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It’s fair to say Dubrovnik’s cityscape is up there with the best of them. And, yes, schlepping the Old Town’s streets delivers the cobbles, culture and cuisine triple threat that’s on everyone’s city break list. But well-travelled types are looking for something, well, a little extra.

Anyone with a smartphone and some sensible shoes can mooch about. But, explorers in Dubrovnik? They paddle. Abandoned islands, haunted shores, hidden caves, famous filming locations and Croatian wildlife. Whatever you’re after, sea kayaking in Dubrovnik delivers. The city views from the water aren’t too shabby either. 

Sea kayaking spots in Dubrovnik

If this isn’t your first paddle in open water, you may want to head out and explore the shore for yourself. Outdoor Croatia have a range of rental packages to equip you with everything you need for a day, or more, sea kayaking in Dubrovnik. Obviously, you’ll be keen to explore the coast for yourself, but we’ve lined up a few essentials to get you started. 

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Lokrum Island

Paddle around Lokrum to see Croatian nature in all its glory. An island of intriguing plants, trees and wildlife that’ll get you scampering out of your kayak for a browse through the nature reserve. The island even has its own ‘dead sea’. Pretty impressive for such a small crop of rock. If you choose to just paddle around the 1.5 mile long island, there’s still plenty to see. The caves and beach caves are a highlight, though Dubrovnik’s nudist community like to hang out here too. 

Hotel Belvedere

If you paddle south from Dubrovnik, you may spot a crumbling – and possibly familiar – sight on the shore. 18 storeys of an abandoned, luxury hotel are yours to peer at. Game of Thrones fans will want to paddle past this beauty sharpish to see the amphitheatre where battles were won and lost. A Russian billionaire has snapped up the Hotel Belvedere, with plans to reopen it. 

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Daksa

Why would a 12 acre, offshore, private island stay untouched for decades? Well, Daksa’s ‘Island of Ghosts’ moniker gives us a small clue to its very murky past. Boat tours refuse to go there and local residents would rather forget what happened in 1944. A grisly massacre of 53 presumed Nazi collaborators took place – without trial, evidence or burial. So far, so grim. If you ‘ain’t afraid of no ghosts, this is a rare chance to have an island all to yourself.  

Sea Kayaking Tours

Sea kayak in Dubrovnik’s sunset

How can you improve Dubrovnik’s city and seascape? Slap a pink-hued sunset on it and jump in a kayak. Yes, the city looks impressive in the full light of day, but add some atmospheric lighting and your eyes are treated to the full Insta filter treatment. For €32, Adventure Dubrovnik will get you in the water 2.5 hours before the sunsets – so you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate the skyline in both lights. You’ll paddle past the Old Town, check out Lokum island and do a bit of reconnaissance in a beach cave before the sunset shows up. Your guides will spin some medieval yarns, top up your Dubrovnik history intel and even pour you a chilled glass of the country’s wine. We’re not easily bribed, but the addition of a sophisticated tipple on the beach makes this a real contender for the best sea kayaking trip in Dubrovnik.

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Orbzii Tip: If you’ve already got your Dubrovnik evenings sorted, give Adventure Dubrovnik’s sea kayaking and snorkelling tour a look. 

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Game of Thrones

Prepare yourself for a King’s Landing (sorry but given the theme, we couldn’t help but sneak that one in). The good people of Dubrovnik have been blessed by the HBO gods. Ever since the epic series filmed their first scenes here, Game of Thrones tours in Dubrovnik have been big business. And, hats off to them on this one. Kayak Dubrovnik have crafted a Game of Thrones kayak tour. Because, well, why not. So many filming locations are wedged into – and around – the city’s shores. You’ll hike and paddle past the Red Keep, see where the Qarth scenes were filmed and take a deep dive into Dubrovnik’s Game of Thrones history. A Lannister always pays his debts – and at €75 per person this trip is the priciest on our list. 

Peddle and Paddle

Switch your mode of transport up, and give your shoulders a rest with Adriatic Kayak Tour’s Lopud and Sipan island tour. You’ll be catching the ferry from Gruz Harbour to Lopud Island before an hour’s paddling to a Sipan fishing village. Then you’ll hop on two wheels to pedal to your lunch spot. For €52 per person, expect the holiday classics. Olive groves, vineyards, rustic views and plenty of churches. You’ll lunch with a suitably scenic view, before cycling your way to a swim, hiking to some more views and then it’s back to the kayaks to paddle back to the ferry. A full day – but an eclectic one that packs in the Dubrovnik experiences. 

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Sea kayaking essentials

Before you kayak Dubrovnik’s salty waters, get acquainted with a dry bag. A simple, but essentially, life-changing bit of kit, it’ll keep your tech, spare clothes and cash dry – even if you end up taking a dip. And, of course, tech is something you’ll want with you. Whether you go camera, phone or Go-Pro is up to you, but you’ll want shots of, well, everything.

Water, snacks and sun protection almost go without saying – but if you’re on a tour it’s all too easy to assume you’ll be looked after. Take your own … just in case. A towel is sort of straying into the luxurious end of essentials – but if you’ve room, pack it. Wear your swimmers – for any impromptu snorkel stops. And to round off your sea kayaking ensemble, pick up a pair of aqua shoes. Dubrovnik’s rocky shoreline is no friend to tender toes. 

Ready to try sea kayaking in Dubrovnik? Let’s get you paddling those Adriatic waters with the Orbzii app. Plan and book your trip from your phone – and you’ll be exploring the craggy coast in no time.