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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Zaton Mali

Zaton Mali Holidays

When you think of holidays to Croatia, it's unlikely that Zaton Mali springs to mind. This tiny seaside resort is a relatively-unknown destination. The upshot is that you'll find a perfectly tranquil atmosphere here, even during the busy summer months. With its pristine beaches, local restaurants and beautiful natural surroundings, Zaton Mali holidays are all about relaxing. However, if you feel like a night on the tiles, the beautiful city of Dubrovnik is only a short distance away.

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Seaside scenery, shopping and more

Zaton Mali, Croatia's most picturesque village, is only a 20-minute drive from Dubrovnik, but the two are worlds apart. Zaton is located on the shores of a stunning aquamarine bay, surrounded by shady pine forests and craggy hills. The town has been a vacation spot for hundreds of years, with most of the Dubrovnik nobles building their summerhouses here. Many of these stunning renaissance mansions are still standing today.

Zaton Mali actually consists of two small villages – Veliki Zaton and Mali Zaton – connected by an ocean-front promenade. Between them, these two villages offer a wide selection of restaurants, wine bars and souvenir shops.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Croatian kuna
  • Croatian
  • GMT +1

Fancy the beach to yourself?

Zaton Mali holidays are guaranteed to help you relax and unwind. Part of the reason for this is that you're never far from the nearest beach. All around the bay, you'll find minute-pebbled coves leading down to calm, aquamarine seas, perfect for swimming with children. You'll often have the beach to yourself.

The most popular beach on Zaton Bay is near the village of Stikovica. Unlike the smaller coves, at Stikovica Beach you'll find parasols to rent and several restaurants. There's also kayak hire, so you can go exploring on the water.

A local watersports company rent out boats and jetskis if you want to travel further afield. They also offer taxi transfers to Dubrovnik and the surrounding area, including in the evening.

Forests, caves and islands

If you stay in Zaton Mali, you'll be surrounded by pristine nature. Take a walk along one of the trails surrounding the village and you'll pass through pine forests and aromatic hillsides carpeted in wild herbs. For a more challenging hike, head up-hill to the pretty village of Podbrezje. Hike a little further and you'll reach the Mocilska Cave, which has an interior of interesting twisted stalactites and stalagmites.

Take a boat trip from Zaton Mali to the Elaphite islands, which lie north-west of Dubrovnik. This picturesque archipelago has three inhabited islands: Kolocep, Lopud and ipan.

At Lopud, you'll stop at the stunning botanic gardens, and visit the dreamy beach of unj. According to local legend, couples who go swimming in the waters here will never be parted.

Try some local cuisine

Zaton Mali holidays offer the chance to try some of the local restaurants. Some serve Italian classics like pizza and pasta, while others specialise in regional Croatian cuisine. Fresh seafood platters and risotto tinted black with squid ink are also popular. Peka is also one to watch out for – octopus and potatoes are slowly baked in a sealed dish, cooked on the embers of a fire.

Finish off with a tasty desert, such as strukli, a strudel filled with sweet fruit and cottage cheese. Complete your meal with a glass of rakija, a sweet fruit brandy.

Take in the city lights

After a few lazy days on the beach, you might want to shake it up a little. Why not head to nearby Dubrovnik? It's just a 20-minute drive away, serviced by local buses until around midnight. You can also reach the city by taxi.

Marvel over the stunning palaces, churches and museums in the old town. Or you can explore Dubrovnik's modern side – its hip bars and high-end boutiques. Most restaurants can be found on the city's main street, Stradun, or the up-market Lapad Bay area. This is also where you should head for a night out. In Dubrovnik, you'll find everything from beach bars to quirky clubs, all nestled within the old city walls.