Croatia’s Dalmatia region is home to some of the finest beaches in Europe. Known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings, Croatia is a number one destination for a summer holiday. During the summer months, there is rarely a cloud in the sky and daytime temperatures rarely drop below thirty degrees. Evenings and nights are pleasantly warm and perfect for exploring some of the many cultural treasures that this delightful little country has to offer. The peak season runs from June to the end of August although May and September are ideal times to go for those who want to avoid the extreme heat and the crowds of the summer.
Aside from its wonderful beaches, you will find extremely ancient and picturesque towns and villages, beautiful national parks and islands, enjoy extravagant seafood feasts and enjoy the hospitality of the welcoming Croatian people. If you are looking for a dream beach holiday, consider the following destinations.
In 2003, the Forbes magazine put Brela’s main beach, Punta Rata, on their list of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world and, if you go there, you will quickly see why. Brela itself is a pleasant little fishing village with plenty of greenery and picturesque whitewashed houses. The beach itself offers some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. The beach is stony, and the waters are very deep only a few metres out although you can see the seabed eight or more metres down since the water is so clean. A backdrop of pine trees overlooks the narrow beach offering plenty of shade for those who don’t want to stay in the sun for too long. Closer to the village, the shore is lined by plenty of cafés and restaurants offering fresh seafood.
The only disadvantage about Brela is that it gets extremely overcrowded during the peak season. It is a popular place for families and romantic holidays although there is a backpackers’ hostel offering a fun summer party scene for those wanting a bit more liveliness. Only 15 kilometres away and easily reachable by bus, is the resort town of Makarska which offers some of the best nightlife, shopping and restaurants in the region. If you want to avoid the crowds, it is best to head there in May or September. Most people will arrive via Split, forty kilometres to the north and easily reachable thanks to cheap flights from many European cities.
Zlatni Rat is located on the island of Brač, one of Croatia’s larger islands. Known as the “Golden Cape” in English, this narrow white pebble beach juts out into the crystalline waters of the Adriatic Sea. Most people visiting this beach will be staying in the nearby town of Bol, about fifteen minutes away on foot. This small town is a secluded and extremely picturesque place with an old harbour lined with restaurants, markets and souvenir shops. This destination is very family-friendly and ideal for a romantic getaway although, as most beach destinations in Croatia, it does get very crowded in the peak season.
There is plenty to do in the region. Whether you prefer diving, jet skiing, windsurfing or snorkelling; there is something for everyone. The triangular beach offers a great place to spend the afternoon enjoying the sun and sea and there are plenty of beach-side bars and restaurants offering good value food and drink. If you want to see historic sites, Bol also has something to offer, such as the ancient Venetian monastery.
The most convenient way to enjoy a holiday on Zlatni Rat is to fly to the mainland city of Split and get a boat from there. You can also take a boat from various other towns along the coast including Omiš, Brela and Makarska, although these are generally one-day return excursions.
The town of Omiš, situated about 25 kilometres to the south from the city of Split, might not be home to one of the best beaches in the region but this town is, all-round, a great place to spend a holiday. Home to approximately 15,000 people, the population almost doubles during the peak season. Omiš is famous for being home to the Omiš corsairs in medieval times and this is still evident in the various pirate-themed nights and other events in the area. Omiš boasts a small yet delightful centre of winding stone-tiled streets lined with lively restaurants and bars. There is no shortage of places to stay either and prices tend to be fairly low, particularly if you stay a little out of the centre.
Omiš has a half-pebble, half-sand beach and while it is not as beautiful as many other beaches in the area, it is usually less crowded and the water is also extremely clear. There are many other resort towns and beaches in the area, with the town of Brela being only fifteen kilometres away and the port and resort town of Makarska being only thirty kilometres to the south. With the historic architecture, great food and wine, hospitable people and close proximity to many of Dalmatia’s best beaches, Omiš is, all-round, a great place to spend a holiday.
Omiš is a half-hour bus ride from Split, making it easy to get there if your flight is landing in Split. Busses leave frequently throughout the day from the harbour side in Split.
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