Dubrovnik is the most popular destination in Croatia, and it is a truly fascinating city to visit. However, during its prime tourist season, it can be very crowded which makes it hard to enjoy all its beauty. Taking a day trip from Dubrovnik is a wonderful opportunity to explore other parts of the region as well as get away from the crowds.
Dubrovnik is in the southern corner of Croatia, close to Bosnia, Montenegro and many Croatian Islands which makes it an excellent location for day trips from Dubrovnik. In this post, we explore less traveled places around Dubrovnik in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik
- 1. Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
- 2. Arboretum Trsteno, Croatia
- 3. Korčula Island, Croatia
- 4. Mljet National Park, Croatia
- 5. Kravica Waterfalls, Bosnia and Hercegovina
- 6. Vjetrenica Cave, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 7. Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina
- 8. Trebinje, Bosnia and Hercegovina
- 9. Kotor, Montenegro
- 10. Lokrum Island, Croatia
- 11. Elaphiti Islands, Croatia
- 12. Skywalk Biokovo, Croatia
- Tips for The Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik Experience
1. Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
Pelješac only 34 miles north of Dubrovnik, is still a somewhat hidden gem of Croatia. With a new bridge that was built in 2023, connecting the north mainland with the peninsula and bypassing having to go through Bosnia, the hidden gem is slowly becoming one of the main tourist attractions.
Some of Croatia’s best wine is produced in Pelješac. Plavac Mali (Little Blue), ancestral Zinfandel, is the main grape that grows in Pelješac and Dingač region, the most prestigious wine-making region, on the South side of the peninsula.
Recently one of the big attractions that brings a lot of tourists from Dubrovnik is Edivo Winery. The first underwater winery where bottles and clay jugs are stored underwater is Mali Ston Bay. Here you can enjoy a traditional winery tour and tasting or join the divers on a tour to a submerged sunken ship and the wine stored around it.
Some other more popular wineries from the peninsula are Grgich Winery, Korta Katarina and Matuško Winery. But the beauty of this peninsula is that in recent years a lot of smaller family-owned wineries are popping up – Winery Bezek being a perfect example of that.
Outside of amazing wine, the peninsula is known for pristine pebble beaches, kite surfing and delicious oysters, mussels, squid, and fresh fish.
Orebić is the biggest town on the peninsula with all the amenities and easy ferry access to surrounding islands. Viganj is a great town to visit if you are interested in kite surfing, located at the vortex of the wind tunnel halfway along the Korčula channel. Drace and Janjina are two sleepy little villages next to each other. Drace has direct access to water and is where Edivo Winery is located, and just a few minutes north is Janjina with endless vineyards and olive trees. Divan, Duba and on the other side of the peninsula Željana are great locations for pristine white pebble beaches and crystal-clear water.
Visit to Trstenik, where the Grgich Winery is located, is a must with a stop at Vitaceae where they serve freshly caught seafood and local wines.
MY SUGGESTED DAY ITINERARY IN PELJESAC
Drive to Ston, walk the Wall of Ston – 3.5 miles, it takes 40 – 50 minutes to walk.
If you like raw oysters, this is the place to try them. Make sure they are fresh.
Make your way to Putnikovići and visit the Winery Museum to learn about how grapes used to be harvested and the significance of donkeys on the peninsula.
After the museum, if the weather permits stop in Željana for a quick swim and some sunbathing on the beach. Here you can find a few restaurants for lunch or a quick snack.
The next stop is Potomje, where Matusko Winery is at. One of the first and most successful winemakers in Pelješac. If there is no availability for a wine tour/tasting, you can purchase a glass of wine and tour the cellar on your own.
After Potomje, I would suggest starting a drive back with a stop in Trstenik for wine tasting at Grgich and dinner at Vitaceae or Drace for wine tasting at Edivo Winery and dinner at Konoba Dalmatinska Kuca.
If you are not as interested in wine, drive to Orebić and hike to the top of Sv. Ilija Hill for amazing views is another option. Or go kite surfing in Viganj.
2. Arboretum Trsteno, Croatia
Out of this entire list, this may be the easiest and most convenient day trip from Dubrovnik. Only 10 miles north of Dubrovnik it is super easy to get to it by bus or car. In recent years, this has become a more visited destination because the arboretum was a set for King’s Landing Garden – Tyrell High Garden but still much fewer crowds than what you will see in Dubrovnik.
During our visit, we only saw a few other people walking around. But Game of Thrones tour buses do come through occasionally.
The gardens are beautiful and provide much-needed shade while exploring in the middle of sweltering summer days. And the views from the garden are just stunning.
The entrance fee is €7, and it takes a couple of hours to walk around the garden and see everything. Bring plenty of water with you, facilities are available to use on-site.
On the way back you can stop at Veranda 2.0 for a delicious lunch and go for a dip at Plaza (Beach) Orašac.
3. Korčula Island, Croatia
There are two ways to get to Korčula on a day trip from Dubrovnik:
- As a foot passenger, there is a direct ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula. The travel time is 2 hours and 5 minutes and tickets are €9-€13.
- As a car passenger, you can drive to Orebić and take a car ferry. It is only a 20-minute journey with a 1 hour and 45-minute drive and tickets are €13-€30.
If possible, I would suggest taking a car ferry. There is a lot more to Korčula than just the Old Town and without a car, you will not be able to see it.
Upon arrival at Korčula Island, drive out to Smokvica, the tiny little village where you can stop at one of the local wineries for wine tasting. Korčula is known for growing the Pošip grape, a Croatian white wine varietal. While driving through Korčula Island, don’t be surprised to see little stands on the side of the road offering wine, olive oil, cheese or honey tasting.
After wine tasting you may be ready for a dip in crystal-clear refreshing water or maybe a lunch. We opted to drive down to Zavalatica, on a whim, for a delicious lunch and more wine at Konoba Albert (cash-only place) with stunning views. Another option is the town of Brna with more restaurant and beach options.
For the afternoon I would recommend driving back toward the Old Town. You can make a stop in Lumbarda, a town known for growing Grk grape (unique to Korčula) and try more wine. Grk is very hard to find outside of Korčula Island.
Korčula Old Town is small and easy to cover on foot. Park your car outside of town and stroll through the narrow streets and the beautiful pathway by the water full of bars and restaurants. Climb to the top of the tower for an amazing view of the city. And go by Marco Polo’s house, he is rumored to be from Korčula.
4. Mljet National Park, Croatia
Called the greenest island in the Adriatic, Mljet Island is where Mljet National Park is. Mljet National Park is on the western part of the island, and it is best to take a ferry to Pomena for the easiest access to the National Park.
The National Park has two saltwater lakes – Malo (small) and Veliko (big) Jezero, a small island in the big lake with Sv. Marija church you can take a ferry to, plenty of beaches and hiking trails. You can rent kayaks and kayak around the island or in the lakes or hike up Mt. Montokuc for 360-degree views of the park.
The downside is there are no public facilities in the National Park which can make it for a long day. Outside of that, there are plenty of things to do here and feel completely isolated from busy Dubrovnik.
5. Kravica Waterfalls, Bosnia and Hercegovina
In Croatia, Plitvička Jezera and Krka National Park are probably the more common waterfalls everyone thinks about. But just a short drive from Dubrovnik, a little over a 2-hour drive, in Bosnia and Hercegovina, is Kravica Waterfalls. Arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in the Balkans.
It is locals’ favorite place to come in the summer and cool off as swimming is permitted in the waterfall pool. There isn’t much to do here but swim, sunbathe and enjoy cold beer. However, the waterfalls are impressive and worth a visit. When I visited the waterfalls for the first time in 2012, it was not a very well known place. Only few locals were there enjoying this beauty. These days it’s a different story.
A short drive from Kravica Waterfalls is Tvrđava Herceg Stjepana where you can walk around the recently renovated fortress from the 14th century and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area.
Another option is the less popular and less stunning Waterfall Koćusa only 30 minutes from Waterfall Kravica, where you can enjoy the views of the waterfall while walking around.
Visiting one or all three of these places will make your experience in Dubrovnik richer.
You can drive here and will have to cross the border to Bosnia. Or you can take a tour bus.
6. Vjetrenica Cave, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Only an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik, Vjetrenica Cave is the largest cave in Bosnia and Hercegovina and the most biodiverse cave in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are over 200 different species of animals that live here.
The cave maintains a temperature of approximately 11 degrees C year long, so it is a perfect place to get away from the heat. Make sure you dress appropriately for this tour, with closed-toe shoes, long pants and some type of jacket to keep you warm.
The cave tour leaves every hour if you are doing this on your own instead of a tour group.
After your tour, you can enjoy lunch at Restaurant Zavala for a delicious traditional Bosnian meal and head back to Dubrovnik. Or combine this adventure with a visit to Waterfall Kravica.
7. Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Visiting Mostar is probably the most popular day trip from Dubrovnik to Bosnia and Hercegovina. Mostar’s iconic Old Bridge (Stari Most) has been a tourist attraction for a while now. If you are trying to avoid crowds, this will not be the place. However, it is a place worth visiting at least once.
The Old Bridge, market, cafes and restaurants in Mostar are all must-see. During busy summer months, there is usually a guy on the bridge asking for the tip to jump off the bridge into the beautiful Neretva River. These guys make a living doing this, so they wait until the tip jar is full to jump, but eventually, they do.
No trip to Mostar is final until you’ve had some local food, traditional dessert and Turkish coffee.
This city was brutalized during the Yugoslavian war in the 90s and don’t be surprised if you still see some buildings that have bullet holes on them or are completely ruined.
8. Trebinje, Bosnia and Hercegovina
On the other side of Bosnia, close to Montenegro is Trebinje—an underrated town in Bosnia which makes it a perfect getaway for a day trip from Dubrovnik. Less than an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik, it feels like stepping back in time when you get to Trebinje. This hidden gem is almost untouched by tourism but has a lot to offer.
The view from Hercegovačka Graćanica Monastery offers some of the best views of the city. With the river Trebišnjica flowing through the city, you can also stroll by the river or go for a swim. Petrovic (Arsenalagić) Bridge is the most famous spot along the river. And finish the day with a delicious meal in the Old Town with some local wine.
Trebinje grows grapes and produces delicious wine much less known than Croatian wine and therefore much more affordable. Everything from local grapes like vranac (red grape) and žilavka (white grape) to internationally recognized wines like cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, syrah and pinot noir grows here. So, make sure you taste some local wine or even visit one of the local wineries.
9. Kotor, Montenegro
Full disclosure, just like Pelješac, a visit to Montenegro deserves more than a day trip from Dubrovnik. However, I know that it is not always possible. So, if you have only one day, I would suggest visiting Kotor but it will make for a long day. Get on the road as early as possible.
The drive to Montenegro is along the beautiful Adriatic coastline and the Bay of Kotor. Once in Kotor, everyone loves to go into the Old Town and climb the City Walls. I would suggest skipping the City Walls and hiking the Ladder of Kotor.
It is a hike with over 70 switchbacks but much less crowded with a never-ending view of the Bay of Kotor. This hike can take up to 4 hours depending on how far up you want to go and how many stops you make. Once back from the hike stop in Old Town to explore and have a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants.
The rest of the afternoon you can either spend going on a speedboat ride to Our Lady of the Rock Island and the blue cave where you can dip in the water. This tour takes 3 hours. Or you can take the newly opened cable car to Lovćen for stunning views of Kotor while enjoying an adult beverage or dessert at the restaurant.
I would suggest a boat cruise to the Blue Cave, as you get to see more of Montenegro this way and get an opportunity to swim in the Blue Cave.
10. Lokrum Island, Croatia
Visiting Lokrum Island as a Day Trip from Dubrovnik is a relatively easy adventure, as there are ferries that leave very frequently, and the trip is only 15-20 minutes. There are many trails and pathways to walk and explore Lokrum Island as well as botanical gardens, an old monastery, and many beaches.
There are restaurants and bars on the island, but I would still suggest bringing enough of your own water to stay hydrated while exploring.
Another option that doesn’t necessarily get you to Lokrum Island but does get you from Dubrovnik crowds is kayaking around City Walk and Lokrum Island. It was one of the best things we did in Dubrovnik.
Be sure to catch a ferry back from the island, as there is nowhere to stay on the island.
11. Elaphiti Islands, Croatia
Elaphiti Islands stretching northwest of Dubrovnik, consists of three small islands – Lopud, Sipan and Koločep. To visit and explore all three of them in one day, the best option may be to book a tour. The organized tours will keep you on the schedule and you don’t have to worry about which ferry to catch when. However, that is an option as well.
On each island, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, walks, beaches, sunbathing and on Sipan some locally produced wine and olive oil.
The Elaphiti Islands don’t feel as remote as Lokrum, since people live here and there are hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and such.
The Elaphiti Islands don’t feel as remote as Lokrum, since people live here and there are hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and such.
12. Skywalk Biokovo, Croatia
Ok, I must be honest. We did not do this adventure. And not because of the Skywalk, but because I just could not stomach the drive up there. The day before we drove over some sketchy roads in Bosnia, and I just could not get myself to do this right after. However, it is something that many other people find exhilarating, so we added it to our list.
Skywalk Biokovo is in the town of Tučepi, close to Makarska, almost 3 hours north of Dubrovnik. The Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped glass walkway over the edge of the cliff at 1228 meters above sea level located in the Ravna Vlaška area. It offers stunning views of the area but is not for people who are afraid of heights.
However, for me, the scarier thing is the 13 km (about 8.08 mi) drive on the paved mountain road from the entrance to the viewpoint. It is a one-way road, for two-way traffic (you have to love Eastern Europe and their roads!). It takes 30 minutes, and they only allow 25 vehicles every hour.
After the Skywalk, if you have time to spare make sure to check out Makarska Old Town for some delicious food and the beaches for some R&R after that nerve-wracking experience.
Tips for The Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik Experience
Croatia is in the European Union, meanwhile Bosnia and Montenegro are not. This means, even for a day trip you need to cross the border and have your passport on you. You also need to be aware of customs regulations and understand what you can and cannot bring into each country.
Croatia and Montenegro’s currency is the Euro, meanwhile, the Bosnian currency is the Bosnian Mark. Credit cards are widely accepted; however, cash is still preferred.
The language between these three countries is essentially the same, but everyone calls it differently and has slightly different dialects. Saying Zdravo (Hello) and Cao (Hello or Goodbye) or Dovidjenja (Goodbye) is universal.
If renting a car and driving on your own, make sure that your car rental company allows the car to cross the border into Bosnia and Montenegro.
The civil war from the 1990s is still a sensitive subject in some of these areas, especially places like Mostar. It is best to avoid the subject altogether.
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