At a Glance
Cavtat is one of those places that has a lot to tell you, if you'll let it. A magnificent Croatian city on the waterfront, it gleams like a pearl, revealing an ancient centre and an opulent beauty. There has been a settlement here since 228 BC, and while much has changed since then, Cavtat's charm and uniqueness have both gone completely unspoilt as interest in Croatia has picked up.Upon approach, you'll spot a number of terracotta-roofed houses strewn haphazardly throughout a heavily wooded seaside landscape, reflected in the crystal clear waters. It's impossible to deny the town's beauty. Old churches, cobbled streets and mountain surroundings - all of these are characteristic of this stunning holiday destination. Even from this distance, you'll be able to spot at least one boat, sauntering lazily across the horizon. Thinking you've arrived in Heaven? We don't blame you.
Cavtat benefits hugely from being located just 17km away from Dubrovnik and its eponymous airport. If arriving by air, you'll have a mere ten to 15-minute taxi ride to your accommodation. Alternatively, it is actually possible to walk the journey in an hour if you're feeling a bit adventurous. Once you're actually there, Cavtat is extremely easy to get around on foot. The Old Town is built against the harbour and you'll find a cluster of restaurants and eateries located here. For those wishing to visit the famed Dubrovnik, there are hourly bus services between the two cities. If you fancy making the journey somewhat special, though, there is also a boat service that operates between Cavtat's Old Town and Dubrovnik's Old Town. It's slower than the bus at around 50 minutes but well worth it for the views.
Eating and Drinking
Cavtat benefits from all of the staples of Dalmatian cuisine - namely a plethora of influences from neighbouring countries and a determination shared by all chefs to use only the freshest ingredients. What with that, and the fact that Cavtat's resort status offers plenty of family friendly options, you can't go wrong, really. But how about we explore the specifics? Restaurant Leut is situated in the very centre of the Old Town's quay, providing stunning vistas across the sea. Its outdoor terrace has enchanted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Gerard Depardieu, Roman Abramovich, Caroline of Monaco and many others. The cuisine is first rate and the menu, extraordinary. The seafood is particularly excellent. Also worth checking out is Restaurant Bugenvila, which serves up traditional Dalmatian fare including stuffed calamari. Food and drink is much cheaper in Cavtat than in Dubrovnik.
Things to See and Do
Cavtat is often viewed as a place to stay for those who want to explore Dubrovnik but don't want to live with the hordes of people. However, the sheer number of things to do in the town easily justifies it as a worthwhile attraction in its own right. Firstly, make use of the stunning surrounding landscape by going on a coastal walk. Or, if you enjoy a bit of an adrenaline rush on your explorations, take to the countryside by quadbike, with the wind in your hair. And that's without mentioning the water sports. Dive in and try your hand at anything from windsurfing to catamaran sailing. Expert tuition and assistance is on hand should you encounter difficulties.
Exploring Cavtat's twin bays is likely to take up an afternoon and an evening. It's fun to visit for lunch and a drink before returning for dinner and seeing everything lit up and excitable after the midday heat.
For much of the sightseeing though, you'll have to venture further afield. Embark on a cruise to the Elafiti Islands, where you'll uncover countless churches, monasteries and beautiful secluded beaches. While you might enjoy a lie-in on holiday, Sundays are worth getting up for and experiencing the folk dancing at 11am in the centre of nearby village Cilipi. You will get a free welcome drink of strong wine or locally produced rajika, then you can sit back and watch the extravagant display. Near to here, you'll also find the Palace-collection Baltazar Bogisic with the Numismatic Collection and a rich library - considered one of the most precious monumental libraries in the country. Top the day off with a visit to another village - that of Pridvorje - which is notable for being home to a Franciscan monastery that is a joy to explore.
Some people will tell you to go to Dubrovnik and skip out on Cavtat's nightlife entirely. While you're likely to have a wilder night out in the former, Cavtat actually offers some very decent places to while away an evening with some friends and a drink. A wander into the quay area will help you to familiarise yourself with the most exciting places to enjoy a good night out - the place is inundated with funky bars, great clubs and snazzy eateries where you can sit forever and talk the time away. Whatever you fancy doing, Cavtat can provide. Specific places to check out include Caffe Bar Delfin, Amoret Bar and Beach Bar Cool. All have their little quirks and all serve up a mean cocktail.
Festivals and Events
Being a resort town, Cavtat doesn't have much call for traditional events, and while a number of famous DJs may show up occasionally, there's not much that could be termed 'festival worthy'. It is fortunate on this front, therefore, that Cavtat is located very close to Dubrovnik. If you're lucky enough to be in Croatia for any of the national holidays, they will be celebrated with much more vigour here than in Cavtat.