Welcome back on the boat sailing through the top sailing destinations in Croatia. In this post, you will sail to my favourite island in Croatia – Korcula. Afterwards, you will visit the secret island of Sipan and then you will sail to a place that steals the hearts of all visitors. It’s of course nothing else than Dubrovnik!
As a little reminder, I am in Dalmatia, which is the eastern Adriatic coast where hundreds of islands of various shapes and sizes, grow out of the sea. The Dinaric mountains, which are parallel to the coast, dominate the land. I am sailing in a traditional wooden boat, with a white sail through the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, along the Croatian coast, the sun is shining and there are heavenly views in front of me. I wonder, if life can be more perfect? The answer is, yes!
I am reaching the island of Korcula, which is one of the top sailing destinations in Croatia. This is probably the place where the famous Marco Polo was born! You don’t know the guy? Well, no one said that the travel achievements of the 13th-century Venetian merchant, who claimed that was the first European to reach China, would be remembered forever by everyone, right? Besides, it is not known for sure how many of Marco Polo’s stories are true. Nevertheless, there is a grain of truth in every story. That’s why, If you believe, that one of the greatest travellers of all time comes from Korcula, then being on the island where he made his first steps, becomes even more exciting! I will not hide that the undeniably delightful views here, amaze me even more than the legends of Marco Polo.
The old town of Korcula is situated on a small peninsula. From above, it looks like a scenery from a fairy tale. Stone buildings with orange roofs. The buildings gradually pile up, as the old town is situated on a hill. Beautiful church towers emerge above the roofs of the houses. Everything is surrounded by a medieval wall with round towers, that blend in perfectly with the buildings. Add to that the deep blue water surrounding the city and boats of various sizes passing lazily. It is the perfect place to create unforgettable memories and I am over the moon about it!
I’m on my way to Dubrovnik, passing by the island of Sipan. It’s just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik. Few know, however, that Sipan was once a base for the Dubrovnik nobility, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. To this day, Sipan is a great starting point and among the top sailing destinations in Croatia for a day trip from Dubrovnik, for all those who crave peace and tranquillity. The historic sixteenth-century town on the island of Sipan creates a unique atmosphere. While wandering through the picturesque bay, you can admire the blue of the Adriatic Sea and the historic villas of the Dubrovnik nobility, rising along the coast. Sipan is the perfect place to relax and prepare yourself for the thrills of entering the legendary Dubrovnik!
You have been waiting for visiting Dubrovnik, probably since you saw the impressive Kings Landing in the TV series “Game of Thrones”. Many locations here, were used in those series and that makes me wonder, why exactly Dubrovnik? It’s probably because this place seems like time has stood still. While standing on the walls surrounding the city and staring at the blue ocean unfolding around me, it seems as if a dragon or even three are about to emerge from behind the horizon.
Dubrovnik is a unique city and although during the season there are more tourists than locals living here, you can still feel the vibe of the medieval world. When I climb the baroque stairs, where the famous scene of shame took place in the series, I can almost hear the words “shame! shame! shame!” (Warning! Video contains nudity)
I will start from the beginning, i.e. from the entrance gate to the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the so-called “Vrata Pile” or “Gate of Pylons”, which is a meeting place for both locals and tourists. Before entering the stone bridge leading to the gate, on the right side, there is a view of the famous Kings Landing from the Game of Thrones series. Fort Bokar on the left and Fort Lovrijenc on the right. Both proudly piled on the rock and formerly defensive, now provide a lovely setting for countless photos. Looking at this charming fishing port, I go back in time to the moment when Dubrovnik was a maritime power, almost equal to the Venetian one.
Behind my back, I hear a buzz of the crowded city, the sun lets me know I’m in a Mediterranean climate, the Adriatic breeze blows my hair. I am heading towards the “Gate of Pylons” and pass under the stone-arch. I think it is worth mentioning here, that the defensive walls surrounding the old town are up to 6 meters thick in some places! No wonder Dubrovnik was nicknamed “the unconquerable city”. Massive ramparts were an effective defence against the enemy, and there were many who wanted to get inside! I go to Strade, the main and longest street of Dubrovnik, and I have no doubts, I’m in a medieval unconquered Dubrovnik!
Strada is 984 feet long, marble street also known as Placa. The street seems to glow in the sunlight. I want to take my shoes off and feel a cold stone, that looks more like a glass surface, under my feet. I stand speechless. It’s hard to focus, wherever I look, there is something interesting. Immediately to the left of the gate, there is an entrance to the ramparts that surround the entire old town. Going up the defensive walls is a great opportunity to admire the beautiful views, as the walls are up to 25m high. Admission to the ramparts is paid, about 30 GBP, but it’s definitely worth it!
I walk straight ahead, past various shops and cafes along the main road, and come to the port. Dreamlike views, turquoise water, contrasting with the orange roofs of houses, boats swaying slightly in the water. The hot sun lifts the various scents of the food in the air. And you must know that Croatian cuisine is one of the best!
Here, lured by the smells, I decide to be tempted by the famous Croatian specialities, incl. black risotto with seafood. It owes its black colour to the dye that is obtained from the squid. The taste is creamy and delicate with a strong fishy aftertaste, delicious to me! In Dalmatia, all seafood tastes great. In addition, accompanied by a good local wine, it is an experience you will remember for a long time!
If you are a supporter of an active rest, I highly recommend to explore Dubrovnik on a kayak. This will give you the opportunity to see the city from a completely different perspective and it is absolutely stunning! You can easily find companies offering canoe trips, as there are quite a lot of them, especially at the entrance gate to the Old Town.
The trip starts in a small bay between the old town and Fort Lovrijenac. The entire route takes about 3 hours and includes a half-hour stay on an unusual beach in a cave. Access to this beach is only possible from the sea, so you can feel pretty special while swimming there. During the stop on the beach, it is possible to dive with a mask. The crystal-clear water provides a clear view of the Adriatic underwater world. On the way back, you can admire the mighty city walls of Dubrovnik and the wonderful architecture of the city from your kayak. The cost of such pleasure is about PLN 100 and I definitely recommend it!
While walking along the city walls, you will surely come across the so-called “holes in the wall” which in fact are an unusual cocktail bars. Why are they called “holes in the wall”? Because that’s exactly what they look like. After walking to the other side of such a hole, I see a beautiful mosaic of turquoise water and blue sky. The hot sun heats up the rocks, which give off heat and increase the temperature around them even more. The temptation to drink a cool cocktail is increasing and although the prices in these rock bars are extremely high, I am tempted. Ah, what a view!
It is worth mentioning that this is one of the better places in Dubrovnik to admire the setting sun. Although you should take into account that many tourists know this, so it is usually quite crowded there.