A Gold Standard Summer: Our Guide to Dubrovnik
A historical gem on the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik has been capturing hearts long before it featured in the famous Game of Thrones. With its spires, walls, and red rooftops carved against the blue sea and plethora of boutique hotels, there is no wonder that over the last decade it has started to attract superyachts along the coastal path of Croatia. The Old Town is one of the most romantic calling cards in the deck for Dubrovnik, boasting a staggering 80 churches and scores of ancient buildings to keep history buffs entertained. For those who prefer to spend their time outside, the cable car to the summit of Mount Srd, the wild array of watersports, and the delectable Turkish, Hungarian and Mediterranean infused cuisine will satiate any appetite.
The 10th July sees the 68th annual Dubrovnik summer festival roll into town bringing with it scores of arts and culture events. During the dazzling summer festival, you can catch dance, drama and music spilling out across the town in various taverns and squares. In between the vestige of vaudeville, take a look at where to dine, drink and play in Dubrovnik.
Where to Dine
Nautika sets the standard when it comes to places to dine in Dubrovnik. The restaurant pulls in a plethora of celebrity guests, from Roger Moore to Eva Longoria, all clamoring for space on the charming terrace. Against the soundtrack of the Adriatic waves and the sight of the white fortress walls changing color in the setting sun; this is the perfect spot for losing yourself in the rich lobster rolls and the warm formal service
It may sound an old cliché to eat like royalty, but at Villa Orsula you can share the same chef who cooked for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Fall in love with fresh carpaccio, seared scallops, chocolate mousse with sweet Andean grains. Opt for an al fresco table in the corner of the Victorian terrace, and watch the dusky sun set over the spires of the old town.
Beautiful, light and contemporary – Bota is the place to stop for a chilled lunch of bright pearly oysters and glass of something crisp and cool. This lovely little spot offers the best in town for fresh sushi paired with local wines, and is conveniently placed close to St. John’s Fortress as a welcome treat for finishing the walk around the city walls.
Where to Splurge
While not a major shopping destination, Dubrovnik is a city full of surprises and boasts some beautiful boutique gems for fashion lovers. Boutique Croata claims that the tie originated from Croatia in the 17th century and thus offers some beautiful examples, woven from silk and placed in pretty boxes.
For designer wares then the Maria Concept Store boasts floor to ceiling windows showcasing pieces from Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy, among other names. Rectors Palace is another great place to swing by if you want to buy Victorian inspired dresses from the artistic hands of Negrin.
Splurge on spa treats with a visit to Dubrovnik’s most impressive spa at the Sun Gardens. The five-star resort with stunning sea views and a truly extensive treatment menu has won over the likes of Kate Moss and Renee Zellweger. Every beauty ingredient in the place is created from all natural ingredients, whether it’s the wild flowers on the hillside or the mineral extracts from the Dalmatian. Opt for the spa marine privilege treatment so your body can be coated in gold or silver.
Where to Play
The walls tell the tale of Dubrovnik’s history and walking along them on a soft summers eve is a must. For fans of the popular Game of Thrones series you can even take a tour of the many sets used to portray the Red Keep and Kings Landing. The city of Dubrovnik is wonderfully walkable, offering an array of cobbled streets, pretty squares and luscious fountains.
To see the city from up high take the Cable Car to Panorama for a glass of wine. Riding the cable car is fun enough, yet the views from the top stretch all the way across the Adriatic Sea. Be sure to bag a table close to sunset so you can watch the bay beneath turn into a blur of beautiful twinkling lights.
Another prime spot for sunset cocktails is the aptly named Sunset Lounge at the five-star Dubrovnik Palace. Minimalist décor, a 9th floor view, Zen like water features, and a glorious aperitif list make this a jewel in the crown of Dubrovnik’s cocktail scene.