Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beaches of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik attracts travelers from all over the world for various reasons. Some come to enjoy the culture and architecture, while some want to visit Game of Thrones filming sites and others just want to party. One thing all have in common is that most will also want to enjoy the Sun and cleanest sea that Europe has to offer. Beach life is prominent in Dubrovnik so here are some choices that will allow you to better enjoy your stay in our town and take home some great memories.

In Dubrovnik, you can swim almost anywhere where you can reach the sea but we will take a look at some of the beaches available. Keep in mind that Dubrovnik area is full of cliffs dropping dramatically towards the sea, so rock and pebbles are far more present that sand and there are very few classic beaches that you may be expecting.

Banje Beach
Banje Beach is the first on the list as it is the most popular and more or less sandy, depending on the waves, which is rare on the Adriatic. It's located on east side of the Old Town, few minutes walk from Ploce Gate and it features showers, beach bars, jet skis and you can even get a parasailing tour. Deck chairs or and sun loungers are also available as on most beaches in town. Banje is known as a tourist beach so you will not find too many locals there. If you have kids with you, this beach is an excellent choice, more so if you stay near the Old Town.

St. Jacob

St. Jacob's beach (Sveti Jakov in Croatian) is probably the most beautiful beach in Dubrovnik but it is not so frequented as it is a little hard to get to. Also on the east side of the Old Town, it will require about 20-minute walk since no city buses go all the way there. It is well worth the visit thou since you will find a truly beautiful and serene place to enjoy your day. Just like Banje, St. Jacob is sandy and has showers, sun loungers, beach bar and a restaurant. There are a lot of stairs to that lead down from the road so, when it is time to go back to town, it will be a bit of a challenge to climb. If you enjoy nature and do not like crowds, this is the one for you.

Sulic Beach

Sulic Beach is located on the west side of Old Town, between two cliffs. On top of one is St. Lawrence fort and Gradac Park on the other. It is a little hard to find as the entrance is just a doorway between houses, but when you find it you will love it. It is small, rocky with shower and two beach bars. This one is frequented by locals since most tourists never realize it is even there and it is placed just off Pile square, the main entrance to the Old Town so it is also convenient for a quick dip to cool yourself on a hot summer day after exploring the Old Town.

Dance, pronounced Danche and not to be confused with dancing :), is placed just beyond Gradac Park and you will have to climb up the road to the park and then descend on the other side of it towards the sea. It is a rocky location with large boulders giving you an opportunity for jumping into the sea and, if you want to mingle with the locals you are in the right place. Features showers and a beach bar.

Lapad Beach

Lapad Beach is in the area where most of Dubrovnik's Hotels are placed, away from the Old Town, on Lapad peninsula. Located next to a very nice pedestrian walkway with a lot of small shops, souvenir and otherwise, bars, restaurants, tours and all other imaginable touristy amenities, it attracts a lot of people. Most modern beach in town, completely renovated in 2017 and made specifically for tourists so it is a perfect choice for families and it will feature everything that a modern beach should have – from obligatory showers and sun loungers to jet skis for rent, bunch of places to sit down for a drink or have a meal.

Dubrovnik's Copacabana

Further down this promenade, towards Babin Kuk you will find Copacabana, young crowd party place with bars, lounges, restaurants, and music playing on loudspeakers. Pebble covered with gentle sea approach it is ideal for anyone looking for a good time in a lot of company.

Besides the ones I mentioned already you should know that most hotels in town have their own beaches and there are a few hidden gems as well. For example, if you want to do some cliff jumping ask where Boninovo Beach is. There will be no amenities there, not even a shower, it is very small, but a beautiful location that seems to be hidden on purpose and offers several height levels for jumping into the sea. You should also consider spending a day on some of Dubrovnik's islands, Lokrum being the closest, with a small ferry leaving Old Town port every 30 minutes. There you will find a natural forest preserve with stunning beauty, beaches and even rabbits and peacocks running around free and unafraid of people.

There are many more beach choices in and around Dubrovnik and I have presented you with most prominent one but to find them all you will have to do some exploring on your own.   

Lokrum Island

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Crowds in Dubrovnik demystified

If you are interested in Dubrovnik one of the things you probably came across is news reports about huge crowds plaguing the town and which could potentially ruin your vacation. The stories are told about swarms of tourists that suck all the air, eat all the gelato, and there is no place to stand to take a photo, presumably. Here, I want to inform you and make you realize how this is not exactly true and how, with a little planing, you will never see a big crowd in Dubrovnik.

So where all these news reports, internet portal stories and photos come from? We all know that sensationalism sells news and collect clicks and taps alike. I really had it with these and I want to set the record straight and provide you with some insights into the matter to make your vacation in Dubrovnik more pleasant.

All the photos of the crowds that you find online and otherwise, come from a very small time frame. Big cruise ships do come and visit Dubrovnik daily (although not every day) and the town absorbs all these guests with ease as they mile about the Old Town. Most of the ships arrive to Dubrovnik for a day carrying around two thousand people aboard and this is nothing that you would notice. They trickle into the Old Town and enjoy their day mixing with town “regular” guests and locals alike.

Crowds are formed when two or sometimes three large ships arrive at roughly the same time, usually on Thursday morning. Some companies use Dubrovnik as a selling point for their cruise but, they stay in town for only a few hours (saving money on port charges?). Not wanting to miss out on the star of their cruise the guests all go to the town centre at once and clog the place. Spectacular photos of huge crowds can be taken at this point and news portals can start collecting those clicks and taps I mentioned earlier. 
However, just a few hours later, generally around 1 PM, all of that crowd must return to their ships for departure and the town is left with enough gelato to satisfy all of our guests.

You can download the cruise arrival monthly report at the Port of Dubrovnik website http://www.portdubrovnik.hr/girica1.php and find out when is a good time to avoid the Old Town and spend some time on the beach, but rule of the thumb says that Thursday morning is the hot point so all you have to do is go on the beach or take one of many tours that are available and which take you away from the town center for a few hours.

I am a tour guide and I do not have any of those on offer so you will have to check with my competition for those, sorry :).
For a guided walking tour of Old Town or Game of Thrones Tour however, you should visit https://www.dubrovnikwalktour.com/ and I will make sure you enjoy your time in Dubrovnik even more.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Wines of Dubrovnik

Wine has been always important in Dubrovnik, the Republic had a myriad of laws and regulations regarding wine going back a full millennium and than some. At first, Dubrovnik government was trying to restrict wine production since agricultural land was scarce and grain for feeding the population was seen as far more important. As the trade developed and Dubrovnik became prosperous, grain was purchased in increasing quantities so the land was freed for production of Dubrovnik's favourite liquid. Wines of Dubrovnik were appreciated across the Mediterranean and slowly become a prominent export and source of income for the tiny Republic.
During the Socialist Yugoslavia time quality was replaced with quantity as the communist government insisted on the production of large quantities of wine for export to other communist countries. Those days are long gone and since Croatian independence in the 90ties a sort of wine Renaissance occurred and top quality wines came back. Top wine production locations around Dubrovnik are Peljesac peninsula and the island of Korcula.
Dingač (Dingach) from Peljesac is regarded by many experts as the best Croatian red, but you will want to try Plavac Mali, which is an ancestor of Californian Zinfandel as well. By no means should you disregard Dubrovnik region white wines and the best one is Pošip (Poship).
Recently a list of wine consumption by country was published with Croatia on number three in the world just behind tiny Andorra and Vatican. This is mostly due to fact that our wine quality has gone up tremendously so beer consumption is down. On top of that a lot of tourists are enjoying our wines as should you, my dear reader.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Knightfall filming in Dubrovnik

Couple of years back, in 2016 I was minding my own business and guiding a Game of Thrones Tour. If you have ever been to the top of St. Lawrence fort you know it has a beautiful view of what is known in GoT universe as Blackwater Bay. Beneath us, in the bay, there was some filming going on which turned out to be new, yet to be released, TV show called Knightfall. Dubrovnik has become a Mecca for filming in recent years with Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Robin Hood leading the way. Now we have another major project, at least partly being done in Dubrovnik. Enjoy the video and see you in Dubrovnik :)
If you are in Dubrovnik do not miss the best Walking Tours in town

Beaches of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik attracts travelers from all over the world for various reasons. Some come to enjoy the culture and architecture , while som...