We don't usually hear many stories about Dubrovnik beaches. When thinking of Dubrovnik, we think about its historical town, eclectic bars, museums and its high prices. However, Dubrovnik is the southernmost town in Croatia, with lots of sunny days throughout the year, and swimming at one of many Dubrovnik beaches is one of the main activities people enjoy in Dubrovnik.
I said it many times before, but sometimes I like to repeat myself :), Croatian definition of a beach includes any area that people use to swim. Rocky beach is probably not how you imagine the beach. It is rather a rocky coast appropriate for cliff jumping, that may or may not have metal ladders to get you out of the sea. Dubrovnik is not an exemption from this rule. Although there are some pebble beaches in and around Dubrovnik (and even some sandy beaches!), many are just rocky areas people use to get in and out of the sea.
Popular Dubrovnik beaches
Banje Beach is the most popular beach in Dubrovnik, especially among tourists. Its location is spot on. Banje is the closest beaches to the old town, just off Ploce Gate. There are about 100 stairs from the road to the beach (and as many going up after a day at the beach. Ouch!). The beach is made of small pebbles and gravel. Unless you are used to this kind of beach, you'll probably need a swimming shoes.
Banje beach is run by EastWest Beach Club. If you like to hang here, you'll need to rent a deck chair. But a deck chair will not buy you an admission to the toilets (you pay them separately, should you need them). You can also rent a sun umbrella, and beach towels. Drinks and food are available, as well as massages; additional charges apply. The small, rocky part of the beach is free for public (no need to rent anything in order to enjoy the beach!). Rocky area closer to the town is free, while the rest is run by EastWest Beach Club. If you want to hang on that part, you'll need to rent a deck chair.
Sv. Jakov Beach is located further uphill from Banje Beach. Once you pass Banje Beach just keep walking for another 15-20 minutes. Sv. Jakov beach is located very close to Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, a superb 5-star hotel. Being further from the old town, this beach is much less crowded than Banje Beach. You can still get a very nice view over the old town, and the island Lokrum. The beach is pebble and rocky. There are lots of stairs to take to reach the beach. If you like a less crowded beach and you don't mind to walk a bit further, this is a nice beach in Dubrovnik to spend a day at. Don't forget to bring a lunch (you don't want to climb those stairs twice :). Kayak and jet ski rental available on the beach.
Betina Cave Beach is a small cave beach. This beach is a real gem. It's only reachable from the sea. The cave makes it nice and cool even during the hot summer days (this beach gets only few hours of sun a day). The pebbles are nice and rounded. The best way to explore this beach is to book one of the kayaking tours that stops here for swimming and relaxation. Although I must say kayaking tours have made this beach much busier that it used to be (and destroyed a bit of its charm).
Sulici Beach is the closest beach to the Pile Gate. This beach is not very popular (meaning also less crowds!), but the water is crystal clear, and the old town is just meters away. Sulici beach is very small and consists of cemented plateaus and small pebble beach.
Dance Beach is very popular among the locals. This is the oldest beach in Dubrovnik. You'll often see locals playing water polo at the beach. It's located close to the Pile Gate, 200 m from the old town. The beach is mostly rocky. There is a nice monastery above the beach. The nuns ring the bells for all the ships that pass by.
Lapad Beach is the largest beach in Dubrovnik. It's located in Lapad Bay. There are lots of bars nearby, and many beach activities on offer for visitors. This beach is partly pebble, partly cemented and rocky. It's not my favorite beach. It looks a bit messy.
Copacabana beach is a nice pebble beach located below Valamar hotels. Copacabana beach is facing Dubrovnik bridge. This beach gets too crowded for my taste (lots of hotels and a camping nearby).
Sunj Beach is a sandy beach located on the island of Lopud, at the far end from the main village. This is one of the summer spots for the families. The beach is nice, sheltered, and not too crowded (although it can get busy). There are low key beach shack restaurants, a public toilet, and a small changing cabin at the beach. You can reach the beach by boat, on foot (from the village it's about 20 minutes long walk), and by taxi golf cart.
Have you swum at any of Dubrovnik beaches? Let us know in the comments below!