If you want to see Heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik. – George Bernard Shaw
We recently got back from a week in Dubrovink, Croatia. We decided to go to Dubrovnik because a friend of ours is a dean at Yale and leads a summer session in the city each year. In fact, I went to college with both her, Jasmina and her now husband Matt. Matt introduced Amanda and me and he and I were roommates for about a year.
Anyway, Matt and Jas and their two lovely daughters have been coming to Dubrovnik each summer since 2006 and we have no problem seeing why. We fell in love with every aspect of this corner of Croatia. We rented an apartment just up the hill from the walled-in old city and the host made us feel right at home (“just up the hill” in this case means about 450-500 steps up from the old city).
Ivo, our host, has lived here all his life and knows all the locals and all the best places to to go. When we arrived for check-in, it took about an hour. We had several beers and chatted about where we were from and what we wanted to do in Dubrovnik. Ivo gave us a run-down of how to get around and all the sites to visit; we couldn’t have asked for a better host. He even arranged for a day-long boat trip for us to a couple of the area’s islands and a wonderful Saturday night dinner.
Tourism is the main industry in Dubrovnik but, much to our surprise, the area is not densely built up. There are no fast-food chains and the mega-hotels are kept to a reasonable minimum. Beaches are all publicly accessible, clean, and safe. It also seems that most people who visit stay in guest rooms/apartments that are run by individuals or families.
Finally, the food in and around Dubrovnik is fantastic. There’s a definite Italian influence with many restaurants serving pizza, pasta, and risotto. However, the seafood here is the real star; octopus, oysters, and mussels are all world class.
Below is a short video taken from the aforementioned boat tour (NB: there is no sound); and below the video are some other pictures. You can also go here for more photos from my Instagram feed. Instagram’s search and organization is singularly awful so you may need to scroll down a bit to find them.