Dubrovnik - Out of Town

Surroundings - Tours and Excursions


Dubrovnik's Old Town is such an enchanted place that the overwhelming majority of cruise travelers will spend the day in port exploring its beauty and charm. However, for those that have been in Dubrovnik before and look forward to discovering hidden treasures close by, there are a few sites that should be included on your must see list whilst docking at the Port of Dubrovnik - the wonderful town of Cavtat is on the top of the list. But so is Mljet and its National Park. The Island of Lokrum is just right in front of the Old Port and easy to explore on your own. Last but not least, Korčula is a cruise port in itself although only small (and luxurious) cruise ships visit the legendary birthplace of Marco Polo; although some cruise ships may include Korčula on their shore excursion packages, it is the most difficult site to explore on your own, depending on how long your cruise ship will stay in port. The cruise traveler should plan well ahead to check ferry-boat schedules.


Photo of Cavtat near Dubrovnik

Ketone16 CC-by-SA

The approach to this little gem of a Mediterranean town is one of the most breathtaking things about it, as the campaniles of its churches poke their way into view above a canopy of lush trees. But that’s not all - this was the ancient settlement of Epidaurum whose inhabitants populated Dubrovnik. A pleasant promenade fringes the rambling old streets, edged by cafés, a couple of good places to drink, a selection of good restaurants and a handful of rather lovely small hotels. The promenade leads to the pleasant town beach, a park and a cemetery with an imposing mausoleum by sculptor Ivan Meštrović as its centerpiece. Among the many attractions of Cavtat, the Bukovac House, where the Croatian artist Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922) grew up, the Franciscan monastery, the Pinakothek, the Rectors Palace Museum and the St. Nicholas Parish Church are sights not to be missed.

Island of Lokrum

Photo of the Island of Lokrum near Dubrovnik

Photo: Diego Delso CC-by-SA

If you would like a different as well as interesting view of Dubrovnik, take a ferry over to the Island of Lokrum, a ten-minute ride, and now preserved as a nature park. On the island, you will find a fort, a monastery, botanical gardens and a naturalist beach. First records of this island are from 1023 with the foundation of the Benedictine Abbey and Monastery. This is also the place where legend has it, King Richard the Lionhearted shipwrecked in 1192. In gratitude, he provided the funds for the building of the church. For a great view of the city, you can visit the star shaped fort built by the French in 1806, up on the hills.

Trsteno Arboretum

Photo of Trsteno Arboretum near Dubrovnik

Photo: August Dominus CC-by-SA

If you’re looking for some relaxation out of town, a trip to the Trsteno Arboretum is just what the doctor ordered. Located on the grounds of a summertime villa, built in 1494 by Ivan Marinov Gucetic, the historic gardens are well known for the exotic plants, flowers and a historic olive grove. Here you will also find the Garden Fountain which is fed water by a 70-meter long aqueduct that rests on fourteen arches. In 1736, the fountain was transformed into a Baroque Nymphaeum, and now boasts a statue of King Neptune in the center. You will also see here two huge 500-year-old Asiatic Plane trees.

Elafite Islands

If looking to slow your pace down from the busy city, for a couple of euro’s you can hop a boat to the small Elafite Islands, or even decide to stay on them and commute to the city during the day. These small, islands are quite the getaway, and many small motels are located there with guest accommodations. For the most part, the beaches are like scenes from Robinson Crusoe, as they are off the beaten track. Here you can enjoy a “fish picnic” excursion for a day, catered by tour operators from docks in Dubrovnik. You will get your round trip boat ticket, along with a lunch of grilled fish, bread, potatoes and beverages.


Photo of Elafite Islands near Dubrovnik

Photo: Andres Rus CC-by-SA

Mljet and its National Park are easily reached by boat or car ferries from the mainland. Daylong excursions including admission to the park are 270kn per day. Be prepared to fall in love with this island, one of the largest in Croatia. This is a peaceful, laid back destination, without the busy streets, the restaurants, clubs, and bars. There are signs of earlier inhabitants, on different parts of the island, with remainings’ of forts, walls, and as recently as mid-1900’s, mass graves from battles, containing bones, spears, swords and arrows. Today you have the advantage of finding nothing but peace here. The surrounding waters are a haven for an array of fish species, sailing, scuba diving; on shore bicycle paths and hiking trails take you everywhere.

Mljet National Park

This national park is located on the island of Mljet, and contains quite the nature phenomenon, two natural salt water lakes, jezero and Mali jezero. Located on a third of the western portion of the island, it includes three villages of mention, Polace, Okuklje and Saplunara. Visitors should tour the Benedictine monastery as well as the sandy beach of Blace.


Photo of Korčula near Dubrovnik

Korčula is famous as the legendary birthplace of Marco Polo and has fast become a haven for the “Rich and Famous” who from time to time, purchase property for their vacation getaways. The reason is that this is a haven for architectural delights and one of the most romantic historical towns you will find anywhere. On this island, you will hear of more legends and tales and monuments than anywhere else in Croatia today. It is a charming town and a wonderful place for hikers and cyclists to visit the woodlands and vineyards. When visiting the island, the best way to explore it is to rent a cycle or a scooter from a tourist agency in town, then head off to the village of Lumbarda and its picture perfect vineyards. Also while on this island, you must try some of the local wine - Grk - rumored to have been introduced by the ancient Greeks after the fall of Troy.

Getting There

Photo of Tours and Excursions Kiosks in Dubrovnik

Photo © IQCruising.com

Boat to the Island of Lokrum

The boat to the Island of Lokrum departs from the Old City Harbour every half hour during the summer, taking the cruise traveler to the little bay of Portoč. It takes around 10 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks next to the Old Port.

Boat to the Elafite Islands

The cruise traveler can choose between a boat departing from the Old City Harbor, with tickets being sold right by the pier or the bigger boat operated departing from the Gruž Harbour. The latter is operated by Jadrolinija and tickets must be purchased at its office close to the Dubrovnik Tourist Board Information Office in Gruž.

Boat to the Island of Mljet

There are two main ways to travel to the Island of Mljet, both departing from Gruž Harbour. Jadrolinija Agency Ferry will take the cruise traveler to Sobra Harbour in Mljet and an hydrofoil operated by G&V Line agency sails to Polače Harbour located very close to the Mljet National Park.
G&V Line Agency Official Website: www.gv-line.hr

Ferry-Boat to Korčula

Jadrolinija also operates ferries from the Port of Gruž to all major ports in Croatia. If a visit to Korčula is on your plans, the cruise traveler is advised to check online sailing times before getting to Dubrovnik as you may find time constraints to explore this island during a call at Dubrovnik. It all depends on how long your cruise ship will stay in port.
Jadrolinija Official Website: www.jadrolinija.hr

Boat Gruž to Lapad

If your cruise ship docks in the Port of Gruž, there is a boat that sails to Lapad from a spot very close to the cruise terminal - right in front of the open-air market. The boat only operates in the summer, leaving every ten minutes, taking you right across the harbour.

Out of Town Photos

Photo of Our Lady of the Snow in Cavtat near Dubrovnik

Photo: Jerrye and Roy Klotz MD CC-by-SA

Our Lady of the Snow

Photo of Bay in Cavtat near Dubrovnik

Photo: Tony Hisgett CC-by-SA

Bay in Cavtat

Photo of Rectors Palace in Cavtat near Dubrovnik

Photo: Jerrye and Roy Klotz MD CC-by-SA

Rectors Palace

Photo of Church Tower in Cavtat near Dubrovnik

Photo: Luu CC-by-SA

Church Tower

Mlet Photos
Photo of Fort Royal in Mlet near Dubrovnik

Photo: Pudelek CC-by-SA

Fort Royal in Mlet

Excursions Photos
Photo of Tour Kiosks in Dubrovnik

Photo © IQCruising.com

Tours Kiosks at Brsalje Square

Photo of Tours Departing Old Port in Dubrovnik

Photo © IQCruising.com

Tours Departing Old Port

Photo of Tour Kiosks by the Old Port in Dubrovnik

Photo © IQCruising.com

Tour Kiosks by the Old Port

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Last Update: January 21, 2018

The information on this page was accurate when last updated but changes may have occurred without notice.
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