12 Hours in Dubrovnik + An Update

Post-lunch and Pre-swim

Have you ever been on a trip and realized – in the middle of the experience – that you’re having the kind of day that you’ll remember forever?  

I’m a tough critic as far as those things go but it has happened to me a few times – once, on a trip with friends to Capri, another time on a trip with my family to Normandy, and most recently on a trip to Paris with my husband.

These are the moments that make you want to travel again and again – that feeling of wanting to capture an experience so extraordinary that you could never replicate it in your day to day life – boating around the island of Capri, walking on the beaches of Normandy with your parents and brother, biking through the empty streets Paris with your husband, to name a few.  

I had another one of those days last summer on a cruise with dear friends to Greece, Italy and Croatia.  Actually, I had several of these days on that trip – more to come on those – but the one I want to tell you about was in the spectacular city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.  

Dubrovnik as you may know is located in southeastern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is simply a spectacular city – the views of the sparkling blue sea are unlike any other. It is also a very old city dating all the way back to the 7th century. The “old town” has surrounding stone walls that were built to protect the city from war and epidemics – it is such a cool tour for history and architecture buffs. Several scenes from The Game of Thrones were filmed here as well.

Because we were on a cruise, we had only one day in the city which was giving this Type A Traveler anxiety – so much to see, so little time.  

But we ended up having the perfect day and should you end up in Dubrovnik, save this itinerary.

Morning:  Sign up for a Tuk Tuk Tour – Founded by two brothers, Eco Tuk Tours is the coolest way to see the city.

Zipping around the city in a tuk tuk was a blast and just the amount of culture we needed – you see all the views followed by a guided tour (and shopping!) of the old city, complete with Game of Thrones highlights.

I loved this experience because it was reasonably priced (60 Euro) and lasted the perfect amount of time (two-three hours).

Afternoon –Late Lunch followed by an invigorating swim at Villa Dubrovnik. (And better yet, if you are staying longer in Dubrovnik, definitely book your stay here.)

I actually stayed at this incredible hotel 12 years ago and have been dying to go back ever since. Since we were on a cruise this trip, of course we were staying on the ship but I utilized one of my favorite travel hacks which is to find the nicest hotel in the town you’re visiting and go there for lunch or to the spa to get the experience, even if you are not staying there.

Which is exactly what we did last summer – we had a long leisurely lunch of oysters, bottles of rosé, salad, octopus, fresh bread, pasta, olive oil and other delicious food at the hotel restaurant and afterwards, changed into our swimsuits and swam in the sea right off the hotel.

The hotel staff couldn’t have been more accommodating – they allowed us to stay and swim for the afternoon, gave us towels, took our photos and were generally so kind and gracious.

Afterwards, we headed back to the ship for cocktails and dinner !

It Was The Best Day.

Update: And now for the update: I am dipping my toe into the world of Substack and I would love for you to follow me there. This was one of the many things I learned about at The Southern C Summit a couple of weeks ago so I decided to give it a try. Although I am new to it, I happen to love this platform and its writers. My hope is that it will connect me to people who share a love of travel and other interests in a more personalized way. I will still be writing this newsletter as well but hope to make new connections on Substack.

Here are a few of the accounts that I am enjoying:

A Small and Simple Thing, by Brooks Reitz

Yolo Intel, by Yolanda Edwards

Hi Everyone with Hillary Kerr

I would love for you to subscribe to my substack here.

Thanks for considering and hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Beautiful view from the rooftop of the hotel – not to miss.
One of the many incredible views of Dubrovnik.

What is a Tuk Tuk?
A Tuk Tuk is a motorized rickshaw that has three wheels and is open-air. The standard Tuk Tuk consists of a seat in the front for the driver and a bench in the back for passengers and can accommodate two to three people.
A modern Tuk Tuk is more likely to be open-sided and have a cloth covering to protect passengers from the sun and keep them cool.
Originally, Tuk Tuks were known in Thai as ‘Samlor’, literally translated as “three-wheeled vehicle”. But it might take the unique name of Tuk Tuk from the noisy engines on the earliest models. Tuk Tuks have been around in Thailand since the 1960s and is still a popular form of transportation in big cities like Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima, where traffic congestion is a major problem. Now, they are readily available around Thailand, especially in tourist areas.

– Siam
Cruise with me baby
We all had a crush on our tour guide. Not me obviously, but everyone else…
We didn’t have lunch at this restaurant that was on the tour but it looked amazing
More views from the tour
Right outside the old city – scenes from Game of Thrones
Beautiful architecture inside the old city
My Cruising Squad
The food markets are incredible
Right outside the old city – this is where we got a taxi to head up to Villa Dubrovnik
Incredible entrance to Villa Dubrovnik – have you ever seen anything like it?!
You take the elevator down to the lobby and then one level down is the restaurant and the beach
This was our lunch table for approximately two lovely hours
View from the restaurant
Lunch is served
I ordered octopus on every menu in Greece and Croatia – this one with olives, tomatoes and basil
Burrata Salad with Prosciutto
Fritto Misto
View of the outdoor kitchen where all this delicious food was made – all the herbs are in baskets around the kitchen and the tables
My cousin Liz and me — back in the same spot where we visited twelve years prior
Another swimming spot off the hotel
Another view of our table and of the oceanfront hotel rooms
We swam over to this spot and jumped off the rocks – the water is just as gorgeous as it looks
More views of the restaurant at Villa Dubrovnik
The cutest ladies in their matching white jeans – my mom and favorite traveling companion Sally is on the right; our dear friend Allison is on the left
Even the inside of the hotel is modern and chic
Traveler Extraordinaire and dear childhood friend Katy – I LOVE planning trips with this one!!
Until next time, Dubrovnik.

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