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With so much beautiful coastline to play with, it's no surprise that water-sports are one of the highlights of an active holiday in Dubrovnik and Neretva County.

Photo: Viganj, Credit: Ive Trojanovic

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Croatia has long been associated with nautical tourism, thanks to its dazzling archipelago of islands and highly indented coastline, which allows for safe sailing, even when the weather conditions are not quite ideal. And the eternal bond this region has to the sea is crystal clear from the variety and popularity of a wide range of water sports. Traditionally, the most popular sport here is somewhat unexpected - water polo. The people of Dubrovnik are exceptionally proud of the success of their water polo team ‘Jug’.

From windsurfing and sailing to kayaking, scuba diving and paddle-boarding - feel free to discover the best watersports to try in Dubrovnik and Neretva County.

Where is the Dubrovnik and Neretva County region?

Dubrovnik and Neretva County is Croatia's southernmost region, and consists of two main parts: the southern area, a long, thin length of coastline running between the borders of Montenegro and  Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the city of Dubrovnik and surrounding areas, and the northern half, containing the Neretva Delta and more mountainous inland landscapes. The countryside is mainly agricultural and scenically stunning, with a backdrop of mountains descending steeply towards the coast before the terrain flattens out as it nears the sea.

This region embraces not only these mainland areas, but also several beautiful islands such as of Mljet and Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula - virtually an island itself as it's joined to the coast by a slim strip of land.

At the heart of the county is the UNESCO World Heritage city of Dubrovnik, a city with a long and tumultuous history, which has been fought over by countless empires and countries throughout the centuries, and, more recently, Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, as the city doubled as the fictional King's Landing in the TV series Games of Thrones.

Photo: Neretva, Credit: Davorka Kitonic

Why is Dubrovnik and Neretva County good for watersports?

Croatia has more than 1,100 miles of coastline. Throw in the shorelines of 1,185 islands, plus inland lakes, rivers and lagoons, and top it off with a warm Mediterranean climate, especially in summer, and it’s obvious that watersports addicts will feel totally at home here. You can sail among the islands, kayak the inland rivers and lakes, snorkel or scuba off the Adriatic coastline or kitesurf, and waterski on a holiday in Dubrovnik and Neretva County.

And, of course, you can always fall back on the simple pleasure of swimming! The Adriatic Sea is generally clean, warm and free of strong currents or sharks. The spectacular coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches, both in Dubrovnik's historic Old Town and the surrounding areas.

For those wanting to try watersports for the first time, there are organized schools for sailing and diving in dozens of centres.

Companies such as Dubrovnik Water Sports can arrange everything from a boat trip to kayak rental, from waterskiing or wakeboarding to the exhilarating new watersport of flyboarding - literally rising up in the air on a board powered by water propulsion. It's like balancing on top of a column of water.

The best watersports to try in Dubrovnik and Neretva County

From stand-up paddleboarding to jetskis, from sailing to scuba diving, here's a rundown of some of the best watersports to try... 

Photo: Lokrum, Credit: Fani Levi


All watersport enthusiast will love stand up paddling. It's a fun and different way of exploring the amazing Dubrovnik and Neretva County region and the Croatian islands, admiring them from a different angle. Around Dubrovnik itself, Zaton Bay 10 km from Dubrovnik, is perfect for stand-up paddle boarding. The deep bay is protected from southern Croatia’s legendary winds, and free of Dubrovnik’s tourist crowds and busy motorboat traffic. You can also paddle along the Old Town’s towering defensive walls for a unique view of the historic walled city from the sea or to Lokrum Island. The Bacina Lakes in Dubrovnik-Neretva County are also popular with paddleboarders.

Photo: Cavtat, Credit: Vladimir Franolic

Kayaking and canoeing

An original and accessible way to learn about the wider coast of Dubrovnik and Neretva is by sea kayak or canoe. In the Cavtat areas there are organised kayaking excursion where you can try fishing, but also to observe the birds on the nearby islands.

Paddling through the lakes of Mljet, combined with untouched nature all over the island, will make your holiday unforgettable. The unique combination of natural bays, sandy beaches, crystal clear sea and blue caves, plenty of sunshine and local cuisine.

The waters around Dubrovnik too are full of kayakers in the summer, enjoying a very different perspective on this UNESCO World Heritage site.

And this year, in September, the World Championship in Kayak-Canoe Marathon is being held in Metković - a must-see event for all paddle enthusiasts!


The ideal way to see the Dubrovnik and Neretva County region and its islands is by boat. The winds are perfect from late April to early November, the sea is warm and almost current-free and there are countless safe anchorages along the coastline and around the islands. Freedom from ferry schedules is liberating, and the ability to set your own timetable as you sail from island to island is sometimes more economical than when you add together the costs of hotel accommodation and getting around.

Due to the fact that this area of the Adriatic is especially attractive, it's worth remembering that even these waters can get busy during summer months. For those who dislike the crowds we recommend taking a sailing tour during pre-season or post-season when the prices are lower, the crowds are smaller and it is far more likely that you will sail into a spacious cove where you may privately enjoy the rich nature.

Photo: Lastovo, Credit: Ante Gugic

Scuba diving

This area offers spectacular diving in unforgettable natural beauty, with a wealth of sea life. But scuba diving in the Dubrovnik and Neretva County region is like diving into history, with exciting dive sites, such as the 'museum on the sea floor' near Cavtat, which is the largest amphora (a kind of ancient Greek storage jar) site in the Adriatic and one of the ten largest in the Mediterranean. This was the site where a ship carrying a cargo of 50,000 litres of oil from a northern African port sank in the 3rd century BC. Over 1,000 amphorae are visible over an area of 200m2 and under these, the remnants of the sunken ship are also visible.

This find, at a depth of just 30m, is accessible to amateur divers. It can be visited in an organised tour and with the official guidance of members of the ‘Epidaurum’ diving club. As one of the best diving centres in the Dubrovnik region, diving & water-sports center Epidaurum has experienced instructors and professional equipment for diving and water sports.

The Cavtat area is brilliant for diving. The nearby islands of Mrkan, Bobara and Supetar, along with several of the largest and most attractive ancient sites in the Adriatic offer extraordinary dive opportunities.

They are extremely valuable sites with over 1800 amphorae and pithoi, which originate from the first century BC and the first and second century AD. In addition to that, Cavtat’s seabed abounds in beautiful underwater walls that reach up to 100 feet of depth, with underwater caves and sunken ships.

Diving in the crystal blue water of the Lastovo archipelago will bring you many fantastic sights, such as corals, algae, fish and shellfish, old boat wrecks and amphora. Numerous bays, cliffs and an island group called Lastovnjaci on the eastern side offer a real underwater paradise for divers. If you want to learn to dive, the island offers two diving schools - Ancora in Zaklopatica and Diving Paradise – Lastovo in Pasadur.

Mljet, too, is rich in marine biology which can be seen in its superb dive sites, underwater caves and coral reefs. A large collection of amphora found underwater show that Mljet is situated on an important maritime route of ancient Greek ships.

Jet skiing

There are many opportunities to rent a jet ski and explore the waters and islands around Dubrovnik. From short 30min rentals to longer island safaris, jet skis offer an unforgettable experience of fun and adrenaline. Rent a jet ski from Lapad and whizz around the most famous spots around Dubrovnik and Lapad. You can visit the Blue Lagoon or the famous Old Town Walls of Dubrovnik.

Photo: Viganj, Credit: Ive Trojanovic


There are numerous windy spots where windsurfers and kitesurfers can find perfect conditions for practicing this exhilarating sport. Windsurfers will especially relish the chance to test their skills in the Mistral winds blowing through the Pelješac channel.

The position of Viganj and Kučište on the coast, at the narrowest part of the Pelješac Channel, at the foot of the St. Ilija hill, creates perfect wind conditions, making Viganj and Kučište top surfing destinations for all professional and recreational surfers, and kiters. For surfers looking for something new check out the area of Sreser and Dreče.

For more information about visiting this fantastic area, go to

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