August 14, 2020 – Looking for the perfect chill zone with the ultimate sunset and fantastic Dalmatian gourmet classics? A romantic wedding location perhaps? It is all happening at Villa Ruza on Kolocep.
I know that most good stories should start at the beginning and finish at the end, but this story is an exception.
So let’s ease into the story and one of its many themes – the sunset.
We can take it slowly, for there is no rush. For we are in a place which is truly timeless.
Where the sun has been setting and calming locals and visitors for centuries.
A sunset seemingly in the middle of nowhere in Dalmatia.
A sunset which can be enjoyed in pictures or by video.
A sunset which takes place on an idyllic island of just 120 people, an island with no cars and no stress.
And yet an island which is just 30 minutes away from the port of Dubrovnik by regular ferry, 30 minutes from the Pearl of the Adriatic, but truly a world away.
For those – and there are many – who feel that Dubrovnik is a destination which begins and ends once you enter the city walls, think again and then hop on the Postira ferry to the island of Kolocep, the closest of the three Elaphite islands, better known locally at Kalamota.
You can take a boat directly, or walk 500 metres from the ferry to one of the true jewels of the Adriatic, and one of several incredible discoveries that has been a privilege to uncover in these last few weeks. If, like me until 3 weeks ago, you have never visited the islands of Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan, a short ferry from Dubrovnik, I encourage you to take a closer look next time. For here are three heavenly islands with so much history, heritage and Dalmatian charm to match their natural beauty, chill factor and fantastic gourmet offers. Easily the discovery of 2020 for me.
And one of the main jewels, 500 metres along the coast from the ferry to Kolocep, is Villa Ruza. Decide on what kind of idyllic experience you want to have, and it is yours to enjoy.
Chilling by the sea with a book perhaps, watching the world go by? Your comfy sofas and beanbags await, you Villa Ruza attentive waiter on hand to cater to your every need.
A place for a business meeting away from the crowds, immersed in the finest Dalmatian nature and accompanied with the freshest seafood delicacies.
A place for romance. Villa Ruza hosted no less than 57 foreign weddings in 2019, the majority of them from the UK, and it is not hard to see why. Location, sunset, location, and all that short ride from Dubrovnik. A perfect contrast to the busy historic centre, and a chance to relax, celebrate and party without the neighbours.
My love affair on Kalamota was something entirely different, however. I found myself falling for a Jadrolinija ferry called Postira.
Now faithfully serving the Elaphite islands for over 55 years, Postira is a dignified old dame who has become an established part of island life, as well as one of its unofficial timekeepers. Never late, and gliding gracefully in and out of the Elaphite harbours four times a day, Postira is magnificent, and a fabulous highlight of watching the day go by.
There are many places where time stands still in Dalmatia, but few can be as relaxing or hypnotic as Villa Ruza.
It is a story which started with romance and continues with romance every year – from those ubiquitous weddings, love affairs with ferries, sunset and gourmet heaven. It is all here at Villa Ruza.
The first love affair, however, was a very personal one, dating back almost 100 years.
Villa Ruza (literally ‘Villa Rose’) was a gift to his loved one from a rich (and romantic) Dalmatian merchant back in the 1930s, a symbol of love and intimacy away from the crowds. It has been inspiring romance ever since, first as a private villa and these days as a restaurant. Its remote, but accessible location (it is less than 10 minutes from Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, for example) makes it a popular destination for those looking for great seafood at an affordable price outside the city.
The mixed seafood platter with complimentary waterfront view is a delight.
But for something truly authentic and rather unusual…
… a burning sea bream!
A traditional local dish which has to be ordered in advance, but is totally worth it, especially if you are looking for unique and authentic gourmet experiences.
As the waiter explains in the video above, 2 kilos of fish baked in 3 kilos of salt and egg white. Unforgettable.
Most stories start at the beginning and finish at the end. And some, like this one, start at the end and end at the end.
With that unforgettable sunset.
Learn more about magical Kolocep in Arise Kalamota! Kolocep, 30 Mins from Dubrovnik But a World Away.