13 The Most Beautiful Croatian islands for holiday in Croatia

ostrovy v chorvatsku, kam na dovolenou

The Croatian islands are famous for their clean beaches, turquoise sea and dense green forests. From ancient Roman ruins to traditional Dalmatian villages, the islands of Croatia offer not only breathtaking nature, but also tradition, vibrant culture and Mediterranean cuisine. Here is a list of the most beautiful Croatian islands for holiday in Croatia

The article also includes a map where you can find tips for excursions and attractions on the islands in Croatia.

13 The Most Beautiful Croatian islands for holiday in Croatia

1. Hvar

If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy beautiful nature, crystal clear sea, rich history and delicious food, the island of Hvar must be on your list. Here you will find everything from sunny weather to lively nightlife. These are just some of the reasons why Hvar is regularly ranked among the most beautiful islands in Croatia.

View of the town of Hvar from Španjola Fortress
View of the town of Hvar from Španjola Fortress

Explore the old town of Hvar with its narrow stone streets, lively squares and the historic fortress Fortica (Španjola), which offers the best view of the town.

For a quieter atmosphere, visit Stari Grad, the second largest town on the island. Right in its centre is the Petra Hektorovic Fortress, one of the most beautiful buildings on Hvar.

The island also offers a number of beautiful beaches, such as Pokonji Dol or Dubovica beach, which is good to arrive early in the morning to park.

hvar croatia beach

If you want to enjoy a true authentic atmosphere with delicious cuisine, visit the family-run Gambo restaurant in the east of the island. It’s not so easy to get here, but that makes its charm all the greater.

Near Hvar lies a group of islands known as the Pakleni Islands, which offer beautiful beaches and bays for swimming and snorkelling. From Hvar you can take a variety of excursions – to the Pakleni Islands or, for example, to the Blue Cave on the island of Biševo.

blue cave bišovo croatia

How to get to Hvar

Hvar is most easily reached from the port of Split or Drvenik. Catamarans and Jadrolinija car ferries depart from both locations. Follow the link and look for connections 632 Drvenik-Sucuraj or 635 Split-Stari Grad. Sailing time is around 2 hours from Split and 35 minutes from Drvenik.

The old town of Hvar can also be reached directly by catamaran if you would like to make a trip to Hvar without a car.

Hotels island Hvar 🏖️

ubytování hvar chorvatsko
Hvar Placeshotel by Valamar

Popular hotel right by the beach

ubytování hvar chorvatsko
Labranda Senses Resort

4* all-inclusive hotel

2. Krk

The island of Krk, known as the “Golden Island”, is one of the largest and most visited islands in Croatia. Its uniqueness lies in its varied combination of natural beauty, historical monuments and modern comfort.

Visit the beautiful beaches, including the easily accessible Baska beach, where families with children will also enjoy. The town of Krk is rich in history, with Roman ruins, medieval walls and ancient churches.

island Krk Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

In the Biserujka Cave, you can peek into the underground world of the island with stalactites and stalagmites or enjoy snorkelling in the surrounding clear waters.

The island is crisscrossed with hiking and cycling trails. If you are near Baška, go up to the local cemetery with a church. There is a beautiful view of the whole bay surrounded by mountains.

baska neck croatian islands

How to get to the island of Krk

Accessibility is one of the main advantages of the island of Krk. Thanks to the bridge that connects the island to the mainland, Krk is easily accessible by car. The location of the island by the Kvarner bay is also a plus – from Prague you can be here in about 9 hours.

Accommodation island Krk 🏖️

ubytování chorvatsko ostrov krk
Magal Hotel by Aminess

Popular 3* hotel suitable for families

Hotel Drazica

Excellent hotel with half board

island Krk Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

3. Pag

The island of Pag is an ideal destination for everyone – whether you are looking for a quiet family holiday, lively nightlife or a long history.

What sets Pag apart from the other islands in Croatia is its unusual lunar landscape, with stony wastelands and fertile valleys where sheep graze on wild rosemary. The island is famous for the salt pans around Pag and the lace-making industry, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Zadar Croatia

On Pag, the beaches are long, sandy and with a gradual entrance to the sea. Ideal for families with smaller children. Don’t miss the beaches of Ručica and Beritnica, which are literally surrounded by a lunar landscape and clear sea. Beritnica is a bit harder to get to – about half an hour over the rocks or by boat, but on the other hand it is much quieter.

pag Croatia

Would you like to enjoy the nightlife and summer music festivals? Head to Zrće beach, where it’s alive from morning to morning, earning it the nickname of Croatia’s Ibiza.

Visit the town of Pag, a historic place with narrow streets, Renaissance and Gothic buildings, where you can taste the local cuisine. Taste Paski cheese, one of the best sheep’s cheese in the world.

Or explore the thousand-year-old olive groves of the Lun area in the north of the island, which are unique for their ancient and almost mystical atmosphere.

How to get to the island of Pag

Pag is easily accessible via the iconic Paški Most bridge, which connects the island just outside Zadar. From the motorway exit you can reach the bridge in half an hour.

The second option is ferry 335 on the route Prizna-Zigljen (Pag). The downside is that queues can form in high season. Detailed information on prices and timetables can be found on the website of the transport company Jadrolinija.

4. Rab

Would you like to enjoy sandy beaches, which are not typical for Croatia? Then you must not miss the island of Rab, which is famous for its sandy beaches. Especially around the resort of Lopar.

rab Croatian islands

The centre of the island is the ancient town of Rab, which is characterised by its red roofs with 4 bell towers. The entire island is covered with pine forests, which provide much needed shade in summer. The local climate is mild and pleasant even in summer.

island of Rab Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

Enjoy a stroll through the Komrčar Nature Park, with lots of greenery, a playground for children and the possibility of swimming and picnics. For the best view of the island, climb to the Kamenjak lookout point, near the restaurant of the same name. It is possible to drive up to the top, but the road is quite gravelly towards the end – it is better to leave the car at the edge and walk the rest in peace.

rab Croatian islands

How to get to the island of Rab

The island of Rab is accessible by ferry from the small village of Stinica, which lies directly on the Adriatic Highway and is easily accessible. Ferries leave regularly throughout the day to the port of Mišnjak on Rab. The journey takes only a quarter of an hour. Here is a link to the official website with departure times and prices.

Hotels Croatian islands 🏖️

chorvatsko ubytování
Family hotel Pagus – island Pag

Excellent hotel by the sandy beach

chorvatské ostrovy ubytování
San Marino Resort – island of Rab

Cheap, simple hotel with half board

5. Mljet

The island of Mljet, the green paradise of southern Dalmatia, is famous for its dense forests that stretch all the way to the azure blue shores. A place with such crystal clear water where you can see fish swimming freely around you.

The island is famous for the Mljet National Park, which occupies the western part of the island. The park is home to two salt lakes – the Great and the Little Lake, which are connected to the sea by a narrow channel. In the centre of the Great Lake is the islet of St. Mary with the Benedictine monastery from the 12th century.

mljet Croatian

Sample local specialities in the fishing villages of Pomena and Polace, or visit the Cave of Ulysses, where the Greek hero Odysseus is said to have been shipwrecked on his long journey home to Ithaca. In high season the cave is crowded – entrance is free and the cave is accessible from the water, so the place is not suitable for smaller children.

Mljet also has beautiful beaches, from hidden coves to sandy beaches such as Saplunara beach in the east of the island.

mljet Croatian

How to get to the island of Mljet

The easiest way to get to the island of Mljet is by ferry from the village of Prapratno on the Peljesac peninsula to the village of Sobra on the island. Ferries leave regularly, more often during the holidays. The sailings are not as frequent as other islands, so make extra time to be sure, as they sail on time. Specific times and prices can be found on the Jadrolinija website – ferry 832 Prapratno-Sobra.

If you’re only planning a trip to Mljet, take the Split-Dubrovnik catamaran line, which stops at Brac, Makarska, Korcula, Mljet and ends in Dubrovnik.

☞ Read our detailed guide on how to drive to Croatia (fees on the way, route, map and other tips).

mljet Croatian

6. Brac

The island of Brac is the third largest Croatian island, famous for its unique beach Zlatni Rat in Bol. The beach is interesting because it dynamically changes shape according to the wind and currents.

If you want to see the beach in all its glory and enjoy the view of the whole island, don’t miss the rocky viewpoint of Vidova Gora, the highest peak of the island. Plus, you can drive almost to the top and walk the rest of the way on a groomed path, making it easily accessible to all.

island of brac beach zlatni rat croatia

Brac is ideal for all water sports enthusiasts and is the best destination for windsurfing. The landscape here is incredibly rich, from limestone cliffs and olive groves to quiet coves.

Enjoy a walk along the paths through olive groves and vineyards, taste local specialities in picturesque villages or take a dip in the turquoise waters.

brac croatian islands

Brac is famous for its quality white stone, which has been used in the past in the construction of many important buildings around the world, including the White House in Washington, D.C.

How to get to Brac

Throughout the year, catamarans and ferries from Makarska and Split regularly sail to Brac – for more information, visit Jadrolinija’s website to find a specific line for Brac.

7. Korcula – Croatian islands

The island of Korcula, often referred to as “Little Dubrovnik”, is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches and excellent wine. The whole island is covered with pine forests, vineyards and olive groves.

things to do in Croatia - Korčula island

The historic town of Korcula is one of the best examples of well-preserved medieval Dalmatian architecture, with narrow stone streets and elegant buildings. The famous traveller and sailor Marco Polo was born here.

On the island of Korcula you can enjoy beautiful beaches, from the sandy Vela Przina beach in Lumbarda to hidden coves such as the smaller Zitna beach. Finish the day with a glass of local wine, especially indigenous white wines, which can be tasted directly from the winemakers.

things to do in Croatia - Korčula island

How to get to the island of Korcula

If you are driving, the island of Korcula is accessible by ferry from Split – line 604 Split – Vela Luka (Korcula) – Ubli (Lastovo) or from the port of Orebić on the Peljesac peninsula.

☞ Get inspired by the things to do in Croatia (including a map and practical information).

8. Murter

Murter is the ideal destination for anyone looking for a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches and rich history. Moreover, it is strategically located for exploring the surrounding area – a short drive to Sibenik, Split or Krka National Park.

betina island murter islands in croatia

Murter boasts four picturesque villages – Murter, Tisno, Jezera and Betina, each offering a unique atmosphere and history. Betina is known for its tradition of building wooden ships.

The island is lined with beautiful beaches such as Čigrađa and Slanica, with Slanica beach being perfect for families with smaller children.

murter islands in croatia

The island is an excellent starting point for trips to Kornati National Park, a beautiful archipelago that attracts nature lovers and divers.

How to get to Murter

Murter is easily accessible from the mainland thanks to a bridge that connects the island with the town of Tisno on the mainland.

Hotels island Murter 🏖️

chorvatsko murter ubytování
Olivia Green Camping

4* accommodation in mobile homes

chorvatsko murter ubytování
Camp Rehut

Mobile homes close to the beach

9. Dugi otok – islands in Croatia

Dugi otok, translated as “Long Island”, is one of the most interesting and least explored inhabited islands in the Adriatic Sea. With its picturesque villages, stunning beaches and beautiful natural sights, Dugi otok is one of the most beautiful Croatian islands.

At the southeastern end of the island is the Telašćica Nature Reserve, which is known for its wild scenery, including Telašćica Bay, salt lakes and steep white cliffs.

dugi otok croatia

One of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, Sakarun, with its white sand and turquoise blue water, is located in the very north of the island. For the most beautiful sunset, head to the tip of the island to the Veli Rat lighthouse. There is a nominal entrance fee, but the views are worth it.

dugi otok croatia

How to get to Dugi otok

From the port of Gaženica near Zadar there are regular ferries to the village of Brbinj on the island of Dugi otok – line 434 Zadar (Gaženica) – Brbinj (Dugi otok). The cruise takes 40 minutes.

☞ Read our detailed travel guide to the Makarska Riviera for everything you need for a perfect holiday.

10. Losinj

The island of Losinj is called the “island of vitality”. Its surface is covered with lush vegetation and dense pine forests. It is popular with campers and anyone who loves beautiful, unspoilt nature. Thanks to its nature, the island has also earned a reputation as one of the best places for the treatment of respiratory diseases in Europe.

Losinj Croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

The picturesque town of Mali Losinj, the most famous resort on the island, is surrounded by azure sea and the scent of medicinal herbs. Visit historical sights, including aromatic gardens and elegant villas from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

Lošinj boasts beautiful beaches, hidden coves and beautiful promenades along the coast that invite you to take a stroll. The island offers a wide range of activities, from cycling and hiking to water sports and wellness.

You can climb above Mali Losinj, where there is a restaurant. Advance reservations are required, but you can also enjoy the view next door for a small fee, or you can pay a small fee at the hotel. continue on the trail across the island.

lošinj viewpoint

How to get to the island of Losinj

The island of Losinj is easily accessible by ferry from Rijeka or Zadar. On the official Jadrolinija website you can find the current times and prices.

Alternatively, you can also sail to the island of Cres, to which Lošinj is connected by a bridge. For example, from the port of Brestovo in Istria to the port of Porozina on Cres and from there across the island to Lošinj.

☞ Read our detailed travel guide to Split, Croatia.

lošinj croatian

11. Lastovo – islands in Croatia

If we are talking about the most beautiful islands to go on holiday in Croatia, the island of Lastovo cannot be missed. Together with the adjacent islands, it is protected for its unique nature, biodiversity and beautiful night sky thanks to its status as a dark sky park.

For the best views, climb to the viewpoint marked “Heliodrom” on the maps, which offers spectacular views of the island and its surroundings.

lastovo croatian islands

Lastovo is ideal for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing environment. The island offers numerous opportunities for hiking, kayaking and snorkelling in clear and protected waters.

How to get to the island of Lastovo

It is the remote location that contributes to the unspoilt character of the island. During the day, ferries leave from the port of Split and end at the port of Ubli on the island of Lastovo. On the official Jadrolinija website you will find the current times and prices.

lastovo croatian islands

12. Cres

If you are thinking about the most beautiful Croatian islands and are looking for a quiet place with beautiful beaches and unspoilt nature, put Cres on your list of the best seaside destinations. It is also very accessible from the mainland and other islands, so it is actually surprising how quiet it is compared to other islands.

The beautiful landscape of the island includes dense forests, picturesque coves and clean beaches – Cres is literally a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor activities.

island cres croatia / The Most Beautiful Croatian islands

The island has many secluded beaches that are less crowded than other destinations. If you don’t mind less access, don’t miss Koromačna beach and the Mali Bok nature reserve, with its turquoise sea and white cliffs.

The main resort is the town of Cres, which, thanks to its Venetian architecture, is more like an Italian village. The island has several well-preserved medieval towns and is home to one of the last populations of white-faced wrens in Europe.

cres islands croatia

How to get to the island of Cres

The accessibility of the island is another reason to come here. The ferries sail from the port of Brestovo in Istria to the port of Porozina on Cres, or to the port of Porozina on Cres. from Rijeka. On the official Jadrolinija website you can find the current times and prices.

Hotels island Cres 🏖️

cres chorvatsko ubytování
Mobile Homes Camping

Mobile homes by the beach with facilities

cres chorvatsko ubytování
Hotel Kimen – Annex

3* hotel by the beach with half board

13. Kornati islands

We’ll finish our list of the best Croatian islands to visit with the Kornati Islands, a beautiful area with wild beauty and exceptionally clear sea.

This archipelago, consisting of approximately 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs, is famous for its steep shores that rise dramatically from the azure sea.

cornati islands croatia

Most of the islands in the Kornati archipelago are uninhabited and the Kornati National Park is a protected area, so you can only get there by boat or as part of an organized excursion . The best starting point for visiting the Kornati Islands are Zadar, Sibenik, Murter or Biograd na Moru.

cornati islands croatia

Although at first glance it might seem that you will be almost the only one here, this is not the case thanks to the cruise ships that regularly sail here. For this reason, it’s a good idea to plan a visit in the low season or on the least busy days if you want to avoid the crowds.

The most beautiful islands in Croatia on the map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips on the most beautiful Croatian islands Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the article about the islands in Croatia. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

These were our picks for the most beautiful Croatian islands to go on holiday in Croatia. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey and Doviđenja!

More information about Croatia

CROATIA: Get inspired by the best sea destinations in Croatia. Here is a detailed guide on how to drive to Croatia (fees along the way, route, map and other tips).

Are you planning a holiday? Here are the best things to do in Croatia (including a map and practical information).

The Makarska Riviera has some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Take a look at our travel guide to Split.

GREECE: Are you more interested in Greece? Where to go to the sea in Greece we share in the next article. Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece – in this Santorini travel guide you’ll find all the tips on how to get here, what to see, the best beaches and other useful information.

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