If you’re anything like me, you know that the charm of Dubrovnik isn’t limited to its beautiful Old Town. Its true beauty spills over the Adriatic, stretching out to the captivating islands that dot the coastline.
Today, I’ll introduce you to seven of the best islands near Dubrovnik. These gems are close enough for a quick day trip or, even better, a leisurely sail on a private yacht or boat.
A Must Visit Islands Near Dubrovnik: Top 7
Here are my top recommendations.
Kicking off our list at number seven is the picturesque island of Lastovo. A bit farther afield from Dubrovnik, Lastovo’s extra miles are worth every moment of the journey. This verdant paradise offers untouched natural beauty, brimming with serene landscapes, and its warm-hearted locals make the experience even more memorable.
The highlight of Lastovo is undoubtedly its Nature Park. This protected haven is a testament to the dedication of locals and authorities to preserve the island’s pristine environment. From lush forests to crystal-clear waters, the park is a real-life paradise for nature lovers.
Sure, you might find it easier to reach Lastovo from Split but don’t let that discourage you. The island is still fairly well connected to Dubrovnik, making it an attractive option for those ready to venture a little further off the beaten path. I cannot recommend Lastovo enough – it’s truly a place where Mother Nature shows off her best work.
If you’re searching for an easy escape from the bustling streets of Dubrovnik, Šipan is your answer. This tranquil haven holds the sixth spot on our list, and for good reasons. It’s the largest of the Elaphiti Islands and a short ferry ride away, making it the perfect getaway for those looking for an accessible slice of island life.
Šipan is a wonderful destination for those who crave relaxation amidst natural beauty. Here you can stroll through groves of olive trees, take a dip in the azure waters, or explore historical sites – all in one day.
With daily ferries from Dubrovnik, reaching Šipan is a breeze. It’s a fantastic choice for a day trip, especially if you’re keen to explore more of the Elaphiti Islands.
Next up on our list is Lopud, an island that packs a punch when it comes to scenic beauty. Nestled amidst the Elaphiti Islands, Lopud offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
But what really sets Lopud apart? It’s home to Šunj – one of the few sandy beaches in this part of Croatia. This stretch of golden sand slopes gently into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, making it a perfect spot for families, swimmers, or sunbathers looking to relax. Whether you’re building sandcastles with the kids or immersing yourself in a good book under the sun, Šunj is your beach paradise.
Accessible, beautiful, and boasting a beach that’s hard to beat, Lopud deserves its place in the top five islands near Dubrovnik to visit.
At the fourth spot, we have the enchanting island of Lokrum. It’s so close to Dubrovnik that it feels like an extension of the city itself. A quick ferry ride from the Old Town port, and you’ll find yourself stepping onto this magical island in no time. With services running every 30 minutes, it’s incredibly easy to make Lokrum part of your day trip.
Lokrum is a haven for nature lovers with its botanical gardens, peacocks strutting around, and a smattering of rocky beaches. Don’t forget to visit the historic Benedictine monastery, a beautiful reminder of Lokrum’s long history.
Remember, though, Lokrum has one firm rule: no overnight stays. It’s a day-trip destination only. But believe me, even a day in Lokrum gives you plenty of time to fall in love with its natural and historic charm.
Sliding into the top three is the serene island of Mljet. This is more than just an island; it’s a green oasis that has a lot to offer for those who seek tranquility and a connection with nature.
The crowning glory of Mljet is its National Park, which covers most of the island. Here, you’ll discover lush forests, clear lakes, and even a small island monastery, making it a nature lover’s dream. It’s an ideal place for hiking, cycling, or simply soaking up the serene landscapes.
Getting to Mljet from Dubrovnik is straightforward. Just hop on a ferry at the Gruž port, and you’ll be stepping onto Mljet before you know it. With its pristine nature and easy access, Mljet is a destination that simply can’t be overlooked when exploring the islands near Dubrovnik.
Sitting at the number two spot, we have the captivating island of Korčula. Known as the jewel of the Adriatic, this island blends natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant culture, making it a must-visit destination.
Korčula is bigger than most of the other islands we’ve covered, and with that extra size comes a wealth of things to see and do. It’s home to charming villages, vineyards, olive groves, and a walled old town that’s often compared to Dubrovnik.
My advice? If you’re planning to visit Korčula, consider driving to Orebić and taking a ferry from there. This way, you’ll have your car with you on the island, giving you the freedom to explore its beautiful corners at your own pace.
Taking the crown as the top island near Dubrovnik to visit is none other than the sunny Hvar. This sparkling jewel of the Adriatic boasts the most sunshine hours in Croatia, making it a perfect spot for sun-seekers. With its enchanting nature, top-notch cuisine, and pulsating nightlife, Hvar is a destination that truly has something for everyone.
However, be prepared, as this sun-kissed paradise is also probably the most expensive place in Croatia. But trust me, the experiences and memories you’ll collect here are well worth the price.
For those of you driving, the best route to Hvar is via Drvenik, where you can catch a ferry. If you’re directly in Dubrovnik, catch the ferry that’s headed to Rijeka, as it also stops at Hvar.
One day might not be enough to savor the charms of Hvar fully, so I highly recommend planning for an overnight stay. Explore the historic Hvar town with its stunning fortress, visit the Franciscan Monastery, and don’t miss the chance to taste local wines at the numerous vineyards.
Whether it’s the allure of its natural beauty or the buzz of its nightlife that draws you in, Hvar will leave you spellbound. It truly is the perfect finale for your island-hopping adventure near Dubrovnik.
Is Dubrovnik Well Connected With Islands?
Dubrovnik, as a popular coastal city, is indeed well connected with many nearby islands. Regular ferries make it easy to hop from one island to another, especially for those closer to the city. So, if you’re planning to visit islands like Lokrum, Lopud, or Šipan, you’re in luck. The ferry connections are reliable and frequent, making your island-hopping adventure a breeze.
However, reaching some islands like Lastovo, Hvar, and Korčula can be a bit trickier from Dubrovnik. The ferry services aren’t as frequent, but don’t let that deter you. I’ve found a workaround for that! For Korčula, drive to Orebić and take a ferry from there. If Hvar is on your list, head to Drvenik near Makarska, and catch the ferry.
If you’re up for an extended trip, visiting Lastovo, Hvar, and Korčula in one go is a fantastic idea. It’s worth spending a night or two on these islands to truly soak up their unique atmosphere and explore their charming sights. So pack a suitcase, embrace the island time, and enjoy the best that these Adriatic gems have to offer.
There you have it! Island hopping around Dubrovnik is an experience that’s sure to be packed with unforgettable moments. Whether you’re a lover of nature, a history buff, a foodie, or simply someone seeking a sun-soaked escape, these islands offer a little bit of everything.
Every visit I’ve made to these islands has left me with wonderful memories and a renewed appreciation for the beauty and charm of this part of the world. I truly hope your own adventures here will be just as enriching and delightful.