The first new Croatian railway line to be built for 50 years will shortly be opened. The new line will offer a faster connection between Zagreb, the Croatian capital and Bjelovar, the capital of Bjelovar-Bilogora county. Plans for the new line were proposed two decades ago. Help for the final realisation of the project has been provided by 200 million kuna of European Union funding. The new 12-kilometre line will help cut almost one hour off the journey time between the two cities, halving the duration of travel.The line will open on December 15. From Bjelovar to Zagreb there will be five trains daily using the new line, while from Zagreb to Bjelovar there will be seven. Damir Bajs, Mayor of Bjelovar-Bilogora County indicated that would be money allocated in the 2020 county budget in order to subsidise some travel on the new route.The railway line should make travelling to Bjelovar-Bilogora County a much simpler undertaking for visitors to Croatia. The county has a rich offer in terms of events, activities and sights to see, although it is sometimes overlooked by tourists.Check out Time Out Croatia's Ten brilliant reasons to visit Bjelovar-Bilogora County and The incredible monuments of Bjelovar-Bilogora county.
Following a summer filled with public events marking its 440 birthday, the city of Karlovac is preparing to hold its largest Christmas celebrations to date. The biggest new addition to their Advent manifestations this year be an all-new Christmas Village.The success of capital city Zagreb's Advent season, which continues to receive international plaudits, has encouraged many Croatian cities to expand their Christmas offer. The city of Karlovac is no exception and the addition of the new Christmas village will see the city introduce a different section of its pretty centre into the seasonal shenanigans. Karlovac's Advent has traditionally been held outdoors, on Dr. Franjo Tuđman promenade, with its last three years, in particular, having been particularly impressive visually. The new Christmas Village will be situated in the park around the Lopašić Monument, between City Theatre Zorin Dom and the Edison cinema.Specific details of the Advent programme are due to be released in forthcoming weeks, but organisers have stated that there will be three main sections to the endeavour. The traditional programme will include things like folk dance, familiar seasonal foods and drinks, klapa singing and Christmas choirs and a more urban programme will engage teenagers and young adults with visiting bands and singers from the worlds of Croatian hip hop, rock and pop. The third section, of which the all-new Christmas Village is a part, is the Children's programme. The Christmas Village will
Two of the most popular dance music festivals held on the Croatian coast have today announced their new home. Both Outlook and Dimensions festivals, previously held in Pula, will take up residence in Šibenik-Knin county from 2020.The festivals are more than 10 years old and, since they began, have been partly responsible for promoting the city of Pula to become the third most popular Croatian destination searched for on Google (after Zagreb and Dubrovnik). The move will see the festivals use The Garden festival site in Tisno, sharing the same infrastructure and outdoor nightclub, Barbarellas in Pirovac, as events like Love International (pictured), Defected Croatia, Hospitality On The Beach, Suncebeat and Dekmantel Selectors. At least one (if not both) of the new additions will also use St Michael's Fortress in Šibenik for their famous opening concerts. The opening concerts had previously been held in Pula amphitheatre.At the beginning of 2019, both festivals announced that this summer would be their last using Fort Punta Christo and Pula amphitheatre, although no information was given regarding where they would be moving to or even if they would continue. In recent years, both festivals had suffered bad luck with the weather. Scheduled to take place right at the end of summer, storms had marred some days completely and the festival site had been struck with power blackouts.After news broke of the festivals' departure from Pula, some locals wondered if the city had done enoug
Losinj Hotels & Villas' award-winning Hotel Bellevue is launching a restorative weekend getaway aimed at men. The five-star hotel is the brand's principle wellness resort and holds the famous Bellevue Spa Clinic, which was just renovated in 2018. Located in Čikat Bay, the complex will play host the men's health and wellness weekend between October 4 and 6. In addition to the usual wellness treatments available from Bellevue Spa Clinic, the weekend offers a specially constructed calendar of event and activities specially designed to interest, destress and relax a male clientele. There will be a welcome dinner at the hotel's fusion restaurant Matsunoki, which combines Japanese and Mediterranean foods. On the weekend's second day, attendees will be offered the chance to experience some of the natural beauty of the island with a selection of outdoor activities including FootNet, SUP, kayaking and much more in the natural embrace of the island. Lunch will be served by the waterside and will be comprised of local wines and Mediterranean specialities. In the afternoon, guests will take their pick of treatments at the Bellevue Spa before that evening's seafood-based dinner at the hotel's sister property, the nearby Boutique Hotel Alhambra which will have a theatrical cabaret theme and will be followed by cognac and cigars at Villa Augusta. On Sunday, a hiking tour around Čikat Bay concludes the weekend. The two-night Gentlemen's Getaway Weekend starts from EUR 351.00 per person (a
Crystal clear and clean seas, preserved nature, cultural heritage and delicious cuisine are the four aces that make Croatia a tourism hot spot. But, with trends changing in favour of modern cities and tech-developed places that can attract attention year-round, can Croatia (which always struggled outside of summer months) keep up? This was the burning question at the third edition of 'Can Croatian tourism 365?' conference, which this year placed a special accent on creativity and new technologies. Nine international and local experts, which included representatives of leading global tourism industries such as Bruno Walter from ITB Advisory, and James Chappell from Horwath HTL London, gathered in Zagreb's Sheraton Hotel to address, discuss and offer solutions in making year-round tourism a reality. ‘The challenge is to find hidden treasures and champions in Croatia and combine them with experience and the individuality travellers search for today’, said Bruno Walter. He added that this may not be easy, but it will be rewarding. Not only for creating year-round tourism but to reduce over-tourism as well, which will allow the travel experience to be more pleasant for visitors. James Chappel concluded from his personal experience as a tourist in Croatia that the country is beautiful and full of potential, but the biggest challenge standing in the way is finding investments and fullfiling investors expectations. ‘Destinations need to have an infrastructure to handle year-round
Lošinj Hotels & Villas has announced an exciting new pop-up exhibition at the five-star Hotel Bellevue, a collaboration with leading galleries and curators Josip Konta Art Studio, Galerija Libar Gallery and Patrizio Contemporary Gallery. This autumn season, from September 28 to October 5 2019, guests at the luxurious hotel can experience the rejuvenating 'Art & Beauty' package which offers exclusive access to a curated collection by iconic artists including pop-art icon Andy Warhol and a visit to the Croatian Apoxyomenos, one of the world's best-preserved ancient Greek statues - plus art-inspired treatments at the Bellevue Spa Clinic. Launching on September 28 with an opening reception, the gallery open daily from 10am until 6pm for one week and offers guests the opportunity to meet with prominent curator Goran Margeta and international art dealer and historian Dr. Marco Antonio Patrizio. The pop-up exhibition is the collaboration between academic sculptor and painter Josip Konta, one of the most prominent names of the contemporary Croatian art scene; Croatian art gallery Galerija Libar and art advisor and collector Dr Marco Antonio Patrizio. Visitors can see works from domestic and international artists Julie Knifer, Getulio Alviani, Piero Gilardi, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Bernard Aubertin, Giorgio de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Edo Murtic, Ivan Picelj and many more. The hotel's award-winning Bellevue Spa Clinic will also feature a dedicated menu of pampering treatments inspired by fam
The flatlands of the Pannonian basin hold the most fertile soil for agriculture across Vojvodina in Serbia, in southern Hungary and in the easterly regions of Croatia known as Slavonija and Baranja. For thousands of years, the peoples of the region have worked the land, their efforts culminating in the busy but joyous time of harvest. Harvest celebrations have long been important in the region and in the Slavonian town of Vinkovci, those celebrations evolved into Vinkovci Autumn festival. The largest annual event in the town, it begins once again today, continuing until 22nd September. © Vinkovačke Jeseni Folklore societies and groups from all over the country take part in the festival, with contributors from Kvarner and Zagorje to Dalmatia and beyond displaying their culture. Some even come from other countries such as Germany, Hungary and Serbia. This is best seen on the last day of the festival, the event's highlight procession. Up to 2500 participants will gather in 73 groups and will take part in a giant costumed march through the town. While Slavonia, Croatia's most eastern region may remain mostly neglected by visitors, it actually offers a lot of things to experience, particularly its cuisine and culture. Spicy-red-meat sausage, Kulen, is a Slavonian treat loved all over Croatia and you can also try other delicacies such as Čobanac, a meaty stew containing multiple wild meats such as boar and venison, Fiš Paprikaš, a river fish and paprika stew or fresh carp gr
Started in 2017, Croatia's annual conference on year-round tourism gets its third outing this month. A forum to discuss ways of combating seasonality in Croatian tourism, the event attracts the industry's biggest players - from political figures to international tourism experts, culminating in a day of fascinating talks and seminars. The Croatian Tourism 365 event takes place on Tuesday 24 September. Tourism is one of Croatia's greatest success stories, with numbers of visitors rising each year. But this success is somewhat limited to 80 days in the summer season. For the rest of the year, some of Croatia's most popular destinations are unused and undervisited by tourists. In the coastal area of Croatia, 86 million overnight are registered, but only 4.8 percent of overnight stays occur in the entirety of continental Croatia - a vast swathe of the country, with two percent taking place in the inland capital of Zagreb. Presenting the insights and experiences of over 30 prominent regional and international experts, The Croatia Tourism 365 conference invited 300 participants to its last edition - from reps of large hotel groups to travel agencies, tourist boards and global leaders. Last year's event hosted four tourism ministers from Croatia who presented radical new ideas and practical solutions, each unveiling strategies to combat seasonality. The conference aims to explore opportunities and potential to advance year-round tourism in Croatia, learning from the success of ne
Calling all Thrones-heads! There's now a Game of Thrones ice cream parlour set in Dubrovnik's Old Town, the city that played King's Landing in the cult HBO series. Aptly named 'Game of Cones', the new parlour is inspired by the TV show and based right in the centre of town - so you can admire the capital of the Seven Kingdoms as you stuff your face full of ice-cream. Fans can order from a menu that includes 'Jon Snow' - a giant cone stuffed with Oreos and a bloody-looking sauce, decorated with a black dragon flag. The daintier 'Queen Regent' is a strawberry, vanilla and cherry-yoghurt cone studded with gummy bears and a House of Lannister flag. 'The Imp' is a swirl of peanut butter, pistachio, Baileys and vanilla bourbon. Yum. Find this glorious ice-cream parlour at Boshkoviceva 9, Dubrovnik and check out their Insta for some sweet inspiration.
A new gourmet food break on the island of Lošinj is offering visitors a fine dining experience coupled with an insight into traditional Adriatic cuisine. The olive odyssey, initiated by the five-star Boutique Hotel Alhambra & Villa Augusta, is a three-night stay in which you can trace the history of olive cultivation on the island as well as the chance to pick your own and follow them from the tree to the serving plate.The mild Mediterranean climate, many hours of sunshine and untouched nature of Lošinj island makes it the perfect place to cultivate some foods, not to mention an estimated 1200 varieties of aromatic and therapeutic herbs which grow there. Such properties have long been valued on the island and it can trace its olive production back to times long before the current Slavic inhabitants arrived, when descendants of modern-day Albanians, known as the Illyrian people, lived here. This heritage is explored in the tour as well as the influence of Ancient Greece. The tour is brought up-to-date with visits to contemporary producers and kitchens where visitors can try traditional delicacies such as olive pâtés and sheep's cheese in olive oil, peka (meat or octopus-based dishes cooked under an iron bell which is covered in hot embers) and brodetto, a classic tomato and seafood stew. With the scent of Lošinj's famous pine trees permeating the air, you'll also be taught to forage for the island's wild herbs and learn their flavours. The seafood and meat dishes created on t