DUBROVNIK TRAVEL GUIDE
2 MINUTE SUMMARY
The sun’s glare reflects off white limestone walls and patchwork paving as you stroll down the pedestrianised Placa linking the gates of Pile and Ploce. This is Dubrovnik: famed for fortifications, Franciscan monasteries, Gothic-Renaissance palaces and hexadecagon-shaped fountains. Oh, and the walls. Can’t forget the walls. Ironically, the walls of Dubrovnik offer a glimpse at what else is out there. The pine forests and saltwater lakes of Mljet National Park; the flower-festooned villages, summer houses and secret coves of the Elaphiti Islands; the Benedictine abbey and botanical gardens of car-free Lokrum Island. Strain your gaze south and the rural trails of Konavle Valley lie beyond. To the north, from Ston, the vineyards and oyster beds of the Pelješac Peninsula create a gastronomic delight for cyclists. The twinkling Adriatic is crying out for kayaking, snorkelling and wading in crystal clear shallows in search of sand-free sanctuary without crowds, and, sometimes, without clothes.
Find out more in our Dubrovnik travel guide.
DUBROVNIK MAP & HIGHLIGHTS
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
Occupying the skinnier southern section of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik–Neretva County captures the islands and mainland coastal districts surrounding the city of Dubrovnik. Stretching southwards from Hvar Island and the seaside village of Drvenik to the borders with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubrovnik–Neretva also includes the Pelješac Peninsula and the southernmost region of Konavle. The Elaphiti Islands, Korcula Island and Mljet National Park all feature within the county limits and there are numerous ferries, catamarans and water taxis operating out of Dubrovnik with seasonal timetables and prices to match: Oct to May is low season, June to Sept is high season.
Pale limestone paves the way to 15th century fountains and steep side streets in Dubrovnik's Stari Grad (Old Town), providing early birds with a glimpse of life pre-tourism. The white stone stands in contrast to the russet red roof tiles with baroque, copper- domed, churches standing alongside convents and cloistered gardens to create a cornucopia of colour best viewed from Mount Srdj via cable car or hiking trail.
Ferries here are frequent so don't expect to keep this Adriatic archipelago to yourself. The three inhabited islands all tempt cyclists, walkers and bathers, although Lopud's sandy beach does tend to draw more crowds. Sipan boasts a rugged coastline, church ruins and an abundance of palm trees whereas Kolocep is renowned for ancient pines, citrus groves and fishing villages – Gornje Celo and Donje Celo.
Captured between the Adriatic and Mt Sniježnica, the rocky valleys and peaceful pastures of Konavle extend from Cavtat (15 mins from Dubrovnik) to Montenegro to invite travellers into rural lifestyles featuring watermills and waterfalls hidden by pine and cypress forests. Olives, figs, grapes and mulberries are grown in abundance with out-of-the-way villages, like Cilipi, initiating a peep into the past.
Right in front of Dubrovnik – seriously, you can't miss it, just a 15 minute ferry ride away – the tiny emerald isle of Lokrum is bypassed by most tourists looking to island hop and as such makes for an incredibly pleasant place to spend a day. Well worn tracks meander from botanical gardens to ancient fortifications, olive groves, sheltered swim spots and a cafe or two – great option if you’re stuck for time.
The northwest of Mljet Island has been a national park since the 60s and features a couple of vast, saltwater lakes, one of which has its own island and 12th century Benedictine monastery. Hikers and bikers will be in their absolute element with numerous ridges, gorges and pine-covered hillsides presenting ample stomping grounds prior to renting a kayak and paddling to the beaches and coves along the coast.
About an hour's drive along the coast from Dubrovnik you'll come to Ston (famed for its Great Wall of China- type walls) and the start of the Pelješac Peninsula. This 65km fertile frond is flanked on both sides by coastline and features some of the finest mussels, oysters and seafood hotspots in Croatia, as well as an abundance of vineyards - all within easy reach for cyclists looking to expand horizons, and Lycra.
If you'd like to chat about Dubrovnik or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700