Basically the best and easiest thing to do here is just walk around. It's a small town on a small peninsula. I think it is just best to relax in. Along the peninsula are foot paths are various designated "bathing establishments", or places to swim and lounge. It has a quiet, secluded feel if that's what you're in the mood for. running through the streets of the quiet old town, finding tiny cafes nestled in the hilly part of town
This dish is now forbidden!
Dagnje (regular mussels) grow on wooden poles or on grids and are cultivated on many coasts.
Prstači (date mussels) grow inside lime rocks. They dig tunnels that have exactly their size. They grow slowly and to get them, you have to break the rocks. They grow only wild and cannot be cultivated. Thus, for environmental reasons, it is forbidden to collect them and restaurants cannot sell them.
I had tasted them several times in various places in Dalmatia before they were forbidden.
I will not tell where and when I have taken these photos. May be before it was forbidden! They taste great, different from regular mussels. If you want to taste some, you can always ask in restaurants if they have any. Most of the time, they will answer “oh no, it is now forbidden”. Most of the time…
Take a walk up to the top of the hill to St. Roko cemetary. It is a bit steep, but not very long. A beautiful place for the eternal rest!!! (Pics. 1 and 2) And the view of Cavtat from above is lovely (pic. 5).
The Racic family Mausoleum is situated at this cemetary (pics. 3 and 4), created by the fameous croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic Cavtat has a long tradition of sailors and shipowners, and The Racic family owned a steamboat company founded in 1910. Rumours has it that Marija, the daughter of the family, had a love affair with Mestrovic (others claim that it was the mother Mare who was his mistress!). The whole family of four died within a short period of time around 1920.
The Old Town
Behind the harbour front and promenade is a thin squash of creme shaded Greco-Venentian houses that clamber up the small hill towards the mausoleum. It's an incredible change of pace. One minute you are on the busy, noisy promenade. Two steps later you are lost in the narrow back streets of a mediterranean fishing town.
"Croatian Seaside Resort"
Like lots of people these days, I arrived in Croatia by cruise ship and was excited to visit this country for the very first time. I had heard that Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast were spectacularly beautiful, but had never heard anyone speak of Cavtat. With not much time in port, we booked an excursion that included a tour of the old, walled city of Dubrovnik, a Croation folkloric performance and included a visit to Cavtat. Our visit to Cavtat was much, much too short!!
Cavtat is a captivating mix --- a quaint verdant village nestled in a pine forest which hugs the sparkling Adriatic sea. It attracts everyday vacationers but also the fabulously wealthy. You might like to think that Cavtat is a well-kept secret in the world of travel, but I was stunned to see enormous personal yachts from around the world anchored at the marina in Cavtat!! They created quite a beautiful picture along with other small boats and larger sailing boats anchored in the harbor.
I would love spending more time in this village by staying at one of the small, local hotels or renting a flat for a month. Subsequent to my trip I tried to obtain more information about the village and its attractions--my searches have not been very successful as there doesn't seem to be a great deal of information or pictures online.
"Just Around the Corner from Dubrovnik"
Cavtat pronounced "Tsav-tat" by our guide, Helena, is one of those places that I immediately felt attracted to. Located only about 30 minutes or less from Dubrovnik, Cavtat is in the southernmost Konavle Region along the Dalmatian Coast overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Cavtat is a small seaside jewel nestled in a little crook of land which is steeply sloped with mostly little pockets of buildings and largely covered in pine forests and Mediterranean vegetation. In fact the aroma of fresh pine and the cool fresh air coming from the sea will be forever connected with my memories of Cavtat!
Beautiful Cavtat's interesting small roads lead down to the waterfront which is nearly surrounded by a promenade and pine tree-shaded path that is approximately 7 km long, rising as you pass St. Nikola's Church. Take it from me, the views are spectacular! The paved promenade around the waterfront skirts by outdoor cafes with colorful umbrellas, shops, cocktail bars, and seafood and pizza restaurants.
There are a number of sights to see in Cavtat if you can remove yourself from the view of the beautiful bay which is edged with rock and filled with crystal, blue water. These sights include the Rector's Palace, St. Nikola Church of the Baroque style, the Racic Mausoleum, archaelogical sights, art galleries and Franciscan monastery. Most all of these places could be seen in a day but we only had about an hour!! If you love being around water as I do, Cavtat may just be the kind of relaxed and beautiful Adriatic seaside place that you'd like to spend the Summer in.
"An Extremely Brief History of Cavtat"
Cavtat is located in the most southern part of Croatia in the region known as the Konavle. What I learned is that historical evidence indicates that the area was inhabited as far back as in Palaeolithic and Neolithic times.
The region's name, Konavle, we are told derives "from the Latin word "canale", "canalis", in the local dialect "konali", "kanali", meaning what is connected with the viaduct, which, in the times of the Romans, used to carry water from another place to what we know today as Cavtat.
So originally Cavtat was a Greek settlement called Epidauros or Epidarum. Around the year 228 BC it fell under Roman rule and later became a Roman colony. "The name Cavtat originates from "Civets vetus", as the fugitives in the newly established Dubrovnik used to call their first habitation." Those people established what was known as Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the Republic of Ragusa.
I find the history of this area quite interesting and somewhat complicated. The most recent momentous, and historically significant event to happen in this area was the Serbo-Croatian War (1991-1995?). The history of causes of the war go back many years. I saw no physical evidence or remains of the war in Cavtat, but presumably if there was any damage to the town, it must surely have been taken care of already as it is extremely picturesque. We saw only one damaged building in Dubrovnik itself which still had not been repaired, restored or rebuilt according to our guide. It was difficult to imagine that war could have touched such a beautiful place.