Konavle Valley: A hidden gem on Croatia’s Adriatic coast

On the southernmost tip of Croatia is a region of particular natural beauty known as the ‘Konavle Valley’.

Konavle Valley: A hidden gem on Croatia’s Adriatic coast
Photo: B. Jovic

Almost half of the entire Konavle region is formed of flourishing wildlife; there are cypress and pine trees in abundance with vineyards almost everywhere you turn. 

Photo: B. Jovic

The scent of the sea intermingled with the aroma of lush Mediterranean vegetation is thick in the air in Konavle Valley. Life goes by slowly in this part of the world, making it the perfect spot for some honest-to-goodness R'n'R.

Start planning your trip to Konavle Valley

Often compared to Tuscany, Konavle Valley is a must-visit destination for lovers of nature and foodies. It offers peaceful surroundings, breathtaking scenery, and excellent restaurants serving extraordinary local wines.

Photo: B. Jovic

The restaurants and konobas (the local word for ‘tavern’, you might want to memorise it!) in the region are based on Mediterranean gastronomic heritage: fish, vegetables, and olive oil. At night, you can dine under a blanket of stars away from the light pollution common in much of Europe.

If you prefer active holidays, the region is excellent for cycling, hiking, horseback riding, and practically anything else to do with nature.

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

The picturesque town of Cavtat is possibly the most famous place in Konavle and is situated on the region’s north coast. It’s Croatia’s little jewel; its best-kept secret is the old harbour that hides many lovely restaurants. The stunning waterfront is lined with palm trees and has been compared to France’s glamorous Saint Tropez.

Click here to find out more about Cavtat

A caveat about Cavtat: it’s not for you if you’re looking for nightclubs and wild nights. It’s a place to relax and recharge your batteries while enjoying wonderful scenery, food and wine.

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

However, if you are in search of a more upbeat nightlife, nearby UNESCO world heritage site Dubrovnik would be a better choice. Luckily, it’s easily reachable by bus or water taxi from Cavtat, so if Cavtat is your base you can have the best of both worlds. In short, Cavtat is busy enough to keep you entertained but quiet enough for some calm and privacy.

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

This part of the world is a wonderful and charming place to explore and be active. There are excellent walking trails (which can be done with or without a guide), horse riding across olive groves, a coastal ride offering great views, as well as biking routes. You can enjoy wine tasting tours at most vineyards, including sampling local drinks you probably haven’t tried before and won’t be able to try anywhere else in the world.

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape or an action-packed trip, you can find everything in Konavle. This is just a glimpse of many possibilities; there’s something to suit every taste and an experience for all kind of travellers. You can bathe at some of the most beautiful beaches or stroll around untouched natural coves while enjoying stunning views of the open sea.

Or perhaps you’ll opt for something more active and go scuba diving, rowing, trekking, or climbing?

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

Whatever you choose, this is a destination that won’t disappoint.

How do you get there?

The Dubrovnik Airport is in Čilipi, just 5km from Cavtat. You can get to Cavtat by ferry through the Dubrovnik port, which is also connected by ferry lines coming from other Croatian ports. Other transport information can be found here.

What to do?

Just some of the places well worth visiting while in the Konavle Region include Dubrovnik, Korčula, Mljet, the River Neretva Delta, the Elafiti Islands, the Pelješac Wine Road, Trsteno, Ston Međugorje, Mostar, Kotor, and many more!

But if you want to awaken your inner adventurer, you shouldn’t miss the following activities:

  • The Sea Path: recreational horse riding
  • ATV safari: take a quad bike tour around the Konavle region
  • Scenic train ride through Konavle Valley
  • Hiking, cycling, climbing, and diving!

What to see?

Even the most experienced of travellers will find something new and exciting to do on their trip to Konavle Valley. The beautiful scenery, rich cultural and historic heritage combined with a wide range of services, makes the whole region a very attractive destination on the Adriatic coast.

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

Photo: Kanavle Tourist Board

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by the Cavtat-Konavle tourist board and Croatian National Tourist Board.

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Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany