Sea kayaking is a big deal in Dubrovnik. Half a dozen local companies offer tours, usually on a half-day basis with lunch thrown in. Diving requires planning and logistical know-how — a course, a certificate and heavy, potentially life-saving equipment. For sea kayaking beginners only need turn up, go through a few paddling techniques in shallow, protected waters, and it's Lokrum island for lunch.
Sea kayaks have been adapted for their use. 'When I arrived here tourism was reverting back to its Yugoslav mass model,' says Tamsen Resor, explaining why she set up outdoor adventure firm Adriatic Kayak Tours in 2005. 'There was little for the active, independent visitor. Eco-tourism didn't really exist. Experiencing the coast and islands by sea kayak seemed like a natural fit.' American Tamsen had been exploring the coves, caves and coast since 2002, the same features she and her seven-strong experienced international team now take small groups to.
They're more comfortable than conventional kayaks. Their length, with extra cargo capacity, allows for the kayak to move smoother and easier in a straight line. They generally accommodate a pair of paddlers. You can circumnavigate Ireland or Australia in one.
The calm waters from the Pile Gate to the verdant, car-free island of Lokrum is, under guidance, a doddle. Adriatic Kayak Tours also offer sunset paddles, with wine and cheese thrown in. Children aged eight to 16 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.