If your yacht charter holiday begins or ends in Dubrovnik, you should definitely spend one full-day exploring the city. After breakfast at your hotel, put on good walking shoes and bring swimwear and a beach towel. And you’re ready for a perfect day in Dubrovnik.
Begin by walking a complete circuit of Dubrovnik’s splendid medieval City Walls. Enter the old town through Pile Gate, then climb a steep flight a stone steps up to the ramparts. This is the beginning of the one-mile round route, affording spectacular panoramas over Dubrovnik’s terracotta rooftops and out to sea. During your walk, you’ll pass several sturdy towers, added through the centuries to reinforce the fortifications against possible attack.
After that, call at Gianni for an artisan gelato – the lavender and honey ice cream is absolutely delicious. Then take a look in the Cultural History Museum housed in the 15th– century Rector’s Palace. From 1358 to 1808, Dubrovnik was a wealthy independent republic known as Ragusa. The head of state was the Rector, who held a 30-day term in office. A new Rector was elected monthly, so as to prevent any one family from becoming too powerful. During his assignment, the Rector lived here and was not allowed to leave the building. The museum displays period furniture, costumes and portraits, showing how Dubrovnik nobles once lived.
Afternoon Reflection and Relaxation
After lunch, visit the Maritime Museum to learn more about Dubrovnik’s connections to the sea. Ragusa’s wealth was based on naval trading, and at its peak this tiny republic had some 300 merchant ships. The museum displays models and paintings of ships, in addition to maps and navigational equipment.
You might also take a look inside the 17th-century Baroque Cathedral with its elegant cupola. The adjoining Treasury displays reliquaries – the bones of saints, encased in gold and silver plating. Local sailors brought these treasures of sacred significance to the city from the East Mediterranean.
Enjoy late-afternoon sunshine and a swim at Banje beach immediately south of the old town. It has sun-beds and parasols to hire (reservations recommended), with DJ-music, massage and summery cocktails.
Above the beach, pop into KAWA, a concept store showcasing Croatian designers. You’ll find kitchenware, jewelry, clothing, accessories, and nicely-packaged cosmetics, craft beers and olive oils, making fine gifts to bring home. By early-evening, you’ll want to return to your hotel to freshen up and dress for dinner.
Evening Below the Stars
Dine on the elegant terrace at old-fashioned Proto, dating from 1886, serving Adriatic seafood in the old town. The house specialties are fish tartar, fettuccine pasta with shrimps and black truffles, and grilled fresh fish. Ask the sommelier for advice on wine pairing.
Close the evening with a nightcap at Buža (Crijevićeva 9), an informal bar, accessed through a tiny doorway in the seaward city walls. It has tables on the rocks, with magical views down onto the glistening Adriatic. It’s an enchanting way to end a perfect day in Dubrovnik, to a soundtrack of mellow jazz.
Oh Dubrovnik and Croatia it’s time to sail the islands and coastline of Croatia, full of history, wine, food.