Paradise on Earth: the Croatian capital and its coastline

Dubrovnik’s maritime history gives it a strong connection with the Adriatic Sea

Paradise on Earth: the Croatian capital and its coastline
Dubrovnik’s medieval Old Town is a favourite among cruise guests, as is its Adriatic coastline

By Alice Chambers |

One of the most rewarding ways to visit Dubrovnik for the first time is from the sea, especially since the Croatian capital was architecturally designed around the coastline.

Croatia’s walled city dates back to the 13th century and its walls stretch unbroken for almost two kilometres, making it the most popular tourist attraction in the country. Up until the 19th century, the city’s success was based on maritime trade and was the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, which was one of the Mediterranean aristocratic maritime republic that reigned between 1358 and 1808.

“If you want to see paradise on Earth, come to Dubrovnik,” wrote playwright George Bernard Shaw when touring the east coast of the Adriatic Sea in 1929. Although we can’t be sure why Shaw referred to the destination as ‘paradise’, we can make an educated guess that the scenery, architecture and rich history of the area made an impression on him. Almost 100 years later and Dubrovnik’s plethora of experiences for the senses have only grown.

Surrounded by the ocean on one side and the green peaks of Mount Srđ on the other, the Old Town, located at the heart of Dubrovnik, has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979. The abundance of attractions within its iconic walls include visiting the Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace, the 14th century-built Fransciscan Church and Monastery and the main street Stradun. Meanwhile, operators looking to offer a full Mediterranean experience can offer trips to the nearby island of Lokum or the historic fortress of Lovrijenac, which has panoramic views of the Adriatic.

From its historical trade to its modern-day shore experiences, Dubrovnik has maintained its strong connection with the sea. And with its port situated within a few minutes of its Old Town, there is a variety of activities to suit all cruise guests.

This article was first published in the 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

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