Dubrovnik is Croatia’s busiest city. The majority of tourists come and leave within a day (particularly the cruisers) – so their first and probably their last destination is Dubrovnik’s Old Town – from the ancient city walls to the history soaked streets, it’s a must-see. But there are so many other attractions to enjoy – not least the abundance of Dubrovnik beaches.
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The Best Dubrovnik Beaches
Offering travellers a hiatus from the intensity of the crowds, and a chance to unwind by the sea, Dubrovnik beaches aren’t huge or sandy. But what they do offer are pebbly havens lapped by the cooling Adriatic sea, where you can stretch out, swim and admire the marvellous views.
There are around 15 beaches in Dubrovnik, and many can be reached by foot – particularly those around the Old Town. But venture out of the city there are some really special Dubrovnik beaches that can be easily accessed by taxi or buses. With the kids in tow, we found it easier to throw all our stuff in an Uber (which operates in Croatia). Here are my picks of the best beaches in Dubrovnik.
About a 10-minute car journey from Dubrovnik Old Town, Copacobana Beach has shallow waters and a great beach club that offers up cold drinks and snacks. We spent all day here, and while there are uber-smart sunbeds for rental, we were happy on our beach towels, paddling in the cool water and admiring the views across to Franja Tuđmana Bridge. There is a real chilled-out vibe here – and with clean toilets and accessible facilities, you can see why this is one of the loveliest Dubrovnik Beaches. We found it to be family-friendly and a great mix of couples, groups of friends and kids. Plus when the sunsets Copacobana Beach becomes a lively spot for sundowners.
Situated just outside Ploče Gate in the Old Town. It’s easy to find, just follow the signs once you head out of the ancient city. This is Dubrovnik’s most popular beach because of its location and with just a few steps we managed to access it easily even with a pram. It’s not huge, however, Banje Beach has great views of Lokrum Island and The Old Town, as well as the option to take part in watersport fun including banana boats and waterskiing. It’s a safe spot for kids, too. At night, the Banje Beach bar comes alive after sunset when revellers come out to party.
Lapad Beach is on a peninsula close to the outer walls of the city. With a long promenade filled with cafes and a lounge bar on the beach itself, there are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas to commandeer for the day. As well as changing cabins and great facilities this is an ideal Dubrovnik beach for families. Meanwhile, you can take a stroll along the coastal path that takes you to the end of the Lapad peninsula where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Elaphite Islands.
Sveti Jacov Beach
When several cab drivers who are diligently following their sat navs still can’t find the beach – you know you’re heading to one of Dubrovnik’s hidden gems. Sveti Jacov Beach can only be accessed by a set of steep stairs that winds down the cliff face. With a pram and two young kids, this wasn’t a fun thing to do (and we had to go back up!). However, it really is worth the effort. A small, pebbly beach flanked by a seafront restaurant, it was uncrowded and quiet. But it’s the views that are to die for. With the shimmering Adriatic stretching out before our eyes, you can see the whole of Dubrovnik Old Town and the walls from across the sea… Best moment? Watching the kids play as I sipped a glass of rose while staring at the landscape.
One of the oldest beaches in Dubrovnik and a hit with the locals, Danče Beach can be found five minutes from the Old Town. It has large protruding rocks as well as a jetty for sunbathing, and ladders to get in and out of the sea. Because the water is deeper here, it’s safe to jump in and also means it’s beautifully refreshing and clear. With a small cafe too, it’s a great beach to enjoy a swim and to sit back and relax. Kids would need to be proficient swimmers on Danče Beach which is open to the elements – so this Croatia beach is not suitable for toddlers.
This was another one of our favourite beaches in Dubrovnik because it is sandy! If you’re prepared to take a boat trip, just an hour on a ferry, you can reach the pretty island of Lopud. Famed for having the only sandy beach in Dubrovnik, we disembarked onto the island and strolled some 20 minutes to Sunj Beach on the south-west side. (You can also jump in zippy golf buggies to and from the beach for about 90 Kuna). It’s a gorgeous shallow bay, perfect for families, and while the kids happily played in the sand, we sipped cold beers in the hip beach bar. This the ideal Dubrovnik beach for getting away from the city.