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Beautiful beach named one of the best in Europe ‘as good as the Caribbean’

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The Mediterranean is home to some of the world’s best beaches with names any Briton will recognise from a mile off.

Be that Kokkini Beach of Santorini, Pampelonne Beach of St Tropez, Zakynthos’s Navagio Beach, or the Playa el Bajondillo in Málaga.

There are, however, pristine beaches in less traditional tourist spots away from the likes of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, ones that locals have been flocking to for decades.

Croatia, part of the former Yugoslavia, has over 1,000 miles of beautiful coastline, and though at least some Britons will have holidayed there, the vast majority of people won’t ever have stepped foot in the country.

In doing so, they are missing out on one of Europe’s gems, which includes Kraljicina Plaza of Nin, also known as the Queen’s Beach, a place likened by some to sandy boltholes found in the Caribbean.

Along with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia, Croatia sits on the Adriatic Sea which is the northernmost extension of the Mediterranean.

It has long been underestimated as a travel destination outside of its borders, though during the 20th century, revellers from across the Communist world flocked to its sandy shores.

According to Travelite, a travel website, Croatia’s Kraljicina Plaza comes in the top five European destinations “that feel like the Caribbean”.

Of the beach, it says: “The absolute Caribbean flair awaits you on the Adriatic Sea. Among the top of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia is the Kraljicina Plaza of Nin, which translates as ‘Queen’s Beach’. It is said to have got its name from the wife of the country’s first king, who often relaxed here.”

That king was Tomislav, who is said to have been so enamoured with the beach and its beauty that he would regularly visit the nearby town Nin just to see it.

In all, Nin’s beaches measure a staggering 8,000 metres in length, so there’s no shortage of places to set up shop for the day. There is, however, more to the region than sunbathing and drinking cocktails.

Kraljicina Plaza of Nin is said to possess healing qualities from within its mud and also doubles up as the largest mud lagoon in Croatia.

Revellers seeking its calming magic are instructed to rub the mud into their skin and let it set for a few hours.

Once washed down and cleansed of stress, you can proceed with a more orthodox approach to the beach: relax in the sun and enjoy the crystal clear waters.

Alternatively, those seeking out a bit of history might ditch the beach — or mud baths — in search of the past in ancient Nin.

It is a truly tiny town, its historical centre situated on an islet just 500 metres in diameter.

Historians say settlers first came to Nin 10,000 years ago. The present-day town didn’t come into existence until 3,000 years ago, still a staggeringly long time ago.

One of the oldest towns on the eastern Adriatic, scores of different peoples and tribes have passed through it and at some point made it home, from the Illyrians and the Romans, the Byzantines to the great Kings and Queens of Croatia.

It also boasts the smallest cathedral in the world in the form of Crkva Svetoga Križa, or the Church of the Holy Cross, well worth a visit if you’ve made the journey. 

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