Interview with Ivana Grzetic – Former Miss Universe Croatia – Now Sea Kayaking Entrepreneur in Dubrovnik – Our Expert on Croatia
4. You are located in the city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik was also affected by the Balkan wars in the early 1990s. Please comment on this difficult time and also give us a description of this city today.
During its history, Dubrovnik never had real war on its territory, until 1991. The major weapon of the Dubrovnik Republic was its skillful diplomacy. Namely, Dubrovnik was negotiating and very often buying its freedom. The cost was sometimes really high, but it was always worth of it.
When the war in Croatia started, nobody really believed that Dubrovnik – a city enlisted in World Heritage, would be really attacked. The period between 1991 and 1992 was the hardest time of Dubrovnik’s history. The city was bombarded from the air, from land and from sea. The main street in Dubrovnik – Stradun was burning. There was no water and electricity; the shelves in the supermarkets were completely empty. One could buy only bread at that time. It seemed like there was no way out…
Reconstruction took place immediately after the war. Today one could never imagine what was going on in Dubrovnik in early nineties. The city is full of tourists and this year Lonely Planet proclaimed it as one of the most popular destinations in the world.
5. Your company provides sea kayaking tours, from day-long outings to week-long tours. Please tell us more about what your company does and what makes your tours unique.
Adria Avanture is the only sea kayaking company from Dubrovnik. We offer a wide range of sea kayaking tours:
Half day tours: with daily departures from Dubrovnik to the islands of Lokrum and Kolocep. These tours do not require any previous paddling experience.
Multy Day Tours: Short Break Tour and One week Kayaking cater to ones who are looking for adventure and escape from every day stress.
We also offer some very interesting teambuilding programs.
At Adria Avanture we emphasize on very personal service. Our guides are here at home and they know every rock, every hidden bay on your route, local people and interesting stories of the places you visit.
We support the Croatian slogan: “Help us keep the Adriatic clean”. We leave the environment as it is. All we take with us are the photos and the memories. This is why local people are friendly to kayakers.
6. How did you come up with this business idea, how long have you been in business and where do your clients come from? What time of year do you offer these tours?
I was born in a ‘crazy about the sea’ family of scuba divers and kayakers. My parents transmited to me a love for nature and the sea. As a fashion model, I spent some time in Greece, where I saw organized sea kayaking tours. This inspired me and in 2003, together with my boyfriend I founded Adria Avanture. We organize sea kayaking excursions from May to October. Majority of our clients come from UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and USA.
Thank you, Ivana, for sharing your expert insight into the beautiful, up and coming region of Croatia with us.