Cavtat, one of the most beautiful places in Croatia, has some nice beaches, too. Of course, I am a bit biased, because I grew up in Cavtat and I learned how to swim there. Since my childhood, my favourite beach in Cavtat has been the KAMEN MALI Beach. Allow me to explain why:
- Kamen Mali Beach has the clearest water in Cavtat
- Kamen Mali Beach has the most stunning view in Cavtat
- Kamen Mali Beach has a perfect combination of Man and Nature
- Kamen Mali Beach is so romantic at sunset
- Kamen Mali Beach is so exciting when it’s windy
Kamen Mali is one of the most distant beaches in Cavtat and possibly one of the most difficult to reach. It’s nevertheless, ACCORDING TO MOST LOCALS, THE MOST POPULAR BEACH IN CAVTAT. Why?
Kamen Mali Beach Has The Clearest Water In Cavtat
Because it is situated almost at the tip of the Rat [ra:t] peninsula in Cavtat, the Kamen Mali beach is far away from hotels, restaurants and houses, holiday homes and apartments. Away from harbours, yachts and cars. And the pollution they create.
Of course, you can safely swim in the Cavtat harbour because it’s so clear, too. Just take a look at those sea urchins there!
However, Kamen Mali is even clearer than that. Being exposed to sea currents and winds coming from all directions, all eventual dirt is quickly taken away.
The only pollution that occasionally affects Kamen Mali are deposits of Posidonia oceanica seaweed washed ashore after stormy weather. But it’s another proof that the sea is clear. And it’s BTW quite fun to walk on.
Kamen Mali Beach Has The Most Stunning View In Cavtat
Cavtat is all about stunning views. Wherever you go, whichever beach you visit, the landscape is gorgeous.
The Kamen Mali beach has almost a 360-degree view, though. Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea from 3 sides, beautiful islands and the horizon, Kamen Mali has a really special location.
Kamen Mali Beach Has A Perfect Combination Of Man And Nature
You have probably learnt it by now: When Croatians say beach, it does not necessarily mean sandy beach. As a matter of fact, the term may not apply to a beach at all. Rather, it’s a point from which you access the water more easily than elsewhere.
Kamen Mali is a fine example of such a beach. Yes, it does have an area with a pebble beach. However, walking into the water FROM that beach makes things even harder, because the pebbles seem to transform to slippery watermelon-like rocks that HINDER you from walking safely into deeper water.
The key of benefiting from the Kamen Mali beach is to learn from locals how to get into the water. Just observe them do it, and then do as they do. If you’re not flexible enough or have walking difficulties, think twice before trying that.
However, Kamen Mali is more accessible than you would expect. Why is that the case?
Kamen Mali Was Actually A Quarry
I have to admit that I didn’t know that fact until couple of years ago. I was doing research about Dubrovnik City Walls and bumped into a footnote that mentioned Cavtat as one of the quarries where the stone to build Dubrovnik came from.
Situated between Cavtat and Dubrovnik, the flat and green island of Supetar was one of the most important quarries of the Republic of Dubrovnik.
On the photo you can see the island of Supetar in the distance with waves crushing over the islet of Šuperka, which was detrimental to many Roman galleons.
Hence, scuba diving is one of the most attractive activities you can do in Cavtat, because you get to see some of those ancient shipwrecks found underwater.
Kamen Mali was used as a quarry in the 16th century by the builders of Dubrovnik. The stone was shipped to Dubrovnik to build the city, including the Dubrovnik City Walls.
As a child, I would always wonder how come the stones at Kamen Mali were so regular and smooth, as they were cut. Now I know the answer.
Since it’s been more than 500 years since it was last used, the erosion made many of those rocks look quite natural. And, BTW, they are so comfortable to sit in, since they’re shaped like armchairs.
This is the view from my favourite “armchair”.
In the distance, you can see a landmark of Kamen Mali, the crag named Galija or The Galleon.
Again, it’s probably the result of both human AND natural intervention.
Why Do Locals Love Kamen Mali?
As kids, we would play “na hitala” there. Basically, it’s a TAG game which includes swimming and jumping into the water in a circular pattern, trying to catch other players, thereby disqualifying them.
Of course, you have to be skilled to do that. Don’t try to jump into the sea before making sure how deep it is.
And there is also “sekica“, a small underwater rock, which becomes challenging when the waves are powerful. Your aim should be to climb it and keep your balance.
Kamen Mali Beach Is So Romantic At Sunset
Depending on the season, the Sun will set at a different point. The advantage of being at Kamen Mali is that you will always be able to see it.
The “frame” to the setting sun in Winter will be provided by the island of Mrkan. Consequently, the sun “moves” towards the silhouette of the island of Mljet and the Elaphiti Islands in Spring and Summer. And then back.
Occasionally, the Sun “sets” directly into the Adriatic Sea, without being “framed” by the islands, creating golden reflections on the warm rocks of Kamen Mali.
Unfortunately, I haven’t made any photos of the sunset yet. (well, I have, but they are on my old Nokia phone). If you’d like to share your photos with me, feel free to paste your photos below. Thanks.
But my favourite time to visit Kamen Mali is when the wind is strong…
Kamen Mali Beach Is So Exciting When It’s Windy
My brother and I could hardly wait to get to Kamen Mali when the Maestral was blowing in Summer.
Maestral is a NW wind that brings much needed refreshment is warm summer moths in Dalmatia.
That wind is known to create big waves.
However, it seems that those waves get amplified at Kamen Mali, especially by its funnel-like “gate”.
All the kids, including my brother and myself, would carefully approach the “funnel”, and dive into the crushing waves.
Looking back now, it was so dangerous. But back then, we did not care. It was so exciting! Being taken to the “jacuzzi” by a wave was a precious experience…
Sometimes in wintertime (BTW, these photos were taken in early Spring), the waves can get so powerful that you have to observe them from the road above. It’s awe-inspiring!
PS. I almost forgot. Translated from Croatian, Kamen Mali means “The Little Rock”.
Because there is also a place called “The Big Rock” or Kamen Veliki.
If you’re a fan of jumping from rocks into the sea, you will love it there. Kamen Veliki is just some 300 meters away from Kamen Mali. Ask someone about its whereabouts or look for a small doughnut-shaped island beneath it.
Scenes from The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2021) were shot in Cavtat in October 2020.
Nicolas Cage plays himself in this movie directed by Tom Gormican.