Croatia Beaches Guide, Europe

Zlatni Rat beach, Croatia guide

Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach, Brac Island, Croatia, Europe

Best Croatia beaches guide

Along Croatia’s 5, 800 km coastline – including 1, 246 islands – the most photographed and popular beach is Zlatni Rat (known as Golden Horn), near the town of Bol on Brac Island. Brac is the biggest island in the country.
Zlatni Rat’s attractive, curving horn is coated with small, smooth white pebbles and washed by an azur sea. The horn does, of course, get busy in the summertime, with windsurfers as well as swimmers and less active beach bums.
Try Supetar Beach on the northern coast if you prefer less neighbours.

Baska Voda

Baska Voda Beach, Croatia

Baska Voda Beach

Baska Voda is an excellent stretch of sand, located along the Dalmatia coast 10 km northwest of Makarska town, the centre of the ‘Makarska Riviera’. Baska Voda is sizeable, comfortably layered with shingle and perfectly framed by Biokovo mountain. It’s adjacent to an attractive, lively old fishing town, well-known for romantic strolls.

Dugi Rat

Dugi Rat Beach, Brela, Croatia

Dugi Rat Beach, near Brela.

Just north of Baska Voda and south of Split, is the picturesque seaside resort of Brela with a spacious 6 km (3. 75 miles) long stretch of white shingle beaches fringed by pine woods.
The most popular beach of this collection is an idyllic cove with an iconic rock (in the photo above it’s the distant one with the tree), Dugi Rat Beach (aka Punta Rata), a Blue Flag spot and a part of Biokovo Mountain nature park. Brela is ideal for family breaks great restaurants can be found in the town.

Rajska Plaza (Paradise Beach)

One of the Adriatic sea’s most outstanding beaches is 2km long Rajska Plaza (Paradise Beach) in Lopar on Rab Island. It is a gorgeous, vegetation-backed crescent of unusually fine white sand, with shallow turquoise waters which are perfect for swimmrse of all ages. A short walk from Lopar leads to a naturist beach of Sahara.

Trstenica Beach

This 1km length of shallow water and pebbles or sand – depending on where you choose to park your butt – is fantastic for families. It’s a 10 minute walk from the town of Orebic on the Peljesac peninsula, about 2 hours and a half north of Dubrovnik.

Banje Beach

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

Banje Beach outside Dubrovnik has location, location, location, with easy access and a great view of the old city. The beach lies just beside the eastern entrance to Dubrovnik’s old city, with all facilities you can imagine, including its own reception.

Lokrum Island

Although the beaches are rocky, visiting Lokrum Island is a popular excursion, just 10 minute ferry-ride offshore from Dubrovnik. Lokrum has a few sights including a botanical garden, a monastery and a salt water lake called ‘Dead Sea’.

Hvar

A 30 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik, the elegant resort island of Hvar has a few sandy beaches of which Mlaska, near Sucuraj harbour, is the best. The town beaches close to Hvar town such as Milna or Dubovica both pebbly, are the most popular, and those situated further away such as Zavala or Sveta Nedjelja are more tranquil.
However, the very best beaches can be found on the tiny archipelago of Pakleni off Hvar Island with many small secluded coves to chose from, including Sv. Klement (Palmizana), Sv. Jerolim and Zdrilica. They are easily accessible by taxi boats.

Pag island

Pag island offers several sandy beaches such as Sveti Duh or long, stony Zrce beach (near Novalja), which is commonly known as the party beach of Croatia with its three 24/7 beach clubs that turn the place into a mini Ibiza during the summer.

Ugljan island

Kukljica on Ugljan island, near Pasman Island and Zadar, has a few pretty, sandy beaches such as Sabusa, Jelenica and Kostanj, though the most popular beach is found at Zelena Punta (Green Cove).

Kolocep Island

A few of Croatia’s best hidden beaches can be found on Kolocep Island (the Elafiti group) across from Dubrovnik. This car-free island with sandy coves and lush subtropical vegetation, is just 7 km away, 20 minutes by boat.

Porat Beach

To a escape from it all, try the small island of Bisevo, southwest of Vis Island, which has a couple of attractions including Modra Spilja (Blue Cave/Grotto) and Porat Beach, an unspoilt and sheltered sandy beach.

Nudist beaches

Croatia attracts many naturist/nudists from north Europe, particularly Germany and the Netherlands. Some of the most popular nudist beaches are long-established Jerolim and Stipanska on Hvar Island or Kandalora beach (English Beach) on Rab Island.

Soline Peninsula beach, Croatia

Soline Peninsula beach. Photo by Alex Proimos.

Water Activities

In addition to swimming, Croatia’s Adriatic coast and islands offer most water sports enjoyed by beach bums everywhere, such as scuba diving and snorkelling off kaleidoscopic reefs, windsurfing, dinghy sailing and yachting in steady wind off craggy coasts and more.
The best time for swimming in Croatian waters is June to September.

Windsurfing

Brac, one of Croatia’s largest islands, has arguably the country’s best water sports facilities as well as an efficient tourist infrastructure such as ferries and an airport.

Brac is home to the country’s most photographed beach, Zlatni Rat, on the south coast, which is also one of Croatia’s best windsurfing sites.

Krk Island also has excellent windsurfing sites at Baska (for skilled surfers) and Punat Bay (for beginners).

Sailing and yacht island hopping

They are an excellent way to explore the scattered delights of Croatia, since it has no fewer than 500 harbours and 50 fully serviced marinas, all with reasonable facilities.
Try Murter Island for sailing instruction at the Adriatic Nautical Academy.

Cruising around the Kornati archipelago with 140 islands – most of them uninhabited – is a wonderful experience but more challenging.

The best time for sailing or windsurfing is late May to early August, when a steady breeze blows.

Scuba Diving

Croatia has over 120 dive centres on the Adriatic Sea. Some of the best dive sites are:

Baron Gautsch, near Rovinj and Pula, is known for its 85m passenger ferry wreck dive; Rasip and Zirje in the Kornati National Park, are superb for for marine life, with a 70m drop cliff and visibility up to 40 metres.
Modra Spilja (Blue Grotto), off Bisevo Island, near Vis Island, is a stunning sea cave illuminated in shimmering blue by sun-beams.

Sv Andrija (St. Andrew) Wall in the Elafiti islands is an underwater wall famed for its red coral.

Margarina Reef, Susak Island, harbors a reef and underwater canyon.

The Cathedral, Premuda Island, is a spectacular reef with a cave system.

The best time to go diving is September and October when the water is warmest, though the season runs from May to November.