Five brilliant Dubrovnik boat trips

Ditch dry land and see the city by sea


Dubrovnik may be one of the hottest destinations in Europe at the moment, but there’s no getting around the fact that, in peak season, the city really suffers from its popularity as a cruise port. The solution? Visit Dubrovnik in spring or autumn. You can hit the waves on one of these excellent boat trips, admire this stunning coastal city from the sea, then return late in the afternoon to enjoy a sundowner.

This article is sponsored by Dubrovnik Tourism Board and Croatia Full of Life.

Take a speedboat to a hidden restaurant

1. Take a speedboat to a hidden restaurant

Surely there's no more romantic way to spend an evening than by whisking your date off on a speedboat to the secluded island of Kolocep for dinner. Unbroken sea views from the island are just tremendous, making it extremely popular for weddings. The food's great too – freshly caught sea bass and sea bream are the highlights of the menu and are presented whole at the table with aplomb. Teamed with lashings of Croatian white wine and great sea views, it's not an evening out you're likely to forget in a hurry. 

Tour the Elaphati islands

2. Tour the Elaphati islands

Island-hopping Dubrovnik-style means clambering onto a boat, stripping down to your swims and sprawling on the deck to soak up the sunshine, while someone else takes you from one stunning location to the next, like you're Jay-Z or something. A typical tour of the Elaphiti Islands includes a stop at Kolocep's Blue Caves, which are illuminated inside with an electric, slightly eerie aqua light. Get out and swim here (if you can handle the chilly water inside the cove), or get the boat to drop anchor near any of the other Kalamota caves, as they're locally known, on the south side of the island. Dock by Sunj beach on Lopud if you want to enjoy the best sandy beach in the region, forest walks and visits to tiny family chapels or sail to Sipan for a quiet stroll among the olive trees. If you want to get as far away from other tourists as you can, just ask the boat driver to stop somewhere nice and remote, far out to sea, where you can swim and snorkel your socks off without another holidaymaker in sight.

Go Game of Thrones cruising

3. Go Game of Thrones cruising

Book yourself and your friends onto a cruise at dusk if you like the thought of setting sail along the coast of Dubrovnik with a glass of champagne in your hand as the sun goes down. The cruise is one of the best ways to see the historic Dubrovnik city walls from the sea, where they appear at their most imposing. 'Games of Thrones' nuts should keep an eye out for the magnificent Fort Lovrijenac along the way as scenes at King's Landing were filmed here.

Take a kayaking expedition

4. Take a kayaking expedition

There are so many hidden coves, miniature islands and secret bays off Dubrovnik's coast that taking a kayak out to explore is really the only way of seeing the smaller, more secluded spots. Lots of them are clustered tightly enough to paddle easily between but don't take that to mean that a half-day kayaking expedition is a leisurely morning. Even with the calmest of waters, this is some serious exercise, especially if you're visiting in the height of summer. However, many companies combine the kayaking with other activities, so you can paddle your way to cool swimming spots, a village lunch or a wine and cheese tasting session

Ogle fish on a glass-bottomed boat

5. Ogle fish on a glass-bottomed boat

Okay, so you won’t beat the crowds by getting on one of these. The Old City's port has endless identikit stalls offering glass bottom boat trips and the ethos seems to be a simple one: stack the punters high. In their favour, they're quick, at just 45 minutes to an hour, and therefore worth it if you want to squeeze a boat trip into your holiday but don't want to make a day of it. The water is remarkably clear around Dubrovnik and there's plenty of marine life so be seen – that said, you’ll see much more if you spend the time snorkelling instead.

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