Croatia is a sleeper hit. For years, it’s been overlooked as a holiday destination but now it’s finally receiving the attention it deserves and is becoming the star of the European show. Short-haul sunshine has never looked better.
With more than 1,000 miles of coastline, it’s a land of epic waterside locations. Croatia’s beaches really are the stuff of fantasies. Turquoise waters gleam in the sunlight, there are great stretches of sand and mesmerising landscapes provide a backdrop to inviting sunbathing spots.
Whether you discover bliss at an untamed corner of the coast or drink in the sun from an urban seashore, discover paradise with our guide to nine of Croatia’s best beaches.
- Lubenice Beach
- Dubovica Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Zlatni Rat
- Mlini Beach
- Oprna Bay
- Punta Rata
1. Lubenice Beach
Cres Island in the north of the country floats south-east off the coast of Pula. This is where you’ll find extraordinary Lubenice Beach, officially known as Sveti Ivan. Pebbles lead down to crystal-clear waters and the surrounding hillside is blanketed in green. To reach this secluded cove, you’ll either have to take a 45-minute hike or jump aboard a water taxi.
2. Dubovica Beach
Hvar is an island of unspoilt beauty and Dubovica Beach is no exception. This tiny bay is a stunner, with a pebbly shore lapped by dazzlingly-blue waters and neighboured by a 17th-century manor house. Enjoy a picnic here and watch boats sail in and out of the cove.
3. Paradise Beach
This sandy wonderland sweeps for almost two kilometres around a gorgeous bay on Rab Island. Awarded Blue Flag status, the golden shore twinkles and the azure waters are shallow and warm, making it perfect for paddling or simply floating around on a lilo. Here, paradise is found.
4. Zlatni Rat
Discover heaven on earth at Zlatni Rat, nestled on the southern coast of Brac Island. This pebbly peninsula juts out into the sapphire waters for nearly 400 metres, giving it its moniker ‘Golden Horn’. The views? Stunning. Surrounding sea? Crystal clear. Sit back, soak up the surroundings and let relaxation sink in.
5. Mlini Beach
Backed by lush pine trees, this idyllic horseshoe bay along the Dubrovnik Riviera is a gem of the Dalmatian Coast. Sand or pebbles, which do you prefer? You’ll find both here. Go for a refreshing swim in the aquamarine waters or simply unwind on the sun-kissed shore.
No other beach defines “hidden gem” more than this dreamy spot on Vis Island. Stiniva took the mantle of Europe’s best beach in 2016, celebrated for its natural beauty and concealed location. Take a water taxi to reach it and you’ll pass through a small passage in the cliffs into a white-pebbled cove.
7. Oprna Bay
Close to Stara Baska on Krk Island, you’ll find Oprna Bay, an untouched pebbly beach. The gorgeous clear waters here are a magnet for snorkellers and divers. Head beneath the sea and discover a world of colourful marine life.
8. Punta Rata
On one side, lush pine forest, on the other, the azure Adriatic Sea. And in between? Pebbly Punta Rata. This Blue Flag beach is one of the top spots on the Makarska Riviera, often dubbed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Near the water’s edge, the pebbles turn to sand, leading you softly down into the inky waves lapping at the shore.
Staying in Split? This sandy Blue Flag beach is on its doorstep. Bustling with sun-seekers, it’s one of the top spots to catch some rays if you’re enjoying a city break. And its vibrant beachfront cafés and restaurants are perfectly placed to experience an incredible sunset dinner post-sunbathing.
Whichever of Croatia’s beaches you choose to visit, each one guarantees a scenic place to spend a day in the sunshine.
Posted: 15th Feb 2020.