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Partying like a pirate

Want the least authentic (but still thoroughly enjoyable) pirate ship experience possible? Then book yourself onto the galleon Tirena, a replica 16th-century Dubrovnik ship.

The bearded captain claims to have built it himself, but considering he also brings a stuffed parrot and oversized pirate hat along on each journey, it’s hard to take him seriously.

You can book this whole boat out with your mates for two-hour dusk cruises.

These set sail along the coast of Dubrovnik as the light fades, and go past the historic city walls – this is probably the best vantage point from which to appreciate their full scale.

The cruise also passes the magnificent Fort Lovrijenac, which fans of cult TV show Game Of Thrones will recognise as King’s Landing from season two.

Alternatively, book a full-day ticket on the ship to explore the Elaphitis.

Do it: A nine-hour cruise stopping at Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan, including a fresh seafood lunch with wine, costs £35.89pp through Viator.

Dusk cruises can be booked through Elite with prices on request.

Kayaking on the coast

If you feel the need to work those muscles after so long spent sprawled out on boat decks, go for a paddle off Dubrovnik’s coast.

This is the perfect chance to explore the more off-the-beaten-track coves, miniature islands and secret bays that most tourists don’t get to see.

Adriatic Kayak Tours runs a half-day, 8km trip that takes you to Zaton Bay, which is just 10km north of Dubrovnik.

A deep bay, surrounded by mountain ridges, it has calmer waters and is less windy than around the Old Town (although many do choose to kayak here anyway).

Taking a kayak out here means you get to see an old stone mill with bubbling underground springs and Renaissance-era stone villas. 

Alternatively, if you’d rather stick around the Old Town part of Dubrovnik, you can also hire just the kayaking equipment and take yourself for a paddle off the coast – it’s often choppy here but there are terrific views of the mainland to be had from the water.

Do it: Adriatic Kayak Tours’ Zaton Bay and Beyond tour is  £30pp and includes snorkeling and cliff-jumping.

Rent kayak equipment from them for half a day for £21pp.

Croatian cruising 

Want to see more of the Dalmatian coast? Then spend a week on a cruise ship doing just that.

On The Go Tours runs an eight-day package, Cruise Dubrovnik, that stops off at Mljet Island National Park to see the salt water lakes in Trstenik on the Peljesac Peninsula and indulge in a little wine-tasting, and at Korcula’s medieval Old Town.

Naturally, there’s also the chance to get stuck into the wild nightlife of the harbour town of Hvar.

If you book off-season (outside July and August), you don’t even have to worry about those pesky morning crowds when you’re in Dubrovnik either, so you can see the city when it’s quiet and ripe for exploring.

Do it: An eight-day Cruise Dubrovnik tour costs £389pp.


Rocking the boat in Dubrovnik: Island-hopping, cruising and swimming off the coast of Croatia
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