Are you looking for the best islands near Dubrovnik? I’ve got you covered!
During my two-week road trip through Croatia, I had the opportunity to explore the best islands near Dubrovnik.
Without a doubt, these islands have secured a special place in my heart and are among my top favorites to visit in Croatia.
Dubrovnik’s location makes it an excellent base for exploring the many picturesque islands along the southern Croatian coast of Dubrovnik.
In this in-depth guide, Vrushali Ketkar, founder of ‘Couple of Journeys’, will share all you need to know about the best islands near Dubrovnik, how to reach the islands, whether and where to stay on the islands, as well as insights and information on things to do and places to see on the islands around Dubrovnik.
So this post is perfect for you whether you’re looking to spend your extra day going on a Dubrovnik islands hopping tour or whether you’re looking for your next Croatian destination after Dubrovnik.
Índice / Contents
- Best Islands Near Dubrovnik
- How to visit the islands near Dubrovnik?
- FAQ about the Islands near Dubrovnik
- Are there islands near Dubrovnik?
- What islands are close to Dubrovnik?
- What is the best island to visit from Dubrovnik?
- What is the most beautiful island near Dubrovnik?
- Can you island hop from Dubrovnik?
- What islands can you visit from Dubrovnik?
- Can you visit islands from Dubrovnik?
- Are there islands near Dubrovnik?
- Can you do day trips to islands from Dubrovnik?
- How far are Elafiti islands from Dubrovnik?
- Final Thoughts on the Best Islands Near Dubrovnik
Best Islands Near Dubrovnik
1. Mljet Island
Mljet is renowned for its lush green forests, crystal-clear lakes, and serene landscapes.
Explore its pristine beaches, hike through stunning trails, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this captivating island!
Amongst the bigger islands in the Adriatic Sea, Mljet is the closest island to Dubrovnik. It’s north of Dubrovnik and south of Korcula.
How to reach Mljet from Dubrovnik
To reach Mljet, you can take a direct ferry from Port Gruz. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to get Mljet from Gruz.
These ferries primarily run only during peak season and a return ferry to Dubrovnik is rarely available after 3 pm. So going by ferry to Mljet by these ferries only makes sense if you plan to stay at Mljet.
If you want to take your car onboard the ferry, you should take a direct ferry from Propratno which is a town 60 kilometers away from the old town of Dubrovnik.
A ferry from Propratno to Sobra in Mljet takes only 45 minutes. Late-evening return ferries are more easily available on this route.
⛵ The most hassle-free way of visiting Mljet from Dubrovnik is on this guided boat trip. This full-day trip includes hotel pickup and drop-off, transport by boat and catamaran, tour guide, and entrance fees.
Best time to visit Mljet
The best time to visit Mljet is during the dry summer months of Croatia i.e. between June and August.
How to get around Mljet
Public buses are available at Mljet and they connect the two major Mljet villages Sobra and Pomena.
You can also get around on a cycle or your car if you bring it with you on the ferry.
Where to stay in Mljet
There is no need to stay in Mljet as the touristic highlights of Mljet can easily be explored in a day. But if do choose to stay, stay in the quaint Pomena town.
Things to do in Mljet
The Mljet National Park sets it apart from many of the other best islands near Dubrovnik.
So a leisurely visit to the National Park is a must. You can even head on a walking trail here or if you rent a bike, ride on the scenic routes across the National Park.
Next, you should visit the two salt lakes at Mljet – Malo and Veliko Jezero. Swim in the smaller lakes – the water there is extremely clean!
If you have time, visit the Benedictine Monastery near the lakes – it’s a beautiful 12th-century monastery.
Finish your trip to Mljet with a visit to the Odysseus Cave – considered to be a true paradise.
Mljet Travel Tips
Mljet is not as touristy as other Croatian islands, so many shops and restaurants close early.
Plan your meals and errands well especially if you plan to stay on the island. Most shops close by 4 pm!
2. Korcula Island
If you found Dubrovnik too touristy, head to Korcula – known by many as ‘mini Dubrovnik’.
This idyllic destination boasts charming medieval architecture, picturesque vineyards, and stunning beaches.
Korcula is a large Croatian island near Dubrovnik, and it’s located between Hvar and Mljet.
How to reach Korcula from Dubrovnik
You can visit Korcula from Dubrovnik by direct ferry. The journey takes 2 hours.
Typically, a ferry from the Dubrovnik Port in Gruz takes you to Korcula Port while a ferry from the Old Town takes you to Vela Luka (a village in Korcula).
You can drive to Orebic or board a bus going to the Peljesac Peninsula and get on a short ferry to Korcula.
This journey by this route takes 3 hours.
⛵ This pre-booked day trip to Korcula is a great way to travel via this route. It even lets you explore the historical town of Ston!
Best time to visit Korcula
The best time to visit Korcula is the shoulder months of June and September. July and August can get too hot.
Avoid visiting Korcula on weekends during the high season when many day trippers flock to the island.
How to get around Korcula
You can get around the island by car or bus. Taxis can also be hired but getting an Uber is difficult.
Korcula is also the perfect place for cycling!
Where to stay in Korcula
If you don’t mind climbing up and down the steep stairs in the Old Town, Korcula Old Town is the best area to stay in Korcula.
Apartments & Room Nina is recommended for its central location, sea-facing balcony, and affordable price tag.
But if you want a more laid-back beach vibe, Guest House Mara is ideal for a vacation with family.
Things to do in Korcula
Korcula being the sixth largest island in Croatia has a lot of touristic offerings. Some of the best things to do in Korcula include:
- Exploring the Old Town of Korcula
- Visiting the birthplace of Marco Polo
- Climbing to the top of St. Mark’s Cathedral for panoramic views of the town
- Going on a kayak trip to the nearby islets
- Spending time at the many beaches in Korcula and particularly Pupnatska, and the rare sandy beach called Vela Przina
- Go on a wine-tasting tour
- Go hiking or cycling on one of the many trails in the town
- Try out local meat delicacies like Lamb Peka.
Korcula Travel tips
Accommodation on the island is a bit more expensive than in other Croatian towns. Book in advance to save costs!
Do not expect proper cellular network coverage on the island. Save maps offline for seamless navigation.
3. Hvar Island
Hvar Island is a gem of the Adriatic Sea!
Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage, Hvar offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.
How to reach Hvar from Dubrovnik
You can visit Hvar from Dubrovnik by direct ferry. The journey takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Best time to visit Hvar
Hvar is the most pleasant during the shoulder months of the Croatian travel season i.e. in May/June and September.
The summer months are also a good time to visit provided you don’t mind the strong heat.
How to get around Hvar
Hvar has impressive bus connectivity that can easily take you around different parts of the island.
🚗 But you can also rent a car to roam around the island. Bikes and cycles are also available for rent.
Where to stay in Hvar
The Hvar Town is the best area to stay in Hvar. It is lively and has excellent accommodation options for all budgets.
The one that I recommend is the Apartment Luna if you want to stay close to the beach area, or if you want to stay in a Heritage-style property that’s also centrally located, the tastefully done History Hvar Design Heritage Suites offer a pleasant stay.
Things to do in Hvar
Some of the best things to do in Hvar include:
- Visiting the Franciscan Monastery – admire its architecture as well as the famous painting The Last Supper
- Visiting the 17th-century St. Stephen’s Cathedral
- Climbing atop the Fortica Fortress for the best views of Hvar
- Spending time at a beach in Hvar – the best ones are Mekićevica and Pokonji Dol beaches. If you’re visiting with family, spend time at Grebisce Beach
- Visiting the Pakleni islands
- Going on a wine-tasting tour
- Visiting the Blue Cave or the Green Cave
- Attending a yacht party or checking out Hvar’s nightlife
Hvar Travel tips
Hvar is not the best island near Dubrovnik for those looking to take a day trip. The travel time to and from the island would itself cost you an entire day leaving you with barely 2-3 hours to explore the island.
That’s why I recommend you to stay on the island for at least 2 days.
4. Brac Island
Brac is the largest Dalmatian Island and consists of numerous pretty villages.
Known for its stunning beaches, rugged landscapes, and charming coastal villages, Brac offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
It is one of the best islands near Dubrovnik to stay on and personally, it’s one of my favorite islands in Croatia.
Brac is located close to Split and the North of Hvar. It is pretty far away from Dubrovnik but there are direct ferries connecting Brac to Dubrovnik.
How to reach Brac from Dubrovnik
You can visit Brac from Dubrovnik by direct ferry. The journey takes about 4 hours.
You have the option of taking a ferry to Bol or Milna from the Dubrovnik ferry port.
🚗 If you are renting a car, you need to drive to Makarska and then load your car on the ferry going to Sumartin (that’s what I did).
This journey takes only 1 hour. But the drive to Makarska from Dubrovnik takes 2.5 hours.
Best time to visit Brac
Brac is the most pleasant during May and June when the temperatures are moderate and the weather stays completely dry.
But the hot summer days are excellent if you want to get the most out of your trips as the frequency of ferries and buses is better.
How to get around Brac
Car is the best mode of transport for getting around the island of Brac.
The frequency and connectivity of buses could be better.
Where to stay in Brac
Bol is the best town to stay in Brac. I stayed there and love the vibes!
Its connectivity with Dubrovnik by ferry makes it even more convenient for those not driving to Brac.
In Bol, I highly recommend staying at the Belado Residence Bol for its exotic view, fast Wi-fi, and excellent location.
Things to do in Brac
Some of the best things to do in Brac include:
- Visiting Golden Horn Beach – one of the best beaches in Croatia excellent for catching a beautiful sunset
- Hiking to the top of Vidova Gora – the highest point amongst all the Croatian islands near Dubrovnik. Check out the diversity of the flora here!
- Relaxing at the Murvica beach – don’t go right down to the actual beach if you want a bit of shade.
- Sample local food like vitalac not found on other Croatian islands and try out local wine
- Visit the Olive Oil Museum
- Visit the many lazy villages on the island of Brac especially the Pucisca Village – considered to be one of the prettiest villages in the entire world
Brac Travel Tips
Brac is a bit less touristy than Hvar, Kolucep, or Mljet island and that’s why many find it very attractive and is a definite must-visit on your trip to Dubrovnik.
But to make the travel more convenient, rent a car and continue onward on your Croatian coastal drive to Split.
5. Lokrum Island
Lokrum is the closest island to visit from Dubrovnik and is a must on your list of things to do near Dubrovnik.
This small, uninhabited island offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. With its lush botanical gardens, rocky beaches, and mystical aura, Lokrum is a paradise for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.
Lokrum Island is located right opposite Dubrovnik Old Town and can be seen from most parts of the Old Town as well as from Fort Loverijenac.
How to reach Lokrum from Dubrovnik
You can easily get a ferry to visit Lokrum from the Old Town Port. The ferry only takes 15 minutes.
Advance booking is not required as the frequency of these ferries is excellent.
You can either buy:
- Just the ferry ticket
- Combination ticket of the ferry + the National Reserve at Lokrum
Best time to visit Lokrum
Lokrum only stays open to tourists from April to November. The best time to visit Lokrum is when the weather is clear.
How to get around Lokrum
Have in mind that Lokrum is an uninhabited island. It must be explored on foot!
Where to stay in Lokum
Staying overnight on Lokrum is forbidden.
Things to do in Lokrum
Some of the best things to do in Lokrum include:
- Visiting the Benedictine Monastery and the Game of Thrones museum
- Checking out the Botanical Gardens
- Taking a dip in the Dead Sea which in reality is a salty lake linked to the sea
- Spending time at the beach which is far less crowded than the beaches in Dubrovnik
- Running into peacocks found all around the island
- Visiting the fort for the stunning panoramic views
Lokrum Travel Tips
- Lokrum can easily be explored on your own. But since staying overnight is prohibited, do not lose track of time and make sure you board the last boat back to Dubrovnik.
- You can’t visit Lokrum with a dog.
- Kayaking to Lokrum, especially around sunset is one of the most pleasing ways of visiting this closest island off Dubrovnik.
6. Kolocep Island
Kolocep Island is one of the Elaphite islands. It is one of the many car-free beautiful islands to visit near Dubrovnik.
With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery, Kolocep is a perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation and natural beauty.
Explore charming villages, take leisurely walks along scenic trails, and indulge in the serenity of this idyllic island.
The island of Koločep is the southernmost inhabited island in Croatia but is located to the northwest of Dubrovnik.
How to reach Kolocep from Dubrovnik
You can easily get a ferry to visit Kolocep from the Dubrovnik Ferry Port. The ferry only takes 30 minutes.
⛵ But a better way of visiting Kolocep is on this Elafiti Islands Tour – a full-day tour that takes you to Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan islands in a hassle-free way.
Best time to visit Kolocep
Kolocep, like the other Elaphiti islands, is best visited between June and September when the weather is pleasant and dry.
How to get around Kolocep
Kolocep is a car-free island and the major part of the island is covered in dense pine forests.
Where to stay in Kolocep
Staying overnight on Kolocep is not needed as the island is just a 30-minute ride away from Dubrovnik by ferry.
Its two quaint villages have hardly any touristy offerings.
Things to do in Kolocep
Some of the best things to do in Kolocep include:
- Visiting St. Nicholas and St. Anthony’s church.
- Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. (And don’t worry, it’s very difficult to find sharks in Croatian waters 😉)
- Relaxing on the beach
- Visiting the local villages (optional)
- Taking a trip to the Blue Cave (included in this Elafiti island tour)
Kolocep Travel Tips
Going to Elafiti Islands from Dubrovnik is a must if you are in Dubrovnik for 3 days or more.
But Kolocep, being a part of the guided day trips from Dubrovnik, can get extremely busy during the peak travel season i.e. between July and August.
⛵ If you hate crowds, you can avoid visiting the island during these months or visit the island on this private Elafiti Islands tour.
7. Lopud Island
Lopud Island is one of the Elafiti islands and it’s also a car-free island.
Known for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and car-free environment, Lopud offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore charming streets, visit historical sites, and bask in the beauty of this serene island.
Lopud is located between Kolocep and the island of Sipan just a few nautical miles to the northwest of Dubrovnik.
How to reach Lopud from Dubrovnik
You can easily get a ferry to visit Lopud from the Dubrovnik Ferry Port. The ferry only takes 1 hour.
But as mentioned above, Lopud can be best explored by taking this full-day Elafiti Islands Tour – which takes you to Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan islands is the best way.
Best time to visit Lopud
Like the other Elafiti islands, Lopud is best visited between June and September when the weather is pleasant and dry.
How to get around Lopud
Lopud is a car-free island and it is best to cover it on foot or a bike.
Where to stay in Lopud
Staying overnight on Lopud is not needed as the island doesn’t have many touristic offerings and the accommodation is also quite expensive.
Things to do in Lopud
Some of the best things to do in Lopud include:
- Spending time at the famous Sunj Beach – a rare sandy beach amongst those on the Dubrovnik island hopping route.
- Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, etc.
- Hiking to the top of Polacica Peak
- Visiting the 15th century Franciscan Monastery and the church.
Lopud Travel Tips
Sunj Beach can feel extremely touristy during the peak summer months. Mentally prepare yourself for the crowds at Sunj Bay to avoid feeling disappointed.
8. Sipan Island
Sipan Island is the largest of the Elafiti islands. It is home to two ports Sudurad and Šipanska Luka.
With its unspoiled beauty, charming villages, and olive groves, Sipan offers a serene retreat from the crowds. Explore its picturesque coastline, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich history.
Sipan is on the north-most end of the Elafiti archipelago – north of Lopud and Kolocep.
How to reach Sipan from Dubrovnik
You can easily get a ferry to visit Sipan from the Dubrovnik Ferry Port.
The ferry from Dubrovnik ferry port to Sipanska Luka takes 45 minutes and to Sudurad takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
But as with Kolocep and Lopud, visiting Sipan directly by ferry services is not recommended. ⛵ It’s best to bundle it with other Elafiti islands and visit it on this Elafiti Islands Tour.
Best time to visit Sipan
Sipan, like the other Elafiti islands, is best visited between June and September when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Where to stay in Sipan
There are hardly any stay options available at Sipan. It’s best to visit Sipan only on a popular day trip from Dubrovnik.
Things to do in Sipan
Some of the best things to do in Sipan include:
- Admire the Stijepovic Skocibuha
- Explore the sleepy villages of Sipan and their laidback vibe
- Spend time at the beach
- Go biking through the olive groves and vineyards
- Eat a delicious local lunch in Sipanska Luka
Sipan Travel Tips
🚣♀️ If you are up for a bit of adventure and activity, heading out on a full-day Kayak and Bike tour to the Elafiti islands feels far more rewarding than going on a typical Dubrovnik island tour to the Elafiti island.
9. Lastovo Island
With its untouched nature, pristine beaches, and secluded coves, Lastovo is a paradise for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.
Explore its lush forests, dive into crystal-clear waters, and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of this enchanting island.
Lastovo is located deeper into the Adriatic Sea than the other main islands off Dubrovnik. It is located to the west of Mljet and Korcula.
How to reach Lastovo from Dubrovnik
You can visit Lastovo by ferry from Dubrovnik. There are very few direct ferries from Dubrovnik to Ubli (port of Lastovo) and the available ones do not allow cars onboard.
To visit Lastovo by car, you would need to go via Korcula and would have to break your journey into two days – i.e. plan an overnight stay at Vela Luka in Korcula.
Best time to visit Lastovo
Lastovo, like the other Adriatic islands, is best visited in June and September. July and August are dry months but the temperatures can rise to about 28-30 degrees Celsius.
How to get around Lastovo
Lastovo has hundreds of kilometers long properly marked trails all across the island. So if you love exploring a place on foot, the distant Lastovo island would be a paradise for you.
Alternatively, you could even explore the island by car or on a bike. But download offline maps as the network coverage in many parts of the island can be remote.
Where to stay in Lastovo
Things to do in Lastovo
Some of the best things to do in Lastovo include:
- Swimming in the crystal clear sea waters at the beautiful beaches of Lastovo, especially the Korita Bay
- Visiting the local villages on the island like Lastovo, Zaklopatika, Ubli, etc.
- Visit Mount Hum – the highest peak at Lastovo. It is famous for being the best place for stargazing in Europe.
- Take day trips to Korcula, Mljet National Park, or other islands (if you haven’t visited those earlier)
Lastovo Travel Tips
Lastovo is a remote island that’s not at all touristy. It enjoys good connectivity with Split and Korcula. But with very few tourists traveling to the island, don’t expect too many shops and restaurants.
Plan well for your needs in advance to avoid facing difficulties.
10. Vis Island
Known for its rugged coastline, turquoise bays, and rich history, Vis offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation.
From exploring hidden caves to indulging in local gastronomy, Vis Island promises an unforgettable experience!
Vis island is north of Korcula and Lastovo and to the extreme west side of the Adriatic islands near Split.
How to reach Vis from Dubrovnik
There is no direct connectivity to Vis from Dubrovnik. You need to take a ferry from Split or Hvar.
You would need to plan the journey in advance to reach Vis on the same day, take the first ferry to Hvar and then spend a few hours in Hvar before boarding the next one to Vis.
Best time to visit Vis
Vis is the most pleasant between June and September.
How to get around Vis
🚗 Renting a car or a scooter is important in Vis, as public transport is unreliable.
You could rent a bike but be prepared to ride on steep inclines given the hilly terrain of Vis.
Where to stay in Vis
House Bava is one of the best places to stay in all of Vis.
It is located near the Zmorac beach but many other gorgeous beaches are also just about a kilometer away. The house is spacious, offers hill views, and provides excellent Wi-Fi. ▶️ Check rates & availability here.
Things to do in Vis
Some of the best things to do in Vis include:
- Visiting Stiniva Beach – voted the best beach in Europe in 2019. The beach and its cove are truly spectacularly scenic.
- Swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking at the many other sandy beaches all around the island like Komiza, Rukavac, or Rogacic.
- Checking out the one-of-a-kind touristic attraction: the Yugoslavian submarine hanger.
How to visit the islands near Dubrovnik?
By a ferry
Ferries in Dubrovnik leave from:
- Dubrovnik Ferry Port in Gruz, or
- Dubrovnik Old Town Port
The Old Town port is primarily used to travel to Lokrum island and nearby small towns, while the Dubrovnik Ferry Port is where you should go if you want to travel to the largest Croatian islands like Hvar, Korcula, or Mljet, which are a bit farther away from Dubrovnik.
The timetable of the local ferries keeps changing based on the time of the year and the weather conditions. And don’t forget to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
On a guided tour
If you want to head out on day trips to the islands around Dubrovnik, it is best to book yourself on guided boat trips from Dubrovnik.
It was my personal favorite way of exploring the nearby islands as the frequency of ferries to the bigger islands like Mljet and Korcula is fairly low.
Even if you get on the last ferry back (usually around 4 pm), you are not left with much time to explore the island. Plus the lack of a guide means that you learn little about the island’s culture, history, and architecture.
On a cruise trip
If you want to avoid the hassle of planning your Dubrovnik island excursion, it is best to opt for an island-hopping cruise.
A typical route covers multiple islands on the Adriatic coast between Split and Dubrovnik and is spread out for at least 3 days.
Keep in mind that most ferries leaving from Dubrovnik do not allow cars onboard. Bikes and motorcycles are allowed subject to availability.
Moreover, islands near Dubrovnik like the island of Lopud and Kolocep are car-free.
FAQ about the Islands near Dubrovnik
Are there islands near Dubrovnik?
Yes, there are several islands near Dubrovnik, including Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, and more.
What islands are close to Dubrovnik?
The islands close to Dubrovnik include Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep, among others.
What is the best island to visit from Dubrovnik?
Mljet Island is one of the best islands to visit from Dubrovnik for its stunning landscapes, pristine lakes, and serene atmosphere.
What is the most beautiful island near Dubrovnik?
Korcula Island is one of the most beautiful islands near Dubrovnik. Its charming old town, picturesque beaches, and rich cultural heritage make it a top choice for visitors seeking natural beauty and historical charm.
Can you island hop from Dubrovnik?
Yes, you can island hop from Dubrovnik! you can easily embark on an island-hopping adventure, visiting stunning islands like Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and more.
What islands can you visit from Dubrovnik?
You can visit various islands from Dubrovnik, including Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep. Each island offers its unique charm, whether it's the natural beauty, historical sites, or pristine beaches.
Can you visit islands from Dubrovnik?
Yes! Dubrovnik is an excellent starting point for exploring nearby islands. You can easily visit islands like Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep from Dubrovnik.
Are there islands near Dubrovnik?
Yes, there are islands near Dubrovnik, including Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep.
Can you do day trips to islands from Dubrovnik?
Yes, day trips to islands from Dubrovnik are possible. You can easily visit islands like Lokrum, Mljet, Korcula, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep, enjoying their beauty and attractions before returning to Dubrovnik in the evening.
How far are Elafiti islands from Dubrovnik?
The Elafiti islands are located close to Dubrovnik, with an average distance of around 7 to 10 kilometers from the city.
Final Thoughts on the Best Islands Near Dubrovnik
The best islands near Dubrovnik offer a delightful escape for every traveler.
From the serene Lokrum Island with its botanical gardens to the untouched beauty of Mljet Island with its crystal-clear lakes, and the captivating charm of Korcula Island with its medieval architecture – each island has its unique appeal.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a perfect blend of both, Dubrovnik’s neighboring islands are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
So, pack your bags and embark on an incredible island-hopping adventure near Dubrovnik. Get ready to be amazed and create memories that will last a lifetime!
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