MAY IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST MONTHS TO TRAVEL- the winter is long gone,the temperatures in Europe are in the 20s and you can smell the summer in the air. You took out your summer dresses and shorts and you finally decided to visit Dubrovnik. Beautiful and popular, Dubrovnik is the place to be this summer. But what about its nearby regions? Less than an hour away from Dubrovnik- and you won’t believe these places! Avoid the traffic jams and crazy tourist crowds in The Old City; explore these unforgettable locations and we promise- you will enjoy every second of it.
A place in the very south of Croatia, is the most southern part of today’s Dubrovnik Riviera, with whose purchase the Dubrovnik Republic rounded off its territory in the 15th century. Konavle is a region with particular natural beauties and contrasts: mountain and valley, green hills and naked stone, the blue and the green or, as called by the inhabitants of Konavle, “Gornja” and “Donja Banda”. Fringed by the Konavle mountains in the North, bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the South, it reaches from the entry into the Bay of Kotor to the peninsula of Prevlaka in the East, and in the West, it inclines down to the cosy coves of Obod and Cavtat. The preserved natural, unique and exceptionally precious rural architecture, numerous monuments of the thousand-year-old history of this area, traditions that are hundreds of years old and have been kept through folklore, the distinctive traditional costumes of Konavle and the Konavle embroidery, the harmony of man’s life and the nature …all this renders Konavle unique and recognisable.
Cavtat is the most southern town in Croatia, and the most practical way to reach the town is by air. Čilipi (Dubrovnik) airport is just three miles away and well connected.The City of Cavtat has a population of some 1,500 inhabitants, and is itself part of the Dubrovnik Riviera (twenty kilometers south of Dubrovnik, and 3 km of the main coastal highway).The Cavtat area is most attractive because of the Mediterranean vegetation which covers the whole area; another advantage is unpolluted sea and a very attractive mixture of old and new architecture. Originally it was a Greek settlement called Epidauros. Around 228 BC it was under the Romans and later became a Roman colony. The name Cavtat originates from Civets vet us, as the fugitives in the newly established Dubrovnik used to call their first habitation.
Rich in vineyards, olive groves and small villages, and harbouring a glorious old town, the island of Korčula is the sixth-largest Adriatic island, stretching nearly 47km in length. The dense woods led the original Greek settlers to call the island Korkyra Melaina (Black Korčula). Quiet coves and small sandy beaches dot the steep southern coast while the northern shore is flatter and more pebbly.
Tradition is alive and kicking on Korčula, with age-old religious ceremonies, folk music and dances still being performed to an ever-growing influx of tourists. Oenophiles will adore sampling its wine. Arguably the best of all Croatian whites is produced from pošip grapes, which are only grown here and to a lesser extent on the Pelješac Peninsula. The grk grape, cultivated around Lumbarda, also produces quality dry white wine.
This island is part of the Dubrovnik island group (the Elaphite archipelago), situated 7 kilometres northwest of Gruz Harbour. The island has an area of 2.35 km2.
Due to the limestone composition of its soil, there are no water springs or permanent superficial water courses. The climate is mild Mediterranean. The majority of the island is covered by forests and subtropical vegetation. The economy is based on agriculture, wine making, olive growing, carob, pomegranate and citrus plantations, vegetable growing, fisheries, shipping and tourism. A green island with centuries’ old woods of pine and carob, olive groves and gardens filled with oranges and lemons, with beautiful beaches and a large fragrant park is one of the most beloved excursion destinations from Dubrovnik. Two settlements, Donje Celo and Gornje Celo, one on the east coast and the other on the west, are connected by a windy road through olive groves and gardens. Many remnants of old architecture have been preserved, and are dispersed throughout the island (an old pre-Romantic chapel, ruins of the basilica, summer homes, guard tower and more).
Šipan is the largest island in the Elaphite archipelago, and is situated 17 kilometres from Dubrovnik. Between two limestone ridges, the taller (Velji Point, 243 m) on the northeast and the lower on the southwest, there is a valley where olives, prunes, vineyards, carob, almonds, oranges, and citrus fruits are grown. Tourism has a special place on the island.During the 15th century on Šipan, summer homes were built by government officials in Dubrovnik.
At Šipanska Luka, there is the late Gothic Church of St. Stephan with a painting of Pantaleone (second half of the 15th century), and the Sorkocevic family summer home stands out in particular (15th century). In the 15th century, a Gothic Rector’s Palace was constructed above Sipanska Luka, bearing bifora on the facade (an inscription from 1450 is written above the Gothic courtyard gates).
The largest island in the Elaphite archipelago, with its quiet bays, beaches, cypress trees, groves of orange and lemon trees, full of old structures (churches, summer residences of the landowners and plebeians) dispersed throughout the forested slopes, with a long history interwoven with many stories and legends, is one of the pearls of the Dubrovnik region.
You can explore these and many other magnificent locations with Adriatic Explore.