10 July 2009

Cavtat and Konavle

Cavtat, 18 km south of Dubrovnik on the coast and just 5 km from the airport, is the oldest settlement in the Dubrovnik region, finding its start as the Roman colony Epidaurus. However, it was tied to the Dubrovnik Republic for centuries, and it retains those ties today. For those with yachts Cavtat is oft preferred over Dubrovnik as the main harbour is in the centre of town - thus ensuring not only that you are close to all the restaurants, cafes, and life in general - but also that everyone can see you on your yacht. With local connections by boat, local bus (No. 10 runs every 30 minutes), and taxi making Dubrovnik imminently easy to get to, Cavtat is a good choice if you prefer neither isolation nor throngs of humanity.

The Tourist Board of Konavle Municipality covers Cavtat, as well as Molunat, the southernmost settlement on the Croatian coast, the inland village of Konavle, and Čilipi, home to the Dubrovnik airport (and not much else).

Hotel Villa Kvaternik
Kvaternikov 3
+385 (20) 479 800
The Villa has a mere five rooms and one suite located in a 15th century residence, some with garden views, and some with lovely views of the sea. Additionally, they offer 8 less expensive rooms in a nearby converted monastery. All rooms come with breakfast, but given the size, they often book out well in advance.

Hotel Croatia

Frankopanska 10
+385 (20) 475 555
Although we prefer boutique hotels, a number of our friends regularly return to the Hotel Croatia when in the Dubrovnik area. With over 480 rooms (300 with sea views), wellness centre, two tennis courts, a prime location on the water, and a full renovation in 2008, they may be on to something.

Cafe Bellevue
Kvaternikov ulica
Tiny cafe up the stairway-cum-street from the Villa Kvaternik. Well worth the steps, as the this hole in the wall's terrace looks directly over the yachts in the Cavtat harbour. (See pic this page). Do stop by in the late afternoon for an espresso or a glass of prošek.

Restaurant Leut
Trumbičev put 11
+385 (20) 478 477
Leut is a type of small fishing boat used in this area in centuries past, and aptly enough this restaurant, like most here, focuses on seafood. Our darling Cressy once had the boys here go diving to fetch sea urchins for her meal. Even if you aren't provided service personalized to that level, you will nonetheless receive ample pleasure for your palate.

Taverna Galija
Vuličevićeva 1
+385 (20) 478 566
On the harbour next to the church, the baked octopus comes well-recommended. However, the service is not for those short on patience. Get your bottle of wine, order, and enjoy your view over the harbour. Life could certainly be worse.

Konovoski Dvor
+385 (20) 791 039
Although it goes against all our rules to suggest anywhere that caters to tour buses, this is the exception that proves the rule. Located outside the village of Gruda, to get there head south about 10 km from Cavtat on the highway to Montenegro, and when you get to Gruda turn left following the signs for the restaurant. Situated on the site of an old mill on the banks of the Ljuta ("angry") stream, Konovoski Dvor has excellent traditional fare including lamb, goulash, and trout. The smoked trout is divine.

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