Mount Srđ Hike: The Secret Path with the BEST Views

Mount Srđ sets the iconic Balkan backdrop for Dubrovnik’s old town. So much so, that hiking to the top is one of the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik. If you’ve done some research, you may feel intimidated by finding the start point for the Mount Srđ hike. Not only will I show you how easy it is to find the path, but I’ll let you in on a secret, scenic route that few people know about.

Accessible Travel Note: If you’re a wheelchair user, head over to our post on Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Dubrovnik. Here, we describe an accessible route to Mount Srđ.

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How to find the starting point for the Mount Srđ hike

Rocky path with views on the hike to Mount Srd.
A view from the traditional Mount Srđ hike.

I promised that I’d tell you about a secret hiking path from Mount Srđ, and I will.

However, the best route for hiking to Mount Srđ is by taking the traditional switchback path, which is considered difficult to find by many hikers.

The return hike to Dubrovnik is where the secret path comes into play, so stick with me while I first get you to Mount Srđ!

The entrance to the traditional Mount Srđ hiking path is located on Jadranska Cesta Street.

In theory, Jadranska Cesta Street is easy to find in the sense that it’s a main road. It’s also the highest road in downtown Dubrovnik, wrapping around the base of the mountain that you’ll be hiking.

However, take a good look at the Google map below so that you can get a feel for how many side streets (the small white lines) connect with Jadranska Cesta Street.

Hint: Not many.

The green zig zag line marks the Mount Srđ hiking path.

The green, squiggly line is the traditional hiking path up to Mount Srd.
The green squiggly line is the traditional path to Mount Srđ and the one that you should take when hiking up the mountain.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re the figure-it-out-on-your-own type, simply go uphill from the old town. When you hit the end of a road, head to the right or left, then uphill some more.

You’ll likely do some backtracking this way, thanks to dead ends, but it’s a great way to appreciate the beautiful community that sits above Dubrovnik’s old town.

Otherwise, if getting lost sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, pull out Google Maps and it’ll take you to the entrance.

Entrance to the Mount Srđ hike

Once you arrive at Jadranska Cesta Street, finding the Mount Srđ hiking path is easy.

You’ll already be somewhat high up, so you’ll be able to see the old town of Dubrovnik below. The start point for the Mount Srđ hike is set slightly to the left of the old town, when you’re facing the mountain with your back to the city. It’s near an intersection; be sure to keep an eye out for that, too.

Below is what you’re looking for:

The entrance to the Mount Srđ hiking path.
The entrance to the Mount Srđ hiking path.

Terrain & views

The path to Mount Srđ is rocky. So, save your flip flops for the beach and put on some closed toe shoes.

The rocks are small enough to walk on, and no doubt help with traction, but they’re big enough to throw you off balance if you aren’t watching your step.

The Mount Srđ hike starts out beneath the shade of pine trees. You’ll get occasional glimpses of views through the trees, but they aren’t worth the space on your camera.

Before long, you’ll hike above the treeline. Make sure to bring lots of water and plenty of sunscreen since you’ll be entirely exposed to the elements.

Once you get out into open hiking space, you’ll get to enjoy breathtaking views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea.

Views of Dubrovnik old town and Lokrum Island.
A view of Dubrovnik’s old town from the Mount Srđ hike.

Distance & difficulty

It took me about 50 minutes to hike to the top of Mount Srđ, including plenty of time to stop and take in the views along the way.

Thanks to the switchback trail, I didn’t find this hike to be overly difficult, physically speaking. In fact, I felt more out of breath exploring the staircases of Dubrovnik’s old town!

That being said, if you’re hiking on a hot, sunny day, the hike can take a toll on the body. There’s the occasional makeshift rock bench where you can sit. The benches are primarily located by the 12 crosses that you’ll pass by as you hike up.

However, there’s no place to get shade, so during the summer aim to hike in the morning or evening.

The Mount Srđ hike is free and isn’t monitored, so you can hike at any time you desire.

Crowds on the trail

I spent 10 days in Dubrovnik at the end of May, just before high season technically starts. Since the old town was already packed with people, I was surprised by just how few people I encountered on the Mount Srđ hike. And, this was even when the cable car wasn’t running, due to a court issue.

Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about the Mount Srđ hike being chock-full of people.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a look:

Switchback path leading to Mount Srd.

What to do at the top of Mount Srđ

Since you will have just come from hiking, don’t expect to get to the top of Mount Srđ and suddenly have an entirely new view, as you would with hikes through foliage-filled areas. This isn’t to undermine just how incredibly breathtaking the views are though, both during the hike and from the top of the mountain.

Aside from taking in the views, there’s a Homeland War Museum inside the fortress that’s dedicated to history about the war from 1991 – 1995. The entrance fee is 30 Kuna (under $5 USD) for adults. Children under 12 are free.

Inside the Homeland War Museum at the top of Mount Srd.
Inside the Homeland War Museum at the top of Mount Srđ.

If you’re looking for a nice (but expensive) dining experience, the Panorama Restaurant offers indoor seating with incredible views and outdoor seating built down along the side of the mountain.

Panorama offers everything from coffee and dessert to a light lunch to a full Croatian meal.

Hiking from Mount Srđ back to Dubrovnik

I know, you’re itching to learn about the secret Mount Srđ hiking path. We’re nearly there, I promise!

Once you’ve gotten your fill of Mount Srđ, don’t go back the way you came.

Instead, head down the mountain on the opposite end, along the paved road that leads away from the cross statue. This road will take you to the town of Bosanka.

If you’re unsure whether you’re headed in the right direction, look for the Konoba Dubrava Restaurant sign by the parking lot at Mount Srđ.

The walk from Mount Srđ to Bosanka will take around 15 minutes…that is, if you manage to do so without stopping to gawk at the views!

A view of Dubrovnik on the walk to Bosanka.
A view of Dubrovnik on the walk to Bosanka.

Although the road to Bosanka is a common route for tour buses to pass through, I was stunned that I was the only person walking. This road will give you an entirely different view of Dubrovnik compared to the traditional one. And, just as good, it also offers views of more southern areas along the coast.

Even if you decide to hike Mount Srđ one way and take the cable car the other, make sure to take a stroll down the road to Bosanka before leaving Mount Srđ.

Note: The road to Bosanka is stunning, but it’s not the secret path. Let’s touch on Bosanka for a minute, then we’ll get to the extra good secret path stuff 😊

What to do in Bosanka

Bosanka is a tiny town in the mountains, which was burned to the ground during the war of the 1990s.

Although it’s not a tourist attraction, if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, Bosanka is a nice side trip, as there are some pretty countryside roads you can wander down.

You’ll come across plenty of newer housing that was built after Bosanka was liberated in 1992, and skeletons of former houses sitting sadly, but rather picturesquely, scattered about the town.

An abandoned house in Bosanka.

There’s also a restaurant in Bosanka called Konoba Dubrava, which is located on the main road in Bosanka. Walk past the intersection and a road to the left will take you there.

I was hungry at this point, and willing to pay just about anything for a meal. What I wasn’t expecting was a menu letting me know that I would have to wait three hours to eat!

To be fair, there were other items on the limited menu that could be ordered on the spot. However, Konoba Dubrava is known for its “under the bell” dishes. These slow-cooked meat and octopus-based meals are the epitome of traditional Croatian food.

If you plan on eating at Konoba Dubrava, they take phone orders in advance so that you can arrive at the time of your choosing to an already prepared meal.

Hiking to Dubrovnik from Bosanka

The rocky, overgrown, but beautiful path from Bosanka to Dubrovnik.

You made it!

Now we’ll cover how to hike the secret path back to Dubrovnik.

Once you’ve walked around Bosanka and stuffed yourself full at Konoba Dubrava, let your hiking trip continue!

It just so happens that your hike starts by backtracking slightly.

When arriving in Bosanka on the main road from Mount Srđ, and as you near the three-way intersection, look to your right and you’ll see a sign pointing the way to “Grad Old City.”

Follow this short path through the woods, and you’ll pop out on the other side with unobstructed views of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic Sea, and some pretty amazing- and unkempt- stone stairs.

The unkempt stairs were quite possibly the best part of this hike. The purple and yellow wildflower bushes growing between the rocks made the beautiful scenery all the better!

You’ll come across an occasional sign pointing you to Dubrovnik’s old city, which seemed unnecessary, given that there’s only one path and you’ll be staring at the city the entire way down.

During the hike, I only came across one couple enjoying views from the single bench present along the hike.

As a single female traveler, I oftentimes avoid hiking on desolate paths. However, this path is entirely open (no woods) and knowing that the road was in sight below, I felt completely safe.

Travel Tip: I’m usually all about going against the grain, but this is not the time to do so. If you go in reverse order of this post, your back will be to the old town the entire hike from Dubrovnik to Bosanka. What a shame that would be!

Arriving to Dubrovnik

Path leading into Dubrovnik town.
The view as you arrive in Dubrovnik from the Bosanka hike.

When you finish hiking down the stone steps, you’ll come to a main road. Look to your right and there will be a pedestrian tunnel leading down to the next main road.

You’ll now be back in the residential outskirts of Dubrovnik. Keep making your way down and to the right, and you’ll soon come to the old town port.

The hike from Bosanka down to the Dubrovnik Port took me about 25 minutes. However, you can easily do so quicker, if you don’t stop to take a gazillion photos like I did!

Bringing Your Dog Along?

If you’re traveling with your dog, Wet Nose Escapades has put together a great video highlighting the many dog-friendly places you can explore with your dog in Dubrovnik. Check it out here: Dog Travel in Dubrovnik

Photo Essay

Below is a step-by-step photo guide of the Mount Srđ hike I described here. If you’re on the fence about hiking, I hope these pictures inspire you to do so!

The beginning of the Mount Srd hiking path, which is wooded and shady.
The beginning of the Mount Srđ hiking path, which is wooded and shady.
The Stations of the Cross are found at the switchbacks of the Mount Srd hike.
The Stations of the Cross are found at the switchbacks of the Mount Srđ hike.
A view of Dubrovnik old town, about half way up the Mount Srd hike.
A view of Dubrovnik old town, about halfway up the Mount Srđ hike.
A view of the coast south of Dubrovnik from the road leading to Bosanka.
A view of the coast south of Dubrovnik, from the road leading to Bosanka.
This photo was taken from one of two formal lookout points on the road from Mount Srd to Bosanka.
This photo was taken from one of two formal lookout points on the road from Mount Srđ to Bosanka.
The road to Bosanka passes entirely through the countryside, with ruins scattered about.
The road to Bosanka passes entirely through the countryside, with ruins scattered about.
The entrance to Bosanka is simple, but impossible to miss.
The entrance to Bosanka.
The entrance to the stone pathway leading from Bosanka to Dubrovnik.
The entrance to the stone pathway leading from Bosanka to Dubrovnik.
A view of the coast south of Dubrovnik, when first starting the Bosanka hike.
A view of the coast south of Dubrovnik, when first starting the Bosanka hike.
A view of Dubrovnik old town when hiking down from Bosanka.
A view of Dubrovnik old town when hiking down from Bosanka.
Stone steps on the hike from Bosanka to Dubrovnik.
I had views of Dubrovnik the entire way down. However, turning around to see the stone steps I was on offered a different, beautiful view, too!
Views of Dubrovnik as I approached the end of the stone path leading from Bosanka.
Views of Dubrovnik as I approached the end of the stone path leading from Bosanka.

Public Transportation in Croatia

Dubrovnik 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 before you travel.

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.

Conclusion

Curiosity led me to stumble upon the Bosanka hiking route to Dubrovnik. This was by far one of the most memorable parts of my time in Dubrovnik, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

Feel free to leave a comment with your questions or share your own experience and tips about hiking to Mount Srđ.

View of Dubrovnik old town after hiking to Mount Srd.

P.S.- Are you looking for more help in planning your Dubrovnik getaway? Our 3 Days in Dubrovnik itinerary may be just what you need!

P.P.S.- Looking to take a trip outside of Dubrovnik? Check out our post on taking a day trip to Cavtat.