After a few lovely days in Zagreb (you can see that review in my previous blog) it was now time to fly to Dubrovnik, Croatia. This is a destination I’ve been wanting to visit ever since I watched the hit TV show “Game Of Thrones“. Dubrovnik is just one of the stunning locations where this is filmed.
Our flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik was delayed and we arrived quite late to the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel (which is about a 10min car journey to the old town of Dubrovnik) after being picked up from the airport in 2 lovely Mercedes mini buses. We were tired, VERY hungry and extremely excited for the next 2 days.
After we checked into this new modern and stylish hotel we walked to our rooms. On the way there you could smell chips/fries. When we opened the door to our stunning room, there on the table was 2 massive plates of Chips & Club Sandwiches with a bottle of red wine. People always say first impressions count, well lets just say my first impression was WOW I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE THIS PLACE, EVER!!! 😉
Me and my friend Pat dug into this delicious and still very warm food. The club sandwich exploding all over my beard as we ate like kings back in the medieval times. This was one of those moments that I will never forget. It’s small touches like this, that go along way with me.
The room was very spacious and clean. The view from the balcony was exceptional. The bathroom again was very large and the beds so so comfortable. The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel has already been moved up in my list of one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
After indulging in that delicious food we headed out to the nearby beach to go and check out the night time view.
It was so peaceful, the air was warm with a slight breeze. If this is what it looked like at night, I couldn’t wait to explore in the day. It was midnight and we had to try and go to sleep as we had a long day exploring the next day.
We woke up to a beautiful but slightly windy day. We had the patio doors open all night so our room was filled with fresh sea air. We headed down to breakfast to see what was on offer. As with both of the Shreaton Hotels I’ve stayed in, the selection was fantastic and delicious.
After filling our stomachs on amazing bacon and much needed coffee we headed out to the beautiful old town of Dubrovnik for a guided tour. Very excited.
Dubrovnik Old Town
We were dropped off by our drivers at the top of the hill in the old town. We walked down towards the main gate to the fort. Everyone I know that has been here have said it is ALWAYS busy, wow they weren’t lying. I was amazed by how busy it was. I could understand why as this place was truly jaw dropping with so much history and beauty.
It was a warm day, so walking around this wonderful place was slightly sweaty but worth the dehydration ha. Every street you walked passed had character, many looked identical but you had to take images of them all. It was photography heaven. Ok it was busy, but you make the most of what you have, and this place had loads. We stopped in the harbour for a well deserved ice cream. My favourite is mint choc-chip. WOW so nice but I had to eat it quickly as the sun had other ideas. Note to self: Bring wet wipes when eating ice cream with a beard. Mmmmm so attractive 😉
We carried on exploring after the refreshing ice cream break. If you watch “Game Of Thrones” then you would recognise a lot when exploring from the hit TV show.
After a enjoyable walk around the old town it was now time to be picked up and taken to the beautiful Trsteno Arboretum – the oldest arboretum in this part of the world. It dates all the way back to 1492. It was developed out of a park surrounding the summer residence of the Gučetić-Gozze family. Family Gozze requested ship captains to bring back all kind of seeds and plants from their travels – this grew into the beautiful and protected garden it is today.
The history in Trsteno Arboretum is remarkably old, and if you like plants & flowers then you should definitely check this place out. Then again, even if you like to walk in beautiful places then you should visit.
After a lovely late morning walking around Trsteno Arboretum, it was now time to head to our next destination.
Rural Household Dubelj
We were now off to visit Rural Household Dubelj – to experience the traditional production of olive oil, and to taste some amazing food (risotto made according to Dubelj mother’s secret recipe and mouth-watering rozata for dessert – a typical Dubrovnik sweet)! And homemade wine of course. Oh the risotto was SOOOOO GOOD! I love Croatia as they LOVE their food just like I do.
We were looked after so well here and again fed until we could not fit anymore in. The Olive Oil was the BEST Olive Oil I’ve ever tasted and I ate a lot of it dipped in bread. A HUGE thank you to Rural Household Dubelj for generously hosting us so well.
Hill Top View
Before finishing off our night we took a drive to the top of one of the mountains overlooking Dubrovnik for sunset. Disappointingly the sunset never happened as it became very cloudy and very windy. But as a professional I never let it stop me.
We finished our day at Konoba Astarea, a local Tavern in the peaceful and quiet Mlini. Local tavern, local food (fish in salt aka riba u soli that had to be hammered! And the billion-calorie Ston cake for dessert). Now I would show images from here but I had such a great time I forgot to take any. However if you follow me on SnapChat then you may have seen the awesome night unfold.
Here is a little history of Mlini. In the 15th century, Mlini used to be the centre of the milling trade it use to provide drinking water for the whole of Dubrovnik. There is still one intact old mill, right next to one of Sheraton’s properties, there new Boutique Hotel Mlini. A lot of people visiting Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Riviera prefer staying in towns like Mlini and Srebreno, rather than Dubrovnik, You can enjoy peace and calm, while they’re still in very easy reach of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik, on the other hand, can get quite busy during summer, prompting you to hide in the shades of Mlini and Srebreno at the breathtaking Dubrovnik Riviera.
We ended the night with some drinks at the bar in the Hotel. It got VERY windy so we only had a couple before retiring to bed. Me and my friends Pat & Marc wanted to get up early to go to Dubrovnik old town before the crowds appeared.
We had a VERY early morning wake up to get to Dubrovnik for sunrise. Tired as we were, we knew it would be worth it. We wasn’t wrong!
Getting up so early paid off as we went around the town with hardly anyone about. I highly recommend you to do this if you would like to see this place with empty streets.
Okay so now our time has come to an end in this magical place. If I had anything negative to say then it has to be that I NEEDED another 5 days here at least. Dubrovnik is a fantastic place to visit as is the surrounding area. The Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel looked after us so well and the hotel offered EVERYTHING you could wish for and more. I give this Hotel 6 Stars!! Next time I visit, (and I WILL visit again) I’ll stay here and wont think twice about it.
Before I end this blog I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that was apart of this amazing experience in Croatia. Croatia was never really on my radar of places to visit, but after this press trip, it is now a destination I need to go back too.
Thank you to Ivana Biondic for all her hard work in organising this trip. She made the trip truly remarkable. Ivana’s kindness, help, dedication and now her friendship is something I’ll cherish forever. THANK YOU!! 🙂
Dubrovnik in Black & White
I decided to make sure I captured Dubrovnik in black & white. I wanted to show how this place is truly remarkable in colour and in monochrome. Here are 6 of my favourites.
Thank you for reading, I hope this blog has helped you decide to visit Dubrovnik or Croatia and to stay at Sheraton Hotels.