Cavtat seems to have caught the overspill from Dubrovnik's surging popularity. It's still quite easy to get a place to stay, but there can be queues at the restaurant and the number 10 bus from Dubrovnik is sometimes so full it refuses to pick passengers up. The first bus I got to Cavtat was packed as tight as a city bus in Jakarta - and there they shove passengers in through the window!
Not really a danger but just a mild warning about the local roadside vendors. The ones selling their beautiful pictures and embrodiary on the promenade are absolutley fine and they are quite rightly proud of their items but they don't bother you with a hard sell, others on the roadsides aren't so friendly. They are usually selling home-grown fruit and veg or vinegars and wine and i am sure its all delicious but they won't take a polite 'no' for an answer, or even a firm 'no' and can border on the downright aggressive. I don't speak croatian and i understand their need tp promote their wares but i can't understand the need for swearing as you past them by. Don't be put off though as most are friendly and there is some lovely home-made things available.
This one can strike anywhere in the wolrd but I was very sad to see,
that forestfire destroyed a lot of forests and greenery. In the picture
you can compare how green the landscape actually must be...but fire
left behind nasty brown land :-(
Until recently, when I heard the name of Cavtat, I did not associate it with that quiet little town but it recalled me of a 1974 environmentally risky wreck in the straits of Otranto, several hundred of km away from the city. Then, no worry at all about it when visiting Cavtat !
However, I quote here a (shortened) relation of the event from Maritime Chemical Accident
The Yugoslavian dry cargo ship Cavtat collided with the Panamanian bulk carrier Lady Rita. It sank in Italian territorial waters at the depth of 94 m and carried 270 tons of organic lead compounds in 900 drums. 400 drums lay on the seabed around the vessel whereas the other drums remained in the damaged ship. Some drums became demolished at the accident. In April 1977 salvage of the drums started by the Italian offshore company Saipem. Teams of 2 saturation divers each performed the work inhaling a mixture of oxygen and helium. They worked 8 hours per day during 20 days, after which a 3 days decompression they were replaced by 2 new divers. The team spent 16 hours overnight in a residence pressure chamber on a salvage vessel's deck. In the mornings they crept over to a smaller chamber that was descended to a place close to the wreck where they took on outer protecting suits which were kept on the seabed. Through instructions over radio between the salvage vessel and the divers the drums were moved by a lifting device to a special container that could hold 14 drums. When this container had been filled, it was tightened gas-proof, lifted to the vessel and replaced by an empty container. The work was finalized after one year.
93% of the cargo was salvaged and 20 tons lost. Monitoring afterwards showed minor environmental effects. The cost of the operation was USD 16 million.
A scientific report from 1979 concluded that the lead compounds were restricted to a limited area around the wreck and, based on water concentrations had no significant environmental effect.
If you go by car (or bike or moped) drive carefully! The roads in the area are steep with sharp curves, and might be very slippery when wet. I remember last time I was here, we were going to visit someone. The driver (not me!) went to fast into a curve, and tried to brake in the middle of it. We started skidding, and I can still sensate the feeling of "the car is out of control, we are going to go off the road". "Off the road" was somebody's terraced garden a meter lower. Lucky for us, and the garden owner, the car came to a halt with the front wheels barely on the stone wall between the road and the garden. In other cases there might not be a terrace garden by the road side, but a gorge or a 100 meter fall onto the rocks below ...
I am a dedicated collector of school warning road signs. This road sign is a modern one, the one that is encountered the most often in Croatia. The children seem to be dancing lightly. They have no school bag. They are neither going nor leaving school, then just fooling around school !
The Dalmatian Coast is very safe and we felt comfortable walking around Cavtat. The only warning I would give is that there are sea urchins nearly everywhere in the water. I found out the hard way when I bumped my foot against one and 3 spines broke off. They break off at the skin so you can only get them out with a needle or tweezers. I ended up going to the chemist to get some creme that softens the skin and makes it easier to dig the spine out.
I have been told that they will disinegrate eventually but mine didn't. They didn't really hurt, just stung a bit.
It is recommended that swimmers wear swim sandals. I saw this recommendation but thought it was because the beaches tend to be pebbly - now I know the real reason!
Fortunately, the water is so incredibly clear that you can see the little beggers before you get you.