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Expat Exchange - 10 Best Places to Live on the Coast in Croatia
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Hvar, Croatia


10 Best Places to Live on the Coast in Croatia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: If coastal living is for you, read about the 10 best places to live on the coast in Croatia.

Rovinj

Rovinj, is a picturesque coastal town located on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, with a population of around 14,000 people. The waterfront of Rovinj is characterized by a mix of pebble beaches, rocky shores, and rugged coastline, offering stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The town is approximately 40 kilometers from Pula, the largest city in the region, and is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and ferries. The climate in Rovinj is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. This pleasant weather allows for a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, sailing, and cycling. Some popular recreational spots in Rovinj include the Golden Cape Forest Park, the Mulini Beach, and the ACI Marina Rovinj. While there are no golf clubs in Rovinj itself, there are a few in the nearby area, such as the Golf Club Adriatic in Savudrija. Rovinj is a popular tourist destination, known for its charming old town, narrow cobblestone streets, and the iconic Church of St. Euphemia. The town offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels to private rental properties. A modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water can cost around 800 Euros ($950) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment may cost around 1,200 Euros ($1,425) per month. For grocery shopping, residents of Rovinj can choose from a variety of stores, including the large supermarket chain Konzum, as well as smaller local shops and markets. The town's daily open-air market is a popular spot for buying fresh produce, fish, and other local products. People enjoy living in Rovinj for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and rich cultural heritage. The town offers a high quality of life, with a strong sense of community and a wide range of amenities and services. The combination of natural beauty, historical charm, and modern conveniences make Rovinj an attractive place to live and visit.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Rovinj, by indulging in the exquisite offerings of La Puntulina, a romantic cliffside restaurant with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Savor the freshest seafood dishes, such as the grilled octopus or the truffle-infused fish carpaccio, while enjoying the sunset over the horizon. For a more casual dining experience, head to Kantinon, a charming tavern that serves traditional Istrian cuisine. Don't miss their homemade pasta with truffles or the mouthwatering seafood platter. After a day of exploring the cobblestone streets of Rovinj, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Adriatic, a boutique hotel that combines contemporary design with the charm of its historic building. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of the Island Hotel Katarina, a lush island retreat just a short boat ride from the town center, offering stunning views and a private beach for the ultimate relaxation experience.

Porec

Porec, is a picturesque coastal town located on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, boasting a population of approximately 17,000 residents. The waterfront of Porec is characterized by a mix of beautiful pebble beaches and rugged coastline, offering stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The town is situated about 60 kilometers from the larger city of Rijeka and is well-connected by road networks. The climate in Porec is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 28°C (82°F) in July. Porec offers a variety of recreational activities for both locals and tourists. The town is home to several parks, such as Park Materada and Park Plava Laguna, which provide excellent spots for relaxation and leisure. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy activities like swimming, sailing, and diving at the numerous beaches and swim clubs in the area. Porec is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Euphrasian Basilica, being a major attraction. Tourism plays a significant role in Porec's economy, with the town being a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. Rental properties in Porec vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around 800 Euros ($950) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment can go for around 1,200 Euros ($1,425) per month. For grocery shopping, residents of Porec have access to both large chain stores like Konzum and Plodine, as well as smaller local markets and shops. People enjoy living in Porec due to its charming atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings, and the wide range of recreational activities available. The town's rich history, friendly locals, and vibrant tourism industry make it an attractive place to live and visit.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Porec, by indulging in the mouthwatering dishes at Konoba Cakula, a charming family-run restaurant known for its fresh seafood and traditional Istrian cuisine. For a more upscale dining experience, visit Sveti Nikola, an elegant seafront restaurant offering a fusion of Mediterranean and Istrian flavors, accompanied by an extensive wine list. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Valamar Collection Isabella Island Resort, a stunning hotel situated on a private island, boasting breathtaking views and top-notch amenities. Alternatively, opt for the boutique Hotel Mauro, a beautifully restored historic building in the heart of Porec, offering a perfect blend of modern comfort and old-world charm.

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Umag

Umag is a picturesque coastal town located on the Istrian Peninsula, known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. The town has a population of around 13,000 people and is situated near larger cities such as Pula and Rijeka. Umag boasts a stunning waterfront with a mix of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and a rugged coastline, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The climate in Umag is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in Umag, including tennis, golf, and water sports. The town is home to the prestigious ATP Croatia Open tennis tournament, held at the Stella Maris Resort. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at the nearby Golf Club Adriatic, while water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, and diving can be enjoyed along the coast. Umag is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world with its charming old town, vibrant nightlife, and delicious local cuisine. Rental properties in Umag can vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around 600-800 Euros ($710-$950) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment can range from 800-1200 Euros ($950-$1420) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can choose from a variety of stores, including large chains like Konzum and Plodine, as well as smaller local markets and specialty shops. People enjoy living in Umag for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and friendly community. The town offers a high quality of life, with excellent amenities, a mild climate, and a wide range of recreational activities to suit all interests. The combination of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern conveniences make Umag an attractive place to live and visit.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Umag, by indulging in a culinary journey at the renowned Konoba Da Lorenzo. This family-run gem offers a delightful blend of traditional Istrian cuisine and warm hospitality, with dishes like homemade pasta and fresh seafood. For a more contemporary dining experience, head to the chic Melon Restaurant & Bar, where you can enjoy Mediterranean fusion cuisine and stunning sea views. Don't miss the chance to sample local wines at the rustic Konoba Murine, a charming tavern nestled in the heart of Umag's old town. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Hotel Meliá Coral is a top choice for discerning travelers. This five-star retreat boasts a private beach, a world-class spa, and exquisite dining options. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Boutique Hotel Villa Rosetta, a beautifully restored 19th-century villa that offers a serene oasis just steps from the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.

Novigrad

Novigrad, is a picturesque coastal town located on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, with a population of around 4,000 inhabitants. The town is situated approximately 25 kilometers south of the larger city of Umag and about 70 kilometers from the regional capital, Pula. Novigrad boasts a beautiful waterfront with a mix of pebble beaches and a rugged coastline, offering stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The climate in Novigrad is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 23°C (73°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in and around Novigrad, such as cycling, hiking, and water sports. The town is also home to several parks, including Park Karpinjan and Park Mandrac. Although there are no golf clubs or swim clubs in the immediate vicinity, the nearby Aquapark Istralandia offers a fun-filled day for families and water enthusiasts. Novigrad is a popular tourist destination, known for its rich history, well-preserved medieval architecture, and vibrant local culture. The town offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels to private rental properties. A modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water can be rented for approximately 600-800 Euros ($710-$950) per month, while a 3-bedroom property would cost around 800-1,200 Euros ($950-$1,420) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can choose from a variety of stores, including larger chains like Konzum and Plodine, as well as smaller local shops and markets. The town's central market offers fresh produce, fish, and other local delicacies. People enjoy living in Novigrad for its charming atmosphere, friendly community, and relaxed pace of life. The town's stunning natural surroundings, combined with its rich cultural heritage and diverse recreational opportunities, make it an attractive destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Novigrad, with a visit to the renowned Damir & Ornella, where you'll be treated to a mouthwatering selection of seafood dishes, prepared with the freshest local ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, head to Caffe Bar Sidro, a cozy spot offering delicious pizzas and a variety of local beers. Don't miss out on the chance to sample traditional Istrian cuisine at Konoba ?ok, where you can indulge in homemade pasta and truffle dishes. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Cittar, a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of the city, or opt for the stylish Aminess Maestral Hotel, boasting a stunning seafront location and a rejuvenating spa.

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Pula

Pula, is a charming coastal city located on the Istrian Peninsula, with a population of around 57,000 people. It is situated approximately 130 kilometers from the larger city of Rijeka and is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and ferries. The climate in Pula is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. The waterfront in Pula is characterized by a mix of beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, and rocky shores, offering a variety of scenic views and recreational activities. Pula is a popular tourist destination, known for its rich history and well-preserved Roman ruins, such as the Pula Arena and the Temple of Augustus. The city offers a wide range of recreational activities, including water sports, hiking, and cycling. Some of the popular recreational spots in Pula are the Brijuni National Park, Verudela Beach, and the Lungomare coastal promenade. While there are no golf clubs or swim clubs in Pula, the city's natural beauty and outdoor activities more than make up for it. The cost of living in Pula is relatively affordable, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around 600-800 Euros ($710-$950) per month, and a 3-bedroom apartment ranging from 800-1200 Euros ($950-$1420) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can choose from a variety of stores, including large chains like Plodine, Konzum, and Lidl, as well as smaller local markets. People enjoy living in Pula for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. The city offers a high quality of life, with a strong sense of community and a wide range of recreational activities to suit all interests. The combination of beautiful beaches, historic sites, and a pleasant climate make Pula an attractive destination for both tourists and residents alike.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Pula, by indulging in the sumptuous seafood at Farabuto, a cozy eatery that offers a modern twist on traditional Istrian cuisine. For a more casual dining experience, head to Jupiter Pizzeria, where you can savor mouthwatering pizzas and local craft beers in a laid-back atmosphere. Don't miss the chance to dine at Konoba Boccaporta, a charming tavern that serves up delectable homemade pasta dishes and fresh seafood in a rustic setting. After a day of exploring the city, unwind at the luxurious Park Plaza Histria, boasting stunning sea views and a rejuvenating wellness center. Alternatively, opt for a more intimate stay at the boutique Hotel Valsabbion, where you can enjoy personalized service and a serene ambiance.

Rabac

Rabac, is a picturesque coastal town situated on the eastern coast of the Istrian Peninsula. Known for its stunning pebble beaches and crystal-clear waters, Rabac is a popular destination for tourists seeking a relaxing seaside getaway. The town is located approximately 40 kilometers from the larger city of Pula and is easily accessible by car or bus. The climate in Rabac is Mediterranean, with average summer temperatures ranging from 22°C to 30°C (72°F to 86°F) and mild winters with temperatures between 5°C and 10°C (41°F to 50°F). This pleasant weather makes Rabac an ideal destination for outdoor recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports at the beautiful beaches, such as Girandella Beach and St. Andrea Beach. Hiking and biking trails are also available in the nearby protected natural areas, such as the U?ka Nature Park. Rabac is a tourist-oriented town, offering a variety of accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment options. Rental properties are available for those looking to stay longer, with modern 2-bedroom apartments near the water averaging around 600 Euros ($710) per month, and 3-bedroom apartments averaging around 800 Euros ($940) per month. For grocery shopping, residents and visitors can find local markets and smaller stores in the town center, as well as larger supermarkets in the nearby city of Labin. People enjoy living in Rabac for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning natural beauty, and friendly community. The town's coastal location and pleasant climate make it an ideal place for those who love spending time outdoors and enjoying the sea. With its charming waterfront, beautiful beaches, and numerous recreational activities, Rabac, Croatia, is a true gem on the Istrian coast.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Rabac, by indulging in the sumptuous seafood offerings at La Pentola Trattoria Mediterranea. This charming eatery boasts a stunning sea view and a menu filled with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, head to Tropicana Beach Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy mouthwatering burgers and pizzas while lounging on the beach. Alternatively, savor traditional Istrian cuisine at the rustic Konoba Nono, where the homemade pasta and truffle dishes are sure to impress. After a day of gastronomic exploration, retreat to the luxurious Valamar Collection Girandella Resort, a sprawling beachfront property with top-notch amenities and breathtaking views. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming, family-run Miramar Hotel, where you'll be treated to warm hospitality and stunning vistas of the Adriatic Sea.

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Opatija

Opatija, is a picturesque coastal town located on the eastern shore of the Istrian Peninsula, boasting a population of approximately 12,000 residents. Known for its stunning waterfront, Opatija features a mix of rocky beaches, lush parks, and a rugged coastline that offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. The town is situated about 90 kilometers from the larger city of Rijeka, which is easily accessible via public transportation, including buses and trains. Opatija enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from 5°C (41°F) in January to 23°C (73°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in Opatija, such as swimming, sailing, and hiking. The town is home to several parks, including the famous Angiolina Park and St. James Park, which provide serene spots for relaxation and leisurely strolls. While there are no golf clubs or swim clubs in Opatija, the nearby town of Lovran offers the Medveja Beach, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Opatija is a well-known tourist destination, attracting visitors with its charming architecture, vibrant culture, and delicious local cuisine. Rental properties in Opatija can vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water averaging around 800 Euros ($950) per month, while a modern 3-bedroom apartment may cost around 1,200 Euros ($1,425) per month. For grocery shopping, residents can visit local supermarkets such as Konzum and Plodine, as well as smaller stores and markets offering fresh produce and local products. People enjoy living in Opatija for its beautiful surroundings, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly community. The town's rich history, combined with its modern amenities and diverse recreational opportunities, make it an ideal place for both locals and expats to call home.

Local Recommendations:

Indulge your taste buds in Opatija, with a visit to the elegant Ruzmarin, where you can savor delectable seafood dishes and traditional Istrian cuisine. For a more casual dining experience, head to Trattoria Basilico, a cozy Italian eatery offering mouthwatering pasta and pizza options. Don't miss the opportunity to dine at Bevanda, a fine dining restaurant boasting stunning sea views and a menu of Mediterranean and international delights. Rest your head at the luxurious Hotel Milenij, a five-star property with a spa, indoor pool, and a prime location near the sea. Alternatively, opt for the charming Hotel Mozart, a boutique hotel with a rich history and a touch of old-world glamour.

Zadar

Zadar, is a picturesque coastal city with a population of around 75,000 people. Located on the Adriatic Sea, Zadar boasts a beautiful waterfront with a mix of pebble beaches and rugged coastline, offering stunning views and opportunities for relaxation and exploration. The city is situated about 160 kilometers from the larger city of Split, and is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and ferries. The climate in Zadar is Mediterranean, with average summer temperatures around 25°C (77°F) and mild winters averaging 7°C (45°F). This pleasant weather allows for a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, sailing, and hiking in the nearby Paklenica National Park. Zadar is also home to several parks, including the popular Queen Jelena Madijevka Park and the Vladimir Nazor Park. Zadar is a popular tourist destination, known for its rich history, ancient architecture, and vibrant culture. Some of the city's most famous attractions include the Sea Organ, the Greeting to the Sun, and the Church of St. Donatus. Despite its popularity among tourists, Zadar maintains a charming, laid-back atmosphere that residents appreciate. Rental properties in Zadar can vary in price, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water may cost around 600-800 Euros ($700-$940) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment could range from 800-1200 Euros ($940-$1410) per month. For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores, such as Konzum and Plodine, as well as smaller local markets and specialty shops. People enjoy living in Zadar for its beautiful surroundings, pleasant climate, and rich cultural heritage. The city offers a high quality of life, with a variety of recreational activities, shopping options, and a strong sense of community. Overall, Zadar is a charming and vibrant city that attracts both tourists and residents alike.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Zadar, by indulging in the culinary delights of Restaurant Bruschetta, where you'll be treated to mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes made from fresh, local ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, head to Pet Bunara, a charming bistro offering traditional Croatian cuisine in a cozy, rustic setting. Don't miss the chance to sample the seafood at Kornat, a stylish eatery with a stunning view of the marina. After a day of exploring, retreat to the luxurious Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel, a boutique hotel that seamlessly blends contemporary design with historic charm. Alternatively, unwind at the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera, a five-star resort boasting a world-class spa, private beach, and breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.

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Split

Split

Split is a picturesque coastal city located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. With a population of around 180,000, it is the second-largest city in Croatia and a popular tourist destination. The waterfront in Split is characterized by a mix of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and a beautiful promenade lined with palm trees. The city is well-connected to other major cities in Croatia, such as Zagreb and Dubrovnik, through an extensive network of buses, trains, and ferries. The climate in Split is Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters. Average temperatures range from 8°C (46°F) in January to 30°C (86°F) in July. Split offers a wide range of recreational activities, including water sports, hiking, and cycling. Popular recreational spots include Marjan Park, a large forest park with walking trails and stunning views of the city and sea, and Ba?vice Beach, a popular sandy beach for swimming and sunbathing. Split is a tourist hotspot, attracting visitors with its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. The city is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site Diocletian's Palace, a well-preserved Roman palace that now houses shops, restaurants, and apartments. Rental properties in Split vary in price, with a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water costing around 6,000 HRK (800 EUR or 950 USD) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment can cost around 9,000 HRK (1,200 EUR or 1,425 USD) per month. For grocery shopping, residents of Split have access to both large chain stores, such as Konzum and Lidl, as well as smaller local markets and specialty shops. People enjoy living in Split for its relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, beautiful natural surroundings, and rich cultural heritage. The city offers a high quality of life, with a strong sense of community and a wide range of amenities and activities for both locals and tourists to enjoy.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Split, by indulging in the exquisite Mediterranean flavors at Zoi, a fine dining restaurant offering stunning views of the Riva promenade and the Diocletian's Palace. For a more casual dining experience, head to Konoba Matejuška, a charming tavern tucked away in a narrow alley, where you can savor traditional Dalmatian dishes like grilled fish and seafood risotto. Don't miss out on the bustling atmosphere and delicious pizza at Bokamorra, a trendy pizzeria and cocktail bar that has quickly become a local favorite. After a day of exploring, retreat to the luxurious Hotel Park, a five-star property boasting a prime location near the famous Bacvice Beach, or unwind at the stylish and contemporary Briig Boutique Hotel, offering a rooftop pool and panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, is a stunning coastal city located on the Adriatic Sea, known for its picturesque beaches and rugged coastline. With a population of around 42,000 people, it is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The city is well-connected to larger cities such as Split and Zagreb, with public transportation options including buses and ferries. The climate in Dubrovnik is Mediterranean, with average temperatures ranging from 9°C (48°F) in January to 28°C (82°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in Dubrovnik, such as swimming, sailing, and hiking. Some popular spots include Banje Beach, Lokrum Island, and Mount Srd. While there are no golf clubs within the city, there is an 18-hole course at the Dubrovnik Golf & Country Club, located about 20 km from the city center. Dubrovnik is quite touristy, especially during the summer months, when the city's historic Old Town becomes a bustling hub of activity. Rental properties in Dubrovnik can vary in price, but a modern 2-bedroom apartment near the water can cost around 1,000 Euros ($1,180) per month, while a 3-bedroom apartment may cost around 1,500 Euros ($1,770) per month. For grocery shopping, residents have access to both large chain stores such as Konzum and smaller local markets like Pemo. People enjoy living in Dubrovnik for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful natural surroundings. The city offers a high quality of life, with access to modern amenities, excellent healthcare, and a strong sense of community. The unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty make Dubrovnik a truly special place to call home.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Dubrovnik at the charming Pantarul, where you can indulge in a fusion of traditional Croatian and modern Mediterranean cuisine. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Nautika, a fine-dining establishment offering breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the historic city walls. Don't miss the chance to dine at Taj Mahal, a cozy eatery serving authentic Bosnian dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Excelsior, boasting a private beach and stunning views of the Old Town. Alternatively, immerse yourself in history by staying at the Pucic Palace, a 17th-century Baroque building nestled within the heart of the city.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Hvar, Croatia

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