What’s your percentage?

When you think about Mediterranean, one of many associations will probably be the Mediterranean diet and olive oil as one of its main ingredients.
Right now at the beginning of November and until end December is the time of the year when olive tree fruits ripe and are ready for harvesting.

However, the olive oil is not the only product of this famous Mediterranean tree; namely just before riping, still green olives are harvested. Then every single fruit has to be pounded, normally with a meat pounder. This is a very sensitive part because the olive has to crack but keep its shape. The olives are then kept in water for three weeks and the water has to be changed every single day so that the olive bitterness is minimized. In the last phase, the olives are conserved in jars together with fennel and bay leaves, poured with boiling water – 10 days later this tasty delicacy is ready to be served and is an infallible sidedish for all Christmas time meals and parties. It pairs best with prosciutto, red wine and homemade cheese.

Even ripe, black olives are an excellent delicacy; at the time of harvest the bigger, fleshy, dark fruits are chosen, then salted with flaky sea salt and shortly roasted in the oven. Having its own specific taste and seasoned with a few drops of olive oil, make a perfect snack or a side dish.

The olive leaf is also extremely valuable – its tea has so many proven benefits for human health, especially as a prevention of infectious diseases.


Tea of olive leaf is served at our Kazbek hotel

But let’s continue with the story of olive oil: the harvesting is probably one of the easiest works in agriculture; it doesn’t require any significant physical effort. However, it can be something challengings with old, high trees (did you know that in Croatia there is the olive tree which is believed to be 1600 years old and is located in the National park Brijuni, Istrian peninsula – source Wikipedia)
Immediately after harvesting, the olives are processed. It’s interesting to mention how it was done back in history in the old mills. The olives would be placed in a stone pool and pressed with another round stone turned by water stream or donkeys. In another phase, the paste which would remain out of pressed olives would be put in hand knitted bags and squeezed by a special device which was done by human strength. In the last step, the olive oil is separated by pouring boiling water over the bags.


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Nowadays, the olive oil extraction is significantly easier and faster with the help of modern technologies.


Olive oil extraction

Talking about the ratio, 1 kg of olives brings from 10 – 25% of olive oil depending on olive tree sort, weather conditions in that year, location, the age of olive tree… And this is what our title refers to – a very common question in local conversations these days is: “What’s your percentage?” , meaning how much olive oil did you get from your olives this year.

If your travel plans bring you to our part of the Mediterranean in the future at the time of olive harvesting, join our team and take part in it. You will certainly have fun just like we did a few days before.

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Wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Happily Ever After starts in Dubrovnik

How weddings became The Thing to Do

Many people come to Dubrovnik to admire the best known UNESCO site in Croatia, many more to see the Game of Thrones filming locations, but what stands out as a trend now is to get married in this historical setting, paved with polished stone and breathtaking facades. How could one resist the allure of such a perfect stage? When flying in, the shimmering blue sea opens the scene to a city carved in the cliffs, surrounded by walls built centuries ago and filled with distinctive red rooftops.

Dubrovnik as seen from plane

Arrival in Dubrovnik

The bell towers of churches ornated in styles of renaissance and baroque announce the beginning of another love story. Every year, couples from around the world come to inhale this magical atmosphere and walk hand in hand down Stradun, the main promenade where no person is spared the attention. Picking a time to take photos of that special day has become a demanding task – Dubrovnik is always full of people! Nevertheless, when a Bride to Be starts walking towards a camera, everyone around smiles and lets her enjoy her glory. The fact is that those are going to be outstanding and unrivaled photos.

Weddings and honeymoons in Dubrovnik

Just married

Wedding planners, hotels and all the necessary arrangements can be found with ease. Organising such a joyous ceremony has become a matter of prestige and more and more people want to engage in making it as perfect as possible. The choice is yours, from a traditional wedding in one of many churches like the patron St Blaise’s and then a dinner on a lush hotel terrace or something more laid-back like a beach wedding. Why not consider sailing into the sunset, literally, on board a real 17th-century galleon replica, (maybe even with a pirate theme)? How about saying I DO on top of mount Srđ with a post-card view of the whole region? If you want a big celebration or just an intimate gathering of the people you hold most dear, Dubrovnik has the choice for you.

Wedding ceremony at the Kazbek hotel, Dubrovnik

Cheers to the Newly-Weds

Croatian Wedding Traditions

The locals favor their own traditions: most weddings take place Saturdays and then the bells are ringing all over town. The custom demands that the groom’s party comes to pick up the bride at her parents’ house with a lot of music and singing to set the mood. The road to the church and then to the dinner venue must never be repeated and every car honks the horn during the drive to chase away any bad spirits. You will often see the couple enter the church together and walk down the aisle accompanied by the best man and maid of honor. When exiting as newly-weds they are showered by the crowd with applause, flower petals, rice and more singing – sometimes even rain is considered welcome as it is a sign of a prosperous marriage.

Since the locals need to find a different location for their honeymoon and not many spots compare to Dubrovnik’s beauty, the choice is hard. It is almost enough to just take time off work and enjoy the romantic setting of the town where they fell in love in the first place like so many couples come to do.

Honeymoon at Hotel Kazbek, Dubrovnik

I DO in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has the ideal aura for all things romantic – weddings, honeymoons and special anniversaries. It is a small town full of charm, its hosts do their best to make you feel right at home. How not to think about coming back again on that significant date, relive a moment that is all about a perfect union? After all, your happiness is key to Have and to Hold – Dubrovnik will always give its finest for your adventure to be remembered as your most remarkable yet.


Dubrovnik, a perfect background for your wedding photos

Photographs courtesy of Ana, Sandra and Kristina


Good Friday Procession in Dubrovnik

Today is Good Friday and following an old tradition, there is a procession in Dubrovnik Old City. It starts from the Cathedral of Mary’s Assumption through Od Puca Street and continues along main Stradun street. 


Procession starts from Dubrovnik cathedral

Dubrovnik’s bishop carries the relic of the True Cross. It is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. This relic together with 132 other relics of saints are treasured in the Cathedral Treasury and is open daily for visitors.


Bishop carries relic of the True Cross


Procession in front of Franciscan monastery


Priests and monks in procession


Good Friday procession in Dubrovnik