With an abundance of culture, beauty and meals made using fresh ingredients from land and sea, it’s no wonder so many ships are now calling at Dubrovnik in Croatia.
But what makes the city tick?
Evergreen’s senior buyer Niksa Glavocic is a local who loves showing off his hometown, a city that fronts the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. He gave us his special travel tips
How long have you lived in Dubrovnik?
I was born and raised in beautiful Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic, known for its history, the ancient stone walls surrounding the Old Town and its clear-blue sea.
What are your three favourite things about Croatia? Culture: Croatia was inhabited in the early seventh century, but its history dates back through the Greek colonies, the Roman Empire, various monarchies, Yugoslavia and the current-day republic. Imagine the history packed into those 1400-plus years! Nature: Croatia has stunning mountains and plains, karst and woods, but one of the main attractions is its beautiful coast studded with more than 1200 islands and islets. There are 444 protected areas – the most famous is the oldest national park in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes, a system of 16 lakes connected by waterfalls. People: The locals are really friendly and welcoming with great sense of humour! They are easy-going and love their food and wine. Croats enjoy spending time outdoors, and you will always see people walking in the street or sitting in one of the many cafés.
When is the best time to visit Croatia and why?
The best months are May, June, September and October, when the atmosphere is more relaxed. July and August have the best weather, but it’s a little busier with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which is always fun!
What’s your favourite local food?
My favourite local specialty is veal with roasted potatoes baked “under the bell”, but you won’t find it in any of the local restaurants in the city. In the villages, meat and potatoes are cooked under an iron bell and covered with coal and ashes for a couple of hours until baked to perfection. Being next to that fireplace completes the whole experience.
What is the one thing visitors must see in Dubrovnik?
One of the “must do” things is to walk the Old City walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered to be the oldest and best-preserved fortification system of the Middle Ages. Building started in the seventh century, but the current shape dates back to the 14th century.
What’s Dubrovnik’s best-kept secret?
Don’t be afraid to get lost in the Old City and explore the narrow streets and alleys. It will offer a look into what life was like in the old Republic of Ragusa, but also what it’s like today, as the Old City is a living monument.