🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

Get us in your inbox

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from your city and beyond

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

  • Destinations
  • Things to Do
  • Restaurants
  • Art & Culture
  • Music & Nightlife
  • Los Angeles

Hvar

The 13 best Croatian islands

Croatia provides the perfect opportunity for island-hopping. Find your ideal getaway with our top 13 islands in Croatia

© Nowak Lukasz

Croatia’s coast is pure, nearly all 2,000 kilometres and 1,200 islands of it, and is open to all.  Verdant islands, bare karst-rock islands, tiny dots of islands with nothing on them but a lighthouse converted to accommodate isolated holidaymakers , naturist islands, islands with just deer and naturists feeding them, islands with cocktail bars attracting the VIP set, islands for windsurfers, islands for sculptors, islands for Tito’s political prisoners, islands for Tito’s collection of safari animals, islands so remote they’re nearer to Italy, islands called home by a family of 120 dolphins, islands of age-old fishing traditions, islands with a particular cave in which the sunlight turns a brilliant blue for an hour each day, islands known for their wine, cheese or anchovy pasties. More than 80 per cent of Croatia’s islands have no people on them at all.

If you’re looking for an island worthy of a week’s stay, some – like Brač  – are expansive enough to have their own airports. If you’re after daytrips and excursions, most can be reached by ferry from the mainland. Some of the tinier islands are determinedly deserted, meaning that overnight stays are banned – but you can still take boat trips to these Adriatic gems. There’s plenty of island hopping to be done, here’s our pick of the best in Croatia . 

best islands to visit croatia

RECOMMENDED:  43 great things to do in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Croatia.

1.  Hvar

Hvar

You’ve probably already heard of Hvar. If you’re a yacht-owner, you’ve probably spent a few summers bobbing around on its sun-soaked shores. But despite its reputation as the swankiest of Croatian destinations, Hvar is much more than just a magnet for the reasonably famous and unreasonably rich – err from the money-soaked town centre and into the more modest coastal towns of Stari Grad and Jelsa, and you’ll find history, heritage and culture. There’s plenty of room here, on one of Croatia’s largest islands, for luxury-loving semi-celebrities and family holiday-makers alike, and with 2724 hours of sun a year, there are plenty of rays to share out, too. 

2.  Vis

Vis

The standout attraction here is not the island itself – although, as we’ve come to expect from Croatia, it is something of a dreamy haven – but the blue cave of Biševo that lurks, Aladdin-like, off its shores. Vis itself is the furthest afloat from the Croatian mainland, and from 1950 until 1989 it served as the Yugoslav National Army’s base, out of bounds to foreign visitors. So it still has the air of an unspoilt paradise, and visitors are seduced by its rudimental beauty. Two towns – the northeast Vis Town and Komiža, in the southwest – vie for tourist attention, and you’ll find several beachy enclaves in crevices along the rough coastline. 

3.  Rab

Rab

Sitting just off the northern coast, nestled in the Kvaner Bay, Rab is 22 km of tranquillity that forks out into the Adriatic sea. Its first taste of the limelight came when King Edward VIII took his new wife Wallis Simpson to the island in 1936. He soon cast off his regal garments and threw himself into the sea – so the story goes – setting the island’s nudist-friendly tradition off to a royal start. Rab has an especially calm, rustic vibe – flanked by sheltering ridges, its stunning beaches are untouched by turbulent mountain winds, and the small but lively town is a ramshackle patchwork of terracotta roofs, cream walls and church towers that soar into the sky. Locals are proud of their unassuming homeland’s heritage, and each year the island is swept up into feverish party atmosphere as the summer festival spurs into action. 

4.  Korčula

Korčula

When the Greeks that originally set up camp on this island first landed, they were so struck by the dense, dark forests there that they called it Korkyra Melaina – Black Korčula. Now its famed for its white wine (the crispest, coolest kind made from its endemic posip grape) but those enchanting woodlands still exist, and the island – the second most populous in the Adriatic region – is a mix of quiet hamlets and vineyards tangled up in the woods, and fishing villages dotted along the winding coast. Korcula town is often dubbed ‘Little Dubrovnik’ because of its formidable medieval walls, but it has its own attractions to offer, too: you can visit a dedicated Marco Polo gallery (Croats claim he was born here; Venetians vehemently disagree; the museum is edifying either way), and a beautiful cathedral. 

5.  Brač

Brač

A short ferry trip away from coastal city Split, Brač is the largest of the central Dalmatian Islands, with a population of 13,956, its own airport (Bol), and the highest mountain on any Adriatic island. It attracts a less glitzy crowd than Hvar, and its main offering is its rich history (it’s been inhabited since the Neolithic age) and its richer olive oil (olive cultivating is a local trade and tradition). A fairly arid place, Brac is characterised by rocky coastal spots, and its signature export is the natural white stone which gets architects from all over the world salivating. 

6.  Mljet

Mljet

One of the most edenlike spots in the Dalmatian archipelago, Mljet is improbably green and salubriously lush, and is home to an expansive variety of sea creatures that swim (like the cast of Finding Nemo, we like to think) off the island’s coast. Two salted lakes – Veliko and Malo Jezero – lure swimmers into their still waters, and an especially delicious local variety of goats’ cheese lures them into the restaurants afterwards.

7.  Cres

Cres

You’ll find yourself frequently bowled over by beauty on Cres, an archetypal Croatian island: its northern hills are consumed by oaky forests; cliffs stand, majestic, along the coastline; and crumbling hilltop towns provide a dose of transportative antiquity. You’ll probably discover your inner ornithologist, too – Cres is known for its population of griffons, and no sight is more spectacular than that of the fearsome bird spreading its wings and swooping out into the Adriatic sunset. 

8.  Pag

Pag

Pag is thin and 64 kilometres (40 miles) long, made up of two parallel mountain ranges. Settlements are mainly sleepy fishing villages, with two towns of any size, Novalja and Pag town. Novalja is a resort town that’s become party central. Zrće beach, a short bus ride away, is the biggest club hub in Croatia .

By contrast, the administrative and commercial centre of Pag town exudes cultural heritage. Narrow, fortified medieval streets weave beneath a 15th-century Gothic cathedral and the sun beats hard off the white stone pavement as local ladies painstakingly stitch Pag lace in doorways.

9.  Dugi Otok

Dugi Otok

The largest of the northern Dalmatian islands, Dugi Otok – which translates as Long Island – is… erm, long. 45km long to be precise, with a measly width of just 1 – 4km. Characterised by sheer cliffs and sandy beaches (the most famed is Sakuran), it’s a sliver of dramatic natural beauty, with its south-eastern quarter declared a National Park and its Telascica Bay generally agreed to be one of the most stunning Adriatic beaches. You can get there by fast boats from the mainland, and spend several days following trekking and cycling trails, scuba diving, climbing – or simply admiring the view from the comfort of a local restaurant. 

10.  Lošinj

Lošinj

Cres and Lošinj used to be one island until the ancient Liburni tribe dug a canal at Osor. The healthy effects of its sea breezes, clean water and 2,600 hours of annual sunshine earned Lošinj an official designation as a health resort in 1892. Habsburg royalty followed and now tourism is the island’s main industry. Activity centres around two towns with misleading labels. Mali Lošinj, ‘Small Lošinj’, is the bigger settlement, about four kilometres from quaint little Veli Lošinj, ‘Great Lošinj’.Mali Lošinj, the largest island town in the Adriatic, with a population of 7,000, is set around a long, wide harbour, lined with Habsburg-era facades. Strolling from one end of the harbour to the other takes 20 minutes – it’s a nice waterside lined with great hotels, restaurants and bars.

11.  Silba

Silba

Not one for those of you who get anger-induced headaches when trapped behind a slow walker in the street, this small, determinedly sleepy place has no cars, no hotels – and, between mid-July and late August – no bicycles either. You can ramble, you can amble, but you can’t go anywhere fast, and woozy relaxation is almost compulsory.

12.  Murter

Murter

Almost at opposite ends of the Dalmatian island of Murter are two settlements used as gateways to two extremely popular summer attractions. By the narrow channel to the mainland,  Tisno  is close to the festival site for music events such as Soundwave, Suncebeat and Electric Elephant. It was here that the legendary Garden club relocated its alfresco activities from Petrčane near Zadar. At the northern tip of Murter, the largest town of the same name is the main setting-off point for trips to the unique archipelago of the Kornati National Park, which has its main office there.

13.  Krk

Krk

If not the biggest island in the Croatian Adriatic, at least according to a recent survey, Krk is certainly on one of the busiest. Nearly 20,000 locals call this diverse island home, their forefathers subject to Roman, Avar, Frankopans, Venetian, Habsburg and Italian rule. The main town of Krk reflects much of this historic patchwork, panoramic Vrbnik is a little jewel, Malinska brims with quality gastronomy and the beaches of Baška soak up many of the summer visitor numbers.

The best of Croatia

43 incredible things to do in croatia.

  • Things to do

43 incredible things to do in Croatia

Whatever you’re into, you’ll find your heaven in Croatia. Here’s our insider’s guide to the top places, activities and experiences for everyone from cinephiles and club addicts to ramblers and romantics. We’ve trawled the country to find the most invigorating, inspiring, pleasurable and fulfilling places, products and experiences on offer. Here's our pick of the best things to do in Croatia. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

[image] [title]

Discover Time Out original video

  • Work for Time Out
  • Privacy policy
  • Website terms of use
  • Modern slavery statement
  • Manage cookies

Time Out Croatia

  • Advertising
  • Editorial enquiries

Time Out products

  • Mobile applications
  • Time Out Global

The Top 10 Islands to Visit in Croatia

The 1246 islands and islets dotting the Croatia's Adriatic coastline come in all shapes, sizes and topographies, and each has a unique vibe. Some have been firmly stationed on the tourist circuit for decades, while others are less-visited and offer a quieter scene. With rising tourist numbers, many are increasingly catering to luxury travelers and offering “boutique” experiences, while others are still delightfully low-key , with few swanky resorts and high-end hotels, and a more authentic vibe.

There's certainly plenty to entice visitors: tidy pebble and sand beaches lapped by transparent turquoise waters, fascinating historical towns and rustic villages, some of the world's best sailing , miles of walking and cycling trails, and excellent local cuisine, wine and olive oil. The difficult journey is part of the draw: since most Croatian islands can only be reached by boat or ferry, there's that Robinson Crusoe feeling of embarking on a great adventure. Not sure which island is for you? Here are the 10 top islands to visit in Croatia.

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove

Boasting an average of 2718 hours of sunshine a year, Hvar is the sunniest of the islands of the Dalmatian coast. It's also the swankiest and a magnet for Hollywood stars: Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jodie Foster, George Clooney and Jack Nicholson have all vacationed here. Hvar Town has also become a party destination, attracting many international revelers thanks to its plethora of trendy bars and clubs located in the harbor area. For a quieter scene, head to the scenic port towns of Jelsa and Stari Grad. 

Brač is best known for its magnificent Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach that looks like a long protruding finger extending into the sea. Don't expect sand — you'll find fine pebbles instead and it's hard to resist diving into the see-straight-to-bottom aquamarine waters. Along with beach lovers, this is a popular destination with wind surfers, and the island's proximity to the mainland makes it popular with day-trippers. At 2552 feet, Vidova Gora is highest peak of all the Adriatic islands. A climb to the top is rewarded with unparalleled views over the entire island and nearby Hvar.

Charming Korčula Town is a big draw with visitors. Exceptionally well-preserved 15 th century ramparts encircle the compact old town made up of narrow lanes arranged in a fish bone pattern and lined with medieval stone buildings. The interior of the island hides quiet, scenic villages surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and wineries run by local producers where the island's Grk, Pošip and Rukatac varieties of white wine can be sampled. For beach lovers, there are plenty of pebble beaches as well as sandy ones: Vela Pržina, Bilin Zal and Tatinja on the island's eastern tip have beaches of fine sand. 

Arid and rocky Pag is one of the few Croatian islands to be connected to the mainland via a bridge, but there are ferry services to nearby Rab island and to Rijeka further north on the mainland. Most of Pag's inhabitants are of the sheep variety who feed on the island's wild herbs and provide the distinctively sharp cheese Pag is known for. Also produced here is sea salt and a dry Žutica white wine. Meanwhile Zrce beach and its open air nightclubs and summer music festivals are a huge draw for the party crowd.

This remote island is one of the furthest from the Croatian mainland and was completely closed to visitors when it served as a military base up to 1983. Today, it's one of the less explored and less developed islands in terms of tourist infrastructure — which makes it particularly visit-worthy. Nature lovers will be awed by the stunning natural landscapes: the cliffs encircling Stiniva cove and beach create a surreal setting, and a popular attraction is the Blue Cave on the nearby islet of Biševo. Every day just before noon the sun's rays enter the cave and reflect off its limestone walls, creating an eerie, glowing blue light. Vis Town has a pleasant waterfront promenade and is the island's first settlement, while picturesque Komiža is a fishing village of stone houses set on a secluded bay.

Lush and unspoiled Mljet doesn't get the crowds of some of the better-known Dalmatian islands. The isle has only 19 settlements, most of which are small but scenic fishing villages. 15 th century Okuklje is set in a horseshoe-shaped bay and is the oldest coastal settlement in Croatia. Taking up the western section of the island is Mljet National Park, covering an area of 20 square miles and mostly covered with forests of holm oaks and Aleppo pines. Most notable are two brilliant blue seawater lakes Malo Jezero (Small Lake) and Veliko Jezero (Great Lake) connected via a narrow channel. The 12 th century Benedictine monastery and St. Mary's Church located on Veliko Jezero are the park's most visited attractions.

“On the last day of Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath.” This is what George Bernard Shaw had to say about this group of islands after a visit in 1929. Covering an area of 124 square miles, this is a dense archipelago of 140 mostly barren islands and islets, 89 of which make up Kornati National Park . The only way to explore this spectacular maze of islands and reefs is of course on a sail boat, which can easily be rented along with a captain. The park office also organizes daily tours during the tourist season that include lunch and a guide. For sailing, diving and snorkeling enthusiasts it's as close as you can get to paradise.

Located in the north Adriatic, Rab is a relatively small island covering only 36 square miles but is big on appeal for outdoor enthusiasts. Its northern ridge is marked by hiking trails leading to viewpoints with panoramic vistas over neighboring islands and the Velebit mountain chain on the mainland. The forested Dundo peninsula offers a series of marked paths for cyclists while the beaches of golden sand of the Lopar peninsula on the island's north-eastern tip are a big draw for sun seekers. The aptly-named Paradise beach is especially popular with families, but there are plenty of secluded coves, some of which are clothing optional. Atmospheric Rab Town and its pedestrian-only lanes are a delight to explore: climb the 85-foot-high bell tower of St. Mary's Church for jaw-dropping 360-degree views over its terracotta rooftops.

You won't find any boutique retreats or luxury resorts on Cres, but you will encounter diverse and untouched landscapes of rocky mountains and forests of oak and pine, as well as delightful port and hilltop towns. With few inhabitants, medieval Beli and Lubenice are ghost towns of a time past: the spectacular sea views from here have definitely not changed, while their stone facades and cobblestone lanes have been preserved for years to come. In contrast, the cheerful port towns of Valun and Cres Town are painted with colorful facades and their sea-facing promenades lined with cafes, while quaint Osor is full of neat rose gardens, hidden courtyards, and stone cottages. Be sure to try the island's excellent olive oil which has EU protected status.

The local tourist office's motto is the 'island of vitality' and there's no shortage of hotels here featuring spas and treatments as part of their wellness packages. The many holiday resorts dating back to Communist times are getting face lifts and upgrades, as the island rebrands itself as a luxury wellness destination. The best way to explore the island is on foot or by bicycle: there are over 150 miles of marked trails to choose from. A highlight is the 1929-foot climb to the top of Osoršćica mountain from where there are panoramic views over neighboring islands, and even as far away as the Slovenian Alps. The colorful port towns of Veli Lošinj and Mali Lošinj are must-visits for their laid back vibe and many waterside cafes.

The Top Destinations to Visit in Croatia

Mediterranean Cruise Maps

'Mamma Mia!' Filming Locations: The Complete Guide

The Top 10 Things to Do in Split, Croatia

The Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Top 10 Things to Do and See on Hvar

One Week in the Peloponnese: The Perfect Itinerary

18 Most Beautiful Islands in the World

Top Italian Islands for Your Next Vacation

15 Best Islands in the US

The 9 Best Beaches and Coastal Areas in Tuscany

Top UK Destinations for Stone Circles and Ancient Sites

The 17 Best Islands in Thailand

8 Top Things to Do in Crescent City, California

The 10 Best Things to Do in the Cinque Terre

Elba Island Travel Guide

  • Inspiration
  • Destinations
  • Places To Stay
  • Style & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Wellness & Spas
  • News & Advice
  • Partnerships
  • Traveller's Directory
  • Travel Tips
  • Competitions

Croatia islands: the 15 best

By Jane Foster

Croatia islands the 15 best to visit in 2023

The key to a perfect holiday? Dalmatians call it fjaka - a deliciously lazy mood of utter contentment. To help you find it, we've put together a hit list of the 15 best islands in Croatia , as chosen by a Croatia expert. For more inspiration once you're there, see our definitive list of the best beaches in Croatia or an expert guide to planning the ultimate Croatia island-hopping adventure.

Romanesque churches walled monasteries lush vineyards and pretty fishing villages. Joined to the mainland by an...

Romanesque churches , walled monasteries, lush vineyards and pretty fishing villages. Joined to the mainland by an impressive bridge, Krk draws visitors from northern Croatia and beyond with its superb konobe (taverns) serving local specialities such as šurlice (handmade pasta) and Kvarner shrimps – reserve a table at Bracera in Malinska, or Rivica in Njivice. Walk or cycle hiking routes that follow time-worn donkey paths over fertile farmland and barren rocky slopes, stopping to explore the underground caverns of Biserujka Cave , sample Žlahtina white wine in the hill village of Vrbnik and swim at Baška.

**Insider's tip:**Call at family-run Utla near Malinska to taste their extra-virgin olive oils made from local Plominka olives.

Croatia's trendiest island destination Hvar Town sprawls around a sheltered harbour packed with yachts a vast paved...

Croatia 's trendiest island destination, Hvar Town sprawls around a sheltered harbour packed with yachts, a vast paved piazza with a baroque cathedral at its centre. Stroll along the palm-lined seafront promenade and up to the hilltop castle, then wander through cobbled alleys, packed with rustic-chic seafood restaurants (think lobster, champagne, and lavender ice cream), cocktail bars and boutiques stocking handmade jewellery and designer swimwear. Beyond the capital, the rural interior is a haze of lavender fields and vineyards – call at the Tomić winery in Jelsa to taste wines made from local grape varieties Bogdanuša, Pošip and Plavac Mali.

Insider's tip: For authentic home cooking, visit Konoba Lambik in Milna with tables on a stone terrace in an olive grove.

Overlooked by everyone from the Romans to tourists Dugi Otok has space and silence to spare both precious commodities in...

Overlooked by everyone from the Romans to tourists, Dugi Otok has space and silence to spare; both precious commodities in high summer . Its name means 'long island' in Croatian, and while itmeasures 45km in length, it’s only 4km at its widest point. Hilltop hamlets like Dragove shimmer in the heat haze like watercolours, while fishing villages such as Sali and Božava are bleached by a lazy sun. There are cliff-edge panoramas of empty Adriatic in the southern Telašćica Nature Park and white-pebble heaven on the lovely Saharun beach with its warm, shallow waters. Only later do you realise what's missing: traffic, people and noise.

Insider's tip: Dugi Otok is served by ferry and catamaran from Zadar to Božava, Brbinj, Sali and Zaglav. It's also possible to visit as a one-day excursion from Zadar .

Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol Croatia's top windsurfing destination....

Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol, Croatia's top windsurfing destination. The island appeals to adventurous types with its excellent water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling paths. Behind Bol rises Vidova Gora (780m), the highest point on the Croatian islands – climb to the top for astounding views. Brač's hilly interior supports sheep farming – dine on lamb, roasted whole on a spit, at the lovely Kaštil Gospodnetić in Dol – while the island's quarries have generated a population of skilled sculptors and you can visit the Stonemasonry School in Pušišća to see some of their work.

Insider's tip: Try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) with Aldura in Sutivan on Brač's north coast.

Rising from the sparkling Adriatic Croatia's most distant island is visited mainly by yachters who moor up in Vis Town...

Rising from the sparkling Adriatic, Croatia's most distant island is visited mainly by yachters, who moor up in Vis Town to feast on fresh fish at Villa Kaliopa or Pojoda (Don Cvjetka Marasovića 8; +385 21 711 575), or venture inland to Roki's (Plisko Poje 17; +385 98 303 483) for octopus slow-cooked under a peka (a metal domed-lid pot, buried under glowing embers). The Ancient Greeks settled Vis in the 4th century BC, attracted by fertile fields and sheltered bays, and under Yugoslavian rule it was a military naval base, closed to foreigners. Relative isolation has kept commercialism at bay, so the bounty of, local produce served at the island’s many tiny family restaurants is mostly organic.

Insider's tip: For guided hiking tours, contact Vis-based adventure sports specialists Alternatura .

Christened Felix Arba ‘Happy Rab by the Romans the greenest island in the Kvarner Gulf is a place of pinchme beauty....

Christened Felix Arba, ‘Happy Rab’, by the Romans, the greenest island in the Kvarner Gulf is a place of pinch-me beauty. Viewed from the sea, Rab Town has the look of a grand medieval galleon built of pale stone, with narrow, steep staircases in place of rigging and four elegant bell-towers for masts. A warren of terracotta-roofed mansions and Romanesque churches, its cobbled alleys are lit by flickering candles come nightfall. And the island's northern coast, near Lopar, is laced with sandy coves, a rarity in Croatia .

**Insider's tip:**Be sure to try Rapska torta, an almond cake unique to the island and said to have first been created when Pope Alexander III visited Rab in 1177.

Korčula Town sitting compact on a tiny medievalwalled peninsula reveals stone stairways noble palazzi and a...

Korčula Town, sitting compact on a tiny medieval-walled peninsula, reveals stone stairways, noble palazzi and a Gothic-Renaissance cathedral – seen from the sea, it has hardly changed since its most famous citizen, Marco Polo (said to have been born here), embarked on his voyages to the Orient. At dusk, watch a performance of the moreška sword dance, then head into the hills clad with pine woods, vineyards and olive groves, to Konoba Maha or Konoba Mate , two rustic agrotourism eateries serving island specialities made from home produce. To sample the local white, Pošip, visit the welcoming family-run Toreta Winery in Smokvica.

Insider's tip: Explore the Korčula archipelago by sea kayak with Korčurla Outdoor .

Combine urban culture and island escapism  by visiting Šipan  one of the Elafiti islets connected to Dubrovnik's Gruž...

Combine urban culture and island escapism (as local nobles did in the 17th century, when they built summer villas here), by visiting Šipan (population 436), one of the Elafiti islets, connected to Dubrovnik's Gruž port by ferry and catamaran. Šipan's two main settlements, Suđurađ (on the east coast) and Šipanska Luka (on the west), both have tumbledown limestone cottages and villas lining sheltered bays filled with fishing boats and yachts. They're connected by a 5km rough track – hire a bike and cycle across the islet, past olive groves and orchards of orange, lemon, fig and carob.

Insider's tip: Eat at informal Konoba Kod Marka in Šipanska Luka – there's no menu but daily specials might include octopus fritters, fresh sea bass and divine homemade chocolate cake.

Homer eulogised this wavewashed island of Aleppo pine and holm oak in his Odyssey and the World Wide Fund for Nature has...

Homer eulogised this wave-washed island of Aleppo pine and holm oak in his Odyssey, and the World Wide Fund for Nature has named it among the last paradises in the Mediterranean. Mljet's northern third encompasses Mljet National Park , where two interconnected turquoise saltwater lakes are set amid dense woodland. Pomena, the entrance to the park, is just 80 minutes from Dubrovnik by catamaran. Climb up Montokuc for a view of aromatic pines cascading down to the silver-blue Adriatic, or hire a bike and peddle round Veliko Jezero (Big Lake) – in the middle rises a tiny islet, capped by a 12th-century Benedictine monastery, which you can visit by boat.

Insider's tip: Mljet's boutique Stara Skula Gallery hosts painting exhibitions and craft workshops.

An idyllic islet devoted entirely to glamping Obonjan is served by private shuttle boat from Šibenik. It opened in 2016...

An idyllic islet devoted entirely to glamping , Obonjan is served by private shuttle boat from Šibenik. It opened in 2016, and can host up to 700 glampers in its wooden forest lodges and canvas bell-tents under towering pines. There's a beach with sunbeds, straw parasols, DJ music, sea kayaks and SUPs; a spa offering holistic treatments; yoga and meditation classes; an outdoor pool; a stone amphitheatre for concerts; and several eating options, including pizza and Sri Lankan street food. It’s popular with hipsters and the concept is great but Obonjan's eco-credentials could be improved – after all, who needs air-conditioning when you're camping?

**Insider's tip:**While in Šibenik , be sure to explore the old town, with its Unesco-listed cathedral and a number of sturdy hillside fortresses.

Incomparable to any other form of transport in Dalmatia sailing is an absolute must for exploring the pristine waters of...

Kornati islands

Incomparable to any other form of transport in Dalmatia, sailing is an absolute must for exploring the pristine waters of Kornati National Park . Encompassing 89 wild, rocky largely uninhabited islands, islets and reefs, it's named after the largest, sage-scented Kornat. Most visitors arrive by private yacht, and come here to drop anchor in one of its sheltered bays (several host simple waterside restaurants), and sunbathe, snooze and snorkel in a blissful blurry blue of endless sea and sky. While looking up, you might even spot rare peregrine falcons.

Insider's tip: On Kornat, fisherman Darko Šimat runs Konoba Darko Strižnja (+385 98 623 168), serving freshly caught seafood – on request, you can join him on an early-morning fishing trip.

Lošinj's main town Mali Lošinj sits at the end of a long narrow bay on this selftitled ‘island of vitality. Once a busy...

Lošinj's main town, Mali Lošinj, sits at the end of a long narrow bay on this self-titled ‘island of vitality’. Once a busy shipyard filled with merchant vessels, its moorings are now home to yachts and excursion boats overlooked by 19th-century villas with gracious gardens, some now boutique hotels . Lošinj's natural attractions include the Aromatic Garden planted with lavender, sage, rosemary and other Mediterranean shrubs, and dolphin watching trips organised by the Blue World Institute, while the Apoxyomenos Museum displays an Ancient Greek bronze sculpture of an athlete, discovered nearby on the sea bed in 1996.

**Insider's tip:**Shop for essential oils, natural soaps, herbal teas and homemade jams at the Lošinj Aromatic Garden.

Southwest of Hvar Town  the Pakleni archipelago is a scattering of islets covered in pine woods and sheltered coves...

Sveti Klement

Southwest of Hvar Town (served by taxi-boat), the Pakleni archipelago is a scattering of islets covered in pine woods and sheltered coves, where yachters drop anchor to swim and snooze. The largest, Sveti Klement, is a real back-to-nature escape, with rough footpaths leading through lush Mediterranean vegetation to secluded pebble beaches , several overlooked by seasonal waterside restaurants and cafés. Best of all is Palmižana, an overgrown botanical garden of pines, palms, mimosa, lilies and fragrant herbs, plus a dozen quirky villas and bungalows – the owner, Dagmar, is a contemporary art collector, and her paintings adorn their boldly coloured walls.

Insider's tip: There's a small general store in the ACI sailing marina on Sveti Klement, where you can buy basics such as bottled water, bread, coffee and milk.

Pag with its bare palepink hills a landscape as silent and magical as any desert is unique among the greensloped...

Pag with its bare, pale- pink hills, a landscape as silent and magical as any desert, is unique among the green-sloped Dalmatian islands. It was stripped of its forests by the Venetian Republic, to provide timbers for their galleons. Today, beaten by the harsh bura (northeast wind), it's linked to the mainland by a road bridge. Drive through the rocky moonscape to see hardy sheep grazing wild rosemary, and dine on Paški sir (Pag sheep's cheese) and juicy roast lamb . Through summer, suntanned revellers attend electronic music festivals at Zrće beach, and holidaymakers visit Pag Town with its salt pans and lace makers.

Insider's tip: Book a dairy tour with cheese-tasting at Gligora in Kolan, then buy rounds of cheese) direct from their farm shop.

Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton and Sophia Loren along with foreign politicians and royalty were the glamorous guests...

Veliki Brijun

Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Sophia Loren, along with foreign politicians and royalty, were the glamorous guests entertained by Yugoslav President Tito on the islands of Veliki Brijuni, his beloved private summer retreat from 1945 to 1980. Veliki Brijun is the largest of 14 pine-scented islets within Brijuni National Park , and its beautifully maintained parkland reveals Roman archaeological remains. It’s also home to a number of exotic animals such as elephants, llamas, zebras and ostriches (given to Tito as gifts by visiting dignitaries from South America , Africa and Asia ), as well as deer and peacocks. It’s small enough to do some exploring on foot or there are golf buggies for rent, and a 3-star hotel offers overnight accommodation.

Insider's tip: If you're on Veliki Brijun in July, catch an after-dark open-air performance at Ulysses Theatre .

Like this? Now read...

The best beaches in Croatia

VIDEO: Istria, Croatia | Off the Beaten Track

Where was Mamma Mia 2 filmed?

Visit Croatia

The 11 Best Islands in Croatia

The 11 Best Islands in Croatia

One of the most popular sections of the Visit Croatia site is our Top 10 Destinations in Croatia guide. This part of our site no doubt helps travellers choose some of the best places to visit in Croatia! We thought we’d continue this trend of the ‘best places’ to visit, so here’s our guide to the 11 Best Islands in Croatia. And we chose eleven because we couldn’t choose just ten!

The 11 Best Islands in Croatia

Let’s start with what’s considered to be the chicest Croatian island, shall we? Hvar is as well known for its style as it is for its lavender and its sunshine; it often used to be claimed that the island was the sunniest place in Croatia. Whether it still is actually number one for sun or not, it certainly does achieve plenty of sunny hours – an average of 7.7 hours of sun per day throughout the whole year and about 2,800 hours in total.

Best Islands in Croatia - Hvar

Hvar is also pretty well known for its nightlife options – or rather, Hvar Town is, with a number of chi-chi clubs situated here. If that’s not your scene, there’s plenty else on Hvar to occupy you; consider staying in towns such as Stari Grad or Milna with their pretty harbours.

You’ll enjoy your time on Hvar, taking in the good cuisine, exploring the interior of lavender fields and perhaps partying it up at night too. Hvar is also only one hour away from Split (by catamaran) so it’s an easy hop from the mainland.

Best islands in Croatia - Korcula

Korcula Town on Korcula is sometimes referred to as a ‘mini-Dubrovnik’ with its equally charming and very well preserved old town. It is supposedly also the birthplace of Marco Polo and you can even visit his ‘house’ there. As well as a wide variety of accommodation – some smart indeed – its lovely beaches offer up a mix of relaxation or adventure. Korcula is also well known for its wine, white wine in particular, from the Posip and Grk grape varities.

The best Croatian islands - Vis

Lovely, lovely Vis has a rather different history to many of the islands featured here; for this reason, it certainly gives off a different vibe when you visit. Closed off to foreign visitors until 1989 (as it was used as a naval base after World War II), it was never part of the upsurge in foreign tourism that occurred elsewhere on Croatia’s coast and islands in the late 1970s and 1980s. The island is also the furthest away from the mainland, so perhaps isn’t considered as easy to reach as others. All of this means that Vis doesn’t have any built-up or overdeveloped tourist resorts; you’ll certainly get some tranquil time here.

You can spend a wonderfully relaxing time on Vis, exploring the coves and beaches; some of the naval/army base sights (should that be of interest!); and the flat interior of the small island. But Vis has also increased in ‘fame’ in the last few years. It was one of the filming location s for Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again. (Where it ‘stood in’ for a Greek island!).

Zlatni Rat, Bol, Brac, Croatia

We bet you’ll have already seen part of Brac even if you’ve never been there! The famous Zlatni Rat (‘Golden Horn’) Beach in Bol is the star of many a piece of literature or advertising on Croatia with its pebbled stretch of beach jutting out into the luminous blue sea. Brac is an excellent choice for families, with a number of family-friendly resorts and hotels amongst the main towns of Bol, Supetar, Sutivan and Milna. There’s also plenty of activities on offer for the sporty – Bol, in particular, is a very suitable spot for windsurfing. Hikers will adore heading up to Vidova Gora (the highest point on the island); you will be rewarded with amazing views across to the other islands.

Brac is also famous for its white stone – a material used to not only construct buildings on the mainland such as Sibenik’s cathedral and Diocletian’s Palace in Split.

Make sure you visit the impressive Blaca Hermitage inland, an entry on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Mljet

Mljet is another of Croatia’s islands to be declared one of Croatia’s eight national parks – or rather, the western third of it is. Another of Croatia’s islands to be covered in greenery, this laid-back place is the ideal spot for exploring by bike or even kayaking your way around a portion of it. Head to Veliko Jezero or Malo Jezero for calm spots for swimming and explore the Benedictine Monastery which (originally) stems from the 12th century. For those of you who like your legends, you can visit the cave (by sea) where Odysseus was supposedly trapped for seven years, having been shipwrecked here and charmed by the nymph Calypso.

Mali Losinj

Known for being an island that can offer its guests wellness and vitality, Losinj is also well known for its lush greenery. To that end, once upon a time, this place was a favoured holiday destination for Austro-Hungarian royalty. This pretty island is an excellent option for those wishing to holiday in the northern part of the Croatian coast – and on one of the less crowded islands at that. Mali Losinj is considered to have one of the prettiest harbours in the whole Croatian coastline, whilst the island as a whole is also renowned for its fragrant herbs.

Rab island

What’s that Rab , you say you have some sandy beaches? Yes, it’s true! We know that sandy beaches are a big must for many holidaymakers, something that’s few and far between in Croatia. But if it’s really a major item on your wishlist, then consider Rab. Best known is Paradise Beach in the town of Lopar, with its wide expanse of sand dipping down into shallow waters – very suitable for those with young families. If that’s only of slight interest to you, can get your cultural fix in Rab Town with a number of historic sights from centuries past. Activity sports lovers will delight in the numerous hikes and bike paths available, especially through the forested parts of the island.

Pag

Pag is one of those places that has an unusual, rather eclectic mix of items that draw in visitors. Of course, we first have to mention the epic nightlife in the Zrce Beach area near Novalja . If you’re after nights (and days) filled with clubbing and some of the best festivals in Croatia, it’s here you should head to.

But if you’re not after any of that, there’s still plenty for you on this island. With its very unusual landscape – rather rocky and, unusual for a Croatian island, with little vegetation – it’s often described as ‘moon-like’. This makes it fascinating to explore. The island is also connected to the mainland by a bridge at its southern point so it’s easy to reach. (There’s also a ferry from the mainland to the north part of the island.)

The island is also famed for its lace-making and its sheep’s cheese (and also its salt production!). See, all rather eclectic, but all rather wonderful too!

Best islands in Croatia - Lopud

I supposed we would cheat if you included the Elafiti Islands in this list seeing as they include multiple islands, right? So let us pick one island out of this group and do so by choosing Lopud . With a population of only 250 people, this tiny island close to Dubrovnik is entirely car-free. If you don’t feel like navigating your way around the forested island on foot (although, taking your time, this would be a chilled way of exploring), you can rent bikes or golf carts. Sunj Bay on the south-eastern side of the island provides a rare thing around these parts – a sandy beach; there are a number of little eateries and cafes dotted around.

The imposing Franciscan Monastery is one of the first sights you see as you approach Lopud; these days, having been fully restored, it is now possible to rent this out for a private, rather luxurious, stay.

Veli Rat, Dugi Otok

Off the coast of northern Dalmatia, close to Zadar, Dugi Otok is another island with a small population that makes for a relaxing trip. This island is ideal for visiting as a day trip from Zadar, or for longer; if you have your own set of wheels, you can really explore to your heart’s content, particularly the beaches. Saharun Beach with its shallow, stunningly shimmering waters, is the top draw around these parts. Telascica Nature Park at the southern part of the island will be of interest to nature lovers; there’s an abundance of animal and plant life here, as well as the salt-water Lake Mir.

Lastovo

Lastovo is one of the smallest and quietest islands featured on this list. Like Vis, the island was also closed off to foreigners until 1988 as it was used as an army base. Its slightly distant position in the Adriatic – it takes 3 hours by catamaran or 4+ hours by ferry from Split, or 3/4 hours from Dubrovnik – and its size means it’s quite an ‘off the beaten track’ kind of island, with fewer amenities, accommodation, restaurants than others. That, of course, may be a big plus for you! Lastovo and its surrounding islands make up the Lastovo Islands Nature Park , one of eleven nature parks in Croatia ; it is also covered in gorgeous green forests. The island is also known for having one of the most beautiful starry skies in the whole of Europe.

Which is the best island for me?

Having read the above, you may have decided which of the best islands in Croatia is perfect for you. However, in reality, you’d probably like to visit one or two…or all of them? We’re sure that you’d like to experience a mix of what the above islands can offer and, really, combining several islands into your holiday in Croatia is one of the best ways of really getting a feel for the country.

So why not base yourself on one of the above islands for your trip to Croatia; then explore others in the local area on day trips? For example, if you’re staying on Hvar you could easily visit Brac and/or Vis.

Then, save the other islands for a future holiday to Croatia!

More on the Best Islands in Croatia

We have a full guide to all of the islands mentioned above – and more besides – in our Croatian Islands section. Give it a read to find the Croatian island that fits the bill for you!

If you’re after some more visual inspiration of the best islands in Croatia, take a look at our albums

  • Photos of Vis
  • Photos of Hvar

More on Visit Croatia

About Visit Croatia

Contact Visit Croatia

Buy us a coffee!

Cookie Policy

Privacy Policy

Updated daily

New & Updated on Visit Croatia

Stari Grad Obonjan Bol Porec Two Days in Zagreb Slano How to do Croatia on a Budget Two Days in Split Nin Campsites in Croatia Shopping in Zagreb City Break in Croatia Two Days in Pula Family Holidays in Croatia 15 Things You May Not Know About Croatia Two Days in Zadar Koprivnica

Useful information on Croatia

Money in Croatia Visa Requirements for Croatia Buses in Croatia Ferries in Croatia Top Ten Destinations in Croatia Map of Croatia About Croatia

Chasing the Donkey

  • Living In Croatia
  • Croatian Recipes
  • Balkan Recipes

Cartoon mascot of a smiling donkey carrying a camera and a backpack with flowers, representing a travel company named "donkey travel the balkans & beyond.

Home > 21 Of The Best Croatian Islands – Croatia Travel Map

21 Of The Best Croatian Islands – Croatia Travel Map

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

If you want to see all of Croatia’s islands, you’ll have your work cut out. We suggest you start with these best Croatian islands!

Croatia Travel Blog_21 Best Islands To Visit In Croatia

Croatia is not just about holidays in Dubrovnik and city breaks in Zagreb – far from it! The country is also home to many beautiful and unspoiled islands, which are easy to get to and can be used as a base for a holiday or as island hopping destinations .

With a claim to over 5,835 kilometers of spectacular Adriatic coastline and more than 1,000 Croatian islands, isles, and inlets (not all of which are inhabited), all with shimmering blue seas, Croatia is tempting you at every turn.

With so much on offer, choosing where to go island hopping along the Adriatic Coast can be challenging.

  • Maybe you want gastronomic delights or to party all night long?
  • Or it is that you wish to a sandy beach ?
  • Do you want to sail to the islands or ferry from the mainland?

The various and varied Croatia islands offer culture, nightlife, history, relaxation, and excellent home bases they make for digital nomads . Find out which one is perfect for you in this Croatian Islands guide.

Islands line the entire coast of Croatia, beginning in Istria and running south to Dubrovnik through the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Because there are so many islands in Croatia , you might not know where to start, but luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list to help you get started.

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Best For Nature Lovers And Views

Brač is a large island and very easily accessible from Split . Its rolling hills and fig trees characterize the island. Still, the towns  of Bol and Supetar have generous accommodations, from hostels to hotels and restaurants, to keep you occupied.

Where to stay in Brač

  • Most scenic: Grand Hotel View (⭐8.8)
  • Most romantic: Villa Vera (⭐9.7)
  • Top luxury stay: Villa Bonaca (⭐10)
  • Top budget stay: Guest House Meri (⭐9.2)

Blaca Hermitage in the south of the island is a must-visit, as well as Vidova Gora Mountain, the highest peak on the island, offering you stunning views across the Adriatic and to neighboring islands on a clear day.

Brač is also where you’ll find the famous Zlatni Rat Beach , one of the absolute best Croatia beaches (and even in all of Europe), and the perfect place to spend a day. This makes Brač one of the best islands to visit near Split, a perfect day trip from Croatia’s second-largest city .

The most popular tours in Brač:

  • 🛥️ Freely explore sights along the coast of Brač Island by speed boat tour with this private tour
  • ⛰️ Explore Brac Island’s highest peak by foot on this group hiking tour
  • 🚢 Avoid the crowds with your own private boat exploration of the West coast of the island of Brac
  • 🛥️ Book your ferries with Ferryhopper in advance

2. Brijuni Islands

Aerial view of Brijuni Islands

Best For Natural History Lovers

This archipelago may be just minutes from the mainland but it is a living timeline of natural history. For that reason, it is a protected area. Over 5,000 years of natural and human history are on display here, including prehistoric times. Out of the sixteen islands, you can only visit two of them.

The safari park is also home to countless animals to check out, and overall, the landscapes are lush, green, and typically Mediterranean.

The most popular tours in Brijuni Islands:

  • 🛥️ On this relaxing and fun boat excursion , a friendly crew will show you all must-see spots from Pula to Brijuni islands
  • 🐬 Visit and explore one of the most beautiful places in the Adriatic Sea – Brijuni National Park by boat with dolphin cruise
  • 🚢 Escape the bustling city and discover Brijuni National Park’s island sights on board a traditional boat with this tour

Best For Families

The tiny, relatively unknown island of Susak is filled with iconic dusty yellow sand. This island in Croatia is perfect for the true connoisseur of Mediterranean getaways. I’m sure this island won’t stay unknown for long, though.

It is predominantly made up of sand, ochre-colored cliffs covered in ferns, wild fennel, and tall bamboo-like grass. The island has no roads, no nightclubs, and few tourist facilities. Instead, this mysterious island consists of only one village, dusty hiking trails, vast fields filled with oregano plants, and sandy beaches.

It is easy to explore and is quite popular among passionate kite flyers. An annual Air and Kite Festival takes place here each year. Susak lies in the Kvarner Gulf, to the southeast of Istria . It’s one of the islands furthest from the Croatian mainland.

Fun Fact: Susak Island has the shortest national costume in Croatia.

We recommend you book your ferries with Ferryhopper in advance here.

4. cres island, best for cycling fans.

Cres Town is the largest Croatian island by size and is also rather hilly. The landscapes are perfect for those who like to jump on a bike and explore Croatia ! The island is becoming increasingly known for cycling, and there are many routes and hiking routes if you prefer to go on foot.

Beach enthusiasts will want to focus on the many pebble beaches in the north. One hint: make sure you try the seafood; it’s deliciously fresh!

Brands We Use And Trust

5. dugi otok, best for relaxation.

One of my favorite islands in Croatia is Dugi Otok. This is an unspoiled and stunningly beautiful island to enjoy , perfect for chilling out in peace.

There are many picturesque villages to explore, and the beaches are always far from crowded. If you like walking, the lush vegetation and cliffs are ideal. At the same time, if you want to do some underwater exploration, there are many snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing opportunities like these. Additionally, Dugi Otok is home to one of Croatia’s best sandy beaches, Sakarun, which some compare to the Caribbean beaches, making it a great family spot .

6. Hvar Island

Best for everything.

One of the most popular islands in Croatia, Hvar is well known for being the leading party island in Croatia. The nightlife is mainly concentrated in Hvar Town, but the island has two sides , and the other side is ideal for a family break.

You won’t struggle to find a nightclub in Hvar Town, and you may even spot a celebrity, but the rest of the island is quite traditional and laid-back . Recently, Stari Grad celebrated its 2,400th year and is home to the UNESCO-listed Stari Grad Plain. The towns of Jelsa and Vrboska are two idyllic Dalmatian Coast towns that should not be missed.

The most popular tours in Hvar:

  • 🚢 Admire the stunning architecture in the world-famous town of Hvar and visit all major Adriatic island destinations in just one day
  • 🍷 Enjoy a small-group wine and olive oil-tasting tour that takes you from Hvar
  • 🌊 Experience the beauty of the Blue Lagoon, where the sun rays create a glowing blue light on this tour from Hvar
  • 🌺 Enjoy a small-group tour of the remains of the lavender fields around the village of Brusje
  • 🏞️ Enjoy this fantastic day tour encompassing scenic views and visits to Stari Grad and Vrbovska towns with delicious dinner from locals

Spend a few days exploring the island by booking accommodations on Hvar , or, if you’re rushed for time, see the highlights of Hvar Town in just 24 hours.

7. Korcula Island

Best for exploration.

Korcula Island (pronounced KOR-chu-la), also known as the Emerald Isle, is one of the best islands near Dubrovnik. Located in southern Dalmatia, this small 279-square-kilometer island is a favorite among travelers . A great place of culture, history, beauty, and charm , the island of Korcula offers various activities and unique traditions, all surrounded by the stunning Adriatic sea and excellent Korcula weather.

If you ask the locals, they will tell you that Marco Polo was born there . Aside from that, Korcula town is ideal for heading off on foot and exploring . The main town is also called Korcula, but Vela Luka is a great town to enjoy, and this is also where you get the ferry.

Vela Luka, Korcula

Vela Luka is a small town located in a wide bay on the island of Korčula. The town is rich with many coves to discover, vineyards, olive trees, fig trees, and pine trees. Vela Luka is the biggest village on the island and has one of the largest nautical harbors in the area. It also has some of the best stone beaches in Croatia !

Vela Luka is the largest town on the island of Korčula. It has a deep, sheltered bay with tranquil inlets and tiny islets. Vela Luka has 2.671 sunshine hours, which is the highest for the whole of the Adriatic and the warmest temperature in the Mediterranean – even higher than Hvar , Dubrovnik, Nice, and Naples.

And if all that tremendous beach-friendly environment doesn’t lure you in, maybe the history will – the Mediterranean region’s life and culture can be traced through archaeological finds from Vela Špilja.

What to Do in Vela Luka

Visit the Vela Špilja: Visit the Vela Špilja – the Large Cave . This cave is an important prehistoric archaeological site in Europe.

The findings in this cave prove the existence of several prehistoric communities from the early Stone Age (about 20,000 BC), the Iron Age, and the Copper Age. The findings indicate a long cultural, social, spiritual, and economic history of the relations between the inhabitants of Vela Špilja and other parts of the Adriatic Islands and the Mediterranean.

  • Bike, Hike, Trek: Adventure seekers will enjoy the many cycling routes in the area (four circular cities in Vela Luka stretch along the island). There are also four trekking and hiking trail routes.
  • Visit Local Monuments: En route , visit local monuments, such as the chapel of Sv. Juraj, an old fortress called Hum, and an abandoned village called Dub. All the trails are very well marked.
  • Town Centre Museum: Visit the Museum in the town center of Vela Luka; it has many archaeological and art collections, including two Henry Moores, works of contemporary Croatian Artists, and finds from the Vela Špilja.
  • Islets of Proizd and Ošjak: Visit the islets of Proizd (a famous beach in the area) and Ošjak – two of the most visited destinations. Proizd is a small island that can be reached by a small excursion boat featuring three beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, several walking trails, and a small restaurant and cafe . A day trip to this island is highly recommended. Ošjak is known as the Love Island because of its beautiful nature, peaceful surroundings, and tranquillity. Enjoy swimming in unspoiled waters, walking through dense pine forests, and exploring an exciting cave.

8. Kornati Islands

Low Res_Boris Kacan_Licenced_Kornati Islands National Park | Croatia Travel Blog Chasing the Donkey

Best For Marine Life

The Kornati Islands are ideal for anyone exploring what lies beneath the Adriatic’s surface. This dense cluster of islands is home to numerous small coves, beaches, and bays where you can stop and swim or enjoy the pristine environment, all close to each other.

Kornati National Park, protecting 89 islands, is perfect for those looking to experience unique natural landscapes, soaring cliffs, and barren, rocky, mostly uninhabited islands. The Adriatic is at its glorious best in this national park , and with the backdrop of the Kornati Islands, you will be stunned at the area’s natural beauty.

Also, this is the ideal spot for some superb slalom sailing if you love sailing. However, you will need a permit/ticket to do so. There are countless diving and snorkeling opportunities and many diving schools to help you out.

Best For A Day Trip From Zadar

Mali Iź, pronounced as ‘mar-lee eesh,’ is one-half of the island of Iź, just a short ferry ride from Zadar. It is located between the islands of Dugi Otok and Ugljan, both of which make great day trips from the Zadar.

Mali is the Croatian word for small, and while the island may be small, she has a big heart and is full of centuries-old history. You will also be drawn to its crystal-clear waters, where you will surely want to dip your toes into the inviting Adriatic Sea.

Best For Walking And Wildlife

Krk is a large island with many towns and villages to explore and fun campgrounds and resorts to stay at . Connected to the Croatian mainland by a bridge, this is a very accessible island. Krk has varying landscapes , with an arid feel to the north, a lush green side to the south, full of bays and beaches, and a hilly and rocky interior. If you want to enjoy wildlife, head into the woods on one of the many walking trails and see what you can spot!

11. Lastovo

The coral reef from Lastovo island, Adriatic Sea in Croatia

Best For Architecture And Nature

Easily reached from Split and Dubrovnik , Lastovo is packed with 15th- and 16th-century architecture, including countless churches in different styles. The island is rich in history, and the main town is full of various types of architecture, including beautiful Renaissance houses. Lastovo and its surrounding islands are Croatia’s newest Nature Park .

The island doesn’t get many tourists and has remained somewhat of an untouched paradise. Lastovo is renowned for its annual carnival , a celebration in which all residents participate by wearing elaborate folk costumes. Another notable attraction on the island is the unique cylindrical Lastovo chimneys, which look like mini-minarets (although no Turkish or Arab influences have ever reached the islands).

Best Islands In Croatia - Panoramic view of Mali Losinj, Croatia

Best For Relaxation And Health

Lošinj is the island of vitality and has a long history in health tourism. This is primarily due to its mild Mediterranean climate. The island has several spas to pamper you, loads of hiking and cycling trails through woods, and plentiful clean beaches for you to relax on.

Mali Lošinj is full of exciting history and culture, so be sure to visit the Apoxymenos Museum and see the Bronze Apoxymenos found in the sea off the coast of Lošinj.

Best For Seclusion And Freedom

Despite Zlarin’s small size and relative obscurity , it is undoubtedly an island with dazzling beauty. It is known locally as the ‘Golden Island’ because it’s that eye-watering gorgeous! This small island is just off the mainland, separated by the Šibenik Channel, and is primarily famous for its history of coral harvesting; there is even a Coral Museum where you can learn more about it.

Aside from coral, there is a lot of history in Zlarin, dating back to the 13th century. If, however, you’re more about beaches and beauty, then Zlarin has it covered and then some! The long sandy beach is ideal for families who want to run free and explore, and the green background gives you that ‘castaway’ feel. You won’t find a lot of hotels on the island, though. Instead, there is excellent private accommodation, which helps you get that home-away-from-home vibe to your break.

14. Mljet Island

Best for couples.

Mljet is a relaxing and stunningly beautiful island , making it ideal for a romantic break for two ! This gorgeous island is easily reached from Dubrovnik, perhaps as a day trip , and has numerous walk and cycle trails leading you to romantic bays.

About a third of Mljet is a national park , and it’s here you can find two salt lakes, one of which has a little islet with a former Benedictine Monastery, which is now a cafe. Rent a kayak and spend the afternoon on the islet Melita for a beautiful afternoon.

Pag Island - Sail Croatia

Best For Partying

Zrce Beach on the island of Pag is undoubtedly one of the best Croatia party islands. Over the summer, you have numerous festivals such as Hideout, Spring Break Europe, and Sonus, where tens of thousands of people worldwide descend on Zrce to see the world’s best DJs perform.

Of course, the island is not all about Zrce. Pag Town has a more cultural, slow vibe and is worth exploring. Be sure to try the award-winning Paški cheese while visiting the island . You can easily reach Pag from Zadar, as a bridge connects it.

Best Islands In Croatia - Rab Island

Best For Beaches

Most of Croatia’s beaches are pebbly or rocky , but Rab is one of the few islands with golden sandy beaches to enjoy . The most famous beach is Rajska or Paradise Beach, where you will find the most visitors during the summer months as well as families. On the other hand, the island’s mountainous interior is ideal for walking and exploring the landscapes. The beaches, however, are the main pull.

Things to do in Croatia - VIS ISLAND_CROATIA

Europe’s Best Beach

In 2016, Stiniva Beach on the island of Vis was named the best beach in Europe. One of Croatia’s top beaches, Stiniva, is well hidden from the sea and not the easiest beach to access.

It’s either a hike to the beach or access by a small boat, but a spectacular view will reward you for your effort. Although Vis Island has never had large tourist numbers, Vis town has become a popular stop for those sailing the Croatian islands.

Those looking for a quiet, outdoor getaway and  music festival lovers, not to mention its new status as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Silba Island, Croatia - Car Free Islands In Croatia

Silba is a small island in the Zadar region with an area of 15 km2. It is located southeast of the island of Mali Lošinj. The highest peak on the island is Varh (80 m).

Some boats and ferries sail daily to the island, and it takes about 1.5 hours to arrive by catamaran from Zadar. Silba has Mediterranean vegetation and many aromatic herbs, a perfect location to spend a vacation in untouched nature with a peaceful vibe.

There are no roads for motorcycles or cars on the island; in fact, there is only one small car on the island that the locals use to transport things. If you are after peace, it doesn’t get much better than this!

What To Do On Silba

  • Beach Day: Spend a day on one of many beautiful small beaches and bays, including pebble and sand beaches. Beaches to check out our Pocukmarak (the biggest beach on the south side, which also happens to contain a stone sarcophagus and two covers in the water around 1500 years old), Tratica, Carpusina, and Sotorisce (the biggest and the most popular beach on Silba).
  • Explore the Bays: Visit attractive bays, such as Pernastica Bay, the most beautiful Silba Bay, and Porat of Sv. Ante Bay, the bay of Dobre Vode, and the Nozdre Bay.
  • Sports and Recreation: There are many sports and recreation activities, including running in the woods, walking along the bays, and team sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, or handball on Sotorišce beach. Additionally, visit the complex Mirta to try table tennis or rent a small boat. For the more adventurous type, Silba is a good place for windsurfing.
  • Gallery of Marija Ujević-Galetović: Visit the gallery of Marija Ujević-Galetović located in the center of Silba, designed as a park consisting of open original sculptures from different periods.
  • View the History: Visit many historical monuments and churches, including the impressive 19th-century Toreta Tower, known as the Tower of Love. You can observe stunning sea views and the nearby Olib and Premuda islands when you climb up the tower.

19. Island of Šolta

Solta Island Croatia

Šolta is an island in the Split region. It is located south of Split and west of Brač Island . The economy is based on tourism, fishing, olive growing, and vineyard cultivation. The settlement of Rogač has the main port, while the main tourist centers are Nečujam and Maslinica.

What To Do On Šolta

  • Hike: Take a walk from the coastal villages of Maslinica, Stomorska, Nečujem, or Rogač. Explore the inland villages of Grohote, Gornje Selo, Srednje Selo, or Donje Selo.
  • Vela Straža: Visit the highest peak on the island, Vela Straža. Enjoy the sights of old white stone houses, olive groves, lively town centers, and old churches. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the local taverns and treat yourself to fabulous local cuisine and excellent Dalmatian red and white wine.
  • Bike:/strong>There are numerous bike paths on the island to explore. The mapped paths (asphalt and unpaved trails) connect the island towns and villages.
  • Sea Kayaking: Try sea kayaking. Kayak rental is available in the towns of Nečujam and Maslinica.
  • Scuba Dive: For the adventurous types, explore the deep waters of the island by scuba diving. Visit sites of sunken ships, hidden caves, and unique species.
  • See the Island by Scooter: If you are visiting for a day, rent a scooter and visit many beaches, taverns, and cafes.

Local Tip: from the main port, make Stomorska your first spot and visit a cafe called Africa, enjoy refreshing cocktails, and swim in the crystal clear waters in front of the cafe.

If you want to find lesser-known islands of the small kind, check here.

Move this adventure to your inbox & get an instant freebie.

Sign Up Image

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Best For Music Festivals

Tisno, on the island of Murter, is one of Croatia’s two major electronic music festival locations . Over the summer months, people flock to Tisno to attend festivals like Suncebeat, Electric Elephant, and Love International. Besides music, Murter is incredible, and you can easily make a day trip to the Kornati Islands from Murter.

Planning Your Croatian Islands Escape

A network of ferries conveniently runs between these top islands in Croatia to visit . These ships are certainly not glamorous sailboats, to say the least, but they get you to the islands at a very affordable rate, allowing you more time (and money) to explore the islands ! It is not easy to see them all (like we said), but here is one idea for a week-long vacay.

You can start your Croatian island vacation in Split and head to Vis for under 8 USD per person on a Jadrolinija ferry.

The Jadrolinija fleet includes car ferries, classic passenger ships, and catamarans. They connect the mainland to the Croatian islands, provide service between them, and even transport passengers between Croatia and Italy . They really do make planning your Croatia island-hopping itinerary super-easy.

Local Tip: The price will obviously be higher if you want to bring a car onboard the ferry. It is also important to note that car ferries do not operate on all routes. Additionally, you will need to book early in peak season.

When it’s time to leave Vis, we suggest the high-speed catamaran to the Island of Hvar . This costs less than $6 per person for the 50-minute ride.

Local Tip: You can only book tickets one day in advance at the local ticket office if you want to be sure to reserve your spot. And you should because these journeys can and do sell out.

You can then jump aboard the Kapetan Luka to get to the island of Korčula. The ride is just over an hour and will cost less than $12 per person. Hvar or Korcula should be the cornerstone of your itinerary. They’re arguably the two coolest islands to visit in Croatia .

Local Tip: Again, tickets must be purchased one day in advance from the ticket office located right near the harbor’s boat docks.

So, which of the Croatian islands will you choose?

  • What To Pack For Croatia
  • Ultimate Guide To Accommodation In Croatia
  • Come To Zagreb For A Dental Implant Vacation
  • Best Beaches In Croatia
  • Croatia Airport Transfers
  • Weird, Interesting & Unique Things To Do In Croatia
  • Explore Croatia In Winter
  • Croatian Wine You Can’t-Miss
  • Croatia Road Trip Itinerary
  • Game Of Thrones Locations & Tours In Croatia
  • Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik
  • Car Free Islands In Croatia
  • What You Need To Know For Planning A Trip To Croatia

Comments (32)

We had a fabulous time roaming from Island to island in Croatia. They are all great and all offer something different depending on what you are looking for! I can’t wait to comeback and do it all again!

Sj, We’re not sailing, but right now I’m in Korcula…gorgeous! I’ve loved the terraced vineyards with spring green leaves on them!

Dubrovnik is the only one of these islands I have heard of, although I haven’t been.

Dubrovnik is a walled city, not an Island, rather a departure point for islands

Kornati looks breathtaking! Another thing to add to my Croatia list…damn you!

Ah the islands. They evaded us on our first visit but wont get off so easy next time. Stunning photos, you’ve got me shaking for a warm vacation :)

I haven’t been to Croatia but each day I read your posts I want to hop on a plane and start exploring. I think it would be amazing to charter a boat with family and friends. Such a fun way to see an area.

We went to whichever one had the most convenient ferry during our very short stay, and from that completely-unresearched experience I conclude that you can’t go too far wrong! I would have to look up the name again, but it was a fantastic visit.

I’m amazed at how much your blog has grown over the past year! Croatia looks absolutely gorgeous, I can’t wait to visit! Dropping in from the #atozchallenge, and because I drop in for recipes anyhow. :)

Love Croatia, best part of our honeymoon ever

Glad you two had a great time Nike, looks like you’ll have to start planning a return trip for an anniversary huh?

Always thinking about the islands. One important ‘not to miss’ about Cres is the Griffon Vultures. Look up & you may see them soaring elegantly in the cloudless blue skies.

I never saw the buggers. Were you lucky enough?

Saw 1 above Cres town around 3pm in early August 16 but almost impossible to get a picture.

Think Griffon Vultures is some big motherfu….s!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!

Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List!

Subscribe Now For Instant Access To Stress-Free Packing

Croatia's 8 Best Islands

By Katherine LaGrave

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Land Shoreline Water Ocean Sea Coast Beach and Island

Why we love it: Vis was closed off from foreign visitors until 1989, when it ceased being a military base for the Yugoslav army. As a result, this island—the furthest from the Croatian mainland—is relatively underdeveloped compared to its island siblings, and that makes it a big draw. Once there, make time to beach hop (try Lucica and Srebrna ), climb Hum Mountain, eat fresh lobster in picturesque Komiža, and take an offshore trip to the blue cave of Biševo.

Image may contain Water Waterfront Marina Dock Port Pier Vehicle Transportation Watercraft Vessel and Boat

Why we love it: The country’s most popular island for nightlife and yachters, Hvar is also Croatia’s sunniest spot, which makes its beaches (Lucisca; Dubovica; Grebisce) ever-packed. The island has a rich history, too: It was once an important trade base in the Adriatic, and its Stari Grad Plain, an agricultural landscape set up in the 4th century by Greek colonists, is a UNESCO World Heritage site .

Image may contain Vehicle Transportation Watercraft Vessel Water Waterfront Marina Boat Dock Port Pier and Human

Why we love it: Krk, the largest island in Croatia, connects to the mainland by a toll bridge—and as a result, is also one of Croatia's busiest islands. Due to its rich history, the island is considered a "cradle" of Croatian culture: It was part of the Republic of Venice during much of the Middle Ages, and at one point, inhabitants spoke five different languages on the 156-square-mile island.

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Land Water Ocean Sea Landscape Scenery Shoreline Aerial View Coast and Beach

Why we love it: With sandy shorelines, olive groves, vineyards, salted lakes (Veliko and Malo Jezero), and dense Mediterranean forest, Mljet holds a reputation as Croatia's greenest island—and one of its most beautiful. It's also the most forested island in the Adriatic, and the protected Mljet National Parkmuch comprises much of the island. Local specialties here include goat's cheese, eel, and red wine.

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Land Ocean Sea Water Shoreline Coast Vehicle Transportation Boat and Promontory

Kornati Archipelago

Why we love it: Twenty-two miles long, the Kornati archipelago—also known as the Stomorski islands—is a nautical paradise. With more than 140 islands, the Kornati islands are the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean, but surprisingly lack any permanent settlements. Both land and sea are protected as part of the Kornati National Park, which means the waters (and beaches) here are some of the cleanest in the country.

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Land Shoreline Water Ocean Sea Coast Beach and Island

Why we love it: Brač may be best known for its white-pebble stretch of beach, Zlatni Rat, but there's more to do on island than just sunbathe. Explore the picturesque towns of Bol and Supetar; trek to the Blaca Hermitage monastery, originally established in 1551; and hike Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the Adriatic islands.

Image may contain Transportation Vehicle Boat Roof Human Person Water and Outdoors

Why we love it: When Greek settlers first came to Korčula, they named the island Korkyra Melaina, Black Korčula, for its dense forests. Today, Korčula is famous for its white wine ( pošip grapes are primarily only grown here), and the island features a mix of tangled woods, winding coasts, small fishing villages, vineyards, and olive trees. Its biggest town, the eponymous Korčula, is known as "Little Dubrovnik" for its fortified medieval walls and narrow streets. Local legend says explorer Marco Polo was born here, and the site of his alleged birth is open to visitors.

Image may contain Scenery Outdoors Nature Landscape Water Land Plant Tree Building and Roof

Why we love it: Tiny Krapanj, at just 0.14 square miles, is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Adriatic Sea—and no cars are allowed . Most famous for its spužvari , or sponge divers, the island also draws visitors for its scuba diving, free diving, and spearfishing.

best islands to visit croatia

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

17 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit This Year

When planning an itinerary for your Croatia trip, you must wonder whether to visit any of the islands in Croatia. And since the answer is Yes, you must think about which island in Croatia you should visit. 

Well, don’t worry! In this post, we list the 17 best Croatian islands to visit this year! 

Dubbed the land of 1000 islands, Croatia has so many islands that it can take years to visit them all. However, only about 78 of these islands are real islands, 47 of them are inhabited, and only 15 of them are over 50 km2 big with at least 1000 inhabitants. The rest of the islands are actually islets, rocks, and reefs. 

The best islands in Croatia to visit, Illustration

You won’t find many countries in the world where ferries are such an integral part of locals’ everyday life. Islands in Croatia are like small countries, they are all unique in their own way with a different vibe. Although they all boast wonderful landscapes, numerous beaches, mistrustful locals, small villages, olive orchards, and terraced vineyards, they also differ one from another in so many ways.

Whether you are looking for a laid-back vibe, relaxing beach time, partying, or active holidays with your family or friends, there is an island in Croatia to suit your needs. 

Hvar is the trendiest and the most popular Croatian island . 

Brač is the best island for families with children. 

A cool vibe, beautiful beaches, yummy food, quirky history, and lack of big full-service resorts make Vis one of the best Croatian islands for couples . 

Šolta is one of the best islands to visit near Split . 

Korčula, dubbed the Emerald Island, is one of the most beautiful Croatian islands . 

Croatia’s greenest island , Mljet attracts visitors with its wonderful nature, dense forests, ample hiking opportunities, turquoise sea, and overall tranquility. 

Elafiti islands are the best islands near Dubrovnik . 

The southernmost permanently inhabited island in Croatia, Lastovo is a perfect island for those in search of off-the-beaten-path destinations and “away from it all” type of holidays!

Connected with the mainland by the bridge, the north Adriatic island of Krk is the most visited island in Croatia.

The least developed and the least populated yet the largest Croatian island, Cres is one of the best islands in Croatia for beaches . 

Dubbed Vitality Island, Losinj is t he best island in Croatia for well-being and recharging your energy.

Susak, an island made entirely of sand deposits, is one of the smallest inhabited islands in Croatia .

If summer for you means music, dancing, and clubbing until the wee hours, then Pag Island is the best party island in Croatia .

Rab Island’s many sandy beaches make it a perfect island in Croatia for families with small children.

Dugi Otok, a gateway to Kornati National Park, attracts nature and outdoor enthusiasts in search of active holidays.

Many summer festivals take place on the island of Murter during the summer, making it along with Pag, a popular party island in Croatia.

The Kornati archipelago is a real natural wonder full of hidden coves, lovely beaches, and great restaurants. The archipelago is a dream destination for all sea lovers and sailing aficionados.

Table of Contents

Great for everything!

Sunset over Hvar Town from Spanjola Fortress

Hvar is the trendiest and the most popular Croatian island. It is a great place to spend your holidays and a regular stop on all itineraries for first-time visitors to Croatia.

Hvar has it all: beautiful beaches, easy access from the mainland, natural beauty, great tourist infrastructure, good restaurants, quality wines, charming coastal towns, historical sites, clubbing scenes in Hvar Town, and loads of activities for people of all ages.

Why visit: For all the reasons listed above. It appeals to everybody.

Where to stay: Places by Valamar , Heritage suites Zanini , or Villa Riva

Where to eat: Konoba Kokot , Black Pepper

Great for family!

Airview of Zlatni rat Beach, Bol, Brac island

With its lovely beaches, family-friendly hotels, low-key outdoor activities, and very safe environment, Brac is an ideal island for families with children to spend their holidays.

However, Brac also attracts couples with its wineries , hiking and cycling trails, and adults-only boutique hotels.

We also like Brac for its proximity to the mainland, its cultural heritage, and yummy food.

Why visit: Zlatni rat is the most renowned of all beaches in Croatia, and it is featured on so many best beaches in the world lists.

Where to stay: Elaphusa Hotel Bol for families, Lemongarden hotel for couples

Where to eat: Konoba Kopacina , Konoba Toni

Great for couples!

Beach in Komiza, Vis Island

We would move to Vis permanently. That’s how much we love it.

A cool vibe, beautiful beaches, yummy food, quirky history, and lack of big full-service resorts make Vis one of the best Croatian islands for couples. 

Vis used to be a military base for the Yugoslav army and thus entirely closed off for foreigners for more than 4 decades.

Due to this fact alone, it’s still a bit underdeveloped. Its lack of big hotels keeps the summer crowds low compared with other central Dalmatian islands.

Why visit: If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination where you can relax and recharge (although this is changing lately as foreign tourists start discovering Vis)

Where to stay: Hotel San Giorgio , Apartments Villa Anka

Where to eat: Mala Travna , Pojoda , Roki’s

Great for a day trip from Split!

best islands to visit croatia

Šolta is one of the best islands to visit near Split. In the past, a popular curse in Split was I hope you end up on Šolta Island. As you can imagine, traveling or living on Šolta wasn’t that popular. However, those days are long gone and today not only that Šolta attracts tons of visitors, especially yachtsmen, but it is also a place for locals to get away from hustle and bustle of Split. 

Šolta’s coast is very indented, and it hides wonderful bays, coves, and unspoiled beaches. 

Why visit: Šolta is still pretty much intact, especially when you wander to its outer shores; the island’s proximity to Split  Where to stay: Heritage Hotel Martinis Marchi , Apartments Villa Lemony , Hotel Paradise Punta Where to eat: Pasarela , Volat

Great for foodies!

Korcula old town, town square, bar

Korčula, dubbed the Emerald Island, is one of the most beautiful Croatian islands. It is also one of the southernmost islands in Croatia, and one of the closest to the mainland. The crossing takes only 20 minutes.

With stunning landscapes, historic towns, great local wine, lovely secluded beaches, crystal clear sea in all shades of blue, and yummy food, Korčula is a great place to visit for couples, or generally for all food and wine lovers.

Some also argue it’s one of the best and the most chilled places in Croatia, and we don’t object!

Why visit: yummy food and great wines, natural beauty

Where to stay: Aminess Lume Hotel , The Fabris Luxury Inn , Korcula Hill Apartments

Where to eat: Konoba Mate , Konoba Pagar , Ignis Tapas Bar , Konoba Skafeti , Konoba Maslina

Great for hiking!

best islands to visit croatia

Croatia’s greenest island, Mljet attracts visitors with its wonderful nature, dense forests, ample hiking opportunities, turquoise sea, and overall tranquility. A northern part of Mljet has been a protected national park since 1960, and it’s pretty much the only area that attracts lots of visitors. The rest of the island doesn’t feel crowded, not even at the peak of the summer. Thus, it’s a perfect place to visit if you are on the lookout for some peace and quiet, delightful swims, lovely hikes, and fresh seafood. Why visit: nature, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling Where to stay: Apartments Lampalo ,  Villa Radulj Where to eat: Marijina Konoba , Stermasi

Elafiti Islands

Great for a day trip from Dubrovnik

A beach and houses in Sudard on the island of Sipan near Dubrovnik

Located just slightly northwest of Dubrovnik, Elafiti islands are the best islands near Dubrovnik. 

Often visited on a day trip from Dubrovnik, the Elafiti Islands consist of 13  islands and islets. Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan are the three main inhabited islands. Kolocep and Lopud are car-free. 

Visiting Elafiti is like stepping back in time. Quaint villages with very few tourists and basic tourist infrastructure, peace and quiet, secluded bays, sandy beaches on Lopud Island, olive groves, kayaking, hiking, and some seriously good restaurants like Bowa or Villa Ruza, are the reasons people visit Elafiti.

Why visit: easy to visit from Dubrovnik, tranquility, sea kayaking

Where to stay: Hotel Bozica , Kalamota Beach House , Skipper’s Suite

Where to eat: BOWA Restaurant , Restaurant Obala , Villa Ruza

Great for away from it all type of holidays!

best islands to visit croatia

Lastovo is the southernmost permanently inhabited island in Croatia. It is also one of the most remote, and quite isolated Croatian islands and one of the least visited. It is popular among boating enthusiasts, but not so much among other visitors to Croatia.

Lastovo is beautiful, though. Its archipelago has been declared a protected nature park back in 2006. One fun fact about Lastovo is that it is marked by the number 46. Its archipelago consists of 46 islands, islets rocks, and reefs. Island’s surface is 46 km2. There are 46 small churches in the archipelago. The island has only five settlements. And it is one of the best star-gazing places in Europe due to the low light pollution on the island. With its rocky and steep shores, hilly interior, scattered villages, and few visitors, Lastovo is still wild and untamed. The sound of crickets, and the smell of the sea, pines, and immortelles, truly remind me of the Mediterranean as it once was. Why visit: natural beauty, authentic holidays away from it all, peace and quiet Where to stay: Villa Maria Apartments , Apartments Vesna Where to eat: Podanje , Konoba Bacvara

Great for the first-time island experience!

Beach near Stara Baska, krk Island

Krk is the second largest island in Croatia. It is located in the northern Adriatic region of Kvarner, only 30 km south of Rijeka. 

The Krk Bridge connects the island with the mainland. Rijeka International Airport is located on Krk Island. This makes Krk easily accessible whether you decide to travel by plane or by car.

Krk truly has it all for a perfect vacation for visitors of all ages and travel styles, from quaint villages, historical towns, rich cultural heritage, many cycling and hiking trails, some of the best beaches in Croatia, great wines, and good restaurants. Add to that a great tourist infrastructure, Krk’s proximity to Slovenia, Austria, Northern Italy, and south Germany (all within 5 hour drive), and you will understand why Krk is the most visited Croatian island.

Why visit: easy access by car or plane, proximity to many central European towns, a good and varied tourist offer, good tourist infrastructure

Where to stay: Jezevac Premium Camping Resort , Rooms N Stara Baska , Hotel Villa Margaret

Where to eat: Konoba Pod prevolt , Restaurant Rivica

Great for beaches!

Meli beach on the island of Cres, sailing boat

Oh, how we love Cres! Cres is one of the least developed and least populated islands in Croatia, and yet is the biggest of all Croatian islands. Visited mainly by sailing and camping aficionados from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, and Germany, Cres will charm you with its numerous wild beaches, often only accessible by boat or on foot, vast spaces, hiking and cycling trails, small hilltop villages, and olive groves. Why visit: for beaches and if you need to unwind Where to stay: Art Farm Filozici or camping Kovacine mobile homes Where to eat: Art Farm Filozici

Great for wellness!

Mali Losinj, Cikat Bay

Losinj is another one of the north Adriatic islands, along with Cres, Krk, and Rab.

Since the 19th century, Losinj has been known as a vitality island. The slogan that the island proudly carries to this day!

Covered in a thick pine forest, abounding in Mediterranean plants and herbs, and surrounded by the sea, Losinj is a perfect destination for all those who want to improve their health, or simply recharge.

The island has lots of hiking trails, numerous coves, bays, and beaches, some of the best hotels in Croatia, a bottlenose dolphin observatory, and a sea turtle rescue center.

Why visit: for well-being and to recharge, to see the dolphins in the wild, and simply to enjoy the sea

Where to stay: Hotel Bellevue , Boutique Hotel Alhambra , campsite Cikat

Where to eat: Japanese restaurant Matsunoki , Restaurant Corrado

Great to unwind!

Susak Island

Susak must be one of the smallest inhabited islands in Croatia. And it is also the only Croatian island entirely made of sand deposits and covered with reeds and vines.

This car-free island has only one village and not a single hotel or a campsite, and it is a perfect place to unwind.

You can also visit Susak on a day trip from Pula or Mali Losinj.

Beaches are sandy!

Why visit: sandy beaches, to unwind

Where to stay: You won’t have much choice – Sansego Suites

Where to eat: Again not much choice, konoba Barbara is your best bet

Great for partying!

best islands to visit croatia

Pag is the strangest place you might visit in your lifetime. And the closest place to what the planet Mars might look like. In fact, the most popular hiking trail on the island boasts The life on Mars name. The north part of the island is made of pure stone, with no trees nor bushes, only low-lying lavender, immortelle, and other aromatic herbs.

Pag is the most popular party island in Croatia. 

Zrće beach, close to the town of Novalja, is a popular tourist destination for the young and restless. Zrće Beach, a party beach with the best clubbing scene in all of Croatia , offers 24/7 parties from May through September in Kalypso, Ice Bar, Papaya, Aquarius, or Noa beach clubs.

But Pag also features a crystal-clear sea, beautiful beaches, Lun’s olive gardens, and one of Croatia’s best cheeses.

Why visit: Clubbing and summer festivals at the Zrce beach, but also for relaxed family holidays, or active outdoor vacation.

Where to stay: Hotel Boskinac

Where to eat: Restaurant Boskinac

Great for small children!

Rab Island panorama

Dubbed “the Happy Island” Rab is a perfect choice for families with small children due to its sandy beaches and shallow waters.

No other place in Croatia has so many sandy beaches as Rab Island has! Although less popular than its northern neighbors, Losinj, and Krk, Rab still attracts a fair amount of crowds.

The other attractions include a lovely, historic town of Rab with its four churches, Dundo reserve, a dense holm-oak forest, one of the best-preserved in the whole Mediterranean, and a must-try Rab cake made of almonds, lemon and orange zest, and maraschino liqueur.

Why visit: Sandy beaches, history and culture, and lovely landscapes are some of Rab’s forte. However, it’s also a great place to unwind, take interesting day trips, hike, and explore hidden bays and coves.

Where to stay: Padova Premium Camping Resort , Imperial Valamar Collection Hotel , Vintage Holiday Home

Where to eat: Konoba Rab , Restaurant More , Restaurant Sampjer

Great for adventure!

Dugi otok Island, Telasica Nature Park, Air view

With its striking cliffs, sandy beaches, remote villages, protected nature park Telasica, and numerous bays, Dugi Otok attracts a fair share of nature and outdoor enthusiasts in search of active holidays. Whether you enjoy cycling, sea kayaking, snorkeling, diving, swimming, rock, or big game fishing, Dugi Otok is the place to be! The island is also a great gateway to visiting Kornati National Park. Why visit: for outdoor activities, especially water activities, to relax far from the crowds Where to stay: Gorgonia Apartments and Suites , Villa Nai 3.3 Where to eat: Gorgonia Grill , Konoba Trapula

Great for summer festivals!

Murter Island, Sailing Boat, Bay

With a surface of fewer than 20 km2 and a population of only 5000 people, Murter is, believe it or not, the largest island in the Sibenik archipelago.

The island of Murter is conveniently connected with the mainland by a bridge.

It is known for summer festivals, for its beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, and as a gateway to Kornati national park – making it one of the favorite destinations for sailing aficionados.

Why visit: Summer festivals, taking place in the town of Tisno, are some of the best in Croatia!

Where to stay: Golden Haven Luxe Glamp Resort , Villa Ena

Where to eat: Konoba Boba

Great for sailing!

best islands to visit croatia

Watching the Kornati only on photos, I couldn’t understand what all fuss was about. Croatia has so many beautiful islands and Kornati, from that perspective, looked to me just like naked rocks.

Anyways fast forward to 2017 when I visited them for the first time. And oh boy, was I wrong!

Kornati is one of the most stunning places I have seen in my life (and I’ve seen quite a fair share in my 25 years of professional sailing all over the world).

The only way to visit and get to know Kornati Islands is by boat. This most indented archipelago in the Mediterranean is a maze of 89 islands, islets, and reefs. Due to the strong winds that blow here, the islands have very scarce vegetation, and they truly look like from another planet.

Why visit: Lovely landscapes, great swimming and snorkeling, the best sailing spot in Croatia, and good food

Where to stay: Holiday Home Queen of Kornati , Glamping Resort Festa

Where to eat: Konoba Levrnaka , Restaurant Festa

We hope you have a better idea of the islands in Croatia, and which one can fit your travel style. As always, if you have any questions, let us know in the comments section below.

Frankaboutcroatia.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post might also contain affiliate links to other sites, like accommodation or activities. And if you purchase anything using these links, we earn a little commission with no extra costs for you. Thank you for supporting our blog! Read full disclaimer here.

Home / Destinations In Croatia / 17 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit This Year

1 thought on “17 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit This Year”

Hey Frank, thanks a lot for your valuable insights and posts about Croatia! Thanks to your blog we have managed to plan our trip to Croatia last year despite all the covid restrictions. This year we will be coming back to Croatia! We will be spending some time first in Dubrovnik and afterwards in Split. We would also love to spend some time on croatian islands. At this point of time I have in mind Vis and Hvar. However, I was wondering is it better to stay on one island and get a ferry to another island and have more like a day trip? Or should we spend couple of days on both islands? Would appreciate any tips/thoughts. Thanks :)

Leave a Comment

Croatia Travel Guides

Your one-stop travel guide for Croatia

Beach Holidays , Where To Go · May 1, 2020

12 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

Islands line the entire coast of Croatia, facing the Adriatic Sea. There are about a thousand islands in Croatia including isles, and inlets — all surrounded by crystal blue waters, with some of them uninhabited. Croatia is definitely more than its picturesque old towns, ancient architecture and historic structures, as its islands offer so much to visitors.

Each with a distinct character and landscape, these islands should be part of your itinerary when visiting Croatia. Here are some of the best islands in Croatia to help you figure out where to go.

1. Kornati Island

Kornati Island

Located just off the Zadar coast and composed of 147 islands in the Zadar archipelago, is the Kornati Islands. It is also called the Kornati National Park and founded primarily to protect and preserve marine life, with most of the islands in it uninhabited.

There was a time when the islands had Roman villas and farms, but at present only had caves and cliffs, therefore preserving its natural rugged beauty. The Kornati is popular among yachters, scuba divers and boat tours, and one of the more unique islands you’ll visit in Croatia.

Contact Information

Phone: +385 (22) 435740

Address: Kornati National Park Butina 2 22243 Murter Croatia

Email: [email protected]

2. Hvar Island

Hvar

Hvar simply has everything — pristine beaches , gently rolling hills, lush vineyards, trendy restaurants and shops, and a vibrant nightlife. It simply is the perfect island getaway in Croatia and perhaps, the rest of Europe. It is often called as Croatia’s Marbella or St. Tropez, only Hvar has a distinct character that keeps visitors coming back for more.

Aside from its usual holiday spots, Hvar also has charming villages and medieval streets perfect for leisurely strolls, as well as verdant lavender fields you can get lost in. Go here on a day trip or better yet, an entire week. Hvar simply won’t disappoint.

3. Mljet Island

Mijet

The lovely green island of Mljet, is also home to 5,400 hectares of space that makes up the Mljet National Park. The island is located in the southern part of Croatia, and among its main attractions are the bodies of water in and around it.

There are the Great and Small lakes, small bays and the nearby St. Mary island which is home to a Benedictine monastery. This island is easily accessible by a ferry that originates from Dubrovnik or the Peljesac peninsula, and ideal for hiking, cycling, swimming, and snorkeling.

There are also accommodations available if you want to spend more than a day here, as it’s quite massive and several hours simply won’t be enough to really explore Mljet.

4. Krk Island

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Office de Tourisme de Croatie (@croatietourisme) on Jul 31, 2019 at 8:21am PDT

Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Krk is often called the ‘golden island’. This island with a diverse landscape is also the closest to Western Europe. Krk has a barren northern end, while the southern end has bays and beaches.

The inland has ferries fields and rocky hills which are ideal for growing grapes. Krk is also a great spot if you want to go jet skiing, paragliding, scuba diving, and waterskiing. The island has campgrounds and resorts you can stay at if you wish to stay longer.

5. Brac Island, Croatia

brac

Situated near the Split coast, the island of Brac is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations. A go-to spot for windsurfers and beach lovers, Brac is also known for its stunning beaches such as the Zlatni Rat, which is shaped like a finger extending into the sea.

A day in this island simply won’t be enough as there’s a lot to see and do in Brac . There’s the Dragon’s cave on the island’s southern end, the museum in the Škrip village, and the Vidova Gora Mountain, which is the tallest mountain in the area. You can also enjoy water sports here, or visit caves and pebbled beaches.

6. Pag Island, Croatia

Pag

Pag is one of the few islands in Croatia that’s connected to the mainland by a bridge. This arid and rocky area is mostly inhabited by sheep who feed on the island’s grass and wild herbs, which gives the cheese they produce that distinct taste it is known for.

Pag cheese is one of the island’s best products, as well as sea salt and dry Žutica white wine. Pag is also known for its open-air night clubs and summer music festivals along the Zrce beach.

7. Elaphiti

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Tiago Marsili Fricke (@worldglimpses) on Jul 29, 2019 at 10:13am PDT

Located off the coast of Dubrovnik , Elaphiti Islands is the ideal quick getaway if you wanted a respite from the hustle and tourist traffic of the nearby city.

It is made up of islands that mostly have lush, unspoiled landscapes or quiet pristine beaches like Sipan and Lapud. Elaphiti is also home to some of Croatia’s best beaches such as Sunj Bay.

8. Rab Island, Croatia

Located off the northwest coast of Croatia is Rab, which is the most densely wooded among all Croatian islands.

Rab is home to a rich and diverse flora, which includes non-native plants. A lot of these species are found in Komrcar Park, which is also among the island’s best tourist spots. The park is also home to a century-old agave.

The island has more than 300 freshwater springs, making this one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic. Rab is considered as one of the best islands in Croatia at any time of the year as it only gets mild winters and warm summers.

Korčula

The name Korcula translates to ‘dark Corfu’ which is given by the Greeks because of the island tangled woods and resemblance to Corfu, off the northern coast of Greece.

It is also known as a historical island with Gothic Romanesque architecture and is said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo.

You can even visit the Marco Polo house and museum here. Aside from its rich heritage and history, there are several things to do in Korcula . Korcula is also home to its own crisp white wine which is made from Posip grape.

Cres is a charming island made up mostly of rocky mountains and lush oak and pine forests mixed with quaint medieval villages and port towns.

There are no boutique hotels or luxury resorts here, but you’ll enjoy walking along the cobbled lanes and looking at the well-preserved architecture in Beli and Lubenice villages.

The vibrant port towns of Valun and Cres has sea-facing promenades lined with cafes and shops, while Osor has pretty rose gardens, secret courtyards, and cottages made of stone. Make sure you also buy some of Cres’ famous olive oils which have EU protected status.

Vis

The island of Vis is known mostly for Stiniva, which was named as the 2016 best beach in Europe.

A military base up until 1983, Vis is the farthest island from the mainland of Croatia. It is pretty remote and unspoilt, and its most popular beach Stiniva isn’t easily accessible either.

Vis has dramatic cliffs and caves you can explore, as well as a lovely port town with a pretty waterfront promenade. There’s also the fishing village Komiža, with its picturesque stone houses situated on a secluded bay.

Vis may be far from the mainland, but it is still a popular stop for those cruising along the Croatian islands as well as music festival lovers.

12. Dugi Otok

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Croatianized (@croatianized) on Jul 31, 2019 at 2:17am PDT

Dugi Otok means ‘Long Island’, but it’s actually the largest in the northern Dalmatian coast. It is accessible by boat from the mainland and is home to a national park located in its southeastern quarter as well as the Telascica Bay, regarded as one of the best beaches in the Adriatic.

Made up mostly of dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches, Dugi Otok is a haven for trekkers, bikers, scuba divers or simply enjoying the scenic, mostly unspoilt views while enjoying some hearty Croatian dish in one of its quaint restaurants.

Get on the List

You’ll also love.

Minceta Tower game of thrones filming locations

National Parks In Croatia – Guide And Tips For First-Time Visitors

Trending now.

best islands to visit croatia

Become an Insider

Join Croatia Travel Guides' mailing list for exclusive content, tips, & giveaways.

Hello there! Welcome to Croatia Travel Guides. CTG aims to help travelers find their way for the first time in Croatia. We are your one-stop travel guide for all things Croatia.

  • Things To Do
  • Food and Culture
  • Where To Go
  • Where To Stay
  • Travel Guides
  • Privacy Policy
  • Disclaimer and Disclosure

Copyright © 2024 Croatia Travel Guides · Theme by 17th Avenue

Copyright © 2024 · Mia on Genesis Framework · WordPress · Log in

Inspired by Croatia Logo

T his post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my  full disclosure  for further information.

Top 10 Best Islands in Croatia For Your Bucket List

Looking for the best islands in Croatia? You’ve just landed on the ultimate local guide to the best and most beautiful islands in Croatia.

I’ve been traveling to Croatia my entire life, and living in the country since 2014 – that’s nearly 30 years of experience traversing the coastline and islands. From the most popular islands in Croatia to the lesser known gems that locals flock to, I’m here to dish out all my insider knowledge.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 best Croatian islands to visit.

Table of Contents 👇

A view of the colorful buildings of Losinj and a medieval church tower on a sunny day

Located on the northern coast in Kvarner Bay, Losinj is a Mediterranean paradise made up of fragrant landscapes and charming seaside villages. Lesser known on an international level, locals swear by Losinj as one of the best islands in Croatia.

The island is particularly famous in Croatia for its incredible health and wellness benefits, with the island’s air quality possessing healing properties. Many individuals with asthma and lung conditions come here to reap the benefits of the fresh sea air.

Mali Losinj is the best area to stay on the island, with its large harbor and picturesque waterfront promenade lined with colorful houses. I also recommend visiting the island of Cres, which is connected to Losinj by a bridge. Here, you’ll find some of the most spectacular and untouched beaches in all of Croatia!

Where to stay in Losinj 🏨 Budget: Casa Maria 2 Mid-range: Luxury Apartments Luxury: Boutique Hotel Alhambra

A beautiful sunset over the town of Rab on Rab island in Croatia, painting the sky pastel shades of purple, yellow and orange, with a stone walkway in the foreground.

If you are on the hunt for the best sandy beaches in Croatia, then Rab is the island for you! This pretty island boasts no less than 30 sandy beaches, making it a paradise for anyone that loves spending their days lounging on the shore.

The main town of Rab is also a charming spot, with its historic core surrounded by ancient walls and four bell towers. And don’t miss out on trying the famous Rab cake, a traditional dessert made with almonds, honey, and maraschino liqueur.

Fun fact: Rab was nicknamed the “Happy Island” by the Illyrians and Romans that used to inhabit the island. They awarded the island the rare title “Felix”, meaning “fortunate”. You can read more about the history of this significant title here .

Where to stay in Rab 🏨 Budget: Guest House Galeb 2 Mid-range: Four Towers Apartments Luxury: Arbiana Heritage Hotel

Best Rab Experiences 🤩 Scuba Diving Around Crikvenica/Krk Island from Rab

3. Dugi Otok

Sandy beach on Dugi Otok with turquoise waters and sailboats in the distance.

Located near the coastal town of Zadar, Dugi Otok, meaning “Long Island” in Croatian, is a stunning place to get off the beaten track. Even in the summer months, Dugi Otok offers a tranquil and secluded experience, with its crystal clear waters, picturesque beaches, and untouched landscapes.

This island is home to the incredible Saharun Beach, a stunning sandy cove that feels like you’re in the Carribean rather than Croatia. Also part of Dugi Otok is the Telascica Nature Park which is known for its impressive cliffs, saltwater lake, and diverse vegetation. You can spend your days here swimming, snorkeling, hiking, or simply relaxing on the beach.

Where to stay in Dugi Otok 🏨 Budget: Double Room Zaglav   Mid-range: Picić Guesthouse Luxury: Villa Nai 3.3

Best Dugi Otok Experiences 🤩 From Zadar: Dugi Otok Boat Tour- The Best Island Spots, Small Group From Zadar: Full Day Kayak Adventure From Zadar: Private Speedboat Tour “Hidden Gems of Dugi Otok”

4. Kornati National Park

An aerial view of the barren Kornati islands with few shrubs of greenery dotting the landscape and gorgeous turquoise water surrounding the islands. Two boats float in the water.

Kornati is a collection of 89 islands (yes, 89!) situated just below Dugi Otok. This nautical paradise was made for sailing, with impossibly clear waters and numerous secluded coves waiting to be discovered. The largest of the islands is called “Kornat”, by which the group of islands got its name.

This archipelago is so special, that George Bernand Shaw described it by saying: “On the last day of Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath.“

Because Kornati is a national park, there are no hotel chains or resorts on the islands. Instead, visitors can stay in small private fisherman’s cottages owned by locals, which you can organize through this agency . Otherwise, it is best to stay in the nearby coastal town of Zadar and take a day trip to the islands from there.

Where to stay in Zadar 🏨 Budget: Aldo Apartments Center Mid-range: Hotel A’mare Luxury: Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera

Best Kornati Tours 🤩 From Zadar: Highlights of Kornati by Traditional Sail Boat From Zadar: Kornati Boat Trip with Lunch and Swim Stops From Sibenik: Kornati Experience Small Group Boat Tour

Over 500 locations at your fingertips

Get access to my 🇭🇷 Croatia Google Map for FREE, including my top recommendations for restaurants, bars, beaches, must-visit attractions and more. Drop your email below and I’ll send it to you so that you can travel Croatia like a local ! 🇭🇷

A few of Beritnica Beach and the Adriatic Sea from the stone path leading up to the secret bay

Pag is a unique island known for its moonlike landscapes and also for being one of the best islands in Croatia to party. While the town of Novalja is popular for its nightlife on world-famous Zrce Beach (the Croatian Ibiza), the rest of the island offers a peaceful retreat with glorious pebbled beaches and otherworldly scenery.

One of my favorite beaches is Beritnica Beach, a beautiful sheltered bay with 3 large boulders in the water. It is unlike any other beach you’ll find in Croatia! To get there, you’ll need to hike for about 30 minutes over pebbled and rocky terrain, so make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. Also, be sure to bring bottled water and snacks because there are no facilities at this beach.

📍 To find the exact location of Beritnica, get my free Croatia Google Map pins .

Where to stay in Pag 🏨 Budget: 4Rest Villa Mid-range: Hotel Plaza Luxury: Boutique Hotel Intermezzo

Best Pag Experiences 🤩 Novalja: Zavratnica and Rab Boat Tour From Metajna/Novalja: Pag Bay Guided Sea Kayaking Tour

A view of the tiny fishing village of Maslinica on the island of Solta taken from a boat as it approaches the shore on a sunny day.

When it comes to hidden gems in Croatia , Solta is definitely one of them! Located just a short ferry ride from Split, Solta offers a tranquil escape with its untouched nature and charming villages. One of my favorite places on Solta is the port village of Maslinica, which beautifully blends a new marina and restored castle with traditional stone houses.

Solta is dotted with a number of quiet villages which you can visit by taking a boat tour around the island. A few additional stops worth making are Stomorska Bay and the Shipwreck of Kontessa in Nečujam.

Fun fact: Solta actually means the “Island of Olives”, which is super fitting as you’ll notice the endless groves of olive trees that carpet the landscape. This is a great place to buy some local olive oil to take back home with you as a souvenir!

Where to stay in Solta 🏨 Budget: Apartman Maslineo Mid-range: Sea Sun Apartments Luxury: Heritage Hotel Martinis Marchi

Best Solta Experiences 🤩 Blue Lagoon and Secluded bays of Solta island 10h Boat Tour from Split or Brac

A birds-eye view over one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, Zlatni Rat, on the island of Brac

I have so many wonderful memories from Brac Island! When visiting Croatia as a child, I used to go to Bol with my best friend and her family, and spend a couple of weeks swimming, sunbathing on Zlatni Rat Beach and drinking mocktails at Varadero 😎. Now, as an adult, I still love going back to Brac for its beautiful beaches and charming towns like Milna and Sutivan.

Brac is one of the best islands in Croatia for families because it is fairly easy and quick to reach from Split. The island also has plenty of nice, pebbled beaches that gently slope into the water, which are ideal for small children or those who don’t swim. In addition to beaches, Brac also offers tons of outdoor activities like windsurfing, hiking, biking, and more.

Where to stay in Brac 🏨 Budget: Hotel Kastil Mid-range: Zlatni Rat Beach Resort Luxury: Villa Dalmatina – Adults Only

Best Brac Experiences 🤩 Brač: Island Exploration Tour by Four-Wheel Drive Jeep Explore the West coast of the island Brac by BETINA boat

Woman laying on a pebbled and rocky beach on Hvar island in Croatia with a straw hat covering her head and face from the sun. The crystal clear turquoise sea laps up onto the shore and a small wooden boat floats in the water.

Hvar Island might be known as the “St. Tropez of Croatia,” famous for its glamorous nightlife scene, music festivals, and upscale beach bars, but it’s also one of my favorite islands.

Don’t let its reputation fool you. While Hvar Town does fulfill its role as a party destination, the rest of the island remains relatively untouched and filled with peaceful villages like Stari Grad, brilliant white stone Hvar beaches , and stunning landscapes.

You can easily combine your visit to Hvar with the nearby Pakleni Islands , a string of gorgeous islets just a short boat ride away from the Hvar Town harbor. Depending on what you’re after, these islands offer luxurious beach bars, hidden coves, and even clothing-optional beaches for those seeking a more liberating experience.

Where to stay in Hvar 🏨 Budget: Old Town Apartment Mare Mid-range: Amfora Grand Beach Resort Luxury: Palace Elisabeth

Best Hvar Experiences 🤩 Boat Tour to Pakleni Islands on a Comfort Yacht From Hvar: Vis Island and Blue Cave Speedboat Tour

Woman walking down the stone steps of Korcula island in Croatia

Once a settlement of the Greeks who named the island Black Korcula (Kerkyra melaina) due to the dense, dark forests that cover the island, Korcula is now a popular destination for its rich history, clear waters and darling villages. The main town of Korcula is also said to be the birthplace of famous explorer Marco Polo (you can even see his birth house there).

The Old Town, also nicknamed “Little Dubrovnik”, is a stunner. The maze of narrow, stone buildings, and medieval walls that surround the city make it look like something plucked straight from a storybook! I recommend staying in or around Korcula Old Town and renting a car to visit other parts of the island like Pupnatska Luka Beach, Vela Luka, and the many wineries scattered throughout the island.

Where to stay in Korcula 🏨 Budget: Korkyra Fit Suites Mid-range: Apartment Chupa Luxury: The Fabris Luxury Inn

Best Korcula Experiences 🤩 1 Hour Private Walking Tour in Korcula Korcula Island Mountain E Bike Tour Croatia Korcula Island Buggy Safari Tour

10. Mljet Island

A woman in an orange swimsuit reclining on a makeshift wooden bench under a shade sail, with a rustic stone hut beside her, all set against the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea near Mljet, creating a serene and secluded getaway ambiance.

I’ve been vacationing in Croatia my entire life, yet it wasn’t until 2023 that I first visited the island of Mljet…and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! Mljet is unlike any other island in Croatia. First of all, ⅓ of the island is a national park, covered in gorgeous green pine forests.

The island has two saltwater lakes, one of which has an island in the middle of it with a Benedictine Monastery that is open to the public. The lake waters are pristine and perfect for swimming, surrounded by the most verdant lush greenery.

I’d recommend this island to nature lovers. It is very quiet and slow-paced. Renting a bike is the most popular way to explore Mljet and its breathtaking scenery. There are, of course, lots of other outdoor activities like hiking, sea kayaking, and even a diving center. Overall, Mljet is the island to choose if you just want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature.

Mljet is also one of the best day trips from Dubrovnik if you don’t want to spend your entire trip there.

Where to stay in Mljet 🏨 Budget: Apartments and Rooms Sobra Mid-range: Villa Radulj Luxury: Hotel Odisej

Best Mljet Experiences 🤩 National Park Mljet E-Bike Tour From Dubrovnik: Mljet National Park & 3 Islands Tour

BONUS: Vis Island

I know this post is abou the top 10 best islands in Croatia, but it’s really hard to pick just 10! I couldn’t complete this list without including the island of Vis.

Vis is the furthest island away from mainland Croatia, and because of this, it’s not as popular among tourists. On top of that, the island was closed off to visitors for more than 50 years while it served as a miltary base during Yugoslavia, which prevented the development of mass tourism. As a result, Vis has maintained its natural beauty and traditional way of life.

When visiting Vis, be sure to check out the Blue Cave , one of the most popular attractions on the island. You can take a boat tour to see this stunning cave with its vibrant blue waters. Another must-see spot is Stiniva Beach, which was voted as one of the top beaches in Europe!

Final Thoughts on the Best Islands in Croatia

That wraps up this list of the top islands in Croatia to visit! Hopefully this post has helped you decide on the perfect island for your upcoming trip. Whether you’re looking for a party scene, historical sites, or a relaxing beach vacation, there is a spot under the sun for you on Croatia’s magnificent coastline.

Before you go, make sure to grab my island hopping guidebook for even more information on Croatia’s best islands as well as insider travel tips and local recommendations.

Croatia Island Hopping Guidebook

Visiting Croatia’s islands? D ownload the Croatia Island Hopping Guidebook !

You Might Also Like

  • Is Croatia Expensive to Visit? (Local’s Guide)

Croatia Road Trip Itinerary Ideas (7-14 Days)

  • The Best 10 Day Croatia Itinerary By a Local
  • Are There Sharks in Croatia? (Local’s Guide)
  • Best Airport to Fly Into Croatia
  • 15 Best Books About Croatia
  • A to Z Croatia Packing List – Based on 25 Years of Experience
  • Power Outlets in Croatia: Do You Need an Adapter?
  • What Language Do They Speak in Croatia?
  • Italy and Croatia Itinerary Ideas (7-14 Days)

Croatia Travel Planning Guide

💸 What is the currency in Croatia? As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia ). 🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia? Croatian is the official language of Croatia . Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app ! 🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance? 10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it . You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day. 📱 Will my phone work in Croatia? Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo . Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia! 🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations? For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site. 🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights? I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. 🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia? Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here ) 💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia? Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink , so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up! 🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia? Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

' src=

Fueled by her passion for travel and her Croatian heritage, Olivia left the USA in 2014 to study abroad in Croatia where she has been living ever since. She founded Inspired by Croatia to share travel tips, destination guides, and exclusive local insights about the country she now calls home.

Similar Posts

The Only Hvar Island Travel Guide You Need in 2023

The Only Hvar Island Travel Guide You Need in 2023

Heading to Hvar? This is the only Hvar Island Travel Guide you need! Discover the best things to do on Croatia’s most beautiful island!

Plitvice Lakes Entrance 1 or 2: Which is Best?

Plitvice Lakes Entrance 1 or 2: Which is Best?

Should you start from Plitvice Lakes Entrance 1 or 2? Plan your visit to Croatia’s most famous national park with this guide by a local.

Hawaii Beach Pula: The Ultimate Guide [2024]

Hawaii Beach Pula: The Ultimate Guide [2024]

Find out everything you need to know about Hawaii Beach Pula including how to get there, where to stay, what to do and more!

31 Croatia Hidden Gems + Secret Spots (Local’s Guide)

31 Croatia Hidden Gems + Secret Spots (Local’s Guide)

Get off the beaten path with these Croatia hidden gems curated by a local. Plus, uncover Croatia secret spots you definitely won’t want to miss!

Croatia Road Trip Itinerary Ideas (7-14 Days)

Everything you need to plan the ultimate Croatia road trip! This guide gets you off the beaten path and exploring the best of Croatia by car in 7-14 days.

Is Pula Worth Visiting? 2024 Local Guide

Is Pula Worth Visiting? 2024 Local Guide

Is Pula worth visiting? Get an honest opinion on whether you should make time for this coastal city during your Croatia trip.

Best Croatian islands for getaways

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

Select Month

  • roughguides.com
  • top-ten-croatian-island-getaways

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

Rough Guides Editors

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 10.06.2024

facebook

Croatia's islands offer something for everyone — from party animals and sailors to walkers and families. This stunning country (voted one of the most beautiful countries in the world ) is truly worth a visit — or several. But which island to choose? To help you out, we have picked the best Croatian islands for getaways.

1. Susak: best Croatian island for explorers

2. rab island: the ideal destination for sandy beaches, 3. silba: perfect island getaway for serenity, 4. murter: perfect for summer parties, 5. šolta: a superb island for hiking and cycling, 6. hvar: best croatian island for hedonists, 7. vis: the ideal destination for foodies, 8. korčula island: perfect for wine lovers, 9. proizd: best croatian island for sun-worshippers, 10. mljet: best croatian island for nature-lovers, 11. cres island: best for an italian vibe.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Croatia , your essential guide for visiting Croatia .

Travel ideas for Croatia, created by local experts

Gorgeous gems of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia

Gorgeous gems of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia

From the spas of Budapest to Lake Bled with its castle and further on to Croatia - this itinerary takes you across 3 countries, with a special focus on Slovenia's lake area and the Dalmatian coast in Croatia.

Sailing Croatia

Sailing Croatia

If you want to experience the Dalmatian coast from a whole different perspective, then this trip is for you! Hop aboard a beautiful cruiser and sail along some of Croatia's most stunning islands.

Southern Pearls

Southern Pearls

This ten-day trip will take you around three adjacent countries, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Your tour starts in Split, Croatia, moving south (hence the name "Southern Pearls") over the island of Hvar and Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina to end up in Montenegro.

Gourmet Tour

Gourmet Tour

You will visit three different adjacent countries and experience traditional local food and wines. You will visit some of the most intriguing restaurants and wineries in the area taste the delicious contrast between fine restaurants, and more traditional, authentic taverns.

Culinary Secrets of Croatia

Culinary Secrets of Croatia

This vintage holiday celebrates the wine and olive oil-making traditions of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline, which form the foundations of the country's Mediterranean culinary heritage. Visit world-class wineries, and sample Dalmatian delicacies as you travel south to Dubrovnik.

Balkan Extended

Balkan Extended

The Balkan Extended tour truly showcases the finest of Balkan’s heritage and natural beauty as you make your way through the 5 countries. Learn about the Serbian Athens, climb the splendid Old Bridge in Mostar, observe Slovenia's water castle and dive into the pearl of Croatia's beauty in Istria.

Susak is one true connoisseur of Mediterranean getaways. A small, sandy Croatian island that sits off the coast of larger Lošinj , Susak's beaches are superb. In fact, Susak's Spiaza Beach is one of our best beaches in Croatia .

Susak is also characterised by crumbly, ochre-coloured cliffs covered in ferns, wild fennel and soaring grasses. With footpaths crisscrossing the island, exploring the great outdoors here is effortless and sublimely rewarding.

Top tip: Croatia is a top honeymoon destination and this tailor-made Dalmatian Honeymoon trip will take you through truly memorable sights. The tour is planned out to the last possible detail while still respecting the time you wish to spend at your own pace in privacy.

Where to stay on Susak Island

  • For price and quality: Vila Flora
  • For location: Hotel Sansegus

Find more accommodation options to stay on Susak island

Susak-Croatian-islands

Susak is one of the top Croatian islands for getaways © xbrchx / Shutterstock

Known for being one of the best European beach holiday destinations , Rab is indeed blessed with dozens of stone-and-pebble-free coves that'll please even the fussiest beach-lover.

Rab's best-known beach is Rajska Plaža (Paradise Beach). Located in Lopar to the north of the town of Rab, its long stretch of soft sand, shallow waters, and plentiful amenities make it a top choice for families. For scenery that evokes The Bahamas — pine forests and turquoise waters — head to Suha Punta on the wooded Kalifront peninsula.

Keen to avoid tan lines? Kandarola Beach is one of the world's oldest naturist beaches, with the right royal connections — Edward and Wallis Simpson used to get back to nature here, which is why it's known locally as English Beach.

Top tip: A day cruise around the northern side of the island of Pag . You will be free to swim in the inlet of the Zavratnica Nature Park, whilst also discovering the numerous other attractions the island of Rab offers.

Where to stay on Rab Island

  • For breathtaking views: Villa Harmony
  • For families: Lando Resort

Find more accommodation options to stay on Rab island

Rab-Croatian-islands-getaways

For beach lovers, Rab island is another top Croatian island for getaways © pointbreak / Shutterstock

Car-free with no hotels, Silba is a paradise for peace lovers year-round. Come mid-July, a bike ban comes into play until the end of August, further adding to the island's addictively laidback vibe. To get a sense of Silba's blissfully slow pace, strolling maquis-lined lanes to unspoiled beaches pretty much counts as an adrenaline sport here.

Top tip: Join a full-day excursion to the islands of Silba and Olib , which are part of the Zadar archipelago. The area is known for its marvellous landscape, far away from traffic jams and city crowds.

Where to stay on Silba Island

  • For comfort: Heni
  • For couples: Silba Otium

Find more accommodation options to stay on Silba island

Fishing harbor with boats of Silba in Croatia © Shutterstock

Fishing harbour with boats of Silba in Croatia © Shutterstock

While the legendary summer Garden Festival danced its last crazy steps in 2015, Murter is still one of the best Croatian islands for summer parties, festivals and concerts. Running in late July, SuncéBeat is a carnivalesque festival with a welcoming family vibe — an event that favours fun over pretension.

Amazingly, the island’s easy-going side isn’t ruffled by the festivities. Party-seekers co-exist with more sedate visitors who are drawn to Murter’s natural beauty — think olive groves, cute ports and sublime coves.

If you're seeking alternative culture and are planning a longer trip to Croatia, read up on unexpected highlights of Croatia .

Top tip: If you want to experience the Dalmatian coast from a whole different perspective, then this tailor-made sailing trip is for you! Hop aboard a beautiful cruiser and sail along some of the most stunning Croatian islands.

Where to stay on Murter Island

  • For island views: Apartments Marti
  • For modern stays: Murter Inn

Find more accommodation options to stay on Murter island

Murter-island-Croatian-islands

Pick Murter Island for summer music festivals © Zvonac / Shutterstock

Related articles from the blog

winter-tallinn-estonia-shutterstock_121788016

Unspoiled Šolta happens to offer many of the reasons Croatia made it into our round-up of the world's best adventure holiday destinations , with a host of lesser-travelled hiking and biking trails to enjoy.

Despite being the closest island to Split, Šolta has a decidedly remote feel. Small and compact, lovers of the stunning outdoors will want to take to the unspoiled interior for trails that pass through secret stone villages. Meanwhile, the picturesque harbour of Maslinica offers an alluring mix of old-time charm and yacht club chic.

Top tip: if you're after the likes of hiking and cycling, take a look at our customisable Ultimate Croatian Adventure trip .

Where to stay on Šolta Island

  • For couples: Villa Šolta
  • For amazing sea views: Apartments Kaić

Find more accommodation options to stay on Šolta island

Village Sromorska on island Solta in Croatia © Shutterstock

Village Sromorska on island Solta in Croatia © Shutterstock

When it comes to architectural grandeur and glamour, Hvar Town rivals Dubrovnik . Long a favourite summer haunt of celebrities, the island boasts stacks of glossy bars and top-notch restaurants. As insiders know, the best parties happen on Hvar's offshore islands after hours, so keep to your ear to the ground while you sup your sundowner.

It's fair to say that there are two sides to Hvar. Though it has a reputation for buzzy nightlife, beyond the town the island has a chilled and charming vibe that makes it popular with families. There are dozens of calm coves for kids to swim in safely, while towns like Stari Grad and Vrboska retain an unhurried, fishing village feel, with plenty of family-oriented places to eat.

Top tip : if that wasn't enough, Hvar is a also great place to include on a sailing trip. If you fancy taking to the Adriatic Sea, read our first-timers guide to Croatian sailing holidays , and check out our tailor-made active trip to authentic Hvar .

Where to stay on Hvar Island

  • For stylish stays: History Hvar Design Heritage Suites
  • For luxury: Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort

Find more accommodation options to stay on Hvar island

City Harbour of the town of Hvar, on the island of Hvar, the Adriatic coast of Croatia © rustamank/Shutterstock

Hvar's harbour is a hotspot for pleasure-seekers © rustamank/Shutterstock

The furthest flung of the Southern Dalmatian Islands, Vis is something of a magnet for independent travellers, especially those who are fond of good grub. If you are travelling independently, you might be interested in our run-down of the best beachside camping spots in Croatia .

Moving back to Vis — the island is surrounded by jaw-droppingly clear waters that are known for offering some of the Adriatic’s finest seafood. The lobster is outstanding, with hearty roasts and stews being another Vis speciality. Don't miss any opportunity to try the island's signature snack — pogača od srdele , a flavoursome anchovy pasty.

Top tip: Surrounded by an archipelago of other Croatian islands and islets, the island of Vis is simple, sleepy and authentic. Come here with our tailor-made trip to Croatia's Best Kept Secret - Vis Island for a unique experience, and stay for the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.

Where to stay on Vis Island

  • For couples: Apartments & Rooms As
  • For the perfect location: Komiza Provita Guesthouse

The Rough Guides to Croatia and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to the A-Z of Travel

Find more accommodation options to stay on Vis island

Vis-Island-Croatian-islands-getaways

Vis — one of the best Croatian islands for foodies © xbrchx / Shutterstock

Cloaked in vineyards, olives and Aleppo pines, Korčula is one of the greenest of the Croatian islands. It is also one of the most popular, thanks largely to the charms of its main settlement, Korčula Town, whose surviving fortifications jut decorously out to sea like the bastions of an overgrown sandcastle.

The island has a varied collection of inviting beaches too. Visit the white sands of Lumbarda, 7km away from Korčula Town. Or spend time at the secluded pebbly coves on the south coast, and dramatic slabs of rock on the islet of Proizd, just off the port town of Vela Luka.

Top tip: Two spectacular Croatian destinations in one day! On this day trip from Dubrovnik , you will enjoy the spectacular Mediterranean scenery of the glittering Peljesac peninsula, the ancient beauty of Korcula island, and their delicious food and wine culture.

Where to stay on Korčula Island

  • For boutique stays: Boutique rooms Kastel Ismaeli
  • For stunning views: Guest House Lovrić

Find more accommodation options to stay on Korčula Island

Korcula, old medieval town in Dalmatia region, Croatia © Shutterstock

Korcula, an old medieval town in Dalmatia region, Croatia © Shutterstock

More of an islet than an island, Proizd is reached by water taxi from Vela Luka on Korčula. Visitors are drawn here by the sloping-rock beaches — stone plates that shelve down into the impossibly clear sea. Especially beautiful as the day wears on, you'll want to stay for the sunset that sees the rocks shift from grey to gold. Magic.

If you happen to visit between mid-July and August, time your trip to experience Vela Luka’s Kumpanjija, a traditional slow sword dance. It takes place on Tuesday evenings — the din of bagpipes and drums makes it pretty easy to track down.

Top tip: Enjoy a ticket that allows you to visit 3 different islands in Korčula . Starting in Korčula, your ticket is valid throughout the whole day as you hop on and hop off as many times as you want.

Proizd beach near dalmatian Island of Korcula, Croatia © eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

Proizd has some of the best sunbathing beaches in Croatia © eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

While you can visit Mljet on a day trip from Dubrovnik , this National Park island really justifies a longer stay. One of the largest islands of Southern Dalmatia, Mljet offers exceptional nature walks, and beautiful bays and lakes. It's also known for fine wine, juicy olives, and incredible goat's cheese — best enjoyed in a local restaurant after all those Dubrovnik day-trippers have left.

Top tip: Discover the beauty of Mljet National Park on this guided hiking tour . Trek up Montokuc Hill for a view of the whole park, take a boat down the Great Lake and swim in the emerald-green waters.

Where to stay on Mijet Island

  • For beach location: Hotel Odisej
  • For rural stays: Villa Radulj

Find more accommodation options to stay on Mijet island

Mljet-Croatian-islands

How many islands in Croatia are as romantic as Mljet? © OPIS Zagreb / Shutterstock

The westernmost of the Kvarner islands, Cres and Lošinj (really a single island divided by an artificial channel), together make up a narrow sliver of land which begins just south of the Istrian coast and extends most of the way across the Kvarner Gulf. Despite its proximity to the mainland, Cres (pronounced “tsress”) is by far the wilder and more unspoiled of the two islands.

Cres boasts a couple of attractively weather-beaten old settlements in Osor and Cres Town, as well as numerous villages and coves in which modern-day mass tourism has yet to make an impact. With the deciduous forest and overgrown hedgerows northern Cres gives way to the increasingly barren sheep pastures of the south.

Top tip: Discover the secrets of olive oil production on a shared group or private walking tour of an olive grove and olive oil mill in Cres. Taste some oils and have snacks and drinks at a local restaurant.

Where to stay on Cres Island

  • For price and quality: Hotel Kimen
  • For B&B: Bed and Breakfast Palac

Find more accommodation options to stay on Cres island

Cres Port, Croatia © Pixabay

Cres Port, Croatia © Pixabay

Ready for a trip to Croatia ? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to Croatia .

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Croatia without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

  • Coasts & Islands
  • National Parks & Reserves
  • Inspiration
  • See & Do
  • Where to stay

Planning your own trip? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Travel advice for Croatia

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Croatia

  • Eating and drinking in Croatia
  • How to get to Croatia
  • Getting around Croatia: Transportation Tips
  • National Parks in Croatia
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Croatia
  • Travel Tips Croatia for planning and on the go
  • Best time to visit Croatia

Find even more inspiration for 36 here

Ready to travel and discover croatia, get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Itineraries
  • Travel advice

Logo de Mindful Travel by Sara

The value of a trip is not the time it lasts, but the intensity with which it occurs

lupa

10 Best Islands in Croatia to visit I Croatian Islands Hopping

mejores Islas de Croacia

Want to know which are the best islands in Croatia to visit on your next trip?

Since I arrived from my trip to Croatia in 10 days , many of you asked me what is the best island to visit in Croatia or what are the most beautiful Croatian islands .

When planning your trip through the land of 1000 islands , you will have to decide which island of Croatia to choose.

Everything depends on the days you have there and your tastes, as each of these best Croatian islands has a special charm.

In this post, I tell you which are the best islands of Croatia to visit , with all the information you need to plan your Croatian Islands hopping trip.

best islands to visit croatia

✏️ Post content

How many islands are in Croatia

Sailing in croatia, croatian islands by car, brac island, hvar island, pakleni islands (pakleni archipelago), korcula island, mljet island, kornati islands, dugi otok island, croatian island map, the islands of croatia list.

Croatia has more than 1200 islands and islets located in the Adriatic Sea. The largest islands in Croatia are Cres, Krk, Brac, Hvar and Pag.

At the end of the post, you have a list of the main islands of Croatia, including the best islands near Split and the islands near Dubrovnik you must visit.

What is the best way to island hop in Croatia?

If you wonder how to visit the islands in Croatia , you must know that there are two ways to do it:

The best way to explore the Croatian islands is by an island hopping cruise along the Dalmatian coast. Sailing around Croatia is an amazing experience!

sailing croatia holidays

This way of visiting the Croatian islands is one of the most popular, since you don’t have to worry about anything and all is really well organized.

In addition, by gulet you can get easily to less known beaches and enjoy snorkeling in its crystal clear waters without people.

Luxury Gulet Cruises in Croatia normally include a route through the islands of Croatia for a week, and you can choose the itinerary, depending on whether you prefer nature, culture or relaxation, and the area you want to go (Central Dalmatian, from Split or from Dubrovnik). And you have all meals and activities included!

sailing in croatia dubrovnik

The advantage of traveling the islands of Croatia by car is the freedom you have to stop wherever you want and travel to Croatia on your own.

I rented a car in Dubrovnik and it was great. I love road trips so much! 

croatia island hopping 10 days

The disadvantage? You will spend too much time driving, the road conditions on the islands of Croatia are not so good and there are many curves on the road. Besides, to get to the lesser-known islands, there is no direct ferry, so you will have to make transfers and lose a lot of time.

Best Islands in Croatia to visit

The island of Brac is bathed by the Adriatic Sea, in front of Split at the Dalmatian coast.

best 3 islands to visit in croatia

How to get to the island of Brac

You can get to Brac Island from Dubrovnik or Split:

1). If you want to get to Brac from Dubrovnik , as I did, it’s best to do it by car.

First you will have to drive to the town of Makarska, crossing the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Once there, take a ferry that will take you to the port of Sumartin on the island of Brac.

I recommend you to arrive well in advance to Makarska, since the cars that can enter the ferry are limited, and if can’t make it, you will have to wait for the next ferry. The ferry ride from Makarska to the island of Brac is 1-hour long.

best islands in croatia for backpackers

2). If you want to reach Brac island from Split , the fastest ferry will take you to the port of Supetar, northeast of Brac, in less than 1 hour.

On my trip to Croatia, I arrived to Brac from Dubrovnik and left to Split, so you don’t have to go back to the same place and you can continue traveling around the country.

Where to stay on the island of Brac

If looking where to stay on the island of Brac, I chose to stay in Bol, one of the most beautiful town on the island.

I stayed at Belado Residence Bol , overlooking the sea, the free Wi-Fi worked very well and it’s only 5 minutes walk from the center of Bol.

Click here for more information and the latest prices .

Here you have other accommodations on the island of Brac well valued by travelers.

best hotels in croatia islands

Things to do in Brac Island

There are many places to visit on the island of Brac , so it’s better to take a short drive to see the most beautiful towns and the best beaches of Brac Island:

  • Pucisca is a beautiful coastal village that you can’t miss (take a traditional ice cream, they are delicious!).
  • Lovrecina Bay and its beautiful Brac beaches are a must. The color of the water will leave you speechless.
  • The famous Zlatni Rat Beach , on the Golden Horn, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Croatian islands hopping, you will find the best beaches in Croatia, wild and with turquoise waters; but don’t think that the Croatian beaches have fine sand, because you will be disappointed.

Almost all beaches in Croatia are of stupid thick sand made with shells or small stones. So remember to wear appropriate footwear to not hurt your feet.

  • The town of Bol , where I recommend you walk through the port at sunset and dine on some of the terraces a typical black rice.
  • If you like hiking, go up to Vidova Gora , the highest point of the Croatian islands.

If you don’t have time to stay a few days on the island of Brac, but you do not want to miss it, you can book the Brac & Solta Islands Boat Cruise from Split (includes boat transfers, breakfast and lunch) or book a Bol Boat Trip from Split (includes boat transfers, breakfast and lunch).

This Croatian island that has become very popular in the last 2 years, considered among the three best islands of Croatia, is located off the Dalmatian coast, between the islands of Brac and Korcula.

islands in croatia map

How to get to the island of Hvar

You can reach the island of Hvar from Split or from Dubrovnik:

1). To go from Split to Hvar you can do it by ferry, and you will arrive at the town of Stari Grad, in the east of the island. The distance between the island of Hvar and Split is not much and it only takes an hour to get there by ferry.

2). If you prefer to reach the island of Hvar from Dubrovnik , the ferry will take 3 hours and a half, since it makes stops in other islands and the distance from Dubrovnik is big.

Where to stay in Hvar

Apartments Luma is one of the hotels in Hvar best valued by travelers for having free Wi-Fi and free parking, it’s petfriendly, and very close to the beach and the city center.

Two other places to stay in Hvar that I recommend are: Apartments Belić , with free Wi-Fi and free parking next to the center of Jelsea; and Guest House Marjan , in Zavala, with very good rate quality / price and spectacular views of the sea.

best islands around croatia

Best things to do Hvar island in one day

There are many things to do in Hvar, as it’s an island full of cultural, historical attractions, beaches and a really good atmosphere.

The town of Hvar , which has the same name as the island, is a must. The visits that I recommend are:

  • The 16th century Franciscan Monastery hides a cypress garden that is more than 300 years old.
  • The Fortress of Hvar , which you will reach by walking from St. Stephen’s Square, and from where you will have the best views of Hvar and the Pakleni Islands.
  • The Cathedral of Hvar , located in the center and surrounded by cobblestone streets that you can’t stop exploring.

The lavender fields of Hvar in the towen of Velo Grabje are beautiful; besides, lavender is the symbol of the island!

The beaches of Hvar are also worth a visit. Dubovica beach is one of the most beautiful in Hvar, east of the island.

If you travel to Croatia with children, one of the most familiar beaches is Grebisce beach, located north of the port of Jelsa. Other beaches that you can visit are Lucisca, Sveta Nedjelja and Jerolim beach.

And don’t worry about the water, as you can drink tap water in Croatia and Hvar water meets all EU standards for quality of water and safety.

best holiday islands in croatia

The Grapceva caves are one of the hidden secrets of the island of Hvar, from the Neolithic period.

If you go through Milna, stop eating at the Konoba Lambik restaurant , where you will taste the delicious traditional food of Hvar.

One of the most beautiful trips from Hvar is the Blue Cave Boat Cruise . The Blue Grotto is incredible!

I had never seen that blue water before! Besides, the Green Cave is one of the best places to snorkel in Croatia .

This tour departs from Hvar, lasts 6 hours and includes transfers by boat, English speaking guide, snorkeling equipment and drinks.

Also, you can’t miss the Pakleni archipelago , which is located east of Hvar. To know how to go from Hvar to the Pakleni Islands, keep reading!

Related post: Fun free things to do in Croatia

The Pakleni Islands are located south of Hvar and to visit them, it’s best to make a day trip from Hvar.

best islands in croatia for beaches

How to get to the islands of Pakleni

You can take a water taxi from Hvar, book the Pakleni Islands Kayaking Tour from Hvar or book this day trip to the Pakleni Islands by speedboat from Hvar .

Where to stay in Pakleni islands

If you visit the Pakleni archipelago, it’s best to book accommodation in Hvar . In the previous section you have my 3 recommendations for staaying on the island of Hvar.

Things to do in the Pakleni islands

Explore the largest island of the Pakleni archipelago, Sveti Klement , covered with pine trees and limestones with turquoise water is a must.

It’s a wild island where you will only notice the human footprint in its 4 restaurants, a bar, a botanical garden and an art gallery.

You can’t miss the Roman settlement of Vlaka or the Andro Tomic vineyards , just at sea level. If you want to make a stop to eat, I recommend the Palmižana restaurant.

One of the most populated islands in Croatia, Korcula is famous for its terraces on the sea, its medieval churches and some of the most beautiful cobbled streets in Croatia.

croatia island hopping tours

The island of Korcula, also called the Emerald Island and one of the most famous islands in Croatia, is among the so-called islands of Dubrovnik for being further south, and it’s the sixth largest island in the Adriatic.

How to get to the island of Korcula

You can get to the island of Korcula from Dubrovnik by ferry. The trip lasts two hours and you will arrive at the town of Korcula.

Where to stay in Korcula

Apartments & Room Nina is the recommended hotel in Korcula and best valued by travelers, for its quality / price ratio, its location (on the seafront with sea views) and free Wi-Fi. Click here for more information and the latest prices .

You can find other accommodations to stay in Korcula here .

islands croatia best

What to do in Korcula island

The towns of Korcula and Vela Luka, a small coastal town famous for its beaches, caves, vineyards, olive trees and fig trees are a must.

There are lots of things to do in the island of Korcula :

  • Visit San Pedro’s church and the San Marcos Cathedral .
  • Discover Vela Spilja , one of the important prehistoric caves in Europe.
  • Cycle the green areas by one of their 4 routes.
  • Visit the chapel of Sv. Juraj , the old fortress and the abandoned town of Dub.
  • Arrive to the islets of Proizd and Osjak to swim in its turquoise waters.
  • Visit the beautiful village of Lumbarda .
  • Try the famous Korcula wine in one of its local wineries.

The island of Mljet is the perfect island for a romantic and relaxing getaway.

best islands in croatia for couples

It’s very close to Dubrovnik, which makes it ideal to combine if you have a few days to visit Croatia.

How to get to the island of Mljet

You can get to Mjlet from Dubrovnik by ferry, but first you have to travel to the town of Prapratno (1 hour from Dubrovnik) and there take the ferry to Sobra on the island of Mjlet. The ferry journey lasts only 45 minutes.

Where to stay in Mljet

It’s not worth staying overnight on the island, since you can take a day trip from Dubrovnik and thus not waste more time staying the night there.

best islands off split croatia

Things to do in Mljet Island

A third of the island is a natural park, and there are many routes to walk or bike around the island.

In addition, a visit the Veliko and Malo Jezero salt lakes is a must, where in one of them there is an old Benedictine Monastery from the 12th century in the middle. You can also rent a kayak and get to the Melita islet.

Related post: Most beautiful places to visit in Croatia

The island of Vis is located less than 50 kilometers from the city of Split.

best islands to visit croatia

How to get to the island of Vis

You can reach the island of Vis from Split by ferry. The journey takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Where to stay in Vis

You can stay in Split, but being so long the ferry ride, it’s better to arrive to the island booking an day trip that cruises several islands , or you can stay in Vis for a night.

You can find accommodation on the island of Vis at the best price here .

isla vis croacia como llegar

Things to do in Vis Island

The island of Vis is famous for the Stiniva beach , considered one of the best beaches in Europe, for its turquoise waters and its location, at the end of a cliff corridor.

The access is difficult, and most travelers arrive at the beach by boat, booking this 12-hour tour that takes you to 5 Croatian islands and to the Blue Grotto from Split.

If you want to visit wild islands and unique natural landscapes in Croatia, the Kornati Islands are for you.

The islands of Kornati are located next to the island of Dugi Otok, west of Zadar .

10 best islands in croatia

How to get to the islands of Kornati

To get to Kornati, it’s best to do it organized on a tour, such as this Kornati National Park full day boat trip from Zadar or this Kornati kayaking and cycling day trip from Zadar .

Where to stay in Kornati

Kornati is a protected natural park and there are no accommodations. As the tours to the Kornati Islands leave from Zadar, the best option is to stay the night there (and enjoy some of the best things to do in Zadar or some of the best Zadar beaches ). 👉 You can find accommodation in Zadar at the best price here .

best islands in croatia for families

Things to do in Kornati

The Kornati Natural Park is made up of more than 80 protected, uninhabited islands, perfect for a day trip on a boat, stopping at different turquoise water coves and spectacular cliffs.

Also, if you like to snorkel or scuba diving , the Kornati Islands have some of the best spots in Croatia to do it.

The island of Pag is located north of Zadar and it’s one of the islands of Croatia where you will find more party and nightlife.

How to get to the island of Pag

It can be reached by car from Zadar in less than an hour, via the Paski bridge.

islands off croatia coast

Where to stay in Pag

It’s not worth staying overnight on the island, since you can take a day trip from Zadar and thus not waste time staying there.

Things to do in Pag Island

The island of Pag is famous for its party, and Zrce beach is the best known among young people. In summer there popular are festivals organized there with world-famous DJs.

If you are looking for something quieter, the town of Pag stands out for its culture and gastronomy. You can’t leave Pag without trying the famous Paski cheese.

The island of Rab is located in the gulf of Carnaro, north of the Adriatic Sea.

islands in croatia to visit

How to get to the island of Rab

You can get there by ferry from the island of Pag and it will take only 45 minutes.

Where to stay in Rab

If you are going to spend the day on the neighboring island of Pag, you can stay on the island of Rab to visit it the next day. Check out the best hotels in Rab Island at the best prices here .

Things to do in Rab Island

As I said before, most of the beaches in Croatia are made from rocks, but the island of Rab is the only one that has sandy beaches in Croatia.

The best beach in Rab is Rajska beach , and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.

Dugi Otok is one of those islands that nobody knows and that are less visited by the travelers who decide to travel around Croatia.

That makes it even more special, because you will feel that you have the island to yourself. I’s one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia .  

croatia island hopping cruise

Dugi Otok is located near the Dalmatian coast, west of Zadar.

How to get to Dugi Otok

To get to the Croatian island of Dugi Otok you will have to take a ferry from Zadar to Božava or Brbinj, two towns east of the island. The ferry trip lasts almost two hours.

Where to stay in Dugi Otok

The Sali Hotel is the recommended hotel in Dugi Otok and best valued by travelers, for its quality / price ratio, its location (in the cove of Saščica) and for having breakfast included and free parking.

You can find other accommodations to stay in Dugi Otok here .

Things to do in Dugi Otok Island

The island of Dugi Otok stands out for its natural landscapes, such as the Telašćica Natural Park , and its beaches with crystal clear waters.

Among those that you shouldn’t miss, is Sakarun , one of the best beaches in Croatia , sometimes compared to the beaches of the Caribbean.

The Croatian islands can be classified into different categories, depending on whether or not they have an airport, its location and whether it’s more easily reached from Split or from Dubrovnik.

  • Islas Elaphiti: Koločep, Lopud, Šipan
  • Archipiélago de Kornati
  • Islas Brijuni

You can reach some Croatian islands by plane, such as the island of Brac, which has small airport.

I hope this guide of the islands of Croatia will help you to plan your trip to the country of the 1000 islands.

SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

If you found my post useful, would you consider sharing it on Pinterest?  Click the “Pin It” button to share the full-sized version of the below images.

Are you looking for Croatian Islands to explore while visiting the country? This post will show you the most beautiful Islands in Croatia that you shouldn't miss. From Brac, Hvar, Korcula to the Pakleni Archipelago, this post has all the Croatia Islands that show that Croatia is truly a country of 1000 islands.

Sara Rodríguez

A passionate traveler with a mission: Help you plan your next trip easily and enjoy it to the fullest.

In this travel blog you will find everything you need to get inspired and organize your next adventure. Read more about my story here.

best islands to visit croatia

If You Liked This Post You May Also Like:

non touristy things to do in Spain

8 Unique Things to do in Spain you shouldn’t miss!

Things To Do in Rome

5 Essential Things To Do in Rome

Dónde comer en Boston: Quincy Market

Quincy Market: One of the Best Places to Eat in Boston

RV Destinations in the United States

Top 5 RV Destinations in the United States

beautiful foliage during fall

15 Best Places to Visit in October in the USA in 2024

Unusual fun things to do in georgia

15 Unusual & Fun Things to do in Georgia, USA

One response to “10 best islands in croatia to visit i croatian islands hopping”.

There are more than hundreds of islands in Croatia where tourists stay and spend their time. I think it would be better if you check out which island will be best for you to stay. You can either contact travel companies in Croatia or get the trusted references. Do not forget to enjoy boat trips at Dubrovnik Islands.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Política de privacidad I have read and accept the Privacy Policy

best islands to visit croatia

Únete a la comunidad viajera. ¡Ya somos más de 300 mil viajeros!

The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

20 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit in 2024

Written By: The Planet D

Updated On: June 11, 2024

Cruising the Croatian islands has become an iconic holiday activity. Imagine sailing through the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea as you search for a secluded cove. Croatia has more than 1,000 islands spanning from north to south, so no matter where you find yourself, you’ll be able to book a day trip out to see one. Even if you aren’t aboard a luxury yacht, many of the best islands in Croatia can be reached by public ferry or even on a sea kayak. We can attest, kayaking around the islands of Croatia is a trip of a lifetime.

Table of Contents

The Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

Croatia may have plenty of islands but only 47 actually are inhabited. And of those 47 inhabited islands, only 15 islands have a population of more than 1000 people. So when you visit the islands of Croatia, chances are you’ll have them all to yourselves.

best islands in croatia map

Dubrovnik may be calling your name, but once you’ve explored the popular Game of Thrones Locations, it’s time to get out on the crystal clear waters to enjoy these best islands in Croatia.

1. Kornati Islands

Islands in Croatia Kornati

The Kornati Islands are an archipelago of 140 islands and islets sitting off the Dalmatian Coast. Within the largest Archipelago in the Adriatic Sea is Kornati National Park which draws visitors to explore its pristine Croatian islands and underwater playground. The abundance of reefs and shallow, warm waters make it perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Things to do

Go snorkeling or scuba diving – Most boat tours to the Kornati Islands offer a snorkeling option. The islands are said to be home to nearly 200 species of fish. You can even spot dolphins if you are lucky.

This full-day tour takes you along the Sibenik channel past historic military sites and famous landmarks until you reach Kornati National Park. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkeling, swimming, and even cliff diving from its steep rock faces. See more details here.

Visit the Fortress of Tureta – The Fortress of Tureta dates back to the Byzantine period and sits – isolated and decrepit – on the island of Kornat. History lovers will enjoy touring the historic site , and its dramatic, remote cliff-top location adds to the attraction’s allure.

How to get there

The best way to reach the Kornati Islands is by day trip, especially as most are uninhabited islands. You can find boat tours from Zadar, Sibenik, or Murter – any of the major tourist spots along the Dalmatian Coast.

2. Elaphiti Islands

best islands in croatia elaphiti islands

The Elaphiti Islands are the most popular Croatian islands to visit as they sit just off Dubrovnik on the Croatian mainland. Dubrovnik draws in millions of tourists thanks to its wealth of  things to do  and  Game of Thrones  stardom, and many people are tempted into ‘special island hopping itinerary’ boat trips from Dubrovnik Old Town harbor.

The Elaphiti Islands include three main islands: Sipan, Kolocep, and Lopud. The total population of all three islands is around 1,000 people, and most residential areas are sleepy fishing villages. Visiting the Elaphitis is an excellent choice for those staying in Dubrovnik and wanting a laidback, convenient island getaway.

Swim in the Blue Cave and Green Cave – The Elaphiti Islands have special caves where the light reflects perfectly to create brightly colored water. The Blue Cave is one of the most famous stops on the island of Biševo. Sun reflects off the white bottom of the blue cave bouncing off the limestone walls creating a stunning scene. The equally beautiful green cave offers snorkeling or swimming on Sipan island.

Kayak around the islands -Rent a sea kayak and explore the islands from the ocean. By sea kayaking, you’ll be able to access sheltered coves and hidden sandy beaches and admire the unique natural landscapes from a unique perspective.

This boat tour from Dubrovnik takes you to Kolocep, Lopud, and Šipan where you’ll stop and swim and enjoy lunch and unlimited drinks. Now that sounds like a good time.

You can reach The Elaphitis easily by public ferry, which is perfect if you want to stay a few days. Otherwise, you can organize a day trip from Dubrovnik Old Town.

best islands in croatia brac

Chances are that you’ve already heard of Brac when searching for the best islands in Croatia. Brac is located in the Adriatic Sea, just off the coast of Split , and it is one of the most popular islands for a day trip. Brac is known for its larger-than-life personality and has a bit of everything – from music events to a historic old town and Golden Cape beach, which is famed for windsurfing. Brac is action-packed yet authentic (an admirable trait) and an excellent contender for island hopping.

Golden Cape Beach – Golden Cape Beach (or Golden Horn Beach) is an excellent spot for watersports and one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. The iconic beach is shaped like a horn, jutting out in a triangle shape.

Blaca Hermitage – Blaca Hermitage is a 16th-century monastery built dramatically into a cliff face. You can hike up to the monastery and visit the museum for more information on its history.

Getting to Brac is a breeze, and you can hop on a ferry straight from Split. The ride takes just 50 minutes, and even in low season, it runs over sixty times a week.

4. Hvar Island

islands in croatia hvar

Hvar is one of the best islands in Croatia if you want a summer resort atmosphere. Sure, the island has its historical attractions. Hvar Town has 13th-century walls and plenty of ancient buildings. However, it is most famous for its clubs, pubs, bars, and beach parties. If you want somewhere to let your hair down, Hvar is a fantastic choice.

Fortica Fortress – This 16th-century fortress is one of the most scenic spots in Hvar. You can hike to the top of its hill to explore the ruins and enjoy gorgeous views over the town, island, and ocean below.

Party at Carpe Diem – Carpe Diem is one of the island’s longest-established party venues and was opened in 1999. The venue has DJs from 5 pm each night and a fashion show twice a week. Carpe Diem is where to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

The best way to reach Hvar is by getting a ferry from the mainland. You can catch a ferry to Hvar from significant cities like Split and Dubrovnik, and there is even the option to catch an international ferry from Italy.

5. Vis Island

best islands in croatia vis

Vis Island is one of the best islands in Croatia if you want a spot with a rich history. Vis Island served as a Yugoslav military base from 1950 until 1989, and you can still visit military sites today. This is a massive draw for those intrigued by Croatia’s political history. Vis Town also has ancient city walls, a public bath, and an archaeological museum.

Scuba dive underwater wrecks – Vis has many fascinating wrecks, including a plane and a Greek cargo ship. You can visit the island’s dive center to organize a diving tour.

Visit Tito’s Cave – Tito was a World War II leader and had headquarters in a cave on Vis Island. Because of its location near Italy, Vis was considered a highly strategic location, and now visitors can tour the special cave.

You can take an organized tour from the mainland or take the ferry from Split. The ferry ride takes around an hour and a half.

6. Rab Island

best croatian islands rab

Rab Island is one of the most historical Croatian islands. It has a stunning old town encircled by ancient city walls. If you want a photogenic, historical island, Rab is the one for you. It has the Cathedral Svete Marije and Sveti Ivan Church, plus Roman ruins dotted around the island. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, Rab Island also has some of the best beaches out of all Croatia’s islands.

Paradise Beach – Paradise Beach is a fantastic beach day spot, with waterslides and pedal-boat rentals to keep you entertained between sunbathing sessions.

Sightsee the Old Town – Sightseeing the different buildings and old city walls is a perfect way to spend a morning on Rab Island. You can easily explore leisurely on foot, stopping for a coffee or brunch break when you need to.

You can catch a ferry to Rab Island from the mainland or other nearby islands. Book tickets online (especially during peak seasons) to guarantee a spot.

7. Pakleni Islands

best islands to visit in croatia pakleni

The Pakleni Islands are some of the best islands in Croatia for beautiful sandy beaches, incredible snorkeling, and partying. The Paklenis are a group of islets located just off of Hvar, and their stunning scenery and fun atmosphere make them a popular day trip. Small but with big personalities, the Pakleni Islands are fantastic islands to visit in Croatia.

Enjoy the walking trails – Since the islands are so small, you can easily explore them on foot. Sveti Klement is the best island for shaded walking trails and is scattered with pine trees and Mediterranean shrubs.

Party at the Marinkovac beach club – Get your groove on at Marinkovac’s fantastic beach club. The club gives the Pakleni Islands their party reputation and is a great spot to let your hair down.

You can visit the Pakleni Islands on a day trip from Hvar or the Mainland. From Hvar, it takes just 30 minutes to reach the Paklenis.

8. Mljet Island

best islands to visit in croatia mljet

Mljet is a long Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. This is one of the best islands in Croatia for nature lovers and is home to Mljet National Park. Mljet is covered in a dense pine forest, vineyards, and olive groves. It is the perfect island to visit to appreciate nature and fresh, locally sourced produce.

Odysseus Cave – Make sure to visit the legendary Odysseus Cave. It is one of the most beautiful plces on Mljet. It can be reached by boat or you can hike to it.

Mljet National Park – Mljet National Park offers 5,400 hectares of land and ocean reserves, protecting incredible flora and fauna. You can cycle or hike around the park and pack snorkeling gear to appreciate its reefs and underwater attractions.

Roman Palace – The Roman Palace is Mljet’s most historic attraction. The 5th-century ancient palace sits on the Polace waterfront, now split in half by a busy road.

The easiest way to reach Mljet Island is to take the ferry from Dubrovnik. The trip takes around two and a half hours.

9. Pag Island

Pag Island Croatia

Pag Island is one of the best islands in Croatia if you are looking for a striking (slightly bizarre) natural landscape. Apart from the built-up area of Pag Town, arriving at Pag is not unlike landing on the moon. It has a desolate moonlike landscape and sharply contrasts Croatia’s more lush islands. You’ll find fun nightlife in Pag Town, plenty of walking trails, and local produce like paski sir, which is called Pag cheese and made from sheep milk.

Party on the Zrce strip – Zrce is the hub of nightlife on Pag. The beachfront is lined with bars and clubs, with frequent beach parties to join.

Sample the island’s delicacies – So, you must try Pag cheese. However, Pag lamb is also a local specialty and is typically grilled and served with potatoes. These dishes are extremely popular, so stop by a restaurant and check what they serve.

Pag Island is the easiest to reach in this guide. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and has a car ferry service. You can drive across the bridge or sail to Pag; the choice is yours.

10. Korcula Island

korcula island croatia

Korcula Island is known for its dense plant life and forest and the beauty of Korcula Town. Some people even go as far as to call Korcula Town ‘Little Dubrovnik’, as its smaller-scale city walls, medieval squares, and historic buildings are a picture of Croatia’s famous city. The island has a lot of Greek history, and we recommend it to any history enthusiasts or people looking for a well-rounded, beautiful island destination.

Visit Pupnatska Luka Beach – Pupnatska Luka Beach is a stunning place to visit and great for a day trip. It is famed for its turquoise waters and bright white sand.

Visit Korcula Town Museum – Ready for a bit of history? This museum exhibits Korcula’s history and culture and has a unique location in a 16th-century Renaissance palace.

The best way to reach Korcula Island is to catch the ferry from Split, which takes just under four hours. You can also catch smaller, less regular ferries from nearby islands.

11. Cres Island

best islands in croatia cres

Cres Island is the second largest island in the Adriatic Sea and is connected to the neighboring island of Losinj by a bridge. Cres Island is slightly off of most tourist radars, but if you want an exciting, less crowded Croatian island, this makes it a great candidate. Cres Town has many Italian qualities since the island was previously under Venetian rule and has beautiful scenery and plenty of history.

See the griffon vulture colony – Nature lovers or bird enthusiasts, will love spotting Cres’ griffon vulture colony. I remember going to see them while kayaking around Cres. Cres Island is massively involved with conservation efforts, offering a refuge for special birds to thrive away from mass crowds.

Visit the Venetian Tower – The Venetian Tower is a perfect place to appreciate the island’s history. The tower was once part of the island’s Venetian fortification, built while Cres was under Italian rule.

You can catch a ferry service from the Croatian mainland or fly to Krk Island and catch a ferry from there.

12. Obonjan

Want a private island experience? Obonjan is one of the best islands in Croatia. Forget a resort town; Obonjan is a resort island specializing in luxury glamping experiences for adults. The island treads the line between party-focused, wellness-focused, and pure luxury. It offers a holistic holiday package, perfect if you want to treat yourself to a night off the mainland. Obonjan has an exclusive atmosphere and is a match made in heaven for luxury-chasing crowds.

Attend one of the festivals or club nights – Obanjan is always hosting the latest DJs and artists. Obanjan has some of the most exciting line-ups and regular events if you are in the mood for a party.

Get involved with resort activities – This might sound like a cop-out itinerary idea, but the resort really does have everything. You could be attending complimentary yoga classes or attending a film screening.

Obanjan is best reached by ferry or taxi boat from Sibenik. Obanjan Island Resort also offers boat transfers.

13. Krk Island

islands in kroatia krk

Krk is famed for its old-world architecture and the charming atmosphere that medieval towns promise. Its walled town is full of photogenic back alleys and beautiful buildings, some dating back to the 5th century. Notably, Krk is also the only island where you can spot bears, as the island is so close to the mainland that bears swim across the strait. Krk is a convenient, exciting destination, ideal for those researching day trips from the mainland.

Visit the 5th century basilica in Omisalj – The basilica is the oldest remaining building on the island of Krk, and it is a fascinating place if you love history or archeology. The structure is remarkably intact, and you can easily distinguish the different rooms and features.

Visit the Frankopan Castle – Frankopan Castle overlooks the town of Krk and was commissioned by the Frankopan family – an old noble family in Croatia. The castle was continuously worked on over the centuries to maintain it, with considerable work done in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Getting to Krk is so straightforward that all you have to do is drive over the connecting bridge. As we said, Krk is very close to the mainland shore, meaning it can be conveniently connected with a permanent bridge rather than resorting to ferry crossings.

croatian islands murter

Murter has that tropical island feel that you are very likely craving. Think sandy beaches, lush forests, and beautiful viewpoints. Murter is only a tiny island, but that makes it blissful to explore on foot. You can walk to stunning beaches and spend your day beach hopping between all the different options. We recommend bringing snorkeling gear so you can also enjoy spotting the marine life at each beach.

Go scuba diving – Murter’s waters are perfect for fishing, so you can bet that you’ll find a lot of marine life scuba diving. The island’s dive center offers guided dives and scuba courses, so you can go for a dive or brush up on your skills.

Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding – The Betina Museum is a fascinating spot to visit and covers the town’s ship-making history – from marine tools to traditional attire. Whether you are interested in maritime history, the museum is a valuable insight into island living.

Murter is a dream to get to, as it is connected to the mainland by a small drawbridge. You can catch a bus or drive onto the island – avoid crossing between 5 pm and 5:30 pm when the bridge is lifted.

Best Islands in Croatia Zlarin

Zlarin is one of the most beautiful Croatian islands and is located just off the shores of Sibenik. Expect endless sandy beaches and forests of pine trees. However, Zlarin also has a fantastic shopping scene and is famed for its coral products. A common career in Zlarin is to harvest coral and turn it into products like jewelry. And the island has historical attractions dating back to the 13th century. Zlarin is a bit of a golden child – with amazing qualities and lots to offer.

Go rock climbing – We won’t judge you for wanting to spend a few hours on the beach, but when you are finished, definitely make the most of Zlarin’s cliffs. The east of the island is renowned for rock climbing, and you can book an organized climbing activity to get your adrenaline pumping.

Visit the Coral Museum – Find out more about the island’s relationship with coral and browse some of the best coral souvenirs.

Getting to Zlarin is easy. You catch the ferry from Sibenik, which runs regularly in high and low seasons.

16. Veliki Brijun

croatian islands veliki Brijun

Veliki Brijun is part of the Brijun Islands archipelago and one of the best islands in Croatia for appreciating untouched nature. Veliki Brijun is part of the Brijun National Park and covers 1,700 acres, most of which is protected green space. Veliki Brijun is Croatia’s greenest island. It is also known for its unique, swirled shape, often captured in aerial photos of the island.

Visit the dinosaur footprints – Interested in paleontogology? Veliki Brijun isn’t just home to 21st-century wildlife; you can also spot traces of prehistoric animals on the island. The primary dinosaur footprint is just a short walk from Veliki Brijun port.

Hop on the ‘Tourist Train’ – If you’d prefer to save your legs and energy, the tourist train is a great choice and whisks you around the island on a quick sightseeing tour. You’ll pass all Veliki Brijun’s major attractions, including the safari park.

You can take a taxi boat to Veliki Brijun, but the most reliable way is to take the ferry from Fazana. Fazana has a regular 20-minute ferry ride that connects Veliki Brijun to the mainland.

17. Dugi Otok

croatia islands dugi Otok

Dugi Otok is one of the outer islands off of Zadar in Central Croatia. While not on the well-trodden tourist path, Dugi Otok is easily one of the best islands in Croatia. Dugi Otok is nothing short of paradisical, with beautiful beaches and idyllic spots like Sali, a tiny fishing village. The island is one of the largest islands off of Zadar and has lots of adventure potential and room to explore.

Telascica Nature Park – Dugi Otok is known for its saltwater lakes, and Telascica Nature Park is where you’ll find Lake Mir. Lake Mir is full of saltwater marine animals and is a wonderful natural tourist attraction.

Visit the Donkey Sanctuary – The Donkey Sanctuary is massively important on Dugi Otok since donkeys were heavily relied upon for early survival on the island. Nowadays, visiting is a wholesome thing to do on the island. While the sanctuary is small, it is a definite addition to your Dugi Otok itinerary.

Getting to Dugi Otok is easy, and you can catch a ferry from Zadar in less than an hour and a half. It is easiest to visit for a few days rather than rush to manage a day trip.

Best Croatian Ilands Mrcara

If you want a day trip to an uninhabited island, Mrcara is one of the best islands in Croatia. Mrcara is so off-the-beaten-track that some people call it the ‘last stand’, and you’ll only find basic amenities on the island like a small jetty and seasonal restaurant. It might not be the most popular day trip, but if you have a sense of adventure, you will love Mrcara.

Explore the island’s walking trails – Part of Mrcara’s draw is its raw beauty and stillness. By hiking its walking trails, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in nature, and only nature – listening to bird songs, admiring flora, and wildlife watching.

Snorkel at the beaches – Going snorkeling is one of the best things to do on Mrcara. The pebbled beaches and quiet waters are perfect for marine life to thrive, and Mrcara is one of the best Croatian islands to spot marine animals.

The best way to reach Mrcara is to catch a ferry from Split to Lastovo, the big island next to Mrcara. From Lastovo, you can then organize a shuttle service to Mrcara.

19. Drvenik Veli

Best Islands in Croatia Drvenik Veli

Drvenik Veli is one of the smallest Croatian Islands near Split. It has a humble history and has been home to shepherds and nomads since the 15th century. While it lacks the infrastructure to provide historical attractions, Drvenik Vali has a sense of remote community heritage. Drvenik Veil is a fantastic choice if you want a glimpse into small Croatian island life.

Sample local seafood – Freshly caught seafood is always a tasty idea, and when you visit Drvenik Veil, we suggest giving in to that temptation. The island relies on its fishing for economic survival, and the handful of local restaurants on Drvenik Veil use the freshest catch.

Swim in the Blue Lagoon – Drvenik Veil’s Blue Lagoon is a beautiful place for a dip, and it’s renowned for its bright blue waters. Its formal name is Krknjasi Bay, which is located on the island’s east side – nice and easy for visitors to access.

Drvenik Veil is quickly reached by taxi boat, or ferry. It takes around 30 minutes from the mainland to get to the island’s main town of Drvenik.

Silba is one of the best islands in Croatia for that car-free, fresh-air experience. You’ll find a handful of tractors for essential transportation tasks and the postman on his scooter, and that’s that; the rest of the island is serene and traffic-free. Silba is one of the sunniest places in Croatia, and with all its hidden coves and beaches, what better place to soak up the rays.

Beach hop – Make use of that sunshine and hit the beach. Silba has a beautiful selection of beaches waiting for you to throw down a beach towel, and we recommend Dobre Vode and Nozdre the most.

Climb the Toreta – The Toreta is Silba’s only tower, and you can climb up its narrow, spiral stairway for gorgeous views over the island and ocean. Legend has it that a sailor built Toreta for his girlfriend, but she cast his love aside and betrayed him by marrying someone else – getting tired of watching and waiting from the tower.

Just catch the ferry to Silba from Zadar. The ride takes around an hour and runs twice daily but you should confirm the schedule online as it is liable to change.

best things to do in croatia

And these are some of the best islands in Croatia. Whether you pick one of the main islands or head off the beaten track, you’ll have a fantastic experience enjoying the glorious views of the Adriatic Sea. Island hopping is one of the  best things to do in Croatia to really see the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast.

Croatian islands are some of the prettiest in the world, and their secluded coves and idyllic beaches make them some of the best spots for island hopping on earth.

  • Beautiful Croatia – The 20 Best Things to See and Do

22 Best Things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Where to Stay in Dubrovnik – Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
  • Best Places to Visit in Europe
  • Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

You May Also Like

23 Incredible Things to do in Split, Croatia in 2024

23 Incredible Things to do in Split, Croatia in 2024

14 Best Luxury Hotels in Dubrovnik, Croatia In 2024

14 Best Luxury Hotels in Dubrovnik, Croatia In 2024

22 Best Things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine , the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Join thousands of others who get our monthly updates!

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

1 thought on “20 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit in 2024”

Amazing pictures, I would love to update my bucket list. Keep blogging Planet D.

  • South Africa
  • Philippines
  • Travel Resources
  • Work With Us
  • House Sitting Enquiries

The Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

The Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

Shaped like a crescent, Croatia lies on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Over 1240 natural formations dot the country’s waters. 78 are actual islands, of which only 47 have people living on them. Lots are very small, some with just a restaurant with a sunset view and some totally uninhabited. These islands embody a Mediterranean paradise, with their glittering white sand, long sunny days, and pristine waters in a million shades of blue and green. 

From the beautiful old town and rocky beaches in Hvar to the lush parks in Mljet, we take you on a tour of the best islands to visit in Croatia.

A dense Mediterranean forest covers most of Mljet, making it Croatia’s greenest island. The waters surrounding it are astonishingly pristine and teeming with fish and marine life. In addition to its unspoilt natural beauty, Mljet is known for its goat’s cheese, wines, olives, and national park.

Mljet’s main draw is an incredibly stunning landscape and beautiful nature. Most tourists head to the sprawling national park on the northwestern part of the island on their visit. The park is home to scenic trails, caves, beaches, multiple islets, a monastery, and two salt lakes, Malo Jezero (The Small Lake) and Veliko Jezero (The Big Lake).

Outdoor activities such as kayaking, cycling, hiking, and sailing are popular in Mljet. If you prefer something more relaxing, head to Prožurska Luka, a rustic fishing village along a small bay north of the island, for its laidback and serene atmosphere. 

Govedari, Pomena, Soline, and Polace, all located within the national park, are pleasant areas to explore. You will find quaint souvenir shops, charming local restaurants, and Roman-era buildings in the villages.

Hvar is a place of elegance, class, rich history, and undeniable beauty, with its maze of cobbled and marble streets, inland lavender fields, Renaissance-era architecture, Byzantine cathedrals, and 13th-century walls.

Probably best known as a luxurious summer resort with pulsating nightlife, Hvar is perhaps the most vibrant and lavish of the Croatian islands. That said, when we travelled to Hvar during the summer, we stayed in the sleep village of Vrbanj away from the main town and enjoyed a slower pace of holiday life. 

The island’s beating heart is the Hvar Old Town. Its cobbled alleys brim with restaurants, cafés, boutiques, and a wealth of medieval buildings. From the town centre, head to the Hvar Fort, which dates back to the 16th century, and enjoy the striking views from the tower. Other notable landmarks include the Cathedral of St. Stephen and the Franciscan Monastery.

There are a plethora of rocky beaches and outcrops where you can dive into the turquoise waters. Our favourite spot was Corni Petar – a sunny swimming spot sheltered by pine trees. You can sun yourself on the rocks, swim to your heart’s content and enjoy a delicious lunch at the wooden hut cafe there. We loved having fresh salads, bread and lemon pie whilst reading away the day here.

Hvar offers a luxurious experience, from dining to accommodations. You will find some excellent villa rentals in Croatia , great for those looking to explore the islands. And Hvar is the ideal place to stay in an elegant villa.

Roughly 40 km wide and 14 km long, Brac is the third largest island in the Adriatic Sea, known for its sheep cheese, citrus fruits, olive oil, windsurfing, and white limestone. Its most famous attraction, Zlatni Rat or Golden Horn Beach, so called because of its distinct horn shape, is regularly listed as one of the best beaches in Europe. 

But Zlatni Rat is not the only stunning white pebble beach in Brac. Wrapped around the island are smaller, less-known, and less-crowded but equally beautiful beaches. Lovrecina Beach in Postira is one such spot, perfect for a quiet afternoon waddling in warm waters and unwinding under the shade of trees.

When in Brac, visit the Museum of Olive Oil in the village of Skrip, then sample local vintages at the Stina winery. Wander around Bol and explore its food markets, learn about stone sculpting in Pucisca, and stroll down the waterfront promenade in Supetar. For active travellers, Brac is an excellent place for mountain biking and you can also hike to the summit of Vidova Gora, the highest point in the Adriatic Sea.

The true definition of a hidden gem, Korcula is one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. Blessed with a dramatic landscape, historical landmarks, and sparkling beaches, Korcula is the quintessential medieval stone town. Despite its charm, it remains crowd-free.

One of the most atmospheric places in Korcula is its historic old town. It was here that world explorer Marco Polo was born. Inside the town’s fortified walls are winding cobblestone streets, quaint shops, outdoor cafés, and various restaurants.

Korcula, like other Croatian islands, is replete with breathtaking beaches. Our favourites include Bilin Žal, Vila Pržina, Pupnatska Luka, Vrnik and Proizd. You can also go island hopping on a water taxi and visit the nearby smaller islands of Badija, Vrnik, and Stupe in the Škoji archipelago.

To fully enjoy the island, consider joining a private tour around Croatia , great for those looking to see Korcula and the other Croatian islands.

Spain has Ibiza, Greece has Mykonos, and Croatia has Pag. This up-and-coming island boasts a stretch of boisterous seaside night spots along the pebbly shores of Zrće Beach. 

But there is more to Pag than its all-night parties. Pag Town, the capital, shines with its rich history, fascinating culture, and gastronomic delights. After all, Pag is best known as the origin of Pag cheese, Pag lamb and Pag salt – three of the most beloved delicacies in Croatia.

If you love history, you will undoubtedly love Pag. In Novalja, you will find an ancient one-kilometre Roman aqueduct. You can also visit Stari grad Pag, a renowned ghost town with haunting remains of a church, a monastery, and salt pan channels from the Middle Ages.

For some outdoor adventure, climb the craggy peaks of Stogaj, cruise Pag Bay, spot rare birds at the Veliko Blato marshland, or explore the island by quad bike. At sundown, sample the famous Pag brandy in one of the island’s many bars.

author photo

Charlie Marchant

Galapagos Islands Sealions playing - Charlie on Travel

Galapagos Travel Guide

Best places to visit in mallorca.

best islands to visit croatia

Leave a reply Cancel reply

About charlie & luke.

best islands to visit croatia

We’re Charlie and Luke — UK travel bloggers, adventurers and storytellers. We travel slow and write about sustainable travel . We want to make responsible travel choices and help you do the same. Get to know us .

Subscribe To Our Newsletters

Hand curated travel guides and sustainable travel inspiration straight to your inbox.

category-image

The 15 best islands to visit in Croatia

By Jane Foster

Croatia islands the 15 best to visit in 2024

The key to a perfect holiday? Dalmatians call it fjaka – a deliciously lazy mood of utter contentment. To help you find it, we've put together a hit list of the 15 best islands in Croatia, as chosen by a Croatia expert. For more inspiration once you're there, see our definitive list of the best beaches in Croatia or an expert guide to planning the ultimate Croatia island-hopping adventure.

Romanesque churches walled monasteries lush vineyards and pretty fishing villages. Joined to the mainland by an...

Romanesque churches, walled monasteries, lush vineyards and pretty fishing villages . Joined to the mainland by an impressive bridge, Krk draws visitors from northern Croatia and beyond with its superb konobe (taverns) serving local specialities such as šurlice (handmade pasta) and Kvarner shrimps – reserve a table at Bracera in Malinska, or Rivica in Njivice. Walk or cycle hiking routes that follow time-worn donkey paths over fertile farmland and barren rocky slopes, stopping to explore the underground caverns of Biserujka Cave , sample Žlahtina white wine in the hill village of Vrbnik and swim at Baška.

Insider's tip: Call at family-run Utla near Malinska to taste their extra-virgin olive oils made from local Plominka olives.

Croatia's trendiest island destination Hvar Town sprawls around a sheltered harbour packed with yachts a vast paved...

Croatia's trendiest island destination, Hvar Town sprawls around a sheltered harbour packed with yachts , a vast paved piazza with a baroque cathedral at its centre. Stroll along the palm-lined seafront promenade and up to the hilltop castle, then wander through cobbled alleys, packed with rustic-chic seafood restaurants (think lobster, champagne and lavender ice cream), cocktail bars and boutiques stocking handmade jewellery and designer swimwear. Beyond the capital, the rural interior is a haze of lavender fields and vineyards – call at the Tomić winery in Jelsa to taste wines made from local grape varieties Bogdanuša, Pošip and Plavac Mali.

Insider's tip: For authentic home cooking, visit Konoba Lambik in Milna with tables on a stone terrace in an olive grove.

Overlooked by everyone from the Romans to tourists Dugi Otok has space and silence to spare both precious commodities in...

Overlooked by everyone from the Romans to tourists, Dugi Otok has space and silence to spare; both precious commodities in high summer . Its name means 'long island' in Croatian, and while it measures 45km in length, it’s only 4km at its widest point. Hilltop hamlets like Dragove shimmer in the heat haze like watercolours, while fishing villages such as Sali and Božava are bleached by a lazy sun. There are cliff-edge panoramas of empty Adriatic in the southern Telašćica Nature Park and white-pebble heaven on the lovely Saharun beach with its warm, shallow waters. Only later do you realise what's missing: traffic, people and noise.

Insider's tip: Dugi Otok is served by ferry and catamaran from Zadar to Božava, Brbinj, Sali and Zaglav. It's also possible to visit as a one-day excursion from Zadar.

Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol Croatia's top windsurfing destination....

Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol, Croatia's top windsurfing destination. The island appeals to adventurous types with its excellent water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling paths. Behind Bol rises Vidova Gora (780m), the highest point on the Croatian islands – climb to the top for astounding views. Brač's hilly interior supports sheep farming – dine on lamb, roasted whole on a spit, at the lovely Kaštil Gospodnetić in Dol – while the island's quarries have generated a population of skilled sculptors and you can visit the Stonemasonry School in Pušišća to see some of their work.

Insider's tip: Try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) with Aldura in Sutivan on Brač's north coast.

Rising from the sparkling Adriatic Croatia's most distant island is visited mainly by yachters who moor up in Vis Town...

Rising from the sparkling Adriatic, Croatia's most distant island is visited mainly by yachters, who moor up in Vis Town to feast on fresh fish at Villa Kaliopa or Pojoda (Don Cvjetka Marasovića 8; +385 21 711 575), or venture inland to Roki's (Plisko Poje 17; +385 98 303 483) for octopus slow-cooked under a peka (a metal domed-lid pot, buried under glowing embers). The Ancient Greeks settled Vis in the 4th century BC, attracted by fertile fields and sheltered bays, and under Yugoslavian rule it was a military naval base, closed to foreigners. Relative isolation has kept commercialism at bay, so the bounty of, local produce served at the island’s many tiny family restaurants is mostly organic.

Insider's tip: For guided hiking tours, contact Vis-based adventure sports specialists Alternatura .

Christened Felix Arba ‘Happy Rab by the Romans the greenest island in the Kvarner Gulf is a place of pinchme beauty....

Christened Felix Arba, ‘Happy Rab’, by the Romans, the greenest island in the Kvarner Gulf is a place of pinch-me beauty. Viewed from the sea, Rab Town has the look of a grand medieval galleon built of pale stone, with narrow, steep staircases in place of rigging and four elegant bell-towers for masts. A warren of terracotta-roofed mansions and Romanesque churches, its cobbled alleys are lit by flickering candles come nightfall. And the island's northern coast, near Lopar, is laced with sandy coves, a rarity in Croatia.

Insider's tip: Be sure to try Rapska torta, an almond cake unique to the island and said to have first been created when Pope Alexander III visited Rab in 1177.

Korčula Town sitting compact on a tiny medievalwalled peninsula reveals stone stairways noble palazzi and a...

Korčula Town, sitting compact on a tiny medieval-walled peninsula, reveals stone stairways, noble palazzi and a Gothic-Renaissance cathedral – seen from the sea, it has hardly changed since its most famous citizen, Marco Polo (said to have been born here), embarked on his voyages to the Orient. At dusk, watch a performance of the moreška sword dance, then head into the hills clad with pine woods, vineyards and olive groves, to Konoba Maha or Konoba Mate , two rustic agrotourism eateries serving island specialities made from home produce. To sample the local white, Pošip, visit the welcoming family-run Toreta Winery in Smokvica.

Insider's tip: Explore the Korčula archipelago by sea kayak with Korčurla Outdoor .

Combine urban culture and island escapism  by visiting Šipan  one of the Elafiti islets connected to Dubrovnik's Gruž...

Combine urban culture and island escapism (as local nobles did in the 17th century, when they built summer villas here), by visiting Šipan (population 436), one of the Elafiti islets, connected to Dubrovnik's Gruž port by ferry and catamaran. Šipan's two main settlements, Suđurađ (on the east coast) and Šipanska Luka (on the west), both have tumbledown limestone cottages and villas lining sheltered bays filled with fishing boats and yachts. They're connected by a 5km rough track – hire a bike and cycle across the islet, past olive groves and orchards of orange, lemon, fig and carob.

Insider's tip: Eat at informal Konoba Kod Marka in Šipanska Luka – there's no menu but daily specials might include octopus fritters, fresh sea bass and divine homemade chocolate cake.

Homer eulogised this wavewashed island of Aleppo pine and holm oak in his Odyssey and the World Wide Fund for Nature has...

Homer eulogised this wave-washed island of Aleppo pine and holm oak in his Odyssey, and the World Wide Fund for Nature has named it among the last paradises in the Mediterranean. Mljet's northern third encompasses Mljet National Park , where two interconnected turquoise saltwater lakes are set amid dense woodland. Pomena, the entrance to the park, is just 80 minutes from Dubrovnik by catamaran. Climb up Montokuc for a view of aromatic pines cascading down to the silver-blue Adriatic, or hire a bike and peddle round Veliko Jezero (Big Lake) – in the middle rises a tiny islet, capped by a 12th-century Benedictine monastery, which you can visit by boat.

Insider's tip: Mljet's boutique Stara Skula Gallery hosts painting exhibitions and craft workshops.

An idyllic islet devoted entirely to glamping Obonjan is served by private shuttle boat from Šibenik. It opened in 2016...

An idyllic islet devoted entirely to glamping , Obonjan is served by private shuttle boat from Šibenik. It opened in 2016, and can host up to 700 glampers in its wooden forest lodges and canvas bell-tents under towering pines. There's a beach with sunbeds, straw parasols, DJ music, sea kayaks and SUPs; a spa offering holistic treatments; yoga and meditation classes; an outdoor pool; a stone amphitheatre for concerts; and several eating options, including pizza and Sri Lankan street food. It’s popular with hipsters and the concept is great but Obonjan's eco-credentials could be improved – after all, who needs air-conditioning when you're camping?

Insider's tip: While in Šibenik , be sure to explore the old town, with its Unesco-listed cathedral and a number of sturdy hillside fortresses.

Incomparable to any other form of transport in Dalmatia sailing is an absolute must for exploring the pristine waters of...

Kornati islands

Incomparable to any other form of transport in Dalmatia, sailing is an absolute must for exploring the pristine waters of Kornati National Park . Encompassing 89 wild, rocky largely uninhabited islands, islets and reefs, it's named after the largest, sage-scented Kornat. Most visitors arrive by private yacht, and come here to drop anchor in one of its sheltered bays (several host simple waterside restaurants), and sunbathe, snooze and snorkel in a blissful blurry blue of endless sea and sky. While looking up, you might even spot rare peregrine falcons.

Insider's tip: On Kornat, fisherman Darko Šimat runs Konoba Darko Strižnja (+385 98 623 168), serving freshly caught seafood – on request, you can join him on an early-morning fishing trip.

Lošinj's main town Mali Lošinj sits at the end of a long narrow bay on this selftitled ‘island of vitality. Once a busy...

Lošinj's main town, Mali Lošinj, sits at the end of a long narrow bay on this self-titled ‘island of vitality’. Once a busy shipyard filled with merchant vessels, its moorings are now home to yachts and excursion boats overlooked by 19th-century villas with gracious gardens, some now boutique hotels . Lošinj's natural attractions include the Aromatic Garden planted with lavender, sage, rosemary and other Mediterranean shrubs, and dolphin watching trips organised by the Blue World Institute, while the Apoxyomenos Museum displays an Ancient Greek bronze sculpture of an athlete, discovered nearby on the sea bed in 1996.

Insider's tip: Shop for essential oils, natural soaps, herbal teas and homemade jams at the Lošinj Aromatic Garden.

Southwest of Hvar Town  the Pakleni archipelago is a scattering of islets covered in pine woods and sheltered coves...

Sveti Klement

Southwest of Hvar Town (served by taxi-boat), the Pakleni archipelago is a scattering of islets covered in pine woods and sheltered coves, where yachters drop anchor to swim and snooze. The largest, Sveti Klement, is a real back-to-nature escape, with rough footpaths leading through lush Mediterranean vegetation to secluded pebble beaches , several overlooked by seasonal waterside restaurants and cafes. Best of all is Palmižana, an overgrown botanical garden of pines, palms, mimosa, lilies and fragrant herbs, plus a dozen quirky villas and bungalows – the owner, Dagmar, is a contemporary art collector, and her paintings adorn their boldly coloured walls.

Insider's tip: There's a small general store in the ACI sailing marina on Sveti Klement, where you can buy basics such as bottled water, bread, coffee and milk.

Pag with its bare palepink hills a landscape as silent and magical as any desert is unique among the greensloped...

Pag with its bare, pale-pink hills, a landscape as silent and magical as any desert, is unique among the green-sloped Dalmatian islands. It was stripped of its forests by the Venetian Republic, to provide timbers for their galleons. Today, beaten by the harsh bura (northeast wind), it's linked to the mainland by a road bridge. Drive through the rocky moonscape to see hardy sheep grazing wild rosemary, and dine on Paški sir (Pag sheep's cheese) and juicy roast lamb. Through summer, suntanned revellers attend electronic music festivals at Zrće beach, and holidaymakers visit Pag Town with its salt pans and lace makers.

Insider's tip: Book a dairy tour with cheese-tasting at Gligora in Kolan, then buy rounds of cheese) direct from their farm shop.

Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton and Sophia Loren along with foreign politicians and royalty were the glamorous guests...

Veliki Brijun

Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Sophia Loren, along with foreign politicians and royalty, were the glamorous guests entertained by Yugoslav President Tito on the islands of Veliki Brijuni, his beloved private summer retreat from 1945 to 1980. Veliki Brijun is the largest of 14 pine-scented islets within Brijuni National Park , and its beautifully maintained parkland reveals Roman archaeological remains. It’s also home to a number of exotic animals such as elephants, llamas, zebras and ostriches (given to Tito as gifts by visiting dignitaries from South America, Africa and Asia ), as well as deer and peacocks. It’s small enough to do some exploring on foot or there are golf buggies for rent, and a 3-star hotel offers overnight accommodation.

Insider's tip: If you're on Veliki Brijun in July, catch an after-dark open-air performance at Ulysses Theatre .

This story was originally published on Condé Nast Traveller UK

  • Top islands to visit in Croatia

10 Croatian islands for every kind of traveler

  • Ferry Tickets

With close to 1200 islands, isles and inlets, choosing where to go in Croatia can be challenging. Perhaps you want to indulge in delicious food or you’re looking for wild parties and memorable nights of fun? Or is it just that you want to chill on a sandy beach with brilliant views? Croatia’s islands are so diverse that you’ll definitely find one that matches your vibe.

Just keep in mind that, the key to a perfect holiday , according to Dalmatians, is fjaka - the 'sweetness of doing nothing'. To help you delve into the country’s laidback Mediterranean lifestyle, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best islands to visit in Croatia :

Find out more about the islands, pick your favorite and book cheap ferry tickets on Ferryhopper!

Hvar’s Spanish Fortress overlooking its town and port

Breathtaking view of Hvar’s town and Spanish Fortress

Hvar is not only Croatia’s trendiest island , but also the longest and sunniest. Hvar’s Old Town is known for its ancient landmarks, lively beaches and legendary nightlife scene. Visit its large main square from the Venetian era and wander through the cobblestoned alleys dotted with high-end seafood restaurants , cocktail bars and shops. Stroll along the palm-lined coastal promenade and climb up to the Spanish Fortress for fabulous views of the town and Pakleni Islands.

Beyond the capital, another of Hvar’s trademarks are the lavender fields and vineyards taking over the island’s rural interior. This region is also worth exploring.

The easiest and fastest way to get here from the Croatian mainland is by taking the 1-hour ferry from Split to Hvar for around €6 to €20 . Check out our dedicated blog to plan the most perfect day trip from Split to Hvar .

A beach with turquoise waters in the hidden cove of Dubovica, Hvar island

The idyllic Dubovica beach and bay on Hvar Island

Brač, the largest island in central Dalmatia, is mostly famous for its magnificent Zlatni Rat beach (aka Croatia’s most iconic and photographed beach) and its radiant white stone. Brač’s 2 main centers are Supetar , a lively town with a bar-and-restaurant-lined harbor, and Bol , on the south shore. Behind Bol rises Vidova Gora at 778 m which is the highest peak on the Adriatic islands - climb to the top for astounding views over Bol, Zlatni Rat and Hvar island. The Blaca Monastery , impressively built on the cliffs of Vidova Gora, is also worth checking out.

With its great water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling trails, the island attracts a lot of adventure enthusiasts . Brač is also a great place for anyone who wants to unwind and enjoy amazing food and local wine. Just hop on the 50-minute ferry from Split and get ready for your unforgettable vacation!

Tip : except for Zlatni Rat, Brač is also famous for the beaches of Murvica and Borak .

Boats anchored around Golden Horn Beach, Brač island

Aerial view of Zlatni rat, one of the most famous symbols of Croatia

3. Korčula

The island of Korcula is a spot that has hardly changed since its most well-known citizen, Marco Polo, set out on his voyages to the East. Korčula’s many treasures hide behind a tiny medieval-walled peninsula. Step through the gates and you’ll find, among others, St Mark’s Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral and several noble palaces. Add to the mix a few quiet coves and white-sand beaches (the best of which is Pupnatska Luka ) sandwiched by pine forests and crystal-clear waters, and you have a little slice of paradise.

At dusk, make sure to watch a performance of the moreška sword dance , Korcula's proudest tradition. Then sample the local white, pošip , arguably the best of all Croatian whites .

The fastest and most straightforward method of transportation is by getting on the fast ferry from Split to Korčula . The ticket cost ranges from around €9 to €25 .

View of the medieval walled town of Korčula and its seafront promenade

View of Korčula old town and its impressive medieval walls

Joined to the mainland by an impressive bridge, Krk is the largest of Croatia’s islands and draws visitors with its white-sand beaches, pretty fishing villages and lush vineyards. The island also boasts diverse landscapes , varying from dense forests in the west to mountain-like sceneries in the south, both of which make for a beautiful day’s hike . A few other must’s during a vacation in Krk include visits to the Frankopan Castle in Krk Town, to Vela Luka Bay as well as to the stalactite Biserujka Cave .

Don’t forget to dine at one of the island’s superb kanobes (taverns) serving local specialities such as šurlice (homemade pasta), Krk lamb and the traditional cakes of presnec and povitica . We also recommend heading to Vrbnik , a charming village on the east coast, and sampling Žlahtina white wine .

 View of the Frankopan Castle from the sea, Krk island

The Frankopan Castle in the old town of Krk

The largest of the Elafiti Islands, Šipan is one of the best destinations in terms of ancient churches, noblemen’s villas and Roman ruins. The island also boasts some of the yummiest cuisine and best produce in Croatia - with figs and melons being the region's main crops. 

Šipan has 2 main settlements , Šipanska Luka , the largest town on the isle known for the remains of a Roman villa and a 15th-century duke’s palace and Suđurađ , a little harbor bordered with stone buildings and magnificent summer residences and palaces. For the best views on the island, hike or walk to the top of Velji Vrh ! Overall, this is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in Croatia with a delightfully laid-back ambiance . 

So, if you want to escape the urban life and head to Šipan, board a ferry from Dubrovnik's Gruž port. The ferry trip from Dubrovnik to Šipan lasts about 45 minutes.

It is not only Croatia's greenest island , but also among the last paradises in the Mediterranean, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Mljet National Park , which covers Mljet 's northern third, features 2 stunning interconnected saltwater lakes surrounded by a lush forest. 

Rent a bike and pedal around Veliko Jezero (Big Lake), in the middle of which rises a tiny islet capped by a Benedictine monastery . Alternatively, climb Montokuc , the tallest hill closest to the salt lakes, for an unforgettable panoramic view of Mljet and the nearby isles.

Pomena, the park’s entrance, can be reached from Dubrovnik in around 80 minutes . Check out our blog if you’re interested in planning a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mljet .

A lush islet with a medieval monastery on the island of Mljet

The beautiful salt lake in Mljet Island with the Benedictine monastery, Croatia

In the northern Adriatic Sea, Lošinj is divided from the island of Cres by the tiniest of channels and connected by a bridge. It might be smaller but it is the most populated of the twin islands. Lošinj's natural attractions include the Aromatic Garden , showcasing all the treasure of the island’s most significant scents, and its dolphin population . In fact, its waters are the first protected marine area for the friendly sea mammals in the entire Mediterranean, so keep one eye on the horizon. In addition, the Museum of Apoxyomenos displays an Ancient Greek bronze statue of a young athlete, discovered in 1997.

Lošinj's main town, Mali Lošinj , is the largest on the island and one of the main tourist centers in the Adriatic. It’s ringed by 19th-century villas with gracious gardens, boutique hotels and pine forests. If you’re traveling from Italy, your best option is to take the ferry from Trieste to Losinj .

Tip : the Lošinj Aromatic Garden has a store where you can buy homemade jams, herbal teas, natural soaps, and essential oils.

Boats at the marina of Mali Lošinj

The picturesque town of Mali Lošinj with colorful buildings

A small island with a very remote feel , Lastovo is a genuine haven for lovers of sailing, good food and wine, as well as for anyone who doesn’t want to encounter the holidaying masses. It’s also perfect for nature enthusiasts since it’s part of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park , making it the second most ‘woodiest’ Croatian island (after Mljet). Make sure to visit the main towns of Ubli and Lastovo, the latter of which is famous for its chimneys that were once status symbols of old Lastovo families. 

If you decide to stay here overnight, don’t forget to look up at the sky since Lastovo markets itself as ‘ the island of bright stars .’ Alternatively, have a look at our dedicated blog to discover our travel tips for the best day trip in Lastovo . You can get here by ferry from either Dubrovnik or Korčula.

Croatia's most distant island was cut off from foreign visitors from the 1950s right up until 1989, keeping commercialism at bay. This isolation and lack of development has become Vis’ drawcard as a travel destination. Mostly international travelers now flock to Vis for its picture postcard Mediterranean beauty, its ancient ruins and deserted beaches , as well as its gourmet delights . 

After swimming at the crystal clear waters of Milna, Stoncica or Srebrna beach, feast on fresh fish and octopus. Keep in mind that the island’s top restaurants are located in Kut, Vis town. Then try the local vermouth when you stop for an aperitif at one of the cafés on the main street.

Fun fact : the movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again , which was released in 2018, was filmed on the island.

Small fishing boats at a beach in Komiza village, Vis

An idyllic beach in Komiza village, Vis island

Rab is the greenest island with the most diverse landscapes in the Kvarner Gulf, leading to its declaration as a geopark in 2008. The more heavily populated southwest coast features pine forests and beaches, while the island’s northeast coast is laced with high cliffs and sandy coves , which are actually rarely found in Croatia. One in particular, Lopar , is ideal for families . 

The enchanting Rab Town is considered by some to be one of the most important historical old towns of Croatia. Bounded by ancient city walls, it is characterized by 4 elegant bell towers rising from the ancient stone streets. Other cultural highlights include the cathedral church of Marija Velika and the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrije . It is also home to plenty of lively bars and restaurants - be sure to try rapska torta , an almond cake unique to the island.

View of Rab’s historic center with its gray-domed church towers

 A breathtaking view of Rab island with its iconic church towers

So, now that you’ve read the magic list of the top 10 Croatian islands, which one do you choose? If you can’t pick one, you can also consider going island hopping ! Book your ferry tickets at the same price with the ferry companies online on Ferryhopper and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Latest article

GNV offer: up to -40% on ferries to Sicily and Sardinia

Keep on reading

  • Grimaldi Lines Livorno - Olbia ferry: a complete guide June 26, 2024
  • 8 movies and TV series to fall in love with Naples June 25, 2024
  • SNAV Naples - Capri: your breezy ferry escape June 20, 2024

22 Best Islands in Croatia You Need to Visit

For many travelers, Croatia is the best mix of stunning beaches , picturesque medieval coastline towns, authentic countryside and some breathtaking natural wonders. It’s such a diverse destination that you could easily mistake it for three or four different countries altogether.

Perched along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia has over one thousand islands and islets, with only about fifty of them being permanently inhabited. With such extreme diversity comes its huge popularity as a tourist destination.

Hvar Fortress Croatia

Almost every major island has its own special charm and set of attractions. In Croatia, travelers will find islands where thousands of people go for holidays and places that are practically unknown and offer private getaways alike.

If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, you have to add at least a few of these islands to your itinerary. Here are the top islands in Croatia.

Good to know – to book ferries to get to these islands, click here or here .

Best Islands in Croatia

22. silba island.

best islands to visit croatia

The island of Silba is located to the southeast of Losinj Island, in the northern Dalmatia area. It has the shape of an eight number, with the only village of Silba located in the middle, where two opposing bays almost meet.

There is no traffic on Silba and the few residents are involved in tourism and agriculture. There are plenty of small beaches and coves where you can enjoy the turquoise water around the island. The symbol of the island is the Toreta, a small tower that can be climbed for beautiful panoramas of the island.

How to the get to Silba Island – You can book a day trip from Pag to Silba Island . Also, there are regular passenger ferries between the island and Zadar, through several other islands.

21. Galesnjak Island

Galesnjak Island heart shaped Croatia

One of the hidden gems in Croatia , Galesnjak Island is popular due to its heart-shape. The island is covered with low vegetation and although it has a few pebble beaches, don’t expect too much from it!

Also known as the “Island of Love”, many couples come here to confess their love or get engaged. The island is uninhabited and there are no tourist facilities but this is what makes it unique.

How to get to Galesnjak Island – There are a few day cruises from Zadar to Galesnjak Island that also include stops to other places. If you only want to visit this island, I recommend renting a private boat.

20. Scedro Island

Old Church at Scedro Island Croatia

A small island off the southern coast of Hvar Island, Scedro is protected as a nature reserve. It is one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia, with countless little coves where travelers can arrive on boats and enjoy the peacefulness of this natural haven.

The two most popular bays, with crystal clear water and small shaded beaches, are Loviste and Monastir. Inside the densely forested island, there are the ruins of an old village and a deserted Dominican monastery. There are several restaurants on the main northern bays, but other than that, it’s completely unspoiled nature.

How to get to Scedro Island – There are no ferries that go to Scedro Island and the only ways to reach it are by private boat or by hiring a water taxi from Zavala, on Hvar Island.

No time to read now? Pin it for later!

Most beautiful islands in Croatia

19. Kolocep Island

Kolocep Island Croatia

The smallest of the three inhabited islands of the Elaphiti Archipelago and also the southernmost inhabited island of Croatia, Kolocep Island is also closest to Dubrovnik. It’s a small island of just about two and a half sq. km, making it the perfect day trip from Dubrovnik .

Locals call it Kalamota and it has two villages located on either side of the island, easily reachable on foot. Visitors can visit the pre-Romanesque churches, swim in the Blue Cave or spend the day on one of the two small beaches.

How to get to Kolocep Island – There are daily car and passenger ferries from Dubrovnik to Donje Celo, also stopping on the other islands of the Elaphiti Archipelago. You can also choose a guided tour from Dubrovnik that also includes stops to Lopud and Sipan Islands.

18. Krapanj Island

Krapanj Island Croatia

With a surface of only 0.45 sq. km, this island is located just 300 meters from the coast, south of the city of Sibenik and is densely populated. Its the perfect destination if you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing place!

The western part of the island is occupied by forest, while the eastern side is home to the small village of Krapanj. Villagers gather and process sponges from the sea and there is even a small sponge museum, as well as an old Franciscan monastery and church.

How to get to Krapanj Island – There are regular passenger boats between the tiny island and the village of Brodarica, about 7 km south of Sibenik.

17. Solta Island

Maslinica - Solta Island Croatia

The island of Solta is located just off the western coast of the larger Brac Island and about 18 km away from the coast of Split. It’s often overlooked as a travel destination, yet it’s a fascinating place, with many protected coves and beaches where tourists can avoid the crowds.

Solta Island is an excellent day trip from Split , with several small villages like Rogac, Grohote, Necujam, Maslinica or Stomorska offering accommodation and restaurants. 

How to get to Solta Island – There are daily car and passenger ferries between the port of Split and Rogac. There is also a ferry between Rogac and Milna on Brac Island. You can also choose a catamaran cruise from Split that includes a stop to Solta Island.

16. Kornati Islands

Kornati Island Croatia

The Kornati Islands is an archipelago of over 100 islands covering a large area off the coast of Croatia between Zadar and Sibenik. Most of the islands and islets are included in the Kornati Islands National Park , a spectacular natural area with pristine coves and turquoise water.

There are no permanent homes on the islands but only temporary shelters of people from neighboring islands who own land on Kornati. The best way to visit these splendid wild islands is as a day trip from Zadar , Sibenik or Split. Adventurers can also stay for more days in basic shelters without electricity of running water.

How to get to Kornati Islands – There are no ferries and no roads on these islands. The only way to reach them is by private boat or with a day tour from Zadar, Sibenik or Murter Island.

15. Cres Island

Cres Island Harbour Croatia

This is one of the largest, yet mainly deserted islands with large areas of wilderness and only a few thousand permanent residents. Mixing pristine and quiet pebbly beaches with natural protected areas where rare griffon vultures live, Cres stretches for a long way from north to south, having two distinct types of landscapes.

There are many fascinating historical sites in Cres Town and the old capital of Osor has an insightful archaeological museum. Other interesting places include the old villages of Lubenice and Valun.

How to get to Cres Island – You can take a day trip from Krk Island to Cres . There are also car ferry connections from Brestova on the mainland to Porozina and from Valbiska on Krk Island to Merag. There is a regular ferry line that connects Rijeka, Cres, Unije, Susak and Mali Losinj. 

14. Mljet Island

Mljet Island Croatia

Mljet Island is a natural paradise, with green forests and vegetation, perfectly clear water and an abundance of underwater life. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic, with a variety of attractions and unique features.

The northern part of the island is included in the Mljet National Park , with the two breathtaking salted water lakes of Veliko and Malo Jezero. The lakes are excellent for hiking, swimming and snorkeling, while the tiny islet of St. Mary houses the old 12 th century St. Mary’s Church, abandoned in the last century and now a popular sight.

The island of Mljet also features some of the best beaches in Croatia , excellent hiking paths, as well as cycling, diving or kayaking opportunities.

How to get to Mljet Island – You can choose a guided tour from Dubrovnik . There is a regular car ferry connecting Sobra on the eastern side of the island to Prapratno on the mainland. There are also passenger ferries from Dubrovnik to Polace and from Split to Pomena (through Brac, Hvar and Korcula islands).

13. Brac Island

Brac Island Croatia

Brac Island has a rather interesting limestone landscape, with parts of the coast that are rugged and steep, while others are low and sandy. It’s a more authentic and less touristy island compared to nearby Hvar and Korcula, with traditional villages and secluded beaches.

Among the most fascinating attractions of Brac Island, there is the town of Supetar with its harbour and medieval streets, the world-famous beach of Zlatni Rat in Bol village, the charming villages of Splitska, Skrip, Milna and Pucisca. Visitors should not miss the traditional produce, including the excellent olive oil.

How to get to Brac Island – There are many car ferries from Split to Supetar, especially during the summer months and also guided tours . There is another car ferry from Makarska to Sumartin on the eastern side of Brac. Regular passenger ferries come from Split to Milna and Bol.  During the summer, there is also a ferry from Dubrovnik that reaches Bol. 

12. Murter Island

Betina, Murter Island Croatia

The largest island of the Sibenik Archipelago is actually quite small, with only 19 sq. km. and five settlements. Apart from the several amazing beaches like Slanica Bay, Podvrske, Jazina and Tisno village, the island of Murter is the perfect place to explore the Kornati Islands National Park.

Some of the beaches are also lesser-known party destinations for those who like to dance under the stars.

How to get to Murter Island – The island is connected to the mainland by a drawbridge at Tisno that is usually opened two times a day for 30 minutes. 

11. Vis Island

Komiza Vis Island

Among the best islands in Croatia, Vis is the farthest inhabited island from the Croatian mainland.  The main activities on Vis Island include tourism, fishing and agriculture, especially vineyards.

The authentic culture and unspoiled natural beauty are the two main advantages of visiting Vis. The two main settlements of Vis and Komiza offer plenty of attractions, including Roman and Greek ruins, old churches and villas.

Here you’ll find some of the best beaches in the country (Stoncica, Stiniva, Rukovac and Srebrna), traditional fishing villages, wineries, diving spots and much more. The island of Vis was selected as the filming location of the movie Mamma Mia 2, featuring breathtaking scenery that left the whole world amazed.

How to get to Vis Island – There are daily ferries and catamarans that run between Split and Vis Town or you can choose a guided tour that includes stops to the Blue Cave and other tourist attractions. There is also a less frequent ferry from Ancona, in Italy.

10. Lopud Island

Sunji Beach Lopud Island

The small island of Lopud is located just off the southern Dalmatian coast, close to the city of Dubrovnik. It’s mostly famous as a tourist destination for the superb sandy beaches, like the beautiful bay of Sunj.

Other attractions include the Franciscan Monastery, the town of Lopud, the 15 th century church of Our Lady of Sunj, old fortresses and historical ruins, as well as kayaking and hiking opportunities. There are no cars in Lopud, making it a perfect day trip from Dubrovnik or a nice place to stay and relax.

How to get to Lopud Island – You can choose a guided tour from Dubrovnik that includes stops to lots of other beautiful places. There are daily passenger ferries from Dubrovnik to Lopud, also stopping on the other two main islands of the Elaphiti Archipelago.

9. Rab Island

Rab island viewpoint Croatia

The island of Rab is located on the northern Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s a unique place, with two distinct types of landscapes. Barren karst can be found in the northern and eastern side, while the southeastern side is covered by one of the last oak forests in the Mediterranean.

The island was the home of Saint Marinus who founded the city state of San Marino. Rab Island is mostly famous for its many and diverse beaches, from superb sandy ones in the north, to the remote coves in-between the rugged cliffs of the west.

Among the top islands in Croatia, it has many sandy beaches like the stunning Paradise Beach, making it a great destination for family holidays. Other fascinating attractions of Rab Island include the churches, palaces and fortress of Rab Town, the forest of Dundo, traditional villages and more.

How to get to Rab Island – You can visit Rab island as a day trip from Baska . There is a regular car ferry connection from Stinica on the mainland to Misnjak on the south side of the island. There are also connections from Lopar to Valbiska on Krk Island and from Rab Town to the island Novalja on Pag Island and to Rijeka on the mainland.

8. Lastovo Island

Lastovo Island Croatia hill

The most remote and hardly accessible inhabited island of Croatia, Lastovo has no sandy beaches and only a handful of tourist services. Travelers only arrive on the island during the summer season and there are not many of them, making this island one of Croatia’s hidden gems .

Ferries from Dubrovnik and Split usually take over 3 hours to reach it so day trips to Lastovo aren’t very popular. The steep rocky coast and wooded interior make it perfect for hiking.

There are also over a dozen places where it’s possible to reach the sea for swimming, with only a handful of small pebbly beaches. Other attractions include the authentic villages with old churches, the vineyards and a fascinating Festival . The island is protected as a nature reserve.

How to get to Lastovo Island – There is a car ferry from Split to Ubli on Lastovo that also stops in Vela Luka on Korcula. There is also a faster passenger ferry on the same line. There is also a passenger ferry from Dubrovnik, although not every day of the week.

7. Pag Island

Pag Island Croatia

Among the best islands in Croatia, Pag Island is definitely the perfect destination for travelers who like to party, especially during the spring break period. It has awesome bars and nightclubs, offering a unique experience. In the past years, it has become one of the top destination for those who backpack through Croatia .

The best party place on the island is known as Zrce , a stretch of beach nightclubs located near Novalja. There are also other things to do on Pag Island, including a visit of the charming Pag Town, seeing the stunning Pag Bay, sampling the Pag cheese, exploring the small beaches, bird-watching, and much more.

How to get to Pag Island – It’s actually very easy to reach Pag, as the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and the city of Zadar is located nearby, having an international airport. There is a passenger ferry from Rijeka to Novalja stopping in Rab Town. There are car ferries from Prizna on the mainland to Zigljen on the island.

6. Losinj Island

Losinj Island port Croatia

Once connected to the island of Cres, Losinj is now divided by a narrow canal and joined by a bridge. It’s a long island and a very popular travel destination, offering a diverse holiday experience that includes historical sights and beautiful beaches. 

The most famous beaches include Veli Zal, Plieski, Zabordarski, Cikat, Krivica and others. For nature lovers, there are over 250 km of trails and pathways to discover the interior, while the stunning underwater landscapes and fauna can be explored by snorkeling and diving.

The towns of Veli Losinj and Mali Losinj offer amazing historical and cultural attractions, as well as plenty of hotels and restaurants.

How to get to Losinj Island – A drawbridge links this island to Cres Island, making it easy to reach (the bridge opens for boats two times a day). Cres can be reached by car ferry from Brestova on the mainland or Valbiska on Krk Island. There is a regular passenger ferry that goes from Rijeka to Cres and reaches Mali Losinj, as well as ferries from Zadar and Pula.

5. Ciovo Island

Ciovo Island Croatia

This is an island located in the central Dalmatia region, just off the shore next to the town of Trogir, being linked to it by a drawbridge. It has been inhabited for centuries, featuring amazing historical heritage dating back to the 15 th century, like the Dominican Monastery, the Church of the Holy Cross, the Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony and other small churches.

It’s also known for its pleasant beaches and beautiful landscapes of vineyards, olive groves and pine forests. There are plenty of lodging options on the island, making it a great holiday destination.

How to get to Ciovo Island – You can visit Ciovo as a day trip from Trogir or Split and visit other tourist attractions along the way. There is a drawbridge that connects the island to the town of Trogir, which is connected itself to the mainland by another bridge.

4. Sipan Island

Sudjurajd Sipan Island Croatia

This is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands near the city of Dubrovnik, just off the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It’s famous for the vineyards, olive groves and palm trees that grow on the island and has two main settlements and ports, Sudurad and Sipanska Luka, with a road connecting them.

Among the attractions that are worth visiting, the Stijepovic Skocibuha castle and tower, a Benedictine monastery, many old churches and chapels, several hiking paths and small beaches. It is a nice day trip from Dubrovnik .

How to get to Sipan Island – There are daily car and passenger ferries from Dubrovnik to Sudurad and Sipanska Luka, also stopping on the other islands of the Elaphiti Archipelago.

3. Krk Island

Baska, Krk Island Croatia

This is the largest and most populated island of the Adriatic Sea. Located near the city of Rijeka, it’s also the most visited of the Croatian islands, given its diversity and easy accessibility. While visiting this island, don’t hesitate to take a boat tour to 5 beautiful nearby islands.

Krk Island is extremely popular with travelers, given its cultural and natural heritage, with old medieval towns, charming traditional villages, superb beaches and remote bays, restaurants and clubs. Among the most fascinating attractions of Krk Island we can include Krk City, the splendid towns of Omisalj and Vrbnik, the islet of Kosljun and its monastery or the Biserujka Cave.

How to get to Krk Island – The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and it has its own international airport. If you want to explore the nearby islands, there are ferryboat connections from Valbiska Port to Rab and Cres islands during the summer.

2. Korcula Island

Korkula Island Croatia

Among the most beautiful islands in Croatia, Korcula has a special place, with its impressive town of Korcula that is known as Little Dubrovnik due to its beautifully preserved medieval heritage. Although it’s the second most populated among the Croatian islands after Hvar, it’s also less visited by travelers, which makes it extremely appealing to people looking for less crowded destinations.

Other attractions include the picturesque villages of Vela Luka, Lumbarda, Smokvica and Blato, as well as plenty of pristine beaches in places like Zrnovo, Pupnat, Lumbarda and more. Korcula Island is also densely forested, making it a haven for nature lovers.

How to get to Korcula Island – There are daily car ferries from Split to Vela Luka and from Orebic to Domince, close to Korcula Town. There are also regular passenger ferries from Split, Dubrovnik and Hvar, with more connections during the summer season. You can also choose a day trip from Dubrovnik that includes a stop to Peljesac Peninsula.

1. Hvar Island

Hvar Island view from Fortress, Croatia

This is one of the top islands in Croatia, being a popular party destination and the sunniest island, with over 2700 hours of sunshine each year. The amazing Hvar Town combines the beautifully preserved Venetian architecture and historical sites with an incredible nightlife and is one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe .

On the other hand, Stari Grad is the oldest settlement on the island and a much quieter place to visit. Hvar Island also features small and pebbly beaches, superb villages and towns, as well as one of the best places in Croatia to experience scuba diving. As a day trip from Hvar , I recommend visiting the Green and Blue Caves.

How to get to Hvar Island – There are car ferries from Ancona (Italy) and Split to Stari Grad, and from Drvenik on the mainland to Sucuraj on the island. Passenger ferries arrive on Hvar Island from Split, Dubrovnik, Ancona, Pescara, Rijeka, Korcula, Bol (Brac Island) and more.

Final thoughts

My trip to Croatia is one of my favorite holidays ever! There are so many places to discover and islands to explore. I know that visiting all these beautiful Islands in Croatia would take a lot of time but you need to add at least a few of them to your itinerary. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section below.

May the travel bug bite you!

best islands to visit croatia

Aurelia Teslaru is a professional travel blogger and the writer behind Daily Travel Pill. With a 4-year experience as a travel writer and photographer, Aurelia only shares travel guides about destinations that she visited.

She has been to more than 40 countries during the past 10 years and aims to explore 50 countries before turning 30 years old. Aurelia is a digital nomad who transformed her passion for travel into a lifestyle. Read more about her here .

To follow her adventures, check out her Instagram and Facebook pages!

' src=

How come Island Goli (naked island) is not included on this list, there is alot of history going on around it.

' src=

I’m sure that there a lot more beautiful islands in Croatia than those mentioned in this article! Thanks for suggesting another beautiful place!

' src=

Premuda , just west of Silba is where I was growing up from ages 7 to 11. No hotel. But the view from the church steeple is breathtaking.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Hand Luggage Only

  • Travel Journal
  • Travel Advice
  • Travel Inspiration
  • Photo Diary
  • Photography Tips
  • Photography Inspiration
  • Destinations
  • Home Inspiration
  • Blogging Tips
  • Work With Us

Hand Luggage Only

13 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

Best Islands In Croatia (17)

Croatia is a totally stunning country in Europe to explore. It’s the kind of place that’s filled with the most beautiful places in Croatia and historic cities , like that of Dubrovnik , that is stunning to visit. That being said, there are also a few other things that make Croatia so special; and that’s its islands. Honestly, there is a heap of the best islands in Croatia that are dotted all across the Adriatic Sea that is totally stunning. 

Best Islands In Croatia (13)

Now, every time we’ve visited Croatia, we always try to get in a visit to at least a few of the islands; especially as they’re usually quite easy to visit from the bigger cities like Split , Dubrovnik or coastal towns, too. 

It might seem that Croatia is a relatively small country in Europe, but don’t let that fool you. There are well over 1,000 of the best islands in Croatia that line the coast. Best of all, most are really easy to visit by ferry or smaller boats. 

Best Islands In Croatia (28)

Anyway, without rambling on for me more, take a look at some of the best islands in Croatia to visit on your next trip. Have fun! 

1.) Dugi Otok

Best Islands In Croatia (4)

Part of the Zadarian Islands, Dugi Otok is one of the largest and easily one of the best islands in Croatia to visit just off the Dalmatia coast.

Best of all, Dugi Otok is really easily reached by ferry from Zadar to Brbinj (that’s on Dugi Otok).

Once here, make sure to checkout Saharun beach (which is lovely) and some of the family-run vineyards on the island, too. 

Also, make sure to head to the western coast of the island for its high cliffs and rugged coastlines and to the town of Sali for some delicious fresh seafood. It’s totally dramatic and such a stunner of a spot. 

Read more: Best places to see in Croatia

2.) Šolta  

Solta is probably one of the best islands in Croatia that’s easily accessible by ferry from Split .

These Are Many Reasons You'll Fall In Love With Solta Island In Croatia! (46)

As it’s not too far, you can easily hop across here for a day trip and spend some time in the gorgeous and rustic countryside of the Croatian islands. 

Best Islands In Croatia (10)

Now, with a journey taking around 35 minutes or so. Head to experience some of the best things to do on Solta like; exploring the vineyards and olive groves that are still owned and passed down through generations of island residents.

Plus, it’s one of the best islands in Croatia to rent a bicycle and explore the Solta’s many little towns.

3.) Veliki Brijun

Best Islands In Croatia (14)

The whole island of Veliki Brijun is made up of the Brijuni National Park that protects one of the best islands in Croatia.

Nowadays the island can be reached via Fazana by boat, with the journey taking a little over 15 minutes. This means it’s nice and easy to visit.

Now, you’re going to love Veliki Brijun if you want to explore some of Croatia’s pristine National Parks and unspoilt natural charm. It’s the perfect place to chill out in the countryside and see a totally unspoilt island.

Read more: Best things to do in Dubrovnik

4.) Sveti Klement

Best Islands In Croatia (18)

Sveti Klement is part of the Paklinski Islands chain that sits just south of the popular island of Hvar. This means it’s one of the best islands in Croatia to start your island-hopping. 

Now, the best time to visit Sveti Klement (and the Paklinski Islands, in general) is in the summer months. This is when boat charters can be arranged to visit this stunning little island. You’ll have the best time. 

5.) Krapanj

Best Islands In Croatia (1)

Being one of the tiniest inhabited islands in the Adriatic Sea, Krapanj is pretty special.

Now, the island of Krapanj is only around 300-metres, or so, from the mainland of Croatia itself. This all means it’s connected really well by boat and is super easy to visit. 

Best Islands In Croatia (3)

Head here for a day exploring Croatian island life. Once here, make sure to see the Monastery of the Holy Cross that dates back over 500-years. Also, check out the sponges, which the island is world-famous for. Krapanj is to sponges what Hollywood is to movies! 

Read more: Best historic cities in Croatia to visit

6.) Galesnjak

Best Islands In Croatia (17)

Arguably one of the most famous and best islands in Croatia, Galesnjak has become known as the lover’s island; for obvious reasons. Just look at its shape! 

Although privately owned and perched in the Pasman Canal (in the Adriatic Sea) there are a few boats that offer charters to the island in summer. This is easiest from places like; Pašman or Zadar. 

7.) Sveti Andrija

Best Islands In Croatia (9)

Nestled within the group of Elaphiti Islands, Sveti Andrija is one of the most dramatic and best islands in Croatia to see. You see, the high cliffs and dramatic landscape make this a perfect place to visit around sunrise or sunset as it’s totally stunning. 

Not too far from Dubrovnik , it’s pretty easy to visit in the summer months when there are a heap of boats that offer charter services and regattas to explore a selection of the islands. 

Best Islands In Croatia (6)

One of the largest and best islands in Croatia, Brac is a stunning place to explore when you visit; especially around the village of Splitska.

Many Croatians and visitors pop over here to enjoy its crystal-clear waters. Honestly, they’re so amazing for a dip in the heat of summer. Once here, make sure to visit the world-famous beach of Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) and explore Supetar Bay, too. They’re both stunning, though the former does attract big crowds.

Best Islands In Croatia (11)

Oh, also, Brac even holds claim to creating the stunning  Diocletian’s Palace in Split . You see, much of the white stone used in the palace’s construction was transported from the island itself, many hundreds of years ago.

There are even rumours that the island’s white stone was used in the construction of The White House in the United States. Though, there’s still a debate on that one. 

Best Islands In Croatia (5)

That being said, if its views you’re after, pop up to Vidova Gora for some of the best vistas across the Adriatic Sea. 

9.) Cres

Best Islands In Croatia (16)

Nestled in the northern corner of the Adriatic Sea, Cres is accessible by ferry via Rijeka and one of the best islands in Croatia to explore when in the north of the country. 

Being one of the larger islands in Croatia, Cres is the perfect place to spend a few days exploring the culture and charm of island life.

In the heat of summer, head toward Lake Vrana or its many sandy beaches that line the island. It’s totally picturesque and a really relaxing spot. Oh, and don’t forget to spend some time rambling the cobbled streets of Cres Town, too. It’s totally stunning, especially with its Venetian Tower and the Municipal Loggia, too.

Best Islands In Croatia (7)

You might even spot a few (Eurasian Griffon) vultures if you head to the north of the island, too. 

10.) Hvar

Best Islands In Croatia (19)

Both an island and a town, Hvar is a beautiful place to explore some of Croatia’s history and charming heritage. 

Head to Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Grace and to the old town of Hvar for a taste of southern Croatian cuisine where you can sit back with a glass of wine, freshly grilled sardines and succulent olives.

Best Islands In Croatia (15)

Plus, one of the best beaches on the island is at Dubovica, which is totally lovely on a sunny day. 

Best Islands In Croatia (26)

Finally, from Hvar Town, you can hop on a boat tour over to the Pakleni Islands, too. It’s totally easy and a great way to spend a day at sea. 

11.) Korcula

Best Islands In Croatia (27)

Being one of the largest islands in Croatia, Korcula is a totally gorgeous spot to visit.

Best Islands In Croatia (12)

Now, the island of Korcula is actually around 20-miles long, with loads of beautiful coves and bays to explore. 

Best Islands In Croatia (22)

Obviously, you can explore Korcula by chartering a boat but it’s well worth spending some time on the island on foot, too.

Best Islands In Croatia (21)

Once here, make sure to check out Korcula Town with its beautiful squares and cobbled street. It feels a lot like Dubrovnik, just on a smaller scale.

Best Islands In Croatia (8)

Afterwards, take a small boat over to Proizd island, too.

Best Islands In Croatia (20)

There aren’t any large-scale towns here but it’s perfect for a lazy day on the shorefront. 

Best Islands In Croatia (23)

Around 15-km north of Dubrovnik, you can actually board a ferry from near Prapratno to head over to Mijet itself. It’s honestly one of the best islands in Croatia to visit if you have a car, especially as there’s quite a distance to cover.

Once here, make sure to explore the Odisejeva špilja caves, explore Mljet National Park and visit Marijina Konoba for a tasty Croatian lunch overlooking the island of Otok Planjak.

13.) Primosten

Best Islands In Croatia (2)

About an hours drive from the city of Split , the old island of Primosten is nowadays connected to mainland Croatia. You see, up until the 16th Century, it was totally cut off by the sea and officially an island. Though, over time, a small land elevation was created for ease of passage to this historic island. 

Nowadays, Primosten is as totally gorgeous as ever and still one of the best islands in Croatia (even if it has been attached to the mainland for years). Take some time to wander the old streets and see the historic churches that call this area home.

It really is beautiful and a perfect afternoon stops on a wider trip around the best places in Croatia . 

15 Best Places In Croatia To Visit

Check Out The Very Best Of Great Britain!

Hand Luggage Only Great Britain Travel Book Advert Banner

Pop Over To Our YouTube Channel For Travel Videos!

' src=

Puppy Defender. Foodie. Chocolate Fiend and Custard Lover. Dip, Cover or Wrap anything in sugar and I'm Yours!

best islands to visit croatia

A Quick Greek Yogurt Breakfast Recipe

best islands to visit croatia

10 Best Things To Do In Colombia

You may also like.

10 Amazing Places to Visit In Honduras (14)

10 Very Best Things To Do In Honduras

Fun Things To Do In Cardiff (11)

10 Fun Things To Do In Cardiff

Best Things To Do In Iceland (20)

11 Photos From Our Current Trip In Iceland

Looking for something, fellow connected travellers.

  • 569k Facebook
  • 0 Pinterest
  • 1,202,450 TikTok
  • 355,142 Instagram
  • 23,800 X (Twitter)
  • 33,259 Email Subscribers

Adventure Awaits!

Hand Luggage Only Find Out More

Have You Seen These Yet?

Visiting Preservation Hall In New Orleans

Visiting Preservation Hall In New Orleans

9 Best Places In Hawaii You Must Visit

9 Best Places In Hawaii You Must Visit

24 Hours In Maui, Hawaii

24 Hours In Maui, Hawaii

Your Essential Guide To Visiting Tennessee (And 1-Week Itinerary)

Your Essential Guide To Visiting Tennessee (And 1-Week Itinerary)

12 Best Hikes In Nepal You Have To Experience

12 Best Hikes In Nepal You Have To Experience

  • Privacy Policy

best islands to visit croatia

Email address:

web analytics

14 Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

Croatia, nestled along the stunning Adriatic coastline, is a true paradise for island enthusiasts. With a cluster of breathtaking islands to visit in Croatia , it offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you seek sun-drenched beaches, secluded coves, ancient ruins, or charming coastal towns, the Croatian islands have something to entice every traveller. In this article, we will uncover the top 14 islands to visit in Croatia , unveiling their unique charms and attractions.

14 Best Islands in Croatia: Explore Croatias Hidden Gems

Table of Contents

Hvar Island: Where History Meets Luxury

Hvar island, one of the best Islands to visit in Croatia

Located in the central Dalmatian archipelago, Hvar Island is renowned for its glamorous ambiance, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant nightlife. From the medieval streets of Hvar Town , adorned with elegant palaces and ancient fortresses, to the sun-kissed beaches and hidden bays, Hvar offers a perfect blend of history and luxury.

Indulge in exquisite seafood, visit the famous lavender fields, or hike up to the medieval fortress for panoramic views. Hvar Island is a must-visit destination for those seeking a combination of culture, relaxation, and a touch of sophistication.

Korčula Island: A Journey Back in Time

Korcula Island

Steeped in history and folklore, Korčula Island , often referred to as a mini Dubrovnik , is a captivating islands to visit in Croatia . Explore the narrow cobblestone streets of Korčula Town , reputed to be the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo, and discover its well-preserved medieval architecture. Enjoy the tranquillity of the island’s olive groves and vineyards, or bask in the sun on one of the many sandy beaches.

With its enchanting ambiance and rich heritage, Korčula Island offers a unique experience for history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Vis Island: A Hidden Retreat

Vis Island

For those seeking a tranquil escape, Vis Island is a true gem waiting to be discovered. Known for its untouched natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and secluded beaches, Vis offers an idyllic setting for relaxation and exploration. Dive into the mesmerizing Blue Cave , explore the ancient ruins of Issa , or unwind on the stunning Stiniva Beach .

Vis Island provides a serene retreat away from the bustling crowds, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the unspoiled charm of the Adriatic.

Mljet Island: Nature’s Tranquil Oasis

Mljet Island

Nestled in the southern part of the Adriatic Sea, Mljet Island is a verdant paradise brimming with lush forests, serene lakes, and captivating natural beauty. Explore the enchanting Mljet National Park , home to two saltwater lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero , surrounded by dense forests and ancient monasteries.

Take a boat ride to the tiny islet of St. Mary and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of its 12th-century Benedictine monastery. Mljet Island offers a serene retreat for nature lovers, providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Pag Island: A Tapestry of Contrasts

Pag Island

Pag Island is situated in the northern Adriatic Sea. It uniquely blends stunning landscapes, ancient traditions, and vibrant nightlife. Known for its lunar-like scenery, Pag showcases a rocky terrain adorned with sparse vegetation, giving it a surreal and otherworldly charm. Explore the picturesque town of Pag, famous for its intricate lacework and delectable sheep cheese. Indulge in the island’s lively beach clubs and dance the night away. Pag Island is a captivating destination that harmoniously weaves together contrasts.

Cres Island: Nature’s Masterpiece

Cres Island

Cres, the second-largest island in the Adriatic, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With its untouched forests, crystal-clear lakes, and rugged coastline, Cres Island provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Hike through the Tramuntana Forest , home to majestic eagles and griffon vultures, or relax on the pristine beaches of Valun and Lubenice .

Immerse yourself in the island’s tranquillity and let its natural beauty leave you breathless.

Rab Island: The Emerald Paradise

Rab Island

Known as the “island of love,” Rab boasts lush greenery, stunning sandy beaches, and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the charming old town of Rab, with its medieval architecture and four elegant bell towers. Discover hidden coves and secluded beaches, such as Suha Punta and Pudarica , perfect for sunbathing and swimming in the azure waters. Rab Island is a true emerald paradise that will captivate your heart.

Kornati Islands: A Nautical Wonderland

Kornati Islands

Comprising an archipelago of 89 uninhabited islands, islets, and reefs, the Kornati Islands are a dream for sailing enthusiasts and nature lovers. Sail through the labyrinth of islets, marvel at the towering cliffs, and anchor in secluded bays to enjoy a refreshing swim. The Kornati Islands, part of a national park, offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in pristine nature and witness the beauty of the Adriatic’s underwater world through snorkelling or diving.

Krk Island: The Golden Island

Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Krk Island welcomes visitors with its golden beaches, charming towns, and diverse attractions.

Krk Island

Explore the historic town of Krk , with its ancient walls and Roman ruins, or relax on the popular beaches of Baška and Malinska . Visit the Vrbnik village and indulge in the island’s renowned wine and delicious seafood. With its rich history and natural wonders, Krk Island is one of the best islands to visit in Croatia for all types of travellers.

Dugi Otok: A Hidden Gem

Dugi Otok , meaning “Long Island,” stretches along the Adriatic coast, offering a tranquil retreat away from the crowds.

Dugi Otok

Discover the breathtaking landscapes of Telascica Nature Park , where dramatic cliffs meet serene turquoise waters. Visit the enchanting Sakarun Beach , known for its white sand and crystal-clear sea. Dugi Otok is a hidden gem that promises serenity, natural beauty, and a slower pace of life. It’s no wonder that Dugi Otok is one of the beautiful islands to visit in Croatia.

Suggested: 14 most beautiful beaches

Šolta Island: Authentic Mediterranean Charm

Šolta Island

Located near Split , Šolta Island invites visitors to immerse themselves in authentic Mediterranean island life. Explore the quaint fishing villages of Maslinica and Stomorska , taste the island’s renowned olive oil, and savour fresh seafood delicacies. Unwind on secluded beaches or hike through olive groves and vineyards. Šolta Island offers a genuine and unspoiled experience, capturing the essence of traditional island living.

Lošinj Island: A Wellness Haven

Lošinj Island

Lošinj Island , with its mild climate and lush vegetation, has long been renowned for its healing properties. Embrace the island’s wellness culture, indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, and stroll along the fragrant pine forests. Visit the picturesque town of Mali Lošinj , known for its vibrant colours and charming harbour.

Lošinj Island offers a serene retreat for those seeking relaxation, revitalization, and a connection with nature.

Brač Island: Stone Beauty

Zlatni Rat, Brac

Renowned for its radiant white limestone, Brač Island is one of the most beautiful islands to visit in Croatia. Visit the famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach , a natural phenomenon that changes its shape with the currents and winds. Explore the charming town of Bol and its picturesque waterfront promenade. Brač Island is a stunning blend of natural wonders, rich history, and warm hospitality.

Ugljan Island: The Green Oasis

Ugljan Island

Ugljan Island , near Zadar, is a verdant oasis boasting olive groves, vineyards, and fragrant pine forests. Discover hidden bays and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Explore the traditional villages of Ugljan and Kali , known for their fishing heritage and authentic Dalmatian charm. Ugljan Island offers a peaceful retreat where you can reconnect with nature and savour the simple joys of island life.

These Croatian islands offer a treasure trove of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, history, or simply a slice of paradise, the Croatian islands have it all. From Hvar’s glamorous ambiance to Vis’s tranquil retreat, each island possesses its unique charm and allure. So, pack your bags, embark on a journey to the islands of Croatia, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The hidden gems of the Adriatic await your exploration!

FAQs about Islands to Visit in Croatia

Which are the most popular islands to visit in Croatia?

The most popular islands to visit in Croatia include Hvar, Korčula, Vis, Brac, and Mljet . These islands offer various attractions, from vibrant nightlife and cultural heritage to pristine nature and secluded beaches.

How can I reach the islands in Croatia?

The islands in Croatia can be reached by ferry, catamaran, or private boat. There are regular ferry connections from major coastal cities such as Split and Dubrovnik and smaller towns along the coastline.

Are there accommodations available on the islands?

Yes, Croatia’s islands offer various accommodations, including hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly options, there is something to suit every traveller’s preferences and budget.

Can I visit multiple islands in one trip?

Yes, it is possible to visit multiple islands in one trip. You can plan your itinerary based on ferry schedules and spend a few days on each island, exploring their unique attractions and soaking up the local atmosphere.

Are there any hidden gems among the Croatian islands?

Yes, apart from the well-known islands, there are several hidden gems among the Croatian islands. For a quieter and more authentic experience, consider visiting less touristy islands such as Lastovo, Cres, or Silba, which offer pristine nature and a slower pace of life.

What is the best time to visit the islands in Croatia?

The best time to visit the islands in Croatia is during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere and milder temperatures, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn.

Related Posts

Blue Cave Croatia

Explore Blue Cave in Croatia: A Must-See

  • June 1, 2023

Honeymoon in Croatia

Honeymoon in Croatia| Have Your Best Honeymoon Vacation

  • May 31, 2023

Beaches in Croatia

14 Most Beautiful Beaches in Croatia

  • May 21, 2023

Leave a Reply Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add Comment  *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Post Comment

Wanderlust Chloe

Sailing In Croatia: The Best Croatian Islands To Visit

Beautiful boat trip views on our day trip from Split

From the charm of Korcula to the nature of Miljet and the nightlife of Hvar, if you’re sailing in Croatia, these are the best Croatian islands to visit this year.

I’ve spent a lot of time sailing in  Croatia over the last four years, exploring different areas each time. From Split to Dubrovnik, Zadar to Rovinj, it’s one of my favourite countries. I love the landscapes, the colours and the beautiful old cities and towns.  When I’m away, one of my favourite things to do is hop on a boat and explore some of the pretty islands.

There are over 1,200 islands along Croatia’s Adriatic coastline. Some are teeny tiny uninhabited places, while others have towns, villages and lots to do.

Some you can visit for a day by catching a boat from Split or Dubrovnik, while others you might want to charter or book onto a Croatia sailing cruise and spend several days island hopping from the comfort of your yacht or gulet.

Hang out on a sailing yacht in Croatia? Yes please!

I love the freedom of travelling by boat. You can set your own itinerary, spend the morning exploring quaint old towns, your afternoons getting to grips with nature and your evenings wine tasting or partying until the early hours. So, if you’re sailing in Croatia this year, here are my top picks of the best Croatian islands to visit while you’re there.

The Best Croatian Islands To Visit This Year

Hvar is one of the most popular Croatian islands to sail to along the Dalmatian coast. When I visited I loved the contrasts on the island. Stari Grad is charming with its harbour, skinny streets and cute restaurants.

Hvar, Croatia

Meanwhile hop on your sailing yacht around to Hvar Town and you’ll see a different side – the party side! Bars like Hula Hula and Kiva, plus nearby club Carpe Diem keep a constant flow of 18-25 year olds in the summer months. If you’re looking for places to stay on the island, I’d recommend reading my guide to the best luxury hotels in Hvar .

I sailed to Korčula Town and spent an afternoon and evening there, and just couldn’t believe how stunning it was. You can soak up the history as you pass 15 th Century walls and wander streets of medieval stone buildings. My favourite spot in Korcula Town was Massimos – a cocktail bar on the top of one of the old fort towers. When you order drinks, they’re delivered using the special dumb waiter which hoists them to the top of the ancient tower. Korcula is also home to quaint villages, pristine beaches and a handful of vineyards.

Sailing in Croatia? Don't miss sunset on the Croatian island of Korcula

Sailing in Croatia and want to visit somewhere close to Dubrovnik? Part of Croatia’s Elaphiti Islands, Šipan is one of the closet islands to the city, and is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the weather. Šipanska luka and Suđurađ are the two main villages, both with plenty of charm and lovely views. My favourite spot though is trendy restaurant BOWA. We moored our boat at their jetty, and enjoyed fresh fish and seafood (caught that day) all with those stunning views of the turquoise Adriatic Sea.

Your vessel awaits for your Croatia sailing holiday!

Close to Split, Šolta is a very pretty destination to visit by sailing yacht or catamaran, with tranquil promenades leading to secret beaches. Around the small fishing harbour are a few restaurants and cafes, with yachts moored up right outside. Travel around a little way and you’ll find lots of small sections of beach with diving boards and steps leading you into the bright turquoise water.

Not far from Šolta is The Blue Lagoon – one of the most popular swimming spots in the region. Why do so many people want to experience it for themselves? Well it’s known for its bright azure waters, and certainly looked very inviting when I was there last month!

The small fishing harbour on the island of Solta near Split, Croatia

Pag is so different to the other Croatian islands I’ve discussed so far. The rock in Pag is a bright white / grey and the scenery is rugged, and at times, otherworldly. There are some beautiful towns and beaches, plus along with sailing around the island, it’s also connected to the mainland via a bridge.

I visited a few years ago for Hideout Festival, one of many festivals that takes place on Zrce Beach each summer. I also remember the sunsets in Pag being extra special, with a large ball of fiery orange melting into the ocean.

Sailing in Croatia? Visit Pag for views like this

Kornati Islands  

There are around 140 islands making up the Kornati islands, but many are uninhabited. It’s another stunning place to visit on your Croatia sailing holiday, and is known for its bright turquoise waters and nature. If you like diving and snorkelling, this is a great place to do it! Some of the islands are part of Kornati National Park.

Kornati Islands, Croatia

Close to the mainland, you’ve probably seen photos of Zlatni Rat beach before – it’s the one with two beaches meeting at a sharp angle, with bright white pebbles and azure waters. If you’re feeling active, climb to the top of Vidova Gora, Brac’s tallest peak at over 2500 ft. The views from the top are some of the best you’ll see in Croatia!

Zlatni Rat, Brac, Croatia

The closest island to Dubrovnik, Lokrum has a fascinating history that includes ancient curses. As well as King’s Landing in Dubrovnik, there’s plenty in Lokrum for Game of Thrones fans.

Wander the Croatian island and enjoy views that will make you think you’ve been transported back to medieval times. Lokrum is a beautiful island to stop off at, explore on foot or take a swim in the Dead Sea.

Lokrum, Croatia - close to Dubrovnik

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you been sailing in Croatia, or visited any other Croatian islands? I’d love to hear about your fave spots too.

Enjoyed reading this post? Pin it for later…

Sailing in Croatia - The best islands to visit in Croatia

Chloe Gunning

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

Leave a comment Cancel reply

12 of the best islands in Europe

Jun 14, 2024 • 9 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Korčula Town is awash with historic architecture © xbrchx / Shutterstock

One of Europe’s best features is the stunning diversity of its landscapes ⁠— and that extends to its magnificent islands.

Whether you want to take in whitewashed buildings that cling to rocky cliffs or see the northern lights brighten the sky from a snowy isle, Europe has the perfect spot. We’ve rounded up some unique and beautiful islands across the continent from Lonely Planet's  The Islands Book . Here are 12 of the best. 

1. Korčula, Croatia 

A tapestry of vineyards, olive groves and dense forests blankets Korčula , the greenest of the Dalmatian islands. It lies just 3km (1.8 miles) from the mainland and is understandably busy in summer, but outside the peak season , it’s a serenely beautiful place to visit. The island’s well-preserved medieval towns and villages are awash with historic architecture, from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces of Korčula Town to the simple stone cottages and farmhouses of the interior. It’s a place to hike or bike to small-scale wineries and olive mills; see traditional folk dances, religious processions and musical performances; or better still, laze on a sandy beach , an attraction almost unheard of in Croatia.

People sit under pine trees on a beach

2. Skiathos, Greece 

Eyes closed, picture the Greek beach of your dreams . A glinting pebble-studded cove? A luscious stretch of powdery white sand? A rocky sea-hugging outcrop at sunset? Skiathos is all this, and much more. Birthplace of the great 19th-century Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis and a key location during the Greek War of Independence, this history-rich pine-scented island sits just off mainland Greece, halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki , in the glittering Sporades. The small and relaxed capital, Skiathos Town , reveals a jumble of white-walled streets and traditional island architecture, while ancient monasteries lie tucked away in the hushed mountains and the unbelievably beautiful coastline unfolds in a series of blissful strands backed by rolling olive groves. Escape to the cliff-edged northern coast, whose craggy hills sweep down to secluded silver-pebble coves where family-owned tavernas have been serving up feta-loaded salads, crisp golden chips and platters of super-fresh seafood for years.

How many Greek islands can I see in a week?

A person swims in the water in a secluded cove at the beach of Cala Napoletana, Sardinia.

3. Sardinia, Italy 

The largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia is the feisty, brilliantly moody and charismatic offspring of conquest and occupation. Power-hungry masters were numerous prior to the island becoming part of unified Italy in 1861, yet the Sards never let time or the elements erase their brilliant story. The fierce passion and pride in Sardinian culture and heritage, the stubborn fraternity, the infectious zeal for la festa (party) and the slow food ethic that every islander shares is compelling. Think beyond flopping on the dreamiest white beaches on European shores. Exploring this natural habitat is a wild adventure, with vertiginous coastal paths and spectacular cliff-cradled bays, rugged mountains and sheep-specked hinterland, remote hilltop villages, Neolithic tombs and medieval cities riddled in mystery.

8 things to know before traveling to Sardinia, Italy

Aerial view of the ruins of the square Genoese tower of Porto at the end of the Gulf of Porto, Corsica, France.

4. Corsica, France 

It has been part of France for more than 200 years, but wild and fiercely proud Corsica (Corse or L’Île de Beauté, meaning the "Island of Beauty") is dramatically different from the mainland . Be it customs, culture, cuisine or language , a unique Corsican identity oozes out of every last pretty hilltop village, harmonious polyphonic song and haunting lamentu (lament) listened to over a glass of blood-red Cap Corse Mattei. Corsica’s natural landscape is kaleidoscopic. Its sandy beaches and gold-crescent coves , thick forests and verdant valleys, sawtooth mountain ridges and rocky promontories are heaven for outdoor explorers. Immense geographical diversity is also the backbone of the island’s compelling multifaceted history. Begin at ground zero with the enigmatic "Sea People."

Boats float on bright blue waters off the coast of Menorca.

5. Menorca, Spain 

Welcome to the easternmost tip of Spain – a soulful, sun-soaked, beach-wrapped jewel of an island washed by the sparkling Balearic Sea, where sustainability was the cornerstone of local tourism long before it became a buzzword. Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve back in 1993, beautiful Menorca unveils inspiringly designed agroturismes (rural hotels), mystifying Bronze Age ruins, rippling wetlands, pine-scented coastal trails and a string of the country’s most exquisite beaches. Its two elegant cities tell stories of its embattled past: harborside capital Maó (Mahón) bursts with British-influenced architecture, while colorful Ciutadella brings a more Spanish feel. From its blissful protected beaches to its strong gastronomic heritage, this go-slow island is making waves as a responsible-travel destination.

A wooden windmill in farmland

6. Saaremaa, Estonia

If you’re looking for the soul of Estonia , skip the medieval turrets of Tallinn and the university fervor of Tartu and head instead to the vast open spaces of Saaremaa. The largest island in the country is home to oak and juniper forests, craggy sea cliffs and small villages that still follow the ancient rhythms of rural life. For Estonians, there’s an ineffable magic to Saaremaa’s old windmills, flower-strewn meadows and folkloric history that dates back many centuries. One of the country’s most impressive castles rises above the picturesque town of Kuressaare – the island’s biggest settlement – and the mazelike corridors within are packed with Estonian treasures. Saaremaa is also known for its earthy cuisine, from rye bread made from old family recipes to smoked fish sold from tiny markets, alongside some of the best farmhouse beer brewed in the Baltics.

Rorbu huts on clear blue water with mountains behind in Sakrisoy.

7. Lofoten Islands, Norway 

The fabled maelstrom and fire-engine-red fishing huts on stilts in Lofoten that French novelist Jules Verne evoked in his classic sci-fi adventure novel,  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , were no flights of fancy. This end-of-the-Earth archipelago, linked by ferry or a series of road tunnels and bridges to mainland Norway , is straight off a cinema screen. The raw natural beauty – not to mention the celestial Arctic light – is simply staggering. Fishing, farming and tourism chart out the seasons on this rugged string of islands where the flow of the Gulf Stream ensures a soft warmth unmatched elsewhere in the Arctic Circle. On white summer nights, the midnight sun bathes the islands’ shark-fin chiseled mountains in gold and turns the Norwegian Sea a pale violet no painter can truly capture. The coveted winter chase – in a kayak or husky sled, on snowshoes or horseback – to watch the northern lights tango purple and emerald-green across the dark sky is majestic, unmatched and utterly unforgettable.

View over the old town of the city of Visby with ancient buildings and the sea in the background.

8. Gotland, Sweden 

Known as the "Queen of the Baltic,"  Gotland is a magical island where medieval towns and churches butt up to sandy beaches and dunes, sculptural sea stacks, lush meadows and sleepy villages. It is Sweden’s largest island and sits in the Baltic Sea roughly halfway between mainland Sweden and Estonia – a strategically important location that has seen it inhabited for some 8000 years. Gotland is home to the narrow, cobbled lanes and quaint cottages of Visby , its UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital, with wonderful early Gothic architecture and the most alluring of long summer evenings. Outside the capital and away from peak season , it’s a serenely tranquil spot, sparsely populated and best explored by bike. Come for the medieval week in August to see jousters and jesters; the truffle festival in November; or just to wander from flea market to beach to remote hamlet, soaking up the views as you go.

Texel Lighthouse near a sandy beach during the early morning.

9. Texel, the Netherlands 

Sweeping white-sand beaches, wildlife-rich nature reserves, sun-dappled forests and quaint villages are just some of the highlights of Texel (pronounced "tes-sel"), the largest and most-visited of the Wadden Islands, which stretch along Holland’s northeast coast. Once a main stop for ships en route to Asia, Africa and North America (the first trade mission to the East Indies began and ended here), Texel’s typically flat Dutch landscape makes it ideal for cycling , and sheep are everywhere: the local wool is highly prized and lamb is always on the menu. During lambing season around Easter, you’ll see bouncy lambs aplenty; join the locals in taking a Lammetjes Wandeltrocht (a "walk to look at the lambs"). With enough diversions to keep you entertained for days on end, Texel is popular with Dutch and German visitors but is otherwise little-known, making it feel like a real find.

Yacht sailing on turquoise waters.

10. Isles of Scilly, England 

Given England ’s unexotic and often bleak weather, it is all the more extraordinary to think that the country squirrels away an ecological Eden where subtropical succulents, desert cacti and Seychelles-esque palm trees grow like weeds near beautiful beaches . But then again, the Isles of Scilly, 45km (28 miles) off Cornwall ’s southwest shore in the Atlantic Ocean, have always been cut off from mainland Britain, ensuring a unique ecosystem blissfully undisrupted by invasive plant or animal species. This paradisal string of 200-odd islands – five are inhabited – belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, an ancient royal fiefdom where every local is a tenant of the Prince of Wales. This Scillonian anomaly aside, British tradition is tantalizingly alive and well, from crab sandwiches or fish and chips to creamy ice cream whipped up from island milk and flowers, or farmhouse fudge cooked on an Aga in the farm kitchen.

Girl in yellow raincoat hiking on a trail towards The Old Man of Storr during changeable weather,.

11. Isle of Skye, Scotland 

The second-largest of Scotland’s islands , in the Inner Hebrides, is its most spectacular, with a landscape that lurches from quiet coves and inky lochs to jagged pinnacles, tumbling waterfalls and pleated cliffs. Skye ’s dramatic mountains and undulating moors are easily reached by a bridge from the mainland , but to access the remotest corners and most impressive views you’ll need to take to the high moorland on foot, cycle precipitous mountain roads, or kayak along the puckered and indented coast. Temper it all with a visit to fairy-tale castles, colorful fishing villages and a host of museums, galleries and craft shops in the island’s lively towns. Bring a raincoat, though: the name Skye comes from the old Norse sky-a, meaning "cloud island." The weather here is unpredictable at best, but the scudding clouds and brooding skies only heighten the drama.

A cluster of white coastal cottages right by a windswept beach

12. Inis Mór, Ireland 

The largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Inis Mór (Big Island) is a thriving community where Irish is the spoken language and traditional music, culture and heritage go hand in hand with a lively calendar of festivals and events. A vast network of hand-built stone walls crisscross the fissured limestone landscape, with the island’s one road joined by countless lanes and pathways leading to ancient monuments, medieval churches, high crosses, holy wells and stalwart lighthouses. Come to walk, ride or cycle along the edge of Europe, to join a yoga retreat or learn to weave a traditional basket, play a bodhrán (goat-skin drum) or sing in the traditional sean-nós style. Or you could feast on fresh lobster, celebrate the summer solstice or just marvel at the unique light and culture here that have attracted artists and writers for centuries.

Explore related stories

Luxor's Karnak Temple or a camel ride in the Sahara

Jun 26, 2024 • 6 min read

A pair of writers go head to head comparing these two popular African destinations.

Tourists dining al fresco at Taverna Nikos in Mykonos.

Jun 25, 2024 • 7 min read

Ferry down Amsterdam's canals or take in Berliner Dom

Jun 24, 2024 • 7 min read

where-to-go-august-2024.jpg

Jun 21, 2024 • 9 min read

June 2024: São Miguel island in the Azores (Açores) Termas de Ferraria

Jun 18, 2024 • 5 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Jun 17, 2024 • 6 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Jun 17, 2024 • 12 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Jun 15, 2024 • 7 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Jun 14, 2024 • 5 min read

best islands to visit croatia

Jun 13, 2024 • 6 min read

best islands to visit croatia

6 of the best ways to cruise around Croatia for island-hopping and excursions to ancient cities

C roatia has steadily grown in popularity as a tourist hotspot, offering everything from crystal clear bays to cities crammed full of history dating back to medieval times. But with so much culture and coastline to choose from, it can be hard to decide which part of Croatia to visit first.

While Dubrovnik ’s Roman ampitheatres and Fort Bokar have gained fame from their appearances in Game of Thrones , the island of Hvar combines turquoise waters with a party scene to rival Mykonos or St Tropez. Meanwhile, foodies have a lot to say about Zagreb , which blends Eastern and Western European cooking styles with Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil and rosemary, as well as root vegetables and dumplings.

Cruising around the Adriatic sea is a great way to experience ancient walled cities filled with medieval architecture along with lush island gems like Mljet, Korcula, and Vis. All without having to pack and unpack or browse ferry timetables to travel between islands.

Whether you’re travelling as a family or want a romantic trip with a loved one, we’ve rounded up some top cruise options in Croatia.

Visit three UNESCO world heritage sites

Sail Croatia offers the ultimate break for culture lovers, or anyone who enjoys sightseeing as much as they like sunbathing. The Elegance Cruise starts and ends in Split, where you can tour the Unesco heritage site of Diocletian’s Palace, which is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world.

The route will take you north through the seaside town of Trogir, which is also Unesco-listed, before stopping in Sidenik where you can explore the Cathedral of St James. From there, you’ll be taken to Vodice to admire world-famous waterfalls before having beach days on the islands of Vis and Hvar.

Prices from £2,019pp including seven nights accommodation, all meals and drinks, daily swim stops, airport transfers and a tour manager. Departing 7 July 2024.

Get blown away by the intimate luxury of a twin-masted yacht

Experience the romance and glamour of a sailing yacht that only holds 30 passengers and six staff. Riviera Travel’s SS Mendula can easily be anchored in tiny ports, so all you have to do is skip off and start your day without the need to queue for a charter. Every day it will pull up in a different place for a swim spot, giving you the chance to enjoy unique places for a calming dip.

This cruise docks in two different places a day, so you can spend the morning in one place, return to the ship for lunch, and then arrive at a different port for some afternoon exploring. You’ll see more islands on this cruise than with other itineraries, stopping at Bol, Vis, Hvar, Korcula, Jesla, Milna and Trogir, as well as starting and ending in Split.

Prices from £1,999pp including seven nights accommodation, return flights, all meals and drinks and some guided tours. Departing 31 August 2024.

Savour food and wine tastings with fresh Mediterranean flavours

If trying new flavours and experiencing different dishes is what gets you excited about going on holiday, Cruise Croatia’s luxury hidden gems tour could be your ideal trip. You’ll sail on a small ship with a cruise director, captain and very talented chef who will take care of your every need. In Sibenik, you can experience local prosciutto tasting and visit a family-run winery on Krk. Not many cruises stop at Krk or Losinj on the North of the Dalmatian Coast, so this is a special trip.

Another highlight is that you’ll see the best of what each island has to offer since this cruise will set you up with a free expert local tour guide in every port. You don’t have to worry about working out what to do on each island, as you’ll be guided straight to each spot’s hidden gems. There’s also a Jacuzzi on the top deck so you can chill out after a day of sightseeing.

Prices from £1,921pp including seven nights accommodation, all guided tours, watersports, daily swim stops and Wi-Fi. Departing 21 June 2025.

Enjoy child-free travel and a gigantic floating spa

With Marella’s Adriatic Affair package, you can experience the old cities of Dubrovnik and Split, as well as the coastal charm of Rijeka. The eight-day cruise starts and ends in Dubrovnik where you can see the city’s old walls along with the Game of Thrones’ filming locations. In Rijeka, you can wander through the winding pedestrianised streets before taking a trip to the world-famous Plitvice National Park for breathtaking waterfalls. Once you get back on the boat, relax in a gigantic spa or choose from nine different restaurants and 10 bars, including a special Champagne bar. There are more than 900 cabins on this ship and night-time entertainment to cater for all tastes.

As this is an Adriatic cruise, rather than solely focused on Croatia, you’ll also get to experience ports in Montenegro and Slovenia on the Adriatic coast. The price includes return flights, making it a good value option compared to other cruises that cost around the same price without transfer options.

Prices from £1,029pp including flights, seven nights all-inclusive accommodation and entertainment. Departing 4 July 2024.

Beach hop and swim in secluded bays

Some of Croatia’s best beaches are hidden from tourists who don’t have local knowledge, but you’ll get to experience these secluded bays and crystal clear waters on a cruise from Split to Dubrovnik with My Croatia Cruise. Along the way, you’ll stop at Trogir, Hvar, Brač, Vis and Elafiti where local guides will show you the best places to swim and sunbathe. In Vis, you’ll be taken into the blue cave, weather permitting, where you can take a dip in electric blue waters. Food on board features local produce, including oysters from the Pelješac peninsula and fresh fish.

Prices from £1,259pp including seven nights accommodation, all meals and drinks, all guided tours, historic building entry fees and wifi. Departing 29 June 2024.

Have a luxury family holiday on a budget

While most cruises start at £1,000, Adriagate has options from £625 per person in October, or £825 if you want to travel in the summer school holidays in August. The downside is that this is a half-board trip, rather than all-inclusive, but this frees you up to enjoy some local cuisine whenever you stop. You’ll start and finish in Trogir, with stops including the islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis as well as the historical city of Dubrovnik.

There are no tour guides so you have the freedom to explore or relax depending on how the children feel that day. It’s a convenient way to island hop, without dragging everyone’s suitcases around.

Prices from £1,921pp including seven nights accommodation, all guided tours, watersports, daily swim stops and wifi. Departing 21 June 2024.

The Independent is the world’s most free-thinking news brand, providing global news, commentary and analysis for the independently-minded. We have grown a huge, global readership of independently minded individuals, who value our trusted voice and commitment to positive change. Our mission, making change happen, has never been as important as it is today.

Blank 2048 x 1536 (59).jpg

7 Underrated Destinations With Italy Vibes, But Better

4

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

  • Malta offers a cheaper alternative to Italy, with a similar culture, coastline, and cuisine for a perfect Italian vibe.
  • Napa Valley in California mirrors Tuscany with vineyards and wineries, a perfect Italian getaway without leaving the US.
  • Brač Island in Croatia gives off Amalfi Coast vibes at a fraction of the price, offering a romantic Mediterranean escape.

There is no doubt that Italy continues to be one of the leading European countries in tourism in 2024. With over 46,119,000 visitors per year , Italy now ranks as the fourth most-visited country in Europe, and it's not difficult to see why.

While this gorgeous nation offers breathtaking sights, unmatched cuisine, and a rich history, there are cheaper alternatives to visit in Europe besides Italy , as well as plenty of underrated destinations around the globe that look and feel exactly like Italy.

Other less-traveled corners of Europe and even parts of the United States have a very distinct Italian vibe. Whether it's a coastal town, mountain range, or countryside strung with vineyards, you can get the same, if not better, Italian getaway vibe at these underrated destinations!

7 Underrated But Scenic Alternatives To Positano

There are dozens of towns along the Italian coast that are equally, if not more scenic than Positano. Here are the most underrated.

Malta borrows heavily from Italian culture

Malta was once a part of the British Commonwealth and only declared its independence as a republic in 1964. However, being located just off the coast of Sicily, the island of Malta's lifestyle and culture looks remarkably similar to Italy.

Malta's stunning blue waters, coastal towns, Mediterranean climate, and buzzing café culture are almost an exact copy of what you'd experience in Italy. As an added bonus, Malta is significantly cheaper to visit ($884 vs. $1,254 per week ).

6 Napa Valley, California, USA

This corner of california bears a striking resemblance to tuscany.

The rolling hills, sweeping vineyards, and European architectural styles of Napa Valley, California, evoke an undeniable Italian vibe, particularly the region of Tuscany.

Like Tuscany, Napa Valley is the unofficial wine capital of California and is famous for housing over 400 wineries and 90 tasting rooms available for guests.

If you're looking to kick the Italian vibes up a notch, a Napa Valley wine trip complete with a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train , al fresco dining experiences, and a resort stay will never disappoint!

You'll soon forget that you're in California and will feel as though you've been transported to the sweeping hills of Italy.

8 Best Beaches In Italy's Underrated Puglia Region

Escape the touristy crowds in Italy's popular beach destinations and find some hidden beach gems in the Puglia region for your next vacation.

5 Brač, Croatia

An affordable amalfi coast dupe.

Right next door to Italy across the Adriatic Sea is a hidden Croatian gem that's off the beaten path but certainly worth the trip.

Brač Island, Croatia is just south of Split and has a very similar look and feel to towns you'd find along the Amalfi Coast or the southern region of Puglia.

If you're looking for a romantic, Mediterranean, summertime getaway in Europe for a much smaller price tag, you'll find all of it and more here on Brač Island.

The ancient cobblestone streets in Bol, the olive groves scattered in the countryside, pebble beaches, and Mediterranean restaurants all offer a taste of Italian ambiance, all with far fewer tourists and at half the price of the Amalfi Coast.

If you're keen to explore the entire island, the best way to do so is by renting a car.

4 Catalina Island, California, USA

California's channel islands offer italian coastal vibes with an adventurous twist.

Like Brač, on the other side of the world in southwestern California, Catalina Island is another underrated destination with Amalfi Coast vibes.

California's beautiful Catalina Island is filled with beaches, coves, and two port towns that resemble popular Italian towns like Positano or Sorrento.

Catalina Island is a great destination for both a day trip and a week-long getaway. Outside the two main port towns, Avalon and Two Harbors, you'll find a plethora of outdoor activities like hiking the Trans Catalina Trail , ziplining, kayaking, snorkeling, and hummer tours.

3 Naples, Florida, USA

Florida's "paradise coast" is very reminiscent of its namesake.

The Florida peninsula and the Italian peninsula have a lot in common. And it's no accident that both Naples are remarkably similar beyond their common name.

Discovered in the late 1800s, Naples' founders saw the miles of emerald coastline, endless palms, and the beautiful bay and were astonished by its resemblance to Naples, Italy.

Fast-forward to today, Naples is home to some of the best Gulf Coast beaches in Florida and is a luxurious vacation spot.

Because of its Italian heritage, Naples is brimming with exquisite Italian restaurants with high-quality, authentic Italian dishes ready to transport you to the coast of Italy.

7 National Parks In Italy For Hikers Who Like Pasta & A Workout

Nothing says "Italian adventure" quite like an epic national park hike in the countryside followed by a celebratory bowl of homemade pasta.

2 Syros, Greece

A hidden gem in the greek islands, syros is nicknamed "little italy".

The small island of Syros stands out among other typical Greek islands. Instead of the classic blue-domed homes of Santorini and the ancient temples of Athens, Syros offers multicolored medieval towns and cobblestoned alleys and is even considered a "Little Italy".

Besides presenting more Italian influences than Greek, Syros is definitely underrated and non-touristy and is among the more affordable, lesser-known Greek islands to visit this summer .

1 Villach, Austria

This alpine city bordering both northern italy and slovenia goes away from the coastal scene and into the heart of the mountains.

Reluctantly prying you away from breathtaking Italian coastal dupes, this last underrated destination is an exact replica of Northern Italy and happens to be right next door.

Villach, Austria, is a gorgeous city in the Austrian Alps that gives off strong Italy vibes, but better.

The rugged alpine backdrop, winding river, and Old Town streets evoke a rustic Italian feel. Plus, you get the best of both a city break and a mountain escape.

If you're craving an adventurous excursion with unimaginable views at every turn, the Villach Alpine Road is an absolute thrill! Cliffside mountain huts, panoramic viewpoints, and the fresh alpine air will make you think that you're traversing the Italian countryside.

Get the Hottest Deals First!

best south american foods

Best South American Foods to Try When Travelling

best islands to visit croatia

June 17, 2024

8 minute read

Some of my fondest travel memories in South America came from eating the local food. There were days when my family and I sat in restaurants not knowing what to order off menus written completely in Spanish. We usually ended up looking at what the well-fed locals ate, then ordering the same dishes by pointing to what they were eating. Each time, I walked away with more interesting tales to tell about the country.

Perhaps the best memories were of the authentic encounters with the people and their comfort food. Foods I would have never found if I sought the familiar instead of venturing out to the unknown.

Whilst in South America for eight months, my family and I had the best chorrillana in Chile. Over in Uruguay, we followed Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps to get the best parrilla. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, we bought empanadas from a street vendor pushing his bicycle with a laundry basket filled with empanadas. In Cusco, Peru, we had chicken soup in San Pedro Market. Whilst in the Andes of Ecuador, we did it - we ate cuy! So let’s dig in with these 10 popular foods to try when visiting South America.

1. Chorrillana in Chile

Chorrillana

You’ll find Chileans eating chorrillana all day. Made of beef steak strips, fried eggs, lots of onions and French fries, chorrillana is usually served in huge portions, large enough for two.

Casino Social J Cruz in Valparaiso was the best place for chorrillana in Chile. This comfort food is served throughout the country. You can get it as far south as in Punta Arenas. If you are in the Bellavista area of Santiago, go to The Galindo Restaurant for chorrillana.

2. Parrilla in Uruguay and Argentina

Parrilla

The word parrilla in Spanish means both ‘barbecue meat’ and ‘steakhouse’. Parrilla is also referred to as asado (barbecue). In Argentina and Uruguay, parrilla or asado is available throughout the country. The parrilla dish usually includes morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo (sausage), asado de tira (short ribs), mollejas (sweetbreads), matambre de credo (pork flank steak), bife de chorizo (sirloin strip steak), chinchulines (intestines), internal organs and entrana (skirt steak). It is served on a metal container with a low flame burner at the bottom.

Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo Uruguay came highly recommended by Anthony Bourdain in his “No Reservations” segment on food in Uruguay.

3. Feijoada in Brazil

Feijoada

On Saturdays, Brazilians hang out with friends and family around their favourite feijoada either watching football (soccer) or enjoying samba or bossa nova. Feijoada is stew made of black beans, smoked pork and pork spareribs. The traditional ones include pigs’ feet, tails and ears.

It’s best to eat feijoada with a cold beer. You can get feijoada throughout Brazil, from Sao Paulo, to Florianopolis to Iguazu Falls.

4. Churrascaria in Brazil

Churrascaria

Rio de Janeiro is the best city in Brazil to eat at a churrascaria. Churrascarias or rodizios are all-you-can-eat meat restaurants. The waitstaff make their rounds from table to table with large pieces of barbecued meat on metal skewers and a knife. The best cut is the picanha (top sirloin steak).

Besides meat, churrascarias normally have bars, all-you-can-eat sushi, pasta and salad. On the table you will be offered fried banana, farina (toasted cassava flour) and onions.

5. Lomo saltado in Peru

lomo saltado

If you ask anyone from Peru, “What’s one dish everyone visiting Peru should try?” the answer will most definitely be lomo saltado. I found this fascinating dish everywhere I went throughout my 30 days Travelling through Peru. This dish is ubiquitous: I discovered it in Puno, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Lares, Cuncani, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Nazca, Pisco, the Ballestas Islands, Huacachina and Lima.

From simple huts in villages at 12,000 feet above sea level, to posh restaurants in Miraflores, I found lomo saltado. Even the cook during our Andes travel served lomo saltado one night at the campsite.

6. Cuy in Peru and Ecuador

I must admit, cuy (grilled guinea pig) was the only food I hesitated to try in South America. Finally in Arequipa, Peru, I took a bite from my husband’s plate and another little piece in Gualaceo, an Andes mountain town in Ecuador. Eating local foods has never been a problem for me, but trying the more exotic types like cuy was a little different;

In my earlier Travelling days, I had refused witchetty grubs (white larvae of the ghost moth) in the Australian Outback and regretted it. It’s worth trying even the most unusual foods once in your lifetime.

7. Empanadas in South America

Empanadas

There are so many variations of empanadas in South America - fried or baked, vegetarian, seafood, chicken, beef, cheese or a combination of ingredients. The word empanada means “wrapped in bread.” Empanadas are pastries with fillings wrapped in flour dough.

Empanadas are found everywhere in South America. In upscale restaurants, makeshift shacks, supermarkets and in street fairs. In Buenos Aires’ Feria de San Telmo (San Telmo Sunday Fair) we saw a gentleman on his bicycle selling a basketful of empanadas. He had freshly baked chicken and beef empanadas, each at 20 pesos (about $1.50). His empanadas were fresh, warm and cheap - one of the best in Argentina.

8. Dry Aged Beef in Argentina

Dry aged beef

Argentinian steak is world-renowned. If you like beef, you must eat it in Argentina, especially dry aged T-bone steaks. What is dry aged beef? Think aged cheese and wine - dry aging improves the taste of the beef. It makes the beef more tender and flavorful. Dry aged beef costs a lot more than normal beef, but in Argentina you can have it at a fraction of the cost as in the United States. I recommend having dry aged T-bone steak at Elena Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires.

9. Salchipapas in Ecuador

Salchipapas

Salchipapas are fried hot dogs served with French fries and topped with ketchup and local sauces. It is a popular street food sold throughout Ecuador and Peru. Salchipapas in Ecuador are presented differently from the ones in Peru. To make the dish more presentable, Ecuadorians cut the ends of the hotdogs crosswise before frying.

10. Caldo de Gallina in Peru

Caldo de Gallina

Caldo de Gallina is a popular Peruvian chicken soup. The soup consists of noodles, a tough piece of chicken (when ordering my Caldo de Gallina, I was told it was hen and not chicken), and one hard-boiled egg. It is usually served with a small bowl of ahi (sauce).

I saw workers in work clothes sitting on plastic stools having their bowls of Caldo de Gallina early in the morning at the food section of San Pedro Market in Cusco. My husband and I joined the crowd and had a bowl as well.

A bowl of Caldo de Gallina was just six Peruvian soles (about $1.80).

South American Food Culture

Food in South America holds immense cultural significance, reflecting the continent's rich history and diverse influences. Culinary traditions vary widely across the region, influenced by indigenous cultures, Europeans, African heritage, and immigration. Meals are often social events that foster community and help create family bonds. When Travelling and eating in South America, understanding local etiquette can enhance your experience. Punctuality is appreciated in formal settings, but mealtimes can be relaxed and extend over several hours. Sharing food is common, and it's polite to try a bit of everything offered. In many countries, leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates you are satisfied. Tipping practices vary, but in restaurants, a 10% tip is generally appropriate.

Overall, South American food is not just sustenance but a vibrant expression of cultural identity and communal life.

Eating Habits in South America

Eating habits in South America are deeply rooted in cultural traditions and social interactions. Generally, South Americans enjoy three main meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, often accompanied by one or two snacks. Breakfast tends to be light, consisting of items like bread, cheese, coffee, or fruit. Lunch is the most substantial meal of the day, typically enjoyed in the early afternoon. It often includes multiple courses: a starter (such as soup or salad), a main dish (usually featuring rice, beans, meat, or fish), and a dessert. Dinner is often lighter and eaten later in the evening, around 8 or 9 PM. Snacking is common, with mid-morning and late afternoon snacks helping to bridge the gap between meals. Popular snacks include empanadas, pastries, fresh fruits, and nuts. South Americans place a strong emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Exploring South America: A Unique Travel Experience

South America is easily accessible from the United States. It is one of my favourite continents to visit. I like the combination of guided and independent tours whilst visiting South America. It gave me the best of both worlds - the expertise of a guide and an opportunity to explore on my own. Try some of the foods listed here and always remember to practice caution - eat in busy and clean places and drink bottled water.

Want to explore the vibrant cultures and breathtaking landscapes of South America with the ease and expertise of a guided group? Enjoy seamless travel arrangements, insider knowledge from local guides and Tour Managers, and the excitement of making new friends with your fellow travellers. From the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu, experience the best of South America with Collette (without the stress of planning). Join us for an unforgettable adventure!

Share this post with your friends!

Share with friends, find a travel agency.

Once you've found the perfect Collette tour, your local travel agent can assist you in making reservations. To find a preferred travel agent in your area, please enter your 4-digit postal code, then click Search.

Enter a Whole or Partial Postal Code

Please tell us everything, we want it all.

We really value your feedback, please be open an honest. Tell us where we can improve, how we can get better. This feedback is anonymous, but if you would like us to get in touch with you regarding an issue provide your email address as part of your feedback and we will get right back to you.

Please fill out the form below, and a Collette Expert will contact you shortly.

  • Yes, I'm a Travel Professional
  • Yes, I am working with a Travel Professional
  • I am Travelling with 8 or more travellers

Enjoy a $250 Travel Credit on us!

View or download.

best islands to visit croatia

IMAGES

  1. 13 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

    best islands to visit croatia

  2. 17 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit This Year

    best islands to visit croatia

  3. 10 Of The Best Croatian Islands To Visit

    best islands to visit croatia

  4. 13 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

    best islands to visit croatia

  5. The 10 Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

    best islands to visit croatia

  6. 20 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit in 2023

    best islands to visit croatia

VIDEO

  1. A DAY ON MILOS ISLAND, GREECE

  2. Top 5 Must Visit Locations in Croatia #bestplaces #travel #topdestinations #mustvisit #europe

  3. The SMALLEST Town On Earth!

  4. Best islands to visit in Croatia🇭🇷 #viral #travel #croatia #europe#shorts

  5. MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND TO VISIT IN CROATIA 2023

  6. Experience Croatia

COMMENTS

  1. The 13 best Croatian islands

    Show more. The best Croatia islands: the list includes Hvar, Vis, Rab, Korčula, Brač, Mljet, Cres, Murter and Silba. Find your perfect getaway with our guide to the Croatian islands.

  2. The 10 Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

    Mljet. Marcutti/Getty Images. Lush and unspoiled Mljet doesn't get the crowds of some of the better-known Dalmatian islands. The isle has only 19 settlements, most of which are small but scenic fishing villages. 15 th century Okuklje is set in a horseshoe-shaped bay and is the oldest coastal settlement in Croatia.

  3. The Most Beautiful Islands in Croatia, from Hvar to Vis

    Rising from the sparkling Adriatic, Croatia's most distant island is visited mainly by yachters, who moor up in Vis Town to feast on fresh fish at Villa Kaliopa or Pojoda, or venture inland to ...

  4. Croatia islands: the 15 best to visit in 2023

    Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol, Croatia's top windsurfing destination. The island appeals to adventurous types with its excellent water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling paths. Behind Bol rises Vidova Gora (780m), the highest point on the Croatian islands - climb to the top ...

  5. How to plan your island-hopping trip in Croatia

    Step 4: Book your accommodation and transport. Spontaneity is great, but Croatian island-hopping benefits from some planning. Finally, it's time to get booking. I'd start the accommodation trawl a few months before you go so as to have your pick of the best places.

  6. The 11 Best Islands in Croatia

    Give it a read to find the Croatian island that fits the bill for you! If you're after some more visual inspiration of the best islands in Croatia, take a look at our albums. The Visit Croatia guide to the 11 best islands in Croatia - including Hvar, Vis and Mljet - to find he perfect island for you to visit.

  7. 15 Best Islands in Croatia: Gems of the Adriatic

    4. Vis Island. Vis Island is beautifully preserved and also pristine, two of the reasons that make it onto this list of top Croatia islands. From the mainland, It's the farthest inhabited island in the Adriatic Sea. It will take you takes 2.5 hours by ferry, or 1.5 hours by catamaran to get here from Split.

  8. 21 Of The Best Croatian Islands

    Brač is also where you'll find the famous Zlatni Rat Beach, one of the absolute best Croatia beaches (and even in all of Europe), and the perfect place to spend a day. This makes Brač one of the best islands to visit near Split, a perfect day trip from Croatia's second-largest city. 2. Brijuni Islands.

  9. Best Croatian Islands

    Croatia has 718 islands and 389 islets, but these are the best—and where you should start. ... Croatia's 8 Best Islands. ... As the most discerning, up-to-the-minute voice in all things travel, ...

  10. 17 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit This Year

    Hvar is the trendiest and the most popular Croatian island . Brač is the best island for families with children. A cool vibe, beautiful beaches, yummy food, quirky history, and lack of big full-service resorts make Vis one of the best Croatian islands for couples . Šolta is one of the best islands to visit near Split .

  11. 12 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

    12 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit. 1. Kornati Island. Located just off the Zadar coast and composed of 147 islands in the Zadar archipelago, is the Kornati Islands. It is also called the Kornati National Park and founded primarily to protect and preserve marine life, with most of the islands in it uninhabited.

  12. Top 10 Best Islands in Croatia For Your Bucket List

    Explore the West coast of the island Brac by BETINA boat. 8. Hvar. Hvar Island might be known as the "St. Tropez of Croatia," famous for its glamorous nightlife scene, music festivals, and upscale beach bars, but it's also one of my favorite islands. Don't let its reputation fool you.

  13. 11 Best Croatian Islands For Getaways

    8. Korčula Island: perfect for wine lovers. 9. Proizd: best Croatian island for sun-worshippers. 10. Mljet: best Croatian island for nature-lovers. 11. Cres Island: best for an Italian vibe. The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Croatia, your essential guide for visiting Croatia.

  14. 10 Best Islands in Croatia to visit I Croatian Islands Hopping

    Croatia has more than 1200 islands and islets located in the Adriatic Sea. The largest islands in Croatia are Cres, Krk, Brac, Hvar and Pag. At the end of the post, you have a list of the main islands of Croatia, including the best islands near Split and the islands near Dubrovnik you must visit.

  15. 20 Best Islands in Croatia to Visit in 2024

    5. Vis Island. Vis Island is one of the best islands in Croatia if you want a spot with a rich history. Vis Island served as a Yugoslav military base from 1950 until 1989, and you can still visit military sites today. This is a massive draw for those intrigued by Croatia's political history.

  16. The Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

    The Best Islands to Visit in Croatia. July 7, 2023. Shaped like a crescent, Croatia lies on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Over 1240 natural formations dot the country's waters. 78 are actual islands, of which only 47 have people living on them. Lots are very small, some with just a restaurant with a sunset view and some totally ...

  17. Croatia islands: the 15 best to visit in 2024

    Brač is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol, Croatia's top windsurfing destination. The island appeals to adventurous types with its excellent water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling paths. Behind Bol rises Vidova Gora (780m), the highest point on the Croatian islands - climb to the top ...

  18. The 10 Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

    2. Brač. Brač, the largest island in central Dalmatia, is mostly famous for its magnificent Zlatni Rat beach (aka Croatia's most iconic and photographed beach) and its radiant white stone. Brač's 2 main centers are Supetar, a lively town with a bar-and-restaurant-lined harbor, and Bol, on the south shore.

  19. 22 Best Islands in Croatia You Need to Visit

    Best Islands in Croatia. 22. Silba Island. Silba Island. The island of Silba is located to the southeast of Losinj Island, in the northern Dalmatia area. It has the shape of an eight number, with the only village of Silba located in the middle, where two opposing bays almost meet.

  20. 13 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit

    Croatia is a totally stunning country in Europe to explore. It's the kind of place that's filled with the most beautiful places in Croatia and historic - 13 Best Islands In Croatia To Visit - Travel, Travel Advice - Brač, Cres, Croatia, Europe, Galešnjak, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet, Primosten, Solta, Sveti Andrija - Travel, Food and Home Inspiration Blog with door-to-door Travel Planner!

  21. THE 10 BEST Croatia Islands to Visit (Updated 2024)

    THE 10 BEST Croatia Islands. 1. Lokrum Island. 2. Mljet National Park. Beautiful island surrounding a lake, offers a wonderful easy bike/hike trail around the lake and a bonus visit to the... 3. Korcula Island. This island is a true gem! very easy to get to via the many ferry crossings from the mainland.

  22. 14 Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

    Steeped in history and folklore, Korčula Island, often referred to as a mini Dubrovnik, is a captivating islands to visit in Croatia.Explore the narrow cobblestone streets of Korčula Town, reputed to be the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo, and discover its well-preserved medieval architecture.Enjoy the tranquillity of the island's olive groves and vineyards, or bask in the sun ...

  23. The Best Croatian Islands To Visit: 2024 Guide + Tips

    Part of Croatia's Elaphiti Islands, Šipan is one of the closet islands to the city, and is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the weather. Šipanska luka and Suđurađ are the two main villages, both with plenty of charm and lovely views. My favourite spot though is trendy restaurant BOWA. We moored our boat at their jetty, and enjoyed fresh ...

  24. 12 of the best islands in Europe

    We've rounded up some unique and beautiful islands across the continent from Lonely Planet's The Islands Book. Here are 12 of the best. 1. Korčula, Croatia A tapestry of vineyards, olive groves and dense forests blankets Korčula, the greenest of the Dalmatian islands.

  25. 6 of the best ways to cruise around Croatia for island-hopping ...

    Cruising around the Adriatic sea is a great way to experience ancient walled cities filled with medieval architecture along with lush island gems like Mljet, Korcula, and Vis.

  26. 7 of the Best Places To Travel if You're a Pisces

    Croatia's crystal-clear lakes and dramatic limestone cliffs are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a specific type of algae causing the striking blue color of the water. Unfortunately, swimming isn't allowed, in order to protect the delicate balance of the environment, but nature-loving Pisceans can still marvel at the views.

  27. 7 Underrated Destinations With Italy Vibes, But Better

    Brač Island in Croatia gives off Amalfi Coast vibes at a fraction of the price, offering a romantic Mediterranean escape. ... Best Time To Visit March-May, August-October Average Cost To Visit $2,015 per week. Related. 8 Best Beaches In Italy's Underrated Puglia Region Escape the touristy crowds in Italy's popular beach destinations and find ...

  28. The Best South American Food: What to Try When Traveling

    Exploring South America: A Unique Travel Experience. South America is easily accessible from the United States. It is one of my favourite continents to visit. I like the combination of guided and independent tours whilst visiting South America. It gave me the best of both worlds - the expertise of a guide and an opportunity to explore on my own.