Flying into Dubrovnik, I was already blown away by the spectacular scenery below; mountains, a fertile and lush green valley, the blue of the Adriatic Sea and clusters of red-roofed communities dotting the countryside and coast.
That evening, entering into the old walled city of Dubrovnik, was pure magic. Everywhere I looked was a photo opportunity. I didn't know where to begin! This Adriatic port city is steeped in ancient history and is beautifully preserved. A loop walk along the top of the walls is a must. Tip - visit in the very early morning or later in the evening to avoid the throngs of tourists congesting the narrow streets during the day.
I was then based at a lovely farm Villa in the Konavle Valley just outside Dubrovnik, and participated in a G Adventures 'Local Living' small group tour. This was Agrotourism at its finest. Imagine waking to birds chirping, opening shuttered windows overlooking red-tiled roofs, breathing in the fresh humid air of the breathtaking valley below full of vineyards and olive trees and cyprus trees.
The kind and industrious Mujo family, has been living on the farm since the 1500's. They have survived the 'recent' civil war of 1991-1995, where Bosnian tanks suddenly poured over the mountains, burning villages. They were forced to flee for their lives and to later stand up and fight for their land and culture. You can feel the passion and patriotism for their country and for what it is to be Croatian.
Everyday was a new adventure. The itinerary was juggled to adjust to the weather. Rainy days were spent in a cooking class, in wine and olive oil tastings and visiting smaller and other beautiful port cities. We were so very fortunate to have had an extra side trip to the gorgeous walled city of Kotor, just across the border in Montenegro. It is not on the itinerary but I highly recommend it. Sunny days offered a boat ride on the Adriatic Sea, cycling the Konavle Valley and a hike to an old railway tunnel filled with bats!
The food at the Villa was all farm-to-table. Absolutely delicious home cooking! On the menu was local wines, varietes of olives, local jams and honey , homemade cheeses, turkish coffee and always a shot (or two) of grappa. This strong drink is made from the remnants of grapes after the wine making process and is flavoured with all sorts of fruits and herbs. I miss my daily dose!
If you are looking for a more relaxing get-away or a break in your travels, away from the throngs of tourists frequenting the coastal areas of Croatia, consider Agrotourism. Consider G Adventures Local Living.
I feel grateful to have had this wonderful and enriching expereince. I'm loving local living!
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