Tag Archives: Croatian holiday

Holidays in Croatia: Dubrovnik

1024px-Old_town_of_dubrovnik

Photo CC BY-SA by gari.baldi

Dubrovnick has everything to astonish and delight the many visitors who crowded here every year and every summer: old history, a buzzing nightlife, enchanting nature and as usual sun and fine beaches.
During the city’s golden age in the 16th century, Dubrovnik was one of the largest merchant marine fleet in the world with over 50 consulates in foreign ports. Today people and visitors in Dubrovnik flock for the holidays and not over business. The main attraction is the charming old town, indeed a beautiful  pedestrian-only area, full of palaces and baroque churches, contained in sturdy medieval fortifications.
If you add it to the beaches, the sea, the informal restaurants that serve exquisite seafood, elegant five-star hotels and sports facilities for adventure, here is beautiful and made ​​for the perfect getaway.
Of course, there is a downside. Only a few inhabitants actually live in the old town: the numbers have dropped from 5,000 (in 1991) to 500 (2014) and the prices here are almost double of what would elsewhere in Croatia. But it is still worth it to go. In fact, the number of visitors continues to rise, and in 2013 the number of cruise passengers landed in Dubrovnik in a year has passed the million mark. In fact, the city had to make a deal with the cruise lines to the effect that they should not land more than 7,000 passengers a day, to avoid overcrowding.
Dubrovnik is also easily reached by ferry from Italy, for info visit our website dedicated page: http://www.ok-ferry.com/en/croatia-ferries.aspx

When to go
The best months to visit Dubrovnik is from May to June and September to October when there are sunny days by the sea, warm enough to swim, and hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are open, but without the crowds. During the high season, July and August, Dubrovnik is overwhelmed by tourists – hotel prices skyrocket and restaurants and the beaches are overcrowded, but the upside of this period is the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and a sparkling nightlife.
During the low season, November to April, Dubrovnik is still very nice but most of the structures are closed and the climate is less reliable.

Getting around
As regard as the public transport, the old town of Dubrovnik is pedestrian only and is located 2.5 miles south-east of the port. To get there, you have to take the bus 1, 3 or 6 (libertasdubrovnik.hr).
It ‘better to be without a car during your stay in Dubrovnik, as to get one of the parking lot next to the walls of the city is extremely difficult. Even if you are travelling out of town, it is preferable to take the bus or the local ferry.

The medieval walls
The final ‘must’ for any visit is the Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls which date back to the 13th century. Further reinforcements, including a series of impressive towers designed to protect the city against the Turks, were added in the 15th century.                                                                                            Address: Placa (main entrance on the wall just inside the Pile Gate)
Contact: 00 385 20 638 800; www.citywallsdubrovnik.hr
Opening hours: Daily 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (summer); 10:00 to 03:00 (winter)

Palace and the Museum of Cultural History of the Rector
Under the Republic of Ragusa, the chief citizen, the Rector, lived on the first floor of this building. His term lasted a month and was forced to stay here (without his family) for the duration of his appointment. His house is now home to the Museum of Cultural History, with period furniture and costumes, and paintings of aristocrats. The ground floor housed meeting of the Council, an armoury, a store of gunpowder. The building dates from the 15th century, although subsequent additions were made in the Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Address: Pred Dvorom 3
Contact: 00 385 20 3214 22; www.dumus.hr
Opening hours: Daily 9:00 to 06:00 (April to October); Mon-Sat 09:00 to 16:00 (November to March)

Dubrovnik1

Photo CC BY-SA by Greenweasel

Maritime Museum
The enormous wealth of Dubrovnik was based on merchant ships – in the 16th century has been one of the world’s biggest fleets, with over 180 ships and 4000 sailors. Here in Fort St. John, which guards the entrance to the old port, it is possible to trace the development of naval power in the republic. The exhibition includes models of ships, uniforms of sailors, navigation equipment, maps and flags.
Address: Sv Ivana Tvrdja
Contact: 00 385 20 3239 04; www.dumus.hr
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 (April to October); From Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 to 16:00 (November to March)

War Photo Limited
The strong fortifications of Dubrovnik have been put to test several times over the centuries, most recently during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia. This gallery is dedicated to modern photojournalism from war zones around the world, and seeks to provide unbiased report always presents with a human element. Recent exhibitions include ‘Troubled Islam’ (which looked at the lives of civilians in Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, Chechenya and Afghanistan) and “Purple Hearts” (a look at the post-war lives of American soldiers who had fought in recent wars abroad) and the ‘Srebrenica genocide 07.11.95′ (which has recorded some of the worst horrors of the war in Bosnia).
Address: 6 Antuninska
Contact: 00 385 20 3221 66; www.warphotoltd.com
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 to 22:00 (June to September); Tue-Sun 10:00 to 04:00 (May and October); closed (November to April)

Dubrovnik Cable Car
Opened in July 2010, the cable car is a surprise entertainment and ultra-modern. Starting from a lower station just outside the historic centre, there are two light tanks and airy, which can carry up to 30 people, with regular runs to 3 minutes until the top of Mount Srd (405m).
From here you get a great view down over the old town, the sea and the islands, as well as beautiful sunsets. There is also a restaurant, bar and gift shop. If you like hiking, you can take the cable car and walk back down.
Address: Frana Supila 35th
Contact: 00 385 20 3253 93; www.dubrovnikcablecar.com
Opening hours: 09:00 to midnight June to August, September, 09:00 to 10:00, 09:00 to 20:00 October and April-May, November and February-Mar 09:00 to 17:00, Dec-January 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Day trips
Medieval fortress of Ston and Korčula
Are organized bus tours (duration 10 hours and 30 minutes) along the coast in Ston, a town known for its delicious fresh mussels and oysters, which are served in seaside restaurants. The tour continues to the village of Potomje, for wine tasting, and then proceeds to the island of Korcula, to see its beautiful medieval old town, before returning to Dubrovnik
Sea Kayak to Lokrum
A great way to explore the Adriatic coast is by sea kayak. Accompanied by instructors, you can hike a half-day (3 hours) starting from the foot of the Fortress Lovrijenac (just outside the city walls, close to Pile Gate), along the medieval walls of Dubrovnik and then to the small island lush Lokrum, where you can stop us on the beach Betina and have time to snorkel and explore the botanical garden.
And now here is the calendar of festivals and events in 2014:
Folk dance performances
From May to October
Throughout the summer, on Tuesday and Friday evening at 09:30 the Lindjo Folk Ensemble makes music and dance in traditional costumes popular Lazareti, just outside the Ploce Gate.
Contact: www.lindjo.hr
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
July 10-August 25
The annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival offers over 80 performances of music, theater, dance and film, in various places outside of the historic center, as well as a program of open-air cinema. 2013 line-up included the Grammy-winning pianist Robert Glasper Experiment and Russian Elena Bashkirova.
Admission: Ticket prices vary by location performance, venue and seating; see website for details

Dubrovnik International Wine & Jazz Festival
September 25 – 28
The 2013 festival saw jazz clarinetist and conductor Michael Vaughn Kissinger leader in Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances by Broadway singer Douglas Webster. This year’s line-up has yet to be confirmed, but promises to delight jazz fans. The program includes a tasting of wines from the region of Dalmatia.

New Year Celebrations
December 31 to January 1, 2015
New Year’s Day with a public holiday on Placa outdoors in the old town, with performances by bands, choirs, and Croatian pop star, culminating with a fireworks display at midnight. The celebrations continue the next day, with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with a performance that lasts until the morning, even outdoors in Placa.
Admission: Free

Best ways to visit Croatia and its most beautiful places

croatiaPhoto CC-BY by Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Croatia is the new destination for all the European countries.  In the national infrastructure have been made great improvements: the motorway network has been expanded and modernised, many hotels have been renovated and has been given a fresh twist with a contemporary design. The combination of nature and secular architecture of the contemporary cultural scene and vibrant make it truly complete.

Those looking landscape can explore the rocky stretch of the Adriatic coast of Croatia is not suitable for tourism development of large, perhaps because this is incredibly beautiful: it offers many small pebble coves cooled by pine forests and marvel with its crystal clear turquoise sea.

croatia-rocks

Photo CC-BY by Josef Grunig

For those in search of history and culture, areas of cities such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar offer relics from Roman, Byzantine and Venetian times and more recently from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The historic towns of Dubrovnik and Split are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, together with the cathedrals of Trogir, Sibenik and Porec.  Against this backdrop of beautiful historical buildings, these cities become the living stage for summer festivals, hosting open-air concerts and theatre performances often attracting international artists.

croatie-cathédrale

Photo CC-BY by Paolabart 

Croatia is what you want: it can feature a very relaxing holiday on the beach with water sports, a sailing holiday around the islands, sporting adventure with hiking, mountain biking, a holiday for foodie guests with vineyard visits, or with a cultural tour of the city. Here are the most beautiful places in Croatia.

Istria

Centred on the port city of Pula, known for its first -century Roman amphitheatre, Istria is a peninsula in the north-west Croatia with close cultural and historical ties to Italy. The best beach resorts on the Istrian peninsula is located along the west coast, and include Rovinj and Porec – home for the 6th century , decorated with golden Byzantine mosaics and UNESCO – listed Euphrasius Basilica. Near Pula , we find the islets that smell of pine in the Brijuni National Park, once the summer residence of Tito. Often forgotten is worth visiting the inland of Istria that fascinates with its rolling vineyards and romantic medieval hill towns such as Motovun and Grisignana  and the Mirna Valley.

croatie-cascades

Photo CC-BY by  Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Kvarner

The heart of this region is the port city of Rijeka, overlooking the Gulf of Kvarner: it is sheltered and backed by the mountains of Gorski Kotar. Near Rijeka is located in the quiet seaside resort of Opatija, with several grand hotels of the 19th century, home for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. From Opatija, you can walk the promenade to Lovran, home to elegant villas surrounded by lush gardens breakaway. From Rijeka there are ferries and catamarans to Cres , Losinj , Rab and Pag, where the most popular destinations are Mali Losinj and the fortified medieval town of Rab. The island of Krk is connected to the mainland by a bridge – its main centre, Baska, on the south- east , overlooks a long pebble beach. Back on the mainland, the hinterland of the most visited Croatia is the Plitvice National Park with its emerald green lakes and waterfalls tumbling . Plitvice can be easily visited as a day trip from Rijeka, Zadar and Zagreb.

SONY DSCPhoto CC-BY by Loris Silvio Zecchinato

Northern Dalmatia

The focal point of this region is Zadar, with its beautiful old town, home of many Romanesque churches, built on a small peninsula. The majority of hotels in Zadar are located outside the city centre, along the coast. Near Zadar are the Kornati National Park, an archipelago of uninhabited, rocky islets, reachable by boat or with an organized trip from the mainland . The barren island of Pag extends between the two regions: Northern Dalmatia and Kvarner . It is famous for an excellent roast lamb and the Paski sir (salty sheep cheese), as well as for the festival of fun and music outdoors on the beach Zrce in Novalja. Back on the mainland, hikers and climbers should head to the mountains of Velebit, the National Park Northern Velebit and in the Paklenica National Park .

Central Dalmatia

The highlight here is Split, UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic centre, within the old Roman walls of Diocletian’s Palace. The majority of visitors to the region fly to Split, then take a ferry or catamaran to the islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis, where among the most popular stands the town of Hvar on the island of Hvar, with excellent seafood restaurants. Back on the mainland, the Makarska Riviera, focused on Makarska and offers pebble beaches. The Biokovo Mountain nearby are instead ideal for hiking and mountain biking, while Omis is the starting point for rafting on the Cetina River. Other cultural attractions are the cathedral in Trogir, UNESCO World Heritage Site and Šibenik.

 

Southern Dalmatia

The main attraction of this region is Dubrovnik, the most popular and most expensive destination in Croatia, with an amazing old walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with the highest concentration of all the land of five-star hotels. To the south of Dubrovnik is the quiet seaside resort of Cavtat, and the port of Dubrovnik Gruz there are regular ferries to the islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. Dubrovnik is also a base for day trips to nearby Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Peljesac peninsula, which lies to the north of the coast, produces some of the best wines of Croatia, including the highly respected Dingac, and several vineyards where doing tastings. From the village of Orebic there are numerous beaches and ferries to the island of Korcula. Here the main attraction is the town of Korcula, another beautiful medieval settlement in stone. Peljesac produces exceptional red wines, while Korcula is famous for its fragrant white wines, in particular Pošip and Grk. Near Korcula, but more easily accessible by ferry from Dubrovnik, the island of Mljet is home to towering forests and saltwater lakes of Mljet National Park.

croatie-voile

Photo CC-BY by Josef Grunig

Zagreb

The Croatian capital is often unfairly overlooked. It has a romantic medieval town, Gornji Grad, seat of the parliament and the cathedral, and several buildings in the Austro-Hungarian Donji Grad, which include several excellent constructions. From Zagreb you can also take a trip to Varazdin, with its Baroque architecture of the 18th century and an annual festival of baroque music.

Where to stay

The possibilities for accommodation in Croatia range from five-star hotels to rooms in homes of local families. In addition there are villas, more than 300 campsites, some considered among the best in Europe , and a growing number of youth hostels. Most of the hotels are located on the coast and back to the period of Yugoslavia. In general they are large, modern building with a stunning view of the sea and sports facilities. Alternatively, there are a small family run hotels, under the umbrella of the Association of Family and Small Hotels of Croatia . Some of these historic buildings and tend to offer a more personalized service than the larger properties. A cheaper option is to rent an apartment or a room in a family home , the majority of which are comfortable and equipped with private bathroom and kitchenette. Local tourist offices can give you more information about it.

Who is looking for privacy and solitude can stay in a lighthouse. Along the mainland coast and on the islands there are 13 lighthouses with simple but comfortable apartments that you can rent. Some are located on isolated islands in the open sea, so you will need to bring everything you need for the duration of your stay – in some cases we can make a deal with the local fishermen for the supply of fresh fish. Otherwise you can opt for the so-called accommodation Robinson (referred to Robinson Crusoe). Some of these apartments are located on the Kornati islands ( and the island of Pasman) . It is stone cottage without electricity and tap water, but with a barbecue and a gas-powered refrigerator .

When to go

The best time to visit Croatia is in the months of May, June, September and October  during which you can enjoy a nice sunny day with all the tourist facilities and working without the crowds typical of the high season. These months are also the ideal time to do outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain – biking, rafting and sea kayaking. The Croatian company Jadrolinija operates ferry overnight from Ancona to Split, Ancona to Zadar and Dubrovnik to Bari throughout the year. Blue Line also covers the route Ancona-Split. In summer only, the Italian company SNAV operates a daily high-speed catamaran from Ancona to Split, while Venezia Lines operates catamarans from Venice to Porec, Rovinj and Pula in Istria.