When you hear travelers mention Croatia, you’re almost guaranteed to hear about Split or Dubrovnik or Krka Waterfalls. While those places are cool and tourists flock during the summer, we think there’s something better to be found in this beautiful country. Nowadays when we talk about Croatia, having been to Krk island and the city of Baska, we talk about the beaches. Most notably, Vela Luka Beach.
In this post, we talk about where to stay nearby, how to get to Vela Luka, what to bring, and of course, share lots of pictures to hopefully inspire your wanderlust to this less traveled destination in Croatia.
If you want a break from the island life (why would you?!), Rijeka is a short drive away and is another less traveled gem in Croatia. Check out our post on cool things to do in Rijeka!
When to Visit
We think the best time to visit is right on the brink of shoulder season. Early August and July will be quite crowded, as a lot of Croatians and Slovenians seem to know about this spot.
We visited in the last week of August and early September so the high season had just ended. It was perfect timing as Vela Luka Beach, and Krk Island for that matter, weren’t as crowded. There was always a spot to chill and our personal space bubble was never threatened.
Where to Stay
Vela Luka Beach is located on the island of Krk (connected to the mainland by a bridge), which lies in the Adriatic Sea in northern Croatia. The beach itself is only reachable by boat or on foot, which means the village of Baska is where you want to say.
There are Airbnbs aplenty here and we think that’s the way to go. With grocery stores nearby, having your own kitchen allows you to have the perfect night in. Baska’s population is estimated around 1,000 people so take note that most of this village is now made up of rentals for tourists.
However, if homestays aren’t your thing. There are also hotels and resorts to choose from. Booking.com is always a great site to research hotels and we’ve found some pretty good nightly deals for Baska.
No matter if it’s a hotel or homestay, what’s important is that you’re staying in Baska.
How to Get to Vela Luka
Walk along the waterfront and you’ll see several stands advertising a boat taxi to Vela Luka. So, let’s talk about how to get there.
A boat taxi is a really easy and inexpensive way to reach Vela Luka. Tickets run around $10 USD one way. So, for a day to Vela Luka Beach and back, it would cost about $20 USD per adult. Considering the boat ride is just 10-15 minutes and the pick up and drop off is a piece of cake, we think it’s a steal, especially considering how pretty your destination is. We used Rent a Boat King and were completely satisfied.
You’ll get a receipt showing you bought a ticket so hang on to that! You’ll need it when you’re picked up from the beach and returning to Baska. It’s also a good idea to have a plan of how long you want to stay. Before departing for Vela Luka, they’ll ask you what time you’d like to be picked up. We visited the beach twice during our stay in Baska and spent several hours both times. However, if you’d like to stay longer or return sooner, you can always call and change your pick up time.
Boat taxi isn’t the only way of getting to Vela Luka. If you love hiking then you can reach the beach by foot. The trail begins at the Bunculuka Camping Resort on the eastern edge of Baska. The trail leads to other places as well, but most importantly, it’ll take you to Vela Luka. Granted, if visiting in the summer like we did, be sure to stay hydrated and start really early. The sun will roast you! The scenery of this hike, along with the sheep, will make it a memorable trek to the beach!
What to Bring With You
If you’ve got little ones, be sure to bring all necessary items, as the amenities on Vela Luka are sparse. There’s a small restaurant and a restroom (free!) but that’s about it.
There are also a limited number of umbrellas and chairs for rent. They cost around $20 USD for the day but if you bring some towels and an umbrella of your own, you can claim a spot for free.
Take note that the shore is made up of small pebbles. These aren’t painful at all, by any means. But it’s a good idea to have multiple towels or beach pads (these are sold along the shore in Baska) for some extra comfort.
Water shoes are also a good idea. The pebbles are so small where the water meets land that it’s practically sand. However, if you venture into the water, the rocks become larger. They’re smooth, so not painful, but they’re slippery and uneven. The water is so clear that you’ll be able to see your feet beneath you.
Since the water is so clear here, you have the chance to witness some awesome sea life. If that interests you, be sure to bring some snorkel gear. Especially near the cave and cliff side you’ll find so many colorful fish swimming about, as well as some sea urchins, and even some shiny seashells, which we rarely found at beaches on the Adriatic.
While there is a restaurant that’s affordable and tasty (bring cash!), we recommend bringing some food of your own. Especially if you’re there for several hours, you will probably work up an appetite and a having a snack on hand will save you some money and be more convenient. Feel free to bring your own drinks as well. It’s a very clean beach so please keep it that way by throwing your trash away!
What to Do at Vela Luka Beach
Now that you’ve arrived, kick back and relax.
There’s plenty of exploring to be had around this beach as well, whether it’s the trails that connect to the beach or the cliffs and old stone walls nearby.
Be sure to have a bite at the restaurant. It’s inexpensive, especially considering its remote location, and they offer some tasty bites. As we’ve mentioned, be sure to have plenty of cash on you! There’s no ATM here. A hot afternoon at the beach always goes great with Ožujsko, a tasty Croatian lager that became one of our favorite beers in all the Balkans, and they serve it here.
Sheep may want to join the party too; they like the shade of your umbrella. However, please don’t feed them. Some visitors gave them some snacks but don’t give them the idea they should live at the beach!
Summary of Vela Luka Beach: Paradise in Croatia
We had never heard of Krk Island, of Baska, or of Vela Luka Beach. Now we want to share this with you so that you know about it and visit. There’s no Game of Thrones attraction, there are less tourists, and so many absolutely gorgeous beaches. Seek out some true beauty and relaxation on this enchanting island in Croatia.