Dubrovnik is an amazing destination in Croatia to explore stunning gems in the Adriatic, from islands, sandy beaches to national parks, and other Balkan cities. In this guide, we share the best day trips from Dubrovnik that are worth visiting!
With so many stunning options, this is one of the (many) reasons for extending your stay in Dubrovnik.
Day trips from Dubrovnik Croatia
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Day trips vs Day tours: Taking Day trips from Dubrovnik without a car
Rent a car and day trip or day tour? The short answer to this is – day tours will make things easy and convenient for you.
Many of the destinations mentioned in this day trip guide are located 1 to 2.50 hours away from Dubrovnik. Most of the popular trips are to the islands, which consists of ferry rides from the old port in the city. So a vehicle is not needed. Using a tour you can get picked up from the hotel or just walk to the tour meeting point (if staying within the city walls).
Secondly, to explore cities (not islands) on a day trip from Dubrovnik, keep in mind that border crossing will be required.
Dubrovnik is connected (or separated) by a 9-kilometer stretch that sits under Bosnia and Herzegovina jurisdiction. So each time you leave or enter Dubrovnik city, the border crossing is essential. During peak seasons, you could be waiting for 1-2 hours.
Generally, a 2 to 4-hour drive a day is not bad, however, if the driving distance is over 2 hours one way, we recommend opting for a day tour to make the most of your trip (and leave parking and finding direction hassles).
Another thing to note is that many car rental companies have different fees/rules if you are crossing borders, so check with the agency and inform them of your travel plans.
Without a car, you can book a day tour and have everything taken care of. Island and city day tours from Dubrovnik include pick up and drop-offs from the accommodation, guided sightseeing, free time to explore, and sometimes lunch.
(Note: To pay for food that’s not included, ensure you carry euros so that you can pay or exchange in the city you are heading to. Nearby Balkan states do not use the same currency – HRK or Kunas that Croatia does).
Day tours will make it super easy to travel as the trip is paid for online or in-person in kunas in Dubrovnik. Plus you get to hear interesting stories about the region (also snag a nap or drool at the scenery outside). All the day tours we took in Dubrovnik were small group tours – buses and vans were clean, convenient, and on time.
In this post, we will share tours that we took as well as some recommended ones, based on other traveler reviews.
Elaphiti Islands – 3 Island Day Tour from Dubrovnik
The Elaphiti Islands, also known as Elafiti Islands is an archipelago, consisting of 8 – 18 islands. Once upon a time, it was believed to be home to a large deer population in the archipelago.
Out of all the islands, 3 of them, namely – Šipan, Lopud, and Koločep – are the most popular. The 3 Islands tour consists of an exploration of these 3 places on a day trip from Dubrovnik.
Šipan is the largest of all islands and is home to 460 inhabitants. Lopud is known for its wonderful sandy beaches and is very touristy. Koločep is located closest to the port of Dubrovnik and has many remnants of the Republic of Ragusa.
The 3 Island day tour commences from the Old Port or Porta in Old Dubrovnik, with stops in all 3 places with lunch. Many tour companies also include a pick and drop off from Dubrovnik hotels and guest houses.
Lokrum is an island near Dubrovnik and is a very popular day trip option. There are several ferry rides available to reach Lokrum from the city port. The boat ride from Dubrovnik takes less than 15 minutes to reach Lokrum. The ticket costs 5 euros (40 kunas).
Lokrum is known for its lush greenery, filled with olive trees and subtropical vegetation, beautifully manicured gardens from the 19th century, a Benedictine monastery, and remnants from the times of Maxmillion – Austrian archduke including Fort Royal or the Maximilian Tower.
Many travelers to the island spend half a day wandering the area, have lunch and then return back to Dubrovnik.
One of the most popular spots in Lokrum is the shallow salt lake (near the center of the island) where you can float! Swimming is allowed in the sea. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you can take a GoT inspired tour to the island.
Cavtat is one of the easiest day trips from Dubrovnik. Cavtat is a quaint town, filled with stunning beaches and Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Cavtat can be reached by public transportation. There is a bus from Cavtat to Dubrovnik and back. It is bus number 10 and tickets are about 2 euro one way (15 kunas). There are private taxis available right in front of the Pile Gate in old town Dubrovnik and cost about 38 euros, one way.
Cavtat is perfect for a laid back day, enjoying the sun and sandy beaches; and wandering through lanes dating from the time of the Republic of Ragusa.
There are numerous remnants of the ancient settlement here like old city walls, fortifications, ruins, etc – scattered all over the town. The bright orange houses, against the deep blue sea, makes for a picture-perfect moment in the Adriatic Coast.
Enjoy a guided tour of the town, learn about their history, check out Rector’s Palace, stop for lunch by the sea-side, and soak up the sun at the beach.
Ston is located only an hour’s drive away from Dubrovnik, in the Pelješac Peninsula. Peljesac offers amazing sea views, water activities, wine, and mussels!
Ston is the largest settlement in the peninsula and is known for the old wall fortifications. Often referred to as the ‘European Walls of China”, these town walls are longer than the city walls in Dubrovnik and were built by the Republic as a defense wall.
This 7 km wall consists of 3 parts – Veliki Kastil (in Ston), Korula (Mali Ston), and Prodzvizd Fort – and towers. This is a must-visit spot in Ston for its heritage, views, and beauty.
Mali Ston Bay or small Ston, located just a few minutes away is home to oyster beds. Stop here for lunch, or add a wine tasting session.
It is interesting to note that the Bay of Mali Ston separates the peninsula from the Klek peninsula of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A bridge is under construction, which will connect the Peljesac peninsula to the Croatia mainland.
The Island of Mljet, Croatia
The beautiful island of Mljet, near to Dubrovnik is the perfect day trip during the summer months, with the ferry taking just under 2 hours each way.
The entire island is a stunning National Park and is dominated by two interconnecting lakes, one of which is home to a centuries-old Benedectine monastery on its own tiny island in the centre.
The company that plies the route is the G & V ferry, with the boat departing from Dubrovnik Port and arriving in the small town of Polače. From here, visitors can either take the shuttle bus to the entrance or hike bikes from one of the stalls by the port.
On the island, you can cycle or walk the perimeter, and it’s easy to hire kayaks too from the stand at Mali Most, which is where the two lakes meet.
A day on Mljet can be spent exploring the forests, swimming in the lakes, enjoying the natural current of some of the streams, and finding private corners of complete solitude and calm. It’s a beautiful island with little commercial activity, but perfect for a relaxing day surrounded by stunning nature.
It’s very straightforward to visit Mljet without an organized tour, but you can join a 2 hour guided tour on the park on arrival for 400 kunas (£45).
By Claire from Stoked to Travel
The main reason people visit Korcula island is its beautiful mini-Dubrovnik-like town nestled on the eastern side of the land. Located 121 km away from Dubrovnik, it is a bit challenging to make a day trip from Dubrovnik to Korcula, yet doable either by a car any time of the year or with public transport only available in high season.
One of the best ways to get to the island is by driving a car to the town of Orebic and then taking an Orebic-Domince ferry that takes around 15 minutes to reach Korcula island. From there, you’ll need to drive for another 5-7 minutes to the Korcula town itself.
Daily public ferries run from July to August from Dubrovnik to Korcula town from early in the morning, enabling visitors to make a perfect day trip. Alternatively, there’s a bus operating from June to September leaving Dubrovnik a 9 a.m and coming back from Korcula at 3 p.m
Both of the options leave you with 3-4 hours to wander through narrow cobblestone streets of Korcula town and visit the iconic landmarks such as St. Marks Cathedral and a bell tower for panoramic views of the town and the Adriatic sea or learn more about Marco Polo and his adventures by touring his house and a museum.
Additionally, you can enjoy a sunny day at the nearby beach with a spectacular view of the town and its walls, swim in pristine waters, and sunbath.
By Baia from Red Fedora Diary
Kotor & Perast, Montenegro
The picturesque town of Kotor is only around 60 kilometers from Dubrovnik and thus perfect for a day trip.
Due to its scenic location in a bay, it’s one of Montenegro’s most popular places and a perfect destination for cruise ships. If you want to get an authentic experience, simply wander around and discover all the hidden corners of Kotor. However, you need to be careful because it’s very easy to get lost in the maze of narrow streets.
If you want to enjoy an unforgettable view of the bay, we recommend climbing the 1350 stairs to St John’s Fortress. This old fortress was built hundreds of years ago and is now a ruin overlooking the town.
Be prepared for a very exhausting hike so wear good shoes and bring enough bottles of water. It’s not easy to get up the 260 meters to the fortress but the view is worth it!
You probably won’t need an entire day in Kotor so you can easily go to Perast as well. This charming fishing village is only 20 minutes from Kotor and less touristy.
There’s nothing very spectacular to see as it’s a rather small town, but thanks to its relaxing atmosphere, it’s a great place to enjoy a good cup of coffee at the sea or take a stroll along the promenade.
By Lina from World of Lina
Kravica Waterfall & Počitelj, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kravica waterfall is located in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Kravice or Kravica is a large cascade on the Trebižat River. The distance from Dubrovnik to Kravica is about 2+ hours.
The height of the waterfalls is at 25 meters (80 feet) and there are two levels from where you can view the falls. The closer you go, you can feel the cascading power and showers from the falls.
The waterfalls are a stunning nature-scape, completely different from the bright orange-y roofs of the Adriatic gems like Dubrovnik or Kotor Bay.
In spring and late summer months, it is an amazing destination to picnic, day camp, photograph or enjoy the showering waterfalls! Summer months are busy, and bustling with tourists, but you can swim and enjoy a rope swing. There is a cafe, which is open with seasonal hours. Plan to stay late in the evening to capture the sunset over the falls!
The best way to get from Dubrovnik to Kravica waterfall is with a tour or car. Without a car, you can take a bus via Čapljina, and it takes close to 3 hours and costs 170 – 240 kunas, one way.
You can also combine a day trip to Kravice and Pocitelj.
Pocitelj is a tiny town, and you can access it on your way back to Dubrovnik. It is a stunning place dating back to the 15th century or even longer.
There is a central – Hajji Alija mosque – and many houses around it. Most of the inhabitants left the village, and only a handful of them remain. The village is an open-air museum today. The Kula which is a silo-shaped fort overlooks the village from hill-top offering mesmerizing views of the Neretva river.
The distance between Kravice and Pocitelj is 25 minutes one way!
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mostar is a beautiful 15-century city, located in the Balkan state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Visiting Mostar will delight you, and if you wish you to get a glimpse of the Balkans add a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
Mostar is known for the 16th century Stari Most bridge, which was rebuilt after the 1990-05 siege. You can cross the bridge, wander down and enjoy amazing views including watching people jumping off the cliffs/bridge (for money/dare-devil).
Kujundziluk is the old town bazaar in Mostar. It reminisces of the Turkish-era street market with Ottoman architecture and cobblestone narrow lanes.
There are many day tours that operate out of Dubrovnik to Mostar, which also includes a guided walk of the old town and a narration of the troubling times of the 20th century, where Mostar was severely damaged.
As Mostar is in a different country, a passport is essential for travel, and border crossing is involved.
You can also explore Pocitelj on your way back from Mostar.
Split is located about 230 kilometers from Dubrovnik. Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and is situated on the Dalmatian coast, just like Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik and Split are unique in their own ways. Split is a bigger city, with tons of options for food and accommodation and a stunning Roman architecture graced old town.
Dubrovnik is smaller, with the old town being the highlight of the city. If you are looking to get a taste of Split, where you can explore the port and the old town highlights, take a day trip or a one-way transfer/drive to Split.
It takes 3 hours to drive to Split, one way from Dubrovnik. There are several buses that leave the main bus station Dubrovnik to Split. As soon as you reach the bus station, the port and the old town is a few steps away.
If you are taking a bus, start in the morning (between 08:00 to 10:00 am), you will arrive in Split by morning or noon, have brunch or lunch, and then explore. Leave town after 5:45 pm, to arrive in Dubrovnik latest by 10:30 pm.
To travel from Dubrovnik to Split (or even Zagreb) by road, you will have to cross a small stretch of border that belongs to Bosnia Herzegovina, so carry your travel passports.
For 4-6 hours in Split, you can stroll and explore the old town including the Diocletian’s Palace, the 4th-century Cathedral of Saint Domnius, Jupiter’s Temple, Bronze Gate, Riva Promenade, and end the day at the Marjan Hill Stairs.
We hope you enjoyed this list of best day trips from Dubrovnik. We planned our Balkan itinerary around Dubrovnik, and we were glad to be able to check off so many gems without any hassles!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.