Cavtat might be less than 20 kilometres south of Dubrovnik, but it feels a million miles away. Rather than city bustle, Cavtat holidays are all about laid-back nature: this fishing village has a picturesque waterfront, swathes of pine forest and gorgeous Mediterranean citrus groves. The sea is famously clear, the beaches pristine and there’s a cluster of historical and cultural attractions, too.
Fin-de-siècle painter Vlaho Bukovac lived in Cavtat, and a handsome museum (sat behind a 15th-century Franciscan monastery) is dedicated to the artist and his work. Settlers from Cavtat established Dubrovnik in the 7th century, and you can spot the city’s sprawling walls from vantage points looking across the bay. The two places are superbly well-connected, making Cavtat a handy – and more relaxed – base for exploring the city. A rustic retreat close to the heart of the action – holidays to Cavtat are a great way to experience the best of Croatia.
Visit Bukovac’s house
In a sun-bleached mansion hidden in the Cavtat backstreets, this museum provides a fantastic introduction to one of Croatia’s most famous artists – plus, his frescoes decorate the walls.
See the Rector’s Palace
Cavtat’s most historic monument, the Rector’s Palace is a 16th-century Renaissance building where you’ll find ancient artefacts and the manuscript collection of local scientist Baltazar Bogišić.
Admire Meštrović’s work
In the wooded St Rocco cemetery, the Račić Family Mausoleum is an octagonal tomb designed by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The stone comes from the nearby island of Brač.