Croatian National Tourist Board: Destination Update
Croatia continues to attract UK & Ireland visitors
Following consistently strong visitor figures for the past three years, Croatia continues to attract British visitors now that the peak summer season is over. In October 2014, there were 23,824 UK visitors to Croatia, an increase of four per cent on the same period in 2013. There was also a large increase in Irish visitors during the same month with 2,041 arrivals, up 34 per cent on last year. From January to October 2014, Croatia saw a year-on-year increase in British visitors of 10 per cent, with 437,173 arrivals. There were also 46,470 Irish visitors between January and October 2014, a boost of 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2013. For more information on what to see and do in Croatia, please see www.croatia.hr.
Thomson introduces new flights to Dubrovnik for 2015
Thomson will increase flights from the UK to Dubrovnik from next year. Flights will be available from regional airports including Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Bristol. In addition, Thomson Cruises’ ‘cruise and stay’ success in Dubrovnik means that the port is scheduled to become the cruise liners’ home port for next season. For more information, please see www.thomson.co.uk.
Hotel Mimbelli opens in Orebić
The Hotel Mimbelli has recently opened in the port town of Orebić in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The hotel, which is located in a 19th Century building in the centre of the historic town, includes four double rooms, one suite and a restaurant. Orebić, on the southern coast of Pelješac Peninsula, has some of the best beaches in the region and also has great hiking opportunities around Mt Ilija. For more information, please see www.croatia.hr.
Korčula welcomes four star hotel to island
Hotel Korsal, a four star family-friendly hotel, has opened on the peaceful island of Korčula. Located close to the beach, the hotel offers luxurious rooms and is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. Guests are encouraged to try local wines on the hotel’s terrace or taste delicious, fresh seafood in the restaurant. Korčula – a traditional walled town – is a stunning coastal citadel, home to many vineyards and olive groves. For more information or to book, please see www.hotel-korsal.com.
Valamar Hotels and Resort continues Croatian development in 2015
Valamar Riviera has invested over 400 million Kunas into new accommodation projects for the 2015 tourist season. The largest investment is 250 million Kunas for the Valamar Isabella Island Resort, a four star resort on the island of Sveti Nikola, right across from the Poreč boardwalk. There will also be a refurbishment of the Valamar Riviera and Valamar Diamant hotels in Poreč, while the Hotel Valamar Pinia will get a new beach bar on the island of Krk. Improvements will also be made to the Valamar’s campsites, with a new swimming pool and restaurant at Camping Lanterna and upgraded campsites at Camping Marina in Labin and Camping Solaris in Lanterna. For more information, please see www.valamar.com.
Park Hotel in Pula plans renovation for new season
The Park Hotel in Pula will receive a 5.5–6 million Kuna renovation from Arenaturist this year. Aimed to be completed by May 2015, there will be a reconstruction of the entire accommodation and public areas, a new spa and fitness centre, while the number of rooms will increase from 147 to 176. The hotel is situated in a picturesque location next to a pine forest on the Verudela peninsula. For more information, please see www.arenaturist.com/croatia_hotels/hotel_park.
Maistra plans to upgrade accommodation for 2015
Maistra has begun to renovate the Hotel Adriatic in Rovinj ahead of the 2015 tourist season. Situated on the main square in Rovinj and offering spectacular views of the island of St. Katarina on one side and the old city on the other, the Hotel Adriatic will be transformed into a boutique hotel. This is part of Maistra’s ongoing investment and 50 per cent of its Croatian properties have now been raised to a four and five star level. For more information, please see www.maistra.com/Adriatic_Rovinj.
Four star Hotel Royal opens in Opatija
The luxurious Hotel Royal has recently opened in Opatija. Designed for lovers of games of intellect – such as chess, bridge, Sudoku – the hotel is located by the Lungomare coastal promenade. Its 54 luxury rooms and apartments offer stunning views of Opatija’s harbour and the entire Kvarner Bay. Hotel facilities include a new restaurant, the Royal Club Café, Café Mahler and a Royal Hall ballroom for events with up to 1,000 participants. For more information, please see www.milenijhoteli.hr/opatij/hr/hotel-royal.php.
First hostel opens in Opatija
Opatija has welcomed its first ever hostel, Hostel Link, thanks to a five million euro investment from Milenij Hotels Group. The hostel aims to attract young travellers to the region and invigorate youth tourism in the Riviera. The hostel has 114 modern rooms, each with its own bathroom, and is located just a few steps from the main beach in Lovran. It is hoped that the hostel will appeal to young adults across Europe. Lovran is also a top area for active holidays because of its location on Kvarner Bay and close to Mt. Učka. For more information, please see www.linkhostel.com.
GreenOn Movement to return to Zadar
After a successful 2014 conference, the GreenOn Movement will return to Zadar next year. The GreenOn Movement in Zadar is made up of three parts: the Innovation Expo where young innovators can display their work to interested companies; the Start-Up Academy, which has a range of workshops and classes; and GreenOn Open Air, a music concert that saw performances from Pendulum and Freestylers this year. The conference takes place on the Zadar peninsula and, while at the conference, visitors could enjoy exploring the charming and narrow city streets as well as the Roman forum dating back to the first century. For more information on the GreenOn Movement, please visit www.greenonmovement.com.
Zagreb named second best destination in Europe
Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, has been named as the second best destination in Europe according to the European Best Destinations Organization in Brussels, Belgium. Zagreb was praised for its many entertainment and culture activities, including music and theatre concerts, museums and sporting events. The city was also commended for its wonderful architecture, making it a great place for a pleasant walk and perfect for business travellers and tourists alike. For more information, please see www.europeanbestdestinations.com.
Advent in Zagreb film puts capital in the limelight
The Advent in Zagreb tourist film won the Master Award at the International Tourism Film Competition at the ITB Fair, Berlin, as well as a Special Award at the International Tourism Film Festival “Film, Art & Tourism Festival” in Poland. The film shows the city’s festive celebrations, highlighting its Advent events and also the gastronomic and spa facilities that travellers could enjoy. For more information on Zagreb, please see www.zagreb-touristinfo.hr.
Camp Nevio awarded for camping excellence
Camp Nevio in Orebić won an award for the quality of its campsite and for the professional and dedicated management and development of the site in 2014. The award was given out at The Fédération Internationale de Camping, Caravanning et Autocaravaning (F.I.C.C.) in Dusseldorf in August. The campsite lies next to beautiful sandy beaches and has air-conditioned mobile homes, an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant serving authentic food and wines from Pelješac. For more information on Camp Nevio, please see www.nevio-camping.com.
Dubrovnik nominated for best destination in cruise awards
Dubrovnik was nominated in the UK Cruise International Awards for 2014, in the category of Best Cruise Destination. The town’s competitors in the category include Barbados, Dubai, Miami, New York, Panama, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Venice. The awards were first launched in 2008 as “Britain’s first ever consumer awards dedicated to celebrating the best of the cruise industry”. For more information on Dubrovnik please see www.tzdubrovnik.hr.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays offer Split for 2015
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are announcing three great Croatian locations available for summer 2015 from Edinburgh Airport, including newly-launched Split, Pula and Dubrovnik. Jet2.com flights will begin on May 24 2015 with prices starting from £55 one-way, inclusive of taxes. Jet2holidays customers will be able to book packages from £429 per person, secured with a £60 deposit. As an example, a seven-night stay at the four-star Hotel Meteor in Makarska, Split, will cost from £558 per person based on two sharing a double room on a bed and breakfast basis. This price is based on flights from Edinburgh, including transfers, and 22kg baggage allowance. For more information, please see www.jet2holidays.com/destinations/croatia
Fragrant November on Lošinj Island – Olive and Dog Rose
The Mali Lošinj Tourist Board’s project, the ‘Fragrances and Tastes of Lošinj’ has become very popular across Lošinj Island. This year, each month is dedicated to the island’s medicinal plants and pot herbs and this month focuses on olive trees and dog rose. Olive trees are the oldest and most famous cultivated plant in the Mediterranean, particularly renowned for the healthy extra virgin olive oil they produce. The interestingly named dog rose is actually a rose, which flowers pink and white, with its fruit ripening in October to November. The oval, dark red fruit, rose hip, can be used to prepare tea, jams or oil. tea made from rose hips is rich in vitamin-C and is thought to be beneficial in fighting fatigue and exhaustion, boosting immunity and reducing infection. Fragrances of Lošinj have been used in a variety of ways including: floral displays, potpourri, juices, liqueurs, cakes, and fragrant decorations to gastro-menus where native plants of the island are used. For more information, please see here.
Events & Festivals
5–12 December: RI Gastronomy, Week of Cod and Chocolate, Rijeka
Days of Gastronomy, RI Gastronomy, is an event intended to teach and preserve the tradition of Croatia’s Mediterranean diet, whose beneficial effects have been proven by several studies. During the event, chefs will prepare authentic regional dishes at promotional prices for guests to sample. For more information, please see here.
1–31 December: Christmas in Đakovo
The picturesque town of Đakovo is a truly magical place to be during the Christmas period. There will be graceful Lipizzaner horses passing on the ‘Korzo’ promenade, as well as Christmas carols beautifully performed by vocal groups. The smell of traditional Advent food and drink will fill the air, making the town feel thoroughly festive. For more information, please see here.
12–14 December: Christmas Fairy-Tale in the Učka Nature Park
In winter, the beautiful Opatija Riviera is very much reminiscent of a fairy-tale. In fact, it’s so attractive that even Santa Claus makes the Učka Mountain his residence at this time of year! While visiting the Učka Nature Park, deep in snow, to make the most of this fairy tale event guests will have the chance to see sleighs drawn by horses. It truly is the perfect setting for the festive season. This three-day event is great for parents and children, with children getting the chance to meet Santa Claus and parents enjoying a spicy cup of mulled wine. For more information, please see here.
11–15 December: Festival of Christmas Cakes and Cookies, Opatija
In Croatia, Christmas is not complete without delicious cakes and cookies. The annual festival of Christmas cakes and cookies will be held at the Open Air Summer Stage in Opatija and presents the opportunity to sample freshly baked delicacies of the region. There will be workshops run by top pastry chefs so not only can you try delicious treats, but will also learn how to make them at home too. For more information, see here.
4 December: Miners’ Days in Ivanec
The Miners’ Days in Ivanec highlights the importance the local people attach to their cultural and historic heritage. Held since 2007, the event is linked to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners. The exhibition teaches younger members of society to cherish their background as well as giving visitors a chance to see the old tools and equipment used by miners in the past. The exhibition also features children’s works on the subject of mining and miners’ sculptures. The most striking part of the event is the procession of the historic Ivanec Miners’ Company in full uniform – a sight that transports the town back in time for a night. For more information, please see www.croatia.hr.
29 November 2014-6 January 2015: Advent in Zagreb
Advent in Zagreb includes a series of seasonal events held on the city’s squares, bringing the spirit of Advent and Christmas to visitors and citizens of Zagreb. There will be a number of programmes to enjoy including children’s choirs, drama ensembles, dance groups, music bands and cultural societies, as well as bustling Christmas shops and fairs. For more information, please see www.adventzagreb.com.
1 December 2014–1 February 2015: Dubrovnik Christmas Market
In December, Dubrovnik will enchant visitors with its magical Christmas lights, decorations and popular festive market. Dubrovnik’s Christmas Fair at Sponza Palace is guaranteed to get visitors into the Christmas spirit with its packed programme of carol singing, dances and diverse variety of arts and craft stalls, as well as sweet local delicacies, including candied almonds, deep fried biscuits and doughnuts. For more reasons to spend the festive season in Dubrovnik, please see www.croatia.hr
For further press information, please contact:
Sarah Taylor/Melissa Hobson/Tim Thackray
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8927
E: [email protected]
Croatia; the Mediterranean as it once was, offers 1,244 islands strung along its stunning Adriatic coast, boasts seven UNESCO Heritage Sites and eight national parks as well as an excellent tourism infrastructure. From the café culture of its historic cities to the rugged landscapes of continental Croatia, with a packed calendar of festivals and events and a host of home-grown gastronomic delights, Croatia is the ideal holiday destination.
For more information visit www.croatia.hr or call on (0)20 3440 8930.