- Tour Operator
- Travel Experiences
After two and a half months abstinence from travel, it finally started again today. After some morning stress because of our idea to travel only with hand luggage, we set off for our week-long trip to the Balkans.
After a good hour's flight, we landed relaxed in King´s Landing - uh Dubrovnik. The approach to Dubrovnik is really spectacular. It's best to sit on the left side of the plane.
From the airport we took the shuttle bus to the port (30 minutes, 40 kuna per person) from Dubrovnik, where Branko, our landlord, was waiting for us with his little car.
After a warm welcome with cold drinks, fruits and cookies in the Apartment Rooms Vjera, we enjoyed the wonderful view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - the old town of Dubrovnik..
Our accommodation is really perfectly located. Only a few stairs separated us from the charming old town. Grocery stores and a bakery are also nearby.
First of all we wanted to feel salt water on our skin again and so we went to Banje Beach. This is the city beach of Dubrovnik. If you leave the sandy / pebble beach behind and continue walking out of town along the water, you will find great rocks on which you can lie well. There are few people there and can jump into the crystal clear, turquoise water.
In the evening we had a good time in the Dalmatino restaurant. We couldn't really make up our mind, so we simply took everything we wanted as a starter size: black seafood risotto, octopus salad, grilled calamari, and mussels buzzara.
To sink in, we treated ourselves to a few drinks in the Buza Cliff-Side Bar, which is located in the cliffs outside the mighty city walls. Normal price level.
When we went back to the apartment at night, we were caught by our landlord Branko, his wife and their neighbors and drank great Croatian white wine with them on their terrace. On this occasion, the older rulers explained the long history of the city of Dubrovnik.
The next day I went to the bakery early to enjoy a breakfast with a great view on our terrace.
So we were early in the morning on the city walls of the old town. From up here you have a great view over the roofs of Dubrovnik. If you are really early, so before the cruise tourists invade the city, you can take great photos over the red tiled roofs and take a relaxing 1.5-2 hour walk.
You can also recognize some of the locations in the "Game of Thrones" series. Special GoT tours are also offered. You will read that more often in our travel report Montenegro.
In the afternoon we took the ferry to Lokrum Island to escape the oppressive heat of the city and the thousands of crusaders. The ships to Lokrum leave every 30 minutes. In the harbor, you just leave the screaming day tour providers on the left and walk to the quay wall, where an old man sits at a small desk and sells tickets for the official boats. After a 15 minute boat ride you are in a different, much quieter world. The water on Lokrum's west coast is slightly more beautiful than that on the east coast. Some beautifully situated monasteries and ruins, which were also filming locations for Game of Thrones, make sensational photo motifs.
The botanical garden on the island has been badly hit by the harsh winter, so it is really not worth a visit at the moment.
After a few hours of swimming and hiking on the island, we made our way back to the mainland. After dinner, we treated ourselves - as every evening - to an ice cream in PEPPINO´s. Really recommended due to the exciting varieties.
Today is our third and last day in Dubrovnik and so we used our last hours in Croatia to visit the mighty Fort Lovrijenac. This is the fortress on the headland next to the old town. Entry is included in the price of the City Walls ticket. Here you can also recognize some of the locations of Game of Thrones. It may seem that we only visited Dubrovnik because of the series. No, of course not, but you just can't avoid it.
As a conclusion to Dubrovnik you can say that it is a breathtaking city if you enjoy the old town early in the morning and late in the evening and in between, when the crusaders populate the city, take a trip to the surrounding islands.
We now had a good two days in Dubrovnik and got a first impression, but you can certainly spend a week here and visit the Elaphite Islands or take a trip to the hinterland.
Around noon we took the shuttle bus back to the airport and picked up the rental car from Active Car, which brings us to the main part of our travel report Montenegro.
Active Car's office is about 300 meters outside the airport, not at the other car rental companies, but across the street from the city. We can fully recommend Active Car. Competent German-language processing, nobody tries to force unnecessary additional insurance on you. After 5 minutes we had our Seat Ibiza, with which we were extremely satisfied.
So we headed south towards Montenegro, where we stood at the EU's external border for two hours. But you're on vacation and a woman would never think of being grumpy because a man chose the slower track. (-;
The route to Kotor along the fjord is really picturesque and so we arrived relaxed in our apartment Jelka after 3.5 hours (including 2 hours traffic jam at the border), where we were warmly welcomed by the young landlord Jelka and her father.
After we had moved into our room, we strolled the 15 minutes along the beach promenade to the old town, where we chose the Konoba Kantun as the place for our dinner. Really happy, because of the best grilled squid of the whole trip with homemade bread, we got an ice cream - like every evening - and walked back to the accommodation.
The apartment itself is relatively noisy, but the sensational hospitality of the landlords makes up for it all. Every time the landlord saw us, we “had to” taste beer, juice, wine or cheese with him and often chatted for a long time. The nicest man we've ever met.
At 12 o'clock we had an appointment with Montenegro Submarine for the speed boat tour.
Highly recommended and perfectly organized. After dropping a family off at Robinson Beach, we had the speedboat to ourselves. We took the boat to a former Soviet submarine hiding place that was hewn out of the rock. Very exciting and part of the history of the Cold War.
From the boat we marveled at the prison island of Manula before we reached the highlight of the trip - the Blue Grotto. A sea cave open on two sides in the rock, the water of which shines in all shades of blue, so that you have to check again and again whether blue lamps are not helpful. But no, the colors are an interplay of sunlight, underground and water depth.
We actually wanted to have a look at Budva, but we were fed up with the city as we drove through. The main street goes right along the crowded beach. There is a lot of traffic and people drive like crazy.
So we are on to Kamenovo Beach. The parking lot costs € 5, but there should also be a free one. From there you go down stairs to the sea, where we kept left. You probably know by now that we are on rocky beaches and don't like sandy or pebble beaches - at least not on the Mediterranean. So on the left are rocks and few people, on the right are pebbles and many people. On the beach there is also the nice beach bar El Capitano. Good food, normal prices and great location.
Overall, it was a pretty stressful day.
In the evening we treated ourselves to seafood and Balkan white wine in the Café del Mar. The restaurant is located directly on the promenade and is really recommended and comparatively cheap. One of the best restaurants in our travel report Montenegro.
Today the Lovcen National Park including the Njegos Mausoleum was on the plan.
The road up to Mount Lovcen is really spectacular. In Kotor, a small side street goes towards the mountain and winds in countless serpentines up to just below the summit. The mountain road is really quite narrow and in the case of oncoming traffic you have to drive back to the next alternative, but we really enjoyed the ride up there. We stopped again and again to enjoy the sensational view of the Bay of Kotor, Tivat and the open sea.
Once at the top of the parking lot, you still have a few steps ahead and the view of the impressive mausoleum (€ 3) opens up.
Built from black and white marble, the tomb sits enthroned on the top of Mount Lovcen.
The view from up here at 1700m is gigantic. You can see the small country completely. On very clear days, you can even see as far as Italy.
Attention, if you also want to visit Mount Lovcen, don't blindly trust your sat navs. Google Maps would like to drive on the newer road via Budva, which is a huge detour and would cost you the great view of the serpentine road. Apple Maps and maps.me guide you right from Kotor. It is of course much cooler up here than below. So a good alternative for hot days.
Today we have a really lazy bathing day on the Lustica peninsula. From Kotor it takes about 30 minutes to the Lustica peninsula and the beach in Mirišta.
The way there is again quite adventurous, but it is definitely worth it.
Here you can rent beach chairs right on the water for a small fee (€ 3.50) and park for free when you eat or drink in the local restaurant.
The water is crystal clear and you have everything you need. If you get there early, you almost have the beach to yourself.
At lunchtime we ate fish tartare and salad in the restaurant with a great view. Really tasty. You can really stand it all day here. A bay further on is said to be a great beach and the Ribarsko Selo restaurant - according to our skipper Vasilije, the best restaurant in the whole country.
Back in Kotor, the lovely landlord of our apartment "caught" us again and we "had" to drink half a loaf of mountain cheese and a bottle of wine with him.
Really crazy how great hospitality is written here.
In the evening we had a great fish platter in the Café del Mar.
Our last day of vacation is coming again. After a final breakfast with the landlord, including croissant, juice and coffee, we set off for Croatia with a heavy heart.
This time without long waiting at the border, we arrived in the late morning at Pasjaca Beach near the Dubrovnik airport. There is a free car park, from which a narrow path along the cliffs leads down to the sea. After the path makes the last bend, the view opens onto the most incredible beach I have ever seen in the Mediterranean.
Deserted, water that sparkles in all shades of blue and is surrounded by high rock walls. To be honest, it's actually one of the most perfect beaches I've ever seen.
There is no infrastructure with toilets, loungers or a restaurant here. But maybe that's what makes the beach. Here we spent the day until the afternoon.
For dinner we drove to the small town of Cavtat near the airport.
For a day of departure, this day was really awesome.
We felt very safe during the whole trip and, above all, ate very well.
Above all, the impressive mountains and rivers of Montenegro and the wonderful old town of Dubrovnik will be remembered.
Montenegro was more expensive than expected and the driving style is getting used to, but easy to master.
Croatia has a clear lead when it comes to swimming. Montenegro is naturally in a class of its own.
A really successful trip. We will think about it for many weeks.