The stunning Adriatic coastal city of Dubrovnik is an absolute must-visit for anyone enjoying a villa holiday in Croatia. This is a beautiful place that is fast gaining a reputation as being a chic destination thanks to its views, historic buildings and great food.
With an old town that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late 1970s, the settlement is famed for its medieval walls, which you can even stroll around to get a bird's eye view of the city. In addition, there are luxury shopping areas and great restaurants to indulge yourself in - so you may have trouble deciding where to start.
Follow our guide to spending the perfect day in Dubrovnik.
Walk the walls
You're best taking to the ancient walls for a stroll as soon as you arrive at the city in the morning. This is not only because they can get crowded with tourists, but also because the sun gets incredibly hot in the middle of the day during the summer and there is not a lot of shade for you to shelter in.
The walls are 2 km long, but you don't have to walk along all of them. There are three entrances, so you could simply tackle a section and then move on to another part of the town.
Within the walls are some of Dubrovnik's most famous buildings, including Fort St John's and Fort Minceta, so this is a good way to get your bearings before selecting the places you will visit on your sightseeing tour.
At the heart of the Old City you will find the Stradun, which is the main street here. At the end of it stands the 15th century Luza square and its huge bell tower, which was built in the mid-1400s. Each hour is rung in by the Zelenci, two figures cast from bronze.
The tower you see before you was rebuilt at the turn of the 20th century following an earthquake that rocked the city. The damage led the original Zelenci to be removed and replaced with copies, and the originals can now be seen at Sponza Palace.
This is a beautiful Gothic-Renaissance-style building that was built in the 16th century and has served several purposes since then. The fact the structure is what has been standing here for centuries sets it apart from many of the other historical sites, which were destroyed in an earthquake.
Unlike many other cities in the western world, Dubrovnik does not have one main shopping street lined with luxury brands. Instead, these boutiques are dotted all over the place, so keep an eye out if you feel like treating yourself.
Maria on St Dominic Street is a good place to head to, as it houses numerous designer brands, including Givenchy, Jil Sander, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.
All that sightseeing and shopping will most likely have seen you work up quite an appetite. Luckily, Dubrovnik is renowned for its choice of fine restaurants, so whether you fancy a snack or a candlelit dinner, you will not have to search far.
Local dishes to sample include Green Menestra, which is a cabbage and meat stew, and ston cake, which is a sweet treat made from macaroni. Because Dubrovnik is so close to the sea, it is also famous for its delicious seafood, which is well worth trying.