Day 1-2: Cavtat
The first stop on our southern Dalmatia tour was Cavtat (pronounced tsav-tat) with its enchanting setting wrapped around a pretty harbour bordered by sparkling blue bays and lush swathes of pine and cypress forest. It was like something on a chocolate box.
We dropped our bags at the apartment and headed towards the harbour front where fishing boats jostled with gleaming yachts the size of battleships (we are talking serious moolah). Cobbled streets with red-roofed houses climbed back from the waterfront towards the local market, a golden blaze of papayas, melons and the gorgeous knobly lemons that also dripped from the surrounding trees like blobs of yellow candlewax.
Our first two days were all about relaxing with no fixed itinerary. We were just grateful to have such a fabulous ‘green list’ option available to us at short notice. Cavtat is made for wandering - we ambled around the shaded peninsula dotted with rocky bays, the occasional bathing platform and shack-like cafés such as our personal favourite, Beach Bar Little Star. We climbed the stairs to the Racic Mausoleum (Cavtat is great for the thighs and calves) and visited the beautiful baroque Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas which houses valuable works from European artists.
But most of all we ate and swam – a morning dip in the swimming pool followed by impromptu leaps from rocky outcrops or wooden jetties. After much dabbling, we found our favourite bar, Café Posejdon in prime sunset viewing position at the southern end of the harbour. From here we also watched the local water-polo team practising. Apparently three members of the Olympic medal winning team trained here. Our youngest was inspired. He’s aiming for Team GB, Brisbane 2032.