Dubrovnik’s Perfect Escapes: Cilipi

Lauren Simmonds

Continuing our look at some of the beautiful townships and villages close to Dubrovnik, let’s head to one of the southernmost villages in Croatia and one of Konavle’s hidden gems. Home not only to Dubrovnik Airport, but to an abundance of culture, heritage and tradition…

A short coastal drive (23 kilometres) southeast from Dubrovnik down the D8 Adriatic road and into the peaceful Konavle countryside will bring you to the village which lends its name to Dubrovnik Airport, Cilipi. Just a few minutes from the southernmost Croatian town of Cavtat, Cilipi is the largest settlement in Konavle and has risen steadily in its popularity with visitors from nearby Dubrovnik and Cavtat, particularly on Sundays.

Despite being the biggest settlement in the area, Cilipi is small in size, comprised of several old stone family houses and centred by the largest parish church in Konavle, Saint Nicholas (Zupa svetog Nikole). This picturesque village is full of character and is the perfect escape for anyone seeking a truly authentic step back in time, away from the often overwhelming hustle and bustle of ”summer in the city”.

Steeped in tradition and culture, Cilipi welcomes a great many visitors from Dubrovnik every Sunday from Easter right up until the very end of October to witness various traditional folklore events organised by locals. More than just a typical pretty coastal town, Cilipi brings the past to life each week with its numerous folklore events, allowing visitors a rare glimpse through the window of the rich cultural past of its people, their ancestors and the collective heritage that binds them. Seemingly a world away from any type of tourist trap, it isn’t an unusual sight to see smiling women and girls adorned from head to toe in local dress as you enjoy the views of the rolling, forest covered Konavle mountains. 

An ethnographic musem known as the Homeland House of Konavle can also be found in Cilipi, boasting diverse source material from all over Konavle in an otherwise totally unassuming, old Dalmatian family house.

In keeping with its traditional, time-warp type charm, there is only one hotel in Cilipi, Hotel Konavle, which can be found directly across the road from the entrance into the village itself.

The Dubrovnik city bus service (Libertas) runs several daily lines from Dubrovnik and Cavtat to Cilipi, you can find them here. Make sure to click on the suburban timetable (prigradski vozni red).


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