Overhead view of green lokrum island in blue sea in front of Dubrovnik city at sunset

Best Activities and Attractions on Lokrum Island

There are many activities and attractions on Lokrum to keep you occupied. The island is a popular day trip destination from Dubrovnik, and can be reached in under 15 minutes by ferry.

Keep reading for some of the most popular activities and attractions on Lokrum Island, including the Dead Sea, the Botanical Gardens, Fort Royal and Betina Beach.

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Lokrum Island attractions

Lokrum Island is not only a place of natural beauty, but also a place of cultural and historical significance. There are many attractions and sights, and due to the island’s size, you can easily see all of them in one day.

The Visitor Centre

Also known as the Forest Ranger’s House, this bright orange building was built in the Mexican style during the same period as Maximilian of Habsburg’s summer residence.

This is the first place you should visit when you arrive on the island, as it provides maps and useful information about the island. You can also watch a short film about the history and nature of the island, and browse through exhibits and souvenirs.

The Visitor Centre is also home to the Iron Throne from the popular TV show Game of Thrones. Scenes from season two were filmed on the island, which served as the setting for Qarth. As well as sitting on the throne, you can enjoy the exhibition about the show.

The Botanical Garden

This is one of the main attractions of the island, as it showcases a variety of plant species from different parts of the world. The garden was founded in 1959, but many of the plants were imported by Maximilian of Habsburg in the 19th century.

You can see palm trees, cacti, eucalyptus, bamboo, and more. The garden is also home to animals such as rabbits, turtles and peacocks, and is located near the monastery.

The Dead Sea

This is not the famous salt lake in the Middle East, but a smaller and less salty version on Lokrum Island. This natural pool is connected to the sea by an underground channel, and is located on the south side of the island near the botanical garden.

It’s a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling, as the water is clear and calm. It’s also a great spot for families, given the calmness of the water. However, it can get very hot and crowded, so you might want to go early or late in the day.

The Monastery Complex

This is the oldest and most important building on the island, dating back to the 11th century. It was built by the Benedictine monks, who lived and worked on the island for almost 700 years. The monastery consists of a Romanesque church, a Gothic cloister, and a Renaissance abbey.

As well as exploring the remaining buildings, you can learn about the curse the monks apparently left when they were forced to leave the island by the French army in 1798.

In addition to the monastery, you can also visit the summer residence of Maximilian of Habsburg, who bought the island in 1859. Unfortunately he didn’t get to enjoy the island for too long, as he was executed in Mexico a few years later (you can decide if the curse left by the monks had anything to do with that).

Charlotte’s Well

This small well is located near the monastery. It’s named after Charlotte of Belgium, the wife of Maximilian of Habsburg, who used to visit the island with her husband. According to legend, she wished for a child at the well, but her wish was never granted.

The well is surrounded by a stone wall, and there’s also a bench there. It’s a peaceful and secluded spot, where you can make a wish or throw a coin.

Triton’s Cross

This large stone cross was erected in 1873 by Maximilian of Habsburg, in memory of the Austrian sailors who perished aboard the Triton ship in a Naval accident nearby.

The cross is a popular place for taking photos, and offers views of the nearby Skalica Beach. It’s on the same end of the island as Fort Royal and Lazaret, and you can reach it by following a path from the monastery, or by taking a shorter path from the Bay of Portoč.

Fort Royal

The circular fortress is located on the west side of the island on Lokrum’s highest peak. It was built by the French army in 1806, during the Napoleonic Wars. It was later used by the Austrian army, and then by the Yugoslav army.

The fort is now abandoned and partly ruined, but you can still explore its interior and exterior. You can also enjoy a stunning view of the sunset, as it faces the west. You can reach the fort by following a path from the port.

Lazaret Quarantine Hospital

This is a complex of stone buildings, located on the north of the island. It was built in the 16th century by the Republic of Dubrovnik, as a quarantine station for sailors and merchants who came from areas infected by the plague.

The complex consists of several rooms, courtyards, and chapels, where the patients were isolated and treated. It now mostly consists of ruins, but is still safe to explore and is of great interest to archaeology enthusiasts.

Lokrum Beaches

As an article on the best activities and attractions on Lokrum, it would be remiss not to mention the beaches. Lokrum Island has several beaches in addition to the popular Dead Sea (which is less of a beach, more of a swimming spot) where you can swim, sunbathe, and relax.

However, most of the beaches are rocky or pebbly, so you might want to bring some water shoes or sandals to protect your feet. There are also no lifeguards or parasols on the beaches, so be careful and bring your own shade. Some of the most popular beaches are:

  • Bay of Portoč: This is the main beach on the island, located near the port. It’s a pebbly beach, with clear and calm water. It’s also the most crowded and noisy, as it’s close to the restaurants and the boats.
  • Betina Beach: This hidden rocky beach with deep turquoise water is located on the south side of the island. It has a nudist section, so be prepared to see some naked people. Betina Beach is quite quiet and secluded, but also harder to access, as you have to walk through a tunnel or climb over some rocks to get there. It’s also a popular destination for kayak tours, as it’s easier to access from the water.
  • Skalica Beach: This small beach is located on the east side of the island, with shallow and warm water. It’s more peaceful and relaxing, but also smaller and less spacious. Interestingly, Skalica was the original port on the island, and supposedly the landing of Richard the Lionheart.

Popular activities on Lokrum Island

As well as seeing the sights and relaxing on the beaches, Lokrum is also a place to have fun and enjoy a number of outdoor activities. Most popular are hiking and water sports, particularly during the summer months of June to August.

Hiking

Lokrum Island has many paths and trails, where you can walk, hike, or bike. Some of the paths are marked and easy to follow, while others are more adventurous and challenging. You can get a map of the paths at the visitor centre, or follow the signs around the island.

The island is covered by dense and diverse forests, where you can find many different types of trees, plants, and flowers. Some of the most common ones are pine, cypress, olive, laurel, and myrtle. Popular forests and nature spots include the Olive Grove, the Aleppo Pine Forest and the Forest of Holm Oak and Manna Ash.

The forests provide much needed shade during the summer months, as well as a habitat for many animals, such as rabbits, lizards, and birds. You can also find hidden caves and springs, where you can cool off or explore.

Water activities

Water activities are popular on Lokrum Island, which has many spots where you can swim in the crystal-clear water of the Adriatic Sea. You can choose from the pebbly, rocky, or sandy beaches, or the natural pool of the Dead Sea. The water temperature is usually between 20 and 25° Celsius, depending on the season.

The island has a diverse marine life, and snorkelling is a great way to see the many fish, corals, and sea urchins. You can also explore some underwater caves and tunnels. You can bring your own snorkelling gear, or rent some from the kiosks on the island.

As well as swimming and snorkelling, the calm water around the island is ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding. You can paddle around the island, and enjoy the views of the coast and the cliffs. You can also kayak to the nearby Elaphiti Islands of Koločep, Lopud, or Šipan, where you can find more beaches and attractions. Guided kayaking tours from Dubrovnik are popular, or you can rent a kayak and explore independently.

Lokrum is also a great location for cliff jumping, with the south and west sides of the island home to popular spots like Betina Beach and Skalica Beach. The cliffs range from 3 to 12 metres high, depending on your preference and skill level.

Practical Information

You should be aware of some practical information if planning a visit to Lokrum Island. It takes less than 15 minutes to get there from Dubrovnik, with boats departing from the Old Town every 30 minutes from May to September. You can buy tickets from the booth at the port, which cost around 5 euros for adults and 2.50 for children. Ferry tickets also include admission to the island, which is a nature reserve.

Make sure you check what time the last ferry leaves the island, as it’s forbidden to stay overnight. There is no accommodation on the island, and due to the fact it’s a nature reserve, amenities are limited.

There are a few cafes, restaurants and snack bars, but they get very crowded during peak season (July-August). A good option is to bring a picnic, but make sure not to leave rubbish or feed the animals. There are toilets around the island and showers and changing facilities near the port.

There aren’t always lifeguards, so be careful when engaging in water activities. Stay away from the rocks and boats, and check the water depth and the tide if cliff jumping.

For more information on getting to the island, the best time to visit, plus amenities and safety, check out our article Everything You Need to Know About Lokrum Island.

Final thoughts on activities and attractions on Lokrum Island

The range of activities and attractions on Lokrum Island are more than enough to keep you entertained on a day trip from Dubrovnik, whether you want to spend the full day exploring, or just a morning or afternoon.

From the beaches and coves to the historical ruins and Botanical Gardens, a day on Lokrum offers plenty for visitors across all ages and preferences.

CTA: Check out Get Your Guide for guided trips to Lokrum, or our article Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a Trip to Dubrovnik for help planning your visit!

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