Before I left, we left.
Rome can be a fantastic city to live, but just like anywhere, it’s good to get out. We needed a break from the distractions of daily life. The work emails, the over-committments, the stuff… oh god, how did we end up with so much STUFF?
Before two months apart, we decided to spend two days on the beach.
Croatia has been on my ‘must visit’ list for four years. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Italy. I had heard only good things. When Vueling started to offer direct flights from Rome to Dubrovnik for less that 70 Euro return? I was in.
48 hours is not much time, but Dubrovnik is a teeny tiny fairytale village, so two days was enough for us to explore and relax in a lovely setting.
If you have two days in Dubrovnik, here’s what you should do. (Let me warn you now that I have zero food recommendations. All of our restaurant picks were disappointing).
Evening arrival: Drinks at Cafe Buza.
The old town in Dubrovnik is completely walled in with outside access allowed through a series of gates. ’Buža’ means “hole,” so to find Cafe Buža, climb the stairs from Gunduliceva (one of the main squares with the morning food market). Turn left, with your back to the cathedral, and then right when you see the city walls. Keep walking along the wall until you see a sign for cold drinks. Here is the hole you need to climb through.
The next morning, get up early before the crowds and explore an empty city.
Have a coffee in the center.
Climb the stairs before the heat.
Speaking of stairs, they can be a killer. We chose accommodation in the old city and avoided some steep climbs (though probably missed out on some views). Thanks to Livia for the tip!
When your traveling companion finally wakes up? Time to do the walls!
Entrance is about 10 euro, and worth it. (“About” because Croatia has not yet switched over to the euro).
The views are incredible, and a leisurely 2 km stroll will give you a bird’s eye tour of the entire old city.
If you need more views, you can consider the cable cars at sunset.
Grab a drink at the observatory, but make reservations if you’d like to stay for a meal.
And now? You’ve seen Dubrovnik.
It is beautiful and charming, but tiny. It is also filled with so many tourists. It reminds me a bit of Sorrento. So like Sorrento, I advise you to see it, enjoy it, and then get out and explore the islands.
Day 2: Island hopping
We booked a 35 euro day trip to see three of the Elaphiti islands northwest of the city. It was great to be out on the water, and though this was not a luxury cruise, it did include a fresh grilled fish lunch in the price.
Three islands in 6-7 hours means you are moving frequently, so it might be better to plan on going to just Lopud for the day. Lopud has lovely sandy beaches, which will give you a break from Croatia’s beautiful (but sharp) rock beaches.
Finally, head home relaxed, with a boyfriend saying things like “Why are you smiling so much?,” “I never see you this happy,” and “what a fantastic weekend holiday.”