Harbourfront view in Cavtat, Croatia
Cavtat is, to the uninitiated, best described as a peaceful coastal town further along from its more widely-recognized neighbour, Dubrovnik
, yet it would be grossly unfair to even think about claiming that it stands in the shadow of a more prominent European city. It is fair to state that Cavtat
has an identity all of its own, and while everything in Cavtat is on a smaller and more manageable scale, it scores points for being precisely that - nothing too overstated, pretentious or indeed under-supplied. A cluster of guest houses and hotels line the waterfront, back streets and winding road out of town, and it is precisely on this route where my residence, the Villa Stanovic, was located, worth the asking price for the balcony views alone! Since this was to be the shortest stay of the 3-centre holiday, the town's low-key nature delivered in a refreshingly 'winding down' kind of way, and an enclave of commendable restaurants alongside a few open-fronted bars lining the marina were really all that was required to enjoy a slice of Croatian lifestyle whilst tuning into the vital opening games of the football World Cup 2010 tournament.
Artists peddling their wares in Cavtat
A boat trip around the bay area was a thoroughly fine way to spend a couple of hours of your tourist time, and even renting a bicycle for a similar length of time proved that there was vital terrain to be covered, albeit on a smaller scale than either of the trip's 2 previous destinations. Guide books seem to extol Cavtat for being the most enjoyable coastal resort in the region, and a few glances around the area certainly reveal it to be highly walkable, cyclable, sailable, swimmable, or, in the case of my cafe-based televised sport viewing, stay-puttable. All in all, I deemed the place the perfect tonic for the more frenetic elements of the whole trip, since nothing in Cavtat required too much effort to get to grips with, and as I departed from Dubrovnik airport armed with everything that the trip had provided me with, namely a fair crop of souvenirs, memories, photos, a tanned body and a great array of experiences to reflect back upon, the trip's aims had been achieved.
Typical harbourfront imagery in Cavtat
Croatia's cost-of-living may well be rising steadily, but with a coastline like theirs, you'd be unwise to omit such a country from your itinerary, as at least this now-initiated traveller was adequately won over by the overall package.