Leaf through a dictionary until you find the word picturesque, and you might just see Cavtat holidays featured alongside it.

Neatly preened

Cavtat teeters between charming seaside town and swanky resort, without tipping too far in either direction. It’s on a peninsula wedged between two coves, where fishing boats share the shallows with yachts that are bigger than your average apartment. Pebble beaches and stone bathing platforms dress the waterfront, and pretty stone houses poke out from the tree-coated headland. Sunset’s quite a show from the restaurant-lined promenade, and a cluster of bars kick into gear after dark.

Nod to the past

On top of its present-day good looks, this pretty town’s not shy about showing off its history. There’s a waterfront statue of one of its most celebrated sons, Baltazar Bogisic, who was a big name in 19th-century law. Head to the column-fronted Rector’s Palace, and you’ll see a collection of his work. Elsewhere, the home of Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac’s been turned into a museum, and his frescoes are still on show at the Franciscan Monastery beside the bus station and the harbour.

Out and about

A holiday package to these parts doesn’t stop at the outskirts of Cavtat. It’s part of the Dubrovnik Riviera, which means daytrips to the terracotta-topped city are a doddle. Small towns crop up along the way there, so you’re never far from a taste of Croatia’s authentic side. Closer to home, the Adriatic Sea offers another checklist of things to do. Scuba divers can flipper their way down to shipwrecks, rocky formations and a site covered in ancient Greek jugs and ceramics. If fishing’s your bag, then hop on a boat to the neighbouring islands of Mrkan and Bobara.

At a Glance

  • Watch the sunset from the bayside promenade
  • Visit the pretty Franciscan Monastery
  • Scuba dive to ancient relics