Croatia is home to some of the world's most beautiful islands. It has over a thousand islands spanning north to south. Others are home to picturesque villages, while some are secluded and have beaches of all shapes and sizes. The best way to see numerous islands in one trip is on a sailing trip. But even if you are not cruising, you can visit Croatia's best islands on a public ferry or even a kayak! Below, check out the best islands to visit in Croatia.
Hvar is one of Croatia's "Jewels in the Adriatic." It has a stunning coastline with secluded bays and coves and a picturesque harbour, offering plenty of options for dining, shopping and nightlife. But Hvar's biggest draw is its historical charm. Its charming medieval town square is home to a Renaissance cathedral and a hilltop fortress offering panoramic views of the island and the surrounding seascapes.
A stroll through Hvar Town will reveal stunning Venetian architecture and winding lanes illuminated by breathtaking sunsets. It is also home to fantastic bars and restaurants serving the day's freshest catch.
Stari Grad is another beautiful town to explore on Hvar. It has a relaxed vibe with quiet alleyways that are a joy to stroll around. As the epitome of a rustic Mediterranean seaside town, Stair Grad has gorgeous white stone streets with a bougainvillea-clad staircase, perfect for lazy strolls.
Hvar is also famous for its scenic lavender fields, which you will find in the beautiful town of Brusje. Developed as a shepherd settlement in the 16th century, Brusje is one of Croatia's most gorgeous towns.
Nestled in the heart of the Adriatic, Brac is one of those Croatian islands you should see at least once. It offers something for everyone, from ample hiking trails to picturesque coastal towns and beautiful beaches. Brac may not be as famous as its neighbouring islands of Split, Hvar, and Dubrovnik, but this is a great spot for those looking to tour the islands in Croatia as you will discover plenty of stunning natural sceneries.
If you're an avid hiker, you should visit Brac and hike to Vidova Gora, the island's highest point. It can take three to five hours to hike the mountain. Once you reach the top, the island's panoramic views will greet you. You can drive to the peak if you are not keen on hiking. Don't forget to bring some snacks and enjoy a picnic at its viewpoint as you wait for the sun to set.
No visit to Brac is complete without seeing Zlatni Rat, Croatia's most famous beach. Also called the "Golden Horn," it is renowned for its unique triangular shape, rendering it a favourite spot for windsurfers. The beach looks more stunning from above. So, if you don't mind splurging, consider booking a helicopter tour.
Located southwest of Hvar, Vis is home to scenic bays and ancient sites. Unlike the other more popular Croatian islands, many of the beaches in Vic are unspoilt, and you'll most likely have them all to yourself! Vis was a Yugoslavian navy base for almost fifty years and only opened to visitors in 1989, which explains why it's relatively untouched. If you prefer to explore a quiet island far from the tourist crowd, you should head to Vis.
Vis has many different beaches, from pebbly and sandy to remote and secluded bays. If you only have time to visit one, choose Stiniva, a gorgeous beach surrounded by cliffs with a small path leading to the sea. After spending some time at the beach, take the time to explore the charming town of Vis. It lies on the island's north-eastern coast and is considered the oldest settlement in Vis. As you stroll through its pretty streets, you'll stumble upon beautiful buildings featuring Roman, Greek, and Baroque architecture.
The mouth-watering cuisine of Vis is another reason to visit the island. Most traditional recipes consist of seafood cooked with local herbs and vegetables. When you come in summer, you can feast on delicious salads made of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and courgettes. Meanwhile, autumn is the best time for mushrooms and truffles. You will find numerous restaurants all over the island serving traditional recipes, so check them out.
Korcula lies in Central Dalmatia and is one of the most populous islands in the Adriatic. It's renowned for its extensive pine forests, covering almost the entire island and sparkling sea surrounded by rocky and dramatic cliffs. Korcula is also a haven for wine lovers, boasting a long history of winemaking. Visitors will also discover stunning villa rentals around Croatia, with Korcula being a favoured spot.
The medieval town of Korcula is enough reason to visit the island. It has a web of narrow alleyways clad with ancient old buildings, a fun place to stroll around and explore. When you reach the central square, you will find the beautiful St. Mark's Cathedral, a fine example of Gothic-Renaissance architecture.
If you prefer to swim on small, secluded beaches, you will love Korcula since it has the beaches you're looking for. Visit the island's southern section, where you'll stumble upon pretty coves and bays, or visit the beach in Lumbarda, which has soft sands and shallow waters.
Located close to Zadar, the island of Pag is about 60 kilometres long and home to about 8,000 inhabitants. It's one of the largest islands of Croatia and is renowned for its lush olive groves, salt production, and sheep's cheese.
Pag is one of those Croatian islands with a rich and colourful history. It was ruled by different rules for several centuries, with the first recorded inhabitants dating back to Roman times. As you explore the island, you can still see remnants from the past, including the Roman aqueduct, an ancient water supply system about 1050 meters long.
Like the other islands in Croatia, Pag has its share of beautiful beaches. Many of these are small hidden bays, allowing you to enjoy the sun and the sea in tranquillity. One of the most popular beaches is Strasko Beach, a pebbled beach surrounded by a lush forest, an ideal place to relax and unwind.