Sveti Jakov Beach, Dubrovnik

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Sveti Jakov beach is a favourite choice with visitors to Dubrovnik looking for a quieter and more natural beach. Sveti Jakov is hidden away and not particularly easy to find – but it’s well worth tracking down. We spent the day here and here’s what we found…

With the day-time temperatures pushing the 40-degree mark and a tiring few days behind us with our white water rafting adventure in Montenegro, we decided to spend a day just relaxing on another of the many beaches near where we were staying in Mlini, Dubrovnik.

The Dubrovnik Riviera coastline has loads of beautiful beaches, many of them extremely busy at this time of year.

We’d heard that the beach which is the favourite of local residents in this area is Sveti Jakov beach, which is known for being quieter than some of the others (particularly Banje beach, which is Dubrovnik’s main beach and certainly the most busy).

Sveti Jakov beach, taken from the steps leading down to the beach. Views of Dubrovnik Old Town in the distance

We struggled to find Sveti Jackov beach, driving around in circles between Dubrovnik Old Town and some residential roads which felt close to the beach, but we couldn’t see it.

Eventually we turned down a very narrow road, which didn’t look like we should be driving down, but which led to a church which has a number of metred parking spaces outside.

We parked up here and walked by the side and behind the church to find a very steep, concrete staircase which leads you down to the beach.

Glimpses from the steps of what awaits you at the bottom

Walking down all these steps is one thing, climbing back up in the heat of the summer sun really takes it out of you!

But the effort is worthwhile to get to a stunningly beautiful beach which is certainly more picturesque and quieter than the main Banje beach, which is about half a mile along the coast.

Sveti Jakov beach with Dubrovnik Old Town in the distance
Clear, calm, shallow water make Sveti Jakov beach ideal for the children.

There’s a restaurant here, the usual rows of sun loungers to hire and space to lay your towels on the pebbles if you don’t want to fork out the cost of a lounger.

The water is amazingly clear and blue and, if you bring a snorkel and diving mask, you can swim around the nearby rocks and see lots of fish below you.


Sveti Jakov beach deserves its reputation as the best beach on the mainland Dubrovnik coast. It’s definitely a hidden gem, though clearly getting more popular and definitely worth checking out.

How to find Sveti Jakov Beach

Use Google Maps to take you to the Sveti Jakov church here:

Once you’ve made it to the church, walk behind it and you’ll see the steps that take you down to the beach.