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While Croatia’s beaches are stunning, many travelers are surprised to find that the majority of Croatian beaches are not sandy like they expect back home but rather made of pebbles.

This is part of what contributes to the aquamarine clarity of the water – sand can muddy the color, making blues less vibrant – but it can also make beach lounging far less comfortable. As a result many people ask where are the best sandy beaches in Croatia: the answer requires a little more research than you’d expect.

We’ve done the legwork for you finding some of the best soft sand beaches in Croatia, though keep in mind that even the sandiest beaches in Croatia won’t be nearly as soft and fine as you’ll find in the Caribbean or other island destinations, as the waves of the Adriatic simply don’t erode sand quite as finely as the Caribbean.

Map of the Best Sandy Beaches in Croatia

Sunj Beach, Lopud

This is a great family-friendly beach, in that it takes over 100 meters to reach slightly deeper waters. It’s a very calm and relaxing beach located on the island of Lopud, which is part of the Elafiti island archipelago located a short ferry away from Dubrovnik.

It’s backed by pinewoods and it has some decent restaurants, as well as a gorgeous town to enjoy when you’re not enjoying the soft sandy beach. Its visitors enjoy activities like volleyball and tennis. It’s considered the perfect day trip from Dubrovnik.

Saplunara Beach, Mljet

This Croatian sandy beach is actually gorgeous lagoon filled with unique but endangered sea life species. The beach is part of a long cove that’s actually split in two parts – Big and Small Saplunara.

The entire region is like a green-filled oasis (in fact, the island of Mljet is home to one of Croatia’s eight national parks) that is known to have some of the finest waters around. Hence, the reason why this beach was awarded a blue star for its clean, pristine waters. There is only a small café and a portable toilet here, so make sure to bring everything else you might need.

Omis Beach, Omis

The main beach on the Omis Riviera is – unsurprisingly named – Omis, a stunning 5-kilometer stretch of golden sands. It’s the longest stretch in the entire country, whose rocky coastline often breaks up beaches into smaller stretches.

Here you’ll find a few restaurants and cafés, as well as a large volleyball court in the middle of the beach. It’s also quite known for the abundance of shellfish in the shallower parts of the beach (so be careful where you step!), which makes it an ideal pairing with nice Dalmatian wine at sunset while lounging near the beach.

Vela Przina Beach, Korcula

Considered one of the most popular sandy beaches in Croatia, this beach is located in the town of Lumbarda on Korcula Island.

It’s very frequently visited, and even though it’s a very large beach, it may be hard to find a spot at times. This family-friendly beach is perfect for kids to play on the warm, soft sands. Plus, it’s a cove so the beach itself is protected by the winds.

Zlatni Rat, Brac

As one of the world’s most unique beaches, the beach on the Golden Horn – or Zlatni Rat – is an exceptionally beautiful destination, even more beautiful as seen from the sky (a perfect place for drone and aerial photography enthusiasts!).

It’s a beach whose size and shape changes whenever the tides change, and there is always one side of the beach that has perfectly calm waters. This long, horn-shaped beach with impeccable waters is located near the city of Bol.

Slanica Beach, Murter

This beautiful beach is found on the low-key island of Murter. It’s a popular beach that offers a surprising amount of diversity in terms of activities and restaurants. There are all sorts of activities here, and it’s also quite family-friendly.

There are bars and cafés, but there are also courts for tennis and volleyball, as well as an entertainment park for kids. The beach itself is pretty shallow for the first 30 meters, making it great to lounge and wade in. The waters are fantastic to swim in and do all sorts of watersports.

Paradise Beach, Rab

This 2-kilometer long stretch of golden sand is located on the island of Rab. It’s part of a small low-key tourist resort, and it offers amazing services and great waters, which is why it’s been awarded with a blue flag.

Here you’ll also find an entertainment park with fields for soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and even miniature golf. This beach also has plenty of amenities on site, as well as cafes and restaurants.

Queen’s Beach, Nin

Located near the historical town of Nin, Queen’s Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the entire wider region. It’s known for a perfect family-friendly destination, most notably for its warm climate, soft sands, and shallow waters.

Here you’ll find mud with restorative properties that you can slather on, as well as a great spot to camp for the night. Camping is a popular activity here, as well as badminton, kiting, volleyball, and all sorts of watersports.

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

This beach is located in Dubrovnik, one of the most popular and visited cities in the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful and pristine beach, but it does have a downside. To reach it, you’ll need to walk down a long flight of stairs, so it might not be easily accessible to everyone.

However, for those who can access Banje, it’s the perfect sandy beach near Dubrovnik. The sand is a bit coarser than other sandy beaches, though, although it’s definitely finer than a pebble beach. It’s a wonderful spot for activities like paragliding, jet skiing, and diving. It has restaurants serving up classic Dalmatian delicacies with a focus on – what else? – seafood.