Back in the day, few places could rival Venice as a sea power in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik did, though. In all the time that Venice tried to do away with its rival, Dubrovnik stood firm on the promontory out into the Adriatic Sea.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that they still has a bit of the seafaring culture there.
The city walls of Dubrovnik plunge straight down into the Adriatic Sea. Inside the old walls, you can find all manner of seafood in the restaurants that spill over the walkways (the local specialty seems to be cuttlefish). On the south side of the Old Town sits the harbor, with an impressive number of boats sitting there, waiting for their captains to come and take them out for a cruise around the islands that sit right offshore.
Naturally, tourists can get in on the action. Aside from the absurd number of knickknacks sold in tourist traps plastered with cutesy drawings of sailboats, there’s a wide range of nautical things to do. From sitting back and letting someone else take you around to renting a boat and going for a sail yourself, there’s something for any landlubber looking to get their feet wet.
My friends and I opted for a kayaking tour. Leaving from the north side of the Old Town, the tour went around the city walls, which are rather daunting from sea level. After going around the walls, we went down the coast a bit to a cave beach and stopped to take a dip in the crystal clear water. You can honestly see fifteen feet down in that part of the sea, clear as day. Despite the fact that the water was a bit chilly (it was only the first weekend in May, after all), the secluded little beach was a great place to take a break. The last leg of the trip was out to and around the cursed island of Lokrum. Apparently, the Benedictine monks who lived on the island were miffed when the owner of the island sold it to someone who tried to kick them off it. Ever since then, there hasn’t been an owner of the island who hasn’t met an untimely demise. Of course, the monks were never allowed back on the island either, so I’m not sure anyone really won that particular fight.
All told, the tour took about three hours (this caused much consternation amongst the Americans in the group, who were worried lest Lokrum become the setting for the reboot of Gilligan’s Island). In terms of distance, the guide said we kayaked about 4.5 miles, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t take verticals into account. There were some big waves out there.
We went with Adventure Dalmatia (though there are other companies that do similar tours), and we departed from Pile Bay on the north side of the Old Town.
The tour costs 230 Kuna (about 30€).
No experience is required, and the minimum age for the tour is 4. However, there were some pretty big waves when we went out, so do factor in the weather when planning your trip.