Europe

Beach resorts in Croatia: soak in the warmth of the sun and drink in the views

One of Croatia’s biggest pulls is its breathtaking coastline – of which there is some 3,600km, as well as hundreds of islands which can be accessed by boat. Here is a pick of some of the best beach hotels in Croatia.

The crystal clear Adriatic shimmers from every angle in Croatia. Whether you’re driving through the winding Dalmatian coastline into the city of Dubrovnik or wandering the maze of ancient stone streets in Hvar, the sea is never too far away.

From buzzy beaches to serene shores, the one fact beach lovers must be aware of is that there is hardly any sand on Croatian beaches – nearly all of them have fine shingle or pebbles. But the lack of sand paves the way for gloriously clear waters and great shallow paddling spots which are perfect for young families.

Beach resorts in Croatia are unspoiled enclaves where the coastlines and views take centre stage. Many of the beach resorts near Dubrovnik we visited were tucked away with only a single café bar and a handful of sunbeds but that is what makes the beaches even more special and we felt like we stumbled across so many hidden gems.

So pack your beach shoes and towels, and discover some of the very best beach resorts in Croatia with our guide.

Enjoy family-friendly luxury close to the medieval city of Dubrovnik

There are around 15 fantastic beaches in and around Dubrovnik and many in close proximity to the Old Town via foot or taxi. Just a few kilometres away from the city walls is the Sun Gardens – an uber-luxury beach resort in Dubrovnik, set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens and with gorgeous views across neighbouring Elaphiti Islands.

This family-friendly resort has over 400 modern rooms – with a mix of suites and self-catering apartments, a first-class spa, and eight different restaurants and bars – all of which have great seaside vistas. While it may be great for families, the hotel has a contemporary feel but is light, airy and adorned with slick furnishings which will appeal to cool crowd.

It’s the Sun Gardens location right on the fringes of the Adriatic that makes this a stunning beach hotel in Dubrovnik. Lounge by the seafront on the private bathing platform or by the hotel’s three different pools. For those adventurous types who want to do more than just relax, there is a vast choice of watersports to get an adrenaline fix. The Sun Gardens Marina offers up a Jet Boat Tow and even a Diving Sea Scooter which takes you below the depths to marvel at marine life.

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

Top rated
Dubrovnik
9.0 Excellent (3201 reviews)

Marvel at the breathtaking sunsets across Zadar’s Punta Skala

The Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera is a striking glass-fronted hotel located on the very tip of Punta Skala peninsula and completely surrounded by the turquoise blue of the Adriatic. Just 15 kilometres from the historic Zadar Town and close to four national parks – Kornati Islands, Krka waterfalls, Mountain Paklenica and Plitvice Lake, the hotel makes for an ideal base for those wanting to explore.

It’s Iadera’s extensive facilities that really add the wow factor to this beach hotel. With over 200 modern rooms and suites with private balconies, and public areas that feel homely yet stylish, guests are made to feel special. The spa offers up traditional Hammams, while culinary delights are inspired from the Mediterranean and Asia in five different restaurants.

There are several incredible beaches in the vicinity of the hotel such as Queen’s Beach, a sandy expanse in the Nin Lagoon and the Blue Flag awarded Borik Beach – an endless choice for sun-seekers. However, for those wanting the best of both, you can enjoy the vast infinity pools, or even discover the little beach hideouts and sun loungers dotted around hotel’s grounds, or even take a dip in the outdoor seawater Thalasso pool. What you won’t tire of is the sweeping views and radiant sunsets across the sea and over the Velebit mountains.

Falkensteiner Iadera

Top rated
Zadar
9.1 Excellent (1299 reviews)

Awaken your senses in a magnificent Hvar spa for the ultimate pampering

The 13th-century hilltop fortress town of Hvar, not only features a wealth of history but is also home to several first-class beaches including Dubovica and Lucisca, considered to be some of the finest beaches in Croatia. And within close reach of both beaches is the Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel. It is in a prime spot for watching passing fishing boats in the pretty harbour, as well as an ideal seaside location.

It’s all about the feeling of light and space, as the Adriana sets the bar high with its open plan minimalist ambience – with communal spaces in a nautical theme – the upholstery and contemporary artwork in shades of blue, and sleek rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass allowing plenty of light to penetrate.

Adriana’s Sensori Spa is also a sight to behold. Set over six floors, the gargantuan spa offers a vast array of treatments including a seaside rock hot-stone massage, as well four types of saunas, fitness rooms and a covered rooftop pool with a wooden deck and open-air cabanas.

The Adriatic continually takes centre stage as guests can dine on the waterside terrace at the hotel’s Val Marina Restaurant as well as take drinks overlooking the harbour from the lobby bar. Meanwhile, those who want to move away from the pool can wander some 400 yards to nearby award-winning Beach Bonj and take a dip in the sea, which has been dubbed one of the purest spots to swim in Croatia.

Adriana, Hvar Spa Hotel

Top rated
Hvar
8.6 Excellent (825 reviews)

Immerse yourself in stylish surroundings near Split’s historic centre

If you’re looking for the best beach resort near Split, then the Radisson Blu makes a classy option. Even though the hotel is part of a worldwide chain, the modern glass-fronted exteriors, nature-themed bright interiors and palm-fringed gardens means the Radisson Blu offers up an excellent beach hotel for those wanting to explore Split and nearby attractions. Split’s historic Old Town is only a 30-minute scenic coastal walk passing several beaches on the way and the marina, while the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace is close by.

The Radisson’s facilities are top-notch with several dining options as well as a huge spa which has an indoor pool, plunge pools, whirlpool, sauna, a yoga room and Elemis treatments on offer. The wooden decked pool area overlooking the Adriatic is a sublime spot to soak up some rays, however, head some five minutes across the road, and you’ll be able to access Mistral, the Radisson’s closest beach. Enjoy sundowners and a bite to eat at the beachside bar and marvel at the views across to the island of Brač.

Radisson Blu Split

Top rated
Split
8.6 Excellent (2325 reviews)

An idyllic getaway on a beautiful Croatian island of Lopud

Catch a ferry from Dubrovnik and in just under an hour you can step off onto paradise. Lopud is one of the very few places in Croatia that has sandy beaches – my favourite being Sunj Beach on the south-west side, a sheltered shallow bay which is perfect for lazy sunny days.

Lopud, which makes up the archipelago of the Elaphiti Islands, is a pretty beach resort lined with quaint seafront cafés and restaurants. Hop on the many golf buggies that take visitors around the island if you’re feeling particularly lazy, and succumb to the island’s laidback charm.

The Lafodia Sea Resort sits in the enviable position on the Lopud’s Northern Bay and has dreamy panorama overlooking bobbing sailboats, Šipan Island and beyond. The hotel’s facade resembles a cruise ship, and because of space, rooms have unique layouts with crisp, clean interiors and private balconies – all with sea views.

Families can also enjoy the freedom of self-catering apartments. Sunbathe by the hotel’s two large swimming pools or relax in the Waterhill Spa, and dine in several restaurants offering a vast option of different cuisines including a pizzeria and beach bar. The Lafodia’s private pebble beach allows for uninterrupted sun worshipping and swimming, as well as the opportunity to go kayaking.

Lafodia Hotel & Resort

Top rated
Lopud
8.7 Excellent (965 reviews)

Experience exceptional service and sleepy old-world charm in Brač

Home to the highest peak in the Adriatic islands, the Vidova Gora, Brač has much to offer visitors who are keen to find stunning landscapes and wow factor beaches. It is Zlatni Rat, or The Golden Horn, which is the most photographed beach in Croatia – extending out in the Adriatic like a tongue.

Some 50 minutes away, is the outstanding Hotel Lemongarden in the sleepy town of Sutivan – which is home to just a handful of restaurants and shops. With a seafront location, the Lemon Garden has a dreamy quality that will appeal to romantics looking for a blissful retreat which cements itself as one of the best resorts in Croatia for couples.

The historic honey-coloured stone houses are framed by draping hibiscus, roses and majestic palms and lemon trees, while the rooms are floral-inspired, with sumptuous bathrooms. Luxury is the key here and guests are treated to impeccable service. The hotel’s eatery located by the water’s edge serves up seasonal fresh seafood and is a sought after destination restaurant.

The hotel’s white pebbled beach is sheltered by pine trees and guests can be escorted to this private utopia via golf buggy. Feeling particularly lazy, then lounge by the heady scents of citrus and bougainvillaea in the hotel’s impressive pool.

Hotel Lemongarden

Top rated
Sutivan
9.2 Excellent (60 reviews)