Articles on Croatia 2020

Articles on Croatia from 2003.

Croatia in the summertime is a seductive place. At night, on board a yacht in a secluded bay near the island of Vis, it is hard to conjure up the bloody images of war that still dog the country’s tourism industry. The sea is calm, the sky is sprinkled with stars, and the only sound is the hum of dinner conversation below deck.
Naomi Mapstone, The Financial Times, 16th August 2003

New Tuscany, Croatia offers the same high standards of your old Tuscany – an authentic Mediterranean holiday, sun, sea, sand, and beautiful countryside, no plebian crowds, high-rise hotels or unpleasant fast-food chains…
The Guardian, 13th August 2003
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Vis has orchards of 1,000-year-old carob trees, rare orchids, plants and herbs that are dying out elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the most densely developed and visited tourist region in the world.
Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 21st July 2003
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A tortoise plodding across the road brought our minibus screeching to a halt. We waited…at first, I thought, for the creature to make it all the way to the other side. The island of Mljet (a scrabble-lucky dip of letters pronounced Milyet) is that kind of place, a tranquil oasis in the sunny Adriatic where the keyword is “Polako” – “What’s the rush?”
The People, 29th June 2003

Zagreb is a delightful city, with a rich and fascinating history and enough cultural, historical and commercial delights to keep you occupied for several days. Croatia’s beautiful and extensive coast has the lion’s share of the country’s tourists, but Zagreb is a wonderful weekend destination – compact and friendly. When I visited, in mid May, the weather was warm and sunny. Much of the central pedestrianised area of the city was covered with cafes where locals sat, Mediterranean style, sipping coffees and beers. “People are mostly here to show off,” said Hela, our pragmatic guide from the local tourist office. “Showing off is the second national sport.” She didn’t say what first was.
Imogen Tilden, The Guardian, 24th June 2003
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Could Dubrovnik be the new St Tropez? “Does it matter,” said my girlfriend when I told her we were going to Croatia, “as long as all the men look like Goran Ivanisevic?” After a long weekend of selfless, painstaking research, I can report that they don’t all look like the handsome tennis ace, but some do, and most are friendly, with impeccable manners. And according to my partner, the girls are equally gorgeous, with supermodel legs and cheekbones which could slice prosciutto.
Jill Hartley, The Times, 21st June 2003
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A yacht is the ideal place from which to bask in Croatia’s stunning coastal scenery. The 700km (434 mile) island-peppered littoral that runs from the Istrian peninsula in the North to just above Dubrovnik in the south — the Dalmatian coast — is prime sailing country. From the air it is a half-completed jigsaw puzzle with hundreds of pieces waiting to be fitted in. From the sea, it is a labyrinth of lavender-scented mountains soaring from the water.
Rory Ross, The Times, 21st June 2003
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Also, six suggestions for active Croatia getaways.

Some 20 UK tour operators are adding Croatia this season, including Simply Travel, Explore Worldwide and Imaginative Traveller. “Croatia combines all the components we look for,” says Rena Brennecke, marketing director of Imaginative Traveller. “A less visited destination with good hotels, extensive walking and trekking opportunities.” While previously the focus was on lazing about, mostly on the beaches around Dubrovnik, people are now exploring farther along the coast and on to the Adriatic islands, with a greater emphasis on pursuits away from the sun lounger.
Will Hide, The Times, 21st June 2003
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‘The girls in Croatia are the most beautiful in the world,’ said our sea kayaking guide Zeljko. ‘The men are very tall,’ he added. His claims were served well by our kayaking partners – a Miss Croatia of two years’ vintage and her Adonis of a pro water-polo- playing boyfriend – but claims like that serve only to remind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, height a relative concept… well most beauty, most height, that is. I challenge anyone not to be bowled over by the towering medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, the limestone cliffs on the south Dalmatian coast of Croatia and that most translucent of seas the Adriatic, especially when viewed from a kayak.
Tom Templeton, The Observer, 8th June 2003
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The island of Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo, was a fairy-tale medieval city with spectacular views across the mainland. Nearby Hvar had rolling, lavender-covered hills and one of the prettiest ports in Europe, with a cobbled square bigger than St Mark’s in Venice. Further up the coast, Istria boasted wonderful beaches and the belle epoque town of Opatija.
Paul Mansfield, Daily Telegraph, 7th June 2003
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I went to Croatia last year and spent two weeks in Dubrovnik. It knocked my socks off. My biggest problem since coming back is to find words to describe the indescribable.
Letters to the Editor, MSNBC Travel, 3rd June 2003

I have just discovered one of the world’s great drives. I’d love to give you directions, but it’s not some three-hour Sunday excursion. It’s Croatia. The whole coast. As the crow flies, that’s about 440 miles of seashore on roads that wind around dramatic cliffs through sleepy villages, flying over crystal Mediterranean waters, surveying magnificent mountains floating in the distant sea.
Jason Cochran, MSNBC Travel, 29nd May 2003

Plitvice is essentially a series of lakes that cascade one into another. That sounds state-park dull until you’re told that the top lake is at a relatively high altitude and the last one is deep in a chasm, so most waterfalls are stunners that are at least a few stories tall. Add to that the way they were formed: Plitvice is a sort of landed coral reef in that the leading edge of the lakes — the waterfall walls — are not rocky cliffs but were gradually constructed over time by calcium deposits (travertine). So the whole area is a mossy, cool, cloistered affair, and the waterfalls aren’t harsh and loud but smooth, soft, and seemingly designed to lull the visitor into a powerful desire to picnic. It takes about two hours to stroll from the topmost lake to the bottom along a series of handmade catwalks; a half-hour of the journey is on an electric ferry across one of the middle lakes (included in the ticket price of about $10).
Jason Cochran, MSNBC Travel, 22nd May 22nd 2003

Opatija – on Croatia’s Adriatic coast 100 miles south of Italy – is steeped in nostalgia. Now largely unknown, it was once one of the richest, most stylish and most fashionable resorts in the world. In 1844 a wealthy local named Ignacio Scarpa from the nearby city of Rijeka built a holiday home in the Gulf of Kvarner. Surrounded by thickly wooded hills, medieval castles, pebble beaches and fishermen’s villages, Scarpa’s villa, Angiolina, was a neo-classical masterpiece set in manicured gardens. Others followed, and soon the fledgling resort was attracting the Austrian Imperial family and other European heads of state. Where royalty goes, celebrities, politicians and artists follow. By the time the railway from Vienna reached Opatija in 1873, it was becoming a sort of “Nice of the East”, with glorious fin de siecle architecture, villas, sanatoria, pavilions, gardens and stylish esplanades for its wealthy and distinguished visitors.
Paul Mansfield, The Daily Telegraph, 19th February 2003
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Like a giant festive etch-a-sketch, every major cathedral, museum and city wall was outlined in golden lights, a warming sight coming from the freeze of London and stopping en route at Zagreb, a bleak and wintry -8°. Snaking around the hair-pin coastal bends from the local airport through rolling chalky mountains and pine trees, we suddenly caught sight of Dubrovnik, rising from the cobalt blue Adriatic.
Jo Tweedy, This Is Travel, 3rd February 2003
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In an article entitled “20 Dream Holidays for the 21st Century”, Croatia was named ‘The new Riviera’: Those in the know are forsaking the crowded Côte d’Azur and heading for the Istrian Riviera, Dubrovnik and the necklace of sun-drenched islands off the coast of Croatia. Steven Spielberg, Sharon Stone and Clint Eastwood are admirers of the sparkling Adriatic with its pine forests, olive groves, vineyards and fishing villages, and Princess Caroline of Monaco has bought her own place off the Istrian peninsula. There are still 1,185 uninhabited islands if you want to buy your own, though it’ll cost you up to £1 million. But there are plenty of treats for the rest of us here in one of the most affordable dream destinations. Regular ferries hop between islands such as Hvar, famous for its lavender, rosemary and honey, and gutsy Korcula, birthplace (they claim) of Marco Polo. Look out for the spirited Moreska dance performed every week in summer. Star turn on the mainland, Dubrovnik, is nearly back to its best after a civil-war battering and ranks among the Med’s most stunning medieval walled cities.
The reality Many hotel rooms cost less than £30 a night; package holidays start around £200 a week. Information: Croatian National Tourist Board (020 8563 7979).
Jill Crawshaw, The Observer, 26th January 2003

In an article about summer breaks that were recommended for “older couples and empty nesters”: Walls 24 metres (80ft) in height punctuated by high towers make a grand spectacle of Dubrovnik’s old town, and this World Heritage Site is the opening focus of a small-group walking week that will spill into surrounding areas of southern Croatia. The botanical gardens on the nearby island of Lokum will be explored, coastal walks arranged, and museums toured. As these holidays are linked to the Ramblers Association, you have an inside track to their outlook, style and client base. Ramblers Holidays charges £398-£425, including flights and half-board accommodation. Details: 01707 331133,
The Times, January 11th 2003