The Yacht Week 2021

The Yacht Week 2021 open for bookings

All young, adventurous travellers looking ahead to next summer and planning their holidays will be delighted to hear that Yacht Week 2021 has announced bookings are open. It’s the ideal opportunity to not only book the trip of a lifetime, but also to book something to look forward to in the current doom and gloom.

The Yacht Week 2021

Their flotilla of yachts set sail on the sparkling Adriatic waters, with several routes for Croatia available – including the Croatia Original route, the Ultra Festival Route and new for 2021, the Hideout Festival Route. The flagship Croatia Original route starts from just £392 / €422 / $508 per person on limited early bird yachts – that’s incredibly reasonable for such an unforgettable summer holiday! This Original route, for example, can take in places and islands such as Trogir, Vis, Hvar, Brac and Split – you’ll certainly experience many of the top destinations in Croatia as well as having an amazing time.

The Yacht Week Hvar
Hvar
The Yacht Week Brac
Zlatni Rat Beach on the island of Brac

The Yacht Week doesn’t just cover Croatia, however. They also offer amazing routes in Greece, the Caribbean, Polynesia, Montenegro and Sardinia – that last one also being a new option for 2021.

Yacht Week 2021 will offer the best yachts and the best prices for all of their destinations. And that’s not all – with new, flexible ticket terms, all guests will be able to book with confidence. If current global circumstances change by next summer, or perhaps you change your mind ahead of your travels, The Yacht Week has you covered. And whilst on your hols with The Yacht Week, you’ll be in a proven, safe environment.

Single travellers or groups of friends can charter a yacht of their choice, equip it with a skipper and a host and enjoy the amazing experience of a seven-day flotilla getaway. It’s the perfect choice whether you’re looking to let loose and party it up, or to kick back and relax. (Or perhaps a bit of both?) The Yacht Week 2021 can deliver a set of carefully curated activities as guests require.

The Yacht Week 2021
The Yacht Week

About The Yacht Week

Since 2006, The Yacht Week has created opportunities for people to step out of their everyday lives. Like-minded individuals can come together to enjoy an experience like no other. You don’t need any sailing experience at all, although you absolutely can get involved out on the open water. Not to mention finding secluded little bays that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The Yacht Week lets travellers take their pick of the best parties from clubs to deserted islands. Better still, their unique circle raft at sea – complete with the Buzz Boat fully loaded with VOID Acoustics Soundsystem – is an experience and a half!

The Yacht Week 2021
The Yacht Week 2021

Watch sunsets from the coolest beach bars, lounges and restaurants whilst enjoying exquisite cuisine and cocktails, explore the world with scooters and open-top cars, or choose wellness and recovery with beachside yoga, spas and fitness. The highly experienced team at The Yacht Week can organise all of this and more – they deliver a highly curated experience. A week at sea with The Yacht Week is also a chance to make friends for life and join a very special community. And get this – no less than seventy (seventy!) marriages can be traced back to a first meeting at The Yacht Week!

The Yacht Week’s flotillas even set sail in summer 2020, despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic. This year’s The Yacht Week received some of the best feedback ever from those who took part. As a ‘floating festival’ of hundreds, it has proven itself a safe environment compared to standard festivals of many thousands of people. 

The Yacht Week

Booking The Yacht Week 2021

Bookings are now open for The Yacht Week 2021, for all of their routes in Croatia and other countries. To book or to see more information about their routes, please see www.theyachtweek.com.

Keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming announcements on the big-name DJs and other music events appearing exclusively at The Yacht Week 2021. Follow The Yacht Week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for all the latest news.

Gather your friends together to set sail along stunning coastlines and idyllic islands. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime!

Hvar Trail Holiday

From Zwift to Hvar! A Hvar Trail Holiday Bikepacking Adventure

Here’s an experience of a bikepacking holiday on the island of Hvar by Simona from Italy, who enjoyed this Hvar trail holiday just last month! Bikepacking is a combination of mountain biking and camping. Read on for Simona’s experience of both of these elements on Hvar, and also the island of Brac. Thank you for sharing this trip experience with us, Simona!

March 2020. The world stopped. We are all locked in the house, astonished and fearful that the quarantine could last forever. We try to keep mind and boy busy as we can. We are looking for a motivation to keep spinning the reels even if we would like to throw them out the window!

Hvar Trail Holiday

I met Luca this way. We crossed our paths at the Winter Fat Trail in Asiago in early February and exchanged friendships on Facebook. When the quarantine started I found it on the bike trainer, spinning like crazy! He had the mission to ride for 14 consecutive hours with the virtual help of “friends and family” on Zoom. I thought: this is crazy! But I wrote to him and we met for a ride. And then, again and again, until it became a daily milestone, first on Zoom, then on Zwift. Luca became my mental coach and taught me a lot of things on riding, training, breathing, nutrition… He’s been training me really hard! We got a lot of “long rides” and running the pedals we started talking and dreaming on the return on the road ….. maybe even for several consecutive days….. maybe in bikepacking.

Luca is a true bikepacking expert. He’s been traveling that way for years. I’m a newbie. I quite never slept in a tent. But I was amazed from it. I only had one handlebar bag that I got at the WFT and I started from there. First, I got a bag for the frame. Then a saddle bag… the tent… the sleeping bag… an inflatable mat… everything! We kept making plans. I tell him I can’t stand his pace, but he didn’t give up. He made me spit blood, but he took me to the end. It would be a good test even to him, who usually travels alone.

Our first idea was to do the “Sicily Divide” and we begun to study the tracks. We decided to start in June, as soon as the regional borders reopen. But things get complicated. With the first reopening Luca has to leave to Croatia. He’s got a lot of things to fix, he’s going to do it in a week. Time starts running and it becomes two weeks and then three. … The Sicily seems everyday more distant. Then, one day, he calls me: “Mate, why don’t you join me in Croatia? I’m setting up a crazy trail! Rough! All uphill! Come and try it and give me your feedback!”. It took 5 minutes, to me, to realize the impact on my programs. But just 5 minutes! In fact, I had a great idea: it was years that Alberto, my husband, was proposing to me to take a trip to Croatia but I have never felt so enthusiastic on this. This could be the right time. I could start some days before and then he could join me with the kids to spend some more days around. All seems perfect!

I book the boat for June 12th. I’m on the line, I already see myself in Croatia; but things got suddenly complicated. First, Al doesn’t have holidays from office, I have to go alone on the 12th and get back by the 20th. Then, even worst: there are no return ferries before the 28th… I can’t believe it. It’s a conspiracy! I’ve tried everything: train, bus, plane, car….. but there’s no way to organize the trip back until the end of June! I have to keep the dates . First departure available june 27 from Ancona.” I moved the date! I’m coming on the 27th!” But Luca doesn’t make a crease: “OK! Come whenever you want! I’m here!” He tells me with his Vicentino accent.

Finally the 27th comes. I’ve prepared everything. I’m really excited about this experience. I feel like I’m 20 years old and I’m in my first experience. “Mom, please, don’t get hurt!” Andrea, my youngest kid, yells at me as I load my bike on the train from Pescara to Ancona, where I will take the boat. Some strange thoughts run into my mind, but the doors close. The train’s running, the adventure begun.

Hvar Trail Holiday
Hvar Trail Holiday

I arrive at Hvar on 28 morning at 10.30am. After 2 hours of ferry from Split. Luca is at the port! Already on the bike. He’s kind to say: “Take some rest, we’ll leave early in the morning, the heat these days is hellish”. Let’s take a walk for Stari-Grad, explaining some details of trail. The mileage, the difference in altitude, the roads. He asks me how I put myself with the technique downhill because the funds are often cut off as well as steep. My face should appear perplexed, so he reassures me immediately: “Tomorrow I evaluate you! Maybe I could fire you! 🤣“. I don’t sleep at night. I’m soo nervous. I dreamed of this journey so long. I studied some, but not too much. I peeked at the photos that Luca posted as he traced the island, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. And I did well. The trail starts uphill, of course! One of those nice climbs, 10 km with gentle hairpin bends and fairly consistent slope not more than 10%. It goes up. You always go up. Luca warned me. There are no plains. Only climbs alternated with descents. Sweet climbs; Rough climbs; hanged climbs that does not rise, because in addition to being steep, they have a bumpy and slippery bottom. Sunny climbs. Infinitely long climbs. Deceptive climbs that let you think that you arrived at the top, while instead, behind the curve, there is another hidden climb. Climbs that when you get to the top you don’t believe it. Climbs that take your breath away, but when you arrive, reserve unimaginable surprises.

Hvar Trail Holiday
Hvar Trail Holiday

Hvar is weird. It has few roads, almost never coastal. To access the coves scattered along the entire perimeter of the island you have to face drops at sheer descents, quite not paved and almost never traveled. People don’t get there by land, but by sea. And they’re wild. There are no bars and organized beaches. Sometimes there are houses, accessible only by sea precisely. And then there’s the sea. A sea of blinding blue. Crystalline.You feel like you can touch the bottom. The hue changes with the light. What doesn’t change is the water temperature: FREEZY!

As you walk the ride you realize that if you want t to enjoy these incredible views you have to resign yourself to this continuous swing. So, let’s go, up and down. Luca drew the trail with care. He spent days with his partner Massimo turning and getting lost in a maze of streets unknown even to the islanders. And it has created a strenuous path but such that you fall in love with the island not only from a landscape point of view, but also for the food and the wine. He carefully selected the Konoba where to stop to eat and places to sleep and the welcome is always warm. And you can eat divinely. Octopus and lamb are a must-eat, but also the cured meats and cheeses, mostly of sheep and goat milk, are to be tasted. The people I met along the way reminded me the Abruzzo mountaineers that I usually cross when I ride “at home”: they are a bit gruff and maybe not expansive, but at the first smile they adopt you and easily open their soul to the foreigner.

Hvar Trail Holiday
Hvar Bikepacking
Hvar bikepacking

We spent the first three days this way, traveling about 280 km in Hvar. Sometimes we make slightly changes to the program, like when we should have slept in a camping, but finally we got overcome by tiredness and opted for a wild bikepacking, on a beach sunbed… We were already thinking to moving to Brac, but we decided along the way. There are still few tourists and boats do not travel at full capacity, so the only way to move is to know the people who make the connecting routes. And so we set out to discover Brac.

Brac bikepacking
Brac bikepacking

If Hvar is rough, Brac is even tougher. Apparently more developed than her sister, it’s actually wilder. Nothing can be found outside the towns. Roads are km and km uphill, under the sun, with no possibility of find water. Water in these places is a precious resource and there are no fountains. You have to consume it consciously and stock up enough for your needs. At first we planned to spend two days in Brac together, but then plans changed. Luca had to anticipate the return to Hvar while I decided to stop in Brac and spend some time alone. I had never experienced a night in tent alone. I was worried only thinking at that, but I decided to give a try and the satisfaction of living this experience alone was unimaginable. Loneliness exasperates thoughts, feelings and senses. It lays bare with ourselves. It forces us to face our fears and overcome them. And it makes us stronger. At the end of the lap, ready to return to Hvar I felt satisfied and happy ….. and in my twenties! Now we go home. It was an incredible experience. The ride is breathtakingly beautiful and can be covered in a more or less extreme way, depending on your needs! It’s an essential experience. I haven’t come back yet but I’m already thinking about how and when to come back again.

If you would like to take part in a similar adventure on the island of Hvar, check out the Hvar Trail & Holiday 2020. They are hosting a Hvar Trail & Holiday from 5th to 9th September 2020.

Partisan Hospital Feat

Running Back in Time – The Forgotten Partisan Hospital

A few months ago, we featured a blogpost written by David Lavery of VeloCroatia about road cycling in Croatia – in the Petrova Gora region (south of Zagreb, near the border with Bosnia and Hercegovina) in particular. David got in touch again to share another fascinating account of his experiences of cycling in that area. This time round, he searches for the abandoned (and long forgotten) Partisan hospital that is hidden in the woods…

This really is a fascinating read, and especially of interest to anyone who likes their sights ‘off the beaten track’ and who is interested in the history of Croatia.

Running Back in Time – The Forgotten Partisan Hospital

Vojnic is a sleepy little place in Croatia where not much happens. Although all is quiet today this small farming village has seen more than its fair share of history. We were over visiting family on the farm near Vojnic for Christmas and I wanted to explore the woods on the slopes of Petrova Gora to find what remained of the Partisan hospital that operated, hidden, during World War Two.

In an effort to stave off the excess food of Christmas I took my running stuff and an unhealthy obsession for finally finding the hospital hidden somewhere in the woods.

I first found out about the rumours of the hospital when I was researching my cycle to the top of Petrova Gora to see the abandoned spomenik monument. The recent history of Croatia is nothing if not complicated and during World War Two, with Croatia aligned with the Axis a resistance movement formed. These partisans fought in the forests around Petrova Gora against the fascism sweeping the country.

In order to hide and treat the wounded, a hospital facility was built in the woods in a steep ravine called Pišin gaj in the spring of 1942 by partisan doctor Savo Zlatic and Jakov Kanjcevic Brada. As the war waged the facility grew to over thirty facilities and treated five thousand wounded and sick soldiers and civilians from the surrounding Kordun region.

Despite all of this it was never found by Axis forces. Given this I was not confident of finding it myself.

The bodies of over one thousand partisan fighters are interned in graves in the forest of Petrova Gora having succumb to their injuries during the fighting.

After the war, the facility was abandoned and largely forgotten as Yugoslavia emerged from the ashes of the war.

In 1961 the complex was refurbished and converted into a museum, eventually being awarded the “Order of National Hero” by Tito, the strongman of Yugoslavia. By all accounts this was a popular museum to visit and there was even a youth hostel built nearby at the edge of the ravine.

It was an altogether different war that finally put an end to the hospital complex. As Croatia fought a bloody independence war, the complex was extensively damaged during Operation Storm in 1995 and then fell into disrepair. The new state of neglect reflected a wider trend in the newly formed Croatia to collectively forget about anything to do with the partisans. Welcome to the world of politicking and the complexities of national identity.

It was my turn to find the hospital.

Attempt Number One – Lost in the woods. The wrong woods.

Just as during the war, my first attempt to find the hospital ended in abject failure. I parked the car at Lovački dom Muljava and started running along the gravel path into the woods more in hope than expectation. After a few weeks off running due to an injury, my legs were screaming immediately and not happy to be pointing up hill. On they went and were only stopped when the path abruptly ended at the river after around 3km. With nowhere to go I decided, mostly on a whim, to follow what looked like a path into the woods. Every path I took lead to nowhere and I was soon forced to admit defeat. These were just paths forged by the logging trucks and not paths to any hospital in the woods. I might be thirty-four years old but it turns out that I still get excited about the prospect of exploring in the woods so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

David Lavery, VeloCroatia
My first attempt ended by simply getting lost in the woods. It was a vital reminder that Google Maps is not always available.

I got some exercise and fresh air and a renewed ambition to find the hospital. I would not be defeated.

Back at the farm I did more research and was quietly confident of finding the hospital on my next attempt.

Attempt Number Two – Finally found. Another reason I am better than the Nazis.

I parked the car at the side of the road and took a different approach into the woods. After three kilometers of running I found what used to be a youth hostel in the glory days of Yugoslavia. It is now completely lifeless but at least I knew that I was in the right area for the hospital.

Opposite to the hostel was a faint path leading up to the ridge in the forest and for lack of a better alternative I headed up in that direction, the forest silent but deafening in my isolation.

Petrova Gora Youth Hostel
The abandoned youth hostel. When you see this, look in the opposite direction for the path into the woods that leads eventually to the Partisan hospital.

I could glimpse the faint outline of buildings up ahead almost completely camouflaged in the dense forest. As I got closer its full form emerged and I had finally, after many fruitless attempts, found what remained of the partisan hospital.

Steps to the Partisan Hospital complex
The path leading into the woods that will take you to the hospital complex.

When I reached the grounds of the hospital I was suddenly struck by how alone I was. In the distance I could hear the rattle and hum of loggers but around me was nothing but silence broken only by the flutter of birds and twigs snapping under my feet.

The Partisan Hospital complex
The remains of the Partisan hospital complex. Hard to believe that 5000 soldiers and civilians were treated here during the war.

Further into the forest the unmarked crosses stood proud among the trees. The graves of one thousand brave partisans apparently all but forgotten and now part of the forest.

Petrova Gora unmarked graves by the Partisan Hospital complex
The unmarked graves to the 1000 bodies buried on the slopes of Petrova Gora.

Despite the isolation, when I closed my eyes I could see the life that once stood and fought here. This small corner of Croatia, unremarkable in so many ways, has been at the crossroads of many turbulent events; first during world war two and then during the Croatian war of independence in the 1990’s.

After exploring what remains of the hospital, I made my way back down the hill and ran back to the car back the way I came. Back in the summer I tried to find the hospital on my bike, my road bike struggling on what used to be a road but was now more of a stream. I realised today that if I had just cycled another two hundred yards around the next corner I would have found it.

Despite the many failed attempts to find the hospital and getting lost in the process, the effort in the end was absolutely worth it. Without hyperbole, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. The fact that it is now abandoned, forgotten and has no appetite to be seen means that if you do visit you will be alone with only your thoughts.

Grave of Jakov Kanjcevic Brada
A grave marking to Jakov Kanjcevic Brada, the founder of the original hospital.

There cannot be many sights in the world, sights of such historical significance, that give the feeling that you alone have stumbled upon them.

David Lavery, VeloCroatia
Proud to have finally found the hospital. This is the kind of run experience that you can never get from the gym!

Getting There

From Vojnic, drive east on Ul. Andrije Hebranga 32 which then turns into Gornji Vojnic where you can follow signs for Lovački dom Muljava (a good place for a coffee and a crepe if it is open when you visit).

As you continue you will see a sign pointing to a road on the right for the hospital (it is quite faint and in Croatian obviously so it is easy to miss). The road has seen better days and since I wanted to run, I left my car near this junction just off the main road. If you have a 4×4 type car then I would imagine the road is passable but certainly when I went it was rutted and had half turned into a river.

The run from here to the stairs to the youth hostel which marks the entrance to the hospital is only 2.2km up a gentle slope.

When you reach the youth hostel on your left, look to the right for the faint trail/ stairs that lead into the woods and to the hospital.

The exact coordinates for the hospital complex are; 45°17’44.1″N 15°45’18.2″E

Vojnic – An Unsuspecting Crossroads in Croatia

It only takes a minute to drive through the village of Vojnic and most people will pass through without realising that it stands at the crossroads of some pivotal events in recent history.

Apart from the partisan hospital, the area also saw heavy action during the Croatian war of independence. Rockets were fired from here by the Serbian aggressors towards Zagreb, a war crime that killed seven civilians.

As the war encroached into Bosnia, refugees spilled into the area. Just at the bottom of the farm is a field that once held thousands of refugees in squalid conditions. Even today when it rains heavily, nappies used in this very field get washed onto the farm.

And even now Vojnic, because of its proximity to the Bosnian border, is a popular passing place form immigrants fleeing war in the middle east and trying to get to Europe. I have seen a few young men stopped by the side of the road by the police, destined to be thrown back across the border to try again in the future.

The common thread running through all of this is war; then and even now.

Thank you, David, for sharing your experiences of searching for this amazing place. You can read the original post on David’s website here: Running Back in Time – The Forgotten Partisan Hospital.

Road cycling in Croatia

Road Cycling in Croatia

We were recently contacted by David Lavery who runs VeloCroatia.com – a website dedicated to road cycling in Croatia. His website details the best road cycling routes, featuring a number of very detailed routes in several areas of the country. However, if any of the routes don’t quite fit the bill, he can create a custom road cycling route for you!

Below, David shares with us his experiences of cycling in the Petrova Gora region (in inland Croatia, about 100km south of Zagreb), cycling up to the peak and taking a look at the fascinating, abandoned monument (David explains more about what it is) there.

Cycling in Petrova Gora

Croatia is a country that is just waiting to be explored by road cyclists. I am lucky to have family in Croatia and when I am not drinking gemišt or eating great food then I am exploring the country on my bike.

During a recent holiday, my legs were feeling good and I wanted to test them on a climb; my search was simple; what was the highest peak in the area. The answer was Petrova Gora and as luck would have it, one side of it was paved and it was only around nine miles away from the farm I was living in near the village of Vojnic.

As I researched the climb, my intrigue deepened when I read that atop of the climb was a monument (Monument to the Uprising of the People of Kordun and Banija) that was epic in its size and by the looks of the pictures crumbling under the weight of its history.

A road cyclist in full lycra is still a novelty in this quiet part of rural Croatia so it was hardly surprising that the bustling café’s stopped drinking coffee to judge me as I passed on the way to the mountain. I did wonder why they were so busy on a weekday mid-morning but then anyone with even a passing knowledge of the coffee culture in Croatia should not be surprised.

A few of the villagers tending to their land on the side of the road gave me a wave as I passed and it wasn’t long before I was starting to climb on the lower slopes of Petrova Gora. Passed the restaurant (Lovački dom Muljava) which marks the bottom of the climb proper I could feel the road really start to kick up. I found a nice gear and tried to maintain a good rhythm despite the rapidly increasing temperatures. Not something you are accustomed to when most of your cycling is done in Scotland.

It was one of those climbs where you could not see the top because of the trees and the mind starts to play tricks. At times you are convinced that the top is just around the next corner and at times you are fairly confident that in fact the climb will never end. The only sign of life on the climb was the indistinct chatter of animals in the woods surrounding me. Apart from that it was just me and my pain as I tried to push hard up the climb.

I pushed on, the thought of ice cream and crepes when I got back to the bottom helping to distract from the heavy legs. It was just then, lost in my thoughts, I turned a corner and saw something completely alien out of the corner of my eye. It didn’t fit in with the landscape at all, jutting at oblong angles from the top of the hill. Around another corner and it was gone, obscured once more by the trees, the landscape again making more sense.

As I approached closer and closer to the top, part by part the monument started to reveal itself until finally I was standing at the bottom of it, trying to catch my breath from the climb and trying to make sense of what I was looking at.

Road cycling in Croatia

What it was and what it is now are very different. It used to be a monument to commemorate the uprising by the people of the area against the fascist Ustasa and the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet-state, during World War Two. It was finally completed in 1981 during the heady days of the socialist Yugoslavia but the contemporary history of Croatia is nothing if not turbulent and in its struggle for independence during the 1990s the monument was neglected, wilfully forgotten and pillaged for parts.

A sobering and an unnerving experience as it was a ghost town around the monument. Such was the ambition of the monument, there was even a café built in its shadow that feels like it had been abandoned in a hurry. The atmosphere was so heavy and eerie that I was half-expecting someone to pop up from behind the bar, offer me a drink and then audition for a part in The Shining.

Road cycling in Croatia

The façade of the monument is crumbling to reveal a hollow shell of twisted steel. There must be some houses in the local village ablaze with shiny stainless steel panels. The closer you get to the foot of the monument, up the ramp and once grand passageway you are left in no doubt that it is now unloved.

I cycled around the site for a while absorbing the strange atmosphere. I really cannot do justice to the sense of isolation and yet the feeling that you are not alone.

Back at the farm and looking to fill my stomach I decided to take a walk up the hill to get some plums from the trees and whilst up there I looked over to the north. Just in the distance I could see the monument rising defiantly above the rolling landscape.

Road cycling in Croatia is just waiting to be discovered and at VeloCroatia.com our mission is to inspire readers to explore this amazing and diverse country on two wheels.

Thank you very much to David for sharing with us his experience of cycling in the Petrova Gora region, and for helping promote road cycling in Croatia!

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon, 11th May 2019

With more and more visitors to Croatia interested in including a bit of activity in their holidays – and more sports events being held – here’s an exciting event taking place near Zadar in May that many of the athletes amongst you may be interested in.

The sixth Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon will take place on 11th May 2019 in a stunning seaside location, with many benefits for the athletes taking part. Whether you’re someone that’s keen on triathlon tourism – as a solo entrant or perhaps even travelling a family – or are looking to take part in a triathlon abroad for the first time, this one is for you. The race is sure to draw in a large number of Croatian and foreign triathletes.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

The best thing about this triathlon, however, is that it is based around a beautiful holiday resort. That means that athletes – who will benefit from lower accommodation prices than in full season – can sleep right next to the start line. Your room and breakfast is but a five-minute walk away from the race start. You won’t have to worry about driving to the race location, struggling to find parking or forgetting essential bits of kit – because you only have a short walk from where you are staying. And that’s not to mention that all of this is right next to the gorgeous, crystal clear sea.

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort offers up outstanding design, first-class facilities and Mediterranean flair combined with excellent service and a fantastic location. All athletes will be able to enjoy an exclusive wellness holiday at this luxury resort which not only features two first class hotels but also fine restaurants, comfortable apartments, modern sports facilities and crystal clear waters – not forgetting the wonderful Mediterranean climate.

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort
Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort_aerial

And you’re only a short distance away from the amazing town of Zadar. With Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes, trendy restaurants and interesting museums, Zadar is a must-see and certainly a great place to visit either pre- or post-race. Zadar also has two wonderful modern sights – the Sun Salutation and the Sea Organ, both of which need to be experienced first hand in order to get their full magic. And lets’s not forget Zadar’s epic sunsets! It’s not for nothing that Alfred Hitchcock proclaimed Zadar’s sunsets as being the most beautiful in the world!

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon kicks off triathlon season in Croatia 

As mentioned, this Zadar half triathlon is to be held on Saturday 11 May 2019, which is during the early part of the holiday season. Around this time of year, air temperatures average around 23° C whilst the average sea temperature of 18° C is high enough for swimming with wetsuits.

Triathlon Swimming

The race will start with 1.9 km of swimming in front of the Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora. Swimming is then followed by the bike course of 90k (9 + 4×18 + 9), towards the small Dalmatian fishing village of Petrčane, and then towards Nin, the oldest Croatian royal city and winner of the European destination of excellence, European Best Romantic Destination in 2016.

The bike route then continues through the picturesque villages of the colourful Zadar hinterland and then back to the Punta Skala Resort. The bike portion takes place on a gently rolling terrain without significant hills, but being a seaside race wind can be a factor. The cycling course is 2m above sea level at its lowest point, and 52m above sea level at its highest; there is a total climb of 430m and descent through 90km. All roads on the course are in excellent condition and traffic will be regulated during the first part of the route (9km), while the section (4 x 18km) will be closed for traffic.

Zadar Half Triathlon

Last, but not least, comes the run of 21k through the enchanting Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort. The run covers 4 laps with a course that is new for 2019 race – it is exactly 5.27km long with 14m altitude difference per lap.

Check out this teaser video to get a feel for the event:

Georg Unterkircher, General Manager of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort said:

“As great supporters of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon, we are excited to welcome athletes from all over the Europe on the respective race weekend. Our goal is to ensure that participants enjoy the best possible experience in advance of their race, from our carefully devised menus and ease of access to the start line on the morning of the race. With an exciting atmosphere and scenic course, it makes a memorable all-round experience for visiting athletes with their families.”

Race Director Zlatko Parac, Croatian triathlete himself said:

“Based on the experiences of the previous years and the athletes’ opinions, there will also be improvements on the organisational side, to establish this event both nationally and internationally. Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort is a popular venue for athletes with its fantastic location surrounded by the turquoise blue Adriatic sea, and as hosts they are keen to get involved in triathlon event and join in the spirit of Falkensteiner Triathlon weekend. We already know that there will be a lot of competitors from Croatia joining the competition for the first time and we believe our triathlon will fulfil their expectations. At the same time, we organise this race with the needs of the most demanding professionals in mind and we would prepare an abundance of prizes and other rewards!”

The triathlon will feature the ‘biggest independent prize purses in the Croatian Triathlon Calendar’, with general sponsor prizes in the form of accommodation vouchers for the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort. A total value of €4500 will be allocated to the top five finishers in the male and female categories.

The race has grown steadily but is limited to 400 competitors (single and relay competitors combined). This makes it far from overcrowded, retaining the charm of a small well-organised race that takes place in a fabulous setting.

The main race will also be joined by an aquathlon (time-trial event) with the swim portion in the 25m pool of the Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora and a 5k run event. For anyone that needs a warm up a weekend earlier, you could take part in the official Zadar Half Triathlon Training Camp 2019 (4 – 10 May 2019) by Adriatic Coaching (Croatian Pro triathlete & coach Dejan Patrcevic). Just a few kilometers away, there is also the unique Wings for life World Run Zadar race.

Course finish

Benefits for triathletes

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort is able to offer participants top-of-the-line accommodation at extremely affordable rates (special rates on accommodation for competitors with BB service). Middle distance competitors who have booked accommodation at the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort are entitled to the following discounts on the registration fee: 50% discount on entry fee for individuals and the same amount in € for relays, when staying a minimum of one night in Hotel & Spa Iadera 5*, Family Hotel Diadora 4* and Premium Apartments Senia.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort

More information

Full information about the triathlon can be found on the official website zadarhalf.com.

More information on the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort can be found at www.falkensteiner.com/en/hotels-residences/croatia or elements.falkensteiner.com/en/hotel/punta-skala.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon / Zadar Half Triathlon
11th May 2019
Punta Skala Resort, Croatia
zadarhalf.com

Dugi Otok Triathlon Long Island in September embraced by nature

The inaugural Triathlon Long Island on the gorgeous Dugi Otok (near Zadar) will take place on September 23rd – surely one of the most picturesque triathlons or sports activities in Croatia this year. Dugi Otok (its name literally means ‘long island’) is known far and wide for its pristine natural environment, although it remains a pleasantly low-profile destination, despite Croatia’s current popularity.

Triathlon Long Island

At 43km long and just 4km wide, Dugi Otok has plenty of relatively untouched natural beauty for everyone to enjoy. With plenty of hidden coves, sheer cliffs, ancient ruins and gorgeous white pebble beaches, the island is the perfect place for travellers seeking unforgettable scenery and historical sites. In particular, the southeastern coast of Dugi Otok is marked by steep hills and cliffs, whilst its northern half is cultivated with vineyards, orchards and sheep pastures. The centre of the islands see a series of karstic hills rising to 338m at Vela Straža, the island’s highest point.

The island is also home to the stunning Telašćica Nature Park, which acquired protected area status in 1980 because of its valuable flora and fauna, geological and geomorphological phenomena, versatile sea bottom life, and interesting archaeological heritage. The Park is also in immediate contact with two other protected areas, National Park Kornati and the significant landscape of the Sit-Žuz Island Group.

Telascica Nature Park

A triathlon is an increasingly popular way of spending your holidays or getting to know a new destination, and Croatia is no exception to this! Dugi Otok itself abounds with numerous bays that are ideal for a triathlon. Telašćica Bay is one of the safest natural harbours on the Adriatic, and therefore one of the potentially most scenic triathlon destinations. The bay itself is protected from winds and waves; part of Telašćica Nature Park, boat speeds are also limited, contributing to the safety of the entire area.

Triathlon Long Island

The swim section of Triathlon Long Island starts at Sakarun bay – one of Croatia’s most loveliest spots, known as a true paradise beach. Shallow waters and a sandy sea bottom are set off by dark green pinewoods on land, shimmering white pebbles on the beach, and a sea that changes hue during the day, depending on the position of the sun.

Sakraun

After a 1900m swimming lap in a counterclockwise direction, triathletes then head south on a 90km long bike ride (1266m elevation ride) towards Telašćica Nature Park on the southeastern part of island. Dugi Otok is perfectly designed for a bike competition such as this, and the course will be closed to public traffic.

With the bike course finishing near Telašćica, the run part of the Triathlon will then cover a 21km course through this Nature Park – one with breathtaking views and a stunning panorama. The Triathlon Long Island finishes in Sali, the municipal and administrative centre of island and the largest settlement with the largest population. Sali is a typical Dalmatian village with thousands of years of fishing tradition and ancient olive groves that surround the village.

Triathlon Long Island
Triathlon Long Island - Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat
Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat

Ivan Peri, one of the race organizers and a member of Triathlon Club Zadar, says:

“Dugi Otok is, as its name suggests, the longest island of the Zadar archipelago and offers everything that is needed for organizing a unique triathlon experience: a long road and the beautiful sea. Swimming at the sandy beach of Sakarun, cycling along the length of the breathtaking island of Dugi otok (from Sakarun to Telašćica Nature Park) and continuing with running through the park takes the power of the entire experience to a whole new level, while also stimulating our motivation to be even faster and better. Join us on this beautiful triathlon adventure and see why you’ll never forget Dugi otok.”

Ivana Čari, director of the Tourist Board of Dugi Otok, says:

“We appreciate team from Triathlon Club Zadar recognizing the opportunity this premier triathlon event brings for Dugi Otok in our island’s sports tourism development. All our guests come to tell us not to change anything, to preserve natural beauty and mystery. That’s why our slogan is Dugi otok – undiscovered island. The island is characterized by a dramatic landscape of great contrast, with steep slopes, thick pine forests, numerous sandy beaches, hidden bays, and coves. It is a perfect place for those in search of tranquility and relaxing holidays, swimming in the stunningly turquoise sea, enjoying sea and sun. We do hope all the participants will enjoy our magnificent island as we are delighted to welcome them.”

To really get a feel for the island, check out this Triathlon Long Island teaser clip:

Dugi Otok is the perfect destination for those who want to combine racing triathlon and relaxation; ‘switch off’ from the world and take a break from your routine. It’s still an undiscovered Croatian island of adventure and peace at the same time, providing a unique low-cost late season island race destination in the European triathlon calendar, on an island abundant in nature and perfect for outdoor activities. At the race finish, you’ll also be able to experience the island fair featuring crafted products and festivities common to this small community.

Registering for Triathlon Long Island

Registration for the event is currently open. Fees for registering for Triathlon Long Island until 15 July are:

  • Licensed athletes – €70
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €90

Registration fees from 15 July until 1 September:

  • Licensed athletes – €100
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €120

All athletes from Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia have a 40% discount on the price.

All participants who book their accommodation with a partner of the event are entitled to a discount on 20% on accommodation.

For a code name, go to the website contact.

Go to www.triathlonlongisland.com/register to register your place!

Telascica

How to get to Dugi Otok?

The closest airport to the island is Zadar Airport – see our page on Getting to North Dalmatia to see who flies there, and Getting to Zadar for other transport connections to the town.

Zadar is also a key transport hub with ferry connections to the surrounding islands. From Zadar, Dugi Otok is served by regular Croatian Jadrolinija ferries to Brbinj, 12km south of Božava. A high-speed passenger shipping line and a ferry line connect Dugi Otok island (Sali village) with Zadar (peninsula) daily through four round trips; journey time is 1 hour 20 mins; cars are permitted. Brbinj village has a connection with Zadar through a ferry boat line. The departure point of the line is the ferry port Gaženica in Zadar. Božava village also has a connection to Zadar (peninsula) through a high-speed passenger shipping line with one trip a day.

More on Triathlon Long Island and Dugi Otok

Please see  www.triathlonlongisland.com for full details on the event.

For more on Dugi Otok, see the Dugi Otok Tourist Board website, or the Nature Park Telascica website.

With thanks to Jurica Cvjetko for content and images on Triathlon Long Island.

Triathlon Long Island
Dugi Otok, Croatia
23rd September 2018

Triathlon Long Island

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in Croatia – sign up now!

If you’re looking for something a little different from your holiday to Croatia this summer how about…an ultimate frisbee tournament?! A game without referees, age or gender restrictions, the Spinning Paradise tournament will take place on the Croatian islands of Rab and Hvar this summer. And the tournament organisers are inviting you to take part!

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Now in its fifth year, Spinning Paradise Hvar (played on grass) will take place from 30th July to 6th August 2016 whilst the newer Spinning Paradise Rab – in only its second year – will take place on the famous sandy Paradise Beach in Lopar from 26th to 28th August 2016.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

But why should you take part this Ultimate Frisbee tournament? Open to all levels – whether you’ve plenty of experience or are a complete novice, Spinning Paradise isn’t just about the game. What makes it unique is the atmosphere and the importance of social events too! That’s what Croatian national team member and tournament organizer Vinko Anzulovic says, who is Hvar-born. He also proudly points out that Hvar is often mentioned as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and with one game in the morning and one in the evening, there’s also plenty of ‘downtime’ for participants to explore the gorgeous island. This year, Spinning Paradise Hvar will also offer slackline workshops, Playstation tournaments and excursions; there’s plenty to do besides play ultimate frisbee!

Teams will be drawn from a hat which means this is a great opportunity to make friends from all around the world. And in case any of you complete beginners are nervous about taking part, there will even be the Coca-Cola training camp (offered for the third year) that’s run by highly experienced British coach Sion ‘Brummie’ Scone.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Spinning Paradise Rab will take place on the sandy beach of Lopar on the island, often described in the media as one of the best sandy beaches in the country. (Remember, sandy beaches are few and far between in Croatia!) This tournament will also see workshops and other activities take place alongside the main sporting event.

Ultimate frisbee is a sport that was first established in the U.S. in the 1960s, and is growing in popularity in Croatia as well. There are currently seven Ultimate Frisbee clubs in Croatia, in Zagreb, Rijeka and Zadar. If played on grass there’s seven players on each of the two teams; played on sand it’s five. Teams represent a complete mix of ages and have both men and women competing. Each game ends with a group hug which is part of Ultimate Frisbee’s core ‘Spirit of the Game’ principle and one of the foundations of the sport.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

It’s the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and one that’s recognised by the International Olympic Committee; Croatia has recently participated in both the European and World Championships.

Sign up now to take part in Spinning Paradise

To compete in the tournament in Croatia, head over to spinning-paradise.com for an application form. You’ll also find plenty more on the tournament there too, as well as on the Facebook page. Don’t wait too long to sign up as there’s not many spaces left!

Tournament organizers Vinko Anzulovic and Sanela Vucelic are aiming to introduce this fun and fascinating sport to a wider audience. They’re also trying to spread the important ‘Spirit of the Game’ principle – something that’s often missing from many other sports these days.

Sign up now for this amazingly fun way to spend your summer in Croatia!

Looking for something different in Croatia this summer? Why not go on an activity holiday!

We at Visit Croatia are certainly not the only ones to be very excited by the imminent arrival of summer and all the delights it brings! One of the wonders of this great season is, of course, the summer holiday; picture it – sunbathing, swimming in the sea, indulging in fine food and drink, a bit of culture and sightseeing, all done in great weather!

Yes, of course we’re biased – but we think Croatia perfectly fits the bill for anyone looking for any (or all) of the above! However, if you’ve already been to Croatia before and are looking for something a little different – or if you’ve never been before, and want to experience the country in a slightly more unusual way, why not consider an activity holiday?

Activity Holiday in Croatia - Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

Active Holidays Croatia offer a very wide range of such holidays in the country for several different skill levels. (So don’t worry if you’re a total beginner!) They can arrange holidays in some of best locations in Dalmatia, on the southern part of the Croatian coast, based around rafting, canyoning, sea kayaking (something that I’ve always wanted to try in Croatia), trekking, free climbing, canoeing, paragliding, wind surfing…and even bungee jumping! Their holiday packages are either seven or ten days long, and all accommodation is also included, with options to stay both in hotels and private accommodation.

Activity Holiday in Croatia - Rafting

Rafting

Now, whilst this might sound very attractive to you, you might think that perhaps you’d be missing out on seeing some of the best things Croatia has to offer. Don’t fear – for excursions and sightseeing trips are in fact included in all their itineraries. Whether it’s a fish picnic on the island of Brac; sightseeing in the bustling city of Split or the pretty little town of Trogir; enjoying the picturesque Krka National Park or spending a day in “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik, there’s plenty of cultural and rest time in between activities.

Activity Holiday in Croatia - Canyoning

Canyoning

But wait a minute, wait a minute…what if you’re definitely NOT the type for an activity holiday, and would rather someone else did all the “hard work”? Yeah, we hear those of you out there too! Active Holidays Croatia also offer a selection of luxury yachts and gulets for hire. These all come with a professional crew (so you won’t have to do a thing!), and are perfect for groups of ten to fourteen people. A sailing holiday is definitely one of the best ways of enjoying Croatia – sailing from the mainland to the islands, enjoying the wonderful coast, whilst also being able to anchor wherever takes your fancy – for a refreshing dip in the sea – is something akin to a dream.

Activity Holiday in Croatia - Nostra Vita

The gorgeous Nostra Vita

If you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Active Holidays Croatia also offer a fourteen-day holiday on their most luxurious yacht – the Nostra Vita – that starts in Dubrovnik and ends in Venice, taking in many of the top destinations on Croatia’s beautiful coast along the way. Sounds absolutely amazing!

Full details of activity holidays, and luxury yacht and gulet hire in Croatia can be found on Active Holidays Croatia.

Activity Holidays in Croatia

Activity holidays in Croatia have been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years, and with very good reason. Put simply, this includes any sort of activity as part of your holiday, be it participating in some kind of sport (such as tennis or skiing); walking or hiking; speeding down the coastline on two wheels (on a pushbike, not a motorcycle, however!) or perhaps taking to the water for sailing or kayaking.

Activity Holidays in Croatia

You might think that this doesn’t sound like your kind of holiday at all – why would you want to go on holiday and “do things”; holidays should be all about relaxation, right? Well, these types of holidays are in fact a great way of seeing the country from a slightly different angle, as well as being a great way to try new experiences (or take up old hobbies) in a wonderful setting. Some companies offer “package” activity holidays – great for those who like to have their holiday organised for them, but far different from the normal type of package holiday!

One such company that offers a very wide range of packages to anyone looking to experience activity holidays in Croatia is Active Holidays. They can arrange holidays on luxury yachts (otherwise known as gulets) or organise aforementioned package holidays, tailored to your interests.

Luxury yachts (gulets)

Active Holidays offer eight of the best luxury yachts for rent in Croatia, with the highest quality cabin design and level of comfort. Each yacht is equipped with a top notch crew who not only sail you from island to glorious island, but also serve up delicious food each day. All boats have a capacity for between 10 to 14 people, meaning they are perfect for a large family or group of friends. Prices range from €10,000 to €25,000 (the price for the 5* deluxe Nostra Vita) for a week which, if divided amongst the group, really isn’t that much for such a luxury holiday!

Active Holidays Croatia Gulet

Active Holidays Croatia Gulet
Activity Holidays in Croatia – Packages

If you’re after something a little more adventurous, the company also offer packages for activity holidays in Croatia for 7- or 10-days in length. These are separated into easy, medium and active difficulties (so you’ll be sure to find a package that meets your level of intended activity or knowledge) and includes activities such as boating, rafting, hiking, trekking, windsurfing and rock climbing. All packages also include time for sightseeing and other excursions plus some rest days, so you won’t be “on the go” all the time!

Activity Holidays in Croatia

These packages include halfboard, 3* accommodation (private or hotel), with over 300 different accommodation options to choose from. Prices are €820 for a week in private accommodation or €990 in a hotel, or €990 for 10 days in private accommodation or €1,160 in a hotel.

Best of all, all of these packages are entirely flexible. If there’s an activity you’d rather not do, or if there’s an excursion to one town than another you’d prefer to take just let the company know – and it will happen!

See all details about these packages and holidays on the website: Active Holidays.

Croatia featured…in a new ski film?!

Croatia isn’t exactly the first country you’d think of for a ski holiday – and it’s probably even further down the list of countries that extreme skiers would go to if filming an adrenaline-packed movie! (Alaska it ain’t.) It came as some surprise, therefore, to read that the country was in fact used as a location for a new ski movie called Light The Wick by respected extreme sport production company Teton Gravity Research. (I must admit that I don’t know too much about ski or extreme sport films, but these guys are apparently “big” in the business.) Nevertheless, my interest was peaked – exactly where did they go in Croatia, and what kind of “extreme skiing” were they able to do in the country?

Dragging along a few of my ski-mad friends – who would happily attend anything that’s at all related to skiing in any small way – I attended the European premiere of Light The Wick last night. In amongst some truly spectacular scenes in North America, was the brief segment filmed in Croatia – at Blejolasica, in fact. (The Bjelolasica Olympic Centre is in the Gorski Kotar region of Croatia  – about three-quarters of the way from Zagreb to Rijeka – and the centre itself is near the town of Ogulin.)

Promoted as an off-the-beaten track destination for the purposes of the film, two of the skiers arrived to experience – what they said – was the heaviest snowfall Croatia had seen for 50 years. Actual skiing footage was largely limited to some off-piste skiing through some rather pretty forests, though the crew did then go down to Dubrovnik to take in some of the coastline and local festivities. And yes, they even took a dip in the sea – which assuming this took place in winter (as it must have, if other parts of the country were suffering from heavy snow) is still quite a brave thing to do!

Here’s the trailer for the film, which shows pretty well what extreme skiing is all about:

More about the film at http://www.tetongravity.com/films/light-the-wick