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.
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 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.
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’.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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. Photo by Alex Proimos.