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Monday, July 24, 2017

Photo Diary and Things To Do | Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Croatia

You know you are a terrible travel blogger when you literally go on 12 trips in 12 months and don't write up about a single one. I get so caught up in planning my next trip that I never sit and reflect about the adventures I have taken and I suffer terribly with wanderlust and holiday blues that I don't like to bask for too long in the memory of the beautiful places I have seen because it makes me kind of sad.


Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

Now that i'm a on a week countdown until my next long summer trip I can sift through the hundreds of photos I took last year without feeling a pang of wanderlust. More than a whole year ago, (anyone else can't believe how quickly this year is going?) I had the pleasure to spend 10 days in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I could not have prepared myself for the staggering beauty of this country and I was absolutely blown away. I have been really fortunate in that I have seen some really stunning places but Croatia is truly one of the most breathtaking, natural and serene countries I have visited. The scenery is awe inspiring, the people are lovely and the food is to. die. for.

Dubrovnik Croatia Lokrum

We stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb a little walk outside of the old city centre, it was really quiet and close to a bus stop but I insisted on walking even in the intense heat because I just could not get enough of . the view along the promenade. I cannot recommend this place highly enough and the host is so sweet, if you'd like to have a look, it is this one. I don't think I can enjoy travel as much if I'm not staying in an Airbnb to give me that 'at home' feel, if you are thinking about trying it out you can follow this referral link here.  We experienced such a warm welcome to the country and the first thing I was asked was 'We have just joined the EU and now you are abandoning us?' *sob*

When it comes to things to do in and around Dubrovnik, you really are spoiled for choice. I feel like we crammed so much into a short time, and even spent days lounging by the sea to satisfy my husband's unhealthy obsession with sunbathing and bombing into the water. If you only do and see a few things, make sure you have picked them from this list!

Montenegro

  • Lokrum: This island a very short boat ride from the old harbour in Dubrovnik is paradise. Only monks, peacocks and rabbits live on this island and tourists are not allowed to stay overnight. It is cheap to get to and the food and drinks available are amazing and not over priced given the stunning views. Loads of Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here as well as in the old town because it is B-E-A-Utiful. The waters are crystal clear and there are loads of rocky beaches to set up on for a swim and snorkel. 
  • Dubrovnik Cable Car: The views as you ascend up the mountain and gorgeous and the Panorama Restaurant at the top does a lovely banana daiquiri. 
  • War Photo Limited: located within the old city walls, down a narrow alley, this gallery is a must see. It is very sombre and the exhibitions are harrowing but Dubrovnik has a long history and the photos here give a good background of events in recent years. When I visited they had a very moving display of images related to the ongoing refugee crisis. 
  • Day Trips to Montenegro or Bosnia: We couldn't make the latter because of visa issues but the day trip to Montenegro was surreal. It was so much like Kosovo and we visited a strange beach that was frequented entirely by Russian tourists- I was unwell and literally just sat in the shade swigging warm Fanta and clutching my newly purchased paracetamol. It was a bit of a pain to have to exchange for Euro just for one day but I'm so glad we went because I'm on a mission to see every nation that was formerly part of Yugoslavia after having lived in Kosovo and I was chuffed to be able to cross 2 places off in one trip. 
  • Island Hopping: We spent a day visiting various islands by boat. They were all beautiful and the day literally cost us about £10 each including food. There are loads of touts on the main street (Stradun) in the old city but we just popped into a little tourism office down a backstreet and booked with them. No word of a lie, the owner's name was actually Mate and I would rebook through him when I revisit the city. 
Dubrovnik Croatia Taj Mahal Lero

In terms of food, I can vouch for the following: 
  • Nautika very very expensive but the service is outstanding, make sure you book a table in advance and ask for a sea view
  • Taj Mahal Lero not Indian cuisine as the name might indicate, but gorgeous food from the region. I could eat here weekly and never get bored. It is very affordable, even if Dubrovnik is relatively expensive. 
We spent so much time just wandering the streets in the old city, enjoying local white wine and sampling all of the ice cream and savoury pastries I could get my hands on. We are planning a road trip through Europe next summer and Dubrovnik is on our list of must sees, even if it is just for dip in the clear blue sea.

Have you ever been to Dubrovnik? What's your favourite spot?
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