Dubrovnik's fine position over the Addriatic earned it the sobriquet "Jewel of the Adriatic".
updated 10/10/2005 8:24:04 PM ET 2005-10-11T00:24:04

Breaking news: The French Riviera is officially passé. The new hot spot: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Indeed, crowds are once again flocking to this wondrous city on the southernmost stretch of Croatia’s coast, as enchanted by its beauty today as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who once proclaimed, "If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik."

While you may have first heard of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the early 1990s, when images of a city under fire flashed across TV screens during the break-up of Yugoslavia, that episode of the city's history now seems a distant memory. The city has been magnificently restored to its former glory to emerge as one of the most fashionable vacation spots in all of Europe.

Dubrovnik's resurgent popularity should come as no surprise, however – this “jewel of the Adriatic,” as the coastal resort town is often referred to in tourist brochures, is breathtakingly beautiful. The city's fortified old town overlooks the dazzling Adriatic from a shelter of limestone cliffs and its marble-paved streets are lined with marvelously preserved churches, stately palaces, squares, and terracotta-roofed townhouses. Meanwhile, down below, along the seaside coast, fine beaches beckon – as do a slew of offshore islands – making Dubrovnik uniquely appealing to history buffs and sun worshippers alike.

With all that it has to offer, you could easily fill an entire week exploring Dubrovnik's historical relics and beachside pursuits.

With its compact old town, a whirlwind tour of the major sights can be handily accomplished in two to three days; add in some beach time and out-of-town excursions, and you've got seven days of vacation.

Dubrovnik is easy to explore on foot. Don’t miss the fortifications surrounding the picturesque old town or a day out at the beach. You can make it happen by plane or package tour; picturesque hotels abound in the city, as do excellent restaurants in all price ranges. And if you’re staying for longer than three days, head out of town on fun day trips, especially to the scenic Elaphite Islands that lie off the coast.

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