I FELL in love with a stunningly intact, walled city on the Adriatic Sea coast of the extreme south of Croatia – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the proudest feather in Croatia’s tourist cap and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean – meet Dubrovnik.Steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, Dubrovnik boasts some really special churches, museums and fountains. But even if you’re not into history, it will have you under its spell!The old town particularly, completely pedestrianised and with a warren of little streets, is captivatingly charming. And what would a visit to Dubrovnik be without a walk on its most famous city walls. Affording views to drool over, and starring in the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, this two kilometre walk is a must do of note, which thanks to the TV series, has seen a surge in popularity of late. Cliff jumping into the azure sea and of course swimming below the old walls in the hot summer months is hugely popular and if shopping is your thing, the handmade tablecloths and linens are really special. Interestingly, it is said that the necktie originated here. It is here too, that a Franciscan monastery creates toiletries based on ancient recipes – popular with locals and tourists alike.Gastronomically, this is the home of fresh fish and seafood and the popular and probably most traditional dish, ‘zelena menestra’ (cabbages and other vegetables with meat). For the brave, there’s the (strong) national drink ‘rakija’ made from different fruits and nuts and of course the local wine is excellent. Croatia, although part of the European Union, is not a Schengen State. They do however welcome South Africans who hold Schengen visas. One Croatian Kuna is currently R1.87. Also known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, it’s not difficult to see how George Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it”. Add this still relatively non commercialised pearl to your bucket list.