Top 7 most beautiful Croatian islands

Croatian Islands Guide 2022

Islands of Croatia: the largest, most secluded, youth, romantic and islands for family holidays. Rating of the largest islands in Croatia. Guide to the islands: where to live, what to see, when to rest.

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Top 10 largest islands in Croatia

What is the secret of island romance? And what are the largest islands in the waters of the Croatian Adriatic? We offer you the top 10 in order of size:

Island of Krk. The leader of the ranking of the largest islands of Croatia is probably the island of Krk. Why probably? Because of the rugged coastlines, it is difficult to determine which island is larger in area, Krk or Cres. For the two differently shaped islands, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics cites the same area value of 405.78 square meters. Other sources indicate that Krk is still larger and covers an area of 408 square kilometers. Krk is connected to the mainland of Croatia by a bridge, which takes you to Rijeka. There are several resorts with sandy and pebbly beaches, the most famous of which is Baska. There is a cradle of Croatian script – Basčanska slab with the first surviving Croatian text in Glagolitic script.

Island of Krk - the largest of the islands of Croatia

Islands of Croatia – Krk

Island Cres. At 2nd place is the island of Cres. Its northern part is the coldest in the archipelago: in the winter it snows, which is unusual for the Adriatic islands. There is a freshwater Vrancea Lake on the island, the water level of which is above sea level. Tourists enter the old town of Cres through a triple gate. In the town there are many museums with archaeological exhibits, there are Franciscan and Benedictine monasteries. Nearby is the island of Lošinj, which once formed a unit with Cres, until it was separated by an artificial canal. Currently, the islands are connected by a bridge.

Largest islands of Croatia: Cres

The largest islands in Croatia: Cres

Island Brac. Third place is the southern island of Brac, located opposite Split. Brac is connected to Split by ferry, the journey to the island takes about an hour. One of the most beautiful beaches on Brac is called “Zlatni Rat”, which translates as “golden cape”. Its uniqueness is that under the influence of the wind and waves, it is constantly changing shape. On the island is the highest peak – 778 meters Vidovaya mountain. Since ancient times, the island mined white marble stone, which served as a lining of the American White House and the Diocletian’s Palace in Split.

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Islands of Croatia: Brač

Islands of Croatia: Brac

Hvar Island. In 4th place is the southern island of Hvar. It was inhabited long ago by the Greeks who founded their colony of Faros here, the name of which was later transformed into the name of the island. On Hvar you can still see the Greek walls. But the real ornament of the island is the castle with turrets on the hill which rises above the town. The old town on the island of Hvar is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Largest islands in Croatia: Hvar

The largest islands in Croatia: Hvar

The island of Pag. In 5th place is the island of Pag in the northern Adriatic. Pag is next to the Croatian coast and is connected by a bridge to the mainland, which does not make you feel drastically isolated or lonely. From the Croatian capital of Zagreb, Pag can be reached by car in just three hours, which attracts many Croatian capitalists to have villas on the island. Pag is famous for discos and bars, as well as lace and unusual cheese. Sheep, from the milk of which the inhabitants of Pag produce cheese, feed on brackish grass that grows only on Pag.

Popular islands of Croatia: Pag

Popular islands of Croatia: Pag

Korcula Island. Sixth place is occupied by the southern island of Korcula. Korcula means “black” in Greek. As one of the most famous Croatian islands, Korcula with its ancient town of the same name attracts many tourists. Visitors to the town pass through a fortress tower guarded by two monuments erected in honor of Croatian princes. In the old town there are many palaces, museums and churches, which are monuments of architecture, as well as the house where the traveler Marco Polo was born.

Croatian Islands: Korcula

Islands of Croatia: Korcula

Dugi otok. In 7th place is an elongated island called Dugi otok. The name is translated from Croatian as “long island”. At Dugi otok there is a nature reserve Telašćica, where you can observe a herd of wild moufflons. Another attraction is the salt lake Mir, the muds of which have healing properties. The western coast of this Croatian island is known for its picturesque steep cliffs. One of the attractions is a lighthouse Veli Rat above 40 meters in the north of the island.

Croatian Islands: Dugi otok

Islands of Croatia: Dugi otok

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The island of Mljet. The southern island of Mljet, famous for the fact that it is home to mongooses, which were brought in the Middle Ages in the fight against poisonous snakes. The snakes were unsuccessful in this war and have disappeared from the island completely, but the mongooses have multiplied and are a living attraction of Mljet. Of natural treasures are two salt water lakes, one of which is a small island with a Benedictine monastery, built back in the XII century. Mljet is an ideal place for lovers of pristine nature and walks through pine forests.

Largest islands of Croatia: Mljet

The largest islands in Croatia: Mljet

Rab Island. The 9th place is occupied by an island in the northern Adriatic – Rab. The city of the same name is located on a spit reaching the sea, near which there is a bay with a pier and many yachts. At one time the island was visited by the British King Edward VII, who later abdicated in order to be able to marry his beloved. Legend has it that Edward VII bathed in the Adriatic Sea without clothes, thus laying the foundation of the nudist beaches on Rab.

Most beautiful islands of Croatia: Rab

The most beautiful islands of Croatia: Rab

Vir Island. In 10th place is the island of Vir, which is the most remote from the mainland among the inhabited islands of Croatia. In the 4th century BC the Greeks built there the first colony in the Adriatic Sea. For a long time Vir was a closed place where foreigners were not allowed because of the location of the secret naval base of Yugoslavia. Under Mount Huma there is a cave where Josip Tito’s headquarters were located during World War II. Vir can be reached by ferry from Split, where the international airport is located.

Croatia Islands: Vir

Croatian Islands: Vir

Croatian Islands: travel guide

According to the 2011 census, there are 1,185 islands in Croatia, and only a few of them are inhabited. According to various sources, more than one hundred and twenty thousand people live on the islands. And the number of islanders is constantly growing. Residents of Croatia are buying property and moving to the islands in search of privacy and tranquility. This trend is not absolutely new to the country and has deep historical roots.

Settlement of the islands took place over the centuries, which was due to constant external threats (pirates, disease, the Turks). In today’s world, the situation has changed somewhat, and the moves are caused by fatigue from city life.

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The uniqueness of the islands

Each island of Croatia is a unique and picturesque nature, among which are scattered monuments of ancient and medieval civilizations. In addition, the islands have many beaches, which can rightly be considered wild and unspoiled.

Croatia Islands

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For the most part, they are pebbly rather than sandy. At the same time, the pebbles are considered unique – they are white in color, which is characteristic of the Adriatic Sea coastline.

Among all the Croatian islands of interest are the following – Krk, Mleet, Pag, Solta, Briuni, Hvar, Brac, Korcula. The last two are considered major tourist centers, with strong infrastructure, entertainment industry and monuments of historical and cultural heritage of the country. In addition, these are some of the most populated islands with a lively connection to the mainland.

The Brijuni Islands are represented by a complex of fourteen islands. For a long time, the largest Briuni was the residence of J. Broz Tito, who contributed to the creation of the zoo here. Tito also put a lot of effort into restoring the buildings of the ancient Romans.

In the early 1990s, Brijuni became famous because a declaration was signed here to prevent the collapse of the Yugoslav federation.

The greenery and beaches of the Croatian islands

Among the greenest islands, the island of Krk is the leader. It is also called the “golden” because of the considerable accumulation of architectural monuments in a small area. Among them are ancient churches, Roman baths with unique mosaics, pictures, painted by the Venetians. At the same time on the island there are many resorts, attracting tourists (Punat, Baska, Vrbnik).

The kingdom of sandy beaches, stretching for more than twenty kilometers, can be found on the island of Pag. Because of the rather strong winds, called bora, the island is almost devoid of large vegetation. Pag is a famous center from where cheese, salt and lace are supplied to all of Croatia.


The islands of Mljet and Šolta are open-air museums with traces of Roman presence. The Mljet Republic was once a serious rival to Dubrovnik and Venice. The Romans built here on a large scale, as evidenced by the remains of the palace, the basilica and the Franciscan monastery. More than seventy percent of Mljet is covered with forests, and in the middle of the island there are two lakes.

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Sholta, like Mljet, bears traces of Roman presence. Most of the monuments date back to the time of Emperor Diocletian.

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Croatia has hundreds of inhabited and uninhabited islands, and they are all very different. Preserved islands with forests and salt lakes or large islands with sandy beaches and noisy parties, there is a holiday for every age and interest.

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The old town on the island of Korcula is a copy of Dubrovnik, only without the crowds of tourists. In the center of the Adriatic, across from Bari in Italy, is the small fishing island of Vis. Fishermen from Vis provide tuna, sea bass, and octopus to the major cities of Croatia. On Hvar, there are remnants of Venetian architecture, as well as clubs and parties, and on Brijuni there is a zoo and the villa of Josip Broz Tito. And this is just a small part of the interesting places.

Why go to the islands of Croatia?

The main advantage of Croatian islands is a smaller flow of tourists compared to the coast and the main cities and resorts – Split, Makarska and Dubrovnik. So it’s easy to find a wild beach with clear water and often no people at all. And this is even in high season. The season on the islands begins in mid-June and lasts until October. The best time of the year is September. The Adriatic islands are for those who love rocky beaches, deep, cool sea, a minimum of civilization and simple Balkan food. You can get to the islands by ferry and catamaran. Ferries are more pleasant – you can sit on the open deck, drink excellent Italian coffee, read, look at sailing boats, ferries and islands passing by. It’s no longer a transport, but the beginning of a journey. Catamarans are faster, they have a flexible schedule, but they are small ships without open decks on hydrofoils, similar to our missiles. They also rock a lot, even in calm water. – timetable and tickets for ferries – timetable and tickets for catamarans and ferries

Tip: If you see small boats and signs on them with the names of islands and beaches, feel free to take a swim. In Croatia, almost every small town on the islands has developed water transport – shuttle buses to beautiful beaches, which on foot or by car are difficult or impossible to reach. You must bargain.

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How to get there?

A trip to the islands of the Croatian Dalmatia region is better to start from Split or Dubrovnik. These are great transport hubs with an airport, seaport and bus stations. Plan your route in advance and buy tickets for ferries or catamarans (sites). There are also convenient connections between the islands, but schedules vary depending on the day of the week and the season. Some islands can only be reached once a day. Book an apartment, not a hotel – in Croatia is very developed private sector, but most hotels are typical concrete boxes from the Yugoslavian past. In Istria (islands are technically a part of Primorsko-Goranskaya zhupaniya) you can get to Krk island by car – it is connected to the mainland by the bridge, and to Cres – by ferry from Rijeka or from the same island Krk.

Most flights from Moscow arrive in Split in the afternoon, so check the ferry schedule to catch the ferry from the plane, or stay overnight in Split. It takes about an hour to get from the airport into town, and a bus will take you right to the ferry pier. If you have time before the ferry, drop your stuff in the luggage room and head to Old Town – seven minutes along the promenade. Grab a coffee on the steps of Diocletian’s Roman palace, climb the tower there, and reach the all-Italian square (the red arches). From Split port leave huge Mediterranean liners, cargo ships to Italy and many ferries that take tourists and locals to dozens of islands.

Brac is the closest green and hilly island to the mainland. Many people have villas there – it gives a homely look and sets a leisurely rhythm. If you’re looking for a quiet holiday in the countryside, this is the place. Small bays, in which a dozen houses, church, store with rustic bread, if you are lucky – a cafe. There are no equipped beaches, but you do not need them – smooth, warm rocks under the trees right by the water is much nicer. With the exception of rare sandy beaches, the coast is rocky. Brac is famous for its sandy beach Bol, where windsurfing is done. But after it entered the rating of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, it is crowded.

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