It's my family's tradition every year in the summer to drive from Finland to Czech, as my stepmom's parents live there and they have a cozy summer cabin where they always head out to. This year we wanted to go along and add a twist to the trip, so we decided to prolong the trip by driving to Croatia.
Driving through the night in the rain was aaaall worth it, as when we got there in the early morning, the sun started to shine like it was welcoming us there.
Going to Croatia at the end of June was perfect. We found out that the actual tourist or summer season starts on the 1st of July which, gave us a lot of privacy as the places were a lot less crowded.
Of course in bigger cities like Zadar one can always see tourists, but just by driving a few kilometers away from the city, there were stunning sand and rock beaches with a few to no other people. We stayed in a lovely little village called Ljubač, just 16 km outside of Zadar. We rented an apartment, through Accomodation in Croatia.
With modern rooms and a lovely view to the sandy bay fitted our family's needs of an accommodation on a budget, more than perfectly.
The hosts were also really friendly and helpful. They had olive trees, bamboo and lavender growing on their driveway and a small vineyard just underneath our balcony. Truly a dreamy destination!
We spent a couple of days on this pebble beach. The water was around +25 degrees and clear as a crystal. We bought some snorkels and glasses from the nearby shop and just swam for hours, exploring the waters and different fish. For a person living in a country where it's tallest mountain is a little over 1300m, the view to the Velebit Mountains was truly breathtaking.
I would higly recommend on renting a car while being there and just exploring the area. As in roughly 5 km radius around our apartment were 4 different types of beaches, from muddy to shallow, sandy beach to white pebble beach where it was getting deep rather quickly.
If we would've stayed in Zadar, these hidden gems would've have left undiscovered to us.