City escapes: Dubrovnik, Croatia ~ Part two

In the last Dubrovnik post you’ll have noticed that Old Town is pretty stunning and would fill a city break perfectly, but we discovered a lot more to this city that made it a great week’s holiday.

 

 

We chose to stay outside Old Town at Hotel Kompas in the nearby Lapad and, whilst I wouldn’t rave about it as an amazing hotel, for less than £50 a night each we got a clean room with a sea view.

We also got breakfast, a pool to lounge around, the staff were really nice and we even learnt some Croatian. (“Hvala” means “thank you”, a polite word you should probably always have in your purse when abroad.)

The beach our hotel overlooked was pretty to look at but in my opinion not your finest to sit on.  This is totally forgiven and forgotten when you see the sun set over the ocean.

Lapad itself is a decent resort just a 15 minute bus ride from Dubrovnik, however, feeling our former traveller ways we found heading out and about was more interesting and worth the effort.

We stumbled upon the Eastwest Beach Club at Banje beach, just a 5 or 10 minute walk from Old Town.  I never really got beach clubs on holiday (Ocean Club in Marbella seemed way too much effort for me), then we tried luxury lounging here for 200 Kuna (about £10 each) and I have to admit I’m sold.

Dubrovnik beaches are all pebbles, which is great for avoiding getting sand EVERYWHERE and not ruining your camera, but not always so comfy to lie on all.  Banje beach is also quite small so it gets pretty full.  Here waiters bring you cocktails in comfort…

 

And you can get your hands on some lunch at pretty decent prices.  Whilst they do try and create a bit of a fancy beach club reputation, it’s no where near as exclusive as other beach bars.

Not quite giving enough exploration satisfaction, later in the week we headed out to Sv Jakov (St James) beach.  It’s a bit of a nuisance to find but if you get the right route it’s definitely worth it for this.

 

It was much quieter than Banje beach and oh so more stunning.  It hardly fills up and feels quite secluded.  There’s also a cute little restaurant which is good for lunch and gazing out to sea.

We really embraced our exploring urges and took it up a notch by going further out on our own little island hop to Mljet.  A 90 minute catamaran from Dubrovnik for about 75 Kuna (about £9) and we arrived at this tiny little town.

Unfortunately we were hit with bad weather and had a rough ride to the island which meant that we probably didn’t see it at its finest.  But we didn’t let it quite defeat us, embraced our British eccentricity, hired a bike and cycled into the National Park in the rain.  You might guess that we didn’t last that long as it did then pour it down, but if you’re energetic and like cycling on your holiday this is the place for you.  Otherwise you can just pose with bikes and enjoy croatian croissants before getting back on the catamaran.

The great thing we discovered about Dubrovnik is that you can make it what you’d like it to be.  A city break getting lost in it’s cultural highlights, lazing round the pool in the sun or uncovering good beaches for ocean swims for a week or independently exploring the local islands.

Final Dubrovnik post coming up – a special edition cocktail hour!