164 Reviews

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Date of travel

May, 2015

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Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip

Dubrovnik in Croatia is the most stunning place for a holiday. It has a wonderful historic old city, the most beautiful seascapes and great hospitality.

My daughter and I stayed at the 4-star Grand Hotel Park in Lapad Cove. Our air-conditioned room was spacious with all the usual facilities and a balcony. The hotel had several lounges, a spa suite, indoor and outdoor pools with a very short walk through a small park to the beach. The food at the buffet style restaurant was varied and really very good. In the lounge bar area you could also get a proper pot of tea – just the job after a hard day’s sightseeing! There were also many decent restaurants nearby.

It was a short walk to the bus stop to travel to the old city. We walked around the walls and fortifications, which is really a must in order to see the most amazing views. Do take some water with you though, as there is only one drinks stop on the way. I did not find it too difficult, but there is an abundance of steps up and down – so it is unsuitable if you can’t manage them. In fact the whole of Dubrovnik city is up and down steps apart from the main street called Straden. (I must give a plug for the ideal holiday shoe – Skechers Go Walk. They are light, washable, comfortable and can cope with cobblestones! Highly recommended.

There are reminders of the 1991 Siege of the old city with exhibitions and you can see the contrast of the old and replacement tiles on the rooftops. The Croatians have done a remarkable job of rebuilding and it retains its ancient feel. One sad story was from an elderly artist Ivo Grbic who not only lost his home from the bombing but also all his artwork was burnt. The main square Luza is the location for displays of folk dancing and singing. We sat under a shady parasol at a cafe to watch the entertainment. Many of the restaurants serve freshly caught fish dishes. We had lunch at the harbour and a little cat kept tapping my leg for yet another morsel!
There are dozens of stands offering boat excursions. We opted for the 3-island cruise on a traditional purple-painted wooden boat the MS Negrit. For 250 Kuna you get a fully guided tour of the Elaphite islands, lunch on board and all you can drink. The first stop was Lopud for 4 hours. We took a buggy ride to the other side of the island to the sandy beach and my daughter also went out in a kayak. (I stayed in the shade under a tree and just admired the view). Then we sailed to Sipan with the Skocibuha castle with its two towers. The third island was Kolocep with its pretty village and fishing boats. It was quite jolly on board with music and dancing, but above all it was so relaxing to sit and watch the most beautiful scenery passing by.
There were also lots of stands offering glass-bottomed boat rides. We went on the Blue Eye – a very modern boat. You get a 50-minute ride to see the underwater sea world, but the great thing was the speedboat experience. Another must is the cable car, which takes you high above the old city with breathtaking views of the Adriatic sea. It costs 108 Kuna for the round trip.

We also went on two walks on the Lapad peninsular where our hotel was situated. One was around the coast of Babin Kuk, which is particularly beautiful in the evening with spectacular sunsets.The other was up the path into the “national park” area with fantastic views of the bay below. Although the climate is typically Mediterranean there is an abundance of flowers and in the evening there is the heady scent of jasmine all around.

No holiday would be complete for us without a visit to a modern art gallery and the one we visited was Umjetnicka gallery just a short walk from Ploce Gate and Banje Beach. The various works of art, including sculpture and paintings, were by Croatian artists. Whilst in that area we went to eat in Konoba Pjatanca with its terraced garden above the bay.

All in all Dubrovnik is place which has everything, but do visit in may before it gets too hot for sightseeing.


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