Soak Up the Sun on Mind-blowing Beaches

With pristine coastal shores, glistening lakefronts and meandering rivers, there are far more places to swim in Croatia and Slovenia than days in the year. So, pack your swim gear (and sunscreen) and get ready to explore the welcoming waters.

Croatia’s Most Iconic Beaches

Fun fact: the distance from Croatia’s northernmost coastal point to its southernmost is 530 km as the crow flies, but the actual mainland coastline is about 1,800 km, making Croatia’s coast the most indented in the whole Mediterranean.

Add over 4 thousand kilometers of island coast and you have an endless number of hidden coves and bays to discover over the course of your sun-soaked stay.

And those islands have some sublime beaches. On Brač, an iconic spit of land juts out dramatically into the sea. The aptly named Zlatni Rat Beach, or Golden Horn, in the beautiful town of Bol is known as the symbol of the Adriatic for good reason.

Over on Vis, you’ll find one of the most stunning coves in the Adriatic. Surrounded by high cliffs and best accessed by boat via a narrow sea entrance, Stiniva looks almost like a natural amphitheater with the sea being the stage.

It’s not just the islands that hold these treasures. Near Dubrovnik is the secluded Pasjača Beach, a breathtaking beach at the foot of a soaring cliff, that was named Europe’s best beach in 2019.

While most of the Adriatic beaches are pebbly, ideal for not taking the beach with you when you go, there are gorgeous sandy options too.

Kraljičina Plaža, or Queen’s Beach, Croatia’s longest sandy beach affords views of the Dinaric Alps that are fit for royalty. On Dugi Otok, the sands of Sakarun Beach mingle with the turquoise sea in a way that feels downright Caribbean.

Fairy Tale Lakes, Stunning Rivers and Coastal Gems: Slovenia’s Water Wonders

Slovenia’s waterworks are no less impressive.

Starting with an icon, there are few places as recognizable as Lake Bled. Set against a backdrop of the Julian Alps, the calm waters surrounding Bled Island’s red-roofed buildings and church make a dip in the lake feel like diving into a fairy tale.

Lake Bohinj, also in the Julian Alps and formed by glaciers, is Slovenia’s largest lake and a water playground. Pro tip: after you dry off, take the Vogel Cable Car for breathtaking views of Bohinj from above.

From the lake to the rivers. The Soča, whose emerald green hue and everchanging landscapes make it one of Europe’s loveliest rivers – and Slovenia’s first European Destination of Excellence – is the perfect place for a summer swim in any of its natural swimming pools.

Of course, there are more than lakes and rivers, Slovenia also has seaside pearls of its own to boast about.

The towns of Piran and Portorož are a stone’s throw from the Croatian border with beaches set against the classic colorful architecture that makes Istria so distinct. In Piran, the nearest beach is 3 minutes from the center and Portorož even has a sandy section to bury your toes in.

The real star of the Slovenian coast though is the striking Moon Bay in Strunjan landscape park with its towering, 80m cliffs leaping out of the sea. Being part of a natural reserve means the beaches at Strunjan are exactly as nature intended them, untouched and unbelievable. The purest spot for you to appreciate Slovenia’s coastal wonder.

If there’s one thing that’s for sure it’s that you won’t soon run out of mesmerizing views and inviting waters along Slovenia and Croatia’s coastlines and waterways.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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