Day Trip to Cavtat: Everything You Need to Know
If you’ve explored every corner of Dubrovnik, you might be ready to pull yourself away from the land of Game of Thrones for a side excursion. The quieter, coastal town of Cavtat makes for a perfect day trip. In this detailed guide, I’ll give you tips for how to get to Cavtat and things to do once you’re there.
Accessible Travel Note: Cavtat is an excellent place to explore by wheelchair. Scroll down towards the bottom of this post for details on accessibility in Cavtat.
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How to get to Cavtat for a day trip
There are two ways to get to Cavtat by public transportation- by bus and boat.
Although taking the boat is favored by tourists, you’ll miss out on spectacular coastal views from the mountains by doing so. Therefore, I recommend taking the bus one way and the boat the other way.
Nearly all people that take a day trip to Cavtat do so from Dubrovnik. Since this is the city that I, too, traveled from, this post is written based on traveling from Dubrovnik. However, many boats and buses pass through towns south of Dubrovnik such as Srebreno, Mlini, and Plat, on their way to Cavtat.
There are also boats that pass through Lokrum, the island that’s a 10 minute boat ride from Dubrovnik. In fact, combining Lokrum and Cavtat in a single day is an excellent way to create a full day trip.
How to get to Cavtat by boat
Boats to Cavtat depart from the old port of Dubrovnik. The ticket booths for Cavtat in Dubrovnik are located at the port near the embarkation area.
There will likely be a few companies trying to get your attention. Take advantage of this by seeming wishy-washy and you stand a good chance of someone offering you a lower ticket price.
To give you a general idea of pricing during high season, 60 Kuna ($9 USD) seems to be the going rate for one-way tickets, and 100 Kuna ($15 USD) for round-trip tickets. I was offered a round-trip ticket for 80 Kuna, but declined since I wanted to take the bus one-way.
The ticket booths for boats from Cavtat to Dubrovnik are located along the seaside boardwalk in Cavtat, right in the center of town.
Only cash is accepted at the ticket booths. Like Dubrovnik, ATMs are plentiful in Cavtat.
Boats used for Cavtat are smaller than those for Lokrum, and are oftentimes speedboat style. The trip can get a bit bumpy even in nice weather, so if you get seasick easily, you may want to bring some Dramamine.
The length of the boat ride from Dubrovnik to Cavtat depends on whether you book a direct boat or a boat that stops at coastal towns along the way. In either case, expect at least a 25 minute ride.
Don’t be shocked if your “direct” boat makes some stops, too.
Boats from Dubrovnik to Cavtat start around mid-morning, with the first boat departing around 9:45am. Cavtat doesn’t get real crowded until mid-day. Therefore, I recommend getting an early start if you’re looking for a quieter experience.
Between all the boat companies, boats run at least every half hour throughout the day. During high season, boats extend their hours to around 7:30pm for traveling from Cavtat back to Dubrovnik. In the low season, the last boat to Dubrovnik departs Cavtat around 5:00pm.
Because of frequent departures, and given that Cavtat is lower on the totem pole of things to do in Dubrovnik for people only spending a couple of days there, it usually isn’t necessary to book your ticket in advance.
How to get to Cavtat by bus
Taking the bus to or from Cavtat offers two big advantages. First, you’ll get to enjoy views over the coast from the mountains. Secondly, the bus runs earlier, and later, than the boats do.
When traveling from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, the first 10 minutes or so of the ride is along the edge of a cliff. While a perfect opportunity for a thrill-seeker, it can be a bit of a scare for those afraid of heights.
If you’d like to enjoy the drop-offs and ocean views, make sure to sit on the passenger side of the bus when traveling from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, with camera in hand!
Location of the bus station
Bus #10 runs between Dubrovnik and Cavtat.
The most popular place to catch bus #10 in Dubrovnik is from the cable car station located just up the hill from the old town. The bus stop is located directly beside the cable car station.
However, don’t be alarmed if you see every number but bus #10 written on the bus stop. Bus #10 runs by there, but for a reason impossible to understand, it isn’t marked as such.
Bus ticket cost
A one-way bus ticket costs 25 Kuna, which can be purchased directly with the driver or in advance at the ticket kiosk beside the bus stop. If you plan on buying your ticket with the driver, make sure to carry exact change.
The bus will greet you with signs in multiple places saying that you can’t bring a dog, wear a bathing suit, or eat ice cream on the bus. Those ice cream eating, bathing suit wearing, dog walking tourists must have really given bus drivers a hard time, once upon a time.
The last stop of bus #10 is at the outdoor bus station in Cavtat, which is where you’ll get off (or get on, if you’re traveling to Dubrovnik). There’s a tourist information center where you can grab a map.
Then, simply head to the side street behind the information center. Within seconds, you’ll be in downtown Cavtat.
You can view the full timetable of Cavtat bus departures here. Make sure to get to the bus stop early, as my bus arrived nearly five minutes ahead of schedule and continued on with its route.
Travel Tip: The order of your bus and boat trip doesn’t matter, unless the weather looks like it will be stormy for part of the day. In that case, aim to take the boat in nicer weather so that you can avoid an extra bumpy ride!
Things to do with a day trip to Cavtat
Once you arrive to Cavtat, it’s easy to stumble upon most of the things to do since the town is so small. Nonetheless, I’ve highlighted the absolute must-dos so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally skipping over something.
1. Walk the circumference of the peninsula
Cavtat is located on a small peninsula, and lucky for us all, they built a boardwalk around it. The bus station is near where the boardwalk begins, although you can easily start the walk from town.
The path is mostly paved with some small, gentle inclines along the way. You’ll get to enjoy unobstructed views of the Adriatic Sea and nearby coastal villages. There are also some small swimming spots you’ll pass by.
Assuming that you don’t stop for a swim or picnic along the rocks, walking the entire circumference of the peninsula will take you under an hour.
2. Eat seafood
Cavtat is known for its seafood. So, as expected, the town is packed full of restaurants with outdoor, ocean view seating. Prices are Dubrovnik style, so be prepared to spend some Kuna, or pack your own lunch to eat along the boardwalk if you’re watching your budget.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, rest easy. Since you’re in a touristy area, nearly all restaurants have a (small) section of vegetarian or vegan food on their menu.
3. Visit the Mausoleum
The Račić Family Mausoleum sits on the top of the hill in Cavtat, overlooking the town.
Getting there is easy; head up the street to the right of the Franciscan Monastery (Our Lady of the Snow). From there, you’ll have the option to veer left to get to the mausoleum by stairs, or stay straight to get to it by a paved, upward path.
It’ll take you around 10 minutes to get to the top. From there, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views over Cavtat and the Adriatic Sea.
Although this area is referred to as a mausoleum, in reality, the main attraction is the cemetery that surrounds the mausoleum.
4. Wander the streets of Cavtat
The biggest tourist attractions of Cavtat are located along the seaside boardwalk. Places like St. Nicolas Church, the Cultural Center, and the Franciscan Monastery all line the main street.
However, wandering up the staircases leading into the more residential area offers some pretty views of town and is a nice way to admire some older buildings. I visited on a Sunday and came across a tiny, old chapel that was vacant but open for prayer.
5. Hike out of Cavtat
You already know that walking around Cavtat’s peninsula is a must-do activity during your day trip. However, I strongly encourage you to walk at least a part of the way along the coast leading out of town.
From there, you’ll get direct views of Cavtat from across the small channel of Adriatic Sea. The hiking path will eventually take you around a different peninsula, out of sight of Cavtat. It’ll be hard to make the decision to turn around since each turn leads to new, stunning views.
How long to spend in Cavtat
Cavtat is small.
Not including travel time, and assuming that you do points 1 – 4 above, you’ll likely find yourself spending around 2 to 3 hours there. This, combined with the boat and/or bus ride, makes for a nice half day trip from Dubrovnik.
If you hike out of town as described in point number five, your visit can easily be extended longer.
Public Transportation in Croatia
The Dubrovnik region is stunning, but there are dozens of other beautiful destinations in Croatia worth exploring. Buses and boats are known to fill in advance, especially during the high season for tourism, so I recommend booking your ticket in advance.
For great deals on public transportation in Croatia, I recommend checking out Bookaway. They’ll show you the bus and boat times you have to choose from and they offer competitive rates so that you don’t have to take precious time during your trip to figure out transportation logistics.
Wheelchair accessibility in Cavtat
Cavtat is a town built along the water but unlike Dubrovnik, the coastline is flat. Below are some details to help you navigate Cavtat with a wheelchair.
Boats to Cavtat are small, without a ramp, and when it’s windy make for a rocky entry and exit. Therefore, the most accessible way to arrive to Cavtat is by public bus or private transportation.
An accessible public restroom is located at the outdoor bus station, next to the tourist office. Since Cavtat is so small, you can easily get to the restroom within five minutes from the main downtown coastal area.
Accessible things to do
The first three points of things to do mentioned earlier in this post are (mostly) accessible. Let’s take a closer look at these activities that you can do with a day trip to Cavtat.
Walk the circumference of the peninsula
The boardwalk wrapping around the point of the peninsula is entirely accessible. This boardwalk starts near the bus station, passes through downtown Cavtat, and continues around to the opposite side near an accessible restaurant that offers panoramic views of Cavtat.
The boardwalk is paved and mostly flat, although there are some gentle slopes in certain areas.
There are accessible restaurants in Cavtat, although at first it may not seem so since most of the seating is on a deck about four inches high.
To save you the time of figuring out which are accessible, Taverna Galija is a nice option. The accessible entrance is on the road that passes beside the monastery.
Also, Spinaker Restaurant & Lounge Bar is a great option for being directly on the water and having stunning panoramic views of Cavtat. Spinaker has a ramp leading to its restrooms, although the restrooms themselves are not large enough to fit a wheelchair.
Visit the Mausoleum
This is a good fit for the ultra adventurous and requires some help at the top since there are two small steps at the entrance to the mausoleum. The accessible path to the mausoleum is located to the right side of the Franciscan Monastery, when staring at the monastery from the boardwalk. Head straight up that path, and you’ll arrive in 10 – 15 minutes.
There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the mausoleum. First, it’s a very uphill climb to get to the top. The path starts out stone and soon turns to pavement.
Secondly, as mentioned earlier, you’ll need someone to help you get over the two steps to enter the mausoleum grounds.
Finally, since the tombstones are close together, you’ll get to enjoy the view of Cavtat from the top, but from a distance. The mausoleum itself isn’t accessible, but the cemetery grounds are the biggest attraction there anyway.
If this summary has you cringing, forgo the mausoleum and aim to wander along just a portion of the street beside the Franciscan Monastery. It’s not ideally accessible since it’s cobblestone, but it’s the only path leading into the old town without stairs that I could find.
P.S.- If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our post about Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in Dubrovnik.
A day trip to Cavtat is a great option if you’ll be spending more than a couple of days in Dubrovnik. Have you been to Cavtat or have questions about visiting there? Feel free to leave a comment!
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.