I tried to think of a witty title for this post, but my brain is in one of those days where nothing witty is happening (not that I'm a comic genius on a regular day, but you know what I mean). Some of you may remember me going to Croatia a couple of months ago, I had to hold back on posting about it as my camera decided to hold the photos to ransom. Finally it surrendered, so here is the post!

A few of us were taken over to Dubrovnik back in July with Adriatic Luxury Hotels. I didn't really know what to expect; friends of mine had been to Croatia beforehand and raved about it (some literally) but further up the coast and none had been to Dubrovnik. After a surprisingly short flight, we landed in the city (almost literally, it was a very short transfer to the hotel) and arrived at our home for the trip, Hotel Excelsior.

Hotel Excelsior, Dubrovnik

When I was invited on the trip I was so excited at the prospect of some sunshine I didn't really take the time to research the city at all, which made the beauty of it even more of a surprise. Game of Thrones fans will recognise it as the home of the Lannisters (I spent the whole tour of the old town humming the theme tune) but there really is a lot more to it than meets the initial eye. Dubrovnik has a deep history, which as a European I felt pretty ridiculous not knowing anything about. As an indication our guide himself has lived in 3 different countries in the last 40 years, without ever having to leave the city itself. The sand stone buildings and terracotta roofs create one of the most beautiful urban places I've ever seen, so perfect it could almost be a movie set (and the food isn't bad either, we ate locally twice and both times it was exceptional).

The following day we headed 40 minutes up the coast the Croatia's unique "oyster zone." The rare mix of fresh and salted water in this area means that it's the only place a particular oyster (and being the idiot I am, I can't remember the name) can be found. We caught a little fishing boat across the sea - past several oyster "catching" boats like the one below - to an island about the size of a tennis court. When we arrived a lovely fisherman had prepared a picnic of oysters and wine for us… Needless to say all offerings were devoured in minutes.

On the final day we were a little spoilt as the hotel kindly arranged a boat for the day to explore a few of Croatia's 1000 islands (yup 1000, though only 60 are inhabited). Friends had already told me that the sea was beautiful but it still took me by surprise - unbelievably clear and beautifully green! It was so hot that you had no choice to jump in, and after the initial change in temperature it felt like swimming in a big bath!

We hulled up at one of the 60 "built up" islands for lunch and had my favourite meal of the trip. The size of a living room, run and owned by a true Croat local - he cooked us a meal centred around what he pulled out of the ocean that morning. We had the most amazing seafood risotto, huge white fish and whitebait - I was in my element. Luckily I was wearing my Pampelone dress which hid a multitude of greedy sins..!

For the last evening we ate at a sister hotel to ours, Villa Orsula who had just opened their Peruvian inspired restaurant, Victoria. Not something you would necessarily expect from Dubrovnik, but an amazing meal and would definitely recommend (and save room for pudding because they are excellent). We toasted the trip with copious amounts of cocktails and watched the sun set over the city from our seats.

As my first trip to Dubrovnik, I can wholeheartedly say it won't be my last - I'm already trying to find time to get back there next Spring. If you are looking for a city break with the perfect mix ratio "stuff to do / nothing to do" then I really can't think of a better place. Flights were easy, hotels were lovely, people were welcoming and the weather was perfect. Don't just sit there, book!

Flights to Dubronik start at £150 return via Skyscanner here.


3 comments said...

Isn't Dubrovnik fabulous? A group of us went last year and it was truly one of the best holiday experiences we've ever had (minus getting caught in a massive storm at night in the middle of the mountains on the way back from visiting Diocletian's Palace). The clear water, food (pretty crazy dreams after stuffing my face with oysters), wether, history, just everything...We'll definitely be back. It's worth checking Montenegro next door (that of Casino Royal fame :) which is even more pretty. Imagine black mountains plunging straight to the bay with tiny islands housing ancient monastery, medieval towns full of tiny cobble streets, glamorous Sveti Stefan...I could go on and on. Balkans are definitely one of my favourite part of the world :)

Sarah said...

This looks heavenly! I'm hankering after a trip to Croatia!

My Sentimental Heart


Unknown said...

This looks so nice! I've heard Croatia is great - but never knew where to stay... Perfect!

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