Home>>Our Playground – Little bit more about Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik — the Pearl of the Adriatic — is one of Croatia’s calling cards … and with good reason. This city, which has its origins in the seventh century, hangs over the Adriatic like some medieval dream come to life. Most are aware of its famous walls, which rise some 75 feet and have protected this center for culture and maritime trade for centuries.
Once known as Ragusa, Dubrovnik, which extended north up the coast to the present location of Neum, Bosnia-Hercegovina, was its own republic/city-state for much of its existence. During its peak, during the 14th – 16th centuries, it was not only independent but it was a true rival for the nearby Venetian Empire. Built on the wealth of its salt, residents gained a reputation for diplomacy because of their stealth dealings with the empires from around the region (Austro-Hungary, Venice, Ottoman) and the world which visited this free-trade zone.
You can still feel Dubrovnik’s nobility when you enter the walls. The polished, white, limestone streets of this UNESCO world-heritage site have been walked by millions of visitors, who marvel at how well the ancient has been preserved, even after attacks and earthquakes. Though it can get busy during the high tourism season (July and August), waltzing down the main street — Stradun — to shop and have a coffee is an absolute must for any Croatian visitor.
Many of our guests come to Dubrovnik wondering what to do after a day of walking the walls, sightseeing, chillin’ in one of many charming places that the Old Town offers. Sea kayaking is the way to go. And we are not talking about a couple of hours spent dipping your paddles in the water around the Old Town, we are talking about a full blown full day adventure.
You’re probably far more familiar with Croatia than you may have realized, and we have Game of Thrones to thank for it. Though the show has taken viewers all over the world, seasons 2 and 3 showcased Croatia’s most famous city, the walled seaside fortress of Dubrovnik, which was chosen as King’s Landing.
It takes just a brief stroll through Dubrovnik to see why. Its stone buildings, medieval architecture, pedestrian streets, walled fortifications, and utter lack of modern-day billboards could not have provided a more perfect setting for the capital city of a fantasy kingdom. While other castle towns have been invaded with fancy hotels, Dubrovnik remains a time capsule to a far cooler era. Filming has since expanded to other Croatian cities, including Split, which is home to a Roman emperor’s retirement palace. You’d have a hard time finding a better place than Croatia for capturing medieval magnificence, and although a few CGI castles were added to the background in a few places, visiting Dubrovnik is every bit as good as everyone says.
Incidentally, it wasn’t always Croatia that was going to be home to King’s Landing. The first season actually placed King’s Landing in Malta.
Excerpt taken from 10 fun facts about Croatia
The tourism office in Dubrovnik is as well-run as any in Croatia. For activities and information please visit the city’s site and for traveller reviews of local restaurants and activities please visit TripAdvisor. For any insider’s info on what to do or which good bars and places, that we locals visit, don’t hesitate to ask us :)
Many visitors don’t make time to visit the Elaphiti Islands (Elafiti in Croatian): an archipelago, which extends from Dubrovnik to the Pelješac Peninsula to the north. A perfect spot for sea kayaking and other multisport activities.
This is a pity for them but this is good news for those in-the-know. When you are ready to take a break from the crowded streets of Dubrovnik’s Old City, catch a ferry to visit Dalmatia as it was meant to be seen. Taking our kayaks, of course :)
Though there are 13 islands in the archipelago, only three are inhabited: Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan. During our tours, guests will paddle to each of these islands, meet locals, eat island-specific dishes, hike and cycle the interiors, and visit historical sites. Classic Kayaking Adventure and Discover Dalamtia weeklong tours explore Elaphiti Archipelago.
When you are ready to take a break from the crowded streets of Dubrovnik’s Old City, catch Postira, a local ferry to visit Elaphiti Archipelago, and experience Dalmatia as it was meant to be seen. This little ferry may not be listed as a Dubrovnik attraction, or be on a list of what-to-do’s but it is definitely something of a must while in the area. If for no other reason, then to experience a running piece of local history. You can read more about it’s everyday journey in our blog post here.
Not to forget, Dubrovnik is famous for its summer festival, the major producer of top-quality events in Dubrovnik, as Croatia’s leading cultural institution, and as one of Europe’s five most distinguished cultural festivals. Relying on the City’s and its own rich and living heritage, the Festival promotes it’s site-specific programme policy, combines tradition and modernity, and connects local, national and international creativity.