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Vodice: A scenic seaside town on Croatia’s Adriatic shoreline

Visit Vodice, a picturesque Mediterranean town on the Croatian coast. Find out more about what this charming seaside spot has to offer.

Vodice: A scenic seaside town on Croatia's Adriatic shoreline
Photo: Andrija Karli

Vodice is a vibrant tourist destination that sits next to the sea in a wide bay. The beaches are pristine and the hidden coves are great for those who are seeking some peace and quiet.

Another plus is that the water is always warm in Vodice! Male Vruje beach forms a closed lagoon and pool that has a warmer temperature, which allows you to enjoy the sea from early spring to late autumn.

Start planning your vacation in Vodice

The centre of Vodice is dominated by a large marina with more than 400 berths. The surrounding archipelago is a sailing paradise. The nearby Kornati National Park has a multitude of rocks, coves, islets and capes that are bound to leave you breathless. Kornati is an unspoiled oasis for those who want to enjoy pristine nature and swim in crystal-clear waters. It is a place to unwind in seclusion before returning to the outside world.

However, Vodice has much more to offer than the sun and the sea. Vacationers who like to stay active can go hiking and cycling, while scuba diver enthusiasts will relish exploring the seabed. Don’t miss the chance to investigate the shipwrecks and experience the beauty of underwater gardens while diving.

If you prefer keeping your head above the water, big game fishing in Vodice will give you a pure adrenaline rush. Enjoy the pristine ocean view while testing your strength by taking on some of the biggest fish in the Adriatic. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed activity holiday with a beautiful view of the Kornati archipelago, then Vodice is the perfect place for you!

Prvić Island is just an hour’s boat ride away from Vodice. Previously, it was a seaside retreat for noble families in the sixteenth century. Today, it is the resting place of Faust Vrančić, the inventor of the parachute, suspension bridge and olive mill. The serene and relaxed lifestyle of Prvić Island is a must see when in Vodice.

Start planning your vacation in Vodice

Vodice’s food is excellent for the soul and the stomach. Take an afternoon off and walk through the markets with traditional Mediterranean delicacies or enjoy wine at one of the many restaurants in town. It’s a paradise for every foodie! 

Vodice also offers a plethora of culture and entertainment events all year, and has excellent nightlife for everybody. If that doesn’t suit you, then local customs, festivals, klapa nights and Dalmatian celebrations will provide historical insight into the town.

There are many types of accommodation available in Vodice, from hotels and apartments to private rented rooms and campsites. Regardless of whether you’re interested in an action-packed holiday teeming with sports activities, relaxation and wellness, partying at the beach or simply a place to entertain business partners, Vodice has everything you need. Feel right at home with all the available amenities or simply enjoy the surrounding nature.

Vodice is a place where dreams of the perfect holiday become a reality. And this year, why not make it your reality?

This article was sponsored by Vodice Tourism Board, Dalmatia Tourism Board and the Croatian National Tourist Board. 

TOURISM

Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on

A refuge for anarchists, hippies and artists, Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania turns 50 on Sunday, and though it hasn't completely avoided the encroachment of modernity and capitalism, its free-wheeling soul remains intact.

Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on
Christiania, one of Copenhagen's major tourist attractions, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Sunday. JENS NOERGAARD LARSEN / SCANPIX / AFP

Nestled in the heart of Copenhagen, Christiania is seen by some as a progressive social experiment, while others simply see it as a den of drugs.

On September 26th, 1971, a band of guitar-laden hippies transformed an abandoned army barracks in central Copenhagen into their home. They raised their “freedom flag” and named their new home “Christiania, Freetown” after the part of the city where it is located.

They wanted to establish an alternative society, guided by the principles of peace and love, where decisions were made collectively and laws were not enforced.

Soft drugs were freely available, and repurposing, salvaging and sharing was favoured over buying new.

It was a community “that belonged to everybody and to no one”, said Ole Lykke, who moved into the 34-hectare (84-acre) enclave in the 1970s.

These principles remain well-rooted today, but the area has changed in many ways: tourists weave through its cobblestone roads, and the once-reviled market economy is in full swing.

Perhaps most importantly, it is no longer a squat. Residents became legal landowners when they bought some of the land from the Danish state in 2012.

Now it is home to some 900 people, many artists and activists, along with restaurants, cafes and shops, popular among the half a million tourists that visit annually.

“The site is more ‘normal’,” says a smiling Lykke, a slender 75-year-old with ruffled silver hair, who passionately promotes Christiania, its independence and thriving cultural scene.

Legislation has been enforced since 2013 — though a tongue-in-cheek sign above the exit points out that those leaving the area will be entering the European Union.

‘Embrace change’
It is Christiania’s ability to adapt with the times that has allowed it to survive, says Helen Jarvis, a University of Newcastle professor of social geography engagement.

“Christiania is unique,” says Jarvis, who lived in Christiania in 2010.

“(It) endures because it continues to evolve and embrace change”.

Some of those changes would have been unthinkable at the start.

Residents secured a bank loan for several million euros to be able to buy the land, and now Christiania is run independently through a foundation.

They also now pay wages to the around 40 people employed by Christiania, including trash collectors and daycare workers.

“Money is now very important,” admits Lykke, who is an archivist and is currently exhibiting 100 posters chronicling Christiania’s history at a Copenhagen museum.

But it hasn’t forgotten its roots.

“Socially and culturally, Christiania hasn’t changed very much,” he says, noting that the community’s needs still come first.

‘Judged a little’
Christiania has remained a cultural hub — before the pandemic almost two dozen concerts were held every week and its theatres were packed.

But it is still beset by its reputations as a drugs hub.

Though parts of Christiania are tranquil, lush and green with few buildings, others are bustling, with a post office, mini-market, healthcare centre, and Pusher Street, the notorious drug market.

Lykke says it’s a side of Christiania most could do without.

“Most of us would like to get rid of it. But as long as (marijuana use) is prohibited, as long as Denmark doesn’t want to decriminalise or legalise, we will have this problem,” says Lykke.

While still officially illegal, soft drugs like marijuana and hash are tolerated — though not in excess.

Since early 2020, Copenhagen police have seized more than one tonne of cannabis and more than a million euros.

“Sometimes I don’t tell people that I live here because you get judged a little bit. Like, ‘Oh, you must be into marijuana and you must be a smoker’,” says Anemone, a 34-year-old photographer.

For others, Christiania’s relaxed nature is part of the appeal.

“It’s different from what I know, I really want to see it,” laughs Mirka, a Czech teacher who’s come to have a look around.

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