How to avoid the Dubrovnik’s summer hassle? It’s easy. Just 17km down the coast you will find the small harbour; town of Cavtat (pronounce: “tsavtat”), less than 45 minutes by boat or bus from central Dubrovnik. You don’t want to miss what Dubrovnik has to offer? Well, here you will have the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the relaxed rhythm of life in a colourful environment, while knowing that you can visit Dubrovnik whenever you like (connecting services run every half hour or so).
Cavtat is a fascinating and cultured destination. The smart travellers have been coming back to it for years. During the last century it is an exclusive retreat for wealthy Croatians (many of whom built their villas there).
Cavtat is a wooded peninsula set between two bays, so you’re never far away from the water. The cosmopolitan centre of the town, where you can see the fishing and tourist boats next to the jet-set yachts will blow your mind.
The narrow stairways between the opposite sides of each street are dressed in clouds of white and pink blossoms.
The Racic Mausoleum is probabbly the most impressive thing in Cavtat. This octagonal white dome with huge bronze doors decorated with gargoyles of dogs, eagles and winged lambs, was built high above Cavtat in the early 1920s by the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrovic for a wealthy local ship-owning family.
The beautiful, deep, blue sea is still as a mirror, with pools of green reflected from the pine forests beyond. Cavtat has a few sandy beaches – but these are mostly in an area known as Žal, a kilometre east of the town centre, next to the string of modern hotels. You can also find the bathing platforms and shack-like cafés all around the peninsula itself.
Everyone finds a favourite bar. Yours could be the one shaded by pine trees overlooking the whole of the waterfront. From there you can watch the glorious sunset. But if you watch really, really closely, you might see the fairy-tale city of Dubrovnik twinkling in the distance.