The islands of Croatia could easily be described as the jewels of the Adriatic boasting a level of diversity not found anywhere else in Europe.
These slices of paradise offer something for every taste. Whether you are looking for relaxing tranquility, all night parties, scuba diving hotspots or endless beaches, there will be a Croatian island for you. While the Greek islands may get all the attention, why not try something a little different this year and head to the Adriatic?
Here are our picks of the best islands Croatia has to offer.
A lack of development is often regarded as a negative but not in the case of Vis. The island is the furthest of the main central Dalmatian islands away from the mainland and has long been a mysterious place, even for the locals.
Foreign visitors have only been allowed to come to Vis since 1989 following its use as a military base but that lack of interaction has meant it has flourished. Untouched for many years there are beautiful beaches, including Stiniva which was recently named the best in Europe, rolling vineyards creating some of Croatia’s finest wines and a thriving fishing tradition.
Discover the coves and quaint bays of Vis Town and Komiža.
Dubbed the “queen of the Croatian Dalmatian islands”, Hvar simply screams luxury. The island’s capital, Hvar Town, boasts a host of the very hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs in all of Croatia. It is the ultimate cosmopolitan getaway in the country.
Blessed with being the sunniest part of Croatia (around 2,724 sunny hours every year), you can enjoy dinner outside almost every day of the year. Get out of the capital and head to the coast to see the cultural centres of Stari Grad and Jelsa, the latter has a wealth of coves just waiting to be explored.
“Where’s the party?” I hear you ask. It’s in Pag of course. Once renowned for the local of delicacy of Paski sir (Pag cheese), the island is now known as the party capital of Croatia. This is the only part of the country where bars and clubs are allowed 24-hour licences making it the place to be to dance till dawn.
The epicentre of it all is Zrće beach which hosts parties and festivals throughout the summer rivalling established clubbing heavyweights such as Ibiza and Majorca. Boasting some of the biggest names in drum and bass, techno and electronic, swap the Balearics for Pag this year.
From the lively beaches of Pag to the quiet serenity of Mljet. Considered to be one of the most beautiful Croatian islands, it is a spectacular place covered with forests and fields. There are a number of small villages and vineyards dotted around producing delicious red wine, olives and goat’s cheese.
This is the closest you get to a tropical oasis in the Adriatic.
Korčula is another of Croatia’s islands which is covered in olive groves and vineyards. It is all about tradition here with the locals regularly performing age-old religious ceremonies, folk music and dances to the growing number of tourists.
Like with many other parts of the country, Korčula is hugely proud of its winemaking prowess. The tipple here is made from pošip grapes, grown only in this part of the country, so it’d be rude not to sample a few glasses.
Even if you’re staying in Dubrovnik you can still enjoy a day trip on the islands. Lopud lies just off the shore of the popular tourist destination and the contrast is night and day. While Dubrovnik is buzzing with visitors, Lopud is the quiet escape from the hubbub of the city.
With less than 300 people (and no cars) living on the island, it is a real peaceful experience. Catch the ferry from Dubrovnik and enjoy a 15-minute stroll through the woods of Lopud to find the beautiful Sunj beach, perfect for watching the sun go down.
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