All posts by Paul Bradbury

Prepare for the Festival of Traditional Dalmatian Games!

Ever heard of Zoga Falo or Plojke?

Two traditional games played on one Dalmatian island and unknown by almost anyone elsewhere, with many people on Hvar also unfamiliar with either game.

It is a pattern which is repeated all over Central Dalmatia. So many traditional games which have been played in local communities, many of which are dying out as the younger generation prefers different types of entertainment.

In terms of the traditions, this is Dalmatia at its finest, but it is often hard for tourists to find access to this quintessentially local way of life. Until now!

This October, the Trogir Tourist Board plans to hold the first Festival of Traditional Dalmatian Games, bringing together communities of all generations in an Olympics-style tournament celebrating and highlighting the weird and wonderful Dalmatian games that have been played here for centuries.

The idea is still in concept stage, but the plan is to have several teams from all over the region (and tourist teams) in about 10 different traditional games in the squares, streets and cafes of the old town of Trogir.

The traditional games will bring together all three generations, which sports for kids, adults and grandparents to take part in. Each participating village will bring some of their traditions and souvenirs with them to make an unforgettable celebration of traditional Dalmatian sporting culture.

Interested in being involved? Contact the Trogir Tourist Board at [email protected] Subject Dalmatian Games.

For more information about Trogir, click here

Kastela Joins Forces with Cambridge University to Develop Destination

Very exciting news for the wonderful 7 Kastela villages next to Split.

One of the region’s sleeping giants in tourism, as well as the home of the original Zinfandel, a fabulous new partnership has been announced between Cambridge University and Kastela, which will see four eminent MBA students coming to the Dalmatian coast to work on an official MBA project for Cambridge University to work on the development of Kastela, with tourism a key element of any strategy.

The project will welcome the 4 MBA students from Cambridge to Kastela on March 16, when they will get down to work immediately before presenting their finished project the following month.

Among the students on the programme is Melony Mahaarachchi, the Sri Lankan Space researcher and scientist who worked for years on Elon Musk’s Space X and NASA’s Mars Rover programmes, and who was publicly endorsed on Facebook by none other than Melinda Gates.

Having conquered technologies in Space, here’s hoping that Melony and the team find the Kastela project a little less complicated while delivering similar excellent results.

To learn more about the seven Kastelas, click here.

United Hvar Tourist Boards Promote Cycling at Cosmo Bike Show in Verona

Famous for its beaches, nightlife and endless sunshine, the island of Hvar has been busy adding several other strings to its tourism bow in recent years, including cycling.

Working with the Central Dalmatian Tourist Board on a strategy of developing cycling tourism, a number of bike routes have been marked and a map produced, enabling cyclists the potential to explore the island like never before.

And it is not only the tourists who like what they see. Bahrain McLaren (formerly Bahrain Merida) were recently on the island for the third December in a row for their winter training ahead of another gruelling season. And if one of the world’s top cycling teams keep coming back for more, you know Hvar is onto something!

The island’s five tourist boards, which recently merged into one Destination Management Organisation, have been on the road to promote Hvar’s cycling story, the latest trip to Italy, a key cycling tourism market. And there was strong Hvar (and Central Dalmatian) presence at last month’s Cosmo Bike Show in Verona, where there was plenty of interest in the Croatian cycling product.

“On the Italian market Hvar is an absolute hit this year, which is shown by more than 15000 visitors of the Croatian stand at the Cosmo bike show in Verona. And we are proud to promote Hvar bike tourism product with all Hvar tourist boards as one,” said Petar Razovic, director of the Hvar Town Tourist Board.

Learn more about the beauties of cycling on Hvar and neighbouring Brac in this official Central Dalmatian tourism video, which has already been viewed more than 4 million times.

Split Marathon Turns 20: Watch the Aftermovie (VIDEO)

Another sporting milestone for the city with more Olympic medal winners per capita than any other in the world, as the Split Marathon turned 20 last month, upgrading its usual half-marathon race to an additional full marathon.

There were more than 4,000 participants in both events, coming from more than 40 countries. Not bad for the middle of February!

Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara emphasised that this was excellent promotion and an excellent success for the organisers.

“This is the first time we have a marathon in Split. We’ve had a half marathon so far. We have grown into a beautiful event. The start took more than three minutes. More than three thousand people passed us, who ran the streets of the most beautiful city in the world,” the Mayor said.

Missed the action, or want to check out the beautiful Dalmatian capital in glorious February sunshine? Check out the official aftermovie in the video below.

To learn more about Split, click here

Trogir, a Destination Transformed by the New Ciovo Bridge

Ask the people of Trogir which infrastructure project has had the most impact on their lives, and you will only get one answer – the opening of the long-awaited Ciovo Bridge in July 2018.

As you can see from the photo above, the new 207 million kuna bridge (85% of which is from EU funds) connected to Ciovo from the mainland between Trogir and Split. This means that all Ciovo-bound traffic can get easily and quickly to that island without having to come through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. Great news for tourists going to Ciovo, great news for tourists and locals in Trogir.

This is what life used to look like just a few years ago, with all Ciovo traffic heading through Trogir to the single bridge connecting to Ciovo. In peak season, this understandably led to many delays.

The new bridge has changed all that, and you can check it out in the video below. So if you have not been to Ciovo and Trogir for a while and were hesitant due to the traffic, now is the time to reconsider.

And there is even more good news for Trogir, as the town is not finished yet with its traffic upgrade plans, as Mayor Ante Bilic explained:

The new bridge has completely changed how Trogir functions, especially during the tourist season. It’s going to be 2 years in July since the grand opening, and we’ve almost forgotten how our lives were complicated on a daily basis before the bridge was built. Still, we are very thankful for this important traffic solution which made our lives easier and with more quality, not to mention how much more convenient it is for thousands of tourists visiting Trogir.
I believe the new bridge was also a symbolic beginning of a new era for our town. Trogir, of course, needs more traffic investments and solutions to make it even more seamless. Our partners such as Hrvatske Ceste and Županijske Ceste have some great new plans for us in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the reconstruction of the town’s western entrance, via Seget, which is a priority and then the main Čiovo road, from the old Bridge to Slatine. Maybe the most interesting project is making the old stone bridge a pedestrian area and building a new, small bridge starting from the bus station, that will connect the mainland with the old town peninsula. For sure, we have solved our critical traffic problem with the new Čiovo bridge but we are looking forward to new traffic projects.
To learn more about Trogir, click here