Want to work remotely? The first digital nomad village has opened in Croatia

A new village in Croatia has been launched specifically for digital nomads who want to leave the office behind. Zadar is a port city in the …

A new village in Croatia has been launched specifically for digital nomads who want to leave the office behind.

Zadar is a port city in the center of Croatia. With thriving markets, glittering beaches, and all the fresh seafood you can get your hands on, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing summer vacation.

But what if you didn’t have to leave after your vacation time?

Because of the pandemic, remote work has gone from a fringe idea to a reality for many people. And many workers don’t want to give up their new freedoms.

The digital nomad lifestyle is great if you need a break from your usual workplace or want to dedicate yourself entirely to the lifestyle.

Studies show that flexible working has huge benefits for our mental and physical health.

Studies show that flexible working has tremendous benefits for our mental and physical health. And if you’re in a place with a lower cost of living, your wallet could benefit, too.

Croatia was an early adopter of the digital nomad lifestyle. As one of Europe’s largest destinations, they’ve relied on digital nomads to keep their economy running during the pandemic.

The country has even offered special visas for non-EU digital nomads, allowing them to stay for a year without paying income tax.

Zadar’s specialized digital nomad village.

In Bokir, just a short walk from the historic center of Zadar, is the brand new digital nomad village of Zadar. Or as it is affectionately known, “The Valley.”

The area is the first curated digital nomad village in Croatia. It will officially open on October 10.

The Area is the first curated digital nomad village in Croatia. It will officially open on October 10.

The Valley offers cute houses where you can live alone or with other members of the community. You’ll get access to an exclusive coworking space and access to events organized by the Village.

Inside view of a Valley home

Stays start at €130 a week for a minimum of two weeks at a time. That’s €520 for four weeks, significantly less than the average apartment rent across most of Europe.


Find more statistics at Statista

Who’s behind the village?

The Valley is the brainchild of Mario Mrksa, CEO of grabAhome, an apartment booking service in Croatia.

Mario Mrksa, CEO of grabAhome

“We went for the name ‘The Valley’ as people associate it with entrepreneurship, like Silicon Valley,” Mrksa tells Euronews Travel.

“As many digital nomads are entrepreneurs and work for themselves, we want to create networking events and conferences about entrepreneurship, and involve the local community as well. There are lots of serious entrepreneurs living a nomadic lifestyle, and we want to attract them to our cause.”

“One of the reasons why we wanted to make this project happen is because Croatian tourism largely depends on the Summer season, while for the rest of the season many islands and cities are, as we say in Croatia, ‘dead’.”

“We consider Zadar as a pilot project, but we really want to create several communities like this around the country to help smaller cities and towns to boost money in their economy,” Mrska says.

Why Zadar?

Zadar has a rich history as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia.

Zadar has a rich history as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. A Liburnian settlement 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 former Yugoslavia, Zadar has once again become the centre of the county and has seen big investment in infrastructure, including building the Gaženica port and establishing the Zadar University.

A coworking space

“Zadar is one of the most progressive cities in Croatia with many students and young people, so it’s a very good mixture of history and innovation,” Mrksa adds.

It’s now home to buzzing nightlife and a delectable restaurant scene.

Dishes you have to try in Zadar include the nation’s favourite, black risotto. Coloured with squid ink, this seafood dish has an intense punch that’ll stain your lips and live on in your memory.

And what could pair better with black risotto than a crisp, fresh wine like a Croatian Malvazija? With fruit and citrus notes, this will set you up nicely for another day working in the Zadar sun.

Need more convincing? Zadar was voted Europe’s best destination in 2016.

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