Split Named World’s Number 3 City in Booking.com Guest Review Awards

A nice boost for the Central Dalmatia accommodation story as Split has been named the third best city in the world in the annual Booking.com Guest Review Awards.

Now in its 7th year, the Guest Review Awards last year included more than 750,000 properties in 219 countries and territories. Of these, some 34,027 were in Croatia. Croatian accommodation averaged a score of 9.0, which was the highest in the world along with New Zealand.

When it came to individual cities, Rome topped the list, followed by St Petersburg and then the Dalmatian capital in third. Two other Croatian destinations (Zadar – 16 and Dubrovnik – 20) made the top 20.

The quality of accommodation in Split is improving rapidly, particularly in the hotel sector. This year will see the opening of four new 4-star hotels, and there are at least five 5-star hotels currently undergoing construction or in the advanced planning stages.

To learn more about Split, click here.

Mercedes Benz Discovers the Star-Studded Village of Imotski

There are many fun things to be learned on a visit to Central Dalmatia. Did you know, for example, that the oldest public theatre in Europe is on Hvar, or that cricket in Europe outside the UK began on Vis 200 years ago, or that King Arthur was buried in Podstrana?

Or that Imostki was the Mercedes capital of Croatia?

It seems that the legendary Germany carmaker is aware at least of the last fact, as a lovely article of homage to Imoski and its oldtimer Mercedes cars has appeared on the official Mercedes Benz website:

“To explore the magic of the Mercedes-Benz village, it’s best to fly into Split. Upon landing in this Croatian town on the Adriatic, we pick up a rental car. One with a star, of course. That will make things much easier later on. We drive around 80 kilometres through the Dalmatian highlands in a south-easterly direction. Not far from our final destination, we start encountering an unusually high number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. New cars, used cars – and a noteworthy number of classics, young and old. And the closer we get to Imotski, the more stars of bygone eras we see. And not just on the tarmac, either. They’re in the fields, the meadows and even in the vineyards. Did we miss a classic car rally, or is there perhaps a period drama being filmed here? No, this is just a day like any other. A Friday. Everything is just like it always is. And that’s exactly the point: it’s Imotski’s little secret.”

Don’t forget to check out the Red and Blue Lakes when you pass by in your Mercedes. Read the full article here.

To learn more about Imotski, click here.

Kayaking in Central Dalmatia: Which UNESCO World Heritage Site to Choose?

As tourists look for more experiences than simply lying on the beach all day and dancing all night, so tourism evolves.

The rise of adventure tourism has been one of the biggest changes in Central Dalmatia in recent years, with activities such as hiking, cycling, sailing and rock climbing more popular than ever.

But if there is one activity which has exploded into a major adventure activity from almost nothing in the last 15 years, it is sea kayaking.

Named by Rough Guides as one of the 17 essential things to do in Croatia, we would have to agree, and the number of agencies offering kayaking tours has mushroomed in recent years.

The good news if you have never tried kayaking before is that there are plenty of tours available for beginners – the only basic requirement is that you know how to swim.

And once you are in your kayak with expert local guide, the world is literally your oyster. Hidden bays and coves, navigating the Pakleni Islands, island hopping or exploring the coast close up – there are numerous popular ways to explore. And given that you can stop pretty much wherever you choose for a swim, bite to eat or walk around, it really does make for the best time of sightseeing.

And a great way to explore the considerable UNESCO heritage of Central Dalmatia. Two of the most popular kayaking destinations are Trogir, both of which include magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the old town of Trogir and Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Don’t forget to check them out when after you have paddled all the way.

And let’s not forget the island of Hvar as well, whose Stari Grad Plain became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, and which has been producing olives and grapes in much the same way for about 2,400 years since the arrival of the Ancient Greeks.

Have kayak, will explore – the treasures of Dalmatia and UNESCO await.

To learn more about adventure tourism in Central Dalmatia, click here

Vrlika the Latest Inland Dalmatia Destination with Strong Growth

While Central Dalmatia’s islands and coastal resorts continue to grab most of the tourism headlines, things are quietly ticking along behind the mountains in inland Dalmatia.

Less than an hour from the coast and yet a million miles away from the crowds, the various destinations in Zagora are steadily increasing their tourism offer and attractions. And the foreign tourists are starting to take notice and come.

The numbers may be smaller, but one destination which is experiencing rapid growth is Vrlika, which lies close to both the source of the Cetina and gorgeous Lake Peruca.

In 2018, 2,988 overnight stays were realized, which is 84% more than the previous year when there were 1,618 overnight stays. There were 721 registered arrivals in Vrlika, which is 83% more than in 2017 when there were 393 arrivals.

That there were any overnight stays at all is testament to the local Vrlika Tourist Board and its efforts to encourage locals to engage more in tourism. Two years ago there were no accommodation options in the town for tourist rental, but now the first private accommodation rentals are available.

There are significantly more day trip visitors, of course, who can enjoy the natural water beauties of the Cetina and Lake Peruca, as well as historic fortresses, a variety of adventure sports, traditional gourmet delights and some of the most beautiful nature in Dalmatia. And where else can you find a full open-air opera in the middle of the peak season?

Check out why Vrlika is such an emerging destination in the official video below, then learn more about the destination here.

And Now Ukraine: SkyUp Connects Brac to Kiev Direct

With all the stories of record-breaking passenger numbers at the airports of Split, Zagreb and Dubrovnik, spare a thought for the tiny airport of Brac.

The island airport, one of only three in Croatia, almost went out of business a few years ago, but it has managed to turn itself around to create a very impressive success story of increased passenger numbers and international connectivity.

Brac is currently undergoing its second phase of airport expansion, which will ultimately see an expanded runway of 2,400m. But even in the interim, European airlines have seen the advantage of offering direct flights to the island, thereby avoiding the time-consuming transfers from Split airport to the ferry and the ensuing ferry ride.

Last summer, no there were no less than seven countries connected to Brac directly. That number has now risen to eight with the announcement of direct flights from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, courtesy of SkyUp Airlines.

The new flights will be twice a week, on Saturdays and Sundays, commencing June 1 until September.

To learn more about the island of Brac, click here