Dubrovnik: Cultural Sites to Sea
Summer is the perfect time to visit beautiful Croatia. In addition to admiring the glistening Adriatic Sea and stunning coastline, the historic seaport of Dubrovnik comes alive with its annual Arts festival — where the city hosts an exciting programme of outdoor arts events. With huge 16th century stone walls encircling the distinctive Old Town, and with well-preserved treasures such as the Baroque St. Blaise Church, Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace forming a stunning background to the various performances, visitors can expect an extraordinary summer experience.
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival
Integral to the seasoned and seasonal attractions of sunshine, culture and coastline, Dubrovnik embraces the annual The Dubrovnik Summer Festival during the very height of its summer season. Without doubt, it is the most important date etched within the city’s cultural calendar and this year’s 68th festival takes place from the 10th July to the 25th August 2017. Known by locals as 'The Summer Games', the famous cobbled streets, squares and facades of this historic city form an impressive stage for a celebration of drama, music and art. The whole city seems to come alive, with visitors joining the revelry alongside enthusiastic locals.
An authentic festival boasting history and tradition, each year a world-class line-up also adds a dash of innovation, plus a sprinkle of contrasting culture. Only last year, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the great William Shakespeare and featured a stunning performance of his famous tragedy, Othello. Performed within the atmospheric Lovrjenac Fortress, a premier location within the city, this production sat alongside readings by legends of Dubrovnik literature, such as Marin Držić.
Not only is the entire city transformed into a stage, the island of Lokrum, with its wonderful gardens, joins the festivities by hosting memorable operatic performances during the balmy summer evenings. Whether you are drawn to the exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, engaged by the performances at the official theatre, or moved by the enthralling music and ballet programmes, visitors will have the opportunity to appreciate a rich collection of material — including film screenings at the Jadran open-air cinema. Whether it is the elegance of the Rector’s Palace, the emotive atmosphere of the island of Lokrum, or the iconic Stradun, all of Dubrovnik presents itself as a stage for everyone to enjoy. Plus, of course, there is traditional Croatian dance, music and folk heritage too.
Whilst the appeal of the radiant shoreline, plus ancient city walls, is much celebrated and the festival arts are much coveted, there are additional gems within the Dalmatia region that are also worth appreciating — namely visiting Skar Winery and savouring delicious white wine paired with freshly-caught seafood! Another must-do experience is to take a boat trip north, along the coast, to gather local oysters from the bay. Said to be 'the envy of the French', sampling the creamy fresh oysters with local white wine and freshly baked crusty bread is a Dalmatian pleasure! Other alfresco treats include taking to the water via a sea kayak, sailing the Elafiti Islands or Lapad Bay, enjoying thrilling watersports at Copacabana Beach or scuba-diving within the pristine waters. For those with a head for heights, the cable car provides superb views of the walled city, leaving more time for alfresco dining! In summary, this pristine and picturesque region of Europe is blessed with an abundance of attractions and talent.
Places to Stay and Play
Wherever you may choose to stay in this beautiful coastal attraction, whether it is an opulent former palace, boutique bolt-hole or coastal resort, the city holds timeless appeal throughout the summer. From Villa Dubrovnik and Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, which is ideal for those with more time to relax and enjoy the excellent resort facilities in addition to the sightseeing close by, to the beautifully intimate Villa Orsula, providing privacy with refined style or the newly refurbished Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, a beloved landmark just steps from the UNESCO Old City with views of the glorious Old Town and a mere five-minute walk from the medieval walls — there is a cultured selection in which to indulge and rejuvenate. With a history of hosting royalty and celebrities, from Queen Elizabeth II to Elizabeth Taylor, Dubrovnik is a city that is no stranger to attracting the glitterati, or to putting on a good show!
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