Magnificent Islands Off Dubrovnik

If you’re staying in Dubrovnik longer than just a day or two, you might want to go for an adventure and explore some of the islands nearby. We highly recommend designing your trip in Dubrovnik so that you have some time to explore the islands – it’s a truly unforgettable experience in Croatia.

We put together a list of our favourite islands just a short ferry trip away from Dubrovnik that are worth visiting.

Lokrum: Natural Beauty

Take a 10-min ferry from Dubrovnik (Old Town Port) to Lokrum (Portoc Bay) to visit this beautiful, forested island full of holm oaks, black ash, pines and olive trees. The public boat ticket price includes the entrance fee, but if you arrive with another boat, you’re required to pay 120KN at the information centre on the island.

Nature lovers are particularly fond of this place. Visit the Botanical Garden here which was founded in 1959 – it’s home to a variety of plant life, including palm trees, cacti and eucalyptus trees. There is also a Monastery on the island that was originally built during the 11 th century, although the parts that can be seen today hail from the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Located inland, on the south of the island, a salt lake which is a popular spot for visitors who enjoy bathing in the calm and peaceful waters.

Lopud: History Gem

This car-free island has the prettiest settlement in the region, composed of stone houses surrounded by exotic gardens and overlooked by ruined fortresses. The first thing you notice when sailing into the island’s harbour is the immense sea wall and 30m-high bell tower of Lopud’s 15 th -century Franciscan Monastery. The only part of the complex that is regularly open to the public is St Mary-of-the-Cave Church, built in 1483 and worth a visit for its 16 th -century altarpiece and intricately carved choir chairs. History buffs are particularly fond of this place; as numerous remains of Greek, Roman, and Slavic buildings remain to this very day, more than 30 remains of pre-Romanesque chapels and churches, a vast number of former Dubrovnik aristocracy summer manors and several monasteries can be found here.

Expect some larger crowds during high season, tour boats arrive daily to Lopud and the locals owning a boat also favor this spot. However, when the boats leave and during the off-season, it’s the Adriatic at its best.

Kolocep: Breathless Beauty

Only 20 minutes by boat from Dubrovnik, Kolocep island is welcoming curious travelers. With only two settlements here – Gornje and Donje Celo – you can really detox from a bustling city here and even visit a naturist beach if you want. There are dozens of forest paths to hike here if you aren’t into laying on the beach so much.

Kolocep is one of the smallest and hidden away islands with many hidden bays. In one of these bays you can find Blue Cave which you can access via swimming only. The first sight of the island can leave you breathless, as it fills you with peace, the smell of Mediterranean plants and the intense color of the Adriatic.

Sipan: Chill and Nature

Sipan Island (pronounced shee-pan) is the largest island in the Elaphiti Islands – since the Roman period the islands here are called Elafiti meaning deer’s islands – is famous for its wine and for its delightfully laid-back ambiance. There are several churches on the island worth seeing, including the 11 th century St Peter’s Church.

Some of the Dubrovnik aristocracy built their summer houses on Sipan, the remains of which can still be seen today.

Mljet: Croatian Paradise

Forest-shrouded Mljet is one of the most seductive of all the Adriatic islands. This stunning island is famous for the lakes on the island – Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero (Big Lake and Small Lake) and the abandoned 12 th century monastery that is located on an island in the middle of Veliko Jezero (an island on an island!).

The waters around Mljet are a treasure trove for scuba divers. A recent excavation around a 10 th century shipwreck revealed several hundred artifacts including bottles, amphorae and decorated glass. You can arrange your own diving experience here. And if you are not up for diving, visit Pomena beach – a lovely spot for families and the elderly as it has a small shallow swimming pool as well.

If you want help picking your best Croatian experience, just give our team a call on 1800 242 353.