The magnificent country of Croatia boasts of a beautiful coastline that is embraced by the shimmering blue waves of the Adriatic Sea. A multitude of tiny islands is scattered over the Adriatic waters, with each being a kingdom of natural diversity and cultural resplendence in itself. The surreal landscapes, medieval architecture, and unspoiled beaches of these islands attract tourists throughout the year. The temperate climate and the brilliant sunshine of this region further add on to the allure of these gems of the Adriatic Sea. Island hopping is a wonderful way to revel in the majestic splendor of these stunning locations. Following are some of the destinations that will make your Croatian adventures even more memorable.
The island of Vis is the farthest inhabited island from the Croatian mainland and holds a unique mystical appeal. As a result of being cut off from the rest of the world for several decades due to security reasons, this island has retained the authentic Croatian charm. The white pebbled beaches of Stiniva and Srebrena paint a beautiful picture along with the sapphire sea. One can also head out to the neighboring island of Bisevo to explore the Blue Grotto, a magical sea cave that seems to possess a bluish glow. Fishing culture is still alive on this rustic island and relishing the delectable local seafood is like taking a trip to gastronomic heaven.
The amazing nightlife, sun-kissed beaches, and fragrant lavender fields make Hvar the perfect summer destination. One can climb up to the medieval castle of Fortica for a spectacular view of the town or can admire the Baroque design of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The main square in front of the cathedral has several cafes and restaurants. A tour of the vineyards and olive plantations is also a great activity for a lazy afternoon. The Franciscan Monastery will transport you back in time, while the parties at the beaches will keep you entertained till the late hours of the night. Hvar is indeed a boiling pot of history and modernity.
The most popular attraction of the Mljet Island is the Mljet National Park, which is a blend of expansive pine forests and sparkling saltwater lakes. Swimming, kayaking, and cycling are some of the activities that one can indulge in at this park, apart from sunbathing on the splendid shores. The island also houses several fortresses and palaces that are relics from different chapters of its history. The ruins of the Roman Palace at Polace date back to the 5th century but the impressive architecture and the mighty towers are still intact. One can also visit the remains of a medieval church from that age, in the vicinity of the palace.
The island of Brac bears one of the most iconic symbols of Croatia, the horn-shaped beach of Zlatni Rat. This white pebbled beach attracts sunbathers and windsurfers, owing to its unparalleled beauty and steady sea breeze. The oldest settlement of Brac is at Skrip, a quaint town with medieval houses and churches. Supetar, on the other hand, is a more modern town and is most famous for the stone sculptures at the local cemetery. The white stone buildings of this island glow in the warm sunshine. The Dragon’s Cave is renowned for its intriguing carvings whereas Vidova Gora, the highest peak of the island, offers some challenging biking trails. And with yacht charter being such a popular activity, the harbor of Brac has slowly become the local hotspot for enthusiasts of this interesting sport.
If you are craving some serene solitude then head over to the island of Lastovo. Devoid of the crowds of tourists and brimming with natural wonders, Lastovo is ideal for a laid back vacation. The unusual cylindrical chimneys that resemble tiny minarets are a trademark of all the houses of Lastovo. There are also many Renaissance churches that will appeal to the lovers of history. A good time to visit is during the carnival season when one can witness the locals celebrating their traditional heritage while being clad in colorful costumes. You can also go bird watching in the woods or can participate in a round of angling.
Each island of Croatia unveils a different facet of this versatile country. Hopping through these glorious specks of land is the best way to submerge in the culture of this region. The vibrant greenery and the pristine environment will leave you cheerful and invigorated.