The complete guide to Baška, Croatia

If you’ve heard anything about Croatia, the gist probably was something to the effect of “it’s freakin’ gorgeous”. That’s no overstatement; Croatia’s gifted with immense natural beauty and is arguably most famous for its dramatic coastline with over 1,200 islands and crystal-clear waters. My favorite place in Croatia (or maybe it’s tied with Istria? Hmm…) is on the northernmost of those islands, the village of Baška on the southern tip of Krk island.

Nestled into a deep valley and with just one road leading in and out, Baška has a bit of an end-of-the-Earth feel. But undiscovered it isn’t, which is why the key to a great visit is to know where to spend your time. And since I’ve been there like, a zillion times (okay, maybe only 15, but that’s still a lot, right?) I know it well and am about to spill all my secrets…and there are a lot of them!

So, here comes everything you need to know to plan your trip to beautiful Baška. This post is longer than average so the handy Table of Contents below will help you navigate. Ready? Let’s go!

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Table of Contents

Why go?

Baška has a winning combination of great beaches, nature, culture, good food and just enough tourism to be fun without (for the most part) overdoing it. Because overdoing it sucks, right? Crowds and mediocre food, with a side of zero authenticity, know what I mean? Well, let me be clear that that isn’t Baška.

That’s not to say that it isn’t crowded in high season – it is – but it remains small and holds onto its village charm, especially if you know where to go. And I most definitely do, so keep reading!!

Baška was in fact a very small village at one time, and the old part of town is definitely where it’s at in terms of most things town-ish. It’s got quaint and narrow streets to wander, old stone buildings and some of the most interesting shops and best restaurants in town. The large cove and harbor around which the town is built protects a pebbly beach that’s great for swimming and sunbathing.

As an active traveler and lover of the outdoors, however, my favorite activities lie outside the village. I’ll get into details later (patience, grasshopper!) but there are many adrenalin-generating activities you can undertake here. If you’re more inclined to just relax and chill, however, or have small children along, don’t fret! There’s plenty on offer for you, too. So, let’s talk specifics…

A lovely day in January
The quieter end of the harbor in season - but also during the pandemic so it's usually a bit busier than this 🙂

When to go

Baška used to be strictly a May – September destination, with most everything shut down the rest of the year. In recent years the appeal of visiting in spring and autumn has increased, however, and many lodgings and restaurants are now open in the shoulder seasons of March – April and October – November. It might not be beach weather but it’s a great time for outdoor pursuits, as evidenced by the Baška Outdoor Festival, celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in October 2024 with events such as trail running, mountain biking and climbing as well as entertainment, lectures and video presentations.

In the off-season, December looks like an interesting time to visit, with the village festively decorated several events taking place in the weekends. I visited once in January, shortly after the New Year, and there were still a few cute decorations up then! It was very, very quiet, however, and while it was neat to wander the empty streets there were absolutely no restaurants open – we found only a small coffee shop (as luck would have it, my favorite!), but that was it. So keep that in mind, although I’m told that February is a bit better in terms of something being open.

What sort of weather should you expect? It can vary a lot (isn’t that true for a lot of places?), but here’s a quick seasonal rundown:

Winter (Dec-Feb): overall chilly but still with some warm and sunny days, temps ranging from 0-15C (32-59F). There’s a chance of encountering the strong bora winds, however, and rain and even snow/ice are possible. I didn’t experience this when I was there in January (it was lovely, actually), but it most certainly happens!

Spring (Mar-May): gradual warming up, eventually to more reliable beach weather by late May. This is a great time for outdoor activities, with everything green and the summer heat still to come.

Summer (Jun-Aug): beach season! Warm to downright hot, a lot of sunshine but still the occasional rainy day. If you’re coming to swim in warm waters and soak up those long, hot summer days, July and August are perfect!

Autumn (Sep-Nov): summer often hangs on well into September, but by the end of the month things are cooling and quieting down. The weather can still be very summer-like well into October, however, and like spring it’s a great time for enjoying the great outdoors!

The evening light reflected off the Velebit mountains can be magical

Getting there & around

Krk is one of the easiest Croatian islands to reach from within Europe, thanks to the bridge to the mainland and the airport on its northern edge. Flights are (no surprise) often operated only seasonally, but in the high season you can get flights to major airports such as Frankfurt and Munich, as well as smaller ones like London-Stansted and Basel/Mulhouse. Krk is popular among Germans, so you do see more flights to Germany than anywhere else.

Once you’re on the island it’s a bit of a drive down to Baška, but after Punat there’s some jaw-dropping scenery for passengers to enjoy – drivers, eyes on the road! Buses also run regularly throughout the island’s main towns and all the way to Rijeka on the mainland and even Zagreb(!), so you don’t necessarily need your own wheels. Oh, and if you have (or rent) an electric vehicle – no problem! I’ve been there with a Tesla several times now, and Baška has multiple charging stations. The same goes for other towns on the island.

Getting around Baška is really a cinch – the town is small enough to walk to most places, and it’s hard to get lost. That said, a bike or e-bike is nice to have if you want to explore a bit up the valley. Just don’t forget that it’s more than a little bit hilly!

Where to stay

The first thing to say about where to stay is actually where NOT to stay. This is my opinion, but it’s backed up by my zillion (okay, 15) visits, and I feel strongly enough to say it unequivocally: avoid staying in the ‘new’ part of town, the part to your right if you’re standing on the big beach and looking out at the water. It’s rather ugly and uninteresting, and the dining, atmosphere and pretty much everything else is better on the ‘old’ side of town. Sorry, ‘Newbaška’, but you kind of suck a little bit.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the next decision is how to stay. By that I mean, hotel, apartment or campground (whether tent or glamping/camping home). Keeping in mind that Baška is rather small, choice is limited but I’ll highlight some of the best options here.

Budget lodging tip – I can’t recommend any good budget hotels, nor is there a hostel, so if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly place to lay your head, your best bet is to rent a room or studio apartment from a private host. A quick search on shows numerous possibilities for less than €100 per night (even in high season), and other sites like Airbnb have options, too.

Boutique hotel tip – the Hotel Forza is small but lovely, with just five rooms. It’s in a restored 19th century building with a lot of original elements preserved, giving each room its own character. It’s right at the edge of the old town, and there’s a highly rated restaurant on-site!

Campground tip – three words: Bunculuka or bust! Baška has three campgrounds, but there’s simply no competition. Why? Above all, it’s the setting. Bunculuka is set in its own cove about 10-15 minutes’ walk from the town, and it feels like its own little village complete with restaurant/bar, market, bakery and beach. There are lot of big trees around, especially in the lower part of the campground. It’s just a lovely, relaxing, natural setting. But be advised, this is a naturist camping location! Nudity is only obligatory on the beach itself, but some people go sans clothing pretty much everywhere except the shops and restaurant (where you must wear clothes).

Quiet-yet-close-to-the-action location tip: if you are renting an apartment and would like something convenient but removed from the hustle and bustle, look at Kricin. It’s the little stretch of coast that extends from the long pier out to Kricin point, along the street/path leading to Bunculuka. It’s a small area but there are quite a few apartment rentals available along this stretch, and it’s a terrific ‘goldilocks’ location. Whenever I rent an apartment, this is where I stay.

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Sunset view from my apartment balcony in Kricin
The beach at Bunculuka campground

Where to eat

If you love fish and seafood, you’re in for a treat in Baška! Oh, and same goes for lamb. Fresh produce your thing? They’ve got that, especially in summer when the tomatoes, cucumbers and swiss chard are oh-so-tasty! Locally produced honey? Check. Olive oil? Check check. Moving on…

Most of Baška’s restaurants focus on the local culinary traditions and stick to the basics, with the exception of Italian since it’s so close by and (let’s face it) ubiquitous. But isn’t simple, local and fresh sometimes the best? Here, it sure is! Note: many restaurants close outside of high season, including some of my recommendations. Check ahead to be sure.

Kalun – my favorite, located at the edge of the harbor where the long pier begins. It’s the simple classic Croatian fare you’ll find in many restaurants in town, but there’s hardly a miss anywhere on their menu. The fish is either fresh or they don’t sell it, and the price-quality ratio is more than fair. They’re busy every night so it’s advised to book ahead, and with one day’s advance notice they can offer their signature oven-baked whole fish with potatoes and vegetables…to die for! Full disclosure: the owners are friends of mine, but only became friends after we’d been there so many times over so many years…and we only did that because it was so good! Oh, and we (hubby and I) even have our own menu item: šurlice ‘arrabbiata’, a local style of pasta with spicy tomato sauce which they made special order for us for a few years before finally giving in and adding it to their menu. True story!

Rarebar – relatively new on the scene, this casual place has the best Neapolitan-style pizza I’ve tasted in Baška. Service was good and friendly, prices fair. There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor seating and a casual vibe. Kitchen is open until 8PM, bar until midnight.

Tuna House – if you enjoy fresh, high-quality tuna prepared with skill you will be in heaven! It’s operated by a fishing family, who catch the tuna themselves. The restaurant is basically a little hut (but don’t expect street food prices, this is high-quality fare!) along the main promenade with some outside tables – the food is the main event here. My favorites are the carpaccio, sushi, tataki and the tuna burger. All tuna, all yum, all the time. You get the idea…

Francesca – easily the most creative restaurant in town with a lovely courtyard setting, it’s also one of the fanciest/most expensive. The food is across-the-board fantastic and the service good once you’re seated, but I hesitated to recommend it because we’ve had a few bad experiences with simply trying to get a table. They don’t take reservations (at least they weren’t when we last tried), nor is it possible to go for a drink nearby and receive a text when a table is available, and the attitude projected when discussing the whole thing was rather off-putting. I read many similar remarks online at the time, but more recent reviews have improved so I’m hopeful that they’ve found a better way to manage the situation. If you give it a try, I’d recommend having a plan B.

Dolce Vita – in my opinion the best ice cream in town. Mateo used to be equally good and more entertaining (you know, ice cream tossing and cutely decorated cones for the kids), but I was disappointed on my last visit so Dolce Vita wins!

The view from restaurant Kalun
Oven-baked fish and vegetables - a local specialty

Drinks and nightlife

Okay, truth time: Baška is NOT a late-night party scene kind of place. There are no legit nightclubs, bars start closing around midnight and I don’t think anything stays open past 2AM. If you like to dance and party ‘til dawn I’d recommend someplace like Pag. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good places to enjoy a good cocktail or some local wine, live music or a DJ spinning some tunes. Speaking of the local wine, do not leave the island without trying their wonderful white wine made from the Žlahtina grape.

Here are a few of my picks.

Porto Club Baška – outdoor venue right on the beach featuring live music and DJ’s, a large bar and multiple lounge spaces. Croatian musician Zack Dust, who describes himself as “an americana/folk/country/blues singer-songwriter” is a regular performer there. I’ve seen him twice and he’s quite talented!

Cin Cin Aperitivo Bar – a fantastic little bar next to the old town serving everything from wine to cocktails to craft beers to Italian-style snack platters. This is my go-to spot for a pre-dinner drink, a light starter and some great people watching.

Ankora – a small bar/café looking out onto the working end of the harbor, open from morning ‘til night. Big locals’ hangout. I love having my morning coffee here, and on a recent visit was thrilled to discover they also serve Croatian craft beer!

What to do - beaches

Croatia is known for great beaches, nearly 100 of which meet Blue Flag quality, safety and environmental standards. Baška’s 1800-meter-long main beach (called Vela Plaža, or Big Beach) is one of them. Like all the beaches in the area, Vela Plaža is pebbly: very fine, almost sandy pebbles in some areas, larger ones in others.
If a small beach is more your style, walk aaall the way around the harbor to where the long pier juts out. Just beyond the base of that pier is cute little Helena Plaža. A short walk beyond that, at the end of Kricin point, is Plaža Sveti Ivan, framed by large rocks which can be fun to swim among on calm days.

A little farther along, up to the left and over the hill, is lovely Bunculuka (Boon-tsoo-LOO-kah) Beach, in the FKK campground (FKK = Freikörperkultur = ya gotta get naked!). If you don’t mind getting your kit off it’s a beautiful beach with bathrooms, showers, restaurant/bar, bakery, a small market and equipment rental such as kayaks and SUP’s. Clothing is required at the restaurant and in the market, forbidden on the beach and optional everywhere else! They generally charge a visit fee to non-campers, and chairs with umbrellas are also available for a fee. Oh, and one end of the beach is reserved for our 4-legged friends!

If baring your birthday suit isn’t your thing, you can hike a bit further past Bunculuka, up and over the next hill, to the first of several ‘private’ beaches where clothing is optional. This beach, called Jablanova, has a small shack-style bar open in high season, and there are big pine trees for shade. Keep going and there are two more beaches; the last one is the largest, called Vrženica and reached in about 20 minutes from Bunculuka. Although these beaches offer no services, they are lovely and if your ideal beach is above all a quiet beach and you don’t mind scrambling over a few rocky hillsides, I highly recommend them! Hint: you can also rent a kayak or SUP and paddle your way over, or rent/hire a jet ski or boat in Baška to take you to these and other ‘hidden’ beaches!

There are some other really great beaches in the area such as Vela Luka, but they involve even more hiking, paddling or a motor boat to reach, so they are covered in the family, active and daytrip sections.

One tip I can offer for Baška’s beaches is a good pair of water shoes! They might look silly, but they help protect your feet! Seriously, they can be total lifesavers and I could kiss the genius who invented them. I love the Teva brand, they’re very durable (and great for warm-weather hikes where your feet might get wet). Just be sure to dry them thoroughly after use so they don’t begin to smell. You’ll want to get the fully closed kind like this (men-US/men-EU) this (women-US/women-EU) or this (kids-US/kids-EU), otherwise you’ll constantly be getting little pebbles caught under your feet. If you’ve got super-sensitive feet like I do you’ll thank me, even if your fashion sense doesn’t!

Speaking of feet, regardless of whether you wear shoes into the water or not, it’s important to watch out for spiny sea urchins. They are usually in deeper waters, but you wouldn’t want to accidentally step on one of those sharp-as-nails critters. Ouch!!

And finally, I’ll bet you’re wondering about the water temperatures! From mid-June through mid-September it’s generally above 20C (68F), and can sometimes reach 28C (82F), but in the early and very late season it can be much chillier, especially if the famous Bora winds have been stirring up cooler waters from below – think in the 16-18C (61-64F) range. Refreshing for a quick dip if it’s hot outside, but not good for much more unless you’re hard-core (AKA: crazy!) or wear a wetsuit!

A different viewpoint - new town and beach on left, old town and harbor on the right

What to do - culture

Baška might not be an obvious cultural destination, but if you know where to look there’s a lot to be found! You won’t walk around for long without coming across one or another large sculpture or boulder with unusual lettering carved into it. This is Glagolitic, an alphabet used in the oldest known Slavic script, and the famous Baška tablet is among the oldest (about 1100 AD) known monuments containing this script. The original is now preserved in Zagreb but a replica is displayed in Sveta Lucija Church where it was found in the 19th century. The church is pretty and worth a visit, it’s all constructed from rough stone and the complex also included an abbey. A short video (available in English) provides context to everything you can see there.

Speaking of Glagolitic, there’s even a recently developed ‘Glagolitic Trail’ you can follow through a guided tour (available in English). I’ve yet to do this but I’ve seen many of the sculptures around, and it’s on my list for a future visit!

The island’s cultural history is all around if you take a walk out of town and a little bit up into the hills. Centuries-old ancient stone walls are everywhere, as well as old castle ruins like those found near Sveti Ivan Church – the view from there is amazing, too, and you can drive right up to it! Hint: the active section also details a fantastic hike that begins here…more on that in a moment!

What to do - active

I’ve already touched on this topic a bit in other sections, but if you want to ‘get out there’ and be active, Baška will offer you a plethora of opportunities! Hiking, mountain biking, cycling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, climbing, ziplining – all possible here! I could practically write a book on this, but don’t worry –I’ll keep it short and sweet and just highlight a few of my favorites.

Hike to the Moon – or mountain bike if you’re brave (plenty of people do but it’s no ride for beginners). The ‘moon’ is so named because it does resemble a lunar landscape. It’s 380 meters above the sea, and you can either hike there all the way from Baška, or drive to the Sveti Ivan church (about 120 meters up), park and hike the rest of the way up. The hike goes up and down the same path and is partially shaded. There are no turnoffs so you cannot get lost, and although you can continue on other paths once you reach ‘the moon’, I assure you it will be clear when you get there. And of course, the views along the way are totally ‘wow’, to put it mildly.

Kayak to Prvic – this is a favorite kayak trip of mine, going across the bay to the tip of Prvic island, and into a cute little cove with a tiny beach that you’ll usually have to yourself! There’s a little lighthouse nearby to orient you, when you see that aim a bit left and the beach is hidden behind an islet popular for scuba diving expeditions (I’m told there’s an underwater cavern there that you can swim through entirely). How long it takes will depend upon your ability and the kayak – count on about an hour each way, give or take, and think twice about going if the wind is strong. The waves can be much bigger in the middle of the bay than you might think! Finally, bring sunscreen, as there is no shade. (Note: the link describes a longer tour that circles the island; unless you’re an experienced kayaker, I suggest just paddling to the island and back).

Ziplining – I’ve yet to try it, but Zipline Edison is high in the hills above Baška with 8 lines running over 2km and top speeds of 80km/h. It takes about 2 hours and cost is currently (2024) €60 per person.

A shady section of the path to the moon
Kayaking with Baska in the background - you can just make out the spire of Sveti Ivan church on the right, above the town

What to do - families

Baška is a terrific family destination, not only due to the kid-friendly beaches but because the whole town really caters well to families with children. It’s a safe place where a lot of families return year after year during school vacations, and many kids here in Germany in particular grow up with fond memories of their time spent there. How do I know this? Because my husband is one of them, and my stepsons two more, the ‘next generation’ if you will! 😉

But how about when the kids (or you!) don’t feel like another day at the beach? What else is there to keep them occupied and happy? Well, here’s a few things: glass-bottom boat rides (in Malinska; avoid the semi-submarine in Baška, it has received some terrible reviews!), the Aqua-gun water park (site in Croatian only), or a taxi boat to Vela Luka bay and beach for lunch (there’s a restaurant) and a swim in the clear waters.

Older kids aren’t left out, either. Apart from some of the activities already mentioned (which will appeal to them, too!) there are lots of water sports available such as tubing or parasailing, as well as a big platform just off the main beach where teens love to hang out and jump into the sea.

Vela Luka bay - the restaurant is just behind where this photo was taken
The grounds of Olive Garden restaurant and olive oil shop near Punat - see the section below for more about this place

What to do - rainy day

Rain, rain, go away! What do you do when the weather ruins your beach plans? Here’s a few ideas…

Go wine, olive oil, pršut (prosciutto) or sir (cheese) tasting – many of the island’s wineries, such as Katunar, are located in Vrbnik, but the Nada Winery has a shop right in Baška where you can do a full tasting and even get some local sir and pršut to go with it! If you have a car you can drive to the Sirana Hlam Cheese Shop in Punat, where you can try everything and pick out some nice local products. On the way back (if it’s after 3PM, when they open) you can also stop at the Olive Garden to taste some olive oil (it’s also a restaurant), then swing by Vrbnik for the wine, and take it all back to enjoy when the rain inevitably stops!

Visit a museum – Baška has a small museum about local history, right in the old town. In Malinska there is also a very interesting one about local maritime heritage called DUBoak. The monastery island of Košljun in Punat has four small museums as well, accessible by tour boat (if the weather’s really bad you might want to skip that one).

Visit the Zvonimir Art Gallery – open May through October, this small gallery features local and international artists.


Krk is a big island, and daytrips to other villages such as Vrbnik or Krk town are a great idea. And again, buses run between all the major towns so you don’t need a car.

Another possibility is to take a ferry to one of the nearby islands of Cres or Rab and spend the day exploring. The ferries transport vehicles as well as people, and I do recommend either taking a car/motorbike or arranging for a taxi because the ferry terminals are not located anywhere near the towns.

Half- or full-day trips by boat are also quite popular. For example, one full-day tour takes you to both Rab and the beautiful Zavratnica Bay on the mainland. Lunch, a tour of Rab town and time to swim/snorkel are included.  There are plenty of other daytrip possibilities, many of which are listed on Hidden Krk’s website.

Okay, so there we have it! That was one long post, so if you’re still here with me, thanks for reading!

Baška is truly my happy place, and I hope this came through in this post. Have I tempted you to visit yet? 😊

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