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Kupari, Croatia

The Abandoned Hotels of Kupari

The now-overgrown beach resort was once frequented by Yugoslav military elite. 

Five hotels built in the 1960s, once frequented by Yugoslavia’s military elite, sit crumbling into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. They’ve now been abandoned for decades.

The once-exclusive holiday resort saw thousands of Yugoslav officers and their families in its heyday. In the early 1990s, during the Croatian War of Independence, the Yugoslav Army destroyed the former beach paradises. After looting each of the five buildings, they systematically burned the hotels down, floor by floor.

The hotels—Grand, Kupari, Goričina, Goričine II, and Pelegrin—had enough room for 1,600 guests at a time. A nearby campsite could hold over 4,000 more. They boasted private villas, too, and even President Josip Broz Tito had a holiday home at Kupari. The resort wasn’t built exclusively for the military elite, but as its popularity grew, booking became increasingly difficult unless one had connections.

Today, the shells of the buildings are now overgrown with ivy, weeds, and trees. The beaches that stretch out before the ruins remain popular, the effects of war still visible to the locals and tourists who frequent the beautiful waters of Croatia.

Know Before You Go

It's a short drive south from Dubrovnik or if you don't have a car, take the public bus heading south on 8 and tell the driver that you’d like to exit at the bus stop in Kupari. Once you get off the bus, you’ll be on the right hand side of the road facing south. Make a u-turn and walk north until you see the first little road on your left. The first portion of the road is paved and then it turns to dirt. Follow it until you reach the sea and you've arrived.

Bring a flashlight if you really want to explore. Some of the stairways are in the back where there isn't much natural light. There's lots of broken glass and debris so be careful of your feet.