Off the jagged coast of Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum stands sentinel looking out over the Adriatic Sea. Providing additional protection to the natural harbour and thick Old Town walls, this garden island is home to no permanent citizens – unless you count the peacocks.
Planning a Trip in the time of COVID?Keep in mind that information found in this article may have been impacted by travel restrictions and other closures. Double check opening hours, tour providers and hotel status before you go. And don't leave your home without travel insurance! If you are looking for an insurance provider that covers COVID-19, we recommend SafetyWing. Get Medical and Travel Insurance starting at just $40/month and you can sign up even if your trip has already started!
If you spend any time in Dubrovnik, you may wonder about visiting Lokrum Island, Croatia: what’s out there? What can you do on a day trip? Is there really a nude beach? Here’s a guide to help you spend a wonderful day on Lokrum, a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik.
How to Get to Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik
Lokrum Island Ferry
Unless you have your own boat or kayak, there’s only one way to visit Lokrum Island: by ferry from Dubrovnik to Lokrum. 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 Island.
These official ferries have permission to run from the main pier in the harbour to the only pier on Lokrum Island and are by far the easiest way to get to and from the island.
Click here to check out the Lokrum ferry schedule. The ferry to Lokrum Island takes 10 mins and leaves on the hour from Dubrovnik Old Town pier. The last ferry back to Dubrovnik is at 4 pm. Outside of the ferry hours, it may be possible to also arrange a taxi boat to Lokrum Island.
Note that the Lokrum-Dubrovnik ferry only runs from April till November, making the island inaccessible during the winter months.
Getting Around Lokrum Island
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 Bring for a Day on Lokrum Island
Here’s what you should throw in your bag for the day:
- Bottled water
- Water shoes
- A Waterproof Case for Your Phone
Once your bags are packed and you’re on the ferry, it’s time to enjoy a day trip from ‘bustling’ city life in Dubrovnik.
What to Do on Lokrum Island
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.
1. Float in the ‘Dead Sea’
One of the most popular spots for visitors to Lokrum Island 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 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 Monastery 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, you can spend 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 of 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. Most offer both ala carte and prix fixe menus and you can watch rabbits, peahens, and baby peacocks sneak between the tables looking for crumbs in the outdoor cafe.
7. Visit the Iron Throne
A must for any Game of Thrones fan is a visit to the Iron Throne replica located inside Lokrum Visitor’s Center on the island. You’ll find info about the filming, a map of filming locations in the area, and most importantly, have an opportunity to sit on the throne for a fun photo opp.
Want to Stay Longer? Places to Stay in Dubrovnik near the Lokrum Ferry
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 ($38/night) – This newly renovated studio apartment with a private bathroom is located in the heart of Dubrovnik Old Town, just 30m from the Dubrovnik Cathedral and Rector’s Palace. The apartment is steps away from Old Town harbour where you can rent a taxi boat to Lokrum Island.
- Pearl in the Center of Old Town ($219/night) – Pink Pearl is a two-story 3-bedroom house with a terrace in the historic center of Dubrovnik. It is an ideal place for a family or a group that wants to be in the center of events and historic attractions and close to the Old Town harbour.
- Liberty Town Center Rooms ($130/night) – Situated within 2.2 km of Lokrum Beach and a few steps of Orlando Column, Liberty Town Center Rooms Double rooms are equipped with air conditioning and a private bathroom. The rooms feature clean modern decor and are located just a few blocks from the Lokrum Island ferry.
- The Pucic Palace ($450/night) – One of the few hotels in Old Town, the Pucic Palace is a luxury accommodation option within walking distance to the Lokrum Island ferry. The rooms at this hotel have beautiful antique decor and overlook the Old Town square. Guests staying at The Pucić Palace also enjoy complimentary access to the exclusive Banje Beach, located just 600 m from the hotel.
Have you ever visited Lokrum Island from Dubrovnik? What is your favourite thing to do on Lokrum?
About the Author: Valerie Stimac Bailey of Valerie & Valise grew up in Alaska, so it’s no surprise she loves sharing stories from there and the rest of the American West. On her blog, you can find resources to have unforgettable experiences throughout the western U.S. including California, Hawaii, and yes, The Last Frontier.