Dubrovnik - simply the best for luxury fun in the sun stay
Have a great holiday in the sun
Chris Page discovers dramatic beauty of 1,000 Dalmatian Coast islands that knock spots off other seaside resorts
Game of Thrones fans have long thronged to Croatia's dramatic film locations.
But there's many more reasons for we Brits to go Westeros to central and south east Europe's scenic crossroads.
Roman ruins to wondrous waterfalls, trademark honey to cheese, this Balkan beauty promises something for everyone.
Nowhere is that more true than Adriatic Sea's Dalmatian Coast, whose 1,000-plus isles knock spots off competing resorts.
Where to stay
To ensure shore success, there's no better way to discover Dubrovnik than with the country's leading hotel group.
Valamar's "All you can holiday" mission statement is most obvious at flagship Dubrovnik President Collection Hotel 5* accommodation.
Split-level balcony rooms await at the five-star venue whose beachfront location basks in Babin Kuk peninsula charm.
Setting a bench mark for luxury, the site offers comfort and service in equally impressive measures.
Think "spectacular views, unparalleled feeling of unity with nature and crystal blue sea". And then some!
The eight-storey site has 292 rooms, all sea-facing in an architectural triumph, within Mediterranean gardens.
MIRAMARE and main restaurants serve buffets for all tastes while à la carte fine dining puts haute into cuisine.
Piano and Wellness bars also extend refreshing welcomes with terraces overlooking squeaky clean blue flag beaches.
Doubles cost from £100 per night. Visit www.valamar.com/en/hotels-dubrovnik/valamar-dubrovnik-president-hotel site.
Nearby four-star sister Lacroma is equally attractive, boasting on-site pool relaxation area to sooth mind and body alike.
Balance Mediterranean Spa delightful de-stress sends your spirits soaring like egrets encircling above in cloudless skies.
Also having collected almost as many accolades as pebbles on the foreshore, it prizes coveted World Travel Awards aplenty.
Surrounded by pine forests, it is again renowned for winning fusion of mother nature's wonders with state of the art splendour.
Some 400-plus rooms across five floors similarly provide prime position base to explore surroundings including nearby city.
Doubles cost from £75 per night. Visit www.valamar.com/en/hotels-dubrovnik/valamar-lacroma-dubrovnik-hotel site.
Where to go
Dubrovnik's Old Town, encircled by soaring stone walls completed in the 16th century, is a must-see experience for all visitors.
Well-preserved buildings range from baroque St Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza and Gothic Rector’s Museum palaces.
Paved with limestone, pedestrianized Stradun is flanked by shops and restaurants as old and new compete for your attention.
And, for those who literally want to drink in the atmosphere, "hole in the wall" Buza Bar offers rosé tinted spectacular sunsets.
Walking tours, revealing streets' eclectic secrets shrouded in history, can best be accompanied by eco-friendly electric tuk-tuk trips.
Gruz harbour market offers flavour of fisherfolk plying their age-old trade before spanning 500-plus metre Franjo Tuđman Bridge.
Srđ Mountain loftiness offers amazing vistas beside through-provoking reminders of relatively recent warfare endured by villagers.
The Best of Dubrovnik three-hour tour costs 340 KN (45 EUR) per person. Private tours cost 1350 KN (180 EUR) for maximum four adults + two children. Visit www.ecotuktoursdu.hr site.
Then indulge all your senses at chill-out Coral Beach Club (https://coral-beach-club.com/) offering taste of paradise more plentiful than boat-load of Bounty bars.
Among the region's best beaches because of unspoiled shores and well-maintained condition, it offers wide choice of activities.
Water sports are available for energetically inclined. Or just kick back, basking in picture postcard seaside scenery and sunshine.
And dream of your next visit to ever enchanting Eden that is Croatia.
Discovering Dubrovnik fact file
The world’s first commercial pharmacy reportedly opened here in 1317. Then allied to the monastery, it remains in existence today, still stocking creams and herbal teas faithful to original recipes.
Dubrovnik was the first country (a republic at the time) to banish slavery in 1416.
The city hosted the world's first orphanage, which opened its doors to take in children from 1432.Dubrovnik has a medieval sewer system dating from 1296 ... which is still in use today!
Crime Queen Agatha Christie spent her second honeymoon here.
Dubrovnik is Grande Dame of the film world, having hosted Star Wars and Robin Hood hood locations as well as Game of Thrones backdrops.