So, a few weeks ago, me and the girls had a short break away to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I admit, I was there for 3 days, but it is totally possible to explore Dubrovnik in just one day, especially if you are travelling around Europe and you have only one day to explore. All you need is a hearty breakfast and a large cup of tea/coffee.
Ok, let’s crack on.
Early? Yes. But with a busy day ahead, and as a way to beat the scrum outside Pile Gate as tour group buses arrive, and before cruise ship visitors descend, an early start is necessary.
8am – Pile Gate
Arrive at Pile Gate. This provides the most dramatic entrance to the Old Town. Through the gate, and down a few steps inside the fortifications, lies one entry into the City Walls. Purchase your tickets and head to the City Wall entrance.
The City Walls is one of the most popular attractions in Dubrovnik, so in order to avoid the crowds; this early start will get you ahead of everyone else! Be prepared with flat, sturdy shoes and some sunscreen and you will be good to go!
Once you have climbed the long flight of narrow, steep, stone steps (and once you have caught your breath at the top), you catch sight of the array of terracotta rooftops and the Franciscan Monastery. The route is a one-way system, anti-clockwise around the walls. The paths are narrow, but at this time in the morning you can walk it at your own pace, and take in the views without getting stuck behind clusters of people.
After an hour of leisurely walking the walls, taking photographs and soaking in the early morning sun, you will reach the first refreshment stop; a tiny café that sells freshly squeezed fruit juices, ice-cold beers and other drinks and snacks.
This is a great way to take a break from the walking and sit down with spectacular views of the sea.
Finish your drink and carry on with the walk. No time for dilly-dallying. You will come to a point during the walk, where you can exit the Walls or carry on. We decided to leave at this point, in order to explore the Old Town and get lost in the streets.
10am – Explore the Old Town
Now it’s time to stroll through the streets of the Old Town. You haven’t seen Dubrovnik until you’ve explored its historical heart of baroque architecture compressed within the old city walls. Its main walk-path, Stradun, is one of the most beautiful streets I have walked down. The marble-paved floor glistens in the sun and this leads to many side streets bursting with cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.
Stop by a café for a drink and a snack. We decided to have a glass (or two) of wine in the square. It’s never too early when on holiday! Leave yourself an hour to relax and unwind, whilst taking in the scenery and flurries of people walking by.
Alternatively, grab a bottle of water to freshen up and head to the Cable Car. Here you can take in the views up Mount Srđ. This mountain lies behind the city walls. The journey doesn’t take long, only a few minutes, but the views along the way and at the top are wonderful. We didn’t do the Cable Car, purely because on the way to our apartment, the driver took us to the top of the mountain where the Cable Car ends. Here you can see the whole of the city and the Dalmatian Coastline down below.
With only 24 hours in Dubrovnik, this is a must-see, iconic view
12pm – Wine Tasting
Before we arrived to Dubrovnik, we had already organised a Wine Tasting trip, which included a visit to Trsteno and Stone.
12.30 pm – Trsteno
Up the coastline is one of Croatia’s oldest botanical gardens. Trsteno Arboretum is known for its historical gardens and collection of Mediterranean and exotic species. The gardens and grounds are beautiful, with a stunning view of the sea at the end of the main walk. For the Game of Thrones fans, you will recognise this setting as the King’s Landing palace gardens.
1.30pm – Ston
After 45 minutes wandering round the gardens, we were then taken to Ston. Here we stopped off for lunch. Ston is a friendly, little place with café’s and restaurants set out in the square, shaded by trees and flowering shrubs. It is famous for sampling some of the best oysters in the country!
After a leisurely lunch and a short stroll around the village we proceeded to go wine tasting. Here we were greeted with shots of different flavoured liquors before proceeding to taste a variety of white, rose and red wines, along with their local bread and cheese! The wine was that good, we bought a bottle for the evening!
Safe to say after a fair few shots and glasses of wine, the girls and I were slightly tipsy!
5pm – Head back
After a few hours of meeting winemakers and learning the methods they use to produce wine, we headed back to our apartment.
7pm – Evening Out
After getting ready it’s time to head back to the Old Town and pick a place to eat, drink and relax. After all, after this busy day, you deserve it!
Have you ever visited Dubrovnik before?
What do you think?
It is a place I would LOVE to return to and visit everything else it has to offer…
Lots of Love,