Croatia is known for its islands; their natural beauties, beaches and an unique Mediterranean charm is what made the country such a popular tourist destination. And there are many of them – more than a thousand, actually – although less than a hundred are inhabited. It was a tough choice, but we bring you a list of Croatia’s most beautiful islands.
Hvar – As soon as you set foot on the island, you’ll realize Hvar is no superficial squeeze-the-money-out-of-tourists place at all; it’s an island of Venetian-like architecture – meaning you can explore various historical buildings (such as the theatre or the old fortifications), visit the 700 years old Arsenal (where the ships were repaired) and many art galleries, while it still offers modern tourist facilities for an active vacation. Some of these are biking, sailing, rock-climbing and the tours of the island’s interior, but the tour you absolutely got to do is the sea-kayaking trip to the nearby Pakleni archipelago. A visit the nearby island of Vis, known for its winemaking tradition, will also be worth your while.
Brac is the largest island in Dalmatia and the third largest in the Adriatic. The Mount of St. Vid on the island is 778 meters tall, making Brac the highest island in the Adriatic; the mountain is also a tourist attraction since it provides a look at the whole Riviera. The island has a population of around fifteen thousand people, living in dozen settlements, the main town being Supetar. It is a tourist center of southern Dalmatia; its Bol beach has been proclaimed one of the most beautiful beaches on the world by many organizations and magazines and the Renaissance culture still lives at the island as many churches, sculptures and chapels built centuries ago stand to this day. They’re made of the famous Brac stone – which was once exported to all of the Mediterranean for building purposes. An urban legend even states that the White House was built out of Brac stone. Apart from the classic sunbathing holiday, those who visit the island can also explore the so called Blaca desert (a UNESCO World Heritage List candidate) or the Dragon’s Cave, a famous speleological site.
Korcula – The alleged birthplace of the adventurer Marco Polo, Korcula was first settled by the Greeks in 12th century BC; due to the island’s olive groves and forests, the Greeks named it Korkrya Melaina (meaning „Black Korcula“). It’s a favorite naval destination as Korcula’s northern shore is filled with natural harbors, while the southern one has a plethora of hidden beaches and small coves. The main settlement, Korcula Town, is a place where traditional Dalmatian lifestyle is still strong; marble streets echo with folk songs and the winemaking tradition of Korcula is yet to be matched. Tourists who come to Korcula frequently visit the equally beautiful island of Lastovo, located south of Korcula; it’s a charming nature park, perfect for those who prefer a quiet, peaceful holiday.
Korcula. Courtesy of Silver Sail
Mljet – Often called Croatia’s greenest island, more than two thirds of Mljet’s surface holds the status of a national park. The park’s main attractions are the two salt lakes in the island’s interior and an interesting, unique ecosystem which has formed around them. The unspoiled nature made the island a popular hiking, swimming and climbing destination, plus, Mljet has one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia, the Saplunara.
Mljet. Source: TZO Mljet