Off the jagged coast of Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum stands sentinel looking out over the Adriatic Sea. Providing additional protection to the natural harbor and thick Old Town walls, this garden island is home to no permanent citizens – unless you count the peacocks.
If you spend any time in Dubrovnik, you may wonder about visiting Lokrum: what’s out there? what can you do for the day? is there really a nude beach?
Here’s my guide to help you spend a wonderful day on Lokrum, a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik.
Why Visit Lokrum
Aside from haunting the edges of your vision as you enjoy the view from Dubrovnik’s Old Town walls, Lokrum is a perfect escape from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city. I put together a short video from our day on the island.
How to Get to Lokrum from Dubrovnik
Unless you have your own boat or kayak, there’s only one way to visit Lokrum: by ferry from Dubrovnik harbor. The ferries leave throughout the day on a set schedule, and the fare is 96kn (~$13.50US) per person, including entry fees to the Nature Reserve on Lokrum.
These official ferries have permission to run from the main pier in the harbor to the only pier on Lokrum and are by far the easiest way to get to and from the island.
Click here to check out the Lokrum ferry website.
Getting Around on Lokrum
No cars are permitted on Lokrum, so you should be prepared to walk everywhere. The island isn’t big (~1.5 miles long), but it can have uneven terrain. Wear a pair of reasonable walking shoes, and be sure to bring water if it’s a hot day.
What to Pack for Your Day Trip to Lokrum
Here’s what you should throw in your bag for the day:
- Bottled water – It’s way more expensive on the island! You can buy some outside the walls of Old Town Dubrovnik to save a bit.
- Sunscreen – I swear by Waterbabies SPF 50 or higher.
- Water shoes – if you’re going to swim, having water shoes will help protect your feet from the rocks on shore and in the water. These super-colorful ones from Lxso are my faves.
- Swimsuit – Since you’re traveling to the garden island, rock a cute flowery one piece like this one by Mnlybaby.
- Sunglasses – Protect your eyes from the glare! WearMe Pro has fun round lens ones I like.
- Cover-Up – If you plan to eat on Lokrum, you’ll need to be properly covered up. Consider a comfy but breathable option like this one from LAPAYA.
- Snacks – My favorite Croatian snack is called Gran Cereale. They’re an Italian granola cookie that’s available in most grocery stores in Dubrovnik.
- A Waterproof Case for Your Phone – If you want to take photos in the water (which I highly recommend), consider investing in the Optrix by Bodyglove waterproof case with interchangeable lenses. It’s my #1 recommended investment for mobile photography while traveling.
What to Do on Lokrum
As an island, you might think there are limited options for entertainment, but it’s actually huge and has many interesting sights and activities you can enjoy. The entire island has maps along all of the walking routes, so you can choose what to see and do. Here are the things we most enjoyed:
1. Float in the ‘Dead Sea’
One of the most popular spots for visitors to Lokrum is the small, shallow salt lake located near the center of the island. This highly saline lake won’t make you quite as buoyant as the Dead Sea in Israel/Jordan, but it’s still a fun experience.
2. Go Swimming in the Sea
As I mentioned above, there is a nude beach on the southern coast of the island; if you’re not up for that, I’d recommend taking a dip on the eastern side of the island. There are some easy access points to jump in the water (and ladders to help you climb out), and you can enjoy some sun or shade depending on the time of day.
3. Step Back in Time Among Benedictine Ruins
In the center of the island, you can explore the ruins of a 12th/13th-century basilica and 15th-century monastery. These ruins (some of which date back as far as 1023 AD) are under restoration efforts currently, but if they’re open, I highly recommend spending some time learning about the history of the island and those who have lived there.
4. Hike to Fort Royal
Located on the highest point of the island, Fort Royal is a former French garrison which looks out over all of Lokrum and has great views of Dubrovnik too. It’s a gentle slope but moderate difficulty hike from sea level to the top, but the views (and the small sea breeze that you can feel) makes it worth it.
5. Feel like (Medieval) Royalty
Lokrum is home to a beautiful botanical garden and many peacocks because the island was once the holiday home of Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg. You can explore these areas of the island to get a sense for why royalty would want to spend their holidays here too.
6. Enjoy Lunch
Since Lokrum has no permanent residents, there aren’t a ton of amenities on the island, but you can enjoy lunch at a few restaurants. Mr. Valise and I enjoyed a prix fixe lunch with wine at Lacroma Restaurant, where we watched rabbits, peahens, and baby peacocks sneak between the tables looking for crumbs in the outdoor cafe.
Want to Stay Longer? Places to Stay in Dubrovnik near the Lokrum Ferry
As I’ve mentioned, there are no hotels or accommodations on Lokrum – the Croatian government doesn’t allow anyone to stay on the island overnight. Instead, you’ll have to catch the last ferry back to Dubrovnik. If you’re planning a trip and know you want to visit Lokrum, it may make sense to stay close to the ferry in the Old Town. Here are some good options.
- Old Town Studio – 2-minute walk to ferry – $38 per night
- Pearl in the Center of Old Town – 3-minute walk to ferry – $219 per night
- Eden Rooms (3 stars) – 3-minute walk to ferry – $83 per night
- Amoret Apartments (4 stars) – 5-minute walk to ferry – $94 per night
Enjoy your trip to Dubrovnik! If you have questions, let me know in the comments!