Walking the manicured streets, it’s hard to believe that only a decade ago this UNESCO listed walled-city was under siege. Today, beautiful women in wedged espadrilles sip espressos with men in smart linen shorts in the shade of the fragrant bougainvillea.
The medieval town, which was largely remodelled after an earthquake in 1667, certainly exudes a timeless elegance. Add to this its coastal location on the Adriatic with constant light northwest winds, plus its proximity to Croatia’s beautiful islands and it’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is a favoured yachting holiday destination, especially for families. The Bokra castle tower is Dubrovnik’s most iconic landmark and the first thing you see arriving by yacht. Walk along the imposing castle walls and then take the cable car up to Mt Srd – which takes under 4 minutes. At 405m high the spectacular panoramic views extend over the old town rooftops to the Elafiti Islands.
At dusk, wander through the narrow alleys in the Old Town; look out for the open-air cinema with nightly showings under the stars (July and August). Grab a table at the most prestigious and scenic restaurant, Nautika. Sit on one of two panoramic terraces at starched-white tables and order local delicacies: Lopud brodet with polenta and Šipan; fisherman’s carpaccio.
Dubrovnik’s port is the gateway to the southern islands of the Adriatic: the wild islands of Koločep, Lopud and Šipan with their deserted beaches and tranquil coves. Or set a course for the emerald green island of Mljet – one of the most beautiful on this stretch of coast – but make sure you allow a day or two to really soak up the ambience of this little-known sanctuary.