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Europe opens up – Croatian countryside

Old town Dubrovnik from the gondola

Our second day in Dubrovnik started with a leisurely morning that permitted catching up with work. After a lovely outdoor breakfast, I joined two other participants on a “site inspection” of the fabulous Villa Dubrovnik Hotel – part of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Carved into the rocky coastline, this property makes the most of its stunning location to offer views of the old town in a lush Mediterranean setting on par with the most iconic placed along the French Riviera. Originally built as a political residence for the Yugoslav elites in 1961, it was eventually converted to a 3* hotel in 1965. In its current form, it emerged from a total renovation with 48 ocean view rooms and 6 suites that suit even the most discerning travelers as the photos above illustrate. Next time, I am staying here!

Our next stop was the Swiss-built cable car that whisked us on top of a bluff for arguably the best views around (see opening picture) . I consider this a “must do” as it really give guests the ability to see the full aerial expanse of this strategic location that provided the basis for wealth over many centuries.

Famous Croatian Oysters
Denis the oyster man

Trading for a living aside, this part of the Dalmatian coast is famous for its Oysters – Ostrea Edulis or European oyster. We travelled 50 minutes along twisty roads along the coastline north to Mali Ston Bay for an authentic local treat. Only a few farmers (55 families to be exact) are allowed to farm oysters in an attempt to keep everything local and preserve the bay. The setting was magical and the oysters delicious – meaty and briny just as I love them.

Traditional hanging oyster farm

A full plate of the best ever mussels and local white wine made for a peaceful afternoon that permitted everyone to soak in the sun and sea. Stay tuned for more adventure tomorrow.

Mussels Croatian style

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