This will be long and so I will post a few days at a time so that if anyone wants to read it, it will hopefully not be too off-putting.
We booked a package holiday to the Hotel Lero which we were pleased with on the whole. Our mistake though was to go half-board and I can only ever remember staying in one other hotel where the food was equally as bad with virtually no choice for vegetarians. Had I realised at the time of booking that there were a few restaurants very close to the hotel and, therefore, there was no need to go to the old town every evening, I would have booked on a B&B basis only. Aside from that, the location of the hotel was convenient and pretty much met our needs .
This may be stating the obvious but just some general points in case they are helpful:
There is no problem in finding a bank or changing money. We took a small amount of kuna with us but got a better rate changing sterling once we were there. I also took some travellers cheques, a credit card which I used to pay for the trips and a debit card "just in case".
Do buy the bus tickets prior to getting on the bus as it saves money.
Some people on the forum have been asking about mosquitoes - well I took repellent with deet which I did use and wasn't bitten but some people had some pretty impressive bites.
All our organised tours were booked through Elite. Sometimes there just isn't enough time to spend in one place but you can always go back by yourself if you want to spend a bit longer somewhere in particular.
31 July - we had transfers included with our holiday and so just sat back and enjoyed the view from the airport to the hotel. When we arrived there late morning, the rather unfriendly receptionist told us that the room wasn't ready and to come back after 1.00pm. Having thought we would just relax for an hour or two, we found ourselves being tourists a little sooner than we had expected. We bought bus tickets from the hotel and took the number 4 bus to the old town. The first thing we saw was the Cabrio tour bus and as we were tired from an extremely early start, we were very happy to pay 60 kuna for a 1.5 hour tour which didn't involve any effort on our part. The audio guide was very informative and we enjoyed a couple of photo stops along the route. We also had a lovely breeze on the bus which was an added bonus.
The tour finished where it started at the bus station and so we walked down the Stradun where we had lunch at Dundo Majore which we really enjoyed. We sat inside as it was a bit cooler and we weren't used to the heat. Two tuna salads and two soft drinks cost 200 kuna. I thought the prices are on a par with London. The staff were very pleasant and helped us to get our bearings.
We then walked around the side streets and came across the Synagogue and museum. The Synagogue is the second oldest in Europe. Although only used a couple of times a year, it is beautifully maintained and peaceful and worth a visit along with the museum which had some interesting exhibits dating back hundreds of years. It was also rather moving to see the names of Jews from the community who were deported and murdered during the war. The cost is 25 kuna pp.
We felt it was time to go back to the hotel, unpack and have a swim. However, after an inedible dinner we returned to the old town and enjoyed the live music and the general atmosphere. We also visited the Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik - it was very sad to see all the photos of the young men who had died but it was lacking in information.
The day had started at 3.00am for us and so it was time to turn in.
1st August - we didn't get up particularly early and after breakfast we sat by the pool enjoying the weather and swimming for about an hour. We returned to the old town for a very late lunch at Nishta - a vegetarian restaurant. Two main courses and soft drinks cost 166 kuna. It was enjoyable and rather quirky and despite the late hour still very busy.
It was now about 4.30pm and we decided to walk around the walls. 90 kuna per adult or 30 kuna for a student. It was hot (very) but there were no crowds and we took a leisurely 1.5 hours or so enjoying the views and taking photos. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get the audio guide as the person who should have been hiring them out was nowhere to be seen. We waited a while but she didn't appear and so we decided to make do without.
2nd August - we booked a tour with Elite to Korcula which cost 390 kuna pp. We were picked up at 8.20am and dropped off at 6.30pm - it worked out well for us as we were one of the last pick-ups and one of the first drop-offs. The guide was very good and knowledgeable. Our first stop was to Ston where we had 40 mins to wander around. There is just one main street but plenty of places to stop for a drink or pop into a souvenir shop. There was also a small food market. If we hadn't been on an organised tour, we would have had time to visit the salt pans and walk the amazing walls but on this trip, we satisfied ourselves with photos.
Next we headed for Orebic to make the short boat trip to Korcula where we were met by a local guide for a walking tour of approximately one hour. Although it was hot, we really enjoyed it as the guide was so good. The tour over, we chose to have lunch in a pizzeria where the tables overlooked the sea. One pizza and a soft drink cost 66 kuna.
After lunch we went back to the Town Museum where there were some interesting exhibits. I particularly enjoyed seeing how a kitchen would have been on the top floor of a house. I think the cost of the museum was 40 kuna pp. We then walked opposite to the Cathedral to look at Tintoretto's altarpiece of St Mark, St Jerome & St Bartholomew. There was time for a drink and a stroll around the harbour area before starting the homeward journey.
Our final stop was to a wine maker where we had a short presentation and the opportunity to try a couple of their wines and rakia before being given time to make any purchases. It was a tiring but very good day.
3rd August - after our full day yesterday, we decided to take it easy today. After breakfast we spent a couple of hours by the pool before heading to Lapad beach where we ate at a shaded bistro overlooking the sea. One vegetarian pizza & soft drink cost 56 kuna. We walked along the boulevard before hiring sunbeds (35 kuna each but the attendant let us have the umbrella for no extra charge). We stayed for about an hour and a half enjoying swimming in the sea which was somewhat warmer than the hotel pool!