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A Guide to the Croatian Islands

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 17th February 2014 14:28

The many islands of Croatia are of vast, stunning and varied beauty.  There are over a thousand of them in total, which vary in size from tiny rocks in the sea to Cres Island, which is the 20th largest island in the Mediterranean.  Each one offers unique sights, sounds and attractions; some islands are like secluded night clubs that party till dawn, while others  offer the opportunity to peacefully enjoy its surrounding waters.

However, it’s not just the variation that draws in punters from far and wide.  The Croatian Islands have gone on to surpass other Mediterranean getaways found in Spain and France, for example, because they offer the same attractions but at a much cheaper price, enabling you to splash out on those extra indulgencies.  We’ve put together a list of some of the best islands – whether you want to party the night away or try your hand at watersports, you’ll find an island that is perfect for you. 

Brac

Brac’s south coast is home to Zlatni Rat, one of Croatia’s poster beaches (guaranteed, an image of this beach is in all of your travel brochures.) it is also a top windsurfing spot which has gone on to become a mecca for water sports lovers.  Aside from windsurfing, visitors can also enjoy scuba diving, sea kayaking, parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing and waterboarding.  Don’t worry; there are pedal boats for the newbies. 

Hvar

Despite cultivating a classy reputation to rival the likes of Saint Tropez, Hvar hasn’t lost any of its decadent roots.  From June to September, it becomes the island that never sleeps as there is always something going on with parties lasting all night long in pubs, clubs, taverns...the lot! For those that want to party hard do not miss out on ‘Kiva’ – but not before visiting the island’s best cocktail bar ‘Carpe Diem’.  If you’ve managed to last the night, make sure you end up in ‘Club Veneranda’, where you will get to witness the most beautiful sunrise.

Rab

Set amongst a charming cluster of medieval stone buildings is Rab.  Another for those who enjoy dipping their toe, it is resplendent with water sports opportunities.  If you are the very sporty type you can engage in an exhilarating waterpolo match during the months of May and September – which is also a great period to undertake a few windsurfing lessons.  Those travelling out of season don’t worry – you can dive and kayak throughout the year. 

Pag

Whoever decided to move the party outside deserves a G&T.  The beach party is the holy grail of partying and Pag is Eden.  It is the top spot for summer beach clubs and since 2007, Zrce Beach near Novalja has been the only place in the country where bars and clubs are granted 24-hour licences.  After a long day in the sun has come to an end, dance until the early hours at ‘Kalypso’, ‘Papaya’ and ‘Aquarius’ which transform into hedonistic cauldrons as night falls.  

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