Beaches in Croatia range from golden bays to dramatic peninsulas. They stretch along the coastline between northern Rijeka and Dubrovnik in the south. And the most seductive shorelines sit on the southerly Dalmatian coast. To help plan your trip, here are the 10 best beaches in Croatia. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Croatia, your essential guide for visiting Croatia.
Susak is Croatia’s ultimate desert island getaway. It’s tiny and composed mainly of sand. And you arrive by ferry from Mali Losinj on Cres. As Cres itself is some distance from the mainland, the journey to Susak takes time. But that only adds to the island's connoisseur appeal.
Spiaza is the main beach on Susak. A moon-grey crescent, edged with shallow seas, it spreads out from Susak village. If you want to swim, be prepared to wade out a bit for deep enough water.
Bok bay is further east. It’s another sandy beach but quieter, as it involves a walk to get there.
Susak accommodation is mainly private apartments. But nearby Mali Lošinj offers the Family Hotel Vespera, a good option for families with children.
If your perfect beach is long, sandy and stretches to the horizon, then head for Nin, 15km from Zadar. Nin’s Kraljičina plaža has two beach bars and little else, apart from mesmerising views of the Velebit mountains.
Don’t be alarmed to see sludge covered bathers here. The reedy area behind Kraljičina plaža is rich in peloid mud, a natural treatment for muscle and joint pain.
Bačvice beach plays an important role in the lives of almost everyone who calls Split home.
A shallow bay of sand and shingle it’s a popular family beach. A café-packed pleasure pavilion to the east makes it a buzzing social hub too. And it’s also famous as the home of picigin. This is a uniquely Dalmatian sport which involves much leaping around to stop a small ball hitting the water.
Take a guided walking tour round Split’s ancient city centre. Or if you prefer a tailor made holiday in Split, get in touch and we can connect you with a local expert to plan and book your ideal trip.
Lovrečina Bay is one of several beaches on Brač which delivers on its hype. Four kilometres east of Postira, it’s sandy with translucent waters and a backdrop of medieval ruins and olive groves.
Parking’s limited so the beach is seldom crowded.
Hvar Town has a global reputation for Renaissance grandeur and celebrity glamour. It’s known for chic bars and nightlife. But for good beaches, head out of town.
You’ll find several fine choices in the coves and bays to the east. The most attractive of these is Uvala Dubovica, a broad pebbly beach near an historic manor house. The sea’s shallow here so it’s popular with families. But in high season it also attracts yachts and motorboats.
Uvala Dubovica isn’t the easiest beach to reach which tends to reduce crowds. And parking on the main road is limited to 50 vehicles. So don’t drive. Rent a bike or scooter in Hvar town and beach-hop along the coast instead.
For sea views, consider Matea Apartments in Milna, about 5km from Hvar centre.
Grebišće is absolutely perfect for smooth paddling, thanks to its sandy seabed. You’ll find it 4km east of Jelsa on the Sućuraj road, after a short walk through Grebišće campsite.
It’s a narrow beach with little shade. But the shallow sandy bay makes it popular. The campsite café serves drinks and snacks, as does the beach bar on Grebišće itself.
Where are the best beaches in Croatia? The answer today is likely to be Brač. It's home to Zlatni Rat, one of the country's most photographed beaches. And iconic images of its silvery shingle tongue extending into turquoise waters are instantly recognisable worldwide. The beach does attract crowds during summer, yet remains a compelling destination. In fact, you might find it hard to leave its clear shallow seas and stunning views.
Approached by water taxi from Vela Luka, Proizd looks like an average Adriatic islet. But its mix of pine and maquis hides a secret. Proizd is actually one of the top sunbathing spots in Croatia. That’s thanks to a trio of dramatic beaches comprised of sloping slabs shelving into clear seas. Each beach is a natural sun trap and popular with skinny dippers too.
Hotel Villa Telenta is close to Vela Luka port and convenient for easy days out on Proizd.
If you prefer to stay in Dubrovnik, consider taking a day tour to Korčula Island.
Getting to Šunj Bay involves a delightful 50 minute crossing on the Dubrovnik-Šipan ferry. The ferry’s passenger only and Lopud is car-free. So after your journey, expect to hike cross-island to the beach.
Šunj is a graceful crescent of fine shingle and sand strung between rocky promontories. And its informal beach bar’s a welcome sight after your walk here.
Several other islands as well as Lopud are easy to reach from Dubrovnik. Consider a stay at Villa Mila, just outside the city and ideal for island hopping.
Looking for a beach with a post-apocalyptic tinge? Try Kupari south of Dubrovnik. This one time holiday resort for the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army was shelled during the 1991–95 war and its hotels have lain derelict ever since.
However, Kupari’s also home to one of the best beaches in Croatia. A fine shingle and sand crescent, it contrasts starkly with the abandoned buildings. But don't go exploring. The hotels are unprotected and potentially dangerous.
Ready for a trip to Croatia? Check out the snapshot Rough Guide to Croatia. Read more about the best time to go to Croatia, the best places to visit and best things to do in Croatia. For inspiration use the Croatia Itineraries from The Rough Guide to Croatia and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.
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