In May Frédéric and I got away for a few days. We decided to celebrate our birthdays in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I had just turned 30, he was about to turn 39 and we were also celebrated our 6th anniversary together one month late.
Dubrovnik was a first for both of us. Last time I traveled to Croatia, I was fifteen years old. And I had worked in a nursery to finance part of the travel. Unfortunately one of the kids passed on his/her chickenpox which broke out right in the middle of my vacations.
That made me stay in the hotel room a whole week trying not to scratch myself, instead of exploring Dubrovnik. Funny how things turn out: exactly fifteen years later, I went back to Croatia to correct this!
First upside of Dubrovnik: one day is enough to wander around in the city. Of course you can spend more time in Dubrovnik. But this is quite convenient if you want to spend more time relaxing on the seaside or if you’re just making a stop during an itinerary.
Our first spot was to eat lunch at Dubravka 1836 Café because of its marvelous view on the fortress Bokar and its delicious mediterranean seafood. This was a great choice: we had a table right on the sea front and we enjoyed tasty shrimps and fishes.
After lunch we started walking inside the fortress without really looking at any map. Entering via the West gate, we went through the main street od Puča from the Big Onofrio’s fountain to the harbour located on the opposite side. Stepping inside churches, old buildings, looking inside shops…still, the stroll lasted less than an hour.
We then took the cable car to the panorama. In addition to enjoying the marvelous view, we sat down for birthday drinks: a caipirinha for Fred and a bellini for me (champagne is a must, don’t you think ?!).
I didn’t know then but the restaurant is also part of Nautika group…just like Dubravka 1836 where we had lunch that same day. Wearing white outfits and hats, the waiters offered a very pleasant service. You may want to consider this for a romantic dinner (booking recommended).
When we went back to the city center, it was almost time for the golden hour, the perfect time to tour the remparts and to shoot pictures with a gorgeous light. Again without rushing, the tour was easily done in less than an hour.
On our way we noticed from above an open-air BBQ place called Lady Pi Pi (you’ll understand the reason of that name when you arrive on location). We decided to have dinner there and arrived just in time as people started to queue around 8 P.M. The place is located in the highest part of the city center so you’ll have to climb some stairs. In the end, the food was good but we had to share a table of 4 with another couple. So I’m not really recommending it.
There are plenty more options on Prijeko street.
You have more time to spend in Dubrovnik? Here is a selection of fun activities at the best prices
In order to rest away from the city that weekend, we stayed at Hotel Croatia, a local five stars located on the outskirts of Cavtat. This village is only a 15-minute drive from the airport, closer than Dubrovnik.
At this period of the year, I must confess that we were almost the only couple under the age of 40! The place was filled with retirees who, let’s look at the silver lining, made us feel young again!
Cavtat used to be an important Roman colony and was the birthplace to:
- Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922), one of the most famous Croatian painters whose house can be visited there.
- Baltazar Bogišić (1834-1908), a Serbian jurist who was a pioneer in the sociology of law and sociological jurisprudence. There are an archive-memorial and a statute in his honor in the village.
We had the best dinner of our trip at the restaurant Bugenvila. Our choice was driven by the ratings on TripAdvisor. Still it managed to exceed our expectations. The level of cuisine is worth what you can find in a good restaurant in France and the service was simply excellent. We ordered a nice bottle of red (2014 Galic) while watching passengers hop off the modern replica of Tirena, a galleon from the sixthteenth century, and later on the sunset.
Our trip was a bit too short to go on and explore the coast. However I noted down 4 sightseeings nearby Cavtat:
- The village of Čilipi: traditional folklore events are performed on the central square on Sundays,
- The Franciscan monastery of St. Vlaho (St. Blaise) in Pridvorje: it was built in the 15th century in the early renaissance style,
- The Soko fortress (Soko Grad): with the reputation of the most protective fortress from the period of republic of Dubrovnik, Soko Grad offers an entire view on the municipality of Konavle,
- The village of Molunat: a fishermen’s village which is now a great vacation place.
Soline? Close enough! Sounds like a place I could call mine 🙂