Marijana Biondic, Crikvenica (Croatia)

1. How would you introduce Crikvenica ?

The Crikvenica Riviera is situated in one of the most picturesque corners of Kvarner and it comprises the charming tourist resorts of Crikvenica, Dramalj, Jadranovo and Selce. Due to its favourable natural features, our riviera was one of the first in Croatia that began to nurture a tradition of health tourism as early as the 19th century. The area’s mild and healthy climate, microclimate, clean air and sea, as well as its favourable insolation and vegetation, all help in the prevention of various diseases, rehabilitation, and improvement of the quality of life. If you are looking for a destination where in the same day you can swim in the sea, stroll on a sandy beach breathing in the scents of the Mediterranean, and then in the evening have fun in town, or relax in the quiet of a green hinterland, Crikvenica Riviera is the right choice for you.

The Crikvenica-Vinodol region has a total of more than 300 km of footpaths and hiking trails and 300 km of cycling trails and it is the perfect place for enjoying walks, jogging, cycling and all other sport activities on land or in the sea. In Crikvenica you can simply take a walk along one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the Adriatic, the gorgeous Love Path or through the fragrant Mediterranean Labyrinth of Love. The traditional gastronomy exudes the Mediterranean, and is rich in fish, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, natural aromatic herbs and other healthy ingredients. It’s always interesting with more than 250 different events throughout the year, such as the Carnival, Crikvenica Cycling Marathon, Strawberry Festival, CrikvArt – street entertainers festival, the Melodies with a Taste of the Sea festival, Šilo-Crikvenica swimming marathon or the Fisherman’s Week. Our Riviera is ideal for all generations of visitors, from adventurers and animal lovers to families and those looking for entertainment, excitement and relaxation in the great outdoors. One of the best ways to present the Crikvenica Riviera in a short time is our tourism film “Crikvenica Riviera – Discover, enjoy, repeat”. It discovers the Riviera’s landscapes, natural beauties, local festivals and traditional events, sport & fun activities, gastronomy, health tourism, etc. It emphasises the various emotions and feelings visitors experience when enjoying the Riviera by calling guests to: See it, Hear it, Feel it, Try it, Taste it, Remember it, Love it or simply Live it. While naming the film, we used the word “repeat” wanting to say: You are welcome, and after you visit our Riviera, you will love it and surely come back to us, wanting to discover your own new stories.

2. Which creative experiences define you the best ?

When developing new activities and raising the quality of existing ones, Crikvenica Tourist Board follows global trends while at the same respecting local traditions and including the typical features of the destination. We have extensive experience in developing various projects (the Crikvenica International Health Tourism Conference, Crikvenica – the Marathon Town, the Oily Fish Road, Fall in Love in/with Crikvenica, etc.) and organising numerous cultural, entertainment, traditional, culinary, sporting, recreational, and other events.

In the last few years we at the Crikvenica Tourist Board have been focused on creating events in which the visitors aren’t just the passive audience, yet they can have an active role. Creative tourism offer includes events that have strong connection with our history, culture and tradition, local crafts and customs. For example, the history and the development of Crikvenica is strongly bonded with fishing, since the first inhabitants were fishermen. More than 50 years ago we started to organize an event called “Fishermen’s week” which became an imaginative experience with the presentation of building the “old fishermen’s row boats”, fishing craft, culinary workshops, and presentation of customs from that period. The program offers active events for all generations. A special and valuable part of creative tourism offer is the “Fishing with visitors”, which we organize in cooperation with the local fishing clubs, whose members offer free fishing in old wooden boats using traditional fishing equipment. This is a special experience for our guests, which gives them a chance to see our destination from the different corner. Some of the participants are for the first time at the sea and we believe that it makes their holiday special and unforgetable.

“ See it, Hear it, Feel it, Try it, Taste it, Remember it, Love it or simply Live it ”

On our Riviera, you can walk along a very special route dedicated entirely to oily fish dishes. We found the inspiration for the “Oily Fish Route” in the local fishing tradition and the times when oily fish was the most appreciated food in this area. Today restaurants and hotels with the “Oily Fish Route” label proudly offer tasty oily fish specialities throughout the year in all the places of the Crikvenica Riviera. The wonderful aromas and fragrances of the Mediterranean are even more intense in the spring during “Oily Fish Week”, which includes a packed entertainment programme, numerous special benefits for visitors and interesting culinary workshops. We have also created a folk-ethnic festival that presents the traditional everyday life and leisure (Ethno Selce) and began to develope the project The town of marathons, as each season here has its own marathon. The story goes back to 1910, when the oldest swimming marathon in the Adriatic, from Šilo to Crikvenica, was held for the first time and it’s held every year on 15 August. Autumn has its own attraction in the shape of the Adria Advent Marathon, which is held on the first Sunday of Advent, while in spring the focus is on two wheels and the Crikvenica cycling marathon. Our Riviera is also a perfect place for the romantics, who can enjoy while walking along the 8-km-long trail called Love Path or the Mediterranean Labyrinth of Love made from 400 laurel bushes. There are also ten perfect locations for kissing, which are not only marked with signs but also have their own special map and we gave them names (the First the Sweet One, the Mysterious One, the Playful One etc.). We named the project which gathers the Love Path, the Mediterranean Labyrinth of Love  and the kissing spots “Fall in love in/with Crikvenica” and it definitely has a potential to grow and develop with some new contents.

3. What is the added-value of your project in terms of innovation and authenticity ?

Crikvenica Tourist Board coordinates activities in the destination and cooperates with all entities whose business is directly or indirectly related to tourism. We are trying to involve the local population, different associations and clubs in most of our projects / events and they have an important role in creating the experience for the visitors. Involving the private sector is also a very important and we motivate them to take action in the event, either with promotional discount in restaurant and hotels, theme events in hotels, free presentations, workshops etc. Our projects are unique because they show our tradition placed in modern time in an imaginative way and involve both the private and the public sector. Each project is also a collaboration of different associations and clubs, which by interacting between themselves gain new knowledge and independently create new projects. Many of our workshops (culinary, crafts, musical, dance..) and projects are educational both for visitors and for the participants in organization. Maybe the shortest way to describe our motto while developing the ideas and projects is the title of one of our promotional video: Crikvenica Riviera – live, learn, repeat.

4. Would you like to add something ?

We are in a true sense a destination management organization that is aiming to offer a different, sustainable and creative tourism for our visitors. Our main mission is to develop our projects as a unique experience and to try to make the visitors not to feel like tourists, but to settle in… Our aim is to form a unique, creative and quality experience for the modern traveller. Winning the Award for the most creative destination in the world in 2014 makes us very proud, but also motivates us to work harder and develop new ideas and projects, which will make our destination even more recognizable and popular among all the generations worldwide.

April 2017

For more informations : www.rivieracrikvenica.com

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