Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The travel guide Lonely Planet has published a list of the leading “must visit” European destinations for this summer. Among many famous destinations the Northern Dalmatia region found its place, too. According to the article, Northern Dalmatia is among the top ten destinations in Europe because it encompasses all the cultural features of the Adriatic coastline and has amazingly pristine nature that hasn't been seen anywhere else in Europe.
The mountain of Velebit stands out in this picture of beautiful nature. It is a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve where a European “re-wilding” initiative has been carried out. This all makes Velebit the most rewarding and at the same time pretty unknown destination. In the very heart of North Dalmatia lies the city of Zadar, an excellent place for travellers who want to visit and explore a lesser-known Croatian city.
‘’Intriguing and vibrant, this top transport hub sits in a lovely location looking out to sea and combines an exceptionally rich cultural history with a radical forward-looking attitude. This combined with the region’s soaring karst mountains, cinematic waterfalls and limpid blue waters makes Northern Dalmatia a must in2016,’’ says the Lonely Planet.
The top destinations list was prepared by a team of experts with years-long travel experience during which they explored every corner of Europe and visited everything worth seeing. The well known destinations with new offers for this year have found their place on this list but among them there are also destinations that passed unnoticed until now.
The best European destinations in 2016 chosen by Lonely Planet
The Peloponnese (Greece)
The Dordogne (France)
East Coast Tenerife (the Canary Islands)
Texel (the Netherlands)
Northern Dalmatia (Croatia)
Homemade carts hurtling down hills at breakneck speeds with drivers only inches from the ground, yes this weekend it is the time for “Balinjera 2016.”
At 3 o’clock in Orasac this Sunday, the 29th of May, the racers will line up at the top of the hill before launching themselves down the 470 metres course. This traditional event in Orasac is a cart race in which “drivers” plunge down the winding course in carts made in their back gardens and garages. The carts, which roughly look like sleds, have to navigate the half a kilometre course with its twists and turns with the massed crowds cheering them on.
It is always a great spectacle and well worth a trip to the Orasac countryside. There will even be a race for children, juniors, over a 100 metres course. And apart from medals and prizes for the first three racers there are some more imaginative award, such as best cart and worse cart.
“Balinjera 2016,” this Sunday, at 3 o’clock in Orasac.
It will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has swum in the Croatian Adriatic Sea that the waters are some of the cleanest in the world. And now that has been confirmed by an official report by the European Environment Agency released this week, with Croatian waters coming top of the quality list.
This survey of the waters of Europe has been produced for the past two centuries and Croatia has always ranked highly. The latest findings put Croatia in fourth place in Europe with a quality ranking of 94.2 percent. Cyprus, with 99.1 percent, came in at the number one spot, followed by Malta with 97.7 percent and Greece with 97.2 percent.
In total over 21,000 swimming spots all over Europe had the quality of their water checked, the survey was looking for bacteria and pollutants, in Croatia almost 600 beaches were checked.
Near the bottom of the list were Italy, France and Spain, three classical European holiday destinations.
Last year Dubrovnik was minimally linked with European destinations outside the tourist season, but it seems that this year will be quite different. 14 rotations of direct flights have been announced - Dubrovnik will be connected with Istanbul and Frankfurt three times a week, with Barcelona two times a week, and with Rome four times.
Negotiations with British Airways are in the final phase, so the City and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board already count on two direct flights a week from London.
They're still working to return the line to New York twice a week, for which justification is found in the strong increase in arrivals and started negotiations for the establishment of the direct line to Brussels, also twice a week.
Fashion, travel and passion – that's what's hidden under the name FashionContainer. Team, that is made of two young multi-talented girls, Malena Permentier and Tatiane Kozijn, has just visited Dubrovnik and we couldn't help but notice their perfect photos from our town all over social media. Malena is mostly the model and Tatiane the photographer. We caught up with Malena who shared their Dubrovnik experience with us, as well as the details about this really interesting blog. The first post from Dubrovnik is already here, so feel free to take a look.
How did you decide to start a blog together?
We didn't actually start the blog together. Back in 2012 I started it on my own. When I moved back to the Netherlands from Australia early 2015 Tatiane joined up and we've been a 2 girl power team ever since.
Why did you choose travel and fashion for your topics?
They're two things I feel very passionate about and making them come together both on social media as on the blog is a dream come true! As a team we started making a lot of big travel plans since about a year and then we just asked ourselves 'why not just combine the two?'. As we were travelling and shooting projects for FashionContainer all the time, it kind of evolved naturally.
Who are the readers of FashionContainer?
They're strong minded, adventurious and super stylish young women!
Does Tatiane ever go in front of the camera?
For our travel series, absolutely yes! But because Tatiane is the photographer, most of the time we need her behind the lens instead of in front.
Who picks out the outfits? How long it takes for you to get ready?
I pick out and style all my outfits. When I travel, I always prepare my outfits before I leave meaning that when I'm on location I don't need much time to prepare them. Believe it or not, but most days it takes me no longer than 30 minutes to get ready. And yes, that's with make-up, hair and all!
Do you adapt the style to the destination? How often do you travel?
Always! For example here in Dubrovnik, I went for lots of white, neutrals and a cute floral print here and there. Next week we're heading to Morocco and I'll choose more bright and vibrant outfits to match the atmosphere. It depends on the month, but usually we travel at least 3 times. Sometimes we even stay away from home for 2 months straight, like we did last December and January when we travelled the Caribbean and Central America.
Why did you choose to come to Dubrovnik?
I heard a lot about the unique Old Town of Dubrovnik and we wanted to see it for ourselves! We stayed for 5 days but wished we could have stayed longer.
What are your impressions?
We absolutely loved Dubrovnik. The Old Town is unlike anything we've ever seen and the views and history are just amazing.
What is your favorite part of Dubrovnik?
The Old Town for sure. Our favourite thing to do was wandering the City Walls at sunset. Just mesmerizing!
Which style suits Dubrovnik the best?
I'd say elegant with a little beach vibe.
What do you think of the style of the ladies in Dubrovnik?
It's hard to tell whether they're local or tourist, right? From what I've seen the ladies look very elegant.
What is your next destination?
I already spilled that above: Morocco! We're very excited to visit this country for the first time.
All photos made by: Tatiane Kozijn
Folklore Group ‘’Hrvatski dom Linz’’ (Croatian home Linz) from Austria will perform in front of Saint Blaise Church at 11 am on Saturday.
The organizers are Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Croatian Heritage Foundation, and co-organizers are Croatian – Austrian Society of Dubrovnik and Saint Michael parish.
Following performance will be by folk group ''Dalmatica'' from Zadar.
On the latest City Council that was held on Monday, the mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic said that even Beyonce might perform on New Year's Eve and that they are negotiating with her team. Also, he said that if she doesn't perform, someone who's in her rank will. That's all part of the plan of improving the winter tourism in Dubrovnik, but we must wait and see if it's realistic.
It's hard to think about winter because these days we all dream about summer, but the City of Dubrovnik has the whole year on its mind all the time. Couple of days ago they've published a promo video for Dubrovnik Winter Festival. It is made of scenes from the last years Festival and it's a nice throwback to those winter months that have passed. We'll see what they have planned for this year!