The other side of Dubrovnik, and not the dark side. As the tourist season begins and the historic Old City of Dubrovnik start to get ever busier finding a place to escape the hustle and bustle can be challenging. Whereas the stone streets of the city core are packed with sandals there are stones that haven’t seen feet for a long time.
The mountain that rise above Dubrovnik, the Srđ Mountain, is exactly 412 metres above sea level. In fact, it could in many ways be described as Dubrovnik’s Alps as the Srđ mountain is part of the range, the Dinaric Alps. This range of rocky mountains separates the continental part of this part of Europe from the Adriatic Sea.
The Srđ Mountain soaring above Dubrovnik - Photo Canva
And on top of the Srđ Mountain are a range of attractions that draw hundreds of thousands of tourist every year. A large part of them come via the Dubrovnik Cable Car, but also with taxi, mini-bus and even a few on foot. The Panorama Restaurant is a focus point, and for good reason as the views are spectacular, from the Old City to the island of Lokrum and the Adriatic Sea. There is also the Homeland War museum with exhibits from the war in former Yugoslavia, housed in the Napoleonic Fortress, Fort Imperial. And the vast majority of tourists encircled this radius of attractions.
Moonscape over Dubrovnik - Photo - Mark Thomas
But there is another side to Srđ, a side that is rarely seen by the tourists, and yet it is only a few steps away. From the very peak of Srđ you have a panoramic view, over the Adriatic Sea to the south and over the sea of mountains to the north.
And through the winter months these mountains have more than a sprinkling of snow. And it is to the north that you’ll discover Dubrovnik’s wildlands. Within a few minutes’ walk from the Fort Imperial the landscape changes, it is almost like a moonscape.
Shepherd working in the feilds - Photo - Mark Thomas
As the crow flies this part of the hinterland is only a couple of kilometres from the actual heart of the city, it feels a million miles away. With paths in the stone fields, shepherds leading flocks of goats and wild birds flitting from bush to pine tree. And not a soul in sight. Yes, in the height of summer it is best to avoid the midday sun, either an early morning or evening stroll would be recommended. With a cool mountain breeze and the aroma of pine trees it is zen in nature with a capital Z.
View down onto the Port of Gruz - Photo - Mark Thomas
From the upper station of the cable car, right next to the Fort Imperial, you can pick up the asphalt road for around 500 metres before heading right into nature and the stone paths. There are a couple of circular paths which take around an hour to walk. Although you’ll probably need more time as the views are glorious.
Interesting undergrowth - Photo - Mark Thomas
Rolling mountain tops over Dubrovnik - Photo - Mark Thomas
Rocky paths on Srđ Mountain - Photo - Mark Thomas
Over the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Photo - Mark Thomas