Here is to the last of my writing on the Croatian Series and it cannot get better than about Dubrovnik.
It is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and is a small coastal town with a Big Character. Dubrovnik was first established around 7th century, and was an independent republic for 450 years (1358-1808).The city remained independent throughout the rule of the Roman, Napoleon, and Turkish empires as a seaport with open trade.Dubrovnik then became a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and then finally Yugoslavia. It’s nested at the Southern tip of Croatia between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Dubrovnik’s tumultuous history, breathtaking architecture and seaside landscape make it the most popular destination in the Balkan region, and one of the most popular in Europe.
The succession of Croatia from former communist Yugoslavia in 1991 is a sensitive subject for many Dubrovnik locals. The area was attacked during the war, and people had to either stay and fight in the war or flee as refugees.Dubrovnik locals take pride in their identity and are very much a product of their past. Many will consider Dubrovnik separate from the rest of Croatia, as if it still is a republic. Even the famed Old Town, a UNESCO heritage site,was completely destroyed.Today most of the area is restored, and is one of the safest places in the world. The local economy depends heavily on tourism,and has tactfully marketed Dubrovnik’s unique features.Dubrovnik is very welcoming towards foreigners,but locals share a special bond that is harder to explain.
After spending three relaxing days on Brac Island,this was the last leg of our travel in Croatia.One can travel via Boat or Bus to Dubrovnik from Split.I would have preferred the Boat, as my daughter suffers from acute travel sickness in a closed Bus. However, we were there in May, and the liners are operational only during high season from June onwards,so we had no option but to take the bus ride.
The travel distance is around 230 kilometers from Split and will take around 4 to 5 hours depending on the route the bus takes. You can easily pick up the ticket on the spot if you are travelling low season,else will advise you to book in advance. It’s one of the most scenic road drives beside the Adriatic ocean you will take.Thou the buses there are not in top notch condition like other parts of Europe you will enjoy the drive with the amazing coastline.And the locals are happy to chat too, so here I was sitting beside a wonderful lady who gave me a lot of tips and we got friendly by the end of the ride to still keep in touch through social media. Be prepared to keep your passports handy as you will pass Bosnia during this drive and there is heavy security checks there.The little part of Bosnia,I caught was beautiful and you are left wondering was this really the war torn country that you saw all over television in the eighties.Soon we landed in Dubrovnik and it was a warm afternoon. We stayed a little away from the main town, as even thou it was not high season the place gets very crowded. May and September are the best months to go,because it is still warm enough to swim and enjoy everything Dubrovnik has to offer, without being trampled by tourists.
The Best Things to do in Dubrovnik.
Once we were comfortably settled in our Airbnb House which had a phenomenal infinity pool, Jacuzzi and view we decided to hit the Old town.The popular series ‘Game of Thrones ‘was shot here and here is when Croatia got noticed by the World.The old town view enthralls you.Thou the town is small,there are many things you can do here.So ideally a minimum three days stay here will do justice to this place if not more.The city is close to Bosnia, Montenegro,other coastal towns and islands so ideally five days will suffice to explore all.
Walk the Dubrovnik’s city walls.
The old walls are definitely the highlight of the town, and you must not miss walking those.Early Mornings or late evenings are the best time to do that and it will take a good 2 hours to cover it. During High season expect more crowds on it and you may get a guide along only if you are interested in the history.Carry a nice hat and sunscreen as the sun will hit hard there.
Get lost on the streets of the Stair Grad.
Once you done with the walls,don’t feel that there is not much to do there .The whole of Old Town has an old world charm and there are many who live in there.Walk those cobbler –stone roads and climb those stairs.You may get some great pics here and there are plenty of shops too.Thou these shops are a little expensive on the wallet,you can check some restaurants to sit and sip in coffee.
Take a Boat ride to Cavtat.
Cavtat is a well-kept secret around and not many know this quaint little Greek feel village.The place was founded in 4th Century BC and Roman’s took over in 228 BC.It’s 20 km south of Dubrovnik and is an ideal destination for a day trip. You can either take a boat or a 30-minute bus ride to here.It’s very serene and one can shop here and dine by the open restaurants by the sea.The shops here are great to get your souvenirs and is very economical.
So here we had a great three-day stay and was all ready to fly back home after two weeks here . In a matter of a few years,Croatia has transformed from Europe’s hidden gem to Europe’s hottest holiday destination.With spotless beaches along the Adriatic, national parks full of waterfalls, and charming cobble-stoned cities,it’s unlikely that Croatia will fall off the radar anytime soon.