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Insider’s guide to Croatia’s beach clubs – from the chic to camping out

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Having taken a great liking to the beach clubs in Ibiza, we went in search of their Croatian counterparts. Surely, we thought, there must be some along the country’s Adriatic Coast?

“Tl;dr” *: Croatia still has some catching up as far as beach clubs are concerned. Lots of potential, though, and there’s already much to like here!

Since no less than two of our insiders, Jasna and Sandra, plus many other acquaintances kept singing Croatia’s praises, we organized a road trip to get to know the country. But, that wasn’t all…

…with much anticipation, we decided to check out the beach clubs also while we were there.

Fascinating as Ibiza was in this respect, would we find more of the same in Croatia?

Yes, Croatia has beach clubs, but, …

As it turned out, we did come across hot spots here and there! However, overall, the beach clubs here have a way to go if they want to catch up with Ibiza.

Could it be because of the lack of sandy beaches? Situated as they are on Croatia’s ubiquitous gravel beaches, these seaside clubs somehow miss weaving a comparable magic spell.

Sun lounger platform by Hvar Bay Croatia

Sun lounger platform by Hvar bay

Also, because of how wildly the profiles of Croatia’s beach clubs vary, I found that ranking them was very difficult.

Here, for our scrolling-averse friends, are direct links to the individual insider reviews and scoops on our beach club sampler:

 Hula hula Beach & Bar in Hvar

 Insider scoop: roughing it, on the rocks

Address: Ul. Vlade Avelinija 10, Hvar, Croatia
Phone: +385 95 911 1871

Walk along the Hvar harbor promenade and a bit farther outside town and soon you come upon the Hula hula Beach Club.

It is a bit on the rough side, with wooden platforms for the chaise lounges placed rather precariously among the coastal rocks.

The restaurant, too, does not come across as particularly classy, but then, right next door you can feast your eyes on the local “muscle beach” where the boys with the bulging arms strut their stuff.

Bonj ‘les Bains’ Beach Club by Hvar

Insider scoop: vintage, vast, and romantic

Address: Ul. Dinka Kovačevića 10, 21450, Hvar, Croatia
Phone: +385 91 452 4719

Keep walking a bit farther and you will pass the vast Bonj les Bains. The stress here is on “pass right by,” because both times we went past it, the club was closed for a private wedding party.

But, it is easy to see what makes it a popular venue for celebrations: both the location and facilities are beguiling. Yes, you can quote me on that…

Best wishes to the young and beautiful newlyweds!

Bonj 'les bains' beach club Hvar Croatia

Bonj ‘les Bains’ Beach Club by Hvar, Croatia

Decorated Bonj 'les bains' beach club Hvar by night

Evening with wedding deco at Bonj ‘les Bains’ Beach Club

Radisson Blu Beach Club in Trstenik

Insider scoop: (missed this one, but has a good rep)

Address: Trstenik 19, 21000, Split, Croatia
Phone: +385 21 303 030

Half an hour’s drive down the road at Split’s Bacvice Beach, this club is said to hold its own. Unfortunately, we did not get to visit it this time. But, perhaps someone has the scoop on this one?

Opatija

Insider scoop: miles of luxury, elegance, and quaint

Istria not only offers picturesque fishing hamlets, but in Opatija it also has a veritable seaside spa town, where beach club after beach club line the shore promenade.

Opatija beach clubs in Istria Croatia

Beach clubs in the Opatija marina

Elegant beach clubs in Opatija in Istria Croatia

Elegant beach club in Opatija

Opatija in Istria Croatia by night

Beach club at night

The clubs right by Opatija are all done in high style. Keep walking and you will arrive at the Bevanda Hotel by Relais & Châteaux, a fittingly elegant exclamation point at the end of Opatija’s beach club row.

Address: Zert ul. 8, 51410, Opatija, Croatia
Phone: +385 51 493 888

 Tartare of tuna in Opatija in Istria Croatia

Tartare of tuna in the Bevanda Hotel by Relais & Châteaux

Chardonnay in Opatija in Istria Croatia

Croat chardonnay with Croatian view

Bar stools in the Bevanda Relais & Châteaux, Opatija in Istria Croatia

Bar stools in the Bevanda Relais & Châteaux at Opatija

But, this is just the end of the beginning: after the Bevanda, the beach promenade goes on for quite some distance, except that now it skirts one tiny, quaint fishing village after the other, with opulent villas scattered in between.

Fisherman's boat, Opatija in Istria Croatia

Fisherman’s boat by Opatija

Shore promenade near Opatija in Istria Croatia

Opatija’s shore promenade goes on for miles

The Mulini Beach Club in Rovinj is said to be worth a visit, this one is located between the Monte Mulini and Lone hotels and sports a minimalist design in white and stone.

Carpe Diem Cocktail Lounge on Stipanska Island

Insider scoop: down-to-earth by the sea

Address: Stipanska, Hvar, Croatia
Phone: +385 95 906 2067

Stipanska island lies just offshore from Hvar, and in the Carpe Diem Cocktail Lounge you can take your ease between the sea and a pine forest. With its straw beach umbrellas, this beach club comes across as rather unpretentious.

Brown Hotel in Trogir

Insider scoop: Ibiza-quality chic

Address: Put Gradine 66, Trogir 21220, Croatia
Phone: +385 21 355 450

Designer pool, Brown Hotel in Trogir

Designer pool of the Brown Hotel in Trogir

Not only does the Brown Beach House Boutique Hotel sport a designer pool, just steps across the road it also calls a beach club its own. And this one punches in a different weight class; it could go head to head anytime with the elegant prototypes on Ibiza.

Here, you can lounge in posh white wicker chairs as you slurp your espresso and watch the muscular pool attendant drag the chaise lounges from left to right.

With all the appropriate sounds. Natch.

Brown Hotel Beach Club Trogir

Brown Hotel Beach Club

Brown Hotel beach club Trogir

Brown Hotel with its beach club

 

“Beach clubs” around Trogir

Insider scoop: unpretentious, with a bevy of beach restaurants

Medieval Trogir itself has quite a lot to offer; to begin with, there is a plethora of restaurants with outdoor patios.

Dionis Restaurant Trogir

Drink menu in the Dionis Restaurant in Trogir

Drinks on the Dionis outdoor patio

Drinks on the Dionis outdoor patio

But, just east of town is the added attraction of the “Castle Coast,” where 7 small chateaus line up along the seashore. They go by snug names like Kaštel Štafilić, Kaštel Novi, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Gomilica and Kaštel Sućurac.

And every one of the little castles comes with its own little town and the obligatory beach restaurants. Strictly speaking, as far as I’m concerned, they don’t qualify as beach clubs – yet, the mood in them is relaxed enough and the stretch of coast they populate is worth a visit.

The beverage of choice here is the popular Pan beer. That, at least, is what they bring me when I ask for a “good beer” ;-)

Labinezza Restaurant Kastel Novi

Labinezza Restaurant on the beach at Kastel Novi

Pan beer Kastel Novi

This Pan’s for you — the local king of beers

Pizza and Pan Kastel Kambelovac

Pizza and Pan on the beach at Kaštel Kambelovac

West of Trogir, by the Ola Hotel cluster some rather small “beach clubs”: they have lounge chairs on the beach, but have a rather low-key design in common. Their groove falls somewhere between campground ambiance and beach club light.

By way of example, here is the Medeni Restaurant and, right next door, the Cocos Restaurant.

Medeni Beach Club Trogir

Medeni Beach Club

Medeni Restaurant

Low-key Medeni Restaurant

 

The Cocos Restaurant's patio

The Cocos Restaurant’s patio

Cocos Club café bar

Cocos Club café bar

Many of the restaurants, such as Bistro Zule, not to mention the nameless pop up bars, also come with a simple “beach annex.”

Bistro Zule

Bistro Zule

The cocktail bar without a name

The cocktail bar without a name

Cocktail bar

A pop up cocktail bar’s seating area

Loungers on a pier near Trogir

Beach club, pier style

People in the know also rave about the Banje Beach Club and Coral Beach Club, which are located farther south near Dubrovnik.

However, we’re saving  that part for our next Croatia trip …

Boats off Trogir's rocky coast

Boats off Trogir’s rocky coast

Rock coast between beach clubs

Rock coast between beach clubs

Ibiza – birthplace of the beach club?

Whether beach clubs were invented in Apulia, Mykonos, or in St. Tropez I was not able to pin down definitively in my researches. But, Ibiza probably has the highest density of spectacular locales.

Here you will find our Guide to the 6 best beach clubs on Ibiza.

Cotton beach club entrance in Ibiza

Entrance to Ibiza’s Cotton Beach Club

* “Tl;dr” here’s something else I had to google. It’s web shorthand for “Too long, didn’t read” ;-)  i.e., “here’s the bottom line.”

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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