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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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TRAVEL

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans

After long months of lockdowns and curfews Europeans are looking forward to jetting off for a bit of sun and sand -- only to find that their long awaited holiday plans go awry due to a shortage of rental cars.

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans
Tourists wait outside of rental car agencies in Corsica. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

In many areas popular with tourists cars are simply not available or subcompacts are going for a stiff €500 euros.

Car rental comparison websites show just how expensive renting a vehicle has become for tourists this summer.

According to Carigami, renting a car for a week this summer will set tourists back an average of 364 euros compared to 277 euros two years ago.

For Italy, the figure is 407 euros this summer compared to 250 euros in 2019. In Spain, the average cost has jumped to 263 euros from 185 euros.

According to another website, Liligo, daily rental costs have nearly doubled on the French island of Corsica. At the resort city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, rental prices have nearly tripled.

Today’s problem is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with near absence of clients, selling off vehicles to raise cash made a lot of sense for car rental firms struggling to survive.

“Everyone drastically reduced their fleet,” said the head of Europcar, Caroline Parot.

Until the spring, most companies still had fleets roughly a third smaller than in 2019, she said.

Car rental firms are used to regularly selling their vehicles and replacing them, so rebuilding their inventory should not have been a problem.

Except the pandemic sent demand for consumer electronics surging, creating a shortage of semiconductors, or chips, that are used not only in computers but increasingly in cars.

“A key contributor to the challenge right now is the global chip shortage, which has impacted new vehicle availability across the industry at a time when demand is already high,” said a spokesman for Enterprise.

It said it was working to acquire new vehicles but that in the mean time it is shifting cars around in order to better meet demand.

No cars, try a van

“We’ve begun to warn people: if you want to come to Italy, which is finally reopening, plan and reserve ahead,” said the head of the association of Italian car rental firms, Massimiliano Archiapatti.

He said they were working hard to meet the surge in demand at vacation spots.

“But we’ve got two big islands that are major international tourism destinations,” he said, which makes it difficult to move cars around,
especially as the trip to Sardinia takes half a day.

“The ferries are already full with people bringing their cars,” he added.

“Given the law of supply and demand, there is a risk it will impact on prices,” Archiapatti said.

The increase in demand is also being seen for rentals between individuals.

GetAround, a web platform that organises such rentals, said it has seen “a sharp increases in searches and rentals” in European markets.

Since May more than 90 percent of cars available on the platform have been rented on weekends, and many have already been booked for much of the summer.

GetAround has used the surge in demand to expand the number of cities it serves.

For some, their arrival can’t come fast enough.

Bruno Riondet, a 51-year-old aeronautics technician, rents cars to attend matches of his favourite British football club, Brighton.

“Before, to rent a car I was paying between 25 and 30 euros per day. Today, it’s more than 90 euros, that’s three times more expensive,” he said.

In the United States, where prices shot higher during the spring, tourists visiting Hawaii turned to renting vans.

In France, there are still cars, according to Jean-Philippe Doyen, who handles shared mobility at the National Council of Automobile Professionals.

“Clients have a tendency to reserve at the last minute, even more so in the still somewhat uncertain situation,” he said.

They will often wait until just a few days before their trip, which means car rental firms don’t have a complete overview of upcoming demand, he added.

He said business is recovering but that revenue has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as travel is not yet completely unfettered.

SEE ALSO: British drivers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ to visit Europe, EU rules

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