Secret Beaches: Croatia’s Best Hidden Coastal Spots

Time can change everything. In a few short months, we’ve gone from frozen mornings and ever-lengthening evenings to clear blue skies and warm, golden sunsets. Time can change your perspective on anything at all; what was once old can suddenly become new, and what was once old hat can miraculously reinvent itself. Such is the case for Croatia, a gem in the crown of the Adriatic. Once a quieter, cheaper version of the Italian resorts featured on the big screen, Croatia has since taken on a life of its own. Now its golden beaches and balmy waters are some of the most popular places to visit in the world. With so many people heading to the country for vacation, however, you might be hard-pressed to find a spot that is relatively secluded. Have no fear; Croatia is teeming with hidden coastal spots that are waiting to be explored. It’s all about where you look.
While the rest of the world is taking in the stunning sights of Dubrovnik, you can make a beeline for Lastovo Island, one of the most distant spots from the mainland. Nestled in the middle of nowhere, the island feels like it might just be from another planet; as you bathe in the crystal clear waters, prepare to feel completely removed from reality. Across the island, you can expect to find some of the cleanest beaches you’ve ever seen, dotted with once-in-a-lifetime diving spots. Get out to the island now; interest is picking up and it might not be long before it’s Croatia’s most popular spot.

If you’re on the island trail, you’ll need to make a stop at Dugi Otok Island. As well as being home to Zadar, the Dalmatian city renowned for its marble structures and paving, the island hosts some of the best beaches for miles around. One of the quieter islands in the region, Dugi Otok is the perfect place to find a little downtime and unwind from the stresses of everyday life. While bathing on the island’s beaches is a great way to spend your days, you can also try taking in the panoramic views of the Adriatic offered by any of the cliff-side walks. One look and you might be hooked for life.

If sailing is your thing, you’ll need to take a look at Lopud Island, one of Croatia’s most popular sailing stopovers. Completely car free, one of the best ways to get around the island and access its ports is to take a boat or hire your own. Once you’re there, you can expect to take in any number of cultural sights, beautiful spots, and shore-side walks. The entire island can be easily covered by foot, so try making a day of it and discover your own place by the shore.

At 90 minutes away from the Croatian city of Split, Vis Island is the country’s most distant landmass and is well worth a closer inspection. Packed to the rafters with fine seafood restaurants and the freshest of ingredients, the island is the perfect place to do a little foodie unwinding and indulge in the local culinary scene. The island is littered with ancient ruins and markers, including items of Greek, Roman, and Venetian ancestry. The island is a great place to explore your wild side, so take to the hills and get really personal with nature.

Croatia is brimming with hidden coastal spots and finding them is all about casting your eye out a little further beyond the horizon. Brimming with culture, packed with beauty spots and bursting with great local food, Croatia is a nation that deserves further exploration and by taking to its coastline, you might be in for a great deal more than you ever expected.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.