Day 1: Getting to Know Dubrovnik
It would be a delight to while away your vacation simply lounging with a cocktail on sunny Lapad Beach, but this ancient city would be well worth exploring even without those sapphire seas. Within its eight-century-old stone walls are more than a dozen museums, including Europe's oldest extant pharmacy; and scores of beautiful buildings, such as the gold-gilt, baroque Church of Saint Blaise. Enjoy an introduction to Dubrovnik's highlights and magnificent views on a City Tour. If you'd like a look at the beautiful city from another perspective, consider taking an afternoon sea kayak tour around the old fortifications and sea caves that can be found along the rugged Croatian coast.
Day 2: Exploring the Countryside
Although the former Yugoslavia has fragmented into seven small, peaceful, and independent young countries, it's still easy to enjoy day trips between them. From Croatia's seaside paradise, you can book a twelve-hour trip to magical Mostar, its graceful Old Bridge and medieval the architectural and cultural centerpiece of newly formed Bosnia-Herzegovina; or the quiet country of Montenegro, just an hour from Dubrovnik, with its own pretty seaside resort towns and mountain escapes. If you'd just like to learn more about Croatia, consider booking a visit to the village of Cilipi, with traditional folk dances and a handicrafts market on offer each Sunday.
Day 3: Escape into the Islands
The Pearl of the Adriatic was built in this spectacular spot because of its deep natural harbor and easy access to an array of incredible islands, known as the Dubrovnik Archipelago. It was a city designed to be seen from the sea, and hundreds of boats ply the calm waters daily. It's easy to book six-hour boat tours up and down the Dalmatian Coast, but consider doing it in the "Tirena," a replica 16th-century wooden galleon, complete with cannons and period costumes. The ship also visits the picturesque, pine carpeted Elafiti, known for their historic fishing villages and naturalist beaches. And what explorer would miss paying a visit to the birthplace of Marco Polo, happily located on the lovely island of Korčula with its beautifully preserved stone architecture.