1574 Croatian Facilities Claim to Have “Private Beaches”

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes, the very rightly raised voices in the public about one arrogant man from Drvenik Veli who sold the story to his guests from the Czech Republic that he has a private beach – still aren’t subsiding. There can be no notion of a private beach in Croatia, so the nerve of those owners of various Croatian facilities claiming they boast one is quite incredible indeed.

That being said, it is obvious that he’s far from the only one who understands that the beach in front of his house is a private one. Namely, it isn’t foreign to Croats to attach the option to have a private beach when reserving a property they own and rent out to tourists on the likes of Booking.com, writes Index.

One single little cursory glance at this famous platform for online accommodation reservation shows that Croatian facilities often register a private beach with their listings. So, when the accommodation units are sorted on the Booking.com page specifically according to the term “private beach” – a fascinating number of 1574 Croatian facilities comes out.

It’s worth mentioning that the text description written next to some facilities doesn’t specifically state that they have a private beach, although the facilities are sorted by this parameter, but some explicitly advertise that they truly do have a private beach, and they mention the term private beach with restaurants, parking or free WiFi.

As it already goes on sites and platforms like this, the overall figure should be taken with a grain of salt, but to think that so many owners of Croatian facilities are so ready to lie so easily about something they simply cannot possible have to naive foreign tourists is quite astonishing.

However, we don’t need Booking.com to conclude that, it’s enough to have a wander along the coast and see that there are houses by the sea whose owners have built some stairs, so they think that the whole beach belongs to them.

Let us also recall the words of maritime property expert Goran Vojkovic, who wrote an article for Index about the recent ”private beach” situation in Drvenik Veli.

The sea shore isn’t under any sort of ownership and you’re free to use it for common purposes. Swimming, sunbathing, swimming, fishing from the shore, whatever you want,” read his words on the matter.

“Now, of course, the question arises – can someone have a concession for a beach and have that beach for the exclusive use of their camp or hotel (or charge an entrance fee). In principle, yes they can. However, such a concession must be listed in the public register – that list is available at http://servisi.fina.hr/regkonc/index.do (or you can just Google the ” [Croatian] concession register”).

However, there are very few such concessions for beaches in Croatia. The complete exclusion of general use costs quite a bit of money and most of the even the most notorious hotels have concluded that they won’t bother to ask for concessions – they’d rather let everyone interested use it and make money in another way, by offering drinks or additional facilities. In any case, if someone claims to have a concession and as such you can only use a part of the coast – you need to have proof of this and you can also check for yourself. We repeat, there are very few of them, even the beaches in front of five-star hotels are usually public beaches,” explained Vojkovic.

As for Booking.com, let’s say that out of the total number of 1574 Croatian facilities with a so-called ”private beach”, 886 of them refer to apartments, and 95 are hotels. The rest refer to tourist resorts, camps, cottages or villas.

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