A speedboat flies across perfect aquamarine water, the kind of glass clear greeny/blue you see in travel brochures but assume must be photoshopped. Having spent the day swimming off the boat in secluded bays, exploring caves and coves only reachable from the sea and lunching on sleepy islands, the passengers lounge on the front of their private boat in the Adriatic sunshine, chilled glass of white wine in hand, while their skipper takes them to the next gorgeous snorkelling spot.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Or at least the luxurious holiday of a celebrity – but what if we told you that this was actually how we (two very un-famous, definitely not rich travellers) spent the second day of our trip to Dubrovnik?
We spent the day exploring the Elaphite Islands with Dubrovnik Boats and our skipper Nikša, feeling like we had stumbled into an exotic Bond movie. The whole 8 hours were tailored to what we were most interested in, and Nikša also said he knew some fantastic secluded spots where we would be the only people there. Our first stop was to be the famous Blue Cave, but after arriving and seeing a fleet of tour boats waiting outside, Nikša took us round the corner to a beautiful bay for half an hour of snorkelling. When we went back to the Blue Cave, everyone had gone and we had it to ourselves. Genius!
You can see why the Blue Cave is such a popular destination – it is truly otherworldly! After diving off the boat and swimming in through a low entrance, the cave immediately opens out and isn’t claustrophobic at all. Turning back towards the sunlight, your body under the water looks like a member of the Blue Man Group, and if you swim under the surface, you enter a world of the most astonishing cobalt blue. These photos aren’t edited at all – this is the real colour!
After climbing back on board, Nikša produced a large cooler full of beer, wine, juice and water. “Drink?” Absolutely! Cheers! Or “Živjeli” as they say in Croatia.
We spent the day cruising between locations: creeping the boat into little caves, anchoring so that we could climb over rocks to see an impressive sea arch, snorkelling in the clearest water we’ve ever seen and we were dropped off on the island of Lopud so we could take a picnic to the botanical gardens. Sitting under the shady trees with the cicadas in surround sound was very special. Dubrovnik Boats can also give you recommendations for some local restaurants, but we decided to take our own lunch with us.
The afternoon included snorkelling at various spots around Lopud and hauling out on the big flat rocks by the shore to sunbathe. We then had a leisurely scenic cruise around the rest of the island, glass of wine in hand, en route to the popular sandy Šunj beach on the far side of Lopud. We laughed out loud at how special this was – we felt like movie stars! The boat anchored off shore and we dove over the side and swam to the beach for half an hour of sunbathing, before swimming back to zoom home.
If you’d like to treat yourself to a really special exclusive experience on your Dubrovnik holiday, we honestly couldn’t recommend Dubrovnik boats more. From the bespoke plan of the day to the immaculate boat and equipment, the cooler of drinks and of course our fantastic skipper – it made for one of our favourite travel days EVER! In the current Covid situation it also felt much safer than cramming onto a busy tour boat with 30 other people, and of course we could tailor the day to what we wanted to do, rather than following a set itinerary and waiting for everyone to get back on the boat again at each stop.
The boat was ours from 10am until 6pm, and we were collected and dropped off at our apartment. Snorkelling masks and fins were provided and all drinks were included.
Check out Dubrovnik Boats at www.dubrovnikboats.com/
Disclaimer: We were offered a discounted rate for the boat trip in return for an honest review but all opinions are our own!