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The Best Beaches Zadar Has to Offer in 2023

Searching for the most incredible beaches Zadar has to offer? This list is exactly what you need.

Zadar, located in the middle of Croatia’s stunning coast, is not only known for its historic sites, marbled streets, and vibrant local nightlife but also for its breathtaking beaches. Whether you prefer velvety, white-sand strands or rocky shores, Zadar offers a range of incredible beaches that are clean, pristine, and ready to welcome you.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to call Croatia my home since 2014, and let me tell you, Zadar’s coastline is a total gem. I’ve explored the area extensively and discovered some seriously amazing beaches that I can’t wait to share with you. The best part? They’re super easy to get to, some even within walking distance from the old town.

Whether you’re in search of sandy shores, opportunities for cliff-jumping, or a blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, the beaches in Zadar certainly won’t disappoint.

Read on to discover the best beaches Zadar has to offer!

Beautiful sandy beach in Zadar Croatia with an island in the distance.

The Best Beaches Zadar Has to Offer

Borik Beach Zadar

Close proximity to the city center, calm waters perfect for wading, and clear turquoise waters make Borik Beach in Zadar, one of the best beaches around Zadar. With 1.5 kilometers of silty pebble beach, Beach Borik Zadar offers plenty of pristine bathing areas. This beach is excellent for families. With its gently sloping shores, the kids can play in these calm shallow waters all afternoon while the parents sunbathe or rest under one of the many shady pine trees that also line this beach. 

Borik beach also offers amenities such as rentable beach chairs, umbrellas, changing rooms, an outdoor shower, and a nearby cafe/snack stand. 

Kids and thrill-seekers will also find jet skis and small sailboats to rent as well as a banana boat ride, parasailing, paddle boats, and volleyball courts.

An aerial view of Borik Beach in Zadar Croatia on a sunny day in Croatia.

Traveling to Croatia with your dog? Don’t miss these dog friendly beaches!

Diklo Beach Zadar

The picturesque Diklo Beach near Zadar is a great spot for those looking to relax and soak up the sun. This beach is narrow but it has an incredibly serene atmosphere that offers a sense of peace and tranquility. With its close proximity to the forest, you can park your car and spend the day at the beach.

The promenade along the beach makes for a great stroll and you can easily jump into the water without having to worry about walking across stones. Despite the large number of restaurants and cafes overlooking the water, Diklo Beach remains quaint without that resorty feel. This is a lovely place to come and cool off in the summer, and it is especially beautiful at sunset!

A gorgeous golden sunset from the beach in Zadar Croatia.

Punta Bajlo Beach

Cliff jumpers, this one is for you!

An exciting activity many visitors look forward to is cliff jumping in Croatia. Zadar beaches offer many opportunities for cliff jumping, and Punta Bajlo is not to be missed!

One of the top beaches Zadar has to offer for cliff jumping, Punta Bajlo is a unique area composed of pebbled rocky shores and large bouldery cliffs perfect for launching yourself into the sparkling Adriatic Sea. This beach is more of a seafront but offers great spaces for relaxing on the warm concrete and rocks while the sea laps against the rocks beneath you. 

Punta Bajlo also has a heavily shaded Pine forest that meets the sea if you prefer to escape to the shade. This shady Pine forest is one of the driving reasons why visitors and locals continuously return to Punta Bajlo to hide from the sun during the Croatian summertime.

There are not many amenities at the beach given the nature of its rocky landscape, but there is a beach-side restaurant that serves up quality barbecue dishes and pizzas.

A rocky beach lined with pine trees near Zadar Croatia.

Kolovare Beach Zadar

If you’re staying in the city and do not want to rent a car, then you’ll likely be looking for beaches close to Zadar City.

Located just 1.5 kilometers from the old town, Kolovare Beach is the best beach near Zadar. This beach is within walking distance from the main tourist center and makes for an easy day out if you are staying in town. 

Kolovare, one of the best beaches Zadar City has to offer, is partially pebbled, met by blue-green waters. At this beach, you can find dozens of amenities including catamaran and jet-ski rentals, beach chairs, umbrellas, kayak rentals, changing facilities, restrooms, restaurants, and more. 

A large part of this beach is privately owned by the surrounding resorts, but a few areas are open to the public. This beach also offers parking for those that still want to travel by car. Otherwise, the beach is very easy to access and is not far from the main roads. 

View of Kolovare Beach in Zadar and the surrounding greenery from a boat in the sea.

Golden Wave Beach Zadar (Plaža Zlatni Val)

Situated right next to Kolovare Beach is perhaps one of the most iconic beaches in Zadar. This city beach is well known for its three-story diving platform that is incredibly popular among both locals and tourists alike.

There is also a saltwater pool (entrance is free), a bar, and plenty of space to lay out your towel. While this is not a classic beach, you can easily get in an out of the sea via the numerous ladders around.

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    Beach Riva

    Beach Riva is a popular beach in the Zadar Old Town, especially among locals. This “beach” is actually Zadar’s main waterfront promenade, which is made up of large, smooth stones stretching from the Sea Organ all the way to the University of Zadar.

    In the middle of the promenade is a concrete pier that juts out into the water, perfect for jumping in or laying out a towel and enjoying the picturesque scenery. Along the rest of the beach are a number of ladders, making it easy to get in and out of the water. With its convenient accessibility, Riva is the best beach Zadar has to offer for taking a quick dip from sightseeing, or spending an afternoon soaking up some sun.

    A view of Zadar's Beach Riva on a beautiful sunny day. People are walking along the beach, sitting along the edge and swimming in the sea.

    Puntamika Beach Zadar

    Situated on a tiny peninsula just 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from the Old Town, this beach is an ideal spot for a day of fun in the sun. Plaza Puntamika is easily accessible by foot, but there is also a parking lot nearby for those who prefer to visit by car.

    The beach is made up of small, smooth pebbles, and gently slopes into the sea, which makes it ideal for families with small children. Nearby is a promenade lined with shops and restaurants, plus a small marina on one end and lighthouse on the other. On hot days, visitors can take refuge under the tall trees surrounding the beach that offer plenty of shade.

    The highlight of Plaza Puntamika has to be the beach bar Bamboo, which provides a nice chill place for enjoying coffee, ice cream, or cocktails. For the best experience, I recommend coming for sunset!

    A view of Puntamika Beach in Zadar with a lighthouse at the tip of the cape.

    Best Beaches Near Zadar

    While there are plenty of gorgeous beaches in Zadar, the entire region offers countless fantastic spots for sunbathing, snorkeling, and water sports. If you’re up for some exploring, the list below features the best beaches in the Zadar region that can be easily reached either by boat or by car from Zadar Old Town.

    An aerial view of a concrete beach in the Zadar Old Town surrounded by the blue Adriatic Sea.

    Maestrala Beach Zadar

    Maestrala Beach is a great spot near Zadar to get some sun and swim in the refreshing waters of the Adriatic Sea. This small bathing area is mostly concrete with a wooden platform that juts out into the water and is a great spot for a quick dip while sightseeing in town.

    Clean and well maintained, Maestrala Beach boasts impeccably clear waters and no crowds. While visiting this beach, be sure to take a short swim to the nearby island from which you can soak in the views of the city. When you come back to shore, there are freshwater showers for rinsing off and a bar right on the beach where you can grab a cool drink.

    Zaton Beach

    This 1.5-kilometer-long beach is located on the grounds of Zaton Holiday Resort and offers endless possible activities for its visitors. Regarded as one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Zadar, Zaton Beach offers amenities for all ages and includes several pools and water park slides, beach volleyball, three mini-golf grounds, archery, green pitches for football and soccer, an asphalt basketball court, tennis courts, and bike rentals. 

    The beach itself is a mix of mostly sand and pebble but offers calm waters great for kids and adults to wade in. Along the coast, you will also find beach bars and snack stands selling food and refreshments. This beach is blue flag certified, meaning it has been awarded for its crystal clear waters and cleanliness and offers disabled access.

    Zaton Beach in Zadar Croatia - best beaches in Zadar

    Petrcane Beach (Punta Radman) 

    The 900-year-old fishing village of Petrcane offers some of the best beaches near Zadar Croatia. Aside from multiple pristine beach fronts, Petrcane also has dozens of shops and restaurants that cater to those visiting for a beachy day trip from Zadar. 

    The most popular Petcrane beach is Punta Radman (sometimes called Pinija Beach) which is split for public and private use as it does partially belong to The Pinija Hotel. However, the designated public area of this beach is a perfect place to spend your day. 

    This Zadar beach is mostly pebbles and concrete but offers dozens of amenities for beach-goers. Visitors can expect to find boat rental opportunities, jet skis and other rentable water toys, a small water park, rentable beach loungers, and a beach bar. Since the beaches of Petcrane are located along a peninsula, you can have the option of calmer waters in the bay perfect for swimming in, or the choppier seafront, which can offer small waves for windsurfing adventures when the weather and winds are right.

    An aerial view of Petrcane Beach in Zadar Croatia.

    Sakarun Beach

    Also known as the best beach in Croatia, Sakarun beach is something you will have to see to believe. With pearly white sand and bright turquoise waters, you might forget you are actually in Croatia and not the Caribbean. This remote and tranquil paradise is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches near Zadar and is located just 1.5 hours from the city on Dugi Otok Island (the biggest island in the Zadar archipelago). You can reach this island by ferry from Zadar. 

    Not only is Sakarun the best beach in Zadar, but it is also the best sandy beach in Zadar.

    Although this sandy strand is regarded as one of the most beautiful Zadar county beaches, it is still considered somewhat of a hidden gem since its more remote location deters some visitors. 

    A sandy beach in Zadar Croatia with sailboats visibile

    Due to its location and desire to preserve its natural beauty, there are few amenities near the beach. There are two small beach bars serving light foods and refreshments, but the closest shops and amenities are in the small village of Bozava, or Brbinj, where the ferry docks. There are minimal accommodation options on the island, so it is best to plan ahead and visit Sakarun as a day trip from Zadar.

    This boat tour in particular is a fantastic way to see some of the highlights around the Zadar archipelago including Golubinka Cave, Dragon’s Eye, and Sakarun Beach. Since getting to some of these locations can be tricky on your own, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced captain and local guide to take you straight to the best spots.

     

    Bilotinjak Beach

    If you’re after the best sandy beaches Zadar has to offer, then Bilotinjak Beach should be on your list. This golden sandy beach near Zadar is known as one of the best beaches in the area for its natural beauty and serenity. Located just over 14 kilometers outside of Zadar, this quaint cove is a great place to spend the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, and bathing in the sand. There are no amenities at the beach, so plan ahead and pack your towels or beach chairs, snacks and beverages, and beach toys. 

    There are no admission fees to visit this beach, and it is entirely open to the public. This beach can get crowded in the high summer season, so it is best to plan to arrive early to stake out your spot if you are spending the day there. Despite the beach seeming to be at the base of a giant sea cliff, the beach is easily accessible and is close to the road, so you will not have to trek too far from your car. There are no shaded areas or trees at this beach, so plan to bring a beach umbrella you can relax under when the sun gets too hot.

    Croatia Zadar Beaches | Sandy beach with two beach chairs under an umbrella overlooking the Adriatic Sea during sunset

    Kožino Beach

    Located just 15 minutes north of Zadar in the tiny village of Kožino, Kožino Beach offers a tranquil escape from the crowds. The beach itself is quite rocky, although there is a small area with sand and pebbles too. There is plenty of natural shade provided by pine trees that line the beach, and the water is so crystal clear that you can even spot sharks in the Adriatic Sea!

    Overall, Kozino Beach is a secluded natural paradise, making it an ideal spot to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet in Zadar.

     

    Duboka Draga Beach, Vrsi

    This next beach, located just 1.3 kilometers outside of the town of Vrsi, is a favorite amongst those looking for a small tranquil beach with fewer crowds. If you’re looking for hidden beaches in Zadar, this is it. Vrsi is one of the best beaches near Zadar, yet still remains somewhat of a hidden gem in Croatia.

    This rocky beach is located in a small gorge that meets a picturesque turquoise bay. With a mountain on either side of this small bay, Duboka Draga is decently protected from the wind and elements, making for calm waters to swim in. 

    The rocks at this beach can be a bit sharp, so it might be a good idea to wear some water shoes to protect your feet if you are going for a swim. There are no amenities at this beach, so you will need to plan ahead with food and beach supplies. Be sure not to forget the sunscreen when visiting here, as there are no trees or designated umbrellas for shade.

    Duboka Draga beach near Zadar

    Queen’s Beach Nin

    If you’re on the hunt for the best sandy beaches in Zadar Croatia, then look no further than Queen’s Beach in Nin!

    Known to be the longest sandy beach in Croatia, Queen’s Beach (also known as Kraljicina Plaza), is a picture-perfect beach and is well-known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Zadar Croatia. This beach is located three kilometers outside of the town of Nin and offers plenty of amenities for the whole family. This beach was thought to be so beautiful and pristine by Croatian King Tomislav (the first Croatian king); he named it after his wife in honor of its beauty. 

    Along the sand, you will find a wooden boardwalk to make walking across this three-kilometer-long beach a bit easier. There are also three different beach bars/restaurants along this beach, offering all-day drinks and food. This is also one of the best beaches in Zadar for families with children as the waters are extremely calm and shallow.

    Behind the beach, there is a large, public, naturally occurring mud bath, which is said to have medicinal properties. Visitors and locals flock here to cover themselves in the mud, take a quick funny picture, and then wash off in the clean seawater. 

    Parking is available in the designated parking lot at this beach for 30 HRK (4.00 Euro) for the day.

    Queen's Beach one of the most beautiful sandy beaches near Zadar Croatia

    Sabunike Beach

    If you continue down the beach from Queen’s Beach, you will eventually run into Sabunike Beach. Sabunike is not as sheltered as its sister beach and offers the opportunity for visitors to partake in watersports such as surfing and kitesurfing. 

    Sabunike is a gravely, coarse-sand beach, so it might be a good idea to bring a beach chair with you.  This beach offers an incredible, unique view towards the Velebit Mountains and over the sea, making for some fantastic photo opportunities, so make sure to bring your camera. 

    There are designated permanent umbrellas along this beach, which come in handy as there is little to no other shade at this beach. And due to the strong winds here, your umbrella might not be so secure in the sand, so it’s a good idea to stake out a spot under one of their permanent ones!

    Waves crashing onto the shore of Zadar Beach Croatia
    Zadar Beach Croatia

    Plaža Zlatna Luka

    Located in Sukošan, Zlatna Luka Beach can easily be reached by driving just 12km south of Zadar Old Town on the Jadranska Magistrala. Like most beaches in Croatia, Zlatna Luka Beach is pebbled, but offers visitors a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

    The beach’s location in the charming town of Sukosan makes it one of the best places for those looking to explore the local culture and cuisine. Sukosan has a charming harbor with numerous restaurants and cafes that serve fresh seafood and local specialties. Visitors can take a break from swimming to explore the town’s narrow streets, traditional houses, and historic churches, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

     

    Plaža Dječji Raj

    Right next to Plaza Zlatna Luka is Plaza Djecji Raj. This beach’s name literally translates to “Child’s Paradise”, which is the perfect name because it is the ultimate kid friendly beach! This concrete and stone strand boasts shallow waters and a huge inflatable that visitors can climb on and jump into the water.

    It is important to note though that this beach does not offer much shade, so it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella or tent. Facilities on the beach include a bakery, several cafes, and some fast food options.

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      Pisak-Kulina

      Located on the riviera right at the foot of Paklenica National Park lies Pisak-Kulina Beach. This beach is absolute heaven for those who love nature and can be recognized by the remains of a 16-century stone tower (Večka kula) that rises out of the shoreline.

      This shallow, pebbled strand is one of the most beautiful on the coast of the Paklenica reserve and offers a dreamy escape from the busyness of the Old Town. The combination of the spectacularly turquoise sea and emerald vegetation of Velebit Mountain make it truly one-of-a-kind and worth seeking out when visiting Zadar. On the north end of the beach, beachgoers can enjoy cafes, a restaurant, and even rent lounge chairs. Plus, this beach has a small section dedicated to camping in Croatia.

      A peaceful view of Plaza Pisak at sunset. The sky is a pink-yellow color, the sea is calm, and the beach is empty.

      Plaža Ručica

      Ručica is a spectacular beach located on the nearby Pag Island. To get there, you’ll definitely need a rental car (I recommend Discover Cars) as it is 86 kilometers (53 miles) away from Zadar Old Town. Pag is one of the most unique islands in Croatia, featuring moonlike landscapes and a fascinating indented coastline. It is well-worth dedicating a day out of your stay in Zadar to exploring the island and its incredible beaches.

      Amidst an impressive barren landscape, a pebble-studded shore emerges by the name of Ručica Beach – a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach’s location, tucked away from the main tourist areas, creates a peaceful atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. There’s also a small beach bar serving up refreshing drinks and simple bites like burgers and sandwiches.

      An aerial view of Rucica Beach on Pag Island near Zadar.

      Zrce Beach

      Also located on the island of Pag is Zrće Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Croatia and approximately 90 km from Zadar. Known as the “Ibiza of Croatia,” Zrce Beach is a vibrant destination that attracts party-goers, music lovers, and beach enthusiasts from all around the world.

      Zrce Beach is famous for its nightlife, with multiple open-air clubs and bars that offer a wide variety of music genres, from techno and house to pop and hip hop. During the summer months, Zrce Beach hosts several music festivals, including Hideout, Sonus, and Fresh Island, which attract some of the biggest names in the music industry.

      Apart from its lively atmosphere, Zrce Beach also boasts a beautiful stretch of coastline, with crystal-clear waters, white pebble beaches, and stunning rock formations. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, such as jet skiing and parasailing.

      A beautiful palm-lined beach on the island of Pag near Zadar.

      How to Reach Zadar Best Beaches

      Many of the best beaches in Zadar can be easily reached by bus or taxi. Some of them are even walking distance from the Old Town like Kolovare, Golden Wave, Puntamika, and Riva Beach.

      If you wish to explore the beaches in Zadar County, renting a car is the best option. This will give you the freedom and flexibility to come and go as you please, or spend the day hopping from one beach to the next. I recommend hiring a car from Discover Cars as they compare prices of both local and international companies to ensure you get the best rate.

      Other options for reaching beaches in the nearby Zadar archipelago include transportation via ferry, group trip, or private tour. If you choose not to rent a car, I highly suggest going on a day trip to one of the nearby islands during your stay in Zadar! This will seriously take your experience to the next level. A full day sailing trip to Kornati or this tour of Dugi Otok that takes you to all of the best island spots are excellent choices.

      Zadar Beaches Map

      To make finding the best beaches in Zadar a bit easier, I’ve put them all in this map. Just click on the beach you want to go to and instantly get directions how to get there!

      FAQs

      Does Zadar have nice beaches?

      Yes! The Zadar region boasts many beautiful sandy beaches, which are not usually common in Croatia.

      Can you swim in the sea in Zadar?

      Yes! The sea in Zadar is very clean and beautiful, making it perfect for swimming.

      What is the nearest beach to Zadar Old Town?

      Beach Riva is the nearest beach to Zadar Old Town as it is located on the city’s main waterfront promenade.

      Which is the best secluded beach near Zadar?

      Kozino Beach is one of the best quiet beaches in Zadar, making it a great place to go to escape the summer crowds.

      Final Verdict: The Best Beaches Zadar Has to Offer

      So there you have it, these are the best beaches in Zadar County!

      From the close proximity of Kolovare Beach, with its mix of pebbles and concrete areas and convenient amenities, to the serene beauty of Sakarun Beach, where sandy stretches invite you to unwind and soak up the sun, I guarantee you’ll find your summer paradise on this list.

      So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Zadar’s beaches. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a place to soak up the coastal vibes, Zadar’s shores won’t disappoint.

      Have questions or need help planning your trip to Croatia? Book a call with me!

      Discover More Beaches in Croatia

      Croatia Travel Planning Guide

      💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
      As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).

      🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
      Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!

      🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
      10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.

      📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
      Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!

      🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
      For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.

      🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
      I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

      🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
      Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)

      💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
      Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!

      🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia?
      Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

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