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Here’s Why You Should Bring Your Appetite, Your Swimsuit, and Your Camera to Dubrovnik

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Credit: Charissa Fay

Credit: Charissa Fay

AFAR Ambassador Charissa Fay explored Croatia’s coastal stunner with the Nikon Z 7.

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The Mediterranean has an irresistible allure: clear blue-green water; the warmth of sun on your skin; rocky coastlines; grilled seafood and chilled rosé at sunset.  Dubrovnik, Croatia has all that, and more: it's a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site soaked in history with the feel of an ancient kingdom.

Exploring this jewel along the Dalmatian Coast, I had the sensation of being transported back in time.  The medieval walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town enclose a maze of pedestrian-only limestone streets, steep staircases, and imposing architecture conveying centuries of history and strife.  I was excited to be exploring this spectacular destination with the Nikon Z 7 in hand, which proved to be a perfectly compact and lightweight travel companion.

Begin your visit with a walk atop the city walls to familiarize yourself with Dubrovnik's layout.  The walls run 1.2 miles through forts, turrets and towers and reach nearly 50 feet in height, providing stunning panoramas over the terracotta roofs, Lokrum Island and the Adriatic Sea.  At dusk, I was thrilled to capture an elevated view of the Stradun promenade.  Using the Nikon Z 7’s high ISO capabilities, I did not need a tripod to easily capture stunning, hand-held nighttime shots.

Credit: Charissa Fay
Early morning is the best time to explore Luza Square, the heart of town.  Shortly after sunrise, you'll catch the Stradun fairly empty and enjoy unobstructed views of Rector's Palace, Church of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik Cathedral and Sponza Palace.  As the city comes alive, it's best to explore quiet side streets and staircases off the main boulevards – as locals hang their laundry, take their children to school, and cook breakfast.

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For lunch, visit the farmer's market in Gundulic Square for local pomegranates and figs, organic honey, homemade cheese, sweet almonds, and candied citrus peels.  Walk to nearby Banje Beach or Komarda Beach with a picnic.  For dinner, I loved Mušule na buzaru (stewed mussels) cooked in a broth of white wine, tomato sauce, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs.

Credit: Charissa Fay
For drinks, try the Buza Bars (there are two), built into the cliffside of the outer wall. I sat down with a cold drink and, with the Nikon Z 7 set to continuous shooting mode, I was able to capture summery action shots of people leaping into the turquoise sea. The nine frames per second in continuous shooting mode ensure that you can capture just the right moment in full resolution.  
Credit: Charissa Fay
For expansive views of the Old Town and coastline, head to the summit of Mount Srđ before sunset. From there I paired the Nikon Z 7 with the Mount Adapter FTZ and used a F-Mount telephoto lens to capture tighter shots from the mountaintop. The image quality was exceptional.
Credit: Charissa Fay
If you're seeking a relaxing change of scenery, catch the 15-minute ferry from Dubrovnik to Lokrum Island. As a protected nature reserve, Lokrum has quiet hiking trails, rocky beaches, a salt-water swimming hole and wild peacocks.  It's a pleasant respite from the heat and crowds of Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is a visual feast.  Getting lost off the main streets brought the greatest surprises and glimpses of local life. And I loved traveling with the Nikon Z 7– it's a powerful camera, but so lightweight that I was easily able to walk all day with it.  Capturing the beauty of Dubrovnik using the Z 7 made it my new favorite camera.

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