Tuesday, 04 August 2020 10:26

Capers

Calm and serenity, blue color of the Adriatic Sea, old limestone houses and walls, delicious food and welcoming inhabitants are just some of the attractions of Dalmatia.
Strolling through small picturesque villages and towns one notices the green bushes of capers growing on old walls. Caper bushes are quite common for the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. Flowers of capers are beautiful and adorn a lot of walls on Croatian islands.
What are capers? They are actually the immature, green flower buds of the caper bush. Picking them is an arduous process as it has to be done by hand. Capers are then pickled. You can store them in a jar in salty brine that mellows its bitterness as well. They are very rich in flavor so make sure not to add too many capers to your dish. Its taste can be described as salty and lemony. You can use capers in a variety of recipes like in seafood dishes, pastas, salads and sauces, with meat and fish. Capers can be easily used straight out of jar in uncooked dishes. If you plan to add them to a cooked dish, it is much better to do it towards the end of cooking, as too much simmering results in them becoming bitter and losing their texture.
Remember to order a dish with capers next time you come to Croatia.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:42

Skywalk in Biokovo Nature Park in Croatia

A unique attraction in Croatia opened for visitors in Biokovo Nature Park on June 2, 2020. It is situated at an altitude of 1228 meters above sea level and only 13 kilometers up Biokovo road at Ravna Vlaška. As it protrudes out 12 kilometers from the cliffs the view one gets from standing on a horseshoe-shaped lookout with a glass base for walking is stunning. Overlooking parts of the Makarska Riviera and the islands you are mesmerized by the beauty of the nature around you and a bird’s eye view. The capacity of the platform is 30 people and your stay is limited to 5 minutes. There is also a geological pillar that enables one to have a three-dimensional view of the cross-section of the rocks of Biokovo area with a geological table so one gets more familiar with the formation and type of the rocks of the surroundings.
The total value of this project is about 35 million kuna with about 27 million kuna financed from the European Structural and Investment Funds. The rest of the funds come from the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency and Makarska Development Agency and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Funds. The whole project started in 2016 and it consists of 12 project elements planned in order to increase educational capacity of visitors to the Biokovo Nature Park and the number of visitors. The completion of the project is expected in January 2021.
If you feel a bit uneasy about your walk, do not worry, it has been tested. A day before the opening for visitors some of the top Croatian politicians attended the opening ceremony including a Croatian Prime Minister.
You will certainly not regret it as the feel is awesome.

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DAY 1 Friday │ Split - Milna, Island of Brac (dinner)

Embarkation in the port of Split in the afternoon. Departure to Milna on the island of Brac. Milna is located in a bay
overlooking Split, the largest, most protected and most beautiful port of Brac on the west coast of the island. Overnight on
board.
DAY 2 Saturday │ Milna - Bol, Island of Brac - Stari Grad, Island of Hvar (breakfast, lunch)

Morning departure from Milna to Bol on the island of Brac. Located at the foot of Vidova gora, the highest peak of the
Adriatic islands, Bol is known for the most attractive beach on the Adriatic, Zlatni rat. Free time for swimming. Sailing
takes us in the afternoon to the Old Town on the island of Hvar. The historical core of the Old Town and the cultural
landscape of the Old Town Field were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. Revive the spirit of the past
and tradition by discovering the labyrinth of picturesque old town streets. The Old Town was visited by Edward VIII and
Wallis Simpson during the 20th century, as well as John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, and this summer, along
with Elite Travel, you can do the same. Overnight on board. DAY 3 Sunday │ Stari Grad, island of Hvar - Town of Vis, Island of Vis (breakfast, dinner)

Morning departure from the Old Town Swimming, en route will be made near Pakleni islands. The Pakleni islands are
named after paklina, a type of pine resin, used in shipbuilding. The voyage continues towards the town of Vis on the
island of the same name. One of the reasons for the excess specialty lies in its half a century of isolation as a military
island. Today, the island of Vis is truly a part of the Mediterranean that once was, providing visitors with an experience for
all the senses. Overnight on board. DAY 4 Monday │ Town of Vis - Island Biševo - Komiža, Island Vis (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Vis to the island of Biševo with a stop and the opportunity of an optional individual visit to the Blue Cave
(ticket not included). The island of Biševo is located 6 miles from the island of Vis, across from the town of Komiža. The
Blue Cave is located in Baluni Bay on the east side of the island of Biševo. In the morning, the rays penetrate at the most
favorable angle through the underwater opening of the Blue Cave, reflect on the bottom and illuminate the cave with blue.
We end the day by sailing towards the town of Komiža on the island of Vis. Komiža is a town with a long fishing tradition,
which is reflected in its appearance and the warmth of the locals, where gastronomy lovers will come into their own.
Overnight on board. DAY 5 Tuesday │ Komiza, island of Vis - Vela Luka, Island of Korcula (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Komiža to Vela Luka on the island of Korčula. We will complete the voyage by stopping for a swim on
Viški Škoj, the islets of the Vis archipelago. The island of Korcula, a Dalmatian beauty, is an island of war dances and
klapas, centuries-old olive groves and vineyards, old summer houses and a rich cultural and historical heritage from the
time of the ancient Greeks to the time when it was part of Venice. Experience Korčula by tasting pošip and grk wines,
fragrant citrus fruits and fresh fish. Experience the tradition of knightly dances and indulge in the joy of life that will infect
you with hospitable locals. In the western part of the island of Korcula is the town of Vela Luka, located at the bottom of a
deeply incised and spacious bay. With its 4,500 inhabitants, Vela Luka is the second largest city on the Adriatic islands.
Overnight on board. DAY 6 Wednesday │ Vela Luka, Island of Korcula - town of Korcula (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Vela Luka in the morning towards the town of Korcula, there will be a swimming stop. The town of Korcula
is the birthplace of the famous Marco Polo and Moreška, a knight's dance with swords and is one of the most beautiful
Dalmatian towns. Get to know this stone city, discover the hidden ‘kale’ passing by the decorated facades of elegant
palaces, walking the cobbled streets as the sun merges with the sea at dusk. The old town is surrounded by walls, and
the streets are arranged in herringbones allowing free air flow, but also protecting it from strong winds. Among the most
significant historical sights we will mention the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. Mark, the town hall, and the massive
city walls, as well as the Franciscan monastery from the 15th century and the birthplace of Marco Polo. Overnight on
board. DAY 7 Thursday │ Korcula town, Korcula Island - Hvar town, Hvar island (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Korčula to the town of Hvar with a stop for swimming near the island of Šćedro. Our today's destination is
the town of Hvar, Croatian Ibiza and an ancient town with a rich history. Centuries have carved its fortresses and walls,
and the Renaissance has given it the shape and spirit that lives on today. Hvar is a jewel hidden in a time whose beauties
have been recognized by members of the world jet set, including Prince Harry, Beyonce and Sophia Loren. It is a city of
sun, wine, lavender, entertainment and high gastronomy, and the view from the Fortica fortress, which has been watching
the entrance to the port for centuries, is breathtaking. Overnight on board. DAY 8 Friday │ Hvar Hvar town, Hvar Island - Split (breakfast) Departure to Split with a stop for swimming, arrival in Split late in the morning. Disembarkation at the Port of Split. Before
returning, take the opportunity and walk through Split, the city of Emperor Diocletian, a city whose heart has been beating
for 1700 years and conquering the unique Dalmatian joy de vivre. The old core is under UNESCO protection, since Split is
a unique world example where life is followed in situ from antiquity to the present day, and the irony of fate is that it placed
the Split Cathedral in the emperor's mausoleum

Published in Adriatic Cruise 2020
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 09:38

Korčula birthplace of Marco Polo?

Marco Polo is a researcher, travel writer and merchant, who became famous for recording his travels through China. Where exactly he was born has not yet been determined but it is indisputable that he was born in 1254 in the then Venetian Republic.
Marco's father Niccolò and uncle Matteo, enterprising merchants, embarked on their second trip to China in 1271, when Marko joined them. After a journey that lasted 3 years, they arrived at the court of Kublai-Khan, where Marko became his confidant and remained in his service for 17 years, traveling to many parts of the Far East, learning the languages and customs of different peoples.
According to history records, upon his return from China in 1298, Marco was captured at Korcula in a naval battle between Venice and Genoa, in which he participated as commander of a Venetian galley.
He allegedly dictated his memoirs to a certain Rustichello while he was in prison in Genoa in 1298.
Marco records various curiosities he encounters along the way, mentions a mountain in Armenia where Noah's Ark allegedly stopped, a tomb in Persia where sages who came to worship Jesus are supposedly buried, and the lands in the far north where there is a terrible cold and the night never ends. He is the first writer to mention oil in any literary work in the Western world. He discovers that the fire-resistant substance is by no means the wool of an animal but a mineral, asbestos, which is found in Xinjiang Uygur province. There are so many black stones burning, coal, in China that hot baths can be prepared every day. Wherever he goes, Marco reports on clothes, food and drink, especially the Mongolian drink made from fermented mare's milk, and the religious and magical rites of the people he encounters, the jobs they do, and the goods they sell. Something completely new to him was paper money, which was in use throughout the empire of the great henna.
Marco never expresses his thoughts, but only records what he sees or hears.
Marco was most likely released from prison in 1299, when Venice and Genoa made peace. He returned to Venice, where he married and had three daughters. He died there in 1324 at the age of 69.
Whether he was born or not in Korčula, then part of the Venetian Republic, does not prevent you from coming to discover his possible hometown and the gastronomy it offers, which would surely have tasted different if the great traveler had not brought the spices that marked the delicacies of our region.

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DAY 1 Friday │ Split - Milna, Island of Brac (dinner)

Embarkation in the port of Split in the afternoon. Departure to Milna on the island of Brac. Milna is located in a bay
overlooking Split, the largest, most protected and most beautiful port of Brac on the west coast of the island. Overnight on
board. DAY 2 Saturday │ Milna - Bol, Island of Brac - Stari Grad, Island of Hvar (breakfast, lunch)

Morning departure from Milna to Bol on the island of Brac. Located at the foot of Vidova gora, the highest peak of the
Adriatic islands, Bol is known for the most attractive beach on the Adriatic, Zlatni rat. Free time for swimming. Sailing
takes us in the afternoon to the Old Town on the island of Hvar. The historical core of the Old Town and the cultural
landscape of the Old Town Field were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. Revive the spirit of the past
and tradition by discovering the labyrinth of picturesque old town streets. The Old Town was visited by Edward VIII and
Wallis Simpson during the 20th century, as well as John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, and this summer, along
with Elite Travel, you can do the same. Overnight on board. DAY 3 Sunday │ Stari Grad, island of Hvar - Town of Vis, Island of Vis (breakfast) Morning departure from the Old Town Swimming, en route will be made near Pakleni islands. The Pakleni islands are
named after paklina, a type of pine resin, used in shipbuilding. The voyage continues towards the town of Vis on the
island of the same name. One of the reasons for the excess specialty lies in its half a century of isolation as a military
island. Today, the island of Vis is truly a part of the Mediterranean that once was, providing visitors with an experience for
all the senses. Late afternoon transfer by catamaran to Split.

Published in Adriatic Cruise 2020

DESCRIPTION

DAY 1 Sunday │ Town of Vis, Island of Vis (dinner) Arrival transfer from Split airport or city area to Vis. Island of Vis is truly a part of the Mediterranean that once was,
providing visitors with an experience for all the senses. Overnight on board.
DAY 2 Monday │ Town of Vis - Island Biševo - Komiža, Island Vis (breakfast, lunch)
Departure from Vis to the island of Biševo with a stop and the opportunity of an optional individual visit to the Blue Cave
(ticket not included). The island of Biševo is located 6 miles from the island of Vis, across from the town of Komiža. The
Blue Cave is located in Baluni Bay on the east side of the island of Biševo. In the morning, the rays penetrate at the most
favorable angle through the underwater opening of the Blue Cave, reflect on the bottom and illuminate the cave with blue.
We end the day by sailing towards the town of Komiža on the island of Vis. Komiža is a town with a long fishing tradition,
which is reflected in its appearance and the warmth of the locals, where gastronomy lovers will come into their own.
Overnight on board.
DAY 3 Tuesday │ Komiza, island of Vis - Vela Luka, Island of Korcula (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Komiža to Vela Luka on the island of Korčula. We will complete the voyage by stopping for a swim on
Viški Škoj, the islets of the Vis archipelago. The island of Korcula, a Dalmatian beauty, is an island of war dances and
klapas, centuries-old olive groves and vineyards, old summer houses and a rich cultural and historical heritage from the
time of the ancient Greeks to the time when it was part of Venice. Experience Korčula by tasting pošip and grk wines,
fragrant citrus fruits and fresh fish. Experience the tradition of knightly dances and indulge in the joy of life that will infect
you with hospitable locals. In the western part of the island of Korcula is the town of Vela Luka, located at the bottom of a
deeply incised and spacious bay. With its 4,500 inhabitants, Vela Luka is the second largest city on the Adriatic islands.
Overnight on board. DAY 4 Wednesday │ Vela Luka, Island of Korcula - town of Korcula (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Vela Luka in the morning towards the town of Korcula, there will be a swimming stop. The town of Korcula
is the birthplace of the famous Marco Polo and Moreška, a knight's dance with swords and is one of the most beautiful
Dalmatian towns. Get to know this stone city, discover the hidden ‘kale’ passing by the decorated facades of elegant
palaces, walking the cobbled streets as the sun merges with the sea at dusk. The old town is surrounded by walls, and
the streets are arranged in herringbones allowing free air flow, but also protecting it from strong winds. Among the most
significant historical sights we will mention the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. Mark, the town hall, and the massive
city walls, as well as the Franciscan monastery from the 15th century and the birthplace of Marco Polo. Overnight on
board. DAY 5 Thursday │ Korcula town, Korcula Island - Hvar town, Hvar island (breakfast, lunch)

Departure from Korčula to the town of Hvar with a stop for swimming near the island of Šćedro. Our today's destination is
the town of Hvar, Croatian Ibiza and an ancient town with a rich history. Centuries have carved its fortresses and walls,
and the Renaissance has given it the shape and spirit that lives on today. Hvar is a jewel hidden in a time whose beauties
have been recognized by members of the world jet set, including Prince Harry, Beyonce and Sophia Loren. It is a city of
sun, wine, lavender, entertainment and high gastronomy, and the view from the Fortica fortress, which has been watching
the entrance to the port for centuries, is breathtaking. Overnight on board. DAY 6 Friday │ Hvar Hvar town, Hvar Island - Split (breakfast)

Departure to Split with a stop for swimming, arrival in Split late in the morning. Disembarkation at the Port of Split. Before
returning, take the opportunity and walk through Split, the city of Emperor Diocletian, a city whose heart has been beating
for 1700 years and conquering the unique Dalmatian joy de vivre. The old core is under UNESCO protection, since Split is
a unique world example where life is followed in situ from antiquity to the present day, and the irony of fate is that it placed
the Split Cathedral in the emperor's mausoleum.

Published in Adriatic Cruise 2020

Even though the 9th - century church of St. Donatus is the symbol of the city and no doubt the best known building in Zadar, another two city attractions have lately become simply unavoidable for any tourist visiting this Adriatic gem. These are the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun - two urban installations designed by an architect Mr Nikola Bašić and constructed in the western part of the Zadar peninsula (the Old Town area), at the very tip of its waterfront which was recently reconstructed and turned into a new, modern pier area for the cruise ships.

Constructed in 2005, the Sea Organ consists of stone steps divided into seven sections measuring 10 meters each. Under these steps is a whole system of pipes and tubes with whistles. This urban installation was constructed at the very tip of the waterfront since this place is most exposed to the waves of the winds of the Zadar channel. The wind makes the waves, then the waves compress the air through those pipes with whistles and that is how music is made here. The stronger the waves are, the louder the music is. Or, in other words, no waves - no music. The Sea Organ, also called the orchestra of nature, is the world’s first pipe organ played by the sea.

Right next to the Sea Organ is another popular modern city attraction - the Greeting to the Sun. This urban installation was constructed in 2008. The idea for this project was inspired by the place from which the local people usually enjoy watching the sun go down. In addition to that, the famous English film director and producer Sir Alfred Hitchcock visited Zadar back in the 1960s and said that Zadar had the most beautiful sunset in the world. So, it is to these famous Zadar sunsets that this installation is dedicated to.
The Greeting to the Sun is a circular plate 22 meters in diameter which consists of three hundred multilayered glass plates under which have been inbuilt photo-powered solar modules. These solar modules absorb sunlight during the day and when the sun sets they charge the lighting elements under the plates which finally light up and produce a light spectacle - different lighting images synchronized with the rhythm of the waves and the sounds of the Sea Organ. The circular glass plate is surrounded by a steel frame in which are engraved the names of the saints to whom the churches in Zadar are consecrated, together with the dates of the holidays when these saints are celebrated, the declination and the height of the Sun on those days as well as the duration of sunlight during each holiday. Separate from the plate representing the Sun, smaller circular plates have been placed symbolizing all the other planets of the Solar system.

From the first day both installations became unique, recognizable and far-renowned city attractions and have won the highest world acclaims within their category.

So, when in Zadar do not miss to greet the sun sitting by the orchestra of nature.

Published in blog
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 17:45

Hidden gem nearby Dubrovnik - Cavtat

There are several legends how the town got its name and in this spring time when whereever you go you feel an amazing floral scent, form jasmin to fresias and roses in lush bloom, somehow the one that the name comes from old croatian verb captiti - to bloom, suddenly makes sence.

Located in a secluded bay, protected by two deeply forested peninsulas, Cavtat is one of the oldest settlements in the area.

With its amazing promenade, palm trees, restaurants in a shades of old pine trees it attracts everyone to visit and relax in the peaceful surroundings that Cavtat offers.

But, it is not just another lovely sea side town. This place hides some of the best art work in the area.

Did you know that Vlaho Bukovac, one of the best Croatian painters was born here? The year 1877, was essential for Bukovac as he was accepted in a class of professor Cabanel at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. He considered himself as a representative of modern French realistic school and his paintings are full of amazing details. His birth house is open as a gallery of his work. But, two of the town churches as well are hosting his paintings. Portraits of four evangelists can be seen in parish church of St. Nicholas and beautiful landscape painting of the whole town of Cavtat is today decorating the church of Our Lady of the Snow.

Fun fact is that the main curtain of Croatian National Opera is decorated by replica of a Bukovac painting “ The Gundulić dream”.

As you stroll on the promenade, you will be drawn to look up to the top of the hill where a masterpiece of architecture stands tall overlooking the town.
It is a mausoleum of Račić family, made by Ivan Meštrović, the best Croatian sculptor. Meštrović build this as his first architectural piece and it is considered a masterpiece of art deco. The mausoleum is fully build of Brač white stone and it was built in two years. It was Marija, the daughter of ship owner Ivo Račić, that Meštrović was in love with, who asked him “Will you build me a grave, when I die and give me a proof that death is just an illusion?” The answer to this question Meštrović has written on a bell of mausoleum… “Solve the mystery of love and you will solve the mystery of death and you will believe that life is eternal”.

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Saturday, 25 April 2020 11:28

Dry stone walls

When you travel through the Adriatic coast in Croatia, either from land or sea, you will notice endless stone walls hugging hills, floting like snakes and dividing the countryside.
They come in different shapes and sizes and creating them is not a simple task.
The technique is a thousand years old and they are handmade without mortar to hold the stones in place.
Stacked stone by stone they have to fit like puzzle pieces.
Farmers pick rocks out of the soil to clear space to grow olive trees and grapevines.
They then use the rocks to construct walls around geometric plots, creating a grid that stretches for kilometres.
Dry stone walls were also used to divide territory and corral sheep, and they play a vital role in preventing landslides, floods, avalanches and combate erosion.
As a monument they are under the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, so while you travel along the Adriatic coast and islands of Croatia, somehow a monument is always surrounding you.

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Due to COVID 19 pandemic in Europe Dame Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza decided to self-isolate on the island of Lopud in Dubrovnik area with her two daughters while her son remained in Austria. They arrived on the island of Lopud in the Elaphite islands archipelago about a month ago and are currently enjoying in the privacy of a 15th century Franciscan monastery.
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza came to Croatia during the Homeland War in the 90’s in her attempt to protect Croatia’s heritage and artwork. She fell in love with the island of Lopud seeing its potential as the European jet set paradise and the aforementioned monastery as a representative residence for her family. A 99 years long concession was obtained and after 16 years of restoration works in 2018 a part of this monastery has been opened to public.
Being a philanthropist and a contemporary art collector through the work of her Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation she regularly participates in Biennales by commissioning new works of art. Since 2007 an art pavilion –Your Black Horizon as a unique architectural and lighting installatio in the centre of Lopud after being presented at the Venice Biennale in 2005. The authors are Olafur Eliason and David Adjaye.
Although most visitors would come to the island of Lopud during summer months in order to enjoy in its sandy beaches and the mesmerizing colour of the Adriatic Sea it has much more to offer.
If you are intrigued by this perfect hideout place discover it by taking our Island Cruise from Dubrovnik or Afternoon Sailing with Galleon tour.

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