Banje (pronounced Ban-ya) Beach in the city of Dubrovnik, in the country of Croatia where I am visiting at the moment on a family summer holiday, reminds me of Bondi Beach (without the surfers or the big waves) in Australia where I grew up. Perfectly located close to the masses in a thriving city community, crystal clear waters which offer a bevy of activities for young families. Not to mention the beauty… well, you just cannot take that away from Bondi or Banje can you?
Banje Beach is a 5 minute walk up the hill from the Ploče Gate in the Old City aka Stari Grad. The Old City of Dubrovnik is an awe aspiring water port community which was founded in the first half of the 7th century, and is pretty much still standing in its original beauty and condition.
Banje is the most popular public beach in the area and therefore during the hotter months gets very busy from early in the morning. The photo above was taken around the 10.45AM mark to give you an idea. To maintain a place for your towels during the day, I suggest getting there around 9AM at the latest.
There are also deck chairs available for rent from the East West Restaurant/Nightclub who actually own half of the beach, but I have heard it is quite expensive and almost impossible during summer because they pre-sell to all the people on the MANY cruise ships who lay anchor in the Port of Dubrovnik, in advance?
East West offers cocktails and food if you are so inclined.
There are also a ton of activities for sale if you do not just feel like lounging; you can go parasailing, paddle-boarding or tubing out the back of a speed boat. All of these options leave from Banje Beach throughout the day.
Other than that, a spade and a bucket is the perfect thing to keep one amused. Pretty much, all my little munchkin wanted to do was shovel and build. And, here lies the beauty of going to the beach!
I want to point out that this is a pebble rock beach so I highly recommend wearing water-shoes to protect your feet. It is also around 100 steep steps down from the Road to access the beach level, which means around 100 steep steps up when you leave the beach to go home. Just something to think about.
Sveti Jakov Beach
If you are not feeling Banje Beach, the next closest beach I would suggest is further up the hill (just keep walking for say 20 minutes)- to Sveti Jakov. Sveti Jakov is on the tree-lined street where I stay with my family each year on the Road of Vlaha Bukovca.
But, PLEASE watch the cars – they are madder than NYC cab drivers and I mean that with all my heart. Drivers here in no way care about pedestrians and that includes our beautiful children…. they SPEED on by, no matter what, and as this is a shared road it is very concerning.
Situated close to the Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, Sveti Jakov Beach still has the amazing views of both the Old City and the Island of Lokrum (600 meters across the Ocean from the Old City) but is not as busy. Good option, if you have the stamina to walk further and up a long ongoing hill.
What about you, any plans on visiting Dubrovnik in your lifetime, or maybe you have already? If so, would love any other tips you can share on this beautiful part of the world.
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