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My Visit to Cavtat: A Charming Croatian Gem

There's something special about discovering a quiet fishing village tucked away from the bustling cities. That's precisely what my partner and I sought when we planned our trip to Croatia. Our destination: Cavtat, a serene coastal town just a stone's throw away from Dubrovnik. Little did we know that this unassuming village would become one of our favorite travel memories.

After a short taxi ride from the airport, we arrived at our charming family-run hotel, Castelletto, perched atop a hill overlooking Cavtat. Kristina and Dean, the warm and welcoming owners, made us feel right at home. The hotel had a cozy feel to it, with basic yet comfortable rooms featuring all the essentials like tea, coffee, a fridge, air conditioning, and a rustic yet cozy bed. And let's be honest, what more do you need?

The hotel had lovely little terraces scattered around, perfect for soaking up the sun's rays. There was also a small pool where we could cool off, conveniently located next to a cozy honesty bar. It was the epitome of relaxation. Breakfast was served by the pool, offering a delightful spread of hot and cold buffet options. The freshness of the food and the pleasure of dining alfresco made for a perfect start to each day.

Kristina and Dean proved to be invaluable guides, always ready with tips on getting around, the best bars and restaurants to visit, and the must-see sights and attractions. Their knowledge and recommendations enhanced our experience and made our stay in Cavtat even more enjoyable.

Cavtat itself was a picturesque fishing village, a leisurely 15-minute downhill walk from the hotel. We loved strolling along the peaceful harbor, where small fishing boats, water taxis, and ferry boats bobbed in the gentle waves. The waterfront was lined with restaurants and quaint bars, inviting us to sit, sip on a cold beer, bask in the sun, and people-watch to our heart's content.

Cavtat's charm extended beyond the harbor. Two peninsulas flanked the village, each offering delightful walks that took around 45 minutes to an hour to complete at a leisurely pace. The left peninsula provided a more rugged path, winding along the cliffs and leading to the imposing Hotel Cavtat, which claimed its fair share of the cliffside. On the other hand, the right peninsula charmed us with its slight incline and well-marked paths. Along the way, we discovered a couple of bars where we could pause, rest, and savor a drink or a bite to eat.

One accidental gem we stumbled upon was the "Little Star" beach bar, nestled into the cliffs. This hidden oasis, a cash-only establishment, boasted its own natural swimming pool within the rocks, complete with an outlet to the sea. It catered to both nervous and confident swimmers alike, while offering the perfect spot to bask in the sun and savor a beer with a breathtaking view of the sea.

Public transportation in Cavtat was a breeze, thanks to the easily accessible buses. Following Kristina's advice, we hopped on the number 10 bus from the center of Cavtat, which ran every 20 minutes. The second stop was conveniently located right outside our hotel, and the 2-euro fare made the journey well worth it as it saved a steep hill climb in the hot sun!

Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offered a fascinating blend of old-world charm and vibrant modern life. While it was a good 30-minute downhill walk from the bus stop to the old town, the cobbled streets, boutique shops, and a myriad of bars, cafes, and restaurants made the journey worthwhile. We spent a leisurely day wandering through the streets, marina, and absorbing the sights and sounds of this ancient city. There was no specific agenda, just an opportunity to soak up the unique atmosphere.

We did decided to take a cable car ride from just outside the marina up the mountainside. The ascent was exhilarating, and as we reached the top, we were greeted with breathtaking panoramic views of Dubrovnik and its surrounding landscapes. It was truly a sight to behold.

At the mountain's summit, we discovered a remarkable restaurant aptly named "Panorama." With its prime location and unrivaled views, it was the perfect spot to indulge in a memorable dining experience. Admittedly, the prices were a bit on the higher side, as the restaurant took advantage of its captive audience. However, we couldn't resist the opportunity to savor a drink and soak in the stunning vistas before us. The combination of delectable cuisine and the awe-inspiring scenery made it a worthwhile splurge.

As we sat there, gazing out at the sprawling city below and the azure waters stretching to the horizon, we couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and gratitude for being able to witness such natural beauty. The experience at "Panorama" was a fitting culmination of our exploration in Dubrovnik, leaving us with cherished memories of a day filled with wonder and enchantment.

On our second visit to Dubrovnik, we decided to take the water ferry instead of the bus. The journey took the same amount of time, but the experience and scenery were far more captivating. Departing from Dubrovnik harbor, we embarked on a boat trip to Lokrum island, a breathtaking natural paradise. This unspoiled gem offered numerous walking trails and even its own Dead Sea pool, where we could swim while surrounded by hundreds of wild peacocks. It was a surreal experience, sitting down for a coffee and a quick bite while peacocks casually strolled up, hoping for a treat. Some were so friendly that we could even fed them by hand.

Cavtat, with its tranquil beauty, friendly locals, and easy access to nearby attractions, captivated our hearts. It proved to be the perfect base for exploring the wonders of Dubrovnik and uncovering hidden treasures like Lokrum island. Whether it was savoring the stunning views from our hotel, indulging in delectable local cuisine, or simply immersing ourselves in the laid-back ambiance of the village, Cavtat provided us with unforgettable memories. It's a place we will undoubtedly return to in the future, eager to create new adventures and discover more of its delightful charm.


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