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2018 Beach Guide: Best Beaches in Croatia
There is no denying the beauty of Croatia; we’re always bragging about the natural wonders and rich cultural diversity – but, how do you choose where to swim in the sparkling azure Adriatic? After all, there are over 1000 islands, inlets, and isles stretching across 6,000kms of coastline.
Mali Bok Beach, Cres Island
This is one of those beaches which requires some effort to get to it. Once you get there, you will be rewarded with unparalleled beauty. Mali Bok is surrounded by rocky cliffs and is an excellent beach for those of you who like snorkel or dive. The Adriatic gets deep at this beach quite quickly, but there is no need to be afraid of the deep blue Adriatic, there are no great whites in this neck of the woods.
Sakarun Beach, Dugi Otok
Some call it the Croatian Carribean because the sand on this beach is so white and the sea so crystal clear just like the Carribean Sea. This beach always makes the “Croatian best beaches” list because it’s freaking awesome! Sakarun is 800 meters long, so there is plenty of room for you to lay down your towel and claim your own little piece of beach paradise. The beach is on Dugi Otok, so if you are in Zadar, there are many small charter boats that will take for a day trip to Sakarun Beach for a reasonable price.
Ručica Beach, Island of Pag
This beach is a unique experience. Crystal clear sea with the backdrop of the rocky, desolate Pag slopes. The beach is a combination of sand and rock and to get there; you need to walk through “the canyon.” There are no facilities so bring everything you need including some shade.
Sveti Jakob, Dubrovnik
Located just south of the main center of Dubrovnik, this small but very beautiful beach is ideal for getting away from the crowds, especially during the peak months, in July and August. The beach is around a half an hour’s stroll from the Old Town, and you do have to walk down more than 100 steps to get to it, but the end result is worth it!
The beach is pebbly and has an on-site cafe for refreshments and light snacks. There is a lot of shade on this beach for those who want it, as the pine trees roll down to the shore. You can also see Dubrovnik’s city walls from the sand, so it makes for a stunning view.
Golden Cape Beach, Rovinj
Istria has very few sandy beaches. Nonetheless, its beaches are stunning. Golden Cape beach is just a few kilometers from the charming town of Rovinj, and this beach is loved by locals and tourists alike. The shoreline is lined by a park, so there is plenty of shade to escape the heat and take a nap under a tree.
Zlatni Rat, Brač
All I can say is WOW! This beach is arguably Croatia’s best beach and consistently wins various international best beach awards. Zlatni Rat’s is a long golden pebble beach which changes shape with the currents and prevailing winds. The beach is located in Bol and overlooks the island of Hvar. The beach is lined with pine trees and is a picture perfect location. Let’s not forget the alluring Adriatic Sea and you have everything you need for an absolutely magnificent Croatian beach vacation.
This beach is close to Zadar, but not in the center, so it is a good escape from busy crowds. The beach has a chilled out feel, so if you don’t like too much action, this is a good choice. Located around 25km away from the center, you will need to drive, catch a bus or get a taxi.
The beach is very family-orientated, and the water is clear and shallow, which makes it ideal for an afternoon’s splashing around. There are also a couple of cafes just off the beach, which serve lunch.
Pecine Beach, Rijeka
This little gem of a beach is located a stone’s throw from Rijeka and is perfect for a sneaky little swim. As always the Adriatic doesn’t disappoint, and it’s a top beach in an area not known for too many good beaches.
Pupnatska Luka, Korcula
For some of the bluest sea you will ever see in your life, this particular beach is where it’s at! Just south of Korcula, there are many small coves and beaches, and this one is certainly one of the best. This is a pebbly beach and lies blow a thick forest. The pebbles are blinding white, which makes the water look even bluer than it already is. The contrast from the green forest also looks amazing in the pictures you will take from here.
This is quite a sheltered spot, so you won’t find many crowds; you could call it a hidden gem. There are a few upmarket restaurants just off the beach, which serve delicious salads and seafood dishes.
Queen’s Beach, Nin
There are many sandy beaches around the Zadar-Nin area, but this one is probably the biggest and the best. Families love this beach because of the shallow water and relative safety of the beach.
This is one of Rab’s beautiful sandy beaches, and its plus point is that it’s a quiet spot also. You don’t have to venture too far from the main beach, Rajska, to reach here and you will be rewarded with fewer crowds and more laid-back atmosphere.
The beach is backed by beautiful green pine trees, and the waters are quite shallow, which makes it ideal for families who want to get away from the main crowds.
During peak season, however, the crowds do tend to spill over from the main beach, but if you get there early enough you will grab a spot. There are also cafes and restaurants very close by, if you want a break from splashing, to head out for lunch.
Vela Przina Beach, Korcula Island
Arguably Korcula’s best beach, Vela Przina is very popular with holidaymakers during the summer months. If you want to spend the day at this beach, you’ll need to get in early to claim your real estate. There are spectacular views out to the island of Lastovo from this beach so be sure to bring the camera.
The small island of Susak is as close to a castaway island as you’re likely to get! The beaches here are beautiful, and the moon-shaped crescent of the beach offers shallow waters which go out for a long distance, so you can easily paddle or splash with your children, without worrying about dangerous drops or tides.
The downside is that you will need to get a ferry from Mali Losinj, which can take some time, but the journey is more than worth it. The beach is also sandy, which is a rarity and offers the ideal spot to chill out, relax, and enjoy the quiet beach. If you get tired of relaxing on the beach, you can also venture out to explore the village.
Paradise Beach, Lopar.
This long sandy beach is a rare gem in Croatia. There aren’t very many sandy beaches in Croatia, but Lopar boasts 22 of them with Paradise the biggest and most popular. This beach is perfect for families as its very shallow, and you have the facilities you need to keep the family entertained for the day.
Lovrecina Bay, Brac Island
Around 4km away from Postira, this small bay is one of a cluster of beaches on the island that give you that true beach paradise vibe. The sea here is literally translucent blue, and the olive groves and old church ruins which border the beach will make you feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
Again this isn’t the easiest beach to get to, and there is no bus stop which runs directly to the beach and not much in the way of parking. If you can get there, however, which is possible, then you will be rewarded with a total lack of crowds and a huge amount of space to yourself. This area is also quite exclusive, so you can expect some top quality restaurants a short distance away.
Stiniva Beach, Vis
In recent years, the island of Vis has become increasingly popular with tourists looking for a destination not swarming with summer crowds. Stiniva beach is a beach for those of you prepared to put in a little work. You’ll need to earn the right to visit this little slice of heaven by descending a goat track. For those of you with a boat, you can somewhat cheat and pass through the rocky Stiniva gateway, which then opens up into a grand stone amphitheater. The beach is stony and the sea magical. Stiniva is a real treasure and an unforgettable beach experience.
Tip: A European travel site European Best Destinations recently asked travelers to vote for the best beaches in Europe for 2016 with the hidden Stiniva beach topping the list.
Nugal, Makarska Riviera
This one is for those of you that like to let it all hang out! Nugal is a is a nudist beach, we had to include at least one. It’s located at the bottom of a cliff which can be reached by descending through a forest. This beach has to be one of the most picturesque beaches on the Makarska Riviera and if you like to bare it all at the beach. This is the one for you.
Bačvice Beach, Split
Found right in Split’s city center is one of the most well-known beaches in the world – Bačvice Beach. There is something for everyone at this beach. While it’s not the most beautiful beach in Croatia is definitely the most fun. Bačvice has plenty of activities going on during the day and at night, the beach comes alive when all of the bars and clubs lining the shore open their doors. The local sport of picigin originated at Bačvice Beach, and you’ll see loads of locals playing.
The island of Biševo has a hidden gem, Porat Beach. This little sandy beach is perfect for those of you sailing the Adriatic. We visited this sandy beach on the advice of our Captain and spent the day swimming and lazing about. It was a day of pure relaxation set in an idyllic Dalmatian bay.
This beach is one of the best on Pelješac. Trstenica is a sandy / pebble beach and a perfect for families. Located in Orebic grab yourself a couple of bottles of chilled Pošip and head to the beach for a day of fine wine and lazing on the beach while the kiddies frolic in the shallow sea.
Another beautiful beach on the island of Hvar is Grebisce. In order to reach the beach, you will need to head to the popular Grebisce camping site and walk through, to gain access. Once you reach there, which isn’t a particularly long walk, you will see the beach is narrow and not very shaded, but the sand and shallow waters are very attractive for those who want to chill out.
The campsite has a cafe and small restaurant, so you can easily grab some refreshments from there, and there are several other beach bars just around the headland if you just walk a few minutes from your perched spot for the day!
Punta Rata, Brela
Punta Rata has been nominated as one of the most beautiful pebble beaches in the world countless times, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s heavenly. Located on the Makarska Riviera where you can take your pick from a myriad of breathtaking beaches, this beach stands out. Let’s not forget the famous Brela Stone located at this beach with is the symbol of Brela and Croatia.
A lovely quiet beach located on the far side of Mljet. This sandy beach is perfect for those looking for peace and quiet set amongst absolute Adriatic beauty.
Heading to Hvar, you can’t go past the spectacularly stunning Dubovica Beach located between Hvar town and Starigrad. This unadulterated pebble beach invites you to take a dip and experience the joy of the Adriatic sea.
More Beaches in Croatia:
Veli Zal Beach, Brsecine
Pasjaca Beach, Konavle
Blace Beach, Mljet
Divna Beach, Peljesac
Duba Beach, Peljesac
Sunj Beach, Lapad
Sv. Jakov Beach, Dubrovnik
- Mulini Beach Rovinj
- Golubjera Beach Rabac
- Ravni Beach
- Klancac Beach
- Moscenicka Draga Beach
- Kasunji Beach
- Trstenik Beach
- Bene Beach
- Kastelet Beach
- Sv. Nedilja Beach
The Island of Krk
- Potovosce Beach Krk
- Velo celo Krk
- Vela plaza Baska Beach
- Vela Luka Beach
- Pupnatska Luka Beach
- Bratinja Luka Beach
- Proizd Beaches
- Orlandusa Beach
We want you to know: A huge thanks to self-taught photographer Tim Ertl, an Austrian who has spent the last ten years traveling up and down the Croatian Coast who captured many of these photographs. Tim has an excellent photography blog about the 1,000 things to do in Croatia, also has a kick-ass Flickr account with photos to drool over. Tim was kind enough to share some of his suggestions with us, but you can also find dozens more of his best Croatian beaches here.
So, which of these best beaches will you swim in this summer?
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