Nestled along the pristine shores of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is an enchanting jewel that beckons travelers from across the globe. With its stunning coastal vistas, rich historical tapestry, and undeniable cultural allure, this old-world Croatian city is a captivating destination for cruisers looking to explore its unparalleled location, deep-rooted history, and the cultural significance that continues to draw visitors in.
Often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik is located on the Southern tip of Croatia, which is bordered by Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro in the Balkan Islands.
This city dates back to the 7th century when it was established as a Byzantine trading post. Dubrovnik’s history reads like an epic saga, encompassing triumphs, tragedies, and an enduring spirit that defies the passage of time. From its humble beginnings as a trading post to its rise as a prominent maritime republic, the city’s rich history is a testament to its ambition and resilience.
A Little History
Dubrovnik’s history took a somber turn in the 1990s when the city became embroiled in conflict during the Yugoslav Wars. The city’s war-torn past left scars on its historic architecture, including its iconic medieval walls and buildings — yet Dubrovnik’s indomitable spirit prevailed, and extensive restoration efforts painstakingly revived its splendor.
Dubrovnik’s significance doesn’t merely reside in its historical past; today, this UNESCO World Heritage site stands as a living testament to human endurance and cultural significance. Its cobbled streets, narrow alleys, beautiful blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, and bustling town squares provide the perfect canvas for the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
From music festivals that resonate through ancient courtyards to local artisans who ply their crafts, Dubrovnik manages to bridge the gap between eras, inviting visitors to partake in its living, breathing culture. With so many things to do and see, there is the perfect Dubrovnik tour for you!
Dubrovnik Game of Thrones Tour
Dubrovnik has captivated the hearts of pop culture enthusiasts as a prominent filming location for the iconic series, Game of Thrones. The city’s enchanting streets and breathtaking architecture provided the perfect backdrop for the fictional Seven Kingdoms realm of King’s Landing, a central hub of power and intrigue in the show. Walk through the ancient alleys on this fan favorite tour and trace the footsteps of beloved characters, imagining the intricate plots that unfolded against the backdrop of the Red Keep.
You will visit Fort Lovrijenac (also known as Dubrovnik Castle), an imposing fortress perched on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic, which served as the dramatic setting for the Battle of Blackwater. Stand on its historic stones and envision the monumental scenes that played out here, sensing the seamless blend between fantasy and reality that Dubrovnik effortlessly embodies. Embarking on this Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik offers you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse yourself in the world of Westeros as you explore the very locations where magic was brought to life on-screen.
Walking Sightseeing Tour of Iconic Landmarks
Get a local’s perspective of Dubrovnik as you enjoy a guided walking tour of the city. This excursion to Old Town Dubrovnik is perfect for first-timers as it gives you a wonderful overview of the city. Your guide will take you around to the top attractions, then you will have two hours of free time to explore this magic city further on your own.
The reigning attraction in Dubrovnik is its famous city walls — and they are walkable! A marvel of medieval engineering, they wrap around the Old Town, offering panoramic views of terracotta rooftops against the shimmering sea. These massive stone walls run almost 2,000 meters long, scale up to 25 meters high in some places, and are an impressive 3 to 6 meters thick.
At the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town lies Stradun, the main thoroughfare adorned with polished limestone, where time seems to stand still. Flanked by charming shops and cafes, this bustling street carries echoes of centuries gone by. Just inside Pile Gate is Onofrio’s Fountain, a large circular domed fountain with 16 carved stone maskerons. The fountain is filled from the city’s water network, making it the largest-ever fountain you will ever fill your water bottle from!
The 15th century Rector’s Palace, an architectural gem, reflects the city’s historical administrative center and showcases a fusion of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Nearby, the Sponza Palace stands as a tribute to the city’s prosperous trading past, its stunning courtyard and intricate façade paying homage to Dubrovnik’s enduring connection to commerce and culture. These historical sites and architectural wonders offer a window into Dubrovnik’s storied past, allowing visitors to traverse time and witness the layers of history that have shaped this enchanting city.
While exploring the enchanting streets of Dubrovnik, a culinary adventure awaits at every corner. The city’s local cuisine is a reflection of its coastal charm, offering a delectable fusion of Mediterranean flavors and traditional Croatian dishes. Seafood takes center stage here, with fresh catches of the day transformed into mouthwatering delights.
For a true taste of Dubrovnik, be sure to savor the renowned Rozata, a caramel-infused custard dessert that provides a sweet conclusion to your meal. As you wander through the narrow lanes, quaint restaurants and charming konobas beckon you with promises of culinary delights.
Some hidden gems include Nautika, perched at the water’s edge, serving up extraordinary sea views and gourmet food. Restaurant 360 boasts not only Michelin-starred cuisine but also panoramic views of the city’s terracotta rooftops and the endless Adriatic. Dining in Dubrovnik is an invitation to indulge in both its culinary treasures and its breathtaking scenery, ensuring that every meal is a sensory journey to remember.
Day Trip Off-Roading Driving Tour of the Dalmatian Bushland
Embarking on an off-road adventure through Dubrovnik’s Dalmatian bushland is a blend of adrenaline-pumping excitement and breathtaking natural beauty. The region’s rugged terrain offers intrepid explorers a chance to experience Croatia’s stunning landscapes in a whole new light. As you ride in your buggy through the wilderness to Strinjcera Fortress and Srdj Hill, you’ll be treated to a symphony of sights – from the vibrant hues of wildflowers and ancient olive groves to horses and various wildlife.
What truly sets off-road driving apart in this region is the exhilarating thrill it brings to the table. The roar of the engine, the bumpy ride, and the strategic maneuvering of your professional driver offer a unique rush of excitement that conventional road trips simply can’t replicate. But while the thrill is undeniable, safety and logistics are paramount when engaging in off-road adventures. Traveling with your seasoned guide who knows the local terrain, potential challenges, and emergency protocols can greatly enhance your experience while prioritizing safety.
Dubrovnik Cable Car Tour and the Old Town
This mesmerizing cable car tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town offers unparalleled views as well as awe-inspiring wonder. As the cable car follows the rugged slopes of Srd Hill, you’ll be able to trace the Old Town’s winding streets and ancient walls from above, revealing a meticulously preserved labyrinth of architectural marvels. Srd Hill, with its iconic fortress, adds an extra layer of allure to the experience, allowing you to soak in both the medieval charm and the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Once back down the hill your guide will lead you through the labyrinth of city walls of the Old Town.
Sea Kayaking Tour
Joining in on a sea kayaking tour in Dubrovnik promises a perfect blend of breathtaking natural beauty and exhilarating exploration. As you paddle along the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea the stunning coastline unfolds before your eyes with its ancient walls and historic landmarks.
On this special guided adventure you will paddle your way to the mysterious Lokrum Island where you will see its landmarks and learn all about its medieval curse. Along the way you will reach a secluded beach cave and enjoy a break to swim, snorkel, or just soak up the sun’s warm embrace on its shores. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a novice, this experience is open to all and promises to etch unforgettable memories of Croatia’s natural splendor.
Private Wine Tasting Tour
Indulging in a wine tasting experience in the enchanting Croatian city of Dingač is a feast for both the senses and the soul. Croatia boasts a rich viticultural history, and its wine culture is a testament to the region’s passion for the finer things in life. When it comes to regional wines, Plavac Mali and Dingač reign supreme. Plavac Mali, a red grape variety, produces robust and full-bodied wines that mirror the rugged landscape they hail from. The spicy profile of Dingač goes well with succulent seafood such as grilled octopus or marinated anchovies.
In a world where time seems to move faster than ever, these wine tastings remind us to slow down, engage the senses, and relish in the art of sipping, savoring, and socializing. This exclusive tour gives you some rare one-on-one time with the locals as you visit two wineries for sumptuous wine tastings complete with savory appetizers and charming, coastal vistas.
Private Food Tour of Dalmatian Cuisine
Dubrovnik’s food scene is a delightful mix of flavors that reflects the region’s rich history and diverse influences. Traditional dishes like Peka and Brudet embody the heart of Croatian cuisine. Peka, a slow-cooked dish of meats and vegetables, is prepared under a cast-iron bell covered in hot coals, resulting in tender morsels infused with fragrant herbs. Brudet, a fish stew laced with tomatoes and wine, speaks to the city’s maritime heritage.
Beyond these iconic dishes, Dubrovnik boasts vibrant food markets that provide an authentic glimpse into local life. The bustling Gruž Market is a sensory feast with stalls brimming with fresh seafood, sun-kissed fruits, and aromatic spices. For those seeking to bring a piece of Dubrovnik’s flavors home, specialty shops offer an array of artisanal products, from smoky olive oils to lavender-infused sweets.
Culinary exploration in Dubrovnik is not just limited to taste, but also to immersive experiences. This exclusive culinary tour will take you and your small group to the small village of Orasac where you will observe a generations-old method of olive oil pressing with a horse-turned mill, followed by a tasting of smoked ham, homemade cheeses, and wine. You will also swing by a family-owned winery in Ponikve before arriving in Ston, the “oyster capital” of Croatia.
Boat Excursion to the Island of Mljet
If you enjoy off-the-beaten path experiences, this one’s for you! Take a leisurely boat ride to the enchanting island of Mljet with its natural beauty, historical marvels, and expansive Mljet National Park. The park, a pristine oasis of lush landscapes and tranquil lagoons, boasts two saltwater lakes – Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero surrounded by dense forests.
A visit to the Benedictine Monastery, perched on the fairy tale island of St. Mary, whose monastery’s ancient walls seem to whisper stories of centuries past as you wander around the grounds, providing a peaceful retreat for contemplation. For the more adventurous souls, Mljet’s rugged terrain invites hiking and cycling enthusiasts to explore its myriad trails. Mljet’s secluded beaches dotting the coastline are nature’s invitation to unwind.
While Mljet’s natural allure is undeniable, its historical and cultural significance adds layers of depth to the experience. The island’s history dates back to ancient times, leaving behind archaeological treasures that speak of civilizations long gone.
Dubrovnik is a true treasure trove of beauty, heritage, and cultural resonance. For cruise ship passengers, it offers an unmissable opportunity to immerse themselves in its wonders, even if only for a day. To truly make the most of your visit, consider booking a shore excursion – a guided journey that will lead you to the hidden gems and iconic landmarks, ensuring you don’t miss a single facet of Dubrovnik’s allure.