Best Beaches in Croatia

August 18, 2021

Thousands of miles of coastline and hundreds of picturesque islands make Croatia the perfect place for a beach holiday. From secluded coves in the north to party beaches in the south here are some of our favourites

Best for: City dwellers

Bačvice, Split

The beach at Croatia’s second city does not offer the secluded charm of other Adriatic beaches but it is the very much the social centre of the city. An art-deco pavilion is the focal point of the promenade that houses a row of shops and restaurants in the day and the nearby bars and nightclubs come to life after sunset. Families come to play picigin – a local form of handball – in the water’s shallows of this shingly bay and teenagers come to socialise and flirt in the summer months. A great city beach to watch the local cultural charm.

The busy Bacvice Beach in Split.
The busy Bacvice Beach in Split.

Best for: Nudists

Šunj Bay, Lopud

A pleasant hour-long ferry ride from Dubrovnik sits the sandy Šunj Bayon – near enough for a day trip but far enough to avoid the summer crowds. In the 17th century the island was a summer resort to the wealthy but today the island is home to only 220 full-time residents. Šunj Bay is a horseshoe-shaped cove with a mix of fine shingle and sand and shallow waters making it great for all the family. To get to the cove a hike over the central part of the island and then choose between the naturist beach or the family beach. There are many nudist beaches in Croatia so just make sure you’re aware of where you’re going and follow the rules!

A landscape of the Island of Lopud in Šunj Anchorage.
A landscape of the Island of Lopud in Šunj Anchorage.

Best for: Photographers

Zlatni Rat, Brac

Croatia’s most famous beach is a tongue of golden shingle known as the Golden Horn or Golden Cape because of its unique shape. Reaching out in to the turquoise Adriatic waters, with pine forests in the background, the stretch of golden pebbles Zlatni Rat has postcard beauty and is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It alters its shape with the wind and the tide and has become a favourite of windsurfers and scuba divers. Even though it can get crowded it is still a must-see destination in Croatia for those wanting that perfect postcard picture.

The famous Zlatni Rat Beach in Bol, located on the Island of Brac.
The famous Zlatni Rat Beach in Bol, located on the Island of Brac.

Best for: Romantics

Spiaza beach, Susak

The tiny and remote island Susak is about as close to a desert island as you can get. Susak is a ferry ride from Lošinj – an island itself that is further away from the mainland than most -and like many of the smaller islands has no cars or roads making it incredibly peaceful. Don’t expect nightclubs and all-night parties here! Unlike most Croatian beaches, which are pebbles or shingle, Spiaza beach is one of the sandiest of all but like so many other Adriatic beaches it is very shallow making it child-friendly and great for paddling. Grey sand crescents around tiny Susak village and for those willing to go for an extra hike, the nearby Bok bay is even more peaceful than Spiaza.

Sand castle built on the sandy beaches of the Island of Susak.
Sand castle built on the sandy beaches of the Island of Susak.

Best for: Skinny dipping

Proizd, Vela Luka

The islet of Proizd just off Vela Luka may look like any other small Croatian island but in fact, it is the most popular skinny-dipping and sunbathing beach in Croatia. Three bathing areas, each five minutes apart, have sloping stone slaps where sunbathers come to bake on a rock, before cooling off by stripping off and jumping into the shallows below. Many come to snorkel in the clear waters before returning back to Vela Luka in the evening for dinner.

Proizd Beach near the Dalmatian Island of Korcula.
Proizd Beach near the Dalmatian Island of Korcula.

Best for: Party lovers

Saharun, Dugi Otok

This white pebble beach is a favourite of families by day and young party goers by night but at nearly a kilometre long, it never gets too crowded. The shallow, turquoise waters are great for families with kids and the beautiful pine forest that surrounds it makes it a firm favourite with everyone. A tall lighthouse stands proudly overlooking the beach and a smattering of makeshift beach bars ensure parties go on all night.

A view of the Sakarun Beach yachting bay in Dugi Otok Island.
A view of the Sakarun Beach yachting bay in Dugi Otok Island.

Best for: Spa lovers

Queen’s Beach, Nin

There are over 8,000 metres of sandy beach in the mainland region of Nin on the Dalmatian coast with Queen’s Beach being the crown in the jewel. With the Velebit mountains in the background and grassy dunes in the foreground, the beaches here are popular because they are covered in sand… and mud. It is the peloid mud that attracts visitors to Kraljicina plaza (Queen’s Beach) who want to submerge themselves in the dark goo too sooth joints and muscles. There is also a nice row of beach bars around the lagoon for when the mud gets too much.

The Queens Beach with peloid medicinal mud in Nin.
The Queens Beach with peloid medicinal mud in Nin.

Best for: Sand lovers

Vela Przina, Korcula

This beautiful ancient island has a number of secluded beaches around the village of Lumbarda, the most beautiful of which is the Vela Przina. It’s one of the most popular sandy beaches and therefore gets busy so don’t expect seclusion but a fun vibrant day at the beach.

The sandy Vela Przina Beach in Lumbarda Korcula.
The sandy Vela Przina Beach in Lumbarda Korcula.

Best for: A true beach experience

Vela Plaza, Krk

On the south coast of the island of Krk lies the sleepy town of Baška situated on a long curving sand and pebble beach in a sheltered bay. It’s shallow surf have witnessed visitors come here for over a century to paddle in the turquoise waters and the tradition still remains with sunbeds and parasols lining the beach and a promenade full of cafes, restaurants and hotels. Jet skiing, parasailing and scuba diving, as well as hiking routes, are all available to keep visitors with itchy feet busy.

Sunshades and orange deck chairs on a beach at Baska in Krk.
Sunshades and orange deck chairs on a beach at Baska in Krk.

Best for: Swimmers

Punta Rata, Central Dalmatia

The Biokovo mountain towers over this fine pebble beach, creating an imposing yet impressive backdrop, and the Aleppo pines create a shady canopy to the turquoise waters. Punta Rata, near the village of Brela is one of the quieter spots along the famous Makarska Riviera that stretches for 37 miles along the Dalmatian coast. There are many secluded coves with deep turquoise waters allowing swimmers to thoroughly enjoy the crystal clear waters. Head towards Makarska Town to discover more secluded coves or to the southern-most end of the Riviera to discover the playground beach of Gornja Vala.

The beautiful beach at Punta Rata in the Brela Makarska Riviera.
The beautiful beach at Punta Rata in the Brela Makarska Riviera.

Best for: A quick dip

Uvala Lapad Beach, Dubrovnik

Just a short ride on the number 6 bus from the old town is Dubrovnik’s city beach. With grey shingly sand, it’s by no means the most beautiful of Croatia’s beaches but its proximity to the capital makes this a firm favourite with urban dwellers looking for a bit of sunshine without having to make a trek. It has plenty of cabins to change in, bars from where to get refreshments, as well as plenty of sun lounders and umbrellas to ensure you get the most relaxing beach experience possible.

The blue seas of Uvala Lapad Beach.
The blue seas of Uvala Lapad Beach.

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