Day trips, Dubrovnik
I did this trip with Adriatic global agency.
The bad side is that you have to pay online if you want to book from home, the good side of the medal is that they organise smaller groups than Gulliver travel.
The price with online discount was 52 € and the bus was for 12 people. I enjoyed this trip though I usually am not a fan of group excursions. Infact it was just a sort of trasportation service as, every time we arrived in a town, we got free time to go around and not guided tours.
I did this trip with Gulliver travel, the good side is that they let me book online and pay at the departure.
Gulliver travel seems to be the biggest agency in Dubrovnik, infact their trips are organised with 50 seats busses.
The pick up point if you are in old town is the hotel Hilton garage which is a few meters out of Pile gate.
Across the bay from Dubrovnik lies Cavtat, the southern-most seaside town in Croatia. Once a little fishing village, Cavtat's incarnation as a tourist destination dates back to the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its proximity to Dubrovnik makes it an ideal place to head for on a day trip from the city. Alternatively, if you're planning to stay a few days in the area, you could make Cavtat your base and make the trip across to Dubrovnik for some sightseeing whilst enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere of Cavtat and its beaches for most of your holiday.
Our visit here was limited to an evening stroll down by the water, a delicious meal in a waterside restaurant and a quick flip back into town in the morning to take a couple of photos. We hadn't intended to stay there at all but a last minute change of plans had taken us south into Montenegro for a day rather than heading north from Dubrovnik as we had intended, with the result that we needed somewhere to spend the night. Maybe next time we're down this way we'll come back and stay for a little longer. Then we could check out those churches (the parish church of Sv Nicholas and the Franciscan monastery church of Our Lady of the Snows), have as swim at one of the numeropus little beaches around the peninsula, walk up to the hilltop cemetery to see the white marble Racic Mausoleum and browse through the shops and galleries that no seaside town here seems to be without. Lunch back at that restaurant ( was it the Konoba Ivan?, I think so) would be good too.
If a day trip is what you want, water taxis make the trip out from Dubrovnik's old harbour ; the journey takes about 40 minutes. The bus takes the same. Going by sea and back by bus or taxi would be the way to do it. The road around the coast is lovely and, being high, affords you classic views of Dubrovnik as you approach the city.
When you've had enough of the crowds and commercial delights of Dubrovnik, and especially if you have your own transport, you only have to drive an hour or so to find yourself not only in another country (Montenegro - Black Mountain) but in another world. The Gulf of Kotor lying just south of Dubrovnik, is the southernmost fjord in Europe. Not only is it blissfully quiet, it is stunningly beautiful, with steep mountains dropping into its still, blue waters. The closed nature of the landscape creates its own micro-climate with a higher than usual rainfall for this part of Europe and the result is lusher, almost subtropical vegetation with lots of palm trees and exotic species such as magnolias and camellias as well as the usual Mediterranean citrus, pomegranates, figs, grapevines, etc. Pretty small towns and villages lie along the shoreline - we stopped at Perast where a local offered to take us out to the two churches we could see in the middle of the bay, each on their own small island. Regretfully, we refused, and drove on to Kotor, stopping along the way for a picnic by the waterside, not another soul around.
The Gulf is actually four bays and to drive right around would take quite some time. We opted to drive around the north of the bay to Kotor and then continue on past Kotor to Leperane where we took the car ferry back to the northern shore for the road back to Croatia.
We had no trouble taking our hire car into Montenegro. The border crossing took just a few minutes, coming and going, on both sides. As we crossed into Montenegro we were greeted by a local tourist officer who presented us with an excellent English-language guidebook and waved on our way with a smile.
If driving yourself isn't an option, there are day tours available from Dubrovnik. The tours are very long all-day affairs but are the only way to get to Kotor for the day without a car of your own as distance and timetabling preclude doing the journey there and back in a day via public transport.
Click on main photo for a full panorama
A 300km round trip from Dubrovnik will take you into Bosnia-Herzegovina for a chance to visit the city that perhaps symbolizes all the heartache of the wars that followed the breakup of the old Yugoslavia. Who can forget the way the world watched as the famous old bridge at Mostar held out for so long - and ultimately fell.
The bridge has been reconstructed and Mostar is slowly rebuilding itself. There's much more evidence here of the war in terms of damaged buildings and overgrown bomb sites (warnings too, to stay away from uncleared sites) than in Croatia but the town's setting above the Neretva River is beautiful. Mellow old stone buildings and green trees line the high river banks. The approaches to the bridge on both sides take you through the twisting narrow streets of the old town. The small shops of souvenirs on both sides of the bridge have a distinct feel of the souk about them - though now the small shops are mostly just more of the same tourist stuff. A short walk along from the Kujundziluk will bring you to the Koskin-Mehmed Pasha mosque, now, like so much of this area, restored looking as it has done for centuries.
The road to Mostar will take you past Pocitelj, where the old stone houses, domes and the tall minaret of its mosque are overlooked by the ruined Sahat-kula fortress. It is a picture book scene - which makes it all the more poignant when you learn that this village saw one of the last acts of brutal ethnic cleansing and destruction of the war here. The last few years have seen the restoration of the village's Hadzi Alija mosque which has stood here since 1562, the medressa of similar age and one of its beautiful old Ottoman houses - all of which are open to visitors.
Public transport isn't an option for this trip. You'll need to drive yourself (hire cars can be taken into Bosnia without extra formalities) or take a tour. You can book a day tour with Atlas Tours in Dubrovnik.
We'd been told the town of Kotor, a scenic 1 1/2 hour drive from Dubrovnik, was well worth a visit, and when we were told we could take our hire car into Montenegro without any extra paperwork or insurance, our mind was made up. A mediaeval walled city to rival Dubrovnik, albeit on a smaller scale, was promised and Kotor delivered. Set on the far end of the Gulf of Kotor, the walls of the city seem to be vertical as they climb for 4.5 km up and down the mountain behind the city. Entering the city through the main gate (meeting some of the city's seniour citizens on the way) by the harbour, we found we had the narrow streets and elegant squares virtually to ourselves on a hot Sunday in June.
The town is charming with street after street lined with old stone buildings. With its palaces, churches and those astounding walls it's hard to realize the town was severely damaged by a massive earthquake in 1979. UNESCO funded much of the restoration since when the city has been declared a World Heritage site.
Spectacular as the the walls of Kotor are, for me the abiding memory of the little town is the heady perfume which filled the air as we towards drove down the long avenue leading through the modern part of town. Huge magnolias line the road and when I got out of the car to go into the bank the perfume was everywhere. It was wonderful!
You'd need to come in summer for this olfactory experience. The old walled city is there for visitors at any time of year
We definitely recommend Mljet!!
It´s magical!!! National park, sea lakes with crystal clear waters surrounded by pinewoods and a incredibly good asphalt road where it is so easy to cycle.
- stay at least one night in the island; you can try private rooms
- rent a bike to explore the National Park
- take the path to Soline. After the asphalt ends, continue in the footpath for 2 minutes or a little more. There is a beautiful rocky beach where the lake connects to the open sea which is just gorgeous
- watch out for the urchins: use footwear. IT IS WORTH IT, the sea is just too gorgeous to be true
- have a nice, relatively cheap spaghetti with lobster sauce in Soline
- watch the sky at night and...
HAVE FUN!!! We found it very romantic...
If you like claiming the mountains, the Snjeznica is the right place.
First there is a way to the village Kuna , and you can get there with the car, and continue on foot.
It is not easy to clime but it is worth it, at the top St. Ilija the view is beautiful and you can see the Montenegro.
Well than the island Lopud is the place for you. Island Lopud is pretty close to Dubrovnik and you can take a ferry every day. Lopud is one of three Elfafiti Islands. Other two are Kalamota or Kolocep and Sipan.
The fort is pretty high up so try to get there in the morning and bring plenty of water. There are many signs showing which way to go. I wouldn't recommend hiking this place at night. The way up is not that great, make sure you have some good hiking boots or tennis shoes. Don't confuse the way up the Fort with the brisk walk around the city walls.
Dubrovnik is near the border with Montenegro, which makes for an interesting day trip. You can cross into Montenegro and do a drive around the Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor) which offers stunning natural scenery as it is a fjord surrounded by mountains. On the shore of the Boka Kotorska is the historic town of Kotor, which is a smaller version (about 1/4 the size) of Dubrovnik with about 2% as many tourists.
If you do go to Montenegro, remember to bring your passport. Americans and EU citizens only need a passport (no Visa) to enter Montenegro.
If Dubrovnik is the pearl of the Adriatic, Montenegro is the diamond in the rough. I don’t usually advocate coach tours, but hop on the bus for about $50 at the tour office near the main gate, and take a guided tour of a fairly obscure and less traveled European County. The only problem, if it is a problem, is that you may want to stay.
The tour will show you several old yet fascinating cities including the old capital, kotor and budva, lunch in a traditional mountain village, and a natural wonder - Kotor Fjord.
Cavtat is a small town about a half hour from Dubrovnik by bus. It has a nice harbour and a path that goes along the water with some great views. Take bus #10 from the main bus station in Dubrovnik. If it is raining, you will be in for a long and scary bus ride up on the narrow mountain roads.
Atlas Travel Agency has some very good day trips to areas around Dubrovnik. I took the tour to Montenegro, but tours to Mostar, Medjugorje, the outlying islands, and more are available. Tours can be booked at the office, which is located outside the Pile Gate at Sv. Durda 1, or online.
This is the photo of the captain, taking side way...
Excellent meal because he's also a cook at one of the hotels, he said.
The photo is showing him throwing our left over meals to the sea & the fish down below gobbled up the fish from our meals.
Hhmm, fish eating fish...
He was joking & telling stories...Kept the ladies laughing all the times !
A ladies man...
The lunch hour was prepared for us, on our way to Lopud.
It was really nice, fish & cuttlefish. Big fish & I could have 2 ! I was really hungry !
It was an excellent, the fish & I was thiking about the rice...such a typical Asian tummy I have.
There were some jiuces as well, the good was ...an orange juice, but secretly mixed with alcohol !
We thought the taste was funny & asked the captain about it.
He revealed that he accidently mixed the alcohol with the orange juice the previous night before (!)...Maybe a joke from him but we were all heady & nautious by this time, especially on a boat at the sea !...
On the photo you can see the place where the fish was cooked, you could even see the fish that we were going to eat ! Delicious !...but no rice...