Dalmatia is a region in Croatia comprised of coastline and islands along the Adriatic Sea. The Dalmatian coastline is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches and breathtaking vistas. Here, you’ll find centuries-old villages, electric blue waters, white pebble beaches, rocky bluffs and secret coves. With gorgeous beaches and a mild Mediterranean climate year-round, it’s no wonder the Dalmatian Coast draws millions of visitors each year.
If you’re planning a voyage to Croatia’s treasured shoreline, prepare to be awe-struck. You have numerous worthwhile beaches to choose from, and we’re here to help you get started. In this post, we’ll look at some of the best beaches of the Dalmatian Coast, which are sure to inspire a day of snorkeling or seaside siestas.
10 Must-See Beaches on the Dalmatian Coast
As you explore the Adriatic Sea, you’ll find dozens of spots beckoning you to stretch out on the beach or take a dip. How do you know which one to choose? From secluded islands to beaches at the base of ancient towns, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, nightlife aficionado or merely need a relaxing getaway, here are some of the best beaches to fill your voyage with bliss.
1. Plat Beach
If you’re touring the city of Dubrovnik, and want to sneak away for a serene seaside picnic, consider heading to Plat Beach, a hidden gem located a short drive south from Dubrovnik between the villages of Mlini and Cavtat. While Banje Beach in Dubrovnik is a hotspot for tourists, Plat Beach is the place to go for a day of peace and privacy.
Featuring calm, clear water and a pebbly beach ringed with mountains, Plat Beach is a scenic refuge. Here, you can set up your beach umbrella and get lost in your daydreams as you gaze at the shimmering Adriatic, cool off in shallow water under the Mediterranean sun or sample Dalmatian specialties at a nearby restaurant. For example, you might head to Restaurant Poseydon to enjoy a selection of cheese from the island of Pag while soaking in the views. No matter how you spend your time in Plat, you’ll surely revel in its unspoiled beauty, and maybe you’ll agree — Plat Beach is a secret worth keeping.
2. Kandarola Beach
Would a trip to Croatia be complete without swimming au naturel? Croatia was the first country to offer nudist getaways, and Kandarola Beach may be where it all began when King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson went for a skinny dip. Kandarola Beach is still a clothing-optional beach located on the island of Rab in the Kvarner Gulf. Here, you’ll find three private coves and a shore of smooth white pebbles, lush greenery and water so blue it’d be hard not to go for a swim. Visitors can also enjoy amenities such as showers and chair rentals to stay comfy and happy in paradise. You can voyage to Kandarola Beach by catching a water taxi from a nearby town such as Palit.
After you’ve had a satisfying dose of sea and sun at Kandarola Beach, there’s plenty more to explore on Rab Island. For example, you might try the island’s specialty cake — a Rab cake, which features almonds and maraschino liqueur — gaze in awe at churches and bell towers in Rab Town or tour the island by kayak. Rab is also an excellent place for wildlife viewing. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might spot a bird of prey soaring overhead or a curious dolphin passing by.
3. Kamenjak National Park
If you plan to visit the bustling seaside city of Pula while exploring Croatia, consider adding Kamenjak National Park to your itinerary. Kamenjak is south of Pula on the southernmost tip of Istria — a peninsula spanning into the northeastern part of the Adriatic Sea. You can take a bus or car from Pula and walk or rent a bike once you reach the entrance. Once you arrive at Kamenjak, you’re sure to feel swept away by its pristine beauty.
Here, you can explore hilly landscapes covered in wildflowers and an 18-mile-long shoreline abounding with tucked-away coves and various swimming spots. Locals and visitors also love Kamenjak for its stunning golden cliffs, and it’s not uncommon to find beachgoers cliff diving into the turquoise water below.
There’s plenty to do at Kamenjak, whether you wish to spend the day kayaking or looking out for otters. Also, there are many paths and roads winding throughout the park, making it easy to explore by foot or bike. If luscious fruit trees and unspoiled beaches sound like paradise to you, Kamenjak is a must-see.
4. Lubenice Beach
Lubenice is a prehistoric fortified city that sits atop a cliff overlooking the Adriatic, and early settlers built their city from the same material found in the cliff. Located on the island of Cres in the Kvarner Gulf, Lubenice is enchanting and rich with history. Visitors come here to wander the labyrinth of ancient stone houses, medieval chapels and tree-lined fences. While this ancient city is the main attraction, the beach, locally referred to as Sveti Ivan, is just as stunning.
Lubenice Beach is a pebbly beach located at the foot of Lubenice. You can reach the beach by descending a trail from Lubenice or by boat. Because this beach is less accessible than other beaches along the Adriatic, you won’t find as many tourists here. However, there is a must-see attraction that draws visitors — Blue Cave.
Here, you can take a swim into Blue Cave and watch sun rays illuminate the cave with mesmerizing blue light. If cave swimming isn’t for you, Lubenice Beach has all the qualities of a gorgeous Croatian beach you can sit back and enjoy. Overall, Lubenice and the beach below is an excellent destination for photographers or anyone who wants to explore ancient history and one of the most breathtaking beaches in the world.
5. Bačvice Beach
Bačvice Beach, located in Split, is a favorite swimming spot for locals and visitors. Since 1919, Bačvice Beach has been a popular bathing area and can accommodate over 10,000 beachgoers. If you spend a day at Bačvice, you’ll get to experience beach life like a local.
Here, you can swim in clear shallow water, relax on the sandy beach or watch locals play picigin — a sport that most resembles playing volleyball in the water with a small ball. You might catch players leaping from and diving into the water as they bat picigin balls. Picigin players prefer Bačvice Beach for its sand, which cushions a fall, and the shallow water. Also, an audience can watch from nearby bars and restaurants.
Although it is not the most secluded beach in Dalmatia, Bačvice Beach is the ideal choice for visitors who want a fun beach experience and a taste of seaside nightlife. It’s also the perfect spot for sports fans who are curious about picigin.
Another reason to head to Bačvice Beach is its proximity to amazing attractions in the vibrant city of Split. For example, just a short walk away, you can visit Split’s main attraction — Diocletian’s Palace. This palace holds some of the most impressive Roman ruins you’ll find along the Adriatic and is the heart of the city. You’ll find cafes, shops, restaurants and apartments housed in the fortress’ old buildings. If Split’s historic attractions or seafood feasts can’t get you out of the water, have no worries — it’s all about enjoying the beachy vibes at Bačvice.
6. Zlatni Rat Beach
Zlatni Rat Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches of the Dalmatian Coast. Located on Brač, which is the largest island of the Split archipelago, Zlatni Rat Beach is a photographer’s dream come true. This horn-shaped pebble beach, also called Golden Cape, pierces the sea and is the symbol of Brač Island.
Brač is known as the island of wind, and the wind and waves constantly change the shape of the tip of Zlatni Rat. Even if you’ve visited this beach before, it would still make a fascinating trip because it could never look exactly the same. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, the beach grows longer every year. You can reach the beach, which is a little over a mile from the historic town of Bol, by walking a paved trail, or hopping on a boat or small train.
Zlatni Rat is a Dalmatian Coast icon and a must-see for first-time visitors or photographers. Outdoor adventurers can hike up Vidova Gora, the highest mountain of the Adriatic, for panoramic views. If you want to spend your time at Zlatni Rat relaxing, you can easily do that too, and enjoy a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail at one of the cozy beachside bars.
7. Nugal Beach
To some travelers, a trip to paradise wouldn’t feel complete without a cascading waterfall. Welcome to Nugal Beach, a remote naturist beach located between Makarska and Tučepi at the base of steep, rugged cliffs.
You can reach Nugal Beach by walking through a pine forest or by riding a boat. The shining jewel of Nugal Beach is the 30-foot waterfall that plunges down the side of the mountain when it rains. This beach is the perfect private spot to enjoy company or solitude or explore the surrounding forest. Its location keeps this beach a hidden gem.
8. Kordovan Beach
If you’re heading to the island of Hvar, you’ll want to hop on a water taxi and sail straight to the uninhabited Pakleni Islands. If you want more freedom, consider renting a boat for the day, or get ready to explore this pristine archipelago by kayak at your pace. You might paddle your way to Sveti Jerolim to take a dip at Kordovan Beach. This naturist beach hides from the world in a thick pine forest. Take a trip to Kordovan to completely unwind, take a siesta in a hammock or indulge in regional cuisine at the islet’s bar.
9. Dubovica Beach
You don’t have to travel far in Hvar to find an incredible beach away from the hustle and bustle. Dubovica Beach, in a cove on the island of Hvar, is a secluded, unmarked spot that’s perfect for travelers in search of tranquility. What makes this beach particularly unique is the haunting view of Villa Benedeta, a private 19th-century residence you can rent for a group of up to 10 people. From here, you can walk down to the beach and enjoy the music of crickets chirping from the pine trees, or sit back and breathe in the fresh sea air. Dubovica Beach also makes an excellent place to go snorkeling or diving because the water is especially clear and clean.
While in this part of Hvar, you might also explore nearby beaches such as Velo Zaraće or Milna, or head to the city of Hvar for an array of restaurants, cafes and historic landmarks to choose from. Don’t forget, you can also sail to the beautiful Pakleni Islands from Hvar. No matter what you do, make sure to sample the region’s wine or olives, or take a fresh bundle of lavender back to your room for all-day relaxing scents.
10. Divna Beach
For the ultimate relaxing seaside getaway, head to Divna Beach in Southern Dalmatia’s town of Trpanj. Divna, which means “wonderful,” features a unique pebble-and-sand shore. Here, you’ll find everything you need for a complete Croatian beach experience, from hills covered in greenery to vivid aquamarine waters. Visitors appreciate the soft, small-pebbled beach and its remote location. Stop here to rest and enjoy the scenery, or get active with swimming, snorkeling or windsurfing. You might stop in Trpanj first to pack a lunch and then get ready for a blissful day of leisure.
Explore the Dalmatian Coast With Windstar Cruises
The Dalmatian Coast is the stuff of fantasies — water as blue as gemstones, ancient buildings lining the shores and hidden coves to steal a kiss. Rich with history, culture, tradition and natural beauty, Dalmatia is a piece of paradise for all kinds of travelers.
At Windstar Cruises, we’re ready to take you there. Step aboard one of our comfortable, elegant and intimate yachts to explore the Dalmatian Coast and Mediterranean jewels. From the bustling harbor in Split to the waters of Dubrovnik steps away from Old Town, we take our guests where larger ships can’t go. If you’re excited to explore the Dalmatian Coast, we can’t wait to accommodate you. For more information, browse our cruises or contact us today!