9/20  Punta Rata, Makarska Riviera, Croatia

Blue Flag holder and regularly named one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Punta Rata is covered in the tiny white pebbles which make Croatia’s Adriatic coastline a gleaming landmark, even from space.

It’s also famous for astonishing sunsets, and an unusually large rock just offshore; a favourite goal for swimmers and a great natural diving board, if you dare. The beach is good for water sports, and a bit of a banana boat legend.

Where: Brela, Makarska Riviera

Best for: water sports; beach games; swimming; shady pine forests.

Nearby: the lovely Adriatic resort of Makarska is 20 minutes drive west.

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