Swimming in Croatia

The beaches and the coastline of Croatia are spectacular for people of all ages – no matter how you choose to enjoy them. The Adriatic Sea is almost completely closed off, and the coast is full of coves, bays and islands, which means there are usually no big waves, strong tides or currents. There are also no sharks or other dangerous marine animals. Mild climate makes the sea warm enough to swim in for at least 6 months a year (May – October). 

For those who love to relax, enjoy walking on the beach, floating around, being part of a stylish beach scene or just mellowing while surrounded by secluded beauty, there’s Bol, Zrce and Brseč. For children of all ages, there are remarkably calm and picturesque beaches like Sunj or Medveja beaches where the little ones can play in safe and shallow water. For those who love to swim, Croatia is a swimmers paradise – and Proper Croatia knows exactly how to maximize your experience. 

Long distance swimming is becoming increasingly popular as alternative to jogging. We’re not saying that it will surpass it as the most common type of exercise any time soon (or ever), but more and more recreational athletes are choosing swimming for several reasons. First, it is great for entire body – every muscle group gets a good workout with each stroke. Also, chances of injuries are extremely low – most joggers will suffer some sort of pain, sooner or later, because of the “impact” nature of running. Swimming also represents a perfect relief for lower back pain, a widespread consequence of modern day sitting jobs. Although, if you are considering taking up swimming for a therapeutic reason, please consult an expert, since not every swimming technique will be equally helpful, and some might even make your condition worse.

Another advantage of water as a medium for your exercise is calorie burning. If you are looking to lose weight, and the idea of running a mile or more every day is too intimidating, try swimming. Just by being immersed in water, your body will burn fat as fuel to keep its temperature within normal levels. So even if you don’t do much more than float for 30-40 minutes, there will be some results. Obviously, the key here is the difference between the temperature of water and your body – the greater it is, the bigger calorie burn. So, unfortunately no ”hot tub weight loss” program any time soon.

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For more advanced swimmers – Croatian coast is the perfect environment if you want to experience the challenge of open water swimming. If you feel competitive, long distance swimming races are held almost every Saturday during summer months. They are professionally organized and quite popular – many local and international swimmers take part, not only for racing, but also because of socializing and partying afterwards.

Proper Croatia has a good working relationship with few international long distance swimming schools, as well as with Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation, which makes us your perfect partner for swimming in Croatia if you are professional, recreational or beginning swimmer. If you are keen on getting some time in a pool as well, than you are in luck – recently renovated Kantrida pool complex is mere 10 minutes away from Proper Croatia’s HQ in Opatija. There are two Olympic-sized pools (one outdoor, other indoor) and a 25m-pool, and we will gladly reserve a lane or two for your training needs.

Our sister site, INcroatia has organized multiple swim trainings utilizing Kantrida pools and the pristine Adriatic. Here are examples of two proven swimming programs, but feel free to contact us with your individual request:

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One week training camp

Day 1 – arrival and transfer to accommodation in Opatija. Relax and testing the water. Dinner in local restaurant.

Day 2 – breakfast at hotel  and transport to the pool; morning swimming session (2h) – lunch break and rest, followed by few kilometers in the sea (Kayaks/boats, radio communication, and other equipment you may need is provided). Dinner.

Day 3 – same schedule as Day 2

Day 4 – starts the same as previous two days, but after lunch, you get the afternoon off. We suggest a trip to Istria and its famous wine makers, as a good way to recuperate from the intense training.

Day 5 – back to standard practice schedule as laid out in Day 2

Day 6 – longer session in the sea (to simulate a race), afternoon off. Last night out, and packing for return home.

Day 7 – Breakfast at hotel and transport to the airport.

Weekend marathon race

Fly in on Friday, a day before the race. We will meet you at the airport and get you to a hotel near the race. Use the rest of Friday to swim a little and get accustomed to the conditions. Also, a table in a local restaurant can be reserved – a light Mediterranean meal will give you enough energy for the race, without being too heavy. The next day is all about the race. After breakfast you go and sign up with the race officials, and join the others at the start. After completing the race course, celebrate with a big lunch. In the evening, it’s time for socializing with other swimmers at the official after party/victory ceremony. Sunday is the day we suggest you take a trip around Istrian wine cellars, and famous landmarks, like the Arena – the amphitheater in Pula, or the medieval hilltop towns Motovun and Grožnjan. That should give you plenty of memories to take home, as your flight is scheduled for Monday morning.

About this Author

Filip Lulić

Filip brings both the local knowledge of a born-and-bred Rijekan, as well as the active side to Proper Croatia. Between basketball, cycling, running and swimming, Filip is hard to catch up with, but he still finds the time to share his knowledge of Croatian culture and society with travelers from around the world.