Zadar Beaches (Croatia)

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While in Zadar, Croatia, the sun and sea were naturally some of our top priorities.  We went swimming every day, and visited a different beach almost each time.  Listed below is a basic review of each beach that we visited.  Bear in mind, that some beaches do not have actual names, so we did our best to make reference to location and nearby landmarks.  Beaches in general here are more rocky and stony, not always the sandy beaches that we are used to in North America.  We were also traveling in high season, so the beaches were pretty crowded most of the time.  It’s also worth knowing that all beaches here are essentially topless beaches, so expect to see a fair share of bare breasts while sunbathing and swimming.  (And in case you’re shy about seeing that kind of thing, you might want to work on that before planning a visit! 😉 )

“Beach for the Handicapped”- This beach is located a bit north of the old town – probably a good 20 minute walk.  (But not as far north as Borik Beach.)  It is a good decent size and there is a large bar/restaurant located along the edge of it, as well as a palacinke stand.   There are two ramps down to the sea in case people with limited mobility need help with accessing the water (via wheelchair, for example).  Overall, a nice beach with convenient access.

Borik Beach – located near the Falkensteiner Hotel, north of the city.  It’s a large beach, but we actually had to pay to get in.  It was fairly crowded and had lots of families.  There were some sandy areas here and there (to give your feet a rest) but still was overall quite rocky.  There was a nice park area with lots of shade upon entering the overall property.  There were also a number of convenient snack bars.

Saharun Beach (aka Sakarun Beach) – located on the island of Dugi Otok, this beach was my favorite by far.  It’s accessible via the Jadrolinija Ferry, which cost us 60 Kuna per person round trip. The ferry ride was about an hour and a half each way.  Once on the island, you take the bus to Saharun, which was 40 Kuna round trip per person.  If you go, make sure to grab the earliest ferry of the day out to the island, and the last one back for the day.  (For us, we grabbed the 10am ferry out and got the 5:15pm ferry back to Zadar.  This beach is simply beautiful.  There are some rocky areas near the water-line, but once in the water, the sea floor is all soft sand, and the water remains shallow very far from shore.  Because of the type of sand on the sea bed here, the water is a crystal clear light blue color – similar to what you would see in the Caribbean.  There is a bar and restaurant near the entrance to the beach, and also a beverage and palacinke stand.  I would recommend bringing some kind of cooler to have your own drinks on hand, as the ones available for purchase at the beach were on the pricier side.  But even in high season, the beach overall was not very crowded.  If you can make a trip here, I highly recommend it.

Kolovare Beach – located just south of the old town area, this beach was quite large and quite crowded.  There were several bars and restaurants to choose from, as well as sporting areas too, in case you wanted to play beach volleyball.  There were people of all ages here, but I did notice more groups of younger people and tourists.  One of the benefits of this beach is its proximity to the old town, but it was also the most crowded.

Beach areas just south of Kolovare – twice, we visited some of the beach areas just south of Kolovare – they were less crowded, but you still had access to the bars and snack stands at Kolovare.  Typical rocky coast beach areas.

One of the days, we also just sunned and swam off the edge of the old town – near the pier, facing the open sea.  You can just lay your towels down along the walled edge of the water and jump in whenever you feel like it. There are several ladders along the way so you can climb out of the water.  Basically, you can enter the water anywhere you like.


Saharun Beach, Dugi Otok, Croatia
Saharun Beach, Dugi Otok, Croatia
Photo of author
Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

2 thoughts on “Zadar Beaches (Croatia)”

  1. The best beach IMHO is Sakarun beach on Long island, situated 20 miles west of Sali . The water is shallow far, far out into the bay. You can keep on walking out and out and still be able to stand on the sea ground. As a result, the sea water is a bit warmer here than on the other beaches along Zadar coastline.


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