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The hit book series and HBO adaptation Game Of Thrones has changed the nature of tourism in Croatia. Because the series is wildly popular around the world, and many of its most significant locations are filmed in Croatia, the country has seen a measurable uptick in visitors throughout the show’s run on HBO.

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This is something you’ve undoubtedly heard about by now with particular regard to the capital city of Dubrovnik (which is the basis for the fictional capital of King’s Landing). However, it’s spread around the country as well; Hot Spots previously profiled a Game Of Thrones tour in Split, for instance.

It’s still Dubrovnik that’s experienced a legitimate tourism phenomenon though. Long recognized as a gorgeous Mediterranean city teeming with history, and a nice alternative to better-known destinations in Italy and Greece, it’s now one of the hottest places in the world to visit. Some simply want a glimpse of the closest thing to a real King’s Landing; some want to do specific tours and sightseeing related to the show; and some, in all likelihood, simply want to appreciate it for what it is, even if it came to their attention through Game Of Thrones.

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It’s all quite exciting, though it certainly has its downsides as well. Dubrovnik has become susceptible to annoying crowds, and could be said to have lost a touch of its innocence or authenticity along the way. The Thrones-driven throngs of tourists have landed the city on lists of places being ruined by tourism, and it’s not a stretch to understand why, even if the word “ruined” may be somewhat harsh. Now, however, the city faces an interesting crossroads. Game Of Thrones will wrap up this spring with its finale season, bringing an almost decade-long cultural phenomenon to an end, and potentially changing things for this wonderful Croatian city.

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In the immediate future there probably won’t be much of a change. It’s not as if the finale of Thrones will simply sever the public’s interest in it. In fact, one could even imagine tourism to spike immediately following the finale, both because it will coincide with the beginning of the summer season and because this is going to be one of the biggest fictional events in recent history, and will cause lasting, lingering excitement.

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On top of the carryover effect, it’s also worth noting that Game Of Thrones is likely to endure in several ways:

  • HBO has already ordered a spinoff of the series, delving into the vast fantasy world and/or history created by author George R.R. Martin. Reports have been somewhat all over the place as to what precise topics the spinoff will concern, as well as whether it will be a one-off or one of many projects. It is fairly safe to assume that Thrones will live on through a second show though, and this could conceivably extend Dubrovnik’s relevance to fans – particularly if King’s Landing is part of the future project(s).
  • Game Of Thrones will also likely enjoy sustained popularity through gaming. To date, the show has been surprisingly weak on this front. Telltale had a decent but short-lived series revolving around the show, and a few disappointing mobile games have come out as well. Additionally, some of the online casino networks known for their inventive and alluring bonus structures as well as their vast collections of games have hosted a Thrones-based slot machine, which has actually been consistently entertaining. The slot game may be the most likely to endure, but the end of the show could also bring brand new games, which could conceivably keep people excited about the series for years more to come.
  • There may also be books still to come, though this is increasingly in doubt. Martin had originally planned two more large, jam-packed novels to complete his written series, and may still adhere to this plan. He’s a notoriously meticulous writer who’s been very slow about penning these final works, but if he does – and if they’re released over the course of several more years – it will keep people interested, keep people engaged in re-watching the HBO series, and potentially keep Dubrovnik crowded.

These three factors – spinoffs, games, and books – will all, together, keep Game Of Thrones relevant long after the spring of 2019. They may also mean that things remain unchanged in Dubrovnik. At the same time though, interest in the fantasy may not always translate to such massive interest in tourism.

It could simply be that as the story endures and extends in various forms, King’s Landing is emphasized less, and thus the Dubrovnik connection starts to lessen. It may be that other filming locations move to the forefront via the planned spinoff, or spinoffs. And it may simply be that interest naturally ebbs after a while, as Thrones remains popular but not as popular as it’s been.

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In time, the tourism boom will likely subside one way or another. It may even be that when all is said and done, and the crowds dissipate some, the show will simply become yet another fascinating aspect of the city’s history.

Photo: Ivan Vuković

The first 5 star hotel on Hvar Island

As one of the most beautiful buildings in this area, next to the town Loggia, the Palace Elisabeth is considered one of the symbols of Hvar Town.

44 million-kuna-investments done in 2018 

2018 was the best year in the business history of Sunčani Hvar. Total business revenue for company amounted to 288.5 million kuna, representing a growth of 37%.

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Hotel Amfora

Thanks to large investments in the portfolio, done in  the past years, as well as the investments in 2018, worth 44 million kuna, including renovations of hotels Amfora and Adriana, the most successful and the longest tourist season has been recorded.

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Hotel Amfora

Glorious history of Hvar’s most beautiful hotel 

The hotel will be rated with 5 stars  and will be the first heritage hotel on the sunniest island of the Mediterranean, opening its doors in season 2019. The hotel history dates back to the 13th centur, and in 1899, it was officially introduced under the name of “Elisabeth of Austria’s Spa Hotel”, as the Austrian empress Elisabeth was the patron and co-financer of its construction. Therefore, the soon-to-be-opened Hotel Palace will bear her name – Palace Elisabeth, Hvar Heritage Hotel. Re-embracing the original name of the hotel further emphasizes its rich heritage, which is characterized by numerous historical elements from the era of empress Sisi.

Hotel Palace Elisabeth

Member of the prestigious group of The Leading Hotels of the World

In 2019 Sunčani Hvar continues with the most significant investment in the portfolio, which is the renovation of Hotel Palace, worth 100 million kuna. Even before its opening, this most luxurious hotel on the island became a member of the elite hotel association of luxury hotels – The Leading Hotels of the World.

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It is surely due to its location in the very heart of the Hvar Town, and the impressive Venetian and Austrian architecture, which blends perfectly with the unique architectural ensemble of the old town Loggia and the Clock Tower.

Upon completion of the renovation, the hotel will have gone from the present number of 73 rooms to a smaller number of 45 luxury rooms and suites, which will be of larger square-size.

With the goal to position the product further into the luxury segment, the hotel will get an indoor swimming pool, a luxury spa and two outdoor terraces, one of which is the terrace of the new San Marco Restaurant, overlooking the central square and historic core of Hvar Town, creating an ideal place for tasting selected dishes and local delicacies.

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View from San Marco’s Terrace 


“It is a great honor for us to become members of the prestigious group The Leading Hotels of the World, which has over 400 luxury hotels and resorts in its consortium. Hotel Palace combines the highest standards of luxury with the vision to provide guests with top service and a unique experience, ” said Gordana Tomičić, president of the Management Board.

Most numerous arrivals from the US and British market

The unique structure of guests within Sunčani Hvar is still dominated by the emissive markets of the United States and Great Britain. The growth in arrivals from the US is at 26%, while from the UK is at 14%, compared to the previous business year. Other developed markets that have shown growth in arrivals are Australia, Brazil, Scandinavian and Western European countries.

Hvar’s Tourist Board confirms that the predictions and first numbers for the current season are very good, and the rich program of sports events in April, such as the traditional Easter Regatta, Otillo Swimrun and Mountain Madness Croatia, mark an excellent start of the season on the sunniest island of the Adriatic.

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Photo: Sunčani Hvar


The 2019 ÖTILLÖ swimrun season kicked off with a very tough race. It ended up being a hard fought battle for the 3rd edition ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series event on the island of Hvar, Croatia.

The Mediterranean setting had all the ingredients to make for a spectacular yet very tough swimrun race. The original  40,4 kilometres long course had to be changed as the currents made it to a true test, alternating technical trail running with long, challenging stretches of open-water swimming.

The Winners Jonas Ekman Fischer and Lars Ekman (SWE), Sailfish Team Bröderna Bäver, managed to pull away from the leading pack and cross the finish line as the first team after 4:51:51, almost 7 minutes ahead of Julien Pousson and Nicolas Remires (FRA), Team Envol.

The very strong Martin Flinta (SWE) & Helena Karaskova Erbenova (CZE) Team Thule Crew/Wolffwear Head SR team finished as first mixed team and 6th overall with the time of 5:01:50! The first women’s team Fanny Danckwardt & Desirée Andersson (SWE) Team Envol Fanny/Desirée completed an impressive race and finished after 5:24:12 and 10th Overall.

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Hvar representatives at ÖTILLÖ Sprint Hvar and ÖTILLÖ Experience Hvar race

The day before the main race was organized shorter races: ÖTILLÖ Sprint Hvar and ÖTILLÖ Experience Hvar, offering the same experience as the longer and more demanding main race, just in a smaller format. These races had 150 competitors registered in 20 countries, and Hvar also had two representatives.

A representative of the Tourist Board of Hvar, Georges Buj and Marzia Marti, the marketing representative of the Sunčani Hvar hotels, a longtime partner of the event. Both of them have successfully finished the race.


“There were a lot of good teams in the front today, especially in the swim sections. Before the long run we just felt let`s go for it and we managed to gain a couple of minutes on the rest of the field in the uphill. We are very happy with the win and the good start into the season.”, said Jonas Ekam Fischer after finishing as overall winner with Lars Ekman (SWE), Sailfish Team Bröderna Bäver.

The island of Hvar, part of the Croatian Dalmatian islands, is considered one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. With its rich cultural and historic heritage, ancient olive trees and vineyards, crystal clear waters, limestone rock and varied terrain, surrounded by the fabulous Pakleni islands, Hvar is the perfect destination for a ÖTILLÖ swimrun race. There is no doubt that Hvar lives up to ÖTILLÖ’s claim of having unique races in unique places!

The original 40,4 km race course of ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar had to be changed due to strong currents in the channel between Hvar and the Pakleni Islands. The crystal blue sea was at around 15 degrees and the longest swim crossing of 2 950 metres was shortened to about 2 700 metres. Still a true test for all competitors. The rainy weather made the conditions different for all the racers depending on where you were in the pack, it became a big challenge. A big part of the trail running was on technical trails, with a few tough climbs spicing up the challenge.

Several teams had to struggle to make it in time for the two cut offs. Some had to abandon after the long swim. The top teams pushed each other hard, chasing each other in a tight group all the way to the last swims before the finish line. The level of competition is mind blowing!

At all ÖTILLÖ swimrun World Series events teams race in pairs. Working wisely with your partner is decisive. Using each other’s strengths will push boundaries. The team experience is incomparable and can only be fully understood by those who have practiced it, and is part of why swimrun is growing so fast in popularity.

142 teams of two from 23 different nations travelled to Hvar to compete in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, a qualifier to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship in the Swedish archipelago. The day prior to the race two shorter more accessible race were organised, the ÖTILLÖ Sprint Hvar and the ÖTILLÖ Experience Hvar, offering the same flavours as the longer more challenging race but in a smaller format.These races had close to 150 racers registered from a total of 20 nations.

Eight top teams at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar qualify to the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2019, on 2 September 2019 in the Stockholm Archipelago; top 3 men, top 3 mixed, top 2 women.

Top 3 results ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, 7 April 2019

Men
1. Jonas Ekman Fischer & Lars Ekman (SWE) Sailfish Team Bröderna Bäver
2. Julien Pousson & Nicolas Remires (FRA) Team Envol
3. Franck Martin & Guillaume Heneman (FRA) HEAD – GRAVELINES TRI

Mixed
1. Martin Flinta (SWE) & Helena Karaskova Erbenova (CZE), Thule Crew/Wolffwear Head SR
2. Sampo Hyppölä & Saara Grönholm (FIN), Kuopio Swimrun Team
3. Andre Hook & Dörte Zimmermann (GER), Team Envol_Head powered by Campz

Women
1. Fanny Danckwardt & Desirée Andersson (SWE), Team Envol Fanny/Desirée – winner
2. Anna Hellström & Susie Moonan (SWE), Team Envol Susie Anna
3. Helen Wikmar & Isabella Hedberg (SWE), Team ARKsouls

FAST FACTS ÖTILLÖ SWIMRUN HVAR 2019

·         Hvar, Croatia

·         Total race distance: 40,4 km

·         Trail running: 31,6 km

·         Swimming: 8,8 km

·         Swim sections: 9

·         Longest swim: 2 950 m

·         Longest run: 13 600 m

·         Teams of two; for safety reasons and for the unique experience

·         142 registered teams

·         20 nations

ABOUT SWIMRUN AND ÖTILLÖ

Swimrun is one of the fastest growing endurance sport where you in teams of two alternate trail running and open water swimming along a marked course. You run in your wetsuit and swim in your shoes! It is a unique sport and experience as you often race with a partner and the race courses are in wild nature. The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship (ÖTILLÖ meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world (CNN 2012).ÖTILLÖ SWIMRUN WORLD SERIES 2019

There are six qualifying races to ÖTILLÖ. At each World Series event a Sprint and Experience race is organised the same weekend.

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar, Croatia, April 7, 2019

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Utö, Sweden, May 19, 2019

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly, UK, June 9, 2019

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Engadin, Switzerland, July 7, 2019

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun 1000 Lakes, Germany, September 22, 2019 (Qualifier for ÖTILLÖ 2020)

·         ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Cannes, France, October 20, 2019 (Qualifier for ÖTILLÖ 2020)

ÖTILLÖ THE SWIMRUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

·         14th edition on September 2nd, 2019

·         75 km over and between 26 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago

·         Renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world

Photographer: Pierre Mangez,

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY about a cuisine that combines sweet and sour, Greek and Roman, Byzantine and Venetian, all linked by a truly special ingredient – a quantum of stubborn, originally Dalmatian spite?

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Dalmatian cuisine will spoil your palates with homemade prosciutto and cheese, traditional fish stew (brodet) and thick fish soups, risottos and gnocchi seasoned with tasty dips, sea food stews; all rounded up with homemade olive oil, Mediterranean aromatic herbs and matched with wide range of exquisite homemade wines. If you want to give your palates a true adventure, it’s high time to taste these sensual dishes – true gastronomic ambassadors of Dalmatian cuisine!

- DIOKLECIJANOV VIJENAC,AUTOR-ROBI BRALIC

A QUEEN CALLED PAŠTICADA. A true example of sweet-sour dish (see how Dalmatian cuisine is always a blend of extremes of some sort, unmatched by anyone?) is luxurious pašticada, gastro heritage of Venetia ad Byzantium, made even today for special occasions (due to its complex preparation) of beef aitchbone in wine, prosecco, vinegar, spices and vegetables. It is often accompanied by homemade gnocchi. Pašticada is so characteristic for this region that almost every household has its own way of preparing it; and it shares the throne with exquisite fish or meat dishes made under the baking lid!

Namely, if you haven’t tried veal, lamb or octopus under the iron lid, which enables food to be cooked and roasted at the same time, from a gastronomic point of view, you haven’t even been to Dalmatia, so do not miss it! If you visit the islands, let the magic of small family restaurants overwhelms you.

There, apart form aforementioned Dalmatian classics, you can indulge in carefully prepared specialties like mutton baked on a juniper spear, which stimulates with resin wood aroma, or for example – crunchy vitalac – ancient dish made of lamb offal served in the “lamb capital”, the island of Brač, which is also a gastro connection to Greeks.

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Of course, if you prefer somewhat more modern gastronomic interpretations, there is a wide choice of modern gourmet oases – make yourself infatuated with octopus stew or burgers, monkfish medallions, cuttlefish with broad beans, shrimps carpaccio with olive dust and fig pearls, or an entire pot of shells, shrimps and pasta!

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WINES WITH CHARACTER. True gastronomads and wine enthusiasts could draw you a map of Split-Dalmatia County in a second – according to areas where the best autochthonous wines are made! It’s a common knowledge for all who ever tried Kaštela’s crljenak – the darkest of all Dalmatia wines, or bogdanuša and plavac from Hvar and vugava from Vis – that in an elegant glass of wine one can discover a whole new world!

With its classy barrique touch and mild tastes of blackberry, blueberry and cherry crljenak will most certainly comply with those in favor of fruity, bold wines. Although it was tied to Italian primitivo and Californian zinfandel, it has nothing of their sweetness and softness, it is a true – wine with a character!

Even Vienna Court could not resist Hvar’s bogdanuša, which was served only for holidays due to its elegance; while Vis’ vugava overwhelms with discrete aromas of peach, almond and orange! If you prefer red wines, enjoy in full, rounded, delicate woody taste of Hvar’s plavac mali, captivating like a nicely dressed girl walking along Hvar’s waterfront!

SOMETHING SWEET FOR THE END. What kind of a meal would it be without a good, tasty dessert?

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Beautiful rožata dates back to Venetian times, and it was considered a pride of Dalmatian desserts! It is cooked in a caramel coat, while a magic addition to a simple recipe that contains milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar is a scented rose liqueur! Split Cake will enchant you with rhapsodies of figs, almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins and rum, and eager Dalmatian housewives discovered that the dough and cream are made of even 10 eggs!

Rožada

Simple and delicious paradižet is made throughout Dalmatia, just as omnipresent fritule, kroštule and doughnuts, most commonly served in Dalmatian hinterland. Islands have their own trumps as well, just look at the list of Croatian intangible heritage goods and you will find there Dol’s hrapošćuša cake resembling the very Brač’s karst and famous Starigrad’s paprenjak! Combine them with a few drops of tempting lavender or carob liqueurs and you have finalized one great (and very tasty!) Dalmatian adventure!

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More: www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County, Dalmatia explorer

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF OUR BIGGEST ISLAND? As a “capital” of the tastiest lamb, a place where you can have great cycling experience in idyllic Mediterranean ambience, an oasis of Robinson vacation or a perfect getaway for bathing, sunbathing and water sports? 

Perhaps you did not know that together with many various and attractive aspects, Brač has even 116 sacral buildings, thus being a true heaven for culturists! In order to preserve them and make them marketable, four years ago an attractive guide was published in which sights have been catalogued in 5 cultural itineraries. We have singled out some that are truly worth visiting!

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VISIT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BELL TOWER ON DALMATIAN ISLANDS. Whoever watched “Little place” by Miljenko Smoje, must remember emblematic opening scene where the “main role” is played by picturesque place on the west side of the island – Ložišća! 

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Zvonik crkve u Ložišćima na Braču remek djelo I Rendića 1

Image of an idyllic place of steep and narrow streets with houses spread out like someone tossed out some pearls is dominated by  the most beautiful bell tower of all – not only on Brač, but on all Dalmatian islands in general! Enjoy in sightseeing this magnificent, tall and decorated bell tower from 19th century, a work of the great Ivan Rendić. Do not forget to take a few photos, which will be a real treat for aesthetes and cultural enthusiasts on social networks.

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DISCOVER THE SPRINGS OF SACRAL TREASURES – BAROQUE AND MEDIEVAL CHURCHES. For those in love with sacral art we warmly recommend sightseeing parish churches all over the island (like the one in Selca!). 

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Enjoy in their mostly baroque features and worthy altarpieces, whose authors are Ridolfi, Bassano, Balestra, Diziani and even famous Tintoretto, whose great altarpiece is kept in Dominican Pinacoteca in Bol! 

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 If you want to visit medievalchurches, of characteristic hanging arches and bell towers which were several centuries later upgraded to the distaff, visit church of St. Peter in Dol with the oldest bell of that kind. The interior of these edifices usually keeps worthy altar reliefs, whose authors are famous artist slike JurajDalmatianac, Nikola Firentinac or Nikola Lazanić, a sculptor form Brač.

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VISIT A CRADLE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY – AND A CAVE WITH DRAGONS! For those in love with cultural heritage, early – Christian churches and churches on places of pre-Christian cults are a true curiosity.

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It’s also worth visiting remains of basilica in Povlja and its baptistery preserved up to the roof, and a basilica in Lovrečina with preserved murals and renewed baptistery vessel; while a series of fragments of stone furniture from these churches can be seen in Museum of the island Brač in Škrip. Among the localities that date back to even earlier periods (like St. Vid on Vidova gora or St. Duh near Gornji Humac) Dragon’s Cave is especially interesting. It was named after a relief of a dragon, which presents a mixture of Slavic mythology and Christian iconography, thus fantastically depicting spirituality of the contemporary human – paganism reconciled with Christianity! Sightseeing of Dragon’s Cave is actually a great excursion, on which even the makers of “Game of Thrones” would envy you, since Bračhad its dragons for a while now!

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VISIT BLACA DESERT – A STONE JEWEL IN ROCKY WASTELAND! We’ve left one of the most striking locations for the end – for centuries upgraded monastery in Blacadesert! Once it was a world-famous astronomical observatory, it had its own printing office, while due to extensive book collection, unique furniture, old weapons and clockscollection, it is attractive even today. Staying in an authentic ambience of former monks’ and Glagolitic priests’ residence – who wrote pages of rich monastery’s library in one of the three variants of Croatian Cyrillic  – poljičica, for all those who truly enjoy in culture is a  – real treat!

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More: www.dalmatia.hr

Photo:  www.dalmatia.hr 


Can you imagine walking around the streets and areas where people used to pass by in the ancient times? To feel the spirit of  history, the beliefs, lifestyle and culture of these ancient peoples? The area of today’s Split-Dalmatia County has been interesting to people since ancient times, and the existing, preserved fortifications are witnesses of those past times.

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There are seven historical forts of Split-Dalmatia County, which have been awaken from their dream. In the next few lines, we will take you on a trip  and introduce you to the most beautiful Dalmatian fortresses, that offer stunning views of their surrounding areas…

Historical fortresses in travel agencies’ programs & offers

Whether you are going to Klis Fort, visiting the attractions of the ancient city of Salona, ​​or coming to Prozor Fortress in Vrlika, Nutjak in Trilj, Kamičak in Sinj or Topana in Imotski, you will actually take a trip back to the past and for a moment, get the feeling that once upon a time, they were fully inhabitated. Do come by Gradina in Vrgorac, which will round up your tour and complete the cultural and historical offer of the Dalmatian Zagora.

Sightseeing of the old forts is part of the programs offered by travel agencies in the area of ​​Split-Dalmatia County. This is the first county in Croatia with a complete Strategy for the Development of Cultural Tourism, and so far 69 historical buildings have been valorized, including forts, towers and fortresses, and this number is still not final. This is the first step in creating a new and attractive tourist product.

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KTo help you find what you are interested in, a cultural and tourist guide to the “Split-Dalmatia County Fortresses” was published, by author Ivan Alduk. This guide includes fortresses from the entire county, with emphasis on the best preserved historical buildings, especially the late medieval fortresses and the ones from te period of Otoman-Venet

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Klis Fortress – Must-see travel gem where “Game of Thrones” was filmed

The importance of Split and its surroundings, when it comes to their role  in cultural tourism, was well-recognized by the producers of the world-renowned “Game of Thrones” series, as they chose Klis, among many other locations, to film various scenes from this series, and thus, launched a type of film tourism. The historical stories of Klis Fortress have taken a tour around the world, surprising foreigners in many countries, with the fact that only a few kilometers away from Split, there is a monument which, with its appearance – on the very stone cliff between Mosor and Kozjak mountains, provokes such awe. If you want to see the fort, do get ready for a couple of hours of touring this large building, consisting of walls, passages, towers, stairs and streets. Do not be discouraged and stop halfway because, trust us, when you get to the top, your breath will be taken away by the views of Split and its archipelago. This gorgeous fort justifies all the reasons why it was named “Croatian Camelot”.

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Prozor Fortress – Populated from prehistoric times

One of the fortresses that will capture your attention is certainly Prozor Fortress in Vrlika, which was inhabited in prehistoric times. Today, it can be reached by pedestrian road in about 20 minutes of walking, starting from the Orthodox Church in Vrlika all the way to the top. There is also a longer road, leading from the Vrlika-Drniš road.

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Thanks to its level of preservation, it is one of the most important medieval fortresses in Dalmatian hinterland. The fortress offer an impressive panoramic point on Vrličko polje, Lake Peručko and on the city itself, and its surroundings.

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Nutjak near Trilj

Nutjak Fortress was built downstream from Trilj, at the edge of the lower rocky plateau rising high above the right bank of Cetina River. Just a simple look at this unusual fortress, located on the very edge of the cliff, causes a series of emotions – from awe to admiration.

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The fortress is reachable by a road starting from the village of Živaljići.

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Kamičak – Protected cultural heritage

One of the most important symbols of Sinj is Kamičak Fortres,  located in the center of the town, opposite the Church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj. Kamičak, a protected cultural heritage, together  with the military horse baracks, is connected with today’s Alkarski Dvori (The Alkari Palace).  

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It was given its present appearance in 1980 when it was additionally surrounded by walls and afforested with pines. On the top of the fort, there is a bell with the inscription – Our Lord, set us free from thunder and evil times – which probably derives from the belief that the sound of the bells or the shooting from old “mužar” canons scares away the clouds and the thunder.

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Topana – Favorite panoramic point

Situated on the cliffs above Modro Jezero (Lake) is the Topana Fortress, one of the most important medieval fortification facilities in Dalmatian hinterland. It is interesting that the fortress was named after a special tower with a cannon platform, known in the local language as “topana”.

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Today, the fortress is in fact a panoramic point, with an unforgettable view of all four corners of the world. In the summer season, there are various cultural events held here.

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Vrgorac Gradina – Where roads meet

Gradina Fortress is situated at the intersection of the roads from the coastline to the hinerland.  Its oldest parts were built by medieval noblemen, who managed this area,  and was later upgraded by Muslim commanders. Visit this fortress and Vrgorac, the town where one of the greatest Croatian poets, Tin Ujević, was born.

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Visit the witnesses of the stormy historical times in the Dalmatian region and choose a rustic family agrotourism in Dalmatian Zagora, for your place of residence. Tourism is booming in Dalmatian Zagora, which is evident in the ever-increasing demand for luxury villas, which offer the charms of both comfort and elegance. The former stone houses of our ancestors today are luxurious villas, many of which have pools, to provide their guests with maximum cosiness during their holidays.

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www.dalmatia.hr

 www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County

TOP 5 NOT-TO-BE-MISSED ATTRACTIONS!

Natural beauty and historical heritage are just one part of the gorgeous repertoire along Split Riviera! Whether you choose to get acquainted with its cuisine, beaches or cultural and historical treasures, you are on the right track to have a fabulous experience as a tourist!

Judging by the growing interest in this region, on the world tourism stage, it seems that many share our opinion, so, in order to get inspired to have a vacation perfectly in sync with your wishes, keep on reading!

Truth to be told, when we know what awaits us, a few-hours-long ferry trip from Split, doesn’t come up nor as long, nor as difficult, and as Vis is also a well-known nautical destination, we recommend visits by motorboats and sailboats, as these means of transportation will allow you to have a peak into every single corner of this wonderful island!


The islands rather distant  location, separating it from the frenetic rythm of everyday life and its truly unspoilt nature, which is a real treat for fans of Robinson tourism, have not been missed by Hollywood producers, who have skilfully spotted that Vis will perfectly play the role of the Greek island, on which a very famous movie had been filmed. Vis has so played the home-role for the second part of one the most popular of Hollywood productions – the comedy “Mamma Mia!”, spiced up with the greatest hits by the legendary ABBA.

To get the best and the most exciting of Vis, keep up with our top 5 most enjoyable experiences that you should never miss. Let’s go!

1.USE THE ISOLATED LOCATION AS AN ADVANTAGE. Did you know that up untill 1995, Vis was a large military base? And while some claim that this is the exact reason why it seems that time has stopped here, guests who prefer Robinson-style of travel, as well as all those who want to escape from the noisy & busy everyday life, see this fact as a great benefit! Mysterious, abandoned military facilities (Tito’s cave, former RAF airport, Cape Stupišće with a former canon and rocket base…) embedded in beautiful, untouched nature will make you feel like in a James Bond movie – visit them all as part of exciting military tours!

2.GET READY FOR SOME SERIOUS SEA HEDONISM. What would you say about a bay enclosed by two high stone cliffs, between which there is a hidden pebble beach, only visible when you sail through the stone cliff gates? And when you do spot it, it looks like you have discovered a Roman amphiteatre int he middle of the water? This is the exact description of the stunning Stiniva Bay, which can be reached, besides by small motor boats and sailboats, only by climbing and walking on a slightly longer rocky route, much worth the effort – because when you overcome it, you will be visually impressed by this hedonistic seaside perfection, voted in 2016 as the most beautiful beach in Europe!

Although Stiniva took over the throne from many beaufitul Portuguese, Spanish and Greek beaches, other beaches on Vis could as easily enter the competition, for their beauty and location.

Numerous pebble beaches surrounded by crystal-clear open sea (Gusarica, Nova pošta, Velo žalo, Prirovo Town Beach in Vis), as well as sandy and pebble beaches in the coves of Vela Smokova, Milna, Zaglav and Stončica, are a real recipe for enjoying in your vacation,  and just like Stiniva, they are an enviously beautiful backgrouund for your next Instagram post!

3. EXPLORE THE GASTRO OASIS. Numerous world renowned travel magazines are recognizing Vis as a foodie heaven, a true paradise for gastronomy! Given that the island is adorned with a unique microclimate, rich and fertile plateau of Vis and the best fishing zone in the central Adriatic, it is no surprise that its gastro points are supplied with supertasty and healthy ingredients!

Choose between restaurants in idyllic gardens and yards, or harbor restaurants at the towns’ promenades, in the very heart of small-town life, and fill your plates with marinated grilled fish, fresh grilled squid, octopus dumplings…or some other modernly interpreted spectacle for the palate made by the hands of maestros of Vis’ cuisine!

4. MEET THE PRINCESS OF VIS. Speaking of food, it’s okay to wash all these delicacies with a quality drink, right? Do try vugava, the authentic wine sort,  which has been given such a tender Croatian name due to its fineness, quality and luxurious Mediterranean flavor! What can be better during summer heats, than a refreshing glass of wine that offers the aroma of ripe fruit? Although there are numerous discussions about this sort’s origins,

Vis is, as an island of great diffusion, enologically speaking, its gene pool, and it is really an authentic domestic sort, which profile does not match the one of any other sort in the world. The plavac mali sort, is also a very distinctive one, because, with the exception of a small area on Hvar Island, you can see vineyards of this sort only on Vis – and in the sand! Taste these wine treasures as part of the local family-owned agricultural businesses, where you can also try local liqueurs – Vis is famous for its fantastic lemon liquor limoncello, which, although it is originally an Italian product, greatly stands out by its quality from the very original!

5. REDEFINE YOUR PERCEPTION OF BLUE AND GREEEN!  Just one visit to the Blue Cave, at the neighboring islet of Biševo, and you will know exactly what we mean!

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This 16-meter-deep cave, located in the small Balun cove, is a natural phenomenon – due to its underwater vault on the south side, through which the sunlight reaches the underwater area, and then reflects right back from the sea bottom, it is bathed by this phenomenal blue light, which reaches its most beautiful shade, as the locals  will tell you, from  about 10 am to noon time.

This 16-meter-deep cave, located in the small Balun cove, is a natural phenomenon – due to its underwater vault on the south side, through which the sunlight reaches the underwater area, and then reflects right back from the sea bottom, it is bathed by this phenomenal blue light, which reaches its most beautiful shade, as the locals  will tell you, from  about 10 am to noon time.

www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist Boards Vis and Komiža

 

Natural beauty and historical heritage are just one part of the gorgeous repertoire along Split Riviera! Whether you choose to get acquainted with its cuisine, beaches or cultural and historical treasures, you are on the right track to have a fabulous experience as a tourist! Judging by the growing interest in this region, on the world tourism stage, it seems that many share our opinion, so, in order to get inspired to have a vacation perfectly in sync with your wishes, keep on reading!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF WE MENTIONED A SEASIDE LANDSCAPE very much alike to the one in the Portuguese Algarve region, but, from the period before it has become overcrowded with tourists? If this sentence has put a smile on your face, start your journey from the counties of Seget and Okrug, where you will find that Mediterranean charm in its most authentic form.

Friendly hosts, who mainly make their living from agriculture, fishing, shipbuilding and tourism, will accommodate you in polished-up luxury homes, designer apartments and in modernly equipped campsites, located just a few steps away from the beach, which are ideal if you travel with your family!

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For a chunk of cultural monuments that are on the must-see list, visit one of UNESCO’s pearl, the nearby-located Trogir, and enjoy discovering Master Radovan’s Portal, the Kamerlengo Tower, Ćipiko Palace and other cultural and historical gems that seem to have slipped out of an ancient a story, which is here to present a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles! To grab a break and enjoy in true sea fun, visit Slatine – an idyllic fishermen’s village, and then, make sure, the next place on your travel bucket list are – Kaštela!

Get to know these 7 small towns in a somewhat unconventional way – by riding a chariot powered by two beautiful black horses! As this fabulous tour unites Kaštela’s gastronomy, wine and oil tastings, and the most attractive of the local historical and cultural heritage (such as the story of the true Romeo and Juliet from Kaštela, which, unlike the famous Shakesperean heroes, were not fictional), it will give you the perfect intro to the best of the best in these 7 charming places.

After a refreshing snack made of homemade prosciutto and cheese, olive oil, washed down with a glass of Kaštelan crljenak (authentic sort of red wine), treat yourself to a new dose of cultural treasures – go for a visit to ancient Salona, or relax all your senses in Our Lady’s Island in Solin – with its glorious greenery and idyllic vistas, along  with the murmuring of Jadro River, it will make you think of a scene straight out of paradise!

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The taste of paradise, ready to surprise your palate, awaits you in Solin’s restaurants – try the trout prepared in numerous ways, or grilled eels, and then, as you approach the heart of this region – the glorious “Flower of the Mediterranean“ – Split, your menu will be enriched by traditional dishes – pašticada, fish & meat grilled specialties (if you prefer lamb, as well as The Game of Thrones series – do not skip the neighboring Klis!), all rounded up with traditional sweet bites such as rožata, Split cake, fritule and kroštule, oh believe us – you are in for a real spectacle.

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These delicious calories need to be burned off, and the choices are many –  from a detailed  sightseeing of the old city center and the fascinating Diocletian’s Palace, which will surely be the source of some of your most popular Instagram posts, to the famous game of picigin at Bačvice Beach, or to a few laps around the most beloved green oasis in the city – Marjan Hill, or even an all-night partying at the famous Ultra Festival!

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Of course, do not forget to drink your cup of macchiato on the sun-kissed Promenade, or walk along famous Marmont’s Street – it’s all about the activities which have become sort of a non-written rule and the city’s real brand, so if you want to feel like a true citizen of Split – it’s inevitable to do all of the above!

If adrenaline activities are your favorite treat, then your next stop has to be Omiš – go on a hiking trip to its Fortica Citadel, on the top of Dinara of Omiš, and enjoy the beautiful view of the whole town, the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the canyon of Cetina River, which you can get to know from another perspective – those of a bird!

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The zip line, in other words the possibility of flying on a steel rope over the glorious Cetina landscape, has become one of the most popular adrenaline activities.  If you would rather test your skills on the river rapids, try the best rafting around! However, if you want to be completely relaxed and also a bit lazy, look no further – this region unites the best of both worlds, so near these adrenaline activities sites, there are also attractive locations where you can spend your time on the beach! The coastal belt that connects Stobreč, Podstrana, Duće, Stanići, Mimice and Pisak, is the ideal getaway for guests looking for an alluring package combining tons of sun and crystal clear sea. Your only task? Reserve your spot on time!

 www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County

If we could choose ideal scenery for bike tourist adventure for everyone’s taste, one thing is certain- at the top of the choice Makarska riviera would definitly find a spotlight.

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True and unique dalmatian architecture, view on amazing vineyards and olive gardens, historic buildings and heritage-and of course crystal blue ocean!- these are all perfect ingredients which are addition on for an already perfect tour and race. Exceptional climate made jt possible to enjoy it all year long, and one thing in common-breathtaking nature which would take your breath away for sure!

Whichever out of 6 marked roads you decide to take on, the nature is overwhelming at a first glance and will fill you with enormous energy! Take a break for a moment and enjoy a crystal blue ocean view, or exceptional Biokovo which is protecting area with it’s power and care.

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Beautiful pebble beaches, where is always a big strike to find a spot more, during all year long are great breakaway from your bicycletourist adventure- feel free to put aside your bicycle for a brief moment, and relax with your colleagues, contemplate in open sea and horizons, experience from a first hand what you have only saw in a postcards before that moment. Those top list world locations would give you a pure pleasure!

CHALLENGE FOR BRAVE AND COURIOUS. Although these roads offer different types of challenges, we are immediately caught up in the eye – the most demanding, and that is certainly the 241 Biokovo tour. Although it is a completely paved mountain range (61.2 km), what makes it difficult is to climb to the highest peak of the Biokovo – Sv. Jure, located at an altitude of 1762 m

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The average time needed to reach the top of Sv. Jure is three hours, but it all depends on the physical conditioning and shape, also the age of the driver, so we recommend experienced bicyclists in good shape. It is not to be noted that it would be good to have secure and tested bicycles with full equipment and overgarments, and not to forget the helmet.

This trail, which runs along the Biokovo road, runs from Makarska to Tučepi, and as far as the entrance to the Biokovo Nature Park, it is located in the Park 5 km for almost 600 meters, which is quite a big ascent. But don’t let this discourage you – go for the concquering this second highest top in the Republic of Croatia! Your award is a fantastic view from Biokovo, which will be one of the most bright achievements in your driving portfolio.

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And the hilly PATH DRVENIK-GRADAC TOUR (360) has a slightly higher climb, on the section where the route, going through the olive gardens, climbs the asphalt path towards Biokovo, so it is recommended for bikers to stop here and rest so later on the mountain springs in the old Zaostrog and old Drvenik can look for a refreshing refreshment! We would like to recommend this bike path to bikers – culturists – namely, it goes by for a visit to the truly beautiful Franciscan monastery, and to the ancient villages that reflect the original Dalmatian architecture and sights such as the once largest fortification of the Makarska coast – Gradina! Path 280 Tučepi – Podgora tour tour will take you through picturesque huts through old Podgorica and one of the most beautiful parts of the suburbs, but also the center of Makarska and a pleasant forest ride to the idyllic harbor.

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IDYLLIC SEA VIEW SCENERY, you will experience its full beauty if you are on the Brela and Makarska tour (200, 220) and visit the beautiful botanical garden of Kotišina, conceived by its founder Dr. Fr. Jure Radić as a “fenced part of nature”, where natural forms of vegetation with self-sufficient flora will remain. The sloping slope 320 Igrane – Zivogosce tour, in addition to the combination of asphalt and macadam, will bring you interesting examples of sacral heritage (see the Holy Fire Monastery, highly argued with the theses that the legendary British King actually lived in – Dalmatia!

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More: www.dalmatia.hr

Photo: www.dalmatia.hr , archive of Tourist boards of Split Dalmatia County