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14 Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik, Croatia
The perfect amount of time for a visit to Dubrovnik is three to four days. That’s plenty of time to explore the absolutely gorgeous Old Town inside and out, head up to Mt. Srđ, go for a ferry ride to Lokrum Island and spend significant time on Dubrovnik’s beaches.
However, if you have, say, a week to spend in this picturesque region, you might want to go on some day trips as well. From beaches to fascinating coastal towns, beautiful bays and national parks, there is plenty to explore in this corner of the Adriatic. Read on to find out about the best day trips to take from Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik To Korcula
Croatia, and especially Dalmatia, is famous for its beautiful islands. When it comes to island trips from Dubrovnik, arguably the greatest one is to Korcula. If historic villages, pebble beaches, azure water and seafood are what you’re looking for, Korcula is where you should go. Coastal pine groves offer refuge from the hot summer sun and are great picnic spots, while hidden bays are where you can go for a safe swim in complete solitude.
The island’s namesake town, Korcula, is quaint, cozy and cute. It’s extremely “strollable”. Interesting, too, is that it’s said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. The island lies only two hours from Dubrovnik, by either car or ferry, making a Dubrovnik to Korcula day trip exceptionally easy and convenient.
Dubrovnik To Peljesac Peninsula
The Peljesac Peninsula is a long and narrow promontory jutting out far into the Adriatic Sea. Its westernmost area lies mere minutes from Korcula Island by boat. Except for a narrow land bridge connecting it to the Croatian mainland, Peljesac is basically an island as well. With the only difference, of course, that you drive to it. Getting there from Dubrovnik takes less than an hour. Driving across the peninsula takes another hour.
Once there, you’re in one of Croatia’s most relaxed and welcoming places. This is without question one of the best day trips from Dubrovnik, a great excursion for everyone who likes to explore Croatian wineries or wants to go for a swim at some of the country’s greatest beaches.
Dubrovnik To Mljet National Park
Another island in the same region, Mljet is reached by ferry from the town of Prapratno on Peljesac. This crossing takes about 45 minutes, in addition to the one-hour drive to Peljesac from Dubrovnik. So, getting to Mljet National Park from Dubrovnik takes less than two hours, which makes this a fantastic day trip option.
Mljet National Park is a large protected area encompassing the western third of the island, which is one of the best islands near Dubrovnik. The park is home to a number of great natural attractions, from the cave where the nymph Calypso is said to have held Odysseus captive to Saplunara beach and two salt lakes. In the middle of the so-called Great Lake, the Islet of Saint Mary is home to a 12th-century Benedictine monastery. A network of cycling and hiking trails invite you to explore the park at your own pace.
A day trip to Mljet National Park, in short, is a superb option for people who like spending time in nature, while also soaking up a bit of local history and culture.
Dubrovnik To Mostar
You can take day trips from Dubrovnik that cross borders – and leave behind (just for the day) the dramatically beautiful Dalmatian coast. If you are prepared to shift your focus inland, we suggest a Dubrovnik to Mostar day trip.
Across the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar is one of the absolute best day trips from Dubrovnik. If you don’t have your own (rental) car, numerous tour and private transfer companies offer day trips to Mostar. If you do have a rental car, though, make sure that you’re allowed to take it across the border, as Bosnia-Herzegovina is not a part of the European Union. Whichever option you choose, the drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar takes less than three hours.
Mostar is world-renowned for its Old Bridge, locally known as Stari Most, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Straddling both banks of the crystal-clear Neretva River, Mostar was founded in the late Middle Ages and still features plenty of Ottoman architecture. This fascinating town feels more like a part of Turkey than a town in Europe. Its Old Town, the touristic focal point, is home to cobblestone streets, bustling Turkish-style bazaars, mosques, and countless coffee houses. We can’t stress it enough, this is a phenomenal day trip from Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik To Kotor
Another cross-border day trip from Dubrovnik takes you eastward into Montenegro. The Bay of Kotor is one of the most breathtaking, underrated coastal areas in all of Southern Europe. A huge sheltered, fjord-like bay, it is home to impossibly pretty coastal towns like Perast and Kotor, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Again, you can opt to plan your day trip from Dubrovnik to Kotor by car yourself or join a bus tour from Dubrovnik. The direct drive takes about two hours one-way, not including the many possible scenic stops on the way. The Bay of Kotor truly is one of the star attractions of the Adriatic Coast. Try to include it in your itinerary. If you have time for just one Dubrovnik one day trip, consider visiting Kotor. When you get there, you’ll see why we recommend it.
Dubrovnik To Lokrum Island
If you want to visit one of the many islands outside Dubrovnik, the easiest one to get to is Lokrum Island. This small, historic, forested island is clearly visible from the Old Town and from the City Walls, located only ten minutes by boat from the harbor. Boats commute between the city and the island on a regular basis, all day long. This is easily one of the best excursions from Dubrovnik, a perfect afternoon trip.
It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Old Town. Especially during the busy summer months, the peaceful scenery and laid-back vibe of the island is a delight. You can visit a couple of historic sites, hit the many hiking trails, or simply spend some time relaxing in the parks or the beaches.
Located south of Dubrovnik’s is Konavle. One of those many undiscovered places in Croatia, this region still makes for a great holiday destination thanks to the pristine Adriatic Sea and the mighty Snijeznica Mountain of the Konavle Valley. The region occupies the very southernmost tip of the Croatian mainland, between Cavtat and the Montenegro border, and is characterized by vineyards, orchards and several small municipalities.
Konavle is also an attractive destination for day tours from Dubrovnik because of its cultural and historic charm with impressive buildings such as Church of Our Lady, Rector’s Palace, and the Franciscan Monastery.
Dubrovnik To The Elafiti Islands
An archipelago just northwest of the city, clearly visible from the summit of Mt. Srđ, the Elafiti Islands make for one of the best Dubrovnik island trips. Just like Lokrum Island, this is a fantastic destination to get away from the summer crowds. The archipelago consists of several islands, but only three of them are inhabited: Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan. Many tour operators offer Dubrovnik excursions to these islands. Consider visiting them if you’re looking for pristine nature, gorgeous beaches and an all-round great place for an afternoon of undisturbed relaxation near Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik To Plitvice Lakes National Park
One of the absolute best day trips in Croatia is a Plitvice Lakes tour from Dubrovnik. This way, you get to see what are arguably the two main tourist destinations in the country, the Old Town of Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
With lakes so still that you can see your reflection just as if it were a mirror, it is the largest of the eight national parks in Croatia and the oldest in this part of Europe. It is situated between the mountains of Mala Kapela and Lješevica and was founded in 1949. If you’re looking for epic waterfalls near Dubrovnik, this is the one place you should go to. In fact, Plitvice Lakes National Park simply belongs on any itinerary in Croatia.
Plitvice Lakes National Park’s major drawcard is its 16 interconnected lakes, and of course, the famous Plitvice waterfalls beginning at 25 meters all the way to a staggering 78 meters tall. Plitvice Lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors which range from azure, blue and green. The color of the water is dependent on the quantity of organisms, minerals, the season, and amount of sunlight that is in the water at the time.
Dubrovnik To Kravice
Some people say that the Kravice waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina are even more spectacular than those in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Looking similar to its more famous Croatian counterpart, the Kravice waterfalls consist of beautiful 25-meter-high cascades. They’re located a short distance south of Mostar, offering a unique opportunity to visit two of the most popular tourist destinations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
There’s no public transportation to the waterfalls, but you can get there yourself with a rental car or join a group tour from Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik To Vjetrenica Cave
Yet another great day trip from Dubrovnik into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vjetrenica Cave lies merely an hour from the city. Its name meaning “wind cave”, this large karst cave is the important in the entire country and among the most important in the Dinaric Alps region. Its importance lies in its exceptional subterranean biodiversity. No other cave on earth has such a wealth of species living in it – more than 200 different ones have been documented!
Day Tour To Trsteno, Ston & Pelješac
Why not take a private tour that includes the Trsteno arboretum and finish off with some oyster and wine tastings. You’ll leave your Dubrovnik hotel after breakfast, and head to Trsteno, a small seaside village. In Trsteno, there is a 15th-century Renaissance Summer Residence, a fine example of period architecture.
On this tour, you’ll be driven to Ston and be greeted by the area’s second set of famous walls. These medieval stone walls surround the nearby town of Ston. The walls are a three-and-a-half-mile-long fortification system, complete with forty towers and five bastions. The tour isn’t about walking the walls, though. Save that for Dubrovnik. Instead, you’ll head to the Ston Salt Pans where salt is still harvested the old fashioned way.
To go with the salt, you also get to try oysters and mussels, which have been cultivated here for centuries. Oysters in your belly, it’s now time to move to the Pelješac peninsula (see above, too). Famous for its vineyards and excellent red wines, it offers you a chance to taste some of the wines in one of the finest local wineries before returning to Dubrovnik. Six hours long, this is one the most fun alternative day tours from Dubrovnik.
More Dubrovnik Day Trips
What about day trips in Dubrovnik itself? Yeah, we have a couple of ideas on that as well.
Dubrovnik Private City Tour
Because there is so much more to Dubrovnik than just the famous UNESCO-listed walls, a walk from end-to-end is a must while in Dubrovnik. It’s especially great on guided tours in Dubrovnik. The knowledgeable local guides can point out the nitty gritty details that you may otherwise miss.
Where will they take you?
- Franciscan Monastery Gothic Cloister with one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe;
- Rector’s Palace; and
- Onofrio Fountain and the Bell Tower, just to name a few
They will also point out other sights you should not miss, including:
- City Walls
- Cable ride to Mt. Srđ, the views over Dubrovnik and the surrounding islands are beyond words
Game Of Thrones Tour
Anyone who is familiar with the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones will no doubt recognize significant portions of the Croatian landscape, perhaps without even realizing it. Much of the show was filmed in Dubrovnik – see here what was filmed in Croatia. There are Dubrovnik tours that can take you to all of the major filming locations.
If you’re a die-hard fan, you’ll want to see this recommended Croatia tour. They have a tour that includes hotel accommodation, airport transfers and free time, and the full-day ‘Game of Thrones’ exclusive tour.