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Lokrum, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia, Europe: of the many caves surrounding Mrtvo More, the tiny saltwater lake in the middle of
Croatia's insider take:

An island just ten minutes' ferry ride away, Lokrum was declared a nature reserve in 1964. Legend has it that Richard the Lion-Hearted was shipwrecked here in 1192 after the Crusades. In the 19th century, Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg erected a mansion here. Now, there's a botanical garden (open to the public since 1959) and a hilltop fortress built by the French in 1806, with great views of the city and the islands. A little interior lake, the Mrtvo More (Dead Sea), is perfect for children—and tends to remain peaceful even when the many beaches on the perimeter are packed.

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