Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik – the world’s first museum dedicated to love and romance

The wonderful city of Dubrovnik received a brand new museum earlier this month, and it’s the first museum in the world dedicated to the charming subjects of love and romance – the Love Stories Museum.

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Romance and Love in the Love Stories Museum

The Love Stories Museum collects and displays unique personal love stories and items of great sentimental value from around the world. You’ll see items such as a coffee mug from Sweden that got together an American woman and a man from France, and experience stories such as the emotional tale of a couple going through a divorce that decided to give their marriage one last try.

And you, the visitor, can also help expand the collection! You can donate your own personal love story which could end up part of the global love stories collection.

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

The Love Stories Museum also focuses on local historical and mythical love stories from old Dubrovnik, so there’s a chance to learn more about the city in this respect. And there’s also a display dedicated to romantic plots from films and TV programmes that have been filmed in Dubrovnik in recent times – well known shows and cinematic features such as Game of Thrones, Robin Hood and Star Wars. The Museum also features a music section, introducing visitors to the people that have inspired some of the greatest love songs of all time.

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Leave your mark on the Love Wall!

Once you’ve rejoiced in all the romantic stories the museum has to offer, leave your mark on the Love Wall. Sign it, doodle a picture or pin a couple selfie to it – it’s up to you to help create ‘the most romantic wall in the world’!

Love Stories Museum in Dubrovnik

Location and Tickets

The Love Stories Museum is located right by Pile Gate, just outside the Old Town. You can see a map of its location here.

Tickets cost 50 Kunas for adults and 35 Kunas for children (aged 10 – 18). Children aged 9 and below go free.

Love Stories Museum
Od Tabakarije 2, Dubrovnik
lovestoriesmuseum.com

Reader’s Trip Report: Croatia – The Thousand Island Wonderland

We were recently contacted by one of our readers, Anju from New Delhi, who visited Croatia in May 2017 with her family and who wanted to share her experiences of the country. Anju covered a good amount of ground in Croatia, visiting Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.

Check out her fantastically detailed trip report – which she has excellently titled ‘Croatia – The Thousand Island Wonderland’ – below!

Why choose Croatia?

A narrow strip of land tucked away in one corner of the European mainland and a cluster of small islands littered along the Adriatic Sea is hardly likely to catch your attention on the World map but a trip to the beautiful country is sure to make you reminisce your trip with fondness forever. If you love the Sun and beach combo, then a trip to Croatia can be the vacation of your dreams. There are thousands of islands all over, each one more enchanting than the other.

We went to Croatia all the way from New Delhi, India, changing flights from Frankfurt on a Croatian Airlines Boeing to Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Dinaric Alps

Your vacation starts the moment you board this plane. One can get a beautiful birds eye view of the Dinaric Alps with their snow laden peaks.

Arriving in Zagreb

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Zagreb AirportThe moment the plane lands in Zagreb, one can’t help but notice that the airport barely looks like an airport from any other mainstream metropolis. I mean not in terms of infrastructure but the human activity around reiterating the fact that this is a sparsely populated country with a total population of 4.2 million.

Zagreb reminds me of Berlin, it’s a city that has to be experienced and not just seen. So, if you have time on hand, spend a couple of days in this vibrant city. The entire city is well connected with trams. The Upper Town can easily be accessed by a funicular with the journey lasting barely 5 mins. The Upper Town houses St. Marks Church, a Gothic-style structure which stands out with its impressive colourful coat of Arms of Croatia on its rooftop.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - ZagrebOne can do a conducted walking tour to get a better understanding of the history of this place. Coming down from the upper town, one can see a variety of cafes and eateries lining on both sides of the street, the name of which I find hard to remember. It is a pedestrian-friendly area with no dearth of places to sit and munch and watch the crowds go by.

While at the marketplace, an interesting observation I make is that most prominent American/European brands for food chains, clothes, shoes and bags are conspicuous by their absence. Croatia is a small country totally self-reliant on indigenous industry. So, we stop looking for known places to eat and decide to grub on the local cuisine which is heavenly in terms of taste and cheaper in terms of price!

If you’re planning to travel to other parts of Croatia as well, then roadways are your best bet. The journey is comfortable, buses are cheap and ply on time and icing on the cake is the scenic views that you start to get throughout the countryside especially as you approach the sea.

That’s exactly we intend to do. Our next destination is Plitvice. After a comfortable bus journey of around 2 hours, we reach Plitvice.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site spread over 295 sq kms. In the vicinity of the park are many beautiful small villages with accommodation facility for tourists. We stayed in a spacious apartment in Mukinje.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Mukinje Apartment

Slight uphill to our beautiful apartment….

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Mukinje

The quaint village of Mukinje!

The weather man had predicted heavy rain the following day, so we decide to set off for the parks the same day. Around 12 noon, we set out for the lakes. The park has many trails that will take you to different parts of the park, so pick one trail and stick to it. The best way to start your journey is from the upper lakes. After some inquiry from the Information office, we opt for Trail H and head straight for the train. After getting off at the next train station, we look around for Trail H and set forth. The trail is 8.9 kms long and is moderately tough. There are other trails also each one laid out on a different route and with varying degrees of difficult terrain.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Plitvice Lake paths

First look of the winding wooden paths….lots more to come!

We are greeted with small waterfalls emerging from everywhere, from behind the bushes and rocks. A sturdy wooden path takes us over a wide lake which is home to a large variety of fish. The path winds further into the park and over a very fast gushing waterfall. We keep on walking on the designated trail and keep soaking in the beauty of this wonder of nature. Every possible variety of waterfall is visible here, small, medium, large, noisy and silent ones, high and low, flowing into the lake and from the lake.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Plitvice Lakes waterfall

A waterfall at every nook and corner!

The walking trail leads us to the ferry point. The ferry takes us to the other side of the park in continuation of the journey. Ferry and train tickets are included in the entrance ticket to the park. The ferry drops us off at the lower lakes. The scenery is still bewitching but the waterfalls look different. Towards the end of the trail is the signage for the ‘Big waterfall’.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Plitvice Lake Big Waterfall

The bewitching ‘Big Waterfall’

If you have the energy to walk an extra couple of kilometres then don’t miss this one, if you do miss it then the only consolation is that the huge cascading waters of the fall are visible in all their glory from the main trail too. So, our trek to the park ends with a welcome ride back to the main station. This long arduous day in the park doesn’t tire one out, so wonder nature is therapeutic!

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Plitvice Lake waterfalls

Waterfalls galore!

We bought a 2-day ticket to the park, so we decide to venture out into the park again. I notice for the first time that the waterfalls are visible from the main road leading to the park. This time we take a different trail. It starts from the main entrance leading up to the water front. Equally beautiful with a different view of the waterfalls.

Plitvice National Park is picture perfect, its magnificent beauty comparable perhaps to the Garden of Eden itself.

On to the coast and Zadar

We pack our bags for the third destination in our itinerary. Zadar. Early morning next day we take the bus from Plitvice to Zadar. The journey is only 1 hour 30 minutes and the scenery en route is breathtakingly beautiful.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Plitvice to Zadar bus

From Plitvice to Zadar by bus

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - ZadarZadar is a seaside town with most of all tourist activities happening along the sea coast with the most popular among them being the Sea organ. We approach the sea coast from the old town square. Lined with loads of eateries and small shops, the paved narrow streets have something to catch your attention at every step. Trinkets, souvenirs, clothes et al on both sides beckon tourists. These narrow streets lead to an open courtyard with a tower, some historical monuments and a picturesque view of the sea. There are cathedrals and churches aplenty if you have an eye and ear for history.

The highlight of this outing is the Sea Organ. Huge metallic pipes have been installed under the sea along the sea shore. As water strikes against these wind pipes, a sound of mouth organ emanates out of nowhere. One can sit here for hours on end and listen to this melodious syncing motion of water. ‘Greeting to the Sun’ next to the sea organ right on the sea front is equally intriguing.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Zadar Greeting to the SunThis is the most popular hub for tourists at Zadar and rightly so. As dusk approaches, the waves become higher and the sound from the sea organ increases. The day closes with a spectacular sun set.

If you have time just hang around a bit late till the crowds dissipate. You will be able to hear the sea organ more clearly. An overnight stay is enough in Zadar unless you want to come back to the Sea organ next day too. We’re tempted to do the same but we have our bookings in place for our next halt in Split.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Zadar sunset

Awe inspiring sunset!

Down the coast to Split

The most talked about attraction in Split is the 4th century Diocletian Palace. The massive structure of the bishop Gregory of Nin right at the entrance to the palace sets the tone for your outing. It’s huge and very impressive. Touching the toe of Nin is believed to bring good luck, so tourists visiting the palace line up in front of the statue to rub its toe.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Gregory of Nin in Split

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Gregory of Nin's toe in Split

The palace is in ruins yet impressive. There are loads of eateries and shops in every nook and corner, the palace has also been converted into a hotel in some parts. Its lively and buzzing with activity. Inside is also the Cathedral of St Domnius housing the crypt and the Temple of Jupiter. My word of advice, just peep into the temple, don’t buy the ticket, the temple is small, only as far as the eye can see from outside. The Diocletian Palace can easily be a full day outing with the last leg of the day at the sea front. We had dinner at Café Fife just along the sea shore, the taste of their fish delicacy is still making me salivate. Total value for money!

We are fast approaching the end of our journey with our last destination being Dubrovnik. We’ve allocated four days to this city called the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. The scenic route on the entire stretch from Split to Dubrovnik can actually make one envious of the people who reside here. Adriatic Sea has been almost ‘customized’ to suit their requirements, there are play areas for children, lounge chairs for elderly, all kinds of boats, personal swimming areas. Every nook and corner of the sea is being put to good use but the water is really clean.

Ending the trip in Dubrovnik

The moment we set foot in Dubrovnik, the touristy air of the place hits us. The air is moist and warm, there are people swarming everywhere and the town is buzzing with activity. We move into a beautiful apartment just facing the sea. Anything less than that would be a shame. The city is enlisted in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and is every bit so.

The old city is a walled city overlooking the sea surrounded by a thick wall and an old harbour. A walk on this wall is a Must-do attraction. It has refreshing views of the sea. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you will be able to identify some familiar sites along the wall too.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Dubrovnik view

View from the top of the city wall

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Dubrovnik Lovrijenac Fortress

Can you make out where does this feature in Game of Thrones?

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Dubrovnik off StradunOne can easily spend at least 2 days just wandering and idling around in the old city soaking in the history or just doing some monument gazing. ‘Stradun’ or the main street can be fun both during the day and at night. It’s always crowded with tourists and connects the entire old city with lanes and by-lanes. Scores of shops and restaurants are lined up all along that serve local Croatian fish delicacies apart from conventional cuisines. Absolutely not-to-miss!

Dubrovnik has a lot of islands all around that are a favourite spot for snorkelers and water enthusiasts. We took a one day cruise to Elaphiti Islands. This island-hopping cruise offers beautiful views of the sea and a lot of opportunity for water sport since the sea is so calm. A word of advice for my fellow Indian tourists though, take this cruise only if you really want to splash around in the water otherwise your day trip can be dull because the scenery is pretty much the same.

The highlight of the cruise is the sea gull feeding done by the crew as they hold our little leftover grubs of food for the sea gulls to devour. Out of nowhere the sea gulls flock to grab-a-bite. There is suddenly so much activity with all cameras going into a frenzy to catch that moment. Amazing!

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Lokrum panoramic view

Panoramic view of the sea from the edge of the cliff in Lokrum Island

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Lokrum peacock

Posing for the perfect picture

Yet another beautiful island that can be explored is ‘Lokrum’. The main attraction is the free-moving peacocks and bunnies all over the island. The birds are so used to having humans around that they actually stay perched on the rocks while everyone is clicking their pictures.

Croatia - The Thousand Island Wonderland - Game of Thrones throneThe island also has a monastery and a small salt-lake aptly called ‘Dead Sea’. Both locals and tourists throng to this lake to soak in the sun and splash around in this lake that is absolutely calm hence the name. The iconic ‘Iron Throne’ from ‘Game of Thrones’ is housed here in the museum, you can take pictures with yourself on the throne.

If you walk all the way to the end of the island to a rocky cliff then you can get some mesmerising views of the sea.

Our Croatian vacation is all set to wrap up as we prepare to take a flight from Dubrovnik to Munich and back home. But this Croatia trip will be etched in my mind forever. The few things that stand out for me is the pristine beauty of this small country, the absolutely delicious local cuisine comprising of local fish variety and the warmth that people show towards tourists in general. After all it’s the people of the land that make all the difference!

Anju Chandna
New Delhi, India

UberBOAT now available in Croatia for transfers & day tours

You’ve probably used Uber in your home city or when travelling abroad – and in fact it’s also available in several Croatian towns and cities. But what do you do when you want a private transfer on the Adriatic Sea?

Easy – Uber + boat = UberBOAT!

uberBOAT sailing

UberBOAT is a service that’s available in Split, Dubrovnik and the island of Hvar, and can be utilised with the existing Uber app. With UberBOAT you can transfer to a destination and back, for a half-day or full-day trip that you can plan out yourself. That means that you can easily visit some of the local islands that you may otherwise find tricky to reach – especially useful if you only have a short amount of time for exploring.

Private Tours with UberBOAT

For example, from Split you could visit all the delights of the islands of Hvar, Solta, Vis, Bisevo (and the famous Blue Cave), and Brac, including the popular town of Bol with its famous Zlatni Rat beach.

From Dubrovnik you may be thinking of visiting the tranquil Elafiti islands, the lush island of Mljet, Korcula or perhaps even off-the-beaten track Lastovo.

The captain of an UberBoat stays with the passengers for as long as they want. That means there’s plenty of time to visit the islands, do a bit of sightseeing, the sampling of local cuisine and even a bit of time to buy some island souvenirs.

uberBOAT captain

UberBoat fares depend on boat size, mileage and duration of the trip. An eight-passenger speedboat starts at 330 Kunas, with each additional kilometre costing 29 Kunas and each minute costing 2.60 Kunas. A larger boat costs from 660 Kunas and 36 Kunas per kilometer and 3.30 Kunas per minute.

uberBOAT dropoff

Private transfers with UberBOAT

UberBOAT also offer a simple and fast transfer to a destination and back. For example, a transfer from Split to Hvar costs 2,600 Kunas for an eight-person speedboat, or 3,300 Kunas for a 12-person speedboat (UberBoat XL). Split to Bol costs 2,100 Kunas (2,800 for UberBoat XL), Dubrovnik to Mljet is 3,820 Kunas (4,600 Kunas for UberBoat XL), whilst Dubrovnik to Korcula is 5,000 Kunas (6,000 Kunas for UberBoat XL).

UberBOAT app

All Uber captains have valid licenses and are exceedingly familiar with the Croatian coastline, so any trip is very safe as well as lots of fun!

To get a feel for the service, check out this video on travelling in style:

More on UberBOAT

For more details, check out www.uber.com/hr/en/u/uberboat/. But if you need a boat, simply open up the Uber app and get tapping to ‘hail’ a boat!

Video: Exploring Dubrovnik by Khurum Khan

We were contacted by award-winning filmmaker and photographer Khurum Khan, who recently visited Dubrovnik to film a truly wonderful video of the city. Titled ‘Exploring Dubrovnik’, it really captures the beauty and magic of Dubrovnik, featuring many of the city’s highlights – in particular the Old Town, the nearby island of Lokrum, and Mount Srd. The video also features some absolutely stunning aerial shots, which always provide an amazing viewpoint of the city!

‘Exploring Dubrovnik’ is well worth a watch – take a look at it below:

Khurum Khan is a London based award winning filmmaker who specialises in creating cinematic videos and portrait, lifestyle and travel photography. His short film ‘Musafir’ was nominated as Best UK film at the prestigious Raindance film festival in 2012, which is a Bafta recognised festival.

Over the years Khurum has travelled around the world shooting documentaries. His most notable one being ‘Road to Indus Valley’, were he travelled through 13 countries from England to Pakistan. The documentary featured on Sky TV. Currently he’s shooting travel videos of his journey and hoping to inspire young filmmakers.

You can see more of Khurum’s wonderful work on his YouTube channel, on Facebook and on Instagram. More details about Khurum and his work can also be found on this website www.khurumakhan.com.

New catamaran route in Croatia for 2017!

Some exciting news about another new catamaran route in Croatia for 2017 – one that we’re sure will benefit many visitors to the country.

This new catamaran route will hop between the mainland and some of Croatia’s most popular islands, connecting Split, Bol on the island of Brac, Makarska, KorculaMljet and Dubrovnik.

The service is being run by Kapetan Luka, who already also run a popular route connecting Split with Milna on Brac, Hvar Town on Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik.

This new service will commence sailing on Monday 12th June 2017, running daily until Sunday 17th September 2017. The timetable of the new service is as below:

New catamaran connections and day trips

This new route brings up some exciting new sea connections. In particular, Makarska is now connected by sea to the prime spots of Bol, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik. And to Split as well, of course, although as it’s only an hour or so down the road, it’s already easily reachable from Croatia’s second city! (Makarska does already have a car ferry to Sumartin on the eastern side of the island of Brac.)

This catamaran also sets up some opportunities for day trips not previously possible by public ferry. A day trip from Split to Bol is now possible; you’ll certainly get a full day in Bol, and be able to experience the delights of Zlatni Rat, one of Croatia’s most famous beaches. And from Makarska, you can also consider a day trip to Korcula or Mljet. (Dubrovnik is a little too far, and you’d only get four hours there!).

Online ticket booking

Tickets can be booked on Kapetan Luka’s booking website. We’d certainly recommend pre-booking tickets in advance, as we’re sure this route will be popular.

As a catamaran, this is obviously a foot passenger only boat. No cars can sail on this route!

Prices of the various sectors of this route can be see here.

Other catamaran and ferry routes

Of course, there already are plenty of other routes running off the Croatian coast. Two other popular services – both of which have also started running in recent years – connect Split and Dubrovnik and stop at Brac (Milna or Bol), Hvar, Korcula and Mljet along the way.

For more details about these routes, and for other sailings, see our Ferries in Croatia section.

Happy catamaran travelling!

Travel question: Island day trips from Split and Dubrovnik in May

I am spending three nights Split and three nights in Dubrovnik in late May. I was wondering if you had any suggestions about possible ferry day trips to go on while in either of these two cities?

A.

Island day trips from Split in May

From Split, either Hvar Town or Milna on Brac (but not both on the same day!) would be most suitable locations for ferry day trips. This catamaran (which runs daily in late May) sails to both places, departing from Split quite early in the day and then making the return journey in the evening. This means you would get a full day on either Brac or Hvar.

Island day trips from Split - Milna on Brac

Milna on the island of Brac

Jadrolinija do also have sailings to Hvar Town. However, in late May they don’t yet have any in the morning (with a return in the afternoon/evening) meaning you can’t use their sailings for a day trip to Hvar at this time of year. They do, however, have a slow car ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar but at two hours sailing each way, that’s quite a lot of travel time! 

Vis is also not suitable as an island day trip by public ferry from Split.

For something closer and more ‘off the beaten track’, how about the island of Solta? Definitely possible as a day trip from Split (with Jadrolinija, sailing time 1 hour) you can find out more details about the island on the tourist office website. A tranquil place away from the crowds, it would certainly earn you brownie points as a place that not many people visit or have heard of! Travel expert Simon Calder wrote an article in the Independent on visting this island: Slavic secret Solta is steeped in history and rich in beauty.

Island day trips from Dubrovnik in May

From Dubrovnik, you can visit one (or possibly two, if you time it right!) of the Elafiti islands of Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep with Jadrolinija.

Unfortunately, there are no sailings in late May that make a day trip to the islands of Korcula or Mljet possible.

Of course, visiting the small island of Lokrum *is* possible! There are frequent sailings from Dubrovnik’s Old Town – see the timetable on the official Lokrum website.

Happy day-tripping!

New flights to Croatia in 2017

We’re pleased to say that there have been many, many direct flights from the UK and Ireland to Croatia for years…but that doesn’t stop new routes being announced all the time! Here we check out new flights to Croatia in 2017 to make planning your trip that little bit easier.

New flights to Croatia in 2017

New Easyjet flights to Zadar, Dubrovnik and Pula

Despite already having a very strong presence in the country, Easyjet announced a handful of new routes to Croatia for 2017. For the first time, they will fly to Zadar – flights from London Luton will start on 27th May (to 30th September) and operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

They’ve flown to Dubrovnik for a number of years, but this year they will also operate flights from Manchester and Belfast Airports. From Manchester, they will fly twice weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) from 22nd July, whilst from Belfast it’s also twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) from 14th May.

Bristol Airport – already connected to Dubrovnik and Split – will now also see flights to Pula with Easyjet this year. This route will start on 27th May (to 30th September) and only operate once a week, on Saturdays.

Unfortunately, Easyjet have dropped their Newcastle – Split route

New Ryanair flights from Bristol and Glasgow to Zadar

Zadar is very firmly Ryanair‘s base in Croatia and to their long-established routes from London Stansted, Manchester and Dublin, they will also start flying from Bristol and Glasgow. Bristol – Zadar has already started for the season (to 28th October 2017), flying on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Glasgow – Zadar will also fly twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) but only in peak season – this route starts on 3rd July to 28th August.

Ryanair have dropped their London Stansted to Osijek route in 2017, meaning Osijek is no longer connected to the UK.

Jet2.com new flights from London Stansted to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik

London is of course very well connected to almost all of Croatia’s airports, but a few more flights just adds to the choice available to travellers! Jet2.com will fly from London Stansted to Pula from 24th April (Sunday initially; Wednesdays and Sundays from 1st May); to Split from 26th June (Sunday initially; Wednesdays and Sundays from 3rd July); and to Dubrovnik from 24th April (initially Saturdays only; Tuesdays and Saturdays from 1st May; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 22nd May).

Jet2.com will also start flying from East Midlands Airport to Split from 24th April to 1st October 2017 (once a week, on Sundays) and from Glasgow to Dubrovnik from 24th April to 22nd October 2017 (on Sundays).

New Monarch flights to Zagreb

Croatia’s coastal airports see new routes introduced all the time…so it’s very pleasing to see that capital city Zagreb will also get some new connections this year! From the 28th April, Monarch will fly thrice-weekly from London Gatwick (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and twice weekly from Manchester (on Mondays and Saturdays) to Zagreb. The latter route is certainly very welcome as it is the first non-London connection to Zagreb for quite some time. It was also recently announced that these routes will operate year-round – very pleasing to hear.

British Airways to fly to Pula in 2017

There aren’t many flights from London Heathrow to Croatia, but British Airways is seemingly doing its best to change that! Already flying to both Zagreb and Split from that airport, they will also fly from London Heathrow to Pula in 2017 – twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) from 1st July to 30th September.

Aer Lingus introduce a Dublin to Split route

Already operating flights to Pula and Dubrovnik, Aer Lingus will now fly from Dublin to the central Dalmatian city of Split in 2017. From 27th May to 28th October, they will fly twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Other flight news

Norwegian appear to have dropped their Gatwick – Pula route for 2017, although will still fly to Split and Dubrovnik.

Thomson have dropped their Newcastle – Dubrovnik route.

Croatia Airlines have sold some of their London Heathrow slots; however, they are currently leasing some of these slots back so for the time being, continue to fly to Zagreb eight times a week.

Happy flying!

Ferries in Croatia - Jadrolinija catamaran

New Jadrolinija catamaran line from Dubrovnik to Korcula, Hvar and Bol!

Croatia’s main ferry company Jadrolinija will be running a brand new catamaran line for summer 2016! The new Jadrolinija catamaran line will connect Dubrovnik with Korcula, Hvar Town and Bol – meaning that some of the Croatia’s most popular destinations and islands are connected.

Ferries in Croatia - Jadrolinija catamaran

A Jadrolinija catamaran departing Hvar Town

Operating daily from 1st July to 11th September, the catamaran will sail from Dubrovnik in the morning and make the return journey in the late afternoon/evening. That means that you could potentially make day trips to Hvar and Bol from Dubrovnik using this catamaran service. (And to Korcula of course as well – although this was already possible.)

What will also interest many travellers is that this catamaran can also be used to make day trips from Hvar to Bol on Brac! (Although, as you can see from the timetable, not the other way around.) There’s currently only a catamaran service – also run by Jadrolinija – connecting Jelsa on Hvar with Bol.

The full timetable:

Dubrovnik - Korcula - Hvar - Bol

Full details of this service and prices can be found on the Jadrolinija website. We’d definitely recommend pre-booking this Jadrolinija catamaran if you intend to travel on it – booking can be done Jadrolinija’s homepage – as we’re sure this will be an exceedingly popular service.

Kapetan Luka have run another catamaran service for a few years which has also proved to be exceedingly popular. Their service also runs daily (in high summer), and several times a week in May and October, connecting Split, Milna (Brac), Hvar Town, Korcula, Pomena (Mljet) and Dubrovnik. This line however goes from Split in the early morning (reaching Dubrovnik at midday), and from Dubrovnik in the late afternoon (reaching Split at 8.20pm). The full timetable, prices and ticket booking can be found on the Kapetan Luka website.

For more on travelling around Croatia by sea, check out our Ferries in Croatia and Ferry and Catamaran Prices sections.

Bon voyage!

Uber on the Croatian coast!

Yesterday Uber‘s uberX service launched in two of Croatia’s most popular destinations for visitors – Split and Dubrovnik. Having already launched in Zagreb in October 2015, locals and visitors alike can now use Uber services in these two new locations using the Uber app.

Uber Croatia

01.06.2016.,Split- Zapadna obala, Riva; lucka kapetanija, Ela Dvornik za Uber.

To celebrate the launch, Uber are very excitingly offering free uberX rides this weekend to all users, new and existing. All users can request up to two free rides by using the code BESPLATNIVIKEND (which is Croatian for ‘free weekend’) in the Uber app.

uberX will operate in Dubrovnik during peak season (June to October) and in Split all year round.

“We want to make the Croatian coastline even better and safer for the millions of tourists visiting our country, adding our contribution to local tourism and celebrating one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have been present in Zagreb for over 6 months, providing safe, reliable and affordable transportation – we’ve been overwhelmed by the response there. Today, we take a step towards becoming a national service, as we launch licensed uberX, in Split and Dubrovnik” said Davor Tremac, Uber Croatia General Manager.

Uber currently offers various services in over 65 other countries around the world, including 21 European Union member states.

All uberX drivers in Croatia are qualified and licensed professionals who have passed rigorous criminal background checks and who hold commercial insurance. Every driver is self-employed, and chooses the hours they wish to work.

Uber is a cashless service as all payments are made electronically using a credit card linked to the user’s account. This means that professional drivers no longer have to carry cash and all transactions are fully traceable. At the end of every trip a receipt is automatically emailed to the rider which includes a breakdown of the fare, details of the driver and an overview of the exact route taken, as all rides are tracked by GPS.

Pricing of Uber on the Croatian coast

Uber’s journeys on the Croatian coast will have a starting fare of 9 Kunas ($1.34/€1.20), then priced at 5 Kunas per KM/0.5 Kunas per minute and will have a minimum fare of 15 Kunas ($2.23/€2).

Some popular journeys will have a flat fare:

  • Split to Dubrovnik – 228 km: 1,500 Kunas ($223/€200)
  • Split port to Split Airport – 26 km: 225 Kunas ($34/€30)
  • Dubrovnik Pile gate to Dubrovnik Airport – 21 km: 180 kn ($27/€24)
  • Dubrovnik Port Gruž to Dubrovnik Pile gate – 3.3 km: 55 Kunas ($8/€7.3)
Dalmatia in September 2015 - Makarska

Reader’s Review: Dalmatia in September 2015 – Part 1 – Dubrovnik & Makarska

Earlier this year, we were contacted by a friendly gentleman, Neil, who needed a little assistance in planning his trip to Croatia. After a few emails back and forth, he had set out a plan for visiting Croatia with his partner – specifically the towns and islands of Dalmatia in September. He was kind enough to keep in contact with us during his trip and has even more kindly written a wonderfully informative trip report, complete with some stunning photos, to share on the Visit Croatia website.

As well as writing extensively on the sights and experiences of these locations in Croatia, there’s also plenty of other useful tips that Neil shares – including using AirBnB for accommodation, and how to handle having particular dietary requirements when visiting Croatia.

Read on below for the first part of his report, featuring Dubrovnik and Makarska. Part two – covering the island of Hvar and Split – will be posted very soon!

Thank you ever so much for sharing your experience of Croatia with us, Neil!

Dalmatia in September 2015

by Neil Killeen

We decided to go to Croatia at rather short notice; it was part of our trip, in the end, of 10 days in the UK, 10 days in Croatia and 4 days in Rome. Fortunately, I discovered the Visit Croatia website and even better (for me) wrote to Anna for some advice. This was along the lines of “I’m too lazy to work anything out for myself, please tell me what we should do in our 10 days” !  Anna was so incredibly generous with her time and ideas; I was truly amazed and appreciative.  Later I discovered she runs many web sites and wondered how on earth she found the time and energy to bother with me.

We ended up having 3 nights in Dubrovnik, 3 in Makarska, 2 in Hvar town and 3 in Split.  If we hadn’t booked so late, we might have spent the time on a cruise around the islands (easy set and forget), but by the time we started to look, the prices were quite expensive. If you book early, they can be pretty cheap and probably a nice way to see the Dalmatian coast.

We decided to use AirBnB for all of our accommodation.  We like to Couch Surf as a great way to meet the locals and learn about a country. However, CS is not very big in Croatia – there were very few couches to be seen !  AirBnB worked out very well for us. We rented self-contained apartments (so we could cook for ourselves because of dietary restrictions).  We typically paid Aus$70/night, which was pretty cheap.  All the hosts were lovely and helpful. All the apartments were just as advertised (you have to do your research of course and select carefully). The main variable is beds and pillows. It’s hard to know what you will get, as hosts will generally tell you their bed is very comfy. I happen to have an unhappy neck, and so bed (and more importantly pillow) quality is important. I even contemplated dragging my special pillow around the planet! I did have a bit of pillow trauma, but usually we were able to improvise something with towels and other cushions that might be in the apartment.

Regarding food, my partner, Ri (“Ree”), is fructose (including wheat) and dairy intolerant.  Two of the main fructose bearers are onion and garlic, which can be problematic when eating out.   So although we did eat in a lot, when we did eat out, we were expecting pain (either stomach or waiters) in finding food she could eat.  It turned out to be quite the opposite.  The attitude everywhere was ‘Of course we can do that’, and they could.  Perhaps food is less pre-prepared than in Australia to help this along.  Even better was that we found the BEST EVER dairy-free ice-cream in Dubrovnik (at the harbour).  We hardly believed the server when she said it was milk free (as it tasted just like normal and was so thick). But no stomach trauma occurred so it was true.  We went back for more.

We flew from London to Dubrovnik.  Because this trip was in September, flights were not so frequent.  We didn’t want to get on a dawn flight, and I think the only afternoon flight (that we were prepared to take) was only 1 or 2 times a week (that was EasyJet).  Some of the budget airlines also stop flying these routes around this time (e.g. EasyJet stopped flying Split to Rome mid September before we departed).    Although we arrived in the evening, we took the frequent Airport bus (much cheaper than a taxi) into the old town to one of the main gates. From there we took a cab to our destination.  Our host was working but he lined up his daughter to meet us. She took us for a little walk to orient us, which was sweet of her.

Like most people, we focused on the old town. We did buy a 3-day Dubrovnik card (museums and some bus tickets).  However, really, many of the places supplied by the card are not exactly world class, so I don’t think it’s really worth it. On the other hand, you could say that it does give you an interesting and useful cultural perspective and one should not get too snobby. There are of course plenty of great cultural buildings and experiences; it’s just that not many are on the card.

Dalmatia in September 2015 - Dubrovnik

Panorama of the Dubrovnik harbour

I was interested in the (very complex) history of the Home Land wars of the 90s and both in Dubrovnik and at the top of the hill (in the old fort now museum which was a defensive stronghold in the siege of Dubrovnik) there is lots of very worth while material.   I reckon it’s worth taking the cable car up to the fort rather than a tour in a 4-wheel drive (they have a long list of reasons why they are better of course).  Really, we like to do things at our own pace, not have deadlines to meet (20 min here, 30 min there).   Because it was September it wasn’t too busy which was great – neither did we suffer the arrival of a cruise ship and several thousand people clogging the place. The weather was lovely; I reckon September is good to be in Croatia.

We went to an Art Gallery with a large exhibition of one emerging artist. Now my partner is an Artist, and we are very familiar with the process of writing the words for those cards that sit next to the art work so that you, the observer, can appreciate the incredible intellectual effort that is behind the art work. In colourful Australian vernacular, we call this “Art Wank” (I am quite good at writing it). We encountered the best example ever of this in this gallery which you can see for yourself in the picture.

Visiting Dalmatia in September - Gallery

“Art Wank” in the gallery

I particularly liked the “personal invisible musical scales” (being a musician). We did also find a very small, almost invisible gallery with a photographic exhibition. The pictures were all of a single family, and the photographer was one member of that family. They were a quirky lot and the exhibition explored how that particular (all grown up) family came together and created their own fun. There was no art wank at all, so we got the guy looking after it to explain it to us !

There is a very cool café just outside the old town walls which looks out over the sea. Great to have a local beer there for a while – you have to be alert to get a seat closest to the sea. There were some young men jumping into the sea from the rocks. They were swanning about in their boardies attempting to look cool/tough/attractive as they attempted a free beer by flirting with the waitresses. No free beer ensued, but the waitresses were nice to them. Throughout our trip, people were invariably friendly, positive and helpful, even though it was the end of the season and probably they were totally over the tourists. We didn’t do any boaty things in Dubrovnik – we left them for later in the trip.

Visiting Dalmatia in September - Cafe

The Waterside Old Town Café

From Dubrovnik we took a bus (there are lots of buses in Croatia and I usually used an App on my iPhone to book tickets – that worked well) to Makarska, sometimes dubbed the “Riviera of Croatia”. The bus trip provides some beautiful coastal scenery and our host kindly picked us up at the bus station (he even deferred his shift at the fire station by 45 min so he could collect us).

Visiting Dalmatia in September - On the way to Makarska

On the way to Makarska

Visiting Dalmatia in September - Makarska Harbour

Makarska Harbour with mountains in the background

Our apartment was about 10 steps to the harbour – which is pretty darn handy.

Like much of the Dalmatian coast, Makarska is jammed in between the mountains and the sea. But here, the mountains are extra beautiful exuding this steely grey strength. I really just had to stare at them a lot to soak in the beauty. We sampled our first pebbly beach here and found it pretty comfortable, even without a mattress (the experienced travellers could be detected easily by their pebble-beach preparations).

Visiting Croatian in September - Makarska mountains

Makarska mountains

Visiting Croatian in September - Adriatic

The beautiful Adriatic

We also found a nice park right next to the beach with lovely grass out of the wind to lie on, gaze at the mountains and read books – I did a lot of that here. Strangely, nobody else took advantage of it in this way! There were no “Keep of the grass” signs, so I don’t know why nobody else did; perhaps a little over-obsessed with becoming a lobster at the beach.

Visiting Dalmatia in September - Makarska Park

Makarska Park

The tourist demographic in Makarska was very middle-aged couple (like us!). However, we were struck by the huge amount of obesity that we saw (in the tourists), especially, but not only the men. Australia has an obesity problem, and I thought I could stand to lose a Kg or 2, but I felt like a wraith there. We noticed also the huge amount of food people packed away when they went to dinner. We might share a meal and be sated – we observed one guy (not so large – yet) eat more for dinner than I could have managed all day. We wandered around the back streets of Makarska and found some nice fresh food (cheaper and nicer than the supermarkets). The supermarkets did however cater for gluten free bread and the like.

We also had our first real taste of Croatian music making here. We happened to be in Makarska for their Fish Festival (could have been a weekly event for all we knew!). So in the evening down at the harbour there was lots of traditional music making. It seems all Croatian men know all the songs as they all sing along with great gusto (and some with rather fine voices). The degree of gusto seemed to be correlated with the rapidity with which wine glasses were recharged…. The melodies for many of the traditional folk songs are simple, so I gusto-ed along as well, spouting pseudo-Croatian as needed.

There is a famous beach, Zlatni Rat, on the island of Brac. You can take a ferry from Makarska to Sumartin, then a bus to this beach. The only problem is you can’t get back again. In September the time tables change to something unhelpful. Basically, the bus back to Sumartin arrives after the ferry departs back to Makarska. Take an earlier bus you say. Well if you do that, then you arrive back at Sumartin before you have even arrived there in the first place (it’s all a bit Dr. Who). This was the point in time where we discovered that some of the tourist information folks were a bit tired and weary of a long season. Mainly, when you go into their office, they grudgingly get off Facebook to talk to you. Then mono-syllabic answers can be dragged from them with great effort. This particular person in Makarska knew that the timetables change, that they are dodgy, but didn’t really want to tell us. It was only because I had googled before and found inconsistencies that she grudgingly called the bus line on Brac (“you can call them, or I suppose I can if you really want”) to confirm the above transport conundrum. So, needless to say, Zlatni Rat, with its 5 degree (I think) side-to-side temperature differential remained a delight for the future.

Stay tuned for part two – with Neil travelling to Hvar and Split – very soon!