Reasons to Spend Spring in Dubrovnik

By 21 December 2016

Dubrovnik resident Lauren Simmonds is already looking forward to her favourite time of year on December 21, 2016. Why you should visit the Pearl of the Adriatic in Spring.

Spring is the most desirable time of year for many people, and for many different reasons. New life begins, flowers bloom, trees regain their leaves and the sun starts to melt the frost away. For me, it is the calm before the storm (the storm is also known in the meteorological world as ''summer'') and as I've mentioned many times, summer in Dubrovnik is far from a relaxing paradise. Here's why you should consider visiting in springtime...

1) The crowds are tolerable

I would like to say that there aren't any crowds, but that would be an out and out lie. Dubrovnik has become as much of a home to herds of selfie stick donned tourists as the old harbour has to sailors' cats, but the sheer volume and density of the aforementioned herds is much thinner than it is during summer. The increased level of personal space and indeed oxygen allows for a much more genuine experience of the city. What is the use of being in a living, breathing museum when you can't see anything because a sea of people is blocking the view? Pay us a visit during spring and you'll actually be able to SEE that monument, READ that plaque and get a true taste of the authentic Dubrovnik.

2) You can still swim (most of the time)

I was raised in northern Europe, so I am acutely aware that my notion of warm is probably deathly freezing to someone from California, but hear me out. Unless you happen to know where some secret swimming spots are, swimming in Dubrovnik between June and mid September can be a bit like trying to find your way through a minefield. While Banje (formerly East West) beach is nice, it is so thronged with people that cooling off there would be anything but relaxing. We locals wouldn't even consider swimming at Banje during summer and you can avoid subjecting yourself to such a sense of avoidance by coming to experience it in spring. The months of April and May are usually glorious and the city is still pleasantly quiet, leaving beautiful beaches like Banje fairly empty and open for enjoyment. Is the sea as warm as it is during summer? No. But it's fresher, cleaner and most importantly, emptier.

3) Less harassment from Kayak tours, Walking tours, Game of Thrones tours (I could go on and on, tours)

In summer, you can't walk around the Old City without being hassled, and there really is no other way to word it. Every man and his dog wants to sell you some sort of tour. Tourism is the essential source of income for the vast majority of people in Dubrovnik, including myself, but I don't think there is anything quite as irritating as someone jumping out at you and trying to make you buy things when you are clearly showing absolutely zero interest in the first place. Its off-putting, invasive, and psychological studies suggest that the moment you are hassled, you say no without even thinking about it. In spring, you'll come across much, much less of this type of behaviour and you'll be free to take in what Dubrovnik is really all about. Not spending your time avoiding fatal eye contact with a leaflet wielding woman who is repeatedly yelling "CAVTAT, LOKRUM, LEAVING NOW!!!" at the top of her lungs is always a plus.

4) Less traffic, less stress

Summer can be hellish when it comes to driving, and spending time stuck inside a metal box on a hot tarmac road in 40 degree heat is hardly alluring. In spring, the roads are much clearer, making for some spectacular views as you make your way down the Croatian coastline and into the picturesque city of Dubrovnik. Driving is the best way to go from point A to point B (and pay visits to all the other points in the alphabet too) during your stay in Dubrovnik. Cavtat, the Konavle countryside, Ston, Peljesac and many more wonderful places are naturally made much more accessible by car, and visiting during a time of significantly less traffic will allow you to view Dubrovnik in an entirely different light.

5) The temperatures are pleasant, not oppressive

Summer temperatures here soar to staggering heights and being surrounded by rocky mountains doesn't make it any easier. The imposing stone walls literally cook the Old City and it can make visiting all the vastly interesting places the UNESCO World Heritage site has to offer a bit less appealing. In springtime, temperatures are mild to warm and blue skies are generally a given. The climate is nice enough for short sleeves and sunglasses but not warm enough to break a sweat and be breathless. Pleasant climes let you wander, explore and enjoy Dubrovnik's rich culture and history without running for the nearest dark, shady place to sit down.

6) The City Walls

Dubrovnik is one of the best preserved walled cities in existence, its impressive walls stretch right around the Old City and encompass it in a protective grip, a grip which saw off many attacks from various would-be invaders over the centuries. Thankfully, the Ottomans are no longer trying to cause havoc and you're free to walk around the walls and take in the incredible views of the sea, the city and the surrounding area. In summer, this is near on impossible to do pleasurably unless you wake up very, very early. The blistering heat beats down on the ancient stone and other than several fortifications along the way, such as the Minceta fortress, there is absolutely no shade whatsoever. Spring's calm temperatures offer a different perspective, an enjoyable walk and the opportunity to really enjoy the experience.

Visiting Dubrovnik in spring will give you a totally different experience of the city that unfortunately becomes more and more strained with its popularity. With a climbing number of summer time visitors, it is becoming harder and harder for people to truly enjoy their stay here. Dalmatia's blue skied spring is the last opportunity before summer arrives to see Dubrovnik for what it truly is, quiet, serene, and soulful.

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