Many visitors come to Dubrovnik in search of the perfect beach holiday and with crystal clear waters and nearly perfect weather from May to October, most will have no problem finding it. However, some first-time visitors are surprised to find that Dubrovnik does not offer the kind of white, sandy beaches that are found at many other holiday destinations.
Beaches in Dubrovnik and along the Dalmatian coast are generally comprised of small pebbles and rocks whose surfaces have been rounded by the tides. Often, what many locals call “beaches” are merely concrete slabs or large rocks from which swimmers can enter the sea. For those that require at least a pebble beach with a gradual slope to the sea, the following is a list of recommended local Dubrovnik beaches:
The most popular beach in Dubrovnik and with good reason: the proximity and views to the Old Town are unparalleled. This is about as close as it comes to a sandy beach in Dubrovnik (pebbles are small) and the protection offered by Lokrum Island and the Old Town make it an ideal swimming beach for children. The Banje Beach Club offers lounge chair & umbrella rentals and serves cocktails & snacks at the restaurant/bar. The walk down to the beach requires several flights of stairs, but its location just next to the Old Town in the neighborhood of Ploce makes it one of the most convenient beaches in Dubrovnik.
Another popular beach in a great location, Lapad beach sits at the end of a pedestrian-only street surrounded by restaurants, cafe bars, and ice cream shops. It gets crowded with vacationing families in the summer months, but those who value their privacy can easily find lots of secluded swimming spots just a few meters away if they walk a little further out onto the Lapad peninsula.
This stretch of beach goes from the center of Lapad to the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. It is a mix of large rocks, concrete slabs, and small sections of pebble beach. Parking is very difficult to find, but those who come by foot or public bus will be rewarded with an often nearly-empty beach and beautiful, tranquil surroundings.
Popular with locals, this beach is difficult to reach but is well worth the several flights of steep stairs required. The pebble beach offers fantastic swimming conditions and great views of the Old Town, which is just 30 minutes away by foot. To reach Sveti Jakov, simply exit the Old Town at the Ploce Gate and walk toward the Excelsior Hotel with Banje Beach on your right. After passing the Grand Villa Argentina, bear to the right down the small side street and continue on to the end. There will be a small church (the church of Sveti Jakov) with the entrance to the beach just behind – see video:
A small island easily visible from the Old Town and reachable by ferry from the Old Port. There are a couple of beaches on the island and lots of secluded places for swimming (including one nude beach at the far end). Lokrum makes an easy half-day trip from Dubrovnik and is a great way to escape the summer crowds of Banje beach.
This is Dubrovnik’s most family-friendly beach and one of its most popular. It is located on the Lapad peninsula close to many hotels and shops. The beach club offers many amenities including lounge chairs & umbrella rentals; water sports such as water polo, water-skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, and windsurfing; sea slides for children; ice cream stands; and a beach bar. Of course, all these extras attract big crowds in the summer months.
Best Beaches Around Dubrovnik
Visitors to Dubrovnik with a car have the opportunity to escape the crowds of Lapad and Old Town and explore some of the better beaches in the area. There are several great beaches in the stretch along the coast between Slano in the north and Molunat in the south, all of which are within a 45-minute drive of Dubrovnik. The following is a brief overview of a few of the most beautiful and less-visited beaches in the Dubrovnik Riviera:
(30 minutes north of Dubrovnik, near Slano): This is one of the most spectacular beaches in the area and often the least crowded. Its position in a small bay protected by the Elafiti Islands makes its waters calm and clear. The beach has small stones, which are comfortably rounded, making entering and exiting the sea fairly easy. Veliki Zal is fully serviced with chair/umbrella rentals, a cafe bar, and a pizzeria.
(25 minutes north of Dubrovnik): This secluded cove sits far below the main road heading north from Dubrovnik. The cove is occupied by just a couple of private residences, but the beach is public. There are no facilities at this beach, but there is crystal clear water, small rounded stones, and beautiful views of the Elafiti Islands.
(10 minutes south of Dubrovnik): This small resort town offers numerous small beaches and coves for swimming, many of which remain un-crowded despite the presence of holiday-makers in the summer months. The beaches themselves do not offer facilities, but there are many private apartments, restaurants, shops, and café bars nearby, as well as a park and playground for small children.
(15 minutes south of Dubrovnik): The Hotel Plat sits atop a rocky outcropping flanked by two beautiful pebble beaches. Both beaches are public, but the only available parking is private. In the off-season, it is not a problem to park at the Hotel Plat, but during July and August be prepared to pay for this privilege. One of the two beaches offers chair/umbrella rentals and has a small restaurant/café bar.
(25 minutes south of Dubrovnik): This small fishing village has several beaches and small coves for swimming. The larger beaches are located in front of the hotels and offer a variety of services including chair/umbrella rentals, boat trips, jet ski rentals, and food & drinks. Some of the best spots for swimming, however, are not beaches at all. The Cavtat peninsula is surrounded by rocks jutting out into the sea, many of which are perfect for sunbathing and diving into the Adriatic. Here is a video:
(45 minutes south of Dubrovnik): This sleepy village sits in the far south of Croatia, just above the border of Montenegro. It does not have any real beaches to speak of but offers some of the most-secluded swimming spots on the coast. Locals have made access to the sea easier by building staircases and attaching ladders to the rocks, but have otherwise left the natural beauty intact. The swimming spots themselves offer no services, but the town has numerous private apartments, a café bar, and a couple of small restaurants.