The Pearl of the Adriatic
The coastal city of Dubrovnik – AKA the Pearl of the Adriatic – sits in the far south of Croatia. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a car-free zone where cobbled lanes meander between palaces and churches that reflect the city's colourful Venetian, Latin and Slavic past. Medieval buildings edge the narrow streets, many of them housing seafood restaurants, craft shops and boutique hotels.
The Walls of Dubrovnik embrace the old town. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, they stand 25 metres at their highest and 12 metres at their widest. They also give out the best views in town, across the terracotta rooftops to the pine-green islands of the Dubrovnik Riviera.
When it comes to beaches, you'll find small pebbly stretches running along the coast, plus a mix of sand and shingle bays on the islands sprinkled just offshore. The monastic island of Lokrum is closest – just a 15-minute ferry hop from the old harbour.
Flights from the UK to the Dubrovnik Riviera take around 2 hours 45 minutes.
Transfer time from Dubrovnik airport to Dubrovnik is approximately 30 minutes.
July and August are the hottest months (temperatures can reach into the mid-30s) and attract the most visitors. June, September and October are great months to visit Dubrovnik, as crowds are fewer but the weather still tends to be warm and dry (spot on for sightseeing).
Tipping is becoming more commonplace in Croatia, especially in more upmarket establishments where around 10% has become the norm. In bars and more casual restaurants, just leave the coins in your change. At your hotel, tip porters and maids 15 kuna or so. Taxi drivers don’t expect a tip, but it’s a nice gesture to round up the fare.
The official language of Croatia is Croatian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.