News reaches us that the already fantastic Croatian festival season – which features a whole host of events up and down the Croatian coast from late May to mid September – will have a new entry this year…the Love System Festival!
Love System (30th May – 2nd June 2013) will be taking place at something of a familiar location – the pretty little village of Petrcane, which is about 10km north of Zadar on the coast of North Dalmatia. However, Love System will be taking place in the never-used-before Punta Radman wood, which will see a maze of bars, stages and chill-out areas laid out in amongst the trees of the intimate site. Best of all, the main stage will be set floating on the Adriatic Sea itself, offering up a unique way of partying the night away on the Croatian coast…not to mention taking it easy in the sun in the daytime.
Much of the line-up has already been announced, with acts such as Shonky, Bicep, Mario Basanov, Finnebassen, Jay Shepheard, Ben Pearce and Midland all featuring on the bill. There is, however, many more still to be revealed – be sure to keep a close eye on the Festival’s Facebook page for all the latest announcements.
A festival in Croatia wouldn’t be a proper festival in Croatia without the boat parties! Love System will have their boats setting sail twice a day, with the bespoke parties hosted by some of the most esteemed labels and party brands in the UK – names such as Jaunt, Underground, Kumasi and Bad Apple.
Although it’s officially a four-day event, there’s also a pre-party the day before the Festival starts on Wednesday 29th June, as well as the chillout day on Monday 3rd June.
Tickets are being limited to just 800 in number to make it a unique event…and are being snapped up quick! Early bird tickets have already sold out, but there’s still opportunity to buy some in the second wave of ticket releases – they currently cost £79 and can be bought online.
Love System looks to be shaping up to be a true connoisseur’s festival – with the beautiful and intimate setting, branded after parties, the opportunity to stay in luxury accommodation (just minutes from the site – but camping is also possible) and variety of travel packages available, it’s sure to be a great Croatian festival experience!
We’ve got our own little guide on the Love System Festival – check it out for advice on travelling to the festival, as well as more detailed info about the event: Festivals in Croatia 2013 – Love System Festival.
Otherwise, full details on the event can be found on the official Love System Festival website.
Love System Festival
Petrcane (near Zadar), Dalmatia
30th May – 2nd June 2013
Hallo, I have an unusual request – please recommend beaches for a small baby (2 years).
I would like to sandy beaches or small pebbles beaches from gently sloping to the sea that is shallow. I would also like to have restaurants, bars, shops, swimming pools. Two years ago I was in Zaton Holiday Resort and I’m looking something like this in Istria, Kvarner or Dalmatia – north or central.
I am grateful for the help. A.G.
The first thing to say is that Croatia is not that well known for its sandy beaches. By far the majority of beaches are of the pebble variety. However, I understand that for some people (especially those with young children!), sandy beaches are important. You can find a list of sandy beaches here.
Of course, if you don’t mind pebble beaches than you will have a lot more choice – as I said, the vast majority of beaches in Croatia are pebble-y. I would say that many would also be gently sloping with quite a bit of shallow water – it would be quite rare to have anything that would be quite deep quite suddenly.
Based on the place you mentioned you stayed in before (Zaton Holiday Resort), you might want to take a look at CampingIN Park Umag in Istria, which is very suitable for families with its various facilities (including pool) and features both Mobile Homes and Premium Homes.
Alternatively, you could also consider Camping Park Soline (again, with mobile homes) that is in Biograd na moru, North Dalmatia. It is close to both a pebble and a sandy beach.
The Solaris Camping Beach Resort near Sibenik, also in North Dalmatia is again very family-friendly, although perhaps the pebble beach area is quite small – but the resort does say the beach area is child friendly.
If you’d prefer to be a bit further south – between Split and Makarska – then you could consider Kamp Galeb. This is located in Omis, which is about 25-30km south (along the coast) of Split. The Omis Riviera is one of the places in Croatia that does have sandy beaches.
Kamp Galeb itself is located alongside a sandy beach, and its mobile homes are situated directly on the beach.
In fact, the camp itself says that the beach is very suitable for families with small children.
Again, the camp has a range of facilities – a few shops (bakery, also supermarket close by), a restaurant, a playground for children and an aqua park.
All of the above resorts have been included on the Croatian Camping Union’s best camping resorts list.
Yesterday saw the unveiling of tourism statistics that show visitor numbers to Croatia – both foreign and domestic – for the first six months of the year. These figures reveal overall visitor numbers, as well as showing statistics for the individual counties in Croatia, and the numbers of tourists arriving from different countries.
So, to tackle the overall statistics first, it was revealed that Croatia received 3,418,306 tourists between January and June this year, which is up 6% on the same period last year. Of this, the vast majority were foreign tourists – 2,922,632 (up 8%) – whilst 495,674 were Croatian (a drop of 4%).
Visitors stayed for 14,456,034 nights in the country (up 5%), which once again were mostly made by foreign tourists (12,898,639 nights – up 7%) rather than domestic (1,557,395 – another fall, this time of 6%).
All counties included in these statistics have seen visitor numbers go up – with the exception of Sibenik-Knin county, which has seen a drop by 1% in visitor numbers. Top honours go to Dubrovnik-Neretva county (unsurprisingly, home to Dubrovnik!) which saw 13% more visitors in the first six months of the year, as did Lika-Senj county (where the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park is located, as well as Velebit National Park). The former county also saw 15% more overnight stays during the same period, whilst the latter achieved 10% more.
The top visited county was the ever-popular Istria, which saw 975,391 people visiting from January to June, an increase of 5% over the same months last year. Other counties to enjoy good visitor growth include Split-Dalmatia (8% growth; 503,713 visitors); Zadar county (7% growth; 295,707 visitors) and Zagreb (5% growth; 298,850). Indeed, Zagreb enjoyed an increase of 11% in the number of nights stayed by tourists, clearly showing that those visiting Croatia’s capital are staying for longer.
Taking a look at the different foreign nationalities visiting Croatia in the first half of this year, the largest increase was posted by visitors from Japan of which there were 38% more (staying for 37% nights) when comparing this time period to the same one last year. British visitors also posted a very healthy increase (25% more, staying for 26% more nights), as did Belgian visitors (26% more, staying for 16% more nights), Dutch visitors (22% more, staying for 24% more nights) and Swedish visitors (21% more, staying for 21% more nights).
Just for the month of June, Croatia received 1,618,472 visitors in total (1% more than June 2011), who stayed for 8,330,928 nights (which is being recorded as the “same” as last year!). Dubrovnik-Neretva county again posted the best increase of 11% more visitors (164,426 in total), who stayed for 13% more nights (756,345). Rather interestingly, Istria actually posted a drop in both visitors numbers (down by 5%) and overnight stays (also down by 5%) for June 2012 over June 2011.
Rather pleasingly (given where we are based!), it was British visitors that posted by far the biggest increase for June 2012 over the same month last year – 36% more Brits visited, staying for 34% more nights.
I need information about hiring a car in Tisno, one way, and dropping off in Split? My boyfriend and I need to get to Split one way or another and i’ve heard the bus is a nightmare and takes 5 hours? Is this true? Please let me know if you have any ideas as to how we can do this. Many thanks. K.D.
I’m afraid it would be very unlikely that you would be able to rent a car in Tisno and drop it off in Split – Tisno is too small a place to have proper car rental companies, and any local agencies that would possibly provide car hire would only provide it for you to explore the local area (and bring the car back to them!), in the same way you could hire a bike or scooter for a few hours.
The scheduled bus from Tisno to Split should take around the two hour mark, not five. I’m not necessarily sure why the bus would be considered a nightmare – possible reasons might be that, as it’s the height of summer, traffic may be slow along the coastal road with lots of other holidaymakers who’ve come down to Croatia by car clogging things up. However, if you were to rent a car, you wouldn’t be able to escape this!
Even if the roads were slow, I would say that your bus shouldn’t be that delayed…possibly by one extra hour (so, a three hour journey in total). Obviously, things depend on the day of the week (weekends would be busier), time of day etc.
Other reasons might be that the bus might be very full, so there’s not enough seats and you have to stand. In some cases, the bus might be even so full that they wouldn’t let you on, and you might have to wait for the next one.
However, saying all this, there are a number of buses per day on this route. You can look up timetables at the Split Bus Terminal website. Select Tisno R as the starting point (not Tisno M).
When you’re actually in Tisno, I would confirm locally to make sure you know where the bus stop is. You could also enquire about purchasing your tickets, say, a day or two in advance, but as it’s a small place you might not be able to.
If you get stuck (for whatever reason – I don’t think you will, but good to keep these things in mind) I would consider taking a taxi (or local bus, if you can find the information when there) to another local town and get a bus from there. For example, Pirovac is close to Tisno (6 miles/15 mins) and there are more buses from there to Split.
Another alternative would be to take a local bus from Tisno to Sibenik (about half an hour away), which is the nearest large town. Then from here, there shouldn’t be any issues getting a bus to Split. Not only are there even more buses from here to Split (about 36 a day), but some routes start in Sibenik, so you wouldn’t have any issues about not being able to get on a bus because it’s too full.
News reaches us of a fantastically fun charity rally event that will take place through Europe this year, winding up in Croatia!
Sucata Rallies organise a number of “old banger” charity rally events that take place across Europe each year (others include runs through Europe down to Portugal and Budapest), with their fabulous Sucata Split event returning for 2012.
This year, the event will take place from 31st May to 4th June (a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK!), starting in Bruges in Belgium and ending – of course! – in the wonderful Croatian city of Split on the Dalmatian coast. Inbetween, participants will travel through seven countries; as well as the starting and end points in Belgium and Croatia, the route takes in France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and Slovenia with the Alps also getting a visit.
Teams must participate in old bangers that cannot cost more than £350, and are highly encouraged to dress up both themselves and their vehicle in fancy dress as much as possible! Each team is required to pay a very reasonable £25 per person (with a limit of £100 per vehicle) to register, and is then set a target of raising £250 per person that goes to the charity Gemin-i, who are involved in organising the event.
Gemin-i is an educational charity that helps children around the world share ideas and work together for a brighter future, with the aim of encouraging them to take action, thereby promoting positive change around the world. They bring together over 40,000 children in 2,700 schools across 120 countries to educate them about some of the world’s biggest issues such as malaria, HIV and AIDS, human rights and conflict resolution. The charity does this through online resources and by helping children share their ideas via internet forums and debates.
In particular, money that will be raised by those taking part in the Sucata Split rally will support the HIV360 project. With someone becoming infected with HIV every 12 seconds, the HIV360 project raises awareness, connects people around the world and supports them to take action on HIV and AIDS. The project will reach tens of thousands of children across the world, and every £250 raised will help schools raise the understanding by their students of HIV as well as increasing their chances of avoiding infection. More on the charity can be found on their website www.gemin-i.org.
If you’re interesting in taking part in what’s no doubt going to be a fantastically fun event, read up more about it on the Sucata Rallies website and register yourself and your team – what are you waiting for?!
Folllowing yesterday’s post in which we talked about the number of British visitors to Croatia this year, newspaper reports today further discuss Croatia’s popularity amongst Brit travellers, as news, statistics and quotes emerge from the World Travel Market event currently taking place in London.
What’s interesting to pick up from today’s press reports is that beyond Dubrovnik (and Dalmatia), other regions of Croatia are apparently far less popular with British visitors. Meri Matesic, head of the Croatian National Tourist Office in London was quoted by newspaper Novi List revealing the regional breakdown of British visitors to Croatia. She stated that around 60% travel to Dalmatia’s delights (aside from Dubrovnik there’s of course Split; the Makarska Riviera; and islands such as Hvar, Brac and Korcula to name just a few), with around 20% holidaying in Istria and the remaining 20% going to destinations around Zadar or on the Kvarner Riviera.
The newspaper Vjesnik reports that Darko Ivic of the Istrian hotel group Plava Laguna (now known as Laguna Porec – do keep up, Vjesnik!) saying that British visitors account for only 3% of the nights stayed at their hotels. Mr Ivic states, “The British are not going to Istria, we lost them during the war. We are no longer able to get them [as visitors], the younger generation of Brits do not know about us.”
However, it seems Dubrovnik’s popularity amongst Brits may simply go from strength to strength. Currently making great efforts to position itself as a year-round destination, the city is being promoted with a campaign in which it is advertised as “A City For All Seasons”. (See this photo of a recent advert in a London newspaper, and this photo of an advert we saw on the side of a London bus!) Vjesnik reports that 13 hotels are to remain open in Dubrovnik during winter, and of course regular, direct flights from the UK (there are four flights per week from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik with British Airways) mean the city is easy to reach, even just for short break.
The final point of interest to pick up from today’s reports is that Ms Matesic states that Ryanair brought 12,000 passengers to Rijeka Airport with its twice-weekly flights from London Stansted this year, which she says is a good result. Given that direct flights to Rijeka Airport from the UK were reintroduced this year, it’s a promising figure.
If you’re visiting Hvar this May and June – or wish to improve on your creative talents in a beautiful setting – you may well be interested to hear about a fantastic arts and crafts festival that is taking place in Hvar Town. Running from 28th May through to the 18th June, the inaugural Arts and Crafts Fun Festival will be running a number of workshops that will enable participants to pick up a new skill or learn a new craft – all on the wonderful setting that is the island of Hvar. Truly, a fantastic way of doing something creative – or doing something a little different during your holiday in Croatia!
The Festival will be holding workshops that will each last six days with two three-hour sessions per day, with each day building on the previous day’s study. Workshops include papier-mache, silk and wool creative felting, silver craft and calligraphy, with each being run by experts in these fields, from both Croatia and abroad. All classes will be run in English, so you don’t have to worry about any tricky language barriers! All workshops will be held in the Hotel Podstine, where you can also stay (taking advantage of a special discount associated with the festival).
Workshops are limited to 20 participants, so you can be sure that you will be getting the most from a workshop and its instructor. Each workshop costs 300 Euros, although there is a 15% discount for anyone eager enough to sign up to two or more. A 100 Euro deposit is required to sign up to a workshop.
The Festival isn’t all about working hard and learning, however – and that’s where the “Fun” element of its name comes into play! There will be many additional activities and events scheduled, including sailing and cycling excursions, exhibitions and parties, with welcome events being held each Saturday as an introduction to the Festival and its new participants.
Applications for the Festival can be made on the official website – www.acffcroatia.com – where additional information can also be found.
Arts and Crafts Fun Festival
28th May – 18th June 2011
Hvar Town, island of Hvar, Croatia