Dimensions Festival

Dimensions Festival reveals stage breakdowns and takeovers

News is in from this year’s Dimensions Festival (29th August – 2nd September 2018) – a full run down of all the stage sets and takeovers has been revealed.

The day to day breakdowns for the ten stages have now been revealed – with takeovers from Hessle Audio, Zeezout, Resident Advisor, Stamp The Wax, Make Me, Electrix, Exit Records, JAW Family and more. Hosting acts include Underground Resistance, Peggy Gou, Nina Kraviz, Bonobo (All Night Long), Hunee, Jon Hopkins, Ben UFO, Saoirse, Maurice Fulton, Helena Hauff, DJ Stingray plus over 100 more acts.

About Dimensions

With no less than ten (ten!) stages at the Festival, Dimensions has fully confirmed its places as one of the most forward thinking electronic parties, bringing together the underground’s most dynamic, thoughtful and innovative artists.

Taking place over five days, the seventh Dimensions Festival will once more return to its idyllic abandoned fortress spot outside Istria’s main town Pula. All the old favourite Festival areas return, from the iconic Moat area through to the sun-kissed Beach stage. Attendees can discover fresh new breakout acts, or revisit classic talents that have laid the foundations.

As well at the main festival, Dimensions will also see a fantastic opening concert on the evening of Wednesday 29th August with Kraftwerk, Nils Frahm and Moodymann all performing.

Dimensions Stage Breakdowns

The Clearing

The Clearing will once again be delivering a quality set of names for 2018. Opening with a solid start, embrace the sounds of the motor city with Underground Resistance presents Depth Charge, plus electronica institutions Jon Hopkins and Petar Dundov. The Clearing starts as it means to go on with techno’s leading ladies Volvox and Nina Kraviz spinning all-encompassing electro, acid and beyond. Don’t miss mind live performances from Azymuth & Marcos Valle, The Comet is Coming andJames Holden & the Animal Spirits as well as angular beats from Avalon Emerson among Friday’s offerings. A testament to Dimensions’ diverse programming, catch DJ’s DJ Jon K, MXMJOY:[maximumjoy] and Rush Hour legend, Hunee, bringing those unforgettable, magic sunrise moments as well as Joe Claussell. The soundtrack to the final evening comes courtesy of Bonobo, playing all-night-long from soul and jazz, disco, house, electronica and beyond – in a way only he can.

The Garden Stage

The leafy GARDEN STAGE is another world within the festival. Lush green surroundings host an impactful set of names; starting with a journey through house, jazz and feel-good vibes galore straight from the Motor City, enter the Mahogani music godfather, Moodymann and vibe purveyors Amp Fiddlerand Marcellus Pittman. Eddy Ramich and legendary Leeds party crew, Cosmic Slop also join on Thursday. Friday we celebrate 30 Years of French institute, Rex Club with stellar selectors rRoxymore, Ash Lauryn, Gabriella Vergilov and Peggy Gou, while Saturday is and all-night affair on a cosmic tip with Margaret Dygas, Sonja Moonear, Ste Roberts and more on board. Finishing proceedings, rising talent and DJ Directory member Alex T and Mexico City’s underground hero, Leo Leal spin on Sunday night. A final treat for those in the know fabric kingpin, Craig Richards and wax wizard, Nicolas Lutz join forces to close the Garden with an over 5 hours of seam B2B blends.

The Void

A much loved zone with a mammoth sound system, The Void is a Dimensions arena that is loved by the masses, catering to the deeper, darker electronic palettes. First up to host is Resident Advisor, whereWillikens & Ivkovic go head to head with a genre-defying b2b session ahead of John Talabot. Hands in the air for Kuniyuki, and DJ Python’s reggaeton, deep house and breakbeat fusions. Catch Disco’s sweetheart IIl Bosco (Red Laser Disco), J.A.W. Family, Alexander Nut, Red Greg and Maurice Fultongracing the booth on Friday. A real underground affair is set for Saturday, one for electro aficionados, catch Chris CPU, Billy Nasty and Drexicyan explorations from the don, DJ Stingray, plus live sets for the modular heads; London Modular Alliance, Carl Finlow aka Silicon Scally and DMX Krew. Rounding off the weekend, is Dutch dream team, KAMMA and Masalo, local spinner, Ilija Rudman plus revered selectors, Palms Trax and Josey Rebelle.

The Moat

One of Dimensions most iconic arenas is The Moat; a 70 foot deep stage that is home to sounds that shake Pula to it’s core. With TRIP hosting first. Expect thundering techno and intergalactic explorations from Nina Kraviz. Joined by Detroit’s K-Hand, Bjarki and Volruptus (live), it’s Alien boogie from the off. Friday’s flavour electro and acid from old skool to new from Zeezout crew. Beat commander Helena Hauffheadlines, following Detroit In Effect, electro legends The Exaltics plus Courtesy and Daan Donk. JoinMassimo Mephisto and the festivals very own Dimensions Sound system, before a triple treat of rave obscurities, jagged beats and flat out belters from Discwoman’s Umfang and Anastasia Kristensenbefore high octane NRG from Paula Temple. Closing out on a high, embark on a final genre defying journey Sunday with the Hessle Audio power crew – Ploy, Pearson Sound, JLIN, Pangaea and the mighty, Ben UFO.

Stables

In the heart of the Dimensions Fortress, the vast STABLES boast another anticipated set of names, venturing through left-field rarities and body-moving beats with Dark Entries’ Josh Cheon, electronic explorations from Alessandra Adriana and more oddball grooves from Jon K, Heinrich Dressel & Teslasonic and Pierre. Stamp the Wax and DJ Directory venture from the ballroom bringing afro-beats, and sunshine sounds with Sean OD, Born Cheating, STW head honcho Aaron L and emerging talent,Will Lister. Embark on a journey through sonic explorations and darker persuasions start to finish from directory members Kiara Scuro, Batu, Skee Mask and Lee Gamble. Then soothe your soul with Music is my Sanctuary hosting Chicago hip-hop icon, Open Mike Eagle, Stones Throw founder, Peanut Butter Wolf and Milo, not forgetting bound-breaking crew Darker Than Wax.

Ballroom

The intimate 100 capacity BALLROOM is a firm favourite, giving way to hedonistic house, and far-flung oddities. This year, Stamp the Wax take the reins on Thursday and Sunday presenting the Dimensions DJ Directory – a motley crew of underrated and breakthrough selectors from across the Globe including the likes of Heels & Souls, Harri Pepper, Molinaro, Aaron L and Sam Hall. Friday’s flavour is hot house heat from RuDan, Ste Roberts, ASOK and more, while Saturday shines a light on Croatia’s emerging scene and it’s key players.

Arija & Courtyard

Offering local artists an international platform, ARIJA hosts both Croatian selectors with a full day takeover alongside discerning DJ’s and underground talent. Another spot for aficionados to find something new,Saoirse, Lady Blacktronica, San Soda and Sheridan are just a few names hitting the much loved COURTYARD this year, with respected party purveyors Journey Of Sound, Make Me and Love Muscle on takeover duties.

Subdub

MUNGO’S COURTYARD has been part of Dimensions since day one, the heart and soul of the festival with a system to reflect that. Dimensions mainstay and Deep Medi boss Mala heads up the Thursday bill, following DJ Lag, The Bug and Simon Scott (Muslimgauze Set). Friday is an exploration through bass with live sets from Bluetrain and Upwellings, plus a dub special from man of the hour, Skee Mask. An annual highlight, Saturday’s Exit Records takeover hosts DnB’s finest, with imprint founder dBridge as well as Steve Spacek, Skeptical and Fixate aboard. High-energy old skool sounds marry deep, off-kilter dub and bass with a vintage special from Dispatch x 1985 with Alix Perez, Ant TC1, Kid Drama, Amoss plusSP:MC & Fokus and more on board.

Beach

The spot to catch sets in the most idyllic of settings whilst relaxing on the Croatian shores, Dimensions’ BEACH STAGE sees acts wander through funk, world, soul, disco and more, with unmissable live shows. Thursday’s all about chilled beach vibes with Alfa Mist, Ariwo and the festival’s very own Dimension’s Soundsystem. Repping London’s free-form and jazz scene it’s Total Refreshment Centre and Ezra Collective, plus Sons of Kemet. Don’t miss Children of Zeus, Darkhouse Family and Palms Trax on Saturday, while the Sunday promises feel good vibes from Eglo Records familia with Fatima and Alexander Nut. Hunee soundtracks the final Adriatic sunset, the ideal end to Dimensions 2018.

To check full day-by-day stage breakdowns, head to www.dimensionsfestival.com.

Dimensions Festival

Tickets for Dimensions Festival

Only final tier tickets – priced at £141 – remain, so be sure to snap them up fast! Buy online at bit.ly/2FszVGR.

More on Dimensions

For all the latest news, be sure to check out the official website as well Dimensions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

MTV SummerBlast Festival back in Porec…with Will Smith!

With the summer festival season in Croatia in full swing at the moment, here’s news of a fantastic end-of-season festival taking place in the pretty Istrian town of Porec. The MTV SummerBlast Festival will be held there on the 25th and 26th August 2017 with an amazing line-up – featuring none other than all-round international superstar Will Smith, alongside his long-standing musical partner-in-crime DJ Jazzy Jeff.

MTV SummerBlast

But there’s an even more amazing line-up besides these top two names! Top DJs and artists such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Oliver Heldens, Galantis, Jonas Blue, Duke Dumont, Tinie Tempah, Mike Perry, Far East Movement and R3wire & Varski will all also be appearing at MTV Summerblast!

MTV SummerBlast - Fedde Le Grande

MTV SummerBlast is visiting Porec for the second year in 2017, and this amazing line-up is sure to entice many of you to this beautiful part of the Croatian coast for a farewell to summer!

MTV SummerBlast

Tickets for MTV SummerBlast

Both 1-day and 2-day tickets are available. A 2-day ticket costs €67, whilst a 1-day ticket (for either the Saturday or the Sunday) costs €35.

VIP tickets are also available, priced at €150 for two days, or €100 for a 1-day ticket.

Tickets can be purchased on the official website here.

MTV SummerBlast

Travel and Accommodation for MTV SummerBlast

Travel packages are available which include accommodation as well as entry to the festival. Alternatively, you can also book official festival accommodation separately to your ticket. Full details are on the festival website’s travel section.

Porec has a wide variety of all types of accommodation otherwise – check out our Accommodation in Porec page for more.

MTV SummerBlast

The nearest airport to Porec and MTV SummerBlast is Pula Airport. Full details of which airlines fly there from the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe is on our Getting to Istria page. Slightly further away is Rijeka Airport, which also sees a number of flights from all over Europe – see our Getting to the Kvarner Riviera page for details of these.

Trieste Airport in Italy is also a suitable place to fly to to reach Porec and Istria. We have plenty of information on Travelling from Trieste to Croatia which details bus routes over to Porec.

More information

For more info visit the official web page www.mtvsummerblast.com, Facebook page and festival Instagram.

Flights to Croatia

New flights to Croatia for 2015!

Happy New Year to all! The start of a new year – and a bout of the winter blues – normally always means the start of summer holiday planning. So what better time to look more closely at new flights to Croatia for 2015?

One of the most updated sections of the Visit Croatia site is our Flights to Croatia from the UK and Ireland page, which we regularly add to all the time as new routes and schedules get announced. We’ve had the page detailing 2015 flights up since around mid-summer 2014 (as flights always seem to get announced super-early!), but let’s finally put together all the information to see what’s new for 2015.

Flights to Croatia

New flights to Croatia for 2015

Although there are now many, many flights to Croatia in summer, there’s plenty of new routes that have been announced for 2015! Even London, which already has flights to every (major) airport in Croatia, gets a few new routes.

For starters, British Airways have introduced a new London Heathrow – Split route. They will be flying twice a week from 3rd May to 20th September.

Easyjet are to introduce no fewer than four new routes to Split for 2015 – from London Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Belfast airports. These routes will all start in June, operating through until late September/early October. They also have another new route for 2015 – London Gatwick to Pula.

Jet2.com have introduced two new routes – East Midlands to Pula and Edinburgh to Split, with each being operated on Sundays. As with all their flights to Croatia, these will fly from mid-May to the end of September.

Thomsonfly  have introduced new routes to Dubrovnik from Bristol, Newcastle and Glasgow, plus a new route from Manchester to Split. All the Dubrovnik routes will fly on Thursdays, and will operate from 7th May to 22nd October. Manchester to Split will fly on Fridays from 1st May to 16th October.

The airline are also expected to start a service from Bristol to Pula, although we are currently awaiting further details of this.

Cancelled routes for 2015

Unfortunately, there are a few routes that have been scrapped for this year. Easyjet no longer fly to Zagreb, although luckily this airport is still served daily from London by both British Airways and Croatia Airlines.

Monarch no longer fly from Birmingham to Split, or from Manchester to Dubrovnik.

Flybe no longer operate their route from Birmingham to Dubrovnik, and now no longer have any flights to Croatia.

Changes in flight schedules

Easyjet‘s flights from London Gatwick to Split start at the same time of year (end of April), although daily services start a little later, in mid-May. However, their daily services to Dubrovnik from the same airport start earlier this year, also in mid-May.

They’ve upped flights to Bristol so there will be at least two flights a week throughout the season – although there’s three flights a week, as last year, during peak season (mid-June to mid-September).

Outside of August, Ryanair will fly to Pula twice a week (they flew three times in June and September 2014) and their five flights a week to Zadar will only operate in August.

Thomsonfly have upped the frequency of all existing flights to Dubrovnik (from London Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester) to twice a week.

Jet2.com have also upped the frequency of flights from Manchester to Pula to twice a week.

As you can see, there’s plenty of ways of getting to Croatia from the UK and Ireland this year. Do take a look at our Flights to Croatia from the UK and Ireland section for full details of all flights to the country, including by destination and departure airport.

We hope you enjoy your flight to Croatia in 2015!

Rovinj

Croatia tourism statistics for January to July 2013 are in!

Statistics for the number of visitors travelling to Croatia in the first seven months of 2013 were released today – and despite some doom and gloom and uncertainty for this year’s summer season, they do indeed still show an increase on last year’s figures.

Croatia tourism statistics
Istria (Rovinj) not so popular – how can it be?!

In total 6.6 million tourists – which includes both foreign and domestic – holidayed in Croatia from January to July 2013, which is an increase of 3% on the same period last year. These visitors stayed for a total of 36.5 million nights, which is an increase of 2.5%. Of these numbers, almost six million were foreign visitors to the country (up 4%), who stayed for 33 million nights (up 3.3%).

The month of July alone also saw increases in visitor numbers. 1.1% more tourists visited the Croatian coast and Zagreb (the two main tourist centres in the country!) than in July 2012, 3 million visitors in total. These visitors stayed for a total of 21.3 million nights, which is also an increase of 1.1% on the same month last year. Of these numbers, 2.8m were foreign visitors (an increase of 1.7%) who stayed a total of 19.3 million nights (up 2.5%).

The majority of the Adriatic counties all posted increases in visitor numbers and nights stayed for the month of July, although there were also some falls. Istria, in particular, received 3.2% fewer visitors who stayed for 2.2% less nights. Zadar county was the only one in Dalmatia to record a fall in visitor numbers and nights stayed – of 1.6% and 3.5% respectively – whilst the other Dalmatian counties recorded relatively healthy increases. Split-Dalmatia county saw 6% more tourists who stayed for 5% more nights, whilst Dubrovnik-Neretva county – home, of course, to the wonderful and ever popular Dubrovnik – received 4.4% more visitors and 3.6% more nights. (For the purpose of completeness, we can mention that Sibenik-Knin county got 3.8% more visitors who stayed for 4.7% more nights.)

It was away from the coast, in Zagreb, that the largest increases in visitor numbers and nights stayed was recorded. 14.6% more visitors came to Zagreb in July 2013 than in the same month last year, staying for 18.6% more nights.

Source: Jutarnji

Events in Istria - Boombarstick

Boombarstick Urban Arts and Music Festival in Vodnjan, 3-7 July 2013

It may be no surprise to our regular readers that Croatia enjoys a very healthy cultural calendar each year, with some wonderful film, dance, theatre, art and other events taking place each summer, all across the country. We’d like to use this post to highlight the Boombarstick Festival which will take place for the first time in July in Vodnjan, Istria – an independent, urban arts and music festival that will feature a full line-up of art exhibitions and concerts, as well as featuring workshops and also showcasing locally made products.

Boombarstick Art and Music Festival Croatia

Of great importance to the festival and something that plays a large part in its background is the setting in Istria. This particular region of Croatia is one has a very vibrant history – having been under the rule of numerous tribes, leaders and countries over the centuries – but one that has also been peaceful, meaning that today, different ethnic groups and cultures coexist in harmony. Boombarstick’s aim, in a year that Croatia is to join the EU (on 1st July), is to show that Istrian and European cultures can (and should) influence and enrich themselves, but also that Istrian people should treasure their culture – one that is unique and constantly evolving – and share it with others, and not seek to replace what they have with some kind of European dream. Boombarstick will offer up a kind of “momento” for Istrian collectivity, but also show that the town of Vodnjan has much to offer artistically, musically and culturally – three “languages” that can be understood by anyone, wherever they are from.

Boombarstick Festival Croatia

Boombarstick Festival Croatia

Boombarstick Festival Croatia

Boombarstick Festival Croatia
The above series of images show the first wallpainting of 2013 in Vodnjan, created by Aec from Interesni Kazki for the Boombarstick preview a few weeks ago (click on any image to enlarge)

What’s on at the Boombarstick Urban Arts and Music Festival

The art programme at Boombarstick will see a fantastic collection of outdoor wallpaintings, showcased in some of the less fancy spots in town, plus installations set up in hidden parts of Vodnjan. An indoor art show will also exhibit the works of some of the local artisans. Artists exhibiting their works include Croatian sculptor Franco Manzin; underground, UK-based comic-artist Phlegm; street artist OKO from Croatia; Sam3, a wallpainter from Spain; Italian graphic designer and urban artist Giorgio Bartocci; Ukrainian wall-painter duo Interesni Kazki; graphic artist Ludo; NeSpoon from Poland; and Croatian illustrator Miron Milic. Below you can see the works of some of these artists (click on any image to enlarge).

Boombarstick - Eme
Eme

Boombarstick - Sam3
Sam3

Boombarstick - Giorgio Bartocci
Giorgio Bartocci

Boombarstick - RemedRemed

Boombarstick - Emilio Cejalvo
Emilio Cejalvo

Boombarstick - Franco Manzin
Franco Manzin

Local bands and artists will make up part of the musical element to the festival, which will also see international DJs and acts perform…with a few secret parties thrown into the mix too! Acts appearing include funky, punky hip hop outfit Debout Merci!; Croatian DJ Sisma; folk-poet Ardzen; French beatboxer Spleen; Brixton, London-based ska-gypsy band Drunken Balordi; swing/rock ‘n’ roll band Minima Social Club; and Croatian hip hop band Soundcheck Regaz.

As mentioned, Boombarstick will also host workshops during the Festival’s run, and these will be dedicated to local students although some will also allow entry to all. These seek to teach culture and explore creativity, whilst also establishing a connection between the people attending and some of the artists taking part in Boombarstick.

“Local heros” from Vodnjan will also be on hand, showcasing their tasty products – from food to oil and wine, and more!

It’s free to enjoy all the events at Boombarstick – how fantastic! If you can make it to Vodnjan in July, we’d highly recommend you visiting and joining in with this arts and music festival!

Accommodation for Boombarstick

For those attending the festival, there are a number of easy accommodation options available to you. An improvised campsite will be set up a short distance from the Festival; the site will have full facilites including toilets and showers, food and beverages, and will also provide tents to rent. Camping will be a great way of mingling with fellow festival-goers, allowing you to get to know each other!

It will also be possible to rent apartments and private accommodation in Vodnjan, for those looking to explore and experience the town a little better.

The above options can all be booked via the Boombarstick Accommodation page at www.boombarstick.com/. There’s a whole host of different packages on offer, including those that offer airport transfers, boat trips, excursions and a beach chill out day, so be sure to check these all out!

The above link also lists all the ‘extras’ that are available in addition to the Festival – from the aforementioned boat trips and beach chill out day, to a Cheese Appreciation Day and a Arts of Istria Tour!

Support Boombarstick

Boombarstick is a fully independent festival (and, as mentioned above, there’s no entry charge to any of the events), so if you’d like to help support its first edition and the great team behind it, check out their Indiegogo campaign: www.indiegogo.com/projects/boombarstick-street-art-music-festival. There’s a number of great perks on offer if you contribute to their campaign.

More on Boombarstick

For full details about the Festival and all of the artists and musicians taking part can be found on the official Boombarstick website. Do also keep with with the latest Festival news on their Facebook page!

Boombarstick 
3rd – 7th July 2013
Vodnjan (Digano), Istria
www.boombarstick.com

Join the contemporary dance festival – Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti – in Istria this July!

The Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti returns this July for another wonderful event! Now in its fourteenth year, this contemporary dance festival will take place from the 19th to the 22nd July in the very pretty town of San Vincenti (known as Svetvincenat in Croatian), which is located in inland Istria. A number of wonderful and varied performances of contemporary dance, physical theater, mime, circus performances and street art will take place, as well as educational seminars and workshops, with artistic groups from both Croatia and abroad both being featured.

Dance & Non-Verbal Theatre San Vincenti Festival Istria

The Festival was founded in 2000 by the Zagreb Dance Company, a contemporary dance group who have performed at many top events in Croatia, including the very famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival, one of the country’s most well-known events. The group have also performed at a number of festivals abroad, including events in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Korea and Egypt.

Over the years the San Vincenti Festival has seen more than 150 Croatian and international dance groups perform 190 plus productions. The Festival’s aims to promote contemporary dance in Istria and Croatia for the enjoyment of both locals and visitors have clearly been realised, and the event has also helped promote creativity and inter-cultural dialogue.

Last year saw a full programme of events, with dance groups from Croatia (of course!), Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and France all take part. Performances included the circus show De pied ferme by Belgium group Wazovol; Animal by Spanish choreographer Daniel Abreu; and Sad Sam Lucky by Croatian artist Matija Ferlin, a piece that evolved from the Festival’s residential programme.

All performances take place in three venues in and around San Vincenti – in the Renaissance Square (where free performances take place); at the Art Centre; and also in the wonderful Kastel (Castle) Grimani. Tickets for performances at the latter two events can be obtained in advance via the Festival website, or on the day of the performance.

This year’s programme is due to be revealed very shortly, so stay tuned to the Festival website for full details: www.svetvincenatfestival.com.

Dance & Non-Verbal Theatre San Vincenti Festival Istria
In front of Castle Grimani

Dance & Non-Verbal Theatre San Vincenti Festival Istria
Renaissance Square

Festival Istria - PROmjene, Zagreb Dance Company
PROmjene, Zagreb Dance Company

Festival Istria - Fragments, LesSlovaKs
Festival Istria – Fragments, Les SlovaKs

Festival Istria - Memory of Water, Masa Kolar
Festival Istria – Memory of Water, Masa Kolar

Dance and Non-Verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti
19th – 22nd July 2013
www.svetvincenatfestival.com

Ljubljana to Pula

Travel question: Travelling from Ljubljana to Pula

Hi there, not sure if you’re able to help us at all but my friend and I are coming to Croatia this August for a festival in Pula. We are landing from London in Ljubljana, Slovenia at 19:00 on 27/08/13 and need to get to Pula to our apartment. We want to know if there is a relatively cheap/safe way of us travelling this distance at this time. The apartment owners are aware that we need a late check in but we want to arrive there at a reasonable time. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. O. H-S

Ljubljana to Pula

The Arena in Pula

Unfortunately, I have to say that you will find it difficult to travel from Ljubljana to Pula at that time of the day (well, evening). There is a direct daily bus from Ljubljana to Pula at that time of year, but it runs at 9.30am. (See the timetable on the FILS website – scroll down for the seasonal, summer line.) I believe a one-way ticket should be about 200 Kunas, or the equivalent in Euros.

The alternatives I would suggest also don’t really work at that time of the day. I would have suggested getting a train from Ljubljana to Rijeka, but the two a day are at 6.35am and 3.10pm. (From Rijeka to Pula there are several buses per day.)

Another possibility would be to take a train to Zagreb (if you did this, it would be best to take a taxi from Ljubljana Airport to Kranj, which is about 15 minutes away, rather than travel to downtown Ljubljana, about 30-45 mins away), and then a bus to Pula.. There are several trains per day from Kranj (or Ljubljana) to Zagreb but again, these all run before your 7pm arrival time.

(If you wanted to look up train timetables, the Die Bahn website is the best place to do this.)

These above options are all relatively cheap and safe (travelling in Croatia/Slovenia is very safe, just use your common sense with personal possessions, of course!) but, obviously, the most important issue is that they don’t get you to Pula the same day! Aside from renting a car (which isn’t an especially cheap option, and not everyone wants to drive) I’m afraid the best thing I would suggest would be to stay in Ljubljana one night and then get the bus direct to Pula the next morning. I’m assuming you’re attending Outlook so the bus will still get you there in time for the opening concert on the 28th. (Not sure if you’ll be able to amend your booking in Pula by a day.)

Travel advice: Holiday resorts in Croatia with beaches suitable for young children

Hallo, I have an unusual request – please recommend beaches for a small baby (2 years).

I would like to  sandy beaches  or small pebbles beaches from gently sloping to the sea that is shallow. I would also like to have restaurants, bars, shops, swimming pools. Two years ago I was in Zaton Holiday Resort and I’m looking something like this in Istria, Kvarner or Dalmatia – north or central.

I am grateful for the help. A.G.

The first thing to say is that Croatia is not that well known for its sandy beaches. By far the majority of beaches are of the pebble variety. However, I understand that for some people (especially those with young children!), sandy beaches are important.

Of course, if you don’t mind pebble beaches than you will have a lot more choice – as I said, the vast majority of beaches in Croatia are pebble-y. I would say that many would also be gently sloping with quite a bit of shallow water – it would be quite rare to have anything that would be quite deep quite suddenly.

Based on the place you mentioned you stayed in before (Zaton Holiday Resort), you might want to take a look at CampingIN Park Umag in Istria, which is very suitable for families with its various facilities (including pool) and features both Mobile Homes and Premium Homes.

Alternatively, you could also consider Camping Park Soline (again, with mobile homes) that is in Biograd na moru, North Dalmatia. It is close to both a pebble and a sandy beach.

The Solaris Camping Beach Resort near Sibenik, also in North Dalmatia is again very family-friendly, although perhaps the pebble beach area is quite small – but the resort does say the beach area is child friendly.

If you’d prefer to be a bit further south – between Split and Makarska – then you could consider Kamp Galeb. This is located in Omis, which is about 25-30km south (along the coast) of Split. The Omis Riviera is one of the places in Croatia that does have sandy beaches.

Kamp Galeb itself is located alongside a sandy beach, and its mobile homes are situated directly on the beach.

In fact, the camp itself says that the beach is very suitable for families with small children.

Again, the camp has a range of facilities – a few shops (bakery, also supermarket close by), a restaurant, a playground for children and an aqua park.

All of the above resorts have been included on the Croatian Camping Union’s best camping resorts list.

Dubrovnik Photos - Old Town Harbour at Sunset

Croatia’s tourist statistics for the first half of 2012

Yesterday saw the unveiling of tourism statistics that show visitor numbers to Croatia – both foreign and domestic – for the first six months of the year. These figures reveal overall visitor numbers, as well as showing statistics for the individual counties in Croatia, and the numbers of tourists arriving from different countries.

So, to tackle the overall statistics first, it was revealed that Croatia received 3,418,306 tourists between January and June this year, which is up 6% on the same period last year. Of this, the vast majority were foreign tourists – 2,922,632 (up 8%) – whilst 495,674 were Croatian(a drop of 4%).

Visitors stayed for 14,456,034 nights in the country (up 5%), which once again were mostly made by foreign tourists (12,898,639 nights – up 7%) rather than domestic (1,557,395 – another fall, this time of 6%).

Croatia's tourist statistics - Dubrovnik

Stunning Dubrovnik

All counties included in these statistics have seen visitor numbers go up – with the exception of Sibenik-Knin county, which has seen a drop by 1% in visitor numbers. Top honours go to Dubrovnik-Neretva county (unsurprisingly, home to Dubrovnik!) which saw 13% more visitors in the first six months of the year, as did Lika-Senj county (where the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park is located, as well as Velebit National Park). The former county also saw 15% more overnight stays during the same period, whilst the latter achieved 10% more.

The top visited county was the ever-popular Istria, which saw 975,391 people visiting from January to June, an increase of 5% over the same months last year. Other counties to enjoy good visitor growth include Split-Dalmatia (8% growth; 503,713 visitors); Zadar county (7% growth; 295,707 visitors) and Zagreb (5% growth; 298,850). Indeed, Zagreb enjoyed an increase of 11% in the number of nights stayed by tourists, clearly showing that those visiting Croatia’s capital are staying for longer.

Taking a look at the different foreign nationalities visiting Croatia in the first half of this year, the largest increase was posted by visitors from Japan of which there were 38% more (staying for 37% nights) when comparing this time period to the same one last year. British visitors also posted a very healthy increase (25% more, staying for 26% more nights), as did Belgian visitors (26% more, staying for 16% more nights), Dutch visitors (22% more, staying for 24% more nights) and Swedish visitors (21% more, staying for 21% more nights).

Just for the month of June, Croatia received 1,618,472 visitors in total (1% more than June 2011), who stayed for 8,330,928 nights (which is being recorded as the “same” as last year!). Dubrovnik-Neretva county again posted the best increase of 11% more visitors (164,426 in total), who stayed for 13% more nights (756,345). Rather interestingly, Istria actually posted a drop in both visitors numbers (down by 5%) and overnight stays (also down by 5%) for June 2012 over June 2011.

Rather pleasingly (given where we are based!), it was British visitors that posted by far the biggest increase for June 2012 over the same month last year – 36% more Brits visited, staying for 34% more nights.

Source: Croatian National Tourist Board

Croatian Summer Salsa Festival in Rovinj this June!

Great news for the dancers out there – the 8th Croatian Summer Salsa Festival will be in Rovinj this June! Held from 19th to 24th June, the festival is being billed as a “unique sea, sun and salsa” event where participants of all abilities can learn to dance or show off all their dancing skills, as well as relaxing and enjoying a great time in a beautiful setting.

Croatian Summer Salsa Festival, Rovinj

This year’s Festival will feature many exciting components, including open air dance and music points throughout the town of Rovinj; over 90 hours of workshop dance classes; a live music concert on 21st June; some of the best salsa DJs in the world; three different dance floors (each with their own different salsa style); indoor and outdoor parties; a special post-festival boat party; passes for both the girls and guys (for classes and parties); and much more! With over 2,000 dancers and dance-fans gathering in Rovinj, it’s sure to be a very fun Festival!

Croatian Summer Salsa Festival, Rovinj

For those looking for something a little different, the Summer Sensual Days – a sensual dance festival – will also be held in the same town from 15th to 17th June 2012. (For the very keen dancers amongst you, why not combine the two events for eleven fun-filled days?)

Croatian Summer Salsa Festival, Rovinj

For more details and to find out how to attend the Croatian Summer Salsa Festival, check out the full details on the official website at www.crosalsafestival.com.

Croatian Summer Salsa Festival
19th – 24th June 2012
Rovinj