A new village in Croatia has been launched, aimed specifically at digital nomads who want to leave the office.
Zadar is a port city in central Croatia. With thriving markets, sparkling beaches and all the fresh seafood you can get your hands on, this is the perfect place for a relaxing summer vacation.
But what if you don’t need to leave at the end of your vacation?
Due to the pandemic, remote working has gone from being a fringe idea to reality for many people. And many workers do not want to give up their new freedoms.
The digital nomadic lifestyle is ideal if you need a break from your usual workplace or want to engage in this lifestyle full time.
Studies show that flexible working has huge benefits for our mental and physical health. And if you’re in a location with a lower cost of living, your wallet could benefit as well.
Croatia was quick to recognize the digital nomadic lifestyle. As one of Europe’s largest travel destinations, they have relied on digital nomads to keep their economy running throughout the pandemic.
The country even offered special visas for digital nomads outside the EU, allowing them to stay for a year without paying income tax.
The specialized digital nomad village of Zadar
In Bokir, a district a few steps from the historic center of Zadar is the brand new Digital Nomad Valley Zadar. Or as it is affectionately called, ‘The Valley’.
The region is the first organized digital nomadic village in Croatia. It will officially open on October 10.
The Valley offers pretty houses that you can experience solo or with other community members. You have access to an exclusive coworking space and to events organized by the village.
Stays start at € 130 per week for a minimum of two weeks at a time. That’s € 520 for four weeks, significantly less than the average rent for an apartment in most of Europe.
Who is behind the village?
The Valley is the brainchild of Mario Mrksa, CEO of grabAhome, an apartment reservation service in Croatia.
“We chose the name ‘The Valley’ because people associate it with entrepreneurship, like Silicon Valley,” Mrksa told Euronews Travel.
“As many digital nomads are entrepreneurs and work for themselves, we want to create networking events and conferences on entrepreneurship, and also involve the local community. There are a lot of serious entrepreneurs who live a nomadic lifestyle, and we want to attract them to our cause.
“One of the reasons why we wanted to make this project a reality is that Croatian tourism largely depends on the summer season, while for the rest of the season many islands and towns are, as they say in Croatia, “Dead”.
“We see Zadar as a pilot project, but we really want to create several communities like this across the country to help small towns and villages boost their economies,” said Mrska.
Zadar has a rich history as the oldest permanently inhabited city in Croatia. A Liburnian colony absorbed by the Roman Empire, Zadar became part of the Republic of Croatia in 1991 during the Yugoslav War.
Since the end of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Zadar has once again become the center of the county and has seen large investments in Infrastructure, including the construction of the port of Gaženica and the establishment of the University of Zadar.
“Zadar is one of the most progressive cities in Croatia with a lot of students and young people, so it’s a very good mix of history and innovation,” Mrksa adds.
It is now home to a vibrant nightlife and a delicious restaurant scene.
The dishes you must try in Zadar include the nation’s favorite black risotto. Colored with squid ink, this seafood dish packs an intense punch that will stain your lips and stay etched in your memory.
And what better with a black risotto than a crisp, crisp wine like a Croatian Malvazija? With notes of fruit and citrus, this will set you up well for another day of work in sunny Zadar.
Need more conviction? Zadar was elected Best destination in Europe in 2016.