A few months ago, we were very happy to receive a lovely follow-up email from a traveller to Croatia (who we assisted in their travel plans via email), which told of their happy experiences whilst enjoying a summer holiday in the country.
Very recently, we were happy to receive another such email from a traveller (that we also assisted, pre-trip, via email) from Latin America who visited a number of towns and cities in Croatia. His comments are well worth reading as he provides a number of very useful tips on the places he visited, whilst it’s also interesting to note his experiences as he visited Croatia in December – and as Croatia is often considered a summer-only destination, it’s great to see an enjoyable visit during this particular month.
So, here’s what our happy traveller had to say:
Thanks very much, dear traveller, for taking the time to email us after your trip and for your kind comments as well! We’re very happy to hear you enjoyed visiting Croatia, and thanks for providing us (and other travellers) with some great tips!
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?!
Croatia. A country for everyone – big spenders, the budget-conscious, adventure seekers, sun-worshippers, families, party-animals, culture-vultures…the list is endless. But it has now also been discovered that it’s a very suitable holiday destination for those whom the term “celebrity” is coined very, very loosely.
Channel 4′s Celebrity Coach Trip (don’t lie, we know you watch it too!) features a bunch of “celebrities” making their way across Europe on a coach holiday, taking part in a series of tasks in each destination they visit whilst also generally messing around/getting on each others’ nerves/trying to remind people of their glory days and why they were famous in the first place.
In the most recent series, the gang were lucky enough to enjoy four days (well, four episodes worth of filming) in Croatia, taking in the capital city Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes National Park environs, the lovely town of Zadar and bustling Split. From judo to a cookery lesson in Samobor, a survival course to glass blowing and klapa singing, the group had a busy time and Croatia served as a very pretty backdrop (bar some rainy conditions in Zadar) – with some very friendly and well presented teachers and guides – throughout the shows.
You can watch the episodes via Channel 4 On Demand – here’s the site’s Coach Trip page (viewable in the UK and Ireland only) or on YouTube.
In answer to the question I can hear on the tip of your lips – no, I don’t know what Croatia did to deserve Nikki from Big Brother.
Anyone thinking about attending one of Croatia’s (many) great festivals may have seen the announcement not so long ago the site used in the village of Petrcane – home to The Garden Festival, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Suncebeat and Stop Making Sense – was a no go for 2012. Concerns from the owners of the site, the Hotel Pinija, on how the festivals impacted guests staying at the hotel meant a new venue had to be found for these festivals for next year.
These concerns by the site owners were perhaps not entirely justified, but that’s not an issue I’m going to discuss here! I did read a number of articles in the Croatian press, however, about the negative impact (i.e. loss of tourist revenue) that losing these festivals from the Zadar region would have. (So it’s good to see they haven’t moved that far – read on below.)
Today, many of these festivals announced a new venue for 2012 – in the village of Tisno, which is roughly halfway between the town of Zadar and the city of Split. My immediate thought is that this will mean a significant number of additional travel options for partygoers attending any of these festivals, as there are many, many flights from the UK (and from elsewhere in Europe) to Split. (Of course, attendees in previous years could also have flown to Split too – but this just makes things a little easier!)
This news on the change of venue is “hot off the presses”, so I’d advise taking a close look at the festivals’ websites and Facebook pages (and Twitter too) for additional information as and when they release it.
Check out the latest news from the following sites – more is surely still to come very soon.
The Garden Festival (4th – 11th July): The Garden Tisno Facebook group
Soundwave (20th – 23rd July): their Facebook group should have news today!
SunceBeat (27th – 29th July): updated website
Stop Making Sense (2nd – 6th August) updated website
There’s also some news from Electric Elephant (12th – 16th July) via their Twitter feed.
And for some early travel planning check out the following pages from Visit Croatia:
Alternatively, check out what other festivals are taking place in the country in our Festivals in Croatia section – more information being added all the time!
Other than that – start thinking about partying it up in the summer of 2012. It’s going to be a good one!
Split is revelling in statistics that reveal very good visitor numbers for the month of July. With its great transport links by plane, train, bus and ferry, it’s no surprise that many travellers find themselves in the city – unfortunately for Split, however, many simply transit through on to other destinations. To this end, Split has worked hard to increase both visitor numbers and the amount of nights that vistors stay, and it these numbers show that it’s making steps in the right direction.
Statistics reveal that around 50,000 tourists came to Split during the month of July, staying for 155,000 nights in total. This is up 24% on the number of tourist arrivals from July last year, with the number of nights up by 16%. The number of tourist arrivals compared to the number of nights stayed points to the fact that the average stay is more than three days in length.
The director of the Split Tourist Board, Vedran Matosic, reveals that these healthy tourist figures hark back to 1989, the heady (pre-war) days of very large tourist numbers that Croatia longs to return to. As a comparison to more recent years, in July 2009 Split received 29,534 tourists (who stayed for 103,499 nights) which was an increase of 30% to July in the previous year when 40,726 visited (staying for 133,825 nights).
Taking a look at 2011 overall so far, Split welcomed 138,000 visitors who stayed for 350,000 nights, which is up 23% on arrivals and up 10% on nights stayed on the same period in 2010. For both July itself and the whole of 2011, the most frequent visitors came from Germany, and the number of Italian visitors rose by 5% for July and by 10% for January to July.
The Tourist Board director explains that the reason some tourists increased the number of nights they decide to stay in Split may be down to the range of events held in the city this summer. In particular, he points out the large-scale Discotheque Riva club event that takes place this evening, Friday 12th July (featuring famed British electronica band Faithless), as well as the 4-day Days of Diocletian event (held 19th to 22nd August) – a throwback to Roman times.
Despite all this good news in Split regarding visitor numbers, that main problem the city is now facing is a lack of beds. A total of 7,658 beds – plus a further 1,230 places in campsites just outside the city – are quoted as the capacity for the city, although despite fewer beds this year than before, the number of nights has clearly gone up. An increase in private accommodation offerings is said to account for this.
The average price per night for private accommodation in Split is said to be 250 Kunas, which is about £30/€33/$48.
Split is already receiving some very healthy visitor numbers – even during the current pre-season period. Over 16,000 tourists visited the city in April, up a third on numbers in the same month last year. In the month this year, most visitors stayed for 2 days on average – and, perhaps surprisingly, most guests were from Spain (1,332), then America (1,077), followed by Germany (1001) and France (817). Visitors stayed for 34,020 nights in total – far outstripping the 22,776 nights stayed in April 2010.
A number of hotels also report excellent occupancy levels for April, as well as stating that bookings for the season itself are going well. Vedran Matosic, director of the Split Tourist Office, is one person that isn’t surprised by the good visitor numbers so far, as this season has long been predicted to be the best season yet. The one concern, however, is whether Split can actually accommodate all the guests it will receive in the height of the season, particularly in August – currently, the city has 7,490 beds.By 2015, the city hopes to have upped this to 10,000 beds which will help it achieve the magic number of 1 million overnight stays by visitors in one year.
Split is often thought of as a transit place, with tourists passing through on their way to the islands or elsewhere along the coastline – although this isn’t all that surprising, given its excellent air, bus, ferry and even train links! Although its size (it’s the second largest city in Croatia, behind Zagreb, and the largest on the Adriatic coast) and bustling nature mean it’s not to everyone’s taste, hopefully its main attractions will not only bring in the visitors but encourage them to stay longer this year!
Source: Slobodna Dalmacija
Following my previous posts this month on how 2011 looks to be a promising year for Zadar Airport and on Split looking forward to a great season, here’s a post that combines those two – looking at how Split Airport is also looking to have a good year!
Today’s Slobodna Dalmacija reports that this year, the city will be connected by air to 75 cities in 21 different European countries, with routes established to 10 more cities this year than in 2010. 11 low-cost airlines will be operating flights to Split this year, whilst there will be 50 regular or charter airlines also flying to the city. New figures show that there should be a total of 11,500 take-offs and landings at the airport, which would mean a total capacity of 1.48 million seats on all of those flights. These numbers have been established from currently confirmed routes, although during April, an additional 10 companies may also confirm operation of seasonal flights.
The largest growth in new airline companies operating routes comes from Russia (and the Ukraine), with there to be as many as ten airlines operating flights to Split. For the third year running, Aeroflot has flights from Moscow to Split – the only route from Moscow to the Adriatic. (The airline recently pulled out of a planned new air route to Dubrovnik this year.)
Scandinavian cities will also have great links to Split, with there to be 20 cities with air routes to Split this year. Croatia’s national airline, Croatia Airlines, will also have routes from 17 European cities to Split.
Amongst the new routes that are to be introduced this year include Adria Airways‘s flights from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana and Condor‘s flights from Frankfurt. The article also mentions a Spanair route from Barcelona and a Finnair route from Helsinki, plus a service from Ancona in Italy (just a short hop over the Adriatic!) by Italian airline Belleair – though I must admit, I had trouble finding any additional info on these routes! Nevertheless, these may be something to keep an eye, as airlines do sometimes announce new routes relatively late – and are in the process of announcing their Summer 2011 timetable.
Source: Slobodna Dalmacija
The city of Split can expect its best ever season, according to the Director of its Tourist Office, Vedran Matosic. This is as a result of initial findings from local hotels, hostels and private accommodation places, as well as figures from online reservation websites. In fact, the one major failing that Split may encounter this season is that it may not have enough beds to accommodate all of its guests, as was the case in July and August 2010.
Easter time expects the first influx of significant tourist numbers, although the winter months of 2011 have already seen decent crowds of tourists, up on last year. For the first two months of 2011, Split received 9,978 visitors, 6,685 of which were domestic, mostly business visitors. During these two months, visitors to Split – both domestic and foreign – stayed for a total of 22,750 nights.
In comparison to last year, when Split received 7,000 visitors during January and February (with visitors staying for 14,712 nights), 2011′s figures are about 30% up.
Top place of the list of foreign visitors to Split in the first two months of this year goes to the Slovenes, followed by Italians, Germans, Americans and Japanese.
Source: Slobodna Dalmacija