The fortified city of Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful sights of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Unless you want to learn about local history in detail, there’s no real need to take a city tour; use the ship’s shuttle to get into town and walk around the pedestrianised centre on your own, losing yourself in the tangle of narrow alleys and cobbled squares.
- Walking the walls
You can walk the one-and-a-half miles around the massive medieval ramparts from the Pile Gate, the main point of entry. The views are superb.
- Franciscan Monastery
The monastery dates back to the 14th century and is next door to one of Europe’s most ancient pharmacies, which opened in 1391 and still displays old jars and implements.
- Rector’s Palace
The seat of government 500 years ago, today houses the Cultural Historical Museum, featuring a dungeon and, on the upper floors, a fine collection of art by the Italian masters and beautiful Baroque furniture.
Only in Dubrovnik
See the walls from the other side on a half-day kayak tour with a chance to swim in crystal water and have a go at cliff-jumping in a nature reserve just a short and easy paddle from the ramparts.
Lacework, silk ties, contemporary art and powerful Croatian red wine are all good buys. If you’re taken with the area there are several estate agents in town, some selling private islands along the coast.
For a seafood lunch on a beautiful terrace, try Lokanda-Peskarija, popular with locals. Nautika is more expensive but a great place to while away an afternoon, sampling the black squid ink risotto for which the region is famous.
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