Planning a visit to Dubrovnik Croatia? You should! And while you are there, be sure to plan a day trip to escape the crowds of Old Town Dubrovnik by visiting the uninhabited island of Lokrum. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Lokrum island in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
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History of Lokrum Island
Lokrum was established in the 10th century with the founding of the Benedictine abbey and monastery. For centuries the Benedictine monks were the only inhabitants of the island where they cultivated exotic plants. Legend has it that when the Benedictine monks were expelled from the island in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s that they put a curse on the island and to anyone who tried to make it their own in the future.
In 1859 Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg had a mansion built on the island. The Archduke would eventually become the emperor of the the second Mexican empire. He would be executed by a rival Mexican political party in 1867. Is this the Lokrum curse in action?
Legend has it that in 1192 Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore on the island of Lokrum after a shipwreck while returning home from the crusades. He prayed during the storm that he would build a church to the Virgin Mary wherever he touched land. He vowed to build his church on Lokrum but was persuaded by residents of Dubrovnik to build the church in the town centre to which he agreed.
In 1806 during Napoleon’s occupation of Croatia, Fort Royal was built on the highest point of Lokrum due to the strategic location of the island
In 1959 a botanical gardens was founded. Today it boasts tropical and sub-tropical plants and trees from Australia, South America and North America. Many species were considered to be nothing more than tests to see if the would grow in the climate. Not only did they grow, they thrived.
More recently the hit series Game of Thrones used the island as the city of Qarth in season two.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik Old Town
- Luxury Accommodations –Stayeva 11 – Within the old town walls you won’t find luxury hotels, but you will find beautiful apartments and guest houses. This is one of them.
- Mid Range Accommodations – Dubrovnik Rupe Apartment – Here you will find the best views of the medieval walls you will find in the old town.
- Budget Accommodations – La Vita Bella IV – Centrally located homey place within the old town walls. A modern and stylish apartment with great views
For more places to stay in Dubrovnik, you can check the latest prices below
How to get to Lokrum Island
There is one way in and one way out of Lokrum island and that is by boat. A public ferry, which includes the entrance ticket to Lokrum island, costs roughly $27. The ferry is round trip.
The boats depart from Porat Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik’s old port) not far from the Ploće gate. You will see a kiosk as you enter the port area for Lokrum public boats. Purchase your tickets here as you will be turned around if you try to buy them directly from the boat staff. There is no sense in trying to buy online as there are no skip the line queues. It is first come first serve only. Boats during high season will leave every 15 – 30 minutes and the journey only takes about 15 minutes as the island is only 600 metres from Dubrovnik
Read Next: Dubrovnik’s Old Town
There are private boats that depart from the same location for a fee, unfortunately I can’t give you prices on these. I have read a few blogs about it costing twice as much as it should have when taking this route.
One fun idea would be to go with a group and Kayak To Lokrum From Dubrovnik. Lokrum is less than 1 km from Dubrovnik and I can only imagine how stunning the views of the Adriatic must be from a Kayak. There are both day and evening tours available and they include entrance fees to Lokrum as well snorkeling gear while you are there. And for $41 per person the price is very affordable. We wish we had thought of this for our visit.
What are the Operating Hours of Lokrum Island?
Lokrum Island is open to visitors from April – November. Boats will depart Dubrovnik beginning at 10:00 and the last boat leaves Dubrovnik port at 17:00.
The island is uninhabited and it is strictly forbidden to remain on the island overnight. The final boat departing Lokrum for the return to Dubrovnik will be at 19:00. Be sure to keep track of time and do not miss the last boat.
Lokrum Island Entrance Fees
Entrance fee tickets are included when you book the official Lokrum boat or the kayak tour I listed.
If you decide to go out with a private boat prices can be all over the place. The 2022 season entrance fees and boat tickets have been combined into one ticket. So private boats can tell you whatever they want. Just know the base price for the official Lokrum boat and entrance fee is roughly $27 so you can negotiate.
Looking for More Fun Things to do or Day Trips from Dubrovnik?
What to expect on Lokrum Island
The first thing you will notice is that despite being a small island with countless boats coming in, Lokrum never feels crowded. You will always be able to find a spot for yourself if you want to be alone.
Keep in mind that there are several things that are forbidden on the island such as:
- No dogs
- No littering
- No smoking or fires of any kind
- No drones
- No overnight stays. You must be off of the island by 19:00
- No endangering in any way the natural and cultural goods
When you first arrive be sure to check the map that will tell where everything on the island is. There will also be signs pointing you in the right direction throughout the island.
There are a few restaurants/cafes on the island. Yes, they are a bit over priced but it injects some money into the local economy and it’s not like it is outrageously over priced.
You will be able to see the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery. This is where they also house the Game of Thrones museum if you are interested. Complete with a full replica of the iron throne.
Next head off to catch a glimpse (and maybe take a dip?) at Lokrum’s very own “Dead Sea”. Millions of years erosion caused this depression to be filled with salty sea water. Today Lokrum’s dead sea is one of its top attractions.
Lokrum is also home to an astonishingly large number of peacocks. Peacocks were originally imported from the Canary islands by Maximilian. Apparently there are a lot of rabbits on the island as well although we did not see a single one.The
Once you have you have the lay of the land be sure you don’t miss the botanical gardens. Many Plants and trees are labelled with species and origin. I didn’t think it would be something I would enjoy, but turns out Angela and I both were a bit mesmerized by the sheer variety of beautiful, exotic species.
Next make your way up to Fort Royal. It’s a bit of a hike, but the views up there are breathtaking (if the uphill hike didn’t already take your breath away.) There is not much to see inside of the ruins as the Fort Royal is now an empty shell, but it’s still worth a visit.
Finally make your way back down to the numerous beaches for a swim to cool off from the hike. There are many to choose from, the water is crystal clear and refreshing and there is also a dedicated nude beach on the island if you’re into that sort of thing 😉.
Best Time to Visit Lokrum Island
Like any popular attraction, the boats are going to be a lot easier to navigate first thing in the morning. Crowds really tend to build up in the port as the day goes on. You can expect to be on Lokrum for at least 4 hours if you want to try and take everything in. And that may be rushing a bit, so you could always pack a picnic and easily make a full day out of it!
Have you ever been to Lokrum Island in Dubrovnik. Croatia? Do you have other tips or tricks for visiting this amazing location? Did we leave something out? Leave a comment down below and let us know and help other travellers who are thinking of visiting.