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Similar holiday destinations to Dubrovnik (Croatia)?

Posted 24th Feb 2013
Hi All,

Wonder if anyone better travelled than myself can make a few good suggestions here... last year my and my girlfriend went to Dubrovnik for 10 days and loved it. We are travelling in the school summer holidays (July or August) and looking for something similar at the same price (about £1000 including hotels and flights). We generally go self catering as we like to eat out on holiday.

What we liked about Croatia was the great weather, nice seas and the fact that is wasn't full of Brit's on drinking binges. We aren't massive "beach bathers" and like to have a bit of culture thrown in there as well. Some of the most enjoyable things we did in Croatia was "island hopping" & going swimming in lagoons etc. we had pretty much to ourselves.

Can anyone recommend anywhere similar from their own experiences? We are happy to stay in nice private-bed hostels etc. if that keeps the price down (often find they are nicer than hotels anyway).

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Sounds like you'd like Madiera. I love it. Funchal and around that area. CS Madeira (hotel & spa) is my favourite place to stay.

Sounds like you'd like Madiera. I love it. Funchal and around that … Sounds like you'd like Madiera. I love it. Funchal and around that area. CS Madeira (hotel & spa) is my favourite place to stay.

Thanks JTT. What sort of activities (by this I mean things to see and do rather than watersports etc!) do you often do around there? I'll have a google obviously but always good to hear what people who actually go prefer.
Oooh they just added Dubrovnik to my cruise itinery at Easter. :0) I have been to Madiera and it was indeed lovely Only a 1 day stop on a cruise tho so you don;t get as full a picture really. Have a good hols
Tunisia is unbelievable Jeff
Why not try another spot in Croatia? We stayed at Marina a few years ago which is a pretty little village in itself - but there is also Trogir which is only about eight miles away and is a very attractive town. I get what you mean exactly about the lack of Brits abroad.

Another possible destination is Kefalonia - a lovely unspoilt Greek island - even the busiest resorts such as Skala are very laid back. The locals are lovely people who have had massive upheaval after severe earthquakes pummelled the island in the 1950's. Much of the devastation is still there to be seen, at the likes of Assos on the western coast. Me and my missus are heading back there in June - can't wait. It's easily one of my favourite Greek islands.

Thanks JTT. What sort of activities (by this I mean things to see and do … Thanks JTT. What sort of activities (by this I mean things to see and do rather than watersports etc!) do you often do around there? I'll have a google obviously but always good to hear what people who actually go prefer.

Great for diving (shallow water snorkel and scuba).

“Beaches to rival Greece and towns that are more than a match for Dubrovnik – welcome to Montenegro…”

Sandwiched between Croatia, Albania and Serbia, this little-known country has just started making waves on the travel circuit. It’s only about the size of Northern Ireland, but it makes the most of every square mile, with dramatic mountains and pine forests lining up next to vast lakes and canyons.

Montenegro’s 200-mile coastline notches up over 100 beaches, which range from pebbly coves to sandy bays. Kotor Bay is the most spectacular – its dark waters and mountain backdrop mean it’s often compared to a Norwegian fjord. Nearby Bajova Kula Beach is a favourite with both locals and holidaymakers. Its stretch of pebbles is backed by sweet-smelling laurel trees.

As for Montenegro’s towns, with their terracotta rooftops, cobbled streets and chunky wrap-around walls, they look like they were frozen in time hundreds of years ago. Budva, for example, is packed with Medieval towers and battlements. Its waterfront, though, is modern and stylish, and lined with a good helping of restaurants and bars. Nearby Becici is one of the most en vogue destinations on the Adriatic Coast, thanks to its lavish hotels and up-market shops.
Edited by: "Mark2111" 24th Feb 2013
For a country that would fit into Britain 17 times, Montenegro has an impressive amount of beaches. Sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, its 200-mile coastline notches up over 100 beaches. And they’re not carbon copies either. From cute pebble coves to sweeping sandy bays, you’ll find pretty much whatever it is you’re looking for. The shores here can also count themselves among Europe’s most beautiful, thanks to their mountain backdrops and woodlands. What’s more, they all boast gin-clear seas that have to be seen to be believed. Milocer Beach is a 380-metre strip of crumpet-coloured sands backed by a forest. Then just around the bay there’s Becici Beach. One of the largest and loveliest on the Adriatic, its scalloped white sands are backed by hotels and hills. And whatever you do, don’t miss a stint on Sveti Stefan Island, just an easy boat hop away. If Montenegro had its own Monopoly board, this is one that’d sit in the Mayfair slot. A tiny splodge of higgledy-piggledy lanes and dinky beaches, it was named as one of The Times’ 20 style destinations for 2008. Enough said.

Eating out
Those planning to hit Montenegro’s restaurants are in for a couple of surprises. The first is the ever-present speciality of ‘crap’. No, it’s not a menu misprint – it’s just how they spell ‘carp’ in this part of the world. So you can breathe a sigh of relief. And what the Montenegrins don’t do with this fish is, well, not a lot. Smoked carp straight from Skadar Lake and baked carp with prune risotto both come highly recommended. The other surprise when it comes to eating out is the amount of choice. Obviously the country’s a dab hand at seafood along the coast. Cue plates piled high with fresh catches of the day and fish stews swimming in white wine and herbs. But nudge your way inland and you’ll come across dishes like ‘kastradina’ - dried lamb - and smoked ham and cheeses from Njeguski and Plevaljski. And as you head north, the food gets even heartier with authentic mountain recipes like lamb cooked in cream with potatoes smothered in cheese. More familiar flavours can be found at the barbeque joints - Montenegro’s answer to fast food. Tuck into ‘pljeskavica’, the local hamburger, or sausages hot from the grill. Milocer has a good sprinkling of restaurants, but it’s Budva and Becici that have the richest pickings. And for tipples, you can’t go wrong with ‘Niksicko’ beer or Montenegrin wine like ‘Vranac’, ‘Pro Corde’ and ‘Krstac’.

Demizana, Budva Treat yourself to just-caught seafood at this fish restaurant on the promenade, not far from the old town.

Pod Murvom, Becici Overlooking Becici’s beautiful beach, this seafront restaurant serves a mean mixed grill.

Picasso, Budva Go Italian the Montenegrin way at this popular pizzeria-come-pasta-parlour in the old town.

Jadran kod Krsta, Budva For the freshest fish, pull up a chair at this popular promenade eatery near the old town.

Regina, Budva Dine al fresco on the terrace and tuck into delicious pasta dishes and irresistible desserts.
Montenegro’s may not be the place to party ‘til sun up but it’s no wallflower either. In fact, most visitors are surprised by how sophisticated the nightlife is in the larger towns and cities. Busy bars, trendy jazz clubs and sleek discos catering to an international clientele all take their place on the after-dark scene. That’s not to say you have to dress up to the nines though, there’s a good selection of casual pavement cafés, too. Milocer tends to crank down rather than up come the evenings, with sunsets and dinners the main entertainment. Becici has more going on, mainly in the way of hotel bars, beachfront cafés and a few discos. The big player though is Budva – the Riviera’s late-night hotspot. During summer, the open-air clubs along the promenade fill the air with pumping beats. And the resort attracts big-name bands, too like the Rolling Stones who played a gig on the beach in 2007. For the main hub of hangouts, head for the aptly-named Bar Street in the heart of the town.

Trocadero, Budva Strut your stuff at this fun nightspot, one of the town’s top clubs.

Maximus, Kotor The name of this after-dark hotspot says it all – it’s Montenegro’s biggest nightclub.

Garden, Budva Sitting at the heart of the city’s park, this café is cosy, friendly and spills out finger-snapping jazz tunes.

Hacienda, Budva Sip exotic cocktails at this funky Latino bar, which pumps out the sounds of the Son Cuba Son Band.

Forza, Kotor This famous pastry shop sits in the main square of the old town and serves cakes and ice-cream late into the night.
Montenegro knows it’s not on the hip and happening shopping map. But that’s not what holidays here are about. That said, head into the heart of Becici and there’s a hub of stores selling a fair few designer names. And neighbouring Budva boasts the largest tourist centre in the country. But the real shopping delights tend to be the places you happen to stumble on. Do your best to check out a market while you’re here. Full of atmosphere, the friendly traders - who will tell you their life story given the chance – can’t fail to win you over. Stalls groan under the weight of clothes and souvenirs. Plus you’ll find makeshift cafés serving beer and ‘evapii’ - small grilled meat rolls. The real bargains to hunt out are the crafts unique to Montenegro. Topping the take-home list is filigree jewellery, hand-carved ornaments and leather goods are a good bet, too. Other good buys include speciality cheeses like Njegusi, Montenegrin coffee and Vranac red wine. The official currency in Montenegro is the euro.
Thanks everyone for some great suggestions! I'll give it a think and do some research over the next few days
We are going to Croatia for the first time this year, and hope it will be similar to a fantastic holiday we had in Lefkas Greece a few years back, very quiet peaceful island, no buildings over 3 storeys high, great beaches and Onassis island Skorpios very close by.
Edited by: "sotv" 25th Feb 2013
I don't see how Madeira is like Dubrovnik

Montenegro looks really nice, it's in one of the recent bond films, Casino Royale I think (will have to google it as may be QoS).

If you like the town of Dubrovnik and the beaches (as you said also island hopping) you could always go to south of Italy to a nice town and spend a few days in Lampedusa (between Italy and Tunisia - as someone recommended Tunisia too), Rabbit beach in Lampedusa was voted no1 beach in the world on Trip Advisor
Thanks SD. Ill have a look at Lampedusa as that sounds great!

We were thinking about island hopping through a few Greek islands but wasn't sure if that would be any good - biggest problem is not knowing which ones are best, there's loads!

Had some really good suggestions on here already which will look at over the next few days.
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