Pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, and stunning scenery make Croatia's coast one of Europe's top destinations. With over 4,000km of coastline between the mainland and more than 1200 spectacular islands, one thing is sure; the beach is the place to be. From secluded coves to bustling beaches, here are the 12 most beautiful beaches in Croatia you simply can't miss.
#1 Pasjača Beach - near Dubrovnik
Nestled in the quaint village of Popovići near Dubrovnik, Pasjača Beach is a hidden gem that offers spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea. To reach it, you'll need to climb down a narrow path flanked by cliffs that leads to crystal-clear water.
Pasjača is situated at the bottom of a steep and narrow canyon - visitors have to hike down a steep set of stairs to reach the beach
A hidden gem tucked away on the southern coast of Croatia, Pasjača is not as well-known as some of the other popular destinations in Croatia but was still voted the best European beach in 2019. What makes it so unique is its location.
Escape to a hidden paradise tucked away beneath towering cliffs at Pasjača beach
The beach is situated at the bottom of a narrow canyon, meaning visitors have to hike down a steep set of stairs to reach the beach. But the effort is definitely worth it, as the beach boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. The beach is surrounded by stunning cliffs and natural rock formations, giving it a secluded and intimate feel. The peaceful and serene atmosphere of Pasjača Beach makes it the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and soak up some sun.
So, if you're looking for a hidden paradise away from the crowds, Pasjača Beach is worth a visit. Just be prepared for a bit of a workout down at the beach!
#2 Zlatni Rat Beach - Brač Island
Nestled along the sparkling Mediterranean coast lies a not-so-hidden gem that will leave you breathless. Zlatni rat beach in Croatia is not just any ordinary beach - it is a true marvel of nature that has captured the hearts of visitors and locals alike.
Zlatni rat beach is ever-changing, influenced by the wind, tide, and current. No two visits are the same!
Its unique shape, like a small peninsula that stretches out into the sea, has earned it a spot on the list of the most exceptional beaches in the world by world-renowned publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic, and Insider Travel.
But Zlatni rat's beauty goes beyond its unusual form. Its crystal-clear waters, ranging from turquoise blue to deep navy, invite you to take a refreshing dip and explore the vibrant marine life. And if you need a break from the sun, the beach is fringed with lush pine trees, providing natural shade and a tranquil ambience.
Not only is Zlatni rat stunning, but it also holds significant cultural value, and it is not only a symbol of the town of Bol and Croatia. Still, it is also protected by the government as a geomorphological monument, highlighting its importance in preserving the region's natural beauty.
Soak up the sun on the iconic golden horn-shaped beach of Zlatni Rat
Take a stroll along the charming promenade shaded by pine trees, and you will discover other small beaches, each with its unique charm. With over 20,000 square meters of pristine pebble beach and enough space to accommodate more than 10,000 people, you can enjoy your own piece of paradise without feeling crowded.
The best part? Zlatni rat beach is ever-changing, influenced by the wind, tide, and current, and sometimes forming small pools at the tip of the beach. No two visits are ever the same, making it a truly magical experience.
#3 Stiniva Beach - Vis Island
Stiniva Beach is a secluded cove accessible by foot or boat, making it a perfect spot for those who love exploring off-the-beaten-path. The beach is a true hidden paradise surrounded by steep cliffs that create a natural shade, and its crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming or snorkelling.
Stiniva Beach boasts some of the clearest and most stunning turquoise waters you'll ever see
It has been a protected natural monument in Croatia since 1967, under the status of a significant landscape. The beach is located on the island's southern coast and can only be accessed via a steep and narrow footpath that winds its way down the cliffside.
Discover the secluded beauty of Stiniva Beach, tucked away between towering cliffs
But the effort is definitely worth it, as Stiniva Beach boasts some of the clearest and most stunning turquoise waters you'll ever see. The beach is surrounded by towering cliffs and natural rock formations, which give it a secluded and intimate feel.
Stiniva Beach has become quite popular in recent years despite its remote location, so it's best to arrive early to secure a good spot. But even when the beach is busy, it retains its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere.
#4 Lubenice Beach - Cres Island
Nestled in a secluded cove, just a stone's throw away from the breathtaking Žanja Cove lies a hidden paradise - Sveti Ivan beach. Better known as Lubenice beach, this pristine shingle beach has been recognized as one of the most beautiful secluded beaches in the world, ranking 15th on the prestigious German magazine Bild's list of the "40 most beautiful beaches in the world."
Lubenice Beach's seclusion is what makes it alluring, allowing visitors to bask in the beauty of its pristine nature and intoxicating scents
Located in a cove under the charming village of Lubenice, it boasts a mesmerizing view of the sparkling white shingle beach, making it one of the most beautiful beaches on the enchanting island of Cres. The beach is accessible by boat or foot down a precipitous path from Lubenice. As you make your way down the winding path from the village, the sound of waves crashing against the shore grows louder.
Experience the untouched beauty of Lubenice Beach, one of the most scenic beaches in Croatia
When you finally reach the beach, you'll be greeted by crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine white pebbles that stretch out before you. Its seclusion is what makes it alluring, allowing visitors to bask in the beauty of its pristine nature and intoxicating scents.
Unlike many famous beaches, it is not overrun with tourists, and visitors can enjoy the tranquillity of this serene oasis without feeling crowded. Lubenice Beach is a gem that offers a peaceful retreat, a chance to connect with nature, and an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning for more. Lubenice, the village near the beach, is a historical site with the significant architectural value.
#5 Dubovica Beach - Hvar Island
Nestled along the stunning coastline of the island of Hvar lies a beach that is nothing short of breathtaking - Dubovica Beach. Just a short drive from the famous Croatian tourist destination of the town of Hvar, this Dubovica is a true paradise for those seeking a tranquil getaway.
Dubovica Beach is secluded. That means it is not overrun with tourists, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its beauty
Protected from the winds, this sandy cove offers a peaceful retreat for families with children and diving enthusiasts alike. Explore the fascinating underwater world or indulge in the mouth-watering specialities of the island at the beachside restaurant. Getting to this oasis is easy and convenient with a private car, boat, or organised transport from the port.
Bask in the natural beauty of Dubovica Beach, nestled in a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters
As you walk through the olive groves, the view of Dubovica beach will take your breath away. With its picturesque bay, white pebbles, and old stone houses, this long stretch of pebbly beach exudes a picture-perfect vibe that is hard to resist. While it may be a favourite on the island, its secluded location means it is not overrun with tourists, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its beauty.
#6 Zrće Beach - Pag Island
Zrće Beach on Pag Island is a must-visit for those looking for a lively experience. This world-renowned beach is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous clubs and bars open until the early morning hours. From electronic dance music to hip hop, there's a wide variety of tunes to dance the night away to. And if you're lucky, you might even catch a performance by a famous DJ or artist.
Zrće Beach is known as Croatian Ibiza due to its spectacular clubbing scene, but during the day, the beach is a perfect place to soak up the sun!
During the day, the crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming or indulging in water sports, while at night, the beach transforms into a pulsating hub with nightclubs and bars. In recent years, Zrće's open-air beachfront Papaya Club has taken up residency on DJ Mag's prestigious annual Top 100 Clubs list.
During the day, the beach is the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun. The crystal-clear waters are great for swimming, and plenty of water sports activities are available, such as jet skiing and parasailing. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even take a ride on the banana boat or go on a scuba diving excursion. If you're ready for a wild and unforgettable experience, Zrće Beach is definitely the place to be.
#7 Stara Baška Beach - Krk Island
On the enchanting island of Kirk, there is a small fishing village that is a true haven of peace and tranquillity - Stara Baška. Nestled on the idyllic southwestern coast, this charming village boasts an unspoiled nature that is a feast for the senses. From the terraced gromače (drywalls) and stone-built sheepfolds to the breathtaking stone desert and cliffs, Stara Baška is a place that exudes an irresistible allure.
If you're looking for a true adventure, venture out to the deserted coves below the hilltop outside Stara Baška
As you stroll along the village's narrow main street, you can't help but feel enchanted by the village's charm. With marked pedestrian crossings every 100 meters, it is a place where you can truly disconnect from the stresses of daily life and immerse yourself in the beauty of its unspoiled nature.
The pebble beach of Stara Baška is nothing short of extraordinary, drawing visitors from Punat and Baška who come by foot, car or boat. For those arriving by car, a steep path leads down to the beach, offering a scenic stroll amidst the stunning natural surroundings. It is an excellent beach for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat without the noise of bars and shops nearby.
Relax on the tranquil shores of Stara Baška Beach and admire the crystal-clear waters
But if you're looking for a true adventure, venture out to the deserted coves below the hilltop outside Stara Baška. As you walk down the steep cliffs, take a deep breath and let the serenity of nature surround you. Here, you can bask in the sun, cool off in the sea, and marvel at the breathtaking views that will leave you awestruck.
Stara Baška is not for the faint of heart but for those willing to embark on a journey of self-discovery and connect with the raw beauty of nature. It is a place where you can let go of your worries and immerse yourself in the wonders of the world around you.
# 8 Banje Beach - Dubrovnik
Imagine a paradise where the crystal-clear water meets the warm golden sand, where the picturesque view of the old city and Lokrum island will leave you breathless. Welcome to Banje, the most famous beach in Dubrovnik. The pebble shoreline leads to crystal-clear water, and plenty of restaurants and cafes are nearby. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or just enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Banje Beach was ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world multiple times
Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and many cultural attractions, such as the famous city walls. Just two minutes away from the old city, Banje offers a unique experience that will make your heart skip a beat.
But Banje is not just a beach; it's a place where dreams come true. You might bump into some of the most famous people from Croatia and around the world.
Indulge in the stunning panoramic views of Dubrovnik's Old Town and Lokrum Island from Banje Beach
As the sun sets, Banje comes to life with its vibrant nightlife and unique night swimming experience. The beach offers various amenities and services expected from a world-renowned destination, and it's no wonder that Banje has been ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world multiple times.
But if you're not a fan of crowds, it's best to avoid Banje during the peak summer season. However, it's perfect for children who enjoy building sandcastles and playing in warm waters.
#9 Sakarun Beach - Dugi Otok Island
Sakarun Beach is a hidden oasis nestled on the northwest coast of the breathtaking Dugi Otok in the Zadar archipelago. This pristine gem is a perfect escape for all sand lovers, a true paradise on earth. Dugi Otok, the largest island in this part of Dalmatia, is a hub for exploring the Kornati National Park and Telašćica Nature Park.
Also known as the Adriatic Caribbean, Sakarun Beach is a place that will leave you spellbound. With its white sands and crystal-clear turquoise sea, it's no wonder it has been named one of the world's most beautiful beaches multiple times.
The Sakarun Bay belongs to an international association known as the "Most Beautiful Bays in the World"
It boasts an 800-meter stretch of shallow to mid-depth water, perfect for even the youngest swimmers. And if the sun gets too hot, the shade of the surrounding pine forest provides a welcome respite.
Sakarun may be located on the open sea, but its long bay protects the water temperature, ensuring that it remains pleasant year-round. The combination of crystal-clear water and pine forest creates an enchanting setting for a tranquil day at the beach.
What sets Sakarun apart is its magical aura. The Sakarun Bay belongs to an international association known as the "Most Beautiful Bays in the World," which includes bays from 25 countries on all six continents. This beach is a wonderland of biological diversity, with sparkling white pebbles, the sea's hues changing with the sun's position, and the pine trees' gentle shade. The climate creates vast underwater meadows that play a critical role in the ecosystem, and the untouched algae prevent erosion.
# 10 Bačvice Beach, Split
Ah, Bačvice Beach! It's one of the most popular beaches in Split, Croatia, and for a good reason. The beach is just a stone's throw away from the city centre, making it easy to get to and perfect for a quick swim or sunbathing session.
Even if you're not up for playing Picigin, the Bačvice Beach is still worth a visit
But what sets Bacvice apart from other beaches in the area is the local game of Picigin. If you're unfamiliar with Picigin, it's a fun and unique game played in the shallow waters of the beach. The game's objective is to keep a small ball in the air as long as possible using only your hands.
It may sound simple, but it's actually quite challenging and requires quick reflexes and agility. The game is typically played in a circle, with players trying to outdo each other with their impressive moves and tricks.
Even if you're not up for playing Picigin, the beach is still worth a visit. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. And, of course, the crystal clear waters and soft sandy shores are perfect for lounging and soaking up some sun. After a day at the beach, head to Split's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to explore ancient Roman architecture and indulge in local cuisine.
Options and interests
Croatia's beaches offer diverse experiences, from secluded coves to bustling beaches. Each of these ten beaches has unique charm and beauty, steeped in history, culture, and spectacular nature. Visitors can indulge in water sports, explore the natural beauty, and taste the local cuisine. To reach these beaches, travellers can use various transportation options, such as ferries, buses, or rental cars. Accommodations range from luxury resorts to cosy apartments, and dining options include traditional taverns and seafood restaurants. And if you wonder what beach suits your interests best, ask RealCroatia's trip designers, who will create the whole experience for you.