Dubrovnik is so much more than just a fortified city of merchants and diplomats, whose posh villas are still scattered across the region and the nearby islands

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Essential Dubrovnik: Explore the pearl of the Adriatic in 8 days

Dubrovnik is known as one of the world’s finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities in the world. The neatly contained Dubrovnik centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the result of meticulous reconstruction after the earthquake of 1667. But its allure lies also in the fact that it is a lived-in city, vibrant and bustling with locals whose homes line the narrow streets and sunlit squares.

Even if you have never been in the amazing medieval city of Dubrovnik, you probably heard about the eternal and stunning beauty of the Croatian Mediterranean city you have to put on your bucket list.

Once you take a tour of the Walls of Dubrovnik, stroll through the main street Stradun and explore the alleys that lead to the walls, you will see for yourself why this sophisticated city has been used as a filming location for “Game of Thrones“ and “Star Wars: Episode VIII“ .

Dubrovnik has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List ever since its inception four decades ago because the beauty of the city, with its Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque façades, leaves everyone in awe. As you drive to Dubrovnik from the south, a breath-taking view of the Old Town opens up. Don't worry, though, because there is a lay-by here that is just perfect for taking photos. The top of Mount Srđ overlooking Dubrovnik is a fantastic selfie spot and you can reach it by cable car or hiking. 

Trip highlights

  • Visit the most magnificent sites in Dubrovnik
  • Experience two spectacular wine destinations Korčula and Pelješac
  • Island hopping to the stunning Elaphite Islands
  • Take a photo on six different panoramic locations in Dubrovnik
  • Mljet National Park is ideal for those who want some relaxation in a gorgeous setting

Trip availableJUN-OCT
Duration8 days
Suitable for2-6 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 1,277.00 €
Great for
  • History and architecture lovers
  • Experienced travellers
  • Small groups of friends
  • Nature lovers
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 4-star Royal Neptun Hotel
Trip designed by Vesna Luzar

Extremely versatile trip designer with an established career in travel business

Activities are taking place in and around Dubrovnik

You are about to visit various locations in the Southern Adriatic, around the city of Dubrovnik. Here you can learn a few basic interesting facts about each of them.

Dubrovnik

This historic city-state used to be a maritime powerhouse that gained clout through diplomatic prowess. Dubrovnik was the first country in Europe to abolish slavery and it also introduced sewage and fire safety systems, a retirement home, double-entry bookkeeping, maritime and insurance laws as early as the Middle Ages. One legal provision was particularly amusing: the city government was not allowed to make any important decisions during the period of the “jugo“, a wind that blows from the south that is usually blamed for ill moods by the inhabitants of the Adriatic Region. So, we can safely assume that the denizens of Dubrovnik were refreshingly reasonable and had a penchant for hedonism, as evidenced by their villas in the surrounding area.

Dubrovnik was one of the first cities in Europe to give fresh water to its citizens and to build a working sewage system.

The Franciscan monastery is one of the oldest buildings in the city full to the brim with old buildings. Amazingly it houses one of the oldest, continually in-use pharmacies in Europe.

Stradun is the main street in the Old Town of Dubrovnik and it connects the Gate of Pile and Gate of Ploče. Its name comes from the old Venetian word for “big street”, but not many know that locals also like to call the street Placa. Stradun is 300 metres long and there are many monuments you can see while walking along the street, such as Large and Small Onofrio Fountain, St. Saviour Church, Sponza Palace and St. Blaise’s Church (the patron saint of Dubrovnik).

South of Dubrovnik, you will find Cavtat, a picturesque town located on the peninsula, while the nearby fertile Konavle plateau is the perfect destination for exploring the local rural tourism offer. Mlini and Slano are tourism hubs unaffected by the hustle and bustle of the city, yet located just a stone's throw from Dubrovnik. The Neretva River delta is famous for its mandarin plantations, eel and frog dishes, shallow river boats and an archaeological site that dates back to the Roman period located in the village of Vid.

Korčula Island

Korčula is one of the largest islands in southern Dalmatia and is surrounded by approximately some 50 islets. The town of Korčula, an ancient trading hub, is surrounded by walls that offer a view of the myriad islets and the steep slopes of the Pelješac peninsula on the other side of the strait. Two popular sandy beaches are located on the very south of the island, while somewhat more intimate areas by the sea can be reached by bicycle or on foot.

Two popular theories are circulating on the island of Korčula: that this is the birthplace of Marco Polo and that Odysseus stumbled upon Circe here on this very island some 2000 years ago.

The easiest way to reach Korčula is by taking a 20-minute ferry ride from the town of Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula.

Pelješac Peninsula

The large Pelješac peninsula in the south of Croatia is one of the foremost wine-producing regions in the country, so once you start exploring the mainland you will discover small secluded wineries growing grapevines on slopes bathed in the Mediterranean sun. The most popular grape variety is Zinfandel's first cousin Plavac Mali, while the most famous vineyards are located in the Dingač area. Besides wine, Pelješac also boasts some gorgeous beaches, ancient walls that used to protect the northern border of the Republic of Ragusa Dubrovnik city-state, and delectable locally grown oysters.

Orebić is famous for its sea captains, who used to build magnificent villas in the town and its long shingle pebble beaches. The stunning historic town of Korčula, which is located on the eponymous island, is easily accessible from Orebić. The nearby village of Viganj holds the reputation of being the best windsurfing location on the Adriatic coast, while hikers who decide to climb Mount St. Elijah will be rewarded with one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Adriatic Sea.

Ston is known for its old saltworks and Mali Ston is famous for its oysters. These two towns are connected by walls spanning several kilometres, which once protected the northern border of the Republic of Ragusa.

Elaphite Islands

The group of islands commonly known as the Elaphites – with Lopud, Koločep and Šipan being the largest ones – was the favourite summer resort of the erstwhile residents of Dubrovnik, which is evident from the posh villas and old churches that dot the island. Šipan is the largest island in the archipelago with a single road connecting the only two villages there, while you won't find any cars at all on Koločep and Lopud. When the boats transporting the daily excursionists finally leave for Dubrovnik, the islands become tranquil again.

Even during the heyday of the Dubrovnik city-state, everyday life on the islands was slow and relaxed. This is the perfect place for unwinding and spending long hot days without a care in the world!

Besides the three large islands, the Elaphites comprise a dozen mostly uninhabited islets. The name, which is of Greek origin, means “deer islands“ and it was first mentioned by several ancient geographers. It is uncertain whether deer lived on the islands or if they got the name due to their resemblance to deer when viewed from the top of Mount Srđ overlooking Dubrovnik.

Mljet National Park

Mljet National Park covers about a third of the green island of Mljet, off the coast of south Dalmatia. The Park was given National Park status in 1960. A lush and tranquil place covered with forests, Mljet National Park is ideal for those who want some relaxation in a gorgeous setting.

Some historians are convinced that, by describing Ogygia, Homer wrote about the island of Mljet. Well, whatever the fact may be, a cave bearing the name of Odysseus, that Greek adventurer, still stands there carved in stone.

Popular theories that have taken root on Mljet also speculate that it was here that St. Paul shipwrecked rather than Malta. St. Paul's Rock has borne the name of the shipwrecked saint for quite some time now, while the moniker Odysseus' Cave is more recent.

Montenegro and Kotor Bay

Montenegro is a Balkan country with rugged mountains, medieval villages and a narrow strip of beaches along its Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor, resembling a fjord, is dotted with coastal churches and fortified towns such as Kotor and Herceg Novi. Durmitor National Park, home to bears and wolves, encompasses limestone peaks, glacial lakes and 1,300m-deep Tara River Canyon. The country boasts 2 UNESCO sites: Kotor and Durmitor National Park.

Kotor is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, in a bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen. Characterized by winding streets and squares, its medieval old town has several Romanesque churches, including Kotor Cathedral. It's also home to the Maritime Museum, which explores local seafaring history. Kotor truly is one of the most dazzling jewels in Montenegro's crown. A UNESCO world heritage site boasting a majestic location in a spectacular fjord, Kotor's old city is impressive enough on its own even when you don't count the fortified walls that stretch up the surrounding cliffs.

Day-by-day itinerary

DAY 1

Hello Dubrovnik!

Upon arrival to Dubrovnik private transfer from the Dubrovnik airport to your hotel.

Check-in at the 4-star Royal Neptun Hotel, which offers access to a stunning beach along with the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea as well as the proximity to the Old town of Dubrovnik. Neptun boasts spectacular views overlooking Babin Kuk, Lapad Bay and the Elaphite Islands. If you are not tired from your flight, head out for a walk around Dubrovnik and enjoy a meal at one of the famous restaurants such as Tavulin, Proto, Kopun, Nautika, Vapor, Pantarul, Nico's and many others.

DAY 2

Dubrovnik Walking Tour - city tour of the most famous Adriatic city

Breakfast at the hotel and morning guided walking tour visiting the old city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List ever since its inception four decades ago and you will join a memorable group excursion through Croatia's most famous medieval city. 

The city tour of Dubrovnik Old Town weaves the story of its history and its present into the splendid fabric of fine architecture and magnificent city walls. Starting from Pile square on the eastern side of Dubrovnik Old Town, walk through the maze of narrow streets, lively piazzas, and stunning palaces like Sponza and churches like St. Blaise. 

Enjoy the moderate tempo of your walk as you stroll down the main thoroughfare of Stradun, all the way to the Cathedral and the Rector’s Palace, where you will discover a fine synergy between governance and faith which kept Dubrovnik afloat as the independent Republic of Ragusa for 450 years.

DAY 3

Full day excursion to Korčula and Pelješac

Early breakfast at the hotel. When anyone mentions wine in Croatia, two spectacular destinations always come to mind and you don't have to go far to reach them! Pelješac peninsula is famous for the colourful vineyards that cling to the rocky hillsides. On the other hand, the beautiful island of Korčula is, according to local legend, the birthplace of one of the greatest world's travellers, Marco Polo and home of the indegenous white wine, Grk.

Taste the famous local wines and enjoy the presentation.

DAY 4

Full day trip to Elaphite Islands

Early breakfast at the hotel. Start the full day tour to the precious Elaphite Islands which are a natural wonder – but they are also so much more. The group of thirteen islands, several of which are inhabited, is located not far from Dubrovnik to the north-west. Dubrovnik island hopping will simply blow your mind! This boat tour will show you the three most beautiful islands- Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. 

You can go for a swim in a crystal sea, wander around the shade of Mediterranean vegetation, explore interesting small villages or simply take a journey through the local cuisine, it's up to you! Lunch included.

DAY 5

Montenegro with Boat Cruise in Kotor Bay (optional, on request)

Montenegro with Boat Cruise in Kotor Bay (optional, on request)

Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure. We suggest that you take a full day group boat trip to Montenegro (optional, on request). Enjoy natural beauties and stunning sceneries of one of the most beautiful bays in the world, from the seaside.

The trip takes you to the most breathtaking locations on the Montenegrin coastline and shows you the best of the Bay of Kotor, Perast and Kotor towns, sites on the UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site List. You will be given the opportunity to discover all its beauties from the boat. 

DAY 6

Dubrovnik Photo Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. If you are looking for a perfect Dubrovnik photo tour, we have something special for you. You'll explore the beauty and natural wonders of Dubrovnik and its surroundings. Make the most of your camera while experiencing the magic from the multiple viewpoints from the top of the Srđ Hill, The Franjo Tuđman Bridge or by the Ombla River. 

The experienced driver will take you to six different panoramic locations, where you'll be able to witness Dubrovnik's best views. In the afternoon we suggest (optional) a visit to Cavtat and the native house of Vlaho Bukovac, the great Croatian painter.

DAY 7

Full day excursion to the National Park of Mljet

Full day excursion to the National Park of Mljet

Breakfast at the hotel. You will take a group boat excursion to the National Park Mljet. The island is a unique green oasis, one of just a few Adriatic islands that are completely covered in Mediterranean forests. The National Park is located in the northern part of this elongated and narrow island, where lush Mediterranean flora is preserved, as well as the two unusual “lakes“, Veliko (Large) and Malo (Small), which are connected to the sea by a narrow channel.

There is an islet in the Large Lake with an old Benedictine Monastery and the church. Lunch and some free time for swimming or walking and exploring the picturesque island. 

DAY 8

See you again in Dubrovnik

Breakfast at the hotel, check-out and free time until your private transfer to Dubrovnik airport.

If you have some more spare time, experience the Grand Market. Many stalls stock traditional local sweets, such as dried figs, arancini (candied orange peel) and broštulani mjenduli (candied almonds) and offer a free taste before you buy.

What's included?

  • Private transfers from/to the airport/hotel
  • 7 overnights in a standard double room in the 4-star Royal Neptun Hotel in Dubrovnik (or similar in the same category) with 7 buffet breakfasts and tourist tax included
  • Walking group sightseeing tour of Dubrovnik (Old Town, up to 90 minutes) with a local guide on Day 2
  • Full-day group excursion to Korčula and Pelješac on Day 3 (up to 12 hours): hotel pick up/drop off, transport, boat tickets, guide, guided city tour in Korčula, wine presentation, wine tasting included
  • Full-day group boat tour to Elaphite islands on Day 4 (up to 8 hours): hotel pick up/drop off, transport, lunch included
  • Dubrovnik Photo Tour on Day 6 (up to 3 hours): English speaking driver, hotel pick up /drop off, transport included
  • Full-day group boat excursion to the National Park Mljet on Day 7 (up to 12 hours): hotel pick up /drop off, return ferry tickets Dubrovnik-Mljet, entrance fee for Mljet National Park, a tour guide in the National Park, and lunch included
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT 

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia
  • Meals, drinks, optional tours and services other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Entrances to the museums and sites
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory) 

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on the additional bed (on request)
  • For children additional bed available (on request)
  • For single room (on request)
  • Full-day group tour to Montenegro with Boat Cruise in Kotor Bay (up to 12 hours): hotel pick up/drop off, transport, transportation fees, cruise around Kotor Bay, guide, guided city tour in Kotor on Day 5, not included: museum tickets, visit of the Island our Lady of the rocks (optional), lunch 

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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