With almost 2,000 kilometres of stunning coastline, off of which more than 1,200 magical islands lie in turquoise waters, it’s no wonder yacht holidays in Croatia are so popular.
The destination in southeastern Europe has enjoyed rapid growth in yachting tourism over the last decade, with its plethora of islands of all shapes, sizes and ambience providing the perfect cruising ground for all types of escapes.
It would be impossible here to list all the islands worth visiting when you book a yacht hire in Croatia. as there are so many highlights of this beautiful country. For those who enjoy nature, the islands’ fauna and flora is spectacular, whilst if partying is more your scene, there are more than enough sophisticated bars and lively nightspots to whet your appetite.
There truly is something for every taste and budget in this breathtaking archipelago, whether you are exploring Croatia on your own boat or one that you have chartered. In fact, although it may sound costly, a yacht holiday in Croatia does not have to break the bank. Island hopping on your own vessel that you share with others in a yacht share program, or one that you have chartered through a membership club, can greatly reduce costs and enable you to have a holiday of a lifetime at a fraction of the normal price.
Top ten islands to visit on a yacht holiday in Croatia
Here are our top 10 islands that you simply can’t miss.
Without a doubt the most popular island to visit on a yacht charter in Croatia is Hvar, which enjoys a somewhat Saint Tropezienne reputation for being the destination where the superyachts flock to. But it’s not all about glamourous restaurants and swanky nightclubs. As it is one of Croatia’s largest islands, it is easy to escape the madding crowds and find a secluded bay in which to drop anchor.
Another popular island for those who have booked a yacht hire in Croatia is the island of Vis, not far from Hvar, which is slightly less sophisticated than its neighbour but just as beautiful. From 1950 to 1989 it was used as the base for the Yugoslav National Army and as a result, has retained much of its natural beauty and is less commercialised than other islands.
A stone’s throw from the northern coast of Croatia, jutting out of the Adriatic Sea is the island of Rab, offering 22km of stunning beaches and a string of quaint villages largely untouched by mainstream tourism. During the height of the summer the island loses its sleepy nature and takes on a party atmosphere, ideal for those who want to dance ‘til dawn.
If you are visiting Croatia for the first time we implore you to check into Brac, a short journey from the city of Split in the north of the country. Whilst it is one of the largest islands, with a population of 14,000, it is also one of the least visited by those on a yachting holiday in Croatia, meaning that you will get to enjoy the empty coves to yourselves. Also recommended is a hike up Vidova Gora, the highest peak of the Adriatic islands.
In comparison to the fairly arid island of Brac, Mljet is lush and verdant, with an abundance of marine life found in the seas surrounding it. Moor up and take a trip to the Mljet National Park where you can swim in the two salted lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero.
For arguably the best wine in Croatia, you should head to Korcula, an island covered in woodlands just north of Mljet. Whilst the island is the second most populous in the Adriatic region it remains largely untouched by package tourism and is a wonderful place to visit.
Cres is arguably one of the most beautiful Croatian islands, with majestic cliffs that drop down to a stunning coastline. It is also home to the griffon, a rare type of vulture eagle which boasts a wingspan of up to 3 metres. To be inspired by nature on your Croatian yacht hire, there’s nowhere better than Cres.
Losinj used to be joined to Cres until the two were separated by an 11-metre wide canal. The islands are now linked together by a bridge. In 1892 Losinj became an officially designated health resort, and tourism is still the island’s main industry, making it very popular with those on a yachting holiday in Croatia.
Just south of Losinj is the island of Pag, a predominantly sleepy destination and home to a number of small fishing villages. However, it is also here that you will find Zrće beach, now the site of the biggest club scene in Croatia.
Last but not least is the heart-shaped island of Galesnjak, a small, uninhabited island which is home to very little other than a few rocky shrubs and an abundance of wild beauty. There is nothing else here so just moor up to its coastline, take the tender across and enjoy a romantic walk on this very special island.