Those who follow the blog, will know I am an avid traveller. I love to plan our family trips and explore new places. Over the last few years we’ve been to Canada, USA, Menorca and Greece. For a while I had been trying to persuade my husband to go to Croatia, to no avail. Finally, I had got him to agree and we booked 5 days in Dubrovnik.
Then tragedy struck: I had a cardiac arrest. I was determined that I would still make my holiday. And I did. As I have blogged before, 2017 could have been a very negative year, but it was far from it.
Anyhow, we absolutely fell in love with Croatia, and making the trip there was important both for my recovery and it was definitely a bucket list item ticked off.
You can pack a lot into five days – so here is our itinerary, and hopefully will be of use to you!
We took a very early flight with EasyJet to Dubrovnik. It’s a quick two hour flight, so before we knew it we were in sunny Dubrovnik.
We had booked an apartment through Booking.com, in the Babin Kuk area. This outside the old town, towards the cruise ship port. We were in Dubrovnik in August, and it was very busy, so staying just outside the exceptionally busy old town, was a good move. It was easy enough to get back in, and Babin Kuk is a great area with plenty of restaurants and shops.
Our apartment, although basic, ticked all the boxes: It was near the bus stop, we could walk to the beaches and it was perfectly comfortable with a big terrace for al fresco breakfasts and evening card games. But best of all, it had a wonderful roof top pool with far-reaching views: Perfect for those Instagram shots!
Feeling a little weary from our early start, we walked to the Lapad area and at the lovely seafood restaurant, Orsan. This restaurant is in a beautiful position: You sit underneath the pine trees whilst looking out at the yachts on the sea.
In the evening, we took a stroll down to the pedestrianised area of Babin Kuk for an ice cream. This is a perfect area for families as it is, obviously, traffic free.
As well as sight seeing, we wanted a beach holiday! So day two was all about the r’n’r. We walked to the main beach at Babin Kuk. It is important to remember that all beaches in Dubrovnik are stony, so you definitely need beach shoes. We picked some up from Decathlon before we came. The beach is nice enough here, plenty of bars for to buy refreshments and the sea is wonderfully inviting for a swim. There is also a Wibit inflatable course which the children LOVED!
My only criticism was the price of the sunbeds. They were roughly 40 euros each a day! However, a little walk around the corner we discovered them for half price …
Dubrovnik faces west, so that means you can experience some amazing sunsets. We took the little path from Babin Kuk and walked to the Cave Bar at the More Hotel, where we sat and watched the sun go down. Just beautiful.
We had another morning at the beach, this time Cocacabana beach. This is a lovely bay for swimming in, and yet again there was another Wibit for the children’s entertainment! There’s a nice beach club at one end if you want to have a slightly glamourous experience, but we were quite happy on the main beach. It’s also a perfect place to watch the cruise ships sail in and out.
In the evening, we hopped on a local bus which skirts around the coastline to the exterior of the walls in the Old Town. It sure beats the 77 bus back in London! It is hard to describe the old town in sufficient adjectives. Immediately as you walk through the gates, the sense of history hits you: The beautiful stone walls wind up around you, as people hustle and bustle around you. The paths weave up to the upper parts of the walls, with shops and houses intermingling. One minute you are drooling over the seafood in a restaurant, the next you are dodging the drips of someone’s washing! The old town is very much a place to visit but also to work and live. The atmosphere was so very special, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I felt privileged to be there and certainly felt a sense of awe.
We returned to Lapad beach, this time making sure we went around the corner …! We had another blissful day soaking up the rays and enjoying a swim or two. We also took a pedalo out into the bay and gently bobbed around. The bay is easy to walk along and visit the little bays, plenty of locals rock up for a quick swim before heading off on their mopeds.
In the evening, we headed back to Old Town, this time we paid the entrance fee (roughly £17 per person) and although pricey, it is worth every single penny. The two kilometre walk around the 13th century walls affords you fantastic views of the sea and islands and the city. I honestly think this is an essential ‘to do’ when visiting Dubrovnik. The photo opportunities are endless, and we timed it particularly well so we saw the sun set as we walked. The only one caution I would have, is that it gets tremendously busy, especially in peak season.
We ate that night in Mea Culpa Pizzeria. Nestled in an alley with beautiful old buildings surrounding you, it certainly ticks the ‘beautiful location’ box. Secondly, the pizza were divine and absolutely massive. So much so, we took the leftovers home for breakfast the next day. Just sitting there, and soaking up the Old Town’s atmosphere whilst sipping our wine was a great experience in itself.
This was our final day and as ever, we made the absolute most of it. One of the things I’d heard consistently about Croatia was that a visit to the islands were a must. Obviously, when you are only there for five days, time is limited. However the Elphati islands are situated close by and it is easy to make a day trip to one of them. We chose to go to Lokrum which is only 15 minutes from the Old Town port on a water taxi and costs roughly £8 per adult.
Lokrum is the prettiest of islands, with a rich history of being inhabited by monks in the 11th century to being the setting of the recent filming of The Game of Thrones!In fact, many visit to just sit on the throne! Aside from this, the island is a nature reserve and boasts only peacocks as its residents.
Entering into the picture-perfect harbour, we walked to a few of the highlights of the island, including The Dead Sea, a salt-filled lake linked to the open sea. It’s great for sunbathing and a splash about. We also headed over to one of the beaches, where the crystal-clear water was perfect for a snorkel and a swim. On our way home, we had a small glimpse of the magnificent monastery, which was built between the 11th and 15th century.
Lokrum is only a mile and half wide, and as it has no cars or residents, it’s a small slice heaven. I highly recommend a trip out from Dubrovnik.
And alas, it was time to return to the airport.
With it, we took a head full of memories and an absolute love for this historical, magical, beautiful, cosmopolitan city. It has so much offer and personally I can’t wait to go back.
Watch our vlog of our trip:
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