Don’t miss out on a visit to Lokrum Island during your trip to Dubrovnik!
If you want to escape the crowds in Dubrovnik then make sure you take a trip to Lokrum Island. It’s only a few minutes away on the ferry and it makes a great change of pace. If you think of words like leafy, tranquil, and nature then you’re on the right track. Lokrum has a different vibe to the rest of Dubrovnik which makes it well worth seeing during your trip.
What is Lokrum?
Lokrum, Croatia, is a tiny island located around 600 metres off the coast of Dubrovnik. You’ll probably catch glimpses at the island as you explore the Old Town. You can see it from the Old Port of Dubrovnik or if you take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd.
It’s lush with greenery and surrounded by the greeny-blue Adriatic Sea on all sides. If you’re tired of the busyness and bustle then it probably looks like a little slice of heaven, which it is!
The other great thing about Lokrum is that it’s small enough to explore in a few hours.
The history of Lokrum
The name Lokrum was first mentioned all the way back in 1023, by the Benedictine monks who occupied the abbey on the island. But what’s in a name? Well, Lokrum is the Latin word for sour fruit and it refers to the oranges and lemons that grow there to this day.
One other interesting fact is that Richard the Lionheart sought shelter on the island in 1192, after he was shipwrecked on his return from the Crusades. He pledged to build a church o the island, but in the end the cathedral was built in the old town of Dubrovnik.
Is Lokrum island cursed?
If you believe the local legends about the island then, yes, Lokrum Island is cursed. The Benedictine monks were ordered to leave by the powers that be in the 15th century, and they weren’t at all happy about the decision. They walked around the island in single file three times, lit candles in hands, and left a trail of melted wax behind them. They cursed anyone who would take the island from them, and never returned there.
A guide to the Lokrum island ferry
How do you get from Dubrovnik to Lokrum?
Well, the good news is that’s it’s really simple to get to Lokrum from Dubrovnik. You can catch the ferry to Lokrum Island from the Old Town area of the city. The ferry leaves from the Old Port of Dubrovnik and you can buy a ticket for the ferry at the same place.
Lokrum ferry price
The ferry to Lokrum costs 40 Kuna and there are several trips to the island each day. We simply rocked up after a walking tour and the bought left about ten minutes later.
The ferry to Lokrum island
What is the Lokrum ferry like? Honestly, the journey was so short it was practically over before we knew it – it takes around 15 minutes in total and it feels even faster.
It was fairly quiet during our trip (around 1pm) so there were plenty of seats. However, if you want to get a seat on the outside or at the exterior of the boat you’ll have to be at the front of the queue – the seats with the best view always go quickly! But if you want a break from the sun it’s actually quite nice to enjoy the cool of the shade for a few minutes.
Anything else you should know?
Yes. No one is permitted to stay on Lokrum overnight. The last ferry home is in the early evening. When we were there the last ferry was at 6pm, however, that was fairly early in the season. I’ve seen other blogs reporting that the last ferry is at 7pm, so it must vary. Just make sure you check the last departure time when you’re buying your tickets.
Lokrum island things to do
Admire the peacocks
There are many peacocks roaming free around Lokrum which reflects the regal air. You might hear them before you see them, though. We saw more than one tourist jump out of their skin when one started yowling out of the blue. They’re most beautiful when they’re stalking around the ruins, shimmying their feathers until they’re fully fanned out.
We even had some of them hanging out with us during lunch, which was fun! We had a couple of rolls from the hotel buffet and were looking for somewhere to pitch up and eat. There are a couple of picnic benches near the botanical gardens so we took up a pew here… and it wasn’t long until a couple of female peacocks joined us to say hi!
Swim in the Dead Sea
My ears pricked up when I heard about the Dead Sea of Lokrum. So what is it exactly? It’s a gorgeous saltwater pool set in the heart of Lokrum. The water is crystal clear and surrounded by shelving cliffs, which make the perfect spot to press pause, breathe, and just take it all in. It may be pocket-sized but this natural pool absolutely packs a punch.
When we were there that was a guy diving from the rocks, whilst filming himself for Tik Tok or whatever. He even instructed another guy on how best to jump and they ended up doing it together, which was fun to watch. We just dipped our toes in the water but it gorgeous either way. There’s even a café right next to it so you can chill out and enjoy the views.
Wander around the monastery ruins
The Benedictine monastery ruins were one of my favourite things to do in Lokrum. We made a beeline for there as soon as we were off the ferry and they didn’t disappoint.
Even though they are only ruins, you can see the outlines of the monastery and the remnants of the gothic arches. It’s a nice green space to soak up all the nature vibes and with all the peacocks shaking their tail feathers about the place, it’s really quite charming.
Enjoy the views at the Fort Royal
The Fort Royal is a bit of a hike. However, the views are worth it! The building itself was instigated by the French army following Napoleon’s occupation of Dubrovnik in 1806. However, it wasn’t completed until 1835, when Austria was in charge. They also changed the name to Maximillian Tower, although the OG name seems to have stuck.
The Fort is beautiful. The curved ceilings are lovely and then you step outside and are greeted with these amazing views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area. You can also spot the abandoned luxury hotel, Hotel Belvedere, on the shore if you look really closely.
Sit on the Iron Throne
I’d done a bit of research about things to do in Dubrovnik before we arrived on our trip. I knew there were a ton of Game of Thrones tours to choose from in the city. However, I didn’t know that you could actually sit on the Iron Throne on the island of Lokrum, which was a gift from HBO!
The throne located in the Visitor Centre as part of a Game of Thrones exhibition. The exhibition is super interesting and has video clips of the cast talking about their experience of filming in Croatia. It’s also good if you need a bit of a refresher course on all the different GoT families! We didn’t even have to queue to sit on the Iron Throne but I have a feeling it probably get busier in the summer.
What else is there to do in Lokrum?
There are a few other things to do on Lokrum I haven’t mentioned, so here’s my list! When you buy your tickets for Lokrum you’ll get a leaflet with a map so you can tick them off as you explore the island. There’s also a nudist beach which isn’t mentioned in the brochure. It’s not really my scene but if you want to skip the tan lines here’s your chance!
- Botanical garden
- Olive groves
- Nudist beach
- Charlotte’s Well
- Forest Ranger’s house
Lokrum Island tips
Wear sensible shoes
If you want to explore the whole of the island there’s going to be a fair amount of walking involved. However, the pathways aren’t great. Similar to the path up (or down!) Mount Srd, it’s rocky and stony. I wouldn’t fancy doing this in flip-flops or sandals so I would recommend wearing trainers on the day you’re set to visit Lokrum. Your feet will thank you for it!
The island isn’t really that big but, as I mentioned above, don’t let that fool you that it’s going to be a gentle stroll. There’s a fair bit of walking to do if you want to see everything on the island. For that reason, I would make sure you pack water and some snacks in your back. That way you won’t end up on the other side of the island with no sustenance.
Pack a swimming costume
I already mentioned the Dead Sea that you can swim in on Lokrum. We arrived without much time to spare and without our swimming costumes on, and so all we did was dip our toes in the water. However, it gets absolutely baking hot in Dubrovnik in the peak summer months and so I definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on a cheeky swim here!
Don’t sweat the logistics
On the way there I was slightly concerned about some of the logistical stuff on Lokrum. Would there be toilets? Was there anywhere to order drinks or food if we got hungry? The answer to those questions are yes and yes. One of the first things we saw after we arrived was a sign pointing us to the toilets and there were clean and perfectly fine.
There’s also an open air café playing music just a few metres away from the harbour area. We picked up some diet cokes here before we caught the ferry back to Dubrovnik and the staff were super lovely. It’s not the only place on the island either. There are other cafes and restaurants near the Dead Sea of Lokrum, so you won’t be without some choices!
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