Sandy Beaches in Croatia: where to find them

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard tourists complain about lack of sandy beaches in Croatia, I would be a rich man. I love beaches in Croatia. I actually love them for not being sandy beaches.

Sandy Beaches In Croatia | Croatia Beach Guide
Sandy Beaches In Croatia | Croatia Beach Guide

Although the majority of Croatian beaches are pebble (wonderful, round pebbles), you can find some sandy beaches here too. So if sandy is your kind of beach, here is my list of the sandy beaches in Croatia.

Where to find sandy beaches in Croatia

1 | Elafiti Islands

Sandy Beaches in Croatia: Lopud Island
The Sunj Beach is a popular sandy beach located on the island of Lopud. Can get crowded during the summer.

A small archipelago of 14 islands and islets, just off the coast of Dubrovnik, Elafiti Islands feature pretty sandy beaches. The most famous one is the Sunj beach at the island of Lopud, but you’ll find them on Kolocep too. Sunj beach is a gorgeous, one kilometer long sandy beach, located in a bay of the same name. The beach can be reached by boat, by golf cart from the only village on the island, on foot (20 minutes), or by bicycle. There are couple of beach shack restaurants, deck chairs to rent, toilets and changing cabins. The one part of the beach is clothing-optional.

Sandy Beaches in Croatia: Peljesac
Look at the water – wonderful sandy beach in Zuljana

2 | The island of Mljet

Mljet is the greenest Croatian island. Located just off the coast of Peljesac, Mljet is a home to one of eight Croatian National Parks. This wonderful national park covers one third of the island’s surface. Other landmarks include the Odyssey’s Cave, and one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia, the Saplunara beach. Saplunara beach is located on the south shores of Mljet. Almost two kilometer of soft sand stretches along pretty, half-moon bay, and borders a thick pine forest. This is one of the must-visit sandy beaches in Croatia.

3 | The peninsula of Peljesac

Sandy Beaches in Croatia: Prapratno Beach
The Prapratno Beach is located on the Peljesac Peninsula.

Now, the Peljesac peninsula is one of my favorite parts of Croatia. This wonderful region is rich in history, boasts some of the most dramatic views, some of the best Croatian red wines are produced here, and is abundant in wonderful beaches. Many beaches on the peninsula are sandy: Prapratno, Zuljana, Creser, just to name few.

4 | The estuary of Neretva River (Usce Beach)

Sandy Beaches in Croatia
Sandy Beaches in Croatia

No tourists were seen at this beach until recently when local enthusiasts created the first kite-surfing club. And kite surfers from all over the world started coming to the Usce beach. This beach is situated at the estuary of the Neretva River, at the place where the river meets the Adriatic Sea, a wonderful natural site with a two kilometer long sandy beach. There are actually two beaches here: one is called Malo (small) Usce and another one Veliko (big) Usce. Both beaches has its respective kite-surfing club. There is also a small campsite at Veliko Usce, and a beach bar. If you are into kite-surfing, this is the place to be in Croatia.


Sandy Beaches in Croatia: Beach Shack
All sandy beaches need to have at least one beach shack

5 | Omis

For a long time, Omis was simply overlooked by tourists (and even locals). However, this has changed a lot in the past decade. Omis is located in the central Dalmatia, just 25 km south of Split. This seaside town lies beneath a rocky mountain, and next to the Cetina River deep gorge – striking setting for outdoor enthusiasts. A wide variety of outdoor activities, from trekking, rafting or canoeing along the Cetina River Canyon, to zip-lining and rock climbing,  draws visitors from around the globe to Omis.

But, Omis is also a place where the river Cetina reaches the sea, creating a wonderful sandy beach. This 700 m long sandy beach is situated in the center of town, and it’s ideal for families with small kids. The beach offers lots of activities such as windsurfing, and beach volleyball. There are lots of bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors along the beach. It gets very busy during the summer.

6 | The island of Rab

Sandy Beaches in Croatia: The Paradise Beach
The Paradise Beach – one of the most popular sandy beaches in Croatia

Croatian islands are awesome! Visiting them is like stepping back in time. A wonderful architecture, stunning nature, laid back atmosphere, fresh seafood (OK, and a tender lamb meat too), islands in Croatia are definitely worth a visit. The island of Rab is no different.

The best sandy beaches on the island of Rab are found near the village of Lopar. Located on the north shore of the island, Lopar is a home to over twenty sandy beaches. The most popular sandy beach is the Paradise Beach. The beach is almost 2 km long, with warm shallow water, but it gets really busy during the summer. If you like to escape the crowds, head for other sandy beaches in the area: Sahara, Ciganka or Dubac. The water here is very shallow, so it will take you lots of walking to soak head to toe in the sea. However, the sea is clean, and the beaches are extremely safe for children.

Other sandy beaches in Croatia you can find on the island of Dugi Otok (Saharun Beach), the island of Murter (Slanica Beach), the island of Korcula (Vela Przina Beach), Split (Bacvice Beach), Medulin, and Nin (Queen’s Beach).

Sandy Beaches in Croatia: Map Locations

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Do you prefer sandy or pebble beach? Do you know of other sandy beaches in Croatia? Let us know in the comments below.

Further reading:


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34 thoughts on “Sandy Beaches in Croatia: where to find them”

  1. There is another wonderful sandy beach on island Vrgada, which is only reachable by boat. Vrgada is a car-free island between Zadar and Split, luckily nearly in front of our tiny beach house resort at Buqez (see link in my profile).
    You may visit Vrgada during a sailboat trip or by tourist boat from Pakostane.
    Check it and let me know how you like it.

  2. Looking for a sandy beach holiday i Croatia for ten days next May ’20. Not too far from Split airport. Half board for 2.
    Any suggestions and when should we book?

  3. Its funny but I’ve heard the comment that there are no sandy beaches a million times. The worst thing is when I hear they have come from people who have got of a cruise ship in Dubrovnik or Split. They then come out with big statements like there are no sandy beaches in Croatia when they have only been to one beach in a country with thousands of miles of coastline. I have been to Croatia 6 times from Australia and although the beaches are not long and sandy like Australia (which can sometimes become mundane) they still are all over the country but they will not be found by the one day tourist. Croatia is a gem of a country that has to be discovered.There are sandy beaches in Korcula, Paradise beach on Krk, Long Island or Dugi Otok has the beautiful Saharun beach which has been voted one of the words best beaches in 2014, Nin near Zadar also has sandy beaches with amazing Mountain views, the island of Murter and Slanica and even some of the islands that make up the Sibenik archipelago have sandy beaches. The reason why Croatia doesn’t have sandy beaches everywhere is that for sand to be created you need an exposed coastline which has a greater susceptibility to waves. Croatia’s coastline is protected by 1200 islands which means it has amazing coves everywhere and hidden beaches in beautiful settings. The thing I love is that the islands and mainland are so indented in some places it can feel like you are in a big pool as you can see mountains and other islands or the mainland in the horizons. This is what makes Croatia special and rare as islands in other parts of European Mediterranean are normally very distant from one another thus you feel more like you are on the mainland. One of the other benefits of Croatia a lot of tourists don’t know is that it doesn’t have sharks , thus you can jump into the water anywhere. Give me that any day…

  4. Thanks for a heads up, Matt! I’ve heard about Saharun beach, but haven’t got a chance yet to experience it for myself. Hope to visit Dugi otok soon.

  5. Sakarun is the Croatia’s best kept secret beaches, and definitely one of the most famous beaches in the Zadar area. Saharun is a beautiful white sandy beach, about 900 meters long and at some 300 meters from the shore it is 3 meters deep, which means that the bathing area is extremely large. The color of the water is a Caribbean-like blue – it’s quite unique for the Adriatic.There is a tourist shuttle that shuttles people from nearby Božava (a small village on Dugi Otok) every two hours.

  6. Thanks so much for reading, Ana. And for the heads up. I’ll have to make it to Susak. It sounds wonderful, and right up my alley.

  7. Dear Frank, a great article but the best kept secret of the Adriatic coast is the island of Susak – the only island in whole Adriatic made entirely out of sand. While the island itself is kind of wild and not touristy at all, it is a perfect place for modern Robinson Crusoes (there are no cars on the island) and families with small children who love to play in the sand. Check out the Bok beach, my most favourite place in the whole world!

  8. Love these beautiful and sandy Croatian beaches. Great information and good to know when we make it to Croatia soon (I hope). I’m more of a sandy beach type. I grew up on a Pacific island with a lot of sandy beaches sprinkled with some coral. Although, I’ll take pebble ones too. i can spend days at the Elafiti Islands.

  9. I’m definitely a fan of sandy beaches (don’t like waking on pebbles)… and these all look like paradise! And tender lamb meat sounds SO yummy!!

  10. I think that I prefer sandy beaches because my feet are so wimpy and don’t like walking on pebbles. Coral beaches are the worst in that respect. I’m actually not much of a beach person at all, but I’d enjoy watching Kite Surfing at Usce Beach, I think.

  11. Croatia is filled with some beautiful beaches. I think Zuljana is one of my favorite with its crystal blue waters

  12. Haha, last summer my boyfriend went to Croatia (without me no less grrr), and the first thing he shared with me was the lack of sand on the beaches. He was not impressed by all the rocks and pebbles. I’ll have to keep this list around for the next time he goes.

  13. Hi Frank! I like pebble beaches too, but it’s nice to have the option of sand. Now I know where to go!

    (p.s. I think you meant ‘rich’ with history and not ‘reach’ with history in the paragraph about Peljesac. Just thought you’d want to know.)

  14. Being a beach lover, I really loved your post. I would love to explore this beach for sure and very soon. Beautiful pictures, by the way !

  15. I love sandy beaches, the whole cliche of sun, sea and sand! I do, however, get the whole hating being covered in sand thing. It suuucks, but love i still love it.

  16. Hi Frank, wow Croatia is beautiful. Sandy snow white beaches are great to look at. Pebble or stone beaches are really nicer if you think about it. No sand in your clothes etc. Although it not so great to lie on is it. You need deck chairs of like we have on the big. Huge bean bags. Those are outdoor ones and they can get wet.
    Lovely photographs as always.

  17. I have been to a beach full of rocks and did not like it at all, the wonderful smooth round pebbles you describe in Croatian beaches do seem okay.

    Beautiful photos btw :) the beaches look enticing.

  18. Americans pretty much only go to sandy beaches in the U.S. and I think many of us are perplexed by the pebble and rock beaches in Europe as it is just not our idea of a beach. We saw many Europeans putting down towels in the pebbles despite sand being nearby. Good to know where to find the sandy ones whenever we visit Croatia!

  19. Frank, I love a beach for walking, not sunbathing…so it doesn’t matter to me if it’s sandy or not…I think the ones in Croatia are stunning! Love that shack photo.

  20. Mljet sounds perfect to me – very green and lots of sand. Along with the obligatory shack, not much more needed for a relaxing day.

  21. All of these beaches look fantastic, and all if the info about Croatia makes me want to visit!

  22. Although it seems as though you have many pebble beaches, it also looks like you are blessed with many sandy beaches, too! Every time I read your blog all I can think is….I need to get to Croatia!

  23. Frank while reading the title, I was actually wondering why it would be difficult to find the beaches in Croatia, but then I realized that you mentioned most beaches were normally pebbles. So far I have only been to the beach on Brac Island, but the island of Mljet sounds also like a really great destination. But so does the deserted beach of Usce, even if I am not a kite surfer. Adding the great architecture, nature and seafood, actually all the islands and sandy beaches sound like they would be well worth the visit. The only question I have is, why am I not living in Croatia as well? :)

  24. Finding sandy beaches in Croatia is hard work, so thanx for this fine list! I know there only one beach in Split with sand. And I couldn’t agree more with you on Mljet. Loved it there.

  25. Amazing beaches Frank! I am with you on that, I prefer pebble beaches too! I’m not a big fan of the concrete-slab beaches of Trieste and Istria though. Those sandy beaches look amazing, my favourite is the river Neretva estuary beach, and the Elafiti Islands. Amazing!

  26. I come from the land of sandy beaches – Australia. I can understand why people would be upset if they were on a two week holiday thinking they would get sandy beaches then got there and nope, no sandy beaches. It would suck pretty bad.

    The beaches you’ve photographed though, are amazing! I almost feel like going there just to enjoy those beaches!

  27. Thanks for these great tips on where to find the sand :) We are starting to plan out our fall and winter in Europe, and are looking to Croatia for our non-Schengen time. Your posts have definitely given us a lot of great information that will save us a lot of learning things the hard way!

  28. Usce looks beautiful … And I will admit to being a sandy beach girl, white sand, black sand, pink sand, but definitely sand :)

  29. My husband and I *REALLY* need to get to Croatia! It looks beautiful. As a native Floridian, we have white powder sands on our beaches and it’s hard to adjust to anything else. I do prefer powder sand, but hey…I wouldn’t decline a trip to just about any beach! Beautiful post. – Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife

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