Croatia is a totally stunning country in Europe to explore. It’s the kind of place that’s filled with the most beautiful places in Croatia and historic cities, like that of Dubrovnik, that is stunning to visit. That being said, there are also a few other things that make Croatia so special; and that’s its islands. Honestly, there is a heap of the best islands in Croatia that are dotted all across the Adriatic Sea that is totally stunning.
Now, every time we’ve visited Croatia, we always try to get in a visit to at least a few of the islands; especially as they’re usually quite easy to visit from the bigger cities like Split, Dubrovnik or coastal towns, too.
It might seem that Croatia is a relatively small country in Europe, but don’t let that fool you. There are well over 1,000 of the best islands in Croatia that line the coast. Best of all, most are really easy to visit by ferry or smaller boats.
Anyway, without rambling on for me more, take a look at some of the best islands in Croatia to visit on your next trip. Have fun!
1.) Dugi Otok
Part of the Zadarian Islands, Dugi Otok is one of the largest and easily one of the best islands in Croatia to visit just off the Dalmatia coast.
Best of all, Dugi Otok is really easily reached by ferry from Zadar to Brbinj (that’s on Dugi Otok).
Once here, make sure to checkout Saharun beach (which is lovely) and some of the family-run vineyards on the island, too.
Also, make sure to head to the western coast of the island for its high cliffs and rugged coastlines and to the town of Sali for some delicious fresh seafood. It’s totally dramatic and such a stunner of a spot.
As it’s not too far, you can easily hop across here for a day trip and spend some time in the gorgeous and rustic countryside of the Croatian islands.
Now, with a journey taking around 35 minutes or so. Head to experience some of the best things to do on Solta like; exploring the vineyards and olive groves that are still owned and passed down through generations of island residents.
Plus, it’s one of the best islands in Croatia to rent a bicycle and explore the Solta’s many little towns.
3.) Veliki Brijun
The whole island of Veliki Brijun is made up of the Brijuni National Park that protects one of the best islands in Croatia.
Nowadays the island can be reached via Fazana by boat, with the journey taking a little over 15 minutes. This means it’s nice and easy to visit.
Now, you’re going to love Veliki Brijun if you want to explore some of Croatia’s pristine National Parks and unspoilt natural charm. It’s the perfect place to chill out in the countryside and see a totally unspoilt island.
4.) Sveti Klement
Sveti Klement is part of the Paklinski Islands chain that sits just south of the popular island of Hvar. This means it’s one of the best islands in Croatia to start your island-hopping.
Now, the best time to visit Sveti Klement (and the Paklinski Islands, in general) is in the summer months. This is when boat charters can be arranged to visit this stunning little island. You’ll have the best time.
Being one of the tiniest inhabited islands in the Adriatic Sea, Krapanj is pretty special.
Now, the island of Krapanj is only around 300-metres, or so, from the mainland of Croatia itself. This all means it’s connected really well by boat and is super easy to visit.
Head here for a day exploring Croatian island life. Once here, make sure to see the Monastery of the Holy Cross that dates back over 500-years. Also, check out the sponges, which the island is world-famous for. Krapanj is to sponges what Hollywood is to movies!
Arguably one of the most famous and best islands in Croatia, Galesnjak has become known as the lover’s island; for obvious reasons. Just look at its shape!
Although privately owned and perched in the Pasman Canal (in the Adriatic Sea) there are a few boats that offer charters to the island in summer. This is easiest from places like; Pašman or Zadar.
7.) Sveti Andrija
Nestled within the group of Elaphiti Islands, Sveti Andrija is one of the most dramatic and best islands in Croatia to see. You see, the high cliffs and dramatic landscape make this a perfect place to visit around sunrise or sunset as it’s totally stunning.
Not too far from Dubrovnik, it’s pretty easy to visit in the summer months when there are a heap of boats that offer charter services and regattas to explore a selection of the islands.
One of the largest and best islands in Croatia, Brac is a stunning place to explore when you visit; especially around the village of Splitska.
Many Croatians and visitors pop over here to enjoy its crystal-clear waters. Honestly, they’re so amazing for a dip in the heat of summer. Once here, make sure to visit the world-famous beach of Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) and explore Supetar Bay, too. They’re both stunning, though the former does attract big crowds.
Oh, also, Brac even holds claim to creating the stunning Diocletian’s Palace in Split. You see, much of the white stone used in the palace’s construction was transported from the island itself, many hundreds of years ago.
There are even rumours that the island’s white stone was used in the construction of The White House in the United States. Though, there’s still a debate on that one.
That being said, if its views you’re after, pop up to Vidova Gora for some of the best vistas across the Adriatic Sea.
Nestled in the northern corner of the Adriatic Sea, Cres is accessible by ferry via Rijeka and one of the best islands in Croatia to explore when in the north of the country.
Being one of the larger islands in Croatia, Cres is the perfect place to spend a few days exploring the culture and charm of island life.
In the heat of summer, head toward Lake Vrana or its many sandy beaches that line the island. It’s totally picturesque and a really relaxing spot. Oh, and don’t forget to spend some time rambling the cobbled streets of Cres Town, too. It’s totally stunning, especially with its Venetian Tower and the Municipal Loggia, too.
You might even spot a few (Eurasian Griffon) vultures if you head to the north of the island, too.
Both an island and a town, Hvar is a beautiful place to explore some of Croatia’s history and charming heritage.
Head to Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Grace and to the old town of Hvar for a taste of southern Croatian cuisine where you can sit back with a glass of wine, freshly grilled sardines and succulent olives.
Plus, one of the best beaches on the island is at Dubovica, which is totally lovely on a sunny day.
Finally, from Hvar Town, you can hop on a boat tour over to the Pakleni Islands, too. It’s totally easy and a great way to spend a day at sea.
Being one of the largest islands in Croatia, Korcula is a totally gorgeous spot to visit.
Now, the island of Korcula is actually around 20-miles long, with loads of beautiful coves and bays to explore.
Obviously, you can explore Korcula by chartering a boat but it’s well worth spending some time on the island on foot, too.
Once here, make sure to check out Korcula Town with its beautiful squares and cobbled street. It feels a lot like Dubrovnik, just on a smaller scale.
Afterwards, take a small boat over to Proizd island, too.
There aren’t any large-scale towns here but it’s perfect for a lazy day on the shorefront.
Around 15-km north of Dubrovnik, you can actually board a ferry from near Prapratno to head over to Mijet itself. It’s honestly one of the best islands in Croatia to visit if you have a car, especially as there’s quite a distance to cover.
Once here, make sure to explore the Odisejeva špilja caves, explore Mljet National Park and visit Marijina Konoba for a tasty Croatian lunch overlooking the island of Otok Planjak.
About an hours drive from the city of Split, the old island of Primosten is nowadays connected to mainland Croatia. You see, up until the 16th Century, it was totally cut off by the sea and officially an island. Though, over time, a small land elevation was created for ease of passage to this historic island.
Nowadays, Primosten is as totally gorgeous as ever and still one of the best islands in Croatia (even if it has been attached to the mainland for years). Take some time to wander the old streets and see the historic churches that call this area home.
It really is beautiful and a perfect afternoon stops on a wider trip around the best places in Croatia.