Naturism in Croatia: The FKK Nudist Beaches on the Island of Hvar
Naturism in Croatia has a royal tradition and is an important part of the Croatian tourist industry, nowhere more so than on Hvar. An FKK nudist overview.
Naturism in Croatia is big business, and few places do it better than the island of Hvar. Voted as one of the top ten most beautiful islands in the world by Conde Nast readers, and averaging 2,724 hours of sunshine every year, Hvar attracts a wide variety of tourists in search of sun, party action, meditation and beaches. With its fine selection of nudist beaches and campsites, it has long been a popular destination for the naturist community, especially from German visitors, where the FKK (Free Body Culture) is well-established.
History of Naturism in Croatia
Although there are references to naturism in Austro-Hungarian times, the history of naturism in Croatia is generally accepted to have started in the 1930s on the island of Rab, in northern Croatia. Local authorities gave permission for British monarch Edward VIII to swimau naturel with his wife in 1936, which is the reason Kandarola Bay is also known as Engleska Plaza, or English Beach.
Naturism developed into an important component of Croatian tourism in the 1960s with the establishment of commercial naturist resorts in Istria and Dalmatia, and Yugoslavia hosted the Naturist World Congress in 1972. At its height, FKK tourism brought in more than 100,000 visitors annually. The war in Yugoslavia severely affected tourism but naturists are returning in ever greater numbers, with many heading for the island of Hvar.
FKK Camping on Hvar: Vrboska and Sucuraj
Camping on Hvar is a popular way of spending time on the island and there are facilities for FKK tourists. The main nudist campsite is in the pretty fishing town of Vrboska, also home to the island's marina, with the auto camp at Glavica a short ten-minute walk through the pine forest. The campsite has a capacity for 420 guests and there is a nudist beach nearby.
The other naturist camping option is on the east of the island, 2km from the port of Sucuraj, at Camp Mlaska, a popular campsite which is divided into two parts, with one side allocated to FKK guests.
Nudist Beaches on the Pakleni Islands
The infamous Pakleni Islands opposite Hvar Town are a naturist's paradise, with its secluded beaches, hidden coves and stunning nature. Accessed by water taxis from Hvar Town, there are three main nudist beaches:
Jerolim is the closest of the islands, directly opposite Hvar Town and named after a fifteenth Century church of the same name. Water taxis ply the route every half hour from 0900, and there is an excellent nudist beach close to the jetty, complete with restaurant and shop, although there are also more private alternatives through the pine trees.
Palmizana on Veliki Otok (literally Big Island) is a very popular naturism spot, with its sandy beach in a pretty cove. Palmizana has long been a favourite haunt for locals, even more so after the addition of a marina and restaurants.
Stipanska is beach on the island of Marinkovac which is reserved for FKK tourists, and facilities include showers, a restaurant and a shop.
Naturist Beaches on Hvar: Vrboska, Milna, and Zecevo
On the northern coast, Little Venice, as Vrboska is known, is a popular destination. Apart from the highlights of its stunning old town, canal and the main marina on the island, naturists can stay in the nudist camp and take their pick of beaches. The easiest option is to make the short trip to the nudist beach at Glavica, while the more adventurous may want to take advantage of water taxis to the tiny island of Zecevo.
Another picturesque alternative for nude sunbathers is the fishing village of Milna, a few kilometres from Hvar Town on the new road to Stari Grad. Bathers will have to fight their way past some outstanding fish restaurants in an idyllic setting, but the rocky naturist beach is well worth the effort.
There is a much more relaxed attitude to naturism in Croatia and one of the joys of Hvar is discovering one's own deserted cove, the choice is as endless as the sea is pristine.