I love a beach holiday. I’m quite happy sitting on the beach with a book and a cocktail and doing not very much of anything. This kind of holiday is about rest and relaxation, it doesn’t demand anything of you. Even so, a week of doing nothing can get old quick, and when you’re somewhere as fascinating as Croatia, it seems a shame to not check it out. So, as well as indulging my beach-loving side, I also made time to indulge my tourist-side. Here’s what we did and I would recommend
Tour the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been painstakingly repaired since the civil war in the 90s and the city walls tour offers a perfect opportunity to see across the whole town and to explore these ancient fortifications. We spent about 2 hours exploring, not including a short stop for a drink at one of the bars that sit right on the walls. I strongly recommend a hat, water and sunscreen for exploring, since there’s not a lot of shade up there, but it’s well worth going to see.
Ride the Cable car up Mount Srđ and walk back down
Mount Srđ is just outside Dubrovnik’s Old Town and is 412 m high. With a pair of good shoes, you could walk up it, taking the long snaking path known as The Serpentine path. It would take you about 90 minutes and there’s no shade, so you’d want a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water, but you could do it. We decided to go the lazier route and took the cable car to the top. We took hundreds of photos, explored the gift shop and stopped for a meal and a beer at the panorama cafe, which must have one of the best views of any restaurant anywhere. Finally, we walked back down (much easier than walking down). At each turn of The Serpentine, there’s a rock carving depicting one of the stations of the cross. I can see that the walk up might feel like a small pilgrimage if you were religious. We particularly enjoyed the views we got walking
Finally, we walked back down (much easier than walking down). At each turn of The Serpentine, there’s a rock carving depicting one of the stations of the cross. I can see that the walk up might feel like a small pilgrimage if you were religious. We particularly enjoyed the views we got walking down, and the well-earned beer we got at the bottom when we were back in the old town.
Visit the Đorđić-Mayneri family park on Lopud Island
It would be wrong to spend a week on Lopud and not explore at all. Aside from crossing the island to get to the beautiful, sandy Sunj beach, a walk that takes only about 20 minutes, we stopped to check out the 19th Century Đorđić-Mayneri family park. The park was founded by the Venetian baron, Augusto Mayneri, it’s protected by stone lions and has been filled with all kinds of plants. There are carvings, a fish pond, archways and an old ruined stone villa. It’s a wonderful place to stop and relax, and to sit in the shade for a while.
Try sea kayaking
I have never done sea kayaking before! On Lopud you can hire a kayak for about £6 an hour and paddle up and down the bay. It took us a while to find our rhythm but once we did it was surprisingly easy. We had two attempts and were definitely more coordinated the second time, even though the water was slightly choppier that time. It’s a lot of fun, but it does make your arms ache!