Destinations / Travel

A sojourn along the Dalmatian coastline: Here are 7 islands to visit in Croatia

islands in croatia

Float along the Adriatic. But forget Sail Croatia the aquatic Contiki. In our post-lockdown getaways, we're taking a different approach. It's all about treading lightly and disturbing little. A motion for gentle travel. And with little else but the European sun on our minds, a summer exploring the Dalmatian coastline is the perfect way to pop our isolation bubble.

Some of us have had Croatia on our travel list for some time, and with the Northern Hemisphere heating up, there's never been a more serendipitous moment to pack your bags and hop on a flight. But before you reach that point, planning is essential. That's why we're bringing you a list of seven islands in Croatia to visit. Whether it's an endless stretch of dance floor you seek or pebble beaches and cyan blue waters, these are the places that are sure to deliver.

And for those whose holidays are steered by their stomach, Croatia is laden with culinary delights. Suckle tender octopus. Pull apart the flesh of grilled fish and feast on salty prosciutto. Risotto is on the menu, as is spinach and legumes. Everything is drenched in bright green olive oil and tempered with crisp white wine. As for the rest? That's up to you to discover. Below, find 7 islands in Croatia to lap up this summer.



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You've no doubt heard of Hvar. Famous for its lavender fields, luxury hotels, restaurants and know-how for a good time, head here if you want island life with a city pace. Plus, it's always sunny in Hvar, with a guaranteed 2724 hours of sun a year making it the warmest spot in the country. And for those who prefer to bring the tempo down a notch, opt for the northern towns of Stari Grad and Jelsa over Hvar Town, where the locals like to take things slow.




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For a long time Vis was underpopulated, a result of both the fact that it served as a Yugoslav military base from the 1950s to 1989 and it is the furthest island from the mainland. Unintentionally, these two factors mean the island has avoided development and is much the same to visit as it would have been half a century ago. Spend your days swimming in the turquoise waters of old submarine tunnels which by accident have come to be used as stately pools. Some visit Vis purely to be in proximity to the ethereal Blue Cave. But for your own slice of paradise that doesn't involve clambering into a boat and jetting out to sea, head to Pritiscina or take the short hike to Stiniva, both picturesque bays tucked between two craggy cliff faces.




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Korčula is my personal favourite island, but I'm biased as my family hails from here. The birthplace of Marco Polo (although Venetians have a lot to say about that), this spot along the Dalmatian coast offers up a well-rounded island experience. Take a dip at Pupnatska Luka, Lumbarda and Prižba or wander through the smooth cobbled streets of Korčula town, maybe even picking up some traditional filigree and coral jewellery. Strap yourself in for the Moreška a folk dance involving swords and when you're ready to change the pace, venture into sleepy Blato for fluffy Kremšnita (vanilla slice) and jam-filled donuts known as Krafne. One more thing, try the wine—it's widely recognised as the best in the country.




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People make the trip to Brač for two reasons. If you consider yourself the worldly type, it's to set your eyes on Brač's famous bone-white stone. Adorning the Pope's altar in the Vatican, used to decorate the foyer of the United Nations in New York City and also rumoured to be partly used in building The Whitehouse in Washington DC, the material has an international reputation. As for the rest of you sunseeking holidaymakers, you're coming to this island for one thing and one thing only: Zlatni Rat. Just don't forget your reef shoes.




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Young, hot and looking for some fun? Introducing Pag. Drawing crowds for its nightlife alone, head to Novalja for a good time and Zrće Beach in the summer for an endless loop of parties. Framed by the ultramarine Adriatic, the landscape is barren and dramatic, and feels like something out of a Fellini film. And if none of that piques your interest, then get your mouth around Pag's famous hard cheese. Only hot girls can eat half a wheel.




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Bustling Krk is connected to the mainland by a bridge. And while that may not mean anything to you, it's a staggering piece of architecture that deserves a Google all on its own. What you'll soon discover is that Krk isn't taking home any awards for the prettiest or most secluded island, but it is snagging our attention due to its convenience. For those looking for an easy island escape, you've found it. Just know that it's accessibility makes it a hotspot for central European tourists come summertime, so expect crowds.


Dugi Otok


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Feeling intrepid? Dugi Otok sits among the northern islands off the coast of Croatia and is perfect for those longing to be humbled by nature. The biggest drawcard of this island is Telašćica National Park, where travellers flock to for its promise of scuba diving, trekking routes, climbing opportunities and cycling paths. It's green, it's lush and it's a great alternative energetic south.

Since you've made it this far, why not catch a ferry across the Adriatic to Bari and explore the beauty Puglia has to offer?

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