Also, you'll see traces of ancient life, the monastery of St. Cross on the northeastern coast, the monastery of St. Anthony, church of Our Lady of Prizidnica on the south. Depending on which route you take, you can also see neighbouring islands like Šolta, Vis, Hvar and Brač. In total, you can choose between 70 kilometres of bike trails. If you want to hire a bicycle, then ask at your accommodation, at the tourist board office, or speak with Uriel, who also rent E-bikes and E-scooters too.

    Quad bikes

    A popular summer pastime for 10 years, Quad Adventures Trogir takes a trail from the island's interior to the beach. Starting near Žedno, you'll pass through a typical Mediterranean landscape of pines, olive trees and vines. Afterwards, you'll emerge on a coastal route and travel to near Slatine. In total, the quad tour - there and back - takes around two hours.


    Islands and islets

    St. Fumija and Kraljevac islets
    St. Fumija and Kraljevac islets © Okrug Tourist Board.

    Although connected to the mainland, Čiovo definitely has that unmistakable feel of an island. Also, it has several of its own significant islets, just off the south shore. In fact, between Duga bay in Okrug and Vinišće on the mainland, directly west of Čiovo, you'll find no less than 11 islets.

    In truth, it is these islets that make Čiovo and Okrug such a great place to enjoy the sea. They are perfect for exploring by boat or yacht. Drop anchor and snorkel around - you'll see lots of life around them. If you don't have a boat, then the nearest is within swimming distance. Or, you can reach it by dingy, canoe or kayak.

    Duga bay, Okrug and view of island St. Fumija
    Duga bay, Okrug and view of island St. Fumija © timotej.

    Where to stay on Čiovo and Okrug: Hotels, Apartments, Accommodation

    Hotels on the north
    Bifora Heritage Hotel
    As shown above, Bifora Heritage Hotel on the island's north.

    If you're looking for a quiet, Boutique hotel option, then try Bifora Heritage Hotel. You'll find it overlooking Trogir Marina. Also on the north shore, in Arbanija, Beach Hotel and Villa Sv Kriz.

    Beach Hotel and Villa Sv Kriz
    As shown above, Beach Hotel and Villa Sv Kriz.

    Away from the shore, but still on the island's north, you'll find Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa. Also, the Hotel Trogir Palace.

    Apartments and rooms

    For accommodation in Okrug, or for general rooms and apartments all over Čiovo, look here.

    Where to eat? What to eat?


    Some of the best gastro experiences you'll have on the island are fresh fish and seafood. Also, look out for other Dalmatian specialties. Namely, roast lamb, food cooked 'under the bell' (ispod peka) and rich, fruity but lean beef dish called pašticada. Often, you'll find the best of these served not in the fanciest of restaurants, but in a slightly more informal tavern (Croatian: 'konoba'). You'll find tavern and pizza options in all Čiovo's three north shore settlements. Namely, Trogir, Slatine and Arbanija. If you want to see a complete list of restaurants in the Okrug part of the island, then look here.

    Top day trips


    A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city of Trogir sits on an island. Both the mainland and Čiovo connect to Trogir by bridge. In fact, the modern-day settlement of Trogir actually spills across the bridge to occupy part of Čiovo's north. Trogir is a charming town, notable for its architecture and stonework. If you want to learn more about it, then read our guide.


    Riva in Split © Grad Split
    Riva in Split. © Grad Split.

    Just to the east of Čiovo and Okrug is Croatia’s second city, Split. If you're making the journey by car, it's around half an hour's drive time. Although, the distance between the city and island is barely a couple of kilometres by boat. However you make your way, definitely, it's a journey worth undertaking. Certainly, everyone should walk around the city’s Diocletian’s Palace once in their life. In fact, Split is the perfect big city for a one-day trip. Because there’s so much to do and see, yet you’ll definitely catch a big chunk of it in 24 hours. If you want to find out more, then read our guide to the city of Split.

    Sinj, Knin + Drniš

    Knin © Ivo Biočina / Croatian National Tourist Board
    Knin © Ivo Biočina / Croatian National Tourist Board

    Certainly, it’s tough to tear yourself away from the beaches and bays of Čiovo and Okrug. But, if you’re hankering after some authentic, traditional culture, head inland. In Drniš, you can see works by Croatia’s preeminent sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. Or, try Croatia’s most distinct prosciutto. By comparison, Knin is a former royal city of Croatia and has one of Europe’s largest historic fortresses. Also, you’ll there discover seven rivers and their epic waterfalls. In nearby Sinj, you'll find Roman ruins, the Kamičak Fort, wonderful statues, fountains and architecture. Also, you can learn about distinct cultural heritage - the Cetinska krajina - or catch famous equestrian event Sinjska alka. If you want to know more, read about Drniš here and Knin here.


    Did you know there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites less than 50km to your north? Both of them, four impressive fortresses, a full, vibrant event calendar and a Michelin-starred restaurant you’ll find in Šibenik. If you want to learn more, then read everything about Šibenik here.

    Čiovo island weather

    The climate in Čiovo and Okrug is warm and temperate, typical of the Mediterranean. You can expect very pleasant warm and sunny conditions on the island from May through to late October. July and August are the warmest months. If you want to check out the weather today or the weather forecast for the next few days, then look below.

    Where is island Čiovo and Okrug? Map

    Čiovo is an island in central Dalmatia, Croatia. It is located less than two kilometres by sea from the city of Split. Čiovo is connected twice to the Croatian mainland. Firstly, via the Old City of Trogir, which sits between Čiovo and the mainland shore. Secondly, via the Čiovo bridge. Specifically, Čiovo and Okrug both lie within Split-Dalmatia County. The northern shore of Čiovo island and the village of Žedno in the interior lie within the administrative jurisdiction of Trogir. Although, the northeastern shore and Slatine lie within the jurisdiction of City of Split. The southwestern section of the island constitutes the općina (municipality) of Okrug.

    How to get to Čiovo and Okrug

    Flights, nearest airport to Čiovo and Okrug
    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of just over 5 kilometres, Split airport is the nearest airport to Čiovo and Okrug. The drive time between Split airport and Čiovo bridge is less than 10 minutes. You'll find regular bus services between Trogir and Split airport. If you want to learn more about flying into Split airport, then read here.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    Without question, the most popular way to travel within Croatia is by car. You'll find the Croatia A1 motorway the best way to reach Čiovo and Okrug from most parts of the country. If you're arriving to Čiovo and Okrug by car, then you have two best possible routes of arrival.

    1. A1 Highway (named Dalmatina). If you're travelling to Čiovo from anywhere north of Vodice or south of Omiš, then take the A1 Highway. Exit at Prgomet, 20 km from Čiovo and Okrug and follow signs for Trogir.
    2. The Adriatic Highway. If you're travelling to Čiovo from Split or somewhere south of Šibenik, then take the D8 (Jadranska Magistrala). But, if you're driving from Šibenik, be sure to take the D58 instead.

    Travelling intercity by bus in Croatia is a fast, popular and reliable option. Indeed, you can easily reach Čiovo and Okrug by bus from anywhere in Croatia. Furthermore, Trogir is on a busy intercity bus route. In fact, almost all intercity buses travelling between Split and Šibenik make a stop in Trogir. Learn more about travelling through the country by bus here.

    Bus line No. 37 - Trogir - Split airport - Split

    If you're travelling between Split or Split airport and Čiovo and Okrug by bus, then intercity buses should be your last resort. In fact, your first choice should be the local bus line No. 37 - Trogir - Split airport - Split. Both fast and inexpensive, it's the most reliable bus option of travelling between these places.

    route of Bus line No. 37 - Trogir - Split airport - Split
    As shown above, route of Bus line No. 37 - Trogir - Split airport - Split.
    Bura Line ferry Trogir - Slatine - Split
    As shown above, Bura Line ferries.

    The Bura Line ferry runs between Split - Slatine, Čiovo - Trogir a minimum of 4 times each day during summer months. The journey time is just 30 minutes and the ticket price is between 25 and 35 kuna. If you want to see the full timetable and ticket price list, then look here.

    Sun low in the sky over Duga bay
    Sun low in the sky over Duga bay © Dino Čaljkušić.

    More information

    Okrug Tourist Board

    Address: Bana Jelačića 15, 21223 Okrug Gornji, Croatia.
    Telephone: +385 21 88 73 11

    If you want to follow the latest news from Dalmatia and Croatia, then check out Total Croatia News.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Sat, 03 Jul 2021 06:02:00 +0200
    FKK Croatia in a Page – Nudist Baches, Camps and Naturist Culture Nudist beaches in Croatia have been popular for a long time now. The country with such an abundance of hidden bays and beaches is nothing short of perfect for all those looking to get in touch with nature on their holiday.

  • Welcome to Nudist Croatia
  • History of nudism in Croatia
  • Croatia Nudist Beaches Map
  • Best Nude beaches in Croatia
  • Where to Stay? Croatia Naturist Camps, Resorts and Towns of Interest
  • What not to do in Croatia as a nudist
  • Welcome to Nudist Croatia (or is it Naturists Croatia?)

    Nudism or naturism is a philosophy emphasizing the importance of living in harmony with nature. It originated in early 20th century Germany and later spread throughout the western world. Today, nudism is more often accepted as a generic term for swimming naked, while naturism is associated with the actual philosophy. In Croatia, nudism has very early roots and this county's coast was one of the leading nudism destinations during the height of the popularity of this movement and in more modern times.

    History of nudism in Croatia

    The first really popular nudist beach in Croatia was on Rab island in 1936. In August of 1936, recently abdicated British king Edward VIII stayed on Rab together with his wife Mrs. Wallace Simpson. They got official approval from the local authorities to swim nude in one of the bays. To this day, the locals colloquially call the bay "the English Beach". However, various reports suggest naturism was a widely accepted thing on Rab way before this. In fact, it seems Croatians have welcomed naturist travellers as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

    A real expansion of this travel segment in Croatia was during 1960’s with the advent of commercial naturalist resorts in Croatia. Koversada, close to Vrsar in Istria was the first naturalist resort in the country. It opened its doors in 1961 and expanded over the years becoming one of the most renowned naturalist resorts in Europe. Over the following few decades Croatia became the most popular nudist destination with plenty of camps, resorts and beaches catering to this demographic.  

    Situation today

    Unfortunately, it seems this trend is slowing down on Croatian coast and the country is moving away from officially targeting naturalist guests. More on this topic here. This doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of options out there for a great naturalist vacation. Nudist beaches in Croatia are often going to be marked as FKK beaches. This is the official abbreviation derived from German Freikörperkultur- free body culture.

    Croatia Nudist Beaches Map

    Of course, it is not all about life philosophies and going back to nature. Sometimes you just want to feel a bit freer while swimming in the warm waters of the Adriatic. For all those wishing to pay a visit to any of the nudist beaches around Croatia, here's a useful map:

    Best nudist beaches in Croatia


    Although we will talk more about Koversada in the camps’ section, it really deserves a place among the best nudist beaches in Croatia as well. World famous naturist camp Koversada has a few beautiful beaches and plenty of amenities. The area is mainly rocky, but the access to the water and sunbathing is made easy by some concrete areas. There are shaded areas and children beaches as well as a dog beach to choose from.  Koversada is rightfully renowned. If you are looking for a full service naturist bathing area, don’t miss out on Koversada near Vrsar.

    Cuvi FKK, Rovinj

    Cuvi beach is just south-east of Rovinj. It is a popular beach with a separate FKK section you will find when walking towards Villa Rubin Resort. The area is mostly rocky and pebbly. There are trees around so finding shade is not too difficult. Because of the layout and some amenities around like toilettes, sunbeds and parasols for hire (unfortunately some other amenities are in areas where you need to have clothes on), it is perfect for a full beach day.  

    Zelena Laguna Nudist Camp Beach, Porec

    Along with a regular shuttle boat from Porec to Zelena Laguna camp, accessing the area by car is the best choice. As this is a camp beach, it will have a small entrance charge for those that are not camp guests. On the positive note, the beach features amenities including showers, small restaurant and toilettes. Beach area is mostly rocky and paved with easy access to the sea. Surroundings provides plenty of shade. Entire complex offers all necessary comforts for beachgoers looking for a less wild beach going experience.

    Sahara, LoparRab Island

    Sahara beach, as the name jokingly suggests, is a completely sandy beach on Rab island’s north end. It is one of three naturist beaches near the village of Lopar – Sahara, Ciganka and Stolac. Sahara is accessed by boat of hiking trail. The hike can be a bit rough, so sturdy footwear is advised. For those willing to venture to it, Sahara will reward them with a picture perfect, sandy bay. The area offers plenty of shallows perfect for children and beach sports. It feels untouched and natural and provides a great setting for a nudist beach getaway.

    Sabunike FKK, Nin

    North of the charming historic town of Nin lies a long and flat beach called Sabunike. Northern part of the beach is a traditional FKK area famous with naturists for decades. The lack of proper nudist beach signage might be a bit confusing, but don’t let that deter you. Sabunike FKK beach is a sandy beach known for its seclusion and featuring lovely views to Pag Island.

    Sveti Jerolim Island – Hvar Island

    Sveti Jerolim is a tiny island off the coast of Hvar town, a part of Paklinski Islands archipelago. It is a renowned bathing area for nudists, even mentioned by CNN as one of the most attractive nudist beaches back in 2011. It’s beautiful rocky coast and pebbly swimming areas with plenty of shade around provide a perfect combination for a relaxing beach day. The only thing bothering some bathers is recent mixing of nudists and dressed beach goers which often downgrades the beach into clothing-optional as opposed to a full nude beach. However, there are plenty of hidden corners of Sveti Jerolim where you can find plenty of peace and privacy.

    Donji Bili Bok, Proizd, Vela Luka, Korcula Island

    Another tiny island off the coast of another island, Proizd is a true summer sanctuary, short boat ride away from Vela Luka on Korcula Island. The island itself features several beaches with the nudist Donji Bili Bok beach being approximately half a mile away from the shuttle boat mooring. The path to it will lead you through the woods. The beach itself is rocky and pebbly with amazing views out over the open, crystal clear waters of the Adriatic.

    FKK beach on Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik

    Lokrum Island, off the coast of Dubrovnik’s historical centre is a perfect getaway spot, popular with locals and foreign visitors alike. On the island’s south-eastern end is a dedicated nudist swimming area. Lokrum is very rocky and this FKK beach is no exception, but worm, flat rocky areas actually make perfect sunbathing plateaus. Amazing view and beautiful natural setting will make this spot perfect for all the naturists. The beach also has a seasonal bar that was closed through 2020 and it is still uncertain if it will be open in 2021.

    Where to Stay? Croatia Nudist camps and Resorts

    When it comes to camps and resorts, Istria is the region to be in. Croatian coast has plenty of locations that are reserved for nudists or at least clothing optional, but when it comes to accommodation options aimed exclusively at naturists, Istria is the absolute winner.

    Maistra Koversada Naturist Park, Vrsar

    One of the first European dedicated naturist resorts, Koversada is legendary. Today, this meticulously run 3 star complex can house up to 5000 guests. It covers an area of 1 square kilometre and is less than 2 kilometres away from charming town of Vrsar. Accommodation is possible in the camping area whether you are coming with a motorised camper of with a tent. In fact, tent area is located on a separate islet where the original resort started. The islet is connected to the rest of the resort via a bridge. If you are not coming with your own camping gear or motor homes, you can rent one of the existing mobile homes or bungalows that are dotted around the resort. Most of the resort is pet friendly and there are entertainment options aimed for kids as well as adults.

    In Koversada you will have all the amenities you need. There are several restaurants and bars, pastry shops, grocery stores and newspaper stands. Sport enthusiasts will love the tennis coutry, volleyball court and many other options for active holidays. Beaches are well cared for and regularly services. Koversada is a winner of blue flag – a recognition of top quality sea cleanliness. There are separate kids’ beaches and a dog beach as well.  

    What towns to see when staying at Koversada Naturist Park?

    Vrsar town is of course the first choice for visiting. There is a shuttle tourist train connecting Vrsar to Koversada so you won’t have any problems getting to it. This charming town is a historical settlement and attracts many guests, especially during the summer. Close by is the popular Vrsar Aeropark, where you might be able to book panoramic flights, sky diving or flights to Italy. 9 kilometres from Vrsar you will get to Porec. Porec is one of the most popular Istrian destinations and is a place well worth exploring. For all the details on Porec you need, check out our dedicated page.

    FKK Bunculuka Camping Resort by Valamar

    Close to a wonderful town of Baska on Krk island, Bunculuka 4 star naturist camp is a multi-award winning camping complex. With lovely coastline and camping ground covered by Mediterranean flora, Bunculuka is a great option for all those looking for a truly immersive experience. Aside from the camping pitches, there are over thirty mobile homes for rent for all those not travelling with camping vehicles or equipment. Camp is pet friendly and features dog washing stations.

    Swimming is a joy with the Bunculuka naturist beach surrounded by karst hills, overlooking the nearby island of Prvic. Beach amenities include parasols and sun loungers, showers, kayak rentals and massage areas. There is a dog beach separate from the main one.

    Sports facilities include tennin, table tennis and badmington courts. There are also mini golf, volleyball, bocce and basketball areas as well as bicycles for rent. Musical entertainment is available seasonally at the camp’s Boneta Bistro & Lounge. Bunculuka is close to other Valamar facilities in the area which are available, but are clothing mandatory.

    What towns to see when staying at FKK Bunculuka?

    Baska is very close to the camping resort and you will not miss it. It is a picture postcard town with quite a bit of history to it. Don’t miss its historical centre and church of St. Lucy (Sveta Lucija). Speaking of history, town of Krk is a beautiful place. It is the main settlement on Krk island and well worth devoting a day of your holiday to. There are historical ruins in Krk dating back to the times of Ancient Rome. Out of several medieval buildings worth mentioning, Frankopan castle is the most popular. Of course, it’s not all ancient history in Krk. The town is a popular travel destination with lovely areas to visit, good dining options and some day trip options as well.

    FKK Sovinje Naturist Camping

    On Island of Pasman, near town of Tkon is a small, but lovely naturist camp Sovinje. With its capacity of around 400 guests, it is one of the smaller on this list, but lovely its lovely beach, accommodation under pine and olive trees, and beautiful location make it well worth your time. FKK Sovinje offer camping pitches close to the water in lovely shaded area. Along with these, there are a few accommodation units in the form of mobile homes and glamping tents. This camp is kids friendly and pet friendly.

    There are not many amenities in the camp, but there are still some like beach volleyball court, table tennis facilities, basketball court, children’s court and bicycles for rent. The beach I a lovely pebbled beach and offer amazing setting for an unforgettable vacation. There are no restaurant facilities in the camp, but there is a shared barbecue area.

    What towns to see when staying at FKK Sovinje?

    Tkon is a charming town on Pasman island, popular with the nearby Biograd on the mainland. Tkon has plenty of amenities for a short stay and some beautiful beaches (textile beaches) around. It is well connected by regular Jadrolinija ferry to Biograd. More info on that route is available here. Biograd or Biograd na Moru as it is also called, is a historic town in northern Dalmatia. It was once a capital city of Kingdom of Croatia. Today, this town of almost 600 people is a popular summer destination for many making their way to Croatian coast. It is worth the visit for its rich history, lovely restaurants and seaside bars and local tourist amenities.

    Valamar Naturist Resort Solaris

    Another famous nudist camp, this one 12 kilometres from Porec. Solaris features amazing animation and entertainment options for adults and kids alike. It is a large camp with the capacity of over 4000 guests. Camping pitches are in a lovely wooded area and options for those looking for on-site accommodation include mobile houses, apartments and bungalows. Solaris is a 3 star camp and a holder of coveted ADAC “Yellow Flag” quality certificate.

    Its beaches are in great condition and feature all the necessary amenities. There are showers, parasols, sung beds and toilettes available. Dining options include several restaurants and pizzerias and there are bars, newspaper stands and grocery stores to choose from as well. Valamar’s food delivery service Valfresko Direkt is available to deliver food directly to the apartment or your camping area. Sport amenities include beach volleyball, tennis, table tennis, miniature golf, pool and many other. Massage area is also available to the camp guests.

    What towns to see when staying at Naturist Resort Solaris?

    Close to the resort is Porec, which we already mentioned in this text. This amazing Istrian destination is a must-see for any visitors to Solaris. For all the details on Porec you need, check out our dedicated page. If you are after more low key seaside towns, give Novigrad a go. This historical town, once a fishing village, will charm you with its picture perfect historical centre. It is a perfect place for enjoying by the sea and exploring with no particular itinerary or time constraints. Close to Novigrad is Istralandia – region’s first ever aqua-park. This might be a good option for those with children especially.

    Valalta FKK Naturist Camping

    This 4 star naturist camping resort sits close to town of Rovinj and Lim Channel. It offers great options for camping sites and its own accommodation along over 4 kilometres of breath-taking coastline. Established in the 1960’s, Valalta has a reputation to uphold and it does so splendidly. Accommodation units are available on site and range from apartments and bungalows to charming mobile homes. Camp is perfect for families with children and offers plenty of amenities to support this claim. Interestingly, unlike all the other camps on this list, Valalta does not allow pets.

    When it comes to amenities, this resort is difficult to beat. Food and beverage is a special focus with camp featuring a number of restaurants, pizzerias and bars. Valalta also offers freshly baked bread on site as well as their own craft beer brewery! Swimming will not be a problem as the resort features two pools and a separate children pool along with 4 kilometres of beach area. Sports are available with tennis, basketball, football, bowling, miniature golf, outdoor fitness and many more options to choose from.

    What towns to see when staying at Naturist Resort Solaris?

    Along with the nearby Vrsar we already mentioned in this section, think about visiting Lim channel, Istria’s most famous oyster and mussels growing area. To be so close to it and not indulge in some fresh sea food, straight from the source, would be a real shame. Just south of the resort lies Rovinj. One of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, Rovinj is a destination you shouldn’t deny yourself. It is worth visiting or staying a few extra nights in. With plenty of history and attractions, Rovinj will make you want to stay indefinitely. Thankfully, everything you need to know about it, you can read in out dedicated Rovinj page.

    What not to do in Croatia as a nudist?

    Nudism or naturism is a way of life for some people and for some a philosophy worth respecting. With this in mind, it is clear there is a community around it. As any other community, naturists have their own rules of conduct. For those who already know them, it make sense to remind themselves of some basic rules. For those simply wishing to give the naturist way of swimming or vacationing a try, it is important to know how to be respectful and mindful of others.

    Naturist Rules of Conduct

    Naturism is a peaceful and positive philosophy, but this doesn’t mean there are no rules to follow. This is especially important in areas like beaches and camps that are open to all. Many times, families with small children will be visiting these places and it is always especially important to protect the most vulnerable among us.

    Most of the rules are common sense. The first one is simple: Be respectful. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. It makes sense that you would conduct yourself in a way that you would want others around you to conduct themselves.

    Don’t stare. Another simple one. Making eye contact and looking towards a person is normal in a naturist setting as much as in a non-naturist one. But, gawking at someone, especially at their bodies is weird and feels threatening.

    Use towels in common areas. If you are using furniture or other equipment in a common areas of the beach or resort, make sure to put a towel down before you sit down or lie down. Everybody is comfortable with your naked body, but they might not be with your sweat on the chair they are planning to use after you.

    Don't take photographs or videos in naturist areas. It is one thing to take a quick selfie or a picture of the view from the beach, but if those photos contain other naked people, especially children, you are best deleting them. You never got anyone’s permission to film or photograph them and until you do, maybe pass on taking photos in public naturist areas.

    Respect personal space and noise levels on beaches and in camps.

    Make sure to learn about specific camp rules when booking your stay and follow those as well.

    Few things to keep in mind if you are a naturist visiting Croatia

    There are rules to adhere to when you are visiting a naturist-only areas, but the same is true when naturists visit areas outside of their designated beaches or camps. In some European countries, city parks can be places to sunbathe topless of even in the nude. This is not the case in Croatia. Avoid being partially or completely naked in public areas of urban settlements. Many towns, villages or cities along the coast are historical settlements with old places of worship, some of which are still active. Walking around these areas in topless or even in bikinis is frowned upon and in some places can even incur a fine. This is the case in historical centre of Dubrovnik with the recent adoption of the Respect the City program.

    Businesses in areas close to FKK beaches or specialised nudist camps that are not themselves organised as nudist areas will generally frown upon naked people entering their places of business. If the staff or the owners don’t have a problem with nudity themselves, other guests or customers might. So, make sure to get the necessary information about where the nudist area ends once you arrive at your camp or beach.

    More Information

    For more detailed information about some of Croatia's most popular destinations, visit our dedicated pages for Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, Jelsa, Pula, Porec, Motovun, Fazana, Rovinj, Rijeka or Zagreb

    To follow the latest news from Croatia, don’t skip your daily dose of Total Croatia News.

    ]]> (Bozidar Jukic) Destinations Sat, 26 Jun 2021 16:51:02 +0200
    Rogoznica in a Page: Things to do, Beach, Weather, Map, Hotel, Boat, Fish Magical landscapes, tradition, lake, marina and beaches in the heart of Dalmatia - Rogoznica.

  • Welcome to Rogoznica Croatia!
  • 5 best things to do in Rogoznica
  • Where to stay in Rogoznica?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top 5 day trips
  • 5 things you (maybe) didn't know about Rogoznica
  • Rogoznica Weather
  • Rogoznica Map
  • How to get to Rogoznica and get around
  • Welcome to Rogoznica Croatia!

    From above, Rogoznica
    From above, Rogoznica © Vlado Franolić.

    When they call Rogoznica the 'Heart of Dalmatia', they're not wrong. Sitting midway along this stretch of Croatia's coast, Rogoznica marks its special position in several distinct ways. Among them, the Dragon's Eye lake, the most sheltered bay and marina in Croatia, the most westerly point of Dalmatia into the Adriatic. Oh, and over 50 kilometres of pristine shoreline and crystal clear seas just in this one place. Let's take a closer look at some of these unique assets.


    5 best things to do in Rogoznica

    Koprišće bay, Rogoznica
    Koprišće bay © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    1) Find the best beach in Rogoznica for you

    Through the pines, waters of Rogoznica
    Through the pines, waters of Rogoznica © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Rogoznica is famed for having a huge 52 kilometres of coastline it calls its own. What's more, this is not just any old Mediterranean stretch of shore. Within it, you'll see weathered lighthouses, unique, inland lakes and several islands that are very much a part of everyday life. This coastline winds its way around the most sheltered bay for sail ships in Croatia. Similarly, it encompasses the furthest westerly point of the Dalmatian mainland. It juts out into the sea.

    From the shadows, a Rogoznica beach view
    From the shadows, a Rogoznica beach view © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Aside from these heralded, major landmarks, the Rogoznica coast also has many softly spoken spots too. Specifically, its quiet coves, bays and beaches. If you prefer the amenities of a town beach, with ice cream and inflatables nearby, then there are lots of places here for you. Similarly, you'll find a range of watersport offers around busier beaches. But, if you're hankering after some peaceful seclusion, then definitely you're in the right place. In Rogoznica, it's possible to find a small beach that seems like it's waiting just for you. If you want to check out a full list of all recommended Rogoznica beaches, then see here.

    From beneath the shade of trees, a Rogoznica beach view
    From beneath the shade of trees, a Rogoznica beach view © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    2) Sports and recreational activities

    Morning breaks over Rogoznica
    Morning breaks over Rogoznica boats © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Without question, sailing is one of the very best things you can do in Rogoznica. The town's marina is one of the most famous in Croatia, built inside a natural harbour renowned for its safety from the elements. Whether you've a small sailboat or a grand yacht, you're in prime sailing waters here.

    Locally centrally in Dalmatia, Rogoznica is perfectly placed to be a base for a sailing holiday. Certainly, it should be on the itinerary of anyone sailing around here. To the immediate north, Kornati islands, Tisno, Šibenik and Primošten. To the south, Trogir and Split. Perfect places to explore while sailing.

    Things to do in Rogoznica: Bike trail Jelinjak, 15 km from Rogoznica
    As shown above, bike trail Jelinjak, 15 km from Rogoznica © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    You'll be surprised at just how many bike trails exist around Rogoznica. Extending inland, many pass through quiet villages and involve tackling a slight gradient. Your reward? Incredible panoramas of this particularly thrilling section of coast.

    Things to do in Rogoznica: cycling trail Jelinjak
    As shown above, bike trail Jelinjak © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    If you want to check out all of the cycling routes around Rogoznica and download trail maps, then look here. And, if you want to rent a bike in Rogoznica, find Tomislav / Suzana at Nova XII ulica 5. Telephone: +385 (0) 98 518 375.

    Things to do in Rogoznica: Underwater museum
    Sunken shipwreck © Deep Blue Diving.

    If you want to go diving or learn diving, then contact Deep Blue Diving. Not only do they offer beginners courses but also diving tours and courses for technical divers.

    Sunset in Rogoznica bay
    Sunset in Rogoznica bay © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    With such a large number of yachts and sailboats moored here, you might expect to find fishing excursions. Indeed, you can. Anglers of every ability love the challenge of trying to land something big here. Certainly, it's possible - tuna and Marlin are the prize catches, maybe wild sea bass. If you're interested in a big game fishing excursion, then go ask at Marina Frapa. Or, try one of the recommended charter companies listed below.

    Sports centre Marina Frapa
    Things to do in Rogoznica: bowling at Marina Frapa Rogoznica
    As shown above, bowling at Marina Frapa Rogoznica.

    At the Marina Frapa Rogoznica Sports Centre, you'll find a bowling alley, gym, pool and a large, outdoor chess set. Also, facilities for playing tennis, squash, table tennis and boules.

    Things to do in Rogoznica: Tennis
    As shown above, tennis court at Marina Frapa Rogoznica.
    Paddleboards, jet ski, fly boards, pedal boats
    Things to do in Rogoznica: Flyboarding
    As shown above, flyboarding with Water Sports Rogoznica.

    If you want to rent a pedal boat, then call Gavun on +385 (0) 99 296 3966. Email: or find them on beaches Lozica, Sepurina, Gornji muli. For riding inflatables, fly boards, jet ski hire, wakeboarding and, excursions, find Water Sports Rogoznica on Šepurina beach. Telephone: +385 (0) 977 783 820. If you want to go paddleboarding, then talk with Active Rogoznica. Telephone: +385 (0) 91 544 3216.

    Things to do in Rogoznica: Paddle boarding
    As shown above, paddle boarding with Active Rogoznica.

    3) Get to know the real Rogoznica: Dvornica, Kanica, Podglavica, Stupin-Čeline, Ražanj, Stivašnica, Zatoglav, Zečevo Rogozničko

    Dvornica and Kanica
    As shown above, Kanica, Dvornica © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Sitting inland, around 91 metres above the sea, cyclists love to get views of the Adriatic from Dvornica. You'll find the village 8 km east from Rogoznica, between Zatoglav on the west and Šićenica bay on the east. Significantly, the village has its own bay. Here you'll find its sister village Kanica with beautiful beaches and lots of water sports. Namely, diving, fishing, water skiing, paddle boats and kayaks.

    Podglavica and Stupin-Čeline
    Podglavica and Stupin-Čeline
    As shown above, Podglavica and Stupin-Čeline © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    You'll find the old village of Podglavica sitting on a hill, overlooking the sea, around 2 km east-northeast of Rogoznica. However, it's the newer part of the area, on the coast, that you'll most likely meet. In fact, this strip of villas, beaches, and apartments is better known as Stupin-Čeline. Actually, these are the names of the two bays belonging to this place. Generally, most tourists don't head into the old village, preferring to stay by the crystal-clear seas. Even fewer head further back still. But, one good reason you should is to visit Vinarija MI, producers of some of the best local wines.

    Vinarija MI
    Tasting the wines on the terrace at Vinarija MI.
    Ražanj and Stivašnica
    Ražanj Rogoznica
    As shown above, Ražanj © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Previously, Ražanj was not much more than a sleepy fishing village. Indeed, even nowadays, outside the tourist season, the place only has a few hundred residents. But, in summer, the population increases dramatically. Today, you'll find Ražanj full of happy holidaymakers, enjoying beautiful beaches, shallow, clear seas, promenades, and piers.

    You'll here find an incredibly rich and interesting coastline, full of quiet coves and bays. Also, the neighborhoods Ljoljinica, Mezaroca, Stivašnica and Varoš and the Movar hill. From there, you'll get a fantastic view of Rogoznica, nearby islands, a sea lighthouse. Notably, the Stivašnica area is where you'll find Cape Planka.

    In truth, Ražanj is only just over a kilometre south of Rogoznica. But, you have to head inland on the 15-minute journey if making it by car. Although, in summer, you can instead take the regular boat line.

    Small, secluded beach in Ražanj
    Small, secluded beach in Ražanj © Rogoznica Tourist Board.
    From above, Rogoznica
    From above, Rogoznica © Denis Peroš.

    Not only is Rogoznica the centre of life in its wider area, but also it is by far the oldest settlement here. Clues in mythological writings suggest people could have lived here during the time of ancient Greece. Certainly, we know there was a town here during the 14th century. Although, in 1518, the whole population went to live on the nearby island, to ensure safety from the Ottomans.

    Today Rogoznica consists of the mainland section, Kopača and the verdant islet of Kopara. You'll find them connected by an artificial embankment. In the inhabited area, traditional Mediterranean houses and a timeless feel. By comparison, much of the islet and facing peninsula are thickly covered by pines.

    Kopara © Rogoznica Tourist Board.
    As shown above, Zatoglav © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Perhaps the quietest of all seaside suburbs here, Zatoglav is a small place with excellent villas and apartments. As shown above, the seas are here wonderful, crystal clear. Subsequently, this is a great choice for a family vacation. On the land, it's only 5 km away from Rogoznica town center, and by the sea less than 1 km (to the east).

    Zečevo Rogozničko
    Zečevo Rogozničko, Rogoznica
    As shown above, Zečevo Rogozničko © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Domestically immortalized in wartime footage (youtube: Oba dva, oba su pala), most visitors instead know Zečevo Rogozničko as the biggest place here (other than Rogoznica). In fact, it connects directly to Rogoznica on its east, much of it standing immediately northwest of the town.

    Both Lozica bay and Peleš are two of its key features, as well as 10 kilometres of coastline. Also, the neighborhoods Lozica, Little Zečevo and Old Zečevo. In particular, you'll see spectacular views of the islands from the elevated and forest-surrounded Old Zečevo. But, without question, nearby Jaz island (pronounced 'Yaz') is the part you won't forget. In fact, it's located at a distance of only 50 meters from the mainland. Therefore, you can easily swim there to discover its peaceful, pebble beach and pines.

    Lozica in Zečevo Rogozničko © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    4) Reveal secrets of the sea: an aquarium in the streets + an underwater museum

    Things to do in Rogoznica: street aquarium
    As shown above, Rogoznica street aquarium © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Go and find the aquarium in the streets. From spring until late autumn these fish live on the streets. Children love to get up close. You'll not miss the tanks. In particular, at night - they are lit wonderfully and young people sometimes like to congregate here.

    Several lighthouses visible from the beach attest to a danger for boats lurking beneath the water surface. Indeed, several boats have sunk nearby after colliding with rocks. In fact, there are so many shipwrecks in the region, some refer to it as an underwater museum. Deep Blue Diving will help you find some of them.

    5) Visit Dragon's Eye Lake


    Located on the Gradina peninsula and surrounded by vertical rocks, 4 to 24 meters high, Dragon's Eye lake is among Rogoznica's most iconic features. The lake's surface is about 10,000 m², and the maximum measured depth 15 meters. Long has legend surrounded saltwater lake 'Zmajevo oko'. Whether you believe it was made by a falling meteor or that, indeed, a dragon used to live here, is your choice.

    Certainly, what science tells us is it's a hydrological and geomorphological phenomenon. An uncommon transiency of its living inhabitants occurs sporadically, in response to biochemical changes in the water. Sea creatures leave the lake and head into the open seas, returning with purified waters. Nowadays, its waters invite daredevil divers and swimmers. In fact, one legend claims that if a couple in love swim together in its waters, they will remain faithful to one another always.


    Where to stay in Rogoznica? Hotel, Apartments, Accommodation

    From the water, Rogoznica
    From the water, Rogoznica © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Rogoznica Hotels

    Marina Frapa Resort
    Rogoznica Hotel Otok in Marina Frapa Resort
    From the water, Marina Frapa Resort.

    Holding two accommodation buildings - one on the island, one on the mainland - Frapa Hotel Resort has beautiful views over the Marina and Rogoznica bay. Open all year and with a wealth of restaurant and bar options of its own, you also get access to the sports centre and two outdoor pools. If you want to see prices for rooms and suites, then look here.

    Boutique Hotel Life
    Boutique Hotel Life, Rogoznica
    As shown above, Boutique Hotel Life, Rogoznica.

    Sitting just a few metres back from a small bay and beach in Zečevo, Boutique Hotel Life is a lovely, pampered stay. Well-designed and large rooms, two pools, steam bath, Finnish sauna and massages are just part of the stylish offer.

    Hotel Perla
    Rogoznica hotel Perla
    As shown above, Hotel Perla complex.

    A thoroughly modern complex, close to the centre of Rogoznica and comprised of both a hotel and apartment blocks. Just look at that sea! If you want to see more of the Perla resort, then look here.

    Apartments and rooms

    Ružmarin resort
    Rogoznica Hotel: Ružmarin
    Balconies overlooking the beach at Ružmarin.

    A resort of around 200 double rooms and small apartments, you'll find each at Ružmarin has a balcony, sea views and access to good facilities. Best of all, the beach is just metres away.

    Villa Near the Sea
    Lucija's Villa Near the Sea
    As shown above, Lucija's Villa Near the Sea.

    Literally, just metres from the brilliant blue waters, Lucija's Villa Near the Sea is a peaceful escape in the Kanica district. Tastefully decorated and with a delightful kitchen, you can take breakfast or dinner on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the sea. Perfect for families or groups, the villa comfortably accommodates up to 5 or 6 people. Want to holiday with a larger group? Contact Lucija and they can probably arrange a neighbouring villa for the same time.

    Click here to book accommodation in Rogoznica on!

    Where to eat? Restaurants

    With so many family summer homes in the area, self-catering is a big part of mealtimes in Rogoznica. However, you'll find more than enough restaurant options too. If you want to see a full list of the taverns and restaurants in Rogoznica, then look here.


    Top 5 day trips


    Did you know there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites just 35km to your north? Both of them, four impressive fortresses and a Michelin-starred restaurant you'll find in Šibenik. If you want to learn more, then read everything about Šibenik here.


    Riva in Split © Grad Split
    Riva in Split. © Grad Split.

    Around 50km east is Croatia’s second city. Subsequently, Split is a super easy day trip to make. Certainly, everyone should walk around the city's Diocletian’s Palace once in their life. In fact, Split’s the perfect big city for a one-day trip. Because there’s so much to do and see, yet you'll definitely catch a big chunk of it. Specifically, it takes around one hour to travel to Split by car. Maybe a little more by bus. If you want to find out more, then read our guide to the city of Split.

    Drniš and Knin

    Knin © Ivo Biočina / Croatian National Tourist Board
    As shown above, Knin © Ivo Biočina / Croatian National Tourist Board.

    Certainly, it's tough to tear yourself away from the clear seas and shores of Rogoznica. But, if you're hankering after some authentic, traditional culture, head inland. In Drniš, you can see works by Croatia's preeminent sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. Or, try Croatia's most distinct prosciutto. By comparison, Knin is a former royal city of Croatia and has one of Europe's largest historic fortresses. Also, you'll there discover seven rivers and their epic waterfalls. If you want to know more, read about Drniš here and Knin here.

    Krka National Park

    Skradinski But at Krka National Park
    Skradinski But at Krka National Park. © John Maxwell / Version13.

    A series of wide pools, fed by cascading waterfalls, Krka is one of Croatia’s best National Parks. Actually, the park is just over 40km from Rogoznica. If you want to take a boat to an island monastery or swim beneath waterfalls, then do it at Krka NP. Read all you need to know here.


    Barbarellas, Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, Barbarellas nightclub.

    If you want a break from the blissful peace of perfect Rogoznica, then there's a great option available. Namely, just 60 kilometres north, is one of the most famous summer music festival sites in Europe. Indeed, some of the most famous international DJs descend on the town of Tisno each summer. Both by day and at night, you can catch them playing by the beach or under the stars. If you want to see what's on or find out about the island Murter that Tisno half sits on, then read here.


    5 things you (maybe) didn't know about Rogoznica

    Church of St. Nicholas

    Church of St. Nicholas
    As shown above, Church of St. Nicholas © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Technically dated to the 14th century, some archaeologists and historians believe the Church of St. Nicholas to be older. Once it was the parish church for the ancestors of today’s inhabitants, who emigrated from Bosnia around 1301. They arrived with Franciscans, together fleeing from the invading Ottomans.

    Around the church you'll find an early Croatian cemetery with uncommon markings. Specifically, on Stećci tombstones you'll see astral symbols and traditional tools depicted. Especially interesting, an inscription in Latin, written in Gothic script and a seven-pointed star. Find it in Lozica bay, northwest of the peninsula Rogoznica, in the part called Staro selo or Vecchia Rogoznica.

    Wells of Lemišlja (Bunari iz Lemišlja)

    one of the wells of Lemislja near Podorljak
    As shown above, one of the wells of Lemislja near Podorljak © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    At Lemišlja near Podorljak and Dvornica- there are two wells, popularly known as “Roman” wells. They have circular shape with diameter of five to six meters, are very deep, and walled by the method of ‘suhozidi’ (dry wall, stone to stone without connecting material).

    The two wells are next to each other, surrounded by olive groves and fields and there are a few paths leading to them from different directions.

    one of the wells of Lemislja near Podorljak
    As shown above, one of the wells of Lemislja near Podorljak © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    According to the old stories, they existed at the time of the ancient Romans, and the water was used for drinking. Wells were a meeting place for local people. Young girls were picking the water, and young men were coming to them for a company. Many of them fall in love at this place. In addition to the well, there is also a large puddle, which was used as a source of water for the livestock.

    Bunari iz Lemišlja Roman wells
    As shown above, the only map currently available detailing the well's position. In fact, it was made, and is taken from, a brilliant investigation into the wells by students of the elementary school in Rogoznica. If you want to read their study, then look here © Osnovna škola Rogoznica.

    Our Lady of Hope


    According to legend, in 1722 John Bogavčić-Tuburko, a fisherman working near Cape Gradina saw a strange light. When he approached the light, he found on the rocks there a picture of Mary, mother of Jesus. He took the picture home and placed it in a trunk. But, it mysteriously returned to the same place on the rocks. So the tale goes, this returning to the rocks was repeated three times. Subsequently, faithful locals decided to build a chapel on the site. In 1776, a ceremony was established around the legend that continues to this day.

    Previously, the painting was transported by boat from Gradina to Rogoznica. Thereafter, it was taken to the parish church, after being ceremoniously met by higher local clergy. In truth, the original painting was destroyed in a fire. A replacement, made in Vienna in 1888, was stolen in the 1960s. But, the ceremony continues in the same way it long has. You'll see it if you're in Rogoznica on July 2nd. The painting remains in the parish church until the first Sunday after the celebration of Our Lady of Carmela. On this day, a huge procession follows the painting back. Both on land and by sea - swimmers and boats.

    As shown above, another procession, that of Our Lady of Help (Gospa od Pomoći), held in late May.

    Cape Planka, where climates collide

    Church of St. John of Trogir at Punta Planka
    Church of St. John of Trogir at Punta Planka © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Two kilometres south from Rogoznica, near Ražanj, lies Cape Planka. Notably, it's the most outstretched part of Dalmatia into the Adriatic Sea. Also, it is the midpoint of the north and south Adriatic. Here, different winds and sea currents collide. Sometimes, when you stand here, you can see rain on one side, bright sunshine on the other. Similarly, rough, crashing waves on one hand, calm seas opposite.

    Significantly, this feature affects the weather in Rogoznica. For example, summer rainfall here is almost three times less than that in Split, just 60 minutes away. The Ancient Greeks knew this climate phenomenon as Diomede’s Cape. Indeed, it is mentioned in writing as far back as the 3rd century BC.

    view from Church of St. John of Trogir
    As shown above, view from Church of St. John of Trogir © Rogoznica Tourist Board.
    St. John of Trogir and Cape Planka

    One of the miracles attributed to Saint John, 11th-century bishop of Trogir, is related to Cape Planka. According to the legend, John walked across the water to save sailors shipwrecked here. Subsequently, a chapel was built here in his memory. Indeed, built in 1324, it still stands today. In fact, it is a nationally protected site of religious heritage. You'll see it's now encrusted with minerals left over hundreds of years by crashing waves.

    Dolphins love swimming in Rogoznica too

    If you're lucky, you may get to see dolphins swimming in the waters here. Indeed, they love coming here for a swim - just like you. In fact, they're frequently spotted and sometimes videoed, as below. If you want the best chance to see then, then late summer and autumn is often the best time. Although, in truth, they have been known to come at any time.

    Rogoznica Weather

    Staro selo Sirkovina
    Staro selo Sirkovina © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    The climate in Rogoznica is one of its most important tourist elements. Indeed, within the Rogoznica area there are an average of 2600 hours of sunshine per year. Rogoznica lies at the exact point separating the North and South Adriatic. This is expressed in some specific and near-unique climatological behavior. Specifically, on Cape Planka, where different climate, winds and sea currents meet. If you want to see the weather in Rogoznica today and the weather forecast for the next few days, then look below.


    Where is Rogonica Croatia? Map

    Rogoznica is located in the southern part of Šibenik-Knin County, Dalmatia, Croatia. The main town itself is in a deep bay that is well protected from the wind, only 34 km away from Šibenik. Although the main settlement is within the bay, the wider Rogoznica area is the part of the Croatian mainland that penetrates furthest into the Adriatic Sea. Specifically, at Ražanj, Dvornica, Jarebinjak, Ložnice, Oglavci, Podglavica, Podorljak, Ražanj, Sapina Doca, Zečevo Rogozničko.

    How to get to Rogoznica and get around

    Flights, nearest airport to Rogoznica
    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of only 33 kilometres, Split airport is the nearest airport to Rogoznica. The journey time takes around 33 minutes. If you want to learn more about flying to Split airport, then look here.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    You'll find Rogoznica located just off the Croatian D8 road aka Jadranska magistrala. You must take this road to reach all Rogoznica destinations. If you're travelling from Zadar, Zagreb or anywhere north, then it's quickest to use the motorway to first reach Šibenik. Thereafter, use the D8. From most places in Dalmatia south of Rogoznica, just take the D8. Unless you're travelling from Dubrovnik. Under those circumstances, your quickest route is D8 to Ploče, then up to the motorway network. Leave the motorway at Prgomet, then drop down onto the D8.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Rogoznica? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Shades of blue © Rogoznica Tourist Board.
    Rent a boat

    If you want to rent a powerboat/speedboat or rubber boat, then try Email:

    Charter a boat or yacht

    If you'd prefer to charter something larger, like a yacht, then you'll find several options locally.

    Bantours here. Telephone: +385 22 559 741 / +385 22 642 156. Email:

    Mennyacht here. Telephone: +385 22 559 975 / +386 41 777 494. Email:

    Pelsys here. Telephone: +385 (0) 99 496 7426. Email:

    Marina Frapa
    Marina Frapa
    As shown above, Marina Frapa © Rogoznica Tourist Board.

    Both Rogoznica's unique weather conditions and its deep bay created perfect conditions to build a marina. Accordingly, they built here one of Croatia's best. Not only is Marina Frapa one of Croatia's safest, most sheltered marinas, but also one of the best. In fact, it has been awarded Best Croatian marina no less than 15 times.

    Marina Frapa Rogoznica
    As shown above, Marina Frapa Rogoznica.

    Modern and well equipped, it has 462 fully equipped berths in the sea, 10 piers and 150 berth places on a dry dock. Also, a hotel resort, 4 restaurant options and several bars are attached. If you want to explore Rogoznica for a few days while sailing, then it's the perfect place to stop. If you want to learn more about Marina Frapa, then look here.

    Rogoznica Bus timetables
    Bus Šibenik
    © Autotransport Šibenik.

    If you want to take a bus to go explore Split, Trogir or Šibenik, then you'll find many. However, most buses don't actually drop down into the centre of Rogoznica. Instead, they drop off and pick up using the bus stop at the main crossroad at the entrance to the town. Specifically, this coastal road is known as Jadranska magistrala. Bus timetables do have the tendency to change and there are many separate operators. Therefore, call at the local tourist office for the latest details. Or, check here.


    If you want to take a taxi, then you'll find several local operators in the Rogoznica area.

    Paleka here, telephone: +385 (0) 91 666 0000
    Zeba, telephone: +385 (0) 98 322 022
    Trans Karlo, telephone: +385 (0) 98 456 203
    Matijević, telephone: +385 (0) 98 132 7509


    More information

    Pozdrav iz Rogoznice
    Pozdrav iz Rogoznice © Rogoznica Tourist Board.
    Rogoznica Tourist Board

    Address: Obala kneza Domagoja 56, 22203 Rogoznica, Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 559 253

    Ražanj office of Rogoznica Tourist Board (summer only 15.06 - 15.09)

    Working hours: 8:00 - 14:00 (Sunday – closed)
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 555 167

    If you want to follow the latest news from Rogoznica and Šibenik-Knin County, then check out Total Croatia News here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Tue, 22 Jun 2021 17:18:00 +0200
    Karlovac in a Page: Things to do, Four rivers, Rafting, Map, Dani Piva, Bus Beautiful city of beer, four rivers, promenades, parks and 10, 000 trees: Karlovac.

  • Welcome to Karlovac Croatia!
  • 5 best things to do in Karlovac
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • 5 things you (maybe) didn’t know about the town
  • Top 5 day trips from Karlovac
  • Karlovac map
  • How to get to Karlovac and get around
  • Welcome to Karlovac Croatia!

    Panorama © Denis Stošić.

    Not many towns can pinpoint their exact birthdate. But, Karlovac can. Built as a star-shaped fortress by the Austrian empire in 1579, it formed part of Europe's frontline defense against the Ottomans. Indeed, you can still trace the star shape through the town today.

    Contemporary Karlovac is the administrative capital of Karlovac County. But, it's more than just the centre of the county's cultural and social life. In fact, because it's just 55 kilometres from Zagreb, it's a popular weekend escape for residents of the capital. And, being on the way to Plitvice Lakes National Park, it's the best overnight choice for anyone wanting to combine a park visit with a big town stay. And, there are many reasons why you should choose Karlovac. Full of great events, nature, food and things to do, Karlovac is worth a close look. But, don't rush it. This city of parks, trees and promenades reveals itself best at an unhurried pace.

    Five best things to do in Karlovac

    1) Dani Piva and Karlovac events

    Special events in the city create the perfect excuse to visit. Karlovac knows this all too well. Subsequently, they really know how to put on a great show.

    Ivanjski krijes (St. John's Eve bonfires)
    St. John's Eve, Karlovac
    Fireworks and bonfires light the sky on St. John's Eve © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    The oldest event in Karlovac, dating back to at least 1779, Ivanjski krijes is the spectacular start of summer. Born of a friendly rivalry between two city neighbourhoods, Banija and Gaza, the event now enthralls the whole town. Not only do they compete in size and duration of opposing bonfires, but also in a football match and tug-of-war. Later, the whole town celebrates with fireworks, food and music on the streets.

    Next date: Thursday 23 June 2022

    Zvjezdano ljeto
    Zvjezdano ljeto
    Zvjezdano ljeto © Grad Karlovac.

    Beginning with Ivanjski krijes, this three-week festival continues to fill Karlovac with fun. You'll find gastro, folklore, music and more spilling out into the streets and parks. In previous years, the event has incorporated Croatia's second-biggest meeting of hot air balloons.

    Next date: 23 June - 13 July 2021

    Dani Piva (Karlovac Days of Beer)
    Dani Piva
    Dani Piva © Kristina Stedul Fabac / PIXSELL.

    Towards the end of summer, Karlovac celebrates its tradition of beer brewing. Indeed, the making of beer in Karlovac is at least three centuries old. Some of the biggest names in regional rock and pop come to play on the event's stages. There’s also traditional arts & crafts fair, an amusement park and food in every street.

    Next date: 27 - 31 August 2021

    Advent in Karlovac
    Brilliant colours of Advent in Karlovac © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    Brilliant lights and a park side Christmas Village warm the soul in Karlovac winter. Though some trees have lost their leaves, their multi-coloured replacements more than make up for the absence. A walk along the promenade is like at no other time of year, with the scents of mulled wine and the sounds of Christmas music filling the air with magic.

    Next date: December 2021

    2) Explore the Four Rivers of Karlovac

    Sunset by the riverside in Karlovac
    Sunset by the riverside in Karlovac © Denis Stošić.

    Known as the City of Four Rivers, if you want to experience Karlovac, then you need to meet them all. Here, we'll introduce you to each and show you some of the best ways you can get acquainted.

    Mrežnica river

    With 93 waterfalls falling over its 63-kilometre run, Mrežnica is perhaps the most spectacular of the Karlovac rivers. In places, its banks hold holiday homes and restaurants. Because it is recognised as a major recreation area. In fact, when residents of Zagreb want to cool off in summer, this is where they come.

    Korana river

    No less than the source of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Korana goes on to form some 25 kilometres of natural boundary between Croatia and Bosnia. It ends its 138.6 kilometre journey in Karlovac, where it flows into the Kupa.


    As shown above, flying over the Korana in a Karlovac suburb.

    Kupa river
    the Kupa in Ozalj
    As shown above, the Kupa in Ozalj, Karlovac County © Zoran Jelača.

    At 297 kilometres in length, the Kupa is the longest of Karlovac rivers. From its source in Risnjak National Park it soon becomes a huge 118 km of natural border between Croatia and Slovenia. Eventually, it breaks away and drops down to Karlovac. Thereafter, strengthened by the Korana and Dobra, it makes its way to Sisak where it meets the Sava.

    Dobra river

    Three of the Karlovac rivers are gregarious travellers. By comparison, the Dobra prefers to stick closer to home. Almost all of its 104 kilometres is found in Karlovac County. Furthermore, the Dobra is intensely populated by different species of fish. Accordingly, its surroundings are an important habitat for birds.

    a) How to meet Karlovac rivers: Foginovo beach

    If you thought the only good beaches were on the coast, then you were wrong.

    b) How to meet Karlovac rivers: Grain boat on the Kupa - Žitna lađa 'Zora'
    Žitna lađa / Grain boat Zora travels the Kupa
    As shown above, Grain boat Zora travels the Kupa.

    The further you follow the rivers from Karlovac, the more modern life slips from view. As the noise of car engines recedes, the only sound to replace them is the buzz of nature. A dragonfly darts above the water, maybe a kingfisher dives in. However, such tranquil scenes are relatively new here.

    Karlovac the inland port
    Moored on the Kupa, an original lađa ©

    In fact, during the 18th and 19th centuries, Karlovac was a significant inland port. Linking it to another river port in Sisak, the Kupa was a hive of industry. Along this river, goods like salt, spices, wood, tobacco and grains were transported. Sometimes, they travelled here from as far east as Timisoara in Romania. Karlovac was the furthest place such loads could travel by boat. From here, goods would travel by horse and cart to less fertile, more arid places in Dalmatia.

    Actually, such horses were not the only ones involved. In fact, it was horses that pulled the big wooden grain boats along the river. Indeed, today you can still walk waterside paths along the Kupa that their hooves helped make. Or, you can do the journey by boat.

    Return of the only Grain boat on the Kupa
    Žitna lađa Zora
    As shown above, happy travellers on Žitna lađa.

    After finishing university in Zagreb, two locals - Jasmina Cvetković and Ana Prepolec – returned to their quiet villages on the Karlovac outskirts. They were glad to be back. Although, back in the village, neither could see any appealing jobs on the near horizon. So, they decided to create some for themselves. Specifically, they planned to return a traditional tumba grain boat to the Kupa river as a tourist attraction. At 25 metres in length and capable of carrying around 30 tons, no such boat had been seen on the Kupa for 150 years.


    Today, you can visit the Grain boat Zora in the village of Brođani. Its calm cruise along the nature-filled Kupa belies the effort made to get it here. In detail, applying for European funds, its construction in Zagreb and, eventually, its transportation by road to Sisak. From there, it travelled the exact river route of its long-forgotten predecessors. Now it operates seasonally, from April to November, making daily trips at 11am or as commissioned. The area it travels is sometimes called the Valley of Butterflies. Some 108 different types of butterflies live here. You'll see many of them along the way, sharing the river with kingfishers, ducks and cormorants. Sometimes, you might spot an otter or beaver. Also, a white-tailed eagle, with an impressive wingspan of 1.8 meters.

    c) How to meet Karlovac rivers: Rafting, rowing and canoeing
    Waterfalls and white waters © Kamat Adventure Travel
    Waterfalls and white waters © Kamat Adventure Travel.

    One of the best ways to get up close to the rivers of Karlovac is by rafting, rowing or canoe. If you want to go rowing, then contact the local sports club VK Korana. Both canoeing in Karlovac and rafting on a further away section of Mrežnica are part of the offer at Kamat. Additionally, you'll find other options throughout Karlovac County. Namely, in Severin na Kupi, Slunj, Mjesto Primišlje, Rastoke and Ozalj.

    3) Old Town of Dubovac

    Old Town of Dubovac
    From above, the Old Town of Dubovac © Ivo Biočina.

    Known as the Old Town of Dubovac, this 13th-century fortress was the first major settlement here. When built, it was just one in a series of defensive fortresses that lined the hilltops of the region. In fact, you'll find a fascinating map inside, detailing the position of others. Looking down over the city and Kupa, at 185 metres above sea level, the castle's defensive services are no longer needed. In fact, they were supplanted by the construction of the star fort below.

    Overlooking Karlovac,  the Old Town of Dubovac
    Overlooking Karlovac, the Old Town of Dubovac © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    One of the best-preserved examples of feudal architecture in Croatia, the Old Town of Dubovac today houses a museum. At the top of the tower, you'll get a fantastic view. Afterward, get lunch below at the restaurant in the castle courtyard. Genuinely, it's one of the best places to eat in the whole of Karlovac. Also, it's occasionally the host site for concerts, functions, parties and other cultural and social events.

    4) Parks and Promenades: Enjoy the City of 10, 000 Trees

    Karlovac parks
    In the centre of the city, a green oasis © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    So much parkland and greenery runs through Karlovac that it has been referred to as a 'Town Within a Park'. Of course, this opens the heart of Karlovac to recreation and events. Indeed, within the large green area between the Korana and town centre, you'll find tennis courts and children's playgrounds. Weaving through the different parks are tree-lined promenades. Explore them all by bicycle, or stroll through them at a gentle pace.

    Park Gardens in Karlovac
    Summertime colours of the city © Karlovac Tourist Board.
    Vrbanić Gardens
    Vrbanić Gardens
    As shown above, Vrbanić Gardens © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    Central to the city centre's green offer are the Vrbanić Gardens, opened to the public in 1896. Impeccably landscaped, it's an unbelievably beautiful stretch of parkland where you could linger all day. Divided into three parts, you'll find it located on the south-eastern part of the centre, between the Korana and Karlovac old town. Firstly, there's an English-style plot. Secondly, you'll see the central section laid out in a French style. Thirdly, the part made of coniferous spruces and firs.

    City of Trees
    Trees and parks in Karlovac
    Through the trees © 11raccoon1.

    Over 10, 000 trees help breathe life into the centre of Karlovac. Not only do they reduce summer temperatures and noise, but also they purify the air. Also, some give a wonderful scent. In fact, the city never cuts down a tree, unless its health poses a direct risk to property or person. You can walk tree-lined avenues from the centre into some residential neighbourhoods. Karlovac really is a breath of fresh air.


    5) Karlovac Museums and Aquatika

    You'll find a bunch of great museums and galleries in Karlovac. Namely, the City Museum, Firefighters Museum and Galerija Vjekoslav Karas. Here are some of the other highlights.

    Homeland War Museum Karlovac
    At night, the Homeland War Museum in Karlovac
    At night, the Homeland War Museum in Karlovac.

    Originally built as a defensive fort, Karlovac has come under attack many times in its history. Most recently, during the war in the 1990s. Karlovac was quite close to the frontline of fighting. Shelling from a self-proclaimed autonomous region, briefly known as the Serbian Krajina, reached the town. Southern-lying neighbourhoods were damaged the most. But, shells also reached into the heart of town. This most recent war in Karlovac is remembered at the Homeland War Museum, a relatively modern institution. Find it in the neighborhood of Turanj, 4 km from downtown Karlovac.

    From above, Aquatika in Karlovac
    From above, Aquatika in Karlovac © Denis Stošić.

    Croatia's only aquarium dedicated wholly to freshwater fish, Aquatika is one of Karlovac's best and most popular attractions. Did you know Croatia has the most indigenous freshwater fish in Europe? You'll find over 150 species living in rivers here. Let Aquatika tell you about them. Over two floors, you'll follow the course of Croatia's rivers, descending from the mountains to the sea.

    Follow the path of Croatia's rivers at Aquatika
    Follow the path of Croatia's rivers at Aquatika © Denis Stošić.
    Franciscan Museum
    Peaceful interior of the Franciscan monastery Karlovac
    Peaceful interior of the Franciscan monastery Karlovac.

    You'll find a special ambiance to the Franciscan monastery and church complex. A beautiful collection of buildings and garden, it feels like an oasis of calm in an already peaceful town centre. The Franciscans have been here since the 17th century, as the collection here of ten thousand rare books attest. Also, there are religious monuments and they even have their own craft beer brewery. Take a tour in English, Italian or Croatian - they speak your language. You must organise your tour in advance.

    Phone: + 385 98 187 4909

    Accommodation: Where to stay

    All manner of people come to stay in Karlovac throughout the year. Groups of schoolchildren visiting Aquatika or the museums. Couples taking a well-earned weekend break. Groups of friends drawn by town events. Also, campers who want to get close up to nature. Accordingly, you'll find Karlovac accommodation to meet every standard and budget. From hostels and rooms to hotels, apartments and camping, check out the options below.
    Hotel Korana-Srakovčić
    Hotel Korana-Srakovčić, Karlovac
    As shown above, Hotel Korana-Srakovčić.

    Such is the breadth of accommodation in Karlovac, it's probably fairer for your investigations to guide your choice. But, special mention simply must be made of Hotel Korana-Srakovčić. If you're walking through Karlovac parks or along the riversides, then you won't miss it. The extremely pretty hotel sits on the banks of the Korana, surrounded by the largest stretch of green in the city centre. Holding 4-stars, the hotel boasts a wellness centre with a pool, sauna, solarium and massage offer. If you want to make the most of the pretty riverside view, then take your breakfast outside onto the terrace.

    Food: What to eat in Karlovac?

    parasol mushrooms in a basket

    Did you know that Karlovac is one of the best places to go hunting for wild mushrooms? The hills and forests around the town contain a wealth of various edible mushrooms. Of course, unless you're an expert, you should always go with a guide. But, if you want to skip the picking, you can still taste wild mushrooms in Karlovac restaurants. Furthermore - and contrary to popular belief - they're not just available in autumn. In fact, some edible wild mushrooms grow throughout the year. If you want to see some of the mushrooms you can find on a guided hunt around Karlovac, then look here.

    Where to try: Dobra @ Hotel Korana; Kalvarija; Lovački Rog; Kostanjac; M-90; Tempo; Bistro Palma; Črni kos; Pod Starimi Krovovi; Lana Korana.

    Gifts from the river
    frogs legs
    As shown above, a serving of fried frogs legs © Nel Pavletic / PIXSELL.

    These days, you can enjoy calamari and sea fish in Karlovac restaurants. But, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, travel through the mountains was once much more of an ordeal than it is today. As a result, the local menu relied more on gifts from the river. Namely, river fish, eels and frogs. Indeed, you can still find these traditional favourites served at some places in Karlovac. Frogs legs, deep-fried in a light batter, is actually a lovely choice for lunch by the river.

    Where to try: Kvaka; Lovački Rog; Tempo; Bistro Palma. M-90; Dobra @ Hotel Korana; Kostanjac; Črni kos; Pod Starimi Krovovi.

    Beery bites
    Cooked in beer, one dish from Hotel Korana-Srakovčić
    Cooked in beer, one dish from Hotel Korana-Srakovčić.

    Of course, in a town renowned for beer, no surprise to see the amber nectar making its way into recipes. Hearty stews, with meats braised in a rich beer-based gravy, served with pasta, potatoes or even polenta; you simply have to try.

    Where to try: Dobra @ Hotel Korana-Srakovčić; Črni kos; Pod Starimi Krovovi; Lovački Rog; Tempo; Bistro Palma; M-90.

    Just desserts: Chestnuts and Karlovac Choco Bar


    Traveling around Croatia, you'll notice that local specialties extend to desserts as well as mains. In some places, it might be a gelato to rival anything in Italy. In others, a cake or a pie or a particular ingredient. For example, in Slavonia you'll find poppy seeds, cherries and walnut flavours everywhere. In Karlovac, it's chestnuts.

    one of Restoran Kvaka's chestnut creations
    As shown above, one of Restoran Kvaka's chestnut creations.

    Indeed, this autumnal treat makes its way into cakes, torte, ice cream, cheesecakes and more. Certainly, it's true to say Karlovac has something of a sweet tooth, reflected in the number of places that do great desserts. But, also, there's an inventive side to the way the town keeps reinventing the use of chestnuts. If you want to try them at their most bountiful and fresh, then come in autumn and winter. But, don't worry if you can't make it then. Because, in Karlovac, you'll usually find chestnut flavours year-round.

    Places to try: Kvaka; Tara Sweets; Kalvarija; Lana Korana; Lovački Rog; Tempo; Bistro Palma.

    Karlovac Choco Bar
    Karlovac Choco Bar
    As shown above, Karlovac Choco Bar.

    Of all the places to try Karlovac desserts, the repute of one, in particular, extends way beyond the town. Both locals and visitors love to come to Choco Bar for a coffee and cake break. Pastries, torte, strudel, cookies, cheesecake and colourful individual slices tempt you from behind the glass counter. All you have to do is choose which of these freshly-made delicacies you'll enjoy alongside your coffee. Unless, like most, you also take away something for home. If you want to drop by for coffee and cake, then find them at Luščić 8b.

    5 things you (maybe) didn't know about the town

    Famous Karlovac Gymnasium

    Karlovac Gymnasium
    As shown above, Karlovac Gymnasium front entrance.

    Founded as early as 1766, when Maria Theresa of Austria sent religious clerics to teach here, Karlovac Gymnasium is perhaps Croatia's most famous high school. At first, education was limited. Only two grades were taught, with the main subject being Latin. However, the institution endured and received in 1863 the dedicated building where it stands today.

    In truth, much of its fame can be attributed to some of its well-known former alumni. Specifically, Croatian poet and writer Ivan Goran Kovačić and explorers, the brothers Mirko and Stjepan Seljan were schooled here. Also, outspoken politician and champion of the transformative power of education, Stjepan Radić. Not to mention, one rather famous inventor...

    Nikola Tesla went to school here

    Nikola Tesla

    An inventor and hugely innovative engineer, Nikola Tesla is best known for pioneering the alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. AC enables electricity to be provided safely to every home, street and business today. Tesla was born in 1856 in the village of Smiljan, in Lika, back then a part of Austro-Hungary. But, in 1862, his family moved to Gospić where Tesla's father worked as an Orthodox parish priest.

    Nikola Tesla himself was supposed to follow his father and his mother's father into the Orthodox priesthood. Thankfully, he did not. Instead, in 1870, Nikola Tesla moved to Karlovac to attend the Higher Real Gymnasium. He spent three years at the school. Specifically, from 1870 to 1873 (from 14 to 17 years of age). In fact, the diploma he got here was the only one he attained. Subsequently, family and health problems prevented him from fully completing further studies. Eventually, he made his way to America, where he spent much of his career. But, he has never been forgotten in Karlovac. In fact, a new Nikola Tesla exhibition centre now stands next door to the place of his former schooling.

    ...but the cinema was named after his rival, Thomas Edison!

    Edison cinema, Karlovac
    As it once was, the Edison cinema.

    Designed and built between 1918 and 1920, noted Austrian architect Bruno Bauer had intended the building to be called Atlas. Indeed, it was supposed to have a statue of Greek god Atlas holding the earth on its front facade. But, the purpose-built cinema's investors didn't like the idea. Instead, they named it after Edison.

    In the here and now, this seems like a frightful insult to Karlovac's most famous former student, Mr. Tesla. But, back then, the rivalry between the two wasn't really recognised. Neither was Mr. Tesla's 'hometown' worth. One of the first buildings in Croatia built specifically for showing film, this 470 seat venue kept its crown as Karlovac's premier cinema for many decades. Even through times when the town boasted a further four cinemas! In the 1930’s, sound films were introduced here and in 1957 the first Cinemascope projection took place. Unfortunately, it has been closed for several years, awaiting renovation. However, 2020/2021 plans for its reconstruction indicate the wait may soon be over. Furthermore, the revealed design finally includes the Atlas statue Bruno Bauer envisaged. Now, we'll just have to wait and see how it will be named...

    The First School of Music in Croatia

    Karlovac Music School
    From the park, Karlovac Music School © Karlovac Tourist Board.

    Housed inside a beautiful Neo-Renaissance palace, Karlovac Music School has long been producing highly talented graduates. Not only is it the only school of the arts in the county, but also the oldest music school in Croatia. In fact, it was founded even before Wagner or Verdi were born. On warmer days, you can sometimes relax in the park and listen to the quest for perfection coming from open windows. Although, you'll find public performances throughout the year by students, including at many Karlovac events.

    Fantastic Street Art of Leonard Lešić

    'Unusual student Nikola', Tesla mural in Karlovac by Leonard Lesić.
    'Unusual student Nikola' © Leonard Lesić.

    Generally, the overwhelming colour of Karlovac is green, thanks to its parks and trees. However, over recent years, an increasing number of brilliantly colourful murals have joined the cityscape. Many of the best are the work of local artist Leonard Lesić, from nearby Duga Resa.

    'Krleža u Karlovcu 2020' by Leonard Lesić.
    'Krleža u Karlovcu 2020' © Leonard Lesić.

    Celebrating Miroslav Krleža's birthday, in 2019 he painted a much-loved Karlovac mural of the famous writer. After that, famous Croatians connected with Karlovac seem to be appearing at regular intervals around the town. Specifically, keep a lookout for painter Vjekoslav Karas, explorers Stjepan and Mirko Seljan and poet Slavko Mihalić. Additionally, you'll see more of Lesić's work in Karlovac suburb Rekovec, Ozalj, Turanj and Duga Resa.

    'Imagination is a Superpower' in Duga Resa by Leonard Lesić..
    'Imagination is a Superpower' in Duga Resa © Leonard Lesić..

    Top 5 day trips from Karlovac

    Plitvice Lakes National Park

    Plitvice Lakes National Park
    As shown above, Plitvice Lakes National Park ©

    Croatia’s best-known and most visited National Park lies just 78 kilometers south of Karlovac. Indeed, Karlovac is the closest major town to the park. At Plitvice, you'll find a series of lakes, descending dramatically via many waterfalls. Walkways and boat rides help you get close to the spray. By comparison, in the rest of the near 300km2 park, you'll find dense woodland and undisturbed nature. If you want to learn more about the park, then read our guide.

    Karlovac County

    Ozalj castle in Karlovac County
    As shown above, Ozalj castle © Ivo Biočina.

    If you don't mind venturing off the beaten track, then the best advice is to explore Karlovac County. Hop on the 30-minute train ride to Ozalj and take in the scenery along the route. Finally, at your end destination, you'll be greeted by the most incredible castle. If castles are your thing, then take a wild walk to find the fascinating and abandoned Bosiljevo. Both bicycle and boat are great ways to explore the wider region. Follow the paths of the rivers. If you venture far enough, then you might discover waterfalls on Mrežnica or in Rastoke, Slunj. Also, if you're visiting in summer, you'll find arguably Croatia's most idyllic river swimming spots here.


    Not only the economic and administrative capital, but also the epicenter of culture and events in Croatia. If you want to really know Croatia, then a visit to Zagreb is essential. In terms of population, it dwarfs everywhere else in Croatia. Accordingly, it has all the diversity you'd expect from a modern European capital. In fact, over recent years, Zagreb has become the most-visited destination in the country. Certainly, it earned the title for good reason, not least because its offer is year-round. If you want to read up on Zagreb, then check out our detailed guide.

    Samobor and Žumberak Nature Park

    As shown above, rolling hills around Samobor © Samobor Tourist Board.

    Certainly, Samobor is one of the more popular weekend getaways from Zagreb. Not only is the town itself very pleasant, but also it sits by a beautiful stretch of rolling hills. Indeed, many find the unchallenging gradients but spectacular scenery of Žumberak perfect for hiking. Also, the town itself is rather famous for a few distinct, local dishes. If you want to learn more, then read our guide.


    City of Rijeka

    If you're in Karlovac, then your nearest Adriatic beach is in Rijeka. Although, there's much more to this unique, former Austro-Hungarian port than sunbathing and swimming. Both diverse, modern culture and interesting, varied heritage are part of Rijeka's offer. If you want to learn more about this fascinating anomaly of the coast, then read our detailed guide.

    Where is Karlovac? Map

    Karlovac is located in central, continental Croatia and acts as the administrative and cultural capital of Karlovac County. Specifically, it is 56 kilometers southwest of Zagreb and 130 kilometers east of Rijeka. The city sits on all major road and rail connections between continental Croatia an the coast. Also, Karlovac is only around 15 kilometers from the border with Slovenia. In detail, its GPS coordinates are 45.4929° N, 15.5553° E.

    How to get to Karlovac and get around

    Flights, nearest airport to Karlovac
    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of just 62 kilometres, Zagreb airport is the nearest airport to Karlovac. By car, the journey takes around 40 minutes. After that, the next nearest is Rijeka airport, at a distance of 132 kilometres. By car, the journey takes around one hour 30 minutes. Additionally, Ljubljana airport in Slovenia is within easy reach of Karlovac. In this case, the distance is 160 kilometres and the journey takes a little over 2 hours.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    If you're anywhere in Croatia east of Karlovac, then your road journey to the Croatian coast passes through the city. The few minor exceptions would be people in eastern Slavonia who instead travel via Bosnia. And, residents of a small area in Sisak-Moslavina. To clarify, almost every road journey between continental Croatia and coastal Croatia goes through Karlovac. Both Croatia's longest motorway, the A1 and the old coastal road, the D1, pass through Karlovac.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Karlovac? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Karlovac Bus: Intercity and local

    Travelling intercity by bus in Croatia is a fast, popular and reliable option. Indeed, you can easily reach Karlovac by bus from anywhere in Croatia. In fact, Karlovac has the second-busiest intercity bus station in Croatia, after Zagreb. Indeed, every bus travelling southeast from Zagreb stops here, whether heading to Dalmatia, Kvarner, Istria or Plitvice Lakes.

    © David Orlović.

    Karlovac is well connected by train to the Croatian rail network and the town has two train stations. In fact, all trains travelling southwest out of Zagreb stop in Karlovac, before they branch off. Subsequently, you can get to Karlovac by train from Rijeka and Opatija. Also, from Split, Šibenik and Zadar. Furthermore, Karlovac has its own unique branch line, running to Ozalj. The journey takes less than 30 minutes.


    Both the author and Total Croatia would like to thank the following for their help in creating this guide: Marina Burić and the Tourist Board of Karlovac, Jasmina Cvetković.

    More information

    Karlovac Tourist Board (Visit Karlovac)

    Address: Petra Zrinskog 3, 47000 Karlovac
    Telephone: +385 47 61 51 15

    If you want to get the latest news for Karlovac, then check Total Croatia News here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Thu, 10 Jun 2021 19:40:00 +0200
    Tisno and Murter in a Page: Music festivals, Restaurants, Accommodation Croatia's most accessible island and a town of world-renowned music festivals: Tisno and Murter.

  • Welcome to Murter and Tisno Croatia!
  • Best things to do in Tisno and Murter
  • Garden Tisno Festival: Home of the best nightlife and Croatia music festivals
  • Murter accommodation: Tisno apartments, Tisno hotels, Tisno villas
  • Where to eat: Restaurants in Tisno
  • Where to eat: Murter Restaurants
  • Where to drink
  • Murter and Tisno Weather
  • Where is Murter? Where is Tisno? Map
  • How to get to Tisno and Murter and get around
  • More information
  • Welcome to Murter and Tisno Croatia!

    From above Betina, children captivated by a view of islands
    From above Betina, children captivated by a view of islands © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Often, when you're choosing your vacation, you have to makes some sacrifices. If you pine for the peace of a secluded beach, then you might have to venture off the beaten track. Alternatively, if you're looking for all the thrills and choices of a major seaside resort, then you maybe shouldn't expect to find there your solitary spot in the sun. But, in Tisno and Murter, you need to make no compromise. You really can have it all.

    The perfect island?
    Sailing under the bridge in Tisno, a traditional wooden fishing boat. You can find out how they're made at the museum in Betina
    Sailing under the bridge in Tisno, a traditional wooden fishing boat. You can find out how they're made at the museum in Betina © Romulić & Stojčić.

    18km2 of beautiful coastline and see-through seas, connected to the mainland by a short road bridge, Murter is one of Croatia's most accessible islands. With just four major settlements, the rest of its shoreline is given up to beaches, campsites, restaurants and bars. Sometimes, they're sheltered in coves. Often, they have their own harbour, a welcoming invite to passing sailors. Every day you can choose a different bay, beach or restaurant here and not once be disappointed. All of the peace, relaxation and pristine nature of the perfect family vacation are at hand.

    Earthenware shades of Betina rooftops
    Earthenware shades of Betina rooftops © Romulić & Stojčić.

    And yet, travel less than a kilometre from the Tisno road bridge and in a secluded cove, you'll find one of the most famous party sites in Europe. Young people from across the globe come to join the fun at the summer-long season of dance music festivals in Tisno. By day, hundreds congregate on the beach or embark on big boat trips, serenaded by DJs wherever they go. At night, they dance beneath the stars at one of Europe's greatest open-air nightclubs. When you're away from the crowds, enjoying the calm of a quieter part of Murter, it's often difficult to believe that, just around the corner, you can catch some of the world's most famous DJs.

    The island of Murter contains four main settlements. Let's have a brief look at each, so you know exactly where you are.

    As shown above, the small harbour at Betina © Betina Tourist Board.

    Located in the northeastern corner of the island, Betina is a village rich in heritage, customs and tradition. In truth, it's only a few hundred metres walk from the town of Murter, so there's no excuse to miss it. Agriculture, fishing and boat building are among the traditional undertakings of residents. You can see this reflected today in the traditional taverns (konoba) around its harbour. Also, in a fascinating museum dedicated to their history of wooden boat building. Often, you'll see the traditions of Betina spill out onto the streets, thanks to KUD Zora. As the oldest folklore society in the Šibenik region, they preserve the song, dance and costumes of this distinct corner of the island.

    From above, Jezera © Jezera Tourist Board.

    Situated on the east of the island, the bay of Jezera is here the centre of everything. With berths for over 200 boats, it is a popular base for sailors and those on sailing holidays. Coming ashore, you can here visit three fascinating tiny churches. In another, Saint John of Trogir, you'll find a local heritage exhibition. Perhaps best of all, the beautiful interior, wooden altar, belltower and garden of Parish of Our Lady of Health. Jezera also has some distinct local dishes, which you can try at several of its taverns.

    Tisno bridge
    Residents gather on both sides of Tisno bridge for an event © Tisno Tourist Board.

    Compared to Murter's other settlements, Tisno is distinct in several ways. Firstly, it's the only Murter town that's half on the island, half on the mainland. In fact, its bridge grants the sole road access to island Murter. Secondly, Tisno is the site of world-renowned music festivals. However, with two great campsites, many restaurants and town events that long predate summertime's newcomers, there's actually a lot more to the town.

    the town of Murter
    From above, the town of Murter © Murter-Kornati Tourist Board.

    The main settlement that's fully on the island of Murter is also called Murter. If you're heading to a music festival in Tisno, then this should be the number one place you also come and see. Why? Well, Murter is an escape from the English language and modern holiday trappings that will surround you during festival season. It's a drop in gear to a relaxed pace. Stroll the stone-paved streets or walk along the harbour. Soak up the atmosphere of truly traditional Dalmatia. Afterwards, drop into one of the town's great restaurants - Murter has some of the best on the island. If you're lucky, then you might also catch some music or folklore on the streets.


    Best things to do in Tisno and Murter

    1) Hit the beach, swim in crystal clear seas

    In the municipality of Betina, Kosirina beach
    In the municipality of Betina, Kosirina beach © Romulić & Stojčić.

    You'll find lots of places in Croatia boasting of their beautiful, clean waters. Generally, that's because it's very true. In fact, Croatia's Adriatic is such a draw for swimmers, sailors, watersports fans and visitors in general, that countless Italians from the opposite shore holiday here. However, truly there is something special about the beaches and waters of Tisno and Murter island. Beautiful coves, lined with shading pine forest close around turquoise, see-through seas. Countless idyllic scenes wait for you to discover them, enjoyable all day. Also, too, framed by epic sunsets.

    beach at high season
    Crystal-clear seas of Murter beaches © Romulić & Stojčić.
    Best beaches in Tisno

    Both Jazina and Hostin campsites have arguably the best beaches in Tisno. In fact, during high season, the Hostin camp becomes the Garden Resort, host site to the music festivals.

    Murter's best beaches

    You'll find great beaches all over island Murter, in Betina, Jezera and around Murter itself. Try not to miss Slanica beach, a short walk from the centre of Murter. Also, Čigrađa beach, a little further south, is very special plus Kosirina beach and Podvrške beach too. In particular, these last three are notably more peaceful than others.

    2) Savour the best Mediterranean food


    Tisno and Murter don't shout too loudly about their gastro offer. Certainly, many more will have heard of the Michelin-starred Pelegrini (in nearby Šibenik) than about any Murter restaurant. But, that's changing. In fact, Murter itself now boasts one Michelin-recommended restaurant. On an island where tourism is integral to the local economy, competition is high. Subsequently, restaurants here try that much harder to get - and keep - your custom. If you love the freshest seafood platters and traditional Mediterranean cooking, then you're in the right place. You can get recommendations for some of the best places to eat in our Tisno and Murter restaurant guide below.

    3) Enjoy the nightlife and music festivals

    Barbarellas, Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, Barbarellas nightclub.

    Previously, the seaside town of Tisno was a quiet, idyllic, and a rather sleepy place. However, since several international music festivals set up camp in a secluded bay around the corner, Tisno has become an epicentre of clubbing and nightlife. Not only do the beach parties last all day, but also at night they inhabit one of Europe's best open-air clubs. Indeed, so integral is the nightlife and festivals to the Tisno of today, you'll find below a whole section dedicated to these assets.

    4) Activities

    A sailor's paradise
    A sailor's paradise © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Certainly, you'll love relaxing on the beach and swimming in the seas in Tisno and Murter. But, if the sedentary lifestyle gets too much, there are lots of great ways to get active. You'll find cycling one of the best ways to get to know Tisno and Murter. Go discover a beach you've not been to yet or even a completely different side of the island. At only 18 kilometres2, Murter is easily manageable by bike. Also, too, for those who like to walk or hike. But, surrounded by islands, one of the best things to do in Tisno and Murter is to go sailing or on a boat ride. You'll find several marinas and harbours across the island. Simply have a walk around to check out what's on offer. Or, see the local tourist board for recommended services.

    Snorkeling and Diving on Murter

    If you like snorkeling, then you're going to fall in love with the wonderfully clear waters around Murter. You won't be alone. In fact, there are several diving groups and tour operators here, for those who like to swim deeper. If you want to go diving on Murter, then contact Tramonto Diving here. However, one of the real prizes for divers visiting Tisno and Murter is exploring the nearby Kornati National Park. If you want to do that, then you must take a tour with an outfit sanctioned by the park. All authorized diving companies are listed here, Tramonto being one of them.

    5) Discover some of Croatia's best natural assets

    If you're holidaying in Tisno and Murter, then you're very close to two National Parks and one Nature Park.

    a) Boat trip to the Kornati islands
    Telašćica Nature Park
    As shown above, Telašćica Nature Park © Ivo Pervan

    For those who like to sail, the Kornati islands a paradise. An archipelago of 140 islands, your view is never the same for more than a few minutes. To the south, one section is protected as Kornati National Park. And, to the north, you'll find Telašćica Nature Park with its stunning topography of forests and lakes. If you want to know more about Kornati, then read here. And, if you want to charter a boat for a Kornati trip, then call Tisno Rent. Alternatively, ask at the harbour nearest to you, or at the local tourist board.

    b) Take a day trip to the waterfalls of Krka
    Skradinski But at Krka National Park
    Skradinski But at Krka National Park. © John Maxwell / Version13.

    After travelling a long course down from the mountains, the rivers Cikola and Krka meet in Krka National Park. At this point, they cascade down a series of dramatic waterfalls as they rush to embrace. If you want to read more about Krka National Park, look here.


    Garden Tisno Festival: Home of the best nightlife and Croatia music festivals

    Hospitality on the Beach, Festivals in Tisno and Murter
    © Hospitality on the Beach.

    Over the last decade+, Croatia has become arguably the best place in Europe for summertime dance music festivals. Certainly, they're not for everyone, because the music is very specific. But, to a distinct set of worldwide clubbers, Croatia has become an epicenter of their scene. In truth, several places in Croatia have previously vied for the title of summer music festival capital. But, with the move of Dimensions and Outlook festivals to the Garden Resort, there's no longer any contention. Unquestionably, the summertime clubbing capital of Croatia is Tisno.

    If you want to swim in a crystal-clear bay, soundtracked by DJs, then this is where you should head. By night, dance beneath the stars, surrounded by like-minded peers. Usually, events run through the entire peak season. In detail, here's a rundown of what's coming up.


    With a heritage that goes back over three decades, Suncebeat is a passionate festival of soul, disco and house music. DJs travel from all over the world to play here and they've hosted the Croatian debuts of some very big names; Masters At Work, Roy Ayers, Mr Fingers (Larry Heard). Its audience, who are slightly more mature than at other events, are extremely friendly. They love nothing better than coming here.

    Next event: 21 - 29 July 2021

    Suncebeat website here

    Outlook Origins
    Outlook Origins

    A festival built around soundsystem and DJ culture, with a soundtrack of urban music. Specifically, drum n' bass, reggae, dubstep, hip hop and modern electronica sometimes crossing through all these.

    Next event: 29 July - 3 August 2021

    Outlook Origins website here

    Defected Croatia

    A truly international audience comes here for Defected. They're attracted by the reputation of the biggest independent house music label in the world. Accordingly, the soundtrack is 100% house music.

    Next event: 05 - 10 August 2021

    Defected Croatia website here

    Dekmantel Selectors
    Dekmantel Selectors
    As shown above, Dekmantel Selectors.

    The smaller, sister event to the famous Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam, this one sees the team hit the beach. They do so accompanied by a carefully selected group of lesser-known, but absolutely top-rate DJs. Generally, their collective musical palette is extremely wide and you can hear many styles here. Namely, soul, reggae, house, jazz, disco and techno.

    Next event: 26 - 30 August 2021

    Dekmantel Selectors website here

    Dimensions Festival

    Something of a partner event to Outlook, it's run by the same team. However, the music is very different, Dimensions' soundtrack arguably being more linear. Specifically, you'll hear techno, underground house, disco, reggae and DJs playing across the board.

    Next event: 2 - 6 September 2021

    Dimensions website here

    Love International
    Love International Festival
    As shown above, Love International Festival.

    Markedly, the crowd who come here fall in love with the event and many return every time. Subsequently, you may find it difficult to get tickets for this one. Significantly, the crowd is open and very friendly. Also, it includes perhaps the most visible gay contingent of all events here. Music ranges from loved-up disco and house to reggae, hip hop and techno.

    Next event: 13 - 19 July 2022

    Love international website here

    Barbarellas nightclub in Pirovac

    Barbarellas nightclub in Pirovac
    As shown above, Barbarellas nightclub in Pirovac.

    Unquestionably, one of the best open-air nightclubs in Europe, Barbarellas in Pirovac is unmissable. Certainly, this is because it's usually full of high-spirited British clubbers who've waited all year to come. Usually, some of the most famous (and best) DJs on the contemporary circuit visit here each summer. Although, the music is often very specific. Namely, underground house music, some techno and disco, depending on the event.

    If you haven't bought a festival ticket, then no worries. You can still go, just like many locals do. Simply go to the club and buy a ticket on the door. Although, single entry tickets may be limited, so go as soon as it opens.

    Murter accommodation: Tisno apartments, Tisno hotels, Tisno villas

    Accommodation on Murter island and in Tisno

    Without a doubt, the main industry on island Murter is tourism. Accordingly, you'll find bountiful accommodation options all across the island. Both budget and top-rate hotel stays are available. Therefore, to check the options, look at the booking platform options below.
    Tisno hotels
    Hotel Tisno
    As shown above, Hotel Tisno.

    If you're completely averse to self-catering, then Tisno has several hotel options. Specifically, 4-star Hotel Tisno and 4-star Hotel Borovik, the largest and oldest hotel on the island. Although, if it weren't for strict Croatian classifications, Villa Nina might also be described as a hotel.

    Hotel Borovik
    As shown above, Hotel Borovik.
    Tisno villas
    Villa Mirta
    As shown above, Villa Mirta.

    Both a private pool and gym/games room come as part of the offer at Villa Mirta. In detail, there are five modern apartments within this villa complex. Therefore, you might share facilities, such as the barbeque. But, the friendly hosts will help you work it out.

    Tisno apartments
    Guesthouse Mila
    As shown above, Guesthouse Mila.

    If you're looking for an affordable option with friendly hosts, then try Guesthouse Mila. Not only do you get sea views, but the apartments are all spacious, clean and well maintained. But, the real USP here is the hosts, an incredibly welcoming family from Slavonia, east Croatia. It's around 10 minutes walk from the centre of Tisno, 30 minutes walk from the music festival site.

    Dvor Maraca
    As shown above, Dvor Maraca.

    A lovely oasis of (almost) perfect tranquility, you'll find a small pool in the delightful courtyard here. Lots of greenery offers shade from the morning sun. If you're wondering why the tranquility is only almost perfect at Dvor Maraca, then look above. Yes, that church has a bell that sounds regularly, including early in the morning. Although, you will attune to this. Moreover, some actually don't mind it.

    Apartments 5M
    As shown above, Apartments 5M.

    Beautifully furnished, modern, luxury apartments in a quiet street, very close to the music festival site. You'll enjoy hanging out on the 5M terrace, not least because of the property's lovely garden.

    Where to eat: Restaurants in Tisno

    Prova restaurant in Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, Prova restaurant in Tisno.

    Tisno restaurants: Good for dinner

    Generally, the food you'll eat in Tisno restaurants ranges from standard to good. Certainly, it's unusual to be served a bad meal here. Because, simply, so many restaurants are competing for your visit and reputation goes a long way. Therefore, it's perhaps best you take the following recommendations simply as highlights. For all of the following, you should book in advance during peak season.


    Without a doubt, the most highly rated meat restaurant in town is Tereza. If your priority is the best possible food and wine above having a sea view, then this is for you. Both seafood and meat dishes are good and also you'll find the courtyard setting pleasant.

    Prova restaurant
    Restaurant Prova
    As shown above, Restaurant Prova.

    Over 20+ years, Prova restaurant has earned a reputation for the best seafood in town. If you want to impress your seafood-loving date, then this is the place for you. Both sea views and a wonderful ambiance are part of this great gastro experience. Also, the restaurant has one of the biggest wine and champagne lists on the island.

    Tisno restaurants: Good for both lunch and dinner

    Restaurant Carmen in Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, the wonderful Restaurant Carmen in Tisno. If you want to sit right on the water, then booking in advance is essential.

    Not only is Carmen the closest restaurant to the music festival site, but also it's a brilliant choice. Arguably, chef Slaven is the best in town. Moreover, the whole family pitch in, with Slaven's wife a great hostess and son, Ivan, the best waiter. Perfect seafood, salads and steaks, served right on the water's edge. A wonderful, unforgettable experience, especially for groups of friends.

    Konoba Brošćica in Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, Konoba Brošćica.

    Very much the traditional Dalmatian tavern, right down to the red and white checked tablecloths. Both affordable and of a great standard, you'll find return visits to Brošćica very easy indeed.

    Cheap eats: Lunch in Tisno

    Srdelica in Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, Srdelica fast food in Tisno.

    Being that Tisno earns most of its income in summer, you'll find cheap eats difficult to discover. Of course, unless you count the bakery. But, in Srdelica, Tisno has the perfect fast food option. Not only are meal prices very affordable, but the standard is very good. Both extremely informal and very quick, here you can grab fresh, cheap seafood in a matter of minutes. Little more than a hole in the wall, with tables and chairs set outside, find them on the Murter island side. In detail, they're near Brošćica on the D121 road. If you're a seafood fan, then you'll love the sardines, whitebait (papaline) and squid (lignje).

    Where to eat: Murter Restaurants

    From above, Murter by night
    From above, Murter by night © Romulić & Stojčić.

    In the same fashion, you'll find Murter restaurants also of a generally good standard. Also, your choice of meal on Murter is often best dictated by how you choose to spend your day. If you've found your perfect spot on the beach, then is it really worth driving across the island for lunch? Or, will the local pizza and platter place suffice?

    However, if you're something of a gastronaut, certainly there are some dinner options not to miss. Not only is advance booking advisable for these, but also - in peak season - it's essential.

    Restaurant Tic Tac
    Restaurant Tic Tac, Murter
    As shown above, Restaurant Tic Tac in Murter.

    Sat right on the water of Murter's marina, you'll struggle to find a prettier setting for dinner than Tic Tac. In summer, book ahead to secure a table on the water. Although, the interior is actually decorated delightfully - a real flavour of Dalmatia! Don't miss their inventive cold starters. Specifically, octopus served with sir iz mišine; tuna with mint; swordfish with capers. If you want to try a traditional brodetto, then there are few better places. Not only do they make one with monkfish, but also one with squid. Both are delicious! Also, oven-baked squid with potatoes and a black polenta with prawns. In particular, families and groups of friends will never forget this restaurant experience. Creating lasting memories for 50 years on this location, Tic Tac is a treat you simply do not want to miss.

    Konoba Boba
    Konoba Boba, Murter
    As shown above, Konoba Boba.

    While called a 'konoba' (an informal Dalmatian tavern), you'll not find anything informal about the food at Boba. Set back from the sea, with a lovely courtyard setting, you'll remember this meal as a highlight. Not only are the food and wine options exemplary, but also this is Murter's only Michelin-recommended eatery. Accordingly, you'll be letting yourself down if you don't wear a shirt for this experience.

    Where to drink

    Ninkasi Beer Bar, Tisno and Murter
    As shown above, the draught craft beers of Tisno's Ninkasi Beer Bar

    As has been noted, you're not short on restaurant options anywhere in Tisno and Murter. If you're having a meal, then most will let you linger for as long as you want, enjoying your drinks. Therefore, if you find a restaurant where you like the view, settle in, enjoy the sunset and the rest of the night.

    In fact, if you're visiting out of season, or at a quieter time of day, some restaurants are happy for you to just order coffee or beer. But, you can't do this in a busy restaurant, at lunch or dinner, in peak season. Luckily, you're not short of bars in Tisno and Murter either. Again, just find one you like and settle in.

    In particular, special mention must go to Ninkasi Beer Bar in Tisno. If you're looking for a place to try Croatia's best craft beer, then this is for you. Moreover, they do take-outs of draught craft ale, so you can take some back to your place. Find them at Velika Rudina 12, 22242 Tisno.

    From above, Tisno © Tisno Tourist Board.

    Murter and Tisno Weather

    If you're visiting Tisno and Murter in summer or early autumn, then you're guaranteed sunshine. The climate is typically Mediterranean - warm and temperate. Generally, rain falls most during November, April and the winter months. However, you'll occasionally get strong, but very brief rainfall or a storm in summer. Don't worry, it won't stick around and everything will soon be dry. Both July and August are the warmest and sunniest months. But, you'll find it warm and sunny here through September and early October. If you want to see the weather in Tisno and Murter today, then look below. Also included is a weather forecast for Tisno and Murter for the next few days.

    Where is Murter? Where is Tisno? Map

    The island of Murter is just off the mainland of Croatia, about midway up the country's main coastal stretch. Specifically, it is in Šibenik-Knin County in northern Dalmatia. By comparison, Tisno is actually a town and municipality, half on the mainland, half on Murter. If you're travelling to Murter by road, then you must first pass through Tisno. Because the town's short bridge is the only road connection to Murter. In detail, GPS coordinates for Tisno are 43.7975° N, 15.6421° E.

    Where is the Garden Tisno festival site? Festival entrance

    However, if you want the Garden Tisno festival site, then look for it on the left, just before you reach the town. Both the camping area and stages are visible before the entrance, so you won't miss it. In detail, GPS coordinates for Garden Tisno festival site entrance are 43.8017° N, 15.6555° E.

    How to get to Tisno and Murter and get around

    Flights to Tisno, Murter and Tisno nearest airport

    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    You'll find Tisno and Murter easy to reach from several major airports in Croatia. In fact, Tisno and Murter are near equidistant between Zadar airport and Split airport. At a distance of 75km, Zadar airport is the nearest airport to Tisno and Murter. Generally, the journey time takes less than one hour. However, the much larger Split airport is just 88km from Tisno and Murter. By comparison, this journey time takes just over one hour. If it looks like a long way from Zagreb airport to Tisno and Murter, then don't worry. At around three hours travelling time, this 340km distance passes very quickly by car or bus (a bit longer). If you want to know more about these airports, then check Split here, Zadar here and Zagreb here.

    Road, by car

    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.
    From the south

    If you're travelling from Split, then the quickest route to Tisno and Murter is to take the A1 motorway. Turn off the motorway at the Pirovac junction and follow the signs for Tisno and Murter. You'll find the journey takes around one hour ten minutes. If you want to avoid the motorway tolls, then, again, head towards the A1. But, in Prgomet, take a left, following signs for Prapatnica. At the end of the road, turn right onto the D58 and take the road to Šibenik. Thereafter, get onto the Jadranska Magistrala to Tisno and Murter.

    If you're travelling from anywhere west of Split, south of Murter, then simply take the Jadranska Magistrala. Specifically, this includes journeys from Rogoznica, Primošten and Šibenik.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Murter and Tisno? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    From the north

    If you're travelling from Zadar to Tisno and Murter, then, again, you have the choice of motorway or Magistrala. However, in this case, the time saved is negligible. Therefore, unless you've specifically heard about excess traffic on the Magistrala, take that route. But, if you're travelling from Zagreb, take the A1 motorway. Again, turn off the motorway at the Pirovac junction and follow the signs for Tisno and Murter.

    Bus to Tisno and Murter

    Travelling intercity by bus in Croatia is a fast, popular and reliable option. Indeed, you can easily reach Tisno by bus from anywhere in Croatia. Specifically, you'll find direct buses from Zadar, Split and Zagreb to Tisno. If you want to ensure your bus takes you direct to the centre of Tisno, then check when you're buying your ticket. Otherwise, you'll be dropped at the bus stop called Tisno Magistrala.

    Bus to Tisno Magistrala
    Restaurant Kapela
    As shown above, the crossroads at the Tisno Magistrala bus top, seen from Kapela. Actually, they don't look dissimilar from the crossroads you imagine American blues guitarist Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil. But, don't worry. You'll not be stranded here for long © Restaurant Kapela.

    Certainly, the greater number of buses between Split/Šibenik and Zadar go very close to Tisno and Murter, but do not drop down to leave you in the centre. Instead, they will drop you on the Jadranska Magistrala (Adriatic Highway) by Tisno restaurants Kapela and Marin. Specifically, this bus stop is called Tisno Magistrala (some locals call it 'Kapela'). If it looks on your GPS like you're still quite a way from Tisno, then that's correct. Certainly, it's quite the walk. But, don't worry.

    Walk a few metres down the road heading south, towards Tisno and stand on the right-hand side. Wait here for a local bus (slim chances). Or, better still, stick out your thumb and flag down a passing car. Sometimes, you'll find hitchhiking is not easy in Croatia. However, all residents of Tisno and Murter are very aware of this significant intercity bus stop at this quite desolate-looking place. Accordingly, many passing residents will stop, pick you up and helpfully take you to Tisno. Certainly, from experience, it's never known for anyone to remain stranded for long here during daylight hours. But, you must have the courage and gumption to stick your thumb out and request a ride.

    If you want to learn more about travelling through Croatia by bus, then look here.

    Getting around Tisno and Murter: Taxi, Boat, Public transport

    ko to tamo peva
    © Radio Television Belgrade.

    Generally, public transport on Murter ranges from negligible to non-existent. As a result, you have limited choices for travelling across the island. If you want to explore or find an alternate beach, then a bicycle is a great daytime option. But, if you want to travel from Tisno to Murter for a fancy dinner, taxi or boat taxi may be better choices.

    Murter and Tisno taxi

    Long aware of the thousands of festival goers in summertime Tisno, taxi drivers make a beeline here. There's good money to be made in this couple of months. Fares are well above what locals pay for the same distance. By all means, see if your Uber picks anything up (Bolt is a similar app option here). But, be aware you won't be the only one trying and they'll be swamped. If you have to take a taxi, then following a few simple rules will benefit. Firstly, ask and agree a price with the driver before you even get in the car. Secondly, be aware of how much your money is worth. Only a prize doughnut agrees a fare price without knowing how much a kuna is actually worth.

    Boat taxi

    If you want to avoid the generally grumpy experience of a taxi, then boat taxi is a good option. Not only are there set prices for boat taxis, but you'll arrive in style. You'll find several pick-up points around Tisno. Specifically, transfers to the festival site, Murter for dinner or Barbarellas club in Pirovac are popular options. If choosing the latter two, then be aware it's quite the distance. Also, the boat goes very fast across the cooling sea, so you may find the ride chilly. Therefore, you might want to wear a hoodie for your boat taxi ride. But, be aware you'll be stuck with it for hours afterward if you do.

    If you want to book a boat taxi during Tisno summer music festival season, then call Tisno Rent. Telephone: +385 95 853 1000.

    More information

    Light hits Betina with the sun low in the sky
    Light hits Betina with the sun low in the sky © Romulić & Stojčić.
    Tisno Tourist Board (Visit Tisno)

    Address: Istočna Gomilica 1a 22240 Tisno, Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 438 604

    Murter-Kornati Tourist Board

    Address: Rudina bb, 22243 Murter, Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 434 995

    Jezera Tourist Board (Visit Jezera)

    Address: Put Zaratića 3, 22242 Jezera, Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 439 120

    Betina Tourist Board (Visit Betina)

    Address: Dolac 2a, 22243 Betina, Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 22 436 523

    If you want to see the latest news about Tisno, Murter, Croatia music festivals or Šibenik-Knin County, then check out Total Croatia News.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:14:00 +0200
    Ludbreg in a Page: Miracle, World Centre, Iovia, Wine Road Tucked away in Varazdin County, close to the Hungarian border, is the quirky little town of Ludbreg. Croatians know it as the Centre of the World. Now get to know it for so much more.

  • Welcome to the Centre of the World!
  • How to get to Ludbreg and get around
  • 5 things not to miss
  • Where to stay?
  • Where to eat?
  • Top 5 day trips from Ludbreg
  • 5 things you didn't know about Ludbreg
  • Ludbreg Tourist Board

    Welcome to the Centre of the World!

    It is perhaps best-known as being the centre of the world, but there is far more to Ludbreg than its most famous claim. Meet Croatia's only certified miracle, a rhino called Erika who is 23,000 years old, and taste the young wines of the Ludbreg Wine Road.

    How to get to Ludbreg and get around


    Access to Ludbreg is by road. Close to the Hungarian border and less than an hour from Slovenia, it is easily accessible for foreign tourists. Travel times by car are approximately 30 minutes from Varazdin, Cakovec and Koprivnica, and 75 minutes from Zagreb. The town lies a few kilometres from the A3 motorway from Zagreb to Budapest.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Ludbreg? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Once in the town, everything is walkable, and you do not need transport to see the sights, unless you are planning to explore the Ludbreg Wine Road.


    The Ludbreg Bus Station is close to the centre of town, and there are regular buses to local destinations. If, however, you want to travel further afield, you will need to go via a bigger destination, such as Varazdin.


    If you are not in a rush, Ludbreg has a train station with a limited network. There are trains going to Zagreb, journey time between 2 hour 20 minutes, and 3.5 hours. There are also connections to Varazdin and Osijek.

    5 things not to miss in Ludbreg

    Iovia Archaeology Museum


    A great addition to Croatia's continental tourism opened in May, 2021, as the Iovia Archaeological Park opened its doors a few steps from the Centre of the World on the main square.

    The park consists of external exhibits in the park behind the 3-storey museum. Inside, there is a great timeline exhibition of the simultaneous historical timelines of the world, Croatia, and Ludbreg. The exhibition is available in several languages via multimedia, and it also covers the Grand Old Dame of Ludbreg. Rhinoceros Erike is apparently 23,000 years old, and she is looking great for her age in a new straw exhibit. You can learn more about Iovia from the opening event, as well as the official website.

    The Centre of the World


    Ask a Croatian what Ludbreg is famous for, and they will invariably tell you that it is because Ludbreg claims to be the centre of the world. The tale is a curious one indeed, and it obviously comes with a little local legend. And some on the other side of the world have heard of the claim. Check out more in the video above, but do make sure that you stand in the middle of the circle on the main square. Then clap your hands and feel the echo below. Not such a crazy notion now, perhaps?

    The Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg, Croatia's only certified miracle


    More than a million religious tourists visit Medjugorje each year, even though the alleged apparitions are still not officially recognised by the Vatican. Ludbreg, on the other hand, is home to the only authenticated miracle in all Croatia. Not only that, but if you are a religious tourist, you can actually attend Holy Mass in the presence of the chalice which contains the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg.

    While conducting Mass ini the private chapel of Count Battyhany in 1411, the priest cast doubt on the process of transubstantiation. The wine turned to blood, and the priest hid the chalice in a wall and told nobody. Terrified, he kept the secret until his deathbed, when he confided in a friend.

    The chalice found its way to the Vatican, and Pope Leo X declared the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg in 1513, before parading the miracles through the streets of Rome. There is a copy of the Papal Bull in the Chapel of the Holy Cross where the miracle took place. The chalice is on display in the main church close to the centre of the world.


    Every year, on the first weekend of September, more than 100,000 pilgrims descend on the town to commemorate the miracle. This is the only time of the year that a third unusual church is used, and it is one more curious story.

    The Croatian Government makes good on a promise 255 years later

    In 1738, when nearby Varazdin was the capital city, a plagued ravaged the region. The Government issued a decree (a copy is in the same room as the Papal Bull) that if God stopped the plague, it would build a church of thanks in the miracle town of Ludbreg.

    The plague receded and - not for the first or last time - the Croatian Government did nothing. Until 1994, in the middle of the Homeland War, when a new church was built in a nearby park

    The park is beautiful, but the church is not. And it is completely unused apart from this one weekend in September.

    Ludbreg Wine Road


    Ludbreg has a deserved reputation as a quality wine destination, predominantly for light, young wines.

    The Ludbreg Wine Road includes: Restaurant/Tasting Room “Arabella” Globočec, Wine Cellar “Makar”, Wine House “Kirić”, Restaurant “Črn-Bel”, Winery “Stručić”, and Tasting Room “Kežman”.

    Here you can try: Graševina, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Green Silvanac, Chardonnay, Traminac, Moslavac and Manzoni, Muscat and Pinot Noir, Frankovka, Cabernet Sauvignon and Poštenjak.

    Bakina Hiza - Ludbreg as It Once Was


    A couple of minutes from the centre of town is the delightful Bakina Hiza (Grandma's House), a must-visit for all the family. A group of local enthusiasts started collecting items from the past, in an attempt to preserve Ludbreg's heritage for future generations.

    The result is an impressive collection of traditional tools outside, and a rich tapestry of memorabilia from the Ludbreg way of life as it once was. Check it out in the video above.

    Where to stay in Ludbreg

    While most coastal destinations close down over the winter, Ludbreg boasts no less than three hotels which are open all year round. Hotel Amalia on the main square, and Hotel Raj opposite the park are the more established, but Hotel Crnkovic in the centre has proved a great addition since it opened in 2020.

    There are also several great private accommodation options, including villas with pools. Check out what is available here.

    Where to eat in Ludbreg

    Surrounded by vineyards and beautiful nature, the Crn-Bel restaurant is a brilliant spot for lunch or dinner. They do great grilled meats, superior pizzas from a wood-fired oven and sharing platters, with most ingredients sourced locally. Restoran Raj in the town centre is much more of an informal, family place, with pizzas for the kids and shared grills or deep-fried seafood for the parents. They also serve Mexican food, as well as ribs.

    Top 5 day trips from Ludbreg


    If you think Ludbreg is unusual, drive south-east for 50 minutes to the delightful little town of Djurdjevac. Home to Croatia's only desert, complete with its own family of camels (yes, really), Djurdjevac is also home to Croatia's smallest old town. Its brave defenders managed to defeat the besieging Ottoman army by firing their last rooster inot the Turkish camp. The Turks thought this was a sign that the town was well-stocked with supplies and gave up on the siege. This historic event is celebrated in late June with the Picokijada festival. Learn more about Djurdjevac from my visit a few years ago.


    The former capital of Croatia, Varazdin is the capital of Varazdin County, where Ludbreg is located. It is a magnificent Baroque city with one of the most delightful old towns in South-East Europe. Try and combine your visit with Spancirfest in August, the biggest street festival in Croatia. More in Varazdin in a Page.

    Podravina Adventure


    A new initiative, Podravina Adventure, from the local and regional tourist boards to present the culture, gourmet, heritage, nature and active tourism potential of the Podravina region was launched in May, 2021. You can see more about the launch in the video above. For more information, check out the Koprivnica Krizevacka Tourist Board website.


    Ludbreg is very close to Zagreb. Just 75 minutes away by car (largely motorway), the capital is an obvious draw for a day trip or more. But is also means that Ludbreg is very accessible for a day trip from Zagreb. And with such a large Catholic population, why not have a day trip with Sunday Mass in the presence of Croatia's only miracle? You can learn more about what Zagreb has to offer in Zagreb in a Page.


    If you like the wines of Ludbreg, then the short trip to Medjimurje should be next on the list. Around 30 minutes by car, Croatia's smallest county is tucked up in the northernmost part of the country on the Hungarian and Slovenian border.

    This is gourmet, cycling and spa heaven, as Medjimurje excels in all three. Learn more in the TC Medjimurje in a Page guide.

    5 things you didn't know about Ludbreg

    Ludbreg has hosted Croatia's largest international young wines competition for 30 years


    Wine is a very serious business in Ludbreg, as one can see from the establishment of the Ludbreg Wine Road, which is now over 10 years old. Lesser known, perhaps, is the fact that the town has held the largest international festival for young wines in Croatia for 30 years. Now organised by the Trsek Association, it takes place each January and is quite an affair.

    The largest statue of St Vincent, protector of the vineyards, is in Ludbreg


    Wine is a very serious thing in Ludbreg, and who better to protect the vineyards than St Vincent himself, protector of vineyards? The Ludbreg Wine Association, Trsek, constructed the largest St Vincent statue in the world back in 2010. The statue is a few kilometres outside the town, but worth the effort, as well as the climb to the top. For the views are magnificent, and you can see far into Hungary.

    An active destination which translates as Crazy Hill


    Lud (crazy) and Breg (hill) combine to give Ludbreg a rather unusual name in Croatian - Crazy Hill. The name has been used a little in the branding of the town, especially when it comes to adrenaline tourism. Check out the Crazy Hill Trail Ludbreg 2021 above, then learn more about the town's considerable active tourism offer in this TCN feature - Discover Active Ludbreg: Canoeing, Kayaking, Cycling, Hiking, Walking.

    An Olympic gold medallist is celebrated on the main square


    In 2016, at the Rio Olympics in Brazil, a relatively unknown 21-year-old Croatian javelin thrower called Sara Kolak stunned the world with an immense throw of 66.18 m, which was enough for her to return to her native Ludbreg with Olympic Gold.

    A crazy party greeted her return, and that legendary throw has been immortalised with a statue on the main square, close to the centre of the world. Follow her line as you walk through the square, and you will see more numbers to recognise her achievements, as she threw even further the following year in Switzerland.

    A Ludbreg resident was designing seaplanes 100 years ago


    Ludbreg may be far from the coast, but one local resident had dreams of the Adriatic. Close to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where the miracle took place, is a small replica of an aeroplane. This is to commemorate the town's most creative son - Rudolf Fizir.

    Born in 1891 in Ludbreg, Fizir had a prolific career in aviation design and construction, despite the fact that there was no aviation industry locally at the time. In total, he designed and built no less than 18 types of aircraft (including 3 seaplanes and 2 amphibians), some of which were mass produced. You can learn more about his immense contribution in this TCN feature.

    More information

    Ludbreg Tourist Board
    Trg Svetog Trojstva 14
    42230 Ludbreg
    Tel: +385 (0)42 810 690

    To follow the latest news from Ludbreg, check out the dedicated TCN page.

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:31:18 +0200
    Risnjak National Park in a Page: Mountains, Views, Kupa river source, Tour A special place, reserved only for those who truly love nature - Risnjak National Park.

  • Welcome to Risnjak National Park Croatia!
  • 5 things not to miss in Risnjak National Park
  • Animals of Risnjak National Park
  • Accommodation: Where to stay?
  • Where is Risnjak National Park? Map
  • Weather and Climate
  • How to get to Risnjak National Park
  • Snježnik and Risnjak
    As shown above, Snježnik and Risnjak © Marko Vrdoljak.

    Welcome to Risnjak National Park Croatia!

    In some of Croatia's National Parks, the sights you'll see will immediately leave you breathless. Descending streams, epic mountain ranges, incredible rock formations demand your attention. Hidden beneath Croatia's most heavily forested area, Risnjak National Park is more subdued in its charm.

    Sure, it has two mountain peaks, offering fantastic views. But, there are bigger. Though it grows to become a near 300 kilometre monster, some parts of the Kupa river run gently through Risnjak. In a country that boasts the Danube, Drava, Sava and Cetina, certainly, there are more astonishing river runs than this. But, follow the Kupa upstream in Risnjak, and you'll get your reward.

    Thick, dense forests covering Risnjak National Park
    Thick, dense forests covering Risnjak National Park © Ivo Biočina.

    Passing historic villages, meadows filled with butterflies and through thick, ageless forests, you'll eventually come to the Kupa's source. It's a deceptively placid beginning. Beneath the peaceful, turquoise and blue surface lies one of the most powerful, most extended and deepest wellsprings in Croatia. You wouldn't know it at first glance. It's not perceptible even if you stare.

    Forests and mountain meadows of Risnjak National Park.
    Forests and mountain meadows © Risnjak National Park.
    Adjust to the pace of the forest and the seasons

    Within this experience lies the secret of Risnjak. This is not a National Park of instant, shocking thrills. More, this is journey of experience and discovery. You need to immerse yourself in this landscape to unlock its secrets. Only when deep in the woods, silent and still, might you catch sight of its shyest residents – rare birds chief among them. But, if you have the patience, you'll be rewarded. In this unhurried nature, you have to slow down. Here, the life surrounding moves mostly with the pace of the changing seasons. Adjust yourself to that inevitable momentum and Risnjak will be revealed.

    5 things not to miss in Risnjak National Park

    1) Mountains, hiking and walking

    View from the peaks
    View from the peaks © Risnjak National Park.

    Without a doubt, one of the most popular activities in Risnjak is hiking. You'll follow in the footsteps of a thousand nature lovers on these paths and trails. Both the peaks of Snježnik and Risnjak - the park's two highest - are not difficult to reach. As well as the rewarding views from the tops, you'll pass by more interesting topography, such as the Greben reef and the vast Lazac meadow.

    On the Leska Trail in Risnjak National Park.
    On the Leska Trail © Risnjak National Park.

    If you want a beautiful walk in nature but without the strenuous climb, then take the Leska Trail. You'll see great highlights of the park's natural and cultural heritage on this 4.2 km footpath near the main entrance. Both self-directed tours and guided tours of Leska are available.

    2) Views from the peaks and in the forests

    Breathtaking views from a viewpoint near Razloge
    Breathtaking views from a viewpoint near Razloge © PepeJanja.

    After hiking Snježnik, you might be surprised at the vista. You'll see the rocky peak itself is surrounded by mountain meadows. In summer, they're dotted with wildflowers. Also, you'll want to linger awhile on the lookout at 1506 metres. Its view is spectacular.

    In the trees of Risnjak National Park.
    In the trees © Risnjak National Park.

    However, not all of the best sights in Risnjak are unobstructed from on high. In fact, some of the park's most picturesque scenes can be found deep in the forest. You'll experience a peacefulness and solitude there, surrounded by the sounds of birds and smell of trees. Sunlight filters through the high branches. Offering shade in summer, during winter they often bear a blanket of snow.

    3) Source of the Kupa river

    source of the Kupa in Risnjak National Park.
    As shown above, source of the Kupa © Risnjak National Park.

    At nearly 300km in length, the Kupa river is a mighty flow of water. Almost two-thirds of its length forms a natural border between Slovenia and Croatia. And, its story starts in Risnjak National Park.

    The Kupa in Risnjak National Park
    In view of bird-filled forests, the Kupa in Risnjak © Risnjak National Park.

    In fact, the start of the story is almost as epic as the river itself. Because the source of the Kupa river is one of the most powerful, most extended and deepest wellsprings in Croatia. Located 321 metres above sea level, the enchanting turquoise green and blue lake is surrounded by pretty wilderness. Even within a National Park, this beautiful spot is awarded a special level of nationally recognised protection.

    If you want details of the hiking routes you can take to reach the Kupa source, then look here.

    4) Active Risnjak

    Although best known for walks into the wild, there are other activities that will unlock Risnjak. Both in and around the park, you'll find the following...

    Ski slopes of Platak.
    Ski slopes of Platak.

    On the western border of the park you'll find Platak. On account of its close proximity to Zagreb and Rijeka, this small slope is Croatia's most popular skiing spot. What's more, after you've travelled to the top by ski-lift, you can see the sea. Both sledding and snowboarding are also accommodated here. Relatively inexpensive, it can be crowded. Although, a morning visit or even nighttime skiing option lets you beat the crowds.

    Mountain biking

    Explore the park on a mountain bike or electric bike. Indeed, you can rent either within the park itself. Unofficial trails through Risnjak range from 4.2 km up to the longest of 40 km. As shown above, mountain bike routes through the typical topography of Gorski Kotar. If you want to learn more about cycling in Risnjak and Gorski Kotar, then look here.

    Fly fishing
    On the Kupa, fly fishing in Risnjak
    On the Kupa, fly fishing in Risnjak © Risnjak National Park.

    The clear waters of the Kupa's early course hold Brown trout and Grayling. Within beautiful, peaceful scenery, try your hand at catching some. Starting in mid-May, the season runs until autumn.

    Animal tours / bird watching

    Several shelters have been constructed in the park to help you catch sight of its wildlife. Plant yourself in one of these and bring your binoculars. Birdwatchers are used to doing this. if you want to see the bears, then contact the park to ask about either tour possibilities, or the best time to go.

    5) Guslica


    Of all the peaks in Risnjak, Guslica may be the most mysterious. On the top, you'll find an abandoned Yugoslav People's Army complex. Actually, it's not open to visitors. But, as you can see in the video, some do go inside. As shown above, there's an eeriness to this curious place. You'll find it about one hour's walk from Snježnik, at an altitude of 1490m.

    Animals of Risnjak National Park

    purple emperor (Apatura iris)
    As shown above, purple emperor (Apatura iris) © Bernard DUPONT.

    Up to the present time, a total of 105 species of butterflies have been recorded here. Indeed, the Kupa valley and western slopes of Dimovac hill are important sites for butterflies. No less than 69 species have been recorded in this area alone, including 8 of the park's 11 endangered butterflies. Specifically, the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia), purple emperor (Apatura iris) and woodland white (Leptidea morsei). Also, checkered blue (Scolintatides orion), Nickerl´s fritallary (Mellicta aurelia), green-underside blue (Glauscopsyche elexis) and woodland ringlet (Erebia medusa).

    peregrine falcon
    As shown above, a peregrine falcon © Eric Kilby.

    Until now, 114 bird species have been registered as living or visiting the park. They include endangered species like Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus and predators like Peregrine falcon, Pygmy-owl, Ural owl and Tawny owl. Also, if you're lucky, you might catch sight of a White-backed woodpecker or Three-toed woodpecker here.

    Eurasian lynx kitten
    As shown above, a Eurasian lynx kitten © Bernard Landgraf.

    Both the grey wolf and brown bear make homes inside Risnjak National Park. In fact, many come here specifically to catch sight of the bears, from a safe distance. However, rarest of all the predators living here is the Eurasian lynx.

    Accommodation: Where to stay in Risnjak National Park

    Kod Korita Rooms in Crni Lug
    As shown above, Kod Korita Rooms in Crni Lug.

    On the park's doorstep, you'll find accommodation options limited, but very good. If you want to stay within the actual park, then try Risnjak National Park guest-house. Check the price list here. Also, you'll find 43 beds available at the Josip Schlosser Klekovski mountain hut, just below the peak of Risnjak. It's open from 1st May until 31st October.

    If you're looking for something fancier, then try Kod Korita Rooms in Crni Lug, seen here. Otherwise, the nearby city of Rijeka is very close and you'll find a huge range of accommodation options there. If you want to have a closer look at Rijeka, then check our detailed guide.

    Where is Risnjak National Park? Map

    Situated in Gorski Kotar, western Croatia, Risnjak National Park is around 15km northeast of Kvarner capital Rijeka. Its northernmost part stretches out to the border with Slovenia and its westernmost section borders famous ski resort Platak.

    Risnjak National Park Entrance

    You'll find the main entrance to Risnjak National Park in Crni Lug, 14km west of Delnice. Generally, this is the entrance most will use visiting the park. However, it is not the only route into the vast park area. If you're in the nearby ski resort of Platak, then you'll find a much quicker route in than via Crni Lug. Also, you'll need different access points if visiting the park's northern section. For instance, if you want to hike to the source of the Kupa river.

    Weather and Climate

    In the forests of Ribnjak National Park during winter
    In the forests of Ribnjak National Park during winter © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Nearby Rijeka has the reputation of being Croatia's rainiest city. Certainly, looking around the rich green of Risnjak, you'll not be surprised to learn it's also rainy here In fact, Risnjak sits in Gorski Kotar, the most densely green of all Croatia's mountainous areas.

    Generally, the park has a warm and moderately rainy climate. You'll find the weather pleasant in Risnjak from May through October. November is the rainiest month, when on average, rain falls for 15.2 days, typically aggregating up to 117mm of precipitation. Also, this month has around 82% humidity. December through April, winter's can be cold and not brief in Risnjak. Markedly, and peaks above 1,200 metres belong to the sub-arctic, snowy forest climate zone. However, if you dress appropriately, you'll find Risnjak is very picturesque when covered in snow. If you want to see the weather in Risnjak today and for the next few days, then look below.

    How to get to Risnjak National Park

    Flights, nearest airport to Risnjak National Park
    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of around 35km, the nearest airport to Risnjak National Park is Rijeka airport. If you want to learn more about the airport, then look here.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    Generally, the easiest way to get to Risnjak National Park by car is to head for Delnice. Not only is the town on the main A1 motorway between Zagreb and Rijeka, but also it's just 5km from the main park entrance.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Risnjak National Park? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    More information

    Risnjak National Park

    Address: Bijela Vodica 48, 51317 Crni Lug, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (Kvarner), Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 51 836 133 / +385 (0) 51 836 261

    Kvarner County Tourist Board

    Address: N. Tesle 2, 51410 Opatija, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 51 272 988 / +385 (0) 51 623 333 / +385 (0) 51 628 888

    If you want to get the latest news for Kvarner, Risnjak and all of Croatia's National Parks, then check Total Croatia News here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Sat, 05 Jun 2021 10:35:06 +0200
    North Velebit National Park in a Page: Mountains, Hiking, Weather, Map Secluded for millennia, the mountains of North Velebit National Park challenge you to unlock their mystifying beauty.

  • Welcome to North Velebit National Park Croatia!
  • 5 things not to miss in Northern Velebit National Park
  • Animals of Northern Velebit
  • Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi
  • Where is North Velebit National Park? Map and Entrance
  • North Velebit National Park weather
  • Where to stay?
  • How to get to North Velebit National Park
  • Plan a safe hiking visit to North Velebit National Park
  • Welcome to North Velebit National Park Croatia!

    Extraordinary peaks of North Velebit National Park
    Extraordinary peaks of North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Generally, it's rare to find two National Parks within just one mountain range. But, then, the Velebit mountains are rather special. In fact, the whole mountain range is designated a Nature Park. As such, it's inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Within it lies both Paklenica National Park and North Velebit National Park.

    Often called Northern Velebit National Park, this is a distinct and varied part of Velebit. Straddling two different climate regions, rare plants and animals live here. They make their homes in a landscape rich in forests, valleys, mountains, caves and supernatural-looking rock formations. Between these features, the well-trodden paths of walkers and hikers. Previously, they've visited to be astounded by the stunning natural phenomena here. Maybe you should be next?

    5 things not to miss in Northern Velebit National Park

    Framed by the sky, North Velebit National Park
    Framed by the sky, North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    1) Mountain Hiking in Northern Velebit

    Into the hills
    Into the hills © Alan-Čaplar.

    Over 30 hiking trails run through the wildly different landscapes of North Velebit National Park. Indeed, almost all of them lead you to different mountain peaks. If you want to check out recommended hiking routes of Northern Velebit, then look here.

    Winter walks in North Velebit National Park
    Winter walks in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.
    North Velebit National Park Hiking Trail Map

    Park authorities recommend the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service map for orienteering in Paklenica National Park. If you want to check it out, then look here. Additionally, try out the Interactive hiking map of Croatia (developed by Croatian Mountaineering Federation) here.

    Season's end in Northern Velebit
    Season's end in Northern Velebit © Romulić & Stojčić.

    2) Velebit Botanical Garden

    Entrance to Velebit Botanical Garden
    Entrance to Velebit Botanical Garden © Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit.

    In the same area as Zavižan, you'll find a fascinating microcosm of the Velebit mountains. Established in 1967, Velebit Botanical Garden collects and preserves the region’s wealth of plant life. Shortly after being established, the entire surrounding area was proclaimed a Special Botanical Reserve; Zavižan; Balinovac; Velika Kosa.

    Kitaibel's feather (Aquilegia kitaibelii)
    As shown above, Kitaibel's feather (Aquilegia kitaibelii) © np paklenica.

    Today, you'll find some 300 plant species in the Botanical Garden. Some grow wild, naturally, while others have been brought in from other areas of Velebit. Including some rare indigenous species; Velebit degenia (Degenia velebitica); Croatian sibirea (Sibirea altaiensis ssp. Croatica); Edelweis Leontopodium alpinum ssp. Krasense); Velebit pink (Dianthus velebiticus); Kitaibel's primrose (Primula kitaibeliana); Kitaibel's feather (Aquilegia kitaibelii); Croatian bittercress (Cardaminopsis croatica). Come and visit in July and July, when most of the plants are in blossom.

    3) The epic views

    As seen from Northern Velebit, the Kvarner islands
    As seen from Northern Velebit, the Kvarner islands © Romulić & Stojčić.

    If you want brilliant views of the sea and islands, then you'll get that in North Velebit. Simply head up to the Zavižan weather station, not far from the main entrance. You'll find several easy walking trails from there to nearby peaks. Once you've found a viewpoint, you'll be rewarded by a vista of the Croatian coast and the Kvarner islands. Unforgettable.

    Kvarner islands from Northern Velebit
    As shown above, Kvarner islands from Northern Velebit © Frane Klarin.

    Alternatively, you'll find the topography of continental Lika just as wondrous. Not only will you see wide panoramas, verdant valleys, and forests, but also many mystifying rock formations.

    4) Cycling through Northern Velebit

    If you thought the only way to see North Velebit was on foot, then you were wrong. Although, there are no dedicated cycling tracks within the National Park. However, you'll find a network of public and forest roads that can show you many highlights. Furthermore, you'll find a network of cycling tracks in the wider Velebit Nature Park. These link to the public and forest roads of North Velebit National Park. Subsequently, you shouldn't miss North Velebit if you're on a cycling tour of the region.

    Colours up close, the flora of North Velebit National Park
    Colours up close, the flora of North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.
    Suggested cycling routes of Northern Velebit National Park
    1. Krasno; Babić Sića; Zavižan; Veliki Lom; Krasno (43 km).
    2. Krasno; Babić Sića; Veliki Lom; Careva kuća; Veliki Lubenovac; Tudorevo; Alan; Mrkvište; Krasno (75 km).
    3. Štirovača; Mrkvište; Alan; Tudorevo; Veliki Lubenovac; Štirovača (33 km).
    Tiny respite in North Velebit National Park
    Tiny respite in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    5) The singular Štirovača valley and forests

    Buildings in the Štirovača valley
    As shown above, buildings in the Štirovača valley © np sjeverni velebit.

    In the far southeast of Northern Velebit National Park - and beyond - you'll find Štirovača. Lying at around 1100m above sea level, this is a beautiful, vast and verdant valley. In particular, it's known for huge coniferous forests and the Klepina Duliba old-growth forest reserve. Due to the size of the valley, the topography here is very different from much of the park. Not only will you find a spring here, but also it's the park's sole source of drinking water. It feeds wet grasslands that surround and ponds, some man-made, essential to some inhabitants.

    Under the branches in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Animals of Northern Velebit

    Both massive predators and minute cave species live in this remote part of Croatia. Here are just a few of them.

    Living together, the flora and fauna of North Velebit National Park
    Living together, the flora and fauna of North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Up to the present time, over 70 species of butterfly have been identified in the park. Some of the most interesting species include Apollo; Clouded Apollo; Green-underside Blue; Chequered Blue Butterfly; Purple-edged Copper; Southern Festoon.

    Biokovo Nature Park. Poskok vipers (Vipera ammodytes)
    Poskok vipers (Vipera ammodytes), a protected species in Croatia. © Elena Terkel.

    Until now, 16 species of reptiles have been identified in the park, the most common being lizards Slow Worm; Horvath’s Rock Lizard; Viviparous Lizard; Sand Lizard. Also, several snakes live here; Western Whip Snake; Aesculapian Snake; European Ratsnake; Horn-Nosed Viper (Vipera ammodytes).

    White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
    As shown above, a White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) © Peter Prokosch.

    Up to the present time, over a hundred bird species have been identified as living or visiting the park. In detail, some of the rarest and most interesting include Eurasian Pygmy Owl; Tengmalm's Owl; Eurasian Eagle Owl; Ural Owl; White-backed Woodpecker; Three-toed Woodpecker; Golden Eagle; European Honey Buzzard; Short-toed Eagle; Booted Eagle.

    Eurasian lynx kitten
    As shown above, a Eurasian lynx kitten © Bernard Landgraf.

    Up until now, 40 mammals have been found living or roaming through the parkland. Although they're among the most common, you can't deny the majesty of roe deer and red deer if you see them. Of the larger predators, Eurasian lynx, Grey wolf and Brown bear are among the rarest.

    Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi

    Otherworldly rock formations of North Velebit National Park
    Otherworldly rock formations of North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Within the park, you'll find two areas designated as unique geological areas of interest. Specifically, Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. Both mystifying and beautiful, they together form an area of around 22 km2 containing 40 summits over 1600m. Between them, you'll see Skrbina Draga and the Veliki Lubenovac field.

    Rožanski kukovi
    Rozanski Kukovi from Rossijev Kuk
    As shown above, Rozanski Kukovi from Rossijev Kuk © Edo Vričić.

    Both bizarre and sometimes otherworldly, in Rožanski kukovi chasms, spires and caves of karst collide. In an area of about 18 km2, you'll here find more than fifty stony peaks, all over 1600m. If you want to see the highlights, then look out for Novotnijev kuk, Rossilijev kuk and Premužićev kuk.

    Hajdučki kukovi

    Both wild terrain and a complex underground drainage system mark Hajdučki kukovi. What's more, you'll here find Lukina jama, the deepest mountain cave in Croatia and one of the deepest in southeast Europe. It boasts a depth of -1431 meters and is named after Ozren Lukić, the local caving enthusiast who discovered it in 1992.

    Pasarićev kuk and Jerković
    As shown above, Pasarićev kuk and Jerković © Alan Čaplar.

    Where is North Velebit National Park? Map and Entrance

    Certainly, as its name suggests, you'll find Northern Velebit National Park in the north of the Velebit mountain range. Specifically, it's a 109 km2 area of Croatia's largest mountain range and is located in Lika-Senj County. In fact, all of Velebit is a Nature Park. However, two sections of the Velebit mountains have greater protected status as national Parks. Namely, North Velebit National Park and, further south, Paklenica National Park.


    Main entrance: Babić Siča

    Northern Velebit National Park as an authority is based in the village of Krasno. Furthermore, it's from this village that you access the route to the park's main entrance, Babić Siča. Both the village and the main entrance are located at the very north of the park. If you want to visit the Zavižan mountain peak, then this is the entrance to use. Both the Zavižan valley and Velebit Botanical Garden lie beneath this peak and you access those using the same park entrance. You can get to Babić Siča from the direction of Oltari using a 10km slightly ascending paved road. Alternatively, travel from Krasno via the hamlet of Vukelići, driving 5km by dirt road. GPS coordinates for the main entrance are 44.8141° N, 14.9784° E.

    Entrance to the south of the park
    trees in Štirovača
    As shown above, trees in Štirovača © np sjeverni velebit.

    If you're visiting features in the south of the park, then there are different ways you can enter. Both the Štirovača forest Nature Preserve and the Mountain Hut Alan are in the area of the park's southern section. Štirovača is a 29 km drive from Krasno. If visiting Alan, then turn west, towards the sea, 3 km before the descent to Štirovača valley (in the direction of Jablanac). From here, a 9 km unpaved road takes you to Mountain Hut Alan.

    Additionally, you can reach Alan from the Adriatic Highway above Jablanac by a 17 km road. Also, you can get to Štirovača from the direction of Gospić via Pazarište by a forest road.

    Price of tickets for entry to North Velebit National Park
    A sea of green in North Velebit National Park
    A sea of green in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    A standard ticket to enter North Velebit National Park costs 45 kuna. The ticket is valid for 3 full days exploration of the park. If you're arriving in the park on foot or on a bicycle, then you're eligible for a discount. Discounted tickets cost just 30 kuna. Both pensioners, and students, the disabled, and children under 14 are also eligible. Entry to the park for children under 6 is free. If you're visiting the park in a group, then the price of ticket is 35 kuna per person. Also, you can buy tickets online, in advance, here.

    North Velebit National Park weather

    Winter through Northern Velebit trees
    Winter through Northern Velebit trees © Romulić & Stojčić.

    In Northern Velebit, the climate is warm and temperate. Although, as the surrounding greenery suggests, rainfall is significant. In fact, it rains here sometimes even in the driest months. The climate here is classified as Cfb by the Köppen-Geiger system. Average temperature in Gospić is 9.6 °C | 49.2 °F. About 1358 mm | 53.5 inch of rain falls annually. June, July, August and September have the warmest and most pleasant weather. Usually, you'll find the coldest month being January. If you want to see the area today, then check out the forecast from nearby Gospić (below).

    Where to stay

    Linden Tree Retreat
    As shown above, Linden Tree Retreat.

    Because of the park's size, accommodation options depend very much on your preference. Certainly, you can combine a visit to the park with a stay on the coast. Indeed, you'll find good seaside accommodation in Jablanac, Lukovo, Sveti Juraj and Senj, all near the park's north entrance.

    However, if North Velebit National Park is central to visit, then chances are you love the mountains. You're not alone. The interior of Lika-Senj County is very well adapted to guests like you. Accordingly, you'll find great accommodation options in Krasno, Kuterevo and Otočac, all near the park's north. In fact, at a distance of around 35km, Otočac is midway between two National Parks. Namely, North Velebit and Plitvice Lakes. Therefore, this whole interior region makes a great base for escaping into nature. You'll find many more accommodation options on the road between Otočac and Plitvice.

    If you want to stay near the south of the park, then again you have options. Look on the booking platform below. One highly rated choice near the south of the park is the luxury Linden Tree Retreat in Velika Plana.

    Mountain Huts / Mountain Shelters in the park
    Welcome sight of Zavižan mountain house
    Welcome sight of Zavižan mountain house © Romulić & Stojčić.

    You'll find several places to shelter and stay within the actual park. However, most of these are quite basic. Generally, they're equipped for a single-night stay, maybe to break up a two-day hike. Certainly, you won't find them suitable for longer stays. If you want to learn more about overnight stays within the park, then ask park authorities about; Shepherd's hut Alan; Zavižan mountain hut; Alan mountain hut; Rossi's shelter.

    tree stump
    Strange shapes in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    How to get to North Velebit National Park

    Flights, nearest airport to North Velebit National Park

    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    Such is the size of North Velebit National Park, the nearest airport depends on which side you want to enter. For instance, Štirovača forest, just to the park's southeast, is 150km from Zadar airport. By comparison, the park's north entrance is less than 100km from Rijeka airport. Certainly, you'll find the park within striking distance of these both.

    Road, by car

    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    If you travelling from Rijeka, then take the D8 coastal road (Adriatic highway). Leave the road at Sveti Juraj, heading inland, following signs for the park. If you're travelling from Zagreb, then take the A1 motorway in the direction of Rijeka. After passing through Karlovac, you'll leave the direction of Rijeka at the Bosiljevo junction, staying on the A1. For around 80km you'll travel the European route E71, following signs for Zadar. Leave the road at the Otočac junction, following signs for Švica, Krasno and North Velebit National Park.

    Similarly, if travelling from Zadar to the northern entrance, take the E71 north, again leaving at Otočac. However, you'll also find alternate routes into the park's southern entrances. Both the Adriatic Highway and the D50 can lead you towards these, the latter via Gospić.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from North Velebit National Park? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Plan a safe hiking visit to North Velebit National Park

    Shades of North Velebit National Park
    Shades of North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    If you’re going hiking in North Velebit National Park, then plan your route before you set off. Tell someone outside your hiking party about the route you plan to take. In fact, it’s a good idea to leave a map of your route at your lodgings. Make sure you have appropriate footwear. Specifically, trainers and sandals are not appropriate for tackling mountain areas. Wear boots for strenuous hikes, even in summer. And, make sure you check the weather forecast.

    Regardless of how long you plan to be in the park, take enough fresh drinking water. Equally important, once you’ve finished, please don’t leave any empty plastic bottles behind. Additionally, take fully charged mobile phones.

    Course ground in North Velebit National Park
    Course ground in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Emergency help

    If you get into trouble on the mountains, then call emergency services at the earliest opportunity. The emergency phone number for Croatia is 112. Read all you need to know about emergency services in Croatia here.

    More information

    Linear autumn
    Linear autumn in North Velebit National Park © Romulić & Stojčić.
    North Velebit National Park

    Address: Krasno 96, 53274 Krasno, Lika-Senj County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 53 665 380

    Lika-Senj County Tourist Board

    Address: Budačka 12, Gospić, Lika-Senj County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 53 574 687

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Thu, 03 Jun 2021 03:34:31 +0200
    Paklenica National Park in a Page: Climbing, Hiking, Accommodation, Map A voyage of discovery through the wild terrain of Paklenica National Park. Your reward? Breathtaking scenery and epic views, where mountains, canyons, and the coast collide.

  • Welcome to Paklenica National Park, Starigrad, Zadar County, Croatia!
  • The Canyons of Paklenica
  • Hiking Routes: The Trails of Paklenica
  • Paklenica National Park Climbing
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Manita peć cave
  • Where to stay in Paklenica National Park?
  • Paklenica National Park Entrance, Tickets/Fees and Opening Hours
  • Paklenica Weather
  • How to get to Paklenica National Park and get around
  • Planning for a Safe Visit to Paklenica National Park
  • Welcome to Paklenica National Park, Starigrad, Zadar County, Croatia!

    Many shades of Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić
    Many shades of Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić.

    Some of Croatia's beautiful National Parks and Nature Parks have been tamed. Indeed, some are so accessible, you can sit back and relax - on a boat, on a train - watching the view pass by. By comparison, Paklenica National Park demands more respect. This is a walk into the wild.

    Indeed, so wild is Paklenica National Park that its experience can only truly be unlocked on foot. Containing two of Velebit's highest peaks, Vaganski vrh (1,757 meters) and Sveto brdo (1,753 meters), the walking is sometimes not unchallenging. But, that challenge is exactly why many come.

    View from the peaks of Paklenica
    View from the peaks of Paklenica © Ivan Čorić.

    One of the most popular hiking sites in Croatia, Paklenica is also one of the most famous climbing locations in southeastern Europe. Sheer karst cliffs invite international visitors, rewarding them with views across a landscape unrepeated in Croatia.


    Certainly, Paklenica is not the only mountain range in Croatia protected as a National or Nature Park. But, it is the only one with two, deep river canyons lying within it and from whose mountain tops you can see the sea.

    Within this gloriously diverse topography, plant and wildlife thrive. They've long been protected by the difficult terrain. It's easy to imagine an animal being satisfied living here. Forests and mountain meadows, deep river gorges and unrelenting stretches of unblemished rock, it's a landscape with endless opportunities. And those opportunities are also open to you.


    The Canyons of Paklenica

    Mala Paklenica
    Mala Paklenica
    As shown above, Mala Paklenica © Paklenica National Park.

    Previously, water ran forcefully through Mala Paklenica Canyon. In fact, that's the reason it's here. These days, this 12 km long and 400–500 wide canyon is often dry. At its narrowest, it is only 10 m wide. Surrounding cliffs rise up to a height of 650 m.

    Water falling off Paklenica
    Water falling off Paklenica © Aleksandar Gospić.
    Velika Paklenica
    Epic shades of Paklenica
    Epic shades of Paklenica © Ivan Čorić.

    14 km long and 500–800 m wide, Velika Paklenica canyon is an epic trail offering most of the park activities. At its narrowest, it's only 50 m wide. Vertical cliffs, rising in parts over 700 m, line both sides of the canyon. Within the narrowest parts, you'll find rock climbers clinging to the karst.

    Hiking Routes: The Trails of Paklenica

    Autumn trails in Paklenica
    Autumn trails in Paklenica © Ivan Čorić.

    Altogether, there are around 1000 registered hiking trails in Croatia. A not inconsiderable 70 of these run through the South Velebit area. Subsequently, this is one of the most popular hiking regions in the country. Among all the hiking routes through Paklenica, some can be extremely demanding. If you want to challenge yourself, then you can find out more about them from PD Paklenica (see below). But, for now, we'll show you some of the recommended hiking routes and the sights you can see. All journey times below cover from start point to destination. They do not include time spent on returning.

    Under 2 hours

    1) Velika Paklenica canyon - Anića kuk - Foresters house Lugarnica - Mountain hut Paklenica
    Anica kuk in Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić
    Anica kuk in Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić.

    On this entry-level hike, you'll walk past an old water mill, Velika Paklenica stream, flora and fauna and a climbing site. Also, you'll see Anića kuk, Velika Paklenica canyon, karst relief and old settlements.

    Paklenica Canyon
    As shown above, Paklenica Canyon @ Ivan Čorić.
    Difficulty: 1.5/5
    Hiking time: 2 hours
    2) Velika Paklenica canyon - Anića kuk - Manita peć cave
    In the shadows of Paklenica
    In the shadows of Paklenica © Aleksandar Gospić.

    On this easy hike, you'll walk past Velika Paklenica stream, flora and fauna and a climbing site. Also, you'll see Anića kuk, Velika Paklenica canyon, karst relief and Manita peć cave.

    Viewpoint in front of Manita peć
    Viewpoint in front of Manita peć @ Paklenica National Park.
    Difficulty: 2/5
    Hiking time: 1 hour 30 minutes


    1) Mountain hut - Buljma Pass - Mountain shelter Struge
    Paklenica from Buljma pass
    As shown above, Paklenica from Buljma pass © Intipacha.

    On this trail, you'll see flora and fauna, glacier remnants, karst relief and panoramic views.

    Buljma pass, Paklenica National Park
    As shown above, Buljma pass @ Ivan Čorić.
    Difficulty: 2.5/5
    Hiking time: 3 hours 30 minutes

    Over 5 hours

    1) Mountain hut Paklenica - Crni vrh - Velika Močila - Grabove valley - Velika Paklenica canyon
    Velika Močila
    As shown above, Velika Močila @ Paklenica National Park.

    On this trail, you'll walk past traditional architecture, black pine and beech forests. Also, you'll see panoramic views, karst fields and their flora and fauna.

    Grabove valley
    As shown above, Grabove valley @ Paklenica National Park.
    Difficulty: 3.5/5
    Hiking time: 6 hours
    2) Mountain hut Paklenica - Mountain shelter Ivine vodice - Sveto brdo - Mountain shelter Vlaški grad
    A trail through the forest © Paklenica National Park.
    A trail through the forest © Paklenica National Park.

    On this hike, you'll walk past mountain grasslands and beech forests. Also, you'll see panoramic views.

    Sun above a climber on Vlaški grad
    Sun above a climber on Vlaški grad © Ivan Čorić.
    Difficulty: 3.5/5
    Hiking time: 6 hours 30 minutes
    3) Manita peć cave - Vidakov kuk - Njive - Velika Paklenica canyon
    view from Vidakov kuk
    As shown above, view from Vidakov kuk © Ivan Čorić.

    Not only do you get to see Manita peć cave on this route, but also karst relief and panoramic views.

    Sun, low in the sky over Vidakov kuk, Paklenica National Park
    Sun, low in the sky over Vidakov kuk © Ivan Čorić.
    Difficulty: 4/5
    Hiking time: 5 hours 30 minutes (plus 1 hour if visiting the cave)
    4) Mountain shelter Struge - Marasovac - Vaganski vrh - Sveto brdo - Mountain shelter Ivine vodice
    Sveto brdo, Paklenica National Park
    As shown above, Sveto brdo 2017 @ Ivan Čorić.

    If you're looking for a two-day hike, then this is a good option. Not only will you see grasslands and mountain flora, but also panoramic views.

    View from Vaganski vrh towards Lika
    View from Vaganski vrh towards Lika @ Paklenica National Park.
    Difficulty: 4/5
    Hiking time: 7 hours 30 minutes
    5) Mala Paklenica canyon - Njiva Lekina - Velika Paklenica canyon
    Panorama of Paklenica
    Panorama of Paklenica © Ivan Čorić.

    Markedly, this is the trail to take if you want to catch both canyons in the same hike. Not only will you be challenged by difficult terrain, but also you'll be reward by epic karst field views.

    Mala Paklenica
    As shown above, Mala Paklenica @ Paklenica National Park.
    Difficulty: 4.5/5
    Hiking time: 7 hours
    6) Mountain shelter Struge - Marasovac - Lipa staza - Velika Paklenica canyon
    As shown above, Struge @ Paklenica National Park

    Both demanding terrain and epic panoramic views will entertain you on this hiking route. Additionally, you'll see mountain grasslands, Alpine flora and karst fields.

    Difficulty: 4.5/5
    Hiking time: 7 hours 30 minutes

    Paklenica National Park Hiking Trail Map

    The Paklenica National Park has put together a very good Tourist and Trekking Map. It shows you all the recommended hiking trails through the park. Furthermore, it has been verified and published by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. If you want to check it out, then look here. Additionally, try out the Interactive hiking map of Croatia (developed by Croatian Mountaineering Federation) here.


    Paklenica National Park Climbing

    Climbing in Paklenica © Mario Romulić.
    Scaling the heights in Paklenica © Mario Romulić.

    In the valleys of Paklenica, the karst walls rise up sharply. Cracks within these walls are made of hard, often sharp rock. Generally, the walls are vertical. But, sometimes they're slightly oblique. What's more, there are an endless number of features like this for you to discover. And an endless number of routes. In fact, there are today almost 600 well-equipped climbing routes within Paklenica National Park.

    Climbing in Paklenica National Park
    A range of rock formations challenge © Mario Romulić.

    People have been coming here to take on Paklenica's rock faces since the 1930s. At first, it was mostly locals - Croats and Slovenes. Afterwards, as the repute of its challenges spread, international climbers arrived. Indeed, you can still meet many among those climbing the park today. Both for beginners and world-class, there's something for everyone here. Not for nothing is Paklenica National Park the most visited climbing site in Croatia, and the largest in Southeast Europe.

    Climbing in Paklenica National Park
    Climbing in Paklenica National Park
    Clinging on © Mario Romulić.

    Generally, the largest number of climbing routes in Paklenica National Park is located in the narrowest part of the Velika Paklenica gorge. Indeed, you'll find climbs for all abilities here. Known as Klanci, this gorge is overarched by Kukovi ispod Vlake, Debeli kuk, Kuk od Skradelin and Ćuk. By comparison, within these rocks, you'll find longer climbing routes. Without a doubt, the most famous climbing rock in Paklenica is Anića kuk.

    Specifics for experienced climbers
    Climbing in Paklenica National Park
    Finding the cracks © Mario Romulić.

    If you're going to take on the challenge of a large or serious climb, then there are better places to look for detailed information. But, any curious climbers should know that most routes are equipped with bolts (spits). Contemporary climbers are undertaking the effort to reequip the oldest routes, some of which might still have pegs (pitons).


    At the present time, Il Marattoneta (8b+) and Moskito (8b) are two of the toughest routes according to the UIAA grading scale. If you're embarking on an older, not-yet-reequipped route, then take friends, a set of nuts, and a few slings with you. You'll find Croatian Mountain Rescue Service members on duty at Paklenica's climbing sites every day within July and August. If you want to know more about the rules of climbing in Paklenica, then look here.

    Areas where climbing is forbidden in Paklenica National Park

    In order to safeguard rare flora, rare fauna, their habitats and to protect you, there are places where climbing is forbidden. Certainly, the entire area of Mala Paklenica is off-limits to climbers. By comparison, in Velika Paklenica you'll find lots of places where climbing is allowed. However, gorge climbing is banned on Debeli kuk from the lower to the upper parking lot (to the bunker). Elsewhere on Debeli kuk, climbers must not ascend higher than 200m. Climbing is also banned from the left of Manita peć to the upper part of Velika Paklenica.

    Flora and Fauna

    Bosnian Lilly (Lilium carniolicum ssp. bosniacum) © Paklenica National Park.
    Bosnian Lilly (Lilium carniolicum ssp. bosniacum) © Paklenica National Park.

    At the present time, 1,000 plant species and subspecies have been recorded here. Moreover, 79 of them are indigenous exclusively to the park's region. Subsequently, the park is a valuable floristic area, not just to Croatia and Europe, but to the world.

    Cracks in the karst rock create microclimate conditions where some rare plants thrive. Elsewhere, you'll find wildflowers growing in mountain meadows. Some of the indigenous plants here you'll find only in Croatia. Namely, Window Bellflower (Campanula fenestrellata), Croatian Bellflower (Campanula cochleariifolia) and Waldstein Bellflower (Campanula waldsteiniana).

    Blue star (Eryngium alpinum) © Paklenica National Park.
    Blue star (Eryngium alpinum) © Paklenica National Park.
    Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina) © Paklenica National Park.
    Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina) © Paklenica National Park.

    Up to the present time, 84 species of diurnal butterflies have been recorded in the Park. You'll see some fluttering through the mountain meadows. By comparison, Paklenica's 31 amphibian and reptile species are more shy. Indeed, you'll be lucky to catch sight of a Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes) or the very rare Orsini’s viper (Vipera ursinii macrops).

    Vipera ursinii macrops, a resident of Dinara Nature Park
    Vipera ursinii macrops. © Benny Trapp.

    At the present time, 260 bird species have been recorded here, making them the park's most numerous vertebrates. Among them, you might see some rare birds of prey. Namely, Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus).

    Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) © Paklenica National Park.
    Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) © Paklenica National Park.

    Among the mammals living here, you'll find several seldom-seen predators. Namely, Wild Cat (Felis sylvestris), the Beech Marten (Martes foina) and Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis). Also, three large carnivores - Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Wolf (Canis lupus) and Lynx. Additionally, some 24 different species of bats live here.


    Manita peć cave

    Rock formations in the caves of Paklenica © Paklenica National Park.
    Rock formations in the caves of Paklenica © Paklenica National Park.

    Among 115 speleological objects so far known in the Paklenica National Park, Manita peć is the most famous. It's the park's only show cave accessible to the public through guided visits. The cave's broad chambers and the beauty of its rock formations have been astounding visitors since 1937.


    You'll find Manita peć at an altitude of 570 metres a.s.l, and the walk up from the Velika Paklenica parking lot takes about 1.30 h. If you want to enter the cave, then you must take the guided tour. Because lots of rare invertebrates live in this area. Also, there is an extra fee for the cave tour. Ask about this at the park entry when you buy your ticket. You may need to take cash with you to pay for the tour at the cave entrance.

    Accommodation, Hotels, Camp, Zadar, Starigrad: Where to stay in Paklenica National Park

    From above, Starigrad © Starigrad-Paklenica Tourist Board.

    You'll find the town closest to the park very well suited to accommodating guests. Starigrad and its riviera have long been welcoming visitors to Paklenica and others. Sitting on the edge of Croatia's largest Adriatic channel, the pretty town has a range of apartment and room options, which you can check below. The 3-Star Bluesun Alan Hotel is the highest-rated hotel here.


    If you're looking for more of a city stay, then try Zadar. Not only is it the county capital, but it has a wealth of culture and event options. Also, it's a major university town and its port offers a gateway to Croatian islands. Accordingly, there is a huge range of accommodation options here, which you can check out below. Look out for our Zadar in a Page guide, coming very soon.

    From above, the Falkensteiner Resort Punta Skala
    From above, the Falkensteiner Resort Punta Skala.

    If you head up into the hills of Paklenica to get a sea view, then you'll also see the Zadar peninsula. Situated on its northwest tip is the Falkensteiner Resort Punta Skala. A beautiful beachside complex with incredible architecture, it has a range of accommodation offers. Most luxurious is the five-star Hotel Spa Iadera which boasts Croatia's largest spa centre. Both indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, herb gardens, massage and beauty treatments make up its offer.

    Just next door you'll find the Family Hotel Diadora. Both spa features and a waterpark can be found within its 2000m² of pools, slides and water features. If you're looking for more private seclusion, then the resort also has Premium Apartments Senia. Each comes with spacious terraces or balconies and there are two private, outdoor pools. The whole resort is filled with activity options like mini-golf and courts for tennis and other sports.

    Camping / Mountain Houses / Mountain Shelters
    Planinarski dom Paklenica
    As shown above, Planinarski dom Paklenica © PD Paklenica.

    It is strictly prohibited to camp within the park itself, in a tent or trailer/camper. If you're on a two-day hike or climb, then there are several mountain shelters you can use for free. Although reservations are not necessary, they are advisable for larger groups. Because the shelters are quite small -10 - 20 sleeping places. Alternatively, there are mountain houses in a higher category and with a fee for overnight stays. Not only are these better equipped, but also offer food and drinks. If you want to find out more, then see below for park and mountaineering society contacts.

    Camp Nacionalni Park
    Camp Nacionalni Park.

    The nearest camp to the park is Camp Nacionalni Park, which is next door. Not only does it have pitches for tents, but also accommodates trailers, caravans and motorhomes. Also, it's a beachside campsite. If you want more details, then look here.

    Paklenica National Park Entrance, Tickets/Fees and Opening Hours

    As shown above, there are two entrances into Paklenica National Park.

    Main entrance
    main entrance
    © Paklenica National Park.

    The Main Entrance, to the northwest, sits at the start of the Velika Paklenica Canyon on Paklenička ulica in Starigrad. Paklenica main entrance GPS coordinates are 44.2940° N, 15.4576° E.

    Entrance Two

    Lying to the southeast, Entrance 2 sits at the start of the Mala Paklenica canyon in Seline.  Paklenica Entrance Two GPS coordinates are 44.2831° N, 15.4928° E. Use Entrance Two to access Mala Paklenica. You'll find this entrance open only during the main season.

    Entrance Fee: Paklenica National Park Tickets

    This photo of Campsite Autocamp Pisak is courtesy of Tripadvisor

    A standard one-day ticket for entrance to the park costs 20 kuna from November to February, 40 kuna from March to May (and in October) and 60 kuna between June and September. Children under the age of 14 get a 50% discount on these prices. Furthermore, there are discounts for students, Croatian and Slovenian mountaineering association members and senior citizens.

    If you want to drive your car into the park's protected area, it will cost you an extra 10 kuna. Or, if you're traveling in a larger vehicle like a trailer or camper, an extra 20 kuna.

    If you want to check out the full price list, including three and five-day options, then look here.

    Opening Hours

    Paklenica National Park is open every day from 6.00 to 20.30. Usually, Manita peć cave is open as follows: April - Saturdays from 10.00 to 13.00; May, June, October - Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10.00 to 13.00; July, August, September - every day from 10.00 to 13.00.

    Paklenica Weather

    Starigrad-Paklenica has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and calm, mild winters. Between May and October you'll likely experience pleasant weather conditions in Palenica National Park. Although, at the height of summer, the heat can add to the exertion of hiking and climbing. Also, in September and October, you have a greater chance of some rain. If you want to see the weather in Paklenica today and the weather forecast for the next few days, then look below.

    How to get to Paklenica National Park

    Bus (walk or bike)

    In Zadar bus station © liburnija-zadar.
    In Zadar bus station © liburnija-zadar.

    Certainly, you'll find getting to Zadar by bus very easy indeed. Because Zadar lies on a major motorway, almost every bus heading between north and south Croatia stops here. Thereafter, make sure you plan if you want to reach Starigrad by bus. Because there are only four buses each day from Zadar to Starigrad. What's more, Zadar local buses run a reduced service on weekends, when all visitors want to travel. If you want to check the bus times, then go to the Zadar LINE SEARCH here and select 'Suburban transport'.

    Furthermore, once you reach Starigrad, there is no public transport from the town to either park entrances. Luckily, it's only a couple of kilometres walk from Starigrad to the nearest. Although to be fair, there is one more option. If you're holidaying in Starigrad itself, then you'll find at least three bicycle rental options in the town. You can easily cycle up from Starigrad to either park entrance.

    Nearest airport to Paklenica National Park

    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    At a distance of around 50km, Zadar airport is the nearest to Paklenica. However, there are two more international airports reasonably close to the park. Firstly, at a distance of less than 150km, Split airport is the next nearest. Thereafter, Rijeka airport is the next nearest, at a distance of around 200km. If you want to know more about these airports, then find Zadar here, Split here, Rijeka here.

    Road, by car

    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.
    From Zagreb, from Rijeka, from Split

    Balanced against some of its inaccessible terrain, Paklenica National Park is actually very easy to reach by car. In fact, the park lies just off Croatia's largest motorway, the A1, which connects Zagreb to Split. Also, you can take this motorway if you want to travel from Rijeka to Paklenica. Although, from Rijeka, the coastal road is more scenic, has no tolls and doesn't take much longer.

    If you're driving from Split, then again you have several options. In this case, the scenic route or the D27 are going to add at least 40 minutes to your drive. Without a doubt, your quickest option is to take the A1. Both drivers from north and south should depart the A1 following signs for Starigrad.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Paklenica? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Drive from Zadar to Paklenica National Park

    Take Ulica Nikole Tesle and Ulica Hrvatskog Sabora to Jadranska Magistrala. Thereafter, follow Jadranska Magistrala all the way to Starigrad, then follow signs for the park.

    Plan a Safe Visit to Paklenica National Park

    Planning and Precautions for Paklenica National Park

    If you're going hiking in Paklenica, then plan your route before you set off. Tell someone outside your hiking party about the route you plan to take. In fact, it's a good idea to leave a map of your route at your lodgings. Make sure you have appropriate footwear. Specifically, trainers and sandals are not appropriate for tackling some of the higher mountain areas. Wear boots for strenuous hikes, even in summer. And, make sure you check the weather forecast.

    If you're going climbing in Paklenica, then make sure you can count on your equipment and team members. Climbing alone in Paklenica is strictly forbidden.

    Regardless of how long you plan to be in the park, take enough fresh drinking water. Equally important, once you've finished, please don't leave any empty plastic bottles behind. Additionally, take fully charged mobile phones.

    Emergency help

    If you get into trouble on the mountains, then call emergency services at the earliest opportunity. The emergency phone number for Croatia is 112. Read all you need to know about emergency services in Croatia here.

    More information

    From above, Starigrad and Paklenica
    From above, Rivijera Paklenica and Paklenica National Park © Boris Kačan.
    Paklenica National Park

    Address: Dr. F. Tuđmana 14a, 23244 Starigrad-Paklenica, Zadar County, Croatia
    Email:, (info)
    Telephone: +385 (0) 23 369 155, +385 (0) 23 369 202 (Direction and Camp), +385 (0) 23 369 803 (Entrance 1 Velika Paklenica)

    Starigrad-Paklenica Tourist Board

    Address: Trg Tome Marasovića 1, 23244 Starigrad-Paklenica, Zadar County, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 23 369 245

    Zadar County Tourist Board

    Address: Jurja Barakovića 5, 23000 Zadar, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 23 315 316

    PD Paklenica (Paklenica Mountaineering Association from Zadar)

    Address: Majke Margarite 6, 23000 Zadar, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 (0) 23 301 636

    Both the author and Total Croatia would like to thank the following for their help in compiling this guide: All of the photographers who work was used, in particular, Ivan Čorić; Julije Žigo and PD Paklenica; Jana Mijailović of HGSS Zadar.

    If you want the latest news from Paklenica National Park, Starigrad, Zadar and Zadar County, then see Total Croatia News here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Tue, 01 Jun 2021 07:19:00 +0200
    Brijuni National Park in a Page: Island Day Trips, Golf, Boat, Weather, Map With a wealth of activities, things to see and do, Brijuni National Park has one of the broadest offers of any national park in Croatia.

  • Welcome to Brijuni National Park Croatia!
  • The Brijuni Islands
  • Brijuni Islands day trip: best things to do
  • Fažana to Brijuni islands
  • Accommodation: Brijuni hotels, Camping
  • Where to eat?
  • Things you (maybe) didn't know about Brijuni National Park
  • Where is Brijuni National Park?
  • Weather on Brijuni
  • How to get to Brijuni National Park
  • More information
  • Welcome to Brijuni National Park Croatia!

    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.
    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.

    Most of Croatia's National Parks pride themselves on offering wild nature and natural, unblemished surroundings. Certainly, that isn't true of Brijuni National Park. Because, although wild creatures roam the grasslands here, perch on tree branches and hide in protected waters, this is not a landscape untouched by human hand. In fact, this is a National Park sculpted specifically to entertain. Subsequently, its offer is wide and intriguing, an end product millions of years in the making.

    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.
    Brijuni islands © Mario Romulić.

    Dinosaur footprints sit near Roman ruins. Byzantine settlements neighbour Venetian fortifications. Glorious Austro-Hungarian architecture gives clues of prestigious former guests. Each are within a stone's throw of the most crystal clear of seas.

    Among its more modern additions, hotels, a safari park, museums, a Mediterranean garden and a wealth of activities. Namely, cycling, diving, golf, kayaking and tennis. Indeed, there are few National Parks in Croatia with such a wide and luxurious offer. Let's take a closer look...

    The Brijuni islands

    Brijuni islands © Brijuni National Park.
    Brijuni islands © Brijuni National Park.

    14 islands and islets make up the Brijuni islands. In detail, here are how the key ones look.

    1) Veli Brijun (Veliki Brijun)

    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.
    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.

    Largest and most popularly visited, on Veliki Brijun you find beautiful parkland, archaelogical heritage, free-roaming animals and a luxury resort. Furthermore, there’s a golf course, bird sanctuary, botanical gardens, safari park, three museums and dinosaur footprints.


    2) Mali Brijun


    Famed for its large Fort Minor as well as the open-air, summertime Ulysses Theater, Mali Brijun is the second-largest island of Brijuni.

    3) Vanga (or Krasnica)


    You can see Vanga has two main sections, each with buildings, connected by a thin strip of land.

    4) Kozada (or Kotež)


    You'll find Kozada just off the coast of Štinjan, the island nearest to the shore. Subsequently, small boats freely arrive at this uninhabited spot all summer, carrying swimmers seeking seclusion.

     5) St. Jerolim (Sveti Jerolim)


    Also near the mainland, Jerolim is a favourite day-trip and beach for Pula residents and visitors.

    6) Other islands


    You'll find a further nine islands make up Brijuni. Namely, Galija, Gaz, Grunj, Obljak, Pusti, Sveti Marko, Supin, Vrsar and Supinić. However, most of these are quite small and closed to the public. Subsequently, you'll enjoy them best on a boat tour or via overhead photography.

    Brijuni islands day trip: best things to do

    Park landscape of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.
    Park landscape of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    1) Veliki Brijun island tour

    Zebra of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.
    Zebra of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    The most popular way to visit Brijuni National Park in a single-day trip is to take the official tour. In a four-hour trip, you'll travel by boat from Fažana to Veliki Brijuni. Thereafter, you'll get a guided tour on a little train and see most of the island's main sights. Specifically, the Safari Park, Museum, Mediterranean Garden and the Old Olive Tree.

    Tour by train © Brijuni National Park.
    Tour by train © Brijuni National Park.

    2) Brijuni islands beaches

    A designated place to swim, Saluga beach
    A designated place to swim, Saluga beach © Brijuni National Park.

    Certainly, the most popular and best-known spot for swimming and sunbathing is Saluga beach. In fact, these days, this is the only official place where swimming is sanctioned on the main island. Not only is Saluga fully appointed, but also it's serviced by food and drink facilities. Previously, you could visit more remote options. Specifically, Rankun Bay, just past Villa Dubravka and Berta. However, because of the park's duty to protect its natural assets, swimming is now discouraged in these places. Although, in Verige Bay, snorkeling is allowed. But, only if you go with an authorized park guide. At Verige Bay, you'll find Roman remains both by the shore and underwater...

    3) Snorkeling and diving

    Diving and snorkeling on Brijuni
    Diving and snorkeling on Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    In total, Brijuni National Park has a surface area of 3,395 hectares. However, a huge 2,652 hectares of that is protected seas. Subsequently, the seas are teeming with colourful life and it's a great place for snorkelling and diving.


    On the eastern side of Veli Brijuni, you'll find remains of a sunken Roman villa in Verige Bay. Today, fish and other sea creatures are the only one living here. Lying at a shallow depth, even children can drop down and look. In the summertime, an authorized park guide can take you on a tour of the bay and show you where to look.

    Underwater colours of Brijuni
    Underwater colours of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    If you're a scuba fan, qualified divers can explore three locations in Brijuni National Park. Namely, Sveti Jerolim, Peneda and Grunj. Protected from pollution and over fishing, within these waters you'll see huge schools of fish. Also, if you're lucky, you'll catch sight of octopuses, colourful starfish, corals and sponges. You can go diving on Brijuni between May and October.

    If you want to learn more about snorkeling and diving on Brijuni, then look here.

    4) Ocean drive: Brijuni Golf Course

    To the fore: Golf on Brijuni
    To the fore: Golf on Brijuni © Brijuni National Park.

    A blissful, 5531-meter long. 18 hole golf course, you can make a day of it if you want to golf on Brijuni. But, taking your time is perhaps a better idea. You'll better enjoy golfing on Brijuni at a relaxed pace, as part of a weekend stay or longer. Not only does the course wind its way through Veliki Brijuni's northerly trees, but also sea views accompany most of the way.

    5) Kayaking

    Paddle in pairs, kayaking on Brijuni
    Paddle in pairs, kayaking on Brijuni © Brijuni National Park.

    As part of a small group, you'll be guided from Veli Brijun past Kozada island to Jerolim island. On Jerolim, you'll sightsee, swim and take a drink. Afterwards, you return via Verige Bay, learning about Brijuni's cultural and historical heritage along the way.

    Available from beginning June to the end of October, you must book kayaking tours in advance: / +385 99 808 1945. The tour lasts between two and a half and three hours.

    Fažana to Brijuni islands

    If you want a lovely meal as part of your day trip, then try Fažana. You'll find many great restaurants here and it's a great place to hang out © TZ Fažana.

    If you want to visit Brijuni National Park, the best way is to take the official park boat from Fažana. Buy a ticket from the office on the quayside. It includes return boat transfer to Brijuni, entry ticket and a guided tour on a little train to see most of the island's main sights. Specifically, the Safari Park, Museum, Mediterranean Garden and the Old Olive Tree.

    Also, you can rent an electric car or bicycle and explore the park on your own, with the help and navigation of the Brijuni Pocket Guide mobile app.

    However, this is not the only way to visit and experience Brijuni National Park. In fact, you'll find organised boat trips from Pula to Brijuni and from Rovinj to Brijuni. In particular, days trips from Pula cover a wide range of activities, depending on the time of year and what you want to do.

    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.
    Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.

    Accommodation: Brijuni hotels, Camping

    Neptun and Istra Hotels on Brijuni
    Neptun and Istra Hotels on Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    Brijuni hotels

    Istra hotel

    Spacious rooms and terraces with views of either the sea or the park. If you want to see prices and booking details, then look here. Or, go on a virtual tour - inside and out - below.

    Neptun hotel

    Fully modern and yet still with a distinct flavour of the Austro-Hungary of yesteryear. Look out across the park at breakfast. Or, if you have a sea view, you can take in Veliki Brijun port, the Fažana Channel and the mainland. If you want to see prices and availability, then check here.

    Villas and rooms

    Previously called Hotel Karmen, Rooms Karmen has 54 accommodation units on three floors. 24 are single rooms with a balcony. 30 are double rooms (18 with a balcony). If you want to see inside, then look here.

    Situated on the southeastern part of the island, in Lovorika Bay, Villa Lovorka accommodates 6 across its two buildings. You can also take advantage of their catering offer. If you want to check out the villa and surroundings, then look here.

    Brijuni Camping
    By Valamar, Brioni Sunny Camping
    By Valamar, Brioni Sunny Camping © Valamar.

    At the present time, there are no facilities for camping within Brijuni National park itself. However, you will find some campsites very close by. Specifically, the nearest campsites to Brijuni are Pineta in north Fažana, Bivillage in Fažana and Brioni Sunny Camping in Štinjan, north Pula.

    Where to eat

    Overlooking the marina, the gorgeous interior of Galija
    Overlooking the marina, the gorgeous interior of Galija © Brijuni National Park.

    If you're by the shore and want something informal, then try Saluga on the northeast of Veliki Brijuni. With a long and esteemed history, the more formal, 100 seat Restaurant Galija has a lot to live up to. Find it at the Neptun hotel complex. Also, the hotel has its own much larger Neptun restaurant, where guests come for meals, including breakfast. Additionally, the hotel has a cafe, good for coffee and cake. You find another cafe, Školjka, in the villa Magnolija, next to the archaeological sites. And there's a beach bar, Sony & Lanka.

    Things you (maybe) didn't know about Brijuni National Park

    Who lives here? Animals of Brijuni National Park

    Deer in Brijuni National Park
    As shown above, deer roaming freely on Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    Previously, Brijuni was more famous for its imported species, gifts from abroad sent to live in the safari park. But, these days, you'll get as much of a thrill from seeing animals freely roaming here. Hares dart across the grassland, peacocks strut and mouflon are bold enough to approach the beach bar. Perhaps most impressive of all, herds of deer wandering within eyesight of hotel balconies.

    Around the lakes of the bird reservation, you might see a range of residents or temporary guests. Namely, cormorants, terns, quails, ducks, warblers, nightingales, herons, great white egrets and black storks.

    Animals of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.
    Animals of Brijuni © Mario Romulić.

    Who used to live here? Dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs on Brijuni © Brijuni National Park.
    Dinosaurs on Brijuni © Brijuni National Park.

    More than 200 dinosaur footprints have been discovered at four sites on Veliki Brijun. Namely, at Cape Pogledalo, Ploče, Kamik/Plješivac and Trstike/Debela Glava. Of course, millions of years ago, they didn't swim across from Fažana for a short break. As recently as ten thousand years ago, the Brijuni islands were attached to the mainland.

    Heritage: Bronze age, Byzantine and the Romans

    © Mario Romulić.

    Evidence of human habitation on Brijuni dates back to 3,000 BC. After 177 BC, the Romans built villas and a settlement here. In fact, the last of their olive trees - planted around AD 400 - are still growing. At the bay of Verige, you'll find remains of a three-floored Roman villa, temple, baths and harbour. Other archaeological includes the 5th-century St. Mary’s Basilica and the nearby Byzantine settlement.

    Architectural heritage of Brijuni National Park
    Architectural heritage of Brijuni National Park © Mario Romulić.

    A Nobel Prize was awarded to the discovery of malaria's transmission on Brijuni

    Robert Koch
    As shown above, Robert Koch.

    As the discoverer of the causes of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax, Robert Koch is regarded as one of the main founders of modern bacteriology. But, on Brijuni the German microbiologist learned arguably his most far-reaching lesson. Namely, it was here that he discovered that malaria was transmitted specifically by mosquitos.

    You're walking the same pathways as former heads of state and celebrities

    On Brijuni in 1959, Tito and Che Guevara
    On Brijuni in 1959, Tito and Che Guevara © Historical Archives of Belgrade

    Previously, many world leaders visited Brijuni, guests of former Yugoslav premier Tito. Namely, Queen Elizabeth II and Che Guevara all came here. In fact, Tito established the Non-Aligned Movement with India and Egypt's leaders here in 1956.

    In the region to visit the famous film festival of Pula, cinema elite Sophia Loren, Richard Burton, Liz Taylor and Gina Lollobrigida were also guests on Brijuni.


    Where is Brijuni National Park?

    Brijuni National Park is located on the island Veliki Brijun within the Brijuni islands. The island sits off the coast of the Istra region, immediately opposite the town of Fažana, near Pula. Istra is a peninsula located in the northwest of Croatia, and you'll find Brijuni National Park located off its southwestern tip. It is a coastal city. In detail, its GPS coordinates with respect to latitude and longitude are 44.9110° N, 13.7722° E.

    Brijuni islands map

    Weather on Brijuni islands

    Weather in Brijuni is mild and pleasant throughout the year. In detail, the summers are long and warm, but rarely too hot or too dry. Also, the winters are never too cold. It's classed as having a warm and temperate climate. Maybe you're considering a game of golf on Brijuni out of season? May, September and October are excellent times to visit Brijuni. Both Brijuni National Park and golf on Brijuni are enjoyed at this time. Here’s the Brijuni weather today and the weather forecast for the next few days.

    How to get to Brijuni National Park

    © Mario Romulić.
    Boat from Fažana

    To visit Brijuni by boat from Fažana, first, buy a ticket for Brijuni National Park. You'll find the ticket office on the quayside. The ticket includes boat transfer between the mainland and Brijuni, entry to the National Park and a guided tour on a little train. On the trip, you'll see most of the island's main sights. Specifically, the Safari Park, Museum, Mediterranean Garden and the Old Olive Tree. Including the boat journeys, the trip to Brijuni takes about four hours. Alternatively, you can rent an electric car or bicycle and explore the park on your own, with the help and navigation of the Brijuni Pocket Guide mobile app.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    Obviously, you can't drive to Brijuni. It's not one of the Croatian islands where you can take your car. So, if you're driving, head for Fažana.

    From Rovinj, head east out of town towards Bale. Thereafter, join the D21 to Vodnjan. In Vodnjan, take a right just after you've bypassed the centre. You'll see the road to Fažana clearly signposted.

    From Pula, simply head north out of town following the signs for Štinjan and Fažana. Don't take the first left turning into Štinjan. Instead, follow the signs for Šurida and Fažana.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Brijuni? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    Brijuni islands from Rovinj
    Rovinj / Romulić and Stojčić

    At a distance of less than 30km, Brijuni National Park is easy to reach from Rovinj. However, the journey by bus involves going via Pula. There is no public transport bus from Rovinj to Fažana. But, from Rovinj to Pula is only 40 minutes by bus and tickets cost around 5 Euros.

    Although, you don't need to travel via Pula or Fažana to get to the Brijuni islands from Rovinj. You can take a boat tour from the town to the Brijuni islands. What's more, it's a great way to travel! If you want to learn more about the boat trip from Rovinj to Brijuni, then check here.

    Bus to Fažana and Brijuni from Pula
    Pulapromet suburban, local bus lines in Pula.
    Pulapromet suburban, local bus lines in Pula.

    If you want to travel to the Brijuni islands from Pula by bus, then take the number 21. Catch the 21 to Fažana from the main bus station in Pula. From mid-morning until late afternoon, there's at least one bus an hour. The journey from Pula to Fažana by bus takes only 25 minutes. If you want to check the summer timetable, then look here.

    Flights, nearest airport
    Flights, passenger plane, airport

    The nearest airport to Brijuni is Pula Airport (PUY). You'll find many international carriers flying to Pula, particularly in summer. From the rest of Croatia, you can travel from Zagreb to Pula by plane. Also, from Osijek and Split too. Flights to Pula from Dubrovnik require a change of planes in either Split or Zagreb. You can read all about Pula airport in our dedicated page.

    Airport transfer to Fažana: Airport transfer routes include direct travel between Pula airport and Fažana.

    Getting around Brijuni

    If you're going to stay on Brijuni a little longer, then there are some great ways to get around. On Veliki Brijuni, you can rent a bicycle or a small electric car. Not only are these options environmentally friendly, but also they will open up the island's entire landscape and interior.

    More information about Brijuni National Park

    © Mario Romulić.

    Tickets / Book a day trip to Brijuni National Park


    +385 52 525 881
    +385 52 525 882

    Ticket office in Fažana

    +385 52 525 883
    +385 52 525 884


    Brijuni Hotel booking

    +385 52 525 807
    +385 52 525 536

    Brijuni Hotel reception: +385 52 525 861

    State institution: Brijuni National Park

    Park address: Brijuni, 52100 Pula, Croatia.
    Postal address: Brionska 10, 52212 Fažana, Croatia.

    Fažana Tourist Board (Turistička zajednica Općine Fažana)

    Address: 43. Istarske divizije 8, 52212 Fažana, Croatia
    Telephone: +385 52 383 727

    If you want to follow the latest news for Brijuni National Park and the Brijuni islands, then check out Total Croatia News.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Thu, 27 May 2021 09:20:00 +0200
    Baranja in a Page: Towns, Places to visit, Wine, Food, Kopački Rit, Bilje Fine wine, flavoursome food and villages with a hundred tales to tell. Baranja is the relaxed, rural escape you never knew you needed.

  • Welcome to Baranja Croatia!
  • Rural tourism (Seoski turizam): the family farms of Baranja (OPGs)
  • The unique landscape and winemaking tradition of northern Baranja
  • A landscape shared
  • Baranja towns and places to visit
  • Regional cuisine: what to try
  • Tour the region on Croatia's oldest passenger train: Osijek - Pécs (Hungary) via Beli Manastir
  • Day trips
  • Where to stay?
  • Where is Baranja Croatia? Baranja map
  • How to get to Baranja and get around
  • Welcome to Baranja Croatia!

    Suza, Baranja
    Suza, Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    Alongside the region of Srijem, you can't get much further from the regular footfall of Croatia's tourists than Baranja. It's a long way from the coast. In fact, Baranja is the most northeasterly of all Croatia's regions. It shares borders both Hungary and Serbia and is the only region in Croatia to do so. However, this is not the only unique aspect to Baranja.

    Lily-rich waters in a Baranja landscape
    Lily-rich waters in a Baranja landscape © Mario Romulić.

    There are no cities in Baranja. There are not even any of the towns that masquerade as cities, which you can find elsewhere in Croatia. Instead, Baranja is a land of rolling green and yellow fields, rivers and wetlands, and traditional villages. Here, you'll find a natural landscape and a people living harmoniously within it. They've been doing this for centuries.

    Life in harmony with the natural landscape of Baranja
    Life in harmony with the natural landscape of Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    Indeed, Baranja today probably doesn't look too dissimilar to how it did 100 years ago. It is unspoiled by the trappings of modern existence and unhurried by the fast pace of life you'll find elsewhere. And, this is what makes Baranja such a great place to discover. Centuries of experience go into the production of Branja wine and food. This is not a five minute urban burger and fries to eat on the go. This is a five hour stew, made carefully from ingredients plucked fresh from the countryside and presented in scene with a 100 stories to tell. Sit down, relax, breath the fresh air and listen to just some of those stories..

    Baranja in Croatia
    An autumnal scene in Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    Important to note that Baranja is the name of a traditional region. Today, that region is split between two countries - Croatia and Hungary. Specifically, this guide is about Croatian Baranja. However, Baranja is made up of several different communities that live side-by-side. The rich culture and cuisine of the Baranja region is a product of this melting pot of communities. By and large, over a very long period of time, the peoples of this region have lived together as harmoniously as they do with their natural surroundings.

    Rural tourism (Seoski turizam): the family farms of Baranja (OPGs)

    Peppers drying outside a traditional village building at Baranjska kuća in Karanac
    Peppers drying outside a traditional village building at Baranjska kuća in Karanac © Mario Romulić.

    Hedge-lined roads and fruit tree orchards. Neat rows of vines. Fields of crops with sharply contrasting colours. The landscape of Baranja is only so picturesque because of the people who live in it. It's their endeavours that shape it. And while some agriculture here exists on a grand scale, many families also make the most of small plots of land.

    Karanac, Baranja
    Another scene from Karanac © Mario Romulić.

    Baranja family farms or OPGs preserve the traditions of the region. Not only do they do this in the way they use the land, but also in the produce that results. Practices and recipes on such family farms are often passed down from generation to generation. Traditional bakery, butchery and beekeeping are just some of the secrets you can discover. Not to mention, the best white wine in Croatia and hands down the best restaurants you'll find here. To learn out how they do it, and to try the truly traditional flavours of the region, go to an OPG. It's an essential part of any visit to Baranja. Subsequently, we'll be recommending several in the following guide...

    The unique landscape and winemaking tradition of northern Baranja


    A Surduk in Baranja © Krešimir Čandrlić / Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County.
    A Surduk in Baranja © Krešimir Čandrlić / Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County.

    Unlike its neighbour, Slavonia, the region of Baranja is not entirely flat. Baranja Mountain stretches in a northeast-southwest direction between Beli Manastir and Batina. It is 21 kilometres long and three kilometres wide. Much of its slopes are lined with pretty rows, the telltale signs of agriculture. Predominantly, they're vines, just some of those contributing to Croatia's greatest white white region.

    Long ago, heavy rains began to produce natural gorges as water ran off the mountain. These gorges cut through the ground. Over time, some became considerably deep, widened by the regular flow of water and, sometimes, mud. Eventually, these gorges passageways between hillsides. Horses and carts began to travel the routes. Although, only one at a time. The passageway was too narrow for one cart to pass another. A boy would be sent ahead to check another cart was not making the journey. At the end, he would stop any attempting, until his master's cart had first passed.

    Sunlight filtering through the trees above a Surduk in Baranja
    Sunlight filtering through the trees above a Surduk in Baranja © Luka Vuylsteke.

    In Croatia, these narrow routes are exclusive to the Baranja region and are very pretty to walk. Their walls are lined with tree roots, which stop them from collapsing. The branches and leaves of these trees often overhang the gorge, sometimes giving you the impression you're in a tunnel. Such a route in Baranja is known as a Surduk.


    A line of traditional Baranja wine cellars. Unique in Croatia to Baranja. Such a building is known as a Gator © Visit Baranja.
    A line of traditional Baranja wine cellars. Unique in Croatia to Baranja. Such a building is known as a Gator © Nenad Milic.

    On this same ground, you'll find another phenomenon unique to Baranja. A Gator is a traditional wine cellar of this region. Sometimes found on the lower course of a Surduk, a Gator is unlike a typical wine cellar. It has no subterranean section where you store the wine. Instead, a Gator extends back into the hillside. Wine is kept in the deepest recesses of the building, where it is coolest.

    People enjoying an event outside the Gator cellars
    People enjoying an event outside the Gator cellars © Visit Baranja.

    In several places in Baranja you can see a street with many of these buildings side by side. Usually, each Gator is owned by a different family and each will make their own particular family wine. Today, a Surduk filled with Gators is recognised as a unique part of the culture and tourist offer of the Baranja region. You will not see anything like them anywhere else in Croatia. Consequently, you'll today find several key cultural events of the region taking place within such streets. Furthermore, you'll even come across Gators that have been repurposed as accommodation, where you can stay overnight. Generally, they are decorated in a most charming manner.

    Gator cellars
    © Mario Romulić.
    Baranja wine
    In the Belje cellars, Knezevi Vinogradi
    In the Belje cellars, Knezevi Vinogradi © Visit Baranja.

    You probably haven't heard of Baranja wine. Actually, you might not even have heard of wine from Slavonia, the much larger region neighbouring Baranja. In truth, Baranja doesn't shout too much about its wine. Because there's not too much of it to go around, probably (the exception being famous, large producer Belje). There's a well-known saying in Croatia about this. It roughly translates as "Just enough for us and our guests".

    Tending to the vines in Baranja
    Tending to the vines in Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    But, make no mistake, this is a benchmark region for Croatian wine. If you're looking for the best white wine in Croatia, then you simply must head on east. Much of the best Baranja wine comes from relatively small producers. Go and try their wine. Many are adapted well to visitors and you'll be shown around their cellars. Graševina is the name of the wine most popularly made here. Indeed, it is very drinkable and you can find some great examples. But, you'll be offered a choice. If you're looking for something that might make a greater impression, then be sure to try Baranja Sauvignon or their special blend (cuvee) of reds.

    A landscape shared

    The three churches of Kneževi Vinogradi
    The three churches of Kneževi Vinogradi © Mario Romulić

    In Baranja you'll find evidence that may counter what you think you know about this section of the Balkans. Namely, throughout this whole territory, you'll see proof that peoples of different ethnic backgrounds have peacefully coexisted here for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    Children dance in traditional Hungarian dress in Baranja
    Children of one Baranja community dance in their traditional dress © Mario Romulić.

    In truth, the Christian people of this part of Europe were historically never predisposed to fighting among themselves. Well, with the powerful Ottoman Empire on your doorstep, there were much greater concerns than your neighbour's choice between the Catholic, Orthodox or Hungarian denominations. In fact, the rivalry between them is actually an unnatural and quite modern phenomenon. Specifically, it's the result of manipulations by scheming and expansionist state leaders only from within the past 150 years.

    Children in traditional Serbian dress in Baranja
    From a different Baranja community, children in their traditional dress © Mario Romulić.

    Nowhere is this more clearly displayed than in the churches of Baranja. In many small communities, such as Kneževi Vinogradi (pictured above), you'll see two or even three churches of similar height and build. But, each with distinctly different decoration. This denotes the historic - and also the current - presence of different religions in this place. See if you can guess to which denomination each building belongs.

    Baranja towns and places to visit


    Just a short trip up the road from Osijek, Bilje is a bolthole for residents of the Slavonian capital. More often than not, if you're looking for a traditional meal in the countryside, this is where you'll come. Certainly, the wetlands Nature Park Kopački rit is a big part of the municipality's draw. So too, the range of great restaurants. But, also Bilje has great OPGs, like accommodation option Farm Stay Lacković and the blissful OPG Čudesna šuma. If you want to know what it's like meeting the llamas at the latter, then read here. Also, Bilje has two small castles, one within a Habsburg hunting estate. Small place, big offer.


    Suza, Baranja
    Suza, Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    Although relatively small, the village of Suza has a few unique secrets. The least well-hidden of these is the Kolar winery. Go and try the food of their restaurant on the terrace. You'll not get bored of trying their excellent and renowned range of wines. Perhaps the least famous aspect of the business is they have a nice campsite just a few hundred metres down the road. If one of the best offers in your village is a trip to the butchers, then you might have low expectations. Not in Suza. At the Matijević butchers you can see and learn about the traditional making of authentic Baranja specialties like kulen. Enjoy them on the lovely terrace with a glass of good wine.

    horse-drawn carts and traditional dress in Suza, Baranja
    As shown above, horse-drawn carts and traditional dress in Suza, Baranja © Mario Romulić.


    The Danube in Zmajevac, Baranja
    The Danube in Zmajevac, Baranja © Mario Romulić.

    In some parts overlooking the Danube, Zmajevac is one of the most famous winemaking places in the region. In fact, there are at least three esteemed wineries you can visit here. Namely, Vina Gerstmajer, Vina Kalazić and Restoran Vinarija Josić. Definitely, you won't try a bad drop of wine at any of these three established makers. Furthermore, a tour of the cellars can be fascinating. Also, the Josić restaurant is rated highly for regional fare. But, even those these three might be the best established, certainly, they are not the only winemakers here. In fact, there's a whole Surduk full of Gator cellars in Zmajevac. It's a popular place for events and there's another good restaurant option here. Also, you can stay overnight in one Gator converted to accommodate guests.

    Stalls set up for an event in the Surduk at  Zmajevac
    Stalls set up for an event in the Surduk at Zmajevac © Mario Romulić.


    Fields outside Karanac
    Fields outside Karanac © Mario Romulić.

    Over recent years, earning itself a reputation as an ethno-village, Karanac, in Kneževi Vinogradi is experienced in welcoming visitors. If you're looking for a taste of traditional Baranja life, then this is a good choice. Surrounding fields are full of the colours of agriculture. By comparison, in the village itself, you can walk between classic buildings or beneath a cherry tree orchard. One highlight is Baranjska kuća, a restaurant with a long reputation for regional cuisine. Also, they have a courtyard that preserves village heritage. Elsewhere, you can drive by horse and cart or stay in fully equipped rooms that retain an authentic rural and regional decoration.

    'Sunshine  Road', a photo taken in Karanac by Osijek's Damir Rajle
    'Sunshine Road', a photo taken in Karanac by Osijek's Damir Rajle.


    Kopačevo, Baranja
    Kopačevo © Mario Romulić.

    100 years ago, Kopačevo's economy was centred around fishing. But, since the nearby wetlands were designated a Nature Park, the village has adapted. Today, the village services the Kopački rit Nature Park's many visitors. Offering OPGs, accommodation and traditional food, it's a blissful stop-off. Furthermore, you can stock up on paprika here. The village has quite a reputation for it. Also, look out for their Fishing Days festival in early September. There, you'll see traditional skills and cuisine preserved. If you want to read more about Kopačevo, then look here.

    Kopački rit Nature Park

    An explosion of colour © Mario Romulić.
    An explosion of colour at Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    Occupying the flood land immediately before the Drava and Danube, Nature Park Kopački rit is one of Europe's largest wetlands. Although home to many different types of life, it is most famous for its bird population. As many as 300 different species of birds inhabit the park, many of them being migratory and nesting species. Of particular note, a large colony of grey heron and the largest population of woodpeckers in the entire Danube basin.

    White Water-Lily boardwalk, Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    White Water-Lily boardwalk © Mario Romulić.

    You can tour the park by bike, canoe, boat or on foot. Every time you visit it will be different. The park's landscape and wildlife population change dramatically with the seasons. If you want to learn more about the park, then read our detailed guide.

    Batina memorial

    The memorial at Batina
    The memorial at Batina © Mario Romulić.

    Authored by Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić, this memorial commemorates the Battle of Batina. It was one of the fiercest battles of the Second World War. An imposing obelisk, erected in 1947 on the 'Gradac' plateau, the monument overlooks the Danube and three countries. Namely, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. The monument consists of much more detail than just the central pillar and statue. In fact, the components and view of the memorial are so epic, no single photo could capture its scale. In order to fully appreciate it, you simply have to visit.

    Detail of the Batina monument
    Detail of the Batina monument © Mario Romulić.

    Beach on the old Danube in Draž

    Jumping into Stara Drava from the beach jetty in Draž
    Jumping into Stara Drava from the beach jetty in Draž ©Nina Đurđević

    Who says you need the sea? You'll find a lovely river beach on the old Danube in Draž. Appointed with a wooden bridge, jetty and other amenities quite recently, its waters are safely away from the main flow of the giant Danube. You can play volleyball on the sand and buy drinks from a summertime beach bar..

    Regional cuisine: what to try


    Tying freshly picked peppers. Later, they'll be dried in the sun. Afterwards, they'll be made into paprika
    Tying freshly picked peppers. Later, they'll be dried in the sun. Afterwards, they'll be made into paprika © Mario Romulić.

    Generally, food in Croatia can be a little conservative in its flavour. Not so in Baranja, and nearby parts of Slavonia. Here you'll find Croatia's spiciest food. The reason? Paprika.

    Some attribute this influence of flavour to the area's close proximity to Hungary. Well, that's a matter of perspective. Certainly, Baranja was once part of Hungary. But, then, so too was this country once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. What we can say, for sure, is that paprika-rich dishes and the production of paprika powder are traditional here.

    Bags of paprika powder and strings of peppers in in Lug, Baranja
    Bags of paprika powder and strings of peppers in in Lug, Baranja © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    The peppers used in the region's paprika production are specific. Notably, they are quite unlike the rounded 'bell' peppers many see in supermarkets. Instead, local peppers are generally longer, more pointed and with thinner flesh. As a result, they dry easier in the sun. You'll find the paprika powder they produce in many local dishes, from soups and stews to sausages like kulen.

    Traditional food of the Baranja region

    Šaran u rašljama. Butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire at the Kopačevo Fishermen's Days
    Šaran u rašljama. Butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire at the Kopačevo Fishermen's Days © Mario Romulić.

    Among the best dishes to look out for are the following local specialties. Fiš paprikaš (spicy river fish stew), šaran u rašljama (butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire) and čobanac (spicy stew made from wild meats like boar and deer).

    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used
    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    Also, you might find frogs, duck and home-farmed chicken on the menu. Another specialty is the regional black pig. So too, pork sausages, smoked, dried and flavoured with garlic and/or paprika. King of these is a sausage called kulen. They reserve only the finest cuts for this. Irregular in shape, the one from Baranja is Croatia's best.

    As shown above, preserved pork products of Baranja. They're a specialty of the region. The bright red, irregular-shaped one is the famous Baranja kulen
    As shown above, preserved pork products of Baranja. They're a specialty of the region. The bright red, irregular-shaped one is the famous Baranja kulen © Mario Romulić.

    You won't find a shortage of places where you can try traditional food in Baranja. As a result, the standard is generally high. Ask a local for a recommendation. Or, look out for a place with a terrace full of diners. If you want to see the options in Bilje municipality, then look here. You'll find a bigger list of Baranja restaurants here, and Osijeck-Baranja County restaurants here.

    As shown above, Čobanac, a regional specialty © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board.

    Tour the region on Croatia's oldest passenger train: Osijek - Pécs (Hungary) via Beli Manastir

    Opening on December 20, 1870, the train line from Beli Manastir to Villany is Croatia's first passenger train line. Not until 1873 did Vienna’s Southern Austrian Railway company open the branch line from Pivka (Slovenia) to Rijeka via Matulji. Eventually, this line was extended and ran through the centre of Baranja. Specifically, it connected two key cities of Austro-Hungary, Pécs and Osijek.

    In recent years, the line has been reopened. Not only can you tour a section of Baranja on it, but also make a day trip to Pécs. In the Hungarian section of Baranja, you'll find several spas and public baths. Please note: international train routes in the east of Croatia remain in a state of fluctuation at the time of writing (spring 2021).

    Day trips


    Drava, Osijek.
    As shown above, the Drava and Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.

    If you're looking for something with more of a city feel, then choose Osijek. Not only is it by far the largest city in neighbouring Slavonia, but also it's the cultural and economic capital. Notably, Osijek has one of Croatia’s best promenades, stretching for kilometres on both sides of the Drava. Also, its Old Town, Tvrđa has the best-preserved and largest ensemble of Baroque buildings in Croatia. Incredible. If you want to learn more, then read our detailed guide.


    Sunrise over Vukovar
    Sunrise over Vukovar © Vlado Franolić (Vlado Opatija).

    The only sizeable Croatian town sitting on the Danube, Vukovar offers the best of this river. From fishing and boating, to swimming and tours. Also, Vukovar has a wealth of contemporary street art murals on many building facades. If you want to learn more about Vukovar, then visit our detailed guide.


    the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral
    As shown above, the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral @ Sergio Gobbo / HTZ.

    The Slavonian town of Đakovo has one of Croatia’s grandest cathedrals. Without question, its interior is a bona fide masterpiece. Religious or not, you shouldn't miss it.

    Novi Sad

    Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad
    As shown above, Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad © Aleksandar Milutinovic / TOG Novi Sad.

    Not only is Novi Sad the second-largest city in Serbia, but also it’s the capital of Vojvodina region. Similar to Baranja, Vojvodina was once autonomous from the country in which it is today. If you have a car, then the 110km from Osijek is no distance for a day trip. Notably, the city immediately faces the Austrian Petrovaradin Fortress on the Danube.

    Where to stay

    Baranja Camping and campsites

    Camping Suza Baranja

    Address: Suza, Maršala Tita 94/b

    Camp Family Kopačevo

    Address: Autocamp Family Kopačevo

    Private accommodation

    If you want to see a list of some private accommodation options, then look here.

    Hotels and hostels

    If you prefer to see a list of hostel and hotel options, then look here.

    Where is Baranja Croatia? Baranja map

    Baranja is a geographical and historical region between the Danube and the Drava rivers. Today, the region is divided between Hungary and Croatia. In Hungary, the start of the historical northwest border of Baranja is contested. However, this is a guide only to Baranja in Croatia, which is easy to define. Baranja Croatia's borders are the Danube, the Drava and the Croatian-Hungarian border. It is the most north-easterly of all Croatia's regions. Today, Croatian Baranja is a part of Osijek-Baranja County.

    Map of Baranja. Today, the traditional region lies within two separate countries.
    Map of Baranja. Today, the traditional region lies within two separate countries.

    How to get to Baranja and get around


    The nearest airport to Baranja is Osijek. However, there are three major international airports that are not too far. Specifically, they are Belgrade, Zagreb and Budapest, with Belgrade being the nearest. If you want to read more about the Croatian airports, then check Osijek here and Zagreb here.

    Road, by car
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    Running 702 kilometres, from Budapest to Ploče, the European E73 runs through Baranja. In Croatia, this Baranja section is known as the D7. If you're travelling any considerable distance to reach Baranja, then you'll likely end up on this road. The D7 connects to the E70 around 20 kilometres south of Đakovo. Therefore, you need to get on the E73 to reach Baranja if also travelling from Zagreb or Belgrade.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Baranja? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.


    Only one train line runs through Baranja. Subsequently, some parts of the region are not very well covered. As has been noted, the Baranja line runs from Osijek to Beli Manastir. Specifically, the train stops at Darda and Čeminac. Via Osijek, Baranja is connected to the Croatian and European train networks.

    Baranja bagpipes
    © Mario Romulić.

    More information

    Tourist Board of Baranja

    Kralja Tomislava 70, Beli Manastir.
    Phone: + 385 (0)31 70 20 80
    Fax: +385 (0)31 49 59 75
    Baranja tourist board website.

    Visit Slavonia Baranja (Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County)

    Županijska 4, 31000 Osijek.
    Phone: +385 (0)31 214 85
    Visit Slavonia Baranja website.

    Tourist Board of Municipality Bilje – Kopački rit (Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje – Kopački rit)

    Kralja Zvonimira 10, 31327 Bilje.
    Phone:  +385 99 263 6780.
    Working hours: 8am – 4pm.
    Tourist Board of Municipality Bilje – Kopački rit website here.

    Kopački rit Nature Park (Park prirode Kopački rit)

    Kopačevo Reception Center.
    Mali Sakadaš 1, 31327 Kopačevo, Bilje.
    Telephone:  +385 31 445 445; +385 31 752 320; +385 31 752 322.
    Fax: +385 31 752 321
    Kopački rit Nature Park website here.

    Both the author and Total Croatia would like to thank the following for their help in creating this guide: Mario Romulić, Ivana Jurić and the Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County, Domagoj Butković of expert travel guides to Slavonia and Osijek-Baranja County, Kulen travel.

    To follow the latest news from Baranja, check out Total Croatia News pages.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Mon, 24 May 2021 03:11:00 +0200
    Dubrovnik in a Page 2022: Tours, GoT, Beyond the Walls The Pearl of the Adriatic for some, King's Landing for others, walled city Dubrovnik is UNESCO World Heritage Site perfection for all. Travel, food, accommodation, sights & things to do tips.


    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik.

    Ragusa, Pearl of the Adriatic, King's Landing - Welcome to Dubrovnik!


    "Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik," said George Bernard Shaw. He then went on to give Dubrovnik one of its most famous names - the Pearl of the Adriatic.

    And what a pearl she is! Founded in the 7th century as Ragusa, Dubrovnik has a rich and colourful history. The city's independence and reputation for trade lies at the core of its proud history. The Dubrovnik Republic of Ragusa was founded in 1358 and continued until 1808. This longevity was made possible by expertly balancing interests of bigger powers surrounding the city, especially the Ottoman and Venetian Empire. It abolished slavery several hundred years before the birth of the United States. Some even claim that Dubrovnik was the first state to recognise the United States back in 1776.

    Dubrovnik by Romulic and Stojcic

    UNESCO and Game of Thrones

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, the city came under siege in 1991 in the Homeland War. During this time, many of its famous orange-roof buildings were destroyed. Thankfully, the damage has been repaired. Dubrovnik is now enjoying a huge tourism boom.

    Already popular, the city's international profile got a huge boost in recent years with the filming of hit HBO series Games of Thrones. In fact, some GoT fans visit 'King's Landing' without realising Dubrovnik is a famous town of culture and heritage in its own right. Tour guides sometimes answer if the walls disappear in winter. (You can check out that and other unusual tourist questions).

    Ah, the walls! A million people walk the ancient outer walls of Old Town each year. Markedly, they remain as impregnable as they are impressive. Culture, history, tradition, adventure, food, wine, activities and fun - you'll find it all in Dubrovnik. Let's begin!

    Is Dubrovnik Worth Visiting?

    The city is known for its perfectly preserved medieval centre. Its amazing history is visible on every corner. Legends and stories of old await curious visitors within the imposing ramparts. However, the story of Dubrovnik as a destination only starts there. Cafés and restaurants are often located in beautiful areas and provide great wine and dine experiences. Local cuisine is largely influenced by typical Mediterranean mix of refreshing locally sourced vegetables, meats and delicious seafood.

    Summer nights are alive with the bustle of both tourists and locals, with night life much richer than in the off-season months. The city and the surrounding area simply screams for exploration. Beautiful beaches and hidden bays provide perfect places to enjoy as a couple, a group of friends or a family. Activities on offer include hiking, sea kayaking, scuba diving and many more. Tours and excursions will take around some of the most beautiful areas of Croatian south while you explore the local history, food, wine or arts & crafts.

    As a destination it can be more expensive than many other Croatian seaside cities and towns. But, Dubrovnik is more than just another city by the sea. It is a place to visit, get to know and then fall in love with. Besides, well informed travellers (which you will be after you finish reading this page) will find plenty of ways of not paying premium prices in Dubrovnik if they don’t want to do so. If all this sounds good, then for you, Dubrovnik is well worth visiting.

    Is Dubrovnik Expensive Really? Myth and Reality

    Dubrovnik has a reputation for being expensive. Certainly, it can be. However, so can any prime location tourist destination in the world. Some locals on this subject;

    "Compared to the same locations in Madrid, Paris or Barcelona, we are not expensive," said one. Markedly, locals don't compare themselves with the rest of Croatia. Instead, they compare against other top international destinations.

    "I hear very many people talk about how expensive things are here, which always surprised me," says another. "Yes, there are a handful (okay, maybe more than a handful) of overpriced places. But, you get that anywhere. If you're willing to venture further than Stradun for your meal, you'll discover how cheap good food and drinks are. Dining in Dubrovnik doesn't begin and end with high-end fine dining in restaurants. Find out more about budget dining options later in the text.

    More on the expensive Dubrovnik debate.

    How Many Days do You Need in Dubrovnik?

    Answer to this question will always be very individual. Average stay in Dubrovnik is less than 3 days. This is a very short period to spend in this city if your interests go beyond just exploring the main sights of the historical centre. After three days of exploration and tours, you will most likely become well acquainted with the main areas of Dubrovnik. You will then want to either relax and enjoy your favourite parts of the city, or explore further out into Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

    When planning your first trip to Dubrovnik, have a vision of your perfect holiday. If it includes seeing as many places in Croatia as possible, then you can fit a quick visit to Dubrovnik in a single weekend or a long weekend. You want to experience the city and local lifestyle? Book at least 5-7 days in Dubrovnik and plan out a few activities to explore the surrounding areas as well.

    Is Dubrovnik Safe?

    It is hard to imagine a safer place than Dubrovnik. Violent crime rate is extremely low and with only 42000 inhabitants, it is very easy to notice any suspicious behaviours. Pick pockets pretty much don’t exist among the local population, but during summer season there are rare incidents of minor thefts. International terrorism was never a problem in Dubrovnik.

    Traffic can be quite busy and Croatians love fast driving, so do keep this in mind when visiting. City’s crosswalks are numerous and well-marked. Most drivers will respect them. If you are renting scooters or motorcycles beware of the fact locals regularly split lanes and are quite skilful on two wheels. Local car drivers will expect you to be as quick and as skillfull when they see you riding a scooter.

    When it comes to natural disasters, Dubrovnik is an earthquake prone area. It had seen several big quakes in its history, but the real danger of earthquake related injuries or death is extremely low. Other than that, forest fires sometimes plague the surrounding area. They are a problem all around the Mediterranean region.

    There is very little in the way of dangerous wildlife around. The sea is full of fish, but there are no dangerous types of sharks in the waters around the cities. Venomous snakes are rare and only found in natural areas away from the city, on karst terrain. Black widow spider is the only venomous spider in the area, but its sightings are very rare and incidents of it biting humans almost non-existent.

    Is Dubrovnik Pet Friendly?

    Dubrovnik is getting to be more and more pet friendly. In not so distant past it would be very unusual to see pets accepted by bars or restaurants, but this is changing. Hospitality businesses do majority of their work on the outdoor terraces. So, they will usually not have a problem with guests coming in with pets. Dogs are getting to be more popular as apartment pets than ever before in Dubrovnik and this is having a positive impact on the way local business owners view dogs as well. Cats, on the other hand, have been ruling the city streets for centuries and they don’t seem to be going anywhere.

    When booking accommodation, make sure to inquire about whether they accept pets before you confirm your stay. Many apartment owners will allow them. When it comes to hotels, they vary with regards to their policies. Some will accept pets only in certain units, some will not and some have no restrictions.

    Situation on the beaches and public transportation is a different matter. Pets can go on Dubrovnik public buses, but they must be in a carrier of some sort. Their heads can’t be exposed to prevent possible biting when the bus gets crowded. Dogs on a leash cen't go on buses unless they are service dogs. Many people will protest dogs swimming on the beach alongside their children and ask the owners to remove the animal or keep it on the leash. There is only one dog beach in the city and it is in Lapad area (map below). It is not great. But it is adjacent to a nice beach area with plenty of walking paths and cafés.  

    Dubrovnik Pet Friendly Dog Beach

    Dubrovnik Croatia weather

    Dubrovnik, Croatia

    When is the Best Time to Visit Dubrovnik?

    When to visit a destination depends a lot on what you are looking to do. Also, it is true that your Dubrovnik experience will be very different depending on what time of the year you visit. The city's rapid rise in popularity means it is absolutely packed in peak season. So much so that the city introduced special counters to monitor how many people are entering the historical centre.

    If crowds are not your thing, avoid July and August. Undeniably, May and early June, late September and October are much more pleasant in terms of numbers. And there's the added bonus of a more temperate climate.

    Local authorities have worked hard in recent years to extend the season, both with additional flights and more events. And well they might - the city in winter is gorgeous. Although, at this time, most tourist businesses are taking a break. Restaurant tables, chairs and awnings disappear. As a result, the city reverts back to its original stone. Behold, authentic Dubrovnik.

    Another top tip to see Dubrovnik at its finest is the first week of February. Because that's when locals celebrate their beloved patron saint, St. Blaise. Endearingly, it's a centuries-old tradition. People are crowding the streets. But, this time, they're locals. Finally, the city is again theirs and they joyfully immerse themselves in their customs and heritage. Truly it is quite the event. Read firsthand experiences from a couple of years ago.

    Dubrovnik Shopping & Downloads: Souvenirs, Apps, Food items, Traditional Beverages…

    What is a holiday without some shopping? It doesn’t have to be much: a few trinkets and souvenirs here and there, a nice piece of art for your home, or a bottle of local wine. All this and much more is available for you in many of Dubrovnik’s shops and souvenir shops.

    Popular and Traditional Souvenirs

    Dubrovnik souvenirs will often have images of the city or patron saint, St. Blaise on them. While many are made elsewhere, there are still interesting local souvenirs to choose from.

    The most popular souvenir ornament of Dubrovnik area is without a doubt Konavle Embroidery. This countryside region of Konavle gave us a very popular embroidered ornament used traditionally in the region’s traditional costumes. Today it is applied on many of the local souvenirs and is very popular. Learn more about it in our Cavtat & Konavle page.

    Franciscan Monastery at the beginning of Stradun is famous for housing a 14th century pharmacy. The pharmacy still works and still produces its own creams and ointments made following centuries- old recipes. It is no wonder many tourists flock to the pharmacy to buy some of their popular products like cream of roses or Aqua Lavandulae.

    Much like the rest of Croatian south, Dubrovnik is an area where Lavander was used for centuries in variety of way. Lavander pouches used traditionally in wardrobes to ward off moths are today made with interesting designs to sell as souvenirs.

    Soaps made of locally source herbs and olive oil are going to be interesting for all looking for local cosmetics.

    Local Jewellery

    Dubrovnik has been renowned for its jewellery throughout its long history. Many goldsmiths and silversmiths had their shops within the walls. Aside from gold and silver, a very important precious material used in local jewellery was red Mediterranean coral. Most popular Dubrovnik piece of jewellery is known as Dubrovnik Button. It is a silver or gold (traditionally gold-plated silver) formed through special techniques into an ornamental sphere. It is most commonly carried on a long silver chain around the neck.

    Food and Beverage Items

    Some of the most popular souvenirs in Dubrovnik are food items. Candied orange peels known as arancini are probably the most common of sights in local souvenir stores. Sour oranges or wild oranges, as they are known locally, are also used to produce delicious marmalades and jams. Sugared almonds are also very popular as are sun dried figs.

    Olive oil is a quintessential household item in Dubrovnik area. You will find some amazing olive oil in local shops, often in small, airplane-safe packaging.

    Liqueurs and spirits are another things you will never be too far away from in Dubrovnik. The most basic form of these is rakija or lozovaca (grappa). Rakija is a strong, colourless spirit made from grapes. When infused with local herbs it creates travarica. If you add sugar and selected fruits or herbs to rakija and do another fermentation you will end up with a liqueur. These are lower in alcohol than rakija or travarica and often a bit sweet. Most popular are walnut, cherry or carob liqueurs, but there are many to choose from. If you get your hands on a good quality rose petal liqueur known as rozulin – buy it.

    Dubrovnik wine scene deserves a separate chapter. Let’s just say that the centuries of winemaking tradition and a great number of local varieties have made south of Croatia into a wine lover’s dream destination. Don’t miss out on local wine while here.

    New Dubrovnik Souvenirs

    There are many interesting and creative souvenir items coming out every year in Dubrovnik, so it pays to shop around. One of the items that captured our attention is Dubrovnik Chocolate Elbow.

    Dubrovnik Elbow was a traditional unit of measure in Dubrovnik Republic. It is the length of distance between the hand and elbow of the popular Orlando whose statue adorns Luza Square. This unit of measure was used to measure all the goods coming into the city. As the goods would be measure in order to buy and sell them, it was important for the measurement to be precise. This is why a length of Dubrovnik Elbow stays to this day carved into the top stair of Orlando’s Column. People coming out of Sponza Palace – the most important commerce building of Dubrovnik’s past – were able to measure the goods they have bought to make sure they got a fair deal.

    Local creativity revived this ancient length of measure by designing chocolate packaging with the image of Orlando’s Column. It’s a wonderfully interesting souvenir and quite a bit of chocolate, seeing how Dubrovnik Elbow is 51,2cm in length.

    Recommended Stores

    There are many shops in Dubrovnik catering to tourists. These are some of our favourites.

    Life According to Kawa is a lifestyle shop loved by travellers and locals alike. Find it across the street from Ploce Gate. With a large collection of Croatian designed souvenirs, clothes, accessories, furniture, art and food & beverage items, you are guaranteed to find something you need.

    Clara Stones is an amazing coral jewellery store and workshop. It offers a wide range of top quality coral pieces ranging from simple everyday jewellery to luxurious statement pieces with a price to match. Clara Stones is one jewellery stop you shouldn’t miss while in Dubrovnik.

    Terra Croatica is a gift shop that’s very well equipped with a number of food items, a selection of Croatian wine, some household items, soaps and plenty more. It’s carefully picked inventory will leave you browsing for a while.

    Dubrovnik House is located across from the Dominican Monastery and offers quite a selection of traditional souvenirs as well as some paintings and art pieces.

    Medusa is located on Prijeko Street and offers a variety of authentic products with a very interesting selection of natural cosmetics. It is a friendly store with more options that one might think possible in its small, but charming space.

    Uje is a store franchise that can be found along Croatian coast. It gets its name from olive oil and it will have the best selection of olive oils in the city. They have three locations within Dubrovnik’s Old Town with the main one being on Stradun.

    Dubrovnik Apps

    There are a few Dubrovnik apps you might enjoy. For making your way around town, you might find Dubrovnik Parking app to be suite helpful. As mentioned before taxi companies like Cammeo, Eko Taxi or Plavi Taxi have their own apps you can use to engage their services. Dubrovnik Airport app is very useful when planning or tracking your flights to and from the city. National ferry company Jadrolinija has its own app that can be used to plan out your island adventure.

    Not all of Dubrovnik apps are serious, there is a recently released My Dubrovnik game app in which you take on a role of mayor of Dubrovnik. It is a management game that might be just what you need to kill time during your flight back home.

    For more information

    You can visit the official Dubrovnik Tourist Board website here.

    For the latest news from the Pearl of the Adriatic, check out the dedicated TCN page.

    Dubrovnik in a Page is sponsored by Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

    ]]> (Paul Bradbury) Destinations Sun, 23 May 2021 12:51:44 +0200
    Kopački Rit in a Page: Wetlands, Wildlife, A Nature Park for All Seasons One of Europe's largest wetlands, Kopački Rit is a wild-life rich paradise between the Danube and the Drava River. Moreover, it is a Nature Park for all seasons.

  • Welcome to Kopački rit Croatia!
  • When to visit: A Nature Park for all seasons
  • What wildlife lives in the Nature Park?
  • Activities
  • Things not to miss
  • Where to eat?
  • Accommodation: Where to stay in Kopački rit
  • The Kopački Rit and Baranja photography of Isabella von Habsburg
  • Lakes and the marshland floods
  • Where is Kopački Rit Nature Park?
  • How to get to Kopački rit
  • Opening times
  • Tickets and entry
  • Welcome to Kopački rit Nature Park Croatia!

    An explosion of colour © Mario Romulić.
    An explosion of colour © Mario Romulić.

    Either defying or defining today's international borders, the mighty Danube travels over 1000 kilometres before it reaches Croatia. Although its journey is much shorter, the Drava comes some 700km, from Italy, to join it. They come together near Aljmaš, just over 20 km east of Osijek, Slavonia. But, before they do, they seek each other out. It's almost as if they can't wait to meet. In one corner of Baranja, in a triangular tract before their convergence, they create one of Europe's largest wetlands. This is Kopački rit Nature Park.

    Founded in 1973 and designated a Nature Park in 1993, Kopački rit is the largest flood area in central Europe and the Danube's biggest landlocked delta. Accordingly, it is a paradise for wildlife. Thousands of migratory birds make a temporary home here. For others, it's a home nearer to permanent. Similarly, other animals come and go, also in response to the changing temperature and water level. In truth, the list of residents here is in a constant state of flux. But, so is the landscape itself.

    Wild but welcoming © Mario Romulić.
    Wild but welcoming © Mario Romulić.

    No new day is like the last in Kopački rit. With each guaranteed flood and withdrawal of the waters, the entire landscape is constantly refreshed. This ebb and flow is here the very essence of life. And it's thrilling to watch.

    The most easterly-lying of all Croatia's Nature Parks, for many, it takes an extra effort to come here. But, there simply isn't another place like Kopački rit in Croatia. Or, in this part of Europe. So, we'd suggest it's an effort worth making. Take a look and decide for yourself...


    When to visit: A Nature Park for all seasons

    With the change in seasons, Kopački rit's offer changes dramatically. It's difficult to decide when it's best to visit. Kopački rit really is a park for all seasons.

    Peak flood of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    Peak flood of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    Water levels reach their peak in spring, as snow melts on the Alps, flooding the Danube and Drava. A huge influx of birds arrive.

    When it's warm in summer, Kopački rit's a great place to chill © Mario Romulić.
    If it's warm in summer, then Kopački rit's a great place to chill © Mario Romulić.

    With the air full of life, there's also a stillness and calm to summers in the park. Now at their fullest, bountiful trees offer shade at the side of the lakes.

    A gathering of Red deer in autumnal Kopački rit © TZZ Osijek-Baranja.
    A gathering of Red deer in autumnal Kopački rit © TZZ Osijek-Baranja.

    See the park foliage explode into different shades of orange, brown, red, yellow. Visiting in autumn / late summer is the only time you'll catch the Red deer rut. But, more about that later...

    Red deer in winter in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    As shown above, winter in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    Actually, winter is the best time you can see the park's mammals. Not only is there less foliage for them to hide behind, but also food is scarce. As a result, they overcome their regular shyness. Also, the landscape here looks particularly thrilling, covered by snow and dripping with ice. In winter, you'll see a whole different set of migratory birds visiting.


    What wildlife lives in the Nature Park?

    An eagle launches into flight at Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    An eagle launches into flight © Mario Romulić.

    Around 280 various bird species breed here. Among them, geese and ducks, great white egret, white stork, black stork, cormorants, kingfishers and woodpeckers. Try to spot a White-tailed eagle. It's is the largest bird of prey in the area of Kopački rit.


    44 species of fish live here, including pike, ide, tench, bream, carp, catfish and perch. If you want to go fishing in Kopački rit, then you can buy permits. Daily fishing permits cost 80 kuna. You can pay 200 kuna for a three-day permit and 300 kuna for a seven-day permit. Buy permits to fish at the main entrance of the park.

    A marten in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    As shown above, a marten in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    If you think our furry friends might struggle in the marshland, then you're wrong. Drawn here by the plentiful supply of food, you can see many mammals in the park. Specifically, deer, boar, European wildcat, pine marten, stone marten and the Eurasian otter. Also, badgers, weasels, sables, foxes and beavers.

    Amphibians, reptiles, snakes
    One of several species of snake you can see in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    One of several species of snake you can see in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    You can see several different snakes here, although they're often very shy. Of the amphibians, frogs are certainly the largest group. They thrive in the wetlands.


    You won't find anything more integral to life here than insects. Not only do they play a vital role in the food chain, but also they pollinate many plants. Moreover, that includes many of the crops we eat and that shape Baranja.

    Flora of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    Flora of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    You can find over 140 recorded species of plant here. Indeed, some are very rare and only found in a few places in Croatia. Specifically, the white water lily (Nymphaea alba), the iris (Iris variegata); azola, black sedge (Carex nigra), common reed (Phragmites australis); siberian cattail; graceful cattail (Typha laxmannii); and flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus).



    Canoe tour in Kopački rit
    As shown above, canoe tour through the park © PP Kopački rit.

    Paddle you way through the Special Zoological Reserve. Alongside, a professional guide is another canoe shows you where to look. Both Cormorant tours (1 hour) 100 kuna and Linjov tours (2 hours) 200 kuna are available March 13 to October 31.

    Cycling in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    Cycling in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    You'll find several cycle routes snaking through the park. Also, you can rent a bicycle at Kopački rit visitors centre. If you want to cycle from Osijek to and through the park, then you can. You'll see details of two great routes at the bottom of this page.

    Large boat tour
    Large boat tour in Kopački rit
    Large boat tour in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    Take a one hour tour of the Special Zoological Reserve. A guide on board directs you where to look. Certainly, check in advance if there's a trip in your language.

    Small boat tour

    Get up close to the beavers and travel narrow routes. Not only will a small boat take you much further into the park, but also you'll have a guide. Usually, small boat tours last an hour. But, they can be extended. Price: 150 kuna per person/h.

    White Water-Lily boardwalk, Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    White Water-Lily boardwalk © Mario Romulić.

    Kopački Rit covers an area of 177 km2 (68 square miles). There's a lot for you to discover. Much of the park area is untouched nature, with well-trodden paths. However, the park also makes a special effort to be accessible. The White Water-Lily boardwalk leads you from the visitors centre to Sakadaš Lake.

    Bird watching
    different species of birds sharing the wetlands of Kopački rit
    As shown above, different species of birds sharing the wetlands of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    From April to June and from August to October are the best time for you to do dedicated birdwatching here. These are the times of the spring and autumn migrations, so you'll see the largest number of birds then. Up to the present time, 300 bird species have been seen here. Furthermore, more than 140 of them nest permanently or temporarily in the Park. On average, you'll see between 35 and 63 species a day. The maximum number of species recorded during one whole-day visit was 93.

    Wildlife and nature photography
    Deer in in Kopački rit
    "Šta gledaš?" "Šta ti gledaš? © Mario Romulić.

    Certainly, photographers will enjoy the year-round opportunities in the park. As the seasons change, so do the different species you can see.

    Things not to miss

    The autumn rut of the Red Deer

    In the half light, a great set of antlers appear through the Kopački rit mist
    In the half light, a great set of antlers appear through the Kopački rit mist © Mario Romulić.

    At dawn and dusk, a mist sometimes falls across the marshlands. Through the haze, perhaps you'll see a great set of antlers appear. This is Cervus elaphus, a Red Deer stag. He's one of the world's largest deer and he lives in Kopački rit.

    His antlers have been growing since spring. As much as 2.5 centimetres a day. Their speedy growth is a result of testosterone. They're covered in a velvet skin, supplying oxygen to the fast-growing bone. But, on the border between summer and autumn, the velvet is shed. The antlers calcify. They've reached their peak. Instead, the testosterone builds in the stag. It erupts around September, the mating season. This is known as the Deer Rut.

    Roar of the rut
    The Deer Rut season in Kopački rit
    The otherworldly sound of deer rut season in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    Sometimes you can't see him. The mist is too thick. But, you can still hear him. His roar is a signal to the smaller, female hinds. The sound is huge. He's competing with the other adult males.

    After attracting females, they form a group. He must defend it. Rival stags appear and walk alongside. The males size up their opponent. If neither backs down, they'll fight. Their antlers are ready for the violent clash.

    Tour of the rut
    A mature Red deer male in Kopački rit
    A mature Red deer male in Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    The Deer Rut season in Kopački rit lasts from the beginning to the end of September. Roaring is most common during dawn and dusk. Generally, this is when the deer are most active. You can visit the park alone in this time to experience it. Or, go on a guided tour, organised by the park. In groups of less than 10, you'll be taken to key areas where the rut is happening.

    Deer rut guided tour price: 200 kuna per person per hour.

    Tikveš castle and grounds

    Tikveš castle and grounds
    As shown above, Tikveš castle and grounds © TZ Baranja.

    Not only a castle but also a surrounding complex, this section of the park has quite some history. In detail, it's comprised of the New Castle with an annex, a country villa, a small chapel, ancillary buildings and a restaurant. Around the castle, you'll see a park and promenade.

    © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    During its history, Tikveš castle was a hunting stay for the Teschen branch of the Habsburgs. Previously, it counted among its guests Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I and the last German Emperor William II. After World War II, the castle was one of the presidential residences of Josip Broz Tito. Thereafter, more contemporary figures joined Tito on his hunting visits. Among them, Russian statesmen Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev.

    At this time, the complex is undergoing a massive and long-planned reconstruction. Opening in late 2021, the Tikveš Presentation and Education Center will be a multimedia-filled attraction. There, you'll be able to find out all about the wild residents of Kopački rit and their habitat.

    The village of Kopačevo

    Fishermen in Kopačevo, a photograph by Isabella Von Habsburg
    Fishermen in Kopačevo, a photograph by Isabella Von Habsburg © Kopački rit Nature Park.
    Recent history

    In the middle of the 19th century, over 1400 people lived in the village of Kopačevo. Perched on the edge of the wetlands and, today, within Kopački rit Nature Park, the main occupation of the villagers back then was fishing. Indeed, the current understanding is that, during its peak, some 200 men were engaged full-time in this pursuit. What's more, a wealth of early photography exists that captures how life here once was.

    Boats full of fish in Kopačevo
    Boats full of fish in Kopačevo © Public domain.

    Most villagers back then were ethnically Hungarian. By the same token, that remains the case today. Similarly, just as today Kopački rit is used to visitors, so was Kopačevo back then. Famed for its fishing, people from around the area came here to buy fish. In order to let visitors know which house sold fish, a fish sign sat on the front of the dwelling.

    A bountiful catch in Kopačevo
    A bountiful catch in Kopačevo © Public domain.

    Over the last century, the village existed within several different states. Markedly, these fluctuations in ownership contributed to a decline in population. Coupled with the establishing of Kopački rit as a Nature Park in 1976, when fishing was limited, life in Kopačevo changed.

    Kopačevo today
    OPG Didin konak in Kopačevo
    OPG Didin konak in Kopačevo © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    Growing vegetables in Kopačevo is today a greater industry than fishing. In fact, the village is famous for its peppers. Actually, it's the powdered paprika made from them that has the real renown. Some say it's among the best in Baranja. What's more, you'll find it used in the traditional dishes you can try in Kopačevo today.

    Reformed Christian Church in Kopačevo and paprika
    Reformed Christian Church in Kopačevo and paprika © Mario Romulić.

    Actually, although vegetables are now a bigger concern, fishing traditions in Kopačevo survive. Not only can you still buy fish here, but also you can visit their famous festival. In early September, the weekend-long Kopačevo Fishing Days draws over 2000 people. There, you can taste the traditional foods of the village and try the local produce. Also, the villagers use these days to promote today's other chief industry - ecotourism and agrotourism.

    Fillets of freshwater fish, caught by Kopačevo fishermen in the wetlands of Kopački rit. Firstly, they are smoked, then either preserved in flavoured oil or dried
    Fillets of freshwater fish, caught by Kopačevo fishermen in the wetlands of Kopački rit. Firstly, they are smoked, then either preserved in flavoured oil or dried © Mario Romulić.

    Where to eat in Kopački rit Nature Park

    Šaran u rašljama. Butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire at the Kopačevo Fishermen's Days
    Šaran u rašljama. Butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire at the Kopačevo Fishermen's Days © Mario Romulić.

    The close proximity of several villages to the wetlands makes this part of Baranja the perfect place to lunch or dinner when you're visiting. Also, you can stay overnight and make a weekend of it (see below).

    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used
    Fiš paprikaš, a river fish stew, spicy and deep red in colour from the generous paprika used © Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit.

    At Darócz, you can try dishes like stuffed duck, rabbit with bacon or freshwater fish. Both frog and rooster make up the options of their pörkölt stew. Also, they cater for vegetarians.

    If you want to try traditional Baranja food, then there's a range of great options. Didin Konak has a great selection of regional wines. Most of the vegetables Kod Varge use are grown in their own garden. Citadela are renowned authorities in regional cuisine for over 30 years. Kormoran is run by the big, local wine and meat company, Belje. It's surrounded by peaceful nature and has a kids' play area.

    As shown above, Čobanac, a regional specialty © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board.
    Traditional dishes of Slavonia-Baranja

    Among the best dishes to look out for are the following local specialties. Fiš paprikaš (spicy river fish stew), šaran u rašljama (butterflied carp, cooked over an open fire) and čobanac (spicy stew made from wild meats like boar and deer).

    Accommodation: Where to stay in Kopački rit Nature Park

    You'll find a range of options, from rooms and apartments to camping and family farms in Bilje municipality. If you want to see a good selection, then look here.

    The Kopački Rit Nature Park and Baranja photography of Isabella von Habsburg

    Princess Isabella Hedwig Franziska Natalie of Croÿ
    In her youth, Princess Isabella Hedwig Franziska Natalie of Croÿ © Public domain.

    Born Princess Isabella Hedwig Franziska Natalie of Croÿ on 27 February 1856, Isabella upped her game by marrying in the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Specifically, she married Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen on 8 October 1878. They had eight daughters and one son.

    Spending time at their estate in Baranja, Isabella made the most of these surroundings. Indeed, it was recorded she personally shot 146 deer in Tikveš. Not only was she a keen hunter, but also an early amateur photographer. Specifically, she recorded the life of her family and visits of high-ranking dignitaries. But, also scenes from village life in the area of the Nature Park. Indeed, in many, we can see the once-thriving fishing endeavours of people from Kopačevo.

    PHOTOS: Village life in the area of Tikveš, Kopačevo and today's Kopački rit, over 100 years ago
    Villagers in folk costume
    Villagers in folk costume © PP Kopački rit.
    Fishermen on the wetlands
    Fishermen on the wetlands © PP Kopački rit.
    Children drawing water from the well
    Children drawing water from the well © PP Kopački rit.
    Villagers undertaking rural work
    Rural villagers undertaking seasonal work © PP Kopački rit.
    Fishing boats, pulled up onto the banks
    Fishing boats, pulled up onto the banks © PP Kopački rit.
    A royal affair

    Eight daughters is quite a lot to marry off. Isabella must have thought she'd hit the jackpot when Archduke Franz Ferdinand's visits increased. After all, he was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. But, alas, he had no interest in Isabella's daughters. In truth, he was interested in Isabella's lady-in-waiting, Sophie. As a mere aristocrat's daughter, Isabella deemed Sophie's relationship with the royal to be inappropriate. Unsuccessfully, she tried to sabotage it. The pair were eventually married in 1900. Sadly, they died together in 1914. Of the two bullets fired by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo that day, one hit Franz Ferdinand, the other hit Sophie.

    A huge deer, outside the hunting lodge, transported by horse and cart after the hunt
    A huge deer, outside the hunting lodge, transported by horse and cart after the hunt © PP Kopački rit.
    villagers in folk costume
    More villagers in folk costume © PP Kopački rit.
    The water almost reaches the tree branches. This high level is not uncommon in the wetlands and was the best time for fishing
    The water almost reaches the tree branches. This high level is not uncommon in the wetlands and was the best time for fishing © PP Kopački rit.
    Rural life in Baranja more than 100 years ago
    Rural life in Baranja more than 100 years ago © PP Kopački rit.

    Lakes and the marshland floods

    Depending on when you visit, alongside the marshland, you'll find two lakes in Kopački rit. In fact, these lakes are the only permanent areas underwater. The marshland is flooded for an average of 99 days a year. But, the entire surface is underwater for an average of 32 days. Arriving in early spring, the flood wave is due to melting snow in the Alps. Both the Drava and the Danube water level rise. Hitting its peak between April and May, by the end of the summer, water is withdrawn from the marsh.

    Kopačko Lake

    With an average area of ​​220 hectares, Kopačko is the largest lake in Kopački rit. It is 1.5 to 5 meters deep. You'll find it located in the center of the park.

    Sakadaš Lake

    At 7 meters in depth, Lake Sakadaš is the deepest lake in the park. You'll find it located in the deepest recesses of the marsh.

    Where is Kopački Rit Nature Park?

    Kopački rit is in Bilje municipality, Baranja region in northeastern Croatia. It is the most easterly of Croatia's Nature Parks and National Parks. It is 12 kilometres to the northwest of Osijek city. The wetlands exist within a thin triangle between the Danube river and the Drava river. The furthest edges of the park are around 10 kilometres from their confluence.

    In detail, the official entrance to Kopački rit has the GPS coordinates 45.6082° N, 18.7903° E.

    How to get to Kopački Rit Nature Park

    Flights, nearest airport to Kopački rit
    osijek airport runway
    Runway at Osijek airport.

    Of course, at only 27 km distance, Osijek Airport (OSI) is the nearest airport to Kopački rit. However, the nearest major international airport to Kopački rit is Belgrade. In detail, Kopački rit is 173km distance from Belgrade airport (2 hours 27 mins drive time, via the D2). Additionally, Kopački rit is 289 km from Zagreb airport (2 hours 45 mins drive time). Also, Kopački rit is 274 km from Budapest airport (3 hours drive time).

    Road, by car to Osijek
    Motorways. How to get there by car.
    © Hrvatske Autoceste.

    In light of its closeness to the E70, Osijek is well connected to the European motorway network. Also, this is the road to take if travelling from Zagreb to Kopački rit. Turn off the E70 at Čvor Sredanci junction, then take the E73 (Croatian D2) to Osijek. Driving time between Zagreb and Kopački rit is about 3 hours.

    Running from Budapest to Ploče, via Osijek, the E73 (Croatian D2) is the quickest road route between eastern Slavonia and southern Dalmatia. Take this road if you're travelling from south Dalmatia to Kopački rit. Also, this is the road to take from Hungary to Kopački rit.

    Looking for a fast, reliable and trouble-free transfer to or from Kopački rit? Contact TC transfer partner Adriatic Transfers for your one-stop solution.

    From Osijek to Kopački rit Nature Park by car
    Bridges of Osijek over the Drava
    As shown above, in the foreground, Franjo Tuđman road bridge, next to Tvrđa. You must take this bridge to go from Osijek to Kopački Rit Nature Park by car. In the background, Osijek pedestrian bridge. You can take either bridge if cycling from Osijek to Kopački Rit © Romulić & Stojčić.

    There are several junctions where you can leave the motorway network in Osijek. In order to get to Kopački rit, you need to come off at the largest, most central one. It is clearly signposted as the junction for Bilje. After you leave the motorway network, it's a straight road all the way to Bilje. Firstly, the road is named Ulica Kneza Trpimira, then Biljska cesta, then Ulica kralja Zvonimira. But, it's all the same road. In the very centre of Bilje, at the roundabout, take a right onto Ulica Šandora Petefija. After around 600 metres, you'll see the access road to Kopački rit on your right. It is clearly signposted.

    Bus to Kopački rit Nature Park

    Unfortunately, there is currently no public transport option that will take you from Osijek to Kopački rit. But, it really isn't that far. If you're in Osijek without a car and want to visit Kopački rit, then...

    Taxi from Osijek to Kopački rit Nature Park

    Independent taxis like Osjecki taxi or Cammeo will get you from Osijek to Kopački rit in no time. In detail, the ride should cost around 40 or 50 kuna.

    Cycling from Osijek to Kopački rit Nature Park
    a bicycle in front of the pedestrian bridge on the Drava
    At dusk, a bicycle in front of the pedestrian bridge on the Drava © Romulić & Stojčić.

    In truth, cycling is one of the very best ways to get from Osijek to Kopački rit. Not only is this incredibly popular with locals, but also there are two brilliant routes.

    1) Asphalt cycle path from Osijek to Bilje

    Firstly, and new in 2021, Bilje municipality have reconstructed and asphalted a brand new cycle path. It runs all the way from Osijek to Bilje. Brilliant! The path runs at the side of Biljska cesta / Ulica kralja Zvonimira. If you want to take this path, then pick it up at the road bridge near Tvrđa in Osijek.

    2) Drava levee gravel path from Osijek to Kopački rit Nature Park

    Secondly, the more traditional route runs along the Drava levee. This is an older path, so suitable for most bikes, especially the more robust ones. But, perhaps not for racing bikes. If you want to take this route, then, again, cross the road bridge by Tvrđa. Or, you can even take the pedestrian bridge, if you're coming from the city centre or west Osijek.

    A cycle path by the Drava
    A cycle path by the Drava © TZ Osijek.

    After crossing the bridges, drive to the right along the embankment/promenade that runs by the Drava river. The riverside promenade finishes under the railway bridge. Thereafter, you join a road, before immediately turning right onto Dravska obala (Drava levee). Passing forests and fields, lakes and the village of Kopačevo, this route will take you right into the heart of Kopački rit.

    If you're not from the area and want to better understand the location of the levee path, then see the map below.

    Opening times

    Winter: From 8am to 4pm (November, December, January, February, March).

    Summer: From 9am to 5pm (March, April, May*, June, July, August, September, October).

    *Recognising that May is one of the most popular times to visit the park, on Saturdays and Sundays in this month, Kopački rit is open from 9am to 6pm.

    Tickets and Entry

    Standard day tickets for walkers and cyclists

    Day tickets for entry to Kopački rit cost 10 kuna (less than 1 and a half Euros, or around 1 US Dollar fifty cents). You can stay in the park for as long as you like with this ticket.

    Group tickets

    The park is used to hosting groups and can accommodate guided tours in several different languages. But you must organise these with the park in advance. For groups of 10 or more, a 15-minute presentation plus entry ticket costs 20 kuna per person. A guided tour around the park in each available language costs: 300 kuna per hour for the guide, plus a standard entry ticket per group member.

    From above, Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.
    From above, a section of Kopački rit © Mario Romulić.

    More information

    Kopački rit Nature Park (Park prirode Kopački rit)

    Kopačevo Reception Center.
    Mali Sakadaš 1, 31327 Kopačevo, Bilje.
    Telephone:  +385 31 445 445; +385 31 752 320; +385 31 752 322.
    Fax: +385 31 752 321
    Kopački rit Nature Park website here.

    Tourist Board of Municipality Bilje - Kopački rit (Turistička zajednica Općine Bilje - Kopački rit)

    Kralja Zvonimira 10, 31327 Bilje.
    Telephone:  +385 99 263 6780.
    Working hours: 8am - 4pm.
    Tourist Board of Municipality Bilje - Kopački rit website here.

    ]]> (Marc Rowlands) Destinations Thu, 20 May 2021 16:11:00 +0200
    Osijek in a Page 2022: Food, Football, Things to do, Map, Accommodation Meet the charming capital of Slavonia: Welcome to Osijek! Where to stay, eat, drink, what to do and see. Getting around, festivals and more!

  • Welcome to Osijek Croatia
  • Top 5 things to do in Osijek
  • Where to stay? Accommodation in Osijek
  • Slavonia and Baranja food and drink: Croatia’s best?
  • Museums, art galleries and theatres
  • Football
  • Day trips from Osijek
  • Festivals and events in Osijek
  • A few things most people don't know about Osijek
  • Weather in Osijek
  • Osijek Map
  • How to get to Osijek and get around
  • Useful contacts
  • Welcome to Osijek Croatia

    osijek parks romulic stojcic

    The Drava river separates two historic regions - Baranja and Slavonia. Today, although it is in Slavonia itself, Osijek is the capital city of Osijek-Baranja County, which includes all of Baranja. However, Osijek is also the cultural and social capital of Slavonia. Here Osijek sits, integral to lives across these vast areas, the fourth largest city in Croatia. And yet, although it is an economic and IT hub too, here you quite often don't feel like you're in a city at all.

    Croatia's greenest city

    Osijek is Croatia's greenest city, a city full of parks and riverside promenades. Being completely flat, it's a gift for cyclists. But, if you can, the best way to take in Osijek is on foot. Because that gives you time to linger when you pass some of the incredibly detailed buildings here.

    the post office in Osijek
    Is it a palatial hotel? The high court? The town hall? No, that's just the post office in Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.
    A city with 3 centres

    The city actually has three centres, a result of it growing in an elongated manner, stretching down the river. Each holds its own draws and attractions. Around them, pretty tree-lined parks and streets and just beyond, rural villages. Indeed, although Osijek is itself very green, perhaps the best aspect of this place is its closeness to other amazing things, not least wild nature.

    Kopacki Rit Nature Park, is just to the city's north. Outside of its borders, the greenery is more structured. Agricultural land here produces some of the finest white wines in all Croatia. Unusually, they're here paired with a full-flavored cuisine, the spiciest in Croatia. This menu is one of the most memorable parts of a visit to Osijek. As well as the people - some of Croatia's warmest and most welcoming hosts. But, there's much more besides, as we'll see here...


    Top 5 things to do in Osijek

    1) Walk the Drava on the longest river promenade in Croatia

    Drava, Osijek.
    As shown above, the Drava © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Walk leisurely the promenades on either side of the Drava river. Cross between them using Osijek's famous pedestrian bridge. It's spectacularly lit at night! Enjoy the view of the old part of Osijek Tvrđa from the other side of the river. On the city side, the promenade is now resurfaced - great for running and kids! Also on this side, you'll pass by gorgeous parks and secession architecture.

    2) Explore Tvrđa

    Tvrđa © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Osijek's Old Town, or Tvrđa (citadel), is the best-preserved and largest ensemble of Baroque buildings in Croatia. They are enclosed within a Habsburg star fort built on the River Drava. But, this is no relic. Some of Osijek's best-loved cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are here. So, it's very much a living, breathing part of Osijek city life.

    3) Enjoy the great outdoors in a city full of parks and monuments

    Super green Osijek, a city full of parks
    Super green Osijek, a city full of parks © Romulić & Stojčić.

    Gosh, the air in Osijek is so much fresher than in any continental city. You'll notice it instantly. Not least if you're on foot. Because walking through Osijek, sooner rather than later, you'll pass through a park or some pretty, tree-lined avenue.

    Daybreak filtering through the trees on an avenue in Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.

    In fact, from Ulica Kneza Trpimira, on the eastern side of Tvrđa, the best way to get to Osijek city centre is completely green. To put that into perspective - in case you're unfortunate enough to have never been to Osijek - that's 1.5 kilometres of park land and leaf-shaded, riverside route. Through the very heart of Croatia's fourth largest city. Osijek's parks are filled with intriguing statues. In fact, the whole city is littered with fascinating monuments.

    © Romulić & Stojčić.
    Osijek statues and monuments
    Red Fico in Osijek
    Red Fico © Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL.

    To catch the main ones, start at the beloved Red Fićo, a small red car overcoming a tank at the intersection of Trpimira and Vukovarska. Secondly, visit the the vivid 'Dying Soldier' by Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, plus the modern, mother and child and Miroslav Krleža statues in conjoined parks Držislav and Petar Krešimir.

    Dying Soldier' by Robert Frangeš-Mihanović
    Dying Soldier' by Robert Frangeš-Mihanović © Romulić & Stojčić.

    You'll find Pablo Picasso on the promenade, with two Sphinx near Cinema Urania. Furthermore, statues of Croatian violinist Franjo Krežma, president Franjo Tuđman and writer Augusto Cesarcu occur on the walk between Kapucinska and the huge Monument to Croatian War Veterans at the end of trg Slobode. Ante Starčević sits imposing over the square also named after him, with a modern seating sculpture just to his side.

    August Cesarec, the walker
    August Cesarec statue, known locally as 'The Walker' © Romulić & Stojčić.

    4) Be stunned by the city's Secession architecture

    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek
    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.

    The city has a wealth of buildings built in the secessionist and art nouveau style. Informed by similar movements in Austria and Hungary, the ones here display distinct, regional flourishes.

    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek
    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.

    If you thought the Drava, Tvrđa and Osijek parks were beautiful, then just wait until you get an eye full of European Avenue. You'll find more gems off the street, as you explore neighbourhoods around the city.

    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek
    Secessionist and art nouveau architecture in Osijek © Romulić & Stojčić.

    5) Discover the wider region in a day trip

    the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral
    As shown above, the masterpiece interior of Đakovo cathedral @ Sergio Gobbo / HTZ.

    Osijek is a brilliant base from which to explore the wider regions of Slavonia and Baranja. Not only do you have the vibrancy of a big city, but you're surrounded by nature and fascinating rural endeavours. Furthermore, there are two national borders close by.

    Hop across to Hungary or Serbia for sightseeing and gastronimic exploration, if you like. Although, there's so much to explore in Osijek, Bilje, Baranja, Dakovo, Vukovar and Vinkovci, you'll struggle to fit everything in. If day trips are an essential part of your holiday, then Osijek is one of the best places in Croatia to visit. For specific ideas about day trips from Osijek, see our dedicated section below.

    Where to stay? Accommodation in Osijek

    As shown above, famous actor Rade Šerbedžija, in the courtyard of Maksimilian.

    The city has something for every taste. Accordingly, you'll find hotels, private accommodation, guest houses and hostels.

    Many are within old, beautiful baroque and secession buildings. Subsequently, they combine modern interiors with historic exteriors. Also, many offer bike rentals too. One of the best of these is Maksimilian Guest House. Not only is it right in the heart of, but also it has a delightful garden in the courtyard with topiary.

    Hotel Osijek is a 4-star stay, with great views directly overlooking the Drava. Additionally, Hotel Silver on the other side of town has nice rooms and pleasant staff.

    Check out the best deals for accommodation in Osijek below:

    Slavonia and Baranja food and drink: Croatia's best?

    As shown above, Čobanac, a regional specialty © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board.