Hopping Mad About Croatia

Natural beauty, epic history, gorgeous food.... Croatia is a destination that doesn't cut any corners. And there's no better way to discover the dizzying array of  delights on offer her than by taking to the sea on an island-hopping trip.

MIX THINGS UP

Croatia's sunny coastline is a real mixed bag – but the good news is, everything in that bag is an absolute treat. The generous amount of annual sunshine here brings with it a slow-paced Mediterranean vibe, but there’s plenty of Balkan and Northern European influence to be found in the cuisine, architecture and cultural traditions, too. There are thousands of islands and islets to discover, sprinkled throughout the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea. Want beaches lapped by crystal waters, without another soul in sight? You’ll find plenty of those across Croatia's islands. Or are you looking to be bowled over by dramatic historic sites? There’s no shortage of those here, either.

Here are just a few of our favourite Croatian island destinations – but remember, there are many, many more besides.

HVAR

Hvar is one of Croatia's largest islands, and it also offers one of the greatest ranges of experiences. You don’t even need to step off the boat here to admire its gorgeous lavender fields and verdant vineyards and olive groves; though of course, they’re even more impressive when you’re walking among them. The island’s main town, Hvar Town, is a chic place known for its stylish bars and restaurants, which give a modern edge to its old-fashioned architecture. The town’s Renaissance cathedral is a must-visit, its beautiful tower dominating the skyline. We also recommend visiting the pretty town of Jesla. Switch your phone off and leave your map behind – with its winding lanes and picturesque harbour, there’s no better place for a spot of aimless wandering.

BRAC

Croatia's pebble beaches with sapphire-blue waters are legendary, and the island of Brač – just north of Hvar – is home to one of the finest examples of all. The aptly named Zlatni Rat (which translates to Golden Horn or Golden Cape) is a V-shaped stretch of coastline that points out from the southern coast of the island. You can choose to walk to its very tip to take in views of Hvar and the sparkling sea between the two islands. Or you might prefer to settle down in the shade of the lush forests at the back of the beach. If the beach looks incredible close up (and it does), it looks even more so seen from above. From the top of Vidova Gora, the peak which overlooks the coast, the views are spectacular – especially when enjoyed with a cool glass of wine!

CRES

Cres is the furthest north of the islands we’re putting a spotlight on here, and it’s also one of the least-visited. And that means one thing: tranquillity. Its coastline and towns are no less breath-taking than the ones of the more prominent islands, and they come with a peaceful quality that invites you to doze off on the beach, or laze in a pavement café with a book for hours. Swimming in the ultra-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea is the kind of memory that stays with you forever, and the still bays of Cres offer the perfect spots for it. Bliss!

ELAFITI ISLANDS

Their location close to Dubrovnik makes the Elafiti Islands ideal for a day trip from the mainland. And because they’re close to each other to, you can visit several of the archipelago’s islands in just a few hours. Dotted with elegant Renaissance villas and covered in rich forests, Šipan is the largest island, and a longstanding getaway for well-heeled Croatians. The Elafiti Islands are known for their amazing seafood, and Šipan is a brilliant place to try it. Just next door is the island of Lopud, the second-largest in the archipelago. Unusually for Croatia, there are sandy beaches to explore here – perfect for a picnic. But the highlight for many visitors is a trip to the 15th-Century Franciscan Monastery on the west coast, which sits dramatically on the edge of a sheer drop to the blue seas below. Yes, it is every bit as stunning as it sounds. Prepare to pinch yourself.

Discover Croatia's Magic on our Solo Tours

  1. View of the Adriatic Coast

    Croatia's Istrian Coast

    Istria is Croatia's beautiful northern region, boasting a brilliant combination of intriguing history, idyllic scenery and picturesque coastlines – discover it all from your seafront hotel.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel
    • 15 meals: 7 breakfasts,1 lunch, 7 dinners

    8 days from
    £1,699
    was £1,899
    Explore
  2. Croatian Harbour

    Croatian Island Explorer

    From chic towns and secluded beaches to exquisite wine and delicious cuisine, discover it all on this island-hopping cruise.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights on board MV Paradis
    • 17 included meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

    8 days from
    £3,049
    was £3,199
    Explore
  3. Coastal Walls of Dubrovnik

    Deluxe Dubrovnik & The Dalmatian Coast

    Discover historic cities, towns and beaches along the rugged Dalmatian Coast and soak up stunning scenery on a visit to Kotor, in neighbouring Montenegro.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights in a 5-star hotel
    • 15 included meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners

    8 days from
    £2,599
    was £2,899
    Explore
  4. Harbour on the Croatian Coast

    Croatia & the Makarska Riviera

    Soak up the beauty of Croatia’s coast, explore the ancient walled cities of Zadar and Dubrovnik and discover the idyllic islands of Hvar and Brac.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel
    • 15 included meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners

    8 days from
    £1,699
    was £1,899
    Explore