Zadar is a fascinating seaside town located in Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast that has plenty to offer you from beaches, national parks, museums and historical monuments, good food and plenty of heart pumping water activities.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the best beaches in Zadar, Croatia, plus give you lots of useful tips to help you plan your ideal trip.
Zadar is 3000 years old and has a rich tapestry of history and culture for you to discover, and you’ll find landmarks aplenty in the Old Town.
Zadar County on the other hand, lies in the middle of the Croatian coast and makes up the border of Dalmatia and Lika.
Zadar is famous for its pristine sandy beaches, and with it being located on a peninsula, you have endless choices of wonderful beaches that offer a variety of activities and beach types to suit everyone.
Beaches near the city of Zadar are better for chilling at the bar or going for a quick dip, but they can get quite crowded during the summer months. Fortunately, a short drive away are the mesmerizing beaches of the Zadar region which are ideal for relaxing, sunbathing and beach activities.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds for some peace and quiet, I would recommend a boat tour of the Zadar archipelago. This will take you to stunning sandy beaches that aren’t too crowded.
A little below this article, I will recommend a few of our top boat pics around Zadar where you can find quiet beaches and crystal clear waters.
Below is a list of the 12 most incredible beaches in Zadar and the Zadar region that you should visit during your next trip to Croatia beach vacation.
- Tour Highlights in Zadar
- Best Beaches in Zadar
- 1. Kolovare Beach
- 2. Borik Beach
- 3. Queen’s Beach (Nin)
- 4. Sabunike Beach
- 5. Kozino Beach/Plaza Kozino
- 6. Petrcane Beach
- 7. Puntamika Beach
- 8. Beach Riva (Zadar Old Town)
- 9. Punta Bajlo Beach
- 10. Mrljane Beach, Pasman
- 11. Zaton Beach
- 12. Zrce beach
- Transportation Tips: How to Visit the Beaches of Zadar
- FAQ on Zadar Beaches
Tour Highlights in Zadar
Here are a few highly rated and must-do tours that will help enrich your visit to Zadar by discovering the local beaches and national parks:
- Half Day 3 Islands Boat Tour– Explore, snorkel, and swim your way around beautiful sandy beaches around Zadar on this epic local led tour.
- Explore Kornati and Telašćica National Parks Boat Trip – A boat trip from Zadar for you to admire the beauty of the Dalmation coast while bathing in a salt lake at Telascica Nature Park.
- Zadar Boat Trip- Head to the different islands with a local guide on this popular boat trip around the Zadar Archipelago. You get to see many stunning sandy beaches during this local trip.
- Day Sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding– This excellent local led tour takes you sailing to the best islands around the archipelago plus gives you a chance to Stand Up Paddleboard around crystal clear waters.
- Boat Tour to the Nearby Islands – Join this intimate trip, led by a local skipper and visit charming villages and areas that bigger tourist ships are unable to reach.
- Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting tour from Zadar with Boat Ride 2023 – This relaxing trip will take you away from the city for the day and you can drink delicious local wines and discover the Krka National Park, including their impressive waterfalls!
- Zrmanja River Rafting and Kayaking Adventure from Zadar – Explore the Zrmanja river with this guided tour and enjoy the magnificent landscapes by raft.
- Zadar: Sunset Boat Tour Relax and admire the view of the city and shoreline as the sun sets, visiting many sandy beaches along the way.
Best Beaches in Zadar
1. Kolovare Beach
Location: Kolovare Beach
Beach type: Pebble beach and concrete slabs
Facilities available: Cafes, restaurants, sunbeds & umbrellas to hire, changing rooms, toilets and showers.
Kolovare Beach is a gorgeous beach of clear blue seas located 1km from the Old Town of Zadar and close to the main bus station. Kolovare beach is one of the oldest and most popular beaches in Zadar and has been awarded the Blue Flag award, a symbol of quality and purity of the sea.
The sea in Kolovare beach is calm which makes it perfect for swimming, plus a number of water-based activities such as paddle boarding, jet-skiing, sailing and diving. It is the main urban beach and is very popular.
Kolovare beach is paved with pine trees which is the perfect sun protection at the height of the day. This is one of the many reasons why locals and tourists both flock to Kolovare beach!
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2. Borik Beach
Beach type: Sandy beach and concrete slabs
Facilities available: Sunbeds & umbrellas to hire, toilets, showers, changing rooms and bars that sell food and drink.
Borik Beach is the biggest and one of the most beautiful beaches in Zadar. It’s popular with both locals and tourists.
It’s located 4km north of the city center and is managed by a hotel complex so there is a charge of 15 HRK/$1.94 to enter.
If you are looking to relax at the beach without leaving the city, then Borik beach is perfect for you as there are local buses you can catch to get here. There are plenty of pine trees to shade you from the sun, but you can also rent umbrellas and sunbeds which is perfect for hot summer days.
If you like a bit more activity at the beach, you will be spoilt for choice here with paddleboarding, windsurfing, parasailing, scuba diving and beach volleyball. This is one of the reasons why Borik Beach is a popular and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Zadar county.
After a busy day, relaxing and enjoying yourself, I would recommend heading to the Cafe Maestral with its unspoilt, gorgeous views of the sea and nearby islands.
3. Queen’s Beach (Nin)
Location: Queen’s Beach, Nin
Beach Type: Sandy beach
Facilities available: A beach bar selling simple foods, sunbeds & umbrellas to hire and toilets.
Queen’s beach is one of the few sandy beaches and also one of the most famous beaches in the Zadar region. According to the legend, the wife of the first Croatian King, Tomislav fell instantly in love with this impressive sandy beach, hence its name.
Queen’s Beach offers shallow and warm sea water, allowing you to paddle far out to sea. The winds here are also ideal conditions if you want to try out surfing, hang-gliding or kayaking. The beach is surrounded by impressive mountains, you will have a spectacular view while relaxing at Queens Beach.
If you are visiting in August, you might witness the sand festival that is held here. People of any age can get involved with sculpting shapes from sand, or you can just watch the entertainment. Visiting Queen’s beach during this time is extra special.
Just behind the beach is the famous medicinal mud, Peloid, known for its healing powers. It’s a lot of fun to submerge yourself and you’ll come out with some silky smooth skin! People with health issues can come here for treatments lasting 7-10 days.
The drive from Zadar takes around 25 minutes and during peak seasons, you might have to pay for parking. Nin or Queen’s beach is one of the best beaches in Zadar county.
4. Sabunike Beach
Location: Sabunike Beach
Beach type: Sandy beach
Facilities available: Sunbeds & umbrellas to hire, shop, restaurant, cafe and a vendor selling ice cream.
Less than 1km from Queen’s Beach is the quieter Sabunike Beach. Ideal if you are looking for a quieter beach to escape the crowds.
Sabunike beach is family friendly with crystal clear and calm waters, even as far out as 100 meters. It has a sandy coastline which makes it easier to enter the water compared to other pebble beaches in Zadar.
Be aware that there is no shade at Sabunike Beach so you can either rent sunbeds or umbrellas or bring your own as it can get very hot in the afternoon! This is one of the best Zadar beaches to visit.
You can enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Velebit and Pag island. It takes around a 30 minute drive to get here from Zadar.
5. Kozino Beach/Plaza Kozino
Location: Plaża Kozino
Beach type: Concrete slabs and pebble beach
Facilities available: There are no facilities at Kozino Beach.
Around 15 minutes from Zadar, Kozino Beach is a quieter, more secluded beach with picturesque views.
There is plenty of natural shade here with pine trees right on the beach. Although rocky, there are plenty of places to sit, relax, and enjoy the peace. However, as the beach is pretty rocky, it does not make it an ideal place to swim- but the secludedness of the beach more than makes up for it.
Overall, Kozino beach is a hidden, quiet place to relax away from the crowds and is a great option for those looking for a quiet beach in Zadar.
6. Petrcane Beach
Location: Beach Petrčane
Beach type: Pebble beach
Facilities available: Sunbeds, showers, toilets, changing rooms and a cafe that serves simple fast foods.
Just 15 minutes away from Zadar you will find the charming, chilled, pebbly, Petrcane Beach.
Some natural shade is provided by the trees here and the water is shallow so it is another great beach for swimming If you want to swim here, I would recommend wearing swim aqua shoes as the pebbles can be uncomfortable in places.
This is a popular beach in Zadar county, specifically for families with younger children.
7. Puntamika Beach
Location: Beach Puntamika
Beach type: Fine gravel
Facilities available: As Puntamika is a wild beach, there are no facilities available here..
Puntamika Beach is a quiet beach in Zadar that will impress you with its cozy atmosphere and vibrant colors. It’s also very popular with the locals. Located only 3.5km from the city, you can reach Puntamika Beach by foot, bicycle, car or scooter.
You can rent a sun lounger where you can lie back and admire the views of the Old Town or take a dip in the clear blue sea. The stunning beaches here are insane!
Take a stroll along the small promenade to find a small marina at the lower end and a lovely little cafe at the opposite end next to the lighthouse.
8. Beach Riva (Zadar Old Town)
Location: Riva Zadar
Beach type: Concrete promenade
Facilities available: Vendors selling snacks/drinks.
Although not necessarily a beach, I had to mention this popular place as during the summer you can find tons of people dipping in the ocean from here.
Beach Riva is a promenade in the old town of Zadar and is very popular with sunseekers and those who enjoy swimming. It is one of Zadar’s best beaches as it is close to the city center. Often, people refer to it as town beach due to its proximity to the center.
Fancy a cooldown during your city stay? Head on over to town beach!
You can use one of the ladders along the 1-kilometer long promenade to step into the beautiful blue waters. A popular place for sunbathing and swimming is next to the sea organ monument where you can hear its mysterious sounds.
9. Punta Bajlo Beach
Location: Punta Bajlo Beach
Beach type: Rock
Facilities available: Toilets, showers and changing rooms.
Punta Bajlo Beach is located about 3 kilometers from the old town of Zadar on a wooden peninsula and surrounded by pine trees.
Considered as one of the most idyllic beaches in Zadar with is white cliffs and rock formations, it has a mix of pebbles, rocky sections and a concrete area for sunbathing. You can also relax in the shade of the fragrant pine forest just behind the beach.
Punta Bajlo Beach is perfect for relaxing, swimming, and activities like beach volleyball and cliff jumping.
To get here you will either have to drive, take a taxi, or walk from the main bus station (around 1.6km distance) as there are no buses that drive directly to the beach.
There is a nearby port which also makes it an ideal place to go boat watching. There is a fantastic beach restaurant / cafe nearby serving delicious meals with a view.
10. Mrljane Beach, Pasman
Beach type: Sandy beach
Facilities available: Toilets and changing rooms. Cafes and restaurants located nearby.
Pasman is one of the largest islands in the Zadar archipelago and due to the changes of currents, the sea is one of the clearest and cleanest waters in the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the nicest sandy beaches in Zadar.
The island also has the biggest green surface. You can get to Pasman by taking a ferry to Preko on Ugljan island and an onward ferry from Preko to Pasman. During July and August there are up to 29 daily departures, making it easy for travelers to visit this gorgeous beach.
Mrljane Beach makes the longest promenade as it is also connected to Baroutal Beach. The beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The surrounding pine trees also provides shade, perfect for afternoon naps.
11. Zaton Beach
Location: Beach Jaz
Beach type: Sand and gravel
Facilities available: Sunbeds & umbrellas to hire, toilets, showers, shops, cafe and a bar.
Zaton Beach is around 13 kilometers from Zadar and is located next to a quiet tourist resort.
The beach itself is made up of beautiful sandy banks with crystal clear waters. The water is quite shallow so would be ideal for lounging and some light swimming. Zaton beach has also been awarded the blue flag award.
You can also use the facilities or take part in activities in the Zaton Holiday Resort but there is a fee for outside guests.
12. Zrce beach
Location: Zrće Beach
Beach type: Pebble beach
Facilities available: Deck chairs or cabanas to rent, toilets, changing rooms, bars and clubs.
Zcre is located on the island of Pag, which is a must visit island when you’re in Zadar. Zrce beach is the most famous beach and is known worldwide as a party beach. It is definitely one of the best beaches to visit in Zadar if you’re looking for some fun.
The beach is surrounded by big clubs and it’s the place to be if you’re looking for the best nightlife in Zadar.
Transportation Tips: How to Visit the Beaches of Zadar
You can easily reach most beaches in Zadar by bus, taxi or you can rent a car. You could walk to the beaches nearest the city; Kolovare Beach and Puntamika.
The beaches located in the Zadar archipelago will need to be reached by ferry, a group trip, or a private tour.
For car rental, we recommend checking out Discover Cars as they compare the prices across multiple car platforms, giving you the best rates during your stay.
FAQ on Zadar Beaches
For the hot weather and perfect swimming conditions, the best time to visit Zadar is between June and September. If you are just exploring the city, visit during the Autumn months (September, October and November) as the crowds will be smaller, cooler temperature and cheaper holiday deals.
Yes, Queens Beach is probably the most well known, but there’s also Sabunike and Borik.
It absolutely is! Not only does it have a fascinating city to explore but it’s also home to some incredible beaches and bright turquoise waters, it’s certainly worth a visit.
Of course! Most of the beaches in Zadar are home to beautiful clear waters, with Kolovare beach, Borik beach and Queens beach receiving the Blue Flag Award for high quality water.
This will depend on your itinerary. The city is small and walkable so you could see all the major sites in 2 days. With the endless amount of beaches, you should consider adding a couple of days.