Holidays to Cavtat take you to a Croatian town that comes with Renaissance sights, quiet coves and some great traditional cooking. All this, and you’re just half-an-hour from Dubrovnik.
Cavtat is a pretty town on the southernmost tip of the Dubrovnik Riviera. It’s on a small peninsula with a Renaissance old town on one side, beaches on the other – and a fragrant cypress forest in between. The old town harbour has a wide tree-lined promenade where cheery bars neighbour refined restaurants. Beyond the forest, small pebbly beaches and rocky coves edge the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.
Cavtat’s palm-fringed bay comes with sheltered rocky coves in all shapes and sizes. Some have beach bars, but it’s possible to find a tiny little cove where it’s just you and the sea. Ten minutes away you get the small pebble beach at Mlini, where you can hire umbrellas and sunloungers. It’s the same at Plat’s shingle beach, a further 5 minutes down the road – there are tavernas here too, tucked away under cypress trees.
The old town
Along the narrow vanilla-and-cream streets of the old town, you’ll find the 15th-century St Nicholas Church and the old stone house of painter Vlaho Bukovac, now a museum dedicated to his work. You’ve also got the Renaissance-style Rector’s Palace, home to the curio collection of Baltazar Bogisic, a Victorian scientist who lived in Cavtat. Some 35,000 items are here, ranging from tribal art to Roman pottery.
Daytrips to Dubrovnik
It’s a 30-minute drive to the Medieval coastal city of Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. The old town is surrounded by 2 kilometres of imposing walls that you can walk round. One of the top sights here is the Gothic Renaissance Sponza Palace. As for shopping, Placa Stradun is a pedestrianised street lined by Baroque buildings and souvenir places.