View of Stari Most bridge over the river surrounded by greenery

Day Trips from Dubrovnik: Exploring Nearby Gems

While the city itself offers a fantastic range of activities and attractions, the range of available day trips from Dubrovnik make it a crime not to explore the wider region.

While Split is a popular choice, at around three hours away (or longer) it can be difficult to justify when there are so many amazing destinations that are much closer. All the options in this article are less than two and half hours away, and the closest is just fifteen minutes!

Keep reading for all the key information (including distances, transport and top things to do and see) about nearby islands, natural wonders and historic cities.

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1. Lokrum

  • Distance: A mere 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) from Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: A quick 15-minute ferry ride.
  • Transport Tips: Frequent ferries depart from Dubrovnik’s Old Port.

Lokrum is the closest and probably the easiest location to visit on this list. You can easily explore it in a morning or afternoon if you don’t have much time and want to see as much as possible.

One of the top activities is visiting the Visitor’s Centre and taking a selfie on the Iron Throne (the island was a filming location on Game of Thrones). You can also visit the Lokrum Botanical Garden, swim in the Dead Sea and get some great photos from the top of Fort Royal.

The island is particularly good for hiking (there aren’t any roads) and archaeology and history enthusiasts will appreciate the remains of the Lazaret Quarantine Hospital and the Monastery Complex.

You can find plenty more information about Lokrum in our articles Everything You Need to Know About Lokrum Island and Best Activities and Attractions on Lokrum Island.

2. Cavtat

  • Distance: Only 20 kilometres south of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: Less than half an hour by car or 40 minutes by bus.
  • Transport Tips: Rent a car or join a guided tour.

Croatia’s southernmost beach town is located just minutes from Dubrovnik Airport. Cavtat is a great option for a day trip if you want to escape the crowds of the city. It has a gorgeous promenade, as well as multiple great beaches and restaurants.

Its a fantastic option for families, as well as those who want to try their hand at water sports away from Dubrovnik’s busy coastline. If you’re visiting Cavtat you can also explore the Bukovac House Museum and the Racic Mausoleum for some local history.

3. Elaphiti Islands

  • Distance: These scattered islands lie just off Dubrovnik’s coast.
  • Travel Time: Varies by island; 30 minutes to 1 hour by ferry.
  • Transport Tips: Regular ferries connect Dubrovnik to Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan.

The Elaphiti Islands are probably the most popular option for boat trips from Dubrovnik. Although the archipelago consists of multiple islands and islets, the three largest islands of Lopud, Koločep and Šipan are most commonly visited.

On Lopud, Sunj Beach is a popular place to relax, while the Sutvrac Fortress and Your Black Horizon Art Pavilion are good options for culture enthusiasts. The Blue Cave is the most well-known attraction on Koločep, while Šipan offers a more laid-back experience with its ancient churches and olive groves.

All three islands are popular destinations for outdoor activities. Many boat trips make multiple stops, and often include snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding options if visiting the Blue Cave.

4. Mljet

  • Distance: Approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: A scenic 2-hour ferry ride.
  • Transport Tips: Ferries operate from Dubrovnik to Mljet’s Polače or Pomena.

Mljet Island is home to Mljet National Park, the closest and most accessible of Croatia’s eight national parks to Dubrovnik. Popular sights include the two saltwater lakes, the 12th-century Benedictine Monastery on the island of St. Mary, and the Montokuc wildfire lookout.

The island is great for hiking and water sports, and hosts a Half Ironman every year. You’ll have to pay for park admission, but if you’re on a budget, there’s plenty to enjoy elsewhere on Mljet. There are also accommodation options if you’d like to extend your stay, and bike and kayak rentals are easy to find.

Our article Dubrovnik to Mljet: How to Visit Mljet National Park on a Day Trip from Dubrovnik is a great resource for planning a visit to Mljet from Dubrovnik.

green islands and blue sea surrounding Mljet Island
Mljet

5. Pelješac Peninsula

  • Distance: Around 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 1.5 hours by car.
  • Transport Tips: Drive along the scenic coastal road.

The Pelješac Peninsula is a popular destination for gastronomy lovers. The area is full of vineyards, and tours and wine tastings often include the opportunity to savour fresh oysters.

As well as enjoying the food and wine, visitors can explore Ston, with its ancient city walls and famous salt pans, or relax on the nearby Prapratno beach.

6. Korčula

  • Distance: About 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: A pleasant 2.5-hour drive or ferry ride.
  • Transport Tips: Ferries operate from Dubrovnik to Dominče or Orebić.

Located just off the Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia’s sixth-largest island offers plenty to do. The Old Town is home to St. Mark’s Cathedral, Korčula Town Museum and Vapor Art Gallery, and history lovers can visit the Marco Polo House, supposedly the birthplace of the famous explorer.

Korčula also has many wineries and beaches for those looking to relax and soak in the best of Croatia’s offerings, while there are some fantastic cocktail bars if you’re looking for a more lively atmosphere.

7. Trebinje

  • Distance: About 30 kilometres east of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 40 minutes by car and 50 minutes by bus.
  • Transport Tips: Rent a car or take a taxi.

Bosnia’s southernmost city is the easiest and closest option if you’re looking to explore the neighbouring country on a day trip from Dubrovnik. It’s a particularly good option during summer if you’re travelling with kids, as the popular Grad Sunca waterpark on the western side of the city offers great entertainment for families.

Other top sights include the Hercegovačka Gračanica and Tvrdoš Serbian Orthodox Monasteries, the famous Arslanagić Bridge (one of the National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Herzegovina Museum.

8. Mostar

  • Distance: Around 140 kilometres north of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: Just over 2 hours by car.
  • Transport Tips: Join a guided tour or drive yourself.

Mostar, also in Bosnia, is one of the most popular full-day excursions from Dubrovnik. It’s home to numerous landmarks, including the Stari Most bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other popular landmarks are the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque and the historic Kajtaz House, the former harem of a Turkish judge.

Mostar is one of the best day trips from Dubrovnik if you’re interested in learning the history of the region. As well as the bridge museum, which documents the history of Stari Most, you can visit the Museum Of War And Genocide Victims, dedicated to the war of 1992-1995, and Bosnaseum, an ethnographic museum.

Aside from visiting the museums and landmarks, popular activities in Mostar include shopping for souvenirs in the Old Bazaar, engaging in the local coffee culture (be warned- Bosnian coffee is strong), and even jumping from Stari Most during summer.

Green trees around kravica waterfalls beneath a clear blue sky
Kravica falls

9. Kravica Waterfall

  • Distance: Located close to Ljubuški, about 40 kilometres from Mostar.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by car.
  • Transport Tips: Rent a car or take a guided tour.

Kravica Waterfall is a popular Bosnian natural wonder. Due to its location between Dubrovnik and Mostar, it’s an easy stop on the way and is often included on guided tours to Mostar.

The water is quite cold, but swimming is possible from June to September. If you’re travelling with kids, we recommend getting there independently and spending the day rather than visiting as a quick stop on a tour to Mostar. This way, you’ll have time to swim and enjoy the scenery. There are cafes and restaurants around the falls, as well as places to enjoy a picnic.

10. Bay of Kotor

  • Distance: Approximately 100 kilometres from Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: About 2 hours by car.
  • Transport Tips: Drive or take a guided tour.

Surrounded by dramatic mountains, Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor is a stunning fjord-like inlet. It’s home to numerous medieval towns, such as Kotor, Perast, and Herceg Novi. The iconic Stari Grad (Old Town) of Kotor, with its narrow cobblestone streets and ancient architecture, is particularly impressive.

As well as kayaking and paddle boarding around the bay during summer, you can climb the city walls for breathtaking views and take a boat ride to the Our Lady of the Rocks islet near Perast. Other points of interest around the bay include the Cats Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Sea Gate.

11. Niksic

  • Distance: Niksic is approximately 100 kilometres east of Dubrovnik.
  • Travel Time: Around 2 hours by car.
  • Transport Tips: Drive or take a local bus.

Although Niksic is the second biggest city in Montenegro and has multiple shops, cafes and historic buildings in its city centre, it’s on this list for a different reason: the lakes.

Located on the outskirts of the city (literally on the road from Dubrovnik, which conveniently passes through Trebinje in Bosnia) are Slansko and Krupac Lakes. Both are great options for swimming and other water activities during summer, and hiking in spring and autumn.

There are multiple bars, cafes and beaches in the area, and as long as you don’t mind the journey, it’s a fantastic option for families. It’s also usually less crowded than touristy Dubrovnik- or at least it is on weekdays.

Final thoughts on day trips from Dubrovnik

If you’ve stayed with us to the end, you’ll now know the full range of possibilities when it comes to exploring the region around Dubrovnik. There’s tons of options, whether you’re travelling to learn more about history or gastronomy, or if you’re looking for ways to stay active and keep the kids entertained.

Whichever day trip (or trips) you choose, you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience- just remember to bring your passport if you choose one of the options in Bosnia or Montenegro!

CTA: Check out our article Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a Trip to Dubrovnik for help planning your visit, Discover Cars and Qeeq for car rentals, and Get Your Guide for guided tours to some of the destinations mentioned throughout the article!

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