All posts by Paul Bradbury

8.5m Kuna Grants to Develop Coast of Kastela, Trogir, Omis and Tucepi

As tourism grows in Central Dalmatia, so too does the investment in infrastructure. Headline investments such as the new Split Airport terminal have had a very positive impact on tourism in the region, but there is also plenty going on along the gorgeous Central Dalmatian coast, with several destinations – Kastela, Trogir, Omis and Tucepi – receiving combined grants worth some 8.5 million kuna to develop their coastline.

The grants were signed between the municipalities and Split Dalmatia County Prefect, Blazenko Boban. Omis received 1.5 million kuna for the landscaping of Brzet Beach; Trogir 3 million kuna to build a breakwater at the Brigi Lokvice sports harbour; 2 million kuna for the landscaping of Glavica Bay in Kastel Luksic; and some 2 million kuna to improve the Tucepi coastal zone from the marina to Gospin Creek.

“It is well known that our County manages one-third of the total maritime domain of the Republic of Croatia. It was not easy to do all the preparatory work because only projects that have been awarded a building permit were financed, and the projects were co-financed in the ratio of half of Split-Dalmatia County, half of the units of local self-government. In this way, together with the local self-government units, we will change the overall view of our coastal towns. Therefore, let the contracts signed today be an incentive for other local communities to participate in such county competitions,” said Blazenko Boban.

Stipe Cogelja, Head of the Maritime and Tourism Managing Board, emphasised that the County has already prepared all the relevant strategic documents for beach management, from the Tourism Capacity Plan to the Beach Management Plan, and announced the development of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan foreseen by European Directives which only Sibenik-Knin County has so far.

“We are ready for a new EU financial perspective from 2021, to apply for even more funding for sustainable coastal zone management,” said Cogelja.

3rd International Olive Picking Championships Returning to Brac

Could there be a more rewarding and healthy way to pass the time of day? Picking olives on an idyllic Dalmatian island whose delicious Mediterranean Diet has been inscribed as intangible UNESCO heritage.

Olive oil is the heartbeat of Dalmatian cuisine, and nowhere more so that on the island of Brac, whose olive tradition dates back thousands of years. It is also the island with the most olive trees on the Adriatic, and so where better to host an event to bring together the finest olive pickers from all over the world – the Olive Picking International  World Championships?

Now in its third year and located in delightful Postira, the event brings together the olive picking community from all over the world like no other, and teams from as far away as New Zealand and the United States compete.

Apart from the serious business of picking the olives, it is also a glorious time to visit Brac at the end of the season and mingle with the locals who are refreshed in their olive groves after yet another busy tourist season.

Get a flavour of the atmosphere from last year’s event from the Postira Tourist Board’s official video below, and learn more about the destination here.

Red and Blue to Be Joined by Green Lake for Imotski Tourism?

Few destinations in Croatia have developed as well in recent years as Imotski.

The famous inland Dalmatian town has long been a centre of wine and culture, but it is only relatively recently that its tourism has boomed. This has been the result of a combination of improved infrastructure, an expansion of luxury accommodation, and effective tourism promotion. As a result of all three, the tourism effect is spreading further into the countryside.

The opening of the A1 motorway several years ago, which was soon followed by an access tunnel to the Makarska Riviera (cutting journey times to the beach to less than 30 minutes) has enabled tourists to look at Imotski as a peaceful and authentic place to base themselves on holiday. In order to meet that demand, there has been an explosion of new villas with swimming pools in the Imotski region, and tourists have been able to enjoy the traditional Dalmatian lifestyle, including the fabulous wines of the Imotski region, while also having easy access to the beach.

Imotski is, of course, famous for its Blue and Red Lakes, but is another coloured lake about to be added to the Imotski tourism offer – the Green Lake of Ricice?

The Green Lake has excellent prerequisites for organising both small sailing regattas and rowing competitions. Its underwater world, which is home to indigenous carp, offers great opportunities for sport fishing, and finally, in the summer, swimming in clean water. The natural environment of the lake, surrounded by high gorges, green meadows, and hiking trails, is a real challenge for fans of walking, running, and family outings.

“We are aware of all the benefits of our jewel and we have seriously taken up the demanding work to finally embark on presenting it to he tourism market,” said Zeljko Tandara, President of the Ricice Native Ecological Association.

“We are aware that the whole lake is under the jurisdiction of the Croatian Water, and that, in cooperation with them, but also our Municipality of Prolozac, and finally the Imota Tourist Board, which covers the entire Imotski region, we need to find a way to revitalize the Green Lake, which can both irrigate our field and give much to the tourist offer,” Tandara added.

To learn more about Imotski and its amazing lakes, click here

Booming Split: Busiest August Ever with 5% Tourists Increase

It is busy out there! And nowhere more so than in the Dalmatian capital of Split.

It was only a few years ago that Split was known as the Gateway to the Islands, a transit point for the ferry to the islands of Brac, Hvar, Solta and Vis. But not any more…

The growth of Split as one of the hottest destinations in Europe continues apace, and August 2019 was the busiest August in the city’s tourism history, according to statistics released recently.

In August alone, there were 193,305 guests visiting the city, an increase of 10,000 last year, and they collectively generated a total of 659,000 overnight stays (37,000 more than 2018). Both represented an increase of 5% on last year.

The strong August numbers mirror those of the year so far in Split. In the first 8 months of 2019, there were 714,265 arrivals, generating 2,151,724 overnight stays. This represents an increase of 60,000 visitors (up 8%) and over 200,000 overnight stays (9%).

For the first time, the largest number of visitors came from the United States (75,000), followed by the Brits (72,000), the French (50,000) and the Germans (42,000).

To learn more about the destination of Split, click here

A Video Tour of the Eco-Ethno Villages of Dalmatia

The majority of tourists coming to Central Dalmatia head for the coast and island beaches. With some of the cleanest water and best beaches in Europe, who can blame them? But there is another side of Dalmatia, and one which is becoming increasingly popular with visitors.

As tourists look more for authentic experiences which typify a destination, there has been a rise in interest in the traditions of Dalmatia, including its atmospheric and beautiful stone villages. Here you will find a window into the past and learn more about the region’s way of life, much of which has changed little over the years.

There has been a considerable movement in recent years to preserve and present the heritage of Dalmatia with a special focus on developing eco-ethno villages using EU funds.

One such example is the island of Hvar, where four villages  – Humac, Mala Rudina, Malo Grablje and Velo Grablje – have been involved in various projects, including the IPA Adriatic Project, Innocultour, which has recently released this spectacular video of these eco-ethno villages.

Perhaps you had not planned to spend your holidays exploring Dalmatia away from the beach, but the old stone villages of the interior provide a wonderful contrast to the magic of the beach and coast. Just one small part of the diversity of this wonderful region.