Venturing Beyond Dubrovnik's Walls
My perfect holiday always includes some form of exercise, whether it be walking around a city from dawn till dusk, hiking in the countryside or paddling around in a kayak. Anything on water always gets my vote.
Early on our first morning in Dubrovnik, we set off for the newer harbour of Dubrovnik on the other side of town to explore the Elafiti Islands. I read about these islands thanks to 'Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures'. We picked out a day tour with one of the many ubiquitous operators, and were two very happy little ducks despite greeting the day unnaturally early on a holiday. We met our guide and hopped on a majestic old wooden ferry, which carted us off to our first stop to get kitted up on the island of Lopud.
All of the Elafiti islands are beautifully serene with sun-drenched, sleepy atmospheres. Crystal clear waters give way to low, crumbling walls, with fiery orange roofs dotting their way up the rugged hillsides. Our gear was housed in an abandoned old butcher's shop, with our lifejackets strung up macabrely on old meat-hooks. We kitted up and off we went!
While we're not kayaking buffs, we were unexpectedly puffed after the first leg of the trip which took over and hour of non-stop paddling. We circled many islands along the way, and were relieved when we eventually tied up the kayaks to rest. We ducked in under caves and climbed perilous rocky cliffs which my Mama had the gumption to jump off! (No Mamas were harmed in the making of this blog post). I was pretty happy just to swim in the endless blue.
We hit the sleepy fishing island of Šipan for our best plate of squid yet.
My tired Mama was pretty stoked with our 2-seater kayak, as she dozed off in the back on our arduous paddle home. She'll argue she can't remember this, but that's because she was sleeping. We were welcomed with a beautiful sunset on our slow return back to Dubrovnik.
If you have more than a couple of days in Dubrovnik, definitely visit the island of Lokrum. It’s a short ferry ride from the Old Town, and has the most diverse scenery I’ve ever seen in such a small space. It’s home to a botanical garden which was pretty badly damaged in the war, and has since transformed into an enchanting little place with quite possibly the highest peacock density in the world.
Our tired feet carried us all round the crashing cliff faces, the dewy gardens and the clay-ridden pathways, right up to an old monastery with a great view of the Old Town. We passed one of the best swimming spots I'd ever seen!
We wrapped up with a little dip in the Adriatic whilst waiting for our return ferry home and our daily dose of dark-chocolate ice-cream. A day very well spent.
With Love, Kate
(P.S See what we got up to in Dubrovnik here)