Footloose in Dubrovnik
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PEARL OF THE ADRIATIC
Footloose in Dubrovnik
~ Travel and History DVD
Sparkling Seas and Blue Skies...
Dubrovnik old town is accurately described as "Pearl of the Adriatic". Usually seen only as a historic beach resort, it nevertheless makes a great destination at the end of a pleasant day's walk. But temperatures get high here on the Adriatic coast and May or September are perhaps the best months to walk, and hotel rates are lower. The summer months are for sunbathing really.
Our suggested 7Km trail starts at the harbour and fishing port of Gruz, with large cruise ships often dominating the view. From here you step out around the Lapad Peninsula, with its fine hotels and beaches. There are many places to stay here, and many beach bars and restaurants en route... you can get quite tipsy if you treat it like a pub crawl! A road walk followed by a shady coastal park leads you to the first major tourist attraction; the St Lawrence Fortress. From here you can take in the classic, inimitable first look at Dubrovnik Old Town from the massive ramparts. The Fortress is one of five guarding the city.
This spectacular medieval walled city is as breathtaking today as it was before the damage caused by shelling in Croatia's Homeland War in 1991, when it broke free from former Yugoslavia. Over 20 years on, tourism has been restored and low-cost flights serve the airport once more.
Our DVD gives more depth on the city's history, its troubled past with wars, occupation and earthquakes. The city's red-tiled roofs give an appearance of freshness to the ancient buildings, and two Directors for the Institute for Restoration tell us exactly how they repaired their city to its former glory, not just from the Homeland War in 1991, but after a large earthquake in 1979. Centuries before in 1667, much of the city was rebuilt as we see it today after a colossal earthquake. Our report contains special archive film taken during the Yugoslavian period.
See what it's like - Walk with us on this DVD extract -
press the 4-arrows button if you want full screen playback
On arrival at Dubrovnik we suggest a walk (probably on another day) around the entire circuit of the city wall (2Km). It takes you past its battlements and fortresses and you take in superb deep blue sea-views. Every so often you see a glimpse of life, in what is described as a living monument below. It all looks very inviting, and its probably best to break off half-way round the walls to visit the unique polished limestone streets. You leave the walls at the old harbour (keeping your ticket) and visit some of the attractions: the magnificent Rector's Palace which houses a history museum; walk down the main street (Stradun) and, at the other end, the fascinating Franciscan Monastery with its 14th century pharmacy.
Because many families live and work within the walls, you may see children playing football, or even a wedding procession here. Walking back to the old harbour, you can rejoin the city wall walk with more breathtaking views: sparkling seas and peerless blue skies are the backdrop to this jewel in Croatia’s crown. Distinctive shrieks of marauding summer swallows fill the air. To round of the trail you should take a boat trip from the old harbour to the nearby island (and nature reserve) of Lokrum, to look back on the wonderful city.
The old harbour is a centre for a huge variety of day cruises to other resorts and islands along the Dalmatian caost, and your stay wouldn't be complete without taking say, a 3-Island boat cruise with fish picnic!
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Climate ~ Dubrovnik
MAP OF DUBROVNIK
Our trail into Dubrovnik plotted on Googlemaps
http://www.zod.hr Dubrovnik restoration website in English
Transport in this region is by bus, the Airport bus will drop you off at the Pile Gate outside the city wall, where you can catch another bus or taxi to your hotel. ...There are virtually no hotels within the city walls, and Lapad (2-3Km from the old town) is probably the place to stay. We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk
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