If you like history, especially military history, then a visit to Sokol Grad is an interesting experience to have while staying in Dubrovnik.
Sokol Grad is a fortified town, well more a tower or castle than 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 count of time.
By the time we finished our visit to the Glavinja Estate, we couldn't think of anything 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 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, 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 the 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 the Dubrovnik Republic in the 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's 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 the 15th century. There is various weaponry, including original canons, displayed in different areas of the fort.
At the top, you can visit a small museum featuring a 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 on the island of Brac).
You can also visit a small kitchen where soldiers used to hang out around the open fire and a blacksmith's shop where they used to repair their weapons. The nice add-on is a sound effect. Throughout the tower, you can hear the 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 10 €. Not cheap, but totally worth it. If you are a group of 10, at 8 € per person, you get a good discount. We were eight so we paid the same either way.
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 wonderful location by the river with lots of natural shade. They even have one table right above the river, on the wooden platform. Awesome!
Contacts, working hours, and tickets
Opening hours | April-May: 10 am-6 pm | June-Oct: 10 am-7 pm | Nov – March: 9 am-3 pm
Admission fee | Adults: 10 € | Children (5-18): 5 € | Groups (min. 10 persons): 8 €
Contacts | t: +385 20 638 800 | e: email@example.com | Website
If you are visiting Dubrovnik you can check our other posts on Dubrovnik to help you better plan your holidays:
- Dubrovnik Travel Guide
- Where to Stay in Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik Accommodation Guide
- The Best Things To Do In Dubrovnik
- 14 Incredible Day Trips From Dubrovnik
- What To Do In Dubrovnik Beyond The City Walls
- Best Restaurants In Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Bars, Clubs, and Nightlife
- Dubrovnik Beaches
- One Day in Dubrovnik: 24H Itinerary & What To See and Do
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.