Hiking Dubrovnik’s Mount Srdj – Do or Don’t?

Lauren Simmonds

All images: Copyright Zac Eyre

To take the cable car, or not to take the cable car? That, is the question.

Dubrovnik is a vibrant, buzzing city full of pretty much everything anyone could ever want in a city. Once a summer only destination, the city is gradually becoming more and more adaptable in terms of offering different types of tourism. Different horses for different courses, as they say in England, and not everyone is a huge fan of the classic summer holiday that consists of merely sun and sea. I’ve touched on that several times, so I won’t go on and on.

Dubrovnik’s new-found (or at least, newly highlighted) adaptability has opened the doors for active tourism, sustainable tourism, and ecological tourism. Although it is indeed still a city, the incredible nature surrounding it attacts avid hikers and lovers of the great outdoors from across the world. Mount Srdj, the home of Panorama restaurant, claimed to be the home of the best view of Dubrovnik there is, is a top destination and one of the Pearl of the Adriatic’s most popular tourist attractions. Dubrovnik’s truly unique geographical position allows you to view the city, the Adriatic sea, the island of Lokrum, the local Elaphite islands and Cavtat from one side, and the interior of neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina on the other. 

Flanked by the karst, rugged mountains of Herzegovina and Croatia’s stunning coastline, Srdj is without a doubt a must go location for anyone visiting Dubrovnik, at any time of year. The long queues at the cable car speak for that fact…

While it has always been possible to hike up Mount Srdj, the 412 meter high mountain that towers over the City of Dubrovnik, most people prefer to pay the price of a ticket to take the cable car up to the top, much quicker, much safer, and a quirk of its own. With that being said, ticket prices seem to be constantly increasing and for the active, athletic type people out there, the idea of taking the serpentine path up that zig-zags right to the top of Srdj, appreciating Dubrovnik’s undisturbed nature and woodland along the way, has become much more appealing than it ever used to be. 

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of both options.

Taking advantage of the age of convenience – the cable car:

Very much an attraction of its own, the cable car is obviously the easiest way to the top. At over 100 kuna for tourists for a round-trip ticket, the cable car allows you to come back down whenever you desire, as it keeps running up and down all day and well into the night during the summer months. A mere 2 minute journey from top to bottom provides a great view of the city as you go up the mountainside, and an easy route back down at your leisure.

However, the price can put some people off, especially when the queues for the cable car stretch for almost literally as far as the eye can see during summer. Waiting in sweltering heat and then being packed in as you travel to the top isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. 

An excellent service that does the best it can it is, and hiking up Mount Srdj is not recommended during the harsh, hot, summer months at all, so unless you’ve got a vehicle at your disposal, or you fancy calling a taxi, the quick and reliable cable car is the best option on offer.

Getting back to nature – hiking to the top:

The first thing I will say (again), is that this is not something you should consider during the summer months unless you’re incredibly fit, healthy, and used to such levels of physical exertion in high, often uncomfortable temperatures. Right, now we’ve got that part out of the way, let’s look at the pros and cons of ditching technology and allowing your feet to carry you to the top.

Dubrovnik is surrounded by idyllic natural wonders, from evergreen Mediterranean pine forests to wild herbs and flowers, the surroundings of Croatia’s tourist Mecca are blooming and always a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. A serpentine path leads to the top of Srdj from Jadranska Magistrala (D8), winding up to the very top of the mountain and offering some incredible, otherwise unseen views along the way. Under the shield of the pine trees, the path leads you through some of the city’s most nearby, relatively undisturbed brush. A perfect choice for not only nature and hiking lovers but for everyone during the cooler months with some generally unseen perspectives and photo opportunities to enjoy while walking.

At risk of stating what should be blindingly obvious to anyone – remember to wear appropriate footwear! Flip flops won’t get you very far. It is advised to employ a good three to four hours for a normal paced, steady hike that allows for several stops, more if you’re not a pro hiker. While Srdj is a must visit location when in Dubrovnik however you reach the top, hiking is still a somewhat undiscovered, free, rewarding and healthy way of exploring this stone city’s green, natural surroundings.

However you choose to tackle Mount Srdj – tackle it you must!


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