Central Dalmatia, a Destination of Culture

Did you know that Croatia has no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and that half of those are located in Central Dalmatia?

Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the old town of Trogir and the Stari Grad Plain were joined by the stecchi near Imotski this year. But UNESCO World Heritage Sites are only part of the story of the culture and heritage of Central Dalmatia…

Here you, you will find the oldest town in Croatia – some say Stari Grad, some say Vis Town, the oldest public theatre in Europe, Greek, Roman and Venetian influences, as well as many more genres from the thousands of years of fascinating history in the region.

Come for the beach, leave with the culture. Many tourists are amazed at the sheer diversity of what is on offer in Central Dalmatia, away from the beach. Take a little preview in the official video below, and to learn more about the culture of Central Dalmatia, click here.

Advent in Split: Events for Christmas Weekend on Riva and Marmontova

Here is the Christmas programme on the Riva and Marmontova throughout the weekend to help you celebrate this special time of year. Concerts will be held by The Dreamers, “More, More”, Acoustica, and many more.

The Christmas weekend will kick off on Christmas Eve with a concert by Klapa Sinj which will be held in the middle part of the Riva on Saturday at 11:00. At noon, VIS Coveri will begin and the Christmas Eve party led by DJ Pajo will begin at 20:00.

On the same day at ‘7 kucice’ on Marmontova, DJ Jake will play music beginning at noon, and at 20:30 a concert by group The Dreamers will take place.

On Sunday evening, the center of the Riva will host a Christmas party, while at ‘7 kucice’ at Marmontova, “Acoustica” will take the stage.

On Monday on the Riva, a Christmas concert by group “More, More” will begin at 20:00, and from 22:00 DJ Fera will take the stage.  That same evening, at the bottom of the Marmontova, Christmas rhythms will be provided by DJ Jake.

Here is the full schedule for the Christmas weekend:

On the Riva

Saturday, 24 December | 11:00 – Concert “Klapa Sinj”
                                         12:00  – Concert “Vis Coveri”
                                          20:00 – Christmas Eve Party DJ Pajo
Sunday, 25 December | 20:00 Christmas Party
Monday, 26 December | 20:00 – Christmas concert “More, More”
                            22:00 – Retro – DJ Fera

7 Kucice – Marmontova
Saturday, 24 December | 12:00 – Christmas Eve Party DJ Jake
Sunday, 25 December | 20:30 – Christmas “Acoustica”
Monday, 26 December | 20:00 – Christmas Party DJ Jake

Tratitional Festive Treats in Central Dalmatia: Fritule

Christmas in Dalmatia, as elsewhere in the world, is a time of family, relaxation and indulgence. Central Dalmatia of course has its own traditions and specialities, and nothing perhaps symbols the magic of Christmas more than one of its beloved local treats – fritule.

Fritule are sweet dough balls which you will find in most homes and on Christmas stalls, and many households produce their very own version at home, to recipes passed down from older generations in their family. Each recipe is slightly different, and of course, each family will tell you that theirs is the best…

Want to know how to make fritule, and even try it back home? Here is how…

The Rise and Rise of Cycling Tourism in Central Dalmatia

Forget apartment rental, the real money is in cyclotourism and formation of tourism offers for cyclists which number 20 million within the EU, with around 44 billion euro of spending money annually for trips. In comparison, this is more money than cruise lines makes on their routes. In only three years since the beginning of systematic shaping of the tourism offer for cyclists in Central Dalmatia, there are over a hundred people employed in the sector with an annual income of a million euro, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on December 20, 2016.

This data was disclosed at a cyclotourism presentation of Split-Dalmatia County organised by the County Tourism Board together with the Cycling Alliance of Central Dalmatia, with the goal of enticing stronger participation of tourism agencies and entrepreneurs in the fastest growing sector in European tourism.

“Cyclotourism in Split-Dalmatia County in which the public sector is the sole investor in infrastructure of over 3.5 thousand proper bike routes, while it is up to tourism agencies, renters, hotels and other businesses to make money on it. Cyclotourists are ideal guests who arrive in the off-season and make use of the entire offer of the destination,” said Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourism Board.

Proving the business potential is high are experiences of those who have already begun forming the tourism offer for cyclotourists in Split-Dalmatia County. A renter in Bol has 300 bikes available at 170 kuna per day and can gross 51.000 kuna per day just from that niche.

In the city of Split are 36 concessionaires for bike rentals, with an average price of 120 kuna per day. Around 500 bikes are rented daily through licensed agencies, grossing around 60.000 kuna per day. With the knowledge that Germany alone has two million cyclotourists and that Switzerland’s cycling tourism programmes bring in 5 million guests annually, it is clear many European countries have found a way to extend the season and make good money in this sector.

“According to data on cyclotourism in the EU, total benefits from the sector are around 155 billion euro per year, a third going directly to the tourism industry, the rest to bike repair, services, retail, guides and others in the service chain. Bike guides are currently among the most sought jobs and most of those who have passed the required education are already fully booked for 2017. There are currently 45 licensed guides in the County, with another 20 ready in the coming year,” said Denis Špadina, secretary of the Cycling Alliance of Split-Dalmatia County.

“Along with 97 marked and equipped cyclotourism routes of 3.5 thousand kilometres in length and licensed bike guides, 50 hotels and other accommodation providers in the County are registered as bike&bed services for cyclists. This means they have basic tools and parts, guarded bike spaces, bike racks outside their properties, information on nearby bike routes, repair and retail shops. At the same time within the County are 70 registered agencies for bike rentals and 10 specialised tourism agencies for cycling services,” it was mentioned at the presentation.

Development plans for cyclotourism in 2017 include another 1.5 thousand kilometres of bike routes, which will make Split-Dalmatia County the forerunner in Croatia in terms of bike routes, giving an opportunity to entrepreneurs to use these options on the market and create a profit.

Judging by the interest of agencies, renters, hotels and local administration for this story, it seems Split-Dalmatia County is on its way to income of 5 to 10 million euro in the next few years and employ around 200 persons in various jobs in the sector.

To learn more about cycling in Central Dalmatia, click here

Diocletian’s Palace Featured in Apollo Arts Magazine

There is no doubting which is the most famous building in Split. Built as a retirement home for a Roman Emperor 1700 years ago, Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most vibrant old towns in Europe, a fact not lost on Apollo Magazine in their recent article, How life goes on in a ruined Roman Palace:

“Ruins are not usually inhabited. By their very nature, they tend to be abandoned, neglected and remote. Such places as Tintern Abbey or Rievaulx were not very hospitable once the original buildings, deliberately built far from centres of population, had been pillaged and made roofless. There can be ruins in city centres, of course, as in Rome or Athens, but antique structures tend to become hidden within later structures, or disappear into the rising earth, until resurrected by antiquarians and archaeologists.”

Read more here…