Dubrovnik has gained popularity with tourists in recent years after its historic walls were used as the key filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. Vendors display signs around the ancient fortress — which was entirely rebuilt after the Balkan wars — that indicate which scenes from the hit series were shot in their locale. However, whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, this Croatian city is definitely worth visiting for the beaches alone. Set aside an early morning to explore the ramparts and take in the extraordinary views and then spend your afternoons at any of these five best beaches in Dubrovnik that delivered the city its alias — Pearl of the Adriatic.
Here in Croatia, winter is NOT coming. But, don’t let the term beach fool you; there’s not a grain of sand to be found in Dubrovnik. Instead, you’ll find smooth, tiny stones and massive rock formations. These five bathing spots below are truly the best places to relax and soak up the sun and the beautiful surroundings while vacationing in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
1. Lokrum Island
A 15-minute ferry ride from the Dubrovnik fortress takes you across the deep blue Adriatic Sea to Lokrum Island. Make sure you snag a seat towards the stern so you can witness the panoramic views of the city walls as you drift away. Lokrum Island is dominated by a lush forest which is overrun by wild rabbits and peacocks.
If you’re willing to let loose, turn left when you leave the pier and walk until you see signs for the nudist beach (no big deal out here, folks). Choose a flat rock towards the water’s edge for easy access to swimming in the sea. If you don’t like to sunbathe in your birthday suit there are plenty of other beaches around the island that require swimwear. There is even a saltwater lake in the middle of the island.
2. Buža Beach Bars
Look for the signs for either of the two Buža Bars tucked along the southern side of the Dubrovnik walls. These cliff-side spots serve cocktails, play loud European pop music (so steer clear if you’re looking for some peace and quiet), and are some of the best beaches in Dubrovnik.
These cliff side “beaches” are also the safest place to jump into the sea from the rock formations that hug the fortified walls. You’ll see macho boys making daring dives but I do not recommend that you follow in their footsteps.
Both Bužas are quite small so head here early before the happy hour crowd shows up and steals all of the good viewing spots for sunset.
3. Banje Beach
A short walk along the coast from the Dubrovnik walls you’ll find the popular Banje Beach. The small, smooth, white stones that populate the shoreline are fairly gentle on the feet. Crystal clear waters make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik.
This beach is particularly great for families due to its proximity to the oceanfront bistros and family-friendly water sports. However, be aware that this is one of the more popular beaches in Dubrovnik and has a reputation of getting packed during peak season. If you find yourself visiting during the summer months of June, July or August, try to get down to the shore as early as possible to grab a good spot.
4. Cava Beach
Just down the seashore from ultra posh Copacabana Beach Club is the rustic Cava Beach. There are no sunbeds to rent or endless streams of cocktails at your disposal, yet its serenity and horizon views are otherworldly. From here you can witness an unobstructed sunset that is sure to be memorable.
I think the area must have been named Cava Beach because of all of the foam and fizz that is generated by the waves crashing against the rocks. Cava is another one of the naturist beaches in Dubrovnik so feel free to bathe in the sea in as little or as much as you desire!
5. Lapad Beach
This long horseshoe shaped beach with translucent water is popular among locals and has a much more authentic Croatian vibe. Families tend to stay along the coast near the parking area while young adults walk out towards the edge of the cover to sunbathe on large rocks that jut out into the sea. This is a great beach for swimming because of the protection provided by the bay. In secluded parts, it’s acceptable to sunbathe nude along the rocks at the western edge of the beach.
Author’s Favorite Travel Gear
Lauva Air Sofa: As the beaches in Dubrovnik are sandy or tropical you’re going to want something soft to lay on as you chill by the sea. Instead of bringing a beach mat or chair, which don’t really fit in luggage, bring an air sofa that can also be used as a flotation device in the water! These are actually really cozy and fit in a small bag that can be tossed in your carry on.
POLYN Regenerative Face Serum: After all that sweet Croatian sun, you’re going to need to hydrate your skin. You better have already been applying sunblock, preferably mineral, to keep your skin healthy. Polyn all natural skin care products are my go-to for keeping my skin fresh as I travel, especially after time spent in the sun.
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Portable Speaker: I am obsessed with my portable Bluetooth speaker. It is the loudest thing ever with super clear sound. I use it to watch movies in hotel rooms and listen to tunes on the beach or while exercising. It is very small and lightweight and comes with a loop that can easily be clipped to any bag. It’s actually waterproof and can float in a pool!