Hvar town, Croatia
Holidays in the Croatian Islands
Sunset views of Hvar
Holidays in the Croatian Islands
Dalmatian vineyard in Hvar
Holidays in the Croatian Islands

Croatian Island Holidays

Croatia is home to over 1000 islands, only 48 of which are inhabited. Idyllic cruises and boat tours will introduce you to the peaceful beauty of Croatia’s smallest islets, but we think it’s worth staying at one of these gorgeous islands should you fancy a taste of fjaka – a word to describe the Dalmatian’s content, laidback lifestyle.

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Stunning islands that embody Croatia's beauty

Some islands feature only a lighthouse, some are a naturist island, and some are even home to families of dolphins. Over 80 per cent of Croatia’s islands have no habitants at all, and are instead a breath-taking view of Croatia’s untouched beauty. Then there are a few islands that are great for holidays, offering lovely restaurants, quieter pebbly beaches and Dalmatian traditions.

We’d like to turn your attention to the islands of Hvar and Sipan. Hvar is a very popular holiday spot, especially with jet-setting travellers who love to stay in luxury hotels and enjoy a taste of the high-life. Hvar’s town centre is beautiful and cultural, of course, but wander down to the harbour and you’ll be met with world-class yachts and a trendy promenade adorned with seafood restaurants and lively cocktail bars. Hvar offers a chance to experience Croatia’s vibrant nightlife – we recommend trying their fabulous local wines.

Sipan, meanwhile, is a fair bit quieter and offers an escape from the bustle of Dubrovnik. As one of the Elafiti islets, Sipan is connected to Dubrovnik by a short ferry or catamaran journey, so you can choose to head here for a day or make it your base. We love the unspoilt beauty of Sipan, where days can be spent cycling through verdant olive groves and fields filled with fig, carob and citrus trees, exploring the tucked away bays adorned with yachts with limestone cottages in the main settlements of Suđurađ (east coast) and Šipanska Luka (west coast), and relaxing on one of Croatia’s only sand beaches.

Why visit Croatia’s islands?

  • Croatia’s islands are framed by the beautiful Adriatic Sea, offering sensational views of the azure jewel-like waters. In Hvar, there’s a luxurious harbour to explore, with lots of luxury yachts to marvel at, whilst Sipan has one of Croatia’s only sand beaches.
  • A holiday to a Croatian island will reward you with some of the most phenomenal natural beauty, and the verdant forests and groves make for decadent locally sourced cuisine. A lover of wine? Hvar is known for offering some of Croatia’s most divine red wines and lush vineyards – we recommend visiting the Tomic winery in Jelsa to try wines created with local grapes including Pošip and Bogdanuša. Meanwhile, Sipan’s vibrant citrus and olive groves and carob orchards help restaurants produce fabulous dishes that celebrate Croatian tradition.
  • Your holiday is bound to be laidback, but there’s plenty of culture to soak up should you fancy it. The ancient Cathedral of St Stephen in Hvar is dedicated to a pope and martyr St Stephen and is home to many valuable paintings, archived documents and old books, whilst Sipan is home to multiple architectural attractions built in the Middle Ages, including the Church of Sveti Ivan with its jaw-dropping frescoes from the 11th and 15th century.

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Kevin Ryan
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