September press coverage on Croatia round-up

In the first of a (perhaps) semi-regular series, I thought I’d round up some of the recent rather special UK press coverage on Croatia. There have been some great articles appearing in various newspapers and magazines this month!

A road trip from Split to Dubrovnik

One of the best articles this month is featured in the latest edition (October 2023 issue) of the UK version of National Geographic Traveller magazine. In an article titled “A Land of Stories” in the magazine, the author Adrian Phillips undertakes a road trip from Split to Dubrovnik, making use of the new(ish) Peljesac Bridge.

Press coverage on Croatia - National Geographic Traveller

Adrian is particularly impressed by some of the eccentricities of Split – Froggyland, Gregory of Nin’s big toe, “Diocletian” making his way through the streets of his palace – before heading down to the former pirate HQ that is Omis. This part of Croatia is adventure central and that’s indeed what Adrian does – enjoying both zip-lining over the Cetina River and rafting before backtracking to Podstrana to try horseriding. A stop-off to explore Biokovo Skywalk is also on the cards, where Adrian nervously watches children jump up and down on the glass to see if it cracks!

Of course, it’s the Peljesac Peninsula where Adrian spends a fair amount of his time. He sets sail on the waters near Mali Ston to experience oyster and mussel farming, particularly enjoying freshly harvested mussels. The next day he meets with the team behind Edivo Winery, who seal and store Plavac Mali wine in amphorae underwater for two years. (Yes, really!)

You can read the article online here: A Croatian coastal odyssey: why road-tripping from Split to Dubrovnik is easier than ever although it’s really worth picking up a copy of the magazine for some glorious images of the Dalmatian coastline.

Family fun and adventure in Croatia

Another one of my favourite articles from the past few months is one written by Ben Machell in The Times. Ben and his family (him, his wife and his two kids) normally holiday in an all-inclusive resort (not in Croatia) and spend their time lazing by the pool. Wanting something different this year, he gambled on a two-week adventure itinerary in Croatia, starting off in Zadar and ending in Dubrovnik.

Ben and his family seem utterly delighted by Croatia and everything the country offers. As well as exploring the cities of Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik and the sights these cities have, his family try kayaking on the Zrmanja River (near Zadar), boating in the Kornati National Park, whitewater rafting on the Cetina River (as above!) – where the kids also embark on some cliff jumping – relaxing on Korcula and making use of everything the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik resort has to offer. This includes sea kayaking, where Ben and his son gained access to a hidden sea cave by swimming underwater two metres of solid rock.

One of the star quotes of the article:

…my first full dose of Croatia’s ridiculous natural beauty, , which — I would come to understand — could often seem almost hyper-real in colour and texture: bright-blue water, emerald-green forests, rugged, silver-grey mountains and gorges that sparkled in the sun.

Ben Machell, The Times

And overall? “We loved Croatia and we loved our adventures there.” A wonderful conclusion!

You can read the article online here: The adventure holiday that cured my family’s all-inclusive habit.

Wellness on Losinj

You magazine – The Mail on Sunday’s supplement – recently published a travel issue which featured an article titled “Welcome to wellness island” about the island of Losinj. Written by Rachel Johnson (yes, sister of you-know-who), I was initially amused to read that she had “never even heard of” Rijeka, to where she flew in Croatia to reach the island.

Press coverage on Croatia - You magazine

But once on the island, Rachel thoroughly enjoys partaking in something called a “Sea-Tox” at the Hotel Bellevue. Undertaking a full body analysis to better target a treatment programme for her, on the following days Rachel embarks on treatments such as massages and cryotherapy and activities such as hiking around Losinj.

The Sea-Tox is also supposed to include a limited diet, normally restricting carbs and sugar; rather amusingly, Rachel not only doesn’t partake in this aspect of the programme but also indulges in meals at the Michelin-starred restaurant in the neighbouring Hotel Alhambra.

After four days, I felt bursting with health, vitality and energy. I slept deeply, with the windows wide open, swam every day and never felt hungry.

Rachel Johnson, You magazine

Sounds idyllic and let’s face it – many of us would also indulge in meals at a Michelin-starred restaurant if we could!

For more press coverage on Croatia, take a look at our Articles on Croatia section.

Sunday Times Style Magazine

What happened to the love for Croatia, Sunday Times Style Magazine?

Avid readers of the UK’s Sunday Times Style Magazine may feel like not a week (or rather, weekend) goes by without some kind of mention of Croatia amongst the pages. Whether it’s something to do with summer (that includes a bit on festivals in Croatia), hedonistic lifestyles (festivals in Croatia) or something on what the cool young  kids are doing these days (festivals in Croatia), the country almost always gets a mention. (Festivals in Croatia. Oops. An extra one snuck in there.)

This weekend, events took a sudden turn for the…not so good. A piece about foodie clubs (it’s what the cool young kids are doing these days – yeah, I dunno either), featured an inset box that listed a food-based “You Know You’re  A Grown-Up When You…”:

Croatia Sunday Times

Heyyyy Sunday Times Style Magazine, what gives?!? What’s with the snarky tone? Let’s face it – you can barely move these days for newspaper and TV coverage proclaiming the wonders of Croatian food, from truffles to oysters to wine to stews to the super-strength fruit and herbal liquers to pastries and cakes, with there even being love for the pizzas and ice cream you find in the country. (Don’t laugh til you’ve tried either – preferably both! Though not at the same time.)

However, on a more serious note – “Croatia never quite took off”? Ow. BURN, as some might say. Someone was clearly having a bad day, seeing as they just got this so very wrong. I think they might need to liaise with their colleagues from the Travel pages where – again – not a weekend goes by without some kind of mention of holidays in Croatia. (Only a few weeks ago, Croatia had three entries in the Travel section’s “25 Top Holidays for 2013” in the Eastern Med, offering up advice for visiting the island of Lopud, a cycling holiday in Istria, and culture in Zagreb.

Nevermind, Sunday Times Style Magazine. Just make sure normal service is resumed soon.

I look forward to reading more about Festivals in Croatia in an upcoming issue.

Croatia in the press – 2010 in review

We at Visit Croatia actively follow all mentions of the country (on all subjects, but from a travel perspective most of all!) in the papers and see the full spectrum of different types of articles, from well-researched to poor, detailed to the hole-filled, incredibly useful to the downright patronising! We try and put together all travel articles (and even a simple mention here or there – if it’s worth it) on Croatia in our What The Others Say section. (We’ve got links to articles going right back to 1998 – take a look at how things have changed over the years!)

Having recently updated our 2011 Articles page, we took a look at the 2010 page and reminisced about some of the wonderful articles published on Croatia.

Here are our favourite pieces (these aren’t ranked in order of how much we like them, but purely on when they were published, oldest to newest!):

– First up, a nice piece on Zagreb titled On the edge of elegance from the Sydney Morning Herald. Arriving by train from Split, author Nicola Walker enjoys the very grand (though yes, it is pricey) Regent Esplanade hotel, once used by travellers from the Orient Express.

– Natalie Paris enjoys Summer Festival-hopping in the Daily Telegraph – thought not festivals of the more modern, dance kind! Instead she uncovers some more traditional and well-established ones, such as medieval games on Rab and the film festival in Motovun.

– Not really a travel article, it was still enjoyable to read how Trogir was used as a filming location – in place of 16th-century Venice – for an episode of Doctor Who, again in the Daily Telegraph: Why Doctor Who is vamping it up in Croatia. [Edit: Link no longer works, unfortunately.] Trogir also stood in for 19th-century France in another episode in the series!

– The Financial Times explored the delights of the tranquil islands near Zadar on a sailing holiday: The deserted bays of Kornati islands.

– Radio station BBC 6 Music – via the BBC News website – had a really enjoyable piece on the INmusic Festival that takes place every June in Zagreb. Last year’s event saw acts like The Flaming Lips and Massive Attack perform; the BBC spoke to them, whilst also taking a general look at the Festival: A Massive Attack of music in Croatia.

– Travel expert Simon Calder recounts a trip to the “secret” island of Solta, near Split, in the Independent: Slavic secret: Solta is steeped in history and rich in beauty. Whilst it’s perhaps not quite as overlooked as he writes, it certainly isn’t an island at the top of people’s lists so enjoyable to read about.

– A lovely piece in the Guardian by Kate Edgley about a biking holiday in Croatia is nicely dotted with some humorous touches: Blazing saddles: Croatia on two wheels

– In a similarly (well, -ish) active vein, David Atkinson in The Daily Telegraph enjoys a slightly different side of the island of Brac by embarking on a walking holiday there: Brac: Walking in the rural heart of Croatia.

– Finally – so good, we had to give them a second entry – the truffles of Istria and the restaurants they are served in are covered by Anja Mutic in the Washing Post: Falling in love with truffles on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula.

Croatia and its sights, resorts, beaches and more received numerous accolades throughout 2010, perhaps best of all being named 4th favourite European country in the Guardian’s Travel Awards, as voted for by their readers.

And finally – as they always say in newscasts! Something we’ve delighted in reading about over the year – and it has received plenty of coverage from a very wide range of sources – is the unusual Museum of Broken Hearts in Zagreb. There’s no better way to discover a bit of it than in this short report from the BBC News website: Sad stories from the Museum of Broken Relationships.