To get to grips with the nitty-gritty, Vesna Rodin, the manager of our stunning villas in Dubrovnik has kindly agreed to help us bring you an authentic guide to Dubrovnik. Enjoy!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do, how long have you lived where you are and what makes you an expert in the region? Do you have any special connection there?
I’ve lived in Dubrovnik my whole life, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way – I absolutely adore my hometown. I spend my days working for Alfa Travel DMC where I am the Oliver’s Travels agent in Dubrovnik – but my love for travel began way before that. In fact, I’ve been in the travel industry for the last 15 years – you could say I have it ingrained in me.
2. Why should people travel to your region at least once in their life? What might they find surprising on their first visit?
Dubrovnik is famously called ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and rightly so, the brilliant blue waters are a must see. It’s no surprise that Dubrovnik is the most popular and the most known city in Croatia. It’s synonymous with my country. But what travellers might find most surprising is that the Old Town is not as big as it appears and in the peak season it gets very crowded.
3. And what makes people come back time and time again?
The region is especially nice, the climate is just right, the history, culture, the amazing food and wine, the sea and of course last but not least, the area is very safe.
4. Summarise the region for us in three words!
Impressive historical gem!
5. Have you had any famous visitors or well-known events (historical or otherwise) take place in the region?
There is a long history of famous people who have visited Dubrovnik. From Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise, Roger Moore, Bill Gates to Caroline of Monaco – the list is infinite.
And in case you didn’t already know, Dubrovnik is a well-known filming location for Game of Thrones.
6. Time for some travel inspiration – can you give us your recommendations on:
The first thing to do – you should drop your bags and…head straight towards the crystal clear sea.
Is there something served there that visitors should really try? Name any regional foods that are a must try. Our traditional food is light, Mediterranean, with a lot of fish (and good steak) and vegetables prepared with homemade olive oil. One speciality visitors should try is ‘Peka’ – meat/fish and potatoes baked under the iron bell.
If you had to choose the best activity, what would you pick? Oooo there’s a few, biking through the Konavle region, hiking to Srdj hill, and an off-road buggy tour!
What is something that you can do for free – perhaps that people can’t-do anywhere else? Take the cable car to Srdj hills from where you will have a breathtaking view of the town and the area.
The best activities and things to do for families? It is a very nice option to visit the neighbouring islands, from Island Lokrum which is just across the Old Town to the Elafiti Islands (Kolocep, Lopud, Sipan) which are an approx 1-hour drive from Dubrovnik. The islands are perfect for naturists and have lovely beaches, minimal traffic and small quaint restaurants.
Last but not least, your best-kept secret of the region? Lokrum! From the old city harbour, a boat will take you to the island is under 15 minutes. Once there you can swim in the Dead Sea, get up close with all kinds of animals, you can visit the botanical garden as well as visiting the Benedictine monastery.
7. What would your perfect day in the area comprise of?
I like to be away from the crowds. So, my perfect day would include the islands as noted above or visiting the beautiful small town called Cavtat, located 20km east from Dubrovnik. Alternatively, there or town of Ston which also has city walls and is well known for their oysters.
Many thanks again to Vesna for her wonderful insight! We hope that’s geared you up for your holiday to Dubrovnik! If you’re looking for more related reads, check out our top 10 villas in Croatia and 11 reasons why you need to visit Croatia. Don’t forget that if you need any help sorting accommodation, our concierge team are always on hand.