Best Beaches for a Family Sailing Holiday in Croatia

03.12.2018. Sailing tips

The Croatian coast and islands offer a dazzling selection of beautiful beaches that are perfect for families sailing with children. With excellent sea water quality, plenty of sunshine and a wide range of recreation options, the Croatian coast is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for a family cruise. The country’s strong tourist infrastructure makes it difficult to go wrong when planning a sailing itinerary.

Tips for a family cruise in Croatia

  • Cruise Kvarner Bay and discover the beautiful child-friendly beaches on the islands of Krk, Cres and Rab
  • Set sail to Zadar to explore the city’s historic buildings and vibrant nightlife and spend long lazy days on the popular family beaches in Zaton, Nin, Biograd and Dugi Otok island
  • Visit Makarska Riviera to enjoy the scenic charm of Punta Rata in Brela, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches
  • Sail to Pelješac and let the kids play in a large water park on Trstenica beach while you enjoy a delicious drink and soak up the warm Mediterranean sun

Family-friendly beaches in Istria and Kvarner

Istria and Kvarner harbour some of Croatia’s most family-friendly sand and pebble beaches. Vela beach in Baška on the island of Krk is a 1.8 km long stretch of gravel and sand lined with beach bars and facilities offering sports and recreation options. The beach is perfect for those seeking an active holiday, but also makes a great spot for anyone looking to spend a restful day simply soaking up the sun.

Slatina beach in Martinšćica on the island of Cres is one of the region’s most beautiful beaches. With a sports and animation center in the vicinity, the beach offers plenty of options for recreation and fun, and also has a restaurant, changing rooms and showers to ensure the visitors’ comfort.

A little bit further south, Paradise Beach in Lopar on the island of Rab is another excellent destination for families travelling with children. The 2 km long stretch of sand offers a varied range of sports and leisure activities and has a number of bars and restaurants where families can rest and recharge before setting sail to their next destination.

Susak, a tiny island formed almost entirely of fine sand, is another excellent spot for a beach getaway. The main beach on the island, Spiaza, is situated in a bay with almost a kilometer of shallow water, ideal for kids and non-swimmers.

Best family beaches in Dalmatia

Zaton near the historic city of Zadar is particularly popular among families with small children as it offers pools, water slides and an amusement park along with a dazzling sand beach perfect for building castles. With several playgrounds and a number of bars and restaurants, the beach makes a wonderful stop on any sailing route.

Named after the wife of Croatia’s first king, the Queen’s Beach in Nin stretches over 3 km and provides plenty of shallow water where kids can play or learn to swim and snorkel in a safe environment.

Saharun (or Sakarun) beach on Dugi Otok, one of the islands in the Zadar archipelago, is one of Croatia’s most idyllic beaches. With a long strip of fine white sand and a stunning pine forest, the beach has long been a favourite for couples and families. In the evening, the beach bars turn the
place into a party hub for young visitors.

Biograd na Moru has a short gravel beach, Dražica, that is also great for children. With plenty of shade and a range of fun activities to keep both kids and parents entertained, the beach is a great place to spend long days swimming, playing and enjoying the sun.

Solaris Beach in Šibenik is one of the city’s best known sights. With a stunning view of the nearby islands, an Aquapark, swimming pools, a wooden town for kids, an ethnic village serving local specialties and even a massage service, the beach is a fabulous destination for families, gourmands and everyone else intent on pure pleasure.

Bačvice beach in the city of Split is one of Dalmatia’s most popular family beaches. Situated in a shallow bay next to a group of café bars, pastry shops and restaurants, the beach is both a social hub and a place where visitors can take a long relaxing break, rent deck-chairs and parasols and play the popular Dalmatian game picigin.

Named one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world by Forbes magazine, the Punta Rata beach in Brela is one of the best known tourist hotspots in southern Dalmatia. Surrounded by a stunning pine forest and bordered by a commanding rock, the blue flag beach is pebbly, but has a sandy entrance to the sea, which makes it perfect for playing various games in the shallow water. Visitors can rent sports equipment for volleyball, soccer, banana rides and parasailing and enjoy a varied offering of refreshments and delicious dishes in one of the many nearby restaurants and cafés.

Top family destinations in the Dubrovnik area

The beaches in Dubrovnik and the wider Dubrovnik-Neretva County have provided shelter from the summer heat to visitors for centuries. Lapad Beach in Dubrovnik, only a couple of kilometers from the majestic Old Town, has a strong tourist infrastructure, with plenty of options for refreshments and a long stretch of sand to accommodate large number of visitors during the summer months.

Šunj beach on the sandy island of Lopud near Dubrovnik makes a wonderful stop on an island hopping cruise. Situated in a large, very shallow bay on the island’s southeast shore, a scenic 30-minute walk from the port, the beach is ideal for paddling, kayaking and building sand castles away from the crowded beaches on the Dubrovnik coast.

Vela Pržina beach in Lumbarda on the southern shore of Korčula island is another stunning white sand beach ideal for family summer holidays. Situated in a scenic cove with spectacular views of the open sea and the island of Lastovo, the beach is enormously popular, both among locals and tourists.

Mljet, the greenest, most rural and southernmost of the larger Croatian islands, is one of the best destinations for a beach holiday in Croatia. The island has numerous small pebble beaches tucked away in its many bays and around the Small and Large Lakes in the interior.

Polače beach, situated in the northwestern corner of the island, near the main harbour, is a gently sloping sand and pebble beach where small children can learn to swim safely. Visitors can also rent boats and canoes or, for a more adventurous outing, visit the nearby diving center.

Mljet’s only sandy beach, Saplunara, consists of three separate beaches and is an excellent place to spend long afternoons enjoying the sea, sand and surrounding pine trees. The beach is very tranquil and the landscape around it mostly untouched and protected as a nature park. The bay provides shelter from the winds and safe anchorage in sand with patches of weed.

Trstenica beach in Orebić, a town situated on the Pelješac peninsula, is a long strip of pebble and sand in the vicinity of the Orebić pier. With several beach bars, a large stretch of shallow water, and many large pine trees providing shelter from the Mediterranean sun, the beach is an excellent getaway spot for families travelling with young children. The pedal boats and large beach toys in the floating water park will keep the kids busy for hours while parents keep an eye on them from a comfortable lounge chair under a parasol.

In addition to these, Croatia has countless other family-friendly beaches with easy entrance into the sea and large enough shallow water area where kids can spend the whole day playing and splashing around. Many beaches offer content for kids of all ages and even beaches situated in smaller towns have showers, changing areas, restaurants and recreation equipment to ensure that visitors have everything they need to spend the entire day relaxing and enjoying themselves. Regardless of the destination, Croatia has many ancient towns, stunning bays, caves and parks, and offers plenty of beach action guaranteed to provide a memorable sailing holiday for families with children in tow.