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26 Day Trips From Dubrovnik You’ll Love
The perfect amount of time for a visit to Dubrovnik is three to four days. That’s plenty of time to explore the 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 a week to spend in this picturesque region, you might want to go on a day trip or two! There is plenty to explore from Dubrovnik, from beaches to fascinating coastal towns, enchanting bays, and national parks in this corner of the Adriatic.
Read on to learn about the best day trips from Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik Day Trips Within Croatia
Croatia, and especially Dalmatia, is famous for its beautiful islands. When it comes to island trips from Dubrovnik, arguably the greatest one is to Korčula. The day trip to Korčula from Dubrovnik is sensational, truly one of the best Dalmatian excursions you could ever do! Is it obvious we love this area?
If historic villages, pebble beaches, azure water, and seafood are what you’re looking for, Korčula is definitely 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, Korčula, is quaint, cozy, and cute. It’s hugely “strollable.” Interesting, too, is that it’s said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. The island is only two hours from Dubrovnik, either by car or ferry, making a Korčula day trip from Dubrovnik exceptionally easy and convenient.
Pasjača Beach, Croatia
Pasjača Beach is a hidden beach in the Konavle region southeast of Dubrovnik. This is one of the best Dubrovnik beaches, a secluded stretch of small pebbles and azure-blue waters in terms of sheer beauty. It’s also a very small beach, located 250 meters down a steep coastal cliff—you get there by descending a flight of stairs.
You can find shade against the towering cliffs or lay out a towel and soak up as many Adriatic sun rays as you want. A world away from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik, this beach does not have any bars or restaurants or any facilities at all, really. There is, however, an expansive parking lot at the top of the cliffs.
Unlike most other beaches near Dubrovnik, this is not a natural beach. It’s almost entirely the result of human activity. After several tunnels were dug during World War II, the excess rock and sand were deposited by people, which created a human-made beach. Because the sea continues to reclaim it, occasionally, locals maintain it by adding additional pebbles and sand to ensure that this gorgeous beach continues to be enjoyable for all tourists and locals alike.
Mlini Beach, Croatia
Situated merely 10 kilometers from Dubrovnik, about halfway between the city and Cavtat, Mlini Beach is one of the best beaches in the Dubrovnik Riviera. Well-known for its lush Mediterranean vegetation, cultural and historical heritage, and excellent accommodations, this beach offers the seclusion and peace that some visitors to Dubrovnik might crave after spending a day or two in the Old Town.
This is a sandy beach, too, making it more attractive than the pebble beaches that characterize the Dalmatian coast. Actually, it’s definitely one of the best sandy beaches in Dubrovnik’s general vicinity. There is no busy nightlife in this area. Instead, there are low-key eateries and charming bars for a cozy night out with friends or family.
Fun fact: Mlini means “mills” in Croatian; the town was named after the many watermills along the freshwater streams and springs in the area.
Peljesac Peninsula, Croatia
The Peljesac Peninsula is a long, narrow promontory jutting far into the Adriatic Sea. Its westernmost area lies mere minutes from Korčula Island by boat. 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, an excellent excursion for everyone who likes to explore Croatian wineries wants to go for a swim at some of the country’s most incredible beaches, or needs a break from the crowds in Dubrovnik.
Trsteno, Ston & Pelješac, Croatia
For more exploration in the Peljesac Peninsula, head to Trsteno, a small seaside village. In Trsteno, there is a 15th-century Renaissance Summer Residence, a fine example of period architecture, an option to take a private tour with the Trsteno arboretum, and, or course, oyster and wine tastings!
From there, head 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 with forty towers and five bastions. In Ston, head to the Ston Salt Pans, where salt is still harvested the old-fashioned way.
If you haven’t visited the Pelješac peninsula at this point, head there to round out your day. Famous for its vineyards and excellent red wines, it’s a great chance to taste some of the wines in some of the finest local wineries before returning to Dubrovnik.
Mljet National Park, Croatia
An 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, making this a fantastic option for a one-day trip from Dubrovnik.
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 several great natural attractions, from the nymph Calypso’s cave holding Odysseus captive to Saplunara beach and two salt lakes.
The Islet of Saint Mary is home to a 12th-century Benedictine monastery in the middle of the so-called Great Lake. A cycling and hiking trail network invites 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. This is one of the best Dubrovnik island trips for nature lovers and national park enthusiasts.
Lokrum Island, Croatia
If you’d like a day trip to one of the many islands from Dubrovnik, the easiest one to get to is Lokrum Island. This small, historic, forested island is clearly visible from the Old Town and the City Walls, located only ten minutes by boat from the harbor.
Boats go between the city and the island (and back) regularly, 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 island’s peaceful scenery and laid-back vibe are delightful. You can visit a few historic sites, hit the many hiking trails, or spend some time relaxing in the parks or the beaches. Oh, and it’s there you can sit on the “Throne.” Yes! The Game Of Thrones, throne! This is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, boat trips from Dubrovnik you could take.
Located south of Dubrovnik 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 area occupies the southernmost tip of the Croatian mainland, between Cavtat and the Montenegro border, and is characterized by vineyards, orchards, and 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 the Church of Our Lady, the Rector’s Palace, and the Franciscan Monastery.
The Elafiti Islands, Croatia
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.
The archipelago consists of several islands to visit from Dubrovnik, but only three are inhabited: Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan. Many tour operators offer Dubrovnik excursions to these islands. Just like Lokrum Island, this is a fantastic destination to escape the summer crowds.
Consider visiting them if you’re looking for pristine nature, gorgeous beaches, and an all-around great place for an afternoon of undisturbed relaxation near Dubrovnik.
If abandoned buildings intrigue you, Kupari is a fascinating place to visit. This bay is home to 5 luxury hotels, abandoned during the Balkan War of the 1990’s. The oldest hotel was built in the 1920’s.
You can snoop around in the old buildings, discovering interesting architecture, and for incredible views, head to the rooftop of Hotel Goričina II and the upper floors of Hotel Pelegrin.
While in the bay, take a walk along the paved paths where you will find many locals enjoying a stroll.
The Makarska Riviera, Croatia
The Makarska Riviera is a beautiful, scenic strip of coast along the Adriatic Sea. The strip is 60 kilometers, or 37.28 miles, long, but it is home to several towns. Each town along the Makarska Riviera is full of life and culture, all while looking up to Biokovo Mountain.
With each town just a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other, traveling the strip of Makarska Riviera is a great way to spend your day. There is plenty to do along the coast. From beaches and parks to watersports and shopping, Makarska Riviera has something for everyone.
The main city of Makarska is located about 140km from Dubrovnik.
Not far from the Dubrovnik airport, about 30 minutes from town, is charming Cavtat. It’s perfect for escaping the Dubrovnik crowds, while still enjoying the Dubrovnik sea views in the backdrop.
The relaxing vibe of the town is perfect for a stroll along the promenade, a quiet dinner and a visit to Vlaho Bukovac House – the childhood home of one of the greatest-ever Croatian artists, Vlaho Bukovac. You can view works from all five of his most significant artistic phases along with old furniture and numerous paintings by Bukovac.
Other spots to visit in Cavtat include the Racic family mausoleum, Franciscan monastery and Rectors Palace.
Ljuta River, Croatia
Head to the village of Gruda to spend the day along the shores of this hidden gem – the Ljuta River. With crystal clear waters flowing, lush woodland banks and beautiful ancient bridges, it will feel like you’ve landed on a little piece of paradise.
Whether you opt to stroll along the banks, take a quick dip, or enjoy refreshments at a riverside cafe, it’s sure to be a tranquil experience.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
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.
Plitvice Lakes National Park belongs on any Croatia itinerary. It is situated between the mountains of Mala Kapela and Lješevica and was founded in 1949. 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. If you’re looking for epic waterfalls, this is the one place you should go to.
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, ranging from azure blue to green. The water’s color depends on the number of organisms, minerals, the season, and the amount of sunlight in the water at the time.
If you’re using Dubrovnik as your base to explore Croatia’s southern part, this is one of a few day tours from Dubrovnik you simply have to do.
Rent a car or take a private transfer for the fastest way to get between Dubrovnik and the lakes.
One of Croatia’s largest cities, Split, is the central hub on the Dalmatian coast. Located north of Dubrovnik, a gorgeous drive along the shimmering Adriatic Sea—and possibly a ferry trip to one of the Dalmatian Islands—is one of the best places to visit from Dubrovnik. You can find out how to get from Dubrovnik to Split here.
Dating from Roman times, Split is home to one of Europe’s most incredible ancient structures. Known as Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this enormous complex makes up about half of the city’s historic heart. It was built as the retirement home for Roman Emperor Diocletian, and much of it still stands today. In fact, people continue to live in this ancient palace, while this is also where you’ll find many of Split’s museums, bars, restaurants, and charming squares.
You’ll need a full day to explore Diocletian’s Palace and the adjacent medieval Old Town and stroll the beautiful Riva, Split’s palm tree-lined harborside promenade.
One of the most popular day trips from Split, Trogir, is located right next to Split. Tourists often combine the two cities on day trips from Dubrovnik to Split just because they’re so close to each other. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trogir is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval coastal towns. Its historic town center is home to palaces, churches, and other architectural landmarks, while a magnificent fortified wall surrounds it.
Dubrovnik Day Trips To Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
You can take a day trip from Dubrovnik and cross the borders (don’t forget your passport!) 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 is Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there you’ll find Mostar. It is one of the longest day trips from Dubrovnik, but well worth it!
If you have a rental car, make sure you’re allowed to take it across the border, as Bosnia-Herzegovina is not a part of the European Union. If you don’t have your own (rental) car, numerous tour and private transfer companies offer day trips to Mostar. 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, 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 one of the best Dubrovnik tours you can do.
Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Herzegovina
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.
The waterfall is 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 with a rental car or join a group tour from Dubrovnik.
Počitelj, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Another must-visit destination when driving from Dubrovnik to Mostar is Počitelj. This gorgeous town is one of the greatest highlights of southern Bosnia-Herzegovina. It’s a fantastic place to visit for people who love history and culture.
This picturesque village sits on the left bank of the scenic Neretva River and dates from the Middle Ages. During its long and eventful history, Hungarian, Ottoman, and Venetian occupation was seen, all of which left behind architectural and other marks. Nowadays, Počitelj is a welcoming and charming stone village worthy of at least an hour of your time. Many Mostar day trips from Dubrovnik are often combined with other nearby places like Blagaj and Stolac.
Attractions include the Kula, a silo-shaped fortress with the Sahat Kula bell tower, and the Hajji Alija Mosque. This town is so well-preserved it’s essentially a free open-air museum.
Blagaj, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Blagaj is a village close to Mostar, in the southeast of Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is surrounded by lush, green, rolling hills and has very mild weather, so it’s perfect for a day trip during the summer months.
The village is most famous for its Dervish monastery, but the nature and landscape are worth a visit in their own right.
Blagaj is a genuinely chilled-out spot, and it’s somewhere that never feels crowded or bustling. The village itself is pretty regular in terms of everyday life. Nothing is particularly out of the ordinary when you arrive, but the authentic way of life is something to behold. Of course, most people visit to check out Blagaj Tekke (the Dervish monastery built in 1520).
Vjetrenica Cave, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Yet another superb day trip from Dubrovnik into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vjetrenica Cave, lies an hour from the city. Its name means “wind cave,” this large karst cave is 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!
Trebinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Another Bosnia & Herzegovina escape is the sunny city of Trebinje. You can taste wine (some of the cheapest in Europe) at local wineries or even an old monastery, and they will often give you young cheese or olive oil produced locally to taste while you are there.
Another highly recommended activity is to take a 3-hour hike up an old Austro-Hungarian fort. The end of the hike will reward you with incredible views looking down on the town of Trebinje, across the border to Croatia, and the beautiful Dalmatian coast and winding roads that make their way into the mountains of Montenegro.
While small, the town has some beautiful architecture and churches to check out, and you can rent kayaks on the river and happily spend a day paddling around in the sun before heading into one of the local bars for a cold beer (or some local wine!).
Medjugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Also written as Međugorje, a name that means “between mountains,” Medjugorje is the number one Catholic pilgrimage destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Previously a relatively poor wine-making town in the Herzegovina countryside, it has grown into a significant religious destination since 1981. This was when the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to six local kids. Some of those children, who still live there and are now adults, still claim to see Virgin Mary apparitions regularly.
Whether it’s a hoax or not—we wrote an entire blog post about this—the fact is that Medjugorje is now a major Catholic pilgrim’s destination. It’s one of the most popular in Europe. Even though the Roman Catholic Church has not acknowledged the apparitions (yet), over a million people travel to this small town each year. It is quite a popular destination on Dubrovnik day tours.
Dubrovnik Day Trips To Montenegro
Another cross-border day trip from Dubrovnik takes you eastward into Montenegro to the Bay of Kotor.
This is one of the most breathtaking day trips from Dubrovnik you can undertake. The Bay of Kotor is an underrated coastal area in Southern Europe. A huge sheltered, fjord-like bay is home to impossibly pretty seaside 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 on your own 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. It’s easily one of the best places to stay near Dubrovnik for both nature and culture. When you get there, you’ll see why we recommend it.
Just down the bay from Kotor is the lovely forgotten town of Perast. You wouldn’t believe there are less than 300 residents – not because the city is busy – but because it is so beautiful that it is hard to understand why people don’t live there!
It was once a seaside town for the rich centuries ago. This can be seen in its crumbling stone mansions, which have been renovated into charming yet dazzling luxury hotels. It is but a ghost town in most areas of town – and a beautiful one at that!
However, to see the most picturesque part of the town, you will have to peer into the Bay of Kotor to see two stunning island views with mountain backdrops seemingly out of a fairytale.
This small town certainly feels out of place — a charm that doesn’t match the rest of the country — but that’s what makes it so special. Recently, tourism has started sprouting around town. Although there is only one main street, there are enough buildings in town for some development, which is precisely what started. Soon, Perast will be as big as Budva on the tourist map, so get there before it is too late.
Located on a peninsula that juts out into the azure waters of the Montenegrin Adriatic, Budva, with its fortified city walls and long, rich history, is historically one of the most essential coasts of the Balkans. It’s also one of the most significant places to visit from Dubrovnik—the coast around Budva is no less than 21 kilometers (13 miles) long and has 17 beautiful beaches.
Budva’s millennia-old history is visible in the walls, towers, and ramparts of the 15th-century fortress encircling the Old Town. Enter through one of five gateways to find a labyrinth of narrow passages linking beautiful squares lined with bars, restaurants, and boutiques.
Walking the walls and the town’s alleyways is a pleasure as the old village is car-free. Culturally, there are three very different churches on the island to explore, and the town’s museum is home to many artifacts linking to Budva’s past. The citadel itself is now used as a stage to host concerts. The harbor is lined with some impressive yachts and several restaurants serving freshly caught seafood.
There’s plenty to do in Budva for several days, but a day trip from Dubrovnik is enough to get a taste of this gorgeous town on the Adriatic coast.
More Dubrovnik Day Trips
What about day trips in Dubrovnik itself? Yeah, we also have some ideas for tours in Dubrovnik!
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 highlight the details 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, 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 familiar with the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones will undoubtedly 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 and what you’ll see on a GoT tour. Dubrovnik tours can take you to all of the primary filming locations.
If you’re a die-hard fan, you won’t want to miss a Game of Thrones from Dubrovnik.
Now that you have your list of Dubrovnik day trips, which day trip from Dubrovnik will you take first?
Fantastic and extremely helpful blog! One question – we will be getting a rental car in Dubrovnik and driving to Mostar for a night (thanks for heads up about alerting car company in advance) and then on to Split. Are either the Plitvice Lakes or Kravice on any of the routes you list? Thank you so much in advance. We are a family of 4 from the US and will be traveling in mid-June. Bekki
Best things to do is type the locations into google maps – you’ll see how far you have to drive. Neither are directly on the way but can be done.
Thanks so much, this blog has helped us tremendously.
Just the ideas we needed, thanks SJ. Can you walk the walks early each day to avoid the heat?
Hola! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas!
Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!
Thanks Katie that super kind of you! We were in Texas in 2010, great place.
Thanks for Sharing!
Detailed Description – Good to Read! Going to plan my next trip to Dubrovnik after reading this!
Great ideas for a weekend escape!
Definitely bookmarking this as I’m planning a trip to Dubrovnik either late this year or early next.
I haven’t been there since before the war, and am desperate to get back again. Used to go there a lot when I was in my teens and always thought it was the most beautiful of places.
Most incredible place I have seen
I was just about to say “And Konavle!” and then I saw it at the end of your blog post. Yes, that’s a beautiful area!
Even before Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has long been on the bucket list over here. Hopefully this summer I’ll be able to hit the town with some of your tips in hand.