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6 stunning hidden islands in Croatia to get away from the tourist crowds 

In the past couple of decades, Croatia went from being a quiet, budget alternative to Italy to a top summer destination for the European jet-set. Today, cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar see thousands of tourists every day, especially in the summer. However, that doesn’t mean that Croatia doesn’t have places where you can escape from the increasing waves of tourists. Places of unspoiled, pristine beauty where days are long and nightlife doesn’t mean anything. The best part about these hidden islands in Croatia is all of them are within an hour or two away from an international airport since Croatia is a pretty small country.

Be one of the few lucky ones and head for one of these lesser-visited, blissfully crowd-free but gorgeous islands in the Adriatic.

1. Vis . the architectural goldmine

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Vis is an island that holds a special place in many Croats hearts as an example of the legendary, unspoiled beauty of the Dalmatian coast. Vis isn’t developed for tourism like its more famous counterparts because it was a military base during the Yugoslavian era. However, today Vis has become one of the best places in Croatia to have a blissfulvacation away from thetouristcrowds.

The beaches are amazing, the food is amazing, and there aren’t wild parties like in Hvar or Pag. However, the most amazing thing about Vis is its architecture. The island is littered with leftovers from all previous visitors, from Greek and Romans to Venetians and Austrians. There’s an abundance of Roman mosaics, Venetian houses, and stunning forts spread across the island.

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2. Bisevo, the isolated one


Bisevo floats south of the most remote inhabited Croatian island, Vis. This is one of the tiniest islands on the Adriatic coast with an area of only 6 square km. However, there are still some people living on the island. In fact, BiÅ¡evo is the furthest inhabited island from the Croatian mainland. One of the most spectacular things about the island is the Blue Cave (Modra Spilja), which is a water-logged sea cave accessible only by boat. If you visit in the late morning, you’ll witness one of the most spectacular views of the Balkan Peninsula as the rays of sunshine bounce off the limestone interior, creating an ethereal explosion of cobalt and silver.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of beautiful islands in Montenegro

3. Dugi Otok, the forgotten one

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Dugi Otok might be visible from the historic gateway city of Zadar but while the latter makes it to most travelers’ lists, travelers to Dugi Otok are few and far between. Their loss. Dugi Otok is an island with space and silence to spare that has been overlooked by everyone from ancient Romans to modern tourists. The best part about Dugi Otok is that it’s like a microcosm of Dalmatia with its sun-bleached fishing villages, jaw-dropping, cliff-edge panoramas of the Adriatic and beaches where there’s nothing else but powder sand and shallow azure sea. The only thing missing are the people, traffic, and noise.

Also, check out this article for more hidden gems in Europe.

4. Sholta, the gourmand’s paradise

solta hidden islands in croatia

The low number of visitors Sholta gets is really surprising taking into consideration that the island is right next to Split, a famous local tourist hub. Moreover, this makes the island a perfect destination to head to on a one-day trip from Split. Sholta is an island with agricultural traditions, which means you will find some amazing food and some of the best wines in Croatia.

The island is also famous for the production of virgin olive oil, which is one of the best ones in Europe, the honey made from wild rosemary, and one of the most beautiful sunsets on the Adriatic coast. All this makes Sholta an ideal destination for people that want to veer from the classic tourist trail and get a glimpse of traditional island life.
Related: things to know when traveling to Montenegro.

5. Lastovo, the fisherman’s paradise

best hidden islands in Croatia

Lastovo is one of the most isolated islands in the Adriatic, only connected to the rest of the world via the port Ubli, where car ferries come and go a few times per day from Split. In Lastovo, modernity seems like nothing more than a rumor and Wi-Fi is a luxury. However, Lastovo is not just an island that allows you to get away from the crowds.

This remote island actually offers a plethora of activities you can indulge in. One thing you might try is fishing, which is very popular among the few locals that live in Lastovo and there are some amazing diving options too. Near Lastovo, you will find the most diverse marine life in the region and you can actually even see dolphins, which is a rear sight in the Adriatic.

If you’re traveling around the Balkans, also check my guide about traveling to Serbia.

6. Brijuni, the one that smells of history

brijuni hidden islands in croatia

Brijuni Island was once the retreat of the former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito. After he passed away, Brijuni became a national park. The lush island is cloaked in thick forests, surrounded by secluded coves and there aren’t any permanent residents. Some of the most interesting activities at the Island feature Roman ruins, botanical gardens, dinosaur footprints, and a safari park. The safari park is home to multiple exotic animals, gifts given to Tito by world leaders from around the world, including an elephant presented by Indira Gandhi.

Helpful resources for finding hidden islands in Croatia


If you’re wondering where to book a car for your Croatia trip, use this link and save up to 30% on your car rental for your upcoming trip. Alternatively, you can get some great deals on buses in Croatia on Busbud (for more info, check out our Busbud review).

For the cheapest flights to Croatia, use this Qatar Airways special offer. Yes, it’s an affiliate link, but you’ll be getting a great deal every time you book through it.

For the best travel insurance deals in Croatia, consider SafetyWing.

If you’re looking for some great tours in Croatia, my recommendation is Insight Vacation. This link will get you 15% off on all of their offers.

And finally, if you want to save on accommodation, use my Booking discount code and get 15% off on all accommodation rentals in Croatia. If you’re looking for something fancier, this coupon will get you the best deals on staying in all Radisson Hotels in the country.

Have you ever visited this country or heard about some of these hidden islands in Croatia? Let me know in the comments!

Did you like this list of the best-hidden islands in Croatia? If so, don’t forget to share this post on Pinterest!

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Friday 19th of July 2019

Thanks for whetting my appetite, these places look lovely. Bucket list quality!

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

Thanks, John- I'm glad you liked it.

Farah al Zadjaly

Friday 20th of July 2018

Yes yes yes you have made my day. I have been trying to find places to visit in Croatia without any tourist. Love this post.

Passport Symphony

Monday 23rd of July 2018

Thank you for your comment, Farah. I'm really happy to hear you could find some useful suggestions in my article :)


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

You know what's funny? My friend literally just asked me to go to Croatia last night and now I run into this super helpful guide! All 6 look amazing and I like how Lastovo has limited Wi-Fi. I feel like sometimes technology just limits us from truly experiencing and enjoy placing. Have this post bookmarked!

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Thank you for your comment! I'm really glad to hear you could get some useful suggestions from this article :)


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

This is perfect. People forget while going to Croatia, a HUGE 'thing to do is the islands'. You have a great list- i wish I could go back and explore Bisevo. I love isolated places!

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Hey, there's always next time :D


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Been dying to go to Croatia. So glad to hear there are still some islands that aren't as touristy as the main attractions.

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Indeed! What are you waiting for? :P