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If you want to avoid the crowds in Dubrovnik,
these are locations to escape to

Months like May and the end of September/beginning of October are always a better choice for hit destinations like Dubrovnik. However, if the road takes you in the same direction along with everyone else, stick to one rule - as far as possible from the walls and from the center, especially at a rush hour - when many cruise ships dock. Fortunately, escaping from this marvellous city is not difficult, because there are still so many gems to discover around Dubrovnik.

Tina Kovačićek

March 1, 2024

Ston / TZ Općine Ston

Konavle

So close, yet so far – from Dubrovnik’s crowds. The municipality of Konavle is only twenty kilometers away from the far south of Croatia, translated into minutes – a short 30 minutes by car, and it will give you a fresh new view of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It is an extremely interesting destination due to its tradition, culture of housing and cultivation of the land, which is why it is also one of the recognized wine regions. Hiking trails, family farms and one of the most beautiful beaches in this area, Pasjača near Popovići, are worth a trip to this authentic paradise.


What not to miss?

  • Visit the Sokol fortress that dates from the 15th century and the Republic of Dubrovnik
  • Go through the wine roads and taste the autochthonous wine varieties
  • Cycle from the sea through Donje bande to Čilipi

Cavtat

To talk about Konavle and not mention Cavtat as a separate must-see destination would be a terrible mistake. It is the real cultural center of Konavle, its capital,  and is located 17 kilometers south of Dubrovnik. Monuments from Roman times have been preserved in Cavtat, including the remains of the theater, as well as the remnants of the city walls, the aqueduct, the monumental core – the nymphaeum, and a larger city villa. There are numerous old palaces and sailors’ residences, and one of the most important Croatian painters, Vlaho Bukovac, was born here. Therefore, in Cavtat, get ready for long pleasant walks dedicated to exploring the past with a glass of top quality wine from local winemakers and, of course, great restaurants that will reveal something about the centuries-old tradition.


What is a must-see?

  • The house of Vlaho Bukovac, which has been turned into a museum, will reveal artistic history to you
  • Mausoleum of the Račić family, at the cemetery of St. Roka in Cavtat, which represents a masterpiece in the art deco style of the famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović, on which the most important sculptor of Croatian expressionism, Juraj Škarpa, worked.
  • The Duke’s Palace, next to the Cavtat waterfront itself, is a palace from the 16th century, once the seat of the Duke of Dubrovnik, today it is a gallery and art collection of the foundation of Baltazar Bogišić, a lawyer and writer from the 19th century.

Ston

Located on the Pelješac peninsula, Ston is 55 kilometers from Dubrovnik, but for a good vacation away from the crowds, it’s worth a ride. It used to be the trade center of the Republic of Dubrovnik, and today it is an interesting vacation destination. A charming Mediterranean town will now offer you the traditionally phenomenal tastes of shellfish from the Maloston Bay, then the opportunity to get to know the tradition of sea salt production, because Solana Ston is a kind of open-air museum, and in addition, it is a great place to drink and eat really well at every step of the way. All this at a place where the sun is almost never quite “turned off”.


What do you have to do?

  • Walk to the Prapratno sandy bay near Ston
  • Look towards the blue from the impregnable walls of Ston
  • Take a walk along Napoleon’s road that starts along Solana to the Sumić bridge
  • Study the frescoes on the walls of the Church of Our Lady of Luzin
Ston / Zoran Marinović

Lokrum

This protected nature park will be the simplest solution for escaping the crowds from the center of Dubrovnik. You look at the sailing schedule of the ships organized from Dubrovnik’s Old Town Harbor and run headlong without regard. Lokrum is one of the smallest islands of the southern Croatian coast, located 600 m southeast of Dubrovnik, and both locals and tourists like to spend time in this special reserve of forest vegetation. Although you won’t be able to stay the night, you can still spend the whole day walking through the gardens, orchards, olive groves, while resting and breathing in the wonderful Mediterranean air.


What is a must-see?

  • Lugar’s house
  • Monastery complex
  • Small lake Dead Sea
  • Botanical Garden
  • Charlotte’s well

Elaphites

The Elaphite islands form an archipelago of thirteen islands, of which only Šipan, Koločep and Lopud are inhabited. A divine chance to get away from the crowds since cars are prohibited on the islands The Elafite Islands can be reached by boat from the Port of Gruž, which departs up to several times a day and stops at all the islands. Olive groves, sandy beaches, dense pine forests for perfect shade are all you need to know about the islands that will treat you to good local restaurants, and you will also get acquainted with some examples of prehistoric architecture.


What to do?

  • Walk along the Lopud bay to the Franciscan monastery and find the Šunj bay
  • Visit the Gjorgic-Mayneri park from the 19th century. century on Lopud
  • Sightsee Koločep by bike and treat yourself to superb seafood delicacies in a local restaurant
  • Discover the summer house of Skočibuha on Šipan from the 16th century. century
Lopud / Fani Levi

Arboretum Trsteno

The small town of Trsteno, about 15 kilometers north of Dubrovnik, is worth the drive to witness the most beautiful arboretum of the same name. It is located on the site of the historic country estate of the Gučetić-Gozze noble family from Dubrovnik and combines nature and cultural heritage in a unique way. Coming here and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik is a pleasant and peaceful experience, ideal for high summer temperatures. Arboretum Trsteno is known for its collection of exotic species of plants and for its historical gardens, and on the square in front of the place there are examples of plane trees, unique in Europe, which are older than 400 years. If that isn’t enough – let’s just mention what makes this place unique – it combines a historical Renaissance park with a summer house, a historical neo-romantic park from the 19-20s. century, historical olive grove and natural vegetation of medunca oak, Aleppo pine and cypress forest, maquis vegetation and coastal rocks.

Baćina lakes

For some peace and quiet, you will need to drive towards Baćinski jezera, approximately 100 km away from Dubrovnik. Yes, the great escape from the busy streets is in the very south of Croatia, in Baćina, near the town of Ploče and in the immediate vicinity of the Neretva river delta. This area consists of crypto depressions filled with fresh water, and consists of six connected and one separate lake. Although the total area of ​​the lake is relatively small, only 1.38 km, you will enjoy it as if you were on another planet.


Best thing to do?

Take a ride on a traditional Neretva boat, enjoy everything you see around you and discover the natural beauty of this region in the very south of Croatia. At the same time, don’t forget to have something cold and refreshing while driving.

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