The sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea are a soothing sight for travelers, but what makes them even more resplendent are the glorious Croatian islands that embellish this blue curtain. These tiny specks of land offer an explosion of colors and culture, amid the most phenomenal creations of nature. These islands are a marvelous display of the best treasures of Croatia, from medieval buildings to quaint churches and from dense forests to sandy beaches. They create a beautiful painting that depicts the fascinating history of this region. The awe-inspiring architecture and stunning scenery of these islands make them some of the most sought after destinations in Croatia. Following are few spectacular islands that must be included in your island hopping itinerary.
Vis Island is most famous for its untarnished natural beauty and rustic charm, owing to being cut off from the world for several decades due to security reasons. It is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in Croatia, with the beaches of Stiniva and Srebrna stealing the show. The park near the summit of Mount Hum offers a mesmerizing view of the town, while the Green Grotto is a sea cave that is perfect for a swim and exploration. A visit to the Archaeological Museum in Vis Town is also recommended to explore its collection of Hellenistic artifacts.
What set Mljet Island apart from the other Adriatic islands are the two gigantic saltwater lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero. These lakes are a part of the Mljet National Park and are surrounded by the green slopes of the hills on the island. Swimming and kayaking are some of the popular activities of this region. The aficionados of history can head over to the innumerable ruins of forts and monuments that the island has preserved for over centuries. The remains of the Roman Palace at Polace are the best example of the ancient architecture of this island.
You will not experience a single dull moment on the island of Hvar, thanks to the multitude of magical sights and sounds that it holds. You can wander through the fragrant lavender fields or the expansive olive plantations. You can also hike up to the Fortica, a medieval castle overlooking the town and the sea. While the St. Stephen’s Square is bustling with activity during the day, the beaches are the spots to visit at night, to indulge in the famous nightlife of this island. Those who crave a serene atmosphere can make their way to the monasteries of Hvar that emanate a tranquil aura. Hvar is also a hot-spot for sailing in Croatia, and its harbor is always filled with vivid vessels from around the world.
On your island hopping adventures, do make a stop at Brac Island to sunbathe on the one of a kind beach of Zlatni Rat. This horn-shaped beach protrudes into the turquoise waters and is bordered by lush green forests on the other end. It is also an excellent spot for windsurfing. Other intriguing sites on the island include the Museum of Olive Oil at Skrip and the stone sculptures of Supetar Mausoleum. A hike to the Dragon’s Cave is yet another interesting activity, to view the images of angels and mythical symbols that are carved on the walls.
If you wish to avoid the throngs of tourists then head over to the secluded island of Lastovo. This island is known for its thick vegetation and medieval villages that offer a throwback to the Croatia of the past. During carnival season, the island livens up with the locals dressed in gaily colored costumes, celebrating their traditional heritage. You can indulge in sailing or angling or can take a walk through the woods to spot different species of birds. The stone houses of Lastovo village and the iconic chimneys that adorn them will stay in your mind forever.
Each island of Croatia remains true to its cultural roots and has a unique flavor to offer. Be it the miles of unspoiled natural splendor or the different aspects of the local culture, these islands represent the enthralling and diverse personality of Croatia.