Which islands to visit in Croatia? 10 archipelago wonders to discover

Quelles îles visiter en Croatie ?

Not sure which islands to visit in Croatia? We reveal the treasures of the Croatian archipelago.

Croatia is famous for its island paradises, which offer an incredible diversity of landscapes, beaches and activities. So, which islands should you visit in Croatia? We’ve selected Croatia’s most remarkable and popular islands to help you plan your island break. From white sandy beaches to secluded coves, picturesque villages to historic sites, you’ll discover the distinctive features of each island and the treasures they hold. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff or simply looking to relax, there’s sure to be a Croatian island that’s just right for you.

Hvar, for those who love lazing around

Plage de Dubovica  sur l'île de Hvar en Croatie

Shutterstock – Plam Petrov

Nicknamed the Croatian Saint-Tropez, theisland of Hvar is renowned for its rich historical and artistic heritage. Stroll through the old town or Stari Grad, Croatia’s oldest city, and discover architectural treasures and narrow streets. The Tvrdalj summer palace of the famous Croatian Renaissance poet Petar Hektorović, with its mule-filled pond and dovecote, is a real gem.

Hvar is not just about history, but also about crystal-clear bays and lavender fields as far as the eye can see. Soak up the sun on the beaches of Mekićevica, Jagodna, Dubovica, Mala Stiniva or Zaraće. Wine lovers will be delighted with the famous Plavac Mali,one of Croatia’s finest wines. And if you’re lucky enough to visit Hvar in June, take in the lavender festival in the village of Veli Grablje.

Mljet, for nature lovers

Île de Mljet en Croatie

Shutterstock – Opis Zagreb

During your stay in Croatia, be sure to visit the island of Mljet, one of the largest in South Dalmatia. The western part of this paradise is classified as a Croatian National Park. You’ll be amazed by its lush vegetation and woods stretching right down to the sea, offering an incredible spectacle. Mljet is also renowned for its rich and varied wildlife, promising a unique experience for wildlife enthusiasts.

The island is famous for its saltwater lakes, small coves and pine forests, which also invite you to enjoy some wonderful walks. Accessible from Korčula, Hvar, Split and Dubrovnik, Mljet offers a multitude of exciting activities. Explore the waters of the Grotto of the Odyssey, where legend has it Odysseus stayed, or climb up to the Montokuc lookout to admire a 360° panorama of the island. Treat yourself to a break on the magnificent sandy beach of Saplunara, on the island’s south-east side.

Korcula, for old stone enthusiasts

Île de Korcula en Croatie

Shutterstock – Fogcatcher

The island of Korčula, located between Central and South Dalmatia, will immerse you in a medieval atmosphere. Stroll through the fishbone-like streets and admire the magnificent Gothic-Renaissance buildings dotting the town. Did you know that Korčula is supposed to be Marco Polo’s birthplace? You can immerse yourself in history by visiting his house, a veritable window on the legendary traveler’s expeditions.

In addition to its rich historical and cultural heritage, Korčula is also famous for its centuries-old tradition of sword-fighting dances, the Moreška. Let yourself be transported into the island’s medieval atmosphere by attending these unique performances. Are you a gourmet? Try the delicious Žrnovski Makaruni, homemade macaroni, accompanied by a glass of local wine. Accessible from cities such as Split, Hvar, Lastovo, Dubrovnik and Mljet, Korčula is the ideal place for travelers in search of history, culture and a change of scenery.

Lošinj, for ecotourism enthusiasts

Île de Lošinj en Croatie

Shutterstock – Creative Travel Projects

In the Bay of Kvarner, the island of Lošinj is a true paradise for ecotourism enthusiasts. Known as the « Island of Vitality », Lošinj is famous for its mild climate and invigorating sea air. Since 1892, Mali and Veli Lošinj have been recognized as climatic resorts, offering the ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. On this unspoilt island, enjoy over 2,600 hours of sunshine a year and swim in crystal-clear waters. You can explore an incredibly rich natural environment, far from mass tourism, and discover charming little ports and picturesque villages.

An experience not to be missed? An encounter with the dolphin colony thanks to Blue World. You can also treat yourself to an aromatherapy treatment using local plants and essences renowned for their therapeutic virtues. Take advantage of the wild coves for a leisurely swim and, if you’re lucky, you may even come across some turtles. Finally, a stroll through Mali Lošinj will allow you to discover the Apoxyomene Museum and its collection of ancient sculptures recovered from the sea.

Kornati Islands, for seasoned adventurers

Archipel des îles Kornati en Croatie

Shutterstock – Xbrchx

Which islands to visit in Croatia? Here are not just one, but 147! The Kornati Islands are an archipelago of 147 desert islets, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, offering surreal, rocky landscapes. It’s Croatia’s most unusual national park. The inhabitants of these islands have preserved their special bond with nature, leaving the ecosystem of rare beauty intact. Although there are no hotels, electricity or wi-fi, you can still enjoy the restaurants and authentic dwellings on the islands. There’s even a regular grocery boat to take you around the islands.

Rent a charming fisherman’s hut to fully immerse yourself in this natural setting, explore the Telašćica nature park and admire the sheer cliffs and lush vegetation. The archipelago’s seabed is a treasure trove to be discovered during scuba diving or snorkeling. You may even catch a glimpse of dolphins in these crystal-clear waters. On the island of Mana, admire the famous cliffs sculpted by the wind and waves, which bear a striking resemblance to Poseidon.

Brač, for water sports fans

Île de Brač en Croatie

Shutterstock – Ilija Kordic – 3k Cinema

Zlatni Rat beach, nicknamed the « Golden Horn » on the island of Brač , is consideredone of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Its fine sand and crystal-clear waters invite you to relax and swim. What’s more, Brač is a true paradise for water sports enthusiasts. You can go windsurfing or surfing on Zlatni Rat beach in Bol.

Discover the island’s typical landscapes, with charming little ports, vineyards, olive gro ves and stone chapels. Visit the Grotte du Dragon, where Glagolitic monks lived in the 15th century. You’ll be enchanted by the sculpted decorations depicting unusual characters, dragons and mythological beings.

Pag, for inveterate party-goers

Île de Pag en Croatie

Shutterstock – Ilija Ascic

Located north of Zadar, Pag is Croatia’s 5th largest island, stretching 60 km in length. It offers a two-faceted experience. To the south, it’s the perfect place to party with its nightclubs, lively cafés and festivals; while to the north, grandiose, lunar landscapes will leave you dreaming. Pag is also renowned for its local gastronomy and unique products, such as the famous sheep’s milk cheese and Paški sir. Accessible from Zadar, the island of Pag is sure to surprise you.

Soak up the ultra-festive atmosphere on Zrce beach, where thousands of revellers gather every evening to dance the night away. Don’t miss a trip to the legendary local discotheque, Papaya, for some memorable evenings. If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’ll be delighted by the many festivals held on the island. To relax, take a seat in one of the many seaside cafés and restaurants, where you can sample delicious local specialties.

Vis, for explorers in search of authenticity

Île de Vis en Croatie

Shutterstock – Xbrchx

Wondering which islands to visit in Croatia? Nestled in the heart of the Adriatic, Vis is a traditional fishing island. Appreciate its unspoilt nature and its attachment to tradition, and let yourself be lulled by its peaceful, dolce vita lifestyle. On Vis, discover the navigation secrets held by the locals. They’ll guide you to picturesque bays such as Kozima and Stiniva, offering magnificent seascapes. Explore the terraced vineyards and narrow roads to discover the island’s hidden treasures.

Stroll through the unspoilt villages, admire the stone houses and explore the archaeological remains and ancient ruins that line the island’s paths. Vis is also home to the Fishermen’s Museum in Komiža, the cradle of fishing in the Adriatic, and the famous Bisevo Blue Cave, which can be reached on an excursion.

Cres, for hikers

Île de Cres en Croatie

Shutterstock – Jan Hendrik

Located in the Gulf of Kvarner, Cres is a wild and unspoilt island stretching 66 km. In the north of the island, you can explore the Roman roads and go on adventures through the countryside. The Tramuntana forest offers spectacular views of the surrounding region. Climb to the village of Lubenice, perched 383 m above sea level, and admire its typical rural architecture. The beaches of Cres, such as Sveti Ivan, await you with their crystal-clear water and fine sand.

To reach Cres, you can take the ferry from Krk or Brestova. Make the most of your visit to this unique island to explore its natural treasures, immerse yourself in the local culture and sample Croatian culinary specialities.

Krk, for culture buffs

Île de Krk en Croatie

Shutterstock – Andrew Mayovskyy

The island of Krk is a must-see when visiting Croatia. Immerse yourself in the medieval core of the town of Krk and let yourself be transported back in time as you explore its historic ramparts. The Baška stele is a treasure trove dating back to 1100 and representing the oldest text in Glagolitic script. On the islet Košljun, discover the Franciscan monastery, a marvel not to be missed.

After an enriching day of culture, relax on the beautiful beach of Baška , where you can admire vineyards and ancient stone gardens. Let yourself be seduced by music by taking part in Malinska‘s summer cultural program, which offers a variety of concerts and musical events for amateurs. And if you’re passionate about wine, the Wine Days in August give you the opportunity to discover local production and taste the island’s flavors.

So, have you decided which islands to visit in Croatia? Are you more tempted by the paradisiacal beaches of Hvar, the wild landscapes of Vis or the rich history of Korčula? Or perhaps you’ve already visited an island in Croatia that deserves a mention? Share your suggestions in the comments and help other travelers choose their next island destination in Croatia.