Located in Central and South-Eastern Europe, Croatia is a country surrounded by the waters of the Adriatic Sea. It is adorned with beautiful beaches and as a backpacker, you are spoilt for choice on where to begin and end your exploration of this unique European country. In this blog post, we share the best Croatia beaches for backpackers to explore.
Croatia Beaches: Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of the cities in Croatia located in the southern part of the country. It is a city that fronts the Adriatic Sea. A beautiful ancient town that is surrounded by large stone walls that were built in the 16th century. The city’s constructions have been well taken care of with beautiful sights such as the St. Blaise Church to the palaces of Renaissance Sponza and Gothic Rector which is now a museum.
The city is blessed with amazing beaches that have clear waters. The main beach in Dubrovnik is Banje. Banje is an attractive sandy beach with striking views. It has clear water. You will thoroughly enjoy the water which is very salty and great for swimming. Banje is great for a day out relaxing. There are cabanas available for the price of $ 60 for the day. The beach is normally very busy and it is understandable due to the awesome views and the great food and service offered here.
You may choose to wind down your day at the beach with a tour to Loverijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress. This is a performance theatre located just outside the city of Dubrovnik. From here you can see two sides of the city, the sea part, and the land part. Laden with an interesting history, the fortress was built in just three months.
Croatia Beaches: Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island is located just a short distance from the Dubrovnik Old Town. To get here you can take a ferry that goes a short distance to the Island. If you are here during the summer some boats also take off from the old town every 30 minutes. They charge about 5 Euros to get across to the island which takes about 15 minutes to get there. You can spend a day or half a day sight-seeing. The Island has various tree variations from pine, olive and cypress trees.
The Island also offers visitors a free printed guide on arrival. The guide has a map of the Island. Once you arrive you can go straight to the stunning botanical gardens which were first grown in the 19th century. Here you will see various plant species such as the Eucalyptus and Aloe Vera plants. The garden has about 800 species of plants.
There is an ancient monastery here too that you can tour before heading out to the beach. It is called the Benedictine Monastery. The monastery was built in the medieval times and you can get to see some of its ruins among the vegetation.
Later, take a swim, go snorkeling, play games such as beach volleyball and football. The Island has small pitches where you can play these games. The Islet too has nudists so check the signs as you go about exploring.
Croatia Beaches: Hvar Island
Hvar Island is located in Croatia’s capital city Zagreb. You can explore Hvar in two ways either a day full of adventure activities or a day spent at the beach and sightseeing. If you are active you can opt to try out cannoning at the Cetina River. Some of the places to experience lovely Croatian beaches in Hvar include Zarace Beach.
Zarace Beach is a beautiful and secluded island that is 30 minutes away from Hvar Island that has rock formations protruding out of the sea. It has some quiet pebble beaches and bays.
This island is located about 20 km and there are two ways to get to Zarace, first is by road. From Hvar town, you can opt to drive down an interesting single lane road that leads you to a parking lot at a high point area of the beach. Once you get here there is a staircase that takes you down the beach. This walk is around 15 minutes. The second option is to hire a boat that takes you straight to the beach. This option will also give you a chance to see spectacular views of the water and scenery around you.
Zarace beach has a beautiful swimming area with exquisite cloves. As you swim you can also see yachts ahead of you. You can choose to buy food at two restaurants in the area or carry a packed lunch. The best activities to do here would be to relax at the beach and maybe take some time to read a book in peace.
Croatia Nudist Beaches
Croatia has some nudist beaches so if you would like to experience this naturist activity of exposing your whole body to the natural sun, then there are plenty of top beaches in Croatia for this. Just remember to carry lots of sunscreen lotion.
Croatia Beaches: Kacjak FKK Beach
This is a nudist beach located on the northern part of Crikvenica. The beach is very beautiful with great scenery of clear blue waters. You can get hear by car or taxi or decide to walk for about 2km.
Some stairs lead to the beach and most of the time the beach is not as busy with people. There is a park near the beach where you can go sight-seeing before heading to the beach.
The beach has plenty of rocks on which to stand take views or just sit and relax. The nudist part of the beach is found next to the area where people are clothed and you can access this area using the beach part where people have clothes on. The naturist section of the beach is marked FKK.
Opatija is another coastal town in Croatia where you will find some nudist beaches. It is widely known to be a town with the most beautiful beaches. The surrounding areas of the area have plenty of vegetation. Aside from beautiful beaches, Opatija is a well-known ancient town with lots of places to discover.
One of the places you cannot miss out is the Girl with a Seagull statue. The story behind this statue is that in 1891 there was a tragedy where a count by the name of Arthur Kesselstadt died during a storm in the area. The statue was built in his memory. The original sculpture is found in the Croatian Museum of Tourism. In its original place is another statue. You can still enjoy the beautiful figurine of the girl by taking several photos or even a selfie.
Bačvice Beach In Split City Croatia
The city of Split dates back to the 17th century when the Roman Emperor Diocletian put up his palace to spend his last years here. Over the centuries the palace has evolved into a city with a rich history, culture, and traditions. The city is unique in that it has plenty of beaches.
One of the beaches to experience while in Split is Bačvice Beach. This is one of the best beaches in Europe. It is popular because of its proximity to the city and very easy to access. Because of its ease of access, there is plenty to eat and drink, their lots of people. The area towards the entrance of the beach is very crowded. If you are into socializing and meeting new people, then this beach is your ideal destination.
However, if you are into secluded and private areas then it will be advisable to look for another beach. After your beach experience, you can check out ancient places within the city such as the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. This cathedral also has a bitter past of persecutions of Christians who were oppressed in the nearby Solin. The cathedral is currently used as a place of worship.
Much of the cathedral’s architecture still maintains its original structure. Climb up to the top to where the bell tower was constructed in the 13th century and again in the 20th century. From here you can see great views of the entire city of Split.
Tips To Travel On Croatia Beaches
Croatian beaches are rarely sandy, however, there are a few sandy beaches spread across the country. Most of the beaches here are rocky and gritty. The view under the water is wonderful so you will enjoy activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. You can either purchase or pack some of these gears for your trip.
If you want some me time and seclusion then you will want to avoid going to the beaches during July and August where most of them are crowded. The beaches near towns have bars and restaurants, toilet facilities and sporting activities too. So if you are going to a secluded beach you may want to consider carrying your balls for beach volleyball and football and also carry packed lunch.
The beaches that do not have facilities and access to food are called wild beaches. So if someone mentions to you a wild beach just be aware that you will need to carry extra gear and food to enjoy your experience there. Is a Croatia vacation on your travel list? Share in the comments below.