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IKEA Croatia Prices Revealed – Some Items Cheaper than in Austria and Italy

Ikea2The long-awaited arrival of IKEA in Croatia is now only days away, after it was announced that IKEA would open its first store in the country in Zagreb on 21 August. The first product catalogue was presented to media today, and it seems that prices in Croatia will be cheaper than those at IKEA stores in Austria and Italy…

More than 9,500 SKU’s will occupy 38,000 square metres of shop space when IKEA opens in just over 3 weeks, and here are some of the items, and price comparisons, that shoppers can expect.

Children's bed: Price: Austria: 129 eura (982 kuna) Italy: 135 eura (1.028 kuna) Croatia: 998 kn

Children’s bed: Price: Austria: 129 euro (982 kuna) Italy: 135 euro (1.028 kuna) Croatia: 998 kn

Table: Price: Austria: 7,99 eura (60,96 kn) Italy: 7,99 eura (60,96 kn) Croatia: 49,90 kn

Table: Price: Austria: 7,99 euro (60,96 kn) Italy: 7,99 euro (60,96 kn) Croatia: 49,90 kn

Rug: Prices: Austria: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Italy: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Croatia: 249 kn

Rug: Prices: Austria: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Italy: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Croatia: 249 kn

Set of 8 draws: Prices: Austria: 259 euro (1.973 kn) Italy: 259 euro (1.973 kn) Croatia: 1.949 kn

Set of 8 draws: Prices: Austria: 259 euro (1.973 kn) Italy: 259 euro (1.973 kn) Croatia: 1.949 kn

Couch: Prices: Austria: 1099 euro (8.374 kn) Italy: 999 euro (7.612 kn) Croatia: 11.999 kn

Couch: Prices: Austria: 1099 euro (8.374 kn) Italy: 999 euro (7.612 kn) Croatia: 11.999 kn

Chair: Prices: Austria: 299 euro (2.278 kn) Italy: 359 euro (2.735 kn) Croatia: 2.499 kn

Chair: Prices: Austria: 299 euro (2.278 kn) Italy: 359 euro (2.735 kn) Croatia: 2.499 kn

Drawer: Prices: Austria: 199 euro (1.516 kn) Italy: 199 euro (1.516 kn) Croatia: 1499 kn

Drawer: Prices: Austria: 199 euro (1.516 kn) Italy: 199 euro (1.516 kn) Croatia: 1499 kn

Kallax Regal: Prices: Austria: 29,99 euro (228 kn)Italy: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Croatia: 299 kn

Kallax Regal: Prices: Austria: 29,99 euro (228 kn)Italy: 39,99 euro (304 kn) Croatia: 299 kn

Pull-out couch: Prices: Austria: 899 euro (6.850 kn) Italy: 819 euro (6.240 kn) Croatia: 5.299 kn

Pull-out couch: Prices: Austria: 899 euro (6.850 kn) Italy: 819 euro (6.240 kn) Croatia: 5.299 kn

More and More B Grade Imported Food Floods Croatian Shelves

CroatiaLast year imported food from a total of 125 countries made its way onto Croatian supermarket shelves, with marmalade the only product where exports exceeded imports…

Most food which makes it way on to the tables of homes in Croatia is not local produce, but imported from abroad. The concerning trend of imported second class food at supermarkets across the country has continued in the first quarter of 2014. From January to March this year 686 million USD worth of food was imported into Croatia, whilst only 378 million USD worth of food products was exported. It seems that there is no strategy in place for this trend to reverse, as Croatian markets and shops are flooded with second class products from abroad.

“I think it is a big mistake, that we have enough people and uncultivated land,” one market stall owner told daily news dnvenik, adding that imported fruit and vegetables are cheaper, but of a lesser quality.

“Everything that applies to our food being exported should be applied to food that is imported,”says Mijo Latin from the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture, saying that on average locals consumed around 30 kilograms of imported vegetables and 43.5 kilograms of imported fruit last year.

In 2013 Croats ate 1,800 tonnes of mainly Chinese garlic, 5,320 tonnes of frozen chickens from Brazil, and a massive 29,000 tonnes of imported potatoes. A shame for a country with plenty of agricultural land.

Croatia Gets First Anti-Allergy Hotel

CroatiaCroatia got its first listed diffused or integrated hotel last month when ZigZag Integrated hotel got given that status as part of the Tourism Ministry’s plan to open up new categories. Now Croatia has its very first anti-allergy hotel…

Vitality Hotel Punta in Veli Lošinj, situated on the island of Lošinj on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast, has become the country’s first anti-allergy accommodation after it was award the ECARF certificate. The certification, awarded by the Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF), means the hotel has met the required standards with regards to products and services when it comes to guests who are allergy sufferers.

Croatian Community Around the World Sending Back €1.1 Billion Yearly to Croatia

CroatiaThe Croatian community around the world sent back around 1.1 billion euros to Croatia, only via official channels such as banks and cash transfer firms such as Western Union, last year, writes daily Vecernji list

According to calculations by economist Adela Poprženović, the amount the Croats abroad send back home puts them amongst the top 10 most generous in the world. The Croatian community abroad is hands down the biggest ‘foreign’ investors in the country, easily surpassing Austria, who according to data from the Croatian National Bank, are the largest, investing 683.6 million euros in 2012.

“Croatian emigrants sent back money to the homeland for two reasons – one as kind of a retirement fund, with many investing in property that they plan to move back and live in, and the other is to help out family back in the homeland,” said Poprženović.

Famous Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan Set for Action in Dubrovnik

CroatiaHBO classic Game of Thrones has beamed the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik into the homes of millions, now the popular Dalmatian tourist spot will be beamed out to hundreds of millions more with confirmation that one of India’s biggest superstars will perform ‘dare devil stunts’ in Dubrovnik for a new film…

Considered to be one of the biggest film stars in cinematic history, with a fan following claimed to number in the billions, Shah Rukh Khan will shoot high action scenes in Dubrovnik for Yash Raj Films` upcoming movie `Fan`. After scouring for suitable filming locations, the Mumbai team have zeroed in on Croatia, reports India’s Zee News.

“A high energy action sequence for `Fan` will be shot in Dubrovnik. The local Croatian crew along with the YRF team from Mumbai met months in advance to meticulously plan this sequence to be shot with Shah Rukh Khan,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The action sequence is an integral part of the film. Hence the team met up months before the actual shoot is supposed to take place, to meticulously plan this sequence for Khan. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times called him “the world’s biggest movie star.” He has also been regularly featured in listings of the most influential names in Indian culture and in 2008, Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Khan is also the co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders.

Rise in the Number of Foreigners Getting Married in Croatia

CroatiaAccording to information from local travel agencies and other service providers, the number of foreigners choosing Croatia as a wedding destination has increased rapidly since the start of the year, writes Lider.hr

Croatia is proving a popular place for foreign couples to say ‘I do’, with Americans, Germans, French, Canadians and Australians leading the way. When it comes to location, Dubrovnik on Croatia’s southern Dalmatian coast is the most popular, along with Istria, whilst an increasing number of foreigners are choosing Zadar, Split and the islands of Hvar and Korčula.

It is not just wedding planners and venue owners who have felt the benefits of the increase, other tourism service providers, such as car rental companies, are also cashing in.

“We recently supplied 30 luxury vehicles from our fleet for a wedding for a young American couple which was held in the south of Croatia,” said Fleet.

Kovač: “Mexico Preparations at Full Steam, it is Our Final”

CroatiaCroatia has returned back to their Praia do Forte camp from Manaus, with coach Niko Kovač already fully focussed on Monday’s do-or-die match with Mexico…

“We are already in full steam preparing for Mexico. We need to win, we are working towards that. We have watched all of Mexico’s matches, there are no surprises. We know their strengths and weaknesses, and I believe in my side. We have prepared excellent for two matches already, so why not for the third?,” said Kovač, who gave his players a day off on Thursday to recover from the long trip and exhausting conditions in Manaus.

Mexico’s 0-0 draw midweek with Brazil means that a draw for Croatia will only do if Cameroon can cause an unlikely upset and beat Brazil.

“Mexico is strong, but so are we. They have a strong attack, and defence. It will be difficult, but we are hoping for victory. Our confidence has grown, as has Mexico’s. It is a final for both sides, the winner advances to the second round,” Kovač said.

Croatia will have a light training run on Friday, and will have one day less to prepare than they did for the Cameroon match. One thing Kovač will be thankful for is that all his squad will be available for selection, with no injury or card troubles. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Lošinj – First Aid Instructions for Debilitated Turtles

Croatia1By Anna Tucker

In the unlikely event that you happen to collide with one of the three species of sea turtles that inhabit the Adriatic while roaming about in a motorised sea vehicle this summer, you will likely have to deal with rescuing a comatose creature from drowning…

Luckily, Croatia Week visited the new Sea Turtle Rescue Centre on the island of Lošinj and has received valuable life-saving instructions, as seen on the illustration below, which enable one to successfully deal with such an unfortunate event. By applying these very same rescue procedures that are now, thanks to the educational efforts of Lošinj’s Blue World Institute and its Turtle Rescue Centre, a regular practice for local fisherman in cases of turtle bycatch, you are sure to save a life of an endangered animal whose population in the Adriatic has been severely diminished.

valuable life-saving instructions

valuable life-saving instructions

Unfortunately, just in Croatia alone, it is estimated that up to 2,500 sea turtles per year become victims of human activities, which is why this centre, only the second of its kind in the country, is an important link in the preservation efforts of this endangered and rarely seen marine reptile.

In any case, if you decide to visit the nature-rich and eco-oriented island of Lošinj, whether by sea vessel or any other way, be sure to stop by the Centre, where Mrs. Kristina Volarić aka Kiki, a friendly and knowledgeable student of environmental sciences, or another volunteer of the centre, will show you around and introduce you to Lošinj’s Blue World Institute, and EU’s NETCET project for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Adriatic.

This Centre is the place where you will learn tons of fun facts, such as that the loggerhead turtle – one of the three species that is found in the waters of Croatia – originates from Greece’s party island of Zakynthos and travels to our waters to spend the winter and feed; that the Green turtle – the most endangered species in the Adriatic – is the only vegetarian of the trio; or that the leatherback turtle can cross a staggering 20,000 km in just two years.

Apart from providing the visitors with an opportunity to learn more about these animals through films, touchscreen applications and models, the Centre offers various training courses and workshops, and organises numerous awareness raising activities targeting local fishermen, school children and the general public.

CroatiaIn addition, the Rescue Centre provides facilities for the professional care of these endangered animals, including an operation room, an isolation pool and longer-term environmentally controlled recovery pools.

The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation and its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre operates on donations and offers various volunteering opportunities and adoption programs, as well as souvenirs for both children and adults who want to support the conservation of the Adriatic’s marine life.

So, in case you feel like learning more about these endangered sea animals or are looking to spend a holiday doing more than just chilling on the beach, be sure to visit Lošinj’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. You can also learn more about their activities or how to get involved by visiting the Institute’s site at www.blue-world.org

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Croatian Hotel Among Booking.com’s World Top 10

CroatiaOne of the world’s biggest online booking sites, Booking.com, which daily processes more than 550,000 room nights reservations, has named one Croatian hotel among its top 10 in the world in their latest ‘The Best of Booking’s Best’ list

Villa Meneghetti, situated in Bale in Istria, was ranked number 8 in the world as the reviewers’ favourites in Booking.com’s The Booking Truth campaign with a score of 9.5 out if 10. Great recognition from a site that deals with millions of reviews a year.

“This secluded retreat is highly reviewed for its rustic aesthetic mixed with modern amenities and stylish décor. All this just a short distance from the area’s beautiful beaches,” said Booking.com.

“We get new reviews every second of the day from our reviewers, each one a fount of knowledge about the world’s most amazing places. So browse our Best of Booking’s Best selections and discover the accommodations our reviewers love,” explained the website.

2014 Croatian Summer Film Festival Guide

BacviceThis summer Croatia will not just be about music festivals (you can check out our 2014 Croatian summer music festival guide here) but a host of exciting film festivals will be going on up and down the country. Check out our summer film festival guide below to see what is going on in Croatia over the summer…

Mediterranean Film Festival Split, 6 – 14 June 2014
+ CINEMA MEDITERRANEAN – Makarska, Omiš, Trogir, Šibenik, Komiža, Bol, Lastovo, Silba, Imotski, Korčula, Blato, Hvar, Stari Grad, Vis, 22 June – 29 August 2014

Mediterranean Film Festival Split has become one of the best and most popular cultural events on the Adriatic and its positive spirit has been recognized by more than 40.000 visitors in the last 6 years. The reason are films from the Mediterranean region and their regional and Croatian premieres in Split since they cannot be seen in regular cinema distribution. But the smell of hundred year old pines and the sound of the sea, the center of the beautiful UNESCO city, sandy beach and smiling faces having a good time…all that is a bonus during the eight days of the festival.

Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival – Zagreb, 27 June – 5 July 2014

Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival brings special cinematic treats to all film buffs and fantasy fans. In nine days of the Festival, fans of fantasy and related genres – science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, experimental etc. will get to watch a number of intriguing and interesting films from both new and acknowledged authors.

Pula Film Festival – Pula, 12 – 26 July 2014

Long ago, in 1938, even before the establishment of the Cannes Film Festival, a well visited first film revue took place in the Pula Arena and since 1953 Pula has established itself as a place where you can enjoy the film under the starry sky. London newspaper The Guardian in 2005 wrote that Pula is “one of the three most spectacular open-air festivals in Europe”. Its National & Popular programme, opening and award ceremonies are traditionally held in ancient Vespasian’s Amphitheatre (constructed in the mid-1st century B.C), popularly called Arena, that in summer becomes one of the biggest open-air cinemas in the world (along with Locarno and Taormina). European Programme usually hosts a feast of cinematic delicacies from around the world, while the National Programme, thanks to which Pula proudly holds the title of the oldest film festival in the world, expects to present more than a dozen Croatian titles.

Supetar Super Film Festival – Supetar (Brač), 15 – 19 July 2014

This summer will be the 6th edition of the SSFF – festival of European contemporary documentary films. After Scotland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Serbia have all been partner countries with this young festival, it is expected that this year will once again be a great week of film, concerts and workshops on the beautiful island of Brač.

Motovun Film Festival – Motovun, 26 – 30 July 2014

Motovun Film Festival takes place in a picturesque medieval  town situated in a fort 270 m above sea level. A five-day film marathon with evening outdoor screenings and daily screenings in theatres. Festival program consists of around 70 titles from all over the world, from documentaries to feature films, from shorts to long forms, from guerilla made films to co-productions. Motovun is one of the most popular Croatian festivals and summer destinations.

Supertoon – International Animation Festival, 27 July – 1 August 2014

After the first two years being held on the island of Brac, last year’s edition of Supertoon – International Animation Festival has moved to the beautiful coastal town of Sibenik.  Supertoon is definitely going to add some flavour to an already rich summer season in Sibenik. Supertoon is known for showcasing recent short animated films for adults and for kids and especially for its carefully curated music video selection programme – Supertoon Supertunes. Last years festival’s tagline was Festival in Flip – Flops.

Postira Seaside Festival – Postira (Brač), TBA

The Postira Seaside Film Festival is organized by a small group of enthusiasts gathered in the assosiations “LANTERNA MAGICA” and “UNIKAT”, who are trying to further cultural life in their little village to make life better for it´s inhabitants (especially the young). The festival takes place in the old town square of the picturesque village Postira on the island of Brac. Laid back and definitely fun!

Starigrad Paklenica International Music Documentary Film Festival – Starigrad, 2 – 7 August 2014

Since its first edition in the year 2010, the SPFF has had a very clearly defined program, two competition categories, the feature film category and the short music documentary category. Apart from being presented with about 30 attractive titles in all the categories, the audience has always had the chance to enjoy great musical evenings following the film screenings, with the performances from big national and international music names. Previous editions of the SPFF have also been the site of some international, but mostly Croatian film premieres.

Opuzen Film Festival – Opuzen, 18 – 23 August 2014

As OFF’s visitors believed that the festival was are creating a special sort of „zen“ in Opuzen for the past few years, last year the organizers decided to take a simple, but also unusual slogan „’op u Zen“, meaning to jump in Zen. This special type of Zen has an emphasis on different philosophical and artistic view of the European film.

Vukovar Film Festival – Vukovar, 18 – 24 August 2014

Vukovar Film Festival – Danube Region Film Festival  is a one week manifestiation whose rich programme selection includes winners of the world’s largest film festivals. It takes place on several locations in Vukovar. Evening screenings take place on the Terrace of the Agency for Waterways and the beautiful park of Eltz Castle, while standard day – time screening locations are Ruzicka’s house, Cinema Borovo and a summer getaway place Danubian Sand Island “Ada”.

Avvantura Festival – FilmForumZadar – Zadar, 23 – 29 August 2014

Avvantura Festival – FilmForumZadar is the first international film festival being focused on European Co-Productions and is taking place in Zadar during the last week of August. It’s also the first international film festival in Zadar gathering not only the cinema audience during the film projections but also the professionals participating at the creative Film Forum. “This is the most beautiful sunset in the world” – said Alfred Hitchcock, delighted during the staying in Zadar. The organizers believe that the new generations have the great opportunity to show that Zadar disposes of more than just perfect geographic position on the Adriatic sea along with the beautiful landscapes perfect for the film sets.

Liburnia Film Festival, Ičići (Opatija), 26 – 30 August 2014

Liburnia Film Festival is the first documentary film festival in Croatia and the only festival screening only the latest in Croatian documentaries. This open air documentary film festival is held every year in August and has built up a reputation for showing quality documentaries in a stunning setting with a relaxed atmosphere.

Kinookus Food Film Festival – Ston, 3 – 7 September 2014

The Kinookus Food Film Festival takes place in Ston (Croatia) every September. The area around Ston (Dubrovnik-Neretva County) is renowned for the cultivation of shellfish, superb wines and olive oil. By bringing the seventh art back into the open public spaces of Ston, the Kinookus organizers wish to give their support to the ongoing efforts of the local community and civic associations to revive and preserve the unique spirit of this magical place.

Trash Film Festival – Varaždin, 11 – 13 September 2014

Trash Film Festival is a festival of low-budget action movies. Trash Film Festival is much more than just a review – it is a large glam-trash event in which all present play role; guests, organizers, performers and contestants. Great care is taken to organize concerts, kitsch parties and red carpet events. On the final evening, the festival award Golden Chainsaw is given to the best movies.

Split Film Festival – International Festival of New Film – Split, 13 – 20 September 2014

Split Film Festival – International Festival of New Film takes place every year in an ancient town on the Adriatic coast. It showcases new, innovative, personal, experimental, radical, subversive works (film, video, new media) of all genres and lenghts, preferably from outside the mainstream, whether it was made on a shoe string budget, or is a studio release.