The Adriatic-facing city of Dubrovnik in Croatia offers a wealth of beaches within a short distance of the famed Old Town. While you won’t find Dubrovnik beaches filled with silky-soft sand—most are pebble beaches—you will experience jaw-dropping panoramas and dazzling crystalline waters.
From charming seaside spots to bays that offer an abundance of aquatic action, these shores offer something for every type of traveler.
If you’re planning your next escape to Croatia, continue reading to discover the best beaches in Dubrovnik.
Sveti Jakov Beach
Sveti Jakov, or St. James’ Beach, is one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik, drawing a mix of locals and in-the-know travelers for its secluded ambiance.
An ochre-hued cliff flanks this pebbly half-moon bay with Mediterranean trees hugging each side of the rock face, just a short drive from the center of town. There’s a stone-built beach bar carved into one side of the cove and a range of thatched and purple-colored umbrellas for hire.
Divide your time between lazing on the shore and swimming in the gentle water. Due to the shingle seabed, you’ll want to pack aqua shoes to protect your feet. A series of steep steps lead down to Sveti Jakov from the roadside, making the beach less suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
Banje is one of Dubrovnik’s most popular city beaches, boasting remarkable views of the famous walled Old Town, just a short walk away.
Like most Dubrovnik beaches, Banje features a mix of shingle, stone, and sand with a shallow shoreline. Banje’s upscale beach club is popular for its lively DJ sets, Mediterranean fare, and delicious drinks.
There’s plenty more to do here, with a range of adrenaline-filled watersports available. Try kayaking, water-skiing, tubing (where you sit in an inflatable tube while being pulled through the water by a high-speed boat), or even the futuristic pursuit of flyboarding, which sees thrill-seekers propelled into the air, powered by water propulsion.
If you’re looking to combine beach time with culture, the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik is moments from the beach, housed in the grand former residence of local ship owner Božo Banac.
The museum features nine exhibition rooms, a terrace, and gardens with sea views, showcasing Modern Croatian art.
Dubrovnik beaches don’t come more charming than Šulići, one of the closest beaches to Lovrijenac fort and the 15th-century Pile Gate, the Old Town’s moated main entrance.
The snug Šulići offers a perfect slither of urban beachfront. Space for sunbathing is limited, but Šulići is ideal for dipping into the azure waters, once you’ve explored sights such as the 14th-century Franciscan Church and Monastery and Rector’s Palace.
After a cooling swim, enjoy drinks and a bite to eat at the covered outdoor terrace at Beach Bar Dodo on Od Kolorine, Plaža Šulić u Pilama, overlooking Šulići Beach. The menu’s selection of sharing platters are perfect for an afternoon of grazing.
Mlini Beach is a marvelous spot for families with a colorful playground snuggled among the pine forest behind the seashore. The white beach features giant rock formations and beautiful, transparent water, just a 10-minute drive south of the city center.
There’s a café and restaurant on either side of the beach, though the beauty of Mlini is its otherwise lack of amenities, giving a more undiscovered feel. Consider packing a book to read and picnic of local cheeses and air-dried ham to savor, while soaking up the dramatic views.
Uvala Lapad Beach
Located on Lapad Peninsula on the northern fringes of the Eastern European city, Uvala Lapad is a picturesque crescent-shaped beach with glistening water.
Uvala Lapad is another pebbly stretch, offering typical beach amenities, including parasols, sun loungers, restrooms, watersports, bars, and restaurants.
What makes Uvala Lapad extra special is its proximity to Velika and Mala Petka Forest Park, an area clad in fragrant Mediterranean shrubs and Aleppo pine trees with some excellent scenic hiking trails not far from the beach.
A hidden gem in Croatia, Molunat Beach is tucked into a languid cove 25 miles south of Dubrovnik, framed by Konavle County’s cliffs. Indulge in a swim in the serene bay. You can hire jet skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards, with boat rides also available from the shore.
Enjoy a walk around this quaint seaside village and stop for a coffee or soda and meal at one of the leafy local restaurants.
If you’ve time, stop at a Konavle winery to sample the local vintages, including the family-run Winery Botaro, which produces cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel rosé, and chardonnay, along with a range of fragrant liqueurs.
Mrtvo More (Dead Sea), Lokrum Island
One of the best beaches in Dubrovnik is Mrtvo More, meaning the Dead Sea, on Lokrum Island, just off the mainland from the Old Town.
Take a ferry from the Sponza Palace side of the city center and enjoy a relaxing 10-minute ride across the water to reach Lokrum Island, a protected nature reserve. A ferry service runs every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during peak months. The last boat back to the mainland leaves at 6 p.m.
Mrtvo More is a tranquil, heart-shaped salt lake on the island’s southwest. The water is crystal clear with an intense jade-green shade, making you want to wade straight in. Despite its faraway feel, there’s a casual cocktail bar next to Mrtvo More offering refreshments.
Lokrum is also known for its lush Botanical Gardens and a 12th-century Benedictine monastery nestled among a gorgeous display of cactus, palm, and pine trees.
Take the opportunity to explore while you’re on the island; it’s possible to walk from the northern tip to the southern end in under 30 minutes. Or do as the locals do and set up camp on the shaded rocks under the pine trees, and enjoy a siesta.
A golden horseshoe strip on the Lapad Peninsula, Copacabana Beach is set in the upmarket Babin Kuk neighborhood, a short drive from the center of Dubrovnik.
Copacabana is one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik for families, with a shallow, easy-to-swim shoreline and an inflatable water park for splashing around in the Adriatic Sea.
Gaze out at the Dubrovnik’s Franjo Tuđman cable-stayed bridge, which looms around the peninsula to the right of the beach. There’s also a rustic walking trail that leads toward the bridge, passing Mandrač Beach around the headline.
Work up a thirst and follow the path for just over one mile, which should take roughly 25 minutes, to Škar Winery, a wine bar and tasting room serving tasty snacks and local libations.
If you can overlook the eerie ruins of formerly gleaming hotels lurking in the background—a reminder of Kupari’s glorious heyday—this is one of the best beaches in Dubrovnik.
Five miles south of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Kupari is an arced beach that widens to the east with a slew of umbrellas and sunbeds. An added bonus is that it’s sandy, not pebbled.
The abandoned hotels were once exclusive resorts, offering spectacular views across the Adriatic Sea. They were popular with European vacationers until the Croatian War of Independence, from 1991 to 1995 but then fell into disrepair.
There are few facilities directly on the beach, but you’ll find a selection of casual restaurants a short walk away in Kupari village.
Similar in dainty size to neighboring Šulić, the buzzing Kolorina Beach begins where Dubrovnik’s city walls end. The narrow space offers sun loungers and umbrellas. The chance to spend a couple of hours kayaking around the mighty city walls is one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.
Depending on the time you have available, you could rent a kayak and take off on your own or join a guided group tour. Pack your cell phone or digital camera in a waterproof case to capture some of the most beautiful places in Croatia, including the Old Town, Lokrum Island, and hidden caves along this rugged section of the Dalmatian coast.
Bellevue Beach is situated deep within Miramare Bay on the edge of Lapad Peninsula. To reach the shingle and sand beach, follow the steps by the Hotel Rixos Libertas that weave down the cliffside. It’s steep, with no other access for those with difficulty walking. The beach is well protected due to the high cliffs.
A popular spot for swimming and water polo, Bellevue Beach is also known for its sea cave just off the shore. Look out for daring locals jumping from the clifftop into the water below.
Just a 30-minute drive south of Dubrovnik, a short distance from the border with Montenegro, Cavtat is a quaint resort on the Dubrovnik Riviera. With a narrow stone shore next to the resort’s boat-lined marina, this enchanting spot is popular for swimming and sunbathing.
Cavtat also offers sea kayak hire, and there’s a lovely waterfront walk around the tip of Cavtat’s peninsula, with beautiful views.
Cavtat is home to some wonderful seafood restaurants where you can sample fresh Croatian cuisine. After a paddle in the bay and a stroll around the waterfront, sit down for a light lunch at La Boheme or Restaurant Dolium on the palm tree-lined Put dr. Ante Starčevića.
This sunny seafront spot features an attractive promenade just a few minutes’ drive from the bustling center of Dubrovnik. Flanked by pine trees, the pebbly Srebreno Beach is an idyllic spot for beachgoers, with pristine waters and views of the forest-clad coastline.
Sun loungers and pedalos are available for hire. As with most Dubrovnik beaches, water shoes are recommended. If the salty sea air leaves you feeling peckish, there’s a selection of restaurants and cafés on the promenade.
Mlini’s part-sand, part-shingle Astarea Beach offers the kind of postcard-perfect views the Dalmatian coast has become so well known for, with deep green forests that meet the alluring teal water of the Adriatic.
This under-the-radar spot is only 15 minutes from the center of Dubrovnik, with sunbeds, parasols, showers, and a handful of seaside tavernas close by.
Wander around Mlini’s pretty backstreets. The town was once a location of watermills—hence the name Mlini, meaning mills—and a stream still trickles through the village, passing a protected historic tree by the waterfront.
Pasjača Beach in Konavle is a well-hidden spot that offers complete solitude, just a 30-minute journey south of the medieval European city. Access this Dubrovnik beach via an eye-watering narrow track carved through the rocks that leads down to the shore.
Pack well for a visit to Pasjača since you won’t have access to any facilities on the beach. If you hire a car from the center of Dubrovnik, there’s a free parking lot near the top of the cliffs. Revel in a swim and kick back in this pared-back paradise.
Five minutes from the beach, pay a visit to Crvik Winery in the village of Komaji. Third- and fourth-generation winemakers, the Crvik family produces a delicious selection of wines, including Tezoro, a floral Malvasija Dubrovacka white, and Pomet, a robust Plavac mali red. Crvik Winery is open for tours and tastings Monday to Saturday.
Koločep, Elaphiti Islands
One of three inhabited Elaphiti Islands, Koločep is the closest of the archipelago to Dubrovnik, less than one mile from the mainland.
Dotted with olive groves, pinewoods, citrus forests, and old-world churches, Koločep is car-free, with several trails crisscrossing the island, making it easy to explore on foot.
Staying in the northern portion of Koločep, nearest the ferry port, spend your time exploring Donje Celo, with its sweep of blond sand. You could hire a kayak or pedalo to paddle to some of Koločep’s tucked-away secret coves.
One of the best things to do in Koločep is snorkel, looking for lobster, which populates the island’s waters.
After a visit to the beach, settle down in a seafront taverna to sample fresh sea bass, deep-fried calamari, and sweet lobster.
Koločep can be reached via a 30-minute boat journey from Dubrovnik’s Gruž ferry terminal, so is an easy day out.
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