Any Game of Thrones’ geek worth their salt would get excited about a week in the ancient walled-city of King’s Landing and I, am excited. Dubrovnik, the setting for the hit TV show’s capital city, is so much more than a beautiful set. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hint of seven-kingdoms-tourist-tat in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which is fine, because it takes the crown all on its own.
Often described as the Jewel of Adriatic, Dubrovnik’s white marble streets, statuesque walls and jigsaw of terracotta roofs hug the coastline. The ocean backdrop is a brilliant, royal blue and the sea is stunningly clear. Fish literally frolic in the perfect water, so snorkelling is highly recommended and we did a half-day kayak, complete with a cave-snorkel, which was magical, if a little tiring on the arms. The best view of the Old Town can be seen from the city walls, which climaxes at the Red Keep and is certainly worth the walk.
The food in Dubrovnik makes the trip alone. Seafood, fresh from the ocean, is delicious: melt-in-the-mouth squid, huge, sweet mussels and langoustines and flaky, white fish are all cooked simply, the quality speaking for itself. I highly recommend Proto and the restaurants on the Old Harbour. And, if you’re in need of a refreshing beverage and an irresistible view, and let’s face it, who isn’t in need of that, then Buza bar is the place for you. A bar that is literally cut into the cliff-face, it also offers a great base for swimming and watching the sun set. My final, culinary recommendation is ice cream. Dubrovnik is to ice cream what Willy Wonka is to chocolate. Mounds of creamy, icy cool ice cream in every conceivable flavour line each street. In fact, I set myself the goal of having a different flavour every single day and hit the target in style.
Dubrovnik is also perfectly located to explore the other treats Croatia has on offer, with regular trips to the three Elaphite islands. Lopud, the island with the best reputation, offers a lovely stretch of sandy beach, just a pretty-woodland-walk from the harbour. The majestic Lokrum is also only a 10 minute ferry away from the Old Harbour and I could wax lyrical about that place for a long time as I did.
So, if you’re looking for a getaway with beauty, seafood and plentiful islands before winter comes, add Dubrovnik to your list.