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15 Best Croatian Islands You Need to Visit

Planning on island hopping to the best Croatian islands? Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. It is the perfect place to spend your summer vacations. The majority of visitors are fascinated by the beautiful beaches, the delicious cuisine, and Croatian wine, and inspired by the cultural and natural heritage.

However, there are a few other things that distinguish Croatia, one of which is its islands. There are many incredible islands in Croatia scattered around the Adriatic Sea, all of which offer something unique. Croatia has over 1000 islands, and among those, we have picked out the 15 best Croatian islands that are a delight for the sight.

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The Best Croatian Islands You Need To Visit

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1. Mljet Island

Mljet Island is known as the greenest and purest of Croatia’s islands. It is the southernmost and easternmost of the main Adriatic islands in Croatia’s Dalmatia area, located south of the Peljesac peninsula. It is well worth a visit, with its rich history and national park. The island’s very own national park is the primary reason for a visit.

It spans the western third of the state and is a fantastic place to spend your holiday discovering the best of nature. Trekking, cycling, kayaking, and canoeing are just a few of the ways to explore the island and the national park. The park is 25 kilometers from Mljet’s port, has plenty of parking, and is easily accessible.


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2. Ugljan Island

Ugljan is a green island with almost 20 kilometers of coastline, beautiful sandy beaches, and even a few secret coves for those seeking more peace and quiet. It has been inhabited since the Stone Age, thanks to its brilliant blue sea, pleasant atmosphere, and lush Mediterranean vegetation. 

The island provides various activities, including visiting archaeological sites, fishing, hiking, and experiencing nature on land and underwater. There are numerous locations where you can rent bicycles, kayaks, canoes, or diving equipment, ensuring that your itinerary is kept busy.


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3. Žirje Island

Žirje island is wonderful for history lovers. Despite its distant location, the island has a very long and rich history, with the first fortress dating from the 6th century. Military relics and memorials still stand on the island, serving as a reminder that it was once an important strategic location in this part of the sea.

With only 50 permanent residents, tourism on the island has never completely blossomed, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking a peaceful holiday while learning about the ancient ways of life on a rural island.


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4. Galešnjak Island

Galešnjak Island is also known as “Love Island,” “Lovers Island,” or “The Island of Love.” The fascinating name originates from the heart-shaped island’s natural shape. Napoleon’s geographer Charles-François Beautemps-Beaupré was the first to notice it, but Google Earth made it renowned worldwide.

It is a one-of-a-kind and must-see Croatian island. It’s the ideal spot for unwinding and spending quality time with your significant other or simply by yourself. Suitable for camping, swimming, and relaxing in an almost man-untouched environment. 


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Best Croatian Islands – Šolta Island

5. Šolta Island

This island is ideal for people seeking a secluded vacation in the Dalmatian archipelago. It is located south of Split and is a wonderful island for getting away from the crowds. Because it is a less known location, tourism is still in its infancy. While on vacation here, you can visit the olive fields, wineries, and fishing villages. A relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of Split can be found in one of the little villages or on one of the beaches.


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Best Croatian Islands – Hvar Croatia

6. Hvar Croatia

Hvar is the crown jewel of the Croatian Dalmatian islands. It has been famed since antiquity for its strategic and maritime importance and its wealth of historical periods, culture, natural monuments, and literature. 

The Croatian island of Hvar, which claims to be Europe’s sunniest site, is the ideal destination for travelers seeking the beauty of Mediterranean beaches without the crowds associated with more well-known spots.


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7. Korcula Island

Korcula is one of Croatia’s most valued islands, albeit it is not as well-known as some of its northern counterparts, such as Brac and Hvar. This could be because the island is a little more challenging to get to (both from Split and Dubrovnik) and that some of the most convenient ferry routes only run during the summer. Because of its deep forest, the island was named Black Korcula (Kerkyra melaina) by the ancient Greeks. 


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8. Brac Island

The island of Brac is a popular vacation spot for those looking for a unique Croatian experience. There are endless recreational, educational, and just exciting things to see and do on the self-sustaining island. Despite being the largest island in Dalmatia and the third-largest in the Adriatic Sea, Brac is tiny enough to visit in one or two days. You can explore the popular primary attractions of Pucisca, as well as the Stonemasonry School, the town of Skrip, and the Brac Native and Olive Oil museums, on a guided half-day island tour.


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9. Vis Island

Vis is the most remote inhabited island from the Croatian mainland, lying between Hvar and Brac and roughly halfway between Croatia and Italy. Vis is difficult to reach, and its rarity makes it both fascinating and unique to visit. It consists of 90.26 square kilometers with beautiful beaches, bays, and two cities where life moves quickly. 

Vis has everything for everyone: unspoiled nature, beautiful beaches, a breathtaking underwater environment, fascinating history, and delicious local cuisine. You can spend the morning trekking and the afternoon relaxing at the beach. In comparison to what you may get in Dalmatia, it is more authentic and laid back.


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10. Lošinj Island

Lošinj, one of Croatia’s most popular islands, is known for its beautiful green foliage. The top resort in Mali Losinj, the largest town on both this island and neighboring Cres, has the most magnificent harbor in the Adriatic. The tourism region revolves around Cikat Bay, which is famous for its beach and excellent windsurfing opportunities. The coastline of the island of Losinj is indented, with several magnificent beaches.

If you enjoy spending time in nature, we recommend the Losinj captains walking routes. The promenade spans 12 kilometers from Bay Borik to Monte Baston, passing through Sunny Bay, Mali Losinj, Silver, and Golden Bays to the highest point on the route. The promenade is well-marked and concludes in Mali Losinj.


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11. Rab Island

Rab Island is located just off the northern Croatian coast near the islands of Krk and Pag. It has a vibrant history and is known today as the ‘Happy Island’. The bell tower of the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the cathedral, the bell tower of the church of St. John the Evangelist, the belfry of the church of St. Andrew the Apostle, and the bell tower of the church of St. Justine are the four church towers that constitute Rab’s outline.

You can swim on the town beach, which offers a spectacular view of the ancient city walls and church towers. The beach is also directly beneath a classical music school’s window, so depending on the time of day, you may be serenaded while swimming. In the Dundo reserve in the Kalifront forest on the northwest side of the island of Rab, you can take a stroll through one of the remaining Mediterranean oak woods. The park is under the protection of the government.


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12. Pag Island

One of Croatia’s more peculiar islands, Pag Island, is dry and little populated, with a bizarre, almost lunar environment. Pag is a long (approximately 60 kilometers) and thin (between 2 and 10 kilometers) Adriatic island with no rivers or streams, no trees, and limited vegetation. Pag has a large number of largely undeveloped beaches. Near the beach directly outside Pag town and Zrce beach in Novalja, there are other broad, shallow bays concealed around the coast. The peaceful, shallow bay at the Simun site of Camping-Simuni is one of the most beautiful beaches.


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13. Krk Island

Krk Island is the Adriatic Sea’s largest and most populous island. The attraction of Krk derives in large part from its handy location and proximity to Slovenia and northern Italy. Of course, the countless activities to do on Krk Island, which we will discuss momentarily, are a significant element as well. Krk Island, known for centuries as the “Golden Island,” is located in the heart of the stunning Kvarner Bay, an area rich in natural beauty and cultural attractions. The island is sometimes referred to as the “cradle of Croatian culture,” a title it rightfully claims.

It is a popular summer destination because of its diverse landscapes, wonderful centuries-old villages, rich local culture, and magnificent beaches. Krk Island offers a diverse range of activities. From thousand-year-old monuments to art galleries, from bare limestone slopes to pine woods and gorgeous, secluded coves, many Krk Island attractions are to discover and enjoy. You may take romantic sunset strolls along the seashore or go across the hills on ancient shepherd pathways. Enjoy handmade wine and traditional Krk food. You can take a boat ride or spend the day relaxing by the Adriatic Sea Beach.


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14. Cres Island

Cres Island is a beautiful Adriatic island located in the northern section of the Kvarner Gulf, near the island of Krk, which is recognized for its natural beauty. It houses the Cres Museum, which houses local costumes, weapons, and other relics, and a 16th-century Venetian Tower and Arsan Palace, which houses the Cres Museum with its local costumes, weapons, and other antiques. Cres’ shoreline is lined with several bays and coves for you to explore. The ancient forests and remote communities that dot the hilltops pay homage to a simpler and, in some ways, more mysterious era. The cliffs are massive and daunting, rising straight up from the sea and even upward in some places.

Hiking Cres is a fantastic opportunity to see the island’s natural attractions, with over 100 kilometers of recognized routes. The Venetian Tower, Municipal Loggia, Remnants of the city walls, Old Roman Bridge, and the Beli Olive Mill are among the sights to see in Cres Old Town. When you are there, make sure to travel outside of the city to discover Lubenice, Beli, Value, and Martinica, Cres’s lesser communities.


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15. Elaphiti Islands

The Elaphiti Islands, sometimes known as the Elaphite, are a small archipelago in the Adriatic Sea reaching northwest of Dubrovnik. The Elafiti Islands (Elaphites) are a renowned tourist attraction in the country. The island comprises six islands, not counting minor islets, but the three main ones to visit and stay on are Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan. Two of the three islands, Kolocep and Lopud, are entirely car-free, making them a perfect spot to base yourself if you want to escape the rush and bustle of daily life.

The islands are an excellent opportunity to get away from Dubrovnik’s bustle and may be visited as day trips or as a tranquil base away from the city. Sipan Island is home to vast, undeveloped scenery and one of Croatia’s few sandy beaches. Lopud Island, free of traffic, is home to some of Croatia’s best beaches, including Sunj Bay. You may go on boat rides between the islands and explore the many beaches, including the famed Sunj Bay. On these lovely islands, sunsets, picnics, walking, and swimming are popular activities.


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Croatian Islands Conclusion

Croatia isn’t just about Dubrovnik vacations. Many lovely and untouched islands can be found in the country, all of which are easily accessible and can be utilized as a base for a trip or island hopping locations. Islands span Croatia’s entire coast, beginning in Istria and stretching south across the glittering Adriatic Sea to Dubrovnik. Croatia has many islands, and it becomes very confusing and tough to choose where to go. We hope our article helps you in selecting your dream destination!

There are so many wonderful places to visit in Croatia. If you are planning your trip to Croatia then you might want to check out these posts as well:

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