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10 things to do on a yacht charter during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival

By Richard Watkins   Last Updated: 3 April 2023

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a Croatia yacht charter vacation, with the country's biggest and most popular cultural event; the Dubrovnik Summer Festival serving as a major draw card, currently running from July 10 through to August 25.

Held in the Croatian city every year since 1950, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival attracts leading artists from around the globe. Across the city, open-air stages are installed to host a wide variety of music, dance and theatrical performances, as well as film screenings and other cultural events.

Dubrovnik is one of the country's most historic and attractive cities, and as well as the festival performances, there is so much more to experience when you visit as part of a Croatia private yacht charter vacation.

Below are just a few ideas to help you make the most out of your time in Dubrovnik during the summer festival.

1. Ride the cable car to Mount Srd

Orange cable cars going up the mountain in Dubrovnik
City of Dubrovnik in Croatia, looking out over the Mediterranean seaDrink at Panorama Restaurant in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Mont Srd rises to a height of 412m above Dubrovnik and offers panoramic views over the red-roofed buildings of the city below and the bright blue Mediterranean sea beyond.

The quickest and easiest way to reach the top is by hopping aboard one of the bright orange cable cars, which run until midnight in the summer months.

Once at the summit, you can enjoy views as far as 60km on a clear day. Sit back and enjoy lunch or a glass of wine at Panorama Restaurant.

2. Take a walk along the city walls

Old city walls in Dubrovnik Old Town, Croatia
Turret along the city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia
People walking along the ramparts of the city walls in Dubrovnik's Old Town, Croatia

Take a break from the performances to walk the famous city walls. First built to protect Dubrovnik from attack more than a thousand years ago, the mighty city walls are among the most impressive medieval fortifications to be seen anywhere in Europe.

The walls, which encompass forts added in the 15th century, surround the old town and provide spectacular vantage points overlooking Dubrovnik's landmarks as well as out towards the Adriatic Sea.

Walking along the walls is a good way to get your bearings, enjoy some fine views, and escape the crowds that throng the streets of the Old Town in summer.

3. Spend the day at the beach

Copacabana is one of the city's best beaches, located in Seka Bay. Relax on the luxury white loungers, with a glass of wine from the bar, or enjoy a light lunch in the beach club's restaurant.

The beach is mainly pebble, with some concrete platform areas. Out at sea, the water is shallow, making it a good choice if you are chartering with young children. 

Water sports such as paddle boarding and kayaking are available, and if you need to unwind, you can enjoy a post-swim massage on the beach before returning to your yacht.

4. Explore the local dining scene

360 restaurant in dubrovnik croatia

With the city in high spirits during the Summer Festival, guests may choose to stay onshore for their evening meal.

Dubrovnik offers no shortage of restaurants to satisfy the palate of every discerning diner. A particularly popular stop-off during the Summer Festival is Nautika, with its unbeatable waterfront location and firm focus on fusing fine dining with contemporary cuisine. 

Another favorite among yacht-goers is 360 Restaurant, a Michelin-starred restaurant that takes full advantage of the catch-fresh seafood from the Adriatic. The menu is offset by a lovely venue overlooking the water and locally-sourced wine that has scooped up multiple awards.

5. Enjoy an aperitif at Sunset Lounge

On the top floor of the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, the Sunset Lounge is a chic and sophisticated venue for cocktails, with a resident piano player in the evenings.

Sip a martini or a glass of Croatian wine as you enjoy the spectacular, panoramic views; you may spot your yacht at anchor in the bay, or catch a glimpse of Mljet island in the distance on a clear day. And if you decide to stay for dinner, the hotel's Maslina Tavern is an excellent choice for classic Dalmatian cuisine.

6. Discover the natural beauty of Mljet National Park

According to local tradition, the verdant Dalmatian island of Mljet, lying to the west of Dubrovnik, was once home to the nymph Calypso, who lured the Greek adventurer Odysseus into staying here for seven years. It's a remarkably beautiful place, and the western tip of the island is a protected national park.

Also known as the 'Green Island' Mljet is heavily forested and surrounded by crystal clear water, ideal for swimming. The park is also noted for its two salt lakes, secluded beaches and shady woodland paths, while also worth a look is the tiny island of St Mary, home to a Benedictine monastery and church.

7. Step back in time at the Rector's Palace

Dating to the 15th century, this grand Renaissance palace was built  as the residence and administrative offices of the Rector, an elected official who ruled the Republic of Ragusa, which was based in Dubrovnik before being abolished by Napoleon in 1808.

Today the palace houses a museum, with rooms adorned with period furniture, paintings and other historic artefacts, while the imposing atrium is often used as a venue for concerts during the Summer Festival.

Outside the palace stands the statue of the 16th century poet Marin Drzic, known as Dubrovnik's Shakespeare. Visitors rub his nose for good luck.

8. Raise a glass of Croatian wine

Croatia is renowned for the quality of its wines, and Dubrovnik is the perfect place to sample a wide variety of the country's vintages.

A line of vineyards in Dubrovnik, Croatia
A bottle of Croatian wine
Local red wine in glasses with the bottle adorn a wooden table in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Try D'vino wine bar in the old town, where you can discover more about Croatia's wine-producing regions through private tasting sessions. It also offers guided tours of some of the family-run vineyards near Dubrovnik.

After your tour, be sure to bring a few bottles back to the yacht. Your yacht's chef will know which cuisine pairs best with each unique grape variety. 

9. Go shopping in the Old Town market

Take a wander around Dubrovnik's oldest street market, held in Gunduliceva Poljana square in the Old Town. It's open every morning and is a great place to mix with the locals and buy fresh locally-produced fruit, vegetables, honey, olive oil, dried lavender and other Croatian specialities.

Stalls also sell homemade needlework and crafts and after you have done with the shopping, there are a number of little cafes where you can sit down and relax with an espresso.

10. Enjoy the tranquility of Lopud Island

If you want to escape the crowds of Dubrovnik for the day, jump on your yacht and head to Lopud Island, which is just a short cruise west of Dubrovnik. Here you will find one of the best beaches in the area, Sunj Beach, a long stretch of fine white sand backed by wild green vegetation.

While you are here, visit the former Franciscan monastery, which is now an art gallery and the ruins of the 17th century fortress.

Feeling inspired? You can view our 7-day Croatia yacht charter itinerary to begin planning your Adriatic yachting vacation which includes Dubrovnik and the Summer Festival. 

And, if you'd like to choose your luxury yacht, you can view and compare the complete market of private yachts for crewed East Mediterranean yacht charters.

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