Even though a gondola is a recognizable symbol of Venice around the globe, gondoliers or gondola drivers dressed in striped shirts wearing straw boaters with ribbons can no longer be seen only in this capital of the Veneto region in Italy.
The historic town and harbour of Trogir on the Adriatic coast in the Split-Dalmatia County has enriched its tourist offer with a gondolier driver!
The first Croatian gondolier Damir Misetic is a 27-year old young man from the island of Ciovo near Trogir who came up with a great business idea. He went to Venice and bought an old gondola, refurbished it and now he plans to drive tourists around Trogir.
The gondola is 11 metres long and it weighs 600 kilograms. It also has a solar panel to provide light, whilst the tour around Trogir lasts 45 minutes.
Damir Misetic - Josko Ponos / CROPIX
The seabed in the harbour of the island of Kolocep was cleaned in a special action organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board today. Divers from the Dubrovnik Diving Club, assisted by volunteers from Kolocep, dragged rubbish from the Adriatic Sea that had collected over the winter months.
This was the last in a series of such actions carried out around the Dubrovnik coastline and organised by the tourist board with the aim of cleaning the seabed before the busy tourist season.
The summer has come to Dubrovnik, well not the warmer weather but the tourist feel.
The beginning of the weekend saw thousands of tourists in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik and the main street, Stradun, was a busy promenade and a performance of folklore attracted even more guests.
Check out our photo gallery from yesterday
Photos by Ivana Smilovic
Looking to go camping in the Dubrovnik region, well look no further. Camping gives the freedom to explore the “pearl of the Adriatic” and offers you the chance to go at your own pace without worrying about being part of a larger group. And based in a campsite also means that you have freedom and quite often spectacular views over the Adriatic Sea as well as much needed peace and tranquillity. Croatia has always had a strong tradition of camping, with hundreds of campsites dotted along the Croatian Adriatic Sea. There is only one campsite right in the centre of Dubrovnik however there are a few in the more picturesque surroundings.
Camp Solitudo – Dubrovnik
Camping Solitudo Dubrovnik
This is the only campsite that is situated close to the historic Old City of Dubrovnik. Located on the green peninsular of Babin Kuk it is only a fifteen-minute bus ride to the centre of town. The camp is part of a larger tourist complex and within a five-minute walk of one of the nicest beaches in the region – Copacabana – named after the famous one in Rio. The pitches are surrounded by Mediterranean greenery and there is plenty of space to spread out.
Nearby there is a outdoor pool and children’s pool, as part of the larger tourist complex, there are available to use and the whole site has free Wi-Fi. Located in the campsite is the Bistro Solitudo restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you fancy a break from the cooking. Although this campsite is very close to the city it is also peaceful and relaxing. Solitudo Camp is open from April to November and is ranked as a three-star camp covering around six hectares.
- 393 pitches
- 21 mobile homes
- 36 showers and 53 washbasins
- shops, bars and restaurants nearby
- two beaches within five-minute walk
- large outdoor swimming pool with children’s pool
Website - https://www.camping-adriatic.com/solitudo-camp-dubrovnik
Telephone - +385 52 465 010
Camp Kupari - Zupa
Located in the region of Zupa around 8 kilometres from Dubrovnik the Camp Kupari is a good base of you are looking to be away from the crowds. Almost every pitch is covered with Mediterranean trees which provide excellent shade in the warmer months. There are ample washing facilities and toilets on the site, although rather basic compared to modern standards.
Within walking distance of the camp is the bay of Zupa with some of the best beaches in the entire region making the camp a good choice for family holidays. Also within a three-minute walk is the shopping centre SUB City which contains a large supermarket. The Camp Kupari is open from May to October and prices range from 8 Euros per pitch per night. The camp also offers free WI-FI and there is a petrol station directly opposite the entrance to the camp which is handy for filling up.
Evergreen camp site near Dubrovnik
- showers and washbasins
- shops, bars and restaurants nearby
- many beaches within five-minute walk
- free WI-FI
- petrol station nearby
Website - http://www.campkupari.com/
Telephone - +385 20 487 307
Camping Kate - Zupa
Another campsite located in the Zupa region near Dubrovnik Camping Kate is a small, family run campsite which has a capacity for 180 campers. Camping Kate is a fifteen minute drive from the centre of Dubrovnik and a ten-minute drive from the picturesque town of Cavtat. It offers attractive views over the bay of Zupa and is only 400 metres from the camp.
The camp is clean and well kept and has washrooms, toilets, WI-FI and there is a good restaurant on the doorstep. The nearest shop is around 250 metres from the camp and the main shopping centre SUB City is a two-minute drive away. Camping Kate is a good choice to explore the region in a quiet and tranquil campsite.
Family run campsite in Zupa
- showers and washbasins (solar powered)
- shops, bars and restaurants nearby
- many beaches within ten-minute walk
- capacity for 180 campers
Website - http://campingkate.incroatia.info/en/
Telephone - +385 20 487 006
Camping Pod Maslinom - Orasac
Pod Maslinom in Orasac
The clue is in the title – Pod Maslinom – means under the olive trees. This charming camp site is located 11 kilometres to the west of Dubrovnik in the village of Orasac. Pod Maslinom has 40 to 45 pitches and is surrounded not only by olive trees but also rich Mediterranean foliage.
Peaceful and idyllic the camp site is only a five-minute walk from two small beaches and a small harbour area. These beaches, named Hawaii, are a great spot for swimming and have views over the Elaphite Islands. The nearest shops are in the village of Orasac and there is also a Post Office in the village. Tucked away under olive trees that are hundreds of years old Pod Maslinom is a great choice for a break away from the hustle and bustle.
View over the Adriatic Sea
- 45 pitches
- shops, bars and restaurants in nearby village
- two beaches within three-minute walk
- tranquil and peaceful
Website - http://www.orasac.com
Telephone - +385 20 891 169
Camping Prapratno - Peljesac
If you are looking for a camp site near a great beach then look no further. Camping Prapratno is located around 50 kilometres from Dubrovnik on the Peljesac peninsular in one of the most beautiful bays in the region. The spacious camp has accommodation for up to 960 campers and is surrounded by olive trees and luscious vegetation. On site there is a supermarket, restaurant, volleyball and basketball court as well as the stunning beach. Camping Prapratno is a great choice for families as the sea has lots of shallow areas and there are also water sports available.
If you are looking to explore the Peljesac Peninsular, Ston or Dubrovnik this is a good location, although the drive to Dubrovnik will take around 1 hr 15 minutes. You can also hop on a ferry that docks in the bay and go to the island of Mljet, which with its National park is one of the most fascinating islands along the whole of the Adriatic coast.
Stunning beach in front of the campsite
- accommodation for 960 campers
- showers and washbasins
- shops, bars and restaurants on-site
- sandy beach directly in front of camp
- great choice for families
Website - http://www.duprimorje.hr/index.php/auto-kamp-prapratno
Telephone - +385 20 888 888
Dubrovnik and several other south Dalmatian towns are without a doubt the world champions in this: talking many Slavic and non-Slavic languages to their visitors, tourists and complete strangers, who might very often not understand any of the languages at all, except for, well, Croatian.
It struck me last weekend in Trogir, a little picturesque town near Split. I strolled the streets with my (Croatian) husband and my (bilingual) kids. We were looking for a restaurant to eat lunch, but it turned out to be a mission impossible. Each and every waiter, cook, shopkeeper or anyone who legitimately hung out in front of their entrance, inevitably blocked our way to attack us with a leaflet, the daily menu, and a ten second opulent greeting in very poor 1) Polish, 2) Russian or 3) Slovak. I happen to know all three of these, so I understood what they were saying: “Welcome, welcome – you interested in our offer? We have excellent prices! We love guests from Poland/Russia/Slovakia!”
When the fifth person handed a seafood leaflet to my older daughter, she said: “Mom, why is that auntie speaking Hungarian?”
My patience was over when the eleventh person jumped at us with a tray of jewellery and a Russian “How are you today?”
I turned to him and said – in Croatian: “Sorry, but could you explain to me, why are you speaking Russian to me?”
“You look Russian,” he replied, amused.
“Well, I am not,” I continued, wondering, what else do I look like to him. “I am Czech, if that interests you. I was forced to learn Russian simultaneously with learning Czech since Grade 1, because the Soviet army had occupied my country for about twenty years by then – and we had to call it a “friendly intervention”. The only communist country that refused to take part in this was Yugoslavia back then, so guess what: I don’t want to be talked Russian by a local in Dalmatia. Comprendes, amigo? Sorry, but you look so Spanish to me.”
He muttered a poetic chain of swears, although (or, perhaps, because) he knew I would understand.
The next waiter ambushed my husband with very good English: “Hello guys, where are you from? Germany? Britain? France?”
“South Africa,” my husband replied in English.
“South Africa!” the waiter cried. “You know what? I kind of thought so. I’ve got friends there!”
“I am kidding, bro,” my husband said in Croatian. “We are from Donji Brgat. I doubt you’ve got friends there.”
“Brgat!” The waiter didn’t intend to give up. “Of course I know Brgat!” He glanced at me and added: “It could have occurred to me right away that you were domaći, local. Because the most beautiful women are Dalmatian.”
“That’s for sure,” my husband winked. “But my wife is Czech.”
We ended up buying bread and cheese at local Konzum. The lady at the cashier spoke nice, uninvolved Croatian.
Back home I wondered: what’s the reason of the street-sellers’ guerrilla marketing, realized through poor pronunciation of five different languages to people whose mother-tongue is probably something else?
I couldn’t come to other conclusions than 1) increased sales and 2) feeling important and knowledgeable.
In any event, I prefer Croats in Croatia speaking Croatian to me. And I’d prefer that even if I wouldn’t understand. Have a leaflet in five languages, if you wish. But say hello to me in your language, your dialect. Because it is part of what I came for.
Blanka Pavlovic a.k.a. the Adriatic Bride is a Czech writer. She studied law (Prague) and creative writing (Oxford). As a lawyer, she specialized in international human rights law, first working for the European Court of Human Rights, then for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. She wrote five books, among them Total Balkans, The Handbook of the Adriatic Bride or The Return of the Adriatic Bride. She now lives with her family between Dubrovnik and Donji Brgat. More information and English translations of her work are available through www.blankacechova.com
Fingers crossed this could be the last day of foul weather in Dubrovnik for the foreseeable future. The city awoke to a rather strange cover of fog as the start to May continues with unusually poor weather.
The historic Old City of Dubrovnik is almost hidden from view as the mixture of low cloud and heavy mist make for a real pea-souper. However the forecast for tomorrow and for the rest of next week is for more settled weather and – wait for it – sunshine. The forecast predicts temperatures around 26 degrees all week so once again we will be able to hit the beaches.
The Croatian Air Force base in Zemunik near Zadar has officially started the flight training of Croatian pilots on the new combat helicopters Kiowa Warriors that were donated by the US government last year.
In July 2016, five out of sixteen OH-58D Kiowa Warrior military helicopters were delivered to Zemunik, whilst the remaining eleven helicopters and all spare parts and equipment arrived in December 2016 aboard the US military transport aircraft C-5 Galaxy.
For the time being five American instructors have been training eight Croatian pilot instructors. Their training is to be completed by the end of November this year, when the trained instructors will begin the training of other Croatian pilots. The full operational capability of the helicopters should be reached by next year.
On this occasion, the Croatian Minister of Defence Damir Krsticevic, the US military envoy Brigadier Robert Mathers and other guests attended the training.
''These helicopters will enable our armed forces to reach new capabilities. They are part of the $500 million worth strong support and assistance segments we received from our strategic partners'', commented the Minister of Defence Damir Krsticevic.
The US military envoy Brigadier Robert Mathers said that he wanted to visit the Croatian air base himself to see that the US donation was put into usage in order to serve common interests and security. He also emphasized that American instructors praised the team of Croatian pilots as some of the best they have worked with.
''I'm pleased because we are developing military cooperation and sharing the same values and priorities not only in Southeast Europe, but worldwide'', commented Brigadier Robert Mathers.
Almost ninety percent of the tourists that visit Dubrovnik come by plane, but we wonder what percentage comes by tractor.
This photo was taken near the Pile entrance into the Old City of Dubrovnik and we can’t help thinking that it took these tourists quite some time to reach Dubrovnik. Travelling at an average speed of around 30 K/ph this tractor has probably tested the nerves of a few drivers in the Dubrovnik region.
The popular British chef Gordon Ramsay is well known for his brutally honest comments of food and photos of food people share on social networks.
This time he fiercely attacked the popular Balkan dish ''burek'' (pastry made of thin dough filled with cheese or meat). Zlatan Sakanovic, obviously a native from the Balkan region with a home address in the US, posted his photo of burek on Twitter and asked the big chef, ''Hey Chef Ramsay, what do you think about my cheese burek?''. Ramsay shortly commented ''Giant turd''.
Ramsay's comment triggered a fierce debate on Twitter, as well as a large number of ''likes'' and ''retweets''.
''Come on, shut up, you have no idea'', or ''I've just lost respect for you'', and ''What's wrong with you, man?!'' were just some of the polite comments of fans of ''burek'' on Twitter.
Although Ramsay's comment referred to the appearance of this traditional dish, which is also very popular in Croatia, many people were offended by the chef’s negative commentary.
Does a burek really look like a gaint turd?
Weekend ahead of us brings great experiences for all those that are lucky enough to be in Dubrovnik. Folklore performances of the great Croatian folklore ensembles will be held in the heart of historical centre on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, May 13th, you’ll be able to enjoy the performance of Folklore Societies Slavonija and Sv. Juraj in front of St. Blaise church at 11 am.
On Sunday, May 14th, another great performance will be held by Folklore Societies Matija Gubec and Seljacka sloga in front of St. Blaise church at 10.30 am.
Don’t miss this weekend full of tradition in Dubrovnik, organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.