Where Do You Fly to for Croatian Beaches?

When you’re traveling, the first thing you need to know isn’t what you need to pack: It’s where you need to go to get to your preferred destination. Case in point – where do you need to fly, and what’s your destination airport if you’re visiting Croatian beaches?

croatian houses from above

If you’re planning to visit Croatian beaches, there are three major airports you can travel to Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. They all have their charms, but Zadar is often the most recommended as a starting point.

For more information on Croatian travel, read on.

Where Do You Fly Into For Croatian Beaches?

When it comes to airports to access Croatia, there are five you can choose to fly into as a starting point for your trip.

Zadar is an airport on the coast of the Adriatic Sea., known for its easy access to many of the Croatian islands.

Split is the busiest of the Croatian airports, but also one of the cheaper ones.

Dubrovnik comes into a walled city that is one of the more popular tourist destinations, with both excellent beaches and other areas of interest.

Zagreb Is a less well-known airport that has been steadily gaining traffic in recent years

Pula is known as a great starting point if your goal is to go island hopping.

Goals aside, part of your consideration will most likely be where you’re flying in from. North American flyers will have to make at least one stopover, but where you stop may dictate where you can land.

How Does Where I Fly Into For My Stopover Influence Which Airport I Can Use?

Depending on where you start, there may be connecting flights to the airport of your choice, or there may be limits.

Here are some basic guidelines, though you’ll need to check the details for a particular airport:

  • Flights from Northern Europe can land at any of these airports.
  • Flights from Southern Europe generally only fly into Dubrovnik or Zagreb.
  • Flights from East Europe will generally land in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, or Split.
  • Flights from Italy specifically fly into Dubrovnik and Split.
  • Flights from Greece specifically fly into Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb.

Of course, these are only some examples. There are new airports and new flight paths being developed every day, so you’ll want to double-check with a reliable travel agent to be sure.

Which Airport is The Best One To Fly Into For Croatian Beaches?

Each of these airports has its own unique points to recommend it. So it really depends on what you’re looking for.

So what are the different selling points for each airport?

Dubrovnik Airport

Dubrovnik is one of the busiest international airports in Croatia. It handles many North American flights.

Dubrovnik is a good choice for those who wish to explore the history and culture of Croatia. The city itself is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Dubrovnik Airport is fairly close to the main tourist destination of Old Town

Dubrovnik offers great hotels and excellent beaches.

There’s plenty to do in the local area, including city tours, if you decide to take a day off from enjoying the sea and sun.

Zagreb Airport

Zagreb is in contention as one of the busiest international airports in Croatia, and the other major handler of international flights from American airports.

Zagreb’s airport is somewhat closer to the center of the city

Zagreb has better access to the inland areas and some of the more scenic national parks.

Zagreb is also an excellent scene for historical buildings

Zagreb is reputed to have better local nightlife than some of the other destination spots.

Note: Zagreb airport itself is one of the farthest from any beaches, but there are a number of ways to make a short hop to one of the coastal locations if you feel like taking a somewhat scenic trip.

Pula Airport

Pula is considered the best place to start if you’re looking for a chance to go island hopping.

Pula has a smaller airport, but it also has a major bus hub and ferry landing in the same area.

From the Pula airport, you can visit any one of hundreds of islands

Pula allows easy access by water, land, or air, to several islands, but also places like Venice, if you want to go a little further abroad.

There are literally hundreds of directions you can go if you choose Pula as a starting point.

Zadar Airport

This is a smaller airport if you’re not big on crowded planes or busy airport stations.

It’s right on the Dalmatian Coast, on the edge of the Adriatic Sea.

Zadar airport is also next to a large ferry hub, which you can use to reach hundreds of different islands to tailor your own unique travel experience.

Zadar has an easy link to Pula, which has even more travel options, including more ferries, a bus hub, and another airport with more connections.

Split Airport

Split airport is the third of the international airports in Croatia, and one of the busiest.

Split airports and hotels are often cheaper than their counterparts in places like Dubrovnik.

Split is an excellent transportation hub with buses and ferries in addition to its airport. (See also: Our guide to )

Split is a good starting point for island hopping, but it also has its own excellent beaches and nightlife if you want to stay put.

Discover the most convenient and scenic way to travel from Split to Hvar Island by ferry and make the most of your Croatian vacation with our informative article on “Navigating the Ferry Split to Hvar.”

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best place to fly into Croatia for a vacation, you’ve certainly got plenty of options. With the exception of the Zagreb airport, all of them are close to several beachside locations.

When it comes right down to it, it all depends on your focus on your stay.

If you’re looking for a comfortable place to settle in, soak up the sun on the beach, and maybe have a little fun when the sun goes down, you can’t go wrong with Split, or maybe Dubrovnik, if you’re interested in history as well.

If you’re feeling adventurous and looking to explore all the Croatian islands and their myriad beaches have to offer, Split and Pula or even Zadar might be the best place to start.

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Andrea Arthur