• Photo: lukaszimilena / Shutterstock


While Dubrovnik’s streets are being polished under the shoes of thousands of visitors per day, Cavtat’s pine-covered trails seem comparatively tourist-free. Just 17 km (10½ miles) south of Dubrovnik, but seemingly a world away, you can find secluded swimming spots, quiet walking paths, and park benches waiting for you to sit and enjoy the beauty and tranquility that you came to Croatia to find.

Founded by the ancient Greeks as Epidauros, then taken by the Romans and renamed Epidaurum, the original settlement on the site of Cavtat was subsequently destroyed by tribes of Avars and Slavs in the early 7th century. It was the Romans who fled Epidaurum who founded Dubrovnik.

Today's Cavtat, which developed during the 15th century under the Republic of Dubrovnik, is an easygoing fishing town and small-scale seaside resort. The medieval stone buildings of the Old Town occupy a small peninsula with a natural bay to each side. A palm-lined seaside promenade with open-air cafés and restaurants curves around the main bay, while the second bay is overlooked by a beach backed by several socialist-era hotels.

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