Among young parents, the burning topic every summer is – where to take the kids to the beach. Sand, shallow and warm water, rubbish bins, the proximity of showers and toilets and a pine forest to take refuge from the sun are all things I didn’t find important while I was touring the beaches of Umag on bike with my friends. I have to say that the beach of my youth still remains my favourite one, particularly because it is well-adapted to families with small children and offers everything us parents find important for an ideal day on the beach. This beach is number one on my top list of beaches – as for the rest, you can read about them below.
These are my five favourite beaches in Umag:
Beach no. 8
Located in Stella Maris Resort below the Sol Stella apartments, this beach offers everything you need for an ideal day at the beach with the kids. Parents will small babies can look for shade in the pine forest while, below the paved beach with loungers and parasols, there is a stretch of sand where children are free to play and run without fear of injury.
On the beach, you can also find rubbish bins, changing rooms, showers, loungers and parasols, and the access to the sea is well-suited to children. If you get hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, or have coffee or ice-cream at the café located on the very beach. Right next to the café there is a children’s playground with a slide and swings, while the pool featuring a pirate ship that is located nearby guarantees unforgettable entertainment for all ages. Could it possibly get any better?
Caution: Pets are allowed at this beach so, if your child is scared of dogs, it’s better you choose another beach – and there are plenty more to choose from!
You’ll see a whole lot of parents with small children at the main city beach at Punta, which comes as no surprise as this beach is truly a paradise for kids. The large sandy area tempts you to run from one end to the other, roll in the sand or run into the sea like one of the characters from Baywatch. At nearly every corner, you’re going to run into a sand castle or two – but don’t be worried if you didn’t bring any beach equipment with you, there’s bound to be a kind-hearted child somewhere that will gladly share its toys.
It’s best to visit the beach in the morning, as the sea is breathtakingly beautiful, clean and clear. The beach offers many facilities such as a beach volleyball court, a slide, swings and a restaurant. At the nearby stands, you can also find swimming costumes, all kinds of souvenirs and beach toys… So, even if you manage to forget something, you can always buy it without even having to go too far!
Villa Rita Beach
The beach known as Villa Rita is yet another bathing spot in Umag that is popular among parents with children. It is located between the Sol Umag Hotel and the Stella Maris Resort. Concrete or sandy beach, sun or shade… you’re free to choose what suits you best. The beach offers loungers and parasols, a changing room, showers and stands where you can buy all sorts of knick-knacks – from fresh fruit to hats, flip-flops and ice-cream.
If you happen to feel the need for refreshments or indulging your sweet tooth, there’s a café and ice-cream parlour right above the beach. At the beach, you can also rent an amusing 4-wheel bike for the entire family and use it to explore the surroundings.
Caution: Watch your step when entering the sea at the sandy part of the beach, as you could encounter some larger pebbles – so be sure to equip smaller children with water shoes.
Laguna Beach in Stella Maris
If you happen not to be a huge fan of sand, visit the pebble beach in the Stella Maris Resort, located a stone’s throw away from the ATP stadium where the most famous tennis tournament in Croatia is held. You can also reach the beach by tourist train, which is a means of transport that kids particularly enjoy. Do try to go for at least one ride while you’re in Umag – the kids will love it!
If you’re more of a sporty type, you can rent a Park & Ride bike at one of the Istria Experience info points which, in addition to bikes, also sell excursions and various souvenirs. The beach offers loungers with parasols, showers, toilets and a café that serves ice-cream and other refreshments. Both older children and adults are also bound to enjoy the beach’s excellent offer of water sports. You can also have fun with your kids by looking for pebbles of various shapes and sizes to take home as a souvenir.
For many years now, this beach has been awarded with the prestigious Blue Flag.
Beach in Zambratija
This gorgeous sandy beach, located in the small fishing village of Zambratija near Umag, has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. The sea is shallow and ideal for parents who like to frolic in the surf with their little ones. Next to the beach are also cafés where you can relax after sunbathing and cool down with a drink or, perhaps, play a game of beach volleyball. After having a good time at the beach, I suggest you visit one of the local restaurants to try some home-made delicacies prepared from fish that has just been caught by the local fishermen.
Although the beach listed first is my favourite one, we like to visit all of them, as every day is an opportunity for new adventures and discoveries.