Latest press coverage on Croatia round-up: early May edition!

As we get closer and closer to summer, there has recently been a whole flurry of press articles and coverage on Croatia and – let’s face it – that’s no surprise. So here I take a look at some of the latest press coverage on Croatia from early May. (And not a mention of Eurovision in sight!)

Enjoying the new train from Italy to Croatia

Just yesterday, the Sunday Times Travel section wrote about the reintroduction of a train service that runs from near Trieste in Italy via Slovenia to Rijeka in Croatia. (Something that was first brought to our attention a number of months ago by our contributor John – see his latest post on The Sound of Rijeka.)

Press coverage on Croatia, May 2024 - The Sunday Times
Press coverage on Croatia, May 2024 - The Sunday Times

Accompanied by some rather lovely shots as you can see (of Croatia…of course!), the main premise of the article is that for just a few Euros, you can use this new train route to explore a number of the little but charming towns in Italy and Slovenia along the way. The writer does just that; he states that the whole two-hour journey costs the equivalent of £7, but he chooses to purchase a new train ticket (costing just a few Euros each time) for each leg of the journey.

After enjoying Trieste itself, his first stop is the Slovenian town of Ilirska Bistrica where he enjoys exploring on an e-bike on some of the 60 miles of forest cycle tracks. Food is the order of the day here two, with sauerkraut, Slovenian sheep cheese and multiple varieties of honey all sampled.

Next, it’s on to Croatia and the fabulous Opatija. The article’s author, Tristan, gets his bearings by walking the seaside promenade route, the lungomare, enjoying the scents and scenery. “This is Croatia’s answer to Capri or Cannes”, he declares.

After a night in Opatija it’s on to Rijeka the next on the same train – this last leg is just a 10-minute journey. Rijeka is certainly talked up here, and the author enjoys a number of sights (such as the Sugar Palace) as well as the fish market.

Rijeka’s seafront railway station looks like a Habsburg wedding cake, built to impose. I arrive to witness a marathon, an outdoor jazz festival and a superyacht leaving port. Trieste’s twin brother is buzzing.

Tristan Rutherford, The Sunday Times, 12th May 2024

You can read the article online: One train, three countries and a £7 ticket: Europe’s newest rail trip.

Tipping culture – in Europe and in Croatia

Elsewhere in the same paper, there’s an interesting article on “How to tip in Europe”. I bet I’m not the only one who gets a little anxious about tipping on holiday; I don’t want to seem rude, but also don’t want to throw down too many notes and coins that make me seem like a crazy person. (Or someone with more money than sense.)

The overall conclusion for Croatia is that tipping is “casual” and 10% is certainly welcome in restaurants but not always expected. In smaller venues such as cafes, tipping is merely rounding up to the nearest Euro.

Press coverage on Croatia, May 2024 - The Sunday Times on Tipping in Croatia
How to tip in Croatia, according to the Sunday Times

The joys of Istria

An absolute gem of a piece this month is one from National Geographic on Istria. I haven’t yet been able to check if it appears in print in the magazine, but if it does I’m sure it looks fantastic.

The article really takes a deep dive into some of the traditional and cultural aspects of Istria, the most northerly of the Croatian coastline. Focusing first on the region’s main city, Pula, and its spectacular 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre The Arena, the piece also features the Brijuni Islands, Vodnjan and beautiful Rovinj.

There’s an extensive look at Istrian folk music with the author Daniel witnessing a performance in Pula by singers, musicians and dancers all dressed in traditional costume. In Vodnjan, too, he’s able to see another folk performance of songs performed in Istroveneto, an Istrian language influenced by the Venetian dialect.

I had listened to some Istrian folk music on YouTube before my trip. Woodwind instruments wrapped around dual voices, improvising in the microtonal way Dario had described. To ears like mine, used to a rigid system of tones and semitones, the constant use of microtones can sound dissonant or harsh. That much was evident from the video’s comment section, where one rather ungenerous observer had suggested the music sounded like “someone stepping on a cat”. 

Daniel Stables, National Geographic, 2nd May 2024

Read it online: On Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, age-old traditions are securing locals’ futures.

Bargains on the Croatian Islands

The Daily Telegraph this weekend had an interesting piece on “The 50 greatest bargains in travel”. Who doesn’t love a bargain, am I right? But how does Croatia fit into this?

Well, Croatia is featured under the “Discount destinations” heading – or, more specifically, the Croatian islands are. And even more specifically, the more southern islands of Mljet and Korcula. The Daily Telegraph advises that if you’re the kind of traveller who likes to book their own holiday, you’ll “…find it hard to beat the value offered by the Croatian islands“.

The Daily Telegraph, May 2024
One of the “greatest bargains in travel”

I couldn’t find this article online, but get some inspiration with our How to do Croatia on a budget post!

If this isn’t enough press coverage on Croatia…

…there really has been plenty more in the papers and online over the past few weeks!

If you don’t yet know anything about holidaying in Croatia, you should first read the Visit Croatia website and then secondly take a look at Elle magazine’s Ultimate Croatia Travel Guide.

Follow that up with The Time’s guide to 13 of the best places to visit in Croatia which features many of the most well-known places in the country and some not so well known too.

And if “not-well-known” is totally your kind of thing, The Independent recently featured a piece on 6 lesser-known Croatia destinations you may not have considered.

All of the above makes up plenty of reading on Croatia for you so go on – off you go to get started!

Spotlight on: The Arena, Pula

The stunning Arena in Pula is one of the most magical sights in all of Croatia. This three-story (on its largest side) Roman amphitheatre is the sixth-largest amphitheatre in the world but – with all four sides intact – it is the best-preserved amphitheatre. Imagine that! Read on for more details about this ancient gem in Pula, how to visit it and what to see there.

Getting There

The Arena is located in the northeastern part of Pula, a short distance from the sea. Take a look at our Getting to Istria page for details of flights to Pula Airport, and then out Getting to and from Pula Airport for how to get to the city itself.

The Arena is actually a short walk (no more than 15 minutes) from the bus station and a similar distance from the train station. It is also very close to the port in Pula, should you be making your way to the city by boat.

You can also take a local city bus to the Arena – buses 4, 5a, 8, 9 and 71 go past this wonderful building.

An aerial shot of the Arena in Pula
An aerial shot

About The Arena and Its History

The Arena was built in several stages or iterations during the rule of several different Roman Emperors between 27 BC and 68 AD. The foundations of the first amphitheatre were built during the time of Emperor Augustus. This was extended during the reign of Emperor Claudius and completed under the reign of Emperor Vespasian. At the time of its construction, Pula – then called Pietas Iulia – was the centre of Roman rule in this part of the Empire; the Arena was built just outside the Town Walls.

The Arena is named after the Latin word for sand (harena) which is what the floor of the central part would have been covered in. Its external walls are made from limestone.

Arena Pula
A close-up of the exterior wall of the Arena

During its use in Roman times, it would have held up to 23,000 spectators. These days, about 5,000 people usually attend events held here. Back in those Roman times, the amphitheatre was used for what you can expect – gladiatorial fights and other entertainment occasions, as well as being a place for social meetings.

Gladiatorial fights were banned in the 5th century and the Arena subsequently became used for a cattle market. In that same century, parts of the stone of the structure began to be used as a source of building materials for the local area although this practice was stopped in the 13th century.

In the 16th century, the Venetian Senate proposed to dismantle the amphitheatre in its entirety and rebuild it in Venice although this was (thankfully!) prevented by Sentator  Gabriele Emo. A plaque in tribute to him was placed on the northwestern tower.

The restoration of the Arena began in the 19th century.

Arena Pula
Peeking through one of the arches in the Arena

Features of The Arena

The oval-shaped Arena stands just over 32 metres high, stretching out over an area of about 132 metres wide and 105 metres deep. The central part – where Roman entertainment would have taken place – measures 68 metres by 41 metres. One side of the amphitheatre, the one closest to the Adriatic Sea, has three visible stories (plus a fourth foundation story) whilst the other three sides have two. This is because the Arena is built on a natural slope.

Built in limestone, the two lower stories contain 72 arches whilst the top story is made up of 67 square windows with a cornice feature placed on top. There are four rectangular towers set within the walls which strengthened them; these towers contained water reservoirs.

Arena Pula
A view of the exterior walls showing the arches and the square windows of the top story

Below the main Arena floor were constructed a series of chambers for storing animals and passageways to lead them and gladiators up to the Arena.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Arena could have been covered up in the case of bad weather through a series of pulleys and ropes attached to wooden masts that would pull sails over the roof.

Opening Hours and Entrance Price

The Arena is open year-round with extended opening hours – usually until 10pm – in the summer months.

Entry costs €10 for adults and €5 for children.

The interior of the Arena, Pula, Croatia
The interior of the Arena

What to See and Do at The Arena

Stroll through the Arena and really get a feel for what it must have been like back in Roman times. Unlike, say, the Colosseum in Rome, you can have an uninterrupted stroll right through the centre of this amphitheatre. At times, it almost feels like quite an intimate venue…but then imagine standing in the centre and being watched by 23,000 people!

Take yourself up to the seating levels where you can and now imagine yourself as a Roman spectator. Entry to the Arena was free back in those days but a seating system based on social class would have existed…so make sure you sit in the “best seats”. Whilst you’re up on this level, do also peer out of the Arena.

Arena Pula - Interior
The interior of the Arena – you can see the seating as well the setting up of a concert

Head down below ground to walk through the passageways and chambers. Here, you will find an exhibition on viticulture and olive oil production in Istria during Roman times with a particular focus on how oil was derived from olives in those times.

There is also a large collection of well-preserved Roman amphorae, which were used for transporting liquids.

The Arena, Pula - Roman Amphorae
Roman amphorae at The Arena

Do be sure to also spend some time walking around the outside of the Arena to fully realise the magnificence of this large, wonderfully preserved Roman structure.

There are no guided tours for the Arena itself once you are inside. You may like instead to join a guided walking tour of Pula – as shown below – which includes entry to the Arena:

Powered by GetYourGuide

Other Ways of Seeing and Enjoying The Arena

These days, the Arena is often used as a concert and entertainment venue in the summer months, and there’s something rather special about enjoying this kind of experience in such a historic venue. Perhaps most famously, the Arena is used as a venue during the Pula Film Festival which takes place every July. In 2024, the 71st edition of the festival will take place meaning it is the oldest film festival in Croatia.

There are also numerous concerts held in the Arena in the summer. For example, in 2024, Dua Lipa, Avril Lavigne, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz and Duran Duran will all be performing there. Previous performers over the years have included Sting, Elton John, The Foo Fighters and Luciano Pavarotti. One-off sporting events are also sometimes held here.

Special opening night events of some of Croatia’s music festivals – such as Outlook – have also previously been held here in the past when such festivals were held in the Pula region.

Summer also sees the regular Spectacula Antiqua gladiatorial and Roman reenactments take place. Just the thing to take you back all those many centuries ago!

More info

You can learn more about the Arena on the Archeological Museums of Istria website.

Gates of Agartha

Joseph Capriati and others added to Gates of Agartha Line-Up

The epic new two-day festival Gates of Agartha, taking place in a former Roman quarry near Pula (23rd & 24th June 2023), today revealed the addition of some top names appearing at the event. Added to the Gates of Agartha line-up are Joseph Capriati, Aldo Morro, Lea Kdoch, Marcel b2b Marin Biocic, Mene (who will play b2b w/ Pablo Panda) and Zoe Dona. Already on the bill are Marco Carola, Damian Lazarus, Dennis Cruz, Chris Stussy, Echonomist, Pablo Panda, The Ace Brothers and many more.

Gates of Agartha line-up

Joseph Capriati is a bona fide techno tastemaker who has been a resident on the legendary BBC Radio 1 and who always shows the breadth and depth of his sound across his sets and productions. He plays a wide range of house, techno, groovy, personal influences and much more having made a big impact in Ibiza at Amnesia with his carefully curated Metamorfosi parties. They were immersive showcases of his skills named after his wide-ranging debut album Metamorfosi on his own Redimension label.

Bespoke Projection Mapping Collaboration with OUCHHH

As well as exciting Gates of Agartha line-up news, it has been revealed that the festival will feature a bespoke projection mapping show in collaboration with cutting-edge media collective OUCHHH. A visual fusion of history and innovation is set to illuminate the towering walls of Cave Romane.

Gates of Agartha

About Gates of Agartha

Gates of Agartha is a festival brought to you by the same team behind the wondrous Echoes from Agartha experience in Cappadocia, Turkey. This event is the first of their new destination series events which will explore mystical and mythical places around the world; place where art, culture and history collide. 

And where better to host such an event than the spectacular Cave Romane, a former Roman quarry where for centuries Istrian limestone was extracted – a material used frequently in the Roman Empire to construct important buildings such as the Colosseum in Rome.

The quarry will host immersive and cutting-edge lighting technology as well as world-class sound systems for the Gates of Agartha, offering a unique experience for every festivalgoer.

Gates of Agartha

Tickets for Gates of Agartha

Tickets for the two-day event are priced at $75 and can be purchased on the Shotgun website.

Gates of Agartha
23rd & 24th June 2023
Cave Romane, near Pula
@gatesofagartha

Istria Tours Sini

Get to know Istria Tours and their tours of the region…and Croatia!

Istria Tours are a Pula-based tour company offering tours of Pula, of Istria and the whole of Croatia! Run by the very friendly licensed guide Sini Sljukic, there’s a whole heap of exploring to do with Istria Tours.

Sini Sljukic, Istria Tours
Sini

The company was started by Sini in 2011 as something he always wanted to do – with an interest in history and culture as well as a wish to work in tourism, after working for other companies and learning the job he decided to try to work on his own! Having acquired the necessary qualifications to be a licensed guide at university, it’s been full steam ahead for Istria Tours ever since! Sini’s tours are offered in English or German, and he runs them year-round, transporting guests in a new, airconditioned van of 8 + 1 seats or a black Mercedes limousine.

Walking Tours of Istria

If you’re heading to Istria in the near future, check out the walking tours of the region’s different towns and cities that Sini offers. There are walking tours of Porec, Rovinj, Pula, Umag, Pazin, Motovun, Labin and Groznjan – as well as Opatija – that last one or two hours (depending on the tour) and are priced at €70-80 for a group.

Sini’s personal favourites are the walking tours of Pula. He says:

It is never the same, different people, different questions…I enjoy it every time!

Istria Tour - Pula
An aerial view of Pula, Istria

Excursions

If you fancy travelling further afield from your Istrian base, it’s an excursion that you’re after! Again, Istria Tours offer a number of different options – whether you’d like to explore some of the peninsula’s inland towns and villages (such as Groznjan – “city of artists” and Motovun – “capital of
truffles”) or perhaps you want an easy way to explore some of the not-too-distant islands such as Krk or Cres. One excursion that we know many travellers to Istria look for – but that is difficult to navigate themselves due to a lack of direct public transport – is a day trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Istria Tours can organise such an excursion which includes transportation, a guide and an entry ticket from 1990 Kunas per person.

Bale
One of the pretty streets in Bale

Sini’s favourite excursions are the van tours are to Rovinj, Bale and Vodnjan and the one to Groznjan, Motovun and Pazin. He says:

There is so much we can do along the way: truffle hunting, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, truffle and cheese tasting… We see the most beautiful sights, we have lunch in the best “konobas” (the Istrian word for restaurant)…culture and culinary highlights of Istria, a great way to spend a day in “Terra magica” (this is how they call Istria)!

Boat Tours of Istria

If exploring by sea is more your kind of thing, take a look at the boat tours that Istria Tours offers. You can visit multiple locations in one day in Istra – for example, setting off from Rovinj to the Lim Fjord, Vrsar and Porec, or from Rabac to visit island locations such as Valun and Cres. These boat tours are priced between €30 to €40 per person (depending on the tour) and boat transport, a guide and lunch and a drink.

The most popular boat tour is the Brijuni Islands tour from Pula, which Sini believes is because of the beauty of the national park and its vicinity to Pula.

National Parks in Croatia - Brijuni National Park
The Brijuni islands

Transfers

If ‘all’ you need is some transport in Croatia, Istria Tours also has you covered! They can organise transfers in a standard car for just 1 or 2 people to larger groups (5-8 or under 20 people) requiring a people carrier or a van, to much, much larger groups that need a coach. Contact sini@istria-tours.hr with the number of passengers you need transporting and the route so they can give you a quote.

Istria Tours Sini
Sini and his van by Pula’s famous Arena

Istria Tours offer tours of Croatia too!

But it’s not just Istria they cover! Istria Tours can also do tours covering the whole of Croatia – for example, Sini has run a 20-day tour of the country for a customer that started in Zagreb and ended in Dubrovnik. A private tour of the country will enable you to see as much of it as possible in the time frame you have in mind for visiting the country (2 to 3 weeks are ideal, although shorter tours are also certainly doable).

More on Istria Tours

Learn more about the company on their website Istria Tours and contact Sini direct atsini@istria-tours.hr or on +385 994 012 153 (via WhatsApp or Viber).

Baioco Olive Oil Production

Meet Istrian-based olive oil producers Baioco

We’ve recently been in touch with Baioco, the wonderful Istrian olive oil producers who were originally founded as far back as 1918. Read our interview with Baioco to find out more about the company and their production processes, as well as their excellent, award-winning olive oils – and how to sample and buy them!

1. I understand that the company Baioco was founded as far back as 1918, how did it come to exist?

The mill was founded with the aim of forming a cooperative where the farmers could produce their oil. They came to an agreement with a businessman of the time who decided to invest in the cooperative.

Years later the cooperative changed ownership and continued to produce oil in smaller quantities, until years later, in 1997, it passed into the hands of the current directors of Baioco in an interest to revive a tradition that over time was lost. From that moment the mill began to modernise to optimise its processes and the quality of the oil obtained, whilst at the same time preserving tradition and reducing the impact to the environment every year.

Baioco Ester Casita

2. Whereabouts are your wonderful olive groves based?

Our olive trees are located on the Istrian peninsula bathed by the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.

What makes our olive groves different is that they are located on small plots of land surrounded by wild aromatic plants that give our extra virgin olive oils different aromas and flavors. [Visit Croatia note: doesn’t this sound wonderful?!]

Baioco Olive Groves

3. Can you tell us a bit about the process for making your lovely olive oil?

As they are grown in small olive groves surrounded by nature, the olives are harvested by hand so they are not stressed and reach our oil mill without any impact.

Once the olives have arrived at the mill, the fruit is washed with water and the olives are crushed.

The paste that is formed is taken for kneading for approximately 20 minutes, this allows the oil to separate from the paste. This operation is carried out at a controlled temperature of 22-23ºC, obtaining less quantity of oil than with high temperatures, but of optimum quality.

Baioco Olive Oil Production
Baioco Olive Oil Production

Finally, this paste goes to the centrifuge where the oil is completely separated from the paste and is ready for bottling.

It is important to carry out all the processes in the shortest time possible so that the fruit does not oxidize and we obtain a high quality oil. 

At Baioco, the olive goes from being in the tree to being bottled as extra virgin olive oil in only two hours!

4. Tell us a little bit about the awards Baioco’s olive oils have won?

In 2018, Baioco began to enter competitions as we saw it as a form of recognition for all the hard work we had done.

That same year we entered the Flos Olei list, known as the guide to the best extra virgin olive oils in the world. From that moment until now we have remained in the guide every year.

We have also collected several awards, both silver and gold in NYIOOC (New York), AVPA oils of the world (Paris), LIOOC, Best Oils of the World (London) and L’oro del Mediterraneo, (Italy) with the maximum number of gold drops and mentions of excellence, as well as other local competitions in Croatia.

Food

5. How can customers come and taste your oils? (And can they visit the olive groves?)

We have two places where you can taste our extra virgin olive oils.

One is in the center of Vodnjan where we also have our store. For those who are interested in knowing more about the production, in Galizana we have our oil mill and you can enjoy a guided tour and a tasting with more typical products. 

To visit us in Vodnjan, simply drop in. However, if you’d like to visit the olive mill or the olive groves you can make a reservation through the Baioco website or send us an email

Our most popular product is our extra virgin olive oil. We have three varieties, two monovarietal and one Cuvèe.

The two monovarietal varieties, Busa and Bianchera, are indigenous to the Istrian Region and are therefore difficult to find in productions from other countries or regions.

Moreover, our extra virgin olive oils are organic and have the protected designation of origin of Istra.

Thank you so much to Celia and Baioco for taking the time to answer our questions, and also for supplying the images seen on this post. We highly recommend that you pay them a visit if you are visiting Istria this summer!

Baioco
www.baioco.eu

What's on in Croatia in October

What’s on in Croatia in October

October may not exactly be prime beach weather, but there’s still plenty to see and do in Croatia in October! Read on below for some of the most interesting events taking place in Croatia this month.

Croatia in October

The CroRace

Formerly known as the Tour of Croatia (and having previously taken place in April in the last four years), CroRace will tour Croatia from 1st to the 6th October. Starting from Osijek and ending up in Zagreb, this year’s race will feature a number of Croatia’s beautiful national and nature parks (fourteen in total!) – including Plitvice, Krka Paklenica national parks, and Papuk, Ucka and Medvednica nature parks. A number of top teams, including last year’s winner Bahrain Merida, will be taking part as will cyclist Maciej Paterski who won the first event in 2015. If you’re in Croatia during this time and near the route, pop along to cheer on the cyclists! If you’re not, you can still view beautiful Croatia on TV – the race will be televised all over the world; in Europe, Eurosport will have coverage.

Croatia in October – Chestnuts Galore

October is a top month for a number of food-related festivals in Istria. One of the most popular is Marunada in Lovran (close to Opatija), which is dedicated to sweet chestnuts. First held in 1973, this festival is dedicated to a special type of chestnut – ‘Maruni’ – which grows in the Opatija Riviera; these chestnuts are larger, sweeter and can be peeled more easily than other types of chestnuts. Marunada offers the chance to sample all sorts of products made from chestnuts – cakes, pancakes, puree, pies, even chestnut goulash! And if you haven’t even ever tasted roasted chestnuts, you’re really missing out! There’s also plenty of other food to sample at this festival, and other things to enjoy – including live music and sports. Marunada will be helf in Lovran from 11th – 13th October 2019, and then in nearby Dobrec on 19th & 20th October and in Linganj on 26th & 27th October. Ask locally for more details, or see some more info at the Lovran Tourist Board website or the official Marunada website.

Croatia in October – Truffle Season

Istria is rich in truffles and October is the best month of the year for white truffles, which are the most valuable kind. Although events celebrating truffles are held in various locations throughout autumn, it’s in October when you have plenty of choice for different festivals – these include the Zigante Truffle Days held in Livade in inland Istria, close to Motovun. Actually held over ten weekends from the 14th September to the 17th November (which means every weekend in October!), you can sample all sorts of delicacies made from truffles as well as other gastronomic delights from Istria. You can even enjoy a guided truffle hunting tour in the Motovun forest, and on one weekend (19th & 20th October) there’s the International White Truffle Hunt Competition at which you can watch the master (human and dog!) at work, searching for truffles.

Motovun itself hosts the one-day Festival of Teran Wine and Truffles (19th October 2019) which showcases the local Teran wine as well as truffles.

Gastro Delights in Dubrovnik

So, your mouth may be salivating at the thought of all the above mentioned culinary masterpieces…but what if you’re visiting the opposite end of the country to Istria i.e. Dubrovnik? You’re still in luck! The Good Food Festival (14th – 20th October 2019) is now in its sixth edition and will feature a number of tours, lectures, presentations and workshops (for example, on making special Croatian dishes). Numerous Dubrovnik cafes, bars and restaurants will also take part, either hosting special tasting events or offering special menus for the week-long event. One of the main components of the Festival is the ‘Dubrovnik Table’ (usually on the Sunday) in which a table the length of Stradun (!) is used by local restaurants and businesses to show off their gastronomic delights – you can buy a reasonably priced ticket and then sample many of these delicious items!

More details can be found on the Dubrovnik Tourist Office website.

The Dubrovnik Film Festival (15th – 20th October) also takes place in the city at roughly the same time as the above!

Istra & Craft Beer Festival

If you don’t care so much about food and a cold beer is more your kind of thing, the second Istra & Craft Beer Festival will take place in Porec in the first week of October (actually, 28th September to 6th October). The best Croatian independent and craft brewers will showcase their beers; live music and food will also be there for you to enjoy! See the official website for more details: www.istracraftbeer.com.

Boating and Sailing Enthusiasts

Croatia’s largest boat fair (and, in fact, the largest in Central and Eastern Europe) is the Biograd Boat Show, taking place in this sweet little town, famous for its expansive marina, that’s close to Zadar. The 21st Show will be held from the 17th to 20th October 2019 and will likely have over 300 exhibitors and over 300 boats on display.

Outdoor events

If you’re an outdoorsy-activity kind of traveller, you may well be interested in the Baska Outdoor Festival held in and around Baska on the island of Krk, 11th to 13th October 2019. There’s mountain biking, zipling, trekking and more! A full programme of all the events of the Festival can be downloaded from the Baska Tourist Office website.

Other Events in Croatia in October

Here’s a few more events taking place in Croatia in October!

  • International Prosciutto Fair, Tinjan, Istria (18th – 20th October)
  • The 28th Zagreb Marathon takes place in the city on 13th October – pop along to see elite athletes pounding the streets.
  • Close to Zagreb is the town of Ivanic-Grad where the 15th ‘Bucijada’ Pumpkin Festival will take place on the weekend of 4th to 6th October. As well as a fair showing pumpkins and pumpkin products, there’s workshops, music and fun for kids.

Do also check out our Events in Croatia page for more events taking place in the final months of the year!

Junior Travel - Baby rental equipment

New service – baby equipment rental in Istria!

Many of you travellers will know that holidaying pre- and post-kids is very, very different. Pre-kids you could hop on a low cost flight on a Friday afternoon with just a bag and a few choice items, and be enjoying a few cocktails by sunset a few hours later. Heading home was just as easy – perhaps some of you even went straight to the office from the airport!

Post kids there’s THE STUFF. ALL OF IT! SO MUCH STUFF! Planning a holiday requires military precision whilst you decide what essential items you need to take for your babies or toddlers (answer: everything!), how you’re going to get it abroad, and how you’re going to get it to your accommodation. (If it’s not been lost in transit, that is.) Or will your accommodation provide it? Maybe they will, but it’s not exactly what you were after?

Junior Travel - Baby rental equipment

Now there’s a new service that’s sure to help many of you – baby equipment rental in Istria by Junior Travel. Junior Travel is a company that lets you hire a wide variety of items for your little ones – babies and toddlers. There’s everything you could possibly need – from car seats and booster seats to strollers and prams; baby carriers, bouncers, cribs and cots; high chairs to breast pumps and sterilisers; baby monitors and even toys! There’s even items for the beach, such as pop up beach tents, towels, beach toys and cool boxes.

Many of the above items are provided as well recognised brands, including Cybex, Maclaren, Egobaby, Baby Jogger, Avent, Babybjorn and more. You may even have the same items at home, so be used to them and know how to use them!

Junior Travel - Baby equipment rental Istria - Stroller
Junior Travel - Baby equipment rental Istria - High chair
Junior Travel - Baby equipment rental Istria - Car seat
Junior Travel - Baby equipment rental Istria - Baby bouncer

Some of the baby equipment available to rent

Junior Travel baby equipment rental – how it works

You can book the items you need online (and the specific dates you need them) on the Junior Travel website. The equipment you rent will be delivered direct to your accommodation. You can also choose to have the items delivered to an airport (if you need a car seat, for example). Delivery is undertaken 7 days a week, from 9am to 9pm.

Junior Travel cover the whole Istrian peninsula, which covers many of the most popular towns and resorts in Croatia. This includes Rovinj, Umag, Porec, Vrsar, Novigrad, Medulin, and Rabac. Istria is also home to a great number of villas that are highly suitable for families.

All equipment is washed, disinfected and steam cleaned with non-toxic products after each rental.

About Junior Travel

Junior Travel was started by mum of 3, Ivana Labinjan. A trip to Finland with her sons saw her take a multitude of kids essentials for the three different ages; not only did she lose and find part of her stroller at the airport (another common problem – what is it about prams and flying?!), she also found herself with more luggage on the way back as some additional toys crept in!

Not being able to find any kind of baby equipment rental in Finland, she was inspired to create that very service for families visiting beautiful Istria.

So if you’re travelling to Istria with some little tots this summer, consider easing the stress of travelling with kids and hiring some of the essentials!

Junior Travel
www.junior-travel.com

Dimensions Festival 2019 - Credit: Callum Chaplin

All star line up for Dimensions Festival 2019

This year’s Dimensions Festival (28th August – 1st September 2019) will be its last to take place at the wonderful Fort Punta Christo site near Pula in Istria. And Dimensions’ organisers have announced an amazing all star line up for this final year – its eighth, no less – at the fort!

Dimensions Festival 2019 - Credit: Callum Chaplin
Credit: Callum Chaplin

Another 7,000 ravers will unite at Fort Punta Christo this year to enjoy some of the best names from the electronic underground. This spectacular abandoned fortress offers up plenty of unique arenas – Noah’s Ballroom, The Void, The Garden, Subdub Arena and of course the 80-foot Moat, stacked high with speakers. Not forgetting the seaside chilling during the day and sunset beach sessions available at Dimensions too.

Names on the bill this year include Jeff Mills, Omar-S, HuneePeggy GouLarry Heard aka Mr. Fingers live, Nina Kraviz, Paula TempleJoy OrbisonGilles PetersonCall SuperZipMr.Scruff, Andrew Weatherall, Craig Richards amongst many others – Dimensions Festival 2019 is sure to be an excellent send off for Fort Punta Christo.

To get a feel for the event, check out the line-up announcement video below:

Dimensions Festival 2019 Line Up

As ever, Dimensions will kick things off with an opening concert on the first night (28th August) in the gorgeous 2000-year-old amphitheatre in Pula, the Area. Setting the tone for the weekend, one of electronic music’s most notable names, Jeff Mills will be performing, joined by one of the most iconic drummers from the past century, Tony Allen. Joining them on the bill is Objekt, who will perform tracks from his critically acclaimed album with a new live show. Hunee also joins providing his perfect blend of soulful house and disco.

Dimensions Festival 2019 - Credit: Callum Chaplin
Credit: Callum Chaplin

The festival itself will continue to span house, electro, techno, acid, DnB, ambient and jazz, bringing together artists from all over the globe. Joining for each outing since its conception, Hessle Audio are back in the Moat with Ben UFOPearson Sound and Pangaea. Following stand-out appearances at last year’s festival, fellow electronic enthusiast Batu is also along for the ride showcasing his Timedance sound. Korean-born, Berlin based selector Peggy Gou will also be making a return to the festival, not forgetting Nina Kraviz who is an essential booking for the final send off following b2b performances in the Moat and Clearing for the last two years. Staple selectors Andrew WeatherallVladimir Ivkovic and Identified Patient will be providing selections in the weird and wonderful, with sounds connecting everything from post punk and ebm to breaks and techno. Returning to Dimensions after a short hiatus, techno pioneer Blawan joins for the final outing as well DVS1, making a debut appearance at the fort. London born, Berlin based Call Super is also on hand to take ravers on a journey til the early hours, as is Joy Orbison.

Dimensions Festival 2019 - Credit: Dan Medhurst
Dimensions Festival 2019 – Credit: Dan Medhurst

Red Bull Music Academy alumni and Apeiron crew member Courtesy will be returning, alongside fellowalumni and label partner Solid Blake. Long term Fabric resident Craig Richards will be providing the late night arm raisers with an epic b2b with Nicolas Lutz whose taste revolves around the outskirts of dance floor culture. Elsewhere Stones Throw’s epitome of good times and lord-of-funk, Dam-Funk is welcomed back with open arms.  

On a darker tip, is the return of DnB pioneer dBridge, joined by fellow peers FixateSkeptical andSP:MCMumdance is also on duty drawing from grime, techno, hardcore and more. Bass weight and dub-heavy selections come from Deep Medi label boss and DMZ co-founder Mala alongside Commodo –known for pushing the boundaries in post-dubstep.

Not forgetting electro, Dimensions welcome back DJ Stingray, one of the champions of the Detroit sound, while DJ Bone demonstrates a rare insight into his collection of electro records. An ever-popular choice for fans of the sound, DMX Krew performs live electro with a twist, who will grace the festival alongside electro pioneer Radioactive Man, also performing a special live show.

House heads are in for a treat, as Chicago house legend Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers joins the final fort send-off. It doesn’t stop there, dancers can move to the eclectic, soulful sounds of music counessioursHunee and Brownswood label owner Gilles Peterson, with Omar-S delivering that signature Detroit sound. Elsewhere, body-moving selections are guaranteed from two of London’s indomitable DJ’s Jane Fitz and Josey Rebelle, who earned her stripes at the infamous London club Plastic People, while two of Canada’s finest house exports Ciel and feel good selector Jayda G join for debut appearances. Brothers and Detroit techno legends Octave One bring their live set to the festival, while self-confessednoisician Paula Temple and one of the people’s favourites from 2019, Croatian legend Petar Dundov andSkee Mask are on hand for a voyage in techno, as is Peach Discs’ label boss Shanti Celeste and Canadian ball of energy Peach. Outer limit techno advocate Karen Gwyer is set to surprise fans with her live set, whilst woman of the hour Object Blue makes her Dimensions debut. Genre-bending Saoirse, whose selections span electro, house, dub, jazz and everything in between, will be joined by Swedish native SPFDJ who merges the fringes of techno, acid, hardcore and trance, alongside Manchester noise electro artist Afrodeutsche.   Very rare appearances come from two of the Perlon family as label boss Zip, who has been educating ravers since the 80s, joins Tokyo based Fumiya Tanaka alongside label-mate Binh for a special Perlon showcase. An unmissable stop for fans of the deep, dubbed-out, house-sound synonymous with the label. On a Northern soulful tip are Manchester hip hop stars Children of Zeus, who areheading back to Dimensions with vinyl aficionado Mr. Scruff. The festival is excited to welcome Sadar Bahar whose taste spans gospel, funk, disco, jazz and soul. Also on hand are NTS’ Donna Leake and Melodies International label head Mafalda. London’s hotly tipped jazz crew Steam Down Orchestra are making their first appearance at the festival with a live performance while West African disco and soul enthusiast Awesome Tapes From Africa returns to the fort.

Dimensions Festival 2019 - Credit: Danijel Bartolic
Credit: Danijel Bartolic

Tickets for Dimensions Festival 2019

Early bird tickets for the event cost £120 (+ booking fee) and can also be purchased via a payment plan.

For £160 (+ booking fee), you will get a full festival pass, access to the Dimensions campsite and a ticket to the opening concert.

Tickets to the opening concert can also be purchased separately.

All tickets can be purchased at http://bit.ly/Dim19_tkts. Be sure to snap them up soon!

Dimensions Festival 2019

More info on Dimensions Festival

See our guide to Dimensions Festival to find out more details of how to get to the festival and where to stay.

Full information on the festival can also be found on the official website, with all the latest updates on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Outlook Festival 2019 Credit: Dan Medhurst

Outlook Festival 2019 announces first names for final year at Fort Punta Christo

Outlook Festival (4th – 9th September 2019)  – one of the longest running festivals in Croatia – has announced some of the first names that will be appearing at this year’s event. Now in its 12th year, this will be the last festival to be held at Fort Punta Christo near Pula.

Amongst the names to appear at Outlook this year include Chase & Status, Bugzy Malone, Goldie (Live), Ghetts, Andy C, Shy FX and Mala.

Check out this video to see for yourself some of the names appearing at Outlook this year…and to get a feel for the festival!

With a deep admiration for sound system culture, Outlook festival champions the scene’s hottest talent and newcomers alike – uniting thousands of bass lovers for four days and nights soundtracked by high grade sound systems channelling dubstep, house, bass, garage, grime, hip-hop, DnB and everything in between.

Waving goodbye to Fort Punta Christo, Outlook is making sure its final year at the fort will be one to be remembered.

Outlook Festival 2019

Outlook Festival 2019 Line Up

As ever, the opening concert that kicks of the proceedings of Outlook will be at the stunning Arena – the Roman amphitheatre – in Pula. This year, Ram records label boss Andy C, South London rapper Loyle Carner, drum and bass master Shy FX performing live with his Ragamuffin Soundsystem, festival stalwarts Gentleman’s Dub Club and rising vocal talent Flohio will all join the final show in the stunning 2000-year-old amphitheatre.

But the rest of the festival is just as thrilling. This year sees some of the most exciting talent head to the fort including drum and bass duo Chase & Status making their debut with a RTRN II JUNGLE dj set, Manchester’s quick fire rapper Bugzy Malone, and DnB royalty and MBE holder Goldie performing live celebrating 25 years of Metalheadz.

Outlook Festival 2019 Credit: Perry Gibson
Credit: Perry Gibson

A solid crew of grime & rap talent joins this year’s edition, with figureheads Ghetts and D Double E representing East London. North Manchester’s hardest barrer Aitch and rising rapper Unknown T will be playing this year’s edition, whilst MCs Killa P, Irah and Flirta D are not to be missed. With beginnings in jungle/DnB and now firmly representing the grime scene, President T will be back at Outlook, alongside West London’s Big Zuu. On a hip-hop flex, DJ Amy Becker will be bringing her selections to the Adriatic coast, championing the new gen sound, elsewhere Estonian rap prince & rising star Tommy Cash will be sharing to the stage DIY popstar Jimothy Lacoste. Northern heroes Children of Zeus return to Outlook with their genre-spanning jazz infused hip hop whilst, soulful singer Eliza and South London’s Flohio and Sam Wise will touch the mic with their raw and poetic bars.

Supporting music from grassroots up, Outlook showcases some of the most notable names the drum and bass scene has to offer and this year is no different, inviting founding father Grooverider. Shy FX, a regular to the festival is also billed to play, alongside intelligent drum and bass stalwart LTJ Bukem. Calibre will also be bringing his signature liquid DnB sound. Take a trip down memory lane with Randall who will be joined by dBridge, championing the low frequency sound and The North Quarter label boss Lenzman.

Repping the roots and dub is reggae’s finest Sister Nancy & Legal Shot Sound who will be joined by Iration Steppas, Channel One and Mungo’s Hifi. Standout vocalist Eva Lazarus will make her return to Outlook alongside dancehall mainstay Seanie B.

Dubstep pioneer and Deep Medi boss Mala returns alongside Tempa affiliates Youngsta and Hatcha. Elsewhere Rusko, Joker, V.I.V.E.K, Commodo and Truth are joined by dubstep duo Sicaria Sound.

Expect sonic explorations from Holy Goof, who will be taking things darker and deeper, meanwhile innovative producer Alix Perez heads back to the festival – not to mention Ninja Tune veteran The Bug. Sound system dons O.B.F will be bringing along The 1 Crew whilst staple figure to the scene Zed Bias will provide non stop bass heavy anthems. Veteran Paradox will perform live, as well as Sam Binga – an unstoppable force in the bass music scene. On MC duties expect none other than Sgt. Pokes and SP:MC, Blackeye, Tempza & Pean.

Outlook Festival 2019 Credit: Callum Chaplin_OUTLOOK FESTIVAL SATURDAY NIGHT-37 (1)
Credit: Callum Chaplin

Making their return to Outlook, Kurupt FM’s very own Decoy & Seapa (MC Grindah) join a number of artists making a nod back to the old school days of pirate radio with plenty of selections coming from Matt Jam Lamont, Hollie Cook and Outlook mainstays 24 Hr Garage Girls. Known just as much for shelling out house & bassline as much as 2-step & jungle Jossy Mitsu – Astral Black affiliate rounds of the bill.

Getting to Outlook

Pula Airport is the nearest to the festival site, and there’s plenty of flights to here from the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe – see our Getting to Istria page for more details. That page also gives you details of flying to other nearby airports such as Trieste, Venice Treviso or Venice Marco Polo.

Outlook Festival site Credit: Digital Anthill
Credit: Digital Anthill

Outlook Festival also organise coach packages and flight packages – see outlookfestival.com for more details.

Tickets for Outlook 2019

Tickets for the festival cost from £120 and can be purchased online at bit.ly/Out19_tkts. You can also get a festival and opening concert ticket and camping pass together and save over £30!

Tickets are selling fast, so act fast to snap some up for an exciting final year at Outlook’s stunning Fort Punta Christo location!

Outlook Festival 2019 Credit: Dan Medhurst
Credit: Dan Medhurst

More on Outlook Festival 2019

Find out all the latest news and info on Outlook at outlookfestival.com, and seek them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Outlook Festival
4th – 9th September 2019
Fort Punta Christo
outlookfestival.com

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.