Some have called Dubrovnik Paradise, but for a runner it is Purgatory. Upon first arrival, the city seems to offer so much. You could climb Srd Mountain, you could run along the sea, you could explore the winding coastline and revel in new vistas at every turn . . . you should pull on your running shoes as soon as you pull into town! Yet despite the potentially great and diverse running in the area, narrow roads and heavy traffic (of the vehicular and tourist variety) make it difficult to put together a good route.
But as we say at BTG, where there’s a runner there’s a way. Adventures await the active traveler who laces up her shoes, dips down anonymous alleys, and hops aboard last-minute ferries to reach storied running trails just off the coast. Consciously commit to discovering the Dubrovnik’s runs, and your reward is experiencing this ancient city in a way most never will.
Dubrovnik is divided into several sections. The Old Town lies behind the original fortress walls, while many of the hotels and beaches are clustered in the Lapad and Babin Kuk peninsulas to the north. The “Secret Run” is in this part of the city, while the ferry for Lokrum Island leaves from the Old Port on the east end of town.
- Narrow Roads: These are quaint in the Old City, where they are pedestrian-only zones. Outside the walls, where speeding cars and strolling pedestrians share the same tiny streets, running can become downright dangerous. The lack of sidewalks in many places also complicates the situation.
- Summer Crowds: Do not, under any circumstances, kid yourself by thinking Dubrovnik is an “up-and-coming” tourist destination. It is a tourist destination.
- Tourist Information Centers: Dubrovnik is one of those places where private tour companies think it’s cute to pose as official tourist information centers. These businesses are not there to help you out of the goodness of the Chamber of Commerce’s heart, but the big green “I”s they have hanging in their windows may lead you to believe they are. Walk in with questions, walk out with disappointment.
Did you know? During the Middle Ages Dubrovnik was known as the Republic of Ragusa. It was a powerhouse of wealth and diplomacy that rivaled Venice, Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, and the other Italian city-states.