Looking for the best beaches in Dubrovnik? Find your perfect sunbathing spot with my handy guide. This is a local guide to the best beaches in Dubrovnik!
“Where is the closest beach?” As a local, I get that question a lot. Guys, DON’T GO TO THE NEAREST BEACH! The nearest beach is probably the most crowded one. Dubrovnik is a small city and even the farthest beach is maximum 30 minutes away from you, so don’t be lazy and just frequent the nearest one but find your best beach in Dubrovnik. There are many beautiful beaches in and around Dubrovnik so don’t settle for the nearest one!
The picturesque Croatian Adriatic coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. With crystal clear pure sea, one of the cleanest you will ever see, it justifies the country’s tourist slogan “The Mediterranean as it once was”. The high quality of the sea, warm temperature and it’s calmness makes it perfect for swimming.
The first thing you need to know about Dubrovnik beaches is that Croatians use the word beach very freely. Our definition of a beach is any area where you can get into and out of the sea. Rocky cliffs that you have to climb to get out of the sea? Yes, beach. Concrete flat areas with a metal pool ladder attached? Beach. But that’s what it makes it cool, the whole coast is one big beach and you can always find a private one just for you. Well, you and some sea urchins, but they are cool.
The second thing you should know is that the vast majority of beaches in Croatia are rocky/concrete and pebble beaches, not sandy. Yes, you heard it right. No sand and that means no sand in your eyes, no sand in your ears, no sand in your b.., well bags. Sand is annoying and it gets everywhere, even in your food. And then you take it home and while you are taking a shower it starts to drop from all the unexpected places.
Rocky beaches often get a bad reputation from tourists who expect the long white sandy beaches of their fantasies. But for me, pebbles and rock are the best. Pebbles have many bonuses. Pebbles means water is crystal clear. The pebbles provide free foot massage when you walk over them. Also, rocky coastline means lots of opportunity for cliff jumping. It also means there are no deadly sharks in the sea, it’s 100% safe.
Croatian beaches are surrounded by the cool shade of the refreshingly scented pine trees with the crickets singing in the background. Can you think of anything more relaxing?
Dubrovnik’s beach season typically goes from June to October.
Here are the best beaches in Dubrovnik to head to:
1. Sveti Jakov Beach (St. Jacob Beach)
Sveti Jakov is one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik, located not far from the Old Town, in a protected little bay below the church of St. Jakov.
Although Sveti Jakov Beach is favorite among the locals it’s rarely crowded due to their laziness to get there.
It’s only 30 minutes walk from the Old Town and it is absolute bliss but still, most people head to the more popular Banje Beach just because it is 20 minutes closer to the Old Town.
If you are looking for a quiet, more secluded and relaxed beach, as opposed to the busy Banje Beach, 20 minutes of extra walk is absolutely worth it.
It is a nice picturesque walk, along quiet, pine-lined boulevard. A lot of photo opportunities!
Sveti Jakov Beach has stunning views of the Lokrum Island and city walls. The beach is clean and the water is crystal clear, ideal for a refreshing swim. It is not next to the most of the hotels, so you can find your peace on it.
If you are looking for the best beach in Dubrovnik near the Old Town, search no more!
How to get there:
Sveti Jakov Beach is located 2 km from the Old Town. You can reach it either on foot, by car parking it right in front of the abbey, or taking the bus No.5 or No.8. If you go by bus, get out at the last stop and then walk another 10 minutes. Once at the church of St. Jakov, go down the steps to the beach.
If you are going by foot, go to the entrance to the Old Town of Ploče and walk to the Grand Villa Argentina. The turning to the road that leads to St. Jakov beach is just in front of the Grand Villa Argentina. When you reach the church of St. Jakov you just follow the road behind it and you will come to a stairway that will lead you to this wonderful beach.
Sveti Jakov has a restaurant and a beach bar, as well as sea kayak and jet-ski rental place.
You can rent a deck chair (50 HRK for the day) and a parasol (another 50 HRK).
There are free toilets and outdoor showers.
2. Šunj Beach
Lopud Island (Elaphite Islands)
Šunj Beach is one of Croatia’s best sandy beaches, located on the beautiful Lopud Island, a 55-minute boat ride from Dubrovnik.
This small and peaceful, car-free island is absolutely perfect for those wanting to get away from it all.
Šunj Beach is the ONLY sandy beach in Dubrovnik region and it is listed by many guides as one of the best beaches in Croatia.
The beach has a lovely chilled relaxing vibe, with calm and crystal clear transparent sea.
The water is very shallow (you can walk for 100 meters without getting out of your depth), what makes it perfect for everyone: families with young children, young people, active sport oriented people and older ones.
Shallow water also makes Šunj the ideal place to play picigin, local game played in the shallows with a small ball. The goal is to keep a ball from touching the water.
During the week, it is likely you will find Lopud a lot quieter than Dubrovnik.
Important tip: There is no shade on the beach so don’t forget to take a hat, water, and sunscreen with you.
To the far left of the beach, is a small area reserved for nudists.
Fun fact: According to a local legend, if you bathe with your loved one at Šunj, you’ll never apart…
How to get there:
Lopud is easily reached from Port of Dubrovnik. Jadrolinija has daily ferries to the island (one of which stops in Koločep along the way and continues on to Šipan), which takes 55 minutes.
Ferry tickets for the Elaphite Islands are bought at the main office of Jadrolinija in Gruž harbor. Although there are usually seats left, in high season we recommend that you arrive at least 30-40 minutes before departure. You can check ferry timetable and prices here.
On arrival at the small port on Lopud follow the 1 km path across the island to Šunj beach. It is a 25-minute walk and if you are unable to walk too far there is s taxi golf buggy service at 15 HRK per person.
The best way to see all three major Elaphite Islands in one day is to take a day trip.
You can check out Elaphite Islands Boat Tour here.
Šunj Beach has two bar/restaurants.
You can rent a deck chair (50 HRK for the day) and a parasol (another 50 HRK), but it is perfectly fine to just lie on a towel on the sand.
Public toilets and showers are available (you have to pay for these with a 50 Lipa coin, so make sure you bring some).
There is also ATM. You can hire pedal boats, kayaks, jet skis etc.
3. Cava Beach
Located on the Babin Kuk (northern end of the Lapad peninsula) Cava Beach has recently been equipped with the Coral Beach Club, a place to relax in sheer luxe beach style.
A perfect place for those who seek luxury.
The Coral Beach Club has all the makings of a great beach club: great views, fantastic setup, king size loungers, VIP lounges, a bar, cocktails flowing, masseuses etc. There is DJ providing great surround music, but not too loud.
It feels very chilled out, somewhat luxurious and exclusive.
Beach offers spectacular views of the crystal clear sea and the lush Daksa Island.
Cava Beach has a trendy tropical vibe, you will feel like you have been teleported to some exotic destination at the other part of the world.
How to get there:
Getting to Cava Beach is easy. Take the bus No.6 and get off at the last stop. After that, follow the path to the beaches. You will notice signs leading to Cava. After you notice a small wall on your left there will be the long stone stairs leading to Cava through some bushes and trees.
There are plenty of facilities including free showers and toilets.
You can rent a sunbed (300 HRK for a double sunbed, 180 HRK for a single one, umbrella and towels included).
There are even different types of massage.
There is a free parking. On the left side of the road, next to auto camp. You have to ask a waiter for a token before they leave the venue.
4. Island of Lokrum
The island of Lokrum is located just a 10-minute ferry ride away from the Old Town.
Lokrum is a nature reserve and a special forest vegetation reserve, you’ll feel like you are in the green peaceful oasis.
From cliff jumping to playing with the roaming wildlife, this peaceful little paradise has a lot to offer.
The whole island is teeming with pretty tamed rabbits and peacocks that roam freely without a care in the world and you can feed or pet them – this is quite unique and special. The whole island feels truly unspoiled and natural.
The whole coast of Lokrum Island can be considered a beach, it just matters where you can approach the sea, because of the rock formation. The whole island is great for swimming, hopping in just off the rocks into the crystal clear blue sea, or just relaxing under the shade from the trees.
The island of Lokrum is one of the locals favorite place to escape the crowds from the Old Town.
It is for all kind of travelers. The ones who only want to lie on the sun and swim, for the ones who like to hike around, for the nature lovers and especially for the ones who love history and tales.
My only advice is to take an early ferry ride over to make sure you have enough time to fully explore the island before the last ship.
From the harbor, at Lokrum it is 5-10 minutes walk to the nudist beach. Just follow the road to the left after arriving, there are clear signs showing you the way. Beach is quite popular amongst the male population, earning its nickname “Sausage Beach”.
How to get there
A short ferry trip from the old port in the Old Town will bring you to the lovely island of Lokrum. You can purchase tickets at the old harbor.
The boats go either hourly or half-hourly dependent on the season and the crossing takes about 10 minutes.
An adult return ticket costs 150 HRK, children ticket (5-15 years old) costs 25 HRK while children under 5 years sail for free.
There are outdoor showers scattered all around the island, and there are a couple of restrooms (in small concrete buildings) where you can change. There are also toilets with sinks in there.
5. Pasjača Beach
This is the beach locals don’t want you to know about!
Pasjača Beach near Dubrovnik is one of the most stunning beaches on the Adriatic coast. It is situated in the Konavle region, below the village of Popovići, 30 km from Dubrovnik and towards the border with Montenegro. It is listed by many guides as one of the best beaches in Croatia.
Pasjača Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in relation to the beaches of the region and so it is not too crowded like others in Dubrovnik.
The surrounding countryside is spectacular and its long pebble beach offers a beautiful view of the open Adriatic Sea.
It is important to know that there are no bars, restaurants or any facilities at all. You will find nothing but pure and untouched nature of raw pebbles and crystal clear Adriatic sea on this quiet beach.
It is a great place for relaxing, snorkeling and even for those who are brave enough for cliff jumping.
Isolation of Pasjača Beach make the beach is the perfect place for couples and people seeking for privacy.
Important tip: Since there are no bars or shops around don’t forget to take food and water with you. The beach has no shade, so bring a sun umbrella, hat and apply sunscreen.
How to get there:
To enjoy this paradise you will have to make some effort because getting there is not easy. But, I ensure you that this beach is worth all the effort!
Going to Pasjača Beach is easiest by a car while there are just a few buses a day.
To get there, take the D8 road from Dubrovnik towards the airport. About 1 km past the airport, turn right at the sign for Popovići. When you reach Popovići, turn right at the sign for an Information Point, then follow signs for Pasjača Beach. The road becomes one lane, and you’ll pass a soccer field on your left just before the parking area (parking is free). From the parking area, walk the well-maintained path down to the beach.
Not for wheelchair or handicapped because of the very steep path to the beach.
I do not recommend going by bus because the closest point is situated kilometers away and walking there in the hot sun will not be a good experience.
6. Hotel Valamar President Dubrovnik Beach
This beach is located beneath the Hotel Valamar President Dubrovnik, on a part of Lapad peninsula called Babin Kuk. Compared to Old Town, Babin Kuk area is quiet and not too touristy which is nice.
This beach is made up of several different sections, and there is something for everyone. You can relax on the pebble portion of the beach, though there are also concrete terraces, rocks, and cute little bays. There is also a large pier suitable for jumping into the sea.
From the beach, you can enjoy the amazing view of the Elaphite Islands and the open sea. The water is crystal blue and clear.
If you decide to visit this beach, I highly recommend you to wait until the sunset. Most of the people will be gone and the beach will become so peaceful, with the sun disappearing below the horizon, and the sound of the sea touching the shore. You will forget about the world!
How to get to Valamar Dubrovnik President beach:
To get there from the Old Town, take buses No.5 or No.6 from Pile gate and get off at the last stop. After reaching hotel Neptun turn right and walk for about 3 minutes.
The beach President offers a great choice of water activities: jet skis, banana boats, water skiing, diving, paddling etc.
There is a very chilled area with lounge bars where u can refresh yourself. You can also rent deck chairs and parasols.
Free public showers and changing rooms are available for use.
7. Buža Beach
Buža is a pretty unconventional place, located on the outside of the city walls, offering great views of Lokrum Island and Adriatic. It is not a beachy beach, but a rocky place with large concrete terraces where you can sunbath and jump into the sea.
This place is all about location, on the cliffs facing the ocean.
Buža is best known for cliff jumping. Braver and adventurous will be tempted to take a dive from the cliff locally known as “The Lion”, from which locals take dive, but you should remember that cliff diving is dangerous and you could hurt yourself quite bad if you are not experienced!
If you are looking for a more conventional, pebbles beach, with approachable sea enter you should skip Buža. However, swimming at Dubrovnik’s cliff beaches is definitely a unique experience.
There are 2 Buža bars, Buža 1 and Buža 2. Buža 1 is much larger and has little chairs and tables on different levels of the rock below. Buža 2 is smaller yet there’s a ladder connected to the main rock so you can hop in and out of the sea.
Even if you do not swim, local teenagers jumping off cliffs will keep you entertained.
Buža Bar 2 offers no bathroom facilities.
Tip: The sea in front of Buža can get pretty choppy due to strong winds. If you notice it getting too choppy, be cautious when swimming. For experienced swimmers only. Not recommended for young children.
How to get there:
“Buža” means “hole in the wall”, and that is how you access this place!
The easiest way to find Buža bar is to start on the Gundulić square, climb the Jezuit stairs, pass through the large courtyard and follow the street along to the right. When you see a sign “Cold Drinks With The Most Beautiful View“ just follow the arrow and the entrance should be on your left within the next 20-30 meters.
8. Danče Beach
Danče Beach is the oldest public beach in Dubrovnik. It is located in Danče bay, about 15 minutes west of the Old Town. Just like Buža, this is not a beach as such, meaning there are no pebbles or sand or beachy entrance to the sea, but rocky and concrete flat areas with step ladders into the sea.
If you are a fan of jumping in the sea, then this is the place for you, it is safe to jump here as the water is deep enough.
There is no easy access to enter the sea so it’s not for small children or disabled people.
Mainly locals go here, thus it is quieter and less touristy with fewer people in general.
There is a small cute cave you can swim into as a part of a beach.
This beach has a deep, clean and a little bit colder sea than other places since it is located on a rocky open part of the coastline.
In July and August, Danče beach becomes one of the playgrounds for the Wild League Amateur Water Polo Competition.
Important tip: There’s no shade at this beach so don’t forget to take a hat, water and apply sunscreen.
How to get there:
To access the beach, go uphill from Pile gate about 70 meters and turn to the street of Dante Alighieri to get to Gradac park. When on Gradac, follow the narrow path going downhill to the seashore. When you see the Church of Saint Mary, you are basically there.
The beach facilities include free freshwater showers and toilets, and a small local cafe-bar serving pretty cheap basic refreshments and snacks.
9. Banje Beach
If you have been reading about Dubrovnik beaches, most probably you have heard of Banje Beach. This beach isn’t one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik by any means. Reason for its popularity is simply because it is the most convenient one, only 10 minutes walk from the Old Town, and it has stunning views of the city walls.
Its location means it’s great if you have a few hours to kill in Dubrovnik and fancy a bit of sunbathing or a quick dip.
If you are looking for something more secluded and quiet you should skip this one because it is always crowded.
Banje Beach is split into two sections:
One half of the beach is reserved for East-West restaurant lounge and club, which has its own reception, pricey sun deck and sun umbrella rentals, baldachins rentals etc as well as food and drink. Also, there is a DJ who likes to think he is in an Ibiza club and plays music accordingly to it.
The rest of the beach is open to the public for free. No food or drink offerings, no sun decks or umbrellas. Just people on towels sunbathing or taking a dip in the blue sea.
Banje beach is where the beautiful people like to show off, you will see a lot of local guys who have been going to the gym all year to show off their muscles but you’ll find all kinds here. In the evening, the disco at the East-West beach club cranks out beats to dance on the beach too.
The beach has a good range of facilities. You can rent sun deck with umbrella at 100 HRK each.
If you are a fan of adrenaline there are plenty of water sports you can do there, parasailing, water ski, jet ski, speed boats, rings, tuba and banana drive etc.
There are no changing rooms or free toilets (except if you go to the bar toilet), but there are free showers.
A lot of travel blogs put Copacabana Beach on their list of Best beaches in Dubrovnik but I do not recommend it. It is too crowded and small with not so clean sea.
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