Croatia: The Clothing Optional Country

When we talk about having a nude holiday in Croatia, we easily think of Istria. The half-peninsula in the north of the country which is only a couple of hours drive from Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and even Germany. Istria fulfills all of the naturist’s wishes, also those who like to do something more during their naked vacation than nude sunbathing. Huge FKK campings, nudist resorts, and nude beaches cover more or less the whole place. It’s like a naturist province with some small textile parts. But what if we told you that there’s more to the country? Much more!


Thanks to Tadej & Tamara, our fellow bloggers, and readers of Naked Wanderings we got this wonderful map, feel free to share it.

Topless sunbathing in Croatia

After reading the sad news in a couple of weeks ago’s newspaper that fewer and fewer women on the beaches in France and Spain are willing/daring to sunbathe topless, it was a relief to see that this trend has not reached Croatia. On every beach, actually, in every place where people sunbathe, there were several women of all ages who had taken their top off. Croatia might well be the most topless-friendly Country in the world these days.


This made us wonder… While Croatia gets more or less the same tourists as other European coastal countries, why is topless sunbathing decreasing everywhere except here? We’ve always liked to blame the fashion industry because if every woman would sunbathe topless, they would lose a significant part of their income. For them, sharing isn’t exactly caring. But maybe there’s more to it. Exposing our body, whether it’s completely or only half of it, has a direct link with freedom. People feel more freely by going naked but also need to be free in order to feel comfortable taking off their clothes. With the recent terrorist attacks all over Western Europe, lot’s of fear has gotten into the minds of many, and fear is a huge enemy of freedom. Could it be that this fear is what’s holding back women to go topless on public beaches in many countries except Croatia?

Nudist beaches and resorts in Croatia

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Naturism during the Yugoslavia times

Time for a little history and geography lesson before we continue. Croatia has only been an independent country since 1991. Before that, it was part of a much bigger country called Yugoslavia, which also contained the now independent countries Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo. During the sixties and seventies, Yugoslavia was a very stable country, even though it was a communist nation and the life standard was comparable with the Western European countries. During those times, nudism was booming in the country, tourists came from all over Europe to go naked on Yugoslavia’s beaches and in 1972 the country hosted the Naturist World Congress.



We can think of a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the communist idea is that everyone is the same. Whatever your job or background, you’re addressed and paid the same as everyone else (we’re leaving out the huge corruption of course). Also for nudists, equality is an important factor. Secondly, in communism, there is no religion. So there are no priests, imams, rabbis, or whatever telling you that you’ll go to hell if you take off your clothes among others. And lastly, there was welfare. The times were good and the people felt free. There it is again: Freedom.

Nudist beaches and resorts in Croatia

Naturist holidays in Croatia today

And then the shit hit the fan and a war was started. We’re not going into detail, you can read all about this on Wiki if you like, but people got scared. Scared of the government, scared of the world powers, and scared of their compatriots. The nudist habits decreased to below zero.
But now that war is more than 20 years behind us and what used to be Yugoslavia is now a number of different countries with different habits. The coastal countries Croatia and Montenegro were the first to turn back to nudism. And they did it big time.


When you look at the above map, you see that there are many nudist opportunities in Croatia, ranging from campgrounds to resorts to beaches. As we said in the introduction, Istria is by far the most famous for its nudist places, but along the whole coastline and on every island you never have to drive far to be able to bare it all. On our tour through Croatia, we took this map as our guide and tried to visit as many places as possible, but once in a while, we noticed something different. On our second day, for example, we followed a random walking trail leading towards some Croatian name of which we expected that it would be a village. It turned out to be a beach. When we entered through the bushes, the first thing we saw was a naked family. We struggled a little about what to do, but the woman waved at us saying “please, pass by. We’re just sitting at the entrance because it’s easier for the kids”. Once we passed them we found an amazing rock beach, with here and there people relaxing. All naked. This place was not on the map.

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Since then, the same thing happened to us a number of times. Whenever we were walking around and passed a secluded beach, people were sunbathing naked. And with “secluded” we don’t mean that we had to hike three hours and climb a fence to get there. Most of these places were just next to a walking trail. We came to the conclusion that every place along the water, as long as it’s a bit away from the official crowded beaches, is a potential nudist spot. Even if there are textiles around or passing by, nobody seemed to care. Nobody watched us or even gave us a frown. Croatia had gone clothing optional.


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Picture credit: The last photo in this post is ours, the others are coming from Google and Twitter. If you find one of yourself and you don’t want it to be on our blog, let us know and we’ll remove it.


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18 thoughts on “Croatia: The Clothing Optional Country”

  1. Posting this from a naturist beach in Istria. I completely agree with the article. There are some popular beaches specifically signed as non-naturist, but just go around the corner or to any beach that is not mainstream and nobody cares what you wear or don’t wear.

  2. Thanyou for all your openness so important THAT the people embraces freedom with textiles or with out. Religions are important also, since they have an eternally message we all need to think about or practice. Extreme hate isn’t religion its evil.

  3. my wife and i visited croatia in july and had wonder CO visits to Lokrum Island, just off the coast of Dubrovnik, Nugal Beach near Makarska, and Badija Island off of Korcula.
    Everyone we saw at the FKK area on Lokrum was nude, however at least half of those at Nugal were wearing some type of swimsuit. Strange for someone to hike all that way to the well-posted FKK beach and keep their clothes on. Badija was a little odd, we basically just walked around the coast until we found a spot on the rocks and stripped down. We passed a lit of clothes people. Soon after we found a spot another couple stripped down about 50 feet away. maybe we had to set an example.

    • That’s something we noticed often around Europe, especially where the beaches are not official nudist. And it’s a bit understandable, nudists often have the nicest places because we pick those away from the crowds and the bars. That’s how textiles who are looking for a more quiet place often land on a nudist beach

  4. I think one of the main reasons for the decline in topless and nude sunbathing is the ubiquitous presence of mobile phones with cameras. A woman who might feel comfortable going topless or nude among fellow nudists might not feel so good about the possibility of her image appearing online the next day.

  5. At Valalta now. We come here every year and it only gets better each year, especially the WiFi – which allows me to post this finally :-). The place is immaculately clean, the staff is very friendly and if you can fly into Pula it’s only a 40 minute drive.

  6. I’m wondering do croatians typically go naked if it’s a mixed public sauna?
    and is it the same if you visit a massage place in a spa center?

  7. Dear Nick & Lins, how is the spa culture in Croatia outside fkk resorts? do they indeed prefer going naked in public spas, both genders mixed? As far as I know, the only countries on the Mediterranean coast where saunas are mostly nude and mixed are Slovenia and Croatia, or am I mistaken?

    • We don’t really know much about the sauna culture in the Balkans, but what we hear is that it really differs from place to place. Some are nude, some are nude but gender separated, some have a small nude part and a larger textile part, etc

  8. Hi

    My wife and I were at one of the nicest naturist camp grounds we have ever found. It is Kanegra camping near Umag. It is family and dog friendly. The staff are very nice and helpful. It was off season so we paid less than €30 including sanitary (very clean), a great beach, restaurants, shopping, and fairly quiet. Friday and Saturday you can hear the disco across the bay. Last year we went for a week and ended up staying a month. The sport area is another thing. The mini-golf needs ALOT of work and the ping pong table was rotted. But you can’t have everything. Great price, clean and the pitches are good size. I could stay there every year. But, the world is big.


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