Croatia’s coast is pure, nearly all 2,000 kilometres and 1,200 islands of it, and is open to all. Verdant islands, bare karst-rock islands, tiny dots of islands with nothing on them but a lighthouse converted to accommodate isolated holidaymakers, naturist islands, islands with just deer and naturists feeding them, islands with cocktail bars attracting the VIP set, islands for windsurfers, islands for sculptors, islands for Tito’s political prisoners, islands for Tito’s collection of safari animals, islands so remote they’re nearer to Italy, islands called home by a family of 120 dolphins, islands of age-old fishing traditions, islands with a particular cave in which the sunlight turns a brilliant blue for an hour each day, islands known for their wine, cheese or anchovy pasties. More than 80 per cent of Croatia’s islands have no people on them at all.
If you’re looking for an island worthy of a week’s stay, some – like Brač – are expansive enough to have their own airports. If you’re after daytrips and excursions, most can be reached by ferry from the mainland. Some of the tinier islands are determinedly deserted, meaning that overnight stays are banned – but you can still take boat trips to these Adriatic gems. There’s plenty of island hopping to be done, here’s our pick of the best in Croatia.
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