For the third summer in a row, our family took our summer vacation to the coastal paradise of Blace, Croatia. We love this location, and we’ve come to love vacation too. If you’re looking for a place off the beaten path, Blace is a great choice.
First, a bit about Croatia in general.
Croatia has enjoyed incredible success as a tourist destination since the breakup of Yugoslavia made it an independent country. It’s got almost the entire western coast of the Adriatic Sea within its borders, and lots of old stuff that people love to come and look at. You can see your feet through the water (which is always a draw for Americans like me and my wife, who only saw beaches on the Atlantic Ocean before moving here), and the water is so salty that it’s really easy to float.
So, over the years, I’ve seen every part of Croatia, and I’m completely over it. I’m done with the never-ending search for that beautiful, pristine beach destination. I’ve been to Makarska and every town on the Makarska Riviera too many times to count; I’ve spent weeks in Split; I’ve driven out to Orebic and seen Peljesac. I’ve stayed in Rovinj; I’ve done day trips to Opatija. I did youth camps 3 times in Zadar. One summer I went to Dubrovnik. 3 times! So, I’ve seen every part of Croatia, and I eventually decided I was done playing that game — I just want a place where I can swim in the beach and I don’t have to do anything. Blace is what we found, and we are deeply satisfied with it.
There’s nothing in Blace.
There’s nothing in Blace, and that’s why we go there. There’s no ATM (if you run out of cash you have to drive back to Opuzen and use the ATM at the Konzum), no tennis courts, no beach volleyball courts, no hotels, no fancy restaurants, no clubs blaring techno music at night. It’s just a tiny village with a couple of beaches.
All that said, there is plenty in Blace to be excited about. There’s a huge, sandy beach outside the town that draws kiteboarders and has a huge campground across the street. There are no permanent buildings out there, so you can’t stay there, unless you want to camp. But you can go there during the day, since it’s about 0.5km from the town of Blace.
There’s also the main beach in town, which has two sections — a small one on the town’s little peninsula (see aerial photo), and another larger section. Separating the two sections is a guest house with a small concrete dock that people love to jump from.
But Blace has Kiteboarders. That’s something you probably don’t see at your beach.
Kiteboarders give Blace that little bit of novelty that makes it interesting. Apparently, people come there to learn, since theres a Kiteboarding school that operates there. When the wind picks up (which is fairly often), kites suddenly appear in the air. It’s amazing to watch.
Blace has plenty for people who just want to go to the beach.
If you go to the beach so that you can walk the strip, go to the movies, and rent mopeds, then Blace isn’t great. If you go to the beach to, er, go to the beach, then it’s perfect. Because that’s all you can do there. And that’s why we go every year.
There are two bars that serve pizza and hamburgers. We go to one of them about every other night for food. There’s a tiny market where you can buy fruit and snacks for sustenance. There are paddleboats you can rent for ~$5/hour. It’s fun.
Blace has nature.
Blace is only an hour away from our house in Mostar, and the drive out is beautiful. The area is at the mouth of a river, which means there is a very large marsh area around the village. It reminds us a little of Saint Simons Island, GA, where my wife’s family lives.
Because of the marsh, this is one of the few places in BiH and Croatia where you can consistently see wildlife around. There are egrets and cranes, pelicans and sea gulls, and last year a Dolphin swam all the way in to the beach and swam around with some of the vacationers.
A place for families
One of the reasons we like Blace so much is that it is a perfect destination, in our opinion, for young families like ours. The village’s small size means it is free of the distractions that bigger places have. There is no ice cream on the beach, no fast food, no clubs — there are simply less things to grab your attention, which means that you can more easily focus on spending quality time together and swimming in the nice clear water.