Holidaymakers taking cheap flights to Dubrovnik with Jet2.com land in a city rich in history and heritage, and this extends to nearby municipalities like Konavle, where an ancient cliff-top tower has been fully restored - 350 years after being abandoned.
Konavle is a picturesque part of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its main town, Cavtat, offers a tranquil, scenic alternative to its larger neighbour, with pretty beaches washed by sparkling clear water, and heritage sites dating back to Illyrian times.
One of these is Sokol Tower, a mediaeval fortress on an imposing cliff-top, overlooking the stunning Konavle valley. A military outpost that survived the great earthquake of 1667, it was abandoned around 1672, its stone walls plundered for building materials. In 1970, when it was adopted by the Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, it was a ruin, but more than four decades later the castle has been fully restored to its former glory, and this Easter it will be unveiled as a tourist attraction.
Step Back in Time
The main fortifications of Sokol date from around 1420, when the tower fell to the Dubrovnik Republic, but there is evidence of occupation going back to 2000 BC. Bronze Age, Roman and mediaeval artefacts are on display within the tower, detailing the evolution from cliff-top fort to fortified city.
Formidable enough to withstand the destructive force of both the Ottoman Empire and a massive earthquake, Sokol was finally abandoned when the Cretan War decimated the Konavle population, but remains an inspiring monument to the past.