The coastal Croatian city of Dubrovnik is majestic and enchanting. Once a hidden gem tucked away in Eastern Europe, Dubrovnik has had a surge in popularity over the past few years thanks to television shows and movies using its picturesque cityscape as a backdrop for their film creations; namely Game of Thrones.
Although it is near impossible to tire of the charm of Dubrovnik the time may come to venture further afield to find Croatia’s next best kept secret location.
Without further ado, here are the best day trips from Dubrovnik for you to consider.
Mostar is a real cultural melting pot that has a rich and varied history to explore.
A visit to Mostar sees you cross international borders into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The most iconic landmark of Mostar is the Stari Most, a fairytale-like arched bridge that was built in 1566. The Mosque of Mostar is an incredible building with a fascinating past to discover.
You can find out all you need to know about Mostar and the surrounding areas at the Muzej Hercegovine which houses hundreds of photographs and artefacts from years gone by.
If you are short on time you can incorporate a flying visit to the towns of Pocitelj and Medjugorje too.
Although all three are worthy of a day trip each of their own.
A visit to Budva would see you cross international borders into the sovereign state of Montenegro.
This city really is one of Europe’s most prized hidden gems.
Budva is the most significant city in Montenegro and is something of a tourist hub, it is not hard to see why.
Terracotta tiled roofs bounce off the contrasting azure blue backdrop of the Adriatic Sea to make one of the most picturesque towns in the world.
This cosy town has a vibrant nightlife so stay out as late as you can before heading back to Dubrovnik.
The beaches and bays of Budva are the stuff of dreams so bring your sun hat and your beach towel and make the most of every minute.
Just to the southeast of Dubrovnik is the mesmerising town of Cavtat.
Sitting too on the Adriatic Coast, Cavtat is famed for its pristine beaches and iconic Illyrian necropolises that are sprinkled throughout the town.
You have not one but two beaches to choose from and you can surely walk the length of both during a day trip.
In the morning take a relaxed stroll down Mlini Beach taking in the views of the bay while the sun works its way to its peak.
After a hearty lunch in Cavtat town itself move on to Srebreno Beach and Cavtat harbour.
Do not miss the opportunity to marvel at Rector’s Palace and St. Nicholas Church before you depart.
4. Elaphite Islands
Island hopping is a holiday hobby usually reserved for Southeast Asia or perhaps the Caribbean but Croatia too offers you this marvellous adventure.
This humble archipelago is a popular day trip from Dubrovnik and there are a great number of local tour operators and solo boat owners who will take you from one to another to another during the course of a day.
The three largest islands of Koločep, Lopud and Šipan are exquisite and are not to be missed.
In the summer months in particular the waters around the Elaphite Islands is warm and calm, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and if you’re licensed scuba diving too.
5. Kravice Waterfalls
The Kravice Waterfalls can be found tucked away in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
These tufa casades of the Trebižat River are surely one of the most breathtaking natural wonders you will ever experience.
On a sunny day the water appears to dance and micro-rainbows appear in the spray from the powerful force of the water.
The Kravice Waterfalls are one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most iconic landscapes and if you haven’t heard the name before you have surely seen a photo or two.
On a hot day there is nothing more refreshing than dipping your toes into the cooling pools that surround the falls and forest area.
Did you know that Croatia has an incredible wine industry? Perhaps not, but it does and one of the finest places to sample this distinct wine is on the island of Korcula.
There is an old Croatian phrase that claims ‘a day without wine is like a day without sunshine’ – who are we to disagree.
Korcula is genuinely like something out of a fairytale.
This walled town is in fact the birthplace of Marco Polo.
Steeped in history and now home to a thriving wine industry there is a lot to explore and even more to enjoy on Korcula Island.
If you want to experience the best of the Mediterranean coastline then a visit to Pelješac will see you right.
This picturesque peninsula features hidden coves, secret beaches, bountiful oyster bays and phenomenal wineries.
Pelješac is another of Croatia’s secret wine regions and has some exquisite beverages for you to sample.
The most famous vineyard in Pelješac is Matusko Winery and you can drop by to sample and buy their wine throughout the week.
The drive from Dubrovnik to Pelješac is enough to ignite your wanderlust and fill your memory card with photos.
For those who like a hike be sure to get your boots on and explore Sveti Ilija.
Split is one of Croatia’s major cities and sits on the Dalmatian Coast.
This captivating city is a joy to explore and can be toured easily in the space of a day.
Highlights include the Diocletian’s Palace and the Cathedral of Saint Dominus.
The Cathedral of Saint Dominus dates back to the 4th-Century and will quite possibly be the oldest building you ever set foot in.
Well set up for passing tourists, there are dozens of cafes, bars and souvenir shops to explore.
This city is so very picturesque with the added bonus that once you have finished hitting up the incredible landmarks you can chill out on the beach.
The city of Trogir is an architectural mishmash featuring buildings in Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque style; it’s really quite incredible.
Three quarters of the city sits on the mainland and the final quarter is an island all of its own, called Čiovo.
Čiovo is, however, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges.
Architectural highlights include the Trogir Cathedral and Cipiko Palace.
In the summer months the beachside promenade is buzzing and bustling.
Cafes open their doors out onto the streets and place their tables and chairs out under the spinning water mist fans.
There is a relaxed and easy feel to Trogir that will see you struggle to return to darling Dubrovnik at the end of the day.
The village of Ston is a true hidden gem that is nestled away on the Pelješac peninsula.
A visit to Ston sees you experience Croatia at its most authentic and it is a privilege to behold.
The Ston Walls Entrance and Fort Kastio are not to be missed.
You can team a visit to Ston with neighbouring village Olipa.
Ston is famous for its oysters and as such you really should treat yourself to a slap-up local oyster lunch accompanied by Ston village made wine.
From Ston it is possible to visit the vineyards of Dingac and Postup which make a great addition to the day.
The coastal town of Kotor falls within the sovereign state of Montenegro.
This fortified town is another of Eastern Europe’s medieval hidden gems.
There is a certain romance to Kotor with is labyrinth of winding stone streets and town squares.
The town itself lies comfortably between the tranquil Bay of Kotor and the moody mountains behind making for an incredibly photogenic environment.
The Kotor Cathedral and the Maritime Museum can be visited over the course of your morning, as too can the novel Cats Museum.
In the afternoon you can spend time sauntering through the stoney streets soaking up the rustic charm of this medieval wonder.
Medjugorje is one of the most holy, sacred and spiritual sites in all of Europe.
As the second largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world it is said that Mother Mary graced the earth here in 1981 and spoke to a group of six teenagers.
Returning to speak with visitors over and over the skepticism soon evaporated and in turn Medjugorje the pilgrimage site was born.
The peace and tranquility of this site is palpable, you need not be of faith to appreciate the awe and wonder that surrounds this holy ground.
While visiting the holy spot you can find time to visit the villages of Medjugorje and Bijakovici themselves to speak with locals about their life in this holy land.
13. Konavle Valley
The Konavle Valley is one of the most impressive landscapes in Croatia and sits at the southernmost tip of the country.
On your way through the valley your first stop will likely be at the Sokol Kula or ‘Falcon Fort’. Scale the stairs to the top of the fort you will be greeted by awe-inspiring panoramic views of the cliffs below and the mountains above.
The route though the Konavle Valley follows the flow of the River Ljuta and you’ll pass dozens of charming farms and homesteads.
It is possible to couple a tour of the Konavle Valley with an afternoon in the town of Cavat should you wish.
Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is an easily accessible day trip from Dubrovnik.
This little known city has a wealth of history and culture to discover.
Start with a visit to the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque in the morning to learn how the Muslim community has shaped Sarajevo into the city that it is today.
In the afternoon take a visit to the fascinating Sarajevo Tunnel.
This tunnel complex was used during the Bosnian war and features a small but incredibly informative military war museum back on ground level.
Ensure to find time to visit Baščaršija the old bazaar of Sarajevo.
15. Mljet Island
Mljet Island is both the southernmost and easternmost of the larger Adriatic Islands and is one of the most beautifully, dreamy destinations you could ever wish for.
Romantic, seductive and totally enchanting chances are if you visit Mljet Island you will never want to leave.
There is just a single road that transects the island, connecting the monastery to the port.
Mljet Island features olive groves, vineyards and undisturbed natural forest.
Snorkelling and diving off the shores of Mljet Island is something quite incredible.
The water is oh so clear and the marine life oh so abundant.