Destinations

Dugi Otok

Dugi Otok (Long Island) is the seventh largest island in the Adriatic Sea, located in Dalmatia region, west of Zadar. The name of the island derives from its shape as it is almost 50 km long and between 1 and 5 km wide. The island is sparsely inhabited, as there are only around 1500 inhabitants living in 12 villages. All the villages are clustered on the coast of the island facing the mainland and the part of the coast facing the open sea is uninhabited. The island is characterized by a dramatic landscape of great contrast, with steep slopes, thick pine forests, numerous sandy beaches, hidden bays, and coves. It is a perfect place for those in search of tranquility and relaxing holidays, swimming in the stunningly turquoise sea, enjoying sea, sun, and summer.

Dugi otok aerial view

Although the island is principally a destination for relaxation and tranquility, there are several sites and monuments you can visit during your stay on Dugi Otok. The island was mentioned for the first time in the 10th century by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII in “De Administrando Imperio“, the Latin title of a Greek work. There are archeological finds from the Middle Stone age and numerous remains of the Illyrian settlements, some of them with fortified characteristics. During the excavations in the cave Vlakno remains of a human skeleton were found and its age was estimated at 11 000 years ago. During your stay on the island don’t forget to take a tour to the amazing cave Strašna Peć, that due to its vicinity to the cave Vlakno, was probably a home for early human populations of the island. Wandering around the island you can visit all the fabulous, picturesque villages, as there are only twelve of them and are well connected. You can admire an interesting residential architecture and churches from the Pre-Romanesque period. Also visit the imposing lighthouse, located near Veli rat, built back in 1849. It is the highest lighthouse on the Adriatic with its 49 meters. Near the lighthouse, there is a small chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.

Dugi otok sailing

The nature park, Telašćica, covered in a thick forest of pine and olive trees, occupies the southern part of the island. Telašćica gained the status of a protected area in 1980, then in 1988 was proclaimed nature park, thanks to it valuable flora and fauna, geological and geomorphological phenomena and impressive beauty. Telašćica bay is surrounded by 13 islands and islets, and 6 of them are located in the bay itself. Maybe the most interesting islet is Taljurić, which resembles a flat board with a diameter of only 60 meters. In the park, you can take many organized tours like diving, cycling, climbing, safari or fishing tour. There is an amazing salt lake, called Mir (Peace) with curative mud, located at 146 meters above the sea level. Its salinity is above average and it is much warmer than the surrounding sea water. The Mir lake is also a habitat of the endemic species of eel called “Bižat” or “Kajman”.

Dugi otok aerial telascica

Dugi Otok has numerous stunning bays and beaches, hidden gems where you can find peace and tranquility. The most popular one is Sakarun beach and for its exceptional beauty, it became a trademark of the island. Sakarun beach (800 meters long) is located on the northwest side of Dugi Otok, near the village of Božava. It is best known for its white sand that is not very common in Croatia, where the beaches are usually completely pebbly.  The beach is located in a bay, surrounded by pine trees where you can find beautiful shady areas to relax and hide from the midday sun.

dugi otok sakarun beach

This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, but also one of the best-kept secrets. The water is calm and shallow, and that makes it a perfect place for families with children. On the beach, there are two facilities that offer food and drink, but besides that the entire western coast of the island is not settled, giving you the experience of pristine coastline unspoiled by man.

dugi otok sakarun sailing

The island of Dugi Otok is also a perfect place for water sports lovers. There are many marked paths on the island for trekking and cycling, many mountain tracks, and climbing areas. Other than swimming and sunbathing on one of the islands many stunning beaches, walking, trekking, and cycling are a great way to spend warm summer afternoons. Snorkeling is for many the best way to have water sports fun while on holiday. It is absolutely fun, affordable and easy way to discover the wonders of the abundant underwater life and sites. On the island, there are four diving schools, so other than snorkeling you can explore the underwater wonders scuba diving. There is an interesting shipwreck of an Italian merchant ship, wrecked in 1984 and located near Veli Rat. Stand up paddling or kayaking are two great ways to enjoy islands stunning bays and admire the island’s coast from a different angle.

Dugi otok shipwreck

Dugi otok sailin nature park

Dugi otok cliffs

Dugi otok sakarun sea

Dugi otok fishing

Dugi otok brbinj

22.03.2017 / by / in ,
25 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Central Dalmatia

Dalmatia is one of the four Croatian historical regions, alongside Istria, Croatia proper and Slavonia and it stretches from the island of Rab to the Bay of Kotor. Dalmatia is divided into northern, central and southern Dalmatia and in this post, we will show you 25 amazing photos of Central Dalmatia that will make you want to travel there right now. Central Dalmatia stretches from Krka river in the northwest to Makarska Riviera in the south. The most important administrative and cultural center of Central Dalmatia and Dalmatia itself is Split, which has been only a transit hub and a gateway to central-Dalmatian islands for many years to become today one of the top sightseeing destination in Croatia. There are many reasons why you should make Central Dalmatia your next holiday destination, as it has so much to offer whether you prefer relaxing at the beach, discovering the 2000 years old ruins or having fun crashing waves in an action packed white water rafting adventure. The Split Riviera and Makarska Riviera include many picturesque towns where you can explore their rich and interesting history, sunbathe and swim on some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia or have the adrenaline adventure of your life. The islands of Central Dalmatia like Brač, Hvar, Vis or Šolta are some of the best must-see hidden gems of the Mediterranean. On the island of

The islands of Central Dalmatia like Brač, Hvar, Vis or Šolta are some of the best must-see hidden gems of the Mediterranean. On the island of Brač, you can sunbathe and relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Zlatni rat, enjoy the view on Dalmatian islands from the highest top of the Adriatic islands, Vidova Gora or relax to the maximum in one of the many hidden bays and small pebble beaches. Hvar is the island of amazing landscapes, pristine nature and the one with the most hours of sunshine in Europe. The island of Hvar is a perfect holiday destination for couples, families and young people in search of active holidays and rich nightlife. When in Hvar don’t miss to visit the amazing Pakleni islands, a true paradise on earth. The island of Vis will enchant you with unspoiled nature, lovely beaches, hidden bays, caves, cultural heritage, and gourmet delights. You can relax on one of the most impressive beaches in Croatia, Stiniva beach, explore the rich cultural heritage of the island, scuba dive near the wrecks of the tugboat Ursus or heavy bomber aircraft or discover the impressive military tunnels built during the WWII.

So there are many reasons why you should add Central Dalmatia on your bucket list and let us help you decide with these amazing photos.

Zlatni rat beach, island Brač

Blaca Brac

Blaca monastery, island Brač

Vidova Gora Brac

Vidova Gora, island Brač

 

Pucisca Brac

Pucišća Brac

Island of Brac

Zlatni rat beach, island Brač

Hvar postcard

Hvar

Vis stiniva beach aerial view

Stiniva beach, island Vis

Pakleni islands

Pakleni islands

island Vis church

Island of Vis

Vis small beach

Vis

Military tunnel, island Vis

Blue Cave

Blue cave, island Biševo Photo credit: Stjepan Tafra/Shutterstock.Inc

Trogir aerial view

Trogir

Split Katedrala

Diocletian Palace, Split

Split

Split

Baška voda sea

Brela

Baška Voda beach

Baška Voda beach

Red lake Imotski

Red lake, Imotski

Cetina river

Cetina mouth

Source of river Cetina

Vis peka

Dalmatian Peka

Brela

Brela

Salona

Salona Roman Ruins

Makarska Riviera

Stari Grad Tvrdalj

Stari grad, Island Hvar

 

21.03.2017 / by / in
Omiš

Omiš is a charming Central Dalmatian town located just 25 kilometers southeast of Split. It is famous for its rich history, amazing landscapes and as one of the best places in Croatia for adventure holidays. The area was permanently inhabited more than 2000 years ago when the locals living on the other side of the mountain started to move and build their houses near the sea. In medieval times Omiš was famous for its pirates, who ruled the seas from Split to Dubrovnik, taking a fee from all the ships sailing the channel of Brač in front of Omiš. Many foreign attackers tried to conquer Omiš, like the Turks and Venetians. Venetians attacked the famous Corsairs of Almissa (from lat. Omiš) several times without success, until the late 13th century, when the Pope organized another crusade against Omiš pirates and finally won. Uner the Venetian rule, Omiš gained its present appearance, except the town walls, which were pulled down after the fall of the Venetian Republic.

Omis panorama

What to visit

Other than sunbathing and enjoying in crystal clear sea, there are many interesting things to do and see in Omiš. You will be enchanted by this charming little town, its narrow alleys, squares and beautiful old houses. In Omiš there are several places that witness the rich and turbulent history of the town and its famous Corsairs of Almissa, who protected Omiš and the mouth of Cetina river from foreign invaders.

Omis town

Mirabella Fortress, also called Peovica, is a beautiful medieval fortress built in the 13th century above the town of Omiš and used by Omiš pirates as a perfect hideout. In its foundations, the 13th-century Byzantine coin was found, making it much easier to determine when it was built. Mirabella fortress played an important role just as Starigrad fortress, in many battles and frequent attacks on the town, especially by the Turks and the Venetians. Legend tells that during the Ottoman attacks in the 16th century, the pirates of Omiš retreated to the fortress and with shouts and shots confused the attackers so much that the Turks overestimated the number of defenders and ran away. You will easily find the way to the fortress from the center of the town (Šubić street, near the church of the Holy Spirit), simply by following the signs and after a few minutes of climbing up the stairs, you will be amazed by the spectacular view of the town of Omiš.

Omis aerial view

Starigrad Fortress (Fortica) was built in the 15th century and just as the Mirabella Fortress, it was a perfect hideout and the ideal place to overlook the channel of Brač and protect the town from the foreign invaders.  There is a well-marked path that leads from the eastern part to the fortress and it will take you approximately an hour to climb up. The amazing view over the town, the islands, and Cetina river if absolutely worth the effort of climbing up and it is a site that you should not miss if visiting Omiš, as you will be rewarded with the unforgettable view and unique landscape.

Omis starigrad fortress

Omiš has many beautiful churches, precisely eight, which are well worth visiting. We recommend you to visit the remains of the single-nave Christian church of St Euphemia, built in the 6th century, the church of the Holy Spirit a beautiful Renaissance church from the 15th century, built in the place of a Gotic church and the lovely parish church of St Michael, that combines the characteristics of Gothic, Renaissance and early Baroque style. On the right bank of the Cetina river, you can find the church of St Peter, built in the 10th century. This single-naved church is an important example of Croatian Pre-Romanesque sacral architecture.

Omis town center

During the summer there are many events and concerts organized as a part of Omiš Summer Festival and the most important event is the traditional music festival of the Dalmatian a cappella singing groups, called Klape. The festival is usually held on the weekends from the end of June until the end of July.  In 2012, UNESCO inscribed the klapa singing on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Omis sunset

Food

In Omiš you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. There is a large use of extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Some of the traditional dishes we recommend you to try are: Dalmatian smoked ham, Olives and the famous goat cheese from nearby islands as an appetizer, Black risotto, Dalmatian pasticada (stewed beef in wine with prunes and vegetables), Octopus under the lid or many other fresh specialties. Locals mostly eat in small, intimate traditionally Dalmatian restaurants called Konoba, that prepare fresh local food and usually have lower prices than upscale restaurants.

Black risotto

Sport & Recreation

Omiš is a perfect place for all those in search of action-packed activity holidays. Cetina canyon with its unspoiled nature and breathtaking sceneries will make all the adrenaline junkies feel at home, setting the perfect scene for rafting, canyoning, zip line, hiking, and kayaking.  For its unspoiled nature and impressive canyon, parts of Cetina river were chosen as some of the filming locations of the famous Winnetou movie series (1962-1968).

On Cetina white water rafting trip, canyoning or kayaking you will experience moments of pure excitement, moments of total serenity and a deep connection with wild nature. Zipline adventure across the canyon, 150 meters above the Cetina river is really an amazing experience for all the adrenaline lovers. Three hours of pure joy and excitement along more than 2 km long route. Other than having loads of fun on Cetina river and in the canyon, crystal clear sea and Omiš beaches offer many other exciting activities like beach volley, stand up paddling, windsurfing, exploring the amazing underwater life by snorkeling or scuba diving. In other words, Omiš is the ideal place for your next adventure holidays.

Omis sea

 

20.03.2017 / by / in ,
The Island of Lošinj

The island of Losinj is situated in the Kvarner region and in the past, it used to form a unique island together with the island of Cres. With the arrival of Romans, however, the artificial channel was dug between the two, and the islands today are connected by a small bridge. The biggest towns on the island known for its mild, pleasant climate, rich vegetation, and clear sea are Mali Lošinj and Veli Lošinj. Its importance was recognized long ago, in 1892, when both towns won the status of the climatic health resort after a scientist named Ambroz Haracic in the 19th century studied the local climate and concluded that the island was the healthiest spot in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Losinj Mali Losinj

Although the island, through the years, has become a popular tourist destination, you can still find numerous hidden bays and beaches where to enjoy perfect tranquillity and pristine nature.The island offers great opportunities to enjoy relaxing holiday, indulging in some slower-paced lifestyle, but it also offers a great number of interesting things to see and visit and many activities for sports lovers and adrenaline junkies.

Losinj mali losinj marina

What to visit

The first larger settlement on the island was Veli Lošinj (Big Lošinj), known for its health resort that dates back to the 13th century, is actually smaller than Mali Lošinj (Small Lošinj). Wandering around the island, you will surely come across many beautiful old churches (Church of St Martin, Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, Church of St Nicholas), monasteries, basilicas from the ancient times and Renaissance buildings. At the Gallery Fritzi (Mali Lošinj) are stored two rich art collections donated by artists Vid, Mihicic and Piperate.

Losinj town

To dive in deeper into the island’s history, visit Kula (the Tower) which is a museum-gallery space in Veli Lošinj which collection testifies to the maritime tradition of its inhabitants. Other than the permanent exhibition that introduces you to the island’s history, there are many temporary art exhibitions that take place throughout the year. Other exceptional museums worth visiting are the Museum of Apoxymenos, dedicated to the famous sculpture of a Greek athlete found in the Losinj underwater in 1999, and the Town of Osor, an outdoor museum that is more of a town-museum with parks and gardens in which you can admire artworks from artists from all stylistic epochs. It is particularly well visited during the summer time due to the Osor Musical Evenings that take place there.

Losinj island

Food

The island of Lošinj is famous for its fresh and tasty seafood and lamb, combined with aromas of the local aromatic herbs, spices, and olive oil. We absolutely recommend you to try buzara, black risotto, octopus salad, famous shrimps from Kvarner Bay and lamb under the lid. Also, don’t forget to try homemade sheep milk cheese, pršut (prosciutto), homemade pasta and fresh salads with wild herbs from the island. Enjoy local specialties in one of the numerous restaurants on the island or if you are not up for experimenting, there are many places offering non-traditional dishes.

Losinj lighthouse

Losinj bay

Losinj Big Losinj

Losinj mali losinj architecture

Losinj blue bay

17.03.2017 / by / in ,
The Island of Vis

Vis is a small island in Central Dalmatia, known for its stunning landscape, amazing caves, beautiful beaches like the Stiniva beach, cultural heritage and gourmet delights. It is a perfect place for those in search of relaxation, excellent food, and wine. The island’s two largest settlements are the town of Vis and Komiža, where you can discover the rich cultural heritage of the island as it has been inhabited since the Neolithic period.  In the 4th century BC, the Greek tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse founded the colony Issa on the island. After which the island became an independent polis founding its own colonies, but it didn’t last long. Just as other parts of Dalmatia, over the centuries, the island was under the rule of many different empires that have left a legacy which is still evident.

Island Vis town Vis

What to visit

There are many amazing places to see and things to do on the island other than enjoying in the sun on some of the island’s most beautiful beaches like Stiniva (read more about the beach here) or  Kamenica beach. Explore the cultural heritage of the island by visiting the rests of antique Issa (thermae, necropolis, theater, parts of the port), Hellenistic Necropolis, fortresses, impressive military tunnels built during the WWII or scuba dive near the wrecks of the tugboat Ursus or heavy bomber aircraft wreck.  You can visit the archaeological museum in the town of Vis and an interesting finishing museum in Komiža.

Vis fortress

The town of Vis, situated on the north-eastern side of the island, developed from the former settlements Kut and Luka. Together with Komiža, the town of Vis is the most developed part of the island with many bars, restaurants, and cute local shops. Also on the eastern side of the island, there are many beautiful villages worth visiting, such as Podselje, Plisko Polje, Milna, Podstražje, Zenka and Marine Zemlje.
On the western side of the island is situated already mentioned Komiža with its stunning beaches and narrow Mediterranean streets. Some of the most beautiful beaches near Komiza are Nova posta, Velo zalo, and Gusarica.
If you want to enjoy the glorious view of the town and nearby island from some higher point, don’t miss out on climbing the Hum, the highest point of the island at 587 meters above the sea level. For those interested in the history of the island, the underground caves and tunnels used by Josip Tito’s partisan fighters is definitely something worth seeing and experiencing and you can do it both by yourself or with a guided tour.

island Vis church
Another amazing place you should not miss is the Fort George or so-called “Fortica” built by British long time ago and nowadays it represents both a great historical monument and a hype place to go out during the warm summer nights.

Vis small beach

Sport & Recreation

The island of Vis is a perfect place for an active holiday. Other than swimming and sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba diving are two fantastic ways to explore the underwater life, sites, and wrecks. Two of the most famous wreck near the island are the one of the Tugboat Ursus and the wreck of a heavy bomber Boeing B-17. What better way to explore the island than through an exhilarating cycling experience, as there are numerous marked paths walking you through the amazing landscapes. Vis is a fisherman island, so it is the perfect place for those who wish to learn how to fish, experience the open sea and enjoy the sun. It is a unique experience, guided by local fisherman who will provide you all the equipment

There are many other outdoor activities that you can practice like cycling (on numerous off-road paths on the island), beach volleyball, laser sailing, quad tours, basketball, boccie, table tennis and much, much more. You can also take a tour with a small submarine and admire the rich local marine life.

Scuba diving

Food

On the island of Vis, you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano. There is a large use of extra virgin olive oil and garlic.  When visiting the island, you must absolutely try the traditional Sardines Round Cake (Viška ili Komiška pogača) ancient recipe of stuffed bread, brought on the island by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC. There are two types of this bread, one is Viška pogača which is prepared with sardines and onions and the other one is Komiška pogača prepared with sardines, onions and tomato sauce. Other than the famous round cake, we recommend you to try are: Dalmatian smoked ham, Olives and nearby islands famous goat cheese as an appetizer, Mussels buzzara, Black risotto, Dalmatian pasticada (stewed beef in wine with prunes and vegetables) and grilled fish with vegetables. Locals mostly eat in small, intimate traditionally Dalmatian restaurants called Konoba, that prepare fresh local food and usually have lower prices than upscale restaurants. The island of Vis has also its own distinct grape vugava, cultivated since ancient times.

Vis peka

Nearby Destinations

Blue cave or Blue Grotto (Modra Špilja) is situated in the Balun bay on the small island of Bisevo, near the island of Vis.  It is one of 26 caves on this small island and one of the most famous caves on the Mediterranean.  This small but amazing cave was formed is formed in limestone, by the action of water. It is 24 meters long, 14 meters high and 12 meters deep, so you can clearly see the bottom and the fishes. The cave, with its natural entrance, was accessible only by diving, but back in 1884 Baron Eugen von Ransonet, who first described it, suggested to make an artificial entrance above the sea level. So it was made an entrance big enough for small boats to enter, that measures 1.5 meters high and 3 meters wide.

Blue Cave

Photo Credit: Stjepan Tafra / Shutterstock.com

 

15.03.2017 / by / in ,
Varazdin

Often called “Little Vienna” among the Croatians, Varazdin is a lovely city located in the North of the country on the southern bank of the river Drava. Its streets are  saturated with breath-taking baroque buildings, full of kind and outgoing locals and rich parks at every corner.

Varazdin has been the nine-times winner of the award presented by the National Tourism Board and it is a popular destination not only during the summer time thanks to the famous street festival Špancirfest, but in autumn as well because it is when Varazdin Baroque Evenings take place to celebrate music, architectural inheritance and authentic local instruments.

Varazdin

Photo credit: iascic / Shutterstock.com

What to visit while in Varazdin

The first thing that will surely pop into your eyesight once you find yourself in the city of Varazdin is its gorgeous Castle, situated at the very center of the city. Other than admiring its beauty from the outside, you can enjoy the permanent exhibition inside the castle that includes numerous paintings, photographs, ceramics, books, historic documents, sculptures, furniture and much more.

Castle Varazdin
It won’t take you long to figure out that the beautiful building of the Castle is just a tiny piece of Varazdin’s rich architectural heritage. The city is full of breath-taking Baroque palaces, some of them being Town Hall, Draskobiv Palace, Jankovic Palace, Palace of Varazdin County, Pauline Mansion etc. While you lose yourself in the fairy-tale atmosphere of Varazdin’s streets and squares, it may be easy to forget to dig a bit deeper and explore some of its hidden treasures of this city as are its secret courtyards or the famous Varazdin Cemetery that is more of a monument of garden architecture than a classical grey cemetery.
If you are into museums, don’t miss out on visiting Varazdin’s Town Museum. To find out more about culture and history, visit the Old Town Fortress, lovers of old paintings will adore the Gallery of Old Masters and those rather interested in biology or animals will appreciate the Herzer Palace that hosts a permanent entomological exhibition “The World of Insects”.

Varazdin small street

Sports and Recreation

The city of Varazdin has a complex of pools ideal for both recreational and professional swimming and a large number of various sports centers and clubs, soccer fields, fitness studios and drop-in classes. Don’t forget, however, that the locals go everywhere on their bikes and you can try out this trend as well while you’re there and get your fitness on the go!

Varazdin nature

Souvenirs

The are lots of cute and affordable souvenirs to buy in the city and they are mostly being made by the local artisans, so keep your eyes wide open when passing by the small stands around the city as you may find some true jewels of local crafts.

Food

Traditional Varazdin’s cuisine was under the strong influence of Hungary and Austria through the history, but it has been modified and enriched later on. The “must try” local specialties are mlinci, klipič, zlevanka, štrukli, poultry dishes with vegetables and homemade puff pastry cakes.

Nearby Destinations

There are many organized trips around the Varazdin area and the surroundings that will expose you not only to its stunning nature but to its cultural and historical heritage as well. You can take the Path of Castle and Museum (Varazdin-Ivanec-Lepoglava-Trakoscan), Green route (Varazdin-Zelendvor-Vinica-Klenovnik), Varazdin Hills or Medimurje trip.
If you prefer going around on your own, without a guide or a group, we recommend you to rent a bike, take a map with bike routes and start your own little adventure in the North of Croatia!

Varazdin by night

Nightlife in Varazdin

Other than regular bars and clubs open all year round, the city is known for its rich offer of events like Spancirfest, Summer in Varazdin, Folkofonija, Trash Film Festival, Varazdin Baroque Evenings, Advent in Varazdin and many more.

Varazdin square

07.03.2017 / by / in ,
The town of Korčula (Island of Korčula)

Korčula is a small fortified town located on the northeast coast of the island of Korčula. The form of this charming historic town is determined by the form of small peninsula protruding into the sea and its connection with the island was cut off by an artificial channel. Building outside the walls was strictly forbidden until the 18th century when the wooden drawbridge was replaced.

Korcula riva

It is surrounded by the walls, built in gothic style, reinforced at the strategic points like those near the port, where major attacks were expected. The streets of the town are arranged in a herringbone pattern in order to reduce the effects of the sun and wind. The old town is the main attraction with its walls, towers, narrow streets and the wondrous architecture mainly influenced by Venetian Renaissance. Almost all town’s narrow streets are stepped, except the Charity Street, often referred as the Street of Thoughts, as one did not have to worry about the steps.

Korcula old town

Korcula main entrance

What to visit

Cathedral of St. Mark –  is a Gothic-Renaissance building, built in the 15th century by Korčulan masters from local stone. Three apses witness the existence of an earlier church from the 13th century. The portal with the lions and St. Mark is the work of master Bonino from Milano. He also designed the door on the south aisle with the figure of St. Jacob. Marko Andrijić created the glorious rosette, the wreath and the belfry and the ciborium above the main altar as his masterpiece. In 1557, an organ was placed in the cathedral and in 1787 new organ was built by Vinko Klišević.

Korcula square

St. Michael’s Church – is located on Antun and Stjepan Radić Square, overlooking the Town Hall. During the 17th century, the church gained its baroque appearance and the small chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Consolation was built in the 19th century. The painting above the main altar is the “Virgin of Consolation” by Domenico Maggiotto from the 18th century.

Town Museum – is located in the Gabrielis Palace on the St. Mark’s square, built in the 15th century. The exhibits display a fascinating insight into the cultural and commercial milestones of Korčula from ancient times to the present. Among the most worthy exhibits are the bronze pendant of Tiziano Aspetti and the piano played by Beethoven’s close friend, Edith Streicher from early 19th century.
In the museum, there are many important presentations like the page from the Statute of the City and the Island of Korčula from 1214, the artistic imagery of the city, stamps, stone inscriptions, documents and coats of arms.

Korcula tower bridge

Abbey Treasury – next to the Cathedral of St. Mark and the town museum, there is the former bishop’s court (14th and 15th century) where the Abbey Treasury is held. It was set up by the abbot Ivo Matijaca and the Croatian painter Ljubo Babić back in 1954. The museum displays many precious works of art of Croatian and Venetian artists. The most important work is the polyptych “Our Lady With Child and Saints” by the Dalmatian painter Blaž Jurjev Trogiranin from 1431. In the museum, you can admire many books and documents that witness a rich history of Korčula, and one of the most important ones is the “Korčula Codex” from 1214. There is also a rich numismatic collection, containing also coins minted for Korkyra Melaina from the 4th century B.C.

Moreška Sword Dance – it is a traditional sword dance and drama, common in the 12th century, reaching Korčula in the 16th century from Dubrovnik. It combines spoken word, dance, and pantomime. The dance originates from Spain and it is associated with the conflict between Moors and Christians, although in Dalmatia was linked to the struggles of Christians against Ottoman Empire. In the Mediterranean countries, there is no more trace of Moreška and it can only be found in Korcula where it is performed for over 400 years. It is Moreška sword dance in 2014 joined the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Moreška sword dance through the years became one of the most important tourist attractions and it was performed yearly on the day of St Theodore (27.07), but due to its popularity, the event has been transformed into a regular summer event. The event is held every Monday and Thursday in the Open air cinema (Ljetno kino) located on the edge of the old town.

Moreska sword dance Korcula

Photo credit: Stjepan Tafra Shutterstock, Inc.

Korčula has many other interesting things to see and places to visit. Just walking through the old town you can admire numerous arches, charming narrow streets, numerous churches and seven towers. Visit also St. Anthony’s Hill, located just half an hour from the old town. There are 102 steps leading to the top of the hill bordered by a cypress alley planted in 1708. On the top of the hill, there is a small church dedicated to St. Anthony the Abbot from the 14th century. From the hilltop, you can admire an amazing panorama.

Korcula church

Korcula canon

Food

In Korčula you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano and some of the most famous are Black risotto, grilled fish with vegetables, eel stew, sardines on the skewer or meat and fish under the bell (peka). When in Korčula try also Lojenica (dripping cake) and Lumbija (traditional bread). Traditional desserts from the island of Korčula are Cukarini, Klašuni, Hruštule and Rozata. Korčula is also famous for its wines, so we absolutely recommend you to try Pošip, Grk, Rukatac (dry white wines) and Plavac (red wine).

Korcula tower

Korcula sea view

Korcula street

 

 

 

02.03.2017 / by / in ,
Blue and Red Lake, Imotski

Imotski is a charming little town, located on the northern side of Biokovo mountain, in Dalmatian inland. It is famous for its two karst lakes, a true natural phenomenon – Blue and Red Lake, often called the “pearls of nature”. Blue Lake is located on the very edge of the town and the Red Lake is located only kilometer away. Blue lake got its name from the color of the water, and the Red Lake from the color of the surrounding cliffs.

Blue lake surface

Blue Lake – it lies in a deep sinkhole, probably formed by a collapse of an underground cave. The depth from the upper rim is about 200 meters and the dimensions of the lake are 800 per 500 meters. The water depth varies with season, as in winter and spring it can reach the southern rim and during the hot summer days it may completely disappear. When the lake completely dries out, people from the town make an improvised football field and play. The lake is also a popular hiking destination. In the early 20th century, a stone trail descending to the lake was built, so people can easily get down during the summer days, sunbath and swim. The nearby cliffs are perfect as a diving platform, some of which more than 40 meters high. Fortress Topana, built in 10th century, is located on the rock above the amazing Blue Lake, from which you can enjoy an amazing panorama.

Blue lake

Photo credit: Hieronymus / Shutterstock.com

Dry Blue Lake in Imotski

Red Lake – just as a Blue Lake, it lies in a deep, roughly circular sinkhole. It is surrounded by almost vertical tall walls from three sides and slanted from the fourth side which collapsed during a destructive earthquake that hit Imotski back in 1942. Red lake is the deepest karst lake in Europe and one of the deepest in the world and it is almost impossible to approach it because of tall stone slopes around it. The depth of the sinkhole is around 500 meters, with a width of 450 meters. The diameter of the lake is approximately 200 meters and the depth is 290 meters. Beside the water lever of the lake, many small caves formed like the Čepitška Cave, with two entrances, one above and one under the water level. The cave is around 67 meters long.  Unlike the Blue Lake, the Red Lake never dries out.

Red lake Imotski

Red Lake is home to some organisms who live only in this lake and nowhere else in the world like the small, 12 cm long fish named Delminichthys adspersus. During dry springs, the fish can be seen in the springs in the area around the lake which is confirmation that the lake has underground connections with these springs. 

The legend says that if you can throw a stone in the Red Lake you will soon get married. Because of its surroundings and the depth of the sinkhole, it is very difficult to throw a stone in the lake, but the locals know the secret of how to make it hit the lake.

Other than visiting these amazing lakes, charming little town of Imotski, you can also visit the Green lake, Vrljika river, Basilica of Zmijavci – an important archeological site dating back to 6th century and the Proložac swamp.

Imotski Topana Castle and Soccer field

Green lake

01.03.2017 / by / in ,
Town of Ston and Mali Ston

Ston is a small town located in the south of the peninsula Pelješac. At the site of today’s town of Ston, there was a Roman settlement Stagnum (stagnant, still water) and the foundations of the Roman castrum can still be seen on Starigrad Hill. Ston is famous for it impressive medieval walls that extend to Mali Ston (Small Ston), a small village situated in the Bay of Mali Ston, just a kilometer northeast from Ston. Other than walls, Ston is also famous for its fresh seafood cuisine, oyster production, and saltworks. If these two places weren’t on your visit list, be sure to add them if traveling south towards Dubrovnik, as they are well worth visiting. The distance between Ston and Dubrovnik is only 60 kilometers.

Ston mali

Historical-town planning ensemble of Ston with Mali Ston, connecting walls, the Mali Ston Bay nature reserve, Stonsko Polje and the salt pans are on the UNESCO Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Croatia.

Ston street

Walls of Ston – the famous Ston walls, also known as the “European walls of China”, are a series of defensive walls built in the 14-th century, along with 40 towers and 5 fortresses. The walls surrounding the town are about 900 meters long, and the Great Wall of 5 km outside the town. Originally the walls were more than 7 km long, built from one side of the peninsula to the other connecting Ston to Mali Ston.

ston mali sea view

The walls were built by the Republic of Ragusa, in order to protect its borders, but especially to protect the valuable salt pans that contributed to the Republic’s wealth. Some parts of the walls together with the walls surrounding Mali Ston were demolished after the fall of the Republic of Ragusa. The Austrians back in 19-th century used the wall materials to build community buildings and a triumphal arch in the occasion of the visit by the Austro-Hungarian Emperor.

Ston tower

Solana – this area was inhabited by the Greeks and Illyrians, after which it became a Roman colony. Romans begin the exploitation of the salt and its collecting, making the Ston salt pans one of the oldest in Europe. The famous Ston walls were constructed to protect the salt pans as they were of a great importance for the area. Later the saltworks were controlled by the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Ragusa.

Ston salt

Ston walls

Ston castle

 

 

 

01.03.2017 / by / in

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