The popularity and beauty of Dubrovnik in Croatia are well established. The city is beautiful, there are several breathtaking locations, some of which were used in the filming of Game of Thrones, the people are welcoming and life is good. But the most beautiful thing is that there are also sublime sites all around. Enough to justify a slightly longer stay.
1. Lokrum Island
Visible from the ramparts, just 600 meters from Dubrovnik, this pine-covered island is accessible by ferry. You can hike there peacefully, take advantage of the shade, and join magnificent gardens around an old monastery. But it is above all there that sits a French castle whose summit offers one of the most invaluable viewpoints in the region. However be careful because a legend says that the island is subject to a terrible curse. Curse launched by the monks driven out by a general of the French army, who immediately decided to close the monastery. The monks therefore performed a ceremony, before proclaiming that anyone who tried to take Lokrum would be condemned, to finally leave the place. Later, three of the island’s four administrators died violently.
After all, why deprive yourself? Montenegro is less than two hours drive from Dubrovnik. As small as it is sublime, this nation, rich in steep peaks and other formidable canyons, serves as a true natural and architectural treasure.
You just have to drive barely 30 minutes to reach Cavtat, a town nestled by the sea, at the foot of the mountains. It is strongly recommended to linger on the panoramic road and visit the church, stroll in the square, have a drink on the port or even visit the rector’s palace. For your information, this is where Nicolas Cage shot his film A Talent in Solid Gold.
Birthplace of Marco Polo, Korcula rocks thanks to its ramparts. Nicknamed the little Dubrovnik, the city offers beautiful prospects for walks. Especially since cars are not allowed there. It is also advisable to visit Saint Mark’s Cathedral. Not going for a swim in one of the creeks would be a mistake.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mostar is located about 130 miles from Dubrovnik. Cut in two by a river spanned by a superb bridge, the city consists of a formidable mix of architectures. She recounts in this the sometimes painful past of the region.
6. The Elaphite Islands
Going to Dubrovnik and not embarking on a sailboat to visit the islands would be a shame as this kind of walk allows you to grasp the beauty of this region of the world. The Elaphite Islands in particular are definitely worth a visit. Of the thirteen in the archipelago, only three are inhabited, namely Kolocep, Sipan and Lopud.
7. Kravice Waterfalls
In the heart of a luxuriant landscape, these waterfalls can be visited by going to Mostar. About 2h30 from Dubrovnik, this site attracts people and it is quite normal. They are also somewhat reminiscent of Niagara Falls, but more intimate and greener.
8. Peljesac Peninsula
Just over an hour from Dubrovnik, facing the island of Korcula, this peninsula is home to great little restaurants whose recipes draw all their flavors from local farms and vineyards. You can swim there and stroll through the village of Orebic, one of the hottest places in Croatia. It is here that the picturesque monastery of Our Lady of the Angels is located. And given that it’s hot, you might as well know that swimming is particularly enjoyable.
9. Mljet National Park
If you go to Dubrovnik to discover nature, you absolutely have to go through the Mljet National Park. A true paradise on earth, this park has two superbly turquoise saltwater lakes, pine forests and everything you need for hiking, biking or kayaking. It is possible to reach it by catamaran.
We end with Split, a city certainly a little far from Dubrovnik (about 2h30 drive) but which is certainly worth the detour. With its feet in the water but its gaze riveted on the mountains, this city is the second largest in the country after Zagreb. Famous for its 1,700-year-old Diocletian’s Palace, it was also the scene of scenes from Game of Thrones. A whole part of Split is also classified by UNESCO.