Discover Croatia’s true beauty at its most spectacular hidden beaches
Croatia’s incredible Adriatic coastline is bejeweled with charming historic towns, 1,244 islands, and sparkling, clear waters. And while mid-summer visitors can make the town beaches a little crowded, don’t worry. Peace and quiet can be found in the country’s many hidden coves, which are often backed by pine trees and lush vegetation. If you don’t mind a little driving, walking (and possibly getting a little lost on the way), you’re in for an unforgettable summer treat.
Istria’s wild Cape Kamenjak, on the Premantura Peninsula, about 6 miles south of Pula, has roughly 19 miles of wild beaches and rocky swimming spots in pristine waters. The surrounding hills are covered with fragrant Mediterranean shrubs, as well as fruit and nut trees, making for an impressive backdrop as you look back at the beach from the sea. To cool down, head to the rustic bar near the southern tip of the peninsula, and don’t miss the viewing spot from which you can admire the outline of the Velebit mountain.
Veli Lošinj, Lošinj
Krivica beach is a 3 mile drive from the picturesque town of Veli Lošinj. Once you get to the parking area, get ready for a 30 minute walk, but it’s worth the effort when you unfurl your beach towel in the sheltered bay surrounded by pine trees.
Stiniva, Milna, and Zaglav beaches
Vis town and Komiža, Vis
The outer reaches of Croatia’s island network have some of the most secluded beaches in the country. Stiniva beach, found on the island of Vis, is nothing short of small-cove perfection with its round white pebbles lapped by the sparkling waters of the Adriatic. Alternatively, you can head to Srebrna, which is backed by a pristine nature reserve. If you prefer sand between your toes, choose Milna or the even quieter Zaglav beach. Both have impeccably clear waters with views of scattered islets on the horizon. All of these are on the southern and eastern side of the island and require your own transport, like the scooters available to rent in Vis town or Komiža.
Prniba Peninsula beaches
Krk town and Punat, Krk
The island of Krk can be crowded, but if you have a car or boat you’ll easily be able to visit some quieter beaches. Sitting between Krk town and Punat, the Prniba Peninsula is mostly farmland and wooded coast. Drive or walk down the white dirt track to find several small beaches with plenty of trees, shade, and views of Punat and Košljun island. Another hidden spot is Oprna, a shingle-and-sand beach near Stara Baška that’s best approached by boat.
Žuljana, Pelješac Peninsula
The Pelješac Peninsula has some of the loveliest tiny coves you’ll find along this stretch of coast. The village of Žuljana has the Vučine naturist beach that is quiet and backed by trees and is just a 15 minute walk from the village through the Vučine nature reserve. There are several mini beaches you can discover if you take the footpath at the back of the Vučine reserve, where you’ll often find yourself entirely alone, even in peak season. Renting a kayak will also allow you to dock at the little beaches and explore at your leisure.
Finding a quiet beach away from the crowds of Dubrovnik might seem impossible, but all it takes is a 10 minute ferry ride to the island of Lokrum, where you’ll discover swimming spots that locals like to keep under their hats. Lokrum is full of holm oaks, pine and olive trees, and a lush woodland that makes for a beautiful backdrop to the calm waters of the Adriatic. The boat ticket from Dubrovnik includes the entrance fee to the island, and boats leave the town every half an hour in summer.