Croatia is a favourite destinations for Brits during summer and that's no surprise as the small Mediterranean country features outstanding natural wonders, picturesque coastal towns and the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Known as the country of 1,000 islands, Croatia has 1,244 islands to be exact and the majority of them are not well-known at all. Most tourists flock to the most popular islands like Brac and Hvar, but there's so much more to be explored!
Rugged, verdant or deserted: there are so many to choose from
Croatia's coast is dotted with all kinds of islands, all varying in size and scenery. From the small and rugged to those boasting glamorous resorts and age-old historic towns, you would need weeks to explore them all. If you need some holiday inspiration for the upcoming summer, read on and discover 10 hidden islands in Croatia, tailor-made for your next vacation! - © Ivan Kuznetsov/123RF
Located in the
Kvarner region on the northern coast of Croatia, the island of Rab is a true gem blessed with the most spectacular beaches. With more than 30 sandy beaches and crystal-clear sea, the island feels like heaven on Earth for people of all ages. And if the miles-long dreamy beaches aren't enough, the old town of Rab is steeped in rich history, dating back to 360 BC. After sunbathing all day, explore the town's old churches, narrow streets and medieval alleys. - © jansucko/123RF
The greenest island in Croatia is the ideal destination for all nature lovers. Unspoiled natural beauty and a laid-back atmosphere are all over this huge island, one of the biggest in the country. The majority of the island's surface is covered with forest, and the northwestern part is protected as a
national park. With untouched nature, blissful beaches and cycling trails, everything on this island is about pure nature, tranquility and privacy. If you're looking for a place to unwind and escape the crowds, add Mljet to your travel bucket list! - © dbajurin/123RF
Cres is the largest island in Croatia, but one of the least developed despite its spectacular nature and diverse landscapes. It's the island of contrasts, with lush forests on one side and craggy, dramatic cliffs on the other. It's a real hidden gem as it's sparsely populated compared to other islands of its size. Boasting ancient villages, hidden caves, unspoiled beaches, and camping sites, it's a place you'll probably want to return to as it will steal your heart at first sight. - © Nicolas De Corte/123rf
Located just a 10-minute boat ride from famed Dubrovnik, Lokrum feels like a hidden oasis compared to the crowded city. An ideal day-long escape from the hordes of tourists, Lokrum is bound to amaze everyone. It's renowned for its lush greenery, free-range peacocks, rich history and interesting legends. Nature lovers will find the island's verdant vegetation and botanical gardens irresistable, as it's been declared a special forest and nature reserve.
History buffs shouldn't miss an opportunity to explore the old monasteries and churches spread around the island, telling some of its most fascinating stories and mysterious legends. As Lokrum was also one of the Game of Thrones filming locations, all fantasy fans should visit the life-sized Iron Throne located in Lokrum's Benedictine Monastery. - © Roman Sigaev/123RF
One of the 300 islands in the Zadar archipelago, Vir is small in size but doesn't lack impressive sights. Still largely unknown to foreign tourists, locals keep this island as their little secret. Blessed with sand and pebble beaches, but also with hidden coves and small bays, it's a great destination for a family holiday and to recharge your batteries. As it's connected to mainland by a bridge, it's easy to reach and a good location for exploring the Zadar region, which is full of numerous attractions. - © xbrchx/123RF
Susak is locally known as the island of sand because it's completely made of sand and is the only one of its kind in the Adriatic. The island is small and relatively far away from the mainland, so it's mostly popular just as a spot for boats. Fine sand and shallow blue sea as far as the eye can see are the major draws for visitors, most of whom gladly return. The island feels almost like a synonym for unspoiled beauty as it's almost uninhabited, and there are neither cars nor roads. - © Dario Kletecki/123RF
This lovely island is a popular getaway for locals living in Split as it's the closest island to the famous Dalmatian city. It's a great destination for a fun day trip from busy Split or a stress-free holiday. The small island is famous for its charming little villages with old stone houses, still retaining their authentic charm. It's a popular destination for boating enthusiasts who enjoy its hidden coves, splendid beaches and scenic nature. - © dziewul/123RF
Lastovo is arguably Croatia's most remote and uninhabited island. It's so magical that it's both a blessing and a curse that it still hasn't had its moment in the spotlight. The island is almost bereft of tourists, with just some locals visiting during peak season, which means it's peaceful and tranquil almost all summer. The reason it's not that popular may be because it only has one hotel, and it's a bit far away from mainland (three hours by a ferry boat). Its natural treasures make it a true paradise for all those keen on total relaxation and pristine nature. Almost 70% of the island is covered in forest so it's no surprise it has been also recognized as a nature park.
Lastovo is ideal for all those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and have a moment to themselves in a peaceful, natural paradise. Whether you come here with family, your significant other or spend an active holiday all by yourself, we're sure you'll enjoy this hidden gem! - © bumbledee/123RF
9. Dugi Otok
Literally translating to Long Island, the 28-mile-long Dugi Otok is unsurprisingly one of the longest islands in Croatia. The biggest highlight of the island is its diverse landscape that includes a nature park, sharp cliffs, miles-long beaches and a stunning lighthouse. Here you can find one of the best beaches in the country, Sakarun Beach, beloved for its turquoise waters and white sand. Also, don't miss touring the highest lighthouse at Veli Rat and the picturesque villages around the island. Party animals will probably get bored here, but if you enjoy uninterrupted nature, minimal crowds and good old peace and quiet this is the spot for you. - © xbrchx/123RF
Only a short sail away from Zadar, the island of Ugljan is a great place for an idyllic holiday. It's the perfect spot to try some of the best olive oil in Croatia since the island is known for its long tradition of olive oil production. Also known for its lush greenery, 200,000 olive trees, and picturesque fishing villages, Ugljan feels like a quiet paradise. To make your trip complete, try the delicious local fish specialties and enjoy fresh seafood in family-run taverns. - © xbrchx/123RF
Situated in the Sibenik archipelago, Zlarin is an undiscovered Adriatic pearl. Known for coral-diving and handmade coral jewelry, Zlarin boasts rich history as well as attractive landscapes and beaches. It's one of a few Adriatic islands that has a ban on motor vehicles, making it even more special and idyllic. Zlarin's also locally known by names such as golden, green and coral island, so you can imagine how many beautiful things it has too offer. On the island there is a coral factory, still producing handmade jewelry, so don't forget to bring home an authentic souvenir! - © xbrchx/123RF
Easily reached from Dubrovnik, Lopud is another true Adriatic jewel. As the biggest and most developed of the three Elaphiti Islands, Lopud is a popular tourist destination, but still doesn't attract enormous crowds. The biggest draw for visitors is its sandy beaches that are not so common for Croatia, especially Sunj Beach. Perfect for a relaxing day in the sun, for getting that dreamy tan as well as for an active holiday, Lopud and the rest of Elaphiti Islands are a great destination for a day trip from Dubrovnik. - © Ran Dembo/123RF
This island might be an attractive tourist destination, but there are still some hidden parts that can offer peace and quiet. Krk is Croatia's second-largest island situated in the Kvarner Bay and it's connected to mainland by a motor bridge. There are a few towns and villages dotted around the island and the most famous are the resort town of Baska rand the town of Krk. Wine lovers will enjoy the hilltop town of Vrbnik, famous for its vineyards and the local white wine called Zlahtina. Excellent food, thousand-year-old cities and churches, vibrant nightlife, tranquil beaches and so much more wait for you here! - © xbrchx/123RF
14. Brijuni Islands
The Brijuni are a group of 14 islands in the northern part of the Adriatic, near the Istrian peninsula. Veli Brijun Island is the most popular and the biggest, most famous as a Croatian national park and for its scenic beauty. The islands have been inhabited since ancient Roman times so there are plenty of archeological sites around the islands.
The Yugoslavian leader, Josip Broz Tito, used to spend holidays here along with famous politicians and tycoons who were his guests on the island. Thanks to this, there are numerous luxurious villas around the island, still in use by the Croatian government. With a safari park, one of the oldest olive trees in the Mediterranean, dinosaur footprints, green parks and ancient ruins, the Brijuni Islands boast a multitude of attractions. - © susyshoot/123RF
With no cars or motorbikes on this island, an atmosphere of complete relaxation is almost guaranteed. Featuring plenty of small beaches and bays with the clear, unpolluted water of the Adriatic, Silba is one of Croatia's best-kept secrets. With no big hotels or resorts, only private accommodation is offered on the island so it's no surprise that foreign tourists are a rare sight here. If you want to have a glimpse of authentic Croatia and experience a Robinson Crusoe-like adventure, Silba is the place to visit! - © Jure Gasparic/123RF
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