Get to know Konavle
This region of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is as far south as you can you in Croatia. Soaring snow-capped mountains, lush plains, dramatic beaches and an abundance of history and tradition. Konavle is often described as Croatia’s Provence, and there are certainly similarities. If you to Dubrovnik by plane, then you’ll actually visit Konavle as the Dubrovnik Airport is located in this region. However, the vast majority of passengers come out of the airport and turn right towards Dubrovnik.
A region of contrasts - Photo Canva
This is beautifully majestic region. Mother Nature was being kind when she visited Konavle. From active breaks, on horseback or on a bicycle, or simply soaking up the greenness from a tour by car will leave you with a much better understanding of the citizens and cultures of Konavle. Traditions are passed down through generations. Future generations not only cherish their ancestry, they build on it and develop it. From the dances and songs that you can see every Sunday in Cilipi, to the menus of the region’s restaurants to the wine growing and preservation of the sacral buildings. An absolute must see and a great idea for a daytrip. It is literally a 30-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik but feels a million miles away.
Did you know
The tennis star Marin Cilic was married in Cavtat in Konavle
Konavle gets its name from the canals that run through the region
What to see
One absolute must see is the Sokol Tower. The castle of Sokol was built on an inaccessible cliff more than 25 meters high. A natural fortress, its controls the main road leading from Konavle north into Herzegovina and the Balkan hinterland. This is the main reason why this town has been continuously inhabited since ancient times.
Sokol Grad dominates the skyline - Photo Canva
Although its present name was first mentioned in August 1373, archaeological finds date the town several thousand years earlier. Research has proven that there was a prehistoric structure, an ancient and a late-antiquity fortress, and a medieval town that came under the authority of the city of Dubrovnik in 1423.
What to do
There is a rather special beach in Konavle, one that has found itself filling the pages and websites of international publications, often found on the lists of the best beaches in the world. Pasjaca Beach in Konavle is one of those hidden gems of the Dubrovnik region. Well at least it used to be hidden but in recent years it seems that the spotlight has fallen on it and turned it into an attraction. Located in the small village of Popovici in pretty much the heart of the Konavle wilderness the beach looks like it has especially created by Hollywood as a set for “From Here to Eternity”.
With unbelievable translucent seas, sky scraping cliffs and a bright white beach edged in between you have the feeling that if you ever dreamt of the perfect beach it would probably look something like Pasjaca. And after a swim on Pasjaca make your way back to Cavtat for a coffee on the main promenade. Horse-riding, visits to vineyards, biking, hiking and diving are all possible and great fun in Konavle.
What to eat
As I’ve already pointed out Konavle and its people like to respect their traditions and this is also reflected in the meals. One meal that you absolutely must try is rather tricky to explain in English. In fact, it isn’t the actual ingredients that are important, more the preparation. It’s described as cooking under the bell. Which basically involves a long process in which a huge iron bell is placed over the meat, potatoes and seafood, and then covered with hot coals. It is a long, long process, and to order the meal in most restaurants you’ll have to order in advance.
Tradition and wine meet in Konavle - Photo DNŽ Tourist Board
We should have added an extra section – What to drink – as Konavle is famous for its wines. Over 40 quality wines are being produced in Konavle today. Among them autochthonous and international varieties such as “Maraština“, “Grk“, “Pošip“, “Plavac” and many more.