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One of the easiest outings from Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island is just a stone’s throw away, making it the perfect day out for short-breakers. An uninhabited island teeming with lush vegetation and historical ruins, its focal point is an old Napoleonic fort and botanical gardens set up by the Habsburg royal Maximilian. Another popular attraction is the miniature salt lake, located in the southern part of the island. Taxi boats leave every half hour, and you could be relaxing under the pines in just twenty minutes from Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
The bountiful Neretva-Delta valley doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. All the better for in-the-know travellers, who can take advantage of its close proximity to Dubrovnik. These verdant flatlands make for a blissful day out, and this awesome landscape is accessible in just an hour and a half’s drive from Dubrovnik. You can only enter its eight vast lakes and fields by boat, so opt for a water safari, and admire the passing scenery of citrus orchids and deliriously green landscapes. It feels a world away from Dalmatia’s dry, maquis-strewn coastal terrain. Complete the day’s outing with a Brojet stew. Made with eels and frogs, it’s a Neretva delicacy.
In recent years, Korčula Island has gone from strength to strength, in part thanks to being unofficially labelled as a ‘mini-Dubrovnik.’ by the travel supplements. True, its compact, medieval town does have passing aesthetic similarities, but the rurality of Korčula, and its bucolic way of life is what separates it from the nakedly tourist-driven Dubrovnik. Korčula is scattered with ancient olive groves and vineyards, and much of the wine you’ll be sipping in Dubrovnik’s chic bars will come from here or from the nearby Pelješac peninsula. It’s also an engrossing tour of Dalmatia’s architectural delights, especially its Gothic-Renaissance church. History buffs will be drawn in by its relationship to the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo; it’s touted as his (unconfirmed) place of birth.