Lay of the Land
The most scenic and popular of the Croatian islands lie off the country’s southeastern coast between Split (to the north) and Dubrovnik (to the south). The largest and easiest to get to are Hvar, Brac, Korcula and Mljet, all of which have daily ferries running between them and the mainland.
Hvar resembles Venice with beautiful white stone buildings and streets (this stone can be found along the whole Croatian coast). Hvar has always been an important island on the Dalmatian coast and visitors can see relics of its past influence in the stunning Gothic façades and numerous churches that line its streets.
The largest of the Croatian islands, Brac is less developed and touristed than Hvar, and boasts a handful of hermitage monasteries.
Founded in the 13th-century, Korcula reminds of an older age with charming, narrow streets and ancient palaces. The southern region of the island is greener, with bountiful cypresses and orange trees.
A national park and the southernmost of the Adriatic islands, Mljet is mostly forested, and home to the oft-photographed Monastery of Saint Mary. The monument is located on a small island in the middle of Malo Jezero lake.
Two of the most popular destinations for day trips are Rovinj and the Brijuni Islands. One of Croatia’s most appealing seaside towns, Rovinj boasts a hilltop cathedral and narrow streets filled with art galleries, wine bars and chic boutiques. The Brijuni collection of islands was formerly the private retreat of Tito when he ruled Yugoslavia, and visitors now can tour his private safari park (which still contains some zebras and ostrich), golf course and ancient ruins.
A popular way to explore the islands is by chartered boat, which allows travelers access to uninhabited islets and secluded beaches. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a charter.
When to Go
Summer is high season and boasts gorgeous Mediterranean weather. Early and late summer (May and early September) are also beautiful times to visit, though the ocean is cooler and less swimmable.