Dubrovnik is far from being just a walk-round museum of cultural treasures and churches. It also stands in the middle of a spectacularly unspoiled natural landscape, and is ideally suited to an active holiday of paddling, peddling and generally pottering around.
The easiest way to stretch your legs is to embark on a mission to conquer Mount Srđ, the stark 412m-high summit that watches over Dubrovnik to the north. Otherwise catch a ferry to an offshore island such as Lopud, Šipan or Mljet, where numerous walking trails forge through untouched Mediterranean landscapes.
Most popular of the organized activities in the Dubrovnik region is sea kayaking, with several local agencies offering half- or full-day paddles focusing on the nearby islands of Lokrum, Koločep and Lopud.
Cycling is beginning to take off in the Konavle, the beautifully rustic coastal strip that runs southeast from Dubrovnik to the Montenegrin border. The Cavtat tourist office publishes a series of free mountain biking maps to the region, and guided bike tours can be booked at travel agents in both Dubrovnik and Cavtat.
With the chance to go scuba diving or sailing in coastal waters near Dubrovnik or Mljet, or try out free climbing or horse riding in the Konavle, there’s no shortage of variety.
Family AdventureProducts and agencies which offer activities for both kids and adults, day trips to devour, and safe sporting activities.
ExcursionsProducts and agencies which offer one-day trips and longer trips that suit your needs.
AdrenalineProducts and agencies which offer activities for adults (18+) with an element of thrill and danger.
- Abyss - Diving & Water-sport Centre
- Adventure Dalmatia
- Big Game Fishing
- Blue Planet
- Diving Club Dubrovnik
- Kojan koral
In the city itself, the town beach is Banje, just outside the Ploče gate of the city walls. The expanse of white pebbles has a super view of the Old Town and is suitable for children and non-swimmers. Or you could creep through the Buža hole in the southern city walls and take a dive off the rocks there – the crystalline water is truly tempting.
You could take a taxi boat from the Old Town’s harbour to Lokrum island (50kn return), where the beaches are immersed in lush greenery, plus there’s a naturist beach and shallow saltwater lake.
Just west of town is the Danče promontory, a rocky beach a little more exposed to the open sea, offering refreshing waves. Further east is the beach below Hotel Bellevue – a spectacular stretch of pebble and shingle backed by cliffs.
About 15min walk east of town is the Sveti Jakov beach, under the abbey of the same name. The pebble and shingle beach offers great views of the city and of Lokrum. You can get here by taking bus no. 5 to the end of the line. You need have no fear as to the quality of the water near the Old Town; the water quality is constantly monitored and is excellent. If, however, you would like to get away from the centre, you can head for the Lapad peninsula. The deep Lapad bay is ringed with beaches, all different. Uvala Lapad is sandy, while others are pebbly, rocky or concrete. There are plenty of facilities such as showers, toilets, watersports and refreshments.
On the side of the Babin kuk (“grandmother’s hip”) peninsula, the Copacabana beach has water slides and other fun stuff. If you don’t fancy taking the coast path and finding your own personal piece of heaven, you could always hire a pedalo and take the scenic route…
Another option is to take a ferry and take a day trip to Koločep or Lopud islands, both of which have fine sandy beaches and opportunities to explore.
Or, head south of the city to the resorts of Župa Dubrovačka, which have some of the most attractive white pebble beaches in the country (take bus no. 10 or 16).