Earlier this summer, I set off on a mini European adventure with my travel buddy and partner-in-crime, Jo. We’d wanted to explore Croatia for a while, so it seemed like a pretty good place to start our adventure. Our two weeks of travel across Croatia, Rome, and Ibiza began in the historic Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Our travels were in late July, so we left expecting some great weather and a sunny city.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
We survived a pretty terrifying taxi ride from Čilipi airport. This was thanks in part to hairpin bends, roads running along coastal cliffs, and a crazy driver who was busy texting. Finally, we arrived at our Dubrovnik apartment unscathed. We’d left booking our accommodation until last minute and had been pretty scared about the limited amount available, so we were a little nervous about what we were arriving to.
Our apartment was, however, awesome. It was so clean and with everything we could possibly need for our three night stay. The owners were lovely, and so hospitable. They greeted us on arrival, showed us around the apartment and even demonstrated how to use the kettle. Definitely not a problem for a couple of British girls.
The owners then took us out to show us the local area, which isn’t far from the beautiful coastline. If our departure hadn’t been so early on our last day, they’d have even dropped us off at the airport. Once they’d left us, we threw down our suitcases and quickly switched to bikinis. We knew exactly where we were off to first.
Located just around the corner from our apartment, and down an extremely steep hill, was this beautiful little gem. Welcome to Bellevue Beach. Surrounded by rocky cliffs, Bellevue Beach is a small pebble beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Just look at that clear, green water. With the next few stops on our travels being more beach-based, I hadn’t really anticipated for any beach time whilst in Dubrovnik. With this on our doorstep, however, it seemed rude not to.
Pretty popular with locals, the water is just so incredibly clear. It’s perfect for cooling off in between sunbathing sessions. There’s also a lovely little restaurant nearby if you swim along to the far side of the shore. Overlooking the water, it dishes up amazing salads, fresh fish, and the sweetest local juice and wine. Following a decent nap on the beach, we headed back to our apartment via the local shop to stock up on a Croatian feast. We bought local cheese, fresh bread, meats, and a soon-to-be favourite of the holiday, lemon beer. I always try and do this wherever I travel as I love trying new foods. We spent the rest of the afternoon listening to music and lazily picking at our picnic with the windows of our apartment wide open to enjoy the sea view.
Dubrovnik Old Town
With bellies full, we washed off and dressed up before strolling into the Old Town. Our apartment was a little further out of town, but with beautiful views en route, we really couldn’t complain. Dubrovnik is in south Croatia and is on the Adriatic Sea. Its incredible Old Town is surrounded by huge stone walls, and it dates back to the sixteenth century. It’s really impressive. As we walked closer, there was a real buzz as we reached the cafes and restaurants perched along the coast. You then see the old city walls, before walking across a drawbridge and into the bustling, historic town.
The city’s well kept buildings range in era from baroque to Renaissance, to Gothic. The Old Town has a main plaza that’s just for pedestrians, with shiny limestone flagstones. It’s lined with shops, restaurants, and ice cream shops. Be prepared for plenty of walking up stairs in Dubrovnik. We went during peak season and it was particularly warm, so this was a bit of a challenge. It did, however, make the views all the more worth it. Oh, and see if you can also spot the quirky Croatian statues.
City Walls of Dubrovnik
We headed straight for the City Walls Walk, to work off some of that lunch. Having envisioned a view over the iconic orange rooftops, we weren’t disappointed.
Croatian tour guides talk you through the incredible sights (and sites) of the city, which stretches across to the Adriatic Sea. It’s hard to think that in the early 1990s, the city was subjected to the bombings and terror of the Siege of Dubrovnik that was fought between the Yugoslav People’s Army and Croatian forces. You can even see evidence of the war through the bullet holes in walls. There are also reminders in signs to show pictures of what happened back in the 1990s.
On your walk of the city walls, you pass sea kayakers, Croatian families nestled in their amber homes, and also tourists cliff-jumping from the coastal bars. It was so hot, we had to take regular breaks for water and ice lollies. There are some little cafes up on the old walls, so rest assured you can stop for fresh fruit and drinks to help you along your way.
Peeking round the corner, waiters and waitresses began preparations for the evening ahead at the harbourside restaurants. Meanwhile, boats bob in the water, waiting for the sun to set.
The City Walls Walk was worth every single penny and it isn’t too expensive either. It’s a must-do in Dubrovnik. The walk takes about an hour and half, so be prepared for some walking and lots of standing up. What you’ll see along the way is truly spectacular.
An Evening in Old Town
Dubrovnik’s Old Town has quite a nightlife scene. This manifests itself in its late night bars, awesome restaurants, and beach clubs. Firstly, we made plans to go and sample the seafood platter from Lokanda Peskarija. Oh my goodness, you need to as well. Beautiful views of the harbour, friendly staff, and the most incredible giant pan of prawns, mussels, fresh fish, and prawns. Make sure to add it to your long list of things to do in Dubrovnik.
Wonderful first impressions of Dubrovnik, Croatia so far. Join me for a glorious sunset over Dubrovnik in my next post.
What are your favourite things to do in Dubrovnik? Where did you stay when you visited? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below.