When you think of Croatia, its beaches must be among the first things that come to mind. Those uniquely wonderful pebbly shores, crystal clear waters and that gentle sea breeze are just a few of the reasons why millions of people choose Croatia as their holiday destination every year. It seems like (almost) no matter where you go, you’ll always have the chance to have a day at the beach. And you can count on the beaches to be in pristine condition.

Despite Croatia’s popularity among holiday-goers, it has still managed to preserve its natural beauty. This is of course thanks

to the care that the country of Croatia takes, and the regulations it has put in place. For example, in many areas building too close to the water is not permitted, in order to minimise the impact on the sea life. With regulations like that, it’s no wonder that Croatian beaches are recognised and appreciated all over the world.

Cista Luka beach (Kat von Wood/Unsplash)
Cista Luka beach (Kat von Wood/Unsplash)

What makes the Croatia beaches so special

Many of the country’s beaches have been given the “blue flag”, a European label to indicate cleanliness of the beach, its water, and the overall environmental-friendliness of the area. Over 100 beaches in Croatia have been given this prestigious status, further showcasing the country’s determination to keep its beaches in great condition for generations to come.

Croatia’s long, clean coastline and 1000-plus islands provide something for every beach-lover. Parents will find water slides and other activities for their children alongside a sun chair for themselves to relax in, while they watch their little ones play in the shallow water. Teens and young adults can enjoy the offering of the restaurants and cafés, rent jet-skis and dance on the beach until the early hours of the morning. Couples can enjoy some sweet moments of solitude on a secluded beach in a hidden bay.

The best beaches in Croatia by the region

Because there are so many beaches in Croatia, it’s impossible to list all of them for you to choose from, but to make your choice a little bit easier we’ve picked some absolute gems from each of the four three beach-blessed regions of Croatia. So, from the Istrian peninsula all the way down to Southern Dalmatia, we present to you the best beaches in Croatia you just can’t miss when holidaying in the area.

Istria

Hawaii beach in Pula (Alen Rojnic/Unsplash)
Hawaii beach in Pula (Alen Rojnic/Unsplash)

One of the most popular holiday regions in the country is the Istrian peninsula. This is hardly a surprise, because it hosts one of the most beautiful little towns and beaches in Croatia. They offer plenty of options for sea-side activities, from sunbathing to snorkelling and jet-ski renting.

  • Kanova beach, near the little town of Umag, offers everything you could want from your beach holiday: blue flag level conditions, sporting activities, restaurants... and even a nudist section, if that’s something for you.
  • Sveti Nicola island, settled in front of the town Porec, not only offers a welcome escape from the heat of the city, but also has one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia. Sveti Nicola even has a small sport park called Wibit, which offers a fun afternoon of activities, especially for children, and is located right on the water.
  • The little town of Rovinj offers a plethora of beaches. Some of the most popular ones are Porton Biondi, Val del Lesso and Monte, of which the Monte beach is especially favoured by the locals. That’s always a good sign, right?
  • Hawaii beach in the town of Pula offers breath-takingly turquoise waters and stunning landscape views. Pine trees provide some welcome shade and the nearby rocks are the perfect place from which to jump into the waves.
  • The Kap Kamenjak national park on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula offers its visitors the chance to see old dinosaur fossils, as well as having over 30 bays and beaches with exciting activities. Visit the Pinižule Beach near the dinosaur park or test your windsurfing skills on the other side of the peninsula. Many of the beaches are in protected areas, without any amenities, so it’ll most likely be you and the sound of the waves. Just make sure to bring snacks!

Kvarner

Krk island (David Gabrić/Unsplash)
Krk island (David Gabrić/Unsplash)

Kvarner is a versatile region between the Istrian peninsula in the West, mainland Croatia in the east and the Dalmatia region in the south. It has mountain views, a seaside climate, and beautiful small towns with numerous islands. Below, we’ve collected some of the best beaches in Croatia and what to do while visiting them.

  • Ploce beach in the town of Rijeka is another the blue flag status beach with plenty of things to do. It stands out with its public pool area for those who aren’t such big fans of the salty sea water. Furthermore, the access to the sea has been built so that also people with physical limitations will find it easy to reach the water.
  • Those travelling with their four-legged friends will be delighted to hear about the two beaches near the city of Rijeka, Kantrida and Brajdica, which welcome dogs for their beach days too!
  • Baska beach on the island of Krk has something for every beachgoer. It stretches almost 2 kilometres and keeps sunbathers content with plenty of nearby restaurants and bars. The shallow water and very fine pebbles also make it a great destination for families with children.
  • Icici Beach on the Opatija Riviera is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, offering plenty of things to do between laying on the sand and sipping a cooling drink. It has tennis courts, beach volleyball field and boat rental possibilities. The beach even has a free WiFi, which will excite younger holidaymakers – and those who want to share their holiday snaps speedily.
  • The 100-metre-long beach Sipar in Moscenicka Draga will also not disappoint with its vast selection of free time activities and mesmerising white pebbles.

Dalmatia

Golden Horn (Simon Hrozian/Unsplash)
Golden Horn (Simon Hrozian/Unsplash)

Dalmatia is another popular tourist region. This is no wonder, as the area has the longest coastline in Croatia, truly making it a paradise for every beach lover. Visit the popular cities Dubrovnik and Split to enjoy the perfect combination of a beach and a city vacation. Then fill your beach basket with local delicacies and enjoy the refreshing sea climate on the following beaches:

  • Banje beach in Dubrovnik is very well-known by all Game of Thrones fans, thanks to it being the filming location of King’s Landing. As well as being an excellent public beach, its clear waters and wonderful backdrop of the city’s medieval walls make it worth visiting even if you haven’t watched the TV show.
  • The Nin lagoon and its 8 kilometres of sandy beaches are hard to beat, especially as it offers beach bars and totally secluded areas as well. With the medieval town of Nin nearby with the Valebit mountain in the background, a day spent on the 3-kilometre-long Queen beach couldn’t be any better.
  • Bacvice beach in the city of Split is for those who prefer their beaches sandy. Its clean water and numerous nearby clubs allow you to enjoy a whole day and even a big part of the night there.
  • Zlatni Rat beach on the coast of Brac island is one of the most famous beaches in Croatia. Its shape has given the beach the nickname “golden horn” and offers excellent conditions for windsurfing.
  • Borik beach, four kilometres from the city of Zadar, is especially popular among families and active holidaymakers. Consisting of both sand and pebbles, the beach has water slides, pools and restaurants to keep the whole family happy.

Book a holiday near a beach in Croatia

There are so many great beaches in Croatia, and our select list is the perfect place to start exploring what the country has to offer. No matter what your age or interests; here there’s the perfect beach for everyone.

Your next step is simple: to book your accommodation near the best beaches in Croatia and you are all set for a holiday of your dreams.