Croatia's Adriatic Sea has been admired by seafarers for centuries because of the pretty little islands and beautiful pristine water along the mainly rocky Dalmatian Coast.
The jewel in the crown near the Croatian coastline is certainly Dubrovnik, the walled city that evokes emotion, romance and the sheer joy of a beach holiday in the Croatian sunshine.
If you look carefully at the picture below you'll see only a few of the original dappled roofs remain among the newer brighter orange tiles after the civil war in the 90s in which the Serbs lobbed bombs on Dubrovnik from the rocky hills above.
But that's mostly forgotten these days in the battle to attract tourists. This a vibrant, cosmopolitan town with smooth marble streets and no vehicles inside the walls.
That makes it a pedestrian's paradise, with countless al fresco restaurants buzzing at night, along with seafood restaurants just outside the wall near the old harbour.
You can sit happily for hours at these seafood restaurants watching the boats coming in and out of the harbour, many of them manned by sailors with the blue and white striped shirts they've worn for centuries.
So what about Dubrovnik beaches? To the left of Dubrovnik's old harbour is a sandy beach that most tourists eventually find when they venture outside the old city's walls.
The sand is golden coloured and mostly covered with the bright bathing outfits of the jetsetters who've flown in on one of the several discount internet airlines including Sky Europe which now fly to Dubrovnik. The other alternative to travel to Dubrovnik is the overnight ferry trip from Bari in Italy.The other interesting beach location near Dubrovnik is Lokrum Island, pictured below.
It's only a 10 minute boat ride from Dubrovnik's old harbour, and it's a delightful escape, with a couple of cafes, an old church and a number of Lokrum Island beaches with water that's crystal clear and ideal for swimming. There's also a nudist beach at Lokrum Island where the nudo-Euros don't seem to notice the tourist boats coming past cheering at them.
At different beaches along the coast near Dubrovnik, you're greeted with the unusual sight of curved swimming pool rails fixed to rocks so you can clamber down to the crystal clean water.
In Dubrovnik itself, accommodation near the many outdoor restaurants is easily found, and it's mostly rooms without air conditioning let out by home owners. Just go to the tourist office or look for the signs that say "Sobe" as you walk up and down the steep steps leading away from the main square.
Dubrovnik accommodation in these rooms is usually around 60 Euros a night, but if you're after more salubrious accommodation, try hotel accommodation near Dubrovnik's old walls, just past the beach to your left.
And try a day cruise from Dubrovnik heading north past the many magnificent islands up near Split, another Dalmatian Coast city. Two of the best holiday islands are Brac and especially Hvar, where there's a lot of accommodation near Hvar island's harbour.
Hvar has a great reputation for tourists soaking up the sun and enjoying the nightlife, almost a mini island version of Dubrovnik.
This is a different best beach holiday that is certainly one of Europe's highlights. Try to get there before it's completely overrun with tourists.
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