Best Islands to Visit in Croatia

A cruise around Croatia’s Dalmatian coast uncovers an impressive bounty of idyllic islands and uninhabited coves where you can escape the noise of the tourist crowds.

Whether you are looking for a family holiday or a romantic honeymoon, our Croatia island hopping cruises are the perfect adventure for all to enjoy! With over 1000 stunning islands to visit there will be ample opportunities for you to relax amongst alluring coastline, along the way discovering the country’s rich history and proud culture. Croatia’s delicious regional cuisine is an added, and undoubted, highlight.

To whet your appetite, we’ve collated a list of our favorite Croatian islands. If you can’t decide on which gorgeous isle to visit…why not make a promise to see them all! A great way to explore the islands is onboard a Croatia Deluxe Balcony small ship, such as our signature 7-Night Deluxe Split to Dubrovnik Cruise.

Hvar

Paklinski Islands, Hvar, Croatia
Old Town, Hvar, Croatia

Situated in the central Dalmatian archipelago, the sunshine island of Hvar boasts stunning fragrant lavender fields, a beautiful coastline of secluded coves and perfect bays, and a cosmopolitan vibe. Hvar comes with a jet-set reputation, known as a top holiday spot for the rich and famous. 

The historic Old Town of Hvar is encircled by 13th-century walls – well worth exploring if you appreciate fine Renaissance architecture. In the evening, enjoy Hvar’s buzzing nightlife and visit one of the many cocktail bars for a drink.

Head for the towns of Stari Grad, Jelsa, and Vrbovska for tranquillity and fabulous landscape scenery. From the top of Fortica Fortress you can enjoy breathtaking and typically Mediterannean views of whitewashed houses, lush green hills, and turquoise sea as far as the Pakleni Islands.

Korcula

Korcula town, Croatia
Zitna Bay, Korcula, Croatia

Korcula boasts many excellent beaches, picturesque natural scenery, and friendly hospitality. It is the second most populous Adriatic island (after Krk), and rumored to be the birthplace of the legendary explorer Marco Polo. Korcula Town is the island’s top tourist attraction: a historic fort town with an enticing network of medieval cobblestone streets where you’ll find countless boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. 

Visit Pupnat, the oldest settlement on the island, to admire traditional architecture that dates back centuries. Escape to the village of Lumbarda, situated on Korcula’s eastern tip, to swim, snorkel and sunbathe in beautiful coves surrounded by aromatic greenery. 

Don’t forget to sample the island’s most prized product – its olive oil. Our experts will be happy to arrange a tasting tour during your time on the island.

Vis

Stiniva Beach, Vis, Croatia
Komiza village, Vis, Croatia

As the furthest island away from Croatia’s mainland coast, Vis is the ultimate Adriatic retreat. This secluded island was used as a military and naval base during WWII and closed to the public right up until 1989 – therefore retaining its natural unspoiled beauty.

The island’s southern coast is dotted with beautiful coves and bays that each offer blissful isolation. The beaches of Stoncica, Stiniva, and Srebena are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. You can also hop on a boat to visit the famous natural phenomenon of the Blue Cave, on nearby Bisevo Island. To enjoy a fabulous authentic Vis feast, visit the picturesque fishing village of Komiza, to dine on the freshest seafood.

Brac

Pucisca village, Brac, Croatia
Winery, southern Brac, Croatia

The largest island in Dalmatia, and third largest in the Adriatic, Brac is a fully self-sustainable island offering both fine scenery and rich history.

The charming coastal town of Pucisca is a popular attraction due to both its beautiful bay. It’s also home to the Stonemasonry School and Quarry, where the white limestone used to build Split’s iconic Diocletian’s Palace and Washington DC’s White House was mined. Stroll along Bol’s quaint seafront promenade and relax on the most famous beach in Croatia – horn-shaped Zlatni Rat. 

To fully experience Brac in all of its glory, join a wine tasting tour of the Stina Winery. Sip your way through a selection of delicious local wines made from the common grape varieties grown on the island – Posip (white) and Plavac Mali (red).

Losinj

Overview of Mali Losinj, Croatia
Blue bay between Veli and Mali Losinj, Croatia

Located in the northern Adriatic, Losinj is home to a gorgeous 5-mile natural harbor, stunning bays, and rugged inland wilderness. Locally known as ‘the island of wellness and vitality, Losinj’s two main towns of Mali Losinj and Veli Losinj provide easy access to both the beaches and scenic countryside.

The island’s uniquely indented coastline is studded with fragrant pine trees that offer cooling shade from the sun. In Cikat Bay, you can relax on the sandy beach, or enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing. 

To discover many fine examples of classic Italian Baroque paintings and modern Croatian works of art, visit the Museum of Losinj. The island’s oldest archaeological collection can be found in the Museum of Apoxyomenos.

Rab

Yacht off Rab island, Croatia
Rab, Croatia

Situated in Croatia’s Kvarner region, Rab is a hugely popular holiday destination that truly has something for everyone. Rab’s sprawling 150 km of hiking and biking trails invite nature lovers to enjoy the scenery with a sense of adventure. The naturist-friendly Sahara beach is the perfect place for an escape if you prefer to just relax and top up your tan.

In 1936, Rab became famous for being the romantic hideaway of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. History and culture aficionados will enjoy exploring the many landmark attractions located within the ancient walls of the Old Town. The town boasts four prominent bell towers, of the Romanesque churches, cathedral, and monastery, that can be viewed from prime vantage points across the island.

Mljet

St.Mary benedictine monastery, Mljet, Croatia
Mljet, Croatia

Mljet is unlike any other Croatian island. This southernmost, easternmost, and greenest Adriatic island is carpeted by dense forests and boasts fine natural escapes and magnificent landscapes. It also has a harbor and a beautiful small beach.

Also located on Mljet is the popular tourist attraction of Mljet National Park, which should be high on any list of best places to visit in Croatia. The stunning wildlife refuge features two famous saltwater lakes – Veliko Jezero (large) and Malo Jezero (small) – and the tiny St Mary Island that is only accessible by boat. 

The park’s breathtaking geological landscape can be explored on foot on one of the many hiking trails or by hired bike. Kayaking, canoeing, and swimming are permitted in the 4 km stretch of jewel-colored lakes.

All of these stunning islands can be explored on our Deluxe Small Ship cruises. More information can be found here. Email our travel experts at [email protected], or call on +1 844 637 9747 in the USA or +44 203 950 9613 in UK and Australia, to start planning your getaway now!