Hidden beach in Croatia named the best in Europe

Stiniva on the island of Vis is a slice of paradise

Aerial view of beautiful Stiniva beach

A secret beach on the tiny island of Vis in Croatia has been rated the best beach in Europe for 2016.

Stiniva is closed in by two high rocky cliffs and can only be reached by a steep goat's path from the land side.

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Brussels-based tourism organisation European Best Destinations named the hidden beach the best in Europe after more than 10,000 travellers voted for Stiniva.

European Best Destinations describes swimming in Vis as "an unforgettable experience" thanks to the clearness of the open sea.

Stiniva was selected by 88 per cent of the organisation's panel of travellers among 280 beaches. 62 per cent of the panel put it in first place in the ranking of Europe's top 15 beaches.

Costa Brava's Tossa de mar, Berlanga Island in Portugal and Lefkada's Kavalikefta were also named top beaches in Europe.

Idyllic view of rocky mountains at Stiniva beach

On TripAdvisor, Stiniva is rated the best thing to do in Vis, with travellers praising the beauty spot for its "super, magnificent view" and being a "wonder of the world".

Speaking to AOL Travel, Ivona Grgan, Director of the UK Croatia National Tourist Office, says: "We are delighted that Croatia has been announced as the home of the 2016 Best Beach in Europe.

"Vis is one of Croatia's most beautiful and untouched islands and the secret cove of Stiniva on the southern side has been a protected natural monument since 1967."

Grgan adds: "It is perfect for those looking for a secluded piece of natural paradise, as it is only accessible by a steep and narrow path, by taxi boat from the nearby Rukavac cove, or by sailing boat, which really adds to its charm.

"Vis is a true hidden gem with plenty to offer those visiting and we would recommend discovering the island by scooter. Explore the extensive vineyards and olive trees of Plisko Polje and experience the local seafood at the many local eco-produce restaurants."

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Visit Vis Island in Croatia