The Adriatic coast welcomed Omega with bright, sun-filled days in Dubrovnik from 31 August – 2 September. Our team got to know the city behind its historic city walls, the villages on the outskirts, as well as the beautiful islands along the Croatian coast.
The 35-degree temperatures, white beaches and turquoise oceans along the Adriatic coast ensured our 135 Omega teambuilders had all the right ingredients for a summer experience, as they arrived in Dubrovnik on Friday afternoon; for many of our team, it was a welcome break from the rainy weather in Europe. The weekend promised a mixture of action and relaxation, including a tour of the historic city and island hopping along the coast.
The teambuilding opened with an introduction to the city's history including tours of the old city and the city walls.
Dubrovnik, known for its beautiful beaches and Mediterranean climate, has become one of the most popular holiday destinations along the Croatian coast over the latest decade. The city is steeped in history and our teambuilding opened the weekend with a living history lesson on the old city walls and along the old town’s cobblestone streets. Evidence of the city's war-torn period in the 90s were difficult to see, says Kristian Våg, Omega consultant and first-time visitor to Dubrovnik.
"I was surprised by how the city looked, considering several areas of it were blown to pieces during the war. We still remember the Balkan War at the beginning of the 90s, but having heard the guides tell us about the destruction, it was impressive to see how the city had managed to rebuild itself after many years of war.” “The old city and the enormous wall surrounding Dubrovnik were really impressive, and during our two hours of sightseeing we were presented with a powerful history lesson, from medieval Dubrovnik until today.”
The old city, behind its tall walls, is represented on the UNESCO World Heritage list because of its medieval architecture and position in history as a commercial center and a significant site for Croatia’s naval power. Despite the destruction of wars and earthquakes, Dubrovnik has managed to maintain many of its Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, market squares, castles and statues.
Pirate ship "Tirena" was modelled after medieval galleon ships and took the teambuilding out for coast and island sightseeing.
From city sightseeing one day to coastal sightseeing the next: the “Pirate ship” Tirena anchored up at the seaport in the old city and took our team on a sea safari along the Croatioan coast on Saturday morning.
"When our guides told us we were going on a pirate ship, they really meant a pirate ship. 'Tirena' was modeled on a medieval galleon, and it was very cool being on board as set sail and headed out to sea,” Våg recalls.
After an hour of fresh sea spray onboard Tirena, the team stopped on the island of Kolocep, the southern-most of the Elaphiti archipelago’s 13 islands, off the Croatian coast. Kolocep has almost 200 inhabitants and is the smallest of the three inhabited island in Elaphiti, which has 850 inhabitants in total.
"It was like paradise. With its white beaches, tropical vegetation and car-free environment, Kolocep was absolutely beautiful. It was so quiet and harmonic you could almost forget that people actually lived here. We simply had to sit down and just take in the sight of the place,” Linda Solito de Solis explains.
Following lunch on Kolocep, Tirena headed further north towards Lopud, an island reputed to have the best beaches in Elaphiti. Teambuilders stepped out into the afternoon sun and took the opportunity to enjoy Lopud's car-free environment and judge its white, sendy beaches for themselves.
The Dubrovnik team stopped for lunch on their way to and from the airport, getting to see more of the Croatian rural villages.
“It was a great way to see more of the area around the city, at the same time as we could enjoy the summer weather: we ate on one island and went for a swim on another. The Elaphiti island outing was a definite highlight, and a trip we probably would not have experienced if we were traveling on our own,“ says Lars Ove Østrem of his first Advnatge teambuilding experience.
"There was not a wasted minute on the entire trip, from the moment we landed in Dubrovnik, until we traveled home again. Even on the way to and from the airport, we had the opportunity to stop for lunch breaks in small Croatian villages in the region,” Østrem says.
On the bus ride from the airport on Friday, the group stopped for lunch in the charming village of Cavtat. On the return trip on Sunday afternoon, lunch was enjoyed in Konavale, a village only 20 kilometers from Dubrovnik Airport.
"The area was dry, and didn’t looked very fertile, but we were taken to a place, almost like an oasis, in Konavle. In this small valley was our restaurant, surrounded by little streams, forests and water wheels. It was a cool spot in the middle of a hot and dry landscape in the village and a nice place to enjoy a few final hours of summer, before heading back."
"After three days of Croatian summer, I believe most of us were fully recharged and ready for everyday life in the chilly, autumn rain again,” Våg concludes.