Thursday, August 17, 2006

Croatia Online - New English Language Magazine at the Tisaks

For those of you that don’t know, a Tisak is a small shop or stand, often a cabin in the middle of the street, which sells newspapers, magazines, cigarettes, etc. It’s a national chain and you won’t have to look very far before you find one.

Time Out’s Magazine – A Visitors Guide to Croatia – is distributed in Croatia through the Tisaks, as well as internationally in major cities and airports. However, in the more cosmopolitan centres, you’ll also find a number of other magazines in English as well as English newspapers no more than a couple of days old. Magazines and papers emanating from the UK and America often have hefty price tags but yesterday we found a new, locally produced, magazine called Globus International, claiming to be the “Ultimate Guide to your holidays in Croatia”. The welcome page is written by no less a persona than the Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, and whilst we can’t entirely agree with the claim on the front page, it is an interesting read and comes at the bargain price of 12 kunas. We were told that the August Issue was new so it’s possible there may be further publications throughout the year.

Features in the August issue include seven small islands for sale, ten of the most beautiful luxury villas, pets in Croatia, the real estate market, Tito’s treasures and the best restaurants along the coast. It’s a little thin on listings and we therefore wouldn’t recommend it as a substitute for a guide book or Time Out’s magazine. However the feature on the islands for sale is fascinating, with a number of locals “stuck” with small islands they’ve inherited, which are pretty well worthless as the government have banned the building of any houses at all on them. The real estate article is also full of insight as to how the property market is developing in different areas. As you would imagine, the highest prices are in areas where property is at its scarcest, and in many cases, because the local council has yet to release its regional plan to indicate where development may, or may not be allowed. It includes maximum property prices per square metre around the coast and the islands, as well as which nationalities appear to be buying in which locations. According to the article, Dubrovnik and Rovinj are still the most expensive locations with a maximum price tag of up to €6,000 per square metre for a built property. However, whilst it suggests that Dubrovnik prices are stabilising, and Rovinj prices are falling, Hvar seems to be catching up fast at €5,000 per square metre and rising. Lowest prices are in Sibenik (€1,400), and on the island of Vir (€1,500), popular with Hungarians and where the government has recently knocked down a number of properties apparently constructed without planning permission. Prices on Čiovo and Šolta are reported to be stable at €1,700 per square metre.

American money seems to be concentrated in Dubrovnik and Hvar, the South Africans seem to have singled out Komiža on Vis island, and Russian and British money seems to be increasingly ubiquitous.

If you’re in Split, hungry for something to read, and can’t find what you want in the Tisaks, try the International Bookshop on the Riva which normally has a good collection of English magazines and books. In Trogir, there's the Harry Potter bookshop in the main Cathedral square.

If you’re short of something to do on rainy days, see our earlier posting Newspapers, Magazines, TV, Radio and Theatre for more information.


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