Croatia is celebrated for its soaring summer temperatures and the warm turquoise waters of the Adriatic. But with its national parks, secret caves, pebbled coves, and hilltop medieval architecture.
Croatia has so much more to offer than a simple fly and flop beach holiday. Just off the coast, you will find a stunning array of beautiful islands in Croatia, each offering its own unique array of attractions and sights.
Take your time wandering the streets of ancient towns, scuba diving to discover thousand-year-old submerged shipwrecks, hiking through national parks, and tasting the produce of these fertile islands.
From locally-produced wine and cheese to homegrown olive oil, spicy gingerbread, and homemade honey.
With its lavender fields, lush vineyards, and dramatic cliffs, the island of Hvar is undeniably picture-perfect.
Easily Croatia’s most luxurious beach destination, this hip-and-happening island is a popular hotspot for celebs seeking a secluded beach getaway.
The island’s central hub, Hvar Town, has a reputation as a party destination because of its beach bars and lively day parties.
Head to Hula Hula Beach Bar – famous for its spectacular sunset views – and explore the streets of the blissfully traffic-free old town.
A filming location for Mamma Mia II, Vis is one of those quintessential Croatian islands. The furthest inhabited island from the mainland, is known for its long history of winegrowing.
Vis isolation has retained the charm and style of life characteristic of the 1950s and attracts tourists looking for “the Mediterranean as it once was”.
The beautiful crystal clear waters, breathtaking isolated beaches, and historical sights on Vis are certain to delight visitors.
See Also : Uninhabited Islands around the World
Cres is the second-largest island in the Adriatic and one of the largest in the Kvarner Gulf. It was once part of Losinj and formed one main island, but today, the two islands are separated by a channel and linked via a bridge at the town of Osar.
Having been inhabited since the Paleolithic period, Cres boasts a collection of medieval hilltop towns, forests, hidden coves, and beaches of all shapes and sizes – sandy, pebbly, or shingle, you’ll find them all here.
Discover Cres Town with its Venetian-style buildings. A large part of the town dates back to the 15th-century, and you can trace its history with a walking tour.
Known for its dense forests, olive groves, vineyards, and small villages, Korcula is as traditional as Croatia gets. Most notable for its spectacular walled old town.
The island has contrasting coastlines, with steep sandy beaches to the south and flat pebble beaches in the north.
Korcula Town is the main resort on the island of Korcula, lovingly referred to as ‘Little Dubrovnik’ because of its crumbling walls and medieval architecture.
The third-largest island in the Adriatic and the largest in Dalmatia, Brac is celebrated for its quiet fishing villages, hiking trails, fresh seafood, and the curious triangular Zlatni Rat beach.
The white-pebbled Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach in Bol is the perfect place to spend a day under the Croatian sun.
Named one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia – and even Europe – this pure paradise boasts a peninsula that’s constantly shifted by the wind and tides.
Along with an inflatable water park, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and banana boating are also popular.
Made up of beautiful Mediterranean forests, the north-western side of Mijet island has been a national park since 1960.
Largely unspoiled, it’s one of the greenest islands in Croatia and boasts fresh sea air, a sandy coastline, two salt lakes, and some enchanting marine life.
Apart from its gorgeous scenery of caves, clifftops, and beaches – which are some of the best in Croatia – Mijet is known for its excellent wines, homegrown olives, and goat’s cheese.
It’s ideal for water lovers, with the option to dive off the coast to see thousand-year-old shipwrecks.
Made up of 140 uninhabited islands and secluded reefs, the Kornati archipelago is one of the most dramatic in Croatia. It’s also the largest in the Adriatic.
Home to hundreds of coves, olive groves, orchards, vineyards, and ancient rock formations, the scenery here is truly unforgettable.
The Kornati islands – also known as the Stomorski islands – don’t have any permanent residents that call them home. Instead, the locals who work the farmlands stay in seasonal houses during the agricultural season only.
The largest island, Kornati, is, therefore, home to just a few holiday rentals for visitors looking to get away from it all.
Krk is the largest island in the Adriatic and the closest to Western Europe. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, it’s the most accessible, and therefore the busiest island.
Visitors can explore thousand-year-old towns, stroll through authentic rural villages, swim in secluded bays, and sunbathe on popular city beaches.
While the northern end of the island is almost barren, the southern tip of the island offers gentle bays. In the inland area, rocky hills and fertile fields provide the ideal backdrop for cultivating grapes.
Losinj is nearly a Croatian cliché with its gorgeous turquoise ocean frequented by turtles and dolphins. The island has three main claims to fame.
Its 19th-century shipbuilding industry, the summer residence of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, Franz-Josef, and now as a destination for health and wellness.
Losinj is home to hundreds of medicinal plants. With its warm microclimate and fresh sea air, it was used during the 19th-century as a place to recover from respiratory issues and was officially declared a climatic health resort in 1892.
See Also : Mysterious Tidal Islands around the World
Nicknamed the ‘Happy Island,’ Rab has all the ingredients of a Croatian paradise: a collection of sandy beaches and picturesque coves that get very busy during the summer months.
Designated a geopark, the island is characterized by dramatic cliffs, pine and oak forests, olive groves, vineyards, and orchards.
You’ll find the best beaches here, including Rajska Plaža (Paradise Beach), that was included in CNN’s Top 100 best beaches list.
Sunbathing on Pudarica beach is a must as it boasts some unbelievably clear water, while the town beach, located beneath a classical music school, serenades you while you swim.