Visitors to Croatia often arrive expecting to find endless sandy beaches and classic picture postcard seafronts.
While the country does have these, it also has so much more in terms of sea front real estate. With the pure blue waters of the Adriatic lapping up against the shoreline of Croatia, any of the county’s beautiful beaches are amazing places to spend some time relaxing, playing or just soaking up the sun.
The truth is that sandy beaches are not the predominant kind in Croatia, but there are a few dotted around the country. On the sleepy, traffic-free island of Lopud, Sunj beach is a gorgeous, rare sandy beach. Lopud is one of the Elaphite islands, not far from Dubrovnik. Spreading across the entire bay, the golden sands of Sunj beach are perfect for a classic beach holiday. With the warm sea water staying knee-deep for around a hundred metres, it is a great family beach. This hot spot on the Dubrovnik riviera has the feeling of being remote, making it a paradisiacal place to relax and soak up the beach atmosphere. The locals might even invite you to have a game of picigin, a ball game played in the shallows. With paths leading of through forests to Lopud, the hidden nature of the beach has attracted naturists, who occupy the left portion of Sunj beach.
The two kilometre stretch of golden sands on the island of Rab has a name that describes it more than aptly. Paradise Beach is just that: a little piece of heaven on earth. The beach is an iconic place for locals and tourists alike and is said to be where modern skinny dipping was started. Located by the resort town of Lopar, Paradise Beach is a Blue Flag beach, guaranteeing its safety and cleanliness. The shallow waters go out a hundred metres or so before getting deeper, making it a perfect spot for children learning to swim. The lifeguards there also make visitors feel at ease. The beach has all the facilities you could need and there are plenty of places to eat and get drinks to enjoy from your sun lounger.
The constantly shifting golden pebbles of Zlatni Rat are a famed feature of Brac island. Zlatni Rat is known as Golden Horn beach, as it resembles just that, jutting out from the land into the sea. The breeze and currents make the tip of the horn shift at different times, making it a one of a kind. The fine pebbles of the beach are located just two kilometres away from the town of Bol, making it an accessible wonder of nature. The south-easterly wind known as the Jugo, which makes the tip of the horn move, also makes it a good spot for kite-surfing. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it also attracts nudists, who take up residence at a small cove on the western side.
The 12 kilometre Lungomare is an off the wall ‘beach’ that follows the coast around the Opatija and Kvarner Bay headland. Not a beach as such, it is more of a stone walkway that is part nature walk, part harbour and part beach. A great place to take a stroll or go for a jog, the Lungomare links small coastal settlements. Finished in 1911, the walkway dates back to the golden age of Opatija as a Victorian resort town. With various sights, like the Maiden with the Seagull statue and the Devil’s Cave, it has a lot to offer visitors. In Opatija it turns more into a beach front, with deckchairs and umbrellas available.