The daily trip to the beach is a way of life for Dubrovnik folk, and locals discuss their favourite bathing spots in the same way that British people talk about the weather. What follows is a list of the best Dubrovnik beaches that offer something special in terms of atmosphere or fine views.
Busiest of the town’s beaches, a mixture of fine shingle and sand just east of the Old Town, backed by trendy cafés, and with good views of the island of Lokrum. It holds a special place in the heart of Dubrovnik folk, as almost all of them spent at least part of their childhoods here. With much of the beach now covered in sun loungers for hire, Banje has lost a great deal of its egalitarian bucket-and-spade charm and has become more of a tourist hotspot. The beach is great for children, with safe waters and inflatables readily available for hire.
Banje Beach, Dubrovnik, Croatia © David Callan / iStock
Unlike its Brazilian namesake, this is a small crescent comprising pebbles and imported sand on the northwest side of Babin Kuk (bus number 6 from the Old Town). Owing to its proximity to Gruž’s port facilities the water here is not the cleanest, but the combination of enjoyable cafés and good views of coastal mountains make it a good place to hang out if you’re in the area. If you are looking for fun, there are many action-packed activities on Copacabana. Parachute boat rides, water chutes, canoes, jet skis, pedalos and more can be found here. Unlike other care-free beaches in Europe, Dubrovnik beaches have designated nudist beach areas. There is one close to Copacabana, just follow the signposted path.
Copacabana Beach © Golly Kim / iStock
Dance, the oldest of one of Dubrovnik beaches, is popular with the locals. The south-facing boulder-strewn stretch of coast receives sunshine from midday to evening making it ideal for sunbathing. The waters are deep enough to dive and jump, and there are ladders on some of the rocks to allow you to get in and out easily. Dance is just a few minutes’ walk southwest of the Lovrijenac fortress, about five minutes west of the Old Town.
Dance Beach © Mario Guti / iStock
A lovely crescent of mixed shingle and sand immediately below the hotel, with good views of rocky Boninovo bay. As an east-facing beach, it loses the sun by late afternoon/early evening. Free to residents of the hotel, a small charge for everyone else.
Bellevue Beach © Anna Lurye / Shutterstock
Lapad is considered the most childly-friendly beach out of all Dubrovnik beaches, with shallow waters and lifeguards, children can play safely. Behind the beach is Setalist Krlja Tomislava that includes a bouncy play area and tennis court. The bay itself is on the southwest side of Lapad peninsula, with a shingle beach. Due to the proximity of Lapad’s package hotels overcrowding can be quite common in the high season. If you wish to avoid tan lines, there are rocks obstructing view beside the Nik i Meda Pecica promenade that allow for nude sunbathing. To reach the beach, take bus number 6 (destination “Babin Kuk”) to Lapad.
Lapad Beach © Irina Sen / iStock
A small stretch of pebble at the bottom of a cliff, reached by steps which descend from the coastal path midway between St James’s Monastery (Samostan svetog Jakova) and the Belvedere hotel. A pleasant and quiet twenty-minute walk from the centre through tree-lined pathways, Sveti Jakov is one of the most peaceful Dubrovnik beaches. Bus numbers 5 and 8 run most of the way from the Old Town if you do not wish to talk very far. Once on the beach, fantastic views can be seen back towards the Old Town. The beach is west-facing, so catches the afternoon and evening sun allowing you to stay and enjoy the seaside for longer.
Sveti Jakov Beach © Rose Lamond / Shutterstock
Featured Image, Sveti Beach © Vladimir Korostyshevskiy / Shutterstock