Croatia
Dubrovačko-Neretvanska Županija

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  • Day27

    Cavtat Croatia

    July 3, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ 🌬 27 °C

    We are now in Croatia staying at Cavtat, a town about 20km south of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast. The town is surrounded by a very pretty harbour that’s bordered by beaches with a backdrop of high green hills, the setting is lovely. There is a wide walkway bordered by palm trees that runs parallel to the sea. The water is a deep blue with patches of green near the edges where the pine trees are reflected. In that beautiful harbour are fishing boats, charter boats, ferries and just a few yachts almost as big as cruiseliners! Alan and I braved the water this afternoon for a swim....it was freezing. Once Rozzie saw the looks on our blue faces she opted out! Sitting now on our balcony looking out over the harbour - so peaceful. Tomorrow we are cruising 3 islands off the coast of Dubrovnik and the following day we will explore Dubrovnik.Read more

  • Day28

    Elafiti Islands, Dubrovnik

    July 4, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    A cruise today to three islands off the coast of Dubrovnik - Koločep, Lopud and Sipan. All had beautiful beaches and historic remains. We spent most time at Lopud which had lovely restaurants and cafes all along the waterfront. We also got amazing views of Dubrovnik's Old Town from the boat. A taster for the next day's visit to the Old Town. Lunch was served on board - and drinks were provided. It was an enjoyable day.Read more

  • Day29

    Dubrovnik

    July 5, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Today we walked the wall of Old Town Dubrovnik - enjoyed every step - a little exaggeration, but it was a real pleasure to see and walk this city for the first time. You can't help but feel a sense of awe as you see the beauty of the old town. The white limestone streets, baroque buildings, the ancient city walls that protected its people for centuries, and the endless view of the Adriatic - certainly was worth the over-1000 steps to complete a circuit of this incredible city! We then strolled through the old town and had a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants there. Caught the cable car up to top of mountain where we got a panoramic view of the walled city. Had to try some traditional Croation cake - twice!! Fabulous day. Tomorrow we pick up our hite car and hit the road to discover more of Croatia.Read more

  • Day144

    Bosnia Herzegovina

    November 17, 2016 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Bosnia Herzegovina is excluded from the list of countries our van insurance allows us to drive in but with the border so tantalisingly close we didn't see the harm in driving up to it and walking across!

    The campsite manager of a few nights ago had shared his thoughts on Bosnia Herzegovina. His home town was in North East Croatia and to get there he could either drive 400km through Bosnia Herzegovina or 800km within Croatia. He had decided he would rather undertake the longer journey than take the 'shortcut'. His thoughts were that Bosnia Herzegovina was really two countries, the predominantly muslim Bosnia and the mainly catholic Herzegovina. Whilst he had no problem with the Herzogovenians, he had felt extremely uncomfortable when in Bosnian areas, as if he was being watched. He said the muslim faith was very hard line there and that about 300 ISIL fighters had returned to Bosnia from Syria. We don't know how much of this was fact and how much was chinese whispers, nor do we know how much his experience was shaped by his preconceptions. However we found it very interesting to listen to his perspective. The creation of national borders has too often been done by removed politicians seeking an advantage, or as a compromise in the face of a feared situation. The interests of groups of people on the ground have often played only a small part and whilst it is almost impossible to please everyone, there are obvious tensions between groups with different histories, cultures and beliefs.

    The road in the sat nav seemed to end at the border but as we weren't wanting to go further, that didn't matter to us. We didn't see a single other vehicle as the route took us up higher into the hills. The further it got, the further the vegetation spilled over onto the concrete. Cow pats splattered the road and Vicky had only just told Will not to be surprised if we came face to face with a herd of cows, than we turned the corner and there was a cow, glancing with a bamboozled expression between us and the other 3 further up the hill. Rocks littered our path, some of them sizeable.

    We got to a point 1.3km away from the border where bushes closed in and the concrete ended. The track beyond was stoney so we decided to park the van up (there was no room to turn it round) and continue on foot. It was only as we were setting off we saw that the gravel track was actually a 'repair' where it looked like the road had been washed away. Driving on, we found there were several patches like this but we took it slowly and kept our fingers crossed that the tyres would hold out.

    The border was marked by a small sign saying 'state border' in Croatian. It didn't look as if it wanted pedestrians to continue along the path so we took some photos, reversed back to a point that was just wide enough to shuffle the van round and headed towards our second border of the day -Montenegro!
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  • Day38

    Up and down through Croatia

    October 3, 2016 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Deutsche Version auf www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Yesterday a month ago I started in Munich. It doesn't seem so long ago, because the days on the bike go around really fast. I was hoping the time is ticking more slowly during my trip, but in things that you do like, the pointer rotates faster.

    After a short break in Trieste / Italy, my route led through Slovenia for a day, then on the Croatian Coast to the border to Montenegro. The route along the coast had properly called grains. It went uphill every day at least for 1000 meters. Up - down, up - down. But at any time I had a wonderful sea view.

    After a two-day break in the Paklenica National Park, I drove a stage within the country. No Tourism at all which was an interesting change.

    Mostly at 5 p.m I kept an eye out for a suitable tent site. Previously, I always had the right nose and had sensational camp spots.

    Shortly before the border to Montenegro, I could set up my tent at Markos place. I contacted him over warmshowers.org, a platform for cyclist, who fellow travelers give a place to sleep - for free. He lives in the mountains with a idyllic sea view. Situated on a plateau I could put up my tent. A Swiss couple has lived there for two months and building a hut. So who wants to lead a dropout-life is that an interesting place. At the point I'm not there yet :).

    Still, I just enjoy the feeling of freedom: Not having much and to pitch up the tent at amazing places.

    Now I am heading towards Albania.

    Ride on.
    Janosch

    PS. Unfortunately, my laptop stopped working. Therefore first have to serve the cell phone photos. Hopefully I get it running again :(.
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  • Day146

    Dubrovnik Winter Festival

    November 19, 2016 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Our final project before heading back up north towards Austria, was to visit Dubrovnik Winter Festival on its opening night. We'd been advised by the campsite owner to travel the 10km in by bus to avoid parking difficulties. We haven't used public transport much but thought we'd give it a go. We got the right bus (even though it displayed a different number to the one on the timetable) and got off just after the closest stop to the Old Town. We failed to find a stop to return from, but set off down the hill on the 2km walk to the festival. We worked out on the way that there were shuttle buses within the Dubrovnik area that linked to longer distance bus routes (one of which we'd used to get there).

    It was about half past 3 when we reached the festival and the imposing stone fortress walls of Dubrovnik Old Town. Alongside the usual Christmas decorations there were garlands made out of bay leaves arched over entrance ways and wound around stone pillars. Olive and orange trees stood in large hessian wrapped pots with a carved wooden decoration hanging from their base. Oh, and it was warm - 18°C warm! White wooden huts lined the main street selling snacks, hand painted baubles and other trinkets.

    While it was still light we took in the beautifully ornate stonework on the churches, halls and towers. The city oozed history and grandeur and while the crowds assembled in the main street grew, we seemed to be the only ones winding our way through backstreets soaking in the city's charms, watched only by the numerous cats!

    Returning to the main square we were just in time to see a newly wedded couple emerging from the church to a corridor of friends and family holding sparklers. They stood for a while then threw brightly wrapped sweets into the crowd from a wicker basket.

    Dusk fell as we sipped tea and coffee at a table in a side street. The Christmas lights had been turned on while we were there and re-emerging to their festive glow brought forth 'oohs' and 'ahhs'. Dubrovnik had pushed the boat out with very tastefull decorations, many of which made use of and enhanced existing grand buildings.

    Food was next on the agenda and due to the lack of traditional Croatian cuisine at the wooden huts, we chose hotdogs, only discovering after we'd ordered that it was an 'Irish Pub' stall - they get everywhere!

    Leaving in plenty of time, we waited for a shuttle bus to take us to the main bus station. The stand we waited at said the bus we needed stopped there, but after watching another that was supposed to stop there, pick up passengers over the road then fly by, we switched over and hopped on the one we needed. The driver waved us past when we tried to pay. We waited patiently for the bus to pull into the main bus station, but became increasingly worried as it drove further and further away from Dubrovnik. In a panic Will asked the driver, who told us we'd missed the stop but if we got off now and hurried, there was another bus coming in the opposite direction that would take us back. We legged it over and down the road with the driver shouting "Quick! Go left!" There were no street lights as we ran along the dark country pavement but we could hear voices ahead and managed to get to the stop just in time. It turned out the shuttle buses were free, perhaps to encourage people to the festival. We kept a vigilant eye out for the bus station that Vicky thought she'd seen on the way out. It was 3 minutes until our next bus was due, when we got off outside the station, found our way in and on to the bus bearing the same number that had brought us in. This time we asked the driver to tell us when we got to our destination!
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  • Day17

    Boat trip to islands

    July 4, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Today we did a boat trip to 3 of the islands off the coast of Dubrovnik passing Old Dubrovnik city pass on the way out to sea. Yet again the water is just beautiful. Went for a swim in the crystal clear water (quite cool!).

  • Day144

    Montenegro

    November 17, 2016 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Dodging dogs in the road and holding our breath as we drove under low hanging telephone wires we drew closer to Montenegro. We know nothing about the country itself but it is another place we aren't insured to drive so today's breif visit is likely to be the only time we spend there.

    Parking up at a litter strewn patch of concrete just before the border controls, we grabbed our passports and struck out on foot towards what would be the third country of the day. There was a group of uniformed officials and one stayed around when he saw us approaching. Luckily he spoke English, although we could see him questioning his understanding of the language when we handed over the passports and explained what we wanted to do. "You want to walk to Montenegro?" he asked. We nodded eagerly and he let us through. About 500m further on there was a 'Welcome to Montenegro' sign with a view of a valley winding down to the sea beyond which we thought as good a point to turn back at as any.

    The officials were ready for us on our return. One diligently checked our passports asking with mock seriousness that didn't quite come over in translation "So, where are you going?" We started to answer until he cut in with a grin "And where have you been?". We guess they don't get many British people crossing the border on foot!
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  • Day18

    Old Dubrovnik

    July 5, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Walked the fortified wall around Dubrovnik old town.. this included over 2,000 steps to complete the circuit but great views. Then travelled up to the top of the mountain in the cable car and again amazing views. Looking down from the top you get the full effect of the city wall. Afternoon cuppa at the top, sorry only have a photo of the empty plate! Last night in Cavtat before we pick up our hire car and drive north.Read more

  • Day143

    Camp Kupari

    November 16, 2016 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We spent a very peaceful night in amongst the olive trees at Camp Zakovo. We hadn't seen anyone since we arrived but there weren't any operational toilet emptying facilities so we decided to move on. Will collected 4 windfall clementines before we went and with there not being another car on the road, we were able to stop and pick some wild pomegranates.

    We were again treated to amazing views from the coast road that now ran about 200m above sea level.
    Numerous high rising islands were sillouetted against the sun spilling over their horizons and sparkling silver on the blue sea. At times the metal barrier was the only thing dividing us from a sheer drop down the cliff face to the sea far below.

    On our left, barren, rounded mountains looked like the backs of sleeping elephants, the sparce covering of leafless trees giving their old grey skins detail.

    The number of campsites were few and far between, with one being advertised from 40km away! We passed by Dubrovnik and followed signs to Camp Kupari. There was a printout in the reception window saying it was open until September 2016, although the barriers weren't closed. We cautiously drove in and came face to face with an old red double decker London bus! It looked as if it was being stored there between the rows of long grass and Plane trees. We decided we'd try the same approach as last night and park up. If anyone asked us to pay or move on we could oblige.

    Morning and the time to move on came round. Only a cat had come calling at our door, a big tabby and white tom with half a tail, a scratched up nose and a loud mew. Vicky of course took pity and gave him some milk and fuss.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Dubrovačko-Neretvanska Županija, Dubrovacko-Neretvanska Zupanija, Dubrovnik - Neretva, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Raguseo-Narentana, 두브로브니크네레트바 주

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