Hunting down some romantic places around Dubrovnik? Why
don't you take a short but essential trip to one of the oldest Renaissance
gardens in the region, located just some 20 km northwest of Dubrovnik in a
small village of Trsteno. The history of arboretum in Trsteno started in
the end of the 15th century when a Dubrovnik noble Ivan Gučetić made a plan
of establishing a big garden around his summer residence. The Gučetić
family began to collect all kinds of exotic plants brought by Dubrovnik
seamen from all around the world, thus making their beautiful garden grow
bigger and more impresssive.
The arboretum displays more than 300 different species of plants and trees, some of them are real masterpieces: the particularly notable ones include a pair of majestic plane-trees (Platanus orientalis) standing by the roadside, which are over 500 years old and are unique specimens of this kind of tree in continental Europe. Their trunks are over 5 m wide with a height of 50-60m.
Once you make it to the arboretun itself, you will find a great variety of species from all corners of the world: date-palms, Japanese banana trees, mandarin trees, bougainvillea, evergreen magnolia, many varieties of cactus with patches of lavender, rosemary, oleander – all sprinkled around the old Renaissance villa, as well as a mini bamboo grove.
Overlooking the Adriatic Sea and the breathtaking views of the Elafiti archipelago, the charming garden will definitely allow you to stay in harmony with nature at least for a day. It's a great place for getting some inspiration which will set you in a good mood for your whole stay in Dubrovnik. No matter how scorching hot the day is - you will always feel comfortable surrounded by lush exotic vegetation and aromatic flowers. Thanks to well-planned pathways the timeless arboretum is easy to explore, but at the same time, heading northwest from the villa, pretty soon you will notice how they start to loose themselves in a dense Mediterranean forest which mostly consists od cypresses and pines.
Don't forget to visit the lovely fountain with the famous Nepture statue overlooking a small pond with goldfish and frogs! It was rebuilt in 1736 – the original Renaissance one was destroyed during the 1667 earthquake. Arboretum Trsteno is also known as a major filming location of the 3rd and 4th season of Game of Thrones.
During the Homeland war, the devastation of Arboretum was so severe that more than 10.000 old and younger trees and 30 species of exotic trees were gone for good. After more than 10 years of building works, the unique Renaissance garden and the summer residence were restored to a pre-war state and opened for visitors again.