Summer is the main season when tourists from all over the world visit Croatia and today I decided to help you make your stay as pleasant as possible by sharing my top summer destinations in Croatia.
Best part? We’ll skip the overhyped, “you know them already” type of destinations like Dubrovnik or Hvar. Sure, they are good places for your vacation, but I’m sure you will enjoy these places better.
Instead, today I will focus on lesser known destinations in the country – some hidden gem type of locations that are less popular and a bit out of the beaten path, but just as amazing and nice as the better known ones.
Croatia has so many amazing spots to offer that you could literally be exploring the country for years and still not have enough time to see them all.
But you don’t have to, especially now that you are reading this article. So if you’re wondering how to find the right destination in Croatia for you and your family or friends, I’m here to help.
It doesn’t matter if you want nothing but a nice beach for lazy-ing around under the hot sun all day, or a more crowded, vibrant and alive type of place.
Croatia has them all and, even better, my list of the top summer destinations in Croatia has them all – and this without choosing the easy route of sending you to Dubrovnik.
Top 6 Summer Destinations for 2023 In Croatia
So without further ado, here are the places that I consider worthy of inclusion on your “to visit” list this year!
1. Losinj Island
We’ll start with the island of Losinj, which is part of the Kvarner bay islands. The island is a popular destination in Croatia, offering a lot for the money – from more secluded places for relaxation to more active ways of spending your stay.
Here is a bullet list of reasons that make Losinj a great choice:
- Mild climate, clear sea and the amazing Mediterranean nature make it an ideal place for everybody, including those who have respiratory problems.
- The island is ideal for fans of active holidays, offering more than 280 kilometers of cycling and walking routes, as well as various sports and water sports spots.
- It is Croatia’s only island where you can watch dolphins – some 200 of them are known to be swimming in the area.
- It was called the “Island of Vitality” by the Food Wine and Travel Magazine which considered it the second best travel destination for 2018.
I wrote an article detailing the best beaches in Losinj, so make sure to check that one out also to explore your options.
2. Solta Island
My next recommendation for a perfect summer in Croatia is this small island near Split (which has some amazing beaches too!).
It also got some nice awards, including being ranked first among 50 best travel destinations of 2018 by Travel + Leisure magazine. Just like Losinj above (and the other recommended places below) it is always ranked as a top summer destination in Europe on a yearly basis.
Here, you will be greeted by pristine nature, amazing turquoise waters, lush greenery and beautiful pebble beaches. To round things up nicely, medieval villages, local vineyards and family-run olive oil farms are ready to offer unique experiences.
The island of Solta is an ideal destination for a peaceful summer holiday in combination with relaxing activities:
- Explore the bays of island on foot, by bike or boat.
- Enjoy swimming in numerous amazing beaches and bays.
- Taste the native olives called Levatinka.
- Try the local rosemary honey called Olintio.
- Visit local winery Dobricic and tate their red wine made from the autochthonous Dobricic grapes.
If you want to get more in depth with the options here, check out my full guide to Solta Island.
3. Pag Island
If sunbathing and swimming is not the only thing you are interested in, then Pag island is a great place for you.
This is where parties happen more often than not, making it a popular destination for a younger audience.
One of the main attractions in the area is the Zrce party beach in Novalja. This is Croatia’s only beach that gives you that Ibiza feeling thanks to the parties and the overall feel of the place.
Zrce is a long, stretched, white pebbled beach with crystal clear waters. The beach has numerous facilities and three popular open-air clubs offering entertainment until early in the morning if no other restrictions are in place.
If you ask someone what makes this island famous, it is certain that the response will be related to four nouns – lamb, salt, cheese and lace. Or ask the younger visitors and they’ll definitely recommend it for the parties and the open-minded atmosphere.
Learn more about this party island in my guide to Pag here.
4. Lastovo island
This is definitely not one of those places that you see on all lists – but you’re not here to see the things that everybody recommends.
You’re here for the opinions of somebody who knows the country well and doesn’t base recommendations on online research only.
And trust me when I say that you will absolutely love Lastovo island – even if you’ve never heard of it until today.
The island is considered one of the lost paradises of the Mediterranean region. It offers some truly amazing raw, unspoiled nature and a unique habitat that is rich in marine life and plant diversity.
This is definitely away from the regular touristy tracks, making it even more amazing. It’s far away from city noise and pollution, crowded beaches or heavy traffic.
It’s a place where you will most likely have to opt for private accommodation and skip on most social nightlife.
So while it’s definitely not the perfect destination for all travelers, none really is. But if you’re looking for raw nature and unspoiled beauty, you will love it!
5. Makarska Riviera
If you prefer the Adriatic coast, Makarska Riviera is my only recommendation in the area – but you don’t need more than it!
The truth is that the Makarska Riviera beaches are considered the most beautiful pebble beaches along the Adriatic coast, so you know that you’re in for a treat.
And the best part is that the place is still not extremely popular, as most visitors go straight to the islands, therefore neglecting the Makarska Riviera. This means that you have more for yourself!
6. Murter Island
Known as the gate to Kornati islands, Croatia’s nautical paradise of 89 islands, islets and cliffs, Murter is a place you will surely love due to its amazing position and natural, traditional charm.
There are four settlements on the island: Murter, Tisno, Beting and Jezera. The first town is the most popular one, while the last one is the most secluded.
You have various accommodation options and secluded beaches on the island, so you can really opt for a unique holiday here.
Also, due to its vicinity to the Kornati national park, it becomes one of the most important nautical bases on the Croatian coast. An ideal summer destination for lovers of boating holidays.
If this sounds like the right place for you, click here to read an in-depth article about this island.
I could definitely recommend 10 or 15 amazing summer destinations in Croatia this year. Probably even more.
But for today, I wanted to give you some additional options to the “classic” ones that everybody talks about.
I’m not saying that Dubrovnik isn’t worth visiting (on the contrary!), but you have amazing options outside the city as well. And I am sure you will enjoy them all!