Think of a foodie destination in Europe and Croatia may not spring immediately to mind. But perhaps it should.
Croatia is home to not only succulent fresh seafood but unique cheese, excellent wines and even gigantic truffles – in fact, the largest truffle ever found was discovered here in the Motovun Forest.
All these and more make Croatia not just a destination for sun, sea and island hopping, but for gourmet exploration to boot. I toured the country with Relais and Chateaux and found their restaurants offered the best local cuisine prepared by superb chefs. Book a stay at each of their properties for an unbeatable introduction to Croatian cuisine, driving from one to the next on the country’s most delicious road trip.
Dubrovnik has long been one of my favourite cities, its beauty unsurpassed by almost any other coastal city I can think of. It is hot though, and sometimes unbearably crowded.
You could go in the off season of course, but then you might find things closed. And what is Dubrovnik without a cold Karlovacko sipped at one of its infamous Buza bars post Adriatic dip? No, this is a city that remains at its best in the sultry summer. Here’s my guide to the perfect Big Weekend here, as published in the Sunday Times.
Dubrovnik is a popular destination – once for traders, now for tourists. There is plenty to see and do here, but the real joy is in finding a spot by the sparkling Adriatic to kick back and take in the view, beer in hand. The trouble is, everyone wants the same thing.
Avoid the crowds spilling from the numerous coach parties and cruise ships with my top ten picks for things to do in the city:
1. Watch the sun set over the Adriatic from one of Dubrovnik’s famous “hole in the wall” bars – Buza 1 or its rival Buza 2.
2. Walk the city’s ancient walls.
3. Take a boat to the uninhabited island of Lokrum, a protected nature reserve.
4. Eat fresh seafood at Arsenal restaurant in the old harbour.
Croatia is one of my favourite destinations – and somewhere that I am sure will only increase in popularity in 2014. Although Dubrovnik is the most touristy of the country’s cities – and a particular favourite of coach parties and cruises – there are still plenty of ways to escape the maddening crowds.
Find out how to get the best out of this beautiful city in my recent piece for the Express, here.