20 Great Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia – Attractions & Day Trips
Cavtat is a small seaside town on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, located only a 10-minute drive from Dubrovnik Airport. It’s a top place to stay in the Dubrovnik area for those that want a relaxing beach holiday, but to also be within close proximity to all of the amazing attractions that Dubrovnik has to offer.
We stayed in Cavtat for an action-packed summer holiday and can’t wait to tell you about all the amazing places to visit here. It’s a much smaller town than Dubrovnik. However, there are still some excellent things to see and do. Many people use it as a base location for visiting Dubrovnik’s Old Town or venturing on daytrips further afield.
Did you know that you can drive from Cavtat to Montenegro in only half an hour? Read our guide for a list of great things to do in Cavtat, plus some excellent day trip ideas.
Walk down the long Cavtat promenade
As with all Croatian seaside towns, the beauty of Cavtat is at its seafront promenade. Rows of old Venetian buildings line the horizon, clashing with the vibrant turquoise colour of the sea. One of the best things to do in Cavtat is to simply walk along its long promenade on a morning or evening.
Browse the shops, have a drink in a café or just admire the stunning coastal views. The promenade area stretches from the old town centre to a more rural cove area. This is where you’ll find some small nature trails and hidden beach coves.
Explore Cavtat old town
The heart of Cavtat town, away from the promenade, is where most of the locals live. Narrow streets, sandy-coloured buildings and old Venetian architecture reminded us of Dubrovnik’s historic old town. Cavtat features a similar style, just on a smaller scale. Take time to wander through the backstreets, marvelling at the old buildings, browsing shops and trying tasty treats at a bakery.
Hire a boat and sail around the bay
One of the very best things to do in Cavtat is to hire a boat for a few hours, or even half a day. Croatian life at the seaside is all about exploring the coastline in a small boat (or a super-yacht if you’re lucky). You can rent a mini motor boat at Cavtat marina without a licence. They’re easy to operate and are a lot of fun!
Once you’ve hired a boat, you can proceed to cruise around the bay at your leisure. Drop anchor and go for a swim in a small beach cove, head out to sea for some peace and quiet or cruise around the coastline and check out other towns. There’s also a small island just off the Cavtat mainland. Here, you can join other ‘yachties’ for lunch and a drink in a unique location. We hired a boat with Boat Hire Cavtat and highly recommend them. **insert link**
Hike or walk on a scenic nature trail
Venture off the path of the main promenade in Cavtat and you’ll soon stumble upon a winding nature trail that takes you around the cove, past a couple of hidden beaches. Šetnica oko Rata (view on Google Maps) is a shaded trail that’s covered by tall trees. It has park benches for a quick rest and a nice beach bar halfway through the trail.
If you fancy an incline walk, or more of a hike, check out Sustjepan hiking trail (view on Google Maps). Located next to Hotel Croatia, this hill-top nature walk features some epic views of the Cavtat area. It’s a particularly nice place to walk at sunset.
Relax and swim at Beach Rat
There aren’t many beaches in the Cavtat area. However, the ones that it does have are very nice. Beach Rat is located away from the main tourist area and you’ll need to walk around the cove to get there. It’s a small, secluded cove with glorious transparent water and some rocky areas to relax on. It isn’t much of a ‘beach’ and doesn’t have any sand. However, it’s a nice, quiet relaxation spot.
Enjoy a drink at Cavtat marina
Cavtat’s marina is just around the cove from the main promenade we featured above. It’s where small fishing boats and tourist boats dock, in all colours, shapes and sizes. On the marina promenade, you’ll find several bars and restaurants with terraced areas. They’re great places to enjoy a drink with a view of the picturesque marina. We recommend heading here for a morning coffee or sunset cocktail.
Spend the day at Beach Žal
Beach Žal is one of the best things to do in Cavtat if you fancy a day of relaxation in the hot Croatian sun. It’s the biggest public beach in the area and has plenty of sun loungers that you can hire for the day. It also has several places to grab a drink or some food. Have a nap on a lounger, go for a swim or try some water sports. You can hire kayaks, paddleboards and other water toys from vendors on the beach. In the summer months, Beach Žal has a huge inflatable activity area to enjoy.
Have lunch or dinner with a view
For a small town, we were surprised by how many good restaurants are on offer in Cavtat. It rivals Dubrovnik for the selection of high-quality dining locations! Prices can also be a little more affordable than elsewhere on the coast. Have a light lunch of pasta, salad or tacos, or indulge with local lamb cooked under a hot bell. Many of the restaurants in Cavtat serve up Italian, Croatian and/or classic Mediterranean dishes.
See the church of St Nicholas
Originally built in 1484 and then upgraded in 1737, St Nicholas Church is the main church in Cavtat. It appears much like the rest of the Venetian-style buildings in town and dominates the Cavtat skyline. You’ll undoubtably walk past the church during your time in the town. When you do, pay it a visit. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the area.
Relax in a nice hotel
If you’re looking to visit Cavtat, you’re likely going to want plenty of relaxation time. There isn’t a great deal of hotels in the town. However, the options on offer are very good! Choose to stay in a small boutique hotel or apartment in the centre of town. These accommodation options are excellent for those on a budget.
Alternatively, stay in the grand Hotel Croatia, a historic hotel with lots of facilities and a half board option. There’s also Hotel Cavtat and the high-end Hotel Supetar Cavtat. All three hotels have excellent reviews and have much more affordable nightly rates than the hotels in Dubrovnik. **insert Booking.com links**
Visit Vlaho Bukovac House
Vlaho Bukovac House is a great attraction for those that are looking for more cultural things to do in Cavtat. It’s the former home of esteemed Croatian artist Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922). He lived 10 years of his life here before setting off to pursue a life in New York. After returning to Cavtat, he converted his old home into a gallery and used it to showcase his world-famous impressionist art.
Visit Vlaho Bukovac House is now a protected museum that you can visit during your time in Cavtat. Stop by to see where the artist worked and lived, and a sample of his work.
Have a sunset drink at Beach Bar Banac
One of our favourite things to do in Cavtat is to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down. The town’s west-facing location ensures some amazing sunsets, every day of the week. Beach Bar Banac (view on Google Maps) is the ideal spot to watch sunset and enjoy a drink. Arrive 1 hour before sunset and watch as the orange glow of the sun gradually increases.
Soak in the atmosphere of the seafront on an evening
Cavtat town can be pretty quiet during the day. Everyone is either relaxing in their hotel, swimming at the beach or is out sightseeing. On an evening, everyone descends into town and it really comes alive. Visit Cavtat after dark for an upbeat atmosphere of live music, bustling bars and busy restaurants. The promenade is lit up, making it the perfect place for a walk after dinner.
Cavtat doesn’t have a big nightlife scene. However, it’s a nice place to enjoy a drink, listen to some music and soak in the atmosphere of the main area.
Try some watersports
Feeling a little adventurous? A Croatian summer just wouldn’t be the same without some exhilarating water sports. Take a break from the beach for some jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding or inflatable water fun. Beach Žal is the best place to try some water sports in Cavtat.
Stop by Cavtat Cemetery
One of the most unusual things to do in Cavtat is to visit its cemetery. It really isn’t like any graveyard you’ve probably been to before. Perched on top of a hill with a nice view of the bay area, the Cavtat Cemetery has several decorative statues and gravestones are very neatly maintained.
At its centre, you’ll find a grand mausoleum. The interior is full of intricately carved furnishings, statues and works of art. Cavtat Cemetery may sound like a strange place to visit on holiday, but once you seen the stunning viewpoint and architecture, you’ll see why it has top reviews as an attraction.
Excellent Day Trips from Cavtat
We’ve listed some excellent things to do in Cavtat town itself. You’ll also find countless day trips from Cavtat, taking you to some excellent islands, towns and even other countries. Read on for some of the best daytrips to take whilst staying in Cavtat.
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town is an absolute must-see during your time in Cavtat. You simply cannot leave it off your itinerary! As Cavtat is located 21km from Dubrovnik, it’s fairly easy to get to. You can either jump on a bus in Cavtat to reach Dubrovnik in 40-minutes. Alternatively, hop on one of the taxi-boats that depart from Cavtat to Dubrovnik every 30-minutes. This is the most relaxing and scenic way to get there.
A day trip in Dubrovnik is all about its majestic city walls, narrow streets, and historic attractions. As a key filming location for Game of Thrones and several other TV shows and movies, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to the past. As well as the excellent sightseeing attractions, Dubrovnik is great for eating out, nightlife and shopping.
Another great day trip from Cavtat is a cruise around the Elafiti Islands. This collection of luscious green islands sits just off the Dubrovnik coast. They’re easily reachable by boat. Secluded beaches, small coastal towns, olive oil stalls and wineries are just a few of the things you’ll find on the islands.
Boats depart to the Elafiti Islands from Cavtat every day in the summer months. They generally cover a hop-on-hop-off itinerary across three or four islands and there’s plenty of time for both relaxation and sightseeing.
Did you know that Cavtat is only a 30-minute drive from the Montenegro border? As it’s so close, it’s a great place to visit for the day. Montenegro is a smaller country than Croatia but it has just as beautiful beach towns and plenty of history. To get to Montenegro, you can hire a car and cross the border yourself, proceeding to go on a self-drive adventure around the country.
Alternatively, you can join one of the many guided coach tours. With a tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Cavtat early morning. You’ll then drive south to Montenegro for a day of city hopping and sightseeing. Many tours have an optional boat trip option that takes you on a short ferry ride to ‘The Lady of the Rock’. The picturesque island and the cruise itself were a highlight of our trip!
Lokrum is a protected national park just of the coast of Dubrovnik city centre. It’s so close, you can see it from the cascading city walls! The island a popular tourist spot with plenty of things to see and do. It’s also a common wedding destination and has been featured in several films and TV series. In fact, visit the island and you can still see a replica of the throne from Game of Thrones!
Boats depart to Lokrum from Cavtat throughout the day, sometimes stopping at Dubrovnik on the way. We recommend heading there for most of the day or combining your trip with Dubrovnik and seeing both destinations in one action-packed day out. Top things to do in Lokrum include nature walks, seeing the fortress and old ruins, floating in a salt lake and relaxing on the beaches.
Other boat trips
We’ve listed a few Cavtat boat excursions, but there are a few more that are also worth checking out. The town’s seaside location is the perfect spot for boating adventures! We recommend heading down to the Cavtat boat marina and speaking to an operator on one of the many tourist excursion stands. Browse the tours and choose any option that stands out to you.
You can also hop on the cheap and short taxi boat to the nearby towns of Plat and Mlini. Each destination has a nice beach, and plenty of restaurants and bars.
Thanks for reading our guide on the best things to do in Cavtat, Croatia. It may be a small town, but it’s a beautiful one. The attractions of the town centre and the endless boat trips, beaches and excursions are enough to keep you entertained for at least 2 weeks.
If you have any questions about any of the Cavtat attractions and day trips we’ve listed, be sure to leave a comment below.
By RickyAuthor bio:
An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.