Subway made a trip through the Dalmatia region of Croatia. In this sunny and surprising holiday country we discovered the pearls of the region. And llast but not least we visited one of the best preserved historical cities in the world: Dubrovnik. Also called the pearl of the Adriatic.
It is sweltering hot when we walk through the Pile Gate into the old town in Dubrovnik. The bright sun shines over the clean streets of the old town, which is embraced by the high city walls. Vehicles are not allowed in the old town center. An exception applies to the small buses that are allowed to bring goods to the shops early in the morning. So you can walk criss-cross through the streets without having to pay attention. The large street ‘Stradun’ in front of us is quiet, while we hear from the locals that you could barely walk here pre-corona. The watchword recently wrote an article that especially Dubrovnik is at a loss for tourists. Despite that bitter taste, as a tourist you can now enjoy all the beauty that this city has to offer.
Winding streets set for Game of Thrones
And the city has a lot to offer. We sleep in the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, a nice hotel within walking distance of the old town. If you are not staying here, we can at least recommend that you have a cup of coffee here in the afternoon. You can enjoy the interior design of this luxury hotel, as well as the beautiful garden with balcony, which overlooks, among other things, the old town. From the hotel you can walk to the center in about three minutes.
Dubrovnik has an ancient history. The city’s origins date back to the seventh century. Initially, the city was founded as ‘Ragusa’; it was only later that it was given the name Dubrovnik. For a long time Dubrovnik has belonged to Yugoslavia, but since 1991 it belongs to Croatia. From the city walls, which were founded in the 12th century, you have a beautiful view over the blue Adriatic sea. Add to that the winding picturesque limestone streets and pretty churches, and it’s like walking on a movie set. Not surprising that the city was also used as the backdrop for King’s Landing from Game of Thrones.
Dubrovnik – despite being a city – can almost be described as picturesque. You will not find large fast food chains, the well-known coffee shops or other A-stores here. On the other hand, it is full of small separate boutiques, good restaurants and personal coffee shops. We have lunch at Proto, a restaurant specialized in fish. And it shows: we can’t get enough of the oysters here. A little later in the afternoon, when the sun has set a bit, we take an impressive walk over the city wall. There too, it shows again how much fun this city has to offer: downstairs we come across a cute coffee shop: Cogito Coffee. Hidden in a hallway somewhere near the wall. Iced coffee in and through!
Another option is to take the ferry to the island of Lokrum. In no time you are in the middle of nature, where it is suffocating with peacocks! Water shoes are useful here, because if you walk a bit over the rocks you have a lovely piece of sea to swim in. Then cool off on a beanbag at Lacroma, a few meters away, with a fresh juice and a beer. Believe us: you won’t get a better holiday feeling!
The ‘China Wall of Europe’
If you have rented a car, we can certainly recommend that you drive an hour to the villages of Ston and Mali Ston. Why? Ston is home to one of Europe’s best kept secrets, also known as ‘The China Dubrov Wall of Europe’. Originally from a 14th century fortress, the walls of Ston are over 5.5 kilometers long (once they were 7 kilometers long). You can also actually walk over the wall. An absolute must. Although we recommend that you do this early in the day in the summer, because it is quite a climb. With over 30 degrees it is quite exhausting.
Fishing enthusiasts have another good reason to head to Mali Ston. The tiny village is not only known for the historic city walls, but also for the large numbers of oyster farms and the large mussel production. For comparison: Mali Ston has more oyster farms (72) than inhabitants (70).
Our guide Sanja takes us on a boat trip to the oyster farm of the Bota Sare family, who also have a restaurant of the same name in Mali Ston. Even if you don’t really like oysters or mussels, it is worth taking this boat trip and seeing how the oysters are picked. With a boat we sail to a mini restaurant that has been built in the middle of the water to let the people who make the trip here taste the oysters and mussels. Near Ston in Putniković is another pleasant surprise for foodies: a wine tasting. Croatia is known for producing its own wine and in the Vine Museum you can enjoy an extensive wine tasting with white and red wines. Each and every one of them delicious wines that you can hardly get anywhere in the Netherlands. Immediately a souvenir to take home! After dinner in restaurant Konoba Bakus in Ston we drive back to Dubrovnik tired but satisfied. We pack to prepare for our last day in Croatia.
The last day starts after a half-hour drive in Cavtat. Although this town is a short distance from Dubrovnik, there is a very different atmosphere here than in the larger city. Cavtat is a bit quieter and more relaxed than the previous places we visited. We see a slightly older audience, but we do have lunch at a hip joint with dishes that will also make a vegetarian swoon: Ludo More.
Around the city there is bright blue water on a long boulevard that winds along the harbor. At the rear of the village, tourists jump into the water from the quay. We would also prefer to take a dip, given that the temperature has again shot far above thirty degrees today. But in the end we choose to cool down under a tree. Getting back into the car with a wet bathing suit doesn’t seem so convenient to us.
Leaving Cavtat, our journey has come to an end. If we go through the trip again at the small airport of Dubrovnik, we can conclude two things: no place we have visited has disappointed us and Croatia is a perfect destination for a (long!) holiday. By car, plane or perhaps by train: we will come back in any case.
The Best Months for a Croatia City Trip
Dubrovnik is located in the southernmost tip of Croatia and is close to Montenegro and Bosnia. April, May, June, September and October are the best months for a city trip. Are you putting a summer vacation on it? Then July and August are also recommended. In the high season the temperature can easily reach 34 degrees.
Earlier we also made an article with tips for Split. And you can check everything you need to know to go on holiday to Croatia in ‘corona time’ prepared here.
Sunny Croatia is yellow: the best tips for Split and the new ‘Ibiza’!
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