Does Dubrovnik have beaches? You bet. The indented coast around Dubrovnik is dotted with scenic coves to experience the beauty of the Adriatic. You won't find vast sweeps of sand but you will find clean pebbles to throw down your towel or relax on lounge chairs in one of Dubrovnik's chic beach clubs.
Wherever you dip your toe in the sea, rest assured that the water is sparkling clean. The sea around Dubrovnik has been rated "excellent" by European environmental regulators. It's also among the warmer waters in Croatia with temperatures averaging about 25.5°C in August (according to seatemperature.org)
Best for: location, great views, families, chic beach club
Banje Beach is close to the Old Town and has an amazing view of Dubrovnik's walls. It can be extremely crowded in the summer however which is why locals tend to avoid it. Banje beach is easy to find: just head east out Ploce gate and walk 10 minutes along the coastal road to a flight of steep stairs that takes you down to the beach. It's a shallow drop-off into the sea which makes the beach comfortable and safe for kids. As the beach faces south, it catches the sun all day and there's no shade. Jet-skis and other water equipment are available for rental.
The beach is a mixture of gravel, pebbles and rocks in the public portion of Banje Beach but mostly sand in the private portion run by Banje Beach Club. It costs around 250Kn (depending on the season) to rent two lounge chairs and a parasol from the beach club which also provides a free shuttle from Dubrovnik's old port. Get there early as the beach tends to fill up. Need more pampering? How about a massage of the Thai, Swerige or Hot Stone variety? The soothing sounds of the day DJs give way to pulsating rhythms at night when dancing under the stars can last until daybreak. Banje Beach is one of Croatia's best beach clubs.
Sveti Jakov Beach
Best for: swimming with locals, sunsets, afternoon sun
Tourists have discovered Sveti Jakov (St Jacob) beach but it still attracts some locals. The beach is pebbly enough that water shoes are highly recommended. Toilets and beach showers are available and refreshments are handled by the Sveti Jakov Beach Bar. The southwestward facing beach has some shade in the morning and the sunsets are magnificent.
Head east from Ploce gate and go past the Hotel Argentina. Continue past the former Sv Jakov monastery at the end of Vlaha Bukovica. Take the long, long stairway leading down to this secluded beach. On the way down you'll pass the ruins of the former Hotel Belvedere which has not been rebuilt since the bombing of 1991. This evocative site was used as a stage set in Season 4 Episode 8 of Game of Thrones.
Rather than walk almost 2km, you can take buses 5 or 8. Even better is the boat service organized by the Sveti Jakov Beach Bar which eliminates a long trudge up the stairs at the end of the day. A round-trip boat transfer from the old port costs 75Kn and starts at 9.15am. Buy tickets at the old port. It's best to get there in the morning as cruisers arrive between 11am and 2pm.
Hotels: Hotels in the Ploce neighbourhood have easy access to Banje and Sveti Jakov beaches. Look into staying at the Hotel Excelsior, Villa Dubrovnik or Grand Villa Argentina. See all Ploce accommodation.
Best for: families, beach club, morning shade
No, it will not remind you of Rio, but this is a perfectly pleasant beach on the Babin Kuk peninsula. It's a great family beach because the water is relatively shallow and there's an inflatable waterpark that kids will love. Also, it's an easy beach to access. No stairs! The beach is a mixture of gravel, pebbles and rocks which makes water shoes advisable. Facing northwest, this is great beach to find some shade in the morning before the sun becomes high in the sky.
Part of the beach is managed by Copacabana Beach which rents lounge chairs and parasols. There's a managed portion with lounge chairs (250Kn daily for 2) or even day beds to rent as well as a public portion. Bring change though! Showers are 2Kn for 30 seconds. The beach bar provides food and drinks, at a price of course.
To get to Copacabana beach, take buses 5, 6, 7 to the last stop and then follow the signs to the beach. Or, take Dubrovnik's vaporetto service which departs Gruz at 9am and 10am and returns from Copacabana at 5.30pm and 6.30pm.
Hotels: Stay on the Babin Kuk peninsula and Copacabana beach is an easy stroll. The closest hotel is the all-inclusive Valamar Lacroma Light. Also nearby is the Valamar Argosy and Valamar President. See all accommodation on Babin Kuk.
Best for: chic beach club
Next to Copacabana is Cava beach with the new and stylish Coral Beach Club. The carefully manicured strip of gravel is dotted with potted palms and comfy lounge chairs to contemplate a view of the offshore islets. The premium cocktails are said to be the best in Dubrovnik. See the website. Getting there is the same as to Copacabana (above). Tha vaporetto line stops at Cava.
Best for: avoiding crowds, cheap chair rentals
Take the coastal walk a kilometre or so east of Copacabana and there's pebbly Mandrac beach near the Solitudo Sunny Camping and Mobile Homes. Much of the beach is devoted to the guests of the campground but there's also a public portion. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available to rent at a reasonable price from a small stand that also serves up drinks and snacks.
Best for: kids, sunsets, afternoon sun
The Lapad peninsula boasts a stretch of well-tended pebbles that extends from the Hotel Splendid to the Hotel Kompas along Lapad bay (uvala). Uvala Lapad is the largest beach in town and the easiest to access. Facing directly west, this is a great beach to catch the afternoon rays and then watch the sunset. It's also a great beach for kids as there are slides, trampolines and inflatable water toys.
The private portion of the beach is managed by Sunset Beach which rents lounge chairs and serves up frosty drinks and beach snacks. There's also a fancier evening restaurant, Kanteneri, and a casual Trattoria which is open all day.
Best for: quick dips, avoiding crowds
The most popular swimming option with locals are the rocky coves lining Lapad peninsula. Follow the coastal walk from Lapad bay to Babin Kuk and you'll find stairs leading down to slabs of rock, many of which are equipped with a metal ladder to access the sea. It's not suitable for kids as the water is deep but it's a great way to beat the beach-going crowds.
Hotels: Lapad is full of accommodation possibilities. The Hotel Villa Wolff is right on the beach and the newly renovated Hotel Kompas is just next door. The Grand Hotel Park is another excellent choice. See more accommodation in Lapad.
Best for: sun all day, swimming with locals
Dance (pronounced dan che) is another popular local swim spot and the scene of water polo tournaments. There are large flat rocks to sprawl upon and ladders to get into the sea. There are also showers and a small cafe for refreshments. The southwestward facing beach is exposed to the sun most of the day. As the beach is on the tip of a promontory there is also no shelter from wind or waves. Dance is only for confident swimmers!
To get there head to Gradac park west of Fort Lovrijenac and follow the path past the Convent and Church of St Mary.
Best for: quick dips, location
Beneath the famous Buza bar are steps leading to the sea. It's more a place for a quick dip rather than a place to hang out in comfort. To get there from the old town climb up any of the streets behind the Cathedral and look for the ‘Cold Drinks’ sign. It’s literally a hole in the wall. The surrounding cliffs have become popular spots for a jump into the sea but it's incredibly dangerous. Locals know how to avoid the sharp rocks underwater but visitors do not and often pay the price.
Best for: location, avoiding crowds
Sulic is the closest beach to Dubrovnik's old town, lying just outside Pile Gate and below Fort Lovrijenac. Remember the Battle of the Blackwater (season 2 episode 19) in Game of Thrones? It was filmed here. There's a small pebble beach and a concrete area that has ladders into the sea. It's a protected cove between high cliffs with no wind or waves and is in shade most of the afternoon. A large beach bar provides refreshments. Crowds are sparse even during the high season.
Best for: afternoon shade, swimming with locals
Just below the Hotel Bellevue this pebbly beach is partially managed by the Hotel Bellevue but is also popular with locals. The high cliffs on each side shade the beach in the afternoon and provide a scenic backdrop to local water polo tournaments. Watching the various Dubrovnik teams try to outdo each other provides a wonderful window into local life. Daredevil cliff-jumpers love this spot too. There are beach showers and a beach bar. Rocks are sharp though. Water shoes are a must! Lounge chairs are available for rental.
To get there, take bus 4 to the Hotel Bellevue, walk past the hotel and take the first left down. It's a long trek to the beach.
Dubrovnik Beach Map
Last updated: February 22, 2019
More from Croatia Traveller
My Favorite Travel Accessories
©CroatiaTraveller 2005-2019 All rights reserved