The best beaches in Croatia are well hidden, located in tiny islands and an easy to reach places.
Here’s where to find the most beautiful seaside spots:
Stračinska, Island of Solta, Central Dalmatia
Not popular like Hvar and Brač, Solta is a bit more rugged and not many visitors go there.
This beach is located on a bay and can be reached only by boat or by bicycle. Very secluded, if you want to get away from it all this is where you should go. Here you can immerse yourself to the sound of crickets and the sea splashing against the shore. It is a pebbled beach like most of the beaches in Croatia, surrounded by rocks and low bushes. Great location for a swimming expedition.
Located along the promenade to Zlatni Rat, this pebbled beach is a favourite among windsurfers and other active sorts, here there is a diving school and beach volleyball court. Alternatively, there are deckchairs and parasols for hire.
Our tip: There are also great views across the clear water to Zlatni Rat beach
Bačvice, Split, Central Dalmatia
One of the most famous city beaches in Split, also one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia. The perfect beach for children, where they can enjoy the soft sand and sea depth, perfect for the local picigin – a particularly regional ball game played in ankle-deep water and adapted from water polo in the early 20th century. Local children can often be seen jumping from the small cliffs further out, where the water is deeper.
Our tip: Zbirac beach bar, a prime spot for people-watching.
Pokrivenik, Island of Hvar, Central Dalmatia
A pebbly beach quiet with couple of small bars and restaurants, and a little dock on the side for the boat arrivals. Divers like to explore the coves nearby Pokrivenik for the rainbow-coloured sea sponges that inhabit it.
Our Tip: There’s a cave nearby, 65 feet above sea level, called Badanj, where remains from the Neolithic period have been found.
Seeing as this is Croatia’s pin-up beach, you’ve probably already seen it on posters. A remarkable 1,476ft fine-pebble spit, Zlatni Rat changes shape depending on prevailing local winds and currents. Located on the sunny south coast of Brač, one of the best Croatian islands, it’s also the country’s top windsurfing destination. Water sports providers arrange surfing and scuba diving, and for children, there’s an inflatable green-and-yellow aqua park. From the beach, a lovely waterside promenade, shaded by pine trees, leads to the village of Bol. Beyond is the Vidova Gora mountain which, at 2,552ft, is the highest peak on the Adriatic islands.
Sahara, Rab Island, Kvarner
Kandarola is a nudist-friendly beach since King Edward VIII whisked Wallis Simpson to Rab for a romantic break, after getting a special permission from local authorities for a skinny-dip.
One of Croatia’s rare sandy beaches, close to the town of Lopar on Rab’s north coast. If an all-over tan doesn’t tempt you, nearby Paradise Beach is an almost mile-long arc of sand, giving onto a shallow bay complete with water sports and volleyball.
Our tip: Join a guided sea-kayaking tour around the coast with Rab-based Sea Kayak Croatia.
A dramatic expanse of flat rock slabs on the southernmost tip of the Istrian peninsula, amazing Adriatic curves around Mala Kolombarica.With cliffs of up to 30ft high that challenge bathers to leap into deep blue water, exhibitionists vie to perform the most daring stunts. Above the rocks, hidden among bamboo and palm fronds, the much-loved Safari beach bar serves chilled drinks and seafood snacks. To reach Mala Kolombarica, trek or cycle along marked trails in Cape Kamenjak Nature Park on the Premantura peninsula, 10 miles south of the city of Pula, with its Roman-era amphitheatre.
Our tip: Premantura is also a great spot for windsurfing
Sipar, Mošćenička Draga, Kvarner Gulf
A long stretch of pebbles, lined with sunbeds overlooking the Kvarner Gulf towards Rijeka and Krk and Cres islands, Mošćenička Draga’s beach, Sipar, is slumberous and villagey for most of the year. Only in high summer does it fill up with visitors who arrive by excursion boats from Opatija. The beach backs on to a row of old stone cottages that host seasonal cafés and ice-cream parlours. Behind Sipar rise the pine-wooded slopes of the Učka mountain – a vertiginous path leads up to the medieval village of Mošćenice.
Our tip: Don’t miss the five-mile seaside promenade from Lovran village to the city of Volosko in Opatija.
Tiny, rocky Vela Stupa is one of an archipelago of largely uninhabited islets rising from translucent turquoise sea between Korčula Island and Pelješac peninsula. Accessible by speedboat from Korčula town, the spot is ultra-Instagrammable, with a pebble beach, wooden sunbeds, bean bags and two swings in the sea. There’s also a restaurant and bar serving fresh, Adriatic seafood, where the menu changes daily depending on the morning’s catch.
Our tip: If you’re travelling with children or like doodling, call at Boya in Korčula Old Town, which sells its own brand of cleverly designed and packaged crayons.
The sleepy town of Baška sits in a wide, sheltered bay, on the island of Krk’s south coast. Since 1908 this beach is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas and offer jet skiing, parasailing and scuba diving built around the impressive mile-long curving sand-and-pebble beach of Vela Plaža (meaning big beach), giving onto shallow turquoise sea and backed by a promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and hotels. It does, however, get very busy in peak season. If you are looking for something quieter, head to the village Stara Baška, where you’ll find pebble beach Oprna Bay – park and hike the last stretch on a steep, narrow footpath.
Our tip: The Baška Glagolitic Path is a hiking route marked by 34 stone sculptures, celebrating Glagolitic script (the oldest Slavic alphabet, dating back to the 9th century).
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