Croatia's coastline is a thing of beauty.
It's dotted with over a thousand islands spread across the beautiful Adriatic coast, featuring crystal clear waters and verdant shores that paint a picture of what a paradise should be. Some are uninhabited and feature rugged and pristine landscapes, while others have picturesque towns and villages and are home to ancient castles and lovely ports. With more than a thousand islands to choose from, you might need some tips on which island to visit. So, here are some of the must-visit islands in Croatia.
- Korcula Island
Korcula is one of Croatia's most fabulous islands. It's brimming with natural beauty and is home to impressive, secluded beaches, spectacular wine culture, a stunning old town, and unique dining specialities. While most visitors would come to Korcula as a day trip from nearby islands like Dubrovnik, it's worth staying here for several days, as the island offers many incredible things to explore.
While you will probably spend most of your time in Korcula lounging at the beach, you should spend some time exploring the Old Town. It's a fun place to wander around, with beautiful stone walls and picturesque cobblestone streets that will take you back to the olden days. Marco Polo, the legendary traveller, explorer, and writer, was born on the island, and you'll find his house near the old town, which is now a museum. Visit St. Mark's Cathedral, a 15th-century Roman Catholic cathedral, which houses the sarcophagus of St. Theodore, the protector of Korčula.
When it's time to relax at the beach, head to the Borak area, where you'll find some of the island's beautiful beaches, such as Zakrjan Beach. If you prefer somewhere quiet, check out Lenga Beach in Lumbard. Another beach worth a visit in Korcula is Ražnjić Beach, which lies on the eastern part of the island, and is ideal for snorkelling.
- Mljet Island
If you're looking to visit an island that is not as touristy as the more popular islands of Croatia, head to Mljet. It's a gorgeous island with a laidback appeal and has many secluded beaches, perfect for relaxing. But if you're here to explore, you can visit ancient caves, natural wetlands, ancient monasteries, and untouched nature.
The best way to explore Mljet's stunning natural beauty is to cycle around the island. Rent a bike and head to Mljet National Park, a designated national park established in 1960. Covering 5,300 hectares of land, it boasts lush pine woods, flooded bays, scenic lakes, and fascinating flora and fauna. For diving enthusiasts, Mljet is your paradise. It has clean waters, with an actual coral reef that's a must-see for divers visiting the country.
The Odysseus Cave is one of those natural attractions you should not miss while in Mljet. It's a large, egg-shaped cave with spectacular rock formations inside. Getting to the cave requires swimming through a 20-metre tunnel, which is an adventure in itself! It's also possible to sail on a small boat through the tunnel to get to the cave.
- Hvar Island
Hvar is one of those islands you should visit while in Croatia. While it's famous for its nightlife, there are many other fun activities on this marvellous island other than partying. You can lounge by the beach, explore the island on a scooter, or wander around the Old Town.
If you want to spend most of your time at the beach, you'll find many fantastic beaches in Hvar. Some are within walking distance from the Old Town, while others are in a remote and secluded location. The best beaches to see in Hvar are Milna and Dubovica beaches. If you have plenty of time to explore, wander around the Old Town and get lost in its beautiful cobblestone streets. Head to St. Stephen's Square, where you'll find many great cafes to enjoy coffee as you people-watch.
One of the best ways to explore Hvar and its surrounding islands is to take a luxury cruise in Croatia, this way you get to see the best spots in one trip. Going on a cruise is a more convenient way to see many places in one trip while indulging in some comforts and luxuries.
- Brac Island
Brac is a stunning island with an excellent mix of culture, nature, and beaches. It exudes a local feel, where you can experience a much more authentic Croatian culture. The island also holds a reputation for having the country's best wines. But what makes Brac famous is the Zlatni Rat beach, also known as the Golden Horn Beach, which features a distinctive triangular shape.
Bol is a famous town on Brac and a jumping-off point for those heading to the world-renowned Zlatni Rat beach. But there are also many incredible things to see in Bol, such as the old Dominican monastery. Enjoy a scenic stroll along the waterfront and sit at the edge of the stone walkway to admire the luxury yachts cruising along the ocean. If you love wine, you should visit Stina winery, which has a showroom where you can purchase wine to take home.
If you are fond of hiking, go on a little journey towards the Blaca Hermitage and explore a 16th-century monastery. It's where monks sought solitude after fleeing the Turks. They built a monastery around the cave, which is isolated, and you can only access it on foot.
- Pag Island
Pag is one of the largest islands in Croatia, famous for its magical sunsets, glistening waters, and stunning rocky landscapes, making it a must-island to visit. A magnet for explorers and adventure-seekers, Pag offers many fun activities.
For those who love exploring nature, visit the Olive Gardens of Lun, a 24-hectare garden with 15,000 wild olive trees interspersed among other trees. Simuni Beach is a must-visit if you're looking to swim or relax at a secluded beach far from the tourist crowd.
The village of Pag is also famous for its lace-making industry, and it's worth paying a visit to the lace museum, where you'll learn more about the industry and see the finest examples of this handicraft.