Guide to the Best Dubrovnik Beaches
Looking for the best Dubrovnik beaches? Find your perfect sunbathing spot with my handy guide.
Just can’t wait to strip naked and jump into the clean, clear sea? Then Dubrovnik beaches are going to be right up your alley. First thing you need to know about Dubrovnik beaches is that Croatians use the word “beach” very liberally. It really means anywhere where you can climb into and out of the sea. And I do mean climb. Sometimes leap. Outcroppings of rocks with a metal pool ladder attached? Yep, beach. Gravel that will cut your feet? Beach. Croatia does have some proper sandy beaches but I didn’t get a chance to visit them. Instead I went swimming off the cliffs of the city walls and made two trips to Banje Beach while I was there. It was the water that got me.
Beaches Near Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Banje Beach is the public beach closest to the Old Town. There is some sand but it’s on the half run by the Eastwest Beach Club and you’ll need to rent a lounger (70kn) or a sunbed (100kn) to hang out there. You can also rent umbrellas (30kn) and towels (15kn) from them but I’m not sure if you can take them over to the public side or not. Unlike the restaurants in Dubrovnik, where you seat yourself, you need to pay for your lounger before you claim one or risk the attitude of the staff. There was a sign near the washrooms telling me that it was 2kn to pee but nobody tried to collect. Might be best to bring a few bucks with you when you visit this beach just in case. Or you can bring your own towel, hang out on the public side and just hold it. As for sand, you can always clear the bigger rocks away from your space to make it a bit sandier.
Whether you’re on the club or the public side the water is the same clear, aqua blue. The lack of sand means the water off the Croatian coast is some of the clearest around but it can be tough on the feet so consider water shoes if your feet are sensitive. One bonus of a pebble beach over fine sand? No sand particles sticking to every inch of me and getting into everything. It’s the little things.
Bokar Beach is a small pebbly beach next to the Pile Gate. It’s not much for swimming as the water is quite shallow but it’s a good spot for dipping your toes in or launching a sea kayak.
This beach is located in Pile, very near Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It’s one of the oldest swimming spots in Dubrovnik and is still used mostly by locals so don’t expect crowds. The beach offers great views over the open seas as well as over nearby Lovrijenac tower. Šulić Beach was also used in the filming of Game of Thrones, specifically as the scene of a sea battle.
I gave cliff beaches a try when I went swimming off the city walls. It turns out I’m a bit of a crap swimmer when I have to jump straight into deep water. I much prefer to splash around in chest high water and occasionally swim out deeper. If you’re a strong swimmer and love doing cannonballs check out Buza, one of the cliff bars. There are great spots for leaping off rocks and ladders to help you get back out again. On these “beaches” you’ll see people perched on the cliffs, lounging around like sea lions sunning themselves. Swimming at Dubrovnik’s rocky/cliff beaches is definitely a unique experience.
Other Dubrovnik Beaches
Good Dubrovnik beaches aren’t just limited to those few near the Old Town. You also may want to check out:
One of the nicest beaches in Dubrovnik, the mostly pebble beach is sheltered by high cliffs which provides nice shade in the afternoon. Bellevue Beach is a lovely spot located just a short walk from the Old Town. It’s a pebble beach surrounded by cliffs and lush greenery, providing a secluded and peaceful atmosphere for sunbathing and swimming. The crystal clear water is perfect for a refreshing dip, and there are also some excellent beach bars and restaurants nearby where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the stunning views. You can access the beach by a steep staircase off Kotorska street.
A half-moon pebble and gravel beach near the northern point of the Lapad peninsula about 6km from the old town. There’s lot of fun to be had at Copacabana Beach. You’ll find parachute boat rides, water chutes, canoes, jet skis, pedalos, and banana rides. The beach is equipped with sun loungers, parasols, showers, and changing rooms. There are also several beach bars and restaurants where you can grab a refreshing drink or a delicious meal. Additionally, Copacabana Beach offers various water sports activities, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides, making it a great spot for adventure seekers.
If hip is more your style than family, you’ll want to check out the Coral Beach Club not far from Copacabana. Expect padded lounge chairs, pricey cocktails, and EDM on the speakers.
Lapped is the largest beach in Dubrovnik. It’s a gravel & sand beach that looks to be more of a place to park your lounger than a typical beach. It’s very family friendly with a play area, showers, and shallow waters. Lapad Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik with crystal clear waters, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat. The beach is easily accessible by public transportation, and there are also plenty of hotels in the area if you’re looking to stay nearby. It’s a great spot to spend a relaxing day soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful scenery!
Sveti Jakov Beach
The sand and shingle beach is located a 30 minute walk from Dubrovnik’s Old Town and is preferred to Banje Beach by locals and visitors-in-the-know. It’s at it’s best in the shoulder seasons when it’s not too crowded. It’s accessed by a long staircase that you’ll dread climbing but the views of the Old Town and Lokrum Island are worth it. Sveti Jakov Beach has clear blue water and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and features a small café, making it a great spot to relax and soak up the sun. The beach can be reached via a steep staircase, but the climb is worth it for the views and peaceful atmosphere.
Nude Beaches Near Dubrovnik
Croatians are into being at one with nature in a big way it seems. I counted five naturist/nude beaches in the general Dubrovnik area alone. The only one I saw with my own eyes was Lokrum Beach as I paddled by the rocky coast during my kayak adventure. An older naked man startled me by doing a swan dive into the water near me. I’m just glad he didn’t capsize me my first time kayaking!
Located very close to Copacabana Beach, it’s a pebble and stone beach.
Located 12km from Dubrovnik and 6km from Cavtat it’s a bit far but if you’re looking for a quiet, hidden gem this could be it. There is also a naturist section to the beach.
Mlini Naturist Beach
Located between Dubrovnik and Cavtat, it’s a small pebble beach for those who hide nothing from the sun.
Betirina Naturist Beach
Located in Mlini-Srebreno, about 7km of Dubrovnik, the beach is mostly rocky with some shingle.
What beach would you visit first in Dubrovnik? A cliff beach? A naturist beach? Or would you go out of your way to seek out the sandy beaches?
November 28th, 2012 at 11:36 am (#)
I’ve always wanted to go to Croatia, it looks so beautiful. We were considering it for our honeymoon yet when we saw the pictures of beaches we quickly had to rule it out.
It looks like a fabulous place but not for a beach holiday.
December 4th, 2012 at 10:34 am (#)
I haven’t made it to Croatia yet and am dying to go! Perhaps on my next stint in Europe!
December 4th, 2012 at 6:39 pm (#)
I loved Dubrovnik when I went there. It is such an awesome place to visit and the people are lovely.
February 19th, 2014 at 2:47 am (#)
Great post! I have been in Croatia once and in your post there were lot of joy of recognition. Croatia is one of my favorite place where I have been so far. I love the beaches because some of them don’t have a sand. :)