We recently traveled to Croatia and spent two weeks in this magical country. Today I’m sharing the second part of our trip that took us from Split to Dubrovnik. I think we fell in love with Dubrovnik even before setting foot in Croatia. An ancient, walled medieval city on the Adriatic Sea, filled with world class restaurants and narrow cobblestoned lanes to explore…what’s not to love?
Thank you to Melanie Lake at Sherry Lane Travel for meticulously planning this magical trip!
Croatia: Split to Dubrovnik Itinerary
Day 1: Split to Dubrovnik Adventure
After our final overnight in Split, we enjoyed the most amazing 7 hour adventure on our guided tour to Dubrovnik, which took us to two, equally mesmerizing stops.
First, we visited Miloš, a family owned winery located in Ponikve. We embarked on a private, off-road ride through the gorgeous 38 acres of organic vineyards which are steeped on terraced land. We toured the cellars and then had a private wine tasting. The winery specializes in red wines and they are absolutely delicious. We also loved the rosé and can’t wait to get our shipment this fall.
Next, we proceeded to Mali Ston for oyster degustation, a thrilling once in a lifetime experience. We boarded a small boat which took us to a platform on the bay. We learned the history of oyster farming in Mali Ston bay where oysters have been grown since Roman times. It is the only place where Ostrea Edulis – the European oyster is farmed today. We tasted the most delicious Adriatic oysters, fresh out of the sea along with fabulous wine.
It was fun sharing this experience with a lovely family we met from New York who happen to also be lacrosse fans. The meal of fresh oysters, steamed clams and mussels was out of this world!
We were in the perfect state of mind to enter the paradise of Dubrovnik’s city walls. Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It’s known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (or Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants. What a magical place!
We checked into the the stunning Pucić Palace Hotel, located right in the heart of Dubrovnik Old Town and just steps from some of the more popular tourist sites. Our second floor corner balcony overlooked the beautiful and bustling square. This stunning, 18th Century Baroque Pucic Palace is situated next to the Stradun and is truly one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever stayed in.
Situated adjacent to our hotel and within view of our balcony is the breathtaking Jesuit Staircase, designed in 1738 and inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome. Today it has become famous from the scene ‘walk of shame” in Game of Thrones, where one of the leading characters, Cersei, walks down the stairs and St. Dominika Street naked. Visitors flock to this area night and day.
Day 2: Tour of Historical Dubrovnik & Game of Thrones Filming Sites
It’s all well and good exploring the Old Town for yourself, but there’s no better way to delve deep into the city’s ancient past than on an expertly-guided walking tour. Today was the perfect day to “travel back in time” into the past of Dubrovnik and get an insight of what the daily life in Ragusa really looked like. Our private guide explained much on this tour and we were able to understand all the privileges that the citizens of Ragusa once had. Ragusa is the historical city that later developed into Dubrovnik, a true masterpiece that must be discovered inside out.
We had our pre-bought Dubrovnik Card which allows entrance into museums, galleries and the city walls.
Dubrovnik is King’s Landing. This city is one of the best Game of Thrones filming locations you can visit since so much of the city was featured in the show!
Some of the most notable locations include the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which doubles as King’s Landing; Minčeta Tower, which became the House of the Undying in Qarth; and Dubrovnik West Harbour, which was used for Black Water Bay. It’s easy to visit many of the famous locations for yourself, but there are also plenty of Game of Thrones guided tours available, which will give you an in-depth insight into the city’s influence on the show.
If you only do one thing, you must walk the Dubrovnik Walls. The city walls are considered to be one of the most grandiose fortification monuments in all of Europe and an example of how fort architecture developed. You can spend hours on the wall, looking out every direction and taking amazing photos. It takes approximately two hours to walk the entire loop around the city. The views are spectacular the entire way with the glistening Adriatic Sea and the charming old town with its bright terracotta rooftops.
Originally built in 1319, the Minčeta Fortress is the largest of Dubrovnik’s protecting towers, dominating the city’s landscape. Located on the north side of the city’s Old Town, you can access the tower while traversing the ancient city walls. The magnificent historic stronghold is the highest point in the city and is therefore the perfect spot to grab your camera and capture your own memories of your visit while overlooking the sights below.
Fort Lovrijenac is an ancient fortress worth a visit for two reasons. Number one, the view of Dubrovnik from here is stunning. And number two, this is a Game of Thrones filming site. Lovrijenac Fortress is where the tournament was held on King Joffrey’s name day.
After a day of exploring, we enjoyed the most delicious Bosnian inspired meal at Taj Mahal, located just a few steps from our hotel.
…and Gelato after every meal!
This is in front of our hotel, the Pucić Palace. Our room is the balcony room with the open shutters.
Day 3: Exploring the Island of Lokrum
The lush, green Island Lokrum is a must visit and an easy day excursion from Dubrovnik. Lokrum is a 10 minute water taxi from the Old Town port. This beautiful nature preserve is blanket in pine, olive and cypress trees and is a beautiful place to discover and provides some much-needed shade from the warm Croatian sun.. Lokrum goes way back and it is first mentioned in scripts from 1023 writing about the foundation of Benedictine monastery. While there is much to do on the island (cultural sightseeing, visiting magnificent monuments such as Gothic and renaissance basilicas, or relaxing in the island’s Dead Sea), we decided to take a relaxing swim on the beautiful, but rocky beach. Several Game of Thrones scenes were filmed on Lokrum and the peacocks that flaunt the island are majestic
After returning from Lokrum Island, we had dinner at Nautika, a 5 star restaurant with one of a kind views of the Adriatic and the fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar.
Day 4: Leisurely Last Day in Dubrovnik
We decided to relish all the best moments on our final day in Croatia by exploring more of Dubrovnik. We walked the city walls again, shopped in Old Town and found the famous Buza Bar (more on that below).
The Dominican Monastery dominates the northeast corner of Dubrovnik’s Old City. The cloisters and courtyard in the middle of the Gothic-style monastery are simply beautiful and offer a bit of peace, quiet and shade on a hot day. There’s also a museum containing an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including outstanding paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries. Be sure to visit the Monastery Pharmacy where tourists flock to buy the Croatian Rose Face Cream.
One of the filming locations for Game of Thrones is Minceta Tower. It was used as the House of the Undying and this is where Daenerys recovers her dragons that were stolen from her.
We spent a lot of time just wandering tthrough old town. The main part of Dubrovnik is compact and easy to walk and the narrow streets are filled with restaurants and small shops, perfect places for pit stops on a leisurely stroll through the city. The people watching was super fun as I sipped my Aperol Spritz.
The Stradun is the main thoroughfare through the Old Town. It is also a filming location for Star Wars Episode VIII.
We were very excited to stop at the Buža Bar …it’s literally a whole in the wall, located on the rocks outside of the city’s walls. This location is famous for its exceptional view of the sea and surrounding landscape and offers a wide range of cold drinks, including bear and wine. Buža is also known as a great spot for jumping from the rocks, taking a swim and enjoying one of the best sunsets of your life.
Just outside the Old Town is the Dubrovnik Cable Car that takes you on an incredible ride to the peak of the city. This was a highlight of our trip and a great final night in Dubrovnik. It’s considered quite unique for somewhere so ancient to have such a modern way to see the sights, but it’s perfect for those whose legs aren’t quite up for the steep climbs.
We enjoyed 360° views on the 4-minute journey to the top of Mount Srd, soaking up the sights of the Old Town and beyond from up high. There are more than just magnificent views at the top – there’s a souvenir shop and a the Panorama Restaurant boasting exceptional views of the Old City, but also a wider area of amazingly beautiful landscapes, the island of Lokrum, the bay of Lapad and the Elaphite Islands too. On a clear day you can see Italy!
We had the most lovely sunset dinner! You must reserve your table months ahead of time if you want a table with a view.
We woke up very early on our final day and had to say goodbye to Croatia…a country we hope to return to someday. The memories we created here are cherished.
Related: Touring Croatia By Sea
Thank you so much for reading!
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