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tipTravel

ISSN: 1849-059X

www.tipTravelMagazine.com

CROATIA

Number 25 • Year VI • December 2018 - April 2019

Issue topic:

Dubrovnik and Neretva County

Cycling through southern Croatia

Travel and tourism magazine

INFORMATION • RECOMMENDATIONS • EXPERIENCES

World:

Winter in Sweden 10 reasons to visit

Kvarner: Health tourism

The healing power of the sea and the forest

Dubrovnik's winter fairytale Krka National Park • Vodice • tips4you • Bjelovar-Bilogora County The 193rd Samobor Carnival • Varaždin • Zagreb: Grič Tunnel

UNESCO:

The Batana Eco-museum


VODIČ KROZ SAJAM

TRAVel fAIR guIDe

RESERVATION OF EXHIBITION SPACES ARE IN PROGRESS

Z a g r e b – C R O AT I A

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FREE ENTRY

Information and application: phones: +385 1 4618 898, +385 1 4618 190 reservations@place2go.org info@place2go.org


EXPERIENCE THE BEST VACATION OF YOUR LIFE

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ABOUT THE MAGAZINE

INTERACTIVE FEATURES Along with the active links in textual form, which lead to certain websites, the magazine also contains active links marked with icons, and by clicking on them, you can open: - additional websites - various social networks - blogs - YouTube video content - Google locations - 360° virtual tours - live cameras that transmit videos of the destination in real time - an online shopping basket

tipTravel magazine is the first Croatian online travel and tourism magazine, which is exclusively in digital format and available to all readers free of charge. It has been issued in Croatian and English since July 2013, and in German as of 2015. It is designed for readers in Croatia and abroad who are avid travelers. In each issue, through original reports and photos, it introduces readers to Croatian coastal and continental destinations and their diverse and rich tourist offer, it reveals the less known facts, brings tourism news, announcements of events and festivals that shouldn't be missed, and first-hand advice and recommendations.

The second part of the magazine is dedicated to presenting global destinations and their travel offer. More information can be found at www.tiptravelmagazine.com, where you can also find a direct link to all the issues. The magazine can be read online on all computers, tablets, and smartphone devices via the Issuu.com website or application. On iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch), the magazine can be downloaded free of charge in the AppStore, where the application has additional interactive features to enable an even higher quality reading experience. To find it, simply type in 'tiptravel' in the AppStore.

The importance and quality of tipTravel magazine in the online promotion of Croatian tourism has been recognized and recommended to readers, tourists, by:

When you come across the App Store or Google play icon, you can download applications by clicking on them.

The users of the tipTravel magazine iOS Newsstand application also have two exclusive additional interactive features:

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NEWSLETTER


EDITORIAL

tipTravel www.tipTravelMagazine.com

CROATIA

Travel and tourism magazine

Travel and tourism magazine December 2018 - April 2019 ISSN: 1849-059X Publisher: Tip Kreativa d.o.o. Jordanovac 119, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia +385 1 2348488 +385 91 7958016 info@tiptravelmagazine.com www.tiptravelmagazine.com www.facebook.com/tiptravelmagazine VAT ID Number: HR21136573248 Erste&Steiermärkische Bank d.d. SWIFT: ESBCHR22 IBAN: HR4524020061100663844 Editor in Chief: Željka Kunštek zeljka@tiptravelmagazine.com Graphic Editor: Robert Kunštek robert@tiptravelmagazine.com DTP: Tip Kreativa d.o.o. Associates in this issue: Mirela Drkulec Miletić Petra Škofić Vlatka Vužić Translator: Marija Crnogaj

New Years' resolutions

I

will exercise more and eat healthier food, stop smoking, go to bed earlier, and on weekends and in my free time, I will spend more time on excursions, in nature, on trips... Do some of those so-called New Years' resolutions that we firmly decide every December and then proudly share with the members of our households and friends sound familiar? We say so-called because the euphoria we have for their implementation quickly passes and we soon return to our old bad habits, which are then usually accompanied by teasing from those who we shared our initial euphoria with. So, if you truly want to change something in your life, do it today. Now is the best time for new decisions and starting with their implementation. If you are in the group of those who would like to travel more in 2019 than in 2018 and are looking for recommendations for your next trip welcome :) On the following pages we

bring you new stories from some wellknown destinations, and we also focus your attention on several destinations where you will be awaited with a true idyllic winter and holiday landscape. Who wouldn't want some magic and fantasy in their daily life for a change?! The end of the year is also the time when we traditionally look back, draw the line, and try to conclude whether we have achieved most of the goals we set, both in business and privately. And have you managed to find enough time for yourself, for your hobbies and dreams, for the things that make your heart flutter and your pulse quicken? Even if you haven't, it's not a big deal. You can't turn back the time, but you can firmly decide a new (New Years') resolution. From the bottom of our hearts, we hope you'll be persistent in its implementation, and we hope 2019 will be the best year you've ever had. Željka and Robert Kunštek

Marketing: marketing@tiptravelmagazine.com Photo source: tipTravel magazine archive, archives of Croatian Tourist Boards, PHOTOnet.hr, fotolia Cover page photo: Riding through the Pelješac peninsula, with a view of Korčula © Marko Galiot / Orebić Tourist Board

Transmission of texts, in full or in part, is only permitted with the written approval of the publisher and author. Any type of mechanical, optical, or electronic copying is forbidden. All rights are reserved. Texts and photographs are sent in electronic form. The opinion of the author of the text is not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. The publisher cannot guarantee the permanence of published information, and is not responsible for the content of advertisements.

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Content

Travel and tourism magazine

December 2018 - April 2019 © Andrea Šain / Orebić Tourist Board

CROATIA

© Davor Šarić / "Krka National Park" Public Institution

tipTravel www.tipTravelMagazine.com

8-9 NEWS - Croatia 10-33 ISSUE TOPIC - Dubrovnik and Neretva County - Bike tourism: Cycling through southern Croatia 34-37 WINTER - Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik's winter fairytale 38 FILM - Dubrovnik and Neretva County 39 Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel: A relaxing vacation on the Dubrovnik Riviera

42-43

42-43 BEAUTIES OF CROATIA Krka National Park: The exciting side of the Krka River 44-45 EXPERIENCE CROATIA Vodice: Where to go on vacation? To Vodice! © Vodice Tourist Board

© Dubrovnik Tourist Board

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40-41 ONLINE - Nautica: Sons of Sails - A new platform for online boat reservations

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47 Jadran Crikvenica: Holidays on the Crikvenica Riviera 48-51 HEALTH TOURISM Kvarner: The healing power of the sea and the forest 52-53 Dentum: For an irresistible smile 54 ADVENT - Zagreb 55 Hotel International: An irresistible holiday fairytale 56-57 HISTORICAL TRACES Zagreb: Grič Tunnel

© Anna Öhlund / imagebank.sweden.se

68-89 © Visit Rovaniemi (Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd.)

58-59 © Marija Gašparović / Zagreb Tourist Board

46 TIPS4YOU

not a single tree has been destroyed in publishing this magazine

© Siniša Sović / FAS / City Tourist Association Varaždin

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Environmentally Friendly

© Davor Kirin / Bjelovar-Bilogora County Tourist Board

© Petar Trinajstić / Opatija Tourist Board

The option to show photos in fullscreen view is available to users of the tipTravel magazine iOS Newsstand application on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices.

60-61

58-59 ADVENT - BjelovarBilogora County: Winter magic at the foot of Bilogora

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68-89 WORLD - Sweden: Winter in Sweden 10 reasons to visit

60-61 ADVENT - Varaždin: This Advent, give yourself the gift of Varaždin

90 WORLD ATTRACTIONS Rovaniemi (Finland): In Santa's Village

62-63 ANNOUNCEMENT Samobor Carnival: Let's go to... the 193rd Samobor Carnival!

91 UNWTO: UNWTO launched a competition for startups in gastronomy tourism

64-65 UNESCO - The Batana Eco-museum: The boat that means the world 66-67 CULTURAL SCENE Interview - Đani Stipaničev: Šibenik's fortresses offer the best view

December 2018 - April 2019

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News

CROATIA CTNB Representative Office opened in Shanghai

© Saša Prižmić / Vela Luka Tourist Board

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As of November 5, 2018, the Croatian National Tourist Board (CTNB) has an opened representative office in Shanghai, which will cover the large market of China, which is of strategic importance for Croatia, and Franka Gulin is the director of the new office. During the first ten months of 2018, a total of 216 thousand arrivals and 315 thousand overnight stays were recorded for visitors from China, which is an increase of 43 percent in arrivals and 42 percent in overnight stays in comparison with the same period in 2017. Chinese tourists mostly stayed in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar.

The focus is on promoting business tourism and Advent By the end of December 2018, the Croatian National Tourist Board will conduct two promotional campaigns. One is aimed at promoting business tourism on the markets of France, the USA, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Benelux, Italy, Russia, and Slovenia. The campaign is being conducted via social networks (LinkedIn), ads in specialized MICE print editions, and via online channels. The other campaign is aimed at promoting Advent as one of the key motives for coming to Croatia in the winter period. It is being conducted on the markets of Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, France, Hungary, and Great Britain via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the YouTube channel.

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tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019

Branding Srijem and Slavonia The Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board has a new visual identity inspired by the opus of Vinkovci's Albert Kinert, one of the greatest Croatian graphic artists and illustrators, and a new slogan "Protkani zlatom" (Intertwined with gold), and the tourism offer has been enriched with holograms of Lavoslav Ružička, Nikola Iločki, and ban Josip Sokčević. For the first time in Croatia and beyond, holograms have brought alive historical figures, and it was all presented in Vukovar on November 28, 2018.

Međimurska popevka and dry stone walls on UNESCO's list Međimurska popevka, traditional singing from Međimurje, northern Croatia, was inscribed as an independent nomination onto UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on November 28, 2018. On the same day, the Art of Dry Stone Walling was also added to that prestigious list, which was nominated together by Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. The decision was confirmed at session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Port Louis on Mauritius.


Virtuoso: Croatia is a top 10 global destination

© Lufthansa Pixels

© PHOTOnet.hr

© Air Transat

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Virtuoso, the renowned American association of luxury travel agencies, once again conducted a survey amongst its members in 2018 - the "Virtuoso Luxe Report". According to survey results for 2019, Croatia is in the top 10 destinations in three categories. It took a high second place in the category of fastest-growing destinations, sixth place in the category of best destinations for millennials, or younger travelers, and eighth place in the category of the most popular global destinations.

Reach Canada with a direct flight from Split As of summer of 2019, Canadian airline Air Transat is introducing direct flights between Toronto and Split, which is the first intercontinental flight the Split Airport will have. Air Transat will connect the largest Canadian city and Split once a week from June 21 to September 13, 2019. In the first ten months of 2018, more than 45 thousand tourists from Canada visited the Split-Dalmatia County, which is an increase of 25 percent in comparison to the same period in 2017. www.croatiaweek.com

Kvarner to host the 2020 Skål Congress The Kvarner region managed to beat out strong competition from the most desirable regions in the world to host the 2020 International Skål Congress, which will be held in Opatija and Rijeka under the motto "SKÅL CONGRESS IN THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2020". It is expected that during the time that prestigious international event is being held in 2020, around a thousand participants will be staying in Kvarner, including many owners of influential travel agencies and tour operators.

Lufthansa is introducing a new direct Munich Rijeka line In 2019, Lufthansa will introduce a new, direct line between Rijeka and Munich. The inaugural flight is planned for May 25, 2019, after which a regular line will be established once a week, every Saturday. The flight will depart from Munich at 5:50 PM and arrive in Rijeka at 6:55 PM. The return flight from Rijeka to Munich is planned for 7:30 PM, and is expected to arrive in Munich at 8:40 PM. A Bombardier CRJ900 will fly the new connecting line.

December 2018 - April 2019

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Issue topic

DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

1 There are plenty of attractive viewpoints alongside the bike trails in southern Croatia.

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Cycling through the picturesque Mediterranean landscapes of the far south of Croatia is so much more than just cycling. Priceless experiences await you on the trails that deftly meander through enchanting nature and pass by many attractions in the mainland and island destinations there.

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tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019


Cycling through southern Croatia Text: Željka Kunštek

December 2018 - April 2019

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Issue topic

DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

2 Cycling through untouched Mediterranean landscapes; 3 Sokol grad, a fortress in Konavle; 4 The Neretva Valley; 5 A view of Ston and the salt pools at the Ston saltworks; 6 The Veliki Revelin tower in Korčula; 7 Mljet is the greenest Adriatic island; 8 Skrivena Luka on the island of Lastovo.

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tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019

e have already written about the many ways you can discover the beauty of attractive southern Croatia, and this time we have decided to focus on one of the best ways, which is growing in popularity - cycling. It is a special joy and feeling of freedom to ride along the trails that meander through that great Mediterranean garden in southern Croatia on two wheels, stop whenever and wherever your heart decides, have your breath taken away at the viewpoints that offer an incredible view of magnificent landscapes, get refreshments on the way with delicious local dishes and superb wines in taverns, restaurants, wineries, or at excursion sites and country estates, tour the attractions you will find along the way... and in the evening hours feel that healthy exhaustion, along with the impatience to start riding again the following day. The winter months, when the temperatures in southern Croatia are pleasant, along with spring, when nature is in full bloom and the summer heat is still far away enough, are perfect for such an adventure.


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Tips for safe driving • Check the condition of your bike before heading out • Choose a path according to your fitness level • Let your family/friends know where you are headed and when you will return and stick to your plan • Avoid traveling on your own outside settlements and never stray away from the group • Always bring along a set of tools for bike repair and a small first aid kit • Always bring along enough water, a helmet, gloves, sunglasses, protection from the sun, rain, and wind, and count on the weather changing. It is also recommended to bring along a mobile phone. • Before heading out, consult more experienced cyclers In case of an accident: • Provide first aid • Protect the injured person from the cold/heat • Call 112 to let them know about the accident

December 2018 - April 2019

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Issue topic

DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

An info board on Ćiro's trail; Konavle's landscape next to Ćiro's trail; 11 The Ćiro train; 12 13 It's easiest to ride a MTB bike on Ćiro's trail. 9

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See a short video clip on riding the Konavoski Ćiro trail here:

© Konavle Tourist Board

Following the legendary Ćiro

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About 150 passengers used the legendary Ćiro train on a daily basis, mostly for commuting, and in combination with bus transport.

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© Konavle Tourist Board

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If you are visiting the far south of Croatia for the first time, it's completely logical that you will first take the time to tour the internationally famous gem, Dubrovnik. Even if you aren't visiting for the first time, you likely won't miss out on drinking coffee on Stradun (the most famous street in the city), walking down the charming, steep stone streets, seeing the famous fortress walls... On the following day, leave the stone story of Dubrovnik behind and move to the green oasis of Konavle, an area south of Dubrovnik, located between the sea and the mountainous hinterland. It is a unique landscape, recognizable for its tall, lush cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves, old rural villages with preserved stone houses, mills, dry stone walls and churches, an old fortress and Illyrian piles of stones, called Konavle's pyramids, and many agritourism estates. You can tour and explore them all by bike. You can cycle there to your heart's content - there are more than 130 km of bike trails and routes there. You can ride through the flat part of the hills in the Konavle plain and the picturesque coastal villages, or decide to ride through Konavle's hills, which offer inspirational views. One of the best-known trails is Konavoski Ćiro, a gravel walking and cycling trail that stretches 30 km from Vojski dol to Pločice. It is equipped with signs, info boards, and rest stops and is ideal for riding MTB bikes. Its most attractive part is from Vojski dol to Zvekovica, where you will pass through three tunnels. The Ćiro trail is actually the route the old abandoned narrow-gauge railway used to pass through Konavle with on the Sarajevo - Zelenika route. Locally, the train was called Ćiro, and its last trip left Dubrovnik in 1976. With the construction of the Adriatic highway and the new airport in Čilipi, other forms of transportation took over and so the era of the railway in Konavle ended. The tracks it used to ride on were disassembled, together with the entire railway infrastructure, and its route was reconstructed into an attractive walking and cycling trail which now represents a monument to industrial architecture. Every year, it attracts more and more cyclists, nature fans, and guests from Dubrovnik who, thrilled by the entire tourism offer in Konavle, often decide to extend their stay.


There are several places in Konavle where you can rent a bike, and if you would like some company while riding, sign up for an organized bike tour accompanied by a certified local guide. A bike service center is also available.

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Several other bike trails crisscross Konavle. A favorite amongst all generations is the Zvekovica - Debeli Brijeg route, which is a paved road that passes through several settlements and is suitable for all types of bicycles. It offers a view of Sniježnica Mountain and the fertile Konavle plain, at it will also take you to springs where you can drink the water, and old cypress and olive groves. The route also has a separate leg, Pridvorje - Kuna Konavoska, which is great for more experienced cyclists, since over the course of six kilometers, they must conquer an incline of around 500 meters. Another route that is a paved road and suitable for all kinds of bikes and easy to handle is Čilipi - Molunat. It passes through villages on the lower part of Konavle and reveals picturesque traditional architecture, runs alongside high Konavle cliffs and offers a view of the open sea of the southern Adriatic. One of the more challenging routes is Zvekovica - Duba, where you must conquer an incline to the Konavle Mountains. The road is also paved and suitable for all kinds of bikes, and it passes through a karst landscape and settlements with stone houses. Recreational athletes will enjoy themselves on the Zvekovica - Gruda route. It is flat, paved, and also suitable for all kinds of bikes, and it runs through Konavle plain - alongside vineyards of renowned sorts of Dubrovačka Malvazija, the monastery of St. Blaise, and

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Riding along Konavle's trails; Tall cypress trees and vineyards are symbols of Konavle; 16 A mill on the Ljuta River; 17 A depiction of how the mill works; 18 The Ljuta River. 14

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DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

© Renco Kosinožić / PHOTOnet.hr

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© Damir Fabijanić / Konavoski Dvori National Restaurant

© Damir Fabijanić / Konavoski Dvori National Restaurant

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Preparing dishes under the bell (peka, sače) is deeply rooted in Croatian gastronomical tradition, and it includes cooking with fire, hot coals, and ashes. Nowadays, meat dishes (lamb, veal) or octopus are most commonly prepared in that way.

Touring the mills; 20 21 Homemade prosciutto, cheese, and wine, along with dishes roasted under the bell in Konavoski dvori National Restaurant; 22 23 The Mlin excursion site.

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tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019

alongside a complex of old mills and stupa on the Ljuta River. Stop in that protected natural landscape and tour the mills that were preventively protected as cultural monuments. At the Mlin excursion site there, you will see the only mill that is still in function. Next to the mill is a renovated stupa, where the locals will show you how wool was processed in the past, and at the excursion site, you can find refreshments will homemade delicacies - liqueurs, dried figs, arancini (candied orange peel), sugared almonds, cheese, prosciutto, homemade wine... Everything will be served to you by the staff that is dressed in traditional folklore costumes from Konavle. The excursion site is located next to the renowned Konavoski Dvori National Restaurant, famous for its superb gastronomy, which has a menu that includes traditional dishes from all the regions of Croatia. First of all, try the food typical for the area you are staying in - lamb and veal roasted under the bell, grilled trout, homemade bread, and Dubrovačka rožata. Even if you have never tasted them before, their aroma and flavor will remind you of dishes from your grandmother's kitchen.

Getting to know tradition Pass through Čilipi on Sunday, when folklore performances are held on the main town square. They are scheduled every Sunday from Palm Sunday to early November, starting at 11:15 AM. It is an opportunity to experience the traditions of Konavle first hand, and see the Linđo, the most attractive dance of the Dubrovnik Riviera, and at the end of the program, dance the waltz, which you won't need to be dressed to the nines for - it's enough to get off your bike and catch the beat. While on the square, you can buy handmade crafts, listen to klapa music, and pop into the Konavle County Museum. Over the past few years, Konavle has become home to many agritourism estates, where the hosts will pamper you with delicious homemade dishes, superb wines and liqueurs, and excellent olive oil. They will introduce you to their way of life and tradition, and some of them will also take you on interesting excursions and tours of Konavle. Many agritourism estates also offer accommodations in rustic villas and houses. The extent to which the people of Konavle are tied to their bikes is also visible in the several events they organize every year. Every spring, the tactical cycling race "Explore Konavle" is held, where racing teams tour Konavle's agritourism estates. Every year, the international "Konavle 100 km" cycling race is also held, along with cycling races for local racers and recreational athletes.


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Find a selection of Konavle's agritourism sites here:

If you visit Konavle in late December, don't miss out on the traditional "Scents of Christmas in Konavle" festival (December 23-30, 2018). Find out more:

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Get cycling maps and other important information on Konavle at the Konavle Tourist Board. For more information:

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A bridge on the Ljuta River; There is always a happy vibe in Konavle's taverns; 26 A folk dance performance in Čilipi; 27 A detail from a Konavle folklore costume; 28 A lijerica, a musical instrument; 29 A lijeričar; 30 Riding alongside the Franciscan monastery of St. Blaise in Pridvorje. 24 25

All cycling trails in Konavle are marked with blue signs that show the direction and distances, and info boards are located at marked sites on the trail. On them, you will find basic information, such as a list of country estates, taverns, wineries, excursion sites, and cultural heritage sites located in the vicinity.

December 2018 - April 2019

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DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

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A view of Slano; Stećci at the Novakovo greblje site in Čepikuće.

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Download the Dubrovnik coast Medieval Tombstones Cycle Trail brochure, which includes a map with the cycling trail, here:

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tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019

The Trail of Stećci of the Dubrovnik coast A true cycling treat awaits you west of Konavle, on the Dubrovnik coast, where the largest and most important settlement is Slano, located thirty kilometers from Dubrovnik. It is in Slano, located in a bay that bears the same name, where the "Thematic cycling trail of Stećci of the Dubrovnik coast", 50 km in length, starts. The trail is marked and equipped with info boards, and it runs through a rural area, leading all the way to Bistrina Bay. What you will see once you head out by bike will completely intrigue you. The train will reveal the valuable heritage of mystical stećci, stone tombstone monuments from the late Middle Ages. Some of the most beautiful and best-preserved examples can be seen at the Novakovo greblje site in Čepikuće, where there are six stećci shaped like a box, board, and house. If you look at them carefully, on certain stećci, which are richly embellished, you will see motifs of arcades, hunting (cavalrymen, deer, etc.), shields and swords, birds... In the close vicinity, there are two more sites Dobrštak and near the church of St. Martin, and you can also see stećci at the Vlaško greblje site in Smokovljani and near the church of St. Vid and Modest in the same settlement. Gather your thoughts on the mystical stories of the so-called stone sleepers at the family estate there with some veal or lamb roasted under the bell, homemade cheese, prosciutto and bread, and other delicious dishes, all rounded off with a good homemade wine. Continue your ride to the church called Rotonda, in the settlement of Ošlje. The octagon-shaped ruins, which used to have a bell tower above it, date back to the time between the 9th and 11th century and represent an incredibly rare example of the time they belong to in the history of architecture. You will come across three more embellished stećci at the Greblje site in Bistrina, a bay famous for farming shellfish. At the shellfish farm there, buy and taste oysters, mussels and/or other shellfish, but make oysters your first choice. Their somewhat unattractive shell hides a true delight for the taste buds. According to shellfish experts, oysters are most delicious in winter and early spring, especially around the time of the feast day of St. Joseph (March 19). Although nowadays chefs in local restaurants and taverns prepare them in many creative ways, true gourmets say that they are most delicious fresh, drizzled with just a few drops of lemon juice.


Dubrovnik and Surroundings Korcula ˇ Mljet Pelješac Lastovo Neretva

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Issue topic

DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY: Bike tourism

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The fertile Neretva Valley; An ornithological reserve; 37 The Stipe Čamber race.

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Through the wetlands empire

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Another famous bike-friendly destination in southern Croatia is the Neretva River valley, with its "capital city", Metković. There you will find avid cyclers, cycling clubs, the possibility to rent and buy bikes and spare parts (if you need them), along with bike service and repair. Still, what attracts numerous cyclists the most is the attractive marked cycling route, Prud - Dragovija - Vid, equipped with tourist signs that will make it easy for you to find your way on the trail and show you where the most important attractions are. Due to the terrain, the trail is great for MTB bike rides. There you will pass alongside viewpoints that offer a view of half the Neretva River valley, and alongside three ornithological reserves: Pod gredom, Prud, and Orepak. The trail will also take you through the forest, next to chapels, and in the distance, your eyes will reach all the way to Kuti Lake, to which the legend of an underwater city is tied. The trail also passes alongside the Norin River, which meanders through the wetlands area, and the entire time you will be accompanied by the feeling of peace and indescribable quiet that will only be interrupted by the sound of life in the wetlands. Upon reaching your destination, Vid, first take a break with a cultural treat. At the very entrance to the town, in the middle of a field, you will find the church of St. Vid, built at the site of an ancient Christian basilica. The town is also home to something of incredibly great value - the ruins of the Roman Augusteum temple and 17 marble sculptures,


© Ivica Lolić

© Dubravko Dender

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© Metković Natural History Museum / Metković Tourist Board

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38 A common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis); 39 Metković; 40 A spotted crake (Porzana porzana); 41 An African stonechat (Saxicola torquatus); 42 Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata); 43 Narona Archeological Museum.

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of extraordinary and normal height, which depict Roman emperors and members of their families. You can see them all at the Narona Archeological Museum, the first Croatian museum built in situ. Have a look at the other valuable artifacts found in the area surrounding the temple (glass, money, items made of metal and bones, pottery...), the small archeological park, legendary stone monuments, mosaics... After an exciting ride and walk through history, sit down at a Neretva table. In Vid, it's a true adventure, so, for example, there, the hosts will serve you frogs prepared in the most diverse ways, Neretva frog and eel stew, eels grilled over hot coals, fresh saltwater fish, or dishes prepared under the bell. The rhapsody of flavors will be enriched with fantastic red and white wines, homemade brandies, and liqueurs. Not only will you feed the body, but also the soul, just by looking at the Norin River and the lush vegetation in the fertile Neretva Valley. If you head out on a photo safari, which the locals will take you on in a traditional Neretva boat, the experience will be complete. The Neretva Valley is also home to other routes (not all of which are marked as bicycle routes), where you can also enjoy yourself on two wheels and explore the area, and every year, they host several cycling events: the traditional XCM Stipe Čamber race in February, the children's cycling league that is ridden during the school year, Primavera, a unique bike race for ladies that takes place in May, and the children's bike race XC Žabica.

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© Ston Tourist Board

Following Napoleon through Pelješac

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Salt, also called white gold, was first exploited and harvested in the Ston area by Ancient Romans.

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Before riding down Napoleon's old road, take a tourist brochure and map at the Ston Tourist Board.

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Start to slowly head from the sea to the mainland and head down to Pelješac, the peninsula famous for captains, superb Plavac, fantastic olive oil, the most delicious oysters in the world, untouched coves splashed by the green-blue sea, and cyclists who try to bring it all together, explore, and taste everything during their stay on the second-largest Croatian peninsula. Napoleon's army passed through Pelješac in the past, leaving behind Napoleon's Road, which stretches nearly the entire length of the peninsula - southeast from the town of Ston, famous for the longest wall and oldest saltworks in Europe, to Orebić and Viganj on the northwest of the peninsula. Part of Napoleon's Road, from Ston to Ponikve, is a marked bike trail. It is a 9 km long gravel road, which makes it ideal for riding MTB bikes. It takes you alongside natural beauty and cultural heritage, including around 40 archeological sites, amongst which the early-Christian church of St. Magdalene and the church of St. Michael from the early Middle Ages are the best-known. The trail will reveal inspiring views of the sea and dry stone walls, and lead you to Ponikve's picturesque vineyards of Plavac mali, an indigenous Dalmatian sort that results in heavenly nectar. You will also reach the settlement of Ponikve, which is known not only for vineyards, but also for olive groves. If you visit one of the wineries there, try the precious drops the winemakers will offer you in the wine cellars, along with homemade delicacies. Those are people who, like the French, have the knowledge of producing superb wine in their blood. The "Vino" trail in Ston's field is also attractive. It is 3 km long, and its starting point is next to the renowned Ston saltworks, the still-active oldest saltworks in the Mediterranean. Salt and fleur de sel are still produced there in a natural and traditional way - with the help of the sea, sun, and wind. After the saltworks, the trail turns onto a gravel road that passes by the famous wine region of Plavac mali and finally leads you to the long sandy beach of Prapratno. If you would like to explore that part of Pelješac as part of an organized bike tour, there is an agency in Ston that offers several such tours, and you can find out more information at the tourist office.


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© Orebić Tourist Board

Exciting mountain rides

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50 Orebić; 51 Conquering the peak of St. Ilija; 52 The view from Pelješac to the island of Korčula and the surrounding archipelago; 53 The Franciscan monastery and the church of Our Lady of Angels in Orebić; 54 Plavac mali.

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When riding through Orebić's trails, make sure to take a camera or a phone with a camera - you will surely need it.

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You can also make your cycling dreams come true on the western side of Pelješac, in Orebić, which was the famous sanctuary of captains and sailors in the past, and is now heaven for fans of active vacations. Napoleon's old road stretched from Ston to the largest town on the peninsula, and the entire area is crisscrossed with trails for walking, hiking, and cycling, which MTB bikes love to ride on. Although you can also easily ride on the roads that pass through the town (of course, with caution in regards to cars, especially in the summer months), fans of mountain biking will truly enjoy themselves there. They will head up to the hills above Orebić and the towns of Viganj and Kučište, while those with a braver spirit will head to the incredibly challenging trail towards St. Ilija (961 m), the highest peak of the peninsula, which offers a magnificent view of the Pelješac channel and the islands of Korčula, Mljet, and Lastovo. However, bear in mind that conquering the peak of St. Ilija is truly only for those prepared for the most extreme rides. Although you will choose the route you ride on your own, we recommend that you also choose those that pass by at least some of the attractions on that part of the peninsula. One of them is Nakovana, a historical site located near the cave that bears the same name (Spila Nakovana), where an Illyrian sanctuary from the Hellenistic era was discovered. Pass through the villages of Prizdrina, Županje selo, Potomje, Zakotorac, and Kuna, enjoy riding through the forest trails, alongside vineyards and olive groves, churches, and Illyrian piles. You will feel especially inspired in Kuna, a place that also inspired famous Croatian painter Celestine M. Medović to create great works. You can visit a gallery of his works at the nearby Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Loreto, and in the church at the monastery. While in Kuna, visit a donkey farm, and pamper your taste buds with homemade dishes and local wine at the tavern at the family farm there. Trust us, you can get anything there, including donkey milk. Cyclists are also especially attracted to riding alongside the winemaking area of Dingač, where the Plavac mali sort reaches its peak. From there you have a fantastic view of the Pelješac Channel and the neighboring islands, and you will have the same view if you climb up to the Franciscan monastery and the church of Our Lady of Angels above Orebić. Next to the church, there is a bell tower with a bell, which the Franciscans still, just like in old times, ring three times to greet boats sailing through the Pelješac channel.


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55 Cyclists frequently visit the city of Korčula; 56 Kanavelić tower; 57 Korčula's old streets in the shape of a fishbone; 58 Kočje forest in Žrnovo; 59 St. Mark's Cathedral; 60 Through Žrnovo by bike; 61 Vaja Bay.

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The heavenly islands of southern Croatia are a true magnet for cyclists. Besides the preserved Mediterranean landscape, untouched coves and pleasant climate, the islands also attract them with their rich cultural offer, various events, and fantastic gastronomy. Although you won't find marked bike trails on all the islands, bikes are still a part of their daily life in part because of the great desire to explore those heavenly landscapes by bike, and in part, as they say, due to the enjoyment they have riding the local island roads, which enables them to have direct contact with the tradition, culture, and lifestyle of the islanders. It is a true joy to explore Korčula by bike, which you can reach from Orebić with a 15-minute ferry ride. Just like the famous explorer, Marco Polo, whose name is strongly tied to that island, start out by exploring the old city center with stone streets laid out in a herringbone pattern on foot, pass by towers and palaces, visit Korčula's cathedral, and pop into Marco Polo's house. After that, head out on one of the bike routes, of which the most popular ones are those that lead from Korčula to the town of Žrnovo, located 4 km away in the interior of the island. In its area is the Kočje forest (a special reserve of forest vegetation), which you can explore on foot, along with magnificent examples of holly oak, which is how the island got its old Greek name of Korkyra Melaina (Black Korčula). Continue on from Žrnovo to one of the three attractive bays on the southern side of the

© Neven Fazinić / Korčula Tourist Board

Following Marco Polo

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© Neven Fazinić / Korčula Tourist Board

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Pupnatska Luka; 63 Riding in the interior of Korčula island; 64 A field in Čara; 65 68 The "Marco Polo Challenge" Triathlon; 66 Pošip; 67 The old cypress tree in Čara. 62

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© Damir Pačić / Korčula Tourist Board

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island - Orlanduša, Rasohatica, or Bačva, or head towards Pupnat, the smallest, one of the oldest, and the highest settlement on the island (360 m above sea level). From there, continue on towards Kneže Bay, followed by Račišće, and Vaja Bay. Another attractive route is the one that leads from Žrnovo towards Pupnat and Pupnatska Luka, which is known as one of the most beautiful bays on the island, and then continues on towards Čara, the homeland of Pošip. That sort, which is used to make the first protected Croatian white wine, is grown on a large, sunny field with a view of the sea. Čara is also home to a 350-year-old cypress tree, which is protected as a monument of park architecture, and which is located right next to the parish church of St. Peter's. From Čara, continue on to Zavalatica Bay on the southern side of the island, which offers a view of the island of Lastovo with the surrounding archipelago. Visit Korčula in late April, when Korčula's triathlon, the "Marco Polo Challenge" is traditionally held. The triathlon successfully combines competitions in three disciplines: swimming, cycling, and running, and attracts many cyclists and fans of active holidays from all over the world to the city of the famous travel writer.


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69 Riding the island trails; Vineyards in the Lumbarda area; 71 The linden tree alley in Blato; 72 Riding through the picturesque landscape of Smokvica; 73 Lumblija from Blato.

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© Mario Zlokić / Smokvica Tourist Board

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All over the island of Korčula, you will come across many taverns, wineries, country estates and restaurants with an offer of typical specialties from Korčula, Dalmatia and other parts. Stop by in some of them, take a rest from your ride, and travel to the world of enticing flavors and aromas.

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Trails full of experiences From Korčula, you can head out on bike to nearby Lumbarda on the southeastern part of the island, where another cycling trail starts, along with a wine story, where the main role is taken by superb Grk, a white sort of grape that grows best in the sandy vineyards of Lumbarda's fields. Lumbarda is also home to many olive groves, dry stone walls, churches, old towers and summer estates, long sandy beaches, and wonderful views of the neighboring islands and the Pelješac Channel. They can all be toured on three cycling trails: one leads towards Pt. Ražnjić, the other towards Žrnovo, and the third, which is more demanding for riding due to its incline, towards Gornje Blato. After your ride, treat yourself to a glass of Grk, which pairs excellently with seafood or white meat dishes in the local taverns and restaurants. It's time to head towards the protectors of the heart of the island - Smokvica and Blato, island settlements that are special for many reasons. Along with Čara, Smokvica is also known as the homeland of Pošip, a sort that has a monument erected in its honor. While there, listen to the legends of fairies and mermaids, and then tour the sites where they supposedly gather. Head down to the trails that meander alongside the vineyards and olive groves, viewpoints, and caves while others drop down to beautiful bays, amongst which Brna is one of the biggest. You can have the experience of driving through a long green linden tunnel (the second-longest linden tunnel in Europe, following Berlin's Unter den Linden) in Blato, which is a place famous for lumblija, an old-fashioned cake that has been prepared


© Boris Kačan / Vela Luka Tourist Board

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© Boris Kačan / Vela Luka Tourist Board

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74 In Vela Spila; 75 A view of Vela Luka; 76 78 Vela Luka Outdoors; 77 A live nativity scene in Vela Spila.

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according to the same recipe for more than 200 years. The Barilo Ethno House is interesting to visit, and it will tell you the story of what life and customs in Blato were in the past. Cyclists are also frequent and gladly-seen guests on the western side of the island where you will find Vela Luka in a long bay. The true treat for cyclists there are the four marked circuit cycling trails, with a total length of 60 km, which will lead you alongside olive groves, vineyards, the sea and the beaches, next to chapels and a prehistoric archeological site, Vela Spila cave, located on a cliff above Kale Bay, at 130 m above sea level. It is a site that will take you back in time 20 thousand years, and which is considered to be one of the most important sites in Europe that offers a depiction of life in the Mediterranean. Before Christmas, a live nativity scene is shown in the cave, which is a special sight to see. In Vela Luka, you will also find restaurants, taverns, and country estates with an offer of delicious local dishes, as well as the possibility of renting and repairing bicycles and organizing cycling tours. Every year, the people of Vela Luka organize several sports events that gather many fans of active vacations. They include the "Luška strka Greeting the Summer" sports-recreation event, which will be held on June 22, 2019, and includes a trail and bike race through nature and a shorter children's race through the center of the city. Vela Luka Outdoors, a festival of active tourism is on schedule for September 19th to 22, and the MTB races (27 and 54 km in length) will take place on September 21, 2019. There will also be trail races at the festival, and it is all accompanied by a plentiful sports and entertainment program.

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Riding along the Small Stone Bridge; Attractive scenery will follow you wherever you go on the island of Mljet; 81 Delicacies served next to the sea; 82 Cycling alongside Mljet's lakes; 83 Forests cover a great area of Mljet. 79

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If you aren't coming to Mljet with your own bike, you can rent one at the Small Bridge location within Mljet National Park.

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Riding through Odyssey's island The neighboring island of Mljet will delight you with its timeless beauty, which also enchanted the Greek adventurer Odyssey, and one of the island's caves bears his name. The greenest Adriatic island, immersed in the emerald clear sea, will make you want to stay there as long as possible and actively explore it. Start off at Mljet National Park, recognizable for its natural phenomenon of two karst saltwater lakes, Great and Small Lake. Great Lake is encircled by a hiking and cycling trail, 11 km in length, which is marked with info boards and a trail map so you can easily find your way around. The trail is flat, mostly paved (only 2 km are gravel-covered), and easy to manage for all generations of cyclists, and most importantly - it is incredibly attractive so every so often you will stop to take a picture of an enchanting scene or just to enjoy the view. You will also pass by Small Lake, and the picturesque island of St. Mary with the Benedictine monastery from the 12th century, located in Great Lake. At Small Bridge, rent a canoe or kayak and row to the island or take the boat that sails to it every hour and tour it on foot. The trail will also lead you to the settlements of Babine kuće, Njivice, and Soline, and next to the Soline Channel, a narrow passage that connects the lakes with the open sea. You will also pass by the Great Bridge and Small Stone Bridge, which overpasses the channel that connects the two lakes. You can also explore the park by bike as a part of an organized bike tour accompanied by a guide that is formed in Mljet NP according to the desires of the group. After your independent or guided bike tour, gather your thoughts in one of the restaurants there with island dishes and homemade wine, and if you would like to extend your stay on that heavenly island, look for accommodations with the locals, or stay in the only hotel on the island. There are many more attractive trails meandering through the park and the entire island, just beckoning you to enjoy them by bike. You will experience priceless memories there, just make sure to always ride carefully on local roads, which aren't marked as bike trails, and also include other kinds of vehicles.


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© Stjepan Tafra / Island of Lastovo Tourist Board

Visit Lastovo during the carnival season and experience the bubbly energy of the Lastovo Carnival.

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84 Lastovo, the largest island settlement; 85 Lučica; 86 Pasadur; 87 The Lastovo Carnival.

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Even though there still aren't many marked bike trails on the islands of Korčula, Mljet, and Lastovo (or their preparation is still underway), cyclists love to visit them and ride on the local island roads. Still, have in mind that heading out on such a ride, as attractive as it is, and being an experience in its own right, is your sole responsibility.

© Ante Gugić / "Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park" Public Institution

Through Lastovo by bike

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Although there aren't any marked bike trails on the distant and mystical island of Lastovo, where crowds, the hustle and bustle of daily life, and mass tourism are something completely unknown, we would dare to recommend riding bikes on its local roads. It is an island where somewhat fewer than 800 inhabitants enjoy life in peace, quiet, and total harmony with nature. Sometimes, it's a jackpot if you see someone on the road, and during the summer tourist season, when sailors and tourists occupy its heavenly bays and beaches, you will easily find a cove of your own. So, you can ride on the island's paved local roads, and completely carefree on the forest trails that meander through that untouched Mediterranean landscape. First of all, tour the largest island settlement, Lastovo, located in the interior, which is how the island got its name. You will have to do that on foot since the settlement is in the shape of an amphitheater and located on steep slopes, so walk on Lastovo's old skalinade (stone steps), tour the old stone houses, churches, and palaces and fumari, ornate chimneys built in a special way, which make the island unique. Head down the paved road by bike less than a kilometer to Lučica, a protected Baroque fishing village at the foot of Lastovo, which will thrill you with its charm. Some of the recommended routes are from Lastovo towards Ubli (the ferry harbor also known for the ruins of the Ancient Christian basilica of St. Peter), Skrivena Luka (one of the prettiest bays on the island, whose scenery is additionally complemented by the Struga lighthouse), or, for those with a more adventurous spirit, towards the hill and the Hom viewpoint, where you will ride on a paved and gravel road. Every drop of sweat is more than worth it for the reward you will get - a view of Lastovo and the northern part of the island, to the group of Lastovnjaci islands, the islands of Korčula and Vis, the Pelješac peninsula, and even Italy, which can be seen on clear days. You can also tour the settlement of Pasadur, and Zaklopatica, Zace, and Barje bays by bike. Cycling in the far south of Croatia is a true adventure and challenge for every cyclist - both recreational and professional. Make the time to take such an active vacation, but always be aware of your abilities and judge the routes you will take well. You have already chosen the destination well. 


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Winter

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Dubrovnik's winter fairytale One of the prettiest cities in the world awaits you again this winter with an enticing holiday offer and plenty of fun for all generations. Text: Željka Kunštek ◆ Photos: Dubrovnik Tourist Board

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lthough the calendar says winter is coming, it's getting warmer and warmer in southern Croatia. Along with the holiday ambiance and great mood, the reason for it is the Dubrovnik Winter Festival, which has never been more elaborate, and which has programs that will be held on what many consider to be the prettiest stage in the world - Dubrovnik's stone streets and squares. To the delight of all generations, the repertoire includes various cultural, entertaining, culinary and musical treats, and all those who visit Dubrovnik during the festival will also enjoy the fairytale scenery of the decorated city.

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1 Enchanting Dubrovnik also attracts tourists from all over the world in the winter months.


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Winter Saturday Mornings in the City

irresistible scents and aromas and win you over at nearly every step you take.

Regardless whether you are visiting Dubrovnik for the first time, or if you have already visited it before, spend your Saturday mornings in the city discovering the timeless beauty of the city and the stories and the interesting facts, many of which are only known by the locals. Sign up for a free English language guided tour of the old city a day earlier, on Friday, and be in front of the Tourist Information Center (TIC) Pile (Brsalje 5), on Saturday at 10 AM. After an hour and a half of a pleasant, inspirational walk, at 11:30 AM another cultural treat awaits you, in front of St. Blaise's church - a performance by the Linđo folk dance ensemble that will show you the temperament of the Mediterranean city through song and dance. If the catchy rhythm compels you to dance, don't hold back and dance away. The "Winter Saturday Mornings in the City" will take place from November 3, 2018 to March 30, 2019. On December weekends, listen to kolendavanje - the tradition of caroling, typical for Dubrovnik and the surrounding area, when carolers tour the city streets and squares, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Klapa music will also ring through the streets of Dubrovnik - listen to it as you enjoy some of the holiday delicacies that will entice you with their

Christmas fairytale The sweetest day in December in the city is definitely Saturday, December 8, when the locals traditionally organize the Cake Party. The rhapsody of flavors and the creativity of the bakers can be admired on Luža Square, where many cakes are displayed that day around Orlando's famous column, all accompanied by a music and performance

2 3 The holiday atmosphere on Stradun in the evening hours; 4 Touring the city during Advent.

Sign up for a free Saturday tour of the city by Friday at 6:00 PM at TIC Pile, by phone at +385 20 312011 or at ured.pile@tzdubrovnik.hr

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Winter

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5 6 7 8 The Dubrovnik Winter Festival offers plenty of events for all generations; 9 A large bear on Stradun as a background for photos.

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program. It's even sweeter to enjoy the cakes when you know that the proceeds from their sale go to charity. On December 16, the city is in the sign of the Christmas fairytale, to the special delight of the youngest. Since the spirit of giving is traditionally tied to the holiday of Christmas, the locals have prepared around 1500 gifts for the youngest visitors, all surrounded by the ambiance of a joyful musical program. 6

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Codfish Days It's never been easier to reach Dubrovnik During the 2018/2019 winter season, Dubrovnik will be connected with flights to seven international destinations. Along with its regular flights to Zagreb, Croatia Airlines will also connect Dubrovnik with Frankfurt, British Airways will connect with London, Iberia with Madrid, and Vueling with Rome and Barcelona. For the first time in the winter flight schedule, the LOT airline company will connect Dubrovnik and Warsaw four times per week, while Turkish Airlines will continue to connect Dubrovnik with Istanbul.

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It is a well-known fact that Dubrovnik is paradise for gourmets, and the city will confirm that fact at the traditional Codfish Days, which are held from December 21 to 24 in Dubrovnik's restaurants. Along with prikle and dried figs, codfish has always been an integral part of the spread on Dubrovnik's tables in the winter months, and especially on Christmas Eve. Taste the flavor of tradition and treat your taste buds to cod prepared in a white or red sauce or throw caution to the wind and try it in a slightly different way - in a thick cream soup, pâté, or in patties.

New Year's 2019 The main street of the old city center, Stradun, will be the prettiest stage under the starry sky, and will once again be the venue for the most spectacular New Year's celebration. On the first day of the New Year's program, December 30, the famous Croatian rock group, Opća opasnost, will have a concert starting at 9:00 PM in front of St. Blaise's church. On New Year's Eve,

tipTravelMagazine December 2018 - April 2019

the traditional children's New Year's celebration is planned at 10:30 AM, where the youngest will be entertained by the popular young singer Mia Negovetić & SuperCover Band. The people of Dubrovnik and their guests will ring in the New Year with the leading Croatian musical stars, Nina Badrić and Tony Cetinski, and the evening will, naturally, be enhanced with impressive fireworks at the stroke of midnight. Champagne will also be sipped at noon on Stradun on the first day of the new year, on January 1, 2019, accompanied by delicious oysters. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, which will pamper your ears with the sounds of the most famous opera arias. It is truly a special experience to combine musical and culinary delicacies, all in enchanting surroundings. Spend the first evening of the new year in style - on Stradun, with the songs of one of the most popular Croatian klapa groups, Rišpet, and start off the new year in a great mood. 


December 2018 - April 2019

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DUBROVNIK AND NERETVA COUNTY

tip

© Ro Tr ber av t K el u m nšt ag e az k in e

Film

Click on the video to see the new promotional film by the Dubrovnik and Neretva County Tourist Board, which will take you on a relaxing and interesting walk down the Dubrovnik Riviera.

DUBROVNIK RIVIERA - CROATIA

© Dubrovnik Riviera

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PROMO

© o oč

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A relaxing vacation on the Dubrovnik Riviera

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fter a hot summer, the colder months are a perfect time to relax and revitalize the body, mind, and soul, and to take a pleasant trip. Why not combine the two this winter and head over to the world famous pearl, Dubrovnik, and besides enjoying its beauty, also enjoy the benefits of the charming Dubrovnik Riviera? Its well-known host is the luxurious Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel, a favorite amongst guests from all parts of the world, especially those from Great Britain, the USA, France, and Scandinavian countries. Surrounded by an aromatic Mediterranean garden, and with an attractive view of the sea, the hotel will win you over even before

you enter its spacious, comfortable, and modern interior, and settle into one of its superbly designed rooms or suites. Make sure to make some time for yourself, forget about stress, and relax in the prestigious Shine Spa for Sheraton™ at the hotel, where you will be pampered with plenty of content and superb treatments. Relax your body in the Finnish or Turkish sauna, reenergize yourself in the modern gym, enjoy the irresistible view the whirlpool offers, or take a swim in one of the spacious pools. A true treat is relaxing with one of the fantastic treatments - massages, cosmetic treatments, or aromatherapy with local herbs, flowers, and seawater. The choice is yours, and you can also combine them. The hosts have prepared special prices and packages for enjoying the benefits of the spa and wellness center for the colder months, which you can see and reserve here: www.shinespadubrovnik.com 

Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel Šetalište dr. Franje Tuđmana 17 20207 Mlini • Croatia •  +385 20 484100 reservations@sheratondubrovnikriviera.com

www.sheratondubrovnikriviera.com

December 2018 - April 2019

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Online

NAUTICA

A new platform for online boat reservations What is the simplest way to rent the boat you want online and get the most affordable price? The answer is: Sons of Sails...

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ed with multiple years of experience and a love for sailing, the Croatian team that stands behind the name Sons of Sails created a simple platform for online boat charters. Via the search engine, which guarantees only examined boats are offered, you can rent sailboats, catamarans, motorboats, speedboats, and gulets, or anything that is offered on the current charter market. For example, if you have already sailed with a certain sailboat that delighted you with its comfort and performance, you can find the same sailboat by entering its name in the search engine. In that way, you will find out when your favorite boat is free, and you will also have the opportunity to reserve it at the best possible price. Great, isn't it? The platform also allows reservations in real time, which always guarantees the most affordable price that a certain boat has on the market. In other words, it's designed to automatically gather all the current prices and any changes in regards to them in the charter agency in real time, which is just as if the buyer directly contacts the charter agency, which then offers them their best possible price.

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Reservations are Sail into the made in three easy safe seas of the steps, after which most affordable offers you will get a on the charter market confirmation by by clicking the icon: e-mail, which will contain, along with the reservation details, promotional prices for transfer services from airports to the marina where the reserved boat is located. The same is true for accommodations, if there is a need to stay somewhere overnight. Besides simple reservations, the platform allows you to pay for the rented boat according to the offer, followed by paying with credit cards, and paying for the remainder of the amount in monthly installments, which is a great novelty. Safe, carefree, and available online boat reservations are the focus of the team behind the platform. On the Sons of Sails website, you can already find low, earlybooking boat rental prices and you can slowly start planning your next sea adventure. ď ś


Š So ns of Sa ils

December 2018 - April 2019

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Beauties of Croatia

KRKA NATIONAL PARK

"K

© rk Ma a Pu Na rio R bl tio ic n omu In al st Pa lić itu rk tio " n

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The exciting side of the Krka River The Krka River is exciting and interesting the entire length of its flow, so fans of nature and adventurists explore it all year long. Text and photos: "Krka National Park" Public Institution

1 The series of parallel waterfalls on the Krka River, the Necklaces; 2 A view of Roški slap.

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he canyon the Krka River meanders through, with its wider areas, natural barriers, lakes, and other shapes, has divided it into sections, which are biologically diverse and attractive to various profiles of nature fans. Those with an adventurous spirit and fans of walking or cycling can head upstream from Visovački Lake, where the old forest of downy oak and Oriental hornbeam at the Visovac house Kuželj mark the symbolic start of the central flow of the Krka. That is also the beginning of the 8.5 kilometer-long educational Stinice Roški slap - Oziđana pećina cave walking trail, which bears the title of one of the most beautiful trails in Croatia due to the diversity of its landscape, canyon inclines, calm marshland areas, and enchanting viewpoints. The trail leads up to Oziđana pećina cave, a prehistoric site, which can be reached by 517 wooden stairs set vertically on the Roški waterfall cliff. Man lived in the cave continuously from the period from 5000 to 1500 BC. In the cave, there is an archeological collection

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displayed in situ. Due to its favorable geographic location, Roški slap has always been the place man sought shelter. The tumultuous period of the Middle Ages is symbolized in the Kamičak and Rogovo fortresses, on opposite sides of the Među gredama canyon. The renovated watermills are a monument of traditional construction, and the construction of the hydro power plant and the development of tourism introduced Roški slap to the industrial age. The main waterfall is located at the end of the barrier from which the Krka falls into the Visovac lake in a wide fan from a height of fifteen meters. It is proceeded by a series of parallel waterfalls, twelve cascades that are, due to bubbling of the sparkling water, called "Necklaces" by the locals. The view of Roški slap is most beautiful from the hill where a serpentine road leads down from Laškovica. On the opposite hill, there is an educational trail "Niz Ploču", an old trail that runs along the Roški ravine to the watermills and the water, where visitors can enjoy a


© Ilija Kordić / "Krka National Park" Public Institution 4

view of the enchanting landscape of Roški slap, the ruins of Rogova, the scattered "Necklaces", and the blue and green color of the water running through the Među gredama canyon. There is also another trail that leads to Roški slap, the Laškovica-Žižići trail, which can be reached from the newly renovated Movement Center in Laškovica. That center is the starting point for active forms of visiting the central flow, which, as of recently, includes a 470 km long bike trail through Krka National Park. 

© Mario Romulić / "Krka National Park" Public Institution 5

© Davor Šarić / "Krka National Park" Public Institution

© Davor Šarić / "Krka National Park" Public Institution

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3 Rogovo viewpoint; 4 Šuplja stina cave; 5 Oziđana pećina cave; 6 Među gredama canyon.

There is an attractive 500 meter-long canyon, Među gredama, that leads from the Visovac Lake to Roški slap, which the Stinice - Roški slap Oziđana pećina cave trail and the Rogovo viewpoint offer a fantastic view of. Cut into the vertical, rough stone of the Krka River canyon, the canyon is considered to be one of the geomorphologically most interesting parts of its flow. On the left bank, there is a votive chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas, the protector saint of sailors, and the "Šuplja greda" (Šuplja stina) cave, which offers a view downstream to Visovac Lake and Visovac Island, and upstream to Roški slap and the ruins of Kamičak, the ancient Croatian fortress. Opposite the cave, on the top of the cliff on the right river bank, are the ruins of the medieval Rogovo (Rog, Babin grad) fortress.

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VODICE

© Ivan Ivanišević / Olympia Vodice

Experience Croatia

1 2 3 Vodice's Olympia Sky and Punta hotels guarantee an unforgettable New Year's celebration; 4 5 Hotels in Vodice have plenty of facilities for relaxation, and they also have congress facilities.

© Andrija Carli / Vodice Tourist Board

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Where to go on vacation? To Vodice! Vodice's beautiful scenery and developed tourism offer are attractive all year long.

© Ivan Ivanišević / Olympia Vodice

Text: Mirela Drkulec Miletić Photos: Vodice Tourist Board, Olympia Vodice d.d.

© Ivan Ivanišević / Olympia Vodice

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he saying goes, good news travels far. So Vodice's good reputation has traveled far across the world, so that the famous travel destination, located in a wide bay just 11 kilometers from the city of Šibenik, attracts many tourists all year long. The charming Dalmatian town has the right to be proud of its tradition and cultural heritage, natural beauty, diverse tourism offer, and a large number of events. See for yourself. It's also a special pleasure to visit Vodice during Advent. Holiday magic to remember awaits you in the central park and in the surrounding streets and squares, along with the popular Christmas Fair with plenty of souvenirs and local delicacies, musical performances, and other surprises in store. After enchanting Christmas Day comes the craziest night in the year. Celebrate it in one of Vodice's hotels, which are famous for their superb service and gastronomy, comfortable and modern accommodations, and all the additional

facilities required for a relaxing vacation (pools, fitness center, wellness...). Croatian singing star Petar Grašo will make sure you start off 2019 in a memorable way at Hotel Olympia, and the youngest guests will be entertained by a fun animation program. Hotel Punta will also await guests with a lavish buffet dinner, champagne, entertainment, and live music. Hurry and reserve your spot for the most enjoyable New Year's celebration! Take advantage of the end of the old year and the start of the New Year to enjoy the benefits of the wellness center. However, any other time of the year is also a great time to reboot your body, rest your soul, and take care of your health in Vodice. The gentle Mediterranean climate with plenty of sun, a view of the sea and the boats in the marina, and attractive surroundings with two national parks and a nature park are ideal factors to spend time on yourself, while various wellness programs at the Olympia and Punta hotels positively affect your health. Choose from superb detoxification, antistress and aroma therapy, massages,


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© Milan Balaban / Vodice Tourist Board

© Anton Unković / Vodice Tourist Board

© Anton Unković / Vodice Tourist Board

© Ivan Ivanišević / Olympia Vodice 6

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facial and body treatments, saunas, and recreational programs. Due to its fantastic traffic connections and superb hotels, along with its diverse offer of additional content, Vodice is also a highly-sought after destination for organizing congresses, seminars, and team building programs. Come to Vodice in the spring and explore it actively, preferably by bike. There are more than a hundred kilometers of marked trails, from those for recreational cyclists to the very demanding red trail, "Orlov krug". You can also go diving, sailing, kayaking, do

water sports, or try big-game fishing. Vodice will also offer you a special experience during Easter. That is the only time of the year you can see the custom of Vodice's žudije, young men dressed in Roman soldier outfits who reenact the suffering of Christ during the holy week. Round off the tradition, which has been going on for more than a hundred years, with an outdoor Easter breakfast, accompanied by performances of folk dance ensembles and Dalmatian klapa groups, enjoy sweet Dalmatian delicacies, fritule, and kroštule. 

6 The restaurant at the Olympia Sky hotel; 7 8 Fans of active vacations love to visit Vodice; 9 10 Easter delicacies and customs.

Start off the New Year with fun and in style - in Vodice, and during your stay, make sure to relax in the benefits of wellness.

Vodice Tourist Board Obala Vladimira Nazora b.b. 22211 Vodice • Croatia  +385 22 443888 info@vodice.hr

www.vodice.hr

© Andrija Carli / Vodice Tourist Board

December 2018 - April 2019

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u o y 4 s tip

© Lado

t... u o s s i m t ' Don

Snow Queen Trophy 2019.

Holidays with Lado

The best slalom skiers in the world will traditionally start off the new year, 2019, on Zagreb's Sljeme. Sljeme will play host to the Audi FIS World Cup "Snow Queen Trophy" Women's Race for the 13th time, and to the Men's Race for the 10th time on January 5 and 6, 2019.

This year, Lado, the National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia, will once again have several concerts in the holiday ambiance. The first will be held in Zagreb (December 13), followed by concerts in Novska (December 17) and Prelog (December 18), and then in Zagreb again (December 19), and in Varaždin (December 20).

www.snowqueentrophy.com

© Studio Hrg / Snow Queen Trophy

www.lado.hr

© Šibenik Tourist Board

tipTravel magazine is not responsible for decisions made by event planners regarding changes in schedules, performers, programs, or in case the event is cancelled. So, in order to find out the details for the event you are interested in, click on the link below the announcement.

adventura.sibenik.hr

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© Hotel Turist, Varaždin

An excellent musical program, Fritulada (a competition in preparing fritule), releasing lanterns on Christmas Eve, and a craft fair, as the ideal location for holiday shopping, are just part of the Adventura in Šibenik, the only plastic-free Advent in Croatia, which is taking place from December 6, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

© Darko Gorenak / Hotel Turist

Adventura in Šibenik

Advent in Varaždin Be a part of Varaždin's Christmas magic, and spend at least a few days together with your nearest and dearest in the city of Baroque. Find accommodations with a renowned host at a Hotel Turist, whose Advent packages include, amongst other things, two overnight stays with breakfast in a standard room, dinner with holiday dishes, and a ticket for an hour of ice skating. www.hotel-turist.hr


PROMO

ca ni rd ve oa ik B . Cr st © uri d.d To r a n n i c a d e Ja ikv Cr

Holidays on the Crikvenica Riviera T

he Christmas and New Year's holidays are a special experience if you spend them next to the sea where you will, alongside the aromas of holiday cookies, hot chocolate, mulled wine, cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves, also enjoy the fresh sea air and the aromas of Mediterranean herbs. That irresistible aromatic cocktail, accompanied by a rich and diverse Advent program for all generations, awaits you this winter on the Crikvenica Riviera, a popular Mediterranean destination which is also gladly visited by many hedonists in the winter months. While winter chills the outdoors, it is the right time to relax your body and soul in the warmth of a wellness oasis. Many of them await you there, and one of the favorite ones is the

large Katarina Spa wellness center, located in Hotel Katarina**** in Selce, near Crikvenica. Relax in the Finnish, Turkish, and Bio-Finnish sauna, in a warm, relaxing bath, and in the hydromassage pool with heated seawater. Choose one of the many massages, anti-stress programs, peels, and body masks. Another somewhat smaller and more intimate wellness oasis can be found on the Crikvenica Riviera in Crikvenica's Hotel Esplanade****. The wellness & spa center at the hotel has a jacuzzi, steam and Finnish sauna, as well as a bio-sauna, along with a cozy relax zone and benches for relaxation. Organic cosmetics, enriched with essential aromas, which will pamper your body, regenerate and relax it, which is especially important in

winter days, are used for treatments, spa programs, and a wide range of massages. 

Jadran Crikvenica Hotels & Camps  +385 51 455560 marketing@jadran-crikvenica.hr

www.jadran-crikvenica.hr

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Health tourism

KVARNER

© Crikvenica Tourist Board

1 2 3 The first climate resorts in Kvarner were opened in Opatija and Crikvenica and on the island of Lošinj.

© Petar Trinajstić / Opatija Tourist Board

© Hrvoje Serdar / Kvarner Region Tourist Board

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The healing power of the sea and the forest Kvarner's mild climate at the place where the Mediterranean and mountain regions meet with lush vegetation is a comfort for the soul and body and it awakens the energy of life. Text: Mirela Drkulec Miletić Photos: Kvarner Region Tourist Board, Opatija Tourist Board, Town of Mali Lošinj Tourism Office, Crikvenica Tourist Board, City of Krk Tourist Board, Delnice Tourist Board, Skrad Tourist Board, The Municipality of Baška Tourist Board

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o other region in Croatia boasts the natural diversity that Kvarner has. You will notice it as soon as you arrive in that environmentally pure maritime-mountain region alongside the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. The first breath you take of the unique mix of sea and mountain air, the Mediterranean and mountain climate, will awaken the energy of life within you, and the view of preserved nature will make you feel optimistic. The feeling of vitality will follow you throughout Kvarner - from the coastal

towns of Opatija, Crikvenica, and Novi Vinodolski and their rivieras, the most important Croatian harbor, Rijeka, with its picturesque surroundings, all the way to the four beauties of Kvarner the islands of Rab, Krk, Lošinj, and Cres, along with Gorski kotar, a mountainous region located just a half-hour drive from the sea. While in Kvarner, enjoy the charm of the coastal and island towns, the ancient stone towns full of cultural and historical monuments, and the elegant summer resorts. Discover its many


natural beauties - heavenly beaches (many of which proudly display the Blue Flag, a sign of a clean sea), the crystal-clear sea, caves, inaccessible cliffs, lakes, and dense forests. Marked paths, cycling, walking, and hiking trails invite you to enjoy nature carefree while you fill your lungs with the refreshing air full of sea aerosol and the scents of aromatic herbs. Come and rest in that mild climate, which boasts many sunny days, and air cleansed with a special combination of winds, and discover the healing power of the Kvarner region.

Outdoor wellness The gentle effect Kvarner's climate has on health was especially highly regarded by the aristocratic and artistic elite of the second half of the 19th and the early 20th century. It's no wonder that Kvarner, or Opatija to be more precise, is the birthplace of Croatian tourism. Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I named that city a climate resort in 1889.

© Frank Heuer / Kvarner Region Tourist Board

© Višnja Bolf / Delnice Tourist Board

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© Siniša Abramović / Skrad Tourist Board

© Hrvoje Serdar / Town of Mali Lošinj Tourism Office

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Many who wore European crowns breathed in the sea air on Opatija's promenade, popularly called Lungo mare, and famous writers, actresses, composers and aristocrats relaxed and found inspiration in Opatija's luxurious hotels and lush gardens. At around the same time, climate resorts were also opened in Crikvenica, followed by Veli and Mali Lošinj, on the island of Rab, and in Skrad and Delnice, continental towns in Gorski Kotar. The long tradition of health tourism in that area is now fortified with many renowned healthcare institutions, which are equipped with state-ofthe-art medical equipment and they employ superb experts. That has made Kvarner one of the best European spa destinations. The Kvarner Health & Wellbeing brand unites all Kvarner resorts, clinics and polyclinics, and wellness and spa centers. Thalassotherapy, therapy that uses the benefits of the sea, was first used in Opatija and Crikvenica 130 years ago.

4 A pleasant climate, fresh sea air, and the clean sea are the features of the island of Rab; 5 6 Skrad and Delnice are gems of Gorski kotar, a mountainous region of Kvarner famous for its fresh mountain air and preserved nature; 7 The island of Lošinj is encircled by attractive seaside trails.

Try one of the treatments that use the power of Kvarner's sea, which contains more than 80 valuable essential minerals.

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© Igor Šoban / Terme Selce / Crikvenica Tourist Board

KVARNER

© Hrvoje Serdar / Town of Mali Lošinj Tourism Office

Austrian doctor and balneologist, Dr. Conrad Clar, lobbied for the recognition of Veli and Mali Lošinj, Opatija, Volosko, and Brijuni as climate resorts, especially after the microclimate of Mali Lošinj healed his ill son in 1885.

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© City of Krk Tourist Board 13

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medicine. Along with healing, on Kvarner you can also try some of the main treatments in the modernly equipped wellness and spa centers, which are either part of a hotel or on their own. Enjoy the innovative offer of massages, baths, beauty treatments, and relaxation that greatly take advantage of everything nature has generously given Kvarner. Just walking by the sea, breathing in the fresh sea air and the aromatic cocktail of Mediterranean herbs, or the boost of ozone in the forested mountains will give you a feeling similar to the way you feel after a spa treatment. That is why Kvarner is also called the outdoor spa. 

Just like the Adriatic Sea, the sea in the Kvarner Bay is one of the cleanest in Europe. Enjoy therapy with heated sea water, a hydro massage, wraps and baths with algae, seagrass, or sea mud, and other healing procedures. Those treatments primarily heal respiratory ailments, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal disorders, rheumatism and osteoarthritis, they are good for detoxification and improving circulation. Although Kvarner is best known for healing ailments of the respiratory system, locomotor system, and heart disease, the region also offers much more, such as clinics that offer superb esthetic surgery and advanced dental

© The Municipality of Baška Tourist Board

The island of Lošinj has plenty of walking and cycling trails and viewpoints that offer enchanting panoramas; 10 Exercising outdoors at the Crikvenica Riviera; 11 12 Opatija's hotels offer many wellness & spa programs, along with body care treatments; 13 The island of Krk is one of the pearls of Kvarner; 14 Thalassotherapy in Crikvenica; 15 The feeling of vitality will follow you throughout all of Kvarner; 16 Staying outdoors in the fresh sea air on the island of Krk. 8 9

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© Mateo Jurčić / Thalassotherapia / Crikvenica Tourist Board

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© Petar Kurschner / Opatija Tourist Board

© Hrvoje Serdar / Town of Mali Lošinj Tourism Office

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© Opatija Tourist Board

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© Ivan Brčić / Town of Mali Lošinj Tourism Office

Health tourism

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KVARNER Health & Wellbeing

kvarner region tourist board 51410 opatija, nikole tesle 2, t +385 (0)51 272 988, e kvarner@kvarner.hr ’kvarner info – the adriatic gate’ tourist information centre: t +385 (0)51 623 333, 628 888, e info@kvarner.hr www.kvarner.hr

December 2018 - April 2019

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For an irresistible smile T

op quality dental services, a team of experienced dental experts, a pleasant ambiance, many satisfied patients all over Europe... Many factors affect our choice of the dental clinic we choose to entrust to care for one of the most precious things we have - our smile. There are very few who do not make compromises when it comes to professionalism and quality. Amongst them is Dentum, one of the leading dental clinics in the region, located in Zagreb, the Croatian capital, where everything begins and ends in the best possible way - with a smile. The modern ambiance of the clinic is the first thing you will notice when

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you walk into that pleasant space, and after the first consultation and free examination with their sophisticated dental experts, it will become clear that you are in good hands. Impressive quality and results are achieved there with the expertise and excellence of the dentists, as well as due to the use of the most modern technological materials - all coming from top-notch dental brands.

Quality without compromise At Dentum, you can choose from an entire spectrum of services - dental implant surgery, All-on-4ÂŽ (a fixed


PROMO Turn dental treatment into pleasure

© Dentum, www.dentum.com

solution for the entire jaw), dental prosthetics (crowns, bridges, and dentures), general dental services (treating cavities and gum disease, endodontic procedures, treating periodontitis), orthodontic procedures, and aesthetic dental procedures. Dentum is known as one of the most successful dental clinics in the area of aesthetic dental work. Cosmetic makeovers are one of the most-requested services Dr. Petar Bago, the leading expert for aesthetic dentistry in Croatia and the region, specialized in creating and shaping smiles according to facial structure, is responsible for. It need not be said that aesthetic reconstruction is the pinnacle of dental medicine, and it is conducted by the most eminent doctors of dental medicine in the world. If you are interested in dental procedures at Dentum, sign up for your complimentary first examination

(www.dentum.com/en/consultation), which includes a free digital panoramic X-ray and diagnosis, consultation with dentists, and the creation of a personalized therapy plan and treatment costs. One of the features of the team in the clinic where you will be awaited with a VIP treatment is the individual approach towards every patient. If you are coming to Zagreb by plane, the Dentum team will ensure you have a free transfer to the clinic, and in order to make your recovery time and stay during and after your procedure as pleasant as possible, they will offer you complimentary accommodations in modernly furnished suites at the clinic. While you recover, start to slowly plan your tour of Zagreb and its attractions, including Advent, which has held the position of the best in Europe for the past several years. 

Dentum Gradišćanska 36 • 10000 Zagreb Croatia •  UK line: 020 376 939 73 DK line: 078 772 137 Ireland line: 07667 05537 smile@dentum.com

www.dentum.com

December 2018 - April 2019

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ZAGREB

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Advent

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This December, during Advent, walk down Zagreb's streets and through its squares where, along with the holiday ambiance, you will be greeted with plenty of gastronomical, musical, and entertaining treats and many surprises.


PROMO

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An irresistible holiday fairytale T

he pleasant days of Autumn usually fly by in the blink of an eye, and we find ourselves in Advent, a favorite time of the year for many. If you spend it in Zagreb, whose Advent has been named the best in Europe for the past few years, you've made a good decision. For your stay, choose the modern and comfortable Hotel International, located in the heart of the business zone in the city, which will await you with an irresistible Christmas and New Year's fairytale and a lot of creative offers. Aromatic mulled wine, and an abundance of delicious homemade cookies - from vanilla crescents and gingerbread to walnut rolls and various types of gibanica they are treats the hosts will spoil you with, which leave no guest unfazed.

The plentiful menu of the hotel restaurant includes many other dishes, typical for that time of the year, and make sure to try the haddock prepared a la white, red, or as a spread. Due to its fantastic culinary spread, the famous Zagreb hotel is a favorite venue for business meetings and Christmas parties, which include extravagant holiday menus. The hotel is also a well-known address in Zagreb for New Years' parties with hot dance beats and live music to the wee hours of the morning, all accompanied by an exclusive New Year's menu that will take you on an unforgettable gourmet tour. The hosts have also created a special New Year's package for two, which includes the New Year's gala dinner, a stay in a double

deluxe room, and the lavish buffet breakfast. So, don't wait until the last moment and plan and reserve your perfect Advent and New Year's fairytale on time this year. 

Hotel International Miramarska 24 • 10000 Zagreb Croatia •  +385 1 6108400 reservations.international@hup-zagreb.hr

www.hotel-international.hr

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Historical traces

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Prepared by: Željka Kunštek

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hen it was first designed in 1943, during the time of the allied bombing, and completed two years later, no one could have imagined that the Grič Tunnel would become one of the main tourist attractions in Zagreb 70 years later. After World War II, the tunnel changed its function - it transformed from a shelter to a venue for several exhibitions and presentations, but it was mostly forgotten and left to stand the test of time, which had already seriously taken its toll over recent years. In 2016, the city administration decided to put an end to it and give it its greatest function to date tourism. Proof that they succeeded in that is the growing number of tourists visiting Zagreb and taking the time to pass through that part of Zagreb's underground world that connects two famous city streets - Mesnička and Radićeva. The tunnel can also be entered and exited from Tomićeva Street and Ilica, Zagreb's main street. The tunnel is 350 meters long, so a ten-minute stroll should be enough to pass through it, unless, of course, you decide to stay there a little longer, especially during Advent. At that time, the tunnel is decorated with attractive scenography, Christmas carols echo through the tunnel, and every single person who passes through it at that time wants to take a picture of that fairytale corner of the popular Advent in Zagreb. 


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Winter magic at the foot of Bilogora Spend the month many people find the prettiest in the idyllic atmosphere of the Bjelovar-Bilogora area, surrounded by fragrant winter aromas and flavors and millions of bright Christmas lights. Text: Petra Škofić Photos: Bjelovar-Bilogora County Tourist Board

1 Fireworks in the Advent Village at the Salaj family estate; 2 A meandering path; 3 The Salaj Family Christmas story; 4 The entrance to the estate; 5 6 Bjelovar's main park decorated for the holiday season.

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he Bjelovar-Bilogora area is famous for its enchanting landscapes, rich historical heritage, tantalizing flavors, and hospitable hosts. So, it's no surprise that the area is home to an idyllic town that has hosted one of the largest and most enchanting Christmas stories for the past decade, which is also mentioned by the international press every year. When your heart desires Christmas magic, visit the Salaj family

The Salaj family first lit the lights at their picturesque estate in 2002. The magical holiday oasis attracted the attention of many passersby and, due to its great popularity, it soon became one of the most-visited holiday events, gaining the attention of many international media houses.

estate in Grabovnica, near Čazma, where more than four million bright lights will create fairytale landscapes from November 30, 2018 to January 13, 2019. There you will also find daily firework shows, a newly-renovated restaurant with an abundant culinary offer, many attractions and surprises and exciting programs for children. Find memories of your day spent at the estate in the Advent village and take home creative hand-made souvenirs. You will also find the recipe for creating the best memories in Bjelovar, which will attract fans of delicious gingerbread and other traditional holiday sweets that pair perfectly with the enticing aroma and flavor of mulled wine on the main city square throughout the month of December. Holiday concerts, folk dance performances, plays, and children's workshops complete the idyllic atmosphere of Advent in Bjelovar. A special holiday story awaits you in Bojana, where the hosts at the Matešin Gallery organize a traditional


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history museum in the gallery's amphitheater. The Christmas spirit in Daruvar started on November 30 with a group project of decorating the Christmas tree on the main city square, accompanied by the song and dances of children from Daruvar. The very next day, the first Advent candle was traditionally lit in the same place (on the main square), and the entire month of December is filled with the beat of various cultural and entertaining events, and the aromas of tea and mulled wine. Fans of crafts, homemade products and treats will be sure to visit Daruvar's Christmas fair

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7 Matešin Gallery; 8 9 The spirit of traditional Christmas in a village awaits you in Bojana; 10 11 Daruvar also has plenty of events in December.

this year (December 17-24, 2018), where they can, along with the holiday offer of food and wine, experience the true Christmas spirit of that historical city. The highlight of the celebrations is the traditional New Year's party with live music, sausages, mulled wine, and spectacular fireworks at midnight. 

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celebration of Christmas without electricity from December 26 to 30, with romantic candlelight, lanterns, and an open hearth. Warm up on the enclosed gallery terrace and treat your taste buds to OPG Matešin's local products, which are prepared in a natural, organic, and environmentally friendly way, while the youngest visitors explore the manger and search for candies in the straw. The gallery is open for organized groups of visitors from December 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019. Along with the usual holiday events, make sure to visit the permanent exhibit of artwork and the small

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Bjelovar-Bilogora County Tourist Board Dr. Ante Starčevića 8 43000 Bjelovar • Croatia  +385 43 221928 info@tzbbz.hr

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Advent

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This Advent, give yourself the gift of Varaždin One of the most beautiful Croatian cities awaits you in December in holiday style. Text: Petra Škofić ◆ Photos: Siniša Sović, FAS / City Tourist Association Varaždin The historical city center during the holidays; 4 Taking photos in the snowy forest, next to wooden reindeer. 1 2 3

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Walking through the Baroque streets of Varaždin is a special experience in December, with popular Christmas carols, a holiday offer, and irresistible delicacies.

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hen winter takes its course in continental Croatia, let the paths take you to Varaždin, a city of bicycles, stories, legends, and Baroque, incredible art and architectural heritage, traditional crafts and culinary delights. The extravagant holiday celebrations and the smiling faces and warm hearts of the people of Varaždin ensure you will have the best December ever. From December 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019, the locals are organizing a rich and diverse Advent program with a wide selection of food and exhibits, and an abundance of music and entertainment programs. The colorful decorations, Christmas trees, and the irresistible aromas of cinnamon, cloves, hot chocolate, and

mulled wine turn the streets of the Baroque city into a holiday oasis of positive vibrations. Experience the intimate atmosphere of Varaždin's historical city center illuminated with thousands of lights and walk along the city's main square, which is transformed into the White Corso during that month. While the tones of popular Christmas carols drift over from the stage, explore the streets full of little houses offering unique souvenirs and items made by Varaždin's superb craftsmen, stop by the many booths, warm up with some mulled wine and treat yourself to some holiday treats, and make sure to visit the snowy forest where a family of wooden reindeer hides. Continue on


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your walk towards Miljenko Stančić Square, where the enticing aromas of fritule, sausages, and other delights perfectly complement the vision of the most popular square in Varaždin where you will be entertained on weekends with holiday songs performed by Croatian singers and musical bands. The old town, watch tower, Sermage palace and city bell towers also get an enchanting makeover. Great fun awaits all generations at the large ice rink next to the Old Town castle. Successfully complete skating

school and perfect your skating skills to the beat of popular songs with a view of the picturesque castle. Get some rest and refreshments in the first Croatian igloo bar, with hot chocolate, mulled wine, or aromatic tea. Varaždin's Advent adventure will be complete, especially for the youngest, when they visit Santa Claus at his house and whisper their greatest Christmas wishes into his ear. When the magic of the best time of the year warms our hearts, all our dreams can come true. Perhaps that will happen

5 6 8 Holiday decorations additionally enhance the fairytale appearance of the city; 7 The ice rink adored by all generations.

at Varaždin's New Year celebration, with a bright fireworks show, embraced by the ones you love, with whom you can look forward to the new shared adventures in the upcoming year. 

www.tourism-varazdin.hr © City Tourist Association Varaždin

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Announcement

SAMOBOR CARNIVAL Text: Željka Kunštek Photos: Edin Tuzlak / Samobor Tourist Board

Let's go to... the 193rd Samobor Carnival! From February 22 to March 5, 2019, Samobor will once again become the Free Carnival Republic reigned over by costumed visitors of all generations.

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antastic costumes, amazing entertainment, and a rich program for all generations is sure to be found at the 193rd Samobor Carnival, the oldest and largest carnival celebration in this part of Europe, which is traditionally held in Samobor, a city close to the Croatian capital. Prince Fašnik, Princess Sraka, Sudec (the Judge), and Fiškal (the Attorney), famous carnival characters, will once again take over control and delight visitors from all parts of Croatia, along with many guests from other countries, with their stories and commentary on current social topics. During the two carnival weekends, and on Shrove

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Tuesday, the main city square, King Tomislav Square, Matica hrvatske Square, Kleščićeva Street, and the square near the post office will play host to the following programs: SRAKAfest, SRAKOtrk, ETNOcest, parades of visiting groups, many children’s programs... Several thousand performers will perform on the main stage - children in the parade, dance groups, choirs, carnival-goers from Croatia and abroad, and many other performers. Those who put on the most creative costumes can look forward to valuable prizes, and all the details on how to participate and the carnival program can be found on the official site www.samobor.hr/fasnik and on the Samobor Carnival profiles on social networks. See you in Samobor! 


Check out the FaĹĄnik program at:

www.samobor.hr/fasnik

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UNESCO

THE BATANA ECO-MUSEUM

The boat that means the world

Text: Petra Škofić Photos: The Batana Eco-museum (Ekomuzej batana / Ecomuseo batan)

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In Rovinj, you will find a story of a small wooden boat - the batana, and the hardworking community it is a symbol of. It is all united under the name Batana Eco-museum (Ekomuzej batana / Ecomuseo batan).

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© Dalibor Talajić / Batana Eco-museum (Ekomuzej batana / Ecomuseo batan)

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n Rovinj's historical promenade, you will find a great cultural treasure - a traditional wooden boat, the batana, and the customs of the local people who have coexisted in harmony with the sea and its riches for centuries. Visit the House of Batana (Kuća o batani / Muòstra) and in a fun and interactive way, find out the story of Rovinj's rich history of fishing. The unique museum was founded by the House of Batana association, with the support of the city of Rovinj, and the great value of the project has been confirmed by the fact that the museum has been inscribed in UNESCO's Register of Good Safeguarding Practices of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the world. The Batana Eco-museum unites several integral parts that complete the story intertwined with the very heart of Rovinj. The alreadymentioned House of Batana, called Muòstra


© Damir Fabijanić / Batana Eco-museum (Ekomuzej batana / Ecomuseo batan)

Find out the working hours of the House of Batana and more information on the Batana Eco-museum at: www.batana.org

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The House of Batana association collaborates on three European Union projects: "Culturecovery", which includes the organization of a series of educational workshops, "Mala barka 2" with the aim of preserving the maritime heritage of the northern Adriatic, and in the "Arca Adriatica" project, aimed at developing a tourist offer based on the principles of social and economic sustainability with the aim of protecting the rich maritime heritage.

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by the locals, where you will find out many interesting facts about the construction, use, and importance of that wooden boat for the local community. Another integral part is the Mediterranean cooking course, where you will, together with a top-chef, buy ingredients at the local marketplace and fish market, and then prepare them and taste them in the authentic ambiance of the Spacio Matika tavern. In the summer, discover the maritime traditions of Rovinj through food and song at the largest Rovinj festival, which starts off with the Rovinj regatta of traditional boats with gaff rigs and a Latin sail. Find out how to make and repair batanas, and don't miss out on the Mali Škver Festival, which celebrates the culinary, musical, and maritime culture of Rovinj with delicacies prepared by members of the Eco-museum. When the romantic colors of sunset fill Rovinj's sky, head out on the enchanting Batana path, first at sea in the company of a barkarioli, and then with a stroll down the promenade around Rovinj's old city center, all the way to the Spacio Matika tavern, where you will be awaited with delicious traditional dishes accompanied by the melody of bitinada, fishermen's songs from Rovinj. In order for the tradition to be preserved in the centuries to come, it is necessary to share them with younger generations. That is why over the past few years, the first thematic exhibition called "Contrada: A place of remembering childhood", which shows the value of traditional children's games in Rovinj, has been shown at the Batana Eco-museum. In an original and interactive way, through habits, customs, and games of the children there, the exhibition has enabled visitors to experience the history of Rovinj and its citizens first-hand. So far, it has been shown in Rovinj three times, and the entire project was designed in collaboration with the "Pino Budicin" Association of Italians, Rovinj's elementary schools and kindergartens, and other associates. With the aim of preserving tradition, Batana Eco-museum continuously collaborates with local kindergartens and schools, whose teachers regularly take Rovinj's youth on rides on the unique batana boats. 

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CULTURAL SCENE

Đani Stipaničev

Šibenik's fortresses offer the best view Conducted by: Vlatka Vužić Photos: PROMO Đani Stipaničev

Šibenik's nightingale. That is how Đani Stipaničev has been presented from the moment he appeared on the music scene. For years, he has shared his incredible voice and musical talent on two stages - in the theater, and when he performs his own pop songs and song covers.

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ou grew up in Šibenik, which, over the past few years, has developed into a travel destination that puts emphasis on cultural heritage. As an artist, you must be happy to see that? We waited for the city to flourish for a long time, and it seems like the time has finally come. Projects are growing, tourists are flocking to see our fortresses, which have been transformed from eyesores to functional tourist gems. We are especially proud of our summer stage, which is probably one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. There is plenty more in plan, and all those projects will make Šibenik a top destination.


CULTURAL SCENE ĐANI STIPANIČEV - IL MONDO (LIVE ŠIBENIK 2018)

Since 2016, Đani shares the stage with another three colleagues as part of a special group called "Four Tenors" (Četiri Tenora). Sold-out venues throughout Croatia are confirmation that the project has resulted in the delight of their audiences.

© CMC TV

What are your favorite places in Šibenik and Tribunj that evoke the best memories of your youth? There are plenty. From the "Partizan" basketball court to the fortress where we played, all the way down to the promenade, cathedral, and Doca. Nowadays, my logistical headquarters are in the very center of the city, on the square where there are four cafés, and one of them is home to the soul of the city - "Narodna Republika Bono", owned by my friend Žaja. In Tribunj, Nautica café is the place where I go and spend the rare moments I have off in the summer.

You have lived in Zagreb and Samobor for years. Are you one of those Dalmatians who cannot get used to the climate, miss the sea, and plan on returning south (if not sooner, then when you retire)? There is a time and place for everything. The sea is most beautiful

You are a permanent member of the ensemble of the Komedija Theater. What is the difference between singing as part of a theatrical performance and in front of your own audience? On one hand, the difference is huge. At the theater, I'm not Đani the singer, but instead, I'm Griša, Jesus, Claude Hooper Bukowski... On the other hand, there is no difference in the approach, concentration, or the significance of the performances with respect to the audience. A career in singing and the theater includes plenty of travel. While traveling for business, do you manage to set aside some time for sightseeing as well? As a tourist, what are you interested in? Sometimes I manage to make time, although sometimes I just pass through a destination without even noticing it. If I know that I'll have some time off, I always try to make an itinerary to feel the spirit of the place and the pulse of the city I'm staying in for a short time. I love to

visit churches and cathedrals, but also climb up the tallest skyscrapers. I can say that I've visited CN Tower in Toronto, Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in NYC, Sky Tower in Auckland... What do your personal vacations look like? Which foreign destinations have delighted you? My annual plan includes an obligatory seven days of skiing in Austria. Every year, we try to visit a European destination together as a family in order to enable our children to have a different view of the world. So far, we have visited London, Paris, Budapest, Venice... We spend most of our summer in Tribunj, but we also love to go to other places such as Vis, Lastovo, Dugi otok. As far as foreign destinations are concerned, I would single out New York. It is truly Big. That says it all. New Zealand takes first place for natural beauty, closely followed by British Columbia and Vancouver... However, those who haven't climbed up to the top of Šibenik's fortresses and experienced the view don't know what true beauty really is! 

CULTURAL SCENE

When did you notice that music is what you should be doing? Where was your first performance, and what did you sing? During my third year at university, it became clear that I would likely be able to make a living with music. At that time, I didn't imagine I would be in theater, which came along the way. My first performances were at Jadrija in Primošten Burni, organized by my first manager Ivan Lambaša. I performed two original songs, along with some song covers. "Kap života" was the first song I recorded as a solo artist, in 1996.

in the summer and early autumn, along with the preseason. However, continental autumn and winter have their charms. Since I live in Samobor, I enjoy walking in the forest and I take in the beauty that landscape offers. Of course, at the sea, hedonism is more common because there are plenty of old friends there and we constantly organize get-togethers so that we don't suddenly lose weight :)

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Winter in Sweden 10 reasons to visit Text: Željka Kunštek

Even if you prefer summer and feel your best in tropical destinations, give winter a chance to impress you with its charms and, for a change, head north - to Sweden. You could be pleasantly surprised when you see what Swedish winters have to offer.

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esides the snow where you can enjoy plenty of activities to suit all tastes and generations, use your time during your visit to Sweden to tour the Christmas fairs. There, they smell of cinnamon, ginger, warm waffles, and mulled wine, and make sure to also try typical Swedish dishes. Enjoy fika, which life and relaxation in that country are unimaginable without, experience some of the holiday traditions, and in the northern part of the country get to know the Saami people and their culture. If the weather serves you well and you have a bit of luck, you could also get a chance to capture the dazzling view of the polar lights. A vacation in that Nordic country is definitely an unusual and unforgettable experience that you will remember as long as you live.

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An idyllic winter landscape When people think of Sweden, the first thing they think of, besides a well-organized and cultured country, are the incredible beauty of the preserved Nordic nature, the dense forests, mountains, the archipelago with hundreds of islands and typical red wooden houses that fight for attention in that landscape. In the winter months, those scenes under a blanket of snow and surrounded by the frozen sea look even more enchanting. In short, it is an endless idyllic landscape and you will need extra memory on your camera's memory card. © er

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Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing or walking, sledding, ice skating, snowboarding, horseback riding in the snow, hiking, ice fishing, swimming in the winter, snowmobile rides, having fun in the snow park, ice karting... There are plenty of activities you can enjoy in the fresh air in the snowy Swedish outdoors, and it is a special experience to go on a dog or reindeer-pulled sleigh.

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Thanks to the vicinity of the Arctic Circle and the magnetic North Pole, northern Sweden is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), a light show that many tourists and "hunters" of that natural phenomenon from various parts of the world come to see in Nordic countries. Due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, northern Sweden is slightly warmer than the other areas where the Aurora can be seen (such as Canada and Siberia), which makes it even more attractive for that activity. The area between Jokkmokk (Swedish Lapland) and the northern border with Norway is the surest place you can catch that heavenly spectacle, and Aurora hunters favor the locations of Abisko National Park, Jukkasjärvi, Tärendö, or anywhere in the wild of Swedish Lapland. If you head out

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on that adventure, keep in mind that even though you are traveling to northern Sweden, there is never a hundred percent chance that you will see it since there are many factors that come into play. The greatest chance that you will see it is in cold, dark, and clear (cloudless) winter nights, without moonlight, and at locations far from any kind of lights of civilization, and another precondition is increased solar activity. The Aurora Borealis season lasts from late September to early April.


Before heading out to hunt polar lights, equip yourself with extra batteries for your camera, a tripod, and incredibly warm layers of clothing. Warm gloves, a cap, and boots are a must.

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Use your stay in northern Sweden to get to know more about the culture, customs, and way of life of the indigenous Saami people who live in Lapland, a large area that includes parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. There are around 20 thousand living in Sweden, and besides being called Laplanders, they are also called reindeer masters since they have been connected to those animals from the beginning of time. Reindeer meat (suovas) is the basis of their gastronomy, they use reindeer leather to make traditional clothing and boots, and they also travel with the help of reindeer. The Saami are a nomadic nation, and they will often say for themselves that they are "people of the sun and the wind". Besides being in the reindeer business, they are also into fishing, hunting, making crafts, and tourism - they take tourists on guided hunts for the polar lights, on reindeer-pulled sleigh rides, and in recent times, they are also into eco-tourism. If you are their guest, they will offer you reindeer meat, fresh and dried fish, smoked dishes, homemade bread and desserts made with cloudberries, and see you off with a joik, a special singing technique they are preserving from falling into oblivion.

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The word "smorgasbord" defines a type of Scandinavian meal where there are many cold and warm dishes prepared with various ingredients, all served on a large table. Such a spread can be offered to guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the guests choose what they would like to eat, and how much of it they would like. An original smorgasbord spread always includes three ingredients: bread, butter, and cheese. The table became internationally known in 1939, when it was offered for the first time at the World Exhibition in New York at the "Three Crowns" restaurant.

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A smorgasbord spread Swedish gastronomy gets its inspiration from its rural areas. The coastal part of the country, lakes, and rivers are full of fish and shellfish, while the dense forests are full of various types of berries, mushrooms, and wild game. They all find their special spot on the smorgasbord spread. Typical Swedish dishes, which you will find in restaurants throughout Sweden, are meatballs in a brown sauce with mashed potatoes and a lingonberry jam, or salmon with potatoes and a dill sauce. Salmon, smoked or baked, is a must-have at every holiday table or celebration in Sweden. It's no secret that the Swedes love sweets, and they love to treat themselves to soft and moist cinnamon rolls (which you can find in every cafĂŠ and bakery), apple, blueberry, or cranberry pie, and various other cookies and cakes. Make sure to try semla, a traditional winter cake with almonds and whipped cream, which is most often enjoyed from January to March, and especially on Shrove Tuesday. As far as cakes are concerned, the Princess Cake is irreplaceable when it comes to any kind of celebration in Sweden. Its main ingredients are whipped cream, vanilla cream, and green marzipan. The most popular Swedish pancakes are potatoes pancakes with lingonberry jam.


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The Swedes love picnics and preparing meals outdoors, in good company, and they do so all year long.

December 2018 - April 2019

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Take some time during your stay in Sweden every day for fika, just like a Swede. At least once, and preferably several times.

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Fika, the Swedish ritual of drinking coffee, is a tradition that is practiced daily, and sometimes several times a day, by every Swedish person. It is, as the Swedes say, much more than just drinking coffee. Fika is an integral part of life, a break, a synonym for time well spent in the company of family or friends, and a time to relax and enjoy yourself in a restaurant or bar. Along with coffee, desserts are also an integral part of fika. Most often, they are cinnamon rolls, various cakes and cookies, and even open-faced sandwiches. Yes, the Swedes are famous for their sweet tooth and are amongst the world's highest consumers of coffee and sweets.

© Tina Stafrén / imagebank.sweden.se

Fika - more than a tradition

December 2018 - April 2019

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Christmas fairs Magical Christmas fairs await you during Advent from Stockholm to Gothenburg and Malmö. One of the oldest has been held for more than a century in the old part of Stockholm, on Stortorget Square, every weekend in December, all the way up to Christmas. There, in the fair booths, you will find crafts made by local artists, holiday decorations, and homemade food, sweets, and the unavoidable Swedish mulled wine (glögg). It is a chance to get some holiday shopping done for your loved ones or to get some new decorations for your home. Every year, a huge, real 38-meter high Christmas tree, one of the largest in the world, is decorated in Skeppsbron Street with around five thousand lights and topped with a large star. True holiday magic awaits you at the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg, where the largest Swedish Christmas fair will be opened in mid-November and will remain open until December 23. There, more than five million shining lights create the atmosphere as if you have walked into a movie or a fairytale. The Christmas fair in Malmö is also worth a visit and is a great place to try traditional Swedish sweets and other dishes.

December 2018 - April 2019

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World

SWEDEN

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Every year on December 13, the Swedes celebrate the day of St. Lucia, the protector saint of vision, who symbolizes light in the middle of the dark Swedish winter. The highlight of the day is a procession led by a young woman or girl who represents St. Lucia, dressed in a white dress with a red belt, wearing a crown with candles on her head. Besides the national procession, there are also several regional processions, and nearly every school, preschool, and kindergarten choose their own Lucia and organize a procession. During the procession, traditional songs are sung, and the chosen girls also visit hospitals and homes for the elderly and handicapped, spreading joy along the way. The treats that mark that day are gingerbread cookies and buns with raisins and saffron (Lussebulle), which are eaten with coffee and mulled wine.

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December 2018 - April 2019

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Unique, icy accommodations

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Guests at the Icehotel are often treated to the enchanting view of polar lights.

When it comes to accommodations, Sweden offers more adventurous visitors a unique experience - a stay in an icy hotel, the Icehotel, located in Jukkasjärvi, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The hotel is completely built of ice and snow, and it consists of rooms, a bar, art installations, a lobby, reception, and a chapel. Even the bed and chairs and glasses in the bar are made of ice. Every spring, the hotel and artists' ice sculptures melt back into the Torne River, from where ice is once again collected every winter, and the construction of the hotel and artistic sculptures that last from December to April begins again. At that time, artists from all over the world come to that town in northern Sweden to beautify the hotel's icy walls, floors, and ceilings and make ice sculptures. Unique, isn't it?

The first ice hotel in the world was built in 1989 in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle.

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Of all the awards, only the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, since in the early 20th century, when the awards were first awarded, those two countries were both a part of the Kingdom of Sweden.

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The most famous Swede of all times is definitely scientist Alfred Nobel, in whose honor the Nobel Award was established in 1895. It is awarded every year on December 10 to individuals and organizations for academic, cultural, and scientific achievements in the areas of physics, chemistry, psychology, medicine, literature, and for contributing to peace on earth. Since its early days in 1901, it has traditionally been awarded in Stockholm, in the Concert Hall, in the presence of the royal family and representatives of the Swedish Academy. After the awards ceremony, a gala banquet is always organized in Stockholm City Hall, consisting of three courses of dishes and an entertaining program and dance. During the dinner, a female choir traditionally carries flowers to tables, heading down the stairs of the Blue Hall at City Hall. Interestingly, the flowers used in the flower arrangements in the bouquets are donated from the Italian city of Sanremo, where Nobel spent the last years of his life. You can find out a lot of information and interesting facts on the life of Alfred Nobel, the award itself, and all the recipients at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. ď ś

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The prestigious Nobel Award

December 2018 - April 2019

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World attractions

ROVANIEMI (FINLAND)

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In Santa's Village Are you amongst those who have always dreamt of meeting the real Santa Claus, surrounded by elves, dwarves, and reindeer in, of course, an idyllic snowy landscape up in the far north? Perhaps it's time to make your dream come true this year, and accompanied by the youngest members of your family, head to the heart of Lapland - to Rovaniemi, a Finnish town in the middle of the Arctic wilderness where dreams become reality and fairytales are a way of life. Whisper your wishes into Santa's ear, watch the elves working hard to answer every single letter that has arrived in Santa's main post office, pass through the underground tunnels and caves at SantaPark where the gifts are made, enjoy riding in sleighs pulled by huskies or reindeer, admire the Northern Lights (the best time is from September to late March, and the Arctic Garden and Ounasvaara Mountain are the recommended locations), visit Arktikum - a museum and science center that will reveal a lot to you about Arctic animals, polar lights, and extremely low temperatures...

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In collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, on October 17, 2018, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) launched the first international competition for startups on the topic of gastronomy tourism. It is a global initiative with the goal of identifying startups with the greatest potential for planning the future and promoting sustainable innovations in the sectors of gastronomy and tourism. The deadline for applying to the competition is March 5, 2019, while the five finalists will be announced on the online platform on April 1, 2019. The winning startup will be announced one month later, on May 3, 2019.

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Find out more information on the competition and application process here:


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