Croatia & Montenegro

I searched the apartment for the free wifi password, only to discover it was ‘welcome to my home’. I knew from that moment, I was going to like it here!

 

I wanted to see Dubrovnik yet wanted a resort that would not be too crowded during the summer months.  I looked for a resort close to the old city but one that also had plenty to do if we didn’t feel like travelling. Cavtat ticked all boxes. Surrounded by cypress trees, when I arrived it reminded me of the Tuscan coast. We stayed at the Villa Milica, which is only a few minutes from the seashore and a leisurely 20 minute stroll to the village. A traditional farmhouse, we were warmly greeted by the owner Milica who kindly offered to give us a lift to the grocery store, for what she called our ‘big shop’. This spacious 2 bedroomed apartment is a mixture of old and new. It has a country cottage feel but with all mod cons including a large double bath, a separate shower room and a huge balcony with seaviews.

Villa Milica, Cavat, by The Travel Expert

Cavtat is situated about 45 minutes from Dubrovnik by water taxi and has everything you need for a relaxing break. The village is really authentic, with stone buildings housing fantastic restaurants. None of which have photographs of the food outside! It remains unspoilt and although there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, they fit in with the landscape perfectly. Bugenvila is one of the best restaurants here but you will need to book it a day in advance. The food would rival many Michelin star restaurants and the service was excellent. Unlike many restaurants here they have a separate kids menu so the prices are very reasonable for such a high quality food. Try the hangar steak, you wont be disappointed. Pizzeria Desteka has great pizza and is a great choice for a cheap night out. In fact most restaurants were very reasonably priced and the quality was very high.

Bugenvila Restaurant, Cavtat, by The Travel Expert

There are also plenty of super yachts to mesmerise you, while you enjoy a drink at the waters edge. The emerald green sea is the perfect temperature for bathing, although the beaches are stoney. In fact, beaches along the Dalmatian coast are all more or less the same so make sure you bring surf shoes! There are great watersports, from jet skis to scuba diving and plenty of small fish close to the shore so young kids can try snorkeling. Cavtat is a good choice for families and couples. There are lots of four and five star hotels perfectly suited for couples who a upmarket holiday, with great restaurants, in a pretty town.

Cavtat, Croatia, by The Travel Expert

There are regular ferries, or water taxis to the old town of Dubrovnik. This suited us perfectly. We decided to get a 5pm ferry and climb the city walls when the city is less crowded. We were able to explore the city at night time and soak up the atmosphere over a nice meal. We also took an early ferry a second time and rode the cable car, followed by a leisurely lunch. This is a great way to see the city without the crowds and heat. For more information on Dubrovnik you can read my blog here.

Dubrovnik, Croatia as seen from the cable car on top Srd Hill

From Cavtat there are numerous boat trips and excursions to choose from. We decided on a day trip to Montenegro and booked this through the local Croatia tours representative. Normally we would hire a car so this was a first for me, an organised coach tour. With the recent influx of migrants to Italy and Greece, the border check points have long delays. We were advised that if travelling by car you could be hours waiting to get through. The day trip seemed the best option and we were delighted with the choice. The coach had only Irish people onboard so thankfully no need for multiple languages by the tour guide! We drove around the bay of Kotor and saw the Mediterranean fjord, in fact it is the only fjord in Southern Europe. The scenery was sublime. We stopped at the spectacular walled city of Kotor and had plenty of time to explore the cathedral and the city’s winding streets. This city was built to hide from the enemy and therefore not on a grid system. This adds to the charm when exploring as you really don’t know where you will end up. The furthest point is only ten minutes walk from the entrance though, so there is no chance you can get lost!

A trip to Kotor by The Travel Expert

From there we went on to Budva. We drove through the tunnel used by James Bond in Casino Royale, before arriving at what can only be described as a huge let down. Budva is authentic walled city but for me has been ruined by the modern resort built beside it. It looked like there was no planning involved and modern high rise blocks are placed beside this medieval city – such a shame.  After a quick bite of lunch, we took the ferry across the fjord before heading back to our hotel. Overall a great trip and if travelling to Croatia, one I would highly recommend. Although not in the EU, they use the Euro and don’t readily accept Croatian currency.

Cavtat and the Dalmatian coast is a great choice for a summer holiday. There is so much to see and do, yet with such stunning scenery you may just find you want to chill out and enjoy it.

 

Sarah

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