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Cavtat Travel Guide: 157 reviews and 419 photos

Croatian Seaside Resort

Like lots of people these days, I arrived in Croatia by cruise ship and was excited to visit this country for the very first time. I had heard that Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast were spectacularly beautiful, but had never heard anyone speak of Cavtat. With not much time in port, we booked an excursion that included a tour of the old, walled city of Dubrovnik, a Croation folkloric performance and included a visit to Cavtat. Our visit to Cavtat was much, much too short!!

Cavtat is a captivating mix --- a quaint verdant village nestled in a pine forest which hugs the sparkling Adriatic sea. It attracts everyday vacationers but also the fabulously wealthy. You might like to think that Cavtat is a well-kept secret in the world of travel, but I was stunned to see enormous personal yachts from around the world anchored at the marina in Cavtat!! They created quite a beautiful picture along with other small boats and larger sailing boats anchored in the harbor.

I would love spending more time in this village by staying at one of the small, local hotels or renting a flat for a month. Subsequent to my trip I tried to obtain more information about the village and its attractions--my searches have not been very successful as there doesn't seem to be a great deal of information or pictures online.

Just Around the Corner from Dubrovnik

Cavtat pronounced "Tsav-tat" by our guide, Helena, is one of those places that I immediately felt attracted to. Located only about 30 minutes or less from Dubrovnik, Cavtat is in the southernmost Konavle Region along the Dalmatian Coast overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Cavtat is a small seaside jewel nestled in a little crook of land which is steeply sloped with mostly little pockets of buildings and largely covered in pine forests and Mediterranean vegetation. In fact the aroma of fresh pine and the cool fresh air coming from the sea will be forever connected with my memories of Cavtat!

Beautiful Cavtat's interesting small roads lead down to the waterfront which is nearly surrounded by a promenade and pine tree-shaded path that is approximately 7 km long, rising as you pass St. Nikola's Church. Take it from me, the views are spectacular! The paved promenade around the waterfront skirts by outdoor cafes with colorful umbrellas, shops, cocktail bars, and seafood and pizza restaurants.

There are a number of sights to see in Cavtat if you can remove yourself from the view of the beautiful bay which is edged with rock and filled with crystal, blue water. These sights include the Rector's Palace, St. Nikola Church of the Baroque style, the Racic Mausoleum, archaelogical sights, art galleries and Franciscan monastery. Most all of these places could be seen in a day but we only had about an hour!! If you love being around water as I do, Cavtat may just be the kind of relaxed and beautiful Adriatic seaside place that you'd like to spend the Summer in.

An Extremely Brief History of Cavtat

Cavtat is located in the most southern part of Croatia in the region known as the Konavle. What I learned is that historical evidence indicates that the area was inhabited as far back as in Palaeolithic and Neolithic times.

The region's name, Konavle, we are told derives "from the Latin word "canale", "canalis", in the local dialect "konali", "kanali", meaning what is connected with the viaduct, which, in the times of the Romans, used to carry water from another place to what we know today as Cavtat.

So originally Cavtat was a Greek settlement called Epidauros or Epidarum. Around the year 228 BC it fell under Roman rule and later became a Roman colony. "The name Cavtat originates from "Civets vetus", as the fugitives in the newly established Dubrovnik used to call their first habitation." Those people established what was known as Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the Republic of Ragusa.

I find the history of this area quite interesting and somewhat complicated. The most recent momentous, and historically significant event to happen in this area was the Serbo-Croatian War (1991-1995?). The history of causes of the war go back many years. I saw no physical evidence or remains of the war in Cavtat, but presumably if there was any damage to the town, it must surely have been taken care of already as it is extremely picturesque. We saw only one damaged building in Dubrovnik itself which still had not been repaired, restored or rebuilt according to our guide. It was difficult to imagine that war could have touched such a beautiful place.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Natural beauty, crystal clear water and resort atmosphere!
  • Cons:None other than a little expensive!
  • Last visit to Cavtat: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated Aug 18, 2010
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Reviews (12)

Comments (24)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Thank you Sylvia for your Cavtat page. I enjoy very much Cavtat and each time I visit, I find new things to do !

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2011 at 5:39 AM

    Cavtat sounds to be a lovely place to visit for a few days! Hope to visit the Croatian coast one day.

  • Aug 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Cavtat is indeed beautiful but your stay must have been short indeed not to see evidence of war. Huge hotel on waterfront remains a ruin and many buildings still bullet-riddled and/or showing signs of more serious bomb damage.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2010 at 6:06 AM

    Enjoyed your page on Cavtat Sylvia. A cruise seems to be a wonderful way to see this and other places. Enjoyed reading the legend of Cavtat.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    You have excellent comments and pictures of this area. Too bad the trip was short for you, but ships do not wait. We go to Croatia for one month in late April-but no time ti see this, so thanks for the tour.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Loved to read how Cavtat got its name = cute photos - thanks for the virtual tour!

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2009 at 1:47 AM

    Excellent informative page on Cavtat. It certainly looks beautiful .Elefiti Islands would be a must see for me. I like the idea of sleeping in a converted monastry- something different.Good pictures.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    This still remains a favorite of mine. Wow, Sylvia! This is spectacular. So informative. Love the "monastery" as hotel tip. But, I loved all the tips because I appreciate well written, insightful tips such as yours. Brilliant.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 6:43 AM

    What a wonderful place for vacations! Thanks Sylvia for sharing. I hope you'll find causes for optimism in trips!

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Great tips and pics--as usual! :-) Ann, The TravelSlut


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