20 Incredible Islands In Croatia

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If you are looking for a summer destination, Croatia will satisfy your senses with more than 1200 islands, islets and bays. The country has a pleasant Mediterranean climate and plenty of sun. The islands are blessed with clear turquoise seas, long pebble beaches and abundant nature.

Croatia merges old Dalmatian traditions with today’s modern lifestyle, with hidden bays, natural parks, and hiking trails to a rich local cuisine prepared with locally grown produce. As the islands are spread along the coast, each one has something different to offer, a great way to explore is on a boat or a sailing cruise. Here’s is the list of my favourite 20 islands in Croatia.

Croatia Islands

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20 Islands In Croatia To Explore

1- Hvar Island

cruising croatia islands
Wild lavender fields near Brusje on Hvar Island in Croatia.

One of the most famous islands in the Adriatic is Hvar Island.

Also called the island of the sun due to the many sunny days throughout the year, this island combines rich Dalmatian history with a modern lifestyle.

Hvar belongs to the Split archipelago and consists of Hvar Town and the Old Town, along with two municipalities, Jelsa and Sućuraj.

It has six UNESCO World Heritage sites, which is a large number for an island.

Golden hours on pebble beaches, stunning nature, fine wine, rich gastronomy, and fields of lavender are just a few symbols of Hvar.

As it’s quite a big island, there’s plenty to see. Hvar Town is the most expensive and attracts famous visitors to its bars, restaurants, resorts, and nightlife.

The Old Town has cultural tradition, old monuments, cobblestone streets, including the oldest public theatre in Europe and other UNESCO sites of the island.

I recommend Jelsa for a relaxing beach day and other water activities, but if you have more time to spend on Hvar, I highly recommend a boat tour to the Pakleni Islands.

Beautiful green nature, hidden bays, and crystal blue sea: what more do you need?

2- Brač Island

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A turquoise stone beach on Brac island in Croatia.

Brač Island moves at the slow pace of the languid Dalmatian lifestyle.

In central Dalmatia near Hvar, the main highlights of this island in Croatia are the Zlatni Rat and Vidova Gora.

The hiking trail to Vidova Gora is one of the most popular walks to the highest peak on the Adriatic islands, where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view.

Other hiking trails are from Murvica to Dragon’s Cave, Nerezisca to Blaca Hermitage, Sumartin to Planck and Farska to Blaca Hermitage.

If you prefer something more adventurous, mountain biking is also available.

Brač also offers water activities like scuba diving, sea kayaking, windsurfing and kiteboarding.

One of the most famous is the golden, sandy beach Zlatni Rat, located on the west side of Bol.

A fun fact about the Brač is that the White House, Diocletian’s Palace, and Parliament in Budapest were built in Brač stone. This Brac Island tour form Split may suit you.

3- Korčula Island

how many islands in croatia waterfront aerial view, island in archipelago of southern Croatia.
Korcula island in Croatia is home to the historic town of Korcula.

The Island of Korčula is the birthplace of Marco Polo, a Venetian explorer and travel writer, among the first to introduce Europeans to China and Central Asia.

Korčula is also known as mini-Dubrovnik due to the small fortification system of the town with narrow medieval streets, old palaces, churches and other monuments.

One of the most famous and largest buildings is the cathedral of St. Mark.

It’s a beautiful piece of Renaissance-Gothic architecture that offers a stunning panoramic view from the top of the bell tower.

Besides rich architecture, the island is filled with green vegetation, forests, vineyards, olive trees, and beautiful beaches along the island.

Every year, this Croatian island holds a sword festival.

It’s a unique event where eight island sword dance groups perform from the end of June until the beginning of September. You can join a day trip from Dubrovnik to explore the Peljesac Peninsula and Korcula Island.

4- Vis Island

islands in croatia
A delightful vineyard on Vis island in Croatia’s Dalmatia.

Known as a town of fishermen and winemakers, Vis Island is a popular holiday destination. It’s on the island hopping radar from Hvar and often combined with a visit to the Blue Cave.

Red Plavac Mali and dry white Vugava are the two most famous wines in Croatia cultivated on this island.

As it’s the least-inhabited island of all Dalmatian islands, it’s a perfect place for a peaceful holiday.

If relaxing on the beach, enjoying the smell of pine trees, or eating freshly caught fish, with a richly flavoured glass of red wine sounds like a perfect treat, then Vis is your destination.

5- Mljet Island

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The verdant landscape of Mljet Island in Croatia is a wonder to explore.

Mljet is one of the Dalmatian islands recognised for its sailing culture and dense green vegetation.

Just look at the photo: what jumps out at you is the blue colour of the sea and the green of the trees, a landscape protected as a National Park.

A perfect way to explore the island is by bicycle.

The Small and Large Lakes are natural lakes that once held freshwater, but both have become saltwater lakes after geographical changes.

You can visit Mljet and other islands on a day trip from Dubrovnik.

6- Rab Island

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The old city of Rab on the Croatian island of Rab.

Rab is known as the island of happiness, the expression given by Romans, for its natural abundance of sun.

It’s famous for more than 30 sandy beaches, crystal clear sea, beautiful green parks and hiking trails.

The main attraction is Rab Town, which dates back to the Roman era and has a rich heritage.

In summer, Rab hosts a famous medieval festival called Rabska Fjera.

Journey to Grgur and Rab Islands on this full-day boat trip from Baška, which will have you swimming in the Zavratnica fjord and includes a buffet lunch.

7- Pag Island

how many islands does croatia have
Town of Novalja waterfront and turquoise sea view, Pag island, Adriatic archipelago of Croatia.

Mention island Pag and you might picture its vibrant clubbing and nightlife.

With its famous Zrće beach, Novalja is one of Croatia’s best summer clubbing places.

Even though the nightlife is excellent, there are many jewels this island can offer.

The best cheese in Croatia served on almost every traditional menu, comes from Pag.

It’s a sheep cheese, hard and salty, with an aromatic herbal taste.

Along with the cheese, Pag is famous for its salt and olive oil.

Paška lace is listed under the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and was a decoration for the traditional skirts worn on this island.

Today almost every house has this lace as a decoration on the table or a wall.

8- Krk Island

most popular islands in croatia
Aerial view of the historic Adriatic town of Krk on the island of Krk in Kvarner Bay in the Adriatic Sea.

Krk is an island on the northern Adriatic coast, historically known as the cultural centre of Croatia.

Much literature was written in the old Glagolitic alphabet and kept on this island until today.

Glagolitic is a Slavic script in which the Baška alphabet was written.

This document is the oldest document that mentions Croatia in the local language.

Besides rich culture, Krk is known for its gastronomy in Malinska and stunning views in Vrbnik.

Adventure seekers will love this ziplining tour for the adrenaline rush and stunning views.

9- Dugi Otok Island

best islands croatia
Village of Sali on Dugi Otok island, colourful harbour view, Dalmatia Archipelago, Croatia.

Having the same name as the famous cocktail, Long Island is the synonym for the chill and relaxing days at the beach, combined with different sports activities.

One of the most famous beaches is Sakarun, known for the turquoise sea, which is very shallow, which makes it the perfect spot for a family day.

If you go for a walk, try to reach the tallest lighthouse on the Adriatic coast of Veli Rat.

For adventure lovers, there is an option to explore rich marine life in hidden caves with scuba diving or enjoy peaceful paddling or kayaking along the crystal clear water.

10- Cres Island

party islands in croatia Active sporty woman on summer vacations sitting on old stone wall
You can enjoy the view from of Cres Island in Croatia from Lubenice village.

Cres is one of the largest and untouched Croatian islands recognised for its wild nature, bumpy hills, low-growing vegetation, hiking trails and olive trees.

Nature is merged with the historic part of the old town, where you can find remains of medieval city walls, museums, towers, and bridges from the Gothic-Renaissance era.

Cres is in the northern part of Kvarner and can you can reach it by ferry from the island of Krk.

11- Lošinj Island

list of islands in croatia
The island of Losinj in Croatia.

Lošinj is a small island located on the northern part of the Croatian coast, lesser-known from a tourist perspective, but it hides many jewels.

One of them is a bronze statue of an athlete, Apoxyomenos, located in his own museum.

It’s fascinating that the statue was discovered in the sea by a random diver at a depth of 45 m (148 ft).

The hot spot on the island is the Dolphin Way promenade, which got the name due to the number of dolphins you may see there.

For all adrenaline lovers, there is an option to climb Mountain Osorščica via more than 30 guided routes.

Other things to explore are Cikat Forest Park, scuba diving, SUP yoga and many other water activities.

12- Lastovo Island

most beautiful islands of croatia
Cape Struga historic lighthouse sits atop cliffs on Lastovo island, Croatia’s most remote inhabited island and home to some of the darkest skies in Europe.

Lastovo got it’s name due to more than 70% of trees covering the surface, which classifies it as the most forested island in the Adriatic Sea.

On the opposite side, you have deep blue, turquoise-coloured water that is just heaven for the eyes.

That makes Lastovo the youngest and one of Croatia’s most beautiful nature parks.

This island is famous for its carnival, Lastovski Poklad, when the whole island celebrates the victory over pirates, followed by music and dressed in specially designed costumes.

13- Šolta Island

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One of the islands in Croatia to cruise around is Solta in Dalmatia.

Šolta is a small island nine nautical miles from Split.

It’s a perfect spot for a weekend gateway to enjoy the beauty of nature, the ocean and peaceful pebble beaches.

The little highlights from Šolta are locally made olive oil, honey, and fully-flavoured red wine.

This cruise from Split will allow you to explore Maslinica village on Solta, snorkel around a shipwreck in Necujam Bay and a trip to Drvenik (the Blue Lagoon). Along the way, you might get the chance to spot dolphins.

14- Ugljan Island

islands of croatia
The Croatian island of Ugljan in Dalmatia.

Ugljan is a small gateway spot for most people who live in Zadar county and the best way to explore is on a boat tour.

It’s filled with green vegetation that covers high mountains, olive trees, pine trees, wine grapes, figs and other Dalmatian herbs.

Some popular activities are diving, cycling, and fishing, especially among the elderly locals.

15- Zlarin Island

how many islands are in croatia
The Croatian island of Zlarin has a charming waterfront.

Zlarin is a gem 15 minutes by ferry from my hometown Šibenik.

It’s known for its rich history, peaceful nature and corals.

Like most of our islands, Zlarin is also covered in green vegetation that merges with the crystal-clear blue sea.

One of the traditional things is making jewellery from coral, as historically, coral was used as a thermometer for newborns turning white when their temperature is too high.

16- Prvić Island

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Prvic Island harbour in Sepurine, Sibenik archipelago of Croatia.

This small island is another cultural gem that belongs to the archipelago of my hometown, Šibenik.

It is the home of famous inventor Faust Vrančić, where they built the museum in his honour.

The island is car-free, which makes it very clean, peaceful and quiet.

It consists of two small villages, Prvić Luka and Šepurine.

The streets and houses are built in traditional stone, with green and blue windows that combine with the green vegetation and crystal clear sea to create a picture-perfect scene. You may like this full-day tour of Kornati National Park.

17- Šipan Island

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The fishing port in the village of Sudurad on Sipan Island, one of the Elaphiti Islands in Croatia.

Šipan is a small island 8.3 nautical miles from Dubrovnik.

It belongs to the Elafiti archipelago, along with Lopud and Koločep.

The island is perfect for a boat trip, where you can enjoy the beach and explore historical sites.

The old renaissance Skocibuha castle and the Pakljena Benedictine monastery complex with St. Mary Church are some things to see.

Also, you can go for a mild hike, walk or cycle from Šipansko Polje to Velji Vrh.

The route offers you a breathtaking view of the whole archipelago.

18- Biševo Island

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The otherworldly Blue Cave in Croatia.

On the southwestern side of the island of Vis, with only 20 inhabitants, this little natural oasis hides the most magical caves in the world.

One of the most famous is the Blue Cave.

Around midday, the light passes through the cave, reflects from the water, and makes this sparkling, blue magic like a fairytale.

Another cave is the Monk Seal Cave, which is 160 m long, making it the longest sea cave in the Adriatic Sea.

19- Čiovo Island

best islands to visit in croatia
Ciovo island’s Okrug Gornji village on the Trogir riviera in Dalmatia.

Have you ever heard of the squid fishing festival? On this island, it’s a traditional event happening every year.

Čiovo is one of the largest islands in the archipelago of Trogir and is divided into Okrug Donji and Okrug Gornji.

Okrug Donji is more mainstream, with all the resorts and things going on.

Okrug Gornji should be your choice if you want a more relaxing holiday.

Čiovo hides one of the most beautiful beaches and natural bays, such as Kava, which translates in Croatian to mean coffee.

This little peaceful, natural oasis is perfect for a relaxing beach day.

20- Kornati Island

croatia islands cruise
Kornati Islands national park is a stunning region in Croatia.

Kornati Islands consists of around 130 islands covered in rocks, cliffs, and low vegetation.

The islands are uninhabited, except for a couple of houses built as summer residences.

What is fascinating is how the natural process of erosion formed them.

One set of islands, called the Pucinski set, is rockier and dry where low vegetation grows.

While another, the Kornatski set, grow olive trees and vineyards.

Kornat is the biggest island and where you can visit café or local restaurants.

Since the Kornati is pure, untouched nature, the marine life is rich and stunning.

The sea is perfect for diving, snorkelling and swimming.

These islands are approachable only by boat, so it’s no wonder the sailing culture is so developed. Check out this boat tour.

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This is Marjana, but friends call her Mare. Like sea, wild, powerful and often unpredictable. She is a Croatian baby, born and raised on sunny coast of Šibenik. Her journey started 2018 in Spain when she decided to leave her first footprint outside of the comfort zone and never look back. All the amazing humans she met and life stories she heard immersing herself in different cultures left a mark on her. After graduation she moved to Belgium, got some new life stories and experiences, but pandemic decided to change her plans so few months later she landed a job in Malta. Now, two years later she is still sending postcards from sandy sunny beaches drinking cocktails and enjoying in island life. She is just one of the lucky ones who realised that life has something more to offer than staying in your comfort zone.