Visit Villages and Islands in Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina located on the Dubrovnik area map
Dubrovnik, Croatia is a popular tourist destination with plenty of things to do in Dubrovnik and the area around Dubrovnik as per the map. This includes towns in nearby countries such as Montenegro and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Some trips are day trips and other trips you may want to spend a few days. All 23 days trips on the Dubrovnik area map are outlined below and can be visited by public transportation; sometimes you may need to stop over in one town and take another bus to your final destination.
The towns around Dubrovnik include villages where you will find secluded caves, monasteries, beaches, islands, National Parks, historical buildings, medieval towns, and fishing villages with cobblestone alleyways situated along the warm and azure blue Adriatic Sea. After exploring the Old Town of Dubrovnik, taking the self guided Games of Thrones Tour, or Walking the Dubrovnik City walls, explore these 23 towns around Dubrovnik on day trips.
- In addition:
- Check the Travel Guide to Croatia for helpful information when travelling to Croatia
- Explore Croatia using this itinerary that we followed on our trip to Croatia
- Book additional Dubrovnik tours with a local guide
- Check here for availability, pricing and booking of recommended hotels, apartments and guesthouses with varying price points in Croatia
1. Lokrum Island: Very popular day trips located on the Dubrovnik area map
Video of Lokrum Attractions
Lokrum Island offers fabulous nature walks, beaches, botanical gardens and hiking paths to one of the oldest Benedictine Monasteries in the area. It is also Games of Thrones site and the location of the famous Iron Throne which is at the visitor’s center. Spend the day or half a day exploring the area, having a picnic, spotting the occasional peacock, hiking up to Napoleons Fort Royal or taking a dip in the Adriatic Sea. The peacocks were originally brought to Lokrum from the Canary Islands about 150 years ago and they roam freely. The monastery on the island is also the location of the city of Qarth and Deanery’s welcome party in the Game of Thrones. Lokrun is associated with the Lokrum curse. Additional information on Lokrum Island can be found HERE and if you are interested in a complete and free self guided Game of Thrones tour, click HERE.
- Game of Thrones Free Self Guided Walking Tour – includes the Iron Throne at Lokrum Island.
- Take a tour as part of the Game of Thrones attractions, book a local guide for the Lokrum Island Game of Thrones Tour
Getting to Lokrum:
Take a water taxi from the Old Town Dubrovnik pier to Lokrum; they are constantly running. You may want to arrange for a pickup at a pre-set time, or take your chance on catching a water taxi from the pier when you are ready to leave.
2. Kupari: Quick day trip, close to Dubrovnik on the Dubrovnik area map
During the Croatian war of independence, the village of Kupari was severely damaged. It was a tourist destination with a beach side hotel complex made up of seven hotels that were built starting in the 1920’s. It has been abandoned for 20 years and is referred to as the “bay of abandoned hotels.” It was plundered by the Serbian Army, the Croatian army and Croatians. There is nothing left except for the shells of the buildings. This will be one of your most interesting day trips from Dubrovnik as it is quiet with hardly any visitors and all you see are remnants of once beautiful hotels.
The fine pebble beach in Kupari is beautiful with turquoise color waters.
A video of Kupari then and now:
Getting to Kupari:
Take the Libertas public transportation #10 bus going EAST from the main bus station, Autobusni Koldovor (next to Gruž cruise terminal train station) or catch the bus at the Cable Cars bus stop to take you to Kupari. Take the bus in the direction of Mlini and Cavtat. Libertas bus have free wifi network on board so you can monitor your progress in google maps. To access the wifi, just select the Wi-Fi network “LIBERTAS MEDIAKING” and follow the instructions.
Gruž is a new port that serves ferries and cruise ships and it is right next to the main bus station. The main bus station is called Autobusni Kolodvor. Tickets can be bought at newspaper stalls, Libertas stalls (Pile Gate) or from the bus driver. The ticket must be activated; there are ticket machines next to the driver, insert the ticket into the machine. Once activated, they are valid for 1 hour. The tourist office outside of Pile Gate has additional information on public transportation travel. The website getbybus.com has a number of routes to various locations that includes both the public Libertas bus schedule and other private buses. Bus 1, 1A, 1B or 3 run from Pile gate to Gruž Terminal / Autobusni Kolodvor.
From Kupari, you can continue east to Mlini, Cavtat and onto the Montenegro towns of Perast and Kotor.
3. Mlini: Another Quick day trip on the Dubrovnik area map
Mlini, loosely translated means “mills” and the famous Mlini Mills were located here, they used to use the fresh water springs in the area to power the mills. The town of Mlini is very close to Dubrovnik and it is a low-key fishing village of approximately 1,000 that has fabulous beaches. Things to do in Mlini an one of your many day trips from Dubrovnik is walking the 2km seaside promenade with cafes, konobas and picturesque bays.
In Mlini visit the 19t century church of Sveti Roko and the Church of Sv. Ilvar which dates to 1164 AD. There are a number of beautiful beaches including the 400m long family beach, Plaža Srebreno or rocky beach, Beach Plaza Mlini and the popular Plaža Astarea located at the upper end of Mlini.
Getting to Mlini:
Mlini is about 10km east of Dubrovnik. On the Dubrovnik area map you can see it is halfway between Dubrovnik and Cavtat. From the central bus station, take suburban Libertas EAST Bus 10, 16 or 16A to Mlini. If you would like to also visit Cavtat, you can just catch a bus which drives from Dubrovnik to Cavtat and stops in Mlini.
There are many water taxis which go every day from Mlini to nearby islands such as Kolocep, Lopud, Sipan, Mljet or Lokrum. In fact you can catch a water taxi back to Dubrovnik Old Town from Mlini or continue on to Cavtat by boat/water taxi. These are private boat transfers and will cost more than the public Libertas buses.
4. Visit Cavtat, Croatia on one of the day trips on the Dubrovnik area map
Video of Cavtat Attractions
Cavtat is about 5km from Dubrovnik airport and 20 km from Dubrovnik Old Town and a lovely place full of history to visit as one towns on the area map surrounding Dubrovnik. The Greeks arrived in Cavtat in the 7th century fleeing from the Avars and Slavs and later Cavtat was occupied by the Roman Empire under Emperor Augustus.
You will find winding cobble stone streets lined with palm trees, pink and purple villas and the horseshoe shaped Luka Bay consisting of the Rat Peninsula and the Sustjepan Peninsula.
Things to do in Cavtat: A picturesque day trip to one of the towns on the Dubrovnik area map
This car free town around Dubrovnik has a colorful Farmers market, a marina and a 7km promenade to people watch or just enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or cafes overlooking Luka Bay. The promenade is flanked by two churches. At one end is the small Byzantine style Franciscan Church of Our Lady of the Snow with Sunday services and on the other end is the 15th century Church of St Nichols. The bells of St Nichols toll throughout the day and inside you will find paintings from the 19th century famous local painter Vlaho Bukovac. Church services are held every Sunday and due to its popularity, you will need to arrive early to get a seat.
– Franciscan Monastery
The monastery is located at the base of the St Rocco hill and includes a church as well as a bell tower. The Church has a colorful history; it was damaged in the 1667 earthquake, pillaged by the Russians and Montenegrins in the early 1800’s and then used as a storage facility. Its function changed again and it became part of the health department, a customs office for the port authority and in 1958 it was the residence of the Račić Family. All that changed when in 1984 the church and monastery were listed as a monument where concerts are held regularly in the Cloister.
– St Nicholas Church
This 15th century church with wooded alters, houses the paintings of the local painter Vlaho Bucovac and is located on the waterfront.
– Rectors Palace
Rectors Palace functions as a museum. It holds about 35,000 pieces including period clothing, weapons, coins, a library of about 20,000 books as well as the private document collection of Cavtat a prominent 19th century lawyer Balthazar Bogišić.
– Vlaho Bukivac Museum
The museum is near the promenade and holds his collection. A famous Croatian painter also worked in both Paris and Prague. His three-story house has been turned into a museum that includes 200 paintings, sketches and the tools he used all displayed alongside period furniture.
– Račić Family Mausoleum and Cemetery
Take a short hike up the hill to the final resting place of the famous Captain Ivo and his family. The views of the Adriatic Sea are well worth a leisurely walk up. In the cemetery you will also find an Octagonal monument, the Račić Mausoleum, designed in 1921 by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.
– Sipun Cave
Just northwest of the Rat peninsula is the Sipun cave. Its diversity, housing about 60 different species of organism found in Croatia which allowed it to be declared a monument in 1963.
– the Dubrovnik area map around Cavtat has several beaches
There are several beaches in Cavtat:
- Beach Sustjepan – a popular concrete beach, where you can rent kayaks or enjoy a drink at the beach bar.
- Beach Rat – this is a quiet secluded beach in a wooded area just north of the Old Town. It is a mixture of fine pebbles and rocks and the shallow waters makes it a great beach for children.
- Pasjaca Beach – this is the farthest beach from town; It is about 10 km south of Cavtat.
- Beach Zal – A lovely long, sandy (fine pebbles) beach on the north side that is very popular with families. It includes an area with a bouncy castle, a water sports centers, kayak rentals, beach bar and restaurant.
- BeachIspod Gospe – A popular beach in town that is next to the marina. It can be accessed via the promenade.
- Beach Kljucice – A pebble and rocky beach where umbrellas and chairs can be rented. It is a secluded, peaceful beach on the Rat Peninsula.
- Beach Kamen Mali – a rocky beach in a small bay on the outermost edge of the Rat peninsula. The beach can be accessed by descending down a steep rocky path through a small tunnel until you get to the base where you will find the secluded beach.
Places to Stay in Cavtat
- Cavtat is a bus ride or water taxi ride into Dubrovnik Old Town. It is located close to the airport
The popular Ronald Brown Pathway from Old Town Cavtat to the top of Stražišće is 700 meter (2300feet) above sea level. It is rocky climb with spectacular views of the Old Town and the bay from the top. To get yourself oriented, from the bus station in Cavtat, walk along the seafront so you’re heading away from the Rat peninsula; you can follow this google map walking path to get to the start of the Ronald Brown pathway. When you get to the pathway and follow this route up to the Stražišće, you will notice that the path is roughly marked with red and white paint. There are some steep areas which can be challenging for some.
Getting to Cavtat:
The no. 10 bus from Dubrovnik will take you to Cavtat; it takes about 30 minutes. Catch the local bus in Dubrovnik from either the main bus station (Autobusi Koldovor) or the bus stop next to the cable car at Mt Srd. The local buses are easy to spot as they are bright orange. Cavtat is one of the closet towns to Old Town Dubrovnik on the area map. Buses run frequently, usually every half hour. The are local busses that also run from Cavtat to the airport and back making Cavtat a popular and much cheaper place to stay than Dubrovnik. During the summer months, catch a water taxi or catamaran from the Old Port in Dubrovnik to Cavtat. It is more than four times the price of the local bus but it is a relaxing and scenic ride to Cavtat
5. Pasjača Beach
This is a small, sheltered pebble beach in the Konavle cliffs below the village of Popovići. On the Dubrovnik area map, you can see that the beach is close to Cavtat. The beach is about 12km from Cavtat and it was named the best beach in Europe in 2019. You will need a vehicle to travel to the car park and then descend about 200m to sea level. The steep steps create a path that is carved into the cliff and access is difficult especially for the disabled, elderly and children. The path takes you into tunnels before you emerge back out into the sunshine. Take an umbrella for shade, food and plenty of water. The bus stop is several Km’s away and it is not advisable to take public transport.
6. Trsteno Arboretum: A Game of Thrones site on your day trips in the Dubrovnik area map
Trsteno Arboretum is not only a Game of Thrones filming location which was used as the gardens of Kings landing, it is also a gardeners heaven made of 62 acres of beautifully landscape flora and fauna overlooking the sea. They are vey close to Dubrovnik as shown on the map. The gardens are one of the most beautiful in the Dubrovnik area. You will find a variety of walking trails dotted with chapels, fountains, arches, ponds, villas and pavilions.
The gardens are part of a small renaissance villa that belonged to the 16th century Gučetić family. It includes an original aqueduct that supplied the baroque fountain of Neptune.
Getting to Trsteno:
Local buses #12 (WEST) and #15 from the main bus station in Dubrovnik (Autobuski Kolodvor) will take you to Trsteno. Ask the bus driver where the bus stop is to catch the bus back. Often, they are not marked however bus drivers are very good at stopping if you flag them down. Instead of returning to Dubrovnik, you can continue on to Ston by public transportation. You can usually flag down a local bus going in the direction of Ston; make sure you have enough change to purchase a ticket from the bus driver.
Alternatively take the cazmatrans bus or Bus from Dubrovnik to Trsteno. It takes about 30 min. Then take the bus from Trsteno to Ston. STON-r is not STON, it’s several miles away.
- Buses 12, 15, 22, and 35 from Dubrovnik to Trsteno. Ask tourists office to print you a map.
- Bus 15 from Trsteno to STON and bus 15 from STON to Dubrovnik.
- To get to Trsteno, catch local bus 12, 15, 21, 22 or 35 from Dubrovnik’s bus station. Otherwise any intercity bus bound for Split will stop here.
Don’t miss the two giant plane trees at the entrance to Trsteno village – each is more than 500 years old and around 50m high. They’re among the largest of their kind in Europe.
7. Ston, Croatia: A historic day trip on the Dubrovnik area map, Visit the other Stone Wall System
Ston is 54km from Dubrovnik as shown on the Dubrovnik area map. It is a medieval car-free town in the Peljesac Peninsula. Ston and its little sister Mali Ston are laid back small peaceful fishing villages with crumbling churches, lush vegetation and a coastline that is become famous for its oysters. It is a great day trips from Dubrovnik. The village has three important attractions; the world famous Ston Walls, the World famous Mussels and the World famous defensive wall system. These are three very good reasons to use the Dubrovnik area map to plan a trip to Ston and Mali Ston.
The pentagonal defensive 7km wall system was built to protect the two new towns of Ston and the western town Mali Ston and the very lucrative salt industry. The town is famous for its wall system that consists of 40 towers, five forts and a system of moats. The defensive structure included towers and several gates such as Vrata od Zamirja, Poljska Vrata and Morska/Lucka Vrata. You can walk the walls and I heard from the locals that you can run a marathon on the walls, but I would not recommend it.
Attractions in the town include the central square, a Gothic Franciscan Monastery, the Romanesque St. Nicholas Church, and St. Blaise’s Cathedral. Among its many attractive stone buildings you will find several palaces such as the Sorkocevic palace, Dordic palace, and the Rector’s Palace, a Gothic-Renaissance landmark. Behind the town is a set of brick stairs that will take you to a lookout point and to the top of the wall. There are several streets in town that go to the top of the wall however many are overgrown and can lead to a dead end.
Saltworks, an unusual activity in your list of things to do around Dubrovnik
Ston dates back 2000 years and its geographic position includes fertile land, still salt water and natural resources, made it an important economic residence for the people of the Pelješac peninsula. The romans started the salt collection process and the salt pans are the oldest in Europe. This area around Dubrovnik, on the map, became crucial to the Dubrovnik republic bringing in 1/3 of its income. The Ston walls were built in the 14th and 15th century to protect the industry that was such an important part of Croatia’s wealth.
Ston Salt Pans
The salt fields are divided into rectangular pans that stretch from north to south producing salt of white or dark color. History shows that the salt was exported by ships to Bosnia and other Balkan states and today the Ston salt pans produce about 1500 tons a year. The process starts with sea water that flows into the pans. When the water is dried it leaves behind salt crystals. These crystals are manually shoveled into storage bins. You can join the salt camps in the summer as a volunteer during the salt harvest. They run all through the summer or you can visit and see the process as a tourist.
Oysters, Oysters and More Oysters
Mali Ston is a small village that is about 1 km of the village of Ston and is famous for its Oysters. Originally it had its own defensive structure with stone walls and towers. The port in Mali Ston has been operational since 1490 and includes an arsenal, an entrance gate and a round tower. The Oyster beds of Mali Ston bay produce some of the most delicious sought after oysters and they are found at many restaurants in Croatia. It is the mixture of both fresh and sea water that makes the oysters unique.
The Mali Ston Bay is 28 km long with a number of bays, inlets and ridges that shelter the area from large waves. This allows for the installation of various farming structures to enable the farming and collection of oysters. It is said that the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef would have cases of oysters shipped from Mali Ston to his palace in Vienna. One of the things to do is to feast yourself on these farmed oysters at one of the local restaurants in Mai Ston or Ston. The oysters are served fresh, fried and grilled and if you like oysters, this is a wonderful experience.
Getting to Ston:
It takes about an hour scenic coastal drive from Dubrovnik or take bus #15 from Dubrovnik main bus station (Autobusni Kolovdor) located next to the Gruž Cruise ferry terminal. Gruž is a new port that serves ferries and cruise ships and it is right next to the main bus station. The main bus station is called Autobusni Kolodvor. Please note that the bus will drop you on the side of the road at Ston. There isn’t an official bus station sign post, so don’t be surprised. You should confirm with the driver where the pickup location is for the journey back, though they are really good if you have to flag them down.
Take the bus further northward to the Orebić in the Pelješac Peninsula. Take the 15 min ferry from Orebić to Korčula
8. Pelješac Peninsula – Refer to Orebić on the Dubrovnik Area Map
Pelješac is a peninsula in the south that begins at STON and is the gateway to the Pelješac Peninsula which is full of beaches, vineyards, and konobas. Orebić is a hidden gem of the Pelješac Peninsula with a number of things to do. This area on the Dubrovnik map includes relaxing at its deserted beaches, tasting the fresh seafood, walking the hiking trails and exploring the heart of Croatia’s Pelješac wine country.
The peninsula is the heart of Croatian wine making region where wine tasting is inexpensive and usually comes with cheese and olive. In the backdrop is Mount Ilija which dominates the city’s landscape and has a number of hiking trails. The trail starts right from Orebić city center.
Buses make the almost 1.5 hour trip from Dubrovnik to Orebić in the Pelješac Peninsula. From the main bus station Autobusni Kolodvor in Dubrovnik, you take the bus to Korčula – Vela Luka which stops at the car ferry at Orebić (a small coastal village in the Peljesac Peninsula ).
Orebić is a low key, family friendly village with beaches and promenades. In the 18th and 19th century it was home to a large number of sea captains whose homes are still standing and used as residences or accommodations.
Things to do in Orebić:
- Maritime museum: A treasure trove of artifacts for the boating enthusiast including model boats, equipment and paintings.
- Franciscan Monastery: The 15th century building is located on a beach above the beach and was used as a lookout point searching for a possible invasion. Donated paintings of men escaping death during a storm adorn the walls.
- Wine tours: This area on the Dubrovnik map is wine sountry. check with the tourist office and explore the wine region; popular brands such as Dingać, Miloś, and Vukas are in the area.
- Take public Libertas Bus 21 from Dubrovnik main bus station to Orebić
- Right across the way, you will find the island of Korčula, the birthplace of Marco Polo. From Korčula catch the ferry to the Elaphiti Islands.
9-11. Things to do on a day trips from Dubrovnik – Visit the Elaphiti /Elafiti Islands on the Dubrovnik area map
The Elaphiti islands are a group of islands off the coast of Dubrovnik as seen on the Dubrovnik area map, they are a nice break from the city attractions and crowds. The islands are located just off the coast of Dubrovnik and consist of 13 islands in total. Three of the larger islands are populated, Kolocep, Sipan, and Lopud with a total population of about 1,000 residents. Sipan, the biggest of the three islands, is the only island that allows vehicles and you are able to rent golf carts to explore the island. Both the islands of Lopud and Kolocep are pedestrians only. If you visit these two islands, you will be walking and not renting scooters or using a local bus. The Dubrovnik area map shows the locations of these islands and a day trip from Dubrovnik usually includes a boat/ferry ride.
9. Elaphiti Island 1: Lopud
Lopud, is a car-free island located between Kolocep and Sipan. The island is approximately 5 km long with about 200 permanent residents who live in stone houses. Lopud Island is the best equipped for tourists with one main village also called Lopud that has some shops and restaurants. The ferry port is small however you will find a promenade with cafes, shops, restaurants and a sheltered, but calm bay with 2 sandy beaches. For a tiny, remote island it has a surprising number of historic buildings, mostly in ruins. There are 30 Churches, a Rector’s Palace, 2 monasteries, a Spanish Fort and a number of other Palaces. In the village itself there are a number of historical buildings, such as the Franciscan Monastery that are open to visitors.
Things to do In Lopud
- Spend the day at Sunj bay and the sandy Sunj beach located on the other side of the island. Locals will take you there for a small fee in their electric cars. A popular beach with sun beds for rent but they are a little on the pricey side.
- Hike to the 15th century Our Lady of Sunj church located just above Sunj bay/beach. The 15th century church features a baroque alter, sculptures and reliefs.
- From the Lopud Marina, take the hike up to Fort Sutvrac or other hiking trails in the area
- Visit the main attraction on the island, the Franciscan Monastery and Church. They were built in 1483 and fortified by a stone wall in 1516 and a tower was added in 1592. The Church as abandoned in 1808 and later it was restored.
Getting to Lopud:
- For your day trips to this island: Jadrolinija has ferries from Dubrovnik to Lopud. The route is usually Koločep – Lopud which also stops at Sipan (sudurad)
10. Elaphiti (Elafiti) Island 2: Koločep on the Dubrovnik area map
Koločep, like Lopud is car free with a population under 300. It is closest to Dubrovnik and the smallest of the Elaphiti islands. The locals call the island Kalamota and refer to themselves as Kalamotezi. There are two villages on the island Gronji Celo (Upper Celo) on the southeast part and Donje Celo (Lower Celo) on the north side of the island. As a result of it being car free, there will be some walking on the small island which is only 2.6 sq km. There are many things to do in the two villages including walking between the villages as they are connected by a 3km pathway. On your walk you will find many other pathways that criss-cross the island as well as charming hillside homes surrounding the villages.
Popular things to do include swimming in the Blue Cave. The blue cave on the island is only accessed from the sea so you will have to take a kayak or swim to it from the south side of the island. In additions attractions on the island include visit the 11th and 12th century churches in the village of Gronji Celo; Church of St. Sergius, Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
- The journey by ferry from the mainland takes about 35 min on Jadrolinija ferry or you may be able to hire a water taxi from Dubrovnik to take you on your day trips to the island. The water taxi takes about 15 min.
11. Elaphiti Island 3: Šipan
The largest of the Elaphiti islands isŠipan with a population of about 450. Historical records show settlement on the island dating back to 1370. At that time it was referred to as Jupana, Supana or Zupana. The islands were used as summer residences for wealthy families who built mansions on the Islands. As seen on the Dubrovnik area map, Šipan is the furthest of the three islands from Dubrovnik.
There are a variety of things to do on Šipan including water activities. It has a rocky landscape that is perfect for snorkeling, kayaking and maybe cliff jumping. There is an underwater cave on Šipan and it is only accessible from the Sea. The best way to experience Šipan may be on bike along the main road. Šipan has one main road of approximately 5km that connects to two main villages of Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka. If you don’t want to bike, there is an option of hiking/walking from Sipanska Luka to Velji Vrh where you will find the remains of a medieval church.
Šipan is said to the most touristy of the Elaphiti islands with the village of Sudjuradj on the southern end and Sipanska Luka is the western end. The villages are small, picturesque and quiet and a great escape from the bustle of Dubrovnik. There are small pebble beaches in both the villages. Cars are allowed, unlike the other two islands. That means that there is a bus system on the island.
- A day trips from Dubrovnik involves taking a ferry or renting a boat. Šipan can be reached by ferry from Dubrovniks Gruž port (located right next to the main bus station), or take private tour or rent a boat. Jadrolinija ferry goes to Sudjuradj and takes about an hour. The two ferry routes are; Dubrovnik-Sudard-Lopud and Šipan-Lopud-Koilocep-Dubrovnik. G& V Line operates a Catamaran service to Sipanska which takes about 40 min
- Book a guided tour with transportation to Elafiti Islands from Dubrovnik
Getting to Elaphiti Islands:
12. Mljet Island: Dubrovnik Day trips
Mlijet is a nature filled day trip from Dubrovnik or from Korčula. The island, with only 1100 permanent residents, it is known for its white and red wines, olives, goat cheese and its national park. You can see Mljet on the Dubrovnik area map, it is a little further North and West of Šipan.
Mlijet referred to as Meleda by the Venetians and Melita by the Romans is an island is about 38 square miles with two saltwater lakes, – Veliko Jezro (Big) and Malo Jezero (Small) connected by a channel. The proliferation of trees including Aleppo pine and Holm oak trees led to the preservation of the western part of the Island into a national park.
The island is famous as the location for two famous tales:
- the location where the apostle Paul was shipwrecked and
- the cave where Homers Odysseus spent seven years with the nymph Calypso after being shipwrecked on the Island.
There is one major road that runs across the island where the national park is located on the west and lagoons and beaches on the eastern side and villages and olives trees in the central of the island.
There are three ports on Mlijet, they are easily identifiable on the Dubrovnik area map:
- Sobra (the furthest and most isolated from the National Park). If you are landing in Sobra, it is advisable to use the car ferry and have transportation due to Sobra’s isolated location. You may be able to take a local bus from Sobra or you can catch a boat ride to Polače or Pomena.
- The smaller ports as seen on the Dubrovnik area map (you may need to zoom in):
- Polače is a smaller port and popular with tourists due to its proximity and access to Mlijet national park. There are walking paths and cafes for tourist to spend time in the village and take in the atmosphere.
- Pomena is another small port and village used by tourists on a day trip to the island and is at the western end of the island with access to the National park and the location of a tourist office.
- Mljet transportation includes a public bus, rental scooters, dune buggies or bikes from Polače and Pomena
There are a number of activities and things to do in the park including:
- using the map and pathways to explore by hiking or biking in the park,
- swim in the salt lakes; the salt is said to have therapeutic properties,
- you can snorkel in the lakes however you will need to bring your own snorkeling equipment,
- hike the hills in the park to experience the stunning views of the park,
- rent a kayak and explore the lakes,
- there is an entry fee to the park and includes the boat ride to St Mary’s island,
- Visit one of the beaches on the southern part of the island,
- Limuni beach (Uvala Blaće)
- Saplunara beach, a fine sand beach with turquoise waters but lacks amenities. The village close by has some guesthouses with rooms for rent.
Island of St Marys:
Included in the price of the ticket into the park is the short boat ride to St Marys Island located in the middle of the lake. The Church and Monastery dates back to the 12thcentury with additions to the original Romanesque style in the 14th century . The monks were driven out by Napoleon in the 18th centaury but the property was returned to the church in under the Law of Returned property in 1997. It is being renovated by the Diocese of Dubrovnik.
Mljet is also home to the Odysseus Cave. Greek legends has it that Odysseus, (Homer’s Hero) was shipwrecked on Mljet. He swam to this cave and was seduced by the beautiful nymph Calypso, daughter of Titan. He stayed for seven years and visiting the cave is one of the most interesting things to do.
Things to do in Mljet:
Rent a bike and explore the island; the villages are Sobra, Goveđari, Polače and Pomena. Pomena is a great place to start; it is the center of Mljet tourism where the G&V catamaran docks. The small village of Pomena has several shops, bars and restaurants.
Swimming and snorkeling spots are plenty near the salt lakes or along the coast.
Hiking to the Odysseus cave; you will start at the small village of Babino polji and climb up. Locals and tourists have been known to cliff dive from here but you should be a really good swimmer and take all necessary precautions. The cave can be reached by boat or if you can drive to the village of Babino Polje and follow the sign from the parking lot of Tommy market. The path will take you through olive groves. The path has some steep and uneven sections. Accessing the cave requires you to jump off the rocks and swim through a tunnel into the cave. Proceed with caution and ensure you have appropriate equipment and attire. Above the cave is a small café, which may or may not be open.
Odyssey cave where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive for seven years. Calypso was the daughter of Titan Atlas. Calypso enchants Odysseus with her singing as she moves to and fro, trying to mesmerize him. She promises Odysseus immortality if he would stay with her, but Odysseus preferred to return home to Ithaca and his wife Penelope. Athena enlists Zeus’s help to free Odysseus, and Zeus orders the messenger Hermes to tell Calypso to set Odysseus free for it was not Odysseus’s destiny to live with her forever. It is then that Calypso gives him an axe so he can build a boat to leave the island.
Getting around Mljet:
You can also take a local bus and explore the island and villages. There are two bus lines on the Mljet (check the schedules are they are not aways reliable):
- Bus 18 – west side of the island – goes from Pomena to Sobra
- Bus 19 – east of the island – goes from Saplunara to Sobra
Getting to Mljet on a day trips from Dubrovnik:
G&V lines runs a catamaran service to and from Dubrovnik to Sobra and then onto Polače. The journey takes about 90 min. Kapetan Luka runs a catamaran service from Dubrovnik to Pomena, then on to Korčula. Pomena is the nearest port to Mljet National Park.
If you want to take the car ferry to Mjlet, travel from Dubrovnik to Prapratno and take the car ferry to Sobra. Once you get to Sobra, it’s a 35 min drive to the Polače/Pomena tourist hub. If you are not coming by car, do not get off at Sobra; there are no bus connections or convenient way to get from Sobra to Mjlet National Park. If you do get off at Sobra, take a water taxi/boat to Polače.
Mljet Island’s three tourist ports: Pomena, Polače and Sobra, where you’ll find the bulk of the touristic attractions. You can also reach Mljet by ferry/catamaran from Split or Korčula. Sobra is the main port and Pomena and Polače are the most convenient ports.
From Korčula, you can take a 1.5 hour water taxi to Mjlet or in July and August G&V lines has a catamaran service from Korčula to Mljet.
13. Korčula Island: Great day trips located on the Dubrovnik area map. Spend a few days exploring the island
The town, like so many other Croatian towns, was founded around 4BC by the Greeks. It became part of the Roman empire before coming under Venetian occupation from the 10th to the 18th Century. The Greeks named in Kerkya Malaina or Black Corfu. The length of Venetian occupation left its mark in the Venetian architectural style that dominates Korčula.
The island of Korčula is halfway between Dubrovnik and Split. On the Dubrovnik area map you can see that is furnter north and west of Ston. It is the sixth largest island in Croatia with a population of 15,000 residents. It is 20 miles long and narrow at 5 miles wide. Korčula is about a 2 hour ferry ride or a 2 hour car ride from Dubrovnik, followed by a short ferry ride. Another lovely day trip from Dubrovnik, the island is a big place, and you won’t be able to see it all in one day, however the town itself is small and quaint place to spend a relaxing day. If you arrive on a Thursday in the summer, you can catch the famous sword Moreška dance.
Korčula has two sides, the seaside tourist town and the historic old town. The town of Korčula is also the main tourist hub and docking area. In many ways it is like Dubrovnik with its high fortified walls and round towers that protrude out into the Adriatic Sea.
It is not as busy as other islands, even in peak season. The medieval walled town features squares, museums, churches and other historical buildings. The town is laid out along the Main Street with two squares on the Main Street itself; St Marks Square and Stepan Radic Square. The cobblestone alleyways and streets spin off the main street and then lead back to it.
Attraction on Korčula Island:
Things to do in Korčula
Korčula Museum and Marco Polo’s House
– Have you wondered where Marco Polo came from?
This is the alleged home and birthplace of Marco Polo in 1254, during the Venetian occupation. He is said to be born on the island to the local Depolo family. The house has been turned into a museum with exhibits from his life and rooms displayed with period furniture. Some dispute that he was born here and say that he was a captain in the Venetian Navy.
– St. Mark’s Cathedral and Bell Tower
St Marks Cathedral dates back to the 1480 and was designed by Marko Andrjić and his sons Petar and Josip. The same Marko who worked on other famous buildings such as the Sponza and Rectors palace in Dubrovnik. The Gothic Renaissance and Baroque style cathedral took 300 years to complete. Inside the Cathedral is the sarcophagus of St Theodore, the protector of Korčula., it is placed in the altar and surrounded by four columns. The alter also displays paintings by the Italian artist Tintoretto showing St Mark with St Bartholomew and St Jerome. At the north aisle is the 20th bronze state of St Blaise (Sv. Vlaho) completed by Ivan Meštrovic.
– Treasury Museum
Located next to the Cathedral, the treasury museum includes works of art from the 15th to 20th century as well as a variety of church artifacts such as chalices, old manuscripts, coins, robes and crucifixes.
– Land Gate (Kopnena Vrata)
Land Gate was built in the 15th century and was the historic entrance into the Old Town. Note the stone plaque commemorating 1000 years since the coronation of the first king of Croatia and the St Marks lion carved into the stone. To the left is the Large Tower (Veliki revelin) and nearby is the Town Hall (Gradska vijećnica).
– St Michaels Church (Crkva Svetog Mihovila)
Historical records show that the church was first referred to in 1408; it was damaged and restored in 1615. The Church is near Land Gate and in Stepan Radic Square; it is a baroque style building which is consistent with the architecture of the 15th century. You will find a set of stone stairs next to the church which leads to the local church hall.
Palaces in Korčula Town Hall and Rectors Palace:
- Ismaelli Palace – Two wealthy 15th century families, the Ismaeli and the Gabrilla families, were attributed with resorting and preserving historic building. They also built themselves lavish palaces. The palace is used as residences for the citizens of the town today.
- Arneri Palace – this Gothic – Venetian palace is across form Cathedral St. Mark and was the home of the Arneri family. It was a historic landmark and is one of the most beautiful buildings in town.
- Palace – the 17th century renaissance palace located in St Mark’s Square is the location of Korčula Town Museum. It exhibits include items from its ship building history as well as a number of paintings. It is located next to Bishop’s palace.
- Bishops Palace – located across from Gabriella palace and next to the cathedral.
- Spanic Palace (palaca Spanic) – is located at the edge of the town and includes a water well, the coat of arms, a courtyard and balcony. It was the home of the Bishop of Korčula , Nikola Španić. Today it is a block of residences.
There are number of small towns and villages that are scattered on the hills surrounding Korčula. One of them is Racise Village which is a 20 minute and 13 km bus ride from Korčulaor a 45 min bike ride. The village is one of the “newest” settlements on the island and was settled in the 19th century. There are two beaches that are a short distance from the village. Vaja Racisce beach is a 15 min walk from the village of Racise and Samograd about a 25 min walk from the village. The beaches are private and secluded with no amenities.
Things to do in Korčula: Dubrovnik Day trips
- Visit some of the hidden beaches and coves. Banje Beach, Zakerjan Beach and Ispod Duvana and the sandy beach at Luka Korculanska Bay. These are all within walking distance of the Old Town.
- Hire a water taxi to visit some of the hard to reach beaches and hidden coves on the Island.
- Have a relaxing day exploring the Old Town attractions.
- Climb the stairs of St Mark’s Cathedral Bell Tower with phenomenal views as far out as the mainland.
- Use the marked trails and go on one of the numerous hikes in the area.
- Hop on a local bus to the small towns of Zrnovo and Racise. Zrnovo is one of the oldest settlements in the area with 1300 residents. It is 4km from the Old Town in case you feel energetic enough to hike there.
- Take a day trip to Mljet.
Getting to Korčula:
It is about 2 hours on catamaran from Dubrovnik; click HERE for the timetable. You may want to start early in the day. Take the ferrry to Korčulatown and not Vela Luka. In addition, you take the bus to Korčula – Vela Luka from the main bus station Autobusni Kolodvor. Keep in mind that the bus embarks a car ferry at Orebić (a small coastal village in the Peljesac Peninsula) before continuing on to Korčula, you will board the ferry as part of the public bus ride to Korčula.
14. Makarska, Base of Biokovo mountain on Dubrovnik area map
Another picturesque town in Croatia at the foothills of the Biokovo Mountain range. Makarska is 155km from Dubrovnik as per the Dubrovnik area map, it may be too far as day trips from Dubrovnik. Makarska is one of Croatia’s popular tourist destination and the center of the Makarska Rivera between Split and Dubrovnik. It has great beaches and ferry connections to both Hvar and Korčula.
Things to do in Makarska
- Walk along the promenade lined with palm trees and full of cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, bakeries, and bars.
- Visit attractions along the stone paved streets including Cathedral of St Mark and the Franciscan Monastery.
- Spend time at the central Square; Kacic Square. The square is dominated by St Marks Church, the Bell tower and the 1890 Kacic Miosic Monument (famous Croatian writer).
- Go stargazing at the Astronomical observatory on Glaica Hill. It is open after dark for visitors.
- Take a scenic walk along St. Peters peninsula. Along the walk visit the Church of St Peter and the lighthouse.
- Find appropriate hiking trails in Makarska which range from easy to difficult. You can find a list of some of them HERE
- Hike to Biokovo Mountain using the walking route in google maps
- Hike or drive to Biokovo Mountain into Biokovo Nature Park. The mountain overlooks and dominates the Makaska landscape. The drive up is full of twist and turns and should be done with caution.
- At the top, walk along the horseshoe shaped the glass skywalk protruding 12m out from the mountain 1,228m above sea level.
Large green space around Makarska on the Dubrovnik area map
The Biokovo mountain range extends into Slovania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montegero and Albani. Its proximity to the sea results in spectacular views from the various peaks. The 195 sq km area was declared a national park in 1981 and consists of several trails that are popular with hikers. Trails along the lower slopes cut through pine forests, vineyards and olive groves. While it is popular, it is also a difficult climb with rewarding views of the sea and the surrounding islands.
The most popular peak with the best views is the peak of Vošac at a height of 1,421m. The path to the peak is 2km from Makarska. You can also drive to the peak and park at a small hut then take the 20m walk to the peak. The tourist office has information that will be helpful for the conditions and safety tips at the time of your visit.
Sveti Juri (St George) peak is the highest mountain peak at 1,762m. Many hikers start this hike at the village of Veliko Brda or walk to the Vošac peak then follow the path to the Sveti Jure peak.
The St Jure peak is recognizable as it has the television and communications tower and the chapel of Sveti Jure. There is a 31km drive route to the top of Sveti Jure from Makarska, if you prefer driving rather than hiking.
There are many other trails and peaks including SV Iloja, the peak above Baska Voda. Access is from the trail at the old Baska Voda village. The trail is well marked and there are several options to take a different trail, some not as steep as other trails. Depending on the route, it can take you up to 5 hours to get to the peak.
To attempt these climbs ensure you have proper hiking equipment including boots, poles, food, water, hat, sunscreen, proper clothes, backpack with supplies. For emergency place a call to 112, the Croatian Mountain Resure Service made up of volunteers who will not charge you for the rescue.
Getting to Makarska:
Split is the largest city on the Adriatic Coast and the second largest in Croatia. The old city is a living palace (Diocletian’s Palace) and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This can be done in a day trip from Dubrovnik, however as per the Dubrovnik area map, it is about 160km by car from Dubrovnik and will take at least 2.5 hours one way. The trip to Split may be more than one of the day trips from Dubrovnik, and you may want to spend a few days is Split. For a complete self guided tour of Split, click HERE and additional information related to Split can be found HERE.
- Popular Tours from Split include:
- Visit the spectacular Plitvice Lakes Guided Tour, Book your advance ticket.
- Don’t miss the Krka National Park Day Trip
- Explore the area with the Blue Lagoon, Shipwreck, & Šolta Tour with Lunch & Drinks
- Book an advance Entry Ticket to the Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace
- Take the Split & Trogir: 5 Islands Day Trip with Blue Cave Entry from Split
- And for the adventurous, book the Split Zip Line Adventure
From Dubrovnik main bus station, Autobusni Koldovor to Split, check the timetable for departure.
close to Split as shown on the Dubrovnik area map
Trojir’s historic town square is the most well preserved medieval towns in central Europe and the whole town center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Click HERE for a complete self-guided tour of Trojir and its attractions. Its an enchanting place and worth a visit, however it is further north of Split and far from the Dubrovnik area, as per the map. If you are making a trip to Split, then you may want to visit Trojir as its not far from Split.
Getting to Trojir:
From Split: There is local transportation in the way of bus #37 to Trojir. It is the easiest way to get to Trojir by public transportation. Given the lack of parking space in the town center, this is the preferred route for many.
From Dubrovnik: Use the Travel planner to find your route
Day Trips from Dubrovnik area as per the map, Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina
17. Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
item 1 in purple on the Dubrovnik area map,
This is a lovely riverside village with ancient walls, squares and a perfect location to stay and explore the surrounding area. It is a town of 30,000 located in a scenic valley and the town is cut by the Trebišnjica river. The river is used to generate hydro power at a near by plant. Trebinje Ottoman architecture is the result of being on the trade route between Dubrovnik and the Constantinople (Istanbul) during the 15th century. The Ottoman influence is seen in its stone walls, stone houses, and mosques.
You may want to extend the day trips from Dubrovnik and spend a few days in Trebinje exploring Montenegro (Herceg Novi , Kotor or Budva) and western Bosnia Herzegovina, including Mostar and Medjugorije.
The beauty of Trebinje is its cobblestone streets and quiet life. This is not a tourist town and somewhere where you can interact with locals and local life. However, it does have many amenities expected by tourists such as restaurants, cafes, bars, banks and accommodation.
Things to do in Trebinje:
- Arslanagića Ćuprija – an iconic bridge built by the Ottomans with two large and four small arches. During the ottoman era, it was the checkpoint for caravans carrying goods.
- Hercegovačka Gračanica church and monastery – located on the hill in the eastern banks of the river. It can be reached by car or on foot using the well-worn path. The monastery is fairly new, built in 2000; it is a replica of the Byzantine Monastery in Kosovo.
- Hiking – Trebinje is surrounded by seven hills and a variety of ruins depending on the hiking trail.
- Kastel – a lovely neighbourhood on banks of the Trebisnjica River with architecture dating back from the 4th to the 19th century. Much of it hardly changed from the time of the Ottomans.
- It is known for its olives, wines, cheese, honey and dried fruit. Make sure to sample some while you are there.
Getting to Trebinje:
Take the bus from Autobusni Koldovor at Dubrovnik bus station. There’s also a bus from Trebinje to Mostar if you want to continue on from Mostar. Many of these buses run once a day so you may need to check the time if this is one of your day trips from Dubrovnik. Otherwise, you may spend the night in Trebinje and continue on to Mostar. You will notice from the Dubrovnik area map that this trip involves crossing the border and you will need appropriate paperwork such as your passport.
18. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Item 2 close to Dubrovnik area as per the map
In Mostar you will find the most famous bridge? Neretva River snakes its way through the picturesque Mostar valley. The bridge is also known as the Stari Mostar Bridge, Mostar Bridge, the Bosnian Bridge and Mostarski. The 16th century bridge designed by Mimar Hajruddin took nine years to complete and is typical of Ottoman architecture. At 209 meters long and 4 meters wide it was the most technically advanced bridge at the time of completion.
It stood for 427 years before it was severely damaged during the war and rebuilt by the international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The bridge reopened in 2004 and has a slight incline which can make it slippery when walking across.
Today, the locals have created the “bridge jumping sport” and industry “teaching” tourists to jump 24 meters into the waters below. They may make it look easy, but this is no easy feat and very dangerous which can result in serious injury or death. The bridge jumping tradition goes as far back as 1664 when the jump was a right of passage into manhood for 16-year-old boys. Failure to jump would translate to failure in life.
As you walk around the town you can visit the square, churches mosques, shops, bazaars including Coppersmith Street or other sites.
Things to do:
Coppersmith street is the location of the bazaar and the Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque that welcomes visitors offering insight into the Muslim culture.
- It is a fun filled street in the spirit of a Turkish bazaar including the popular “Turkish evil eye” souvenir. The street not only has shops, but artisans and owners who live upstairs and the buildings are decorated in traditional Turkish hammered copper style.
- Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque (Koski Mehmet-Paša Džamija):
- The mosques welcomes all visitors and they are asked to wash in the fountain before entering. The wash represents a spiritual cleaning before entering the house of God.
- Climbing up the minaret 89 steps in the mosque offers stunning views of Mostar.
- The mosques has a traditional layout that includes the mihrab (niche) across the entry and facing mecca. The mimber (small stairway leading to the pulpit).
- There is a lack of paintings depicting living creatures as it is forbidden however the mosques are decorated with ornate patters? and calligraphy (usually the names of Allah or the Prophets or sayings from the Quran).
- Bišćević Turkish House (Bišćevića Ćošak):
- Traditional house and one of the oldest in Mostar dating back to 1635. Note the outer “animal courtyard” and the “inner” family courtyard surrounded by a high wall giving the family privacy.
- Book an advance ticket with a local guide for a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar. It includes a stop at Kravice Falls
Getting to Mostar:
International bus route from Dubrovnik Main Station (Autobusni Kolodvor) to Mostor (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ljubljana (Slovania), Sarajvo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Budva (Montenegro), and Kotor (Montenegro)
Other routes to Mostar are listed on the getbybus.com website. Buses to Dubrovnik depart in the morning, making a one day trip from Dubrovnik with a return in the afternoon (impossible using public transport). In the summer months, there is a 5:30 pm departure bus operated by Eurolines.
Dubrovnik area map – Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls,:
- It is about 3-5 hours to Mostar, dependant on different circumstances on route. There is no toilet break and the driver will be driving straight through except at the border crossing. Check the Dubrovnik area map to see where the border exits between the two countries. Bring documentation needed to cross the border.
- Note that there are three stops in Mostar: Mostar Cathedral, Mostar (East) Bus Terminal, and Mostar (West) Bus Terminal.
- You want to disembark at Mostar East, which is the main bus station next to the train station. Bus station East: Address: Trg Ivana Krndelja bb, 88000 Mostar. This station is closest station to the Mostar city center.
- Kravice Waterfalls is 1 hour outside of Mostar. From Mostar the only options to get to the waterfalls are rent a car, book a tour or hire a taxi. There is no direct public transport.
19. Medugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The area is a famous catholic pilgrimage site. It is a holy place where six children say that the Virgin Mary appeared to them on June 24, 1981. The exact location is between Medugorje and the hamlet village of Bijakovici. Her message was:
“Peace, peace, peace — and only peace must reign between man and God and between men.”
The Catholic church does not recognize the site as a religious site, but that has not stopped 20million people from visiting the shrine of the first vision. Every year on the anniversary, June 25, about 100,000 people visit the site. Medugorje has a main street and the bus stops where the main church, St James is located. Behind the church are two trails leading to pilgrimage sites. Most pilgrims visit Cross Hill or Krizevac. The path is about 1km from St James Church and it is a 300m climb to the top along an uneven pathway.
In addition, many visit Apparition Hill, the site of the original apparition. The path up to the site is also behind the church and to the left. The path is similar to the path to Cross Hill/Mountain: it is steep, uneven and rocky, so care must be taken.
Getting to Medugorje:
Getting to Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzegovina) from Dubrovnik:
- Dubrovnik Central / Main Bus Station:
- Take Autotrans by Arriva towards Sarajevo Central Bus Station (you will disembark before getting to Sarajevo),
- Disembark at Mostar Trg Ivana Krndelja station then from Mostar East Bus Station take the CroatiaBus – Globtour towards Capljina Train Station and disembark inMedjugorje.
- Check the timetable so you can plan the transfer times appropriately.
- Take your passport or documents needed to cross the border as it is located in Bosnia and Herzegoina.
- Use getbybus.com to plan your route.
Or take direct route from Dubrovnik which does not involve changing buses; it takes about 4hours:
- From Dubrovnik Central / Main Bus Station (Dubrovnik, Croatia) take CroatiaBus – Globtour towards Vinkovci Central Bus Station and disembark at Medjugorje (Međugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
20. Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina
There are a number of paths at the falls and can be accessed by paying a fee at the park entrance. Activities include hiking, biking or swimming. You can spend the entire day exploring and admiring the natural beauty of this majestic park.
Attractions in and around the park include the:
- 25m Kravica Waterfall bringing water from the Trebižat River,
- Humac Museum (oldest museum in Bosian-Herzegovina) housed inside the Franciscan monastery and includes the Humac Plate – oldest preserved monument written in Croatian,
- Roman military camp Gracine – located in Humac where many artifacts such as pottery, rings, jugs, glass, tools and weapons were unearthed,
- Fortress of Herceg Stjepan, – Herceg Stjepan was a 14th century nobleman that the fortress is attributed to,
- Tombs of Ljubuški (tombs and monuments from the 14th and 15th centaury) – the area includes tombs, sarcophagus, tomb slabs as far back as perhaps the 12th century,
- Koćuša Waterfall – located in the village of Veljaci: another marvel of mother nature not to be missed,
Getting to Kravica Waterfall:
- It takes anywhere from 3-5 hours to Mostar from Dubrovnik area depending on the map route. The only stop will be at the border crossing: bring documentation needed to cross the border. Note that the public buses do not have toilet facilities onboard.
- Note that there are three stops in Mostar: Mostar Cathedral, Mostar (East) Bus Terminal, and Mostar (West) Bus Terminal.
- You should disembark at Mostar East, which is the main bus station next to the train station. Bus station East: Address: Trg Ivana Krndelja bb, 88000 Mostar. This station is closest station to the Mostar city center.
- Kravice Waterfalls is 1 hour outside of Mostar. The only options from Mostar to the waterfalls is to rent a car, book a tour or hire a taxi. There is no public transportation.
- Taxi to Kravica Waterfall (Check the Dubrovnik area map around the Kravica Falls for your best route):
- Several options from Mostar east station:
- take the public bus to Ljubuski. From Ljubski to kravica falls by taxi. 11 min drive – 8km OR
- board the public bus to Capljina then from Capljina – take a taxi from Capljina to Kravica waterfall 21 min drive – 18km OR
- take the bus to Medjugorje, from Medjugorje take a taxi to Kravica waterfall 22 min drive 19km OR
- board the public bus to Citluk. From Citluk to Kravica by taxi 24 min drive of 21km
- Several options from Mostar east station:
Dubrovnik Day Trips to Montenegro
Dark Blue map pins on the Dubrovnik area map
Check the Dubrovnik area map to get an idea of the distance between Dubrovnik and the Montenegro border. If you see the amazing natural beauty of the Bay of Kotor or get some glimpses of the old town of Dubrovnik from the bus window, any discomfort is quickly forgotten.
- Book a Dubrovnik to Montenegro Day Trip
- Explore Montenegro by booking a tour from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, includes a cruise around Kotor Bay
Item 1 in dark blue on the Dubrovnik area map
As seen on the Dubrovnik area map, Perast is located in Montenegro. It is a fishing village with homes occupied by sailors, fisherman and captains that developed into a great naval force. This seafaring village included a famous naval school with students as far away as Russia and four shipyards and around 100 ships. Its current population is less than 400 inhabitants with a legacy of 19 churches, 17 baroque palaces/luxury homes and a short 30-minute bus ride from the much bigger town of Kotor.
The town was severely damaged in the 1979 earthquake and never completely rebuilt. However it was included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
Things to do in Perast:
Zoom in the area around Persat on the Dubrovnik area map to see the location of the attractions in Perast
- Visit St Nicholas Church (Rimokatolička crkva Svetog Nikole). The original St Nicholas Catholic Church built in 1616 is central to Perast and was rebuilt in 1564. In front of the church is a small square lined with date palms. You will also find a staircase in the back right corner of the parking lot that is across from the Marina that will lead you up the hill to take in the views of the bay.
- The highlight of Perast are two churches on an island: Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela) and St George Island (Sveti Đorde)
- the Perast Museum (Muzej grada Perasta or Perast Maritime Museum) is located inside one of the many baroque palaces from the 18th centaury i.e.: Bujovic Palace, former residence of Captain Visko Bujovic. The museum is very small, what it offers is a tour of a Baroque palace with fantastic views from the 2nd floor balcony.
- Climb up to the 17th century Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Rimokatolička Crkva Gospe od Ružarija” on GoogleMaps. The church is in the northwest corner. Originally this was a family chapel for the Bishop’s Palace (also known as Zmajević Palace) built in 1664.
- Hike the Vranovo Brdo mountain to Fort sv Andrija, the sign-posted trail starts from the village center. The hike up is about 3 hours (10km) with an abandoned church as your half way mark. It’s a hike of medium difficulty with overgrown paths; bring water, sunscreen and a hat.
- The best thing to do is spend time at the beach or walk the promenade and enjoy the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.
Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela)
The church is on a man-made island built over a rock outcrop where an icon of Madonna and Child were found. For decades, locals threw rocks and also sunk captured ships in that area, eventually building it up to become a man-made island. It is said that over 100 ships have been sunk in that area. A church was then built on this man-made island in the 15th centaury and expanded in 1630. The bell tower was added in the 18th century.
Attached to the church is a museum of local and naval artifacts. If you are visiting the island, dress appropriately as it is a church and bikinis/bathing suits are frowned upon on the island (not just the church) and someone will remind you of that fact. Water taxis/boats depart from the Perast Marina and drop people off onto the island.
St George Island (Sveti Đorde)
It is also known as the “Island of the Dead” and has a 7th century Benedictine monastery and cemetery located on the island. There is a museum that includes a bell tower with spectacular views of the Bay. Consistent with the time that the tower was built, the stairs are narrow with low ceilings and is unsteady in some places. Cautious is urged when climbing the stairs and as such the stairs are limited to individuals over 15 years old.
Getting to Perast:
Catch the local bus from Autobusni Koldovorin Dubrovnik to Kotor. This is a no frills ride, first come first served ride using public transportation. There are no seat reservations on the public bus. If you can select your own seat, do make sure you take a seat on the right-hand side if going south from Croatia to Montenegro (or on the left-hand side if travelling from Montenegro to Dubrovnik). You will be crossing the border so take all documents needed to cross from Croatia into Montenegro.
From Kotor, the blue line Kotor-Risan will take you 10km to Perast and takes about 30 mins. There are two bus stops in Kotor that you can catch the Blue line from: one by the Old Walls just north of Old Town or the one by Kmelija Shopping Center. The bus stop in Kotor is on the main road to the North of the Old Town. Pick up and Drop off is in central Perast.
Kotor is also located in Montenegro and is a dark blue map pin color, item 2 on the Dubrovnik area map. The village dates to 168 BC given its strategic position in the Adriatic Sea and is the oldest fortified city in Europe retaining much of its medieval character. The city is built around the Bay of Kotor, also referred to as Boka. It is not as crowded as some of the other destinations in the area but just as beautiful and scenic.
Things to do in Kotor:
Kotor has a lovely seaside promenade, and you can actually walk the entire 4 km from Kotor to the nearby village of Dobrota. Perhaps stopping along the way at one of the many restaurants, bars, cafes and bakeries.
The fortress is also known as Castle of San Giovanni, and has 280m, 1,350 steps up to the Fort. The stairs are steep and hug the wall system: you may not want to climb all 1,350 steps to get the lovely views as there are many scenic spots on the way.
The Ladder of Kotor, also known as the Ladder of Cattaro is a 940m ascent from a former horse trail up the mountain overlooking Kotor. The trail was built in 1822 as a supply route from Cetinje by the Austrian Military. Legend has it that the prince bishop of Montenegro, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš had a billiard table transported on mules, so perhaps not used just for essential supplies as its main purpose. This trail is steep and dangerous and not for beginner climbers.
There is another trail, the “new ladder of Kotor” from Krstac to Kotor. One can take a taxi to Krstac then descend into Kotor using this route. The hike is about 4 hours and marked as trail no. 759 for the 940 m descent. It is well marked with signposts and not overgrown, though it is slippery after a rainfall. There are areas where there are boulders and loose rocks, so caution is advised. The trail will lead you to a dilapidated church, the abandoned village of Špiljari then on to St Johns Fortress. From there you can take the stairs that hug the walls down into Kotor Old Town. This is a much easier hike then the original ladder of Kotor, however a good walking stick, hiking shoes, sunscreen, a sunhat, and plenty of water is recommended.
The area is full of stray cats that locals take good care of and you will notice bowls of food and water placed in different locations on the street. Locals have different stories regarding the proliferation of cats: it is said that they kept the mice away or that the sailors from the 1900’s brought kittens when they returned home from their travels. What is undisputed it that the cats are loved and cared for, to the extent that there is a cat museum dedicated to the cats of Kotor.
Old Town (Stari Gard)
The picturesque Kotor Old Town cobblestone winding streets are lined with fig trees surrounding Venetian and Gothic architecture including villas, seaside restaurants, bars, boutique shops and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site list.
Places to visit in the Old Town:
- St Nicholas Church – A Serbian Orthodox Church with an incredibly ornate interior
- Church of St. Luka – It was originally built in 1195 and has been used as a house of worship by different religions
- St. Tryphon’s Cathedral – This was the Seat of the Bishop of Kotor and was built in 1166. It was severely damaged during the 1667 earthquake and rebuilt. It was damaged once again during the 1979 eartquake and has undergone some restoration. This ornate church is one of the oldest in Europe and its interior is worth a visit
- The three Gates into the old town:
- the main gate is the Sea gate and it is closest to the harbour, (to the right of St. Tryphon. Its more of a passage than a gate. Inscribed into the outer section of the sea gate by Marshal Tito is “Tuđe nećemo svoje ne damo/ Do not take ours we do not take yours”
- the Gurdich or Gurdić Gate is east of the Old Town, and
- the Northern River Gate is on north side of the Old Town, by the river. It is a renaissance style gate built in the 16th century symbolizing the Turkish occupation.
Getting to Kotor:
The ride to Kotor went by fast and exactly 2 hours and 10 minutes after departure from Dubrovnik we pulled into the bus station of Kotor where you disembark. The Dubrovnik area map shows the outline of the different countries (border outline is in dark grey) and the journey involves a border crossing.
From Dubrovnik to Kotor, you will be crossing the border, so have your documents, such as passport ready. The general process is that you will disembark at the border, cross the border by foot and meet your bus on the other side to continue the journey.
Catch the local bus from Autobusni Koldovor from Dubrovnik to Kotor. Tickets and seating are on a first come first serve basis as there are no seat reservations on the public bus. Try to pick a seat on the right-hand side if going south from Croatia to Montenegro (or on the left-hand side if travelling from Montenegro to Dubrovnik).
The bus station in Kotor where you disembark is about 10 min from the Old Town, you will get off and walk back past the supermarket until you see the walls of Old Town Kotor. Taking public transportation for one of your day trips from Dubrovnik may not be feasible due to the bus schedule and length of travel time.
23. Budva, last item on the Dubrovnik area map
Budva is one of the Adriatic’s oldest settlement going as far back as the 5th century starting with the Greeks and eventually being incorporated into the Roman empire. Budva’s various occupiers such as the Byzantians, Venetians, Ottoman Empire and Habsburgs all left their cultural mark on the city resulting in spectacular architecture. You will find Budva is located in Montenegro and it is a dark blue map pin, item 3, on the Dubrovnik area map.
A picturesque village on the seaside, like may towns in the area it was surrounded by a wall system with gates and towers protecting the inhabitants within the walls. It symbol is a picture of two dolphins and according to Budva legend it represent forbidden love where two young men who were being separated by their parents, they jumped into the sea together and turned into dolphins. The symbol is found on the walls of the citadel. The walls were built in the 9th century and severely damaged by earthquakes in the 17th century and rebuilt by the Venetians at that time. It became part of the Austro- Hungarian empire and achieved independence in 2006.
To learn more about the history of Budva, visit the Ethnographic Museum and to learn about its naval history, visit the Maritime museum located inside the citadel.
The Citadel (Fortress of St. Mary)
The Citadel was built in the 9th century, it protected the town from attacks from the sea and was used as a shelter for residents. Today it is the main library with an attached restaurant. There is a great view of the bay and Budva from the rooftop terrace – a place used as a shelter for the habitants. Nowadays it holds a big library and a restaurant and from its roof one can enjoy a wonderful view of the town and harbor.
Stari Grad (Old Town)
Walk the cobblestone streets and explore the old town or stroll along the riverside promenade. Stop for a break and a meal as you enjoy the sea view. As you walk around, you may notice construction markings on some buildings. This reminds the population of Budva the devastation of the 1979 earthquake and the markings were those of buildings that were preserved. In the Old Town you will find several churches including the Holy Trinity Church, the Church of St Mary, St. Sava’s Church and the St. John the Baptist’s Church.
St John’s Church (Sveti Ivan) is the oldest and largest church in Budva dating back to the 9th centaury. The Church of St Mary is the smallest and one of the oldest churches originally established by the Benedictine monks. The church was taken over and run as a school by the Franciscans and today it is holds an art exhibition as well as music concerts. The orthodox Church of Holy Trinity was built in 1808 and served the mostly orthodox Venetian population.
Island of St Nikola
The Island of St Nicholas is an uninhabited located about 1 mile off the coast of Budva and is referred to as “Hawaii”. You can take a boat ride to the island and spend time on the rocky and sandy beaches. You can catch the boat from Greco beach. The island does have one restaurant and you can rent chairs and an umbrella.
A fisherman’s village located 10km from Budva, it was fortified by the Venetians in the 15th century to protect it from a Turkish invasion. In the 1800’s the population decreased to a mere 100 and eventually the Yugoslavian government relocated the rest of the residents. Today, this village island has been turned into a luxury resort known as Aman Sveti Stefan. Access is limited to guests or if you are on a paid guided tour. Local buses run every hour to Sveti Stefan and the journey takes 15 min. Alternatively there is a 9km coastal walk from Budva to Sveti Stefan that passes several beaches along the way.
The three-floor museum opened in 2003 and houses many historical artifacts that showcase the history of Budva’s Greek and Byzantine culture.
Podmaine monastery is a 15th century Serbian Orthodox monastery off the beaten path.
Budva is a popular destination in Montegero and know for its beaches. These are some of the top beaches in Budva:
- Mogren Beach is a 10 min walk from Budva and consists of two areas Morgen 1 and Morgen 2 that are connected by a tunnel/natural cave. The beach is said to be one of the best in Montenegro.
- Greco Beach is a 1 km beach that is closest to Old Town Budva.It is convenient and crowded in the summer but not the beast beach in the area.
- Becici Beach is about 3 km from Budva and can be reached by taking the local bus. It is a very nice beach.
- Slovenska Plaza, a popular beach where you can rent chairs: it tends to get very busy in the summer.
- Jaz Beach is a 1km long sand and pebble beach where you can rent chairs, a boat or kayak.
Getting to Budva:
As per the borders outlined on the Dubrovnik area map, you will be crossing the border if you are travelling from Dubrovnik area to Kotor and from Kotor to Budva, which involves a border crossing from Croatia into Montenegro. As such you will need your travel documents such as your passport ready. Most likely you will disembark at the border, cross the border by foot and meet your bus on the other side to continue the journey.
Catch the local bus from Dubrovnik’s Autobusni Koldovor to Kotor. This is a basic ride, first come first serve. There are no seat reservations on the public bus. If you can take a seat on the right-hand side if going south from Croatia to Montenegro (or on the left-hand side if travelling from Montenegro to Dubrovnik).
The local bus from Kotor to Budva runs everyday and it takes about 45 min to reach Budva, the bus stop in Budva is about 1 mile from the Old Town.