My husband and I spent the fourth and final part of our Dalmatia trip exploring Dubrovnik. After a long bus/ferry journey from Korcula island we arrived into the Gruz area bus station, via the new suspension bridge over Mokosica amid much surprise and disappointment that the 'new city' is so different to Dubrovnik old town and totally the unexpected element that not all of it is pretty, like the old town. The area is a mass of tower blocks, flats, ugly 60's and 70's style buildings and industry so we were itching to see what our accommodation would be like!
As we were left in the bus station with no indication of where our accommodation was, other than a basic street map we took a pricey taxi to 'Sinjksa 8' only to discover that we had been dropped off midway up the winding hill and the property was actually further up the hill and up a large set of steps....with a heavy suitcase and hand baggage. We got there eventually though. My advice on the location-as it is difficult to find initially is to partially ignore the instructions from the property itself, which indicate that the property is opposite the bus station as this is clearly not the case! However, if you get a no 3 bus from Pile Gate just outside the old city walls (get another bus from the main bus station into town first) it does take the main road (locally called Magistrali) at the top of the hill which has a bus stop facing the property. Press the bell on the bus immediately after the first stop once you have taken the winding road up to the top of the hill (you will see a beautiful view of Dubrovnik old town on your right beforehand). The no 3 bus is pretty much essential for getting around, as the prperty is located quite a way out and makes for a pretty unpleasant uphill walk back from the old town after a days sightseeing in the heat. The buses are reliable (no 3 Nunciata bus seems to run once an hour, whereas the other buses around town are more frequent) however the no 3 bus is the only bus that comes anywhere near this property.
To walk to the old town, you need to take the steps directly beside the property down onto Sinjska. Turn left at the bottom the steps and walk about 100 yards until you see another set of narrow steps down on your right. You will then be on Od Gaja. Turn left again until you reach the next set of steps and take these down to the main road below. Turn left once again and walk up to the T junction at the end of the street. Cross the street to the left using the zebra crossing and go straight on where you will see the old town signposted. You will walk past a Zonzum supermarket on your left, keep walking until you see a sign for steps down to the old town on your right. Take the whole lot and you will come out at a restaurant just outside the city walls. basicailly there are an awful lot of steps! I didn't count, but I'd say at least 350-400 of them.
Now, about the property. We booked the en suite double room which was lovely, although very dated in terms of decor with 70's style dark wood furnishings and scary ornaments! A large double bed with nice brushed cotton flowery sheets and two windows faced the Elaphite islands (beautiful at sunset) and the hill down to the port respectively. The owners lived downstairs and there were a further two rooms next to us which shared a clean bathroom (we took a peek). Our own en suite bathroom was clean and small with modern tiles. The room was airconditioned with a super retro brown fridge which was very noisy (we had to turn it off at night) and filter coffee was provided. We were also provided with a welcome drink and wafers upon arrival-a nice touch following our hike up those steps with the luggage!
As the property is on top of the hill opposite Gruz port I'd say its location is more Gruz and Babin Kuk/Lapad/Dubrovnik itself. You do unfortunatley get a view of some of the ugly tower blocks in the area but after all, not every city is beautiful all over and the old city more than makes up for it. The cost for a room within the city walls or even within walking distance to them was phenomnal so we knew we'd have to settle for slightly less in terms of comfort and a view. Overall it is clean, spacious and reasonably priced for Dubrovnik, which is costly in all aspects but the buses-which are 10 kuna per ticket or 8 kuna if you buy beforehand regardless of where you go. Take plenty of money with you!
The best beaches in my opinion are Banje for its (almost!) sand, clear water, the cruise ships sail right past between the island of Lokrum and the beach itself and the views of the city walls from it and Lapad beach on the Lapad/Babin Kuk peninsula (get the no. 4 Hotel Palace bus and get off beside the new build apartments for steps down to the beach) which has two stony beaches and a partial promenade fronting a shower area and a beach bar which you can sunbathe on. Beware the local kids after school around 3.30pm who think nothing of jumping over sunbathing adults in their wet shorts to plunge into the sea and hogging the shower though.
Final note: For shorter stays in Croatia staff tend not to provide any maid service, so be prepared to make your own bed, ask for clean towels if required and take out your own bins daily. However at this particular property the staff did take out the bin for us daily.
A perfect end to our exploration of Dalmatia!
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- Also Known As:
- Sobe Na Konalu Guesthouse Hotel Dubrovnik