Croatia sits squarely in Central Europe, with a large majority of the country hugging the Adriatic Sea, the islands are a destination for travelers from across the world. However, with more than 1000 islands dotting the coast, which ones should you visit on your short holiday? Below we’ve outlined our favorite five to visit if you fancy a trip surrounded by glittering blue waters.

Vis

 


Vis island is one of the furthest islands from Croatia’s coast, boasting incredible beaches, historic building and a stunning bay harbor (called Viska Luka). Olive trees and vineyards flourish on the fertile land – and you’d be hard-pressed (pun intended) to find a bad restaurant on the island. However, if you’re looking for a few options, stop in at Roki for fresh seafood grilled over embers or Restaurant Boccadoro with their romantic courtyard. Hotels fill up fast in high season, so you’ll want to find accommodations early. We love the San Giorgio hotel with their beautiful sea views and clean, uncluttered rooms. While you’re visiting this secret island, don’t miss the swim into the green cave (the water lights up green when the sun hits the cave just right) or drive (you can hike it, too) up Mount Hum for panoramic island views.

Korcula

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Korcula is the second most populous island. The largest city shares the same name as the island and is known for its fairy-tale old town that juts out over the Adriatic Sea. Treat yourself to a stay at the beautiful Hotel Korsal, which boasts excellent sea views and an even better restaurant. Plus, you’re only a short walk from the old town of Korcula, where you can explore the Sveti Marko or the house of Marco Polo.

Brac


You’ve probably seen Brac’s most famous feature, Zlatni Rat, a small white peninsula beach surrounded by turquoise waters. But be forewarned, it’s not beautiful Caribbean sand like the pictures show… it’s actually small pebbles. What the island misses in large cities it makes up for in natural beauty – from beaches to highland views. If you have time, visit he Blaca Hermitage, an old monastery, and museum built on the southern side of the island.

Hvar

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Hvar is Croatia’s most famous island, boasting a beautiful old town that rivals Split’s skyline. Climb the fortress that sits above Hvar for a beautiful view of the harbor or visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which boasts the city’s iconic bell tower. The island also boasts beautiful lavender fields (think Provincial France), and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to buy local soaps, perfumes and candles. If touring around leaves you peckish, we recommend Restaurant Dubrovnik for fancier fare or Konoba Veranda for more authentic cuisine.

Rab


Rab island is opposite the continental city of Stinica and is known for its natural beauty. Rab Town is a beautiful, walled, peninsula city with the iconic red-clay tiled roofs and quaint harbor. Where the island shines is its quiet beaches and untouched natural areas (like the protected. Dundo Reserve), perfect for the outdoor enthusiast looking for peace and tranquility.