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Photo: Erika Gerdemark

Places

The best beaches in Croatia

With 1800km of meandering mainland coast, plus a myriad of pine-scented islands dotting the turquoise-blue Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a magnificent destination for a beach holiday.

Croatia is a magnificent destination for a beach holiday. Don’t expect long golden sands – here most beaches are of white pebble and rock, which means you have excellent underwater visibility for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The Adriatic Sea is warm enough to swim from June through September. Hardier types will also manage in May and October.

 

 

Here are the best beaches to visit in Croatia:

Photo: Banje Beach

Best for glamour

The ultimate “city beach,” Banje is a stretch of fine pebble, giving onto calm blue waters. It lies immediately outside Dubrovnik’s magnificent medieval city walls, so you can combine cultural sightseeing with a swim. Tanned guests in fashionable swimwear lounge on sun-beds, while waiters serve drinks. “The most popular cocktails are Moscow Mule, Honey Ginger Mojito and Capiroska,” says Tomislav Rugole (Banje marketing manager). You might indulge in a massage, or try water-skiing, fly-boarding or parasailing, while on summer evenings, Banje beach is lit by flickering torch flames and the city walls are bathed in floodlighting.

Banje, Dubrovnik, South Dalmatia

20000, Dubrovnik, Kroatien

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Best for escapism

Holidaymakers wishing to escape Dubrovnik’s crowds should catch a Jadrolinija ferry from Gruž port to the tiny car-free island of Lopud (journey time 55 minutes). Disembarking at the palm-lined seafront promenade, follow a narrow path across Lopud, through dense Mediterranean vegetation and fragrant wild herbs, to arrive at Šunj, one of Croatia’s rare sandy beaches. Šunj has warm shallow water and a soft sea bed, making it suitable for kids. Cima Beach Bar rents out sun-beds and parasols and plans to add a beach volley court and children’s playground for summer 2019.

Šunj, ön Lopud, South Dalmatia

Cima Beach Bar & Restaurant, Šunj beach, Lopud, Dubrovnik

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Photo: Erika Gerdemark

Best for families

At the foot of Mt Biokovo (1762m), the 60-km long Makarska Rivijera offers a string of fine pebble coves and translucent turquoise sea. Many people’s favorite is Punta Rata in Brela. “We have a motto here,” says Valentina Vitković, Brela Tourist Board director, “Head in the shade, body in the sun, feet in the sea.” Brela’s beaches are backed by centuries-old Aleppo pines that lean towards the sea, casting their shadows over the pebbles to create natural shade. Ideal for families, Brela has a pedestrian-only seafront promenade, four modern hotels and facilities for snorkeling and sea kayaking.

Punta Rata, Brela, Centrala Dalmatien

Punta Rata, Brela, Central Dalmatia

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Photo: Erika Gerdemark

Best for water sports

Jutting out into the sea, perpendicular to the coast, Zlatni Rat is an extraordinary geographical phenomenon – a 450m-long fine pebble spit, created by specific local winds and currents. Croatia’s most-photographed beach, it’s connected to Bol village by a lovely 1.5km promenade, shaded by towering pine trees, which cleverly hide several big 1970s hotels. You’ll find kiosks vending drinks and snacks, plus excellent watersports facilities including wind surfing, kite surfing, scuba diving, pedalos for hire and an inflatable kids’ aquapark. Behind Bol, the Vidova Gora mountain (780m) affords outstanding views over the surrounding sea and islands.

Zlatni Rat, Bol, ön Brač, Centrala Dalmatien

Put Zlatnog rata, 21420, Bol, Croatia

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Best for retro-luxury

Croatia’s trendiest island destination, organized tourism on Hvar dates from 1868. Hvar Town’s main beach, Bonj les Bains, lies in a sheltered bay, rimmed by a 1920s white stone colonnade with bathing cabins and private pontoons built over the sea, with baldachins and white chiffon drapes. Indulge in a Sensori O massage, using essential oils scented by wild Dalmatian herbs, or take a table at the waterside Bonj Steak & Seafood Lounge, for an elderflower martini aperitif, followed by a gourmet salad or burger. Bonj les Bains also hosts ultra-romantic weddings.

Bonj les Bains, Šetalište Tonija Petrića, Hvar Town, Island of Hvar, Central Dalmatia

Ul. Dinka Kovačevića 10, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

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Best for hedonists

Från hamnen i staden Hvar fraktar taxibåtarna besökare till stränderna på de obebodda pinjedoftande öarna i Pakleni-arkipelagen. Till Carpe Diem Beach (restid 10 minuter) i Stipanska-viken på Marinkovac åker du för att festa. På dagen har du en stenstrand med solsängar i trä och halmparasoller, en pool, beach volley-bana och en terrass med rottingsoffor och loungemusik. På kvällarna infinner sig klubbatmosfären med internationella DJs som spelar techno och kypare som serverar exklusiva drinkar. Det allra bästa är det månatliga fullmånspartyt som varar hela natten.

Carpe Diem Beach, Marinkovac, island of Hvar, Central Dalmatia

Carpe Diem Beach, Stipanska bay, Marinkovac islet, Island of Hvar, Central Dalmatia

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Photo: Foto: Erika Gerdemark

Best for old-fashioned charm

This lovely stretch of pebbles is backed by a row of stone houses, which open directly onto the beach – most now house cafés and ice-cream parlors with outdoor tables. It has an old-school sleepy village atmosphere, with simple white plastic sun beds, a water polo pitch, a ramp affording easy access into the water for disabled swimmers and dreamy views across the Kvarner Gulf to the city of Rijeka and the islands of Krk and Cres. Next to the beach there’s a fishing harbor filled with wooden boats and 750 steps leading up to the medieval hillside village of Mošćenice.

Sipar, Mošćenička Draga, Istrien

Sipar, Mošćenička Draga, Istrien

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Photo: Erika Gerdemark

Best for adrenaline lovers

A wide expanse of flat rocks marks the southernmost tip of the Istrian peninsula, with glistening sea on three sides. Youngsters come here to test their courage, leaping or somersaulting into clear blue water from rocky cliffs up to 11m high. “You start from one meter, and always want to go higher and higher,” says Bjorn Lammens from the Netherlands. Above Mala Kolombarica, the legendary Safari beach bar, hidden amid bamboo and palm fronds, serves drinks and grilled sardines. Mala Kolombarica lies inside Nature Park Kamenjak, with a meandering rocky coast, and pinewoods criss-crossed by rough stony cycling trails.

Mala Kolombarica, Kamenjak, Premantura, Pula, Istria

Mala Kolombarica beach, Nature Park Kamenjak, Premantura peninsular

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