Croatia is located in Southeast Europe, on the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea. Popular for wines, tranquil beaches, delicious food and for its iconic Game of Thrones locations, Croatia has around 1,246 islands stretching across 6,000 kilometres of coastline.
Croatia is blessed with postcard-worthy beaches and it is one of the most stunning destinations in Europe.
Croatia is a paradise for beach babies like me and in this article, I am going to share the 11 best beaches in Croatia. So get your sunscreen’s ready and explore these beaches:-
Guide to the best beaches in Croatia
1 – Sakarun Beach, Dugi Otok
Topping off the list of the best beaches in Croatia is Sakarun Beach.
This beach is located in the northwest tip of Dugi Otok Island, this beach is easily accessible from Zadar by boat. Ferries are going daily year-round, and it takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to get to the beach.
The waters along the shore of this beach are as clear as they come.
This is a family-friendly beach surrounded by tall pine trees. You cannot miss this beach, if you’re a beach lover.
This beach offers unique combinations of blue-green transparent water, soft sand, deep blue sky and is largely untouched by tourists, this place is just like heaven.
Sakarun Beach is the most popular beach on this island! The water is shallow and calm, ideal for snorkelling in this area.
2 – Banje Beach – Dubrovnik
Banje beach is one of the best beaches in Croatia. Head there for a sundowner for cocktails and chill vibes. The beach has its reception, restaurant and sleek and minimalist beach bars.
Banje is one of the most beautiful and pebbly beaches in Croatia and you should add it to your itinerary when visiting this beautiful country.
This pebbly beach can get very busy, crowded with tourists as well as locals. At night it turns into an amazing place for a good time. It is a popular “party” place for locals and tourists, and the prices are much higher than on other city beaches.
3 – Zlatni Rat Beach – Brac Island
Zlatni is a very long pebble beach that stretches out to the Adriatic Sea. Zlatni Rat has also been entitled as the Best Beach Destinations in Europe several times.
This pebble cove has the most crystal clear water and is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation. It changes shape with the currents and prevailing winds.
It’s a great place to snorkel with no sand or seaweed. There are many cafes and restaurants available within a short walking distance. Beaches here aren’t that crowded, even in high season.
If you are planning to come to Zlatni Rat Beach, I strongly recommend taking a few days extra to explore the rest of the island of Brac, it is very much worth it!
4 – Stiniva Beach – Vis Island
If there’s any one beach you need to visit on Vis island, this is it.
This beach can be found hidden on the beautiful island of Vis. It was also awarded the title of the “Best Beach in Europe” in 2016 and it’s not hard to explain why. Stiniva beach looks exactly like a scene from a Hollywood movie. It is a bit of a challenging hike down the beach.
With its unique surrounding cliffs and shallow bay, Stiniva beach has helped Vis gain amazing popularity in recent years.
There are a plethora of activities to indulge in while visiting this beach. You can experience the adventures of snorkelling and a swim on this beach.
A natural limestone arena that opens to the sea will make you feel protected from the world and thankful that you have found your spot on this heavenly beach! You can take boat tours to explore through the hidden cove and the beach itself.
Stiniva is a real treasure! To really enjoy its fantastic beauty, it is better to arrive early in the morning and not in the middle of the season.
5 – Saplunara Beach – Mljet Island
This beach is located in the southernmost tip of Mljet Island. Saplunara beach is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia. Although this gorgeous place is more for snorkelling than it is for swimming, it’s still well worth a visit.
You’ll enjoy this beach with crystal clear water, as it is perfect for swimming. As well as right near the beach you’ll find a few restaurants and cafes where you can grab something to eat.
The coast is popular, both among locals and tourists, but often there are not many people on this beach.
6 – Paradise Beach – Rab Island
Living up to its name this beach is a true corner of paradise. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing time with your family.
This beach on Rab Island is part of a lovely natural environment, including clear blue waters, green valleys and secluded coves.
Croatia doesn’t have a large number of sandy beaches, but this one known as Rajska Plaza (Paradise Beach) is one of the most famous sandy beaches on the warm Adriatic sea.
The water at Paradise Beach is quite shallow, and it is perfect for children. It is a great place to enjoy camping right near the beach. There are also a few restaurants and beach bars where you can enjoy delicious local dishes.
This beach is also one of the most underrated beaches in Croatia so don’t miss out on this one!
7 – Nugal Beach – Makarska Riviera
This secluded beach is situated in Osejava Park, and can only be reached by a 30-minute walk through the forest. Nugal Beach is a highlight of the Makarska region.
Be prepared to shed your clothes though – Nugal is a nudist beach of Croatia. It can be accessed by walking through dense forests. This spectacular beach is literally engraved into a rocky landscape, making it one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.
Nugal beach is only accessible by foot or boat. Surrounding by thick pine forests, Nugal beach boasts brilliant white sands and turquoise blue waters.
The beach is small, but there is shade and privacy offered by the nearby pine trees. There are no restaurants or bars at the beach so bring your own snacks, food and drinks to eat and drink during the day.
8 – Divna Beach – Pelješac Island
This beach is located in the southern part of Croatia. This beach is a part of a lovely natural environment, including clear blue waters, pine trees and secluded coves.
The pebbled beach, the pure sea, and the smell of salt in the air at Divna Beach will leave you utterly enchanted.
Divna Beach is very small, about four hundred meters long. The beach is extremely shallow, clean and is perfect if you are on a family vacation.
There is a camp near the beach where you can find a beach bar, so you can look for refreshments during hot summer days, and the pine forests surrounding the beach is perfect for hiding from the summer sun.
9 – Sunj Beach – Lopud Island
One of the few sandy beaches in Croatia – Sunj. The region has a rich history with plenty of ruins – forts, villas, and palaces.
It is situated on Lopud Island and is a popular place among both tourists and locals. It is just a 15-20 mins hike from the island. There are a few bars on the beach and you can rent sunbeds or umbrellas.
Sunj beach can get jam-packed in the summer season.
The sea is so shallow that you have to walk for more than 100 meters to swim, which makes it perfect for families with small children.
This beach is ideal for families who’d like to spend a day trip outside of the city.
10 – Dubovica Beach – Hvar Island
The Dubovica beach is located between Hvar Town and Starigrad, this most attractive pebble beach invites you to take a dip and experience the abundant joys of the Adriatic sea.
While heading to Hvar, you can’t miss this spectacularly stunning Dubovica Beach. This spectacular beach is one of the best stunning white pebble beaches in the middle of an emerald green lagoon in Croatia.
The Island of Hvar is a lovely place. It is one of the top Hvar beaches, considering that it’s on the sunniest island in Croatia. There are also many water sports available on this beach.
Dubovica beach is a perfect beach for diving enthusiasts who can explore the fascinating underwater world.
11 – Queen’s Beach – Nin
Queen’s beach is one of the best and the largest sandy beaches around the Zadar-Nin area. It is stretched for 8,000 metres. This beach is also known as Kraljicina Beach.
There are no pebbles or rock formations here, so bathing on this beach is safe. The main “highlight” of this beach is the presence of the largest mud spring in Croatia in the vicinity, which allows you to combine swimming in the sea with mud treatment procedures.
Depending on the wind and weather, the waters around this beach change regularly. It is also a perfect beach for families with children.
Adventure lovers can enjoy good windsurfing and then relax by giving themselves a ready-made mud bath from the beach.
The beach is accessible from the centre of Nin. There are only 3 beach bars providing food and drink on this alluring beach.
Do’s And Dont’s Of Traveling To Croatia
While travel in Croatia is pretty much a breeze, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you have a good time:-
1 – Avoid the Peak Season
If you can, try and avoid travelling to Croatia during the peak season.
The peak season in Croatia is from June until the end of August each year. The country is thronging with tourists during this time. It gets very crowded and also extremely hot during this season.
If you cant avoid travelling during the peak season, then plan ahead for the crowds. Going out earlier in the morning or late in the evening and buying food and drinks in the supermarket instead of only in bars and restaurants.
2 – Do Take a leap of faith
For all the adventure junkies, you can go bungee jumping, skydiving, kayaking, zip-lining and whitewater rafting across Croatia. Going river rafting is also a good way to explore hidden parts of Croatia.
3 – Don’t miss out on the ferries
Most of the people of Croatian islands have their own small boats to travel between islands and the coast as it’s the easiest way to get around. Another common way to island hop in Croatia is taking public ferries. There are many companies that offer ferries in Croatia.
4 – Do Try To Visit At Least One Of Croatia’s National Parks
There are many national parks in Croatia so keep that in mind when planning a trip to Croatia. Two of the most popular parks are Kamenjak National park and Krka National park.
The Kamenjak National Park is located south of Pula with nothing but water surrounding the areas. The park is quite large reaching over 28kms of coastline.
These parks offer gorgeous natural scenery, breath-taking waterfalls, hiking trails and picturesque views.
Croatia has more trees than people, so there is a lot of nature to explore.
5 – Don’t Skip the Local Cuisine
You’ll see a large influence on Italian food in Croatia. Croatia also has a lot of really good local food to offer. This includes the fresh seafood you shouldn’t miss out on. There are also great meat and salad options in Croatia. Risotto with squid ink is a favourite in any of the coastal towns.
You’ll find several delicious and affordable wine tastings throughout the Dalmatian region.