Beautiful beaches and historic European treasures — Croatia is your next ideal vacation spot. Head to the coastal city of Dubrovnik, filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, or take a boat from the city of Split to check out any of Croatia’s island getaways. Croatia has cities full of history from a time long forgotten, as well as more recent history and scars of war. Combine all that with beaches that make you forget the rest of the world even exists and you get a hard combination to turn down. Ready to plan your days on Croatia’s coast? Check out our list of Croatia’s top ten beaches.
Want to find the ultimate beach vacation? Stiniva, on the island of Vis, off the coast of Split, is a beach with scenery straight out of an adventure movie. The beach is only reachable by hiking or by boat, and the sandy area is almost entirely surrounded by high, white stone cliffs. The cliffs combined with the white sand and turquoise water makes for quite the scene. It’s clear to see why Stiniva was named Europe’s best beach in 2016.
2. Spiaza Beach
Looking for your own private getaway? Spiaza Beach, on Susak Island, is definitely what you need. This tiny island is almost entirely golden sand, surrounded by the clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. The water around the Spiaza Bay is generally gentle and shallow, making this the perfect spot for families traveling with young children, and the entire island is free from noise and crowds. The beach offers various beach sports, including pedal boating and picigin, a traditional Croatian game where players stand in the shallow waves of the beach and work to prevent a ball from dropping into the water.
3. Zrce Beach
Trade in the white sand for white pebbles with this island oasis. This beach combines relaxing waters with a nightlife rivaling the most popular party spots. At Zrce Beach, you can spend your days relaxing by the water and enjoying the hot sun, and spend your nights exploring the clubs and bars. Zrce Beach is a go-to destination for foreigners and Croatian travelers alike, giving you plenty of opportunities to meet new people on your trip.
4. Kraljicina Plaza
This beach in Nin, translates to “Queen’s Beach” and you can trust that here you definitely get the royal treatment. The beach’s turquoise water and soft sand are surrounded by olive trees and cypress trees, giving it a unique, majestic beauty. The area around Kraljicina Plaza is filled with almost uninterrupted stretches of golden sand beach. The area by the beach is also a great spot for a mud bath. The woods are rich in peloid mud, a natural treatment for joint pain or sore muscles.
5. Hvar Islands
This up-and-coming vacation spot just became your new go-to beach destination. The beach can get crowded with travelers, but the clear, crystal water and ability to island hop easily make it all worth it. Hvar Island’s beaches are also home to some of the best nightlife on the Dalmatian Coast. Get to know fellow travelers as you party Croatian beach-style.
6. Bacvice Beach
This popular family hangout is located right in the heart of the city of Split, giving you tons of fun in the pebbly sand and shallow waters, as well as all the perks of the mystical city. The beach is crowded almost year round, as it’s the top sunbathing spot in all of Croatia for locals and tourists alike, but that only means you know you’ve made the right decision coming here. Bacvice Beach is also the most famous spot for picigin, the classic Dalmatian Coast beach game.
If you’re looking for a vacation straight out of a painting, head to Rovinj. This beach has “European romance” written all over it, with stone beaches in place of sand, plus tree-lined shores giving you plenty of shade from the hot sun. The gentle waves of the water make it perfect for calm swimming or casual beach games. Rovinj is full of the most luxurious vacation spots in the area, all with easy access to the blue waters of the beach. The area is also known as a clothing-optional area – find your secluded spot and enjoy the private, nude beach, if you want.
8. Kupari Beach
This beach is perfect for the adventure-seeking traveler. Kupari Beach was once the go-to resort for the former Yugoslavian military leaders and has since been deserted, save for those looking for a unique beach trip in Croatia. The hotels, now all shells of their former selves, housing the occasional plant life, line the water’s edge while the shore itself is welcoming to any visitors looking to sunbathe or enjoy a day with their toes in the blue water.
9. Gornja Vala
Check out one of the Adriatic Sea’s biggest beach towns, Gornja Vala. The tree-lined beach is perfect for a relaxing day in the water, with easy access to shade, and the protection from wind makes it ideal for a day of boating in the clear waters. The towns around the three-mile beach are home to many quaint cafes and restaurants, giving you plenty of food options, as well as an excuse to get away from the water and wander the town a bit.
10. Zlatni Rat
A picturesque beach surrounded by perfectly clear waters and the ultimate destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing? Yes, please. Check out Zlatni Rat, off the coast of Split, in southern Croatia. The triangle-shaped beach ends in a sandy point and offers a perfect family-fun location. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the beach, and playgrounds are scattered around the area for children to have fun. If you start to get too hot under the sun, just head to the thick forest that covers a section of the middle of the beach.
If you still need more reasons to visit, make sure to read these 11 Reasons to Visit Croatia