The island of Vis lies in the Adriatic Sea, northwest of Dubrovnik off Croatia’s striated coastline. It is chiefly known for its gorgeous Italianate harbor town of the same name, which is abuzz with cool boutiques, restaurants and bars and guarded by a stone fortress. Just over six miles (10 km) away on the south coast of the island is the tiny, crescent-shaped cove of Stiniva, enclosed by steep cliffs that are barely 13 feet (four meters) apart, which were formed when a sea cave collapsed inwards many thousands of years ago.
There are no direct roads and the cove entrance is too narrow, shallow and rocky for yachts to enter, but this elusive little bay is one of the island’s most popular spots for its calm, shallow waters and beach of rounded pebble. It was accorded long-term protection in 1967 for its natural beauty and there is little else here apart from a laid-back rustic beach bar.
Stiniva Cove is best reached by small boat from the sea (taxi boats leave from Rukavac) but from inland it is a steep, 30-minute walk from the village of Žužec near Plisko Polje. Thanks to its protective cliffs, the beach is in shade after 3.30pm.