The Cavtat area is most attractive because of the Mediterranean vegetation which covers the whole area.
'Cavtat also offers a 7 km promenade by pine forests paths only a few meters from the sea. Cavtat is one of the rare places on the Croatian coast that can offer such harmony.'
There are actually 2 legends surrounding how Cavtat received its name according to one source. However, the most fanciful and entertaining (though somewhat disjointed) one goes somewhat like this:
Cavtislava, the daughter of the Epidaurian ruler, was being being courted by two suitors who each wanted to marry her. Her father extended a challenge to the men saying that he would give his daughter to the man who performed a greater task which he would give. One of the admirers, Commander Stjepan, was ordered to bring water from the source Vodovada in Konavle (hence, the aquaduct). The other man who was a knight and seaman should bring a ship's cargo full of silk obtained from the ship's journey around the world. A festival was held on the day of the opening of the Epidaurian aquaduct, Cavtislava was to drink the water from a golden jar, but when the jar was opened, a lizard leaped out and onto her lap. Cavtislava immediately died of fear. The story goes on to say that the seafarer's ship was sunk by a fierce storm directly in front of Epidarium (remember the Richard the Lion Heart story of a storm nearby) and therefore could not fulfil his task, could not bear the loss of his love Cavtislava. He took the lizard and placed it in the viaduct. In memory of Cavtislava, the town of Cavtat arose following an earthquake which destroyed the original town.
Cavtat is relatively a small town or village with approximately 1,500 year round residents. Though its physical charms are many, there are relatively few historic sights to see compared to Dubrovnik. Still you shouldn't miss what Cavtat has to offer. There are not too many signs about the place so a map would be very helpful.
The Cavtat Tourist Office is located at Tiha 3 on the short road leading to the waterfront. They can provide you with maps and give you information on attractions as well as hotels, restaurants and transportation.
Office hours during July and August: 8am to 6pm daily.
September through June:8am to 3pm Monday through Friday, and 9am to noon Saturday and Sunday.
Alongside with a possible derivatio from "Civitus Vetus", the name of Cavtat is associated also with the gorgeous Cavtislava, daughter of the Epidaurian king Kordun and Queen Amrusa. As so many flocked to ask for her hand, the king decided to give it in marriage to the one who will be fasted in completing one of the four tasks: construct a eripheral fortification around the town, a big temple in the town, an aqueduct, or bring in a ship loaded with silk. The fastest was a rich local nobelman by the name of Vrsanin, who managed to be the first in bringing water into town.
At the inaugurational ceremeny of the water supply, the beautiful princess was to have the first taste of water, from a golden cup, yet, before first drops of water a big lizzard cameout right into her lap. Princess Cavtislava's heart broke out of shock, and she fell dead at the spot.
Legend has it that the lizzard was placed appositely into the tube by one of the jealous candidates. In the memory of the most gorgeous Cavtislava, after a powrrfull earthquake that erased city, a new settlement - Cavtat - came to life on the same location.
Another legend says that Cavtat derives from the Old-Croatian verb 'captiti' - 'to blossom', refering to the yellow juniper, that so widwspread sparkling plant with a sunny aura. The legend relate its doom to the catastrpohes after which the indestructible Cavtat would come back to life again and anew.
"....down there, there's something adorned
with gold blossoming it the reef....."
Cavtat in located in Konavle region.Konavle is the most southern-east part of Dubrovnik region, a geopolitical, strategically and economically important area. The northern part of Konavle region borders with Mount Snježnica towards Herzegovina and with Mount Bjelotina towards Sutorina. Along the seacoast from Cavtat port to Molunat
and peninsula Prevlaka are extended the steep Konavle cliffs. In the
middle of these uplands is situated a fertile valley.
Favorite thing: Cavtat is located on small peninsula, so there are beaches all around it. The one on the picture is tucked away behind many boats in city port, so I suspect the water there is not very clean. Take a walk by the sea around the peninsula and find that perfect spot. Pine trees are providing shade close to the water, so reading and falling asleep is very pleasant, with scents of trees and flowers floating on a sea-breeze.
Old palm trees, small fishing boats, tourist boats, yachts of all sizes. There is a lot going on, actually, it's just that everything is done in a special calm way here. Even some funny lovely cheery guys from Ireland tuned in.
Here you can board a Taxi boat to Dubrovnik. I heard people negotiating with the owner about picking them up from Dubrovnik after evening concert (Dubrovnik Summer Festival). So that's possible, too, I guess.
Cavtat was the main settlement of the region long time ago. Fertile land of Konavle just behind it, two sheltered bays for sea traders and fishermen, it was rich and on top of European living standards of those times.
But they got hit hard by invaders - Avars and Slavs, and refugees decided to find a safer location for their new home. So Dubrovnik was built, within walls, with mighty fortresses. Lesson learned.
Cavtat did recover, but never back to its former potential, people were living of land and sea, working mostly for Dubrovnik - growing food etc. The connection between Cavtat and Dubrovnik is still strong, they can see each other across the sea and smile. (mist over the sea prevents clear view of Dubrovnik, but I'll go back and try to get a better pic some day).
Between them, on the coastline, there used to be a lavish hotel. It will be renovated, I'm sure, no invader could ever destroy their spirit.
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.
Fondest memory: running through the streets of the quiet old town, finding tiny cafes nestled in the hilly part of town