BAROQUE, BEACHES & BREEZE
“Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it” , or so said George Bernard Shaw. The medieval town, which was largely remodelled after an earthquake in 1667, certainly exudes a timeless elegance. Add to this its coastal location on the Adriatic with constant light northwest winds, plus its proximity to Croatia’s beautiful islands and it’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is a favoured yacht charter holiday destination, especially for families. The Castle tower, Bokra, is Dubrovnik’s most iconic landmark and the first thing you see as you arrive by yacht. Walk along the imposing castle walls and then take the cable car up to Mt Srd – which takes under 4 minutes – to get your bearings. At 405m high the panoramic views extend over the old town rooftops to the Elafiti Islands.
Many of the country’s best hotels are in Dubrovnik, but by far the most notable is Villa Dubrovnik. At dusk, wander through the narrow alleys in the Old Town; look out for the open-air cinema with nightly showings under the stars (during July and August). Grab a table at the most prestigious restaurant, Nautika. Sit on one of two panoramic terraces at starched-white table and order local delicacies from the Elafiti isles: Lopud brodet with polenta and Šipan fisherman’s carpaccio. Dubrovnik’s port is the gateway to the southern islands of the Adriatic: the wild islands of Koločep, Lopud and Šipan with their deserted beaches and tranquil coves. Or set a course for the emerald green island of Mljet – one of the most beautiful on this stretch of coast – but make sure you allow a day or two to really soak up the ambience of this little-known sanctuary.
WHEN TO GO:
APRIL TO END OF OCTOBER
JULY – AUGUST
For the best regional olive oil – Brachia from the island of Brač – shop at Uje. Pick up some lemon spread and pickled capers too
The Baroque church of St Blaise in the heart of the old town has rare and impressive architecture – if you are there after mass, watch the Blessing of Throats ritual
Visit the speciality museum War Photo Limited for an insight into Dubrovnik and the conflicts it has encountered over the years