When researching where to stay near Dubrovnik I asked several travel forums about ideas for a laid back resort, many recommended staying in Cavtat. We weren’t disappointed!
Where is it?
Cavtat is on the southern part of the Dalmatian coast, close to the border with Montenegro. It’s between Dubrovnik airport at Cilipi and Dubrovnik town. Being that close to the airport had it’s advantages, of course there was some aircraft noise but it wasn’t disturbing and was actually interesting to see the few flights come in each day.
How do I get there?
We flew with Easyjet from Gatwick to Dubrovnik and took cabin baggage, their generous cabin bag size was perfect for a week and we saved the extra costs of hold baggage and a wait at baggage reclaim. BA also flies to Dubrovnik from Heathrow and Manchester. We hired a car via holiday autos and chose Herzt for the short wait time (but were lucky to be second in quite a long queue), we were upgraded from a small car to a Ford Focus estate which had done 3000 miles, good value at £70 for a week! However, we chose to pay extra (about €20) for a green card that allowed us to cross the border.
Where should I stay?
There’s a good choice of different accommodation in Cavtat from the nice Hotel Albatros next to the best beach, the Hotel Cavtat which was recommended to us, to the 5 star Hotel Croatia which had a lovely setting but a mixed response from people we spoke to, some loved it, some didn’t. There’s also an excellent selection of apartments and villas; we booked through Airbnb (get £20 travel credit here) and chose Apartment Dubreta for its position on a relatively flat section of Cavtat (it is hilly in places), and the ability to park the hire car easily. It was also right above the Albatros and therefore very close to the beach. We wandered daily around the headland though the cypress trees to the fabulous restaurants in the old town, but there was also a good restaurant on the beach with fabulous sunset views.
What’s there to do?
- Visit Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is just a 20 minute car ride from Cavtat, you can even see it across the bay. The best way to visit is by boat which takes you straight into the old town harbour in around 40 minutes. There are many tour boats to chose from, leaving from the bay in front of the Albatros Hotel or in Cavtat marina. I’d recommend checking the cruise ship schedule here as Dubrovnik can get extremely busy in the summer months. We walked the walls, wandered the old town and rode the cable car to the top of a hill which offers a faboulus view of the old town. Tip: aim to reach the top of the cable car in time for an early lunch in Panorama Restaurant and gain one of the best tables overlooking the town.
- Ljuta Mills. Set in the valley between the mountains on the coast and Bosnia, this area is full of stunning old mills, viaducts and waterfalls. Eat at Konoba Vinica Monkovic or the National Restaurant and wander the pathways, it’s also a nice escape from the summer heat. If you enjoy cycling there are mountain bike trails that lead in and around this area. We visited twice it was so nice.
- The Islands. There are several tour operators in all parts of Cavat that offer boat trips to the Islands, sadly we didn’t have time to go on one. But I understand that the Elafiti islands are well worth a visit.
- Visit Kotor in Montenegro, either on an organised tour or by car. You can read my post about it here.
- Walk the old town, around the headlands; and swim in the sea.
- Eat. We were surprised at the level of excellence when it came to restaurants. I’m not sure what we were expecting from Croatian food but found it to be a mix of Italian and Greek influences with a definite local spin. Our favourites included:
- Leut for atmosphere and steak
- Bugenvila for cocktails and haute cuisine at a great price (this is run by a chef that used to work in Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant Dinner)
- Taverna Domizana for sunset views
- Panorama what else but panoramic views of Dubrovnik old town
- Konoba Vinica Monkovic for all round excellence and a fab setting out of town by the mills
Have you been to Cavtat or would like to recommend somewhere else in Croatia?
Please comment and share the article, thanks Karen.
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