48 Hours in Split mit dem Opel Insignia Country Tourer


Eine historische Altstadt, mediterrane Adriaküste und Yachthäfen, aber auch schroffe Bergkulissen: die kroatische Metropole Split ist eine atemberaubende Kulisse für Genießer. Wir waren unterwegs im allradgetriebenen Country Tourer 2.0 CDTI mit dem effizienten 2-Liter Diesel und 163 PS.


Opel Insignia Country Tourer (oben), Uferpromenade Riva von Split (unten)




We invite you to take a drive in the Opel Insignia Country Tourer and re-discover the adventurer in you. Leave civilization, embrace the elements and head into the windy dark fall night of Split. In elegance uncover the region’s age-old secrets. Allow us to whet your appetite for Split and for the dalmatian road.



"Life is a journey, 
                          not a destination." 
                                                                             Ralph Waldo Emerson



Join us in uncovering the secrets about Croatia, Split and its surroundings.


Croatia - Now Independent & European

As the latest member of the european union, Croatia has also become the latest tourist attraction and the ‘gem’ of the mediterranean over the past few years. Split unbelievably isn’t the most famous of croatian destinations but an incredible city within a palace that has myriad treasures to reveal.


Lovely Dalamatian town Primosten


But this wasn’t always the case: Croatia severed all ties with Yugoslavia 22 years ago and became truly independent for the first time in its history. It gave itself a Constitution on December 22, 1990. On July 1st, 2013, after 6 years of negotiation and the favorable vote of its population, Croatia has become the 28th member of the European Union.



The Arrival of the Croats

To tell the story in short: In the 7th century, the tribe of Croats came to these areas and thought to themselves: Here are fruitful plains (Slavonija), majestic mountains (Velebit, Biokovo and Dinara), beautiful rivers (Danube, Sava and Drava) and a gorgeous clear blue sea (the Adriatic). This could be a place to settle down! Why don’t we stick around for a while and see what happens? And so they did.

According to the most recent enquiries, 86.3% of the Croatian population are Catholics, 4.4% Orthodox and 1.4% Muslims.

Croatian is a Slavic language. That’s why you may think it sounds like Russian (except if you’re Russian yourself, of course). Due to long term influences, it has also been penetrated by the Italian, German and Turkish languages. In the 2011 census, languages spoken as a mother tongue other than Croatian were mostly Serbian, Italian, Hungarian and Bosnian.


Opel Insignia Country Tourer 2.0 CDTI





When in Croatia, do as the Croatians do: Say hello: dobar dan. Goodbye: dovidenja. Please: molim vas. Thank you: hvala. I don’t understand: ne razumijem.

But for all those still confused by these greetings, you’ll be pleased to know Croatians often have a good command of English, German and many other languages!

The local dialect in Split is a variation on the Dalmatian dialect. I won’t bore you with details, I’ll just say that Dalmatinac = Dalmatian man; Dalmatinka = Dalmatian woman; Spliçanin = a man from Split; Spliçanka = a woman from Split; Spliçani= inhabitants of Split. Don’t bother pronouncing these ter ms, just keep them in mind while you’re reading this magazine, you’ll meet many of them.


Where to meet Croatian People?

In their natural habitat, of course! According to the 2011 census, there are 4,284,889 Croats living somewhere on the 56,594 km² of Croatian territory, averaging 75.8 people per km². In addition, it is estimated that 2.3 million Croatian people live on the remainder of the 150,000,000 km² surface of the earth’s dry land – meaning one per 65 km². So the best bet to meet a Croatian definitely is to go straight to their homeland.




Tourists, the regular Kind

In 2011, 10 million foreign tourists visited Croatia. More than 12 special sailors one in five (22.8%) came from Germany. Closer neighbors had shorter travels, coming from Slovenia (11.7%), Italy (9.1%), Austria (8.8%) as well as the Czech (8.0%) and the Slovak (4.2%) Republics. Among those who covered longer distances, most were from Poland (5.7%), the Netherlands (4.1%, some even without mobile home), Russia (2.7%) and the United Kingdom (2.3%).


Tourists with questionable Intentions

Given it loction, Croatia has been invaded many times over the centuries. Invaders have left traces of their cultures and influence including on the food, so do not be surprised if one or the other ‘traditional’ g astronomic specialty seems familiar. Illyrians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Italians, Ottomans, Hungarians, French, Austrians: all these people left a legacy of sorts. Nutella obviously was introduced as the result of a pacific invasion.


Kuna - the beastly Currency

Since 1994, Croatian currency is the kuna (abbreviated ‘kn’). ‘Mini kunas’ are called lipa (abbreviated ‘lp’, 100 lp equals 1 kn). The name kuna is due to the important role of the animal’s fur in Croatia’s monetary and economic history. A kuna is a marten in English, a member of the weasel family. Currently, one Euro equals about 7 Kuna and 30 Lipa: conversion rates that require a minimum level of mathematic competency!



Bikinis in November?

If you are so inclined, why not? Croatia has 3 climate types, and you should consider yourself lucky to be heading towards the mildest one: the Mediterranean climate. In November in Split, you may expect 4 hours of sun per day.

It might rain every second or third day, but temperatures are higher than in most other places in Europe, with a minimum avera g e of 10°C and maximum of 15°C during the day. Enough to drive a Cascada convertible with the top down! The sea temperature in Split is usually some 18°C in November, and courageous people continue swimming up until the end of the month.




Special Sailors

Like Greece, Croatia benefits from an impressive coastline (5,835 km), and from 1,185 islands with diverse geographic structures – a fact that is of special interest for sailors, who have a lot to discover here.

Note that even the 78 reefs have been counted as ‘islands’, which may be more difficult to visit …but which sailors should carefully keep in mind! There are also 389 islets and 698 islands, of which some 47 are inhabited. The third largest of them, Brac, is facing your room at the Meridien hotel.


Sea Urchins

Thousands of kilometers of coast and clear turquoise waters invite millions to dive into the Adriatic Sea. Before doing so, make sure sea urchins have not clambered onto the reefs you thought of using to get out of the water.

Stepping on them is to be avoided! Or keep your boots on while swimming. A little known fact and quite possibly an old wives’ tale: if you see an urchin with glittering gems on it, it’s a female – girls will be girls!




Treasures

Croatia has 7 entries in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, 6 of which are located in Dalmatia: Split is one of them – more precisely the antique Palace of Diocletian that has been remodeled through the centuries into the medieval city of Split.

Just a few kilometers from Split airport is the city of Trogir, further to the North, the cathedral St Jacob in Sibenik and, at the extreme North of Dalmatia, one of Croatia’s eight natural parks, the Plitvice Lakes.

Facing the city of Split, the plain (in Croatian: Ager) of Stari Grad is located on the Island of Hvar. And on the far south of Dalmatia, you can visit the jewel that is the old city of Dubrovnik. The only UNESCO entry outside of Dalmatia is the Basilica of Euphrasius in Porec.


Sports

Like most self- respecting European countries, Croatia is crazy about sports, football in particular. The Croatian National Football team saw its glory days in 1998’s FIFA World Championship in France, where it won 3rd place. We have been waiting for a long time to shine again, and we take another shot next year at the World Championship in Brazil.



Tesla

The name Tesla is nowadays connected to Tesla motors, but it refers to Nikola Tesla, a genius inventor born in Croatia in 1856. Did you know that this moustache-donning heartthrob born in Lika invented radio, radar, remote control, neon lighting and the modern electric motor? No, really!

OK, if you don’t believe me, let’s move on to the stuff you might already know: in the late 19th century he invented alternating current that still powers our modern world, built the first hydroelectric plant on the Niagara Falls and the Tesla coil. Oh yeah, and he also spoke 8 languages and could memorize whole books and recite them at will. Like most geniuses, he died alone and forgotten, in a New York hotel room in 1943, and the least the world could do to honor him was to name nifty electric cars after him.




Cars

The Croatians love cars, but the current crisis does not allow them show this as much as they like to. The crisis actually hit the Croatian car market pretty late: still in 2009, the Croatian car market hit its historical record, with 92,000 passenger cars sold!

Since then it has gone down substantially, 31,360 new cars only were registered in 2012! So far, this year shows a small, encouraging improvement. Between 2004 and 2010, Opel was the most popular brand in Croatia. It finished third in 2012 with a 8.5% market share and, since the beginning of 2013, it is back in second place with a 10.5% share.


Mr. Penkala

Next on our list of "you’ll never believe this is really a Croatian invention" are the mechanical pencil and the first fountain pen with solid ink. Yep: both invented by Stavoljub Penkala, born in 1871 in Croatia.

His pencil and pen made him so much money that he could relax, sit back and invent some more things we couldn’t imagine our life today without: the thermos flask, laundry detergent, insecticide and listening devices.




Parachute

Born in Sibenik in 1551, Faust Vrancic, also known as Faustus Verantius, was nothing less than a humanist, a bishop, a historian, a linguist, a diplomat, an engineer and an inventor. In the early 17th century, he had the idea of what a parachute could look like.

Inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci, he published a book Machinae novae (New machines), a collection of 49 engraved cooper plates that describe, in 5 languages no less, 56 different machines, inventions, devices, the most famous of which are Homo volans (the flying man) and the suspension bridge. On the island of Prvic close to Sibenik, an amazing museum recently opened its doors, in which his works are exhibited.



The Tie

Yes, Messieurs, the core apparel of the male business dress code comes from Croatia. During the 30 years’ war (1618–1648), Croatian hussars used to fight alongside French soldiers. Before they left home, their wives or girlfriends used to offer them a scarf they then tied around their neck to remember them.

This gallant fashion item, the hrvat, naturally influenced the French officers, who pronounced it cravate a-la-Francaise, and the tie soon became the must-have accessory at Louis XIV’s court some centuries before adorning the shirts of Wall Street bankers.




101 Dalmatians

When the Disney movie came out in 1996, the world fell in love with this breed and went out to buy them. Very soon they found out what your average Dalmatinka (Dalmatian woman) has known all her life: men and dogs are alike.

This breed’s characteristics are: friendly and loyal, family-oriented and highly energetic. Which is exactly how a typical Dalmatinac (‘Dalmatian man’) is. So, if you don’t mind cleaning up after him, pick yourself up a Dalmatian and you won’t be sorry – even if you do go for the guy, not the dog.



Today’s Split



Split is the second largest city in Croatia with 178,192 inhabitants, a little over 4% of the total population of the country. It is both an administrative and cultural regional center, and also a university center. Built in and on the antique Palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian, it is a city steeped in its past, but looking towards the future.


The Retired Emperor

Diocletian (245 – 316) was a smart and cool guy. In 285, aged 40, he was elected by the Roman soldiers to be Emperor, and went on to do some pretty important things. But then, after several years of reign, he thought to himself: “I’m not gonna wait around to get assassinated by some power-hungry young general or die of old age! I’m gonna build myself a castle by the sea and retire with my head still on my shoulders”.

So, after having spent 10 years building a 38,500 m2 palace, he really did retire in 305. He loved living in his palace by the sea which was completely self-sustainable, and when he was asked to return to the throne he gave a brisk but firm: “No, thank you!” Basically, he was the only Emperor in the whole entire history of the Roman Empire to retire, and the only one who declined a perfectly good offer to take his job back. He was a cool and smart guy.


The Secret of the Basement

So, when the folks decided to inhabit the palace, they built their own houses on top of its basements and right along its original walls. Since they didn’t have sewer systems back then, they drilled holes in their floors. Now, since their floors were actually the ceiling of the basement of the palace, all their garbage ended up down there. It sounds a bit yucky, but 13 centuries of garbage accumulation are one of the reasons why the basements are so remarkably well preserved.

Now, don’ worry, starting in 1956, people cleaned this basement up. And today, it holds a permanent and very clean souvenir market, which you can enjoy during the day.

The basement of the palace is one of the best preserved Roman buildings that still has its original roof, and one of the reasons is that it’s basically earthquake proof. This was just a side note, if you want details, you might stop a Japanese tourist to hear how these Roman architects managed it.




Peristyle

Entering the old city through the basement, you will emerge in the Peristyle. It is the intersection of the palace’s two main streets, Via Cardo and Via Decumanus. In ancient times, it was the town square where the inhabitants of the palace, soldiers, servants and so on, met, and gathered to listen to the Emperor speak from the Protiron, the entrance of his imperial quarters at the south end.

In modern times, it is still the favorite meeting point for the locals and often a perfect backdrop for local events. During the summer, it hosts performances of Split Summer festival and other cultural events.


World’s Oldest Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Domnius is the oldest cathedral in the world. It actually started out as Emperor Diocletian’s mausoleum. When those who fled Salona returned to the palace in the 7th century, they turned the mausoleum into a church.




They removed the Emperor’s sarcophagus and instead, brought in bones of Christian martyrs from Salona. The cathedral is famous for its wooden doors carved with 28 scenes from Christ’s life by Andrija Buvina in 1214.

The construction of the bell tower started in the 13th century. The cathedral, which is the seat of the Archdiocese of Split- Makarska, is still in use and masses take place regularly.




Ironic Revenge

Diocletian not only stood out as the first retired emperor, he also distinguished himself as a zealous persecutor of Christians, so he wasn’t that cool and smart after all.

In 303 – 304, just before retiring, he organized one of the most cruel persecution campaigns ever. So it’s quite ironic that, three centuries after his death, when Salona’s ex-inhabitants settled down in the abandoned palace, they precisely chose to kick out his mausoleum and replace it with a church.

It accommodated the relics of St Domnius (Dujam) and St Anastasius, two Christian martyrs the Emperor himself had diligently tortured. And if Diocleatian’s palace remains a highlight in Split, it’s St Domnius who has become the patron saint of the city.



Gregory of Nin

Back in his days as a Bishop (900 – 929), this equal rights fighter wanted to make the Croatian language an official language of church liturgy instead of Latin. Given that he now has a large statue by Mestrovic just near the north gate of the palace, you can bet he succeeded! For a thousand years, Croatian has been used alongside Latin and Greek, earning Gregory of Nin a significant place in the history of the Catholic Church.




Shiny Toe

The fact that Gregory of Nin’s statue has such a shiny big toe is not due to a physical particularity of his. People in Split believe that rubbing the toe of his statue while secretly expressing a wish will make the wish come true. The foot certainly looks well polished and shiny. As for the wish, you’ll have to try yourself.




"Vestibul"

The entrance hall into Diocletian’s private quarters, the Vestibul is a large circular space with a rounded ceiling and an aperture through which you may see the very top of the cathedral’s bell tower. Its size and height reminded the Emperor’s visitors that the one they were visiting was way above them, a ruler.



Cafe Lvxor

Located on the flanks of Peristyle, Lvxor cafe and restaurant was named after the Egyptian city of Luxor, where the sphinxes originate from. Twelve of them have been found in the ruins of the palace. They were brought by the Emperor Diocletian.



The best preserved sphinx, which is over 3,500 years old, hasn’t moved and still is the guardian of the imperial square, the Cathedral, and Lvxor Café. The palace that holds the cafe was remodeled throughout the history in different styles, and the Lvxor cafe preserves all these historical layers while offering you free wi-fi inter net access and live music.


Let me Pass!

This street, opposite to the cathedral on the Peristyle, leads to the St John church. Its official name is Kraj Sv. Ivana, but no one in Split knows and just refers to it as “Let me pass”.

It came to be when someone decided to build a residential building as close as humanly possible to the ancient temple of Jupiter, a really fun god, by the way. Diocletian believed Jupiter gave him the power to rule over most of the known world and built him a little temple to thank him for everything.

Jupiter wasn’t all that thrilled since every village in the Empire had one. As a result, there is now a street in which it is absolutely and literally not possible for two people to walk past each other. But hey, if you think I’m exaggerating, feel free to give it a try.


Prokurative

A Mediterranean style square built by the visionary mayor of Split, Antonio Bajamonti, Prokurative consists of three separate buildings constructed in a U-shape. The theatrical building, the one facing the sea, was finished in 1859, and was later renovated after having been destroyed in a fire.



The west flank building was finished by 1867, and the east flank building by 1928, yep, 61 years later. The square hosts many musical events and is a favorite place for a lazy coffee during the day.



Riva

Another excellent place for a coffee is Riva, Split’s famous water front. However, this one is not the laid-back lazy coffee you had at Prokurative. No, no, this is put-on-your-best-dress-and-make-up coffee.

The people of Split are known to always dress to impress, so if you need inspiration, something to look at, or to just feel bad about yourself, join them on Riva and experience another dimension of coffee drinking.


Tall People

Now if you really want to feel bad about the way you look, here’s another fun fact: don’t let the Mediterranean surroundings fool you, Croats are of Slavic origins. So you should expect tall, muscular men and tall, lean women. Croats tend to look down on most people, and I do mean that literally.




Always Welcome !

Croatians have the annoying habit of always trying to make their guests feel welcome, even if somewhat forcibly. When arriving somewhere, you will be offered something to drink, usually homemade rakija, a liqueur made from grapes with locally grown herbs, and to nibble on, a family size platter of cheese and pršut. Beware: the longer you resist, the longer they’ll keep offering.

Our advice: say no to the first offer and yes to the second, always compliment the host on his rakija and the hostess on her dessert, and you’ll be the perfect guest.


Really Funny?

If there’s one thing people of Split love to do even more than drinking coffee in the sun, it’s making fun of people. They know it’s not very nice but it’s difficult to resist. They now have an entire Facebook group devoted to ‘gems’ from less-than-informed tourists, and the joke goes so far as to invent Diocletian’s footprint in the basement of the palace.

Here’s one of these authentic tourist gems: “Who is that wizard with the pointy hat?” – referring to the sculpture of bishop Gregory of Nin. Of course, your own culture goes far beyond this Harry Potter-style question.


Air-drying Laundry



Before the electric laundry dryers, there was bura, the powerful, cold, northern wind that visits Split from time to time. Air-drying your laundry is not only economically efficient; it’s also a good way to keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood, the favorite pastime of grandmas everywhere.


Unfinished Houses

The typical Dalmatian male refuses to leave the comfort of his mother’s home. Well, the situation has taken a dramatic turn, and for the worse. The contemporary Dalmatian male isn’t satisfied with having just one woman jump at his every request, he needs two.

A lot of family homes you see unfinished by the road remain so, so that the boy, once married, could build himself an entire floor above his mum’s, and enjoy the perks of adulthood, without ever actually having to become one.



5-Star Accommodation

Given the very high touristic potential of Croatia, there still aren’t that many 4 and 5 stars hotels in the country, especially in Dalmatia. The fact that Croatia is now part of the European Union guarantees a certain stability to investors who will develop high level infrastructure in the coming years.




Difficult to say if it’s good or bad, many praise how the coastline is still well preserved. There are a few, very small 5-star boutique hotels in Split and three bigger places; the Meridien is one of them.


The Hotel Le Meridien Lav

Still known under its old name, the Lav, this hotel was initially built in Tito’s times, in the 1970s. The premises were bought by the Accord group in the mid-2000s and entirely refurbished to become the Meridien that opened in December 2006.




It’s a large complex with 381 rooms, a conference center and a spa, 8 tennis courts, 2 beaches and a permanent marina. Best room faces the spacious yachts hibernating in the marina and the island of Brac.

Le Meridien Lav, grljevacka ulica 2, 21312 split, +385 21 500 500, www.lemeridienlavsplit.com


Intimate Hotel Vestibul Palace

Sometimes you just want to hide out in a romantic space with the one you love. There is just the place you’re looking for in Split. Concealed in the heart of the ancient palace, probably next door to Diocletian’s master bedroom, this little oasis of peace and refinement is called Hotel Vestibul Palace.

Impress your lovers with the architecture, spoil them with luxurious design incorporating antique walls and modern materials. But most importantly, show them you mean business by selecting a hotel that has only 5 rooms and 2 suites. You’ll feel the intimacy as soon as you step into the lobby, and the romance will start flowing on its own. So, if you really messed up, or just what to remind someone why they fell in love with you, this is the perfect place to start, and then for the rest let Split do its magic.

Hotel Vestibul Palace, iza vestibula 4, +385 21 329 329, www.vestibulpalace.com



Cafes vs. Restaurants

When you take our need for good quality, Italian-style coffee and our need to butt into other people’s lives, you get Riva full of people sitting and drinking one cup of coffee for several hours. But when the clock strikes 2 p.m., Riva is a barren wasteland, because in Split, al fresco is for drinking coffee and dining is for al-not-so-fresco.

Being so very family-oriented, for Croatian a home cooked meal is the norm, while going out to restaurants is for special occasions only. That’s why here they have one restaurant for every oh-let’s-say one billion cafés.


Restaurant Nostromo

This restaurant is part and parcel of the food scene in Split. Its owner and head chef, Zlatko Marinovic, is the most famous, critically-acclaimed and award-winning chef in Croatia. His specialties are fish and sea food, and the restaurant itself is situated just of f the fish market.



The restaurant also doubles up as a gallery for paintings of Croatian artists, these days fuller than usual since Mr. Marinovic’s other gallery space is currently under renovation. Prepare yourself for an exquisite dinner and our very surprising tip for you: taste the fish!

Restaurant Nostromo, Kraj sv. marije 10, +385 91 405 66 66, www.restauran-nostromo.hr


Figa Food Bar

This is a family-owned and -run restaurant. And so has it been for the last 50 years. It has gone through several transformations and come full circle: from restaurant to pizzeria, to the cult bar called Puls.




Now the new generation of the family slowly transformed Puls into Figa food bar, a delightful meeting place for all the old patrons from Puls’ days, and for youngsters wanting to get the feeling of a quirky and funky side to Split. The space invites you to take a look, the design to come in, and the menu to stay and enjoy, which you can do during lunch.

Figa Food Bar, buvivina 1, +385 21 27 44 91


Zinfandel Food & Wine bar

This is another newcomer to Split’s gastro scene, and another one with a fascinating story. It’s located in the heart of the city, in the space that used to be a store for the now nearly bankrupt Split textile company ‘Uzor’.

The design signature pieces are the chandelier made of 650 bottles in the shape of a wave and the graphic design made by Dalmatian designer BooBoo Tannenbaum. It tells the story of kaštelanski crljenak, a wine that is now famous for its American name: Zinfandel.

Zinfandel Food & Wine Bar, ulica marka marulica 2, +385 21 355 135




You call this medium-rare?

In Dalmatia, like in most Mediterranean cultures, Mother is the boss. Mother knows best. And Mother always said to have your steak well done. Chefs must have mothers too, as, even in restaurants, we get our meat well-done.

Actually, the Croatian language doesn’t have a special word for medium-rare. So, feel free to blame Mother for it, and don’t even bother explaining to your waiter what ‘rare’ or ‘medium-rare’ is. Order fish.


Skarpina? Gof? Grdobina? Tuna!

Bet you only understood the last one, didn’t you? Just so you know, Croatia’s Adriatic sea breeds some of the finest Atlantic bluefin tuna in the world. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Adriatic fish and sea food.




Never hesitate asking a native for advice, definitely try some and don’t forget to combine it with some local wine and lots of olive oil.


Elixir of Life

Dalmatia is famous for its two elixirs of life: wine and olive oil. Primosten, in northern Dalmatia is renowned for both. Look for small producers of olive oil and Babic red wine as you walk through its charming alleys.

The Dalmatian Zagora (inland) offers its signature kujundzusa, light white wine, and the area of Kastela and Trogir are famous for the kastelanski crljenak grape variety. The most important grape variety of middle and south Dalmatia is plavac mali crni, and its vineyards on Peljesac peninsula produce the famous fine wines Dingac and Postup. White grape varieties are not as wide-spread, but still produce fine wines: Vugava, Posip and Grk.


Prsut

A typical Dalmatian delicacy, similar to prosciutto, but a million times better, of course. They take pig’s ham, cover it with salt, let it dry-smoke for at least a year and then enjoy it whenever they can.

It is physically impossible to stop at just one slice of this divine cured meat treat. Its combination of sweet and salty flavors will make you beg for more and more and more. Just be careful: many visitors have been known to quench their thirst with Dalmatian wine and end up sleeping under neath the table.




Banana Split Ice-Cream

Many years ago, a tourist came to Split and was taken aback by its beauty. He found himself the only free table on Riva, and ordered a glass of water and a banana. The waiter was slightly confused and, since the place was famous for its ice-cream, asked: “Mister, you mean banana cream?” in his impeccable Cronglish.

The tourist simply nodded his head, and seconds later was served two halves of a banana split lengthwise, separated by a row of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream scoops and topped with whipped cream. The guest got furious and screamed: “You cretin! I ordered a banana! A simple banana, not a banana with ice cream! What is this?!?” The waiter simply shrugged his shoulders and said: “You want banana, I get you banana Split!” And so the legend was born.

We must confess this story about the banana Split is made up. The banana split is not at all a local specialty.


Peka

A peka in Croatian refers to a large cast iron dome but also to the technique of food preparation. You place the food in a circular baking tray, put the dome on top and then cover the dome completely with burning coals.




This way the moisture stays inside the peka, resulting in succulent and tasty food, completely infused with all the flavors you put inside the tray. Bread, meat with lots of vegetables and octopus with potatoes are mostly cooked this way.


Mushroom-headed Bread

No worry, we only refer to the shape of the peka-baked bread. It takes the shape of the dome and actually looks like the head of a large mushroom. Cut wide slices of this fresh bread, pour olive oil on your plate, yummy can be so simple. Whatever you do, don´t miss this treat for the palate.



Spit Roast Lamb

When a baby is born in late spring, people prepare and eat spit-roast lamb. When someone gets married in late spring, they prepare and eat spit-roast lamb. When someone graduates in late spring, they prepare and eat spit-roast lamb. You get the picture, people often prepare and eat spit-roast lamb in late spring, it’s a beloved Dalmatian custom and a tasty one to boot!


Pipi: The Stuff legends are made of

Pipi is an orange - flavored soda, similar to Fanta, but a million times better. It had an iconic TV commercial in the 80’s featuring barely dressed women drinking Pipi on Bacvice beach.



It now has its own hit song and it has been endorsed by the struggling basketball club Split. Dalmacijavino, the beverage factory producing it, escaped bankruptcy partly because of the Split inhabitants’ devotion to this drink. Don’t hesitate and order yourself a Pipi.



Beaches and Picigin

Split has a number of knock-out beaches, the most popular of which is Bacvice, a 10 minute walk along the sea shore from Riva. Aside from its sand and a multitude of cafes, it is also famous for picigin, a sport consisting of people in their bathing suits, shin-deep in water, passing an old tennis ball in a circle by bouncing it with the palm of their hands.




Most people are quite fanatical about it, and you’ll see some of these weirdos playing picigin on New Year’s Day. This sport is a version of water polo and has been played on Bacvice since WW I!


Men & Sports

We already mentioned that Croats are crazy about sports, but in Split it’s not the ordinary “Honey I can’t go out with you tonight because the Champions League is on” kind of crazy. No, they elevated it to the “Honey, I can’t go visit your sick mother in hospital because I gotta go meet a buddy of mine to plan how we’re gonna celebrate if Hajduk scores in three days” level.


Hajduk Split Football Club

The most beloved sports club in Split and the symbol of the city, football club Hajduk was founded in the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague in 1911, by a group of students in the centuries-old pub U Fleku. They decided to use the word ‘hajduks’ – ‘rebels’ – a Split professor had used to qualify them after they had run into his office.

The club is a hotbed for talents, many of which will be familiar to you: Stipe Pletikosa (goalkeeper), Slaven Bilic (stopper and former manager of the national football team), Aljoša Asanovic , Milan Rapaic and Darijo Srna (midfielders) and Alen Bokšic (forward). Hajduk players are called ‘Bili’ by their supporters, meaning ‘the whites’ in the local Dalmatian dialect, due to the color of their jerseys.




Torcida and their Street Art

Hajduk’s supporters are called Torcida. This group was founded in 1950, and they took the name from a Brazilian fan group they idolized. They are the oldest organized supporters’ group in Europe, and proud of it. ‘Hajduk lives forever’ is the fans’ slogan.

They have also taken up this particular ‘beautification’ project, where they paint the walls in the city with the colors and the crest of Hajduk. Torcida sometimes also add the years in which Hajduk won the Croatian Championship or Cup.


Basketball

Another iconic sports club in Split is the Basketball Club Split, more famous for its old name: Basketball club Jugoplastika. It was heavily sponsored by Jugoplastika, a successful factory from Split. Alongside ASK Riga, it is the only team that managed to win the most prestigious Euroleague trophy three times in a row – in the years 1989, 1990 and 1991, with players like Dino Rad-a, Toni Kukoc?, Žan Tabak and Velimir Perasovi?c.

Today, it’s struggling with financial issues but is still making its signature yellow jersey-wearing fans proud by helping another struggling Split institution: Dalmacijavino and their famous Pipi.


Where were You on July 10th, 2001?

Every person in Split can tell you where they were on that day, because this is the day when 150,000 people, basically, some 85% of the Split population, descended onto Riva to welcome tennis player Goran Ivaniševic after his triumphant victory at Wimbledon on June 25th 2001. To this day he remains the only player to ever win this competition with a wildcard and the most successful Croatian tennis player.

The tennis court where Goran Ivanisevic started playing, following his father’s advice, is located in the elite seashore- neighborhood Firule. They nurtured another talented tennis player, Mario Ancic, who was ranked the World’s no. 7. He also helped Croatia win the Davis Cup in 2005 and won Olympic Bronze in doubles with Ivan Ljubicic.




Walk of Fame

As part of recent reconstruction of the West banks or Riva (Zapadna obala), the city of Split decided to honor its Olympic medal winners by putting their names on plates scattered among the bank’s stone slabs. So basically, train hard your whole life, win titles, become world famous and Split will show its pride by allowing people to walk all over you. Splendid!


Yachting

For those of you who decide to come back by boat or yacht, here are some useful infos: there are three marinas directly in Split; another one is in Kastela, one is incorporated into Le Meridien Lav hotel, and the Marina Zenta is mostly for members of the club and smaller boats, but feel free to try your luck there also.




However, if you want a marina with more berths, for longer boats and with more facilities, Marina Spinut is your pick. If that’s not enough for you, go to ACI Marina, on the west end of Zapadna obala. It is open all year round, and its long pier provides excellent protection from the sea and the southern winds. And, it is also worth mentioning, that it’s just a 10 min walk from Riva!


Snorkeling and Diving

If you’re not the leisurely type, and want to come to Split for a more active vacation, you might want to try scuba diving. OK, it’s not the Maldives, but the turquoise water and the submarine landscapes are wonderful and two good things: it is much less than a 10 hour flight to reach them and there are no hidden sharks.

There is a professional scuba diving center conveniently located in the marina of Le Meridien Lav hotel. It offers courses at different levels. Your significant other may take the opportunity to take a swim, do a little snorkeling and get to know the fascinating world of the Adriatic.




Fishing

For a number of Dalmatians, fishing is just a job, but for you it can be an exciting hobby. we recommend sport fishing for those of you in need of relaxation and spearfishing for those of you in need of compensation. This sport is not about how large your spear is, it’s about how well you use it, as any Dalmatinka.


Rafting or Canoeing

Oh, so you still haven’t found the sports activity to get your juices flowing? If you don’t fear getting wet and tired, try rafting on Cetina River! The three- to four- hour long trip takes you down a 12 kilometer stretch of the Cetina course. The route passes through unforgettable scenery of impressive cliffs, playful waterfalls and numerous rapids.



Unlike rafting, canoeing requires participants to paddle independently in 2 – 3 person boats. Actually, it’s more work, and somewhat more intimate. Cetina is also the place to go to: the journey takes you through a magnificent canyon with an average depth of 40 – 100 meters, and it lasts approximately three hours.




Golf

Split has its own golf club and course, located in Stobrec?, by Žrnovnica river, about 5 km South from the city center in the direction of Omis. Golf courses are somewhat of a hot-button issue in Dalmatia, especially for the people of Dubrovnik, since they vigorously opposed the building of one on Srd, a hill above the city. Maybe you shouldn’t mention it at all here and rather go for water sports.



Split Arts

People in Split say that Split is “najlipši grad na svitu” (the most beautiful city in the world). Rightly so. And the reason it truly is, lies in the fact, that it is home to artwork of many Croatian finest artists. Well, who wouldn’t get inspired here?


Ivan Mestrovic

A sculptor, painter, writer and political activist, Ivan Mestrovic was born in 1883 in the village of Otavice, 62 km North from Split and 35 km from Šibenik. He came to Split when he was 16 to be an apprentice in Harald Bilinic’s stonemason workshop, and soon went to Vienna for further education.

This was the beginning of a life full of travels, both for exhibitions and for education. But Mestrovic always came back to Split and Zagreb, where he had settled down with his family, his second wife Olga (he was a kind of ladies man) and their four children.




He moved away to the USA after the Second World War, when he refused to go back to Yugoslavia because of his fundamental disagreement with Josip Broz Tito’s politics. One of his most internationally recognized work is there: the Bowman and The Spearman, also known as Indians, two bronze equestrian sculptures standing as gatekeepers in Congress Plaza, Grant Park, Chicago.


Galerija Mestrovic

Today, this glorious palace holds the name of Gallery Mestrovic, but it was conceived as a summer home for the sculptor’s family. It was built from 1931 to 1939 in several stages from east to west. It incorporates living facilities, a working space and an exhibition area.

It was the wish of the sculptor to leave the palace and all of his work to the people of Croatia, and so the palace was transformed into a gallery and opened its doors in 1952, 10 years before Mestrovic’s death.

If you are in Split, this is an excellent place to bear in mind: to visit or to maybe organize a wedding reception. And while you’re in Split, make sure to see the sculptor’s two monumental pieces: the sculpture of Marko Marulic, the father of Croatian literature on Vocni trg, or to rub the shiny toe of Gregory of Nin for good luck.

Gallery Mestrovic, setaliste ivana mestrovica 46, 21000 Split, +385 21 340 800, mim@mestrovic.hr




Vasko Lipovac

He was born in Kotor, Montenegro in 1931, and came to live in Split in 1967. The Mediterranean climate of the Dalmatian city inspired his poetic vision, and he created numerous works,cycles of paintings, graphics, watercolor paintings, sculptures and painted sculptures.

His recently-opened gallery showcases his famous cyclist sculptures and his Erotika work,basically stylized, chubby, likable people going about their business, cycling, making love or staring into the blue sea.

Vukovarska 8a, 21000 Split, +385 91 200 0872, info@vaskolipovac.com


Red Peristyle and Black Peristyle

Art as a form of political activism is not unknown to Split, and the proof lies in two performances now called ‘Red Peristyle’ and ‘Black Peristyle’. In 1968, eight young men decided to paint the Peristyle with 30 liters of red paint, as a rebellion against communism and Split’s sleepiness…

In 1998, as a sort of a homage to them, artist Igor Grubic painted a large black circle on the Peristyle, attacking politics of the CDC (Croatian Democratic Community) then ‘in charge’ of Croatia. He remarked that the “Peristyle is like a magical mirror reflecting the social consciousness”. The actions we now talk about with pride were once thought of as acts of destruction, so you better keep that in mind if you decide to do a little light art-as-activism of your own.




Unlock Art Keys

Le Meridien hotels always try to find a way to connect with the local artistic community, and to connect you, as a guest, with it. You’ ll soon find yourself with a work of art in your hands, as the key card of your hotel room is a part of this project: the Unlock Art project.

The cards were created by Hisham Bharoocha, Sam Samore and Yan 19 Lei, and the staff of the hotel will be more than happy to connect you to their local artistic partner – Gallery Meštrovic.



You Call this Music?


If you’ re wondering how people manage to make music with such an unfortunately sounding language, you may get yourself CD’s and additional tips at Dallas Records or at the Dancing Bear stores, probably the best places for music addicts in Split.

Dallas Records, Narodni trg 14 (pjaca), dallasmusica.com ; Dancing Bear, Dioklecijanova 6 www.dancingbear.hr


Songwriter Gibonni – now in English!

One of the most popular musicians in Croatia, but also in most of ex-Yugoslavia, this singer-songwriter has re-invented himself several times now, each time with great success: Zlatan Stipišic Gibonni started out in a heavy-metal band, moved onto a solo career in the 90’s with songs that combined elements of rock, modern pop and Dalmatian folk songs, and is currently promoting his latest album, ‘20th Century Man’, the first one completely in English.

The album has been recorded in London and is produced by Andy Wright, a Grammy award-winning British producer who worked with artists such as Simple Minds, Eurythmics and Tom Jones. A stunning band plays with Gibonni, featuring artists such as Tony Levin and Manu Katche, Peter Gabriel’s bass player and drummer.


Music Group Daleka Obala

You simply cannot talk about music in Split without mentioning these guys. The group Daleka Obala split up in 2000, after giving a big outdoor concert on Split Kašuni beach. This concert is a memorable date in our local pop culture.

Since it took place, young Split people split into two groups: those who were there, and those who weren't. Daleka Obala’s music is a mix of rock melodies and funny, intelligent lyrics, a detail that will be lost on you, but shouldn't stop you from giving it a chance.




Dino Dvornik

Dino Dvornik is another central character of the Croatian music scene. The son of the legendary Split actor Boris Dvornik died in 2008, leaving behind an important mark on our music history.

He invented his own, unique sound, is refered to as the ‘king of funk’ and produced Split’s unofficial anthem: "Ništa kontra Splita" (Nothing against Split). He is beloved by most of the generation who grew up during the war for his commitment to Croatia’s independence, as his music was a ray of light in those times. If you want to test if someone is a true Splicanin (inhabitant of Split), ask him to recite or sing the first couple of lines from Dino Dvorik’s biggest hit, Afrika, and watch as they enthusiastically dance and sing for you.




Band The Beat Fleet

This band is very much alive and productive! The Beat Fleet started out as a self-taught hip-hop band who spoke out about the social and political problems Split was facing in the late 90s, and have since collected a massive gathering of followers.

Another good test for detecting the average Splicanin: ask him to sing you the chorus of Mater, an eerie song about a mother’s (slightly extreme) love, and watch his reaction.


Magazine Feral Tribune

Another group of people to have spoken out about the social and political problems Split was facing in the 90s is Viktor Ivancic, Boris Dežulovic and Predrag Lucic . They founded Feral Tribune, a magazine that stemmed from Split’s daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. When they turned Feral into an independent magazine, it quickly grew into a solitary voice warning about the negative effect of then President Franjo Tudman’s politics on Split’s economy and wellbeing.

Although they were heavily criticized, penalized and sued, the trio and their collaborators resisted for years, until they were forced to shut down due to a lot of advertisers backing out. The founders are still very active in the media and remain strong critics of the negative effect of centralization of Croatia on Dalmatia, in particular on Split.



Fashion and Elegance

Being the elegant dressers, people of Split are very interested in fashion. Split hosts a yearly fashion show in the basements of the Diocletian palace, the ‘Montura fashion show’, and a number of concept stores showcasing authentic Croatian design.

If you’re a fashion addict, visit ID concept store near St. Francis’ church, GET GET GET store in the heart of the palace, or Think Pink stores for clothes and accessories. But if you’re more of a shoes gal, brothers Ivan and Alen Ledenko create shoes by hand, combining impeccable technique and superior material, so order yourself a custom-made pair.

ID concept store, bana Josipa Jelacica 3; Get Get Get, dominisova 16, www.getgetget.com.hr; Think Pink, Zadarska 8, Kružiceva 6, www.thinkpink.com.hr ; Alen Ledenko, obrov 8, www.alenledenko.com ; Ivan Ledenko, Kaciceva 7, www.ledenko.hr


Opel Brand Ambassador Alex

What a pity she has no boutique in Split! Aleksandra Dojcinovic, known as Alex, is a young super-talented fashion designer focusing on dreams and needs of women. There is almost no Croatian celebrity who has not yet worn a dress from Alex Dojcinovic and, her fame growing, more and more international stars are attracted by her romantic signature that emphasizes shapes and body curves.




With her clothes as well as accessories, she caters for strong, independent working women who follow fashion, but at the same time demand practical, wearable and timeless pieces with a resolute awareness of the female body.

If you think that’s you, a stop at Alex’s newly-opened boutique in Zagreb is a must. By the way: Alex herself is 1.92 m tall and can be her own model at fashion shootings! She was selected to open the latest fashion show in Zagreb in October and, as Opel’s brand ambassador, featured the Opel Adam in it!

Alex Dojcinovic fashion for women, Frankopanska ulica 6, 10000 Zagreb, +385 1 48 46 080, facebook.com/leiloubyAlex


Shopping Mall

There are three major shopping centers in Croatia, two in Zagreb and one in Split: the City Center One, which opened in 2009. Now, the name is misleading, so do not look for it in the city center but close to the route leading from Split to the Meridien hotel.

If you’re in the mood to find everything in one place, this is the place. Clothes, shoes, furniture, dinnerware and books, you can find them all here, you can get your hair done and have a lovely piece of cake in between stores. You can even send your bored ‘significant other’ to the movies!

City Center One, vukovarska ulica 207, 21000 split








What to Bring Home?

So, if you read this in the ‘right’ order, you now know where to get clothes by Croatian designers and the more generic stuff. But what about those family members with slightly more peculiar tastes?

How about these stores: KOZA offers handmade purses and flip-flops from real leather in a variety of bright colors. At CROATA, you can get the most important male in your life a tie with golden threads! Or an original PENKALA PEN SET, remember. it was invented here! – it can be found in book stores around town.

Also nice, UJE, the first Croatian oleoteca, offers a range of top quality Croatian olive oils and delicacies; it is located just across Zinfandel food and wine bar and a few meters from the Figa food bar.

Koza, Zadarska street; Croata, Peristyle vocni trg, near the statue of Marko Marulic, www.croata.hr; Uje, Maruliceva 1, Šubiceva 6, www.uje.hr


Aqua Shops



A range of specialized stores seems to pop up everywhere along the Croatian coast: the AQUA shops. They immediately got the attention of both the locals and the tourists. AQUA’s signature colors, aquamarine blue and white, are instantly recognizable and their stylized key chains instantly lovable.

If you need a souvenir, a beach towel or maybe some stationary, jump right into the AQUA world. There’s even a boutique within the Meridien hotel. Cool!




Pay in Deutsch Mark

As we are talking about shopping, you must know this: back in the day when the Deutsch Mark currency was still around, it was the stick we measured everything against. We knew if something was expensive or affordable by quickly converting whatever our currency was at the time into DM.




Everyone was a wiz at conversion, some kids learned how to convert into DM before they knew how to read and write! With so many of Croatian people (still) going to Germany to build a better life for themselves, it’s no wonder they have a sentimental connection to the Deutsch Mark. And let me tell you, most of those who remember it will sigh with nostalgia and tears in their eyes at the very mention of it.




Don’t Miss Omis!

On your way to the Cetina Valley on day 1, you will drive through the little town of Omis. In the middle ages it was run by pirates who attacked merchant ships from Venice and Dubrovnik. Actually, they got money to behave themselves (money for ‘protection’ – and you thought it was a mafia thing…).




Walls surround Omis on three sides, and the mountain on the fourth. The walls have mainly been destroyed, but guess what, the mountain is still there, and it is a perfect place for free climbing. Over 40 marked climbing routes on 7 different climbing locations in the heart of town are bound to satisfy the most demanding and experienced climbers.




Enter Cetina Valley

The Cetina river peacefully flows through canyons and near villages in the valley that carries its name. Take the opportunity of entering it with your Opel Cascada convertible. This region south-east of Split is very important, both historically and archaeologically.



Along Cetina’s tall canyon walls, real archaeological fortune can be found: bottle-axes from the stone-age, shields from roman soldiers, personal items from middle-age peasants and many other interesting artefacts. The part of Cetina Valley near Omiš is the perfect setting for river sports like rafting and canoeing, but also for those of us who are more partial to resting, enjoying the scenery and a nice meal.


Stop at Kastil Slanica

The tower of Kastil Slanica served as a safe refuge for the famous Omis pirates in the 12th to 14th century, and later became a market place. The most sold product was salt, so the trade station was named Slanica (as a version of the word ‘slano’ – ‘salty’ in Croatian).



Today, the restaurant Kastil Slanica benefits from the riverside ambience and its gastronomy from the closeness to both the river and the sea. You can enjoy dishes from the Cetina River (frogs, eels and trout), the sea (seafood) and the inland plains such as bread and meat baked under the peka, prsut and cheese and homemade dalmatian frittes, just like the famous pirates of Omiš used to.

Kastil Slanica, Omis, +385 21 861 783 97




Discover Svinisce

In the mountain above the Centina Valley the little village of Svinisce is most famous for the Restaurant Kremenko. Kremenko means ‘Flinstone’, exactly like the cartoon, and the place has been chiseled in the rock by its owner himself.

When you get there, they will offer you Kremenjaca, a rakija with herbs and honey, which you will surely need after having walked up the serpentine path or driven the last kilometers of the beautiful, extra-narrow route.


Unfortunately, the Konoba Kremenko is only open at weekends in the low season, but it’s worth remembering and visiting. If you want to explore already, you will discover a modest Croatian mountain village with its small gardens and vineyards.


Explore The 7 Kastela


Kastela is a group name for 7 smaller towns located between Split airport and the city of Split along the coast; Stafilic, Novi, Stari, Luksic, Kambelovac, Gomilica and Sucurac. Each town has one or more Kastels (defensive strongholds) and were given their respective names mostly by noblemen who lived in them. No special romance there, but a pretty amazing, authentic atmosphere of small towns and villages by the sea.


Trogir, a Gem on Your Way

Close to Split airport, the city of Trogir was founded by Greek colonists in the 3rd century B.C. It is considered the most preserved Romanic-Gothic town, and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.


It is situated on an island between the mainland and the island of Ciovo. Due to a large concentration of monuments and historical buildings on a relatively small area, it is best to visit it in the off-season.

Places to visit: the historical city core, with about 10 churches and numerous buildings from the 13th century; the Fortress Kamerlengo (15th century); the Cathedral (13th century) with the Portal of Master Radovan; the big and small palaces Cipiko from the 15th century; the city gate (17th century) and city walls (15th century).


Dalmatian Town Primosten

On day 2 of your stay, we advise you to drive to Primosten. This lovely Dalmatian town near Sibenik has a rich history. It is located on an island that was connected to the mainland by a drawbridge. The legend says that this is where the name Primošten comes from: in Croatian the verb ‘premostiti’ (i.e. ‘primostiti’ in Dalmatian dialect) means ‘to bridge over’.



Its fortified walls protected the inhabitants from the Turks in the 16th century and, after the attacks were over, the bridge was replaced with a rampart which turned the island into a peninsula. Primosten is famous for its vineyards, producing fine quality red wine Babic.

These vineyards have been officially declared as a world monument to human labor and there is a picture of them in the lobby of the United Nations building in New York. Don’t miss the wonderful stroll along the promenade around the peninsula, a visit to the churches of St. Roko and St. George, and, of course, the obligatory coffee on a café terrace.




101 Dalmatians … not only for Cruella

Just like Cruella de Vil was once obsessed with the beauty of Dalmatians, I guarantee that you'll be begging for more once you get a taste of Dalmatia. This part of Croatia has so much more to offer, excitement and enjoyment, solitude and company, amazing food and wine. So, enjoy your stay in Split. And satisfy your curiosity by coming back for more.



Traffic Rules Croatia

Mandatory daytime vehicle lights, they have a right of way rule for traffic coming from your right, passing on the right is strictly prohibited, the maximum alcohol level is 0.05% (0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood). in other words,one has to be totally sober. if you drink at all, don’t drive. within urban areas 50km/h, outside urban areas 90 km/h, motorway 130 km/h




Things to Know about the Opel Insignia Country Tourer


Flagship!

The Country Tourer is the latest addition to the new Opel Insignia family, topping the existing offering. With its SUV-like looks and per manent all-wheel drive system, the Insignia Country Tourer expresses an innate desire for adventure and provides freedom beyond the constraints of city limits and asphalt roads.

Beckoning discovery drives, the bodywork features protective under-body elements in front and rear combined with prominent wheel-arches and side claddings, all complemented by dual exhaust tailpipes.




Always All-Wheel-Drive

The Opel Insignia Country Tourer features state-of-the-art permanent all-wheel drive technology with an electronic limited-slip differential, ensuring grip and sure-footed handling in all driving conditions.

The system constantly adapts to prevailing surface conditions on and off-road, and varies torque distribution seamlessly from zero to 100 percent between the front and rear axles, as well as between the left and right rear wheels. It sets a clear benchmark in ter ms of reaction time and vehicle control. Perfect for adventurists!


Revolutionary Infotainment

The new Insignia’s cockpit has been substantially re-designed. It is clear, simple and intuitive to operate and offers various options for customization. The revolutionary infotainment system IntelliLink has been introduced. Its two major highlights: the 8-inch color touchscreen and the revolutionary touchpad, which also supports handwriting recognition. All main functions can be accessed via steering wheel controls too and, for even further increased ease, via voice control.




Powerful and Smooth

The Insignia Country Tourer is teamed with powerful turbo engines such as the high-performance 195 hp, 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI diesel that generate an impressive maximum torque of 400 Nm.

With the electronically controlled FlexRide adaptive chassis system that features new dampers, the driver can always enjoy both optimum road holding and propulsion at any time.


Comfort Meets Safety

The Opel Insignia Country Tourer offers an array of safety and comfort highlights. These include camera and radar-based assistance systems ranging from Road Sign Recognition to Forward Collision Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control: The system automatically maintains the speed selected by the driver while keeping the individually pre-selected safety distance to the vehicle ahead.

The rear view camera including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert ensures optimum visibility to the sides and rear without turning your head. With its various light functions such as town/pedestrian or country light, the Adaptive Forward Lighting system AFL+ increases safety.




Tips for Opel Insignia Country Tourer Driver


Discover Adventure

Tired of busy streets? Go Country Tourer! Clearly, it will spend most of its time on civilized asphalt, but it also en­ables you to discover wilder spheres in all comfort and safety. The smoothly rhythmic trance of off-road driving is simply a sensation of the sublime! The Insignia Country Tourer is equipped with a strong so-called "bad road package" as weil as the world class FlexRide premium adaptive chassis. Unleash the adven­turist in you!


Speak Out!

Controlling all infotainment options-radio stations, navigation addresses, music playlists or phone contacts - with a single fingertip while driving is pos­sible in the Insignia Country Tourer. You can do so via the touchscreen, or handwriting on the touchpad, or using the steering wheelcon­trols. But you may prefer to just speak out and use the voice controlsystem. To guide you, the screen in the center of the instruments tells you what you can say.

Note that the infotain­ment system can be individualized, with up to 60 personal favorite settings that can be stored and accessed anytime. With a bit of practice, using the system becomes a piece of cake.




3-Day Beard Suits You Well

Inner-city, massive off-roaders often look like wood-cutters in a fashion boutique. Not the Insignia Country Tourer. An athletic mid-size wagon with some SUV character, it remains as elegant as George Clooney with a 3-day-grownbeard - just a little more rugged, adventurous and desirable. Men, don' t shave every day!


Scan Your Country Tourer

Every day, more tech­nology products appear on the market, which require user manuals as thick as a bible. Together with the new Insignia, Opel has launched a smartphone app called 'myOpel' that can be downloaded for free and enables you to track, using your phone's camera, any feature of the car that requires explanation. Try it with the iPhone5: scan your dashboard for example, and discover how to use it best.




Technical Data Opel Insignia Country Tourer


Vehicle type: 5-seater midsize station wagon with permanent, adaptive 4x4 system

Length: 4,920 mm

Engine type: 4 cylinder 16 valves,common rail, diesei direct injection system, turbo, Start/Stop system

Engine displaoement: 1,956 cm3

Power: 120 kW/163 hp @ 4,000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 380 Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm with overboost

Transmission: Manual, 6 speed

Maximum speed: 205 km/h

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 10,9 sec.

Elasticity 80-120 km/h in 5th gear: 10.5 sec.

Comb. fuel consumption: 5,6 liter/100 km

Co2 emissions: 147

Efficiency class: C