When your cruise ship rocks up to Dubrovnik make sure you’re on deck for the first glimpse of this stunning walled city on Croatia’s craggy coast, that’s quite rightly been christened the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.
Dubrovnik promises an enchanting Mediterranean day out, so here’s how to make sure your time exploring turns out to be the best of cruise excursions, no matter how many time you’ve seen it before!
You can even WIN a luxurious cruise to the Mediterranean with one of Royal Caribbean‘s mega-ships.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is write a review of your past cruise. Click here to write your review.
Show Stopping Shorelines
Yes, you have the sights, smells and sounds of a brand new city waiting to be discovered but here at www.CRUISE.co.uk we firmly believe that if there’s a beautiful beach in the vicinity it would be rude not to base our behinds on it – at least for an hour or two!
There’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in a few hours’ sun worshipping if you make the effort to take the mile-long walk east of the city and go down the long, steep steps to the gorgeous St Jakov Beach.
Yes, you have to climb back up when it’s time to leave but it’s well worth it to discover this off-the-beaten track gem of a sandy and pebbly cove where the gentle turquoise Adriatic Sea will coax you in for a swim (or lull you off to sleep!).
Gaze up at the stunning views of the Old Town, grab an ice cream from the beach bar (you’ll have worked off the calories on those steps!) and if that sea proves just too tempting, you can even rent a kayak for your own personal mini cruise of the area!
Don’t worry; we’re not encouraging you to visit a restaurant run by Cruella De Ville to feast on puppy dog’s tails! As this area is known as the Dalmatian Coast, the cuisine, which unsurprising heavily features seafood, shares its name.
As Croatia’s glitziest tourist destination, Dubrovnik has lots of options for dining like a Russian oligarch, as well as plenty of cheap and cheerful places to grab a snack.
For a real treat of a Mediterranean meal try to get a table (you may have to book the day before) at the excellent Restaurant Dubrovnik (the food’s more imaginative than the name – promise!)
Take a Flight
Before you eat, try and take the time for a short flight.
No you’re not boarding a private jet – you’re about to take a whistle stop tour of the wonderful world of Croatian wine at the fantastic wine bar, D’Vino.
Their ‘wine flight’ tasting option gives you the chance to try several local tasty tipples – just don’t try and take control of the cockpit afterwards!
Walk the Walls
When you’re in Dubrovnik you have to walk the ancient city walls – it’s the law! Well not really but unless you want to spend the rest of your cruise with everyone looking aghast at you as they say, ‘what, you didn’t walk the walls?’ you should do it!
This mile and a quarter circuit, dating back to the 13th century, is the best way to get constantly changing, breath-taking perspectives of the terracotta roofs of the lovely Old Town and the amazing Adriatic Sea beyond – jaw dropping no matter how many times you’ve seen it before!
For a different twist on the usual tourist trail, why not walk the walls at sunset for a quieter, more romantic experience (just the thing for anyone who’s looking for a stunning backdrop for a marriage proposal – hint hint!) but if you do end up going during the day remember your mantra is bottled water, sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
Whenever you go, break free from the herd who are determinedly doing the circuit and take time to sit down and soak up the atmosphere at one of the many resting places. You could even take a picnic and eat your lunch on top of a wall for the first time since you were at school!
Find Inner Peace
Luza Square is a Medieval gem in this UNESCO World Heritage Site city.
When you’ve ticked the clock tower, St Blaise Church, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Orlando’s Column and Rector’s Palace off your list and had enough of people watching from outside a bar, head to the Dominican Monastery and museum.
This 14th century sanctuary is the perfect place to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town.
Lose your Inhibitions in Lokrum
If the streets are crowded and hot why not wave goodbye to the hustle and bustle of the Old Town and escape to the tranquil, unspoilt island of Lokrum.
There are lots of beautiful islands dotted around the Croatian coastline but this one has the advantage of only being a 20-minute ferry ride from the Old Town Harbour – well it’s probably been at least an hour since you were last on a boat after all!
Say hello to the preening peacocks that roam around and explore the old Benedictine monastery on foot or head to the beach for a rest and a dip in the sea. There are handy ladders from the sea to the rocks but be careful – the sea can be strong here and there are no lifeguards to come to your aid.
Also, just a heads up that if you turn left when you disembark the boat, you’ll end up on a naturist beach, so unless you fancy an eyeful of the local talent make sure you turn right!
Cruise the Cable Car
You’ve walked around the walls and now it’s time to soar above the city, taking in the panoramic views of the town and beyond that stretch for over thirty-five miles!
Even if you feel you’ve already experienced the city at its beautiful best, you won’t regret making this journey that rewards you with heart-stopping views of Dubrovnik.
Make sure you plan enough time to spend some at the top enjoying the views from the terrace binoculars or the restaurant and for a different twist on your cable car experience why not walk back down instead of taking the cable car again?
You’re still wearing your sensible shoes from walking around the city walls after all!
Again, this experience is especially breath-taking at sunset but be prepared for a bit of a queue at any time of day – you can always use the downtime to post all the Facebook worthy pictures you’ve taken while exploring.
Cliff Top Cocktails
If all those stunning panoramas have whetted your appetite for even more fantastic views, set yourself the challenge of finding the famous Café Buza in the Old Town for your well-deserved post walk drink.
There’s no sign but once you find the hole in the wall you’ll be transported through to an incredible little cliff top bar where you can even go for a swim before you sip your drink!
Dodge the Wet Washing
There are some great options for a day to remember in Dubrovnik but don’t forget to take some time to just wander in the winding streets of the Old Town, dodging the wet washing that’s strung above the narrow alleyways, soaking up the atmosphere and getting lost – not too lost though, you don’t want the ship to have to send out a search party!
With its ever-changing vistas, secret beaches and rabbit-warren Old Town, Dubrovnik is a step back in time that you’ll want to take again and again in the future! So have you ever visited Dubrovnik? Would you like to go there? Do you have any top tips for visits? Let us know in the comments below…