Sokol Grad is a fortified town, well more a tower or castle that the town, although the site is pretty large and that's I guess why Croatians call it a town (grad means town in Croatian).
We intended to visit Sokol Grad in April after a visit to the Glavinja Olive Estate. But we indulged in olive oil tasting and just lost a count of time.
By the time we finished our visit to the Glavinja Estate, we couldn't think of nothing but a hearty meal that was awaiting us at the old train station high up in the mountains above Dubrovnik. So we skipped the Sokol Grad.
When we visited Dubrovnik again in September, we've made a decision to make it to the Sokol Grad. And I am proud to say that this time we really did it (although a nice dinner ahead was again messing with us, but we were determined this time). After we finished a wine tasting at the Karaman Winery, we headed straight to the Sokol Grad.
Sokol Grad is a large defensive medieval castle. It's located in the hills above a village of Dunave, close to the Croatian-Bosnian border.
This imposing tower was open to visitors in 2013 after extensive restoration works. During the restoration, many historical artifacts were found onsite, some of them dating back to late Copper and early Bronze times.
The tower came under the rule of Dubrovnik Republic in early 14th century, and in this period it was built to today's size.
The Sokol Grad is an interesting site to visit, and it's only half an hour drive from Dubrovnik. Restorers did a wonderful job and you can easily imagine everyday life for 10 to 20 soldiers who had been stationed here in 15th century. There is various weaponry, including original canons, displayed at different areas of the fort.
At the top, you can visit a small museum featuring few items found onsite during the excavations. You can also read about the history of this place. I found particularly interesting maps showing areas inhabited by different Illyrian tribes (I am a bit impressed with Illyrians since ever I've learned a bit more about those guys during my stay at the island of Brac).
You can also visit a small kitchen where soldiers used to hang out around open fire, and a blacksmith's shop where they used to repair their weapon. The nice add-on is a sound effect. Throughout the tower you can hear a sound of falcons (sokol means falcon in Croatian), and in the blacksmith's shop you can hear a banging noise. At the very top, you'll enjoy wonderful views over the valley to the west, and over the mountains to the east.
The admission fee is 40 Kn. Not cheap, but totally worth it. If you are a group of 10, at 25 Kn per person, you get a good discount. We were eight and it was cheaper to buy 10 tickets as a group than 8 individual tickets. Funny mathematics if you ask me.
A visit to the Sokol Grad can be combined with a visit to the Karaman Winery, or to the seaside town of Cavtat, and a meal at the restaurant Vinica Monkovic in the village of Gruda. This restaurant has a winderful location by the river with lots of natural shade. They even have one table right above the river, on the wooden platform. Awesome!
Sokol Grad Dubrovnik: Contacts, working hours and tickets
Opening hours | April-May: 10 am-6 pm | June-Oct.: 10 am-7 pm | Nov.: 10 am-4 pm | Dec.-March: by appointment
Admission fee | Adults: 40 Kn | Children (5-18): 25 Kn | Groups (min. 10 persons): 25 Kn
Further reading: If you are visiting Dubrovnik you can check our other posts on Dubrovnik to help you better plan your holidays: Things to do in Dubrovnik beyond the city walls; Best restaurants in Dubrovnik; Dubrovnik Bars, Clubs and Nightlife; or Dubrovnik Beaches. For inspiration you can check our photo post on experiencing Dubrovnik from the sea. We've also wrote a post on things we've done in Dubrovnik during a short three-day stay. And wine aficionados can head over to read about our visit to the Karaman Winery.
Do you like to explore Dubrovnik beyond the city walls? Do you like historical landmarks like Sokol Grad? Let us know in the comments below.