Not sure what to expect from a holiday on Croatia’s coastline? We guarantee you’ll be impressed! Whether you take a trip to the Dalmatian coastline, large, small or remote islands, or even the city centre, Croatia has so many fascinating beaches to explore, each with its own personality. The temptation to relax will be simply irresistible.
Croatia boasts a number of hidden jewels, such as Betina, a paradise in the rocks just a short walk from Dubrovnik, ‘star-studded’ bays such as Kolorina, family-friendly beaches such as Rajska Plaža, dazzling coves to be reached by foot, such as Sveti Ivan, and unique vistas such as those at Zlatni Rat and Beritnica. Each destination offers something different but equally amazing. Whether you’re a sporty kite surfer or an expert sunbather, Croatia's beaches are guaranteed to offer you everything you could possibly want from a beach holiday. What’s more, Croatia also boasts some of the best summer nightlife this side of the Adriatic, while quieter spots offer precious time away from the hustle and bustle on sandy beaches that you’ll practically have all to yourself, even in the middle of summer. Why not choose a unique way to visit these magical shores with a Costa cruise to Split or Dubrovnik? Enjoy this amazing corner of the Mediterranean from the moment you dock at the port.
Looking to dive into irresistibly blue Adriatic waters? Check out our list of Croatia's most beautiful mainland and island beaches right now.
Croatia’s Most Beautiful Beaches and Where You Can Find Them
- Bačvice, Split
- Kolorina Bay, Dubrovnik
- Betina, Dubrovnik
- Sveti Jakov, Dubrovnik
- Lapad Bay, Dubrovnik
- Copacabana, Dubrovnik
- Beritnica, Pag Island
- Stiniva, Vis Island
- Zlatni Rat, Brač Island
- Sakarun, Dugi Otok Island
- Sveti Ivan, Cres Island
- Rajska Plasha, Rab Island
- Saplunara, Mljet Island
- Podrače, Brela
- Slanica, Murter Island
- Bibinje, near Zara
- Dugi Rat, near Split
In the centre of Split you’ll find a large beach suitable for both young and old visitors alike. Welcome to Bačvice, a huge stretch of sandy beach, where city dwellers come to have fun and sunbathe. Happen to travel here on a Costa cruise? Why not stop off at one of Croatia's many seaside bars, restaurants or clubs and enjoy a spectacular view of one of Croatia's rare sandy beaches! Bačvice resort was opened exactly one hundred years ago this year (in 1919) next to Split port. Here, the waters are shallow, so your children can swim safely.
Whatever the season, you’ll undoubtedly spot groups of kids playing ‘picigin’ (a bit like football) on this metropolitan Croatian beach. You never know, one of them could be a future star player!
Happen to be a Game of Thrones fan by any chance? Located next to Dubrovnik old town’s city walls is Kolorina Bay. You’ll immediately recognise this location as the setting for the famous Battle of the Blackwater at King's Landing! And not only is Kolorina Bay famous, it also boasts a number of distinct features. Its crystal clear water, for example, its pebble seabed, and the extraordinary sea view that emerges next to Lovrijenac Fortress, which is built into the rock face.
Kayak enthusiasts will also love this particular Croatian beach, as it’s the perfect place to set off on a Costa excursion to discover the local Croatian flora and fauna.
Surrounded by a small, wild and rocky cave, Betina beach is one of Croatia’s most romantic spots and you’ll find it in an intimate and secluded setting. There’s just one catch: you can only reach it by sea! Hire a kayak from Kolorina Bay and embark on a Costa excursion, or alternatively, you can swim there, if you're in good enough shape!
The beach is definitely worth it when you get there. The surrounding rocks offer shelter from the hot summer sun, and really make the bay feel like it’s out of this world and entirely at one with nature. Once you’re there, you can dive into the emerald waters for a snorkel expedition to explore the wonders and sounds of the Croatian sea.
In this wonderful cove you’ll find a rock face dotted with luscious green maritime plants. While out in the waters you can spot the outline of Lokrum Island, just off Dubrovnik, nestled in the azure blue sea. Underfoot you’ll feel a myriad of sand and pebbles, which change colour under the sun’s rays. Sveti Jakov beach is one of Dubrovnik's best-loved spots. It’s accessible via a 163-step staircase, at the end of which you’ll find calm, clear waters lapping at the shore. Here, children can play for hours. But before heading down to the beach, make sure you admire the view from above!
Sveti Jakov takes its name from a nearby church surrounded by greenery. It’s equipped with sunbeds, a restaurant, and boat or jet ski hire.
Lapad Bay is located on the peninsula of the same name, just outside Dubrovnik city centre. If your Costa cruise stops here, make sure you join the catamaran excursion to the bay’s beautiful beaches.
You'll find most of Dubrobnik’s luxury properties in Lapad, overlooking crystal clear waters lapping at the bay. Along the coastline, you’ll find a range of different beaches offering access to the sea, ranging from concrete and stone spots to well-equipped beaches, such as the Uvala and Adriatic beaches.
On the Lapad Peninsula you’ll find a romantic promenade, perfect for a stroll and a drink at one of its countless bars or kiosks. Fancy admiring the bay from the sea? Rent a pedalo and enjoy the view!
Looking for a beach outside Dubrovnik that’s still close to the old town? A stone beach with the added comfort of a concrete section? A beach with bright blue shallow waters that are perfect for children? Copacabana beach is the place for you.
Indeed, we’re not in Brazil, but the wonderful coastline of Croatia’s Babin Kuk Peninsula, overlooking the Daksa and Elaphiti islands. Copacabana is Dubrovnik's largest beach, and it’s brilliantly equipped for your comfort and enjoyment. An example? Water slides, inflatables, surfing, kayaks, water skiing... you’ll find something for everyone here. Copacabana beach is a must-visit on your Costa summer cruise.
On the island of Pag you’ll findone of Croatia's most ‘surreal’ beaches: Beritnica, which looks like something out of a sci-fi film. Allowing this beach to stand out are three huge rocks jutting out of the seabed along the shoreline, longstanding silent witnesses to the surrounding beauty.
Beritnica is a rocky beach leading into the bright blue sea. The only way to get here is to walk from the nearby beach of Ručica or to travel by sea. Despite its shallow waters, peaceful backdrop and absolute tranquillity, it's bound to make even the most adventurous among you fall in love. What’s more, Stogaj Tower soars over Beritnica beach and often attracts climbing enthusiasts. If you're headed here, make sure to bring everything you need for a day in nature. You won't find any tourist facilities on Beritnica beach.
Only 20 metres wide and 70 metres long, Stiniva beach is a real jewel in the crown of Stiniva bay. This Vis Island beach, just off Split, was voted one of Europe’s 15 most beautiful beaches by users of the European Best Destinations website in 2016, and it continues to win over whoever sets foot on it.
If you want to enjoy its beauty, the journey involves a long, steep downhill walk (which is of course uphill on the way back...), but as soon as you get to Stiniva you can rehydrate with a cold drink and a sandwich at its small bar. And then once you’ve taken in the absolutely incredible views, you can make your way down to the narrow beach, nestled between two very high rock walls, which allow the sun to peep through and shine onto an expanse of small pebbles. One thing, though: don't forget to wear suitable shoes! You will also need them for the sea.
Its name means ‘Golden Horn’ in Croatian. In fact, Zlatni Rat beach is shaped like the tip of an arrow pointing into the Adriatic Sea.
We’re talking about Brai Island, just off Split, and it’s here, near the city of Bol, that an unforgettable feat of nature takes place every day. In fact, Zlatni Rat beach constantly changes shape in the wind. We probably don’t need to point out that Zlatni Rat is also a paradise for surfers and kite surfers!
That being said, we guarantee that less sporty types will also be won over by this expanse of tiny white pebbles, deep blue sea and lush nature. Zlatni Rat also offers a number of facilities to guarantee maximum relaxation, from a well-equipped beach to numerous nearby restaurants and bars.
Doubt that a white-sand beach exists that’s easy to reach, wide and has shallow, turquoise waters? Well then you’ve clearly never been to Dugi Otok Island, just off the Croatian coast. Here you’ll find one of Croatia's most beautiful spots: the wonderful Sakarun beach, a destination beloved by both Croatians and tourists alike.
This beach is 800 metres long and boasts waters no more than 3.5 metres deep for 250 metres out into the sea, making it perfect for your kids, too. While sun bathing on Sakarun beach, you can admire the surrounding green hills, and upon diving into the Adriatic, you can look out for white yachts bobbing in the distance, where the blue sky seems to merge with the sea. You can even get here from Zara on a hydrofoil!
What you need for your day trip to Sveti Ivan is a desire to fully immerse yourself in nature and forget about the rest of the world. In order to reach this infinite expanse of white pebbles, you'll have to leave your car in the small village of Lubeniceon the Croatian island of Cres. If you look down towards the water from up there, you'll spot the inviting Sveti Ivan beach, a white crescent that separates the green island from the blue sea.
Prepare for a forty-minute descent down a steep but well-covered path, which will take you to one of Croatia's most beautiful beaches. Sveti Ivan is usually not very crowded, since the only other way to reach it is by sea. Those who come here really love the landscape’s peace and tranquility. Make the most of them both before walking back up to the village in time to admire the sunset from up high!
Rajska Plaža, Lopar
Croatia also has its own Paradise beach and it’s called Rajska Plaža on the Lopar Peninsula of Rab Island. In fact, its name is most likely owed to the fact that sunbathers here can practically touch the sky. There’s no doubt you’ll feel happy and at home here. Children can play in theshallow waters or on the water slides, while adults can have fun engaging in aquatic sports or relaxing in one of the restaurants and cafes just off the beach. Even your dog will love it at Rajska Plasha, as the southern end of the beach encourages four-legged friends to run and jump into the water with you!
Rajska Plasha has possessed a Blue Flag since 2003 thanks to the quality of its waters and its cleanliness. An extra guarantee that this is a truly heavenly place.
If you really can't do without the feeling of golden sand between your toes when you're at the beach, head to Saplunara, proof that Croatia's most beautiful beaches are not all pebble beaches. To reach this beach, you’ll have to travel to the incredibly peacefulMljet Island, a green and golden oasis in the Adriatic just north of Dubrovnik. Croatian legend has it that this island is actually the mythological Ogygia island, home of the nymph Calypso who fell in love with Ulysses.
Saplunara beach is a sandy bay that’s about one kilometre long and is surrounded by lush pine forest. After leaving your car in the nearby car park, this tranquil bay will soon come into view, perfect for those looking for a stress-free holiday.
The Dalmatian coast is home to small, precious jewels such as Podrače beach, a tiny cove on the Makarska Riviera, opposite the town of Brela. This stretch of coastline is one of Croatia's most elegant and exclusive spots, and also one of the most photographed.
As soon as you reach the small cove of Podrače, you will spot the beach’s most famous inhabitant to your right: Brela Rock, a huge boulder that’s home to a curious tuft of maritime pines and shields Podrače from onlookers and the wind. This is a thin, gravelly sliver of beach overlooking Dalmatia’s crystal clear waters and is surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation. This is a real oasis of beauty and can be reached from the comfort of your car, on foot or by sea, perhaps mooring just offshore and diving in for a leisurely swim to the beach.
Slanica is a classic beach that pleases just about everybody. On this strip of sand on Murter Islandin the enchanting Kornati archipelago, children can play in theshallow waters, young people can have fun ‘till late in the seaside clubs and make new friends (it's definitely crowded in the summer) and grown-ups can properly relax on a fully equipped beach. All this in an idyllic setting, with emerald green waters and golden sands.
Just a short walk from Zara, Bibinje is a town famous for its marina, but also for its pebble and sandy bays. Bibinje beach is accompanied by a four-kilometre promenade, looking out into the turquoise, aquamarine and bright blue waters housing numerous small piers... In the evening, the promenade lights up so that you can admire the Adriatic under the stars. Walk the whole thing and find out which stretch of beach you like the best! In Bibinje, everything is people-oriented, close together and intimate.
To reach Dugi Rat beach you have to walk down a staircase connecting it directly to the road. It is handily located in the town of the same name, twenty kilometres from Split, and it's the perfect place for a comfortable holiday on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Adriatic. Here, children can play safely in the warm sea, while parents watch on from the beach. And then, later that day, together at the restaurant, or while strolling through town.
Visit Coratia's beaches with Costa Cruises
Croatia’s beaches are always a pleasant surprise for anyone visiting them for the first time. Wild or chic, big or small, famous or unknown, whatever their differences, they all have one thing in common: amazing, blue waters. The same, wonderful sea you can admire from your Costa cruise while navigating the Mediterranean!