When you’re done meandering through the narrow streets and climbing the old walls of Old Dubrovnik, retreat from the crowds to the island of Lokrum.
A peaceful island of less than one square km, Lokrum is a nature preserve with no cars or human inhabitants. Save for an old fortress and a Benedictine monastery converted into a restaurant, you also won’t find buildings on the island.
Locals and tourists alike go on pilgrimage to Lokrum to commune with nature. Plant enthusiasts will delight in the lovely botanical garden while sun worshippers should head straight to the island’s beaches for a dip in the pristine Adriatic. For those who prefer to go au natural, there is a secluded beach—check bikinis at entrance—in the southeast. If you climb the rocks all the way around the southern tip of the beach, you can dive into your very own grotto.
Boats for Lokrum depart every hour in low season and every half hour in the summer. Look for ferry tickets just beyond the clock tower on the southern end of Old Town’s main street. It’s a 15-minute boat ride (HRK35; €4.75; $6.50 roundtrip.) The last boat in low season leaves at 6 p.m. (8 p.m. in high season.)
Wandering Cheapo Sunnia Ko is a wanderer at heart and primarily supports this habit as a teacher at Plovdiv University in Bulgaria. She recently returned from a cross-Balkan trek from Plovdiv to Sibenik, Croatia and back.