A ten minute boat ride from the Old Town city harbor will take you to the nearby island of Lokrum, a favorite bathing and excursion place of both local people and tourists.
Follow the signs from the dock and the walking path will take you through the island’s botanical garden with an extensive collection of eucalyptuses, cactuses and succulent plants.
The bothanical garden is located near the remains of the old 12th century basilica and the former summer residence of the Austrian archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph.
Today, Lokrum is a natural reserve, under UNESCO’s protection. The star shaped Fort Royal built by the French in the beginning of the 19th century offers great views of Dubrovnik and the nearby city of Cavtat (on the east).
The island’s shores are very rocky without classic beaches, so many tourists with children prefer to take a swim at the small lake in the middle of the island, connected with the open sea, called the Dead Sea.
According to an old local legend, Lokrum was discovered by the famous English king Richard the Lionheart when he shipwrecked on the island returning from the Crusade in old Palestine.