Beaches in Croatia are perhaps the number one reason why so many tourists visit this beautiful country. Other reasons to visit Croatia include historical towns (Croatia has 7 UNESCO Heritage Sites), yummy food, great wines, outdoor activities, summer festivals, and still a good value for money. We've already written about reasons to fall in love with beaches here, and now it's time to take you through the best beaches in Croatia.
From well-known spots on the Adriatic to island paradises, and hidden gems visited mostly by locals, we hope to help you find a dream beach in Croatia.
Below you will find our list of 49 best Croatia beaches. They are listed geographically from north to south.
Beaches in Croatia: what to expect
Beaches in Croatia are mostly pebbly and rocky. Underwater visibility is great. There are lots of shade at the beach, especially in Istria, where thick pine forests line the coastline.
While the sandy beaches aren't that common here, you can still find some of the sandy beaches in Croatia.
Sea gets warm enough for swimming in June, and it stays warm throughout October. The average sea temperature in Croatia in June is around 22 °C; in July and August sea temperature in Croatia is around 24 °C; September sea temperature in Croatia is around 23 °C, and in October it drops down to 19 °C.
Croatian beaches aren't wide, but rather a narrow stretch of pebbles, or rocks, with promenades and forests in the back.
In and around coastal towns, beaches get crowded in July and August. These beaches in and near the towns have bars, restaurants, toilets, sports facilities, as well as other facilities.
In Croatia, you can also find wild beaches. They aren't particularly wild in any real sense. It just means that access to those beaches is more difficult and that facilities are limited or non-existent.
At many Croatian beaches, it is common to see women swimming and sunbathing topless. You will also find some nude beaches in Croatia. These beaches are usually designated and have a prominent warning sign that reads FKK. A simple search on forums can give you more info on a particular beach.
Best Beaches in Istria
We start with the northern Adriatic region of Istria. Istria is the most visited tourist region of Croatia.
Germans, Slovenians, Austrians, Italians, and Dutch make the majority of tourists in Istria. Overseas visitors for some reason don't have it on their radar as much as they have southern Croatian regions, particularly Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar.
However, Istria is a great place to spend your holidays. And beaches in Istria, while not the most beautiful in Croatia, have their charm.
Beaches in Istria are mostly rocky, and when they are naturally pebbly, they tend to have big round pebbles that again aren't that comfortable for swimming or sunbathing. Don't get discouraged yet!
Here, beaches are shaded at the majority of the places, and they are also spacious. The coast is well preserved and no matter how many people there are, you will always be able to find your spot at the beach.
Istria also has an excellent tourist infrastructure. Many beaches in the resorts are man-made and feature nice small, rounded pebbles. These resort beaches are also well maintained and come with many amenities.
Below, you will find the best beaches in Istria.
Mulini Beach Rovinj
Mulini Beach is an artificial pebbly beach situated in Rovinj's Lone Bay. It is a full-service beach with a groovy beach bar serving pricey drinks and having a resident DJ. The beach is primarily aimed at the guests of the nearby hotels – Monte Mulini, Lone, and Eden.
The entire area is beautiful, designed by famed Croatian architects, it consists of a seafront promenade, sunbathing areas, and a pebble beach.
Read more: Beaches in Rovinj, Croatia
Ravni Beach Istria
This beach is so pretty that you can't snap a bad photo of it. Located in a tiny village of Ravni, 20 km southwest of Rabac, this Croatian beach is popular among locals, and windsurfers.
Along with Preluk, and Premantura, a village of Ravni is the most popular windsurfing location in Istria.
Golubjera Beach Rabac
A short walk from the Girandella beach in Rabac, you'll find the Golubjera beach. This is a wonderful pebble beach, that once was a popular spot for electronic music parties.
Today, the beach is run by a local tour agency – Four Elements and it's known as the Bounty Bay. Many sea kayaking tours start and finish at this beach.
Brsec – Klancac Beach Istria
A wonderful pebbly beach on the east coast of Istria, the Brsec beach is surrounded by a steep, rugged mountain that shelves steeply toward the blue Adriatic, creating quite dramatic scenery, especially when seen from the sea or from the village above.
The road to the beach is narrow. This beach, although small and difficult to reach, is very popular among locals. Unless you are a confident driver, consider walking down to the beach instead of using your car.
Bring your own food and water as the beach doesn't have any facilities. The beach has very little shade, so bring a sun umbrella and wear sunscreen at all times.
Moscenicka Draga (Sipar) Beach Istria
Perhaps the prettiest and the busiest beach along Opatija Riviera, Sipar beach is a lovely pebbly beach located in a village of Moscenicka Draga.
This beach is seriously crowded as there are two hotels in a village – a 180-room family-friendly hotel Marina, and a 60-room Mediteran hotel. Many locals also rent apartments and rooms, and on weekends, tour buses bring daily tourists from neighboring Slovenia. This means – a lot of people at the beach.
There is no shade at the beach, but there are lots of facilities nearby.
Beaches on Krk Island
Krk Island is one of the most popular islands in Croatia. Krk is northern Adriatic island, close to Zagreb and nearby Slovenia, it draws people from April through October. Krk bridge connects the island with the mainland, making it easily accessible.
Krk is quite an interesting island to visit. It has a nice balance of natural, historic, and cultural sights, as well as some really good restaurants serving yummy food.
The Potovosce beach, located in the east part of the Krk island, in a cove, beneath the village of Vrbnik, is a nice and secluded pebbly beach.
There is a single beach bar at the Potovosce and nice shaded parking in the wood above the beach. You can also rent deck chairs and sun umbrellas. No other facilities, so you'll need to bring your own props.
Velo celo Beach
Velo celo Beach is a nice pebble beach located in the southern part of the Krk island. The beach is characterized by vertical cliffs, gold in color, and rising steeply above the beach. These cliffs gave another popular name to Velo celo beach – the Golden Beach.
The beach is only accessible by boat.
Oprna is just one of many pretty Croatia beaches around Stara Baska, on the Krk Island.
This beach is pebbly, off the main touristy routes, quiet and relaxing. It takes some effort to reach the beach, but you'll be awarded nice views as you descend down to the beach and a blissfully clear turquoise sea.
There isn't any shade on the beach. There is a small beach bar at the far end of this beach. Deck chairs and parasol rental available.
Vela plaza Baska Beach
The most popular beach on the island of Krk, and one of the top beaches in Croatia, Vela Plaza stretches along with the village of Baska, in a length of over 1.800 m.
The beach is pebbly, and even sandy in some places. Being located in the center of the village, easily accessible, and suitable for all and every, this beach is way too crowded in high season.
There are lots of facilities, water sport options, restaurants, and bars all along the beach.
There aren't any natural shade on the beach.
Vela Luka Beach
Located east of Baska, Vela Luka is a 2 km long bay with a nice pebbly beach of the same name. The terrain here is interesting, for the most parts deserted, except for the grassy parts.
The beach is off the beaten path, and only accessible by boat unless you are in for a couple of hours of trekking. During the summer, many taxi boats operate between Baska and Vela Luka beach.
There is a small restaurant on the beach, open only from June through September.
Cres Island Beaches
Cres Island is another island in the northern Adriatic, super popular among Croatians, Slovenians, and Italians. Cres is also popular among camping aficionados.
The island is nice with a good balance between wild nature and developed tourist infrastructure. Ferries from Cres depart from Brestova in Istria, Valbiska on the island of Krk, and Rijeka.
Beaches on the island of Cres are among the best beaches in Croatia. However, visitors need to put in some effort in order to reach most of them. Many beaches here are secluded, and only accessible on foot, or by boat.
Sv. Ivan Beach Cres
A wonderful pebble beach located on Cres Island, Sv. Ivan is difficult to reach, but worth every step once you get to it.
You can reach Sv. Ivan by boat, or on foot. The walk starts in a village of Lubenice, 378 m above the sea level. The path down is mostly gentle but can get slippery at times. It takes 40 minutes to reach this beach.
The beach has no facilities and very little shade.
Located in an absolutely lovely cove, with a long pier protecting it from the north winds, Koromacno beach consists of bare rocks, and three small beaches engraved in cave-like cliffs.
Mali Bok Beach
Mali Bok Beach is a small, maybe only 50 m long beach, located in the southern part of Cres, not far from the village of Orlec.
It takes a 15-minute walk down the hill to reach this beach from the main road where you need to leave your car.
Mali Bok is a pebble beach with some sandy parts at the shoreline. There aren't any facilities on this beach.
Rucica Beach, Pag Island
The Rucica beach, located 12 km southeast of Novalja on the island of Pag, is a nice, partly pebbly, and partly sandy beach.
Located in the part of the island with very little to no vegetation, the Rucica beach looks absolutely surreal. Thus, there isn't any shade on the beach.
The beach can be reached by car. There is a cafe on the beach.
There are many wonderful pebbly, rocky, and sandy beaches on the island. The most popular beaches are Sotorisce, Zalic, Tratica, and Carpusina, all located at the center of the island.
However, for us, the nicest beaches are Pernastica, Dobre vode, and Nozdre. All three beaches have a sandy seabed. They are further away and never crowded. There aren't any facilities on these beaches, so make sure to bring your own water, food, and other things you might need.
Dugi otok & Kornati Beaches
Watching photos on the internet doesn't even do them justice. Before we visited Kornati Islands, just watching images of these wind-blown, vegetation-deprived islands covered in rocks and rocky pastures, we couldn't understand what all the fuss is about.
But once there, we can only confess, that Kornati is one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen.
Kornati Islands are pretty deserted, without many dwellings or buildings. However, in summer they get crowded by nautical tourists on their sailing boats, yachts, speed boats, and alike. Some places are also on an itinerary of many boat excursions.
Below are some of the top beaches in Croatia that you will find on Kornati Island and Dugi otok.
Sakarun beach is located on the island of Dugi Otok. The beach is partly pebbly partly sandy, a sandy seabed starting right at the shoreline.
This beach is popular, especially among locals, but also among daily visitors who take a boat excursion from Zadar and other nearby resorts. In fact, Sakarun gets busy from 11 am to 2 pm as many boat excursions from Zadar bring tourists for a swim at this beach.
In the shoulder season, in June and September, Dugi Otok remains a place off the beaten path, that attracts few tourists in search of peace and quiet.
The water is warm, crystal clear, and shallow at only waist height. There is one beach bar offering also simple food.
Veli Zal Beach Dugi Otok
Veli Zal Beach is another popular beach on Dugi Otok Island. This beach is located on the uninhabited southwest part of the island, overlooking the islet Mežanj, and the open sea.
The beach is over one kilometer long and made of perfectly round white pebbles.
This beach can be reached by car, and it's only five minutes' walk from the asphalted road.
Lojena, Levernaka (Kornati Archipelago)
Lojena is the only sandy beach in all Kornati Archipelago. Thus, it's one of the most popular stops on any cruise around the archipelago.
The beach is less crowded in the morning and late afternoon.
Brac Island Beaches
Moving south to the central Dalmatia, we can't talk about the best beaches without mentioning Brac island. First of all, the most popular Croatian beach, often seen on many promotional materials about Croatia, Zlatni rat is located on the island of Brac.
But besides this famous beach, Brac Island abounds in beautiful pebbly beaches, especially its southern side.
Zlatni Rat Beach in Bol
The most famed and photographed beach in all Croatia, Zlatni Rat, located o the island of Brac, is a cone-shaped beach made of such fine stones that they almost feel like a sand. Due to its shape, this beach always takes winds only on one side at a time, while the sea on the other side remains calm.
Pine forest covers the central part of Zlatni Rat. This area provides lots of shade, and this is where all restaurants and beach bars are. Being the most popular beach in Croatia, Zlatni Rat gets busy, but crowds are there only in July and August.
At the Zlatni Rat beach, you'll find all the necessary facilities, from showers, and changing cabins, to chill-out bars, and restaurants.
While this is the most popular beach in Brac, other beaches on the island are as nice. Below we list few others.
Just 6 km west of Bol, you'll find a small village of Murvica. Many people in search of quieter beaches than ones found in Bol, head to beaches below Murvica.
Beaches here are pebbly, set in small coves, and separated one from another with rocky coast. The road is narrow and as you head more west, it isn't asphalt. The best way to reach those beaches is on foot, or bicycle, or a quad.
Lovrecina Beach Brac
The only true sandy beach on the island of Brac, the Lovrečina beach is located on the north side of the island. The beach is set in a small bay, of the same name, and it's off the beaten path. There is just one house to rent at the beach and remains of the old pre-Christian church.
The water is warm and shallow, the sea clear and turquoise. The views from the beach give over to the mainland and the Biokovo Mountain. A nice place to spend a day out. Bring your own picnic.
You know that joke about Hvar and Brac. If you ask a person from Hvar what's the best attraction that Brac has, they will tell you it's a view over the island of Hvar.
The opposite goes if you ask a person from Brac what's the best about the island of Hvar. The answer is obviously a view over the island of Brac.
The animosity between the two islands aside, both islands are worth a visit, have many attractions to see, and above all, both islands have wonderful beaches.
Sv. Nedilja Hvar
A small secluded village located on the south shores of the Hvar Island, just east of the town of Hvar, a coastal strip between Sveta Nedilja and Zavala hides some of the best beaches on the island.
The coast here is rocky, with dramatic cliffs rising high from the sea. You'll find many tiny fine pebble beaches between the rocks.
The area is only accessible via a one-lane tunnel. This is also a popular wine-growing region.
Dubovica Beach Hvar
This stunning beach is located in a bay of the same name, just ten kilometers southeast of the Hvar town.
The beach is pebbly, with little shade, and not too crowded. There are a couple of old houses at the end of the beach; one of them houses a rustic cafe.
The Dubovica beach is a ten minutes walk down from the main road.
Vis, Bisevo, and Palagruza Beaches
Oh, oh, oh … Vis Island! Such a special place … we absolutely love it! If there is only one island you can visit in Croatia, for us, that would be Vis Island.
Vis is further out from the mainland compared with Hvar or Brac. It has been for a long time a Yugoslav army base and thus it received a limited number of visitors (for awhile foreign visitors were even banned from the island). It has two main settlements, Vis Town and Komiza, and a number of small hamlets, endless bays and beautiful secluded beaches.
Bisevo Island, on the other hand, is famed for the Blue cave that attracts many visitors over the summer. Palagruza is so far away, that not too many Croatians, let alone tourists, visit this tiny island.
Stiniva Beach Croatia is one of the Vis main natural attractions. The beach is located on the south side of the Vis island, and you can only reach it by walk, or by boat. The hike back up is steep, takes 20 minutes, and it's not suitable for the elderly.
The beach is set in a cove, that opens to the sea through not more than 5 m wide passage.
There is a little beach bar on the beach. Little shadow, but the sun sets quite early (mid-afternoon).
During the summer too many tour boats pull in, the beach gets crowded, and a bit polluted.
The Bisevo Island, located 5 km southwest of Vis, has a surface of a mere 5,8 km2, and only 15 permanent inhabitants.
Besides the Blue Cave, the island's most popular natural sight, Bisevo has a number of lovely beaches.
The most popular beach on the island is Porat beach. The beach is sandy, set in a bay, and protected from the wind. There are two restaurants and one bar on the beach.
Velu Zolo, Palagruza
Palagruza is an archipelago, located in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, 125 km from Split.
It consists of 15 rocks, islets, and islands.
Velu Zolo Beach is a nice pebble beach located on the south side of the Palagruza.
Central Dalmatia & Split Beaches
If you ask anybody in Croatia where the best beaches in Croatia are, everybody will tell you, central Dalmatia, particularly Makarska Riviera.
Small, rounded pebbles, gentle slopes, shallow crystal clear sea, pine trees, and rugged mountain in the back, make Makarska Riviera beaches the best Croatian beaches.
Located 11 km north of Brela, a small village of Pisak hides a couple of really nice pebble, sandy and rocky beaches. The best beaches are located in an uninhabited area, north of Pisak.
The village is friendly, and safe with a couple of restaurants, bars, and private accommodations.
Punta Rata Brela Beach
The most popular beach on Makarska Riviera, the Punta Rata is located in Brela. It's often featured in various international magazines as one of the best beaches in the world and in all Croatia (along with Zlatni Rat Beach).
The beach is pebbly, just like many beaches in central Dalmatia. However, few large rocks coming out of the sea set this beach apart. One such rock has a pine tree growing on it, and it's a symbol of Brela.
The beach is within a village; easy to reach, but parking can be a problem especially in high season. The daily parking fee is approx. 16€.
We've already written about Makarska Riviera Beaches here at our blog. This part of Croatia is a beach paradise, and seriously you can't go wrong with any of the beaches here. Since it would be impossible to list them all, we've picked our favorites.
Nugal beach is one of the most attractive beaches along Makarska Riviera. In fact, regulars don't like it when people write much about Nugal. They fear too many people will start flocking here.
This pebbly beach is accessible only on foot or by boat, and it's popular among nudists.
In winter months, a stream of fresh water falls down from the mountain above the beach, and it creates a 10-meter high waterfall right at the beach.
Dracevac beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. The beach lies between Podgora and Tucepi. It's naturist-friendly. It's easy to reach it, but it is difficult to park in the vicinity.
There is a little shadow within a small olive orchard in the back of the beach.
A small village just southeast of Makarska, Drasnice is full of wonderful pebbly beaches, stretching southeast, and northwest of the village.
Vodice is the most popular village beach.
Beaches southeast of Drasnice
A coastal strip from Drasnice all the way to Igrane hides lots of coves, and a natural pebbly beach. These beaches are only accessible on foot or by boat. They are less crowded and lined with thick pine forests.
Zivogosce Blato (Velika Duba Beach)
A small settlement on Makarska Riviera, Zivogosce Blato consists of family houses. The main village beach is awesome, but there are also another two nice beaches within a walking distance. Northwest of Zivogosce Blato, you've got a Velika Duba beach, a wonderful secluded and uninhabited pebbly beach. Another nice beach is southeast of the village, in a campsite Dole.
Korcula Island Beaches
Korcula Island should be high on your list of must-see places in Croatia whether you visit for the first time or you've been to Croatia so many times that you are looking for a place to stay put for the entire vacation.
Korcula was an important part of the Dubrovnik Republic, and it is an island rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. It is a great place for anybody in search of lovely beaches, unspoiled nature, yummy food, and fine wines.
Below you'll find some of the beaches in Korcula worthy our list of the best Croatian beaches.
Just 5 nm from Vela Luka, lies an islet of Proizd, one of the locals favorite swimming spots on the Korcula Island. The islet has four swimming areas: Veli, Srednji and Donji Bili Bok, and Batalo.
Veli Bili Bok consists of a nice pebble beach surrounded on both sides with large stone plateaux descending down to the Adriatic Sea.
What we like here: amazing blue and turquoise sea; feels peaceful and unspoiled;
Tips: bring your own food and drinks as there is only one beach shack on the island; there is very little natural shade (if any at all).
Just beneath a village of Zrnovo, on the island of Korcula, you can find a small, hidden beach Orlandusa. The beach is made of perfectly round pebbles, and the color of the sea is amazing (all shades of blue).
The beach can be reached by car from Zrnovo, via a narrow and only partly asphalted road.
Bratinja Luka Beach
Bratinja Luka beach is also at the south shores of the Korcula island, close to Orlandusa (see above). Similar to Orlandusa, Bratinja Luka is a small pebbly beach in a cove of the same name. There are few cottages to rent nearby.
Pupnatska Luka Beach
Located southwest of Korcula Town, Pupnatska Luka is perhaps the nicest bay on the island of Korcula.
Only a few houses and a lovely pebbly beach make a village of Pupnatska Luka.
At the end of the beach, there is a beach bar Mate, run by the same family who's behind a very popular restaurant on the island – Konoba Mate in Pupnat. In fact, Konoba Mate is our favorite place to eat in all Korcula.
Deck chairs and parasols available for rent.
Vela Pržina Beach
Vela Pržina is perhaps the most visited beach on the island of Korcula. This sandy beach is located just out of Lumbarda, in the uninhabited part of the village. The beach faces south, and it's overlooking the open sea and Lastovo Island. There is a fast food bar in the vicinity, as well as a volleyball course. There is a parking nearby, and it costs 10 Kn per day.
South Dalmatia & Dubrovnik Beaches
Southern Dalmatia, including Dubrovnik and Peljesac peninsula, also has a couple of aces up its sleeve when it comes to beaches. Some of them are also featured in our articles about the Best Beaches in Dubrovnik and the Wonderful beaches of the Peljesac peninsula.
Below you will find the best southern Croatia beaches.
North shores of Peljesac peninsula hide a couple of wonderful little beaches. The beach Divna is one of them. Even its name – Divna – means gorgeous in Croatian. Divna is a pebbly beach, 10 km southeast of Trpanj. This beach is popular among locals.
There is a small family-run campsite at the beach. An islet is within a swimming distance from the beach.
Beach doesn't provide shade, but you can escape the sun under the olive and fig trees in the campsite.
Duba is a small settlement on the north side of the Peljesac peninsula. There are two beaches in the village. Both are pebbly, and both are awesome.
Beach Jezero is nicer of the two. You can reach it on foot from the village. It takes 10 minutes to reach the beach. A small lake forms in the back of the beach and it creates a stream that flows across the beach into the sea.
Bring your own food and drinks, as there isn't any bar or store on the beach.
Very little natural shade.
Trstenica is the most popular beach in Orebic, if not on all Peljesac peninsula. This long pebble beach has a slow descent in the sea, with a shallow sandy seabed at the sea entrance. In the back of the beach, tall pine trees provide enough shadow from the strong summer sun.
You can rent sunbeds and sun umbrellas at the beach, as well as sports equipment like a pedalo boat, or kayaks. There is a restaurant close by where you can have lunch, a quick bite, or just a drink. Trstenica beach is extremely popular, but also busy in high season.
Mljet is one of the greenest Croatian islands, and even one-third of the island is a national park.
On the south part of the island, you'll find a mile-long sandy beach Saplunara. The beach is located in a bay and it's surrounded by pine forest.
Just a bit further south from Saplunara, you'll find the Blace beach, another wonderful sandy beach on the Mljet Island.
Veliki Zal Beach
Located below the main coastal road E65, 30 km north of Dubrovnik, Veliki Zal is a wonderful pebbly beach.
There is parking near the beach. You can rent deck chairs and parasols for about 10 € a pair. A nice cocktail & food bar is right at the beach and it offers refreshments, and simple meals like pizza, pasta, grill, and salads.
Jetski, banana and tubes ride, pedalo, and kayak rentals are available at the beach.
Sunj is a wonderful sandy beach on the island of Lopud, off the coast of Dubrovnik.
This long beach is very popular among locals and tourists. The beach has a couple of beach bars serving drinks and snacks, deck chairs and parasol rental, snorkeling and kayak tours.
Sv. Jakov Beach
Just south of Dubrovnik old town, in Ploce neighborhood, you'll find Sv. Jakov Beach. This beach is way less crowded than other Dubrovnik beaches, like Banje beach, and it's certainly more classy.
It takes a 20-minute walk, and over 150 steps down to reach this beach from the old town. However, it's worth every step.
Sunbeds and parasols rentals are available. A small bar next to the beach serves some food too, and drinks aren't too pricey. Kayak and jet ski rentals are also available on the beach.
This wonderful pebbly beach, hidden from the sights, is hard to reach. You need to take more than a few steps down the cliffs. But once there, you'll enjoy peace and quiet, and your own piece of heaven.
No facilities on the beach, just the sound of the sea. Bring your own props, and provisions.
Our two favorite beaches in Croatia
The following two beaches are perhaps not the nicest beaches you'll find on the Adriatic, but hey we spend lots of time on these two beaches, so they deserve a mention.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of a beholder. We love them for the privacy they provide, even in the highest period of the season.
Located in Porec, in Zelena Laguna Resort, this beach is partly rocky, pebbly, and cemented. There is a lot of shade under the pine trees and a large grassy area for deck chairs. Activities offered at the Delfin beach include a jet-ski rental, a crazy UFO ride, a banana ride, parasailing, a motorboat rental, pedal boat rental, and kayak rental.
Komarna is a small village in the southern Croatia where we spend lost of time. Komarna has a couple of beaches, but the most popular one, Uvala Beach, is located in a small uninhabited bay, just 200 m from the village. There is a beach bar on the beach and free parking.
Map of Beaches in Croatia
We've probably just listed a small fragment of all the beautiful beaches in Croatia, but we hope we gave you a few ideas about where to find awesome beaches in Croatia.
Do you know of another beach in Croatia? Please let us know in the comments below.