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Dubrovnik - Croatian Republic! Freedom and beauty! We will write about this two terms that best describe Dubrovnik and the entire area of the former republic of Dubrovnik. The word libertas is inscribed on the Dubrovnik flag, and even more in the souls of Dubrovnik residents. The beauty of city walls, the Elaphite islands, the island of Korčula and Mljet and the peninsula of Pelješac is something that you have to see and experience for yourself!
The history of Dubrovnik began in the 7th century when Latins fled from Epidaurum and invasion of Avar and Slavs. They founded the city of Ragusa, today's Dubrovnik. On the southern slopes of hill Srđ, the Slavs started to build their settlement, which was called Dubrava named after oak forests. Later on when Latins and Slavs joined and mixed up, it become the name of the city. In the first centuries, Dubrovnik was under Byzantine rule. After Byzantine rule it fall under the rule of Venice. After 1358 it was under the rule of the Hungarian kingdom. However, from 1380 to 1806, Dubrovnik was a truly independent republic. Dubrovnik evolved complex maritime trade in Mediterranean and world. It became an aristocratic Republic and was spreading its territory, building today famous city walls and its navy. In the 16th century it was one of largest trade navies in the world! Today, Dubrovnik is a world famous tourist destination whose spectacular walls, stone paved streets, especially Stradun, the prince's palace and many more simply have to be visited at least once in a life. The offer of accommodation is wide, from rooms to numerous luxurious hotels, apartments on the coast and holiday homes to cheaper private accommodation. The best way to find accommodation is to establish direct contact with accommodation owners without paying high agency fees.
The Elaphite Islands, named after the Greek word elaphos (deer), are located in front of the coast of Dubrovnik and are made up of Šipan, Koločep, Lopud and several smaller islands. They are well connected by ferry and boat lines to Dubrovnik. You will be enchanted by beautiful sandy beaches and a multitude of old churches and summer houses. As an interesting fact, it should be mentioned that there are no cars on Koločep and Lopud making them perfect for a holiday away from the bustle of modern life.
Korčula is an island inhabited since prehistoric times and later from Greece when it was named KorkyraMelain, that is, from the Romans KorkyraNigra and with the same meaning - Black Korčula. Korčula owes its name to dark and well preserved forests that will surely fascinate you. In front of coast of town of Korčula was the famous battle in 1298, between the Venetians and Genoa. It is considered that the legendary explorer Marko Polo was born on Korčula. Today, Korčula is an island with more than 16,000 inhabitants and larger settlements are the town of Korčula, Blato in the interior and Vela Luka. The island of indescribable charm is full of affordable apartments on the coast, holiday homes as well as rooms for rent. You have the opportunity to book your ideal accommodation via direct contact with the owners of the accommodation. Peninsula Pelješac is one of most beautiful peninsulas in Croatia with many beaches and good quality wines. Here is located town of Ston, which has one of longest walls in Europe and Orebić, popular tourist destination. In Dubrovnik region is located Neretva delta, which is very interesting place because of wildlife, many bird species and long sandy beaches.
And finally Mljet, the island of pine forests, lakes mixed with sweet and salt water, Benedictine monasteries and legends. The island was visited by Odysseus and St. Paul according to the legend and is for sure place you have to see and experience. Mljet is considered to be the most picturesque Croatian island, so the western part is protected as the first National Park in the Mediterranean. Mljet is well connected by ferry lines to the mainland, and on the island, there is a lot of private taxi boats, so the excuse to not visit this magical island just does not exist! We wish you a warm welcome to Dubrovnik and its surroundings and we hope you will spend an unforgettable vacation in the southernmost part of Croatia and Dalmatia!
The Dubrovnik City Walls are one of the biggest and most famous attractions not only of Dubrovnik, but also of entire Croatia. This complex defense structure, among the largest and most preserved in Europe protected the freedom and security of the Republic of Dubrovnik, which flourished in peace and prosperity thanks to its developed trade through almost five centuries. Today's city walls have been built mainly during the 12th and 17th centuries and have been a source of pride for Dubrovnik for a long time since they have never been conquered from hostile army during that time.
The impressive walls have an uninterrupted lenght of about 1,940 meters and surround much of the old core of Dubrovnik and reach a maximum height of about 25 meters and a width of up to 6 meters. The fall of Carigrad in 1453 promptly took all necessary defense measures, including the strengthening of existing defense structures and the construction of new ones. The Dubrovnik walls comprise a total of 16 towers, four city gates, three fortifications (Bokar, Minceta and St. John), and six bastions. Although they are not part of the wall, there are two imposing fortresses in the city defense system - Lovrijenac and Revelin. Due to its dimensions, preservation and age, the Dubrovnik Walls, as well as the entire city core of Dubrovnik, were listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
About the attractiveness and beauty of the Dubrovnik Walls, it is best to say that one of the largest travel websites - TripAdvisor, based on reviews of millions of travelers has compiled a list of ten sites to be visited before death and one of them was the city of Dubrovnik. If you are in the vicinity of Dubrovnik or if you plan to spend a holiday in this part of Dalmatia, do not miss visiting this unique monument of culture. Apart from its historical significance and beauty, you can enjoy the spectacular views of the old city center, the island of Lokrum and the open sea.
Entrance tickets are charged, costing 50 - 150 Kn (7 - 20 €). The best time to visit the walls is in the morning when a large crowd can be avoided, especially during the summer months or during visits from large cruise liners which regularly visit the city. Sightseeing generally lasts from one to several hours, so we recommend taking sun protection and water, especially in the hot summer months. Dubrovnik offers huge selection of private accommodation, so you can stay in one of exclusive apartments inside city walls or in much cheaper rooms outside old town.
National Park Mljet covers the northwestern part of the island of Mljet, which extends over 54 km2 of protected land and the surrounding seacoast, 500 meters away from shore icluding islets and cliffs. Because of its outstanding cultural and historical heritage, lush plant life, unique panoramic views of indented coastline, cliffs, rocks and numerous islets, dense green pine forests and the surrounding mountain hills on 11 November 1960 it was proclaimed a national park. It is the oldest marine national park in the whole Mediterranean.
The central part of the park occupies the fascinating system of salty lakes, a unique geological and oceanographic phenomenon in karst. A large lake has 145 hectares and a depth of 46 meters and a small lake has 24 hectares and depths of up to 29 meters. With its beauty and its numerous yet unknown secrets has attracted many tourists and nature lovers to this unspoiled nature for decades. Lakes are actually sea, but local people call them lakes, because sea enters in really narrow strait, so they really look like lakes. In the middle of the large lake lies the tiny and picturesque island of St. Mary with the church and the Benedictine monastery, which dates back to the 12th century. Boats from national park regularly run to this island, so you can visit it during all day.
The lush vegetation of the entire island of Mljet gave it nickname "green island" and rightly so, because today more than 70% of the island is covered with dense Mediterranean forests, native forests of oak, alepian pine and wild olives. The famous French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau was diving and exploring the underwater world around the island of Mljet, saying that water and sea are one of the cleanest in the world. Apart from swimming in the crystal clear sea, park visitors can also enjoy bicycle riding because it is easier to see the lakes, then kayaking and canoeing, and hiking up to the highest peak of Montokuc, offering an unforgettable view of the entire national park, remote islands and open sea.
A visit to the National Park and the island of Mljet is possible by regular ferry lines from Dubrovnik or Split, as well as numerous tourist boats from the island of Korcula or the ferry line from Peljesac. The ships usually arrive in the port of Polače, where tickets are purchased and which is the starting point for a park tour. Visit the island of Mljet, book private accommodation in any of the private apartments, rooms or holiday homes and spend a quiet and relaxing family vacation in untouched nature and crystal clear sea on the most green island of the Adriatic.
Korcula is a historic fortified town on the protected eastern coast of the beautiful, wooded and green island of Korcula. The old town of Korcula is surrounded by well-preserved walls and towers. Old stone streets within the walls are arranged to allow free air circulation, while protecting from the strong southern and northern winds.
The old town of Korcula was built as a strong fortress on a hill that holds a narrow stony location between the island of Korcula and Pelješac peninsula in the 13th century. At that time the Statute of the town and the island of Korcula was created, one of the oldest legal documents in this part of Europe. The statute regulated the life of a medieval town, built according to strict rules of medieval urbanism. Construction outside the walls was banned until the 18th century, when the danger of attacking the city ceased.
The city's historic sights include the central cathedral of Saint Mark (built in the Romanesque-Gothic style from 1301 to 1806), a Franciscan monastery with a beautiful Venetian Gothic clause from the 15th century, a town hall, the former Venetian governor's palace and recognizable massive city walls and towers. The Great Revelin Tower was built in 1485 and is one of the greatest attractions because it can be climbed to the very top, which gives the most beautiful view of the entire old town. Inside the city walls is also the birthplace of the most famous traveler and researcher of all time, Marco Polo, born here in 1254. The Korcula City Museum is located in the Gabrijelis Palace in the very center of the old town and have many interesting stories and artifacts from prehistory to the present day that tell us about the rich and interesting history of this beautiful city.
We recommend to see the swarming game Moreška, which is performed regularly during the summer months and peaked on the day of Sv. Todor, patron of the City of Korcula (July 29 every year). It is relatively easy to reach Korčula because it is very well connected by catamaran lines from Split and Dubrovnik, and by ferry line from Orebic on Peljesac penninsula. We invite you to visit this pearl of Dalmatia, contact directly private accommodation owners, rent an apartment, or a room within the old city center, and experience life how it used to be in medievel times.
Baćinska lakes are a series of freshwater karstic lakes close to Baćina in the hinterland of Ploce on the right (north-west) side where Neretva River flows in the Adriatic Sea. The lakes are relatively small (the total area is only 138 hectares), but they are among the most interesting phenomena in karst hydrography.
Lakes are distinguished by the exceptional beauty, the brilliance of water and the emerald green color. It consists of six interconnected lakes with natural channels and one separate lake: Oćuša, Crniševo, Podgora, Sladinac, Vrbnik, Sipak and Plitko lake. Oćuša is the largest lake, and the deepest lake is Crniševo with a depth of 34 meters. It is cryptodepression lake, because the lake surface is above sea level, and the bottom of the lake below sea level. Vrbnik is the smallest of all lakes and is not connected with other lakes. All lakes are surrounded by meadows, greenery, picturesque hills and along the accessible shores are numerous beaches and water plants. Here lives large number of protected and even endemic species of plants and animals. Especially are numerous birds, because lakes are very important habitats and stations when moving from Europe to Africa.
The lakes are on average 3° C warmer than the sea, and are very comfortable for swimming and paddling. As they are rich in freshwater fish, they attract many sports fishermen, but also all nature lovers. The lakes are very accesible for visiting because they are close to the main road, and if you want to stay overnight, you can easily find accommodation in private apartments, rooms and smaller camps.
There are also several restaurants and cafe bars along the coast, where you can spend the relaxed moments, because even during the biggest summer rush on the Adriatic coast, here you can find peace and serenity and refreshment from the great summer heat. You can also rent a boat or windsurf board and gently roam the beautiful scenery of these unique lakes.
The Neretva River Valley is one of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Dalmatia. It is the only delta in Croatia. Delta is formed by the river Neretva in estuary. It is one of the few wetland areas remaining in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean. The entire delta area is foreseen to be protected, and an initiative is underway to proclaim it the nature park.
The Neretva Delta stretches from Metković in the east, all the way to the Adriatic Sea in the west. From the north and south it is bordered by steep hills and mountains. It originally consisted of 12 different backwaters, which were making the delta, but after extensive melioration during the 19th century, there are four left today. Many of the original wetlands, lakes and lagoons have disappeared, but the remaining parts of this once unique Mediterranean marsh are preserved, which is why this area is particularly interesting for all nature lovers. In delta of river Neretva there are as many as 310 species of birds making it one of the most important ornithological areas in Croatia. It is also important for all Europe, because the whole delta is an important station for all the migratory birds on their journey from Europe to Africa.
Hidden and preserved swamps, lagoons and ponds are still rich in fish and aquatic plants. Diverse herbs and water plants are hiding numerous frogs, birds and other swamp animals. Five localities within the delta, with a total area of 1,620 ha, are protected as ornithological reserves and protected landscapes. Metković has one of the largest ornithological collections in Europe, containing more than 200 bird species. The entire delta covers an area of more than 12,000 hectares, and most of this fertile land is used for agricultural purposes. Citrus fruits, watermelons, plums, olives and various vegetables are predominantly grown. The most important cities in the delta are Ploče, Opuzen and Metkovic. Apart from citrus fruit, typical products in Dolina Neretva are home-made wine, brandy and Dalmatian prosciutto. Coastline of delta forms mostly sandy beaches that attract more and more tourists, especially kite surfers, due to favorable winds during the summer. Ecotourism and photo safari are gradually being developed, and specialized agencies offer unique trips in traditional Neretva boats.
We recommend that you visit this unique blend of swamp, river, nature and the Adriatic Sea. Here you can spend pleasant moments on long sandy beaches enjoying in fresh Neretva fruits, vegetables and other specialties.
Lastovo islands were proclaimed nature park in 2006, making it the youngest Croatian nature park. The Lastovo Archipelago consists of 46 islands, islets, cliffs and the largest island of Lastovo. The total area is 53 km2 and 143 km2 of the sea surface. The entire archipelago is located in the southern part of the Adriatic Sea, about 15 kilometers south of the island of Korcula, and is one of the most remote islands in Croatia. Thanks to this, the nature and the whole marine life remained very well preserved. Along the island of Mljet, Lastovo is the most forested island in the Adriatic, because as many as 60% of its surface is covered with well-preserved Mediterranean forests.
The coastline is very indented, especially on the west and northwest, and the underwater world is rich and diverse. The climate is very mild Mediterranean with very pleasant temperatures in summer and winter. Apart from its natural beauty, Lastovo is very interesting because of its cultural heritage. The island was inhabited for thousands of years, and was settled by old Illyrians and Greeks, followed by the Romans and finally the Croats. Archaeological finds from the Early Middle Ages were found in the bay of Ubli (on the southwest coast). The biggest place on the island is also named Lastovo and is one of the most picturesque places in Dalmatia. It is a typical medieval settlement of the amphitheatric form, surrounded by hillsides along the fertile valley. Here the inhabitants mainly grow grapes, olives and vegetables. You can see beautiful family houses dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, decorated with richly decorated "fumari", chimneys that have become the trademark of the place and the island.
Particular attractions of the island are its lighthouses, such as the Struga Lighthouse near Skrivena Luka, then Sušac on the island of the same name, and Glavat. The whole island has many attractive cycling and hiking trails, where it is best to experience all the natural beauty of the island. Climbing to the highest peak Hum, located at 413 meters above sea level, is a special experience, because during nice weather the view reaches the distant islands of Korcula, Mljet, Peljesac and the open sea of the southern Adriatic. Lastovo is connected to Split, by ferry and catamaran once a day. In the summer months Lastovo is also connected with catamaran line to Dubrovnik.
If you want to spend your holiday in peace and quiet, surrounded by nature, we invite you to visit this hidden and remote archipelago, where there are no large constructions or big concrete buildings. Accommodation can be found in small family houses in private apartments, rooms or holiday houses, therefore we recommend to contact directly the owners of private accommodation in Lastovo and save up to 40% on high agency fees.
Climate & Weather
Dalmatia is a historical region in Croatia that stretches from Zadar and the mountain Velebit in the north to Dubrovnik and Konavle in the very south of Croatia. In almost all of Dalmatia dominates the typical Mediterranean climate with dry, sunny and hot summers, mild and rainy winters. In the Dalmatian hinterland (Dalmatian Zagora) predominates submediterranean climate, which differs from the typical Mediterranean climate, because the winters are slightly colder and the summers are mostly slightly hotter than the average. Thanks to the multitude of sun and heat here dominate typical evergreen plants; holm oak, Aleppo pine, Dalmatian black pine and from agricultural crops; olives, figs, and vineyards.
Dubrovnik region is the southernmost part of Croatia, and the biggest influence on climate has an open sea of the southern Adriatic. As a rule, the air temperature is somewhat lower here than the rest of Dalmatia. The temperature of the sea is somewhat higher than the rest of Dalmatia because of the vast sea surface. Adriatic sea cools mainland during the summer and warms it during winter. Because of the abundance of sunshine and pleasant sea temperatures, Dubrovnik and its surroundings, and the Dubrovnik archipelago are often visited by tourists seeking a pleasant and unforgettable vacation. Good quality and crystal clear sea is a characteristic of the entire Dalmatian coast, especially Dalmatian islands due to the relatively low population density and underdevelopment of the industry. Many Dalmatian beaches are the bearers of the blue flag - a symbol of cleanliness, quality of service and ecologically preserved environment.
Below are average maximum and minimum daily air temperature and the sea temperature in Dubrovnik, which best reflects the pleasant Mediterranean climate.
* average air temperature (°C) during the year in region Dubrovnik - Dalmatia
* average sea temperature (°C) during the year in region Dubrovnik - Dalmatia