Dubrovnik‘s beaches aren’t the glitzy, white-sand stretches you might see elsewhere on the Mediterranean. Beaches along the Dalmatian coast are beautifully rugged, and you’ll most likely be sunbathing on a slab of rock, or napping on a fine shingle shoreline. One of Dubrovnik’s greatest assets is the chance to swim alongside the scenic City Walls. These handsome fortifications are punctuated by small coves and a cluster of family-friendly beaches just a short walk from the Old City. These are convenient but inevitably busy during the high season – for real relaxation, read on to discover the best places to laze and bathe in and around Dubrovnik.
Local residents and in-the-know visitors steer towards Sveti Jakov, a picturesque walk along a pine-fringed boulevard, just 20 minutes from Banje. Located near Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, the gorgeous, panoramic view stretches right over the Old Town and Lokrum Island. A blend of sand and shingle, Sveti Jakov is a bit more rugged than the city beach. There are fewer amenities here, but fortunately, fewer people too. Access to the beach is via a lengthy stairwell, making the beach less suitable for anyone with limited mobility. Something to bear in mind: the clamber up is significantly more difficult than the journey down!
Despite its name, Dubrovnik’s Copacabana has little in common with Rio’s white sandy swathes. Set in Babin Kuk, a wealthy area on the Lapad peninsula and the site of the Valamar hotel complexes, Copacabana is one of Dubrovnik’s largest beaches and is made up of pebbles and sand, with shallow waters – making it a safe bet for families. There’s a small inflatable water park for kids and an all-day bar for adults too.
Days at the seaside don’t come hipper than the Coral Beach Club, a luxurious hang-out with perfectly sculpted sandbanks and well-preened palm trees. Set on the west coast of Babin Kuk, the beach is dotted with white lounge chairs, and pricey cocktails are de rigueur, while Scandinavian techno faintly patters in the background.
Additional reporting for this article was provided by Peterjon Cresswell.