LOCATED in the south of Croatia, Dubrovnik is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and is famous for its distinctive Old Town encircled by massive stone walls built in the 16th century.
A wealth of sites lies within the walls where well-preserved buildings range from the baroque St Blaise Church to the Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector's Palace, now a history museum.
A rich and powerful city state until 1806, the proud city once known as Ragusa has a population of over 40,000. Structural damage suffered at the hands of the Yugoslav People's Army, has been repaired and visitors once again flock to this tranquil city.
Overlooking the calm blue waters of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is one of the world's most magnificent walled cities.
During its Golden Age it had one of the largest merchant naval fleets in the world, with consulates in more than 50 foreign ports. Brave sailors, hard-bargaining merchants and shrewd diplomats, the people of Dubrovnik became extremely rich, leading sophisticated lifestyles and valuing refinement and the arts.
Today, visitors come for leisure not to trade. The charming pedestrian-only Old Town is packed with aristocratic palazzi and elegant Baroque churches. Add to this the beaches, pristine sea, informal eateries serving top-notch seafood, five-star hotels and adventure sports facilities and your holiday is made.
Whether you're visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the 100th, the sense of awe never fails to descend when you set eyes on the beauty of the Old Town.
It's hard to imagine anyone becoming jaded by the city's white limestone streets and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic.