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Trip Plan Tags: 
beach + island

... maybe someday...



See + Do

Beaches of the Dalmatian Coast

There are more beaches on the hundreds of small islands in the area than one could possibly count, many of them appearing and disappearing with the tide on secluded coves. They're often pebbled with small, smooth rocks (due to the calmness of the sea there are no strong waves to crush them into sand over time), so shoes or sandals are mandatory—but a bikini top is not. (And bottoms are sometimes negotiable.) While we recommend finding your own favorite by foot, bicycle, or kayak, a handful merit singling out. On Brač, Zlatni Rat is the most photographed beach in Croatia (just one example shown here), an arc of textured sand that juts into the ocean like the blade of a knife and is the launching point for the windsurfers who make pilgrimages to the island. In the mainland city of Split, the place to be is Bačvice, a lively, shallow, and sandy expanse lined with cafes and bars—it's a prime place to see how gorgeous (and friendly) young Croatians are. Stiniva, Vis's best beach,  is a wedge of sand that's nearly closed off from the open water by cliffs squeezing in on either side—a classic protected cove. You'll have to arrive by small boat or by navigating a narrow footpath. The Adriatic, by the way, is a lovely place to swim, with summer temperatures averaging 77 degrees.

Editor's Pick


Hotel Vestibul Palace, Croatia

4 Iza Vestibula
Split 21000, Croatia
Tel: 385 21 329 329

Split, the busy mainland town, most often serves as a jumping-off point to the islands. The best reason to linger? Diocletian's Palace. Originally the retirement home of a Roman emperor (that would be Mr. Diocletian), today the 1,700-plus-year-old structure is jammed with apartments—some 3,000 citizens live here—as well as shops, bistros, and cafes. In 2005, it finally got a hotel worth staying in, too. Located between the Emperor's chambers and the Peristil Square, this is as close as you'll get to sleeping in royal quarters in Croatia, location-wise. And if the emperor were to commission digs today, we have a feeling they would be something like this. With a mere five rooms and two suites, it's a true-blue boutique, with locally produced custom-made contemporary furniture that looks fabulous against the naked, ancient stone walls. Gleaming blond hardwood parquet floors, heated towel racks, flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms and low beds with leather-embossed headboards prove this to be the most modern place you're likely to stay on the coast—despite the centuries-old view out the window. It's a fantastic juxtaposition. With those few rooms, though, book early.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.