12 Gorgeous Croatian Islands You Have to Visit

By Amanda Little

Set sail in search of the perfect island in Croatia. Navigate the Adriatic Sea and choose islands with forests, coastlines, culture, and more!

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Hvar

Rub elbows with the elite while visit the hot spot frequented by the wealthy and semi-celebrities. Owning the reputation as one of the swankiest islands and boasting sun-soaked shores with yachts looking on from a distance, Hvar is a playground for anyone in love with luxury. Among the fabulous town center and bright coastal towns, history, culture, and heritage can be found thriving among it all. Get lost in the hot nightlife, backpack through the rolling hills, lush vineyards, and sunny beaches, trek among stoic fortifications, and more on this slice of paradise.

Rab

Strut along the coastline of Rab in your birthday suit, following the nude tradition of the island. The rumor goes that King Edward VIII took his new wife Wallis Simpson to the island in the late 1930s and was so entranced that he cast off all of his clothes and went skinny-dipping in the Adriatic. Be sure to don your clothing while exploring Rab town and all four of its exquisite bell towers! Sheltered by ridges and untouched by the mountain winds, the rustic patchwork vibe throughout the small town on the island surpasses quaint and becomes charming among all of the pristine nature surrounding it. Explore over 300 freshwater springs that give life to a stunning array of plants in Komrcar Park.

Korcula

Stroll through the enchanting woods that thrive on Korcula, sip on crisp, cool white wine, and explore the charming hamlets and quaint fishing villages that make the island unique. Stop in at a Marco Polo gallery, snap photos of the beautiful cathedral, and wander along row after row of lush vineyard during your stay. Visitors often admire the legendary stonework throughout Korcula’s streets, or catch a moat to Badija, where a monastery sits on a tiny island. If wine is your thing, then a visit to the Croatian underwater winery is a must!

Cres

Brace yourself for the wild abundance of beauty that spreads across all of Cres. Magnificent forests consume the north, majestic cliffs look out to sea, and the long, winding coastline gives way to crumbling hilltop towns and a sense of tranquility blankets all. Discover your inner ornithologist as you watch magnificent griffons (not griffins) spread their wings and take flight, and hike to the unique freshwater lake of Vrana for a swim!

Brac

Catch a ferry out from Split to Brac, the largest of the Dalmatian Islands. Boasting its own airport, the highest mountain of all the Adriatic Islands, and a population upwards of 13,000 people, Brac is a popular island rife with nightlife. While it doesn’t attract the famous like Hvar, the historic and natural resources of the island draw in a diverse crowd. With the rocky coast that ships out its signature white stone all over the world, the amazing ever-changing Zlatni Rat Beach, the Dragon’s cave where 15th century monks etched a massive amount of biblican scenes and symbols, bustling fishing villages, and more, Brac is the island to see.

Dugi Otok

The longest of the Dalmatian Islands stretches out for nearly 28 miles and is easily picked out from other islands because of its sheer cliffs and sandy beaches. With its South Eastern area declared a national park and Telascica Bay offering some of the best scenery, this island has some of the top beaches in Croatia. A speedboat from the mainland is the best way to get there; upon arriving on the island, biking, hiking, scuba diving, climbing, and photography are the favorite activities. Visitors can also admire the view while dining at a local restaurant.

Vis

Unwind on the sun-soaked shores of the stunning island of Vis. Known for its unspoiled beauty and the simplicity of its two towns, visitors can enjoy the genuine feel of the island without being overrun by tourists. Spread out among the several beachy enclaves tucked into crevices along the coast, or wade out in search of Bisevo, a blue cave that lurks just off the shore. Or, head inland to explore vineyards producing lovely white wine, explore among Greek and Roman era remnants. With so much to explore from crystal clear waters, isolated beaches, and historic sights, those delighting in natural beauty will be endlessly entranced.

Pag

Start at one end of Pag, where women meticulously work over the fine needlework prevalent in many Croatian homes, wander across the open flatlands where sheep graze and rocky terrain is blanketed by lush fields, and make it to the other end at Zrce beach where amazing festivals and incredible nightlife flourishes. Explore the longest coastline is the Croatian islands, peppered with coves, bays, capes, and plenty of beaches. A host of small towns dots the shores of the island, making it an excellent choice for exploring history, partying hard, or just enjoying a day out on the island!

Mljet

Bring your camera with you to Mljet because you may not believe your eyes! What appears to be eden lays out across this island in the Dalmatian archipelago. Lush greenery hides two saltwater lakes and is home to an expansive variety of creatures, both by land and sea. Explore through this stunning national park, go for a dip in the lakes that entice most travelers through this utopia, visit the once Benedictine monastery turned restaurant, bike among the terrain, and let your kayak slice through the crystalline waters surrounding the island. Those looking for an adventure here are sure to find it in all its glory.

Mali Losinj

Mali Losinj was once known for its shipbuilding, then it became a health resort in the 19th-century because of the amazing fresh air provided by the pine forests that cover the island. Now, the biggest draw is Cikat beach, lined with pine trees with dolphins playing just off the shore in a protected marine park. With regular boats connecting this little haven to Susak, Ilovik, and Unije, the island is easily accessible and well worth the trip.

Krk

Traverse the “Golden Island” of Krk, Croatia’s largest island. Take your time exploring the windswept vineyards that make fine Zlatina wine, languid beaches, and of course the medieval Krk town. Connecting to the mainland via landbridge, this island is among the most easily accessible islands. Scuba diving, jet skiing, and paragliding are among the most popular activities on this island, along with trekking through rocky hills and fields, strolling along peaceful bays, and exploring the inland area.

Murter

Turn up the volume and party on Murter, the island known for its all-night paradise ragers. Since Murter’s small town, Tisno, became home to the Garden Festival, the island has turned into the host of amazing festivals like Electric Elephant, Soundwave, SunceBeat, and Love International, to name a few. Those looking to add a little worldliness to their party are still sure to find it on this island though. The island’s ports and olive groves are essentially untouched, and offer beautiful scenery to travel through.

Those looking for adventure away from the crowds may want to try a few amazing islands off the beaten sailways.

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