Croatia’s islands are incredibly stunning. Their tranquil blue waters and verdant shores perfectly represent what a paradise should be. Offering relaxation, glamour, and memorable experiences, you can never go wrong with visiting one of these picturesque islands. Each island offers a unique charm, but some deliver the most breathtaking scenery, pristine nature, and historical gems that will take you back in time. Below, check out our list of the top 6 islands in Croatia you need to visit.
Mljet is home to Mljet National Park, a vast and beautiful park covering most of the entire northwest area of the island. It is home to tranquil saltwater lakes and offers fun outdoor activities, from hiking to cycling and cave exploring.
Located near the Peljesac peninsula, part of the southern section of Dalmatia, Mljet is known as the greenest island of Croatia, featuring a diverse range of Mediterranean vegetation, including lush pine forests, which cover an area of over 5,000 hectares.
The main attractions of Mljet are the two saltwater lakes, Veljko Jezero and Malo Jazero, which cover a vast land area of approximately 4 km. When exploring Mljet, you could also come across a small island, Sveta Marija, home to Crkva Sveta Marije, a former 12th Century Benedictine monastery.
As it’s in the southernmost part of Croatia, the best way to get to Mljet is to take a boat. You can also book a cruise, which includes a visit to Mljet, and usually departs from Dubrovnik.
Hvar is one of the most famous islands in Croatia, best known for its clear turquoise waters, scenic lavender fields, and vibrant nightlife scene. Those who love culture and history will also find plenty to discover in Hvar. Getting to Hvar should be easy, but the best option is to book one of those luxury private tours around Croatia, many of which will take you to explore Hvar Island.
Lying in central Dalmatia, off the coast of Makarska Riviera, and sandwiched between Brac, Vis, and Korcula, Hvar is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach holiday in Croatia.
The most popular towns in Hvar are Hvar Town, Stari Grad, and Vrboska. You’ll immediately notice the breathtaking nature as you arrive on the island. As you get around, you’ll discover its rich historical and cultural heritage through its beautiful palaces, churches, and fortresses.
Brac is renowned for the Zlatni Rat or the Golden Horn, Croatia’s most famous beach. But there’s more to discover in Brac other than the beautiful beach. It also has a rich history and stunning natural landscapes. If you’re looking for a place to unwind and swim at beautiful beaches while enjoying delicious food and wine, Brac is the best place to be.
Brac is home to Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the Adriatic Sea. Avid trekkers would come here to conquer the mountain. It’s not an easy feat, but the astonishing views of the Adriatic Sea and the nearby islands of Hvar and Vis will make the climb worth it.
One of the top attractions in Brac is the Blaca Hermitage or the Blaca Monastery, a well-preserved 16th-century hermitage perched on the cliffs of Vidova Gora and was one of the island’s largest religious centres.
Since Croatia is home to many islands, the best way to discover the country is on a cruise. There are many excellent Croatian cruises to book, with many that will take you to Korcula and other islands in Croatia. Korcula is a picturesque island with lush forests, verdant vineyards, and incredibly stunning beaches, offering the perfect setting to relax and unwind.
The most beautiful area of Korcula is the Old Town, which lies amongst a network of cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways. It will remind you of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, although the Korcula Old Town is smaller and is much easier to walk around.
As you explore Korcula, check out the St Mark’s Cathedral in the central square, and admire its beautiful facade featuring Gothic-Renaissance style. Around the corner, you’ll find the Town Museum, the best place to learn about the island’s rich history.
Another beautiful island in Croatia is Rab, which lies south of Kvarner Bay. Like all islands in Croatia, Rab also boasts paradisiacal beaches and numerous outdoor activities. Its historic old town is home to fascinating historical attractions, a testament to its over 2,000 years of history dating back to the Roman period. Some of the most important sites include the churches of St Ivan and St Justina and the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrije.
Check out the picturesque town square and grab a spot at one of the restaurants and cafes. The bustling town also hosts numerous events, especially during summer, with the most popular being the medieval summer festival called “Rabska Fjera”.
Another place to rest after a day of strolling around the island is Komrcar Park, the oldest and most beautiful park in Rab. It sits next to the Old Town and is also an ideal setting for scenic nature walks.
Located close to Zadar, the island of Pag is Croatia’s fifth largest island, about 60 km long. It’s renowned for its desert-like landscape and lush olive groves dating to over a thousand years. Pag is somewhat different to the other Croatian islands, which makes it an interesting place to visit.
The stunning, lunar-like landscape of Pag is its biggest draw. Free from vegetation, you will feel like you are on the moon as you set foot on the island. Meanwhile, the island’s other side is protected from harsh winds and covered in greens, including beautiful vineyards.
Aside from its unique landscape, another thing to discover in Pag is its rich history and tradition. One of the most significant historical sites on the island is the Talijanova buža, an original Roman aqueduct stretching for over a kilometre and once supplied the town with water. To explore the aqueduct’s mysterious passageways, you must get permission from the Novalja tourist office.