Islands for everyone in Croatia

It's true: with more than a thousand in every shape and size, Croatia is a dream for island life lovers, whether you're taking a day trip or hopping from one to another. Whatever takes your fancy, you'll find the ideal island in Croatia.

Islands for everyone in Croatia © Dario Bajurin - Fotolia.com
Islands for everyone in Croatia © Dario Bajurin - Fotolia.com

Islands for everyone in Croatia: five of the best

These Adriatic islands are astonishingly beautiful and exciting: the unspoilt nature, hip music festivals and clear turquoise sea mean any holiday you take in Croatia will be a memorable one. Read on to discover five of the best islands in Croatia for every interest.

Best for nature lovers: Cres

Cres is the second largest of Croatia's islands with a wild deciduous forest, pastures, and abandoned villages just begging to be explored.

Cycling to Valun on the island of Cres © Oana Bacanu - Flickr Creative Commons
Cycling to Valun on the island of Cres © Oana Bacanu - Flickr Creative Commons

Take a trip to the village of Beli, a beautifully rustic town in the northeast of Cres. Beli is home to the Caput Insulae Ecology Centre, a nature reserve that organises hikes on the Tramontana. The hikes vary in terms of what you see, but keep an eye out for the griffon vulture; it's Croatia's only native vulture and the only type that nests by the sea.

Best for adrenaline junkies: Brac

Brac is the largest island in Dalmatia, and is well known for its export of white marble stone - and Zlatni Rat beach, of course! This is the ultimate adventure holiday destination with oodles of free climbing, diving, caving, windsurfing and more, all in one place.

Blue sky, crystal clear water, Brac Island © Mark Heard - Flickr Creative Commons
Blue sky, crystal clear water, Brac Island © Mark Heard - Flickr Creative Commons

This island has its own airport, so getting there is easy and you can save all of your energy for the trekking and kitesurfing. Head to Sutivan for Vanka regule, the festival of extreme sports; try Supetar, the largest town on Brac with perfectly clear water for diving. If you really make the most of your time, plan a bike tour around the island and see all it has to offer. To wind down, take a catamaran around the island and relax on a pebbly beach in a hidden cove.

Best for peace and quiet: Lokrum

For the times when you want to get away from the crowds and excitement of Dubrovnik, take the 10 minute boat ride from the Old Town port to Lokrum. You won't find any honking cars or shouting locals here - no vehicles are allowed, and the only inhabitants are peacocks.

Ferry arriving at Lokrum © Jenni Douglas - Flickr Creative Commons
Ferry arriving at Lokrum © Jenni Douglas - Flickr Creative Commons

This peaceful island is great for a day trip filled with long walks, swimming and maybe even a visit to the Botanical Garden. If you want to go for a swim, head to the salt lake near the ancient Benedictine monastery to take a dip. It'll feel extra decadent if you're joined by a peacock on shore.

Best for hanging with the locals: Drvenik Mali

This island used to be known only to people on yachts who stopped to get off the beaten path, and locals who wanted to get away from tourists. Today, it's still perfect for a lazy day away from the main holidaymaker haunts.

Vela Rina is a beautiful bay for a swim. Bring food and anything else you may need for the day as you won't find many restaurants or amenities.

Best for the idyllic holiday: Vis

If you've ever wondered what the Mediterranean looked like before tourism, Vis is the place to go. As an army base for the former Yugoslavia it was relatively isolated, resulting in one of the most unspoilt islands in the Adriatic Sea.

Church and monastery of St Jerome, Vis © Paul Prescott - Fotolia.com
Church and monastery of St Jerome, Vis © Paul Prescott - Fotolia.com

It's a long ferry ride from Split but it's worth the trip. Wine lovers won't be disappointed; the lush vegetation and ideal weather makes it a great place for winemaking. Visits to wineries to learn more about Vugava (white wine grape) and Plavac (red wine) in Podspilje and Plisko are popular. Explore fishing villages, beaches and nature on this island which is aptly dubbed 'the Mediterranean as it once was'.

Fancy exploring Croatia's islands for yourself? Check out the latest deals from Balkan Holidays and Monarch, or for flights, car hire and more check out our full collection of travel offers. You can also find out about the climate and the best time to visit on Croatia's weather page.

Alyssa James

Alyssa James
Posted on Thursday 11th June 2015 in: Adventure Europe Excursions Nature Summer

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