Swimming in Dubrovnik

If you’re visiting Dubrovnik in warmer weather and fancy a swim, there are several different locations to choose from. Seeing as it was pretty chilly, we didn’t want to go out of our way to find a nearby beach when there were several just outside of the Old Town walls that would suit us just as well.

These swimming spots do tend to be tucked away wherever they can fit- so don’t go expecting the wide sandy beaches of the Caribbean, especially so close to the Old Town Walls.

Just outside of the popular Pile Gate, the rocky Kolorina beach is an obvious choice; but obvious does translate to crowded- even in the off season.

Blaze Beach is another excellent option, though the name “beach” may be a bit misleading. While it has steps leading into the water, they drop off quickly, and most people prefer to jump in from a nearby cliff. This is located just off of Buza Bar, which has a selection of drinks and boasts gorgeous sunset views, so even the non swimmers will have something to do.

My personal favorite swimming spot doesn’t seem to be named on Google maps, but it’s just on the opposite site of the Dubrovnik Aquarium on the outside of the walls. Again, we faced a short number of steps to an immediate drop off, and were nervous to simply dive in. Plus, the water was cold, sue me!

Meanwhile, the local swimmers were watching us with obvious entertainment, offering us encouragement as we nervously hedged around the water. “Do not be afraid, I am here,” one of them offered in the thickest Croatian accent I’ve heard to date. Well, okay, now we HAVE to do it- no chickening out.

Eventually we sucked it up and jumped in. The water was freezing, but I was glad to have made the leap. It was a really incredible experience to be swimming just off the walls of a historical castle. I wondered how many generations of people had done the same before me.

Bear in mind that once you leave the steps, you absolutely cannot touch the bottom. Only jump in if you’re a confident swimmer- there are no lifeguards around for emergencies!

The water was really salty, so I was glad to make use of the nearby public showers to wash some of the salt off before I started drying off along the sunny castle walls.

Although this swim spot is tucked away, it isn’t exactly hidden, so there were a few groups of tourists who sort of clambered around us while we were sunning, one of whom kindly airdropped me a video of my friend and I finally jumping into the water. That video captures a really wonderful moment of our trip and I’m so glad to have it. I still think of her and her kindness often.

Once we’d (mostly) dried off, we began our slightly soggy hike all the way back up the hundreds of steps to our accommodation. Halfway up the steps, we scooted over to make way for a couple of locals who were hauling furniture down to the street to be thrown away. They took one look at us and went “Did you guys go swimming”, to which we cheerfully confirmed that we had. “My god”, they responded, with a begrudging respect. Listen, they respected that we had jumped in the ocean in November, and I respected that they were able to get this furniture all the way down to the street and nearly lap us on their way back up. That was the fastest I ever took those stairs, I’ll tell you that.

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