Plenty, believe me. I know as I’ve been around during months as awkward as March or December, when rain and bad weather is not as uncommon as now, on the verge of the season. Still, even in May or June, you can experience an occasional bad weather day. Or two. What do you do, then?
Put your towels and sunscreen away and hurry to enjoy at least some of the locals-proven tips of spending a wonderful day off the beach:
Breakfast at Tiffanys - In case you are renting an apartment, start the day off in style: go and have breakfast in some of the fanciest hotels in the area! Most of them offer breakfast for those who are not guests of the hotel. Think Excelsior, champagne, salmon and strawberries with cream at half eleven, sheltered on a stylish terrace, overlooking the old town of Dubrovnik. It is worth way more than the 100- 150 Kuna the experience would typically cost you.
Run to the hills - If you are from Scotland or the Netherlands and you really hate the idea of rain on vacation in the Mediterranean, then check the forecast and escape the rain. Often, the rain or wind would be just a local matter, and sunshine can be mere two hours’ ride away. Go to Peljesac, Korcula or Mostar. If you are an early riser, you can even try Sarajevo.
In Vino Veritas - Talking of Peljesac: you can go there even if the weather is bad, in fact. Do a wine tour! There is no rain in wine cellars, and tasting the different varieties of plavac mali and dingac wines will make you forget about bad weather, or, more precisely, anything bad or disquieting there might be in your current life. In vino veritas, and joy. Check out Peljesac winemakers websites, but make sure you don’t skip Grgic in Trstnik and Milos in Ponikve. Both worth a treasure (I personally witnessed some French wine connoisseurs nearly faint of envy when they tasted their casual house wines). For lunch or dinner, choose the legendary Kapetanova Kuca in Mali Ston (do order at least a few oysters even if they are out of season – in Ston, they are always IN season, and you might very well change your classification of what’s really fresh and tasty in the fruits de mer section). Equally good is Seosko domacinstvo Ficovic in nearby Hodilje. (Best fish soup ever.)
Inside information - If you can’t or simply don’t feel like leaving town, there is a wealth of indoor attractions in Dubrovnik: first, check out ToDu site on Facebook for events (there are plenty every day, but often they are advertised just among locals). Explore museums (museum Rupe for ethnographic stuff, the Aquarium for fish and the Natural History museum), churches (even if not religious, take the extra half hour to dive in the quiet of St. Domenic church – it is magical or at least very relaxing).
Shop till you drop - Shopping is a good idea on a poor weather day. There are several options. In town, there is Robna kuca Minceta and a bunch of brand and/or cool shops around Stradun. If you are looking for a mall-kind of experience, take a bus to Srebreno’s SubCity Centre. (my personal addiction is the Muller paper and perfume shop).
We all scream for ice-cream - You’ve got small kids and a sweet tooth? Then you need to go to Trgoviste, a neighbourhood in Mlini (about 5 miles south form Dubrovnik). There is Tik-Tak playroom (for reasonable charges, you can leave your children in this tastefully decorated and equipped playroom for an hour or two, while you enjoy your coffee and some of the best ice-creams and cakes in the area at the Ice Café, precisely five steps away from the playroom). There is also a very nice playroom inside the Natural History museum downtown – plenty of science and art material for your little ones to enjoy.
Get down on the farm - In need of an authentic cultural experience? Nothing better than an evening at a farm, a seosko domacinstvo. There are plenty and plenty around Dubrovnik (particularly the region of Konavle is known for traditional farm family-ran restaurants serving delicious home-made food and wine). Ask for live music, it upgrades the experience by 100% even if you don’t understand the lyrics of the local songs. The melodies, the nostalgia and the general atmosphere is unforgettable – you’ll end up loving your rainy day in Dubrovnik and hoping for more!
Blanka Pavlovic a.k.a. the Adriatic Bride is a Czech writer. She studied law (Prague) and creative writing (Oxford). As a lawyer, she specialized in international human rights law, first working for the European Court of Human Rights, then for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. She wrote five books, among them Total Balkans, The Handbook of the Adriatic Bride or The Return of the Adriatic Bride. She now lives with her family between Dubrovnik and Donji Brgat. More information and English translations of her work are available through www.blankacechova.com