Rijeka is sometimes referred to as Zagreb by the sea, its Austro-Hungarian architecture and rich cultural life more like Croatia's capital than any other city by the sea. Many inhabitants of Rijeka will have a favourite beach and often these are a drive out of the city, but sometimes not. Hidden from view of new visitors to the city centre, Rijeka does have some very nice beaches of its own. Some are even within walking distance. Those that are not are within just a short bus ride away.
To the east of the city centre there are four beaches, Brajdica Sablićevo, Glavanovo and Grčevo. For those acting on impulse and deciding mid afternoon that they fancy a quick dip in the sea or sunbath by the beach, Sablićevo is perhaps the best option. One of the oldest beaches in Rijeka, it is so close to the city centre you could walk back for a work appointment in maybe 15 minutes. A little further to the east is Glavanovo, which benefits from shallow seas and surrounding trees – perfect for families on foot – and then finally Grčevo. All of these beaches have shower facilities.
To the west of Rijeka there are many more beach options including Igralište, Ploče, Bivio, Skalete, Kostanj Bay and Preluk. Most of these are more impressive than those to the east of the city. It is necessary to travel to them all by local bus. Igralište is the nearest of these with its beach volleyball court, catering facilities and a toboggan. If you don't visit by day, try it at night as it's a popular hangout after dark. Next further out from the city is Ploče, a Blue Flag beach recognised for its clear waters. This extensive and open beach has access to the sea for disabled people and lifeguards plus a beach volleyball court and a complex of swimming pools.
The tree lined Bivio beach is next and this also has a toboggan and just round the corner is Skalete, a beach popular with young people and those who like beachside or sea sports. Kostanj Bay and Preluk are the westernmost beaches in Rijeka, with Kostanj Bay probably the beach in Rijeka best equipped for disabled visitors. There are trained lifeguards and a floating sea barrier plus showers and toilets suitable for disabled persons. Kostanj Bay is also a Blue Flag beach, recognised for clear, clean waters.
Located at the point where Rijeka's coastline takes an almost 90 degree turn into becoming the Istrian peninsula, Preluk beach is notable for catching the wind, particularly in the mornings, and is therefore popular with windsurfers and yachtsmen. It has an entrance for smaller vessels from the land.