Culture and Kayaking: A Big Short Break to Dubrovnik and the Elaphiti Islands
Experience the best Croatia has to offer with everything from sea kayaking and oyster-eating to UNESCO tours and ancient towns on this Big Short Break to Dubrovnik. Sip white wine at sundown, learn about silk making and paddle through crystal waters during five days you won't forget in a hurry.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Wander the streets of Old Town Dubrovnik, led by an expert guide
- Take to the seas - go kayaking around the pretty car-free island of Kolocep in the nearby Elaphiti Islands
- Sample the freshest shellfish and white wine on the picture-perfect Peljesac Peninsula at a floating oyster farm
- Learn about the ancient art of silk production in Konavle
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Fly to Dubrovnik
Your Big Short Break to Dubrovnik begins this morning with a flight from London which takes just under three hours, so you'll have time to watch a film or read a few chapters of a book before landing in Dubrovnik around mid-morning.
Your private transfer will meet you at the airport and whisk you away to your hotel. After checking in and dropping your bags in your rooms, take some time to freshen up and steal a glimpse of the magnificent sea views before it's time to hit the streets of Dubrovnik to make the most of your first day here.
This afternoon, jump on the hotel's shuttle bus heading to Pile Gate, which is one of the two entrances into Dubrovnik Old Town. This is where your expert guide will meet you, before leading you through the narrow streets of the UNESCO-listed Old Town during a short tour. Light limestone streets frame beautiful baroque buildings, all of which are lit by the sun bouncing off the glittering Adriatic Sea. The tour will be focused on the must-see parts of the Old Town as you trace the footsteps of Dubrovnik's inhabitants across the centuries and through the stunning streets, your guide providing fascinating and entertaining insights about the city and everyday life in Dubrovnik.
After the tour, we can recommend somewhere for dinner in Dubrovnik and our local Concierge can make sure you get the best table in the house before you take the shuttle bus back to your hotel.
- Take a walk around Dubrovnik City Walls (which takes one-and-a-half-hours).
- Take the cable car in Dubrovnik for panoramic views and enjoy lunch in the restaurant overlooking the Old Town.
- Visit the War Museum for a sobering but fascinating insight into the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
Day 2: Sea Kayaking around Kolocep Island in the Elaphiti Islands
Fill up on a delicious breakfast this morning, before today's kayaking adventure around Kolocep Island, the nearest (and arguably prettiest) of the Elaphiti Islands that hug the coast the Adriatic Sea.
Meet your guide at Gruz Harbour and together you will take the short ferry ride to car-free Kolocep. After a brief session explaining the basics of kayaking, you will climb aboard your kayak and set out to explore the caves and coves that dot the coastline of the island. Paddling around the island through the crystal-clear waters, your guide knows all the best spots to moor up and go for a swim, and the nicest beachfront restaurant at which to stop for lunch. Kayaking is an incredibly civilised way to explore the region and doesn't require any previous experience.
Then it's time to head back to Dubrovnik, again by ferry, and then you will have the evening to wander around the Old Town, enjoy a well-earned sundowner cocktail and have supper in one of our recommended restaurants.
Day 3: Mali Ston & Oyster Tasting Experience
This morning on your Big Short Break to Dubrovnik your guide will be waiting for you at your hotel, ready for the hour drive from Dubrovnik to the Peljesac Peninsula.
The gulf of Mali Ston on the Peljesac Peninsula has been well-known for its mussel and oyster beds since Roman times and oysters from Ston (Ostrea Edulis) have made the region famous among foodies.
Once you arrive, hop into a boat from Mali Ston for a short ride to the oyster farm. Here you will be able to enjoy the untouched beauty of the protected ecosystem of Mali Ston Bay and learn about the process of cultivating oysters and mussels, how to harvest them from the sea, and the correct way to shuck (open) them. Located in the middle of the oyster farm is a floating bar, where you can enjoy the freshest imaginable Ston oysters washed down with a crisp glass of (underrated) Croatian white wine. Bliss.
After tasting oysters it is time to prepare a traditional bouzzara (Croatian stew), complete with mussels caught from Mali Ston Bay, for a delicious, unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Once you have had your fill of shellfish, your boat will take you back to Mali Ston, where you will be driven to Ston - a small town well known for fishing, shell farming and salt works. The tiny town has the longest stone wall in Europe (three miles long).
Stroll through the quiet, narrow streets with your guide, marvelling at the elegant houses of one-time noble families. Stop for dinner here or continue back to Dubrovnik to dine in the city and end another glorious day on this Big Short Break in Dubrovnik.
Day 4: Silk Production in Konavle
On your Big Short Break to Dubrovnik today your guide will pick you up from your hotel for a 45-minute drive to Gruda village in Konavle.
Konavle, the hinterland of Dubrovnik, is known for its national costume silk production. In the AR Atelier, they keep the traditional art of Konavle embroidery and traditional craft alive. Here, silk is produced the way it has been for centuries by feeding silkworms throughout the season (from April until October) and using cocoons during the demonstration of traditional silk thread production. You can see all phases of the silkworm process, a silk thread production demonstration, silk in Konavle costume making and Konavle embroidery.
Then our local Concierge can provide recommendations for somewhere lovely for lunch in Konavle, or you can continue back to Dubrovnik, to enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
- A visit to Sokol Castle
Day 5: Homeward Bound
Sadly it is time to head home today. Your flight to London leaves Dubrovnik mid-morning, so you have time for one last breakfast, before being transferred to the airport.
Arran and Charlotte H are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.