Dubrovnik is the new, undiscovered Riviera for lovers of European seaside culture. Every season the crowds become a bit thicker, the tourist tchotchkes on display outside of street shops become a bit more noticeable, but this should not deter the wanderluster. There is an undeniable romance about Croatia’s coast, the feeling that you could stay there forever and lose yourself in the slow life. The town itself is beautiful, a restored city with quintessential charm, clean colors and a striking ocean view. It’s the perfect travel photographers’ backdrop, but to get the best shots and beat the rush, steal the early morning moments for yourself. Have a strong coffee, then explore.
…To get the best shots and beat the rush, steal the early morning moments for yourself.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
While the early bird gets his worm, a 7am trip to the market rewards you with first dibs on the fresh catch – local sea bass or mussels caught by fishermen from the Elafiti Islands. The market is a visual feast of colors and carefully organized displays. Snack on fresh cherries while you snap shots of local vendors setting up and making deals. The market, like Dubrovnik itself, is brimming with vibrance and energy just waiting to be captured.
After an attack on the city during the Yugoslav war in 1991, Dubrovnik’s streets and buildings were restored to their original 1600’s charm using limestone and soft pink Kupe rooftops. There is a clean, understated beauty about this town, and it is best explored in the early morning. Strolling down the marble walkways, past rows of empty cafes, a cool and quiet calm can be enjoyed, and your photos will reflect the romance between you, your subject and the beauty of the city.
Scoping the best spot at the Cliff Bar
Life in Dubrovnik is one spent worshipping the water. In the summer, locals flock to the cliff bars for a drink and an incredible, uncorrupted view of the pristine blue Adriatic. These establishments are found by following tiny corridors leading past the sea walls to concrete embankments that kiss the surf. White umbrellas and round metal bistro tables are propped up for a makeshift dining experience, but the true ambience is the sound of crashing waves and the scent of sea salt hovering throughout. There is no better place to enjoy a beer while you get a great perspective of the cliffs looking out at a beautiful and endless sea view.
Take a cable car to Mount SRD
Just behind the stone walls lies a mountain that beckons you to its peak, promising spectacular views all the way to Montenegro. And what better way to make the 412 meter trip than by cable car! It’s a quick two-minute trip, but the vista and the mode of transport lend a Wes Anderson nostalgic feel to the whole experience. Once you reach the summit, you can sit for a glass of wine at the Panorama Cafe or simply take in the view, a wide expanse of daisies and thistles that cover the landscape, but only in the spring and summer.
Hang at Sveti Jakov Beach
Finding the secret spot purposefully kept off the guidebooks elevates you from visitor to comrade, bonding you to a place because you are one of few people lucky enough to experience it. In Dubrovnik, this hidden gem is Sveti Jakov beach, just a mile and a half outside of town. A rocky little stretch tucked inside a high rising cove, this is the best place to dip your toes in, or rent a kayak and venture out as far as your daring heart will lead you. Bring a waterproof cam or a GoPro for sure!
Have a strong coffee, then explore.