In October 2013 my friend and I took the Gate 1 Croatia tour. Dubrovnik was one of the cities we visited. I see some negative comments about the old city being just a bunch of souvenir shops. Yes, there are a lot of those but there is so much more. Our Dubrovnik city guide was wonderful as was our guide for the entire tour. Both were in their 30's and had been through the civil war so we heard things about the war from their perspective. By all means walk along the old town via the wall and look out at the sea, the rooftops, the homes with their little gardens. Our guide told us to note that the roof tiles were of 2 different colors. The yellowish ones were the replacement tiles. On many buildings you will see both old and new tiles. They did this to try to keep the "character" of the building. And if you look closely (you can do this if you walk along the wall) you can see that the tiles are off different sizes. That's because they made the tiles by forming them over the leg of the workers. Different workers = different thigh sizes = different roof tile sizes. Look at the house windows. You can tell which ones were pre-earthquake and post-earthquake by the types of windows -- smaller windows = prequake. It was tons of little facts like this that made the city tour very interesting.
We signed up for the Gate 1 tour never having heard of Gate 1. It was the best tour I have EVER taken. The hotels were top notch, the breakfasts great. There were 46 people on our tour but we were in 2 buses. One had 24 people, the other had 22. That left a lot of room to put coats, backpacks, etc. You were never crowded. I think a lot goes into making a successful tour -- the company (Gate 1 was very organized), the accommodations (great), the guide (our tour guide was wonderful -- organized, personable, knowledgeable -- as was the bus driver and the city guides we had were very interesting), the people you toured with (we had a great group of people). Gate 1 only provides breakfast. You were on your own for other meals. I happen to like that but others may not.
I would definitely return to Dubrovnik and I will definitely take another Gate 1 tour.
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