26 Best sea destinations and beach resorts in Croatia

kam v chorvatsku

When I think of Croatia, I think of turquoise sea, rocky coastline and untouched mountains. Together with a long history and excellent cuisine, it’s a combination that few places can offer. If you’re looking forward to a holiday in Croatia, we’ve put together some tips on the best sea destinations and beach resorts in Croatia to make your planning easier.

In this article, we will present the different resorts and places to go to the sea in Croatia – why visit them, for whom they are ideal, or what are their disadvantages.

At the end of the article you will find a map where the sea destinations are marked for easier planning of your holiday in Croatia.



Croatia has the most indented coastline in Europe after Norway. The total length of the coastline (mainland and islands) is 6278 km. There are already quite a few places to go to the sea in Croatia along this length.

Makarska Croatia

The Croatian coast can be divided into 3 main parts, which we will discuss in turn, including tips on specific resorts:

  • Istria is located in the very north of Croatia. It’s an area with beautiful rocky coastlines, colourful coastal towns and great food.
  • Kvarner lies south of Istria and is a somewhat overlooked area of the Croatian coast. That’s why it’s ideal for those looking for a quieter place.
  • Dalmatia occupies the largest part of the Croatian coast. It stretches from Zadar to the Konavle region in the south and has the best beaches in all of Croatia.


Istria, a heart-shaped peninsula on the Northern Adriatic, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.

The Istrian peninsula is known for its beautiful landscape, combining a beautiful coastline with clean beaches and a green inland with picturesque medieval hilltop towns.

istria best seaside destinations in croatia

The region is renowned for its cuisine, including first-class olive oils, truffles, wine and fresh seafood. If you really want to enjoy delicious food in Croatia, you’ll love Istria.

Many people compare Istria to Italian Tuscany and call it “Tuscany with colours”. Interestingly, Istria is bilingual – the names of towns and signs are in both Italian and Croatian.

Hotels in Istria 😴

ubytování chorvatsko u moře
Hotel Aurora

Popular all-inclusive hotel by the beach

ubytování chorvatsko u moře
Hotel Albatros

4* all-inclusive resort in Poreč by the beach



Pula, the largest city in Istria, is famous for its historical monuments dating back to the Roman Empire. The dominant feature of the city is the impressive Roman amphitheatre, one of the best preserved in the world.

Pula’s strengths are its excellent beaches, from pebble beaches with facilities to wild beaches near the Kamenjak Nature Park. The town has a lively atmosphere, excellent restaurants and is a bit different from other Croatian resorts. It may take you a while to get used to Pula.

the best sea destinations in Croatia / Pula Croatia
istria kamenjak croatia


Rovinj is the most romantic town in Croatia. Just imagine – an old town on a small peninsula with houses built close together and rising straight out of the sea. The whole panorama is broken by the Church of St. Euphemia, which rises majestically on the highest point of the peninsula.

Directly from Rovinj, you can follow the beautifully landscaped promenade south to the Zlati Rt (Punta Corrente) forest park with its many cypress and cedar trees, hidden coves and beach bars.

Do you like diving? There are many shipwrecks around Rovinj.

where to go to the sea in Croatia


Poreč is a small town on the west coast of Istria, which is one of the best places for a holiday in Croatia. A clean resort with plenty of parking and beautiful beaches, from pebble and concrete beaches to beaches with fine sand. The riviera runs from Cervar in the north to the Green Lagoon in the south, so there is a place for everyone by the sea.

The centre of the town is the Euphrasius Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exceptional example of Byzantine art in Croatia. Poreč also offers a lively square full of cafes and shops, and a wide range of sports and recreational activities.

istria basin croatia


Rabac, once a small fishing village, has turned into a popular tourist resort on the eastern coast of the Istrian peninsula. Ideal for those looking for a quieter location with beautiful pebble beaches, which are among the most beautiful in Croatia.

Other famous resorts in Istria are Vrsar and Novigrad, a traditional fishing village.

istria rabac where to go in croatia


Kvarner Bay is an area between Istria and Dalmatia, which combines beautiful mountain landscapes with crystal clear sea. The region is a popular destination for nature lovers as it offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling and water sports.

The islands in the bay, such as Krk, Cres, Losinj and Rab, are known for their unspoilt nature, historical monuments and hospitable inhabitants.

Hotels Kvarner bay 😴

ubytování kvarnerský záliv chorvatsko
Hotel Mediteran – Crikvenica

Popular 3* hotel with swimming pools

ubytování chorvatsko
Vitality Hotel Punta – island Veli Losinj

4* hotel right by the beach



Rijeka is the busiest port on the Adriatic and an important crossroads of land and sea routes. The city is known for its rich history, from Roman times through the Habsburg Monarchy to the present day. Enjoy a walk through the well-preserved historic centre and the view from Trsatski Castle.

Rijeka has even been named European Capital of Culture in 2020, so if you’re looking for a full city experience, culture and art scene, this is the place to be.

rijeka kvarner croatia


Opatija, known as the pearl of the Adriatic Sea, is an elegant tourist resort in the Kvarner Bay, which became famous in the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Here you will feel like you are on the French Riviera, with beautiful villas and hotels from the 19th century, extensive parks and a promenade lining the coast.

the best sea destinations in Croatia / Opatija

Opatija is known for its mild Mediterranean climate, extensive wellness facilities and beautiful views from the Učka limestone massif that flanks the resort from the other side.


Crikvenica is a popular seaside resort in Croatia, famous for its beautiful sandy and pebble beaches.

Although Crikvenica doesn’t have a historic centre like other resorts, it has a mild climate, a beach over 1 mile long and clean air, which is why people with asthma come here for treatment.

Crikvenica Croatia / where to go to the sea in Croatia


Island of Cres

The island of Cres is the second largest island in Croatia, but it is not one of the most popular ones. If we do not count the griffon vulture, which is abundant here.

If you are thinking about the most beautiful Croatian islands and are looking for a quiet place with beautiful beaches and unspoilt nature, put Cres on your list of the best seaside destinations. It is also very accessible from the mainland and other islands.

island cres croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

The beautiful landscape of the island includes dense forests, picturesque coves and clean beaches – Cres is literally a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor activities.

The main resort is the town of Cres, which, thanks to its Venetian architecture, is more like an Italian village.

Island of Krk

Krk, nicknamed the “Golden Island”, is the largest island in the Adriatic Sea, connected to the mainland by an impressive bridge. It is also one of the most popular, with beautiful beaches and good facilities.

island Krk Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands
island Krk Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

The island of Krk, it’s Romanesque churches, brick monasteries, vineyards and fishing villages. There is an excellent konobe selling local specialities such as handmade pasta shurlice or Kvarner prawns.

Krk is known for its diverse landscape, from rocky coastlines and clean beaches to fertile valleys and peaceful olive groves. The island is also popular with divers thanks to its clear waters and rich underwater life.

Hotels Kvarner bay 😴

ubytování chorvatsko ostrov krk
Magal Hotel by Aminess – island Krk

Popular 3* hotel suitable for families

Hotel Dražica – island Krk

Excellent hotel with half board

Island of Rab

The island of Rab is known for its beautiful historical architecture and beautiful sandy beaches, which are not typical for Croatia. Here you will enjoy a mild climate, pine forests and plenty of greenery that covers most of the island.

The centre of the island is the ancient town of Rab, which is characterised by its red roofs with 4 bell towers. From the town you can also enjoy beautiful views.

island of Rab Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

Island of Losinj

The island of Losinj is called the “island of vitality”. Its surface is covered with lush vegetation and dense pine forests. It is popular with campers and anyone who loves beautiful, unspoilt nature. Thanks to its nature, the island has also earned a reputation as one of the best places for the treatment of respiratory diseases in Europe.

The picturesque town of Mali Losinj, the most famous resort on the island, is surrounded by azure sea and the scent of medicinal herbs.

Lošinj boasts beautiful beaches, hidden coves and beautiful promenades along the coast that invite you to take a stroll.

Losinj Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

Island of Pag

The island of Pag is different from other Croatian islands full of greenery. Here the landscape resembles that of the moon, with stony wastes and fertile valleys where sheep graze on wild rosemary. The island is famous for the salt pans around Pag and the lace-making industry, which has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Zadar Croatia
pag Croatia

On Pag, the beaches are long, sandy and with a gradual entrance to the sea. Ideal for families with smaller children.

Zrće is a popular destination for young people thanks to its rich nightlife, which often rivals the party scene in Ibiza.

Hotels Croatian islands 🏖️

chorvatsko ubytování
Family hotel Pagus – island Pag

Excellent hotel by the sandy beach

chorvatské ostrovy ubytování
San Marino Resort – island of Rab

Cheap, simple hotel with half board


Dalmatia is a region stretching from Zadar to the very south of Croatia. Turquoise Adriatic, thousands of islands, hidden coves, pebble beaches, mountainous hinterland, preserved ancient towns – that’s Dalmatia in a nutshell. The long coastline hides the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Dalmatia is so large that it is unofficially divided into 3 subdivisions:

  • Northern Dalmatia
  • Central Dalmatia
  • South Dalmatia


Northern Dalmatia will be loved by all those who want to enjoy the beautiful nature. The area is the gateway to the Paklenica National Park, which stretches around a karst river canyon on the southern slopes of Mount Velebit.

national park krka croatia
Krka National Park

Northern Dalmatia also includes the Krka and Kornati National Parks. Krka National Park is a system of waterfalls, rapids and cascades on the Krka and Cikola rivers.

The Kornati Islands National Park is an archipelago of 140 islands that have a rocky surface without greenery due to the strong northern Bura wind. The islands are popular among sailing boats.

Hotels in North Dalmatia 🏖️

severní dalmácie chorvatsko ubytování
Hotel Falkensteiner – Zadar

Excellent hotel by the sandy beach

severní dalmácie chorvatsko ubytování
Pine Beach Resort – Pakostane

Accommodation in all-inclusive bungalows


Zadar, a historic town located at the northern end of Dalmatia, combines a rich history with a modern lifestyle. It is a perfect base for exploring the surrounding islands, climbing, rafting and hiking.

Its old town, surrounded by walls and towers, hides Roman ruins, medieval churches and several interesting museums.

Zadar Croatia

Zadar is also known for its modern attractions such as the Sea Organ, which plays music powered by the waves of the sea, and Salute to the Sun, an interactive installation that creates a beautiful light show in the evening.

From Zadar you can reach many islands in the area, which are smaller and quieter (Ugljan, Dugi otok or Iz for example).

☞ Read our detailed guide on how to drive to Croatia (fees on the way, route, map and other tips).


Sibenik, one of Croatia’s oldest port towns, boasts one of the country’s most important Renaissance monuments, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. James Cathedral. Stroll through the narrow stone streets and enjoy a coffee in the historic squares.

The town is situated on the rocky coastline around Šibenik Bay, where the beautiful karst river Krka flows. It is also the gateway to the Krka and Kornati National Parks.

Sibenik dalmatia things to do in croatia


Vodice is a lively tourist resort, famous for its pebble and sandy beaches. This modern city offers a wide range of entertainment, sporting activities and nightlife, including many bars, restaurants and clubs.

Vodice is also an excellent starting point for trips to the surrounding national parks and nearby islands.

seaside destinations in croatia vodice


Primosten is a popular resort between Sibenik and Split. The historic part of the town, with its narrow streets and stone houses, stands on a small island connected to the mainland.

Primosten attracts with its interesting architecture, beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. The resort is recognized all over the world and many tourists like to come back every year, which is why it is one of the best places to go on holiday in Croatia.

Primosten Croatia


Central Dalmatia is the most popular part of the entire Croatian coast, which is indented with beautiful bays.

Enjoy the sight of ancient villages, historic towns and the dramatic backdrop of the Biokovo mountain range.

When people talk about the most beautiful beaches, they talk about the beaches of central Dalmatia, especially the Makarska Riviera. The beaches are small, white pebbles that have been washed by the sea for centuries.

central dalmatia croatia / seaside destinations in croatia


Split, Croatia’s second largest city, is the dynamic centre of Dalmatia. At its heart is the Diocletian’s Palace, an imposing Roman building from the 4th century, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here you’ll experience a colourful mix of history, beautiful architecture, vibrant art, great gastronomy and vibrant nightlife. Split is also an important transport hub from where it is easy to plan trips to the surrounding islands (Hvar, Brac, Korcula) and other parts of Dalmatia.

☞ Read our detailed travel guide to Split, Croatia.

split croatia


Trogir is a small but extremely rich historical town on the Dalmatian coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its preserved medieval centre full of churches, palaces and towers.

It lies on a small island connected by bridges to the mainland and the nearby island of Ciovo. There are no beaches in the old town, but there are more than enough in the surrounding area.

trogir Croatia

Omis Riviera

The Omis Riviera is famous for its impressive rock massifs that rise directly from the azure Adriatic Sea and surround the town of Omis.

We spent our first holiday together on the Omis Riviera and we can definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy not only sunbathing on the beach but also exploring the breathtaking places in the surroundings.

omis riviera croatia / seaside destinations in croatia

The area offers the perfect combination of beautiful beaches, historical sites and adventure activities such as rafting on the Cetina River, rock climbing and hiking. In addition to the sandy beach, there are a number of smaller, pebbly beaches that are suitable for families with small children.

omis riviera croatia

Makarska Riviera

The Makarska Riviera stretches along the coast between Split and Dubrovnik and is popular for its long pebbly beaches surrounded by crystal clear sea and dramatic mountain views of the Biokovo mountain range.

Makarska, the capital of the Riviera, is a lively resort with a rich nightlife, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Makarska Croatia

On the other hand, in high season, Makarska is a headache, the beaches are crowded and parking is a problem. If you’re looking for quiet places, Makarska is not the best choice. We were here in June and it was already pretty much on the edge.

Makarska Riviera Osejava

The Makarska Riviera includes resorts such as Baska Voda, Baska Polje, Brela, Podgora, Zivogosce, Tucepi and Drvenik.

☞ Read our detailed travel guide to the Makarska Riviera for everything you need for a perfect holiday.

Hotels in Makarska 😴

ubytování pro páry makarská
TUI BLUE Adriatic Beach

4* all-inclusive resort suitable for couples

ubytování pro rodiny makarská
Medora Auri Resort

All-inclusive resort ideal for families with children

Island of Hvar

Hvar is one of the most beautiful and sunny islands in Croatia, famous for its beautiful historic town of Hvar, rich cultural heritage, lavender fields and wine cellars. Enjoy swimming in the clear sea, relaxing on the beautiful beaches and a lively nightlife.

island of hvar croatia

The most popular is the resort of Hvar, where you can find absolutely everything for a relaxing holiday. If you’re looking for a quieter holiday, check out Jelsa. Another beautiful resort is Stari Grad, with its traditional stone houses, cobbled streets and churches.

☞ Are you planning a holiday on one of the Croatian islands? Here you will find tips on the most beautiful islands in Croatia, including information on how to get to the islands (ferries, ports, etc.) and downloadable maps.

Island of Brac

Brac is the third largest Croatian island and is best known for the Zlatni Rat beach in Bol, which is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. On the other hand, you have to take into account that in the high season the beach is really a headache and the prices are quite inflated. But if you arrive out of season or early in the morning, you’ll have the beautiful beach almost to yourself.

island of brac beach zlatni rat croatia

Brac is ideal for all water sports enthusiasts and is the best destination for windsurfing.

The landscape here is incredibly rich, from limestone cliffs and olive groves to quiet coves. The island is also famous for its stone, which has been used in many famous buildings around the world.

Hotels Central Dalmatia 😴

omiš ubytování chorvatsko
Hotel Saint Hildegard – Omis

4* hotel with infinity pool right by the beach

ostrov brač ubytování
Waterman Svpetrvs Resort – island Brac

All-inclusive resort right by the beach


Southern Dalmatia stretches from the Peljesac peninsula south to Montenegro. The local landscape is so diverse that it cannot be described in a few words. On one side are dramatic mountain terrains, on the other side the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea and the vegetation on the islands of Korcula, Mljet and the Peljesac peninsula.

The ideal time to visit southern Croatia is June and September, as it is often very hot in July and August.

If you have the time, take the ancient Napoleon’s Way in the mountains (instead of the main coastal road) through southern Dalmatia – you’ll get a spectacular view of the coast and the surrounding area.

Hotels South Dalmatia 😴

dubrovník chorvatsko ubytování
Royal Neptun Hotel – Dubrovnik

4* hotel a short walk from the old town

korčula chorvatsko ubytování
Aminess Lume Hotel – island Korcula

Quiet hotel right by the sea

Peljesac peninsula

The Peljesac peninsula is known for its beautiful nature, excellent wines and picturesque villages. Pelješac is home to some of the best wineries in Croatia that produce first-class red wines, such as Dingač and Plavac Mali.

If you are looking for a quiet holiday, the Peljesac peninsula is ideal. There are pebble and sandy beaches, clean sea and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including cycling, hiking and windsurfing.

Peljesac peninsula / things to do in Croatia

Don’t miss a stroll along the Stone Walls, which at 7 km are the second longest surviving fortifications in the world after the Great Wall, giving them the nickname “the European Walls of China”. The Ston walls offer a great view of the salt pans, typical of the Peljesac peninsula.

Peljesac peninsula / things to do in Croatia


Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is one of the most famous and most visited cities in Croatia. Its old town, surrounded by majestic city walls, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has also appeared in the popular Game of Thrones series.

Wander through the narrow stone streets, past imposing palaces and historic churches and enjoy the magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea.

dubrovnik south dalmatia croatia

In addition to its rich history, Dubrovnik offers beautiful beaches, from small rocky ones to pebble and sandy beaches such as Sunj beach.

If you want to enjoy the city to the full and soak up the atmosphere, avoid visiting Dubrovnik in July and August. At this time of year, the city is literally overrun with tourists (especially after the Game of Thrones series aired) and you’ll find crowds in many places.

Konavle region

The Konavle region is located southeast of Dubrovnik and is known for its stunning landscape, which includes fertile valleys, vineyards and picturesque villages. Konavle is an area rich in history and traditions, where you will discover traditional Croatian culture, arts and crafts.

cavtat konavle croatia

The region offers a range of activities, from hiking to horseback riding and cycling, and is ideal for those seeking a quiet and authentic experience away from the tourist crowds.

The coastline is rather rocky, but there are still some beautiful beaches, for example in the tourist resort of Cavtat.

Island of Korcula – the best sea destinations in Croatia

The island of Korcula, often referred to as “Little Dubrovnik”, is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches and excellent wine. The whole island is covered with pine forests, vineyards and olive groves.

things to do in Croatia - Korčula island

The historic town of Korcula is one of the best examples of well-preserved medieval Dalmatian architecture, with narrow stone streets and elegant buildings. This is where the traveller Marco Polo is said to have been born.

things to do in Croatia - Korčula island


HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips on the best resorts and where to go to the sea in Croatia. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

This was our detailed guide to the best seaside destinations and resorts to visit in Croatia. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey and Doviđenja!


CROATIA: Get inspired by the most beautiful places in Croatia (including a map and practical information). Makarska Riviera has some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Take a look at our Split travel guide. Read our detailed guide on how to drive to Croatia (fees along the way, route, map and other tips).

Are you planning a holiday to one of the Croatian islands? Here you will find tips on the most beautiful islands in Croatia, including information on how to get to the islands (ferries, ports, etc.) and downloadable maps.

GREECE: Are you more interested in Greece? Where to go to the sea in Greece we share in the next article. Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece – in this Santorini travel guide you’ll find all the tips on how to get here, what to see, the best beaches and other useful information.

ITALY: There are so many beautiful places in Italy – we’ve listed the things to do in Italy in a separate article.

SPAIN: Get inspired with tips on best things to do in Spain. From beaches, historic towns to beautiful nature. Mallorca is one of the most beautiful islands in Spain – see photos and tips on things to do in Mallorca.

SLOVENIA: Get inspired with tips on the best things to do in Slovenia.

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