There are 1244 islands, islets and reefs at the Croatian part of the Adriatic which makes Croatian archipelago the largest at the Adriatic sea and the second largest in the Mediterranean. Of about 700 islands, only 47 are inhabited i.e. at least one person resides at the island. The major industries at the islands are agriculture (mainly vine and olive growing), fishery and tourism.
Kaprije is an island situated in the middle of the Sibenik archipelago. Its surface covers 7 km2 and its name derives from the Mediterranean plant caper whose buds serve as spice. Today there are about 150 inhabitants living on the island. They are traditionally engaged in agriculture and fishing, but they are also well-known seamen. In the recent times tourism on the island has been developing more and more. Cars are not allowed at the island and because of the beauty of the island and its well-protected port numerous yachtsmen, as well as tourists from all over the world, come to visit it. In 1944 the battleship Francesca da Rimini was sunk at the north cape of Kaprije and today its wreck is one of the most visited underwater archaeological sites.
Zirje is the largest of all islands in Sibenik archipelago. As the outer part of the island line, it is also the most distant from Sibenik (11 NM). It goes along a Dinaric direction, with length of 12 km and average width of 1.2 km. There are many small, beautiful islands around Zirje. The shelter for boats are the coves of Mala Stupica and Vela Stupica, and Tratinska, while ferry from Sibenik docks at the cove of Muna.
There are two typical Dalmatian fishermen's villages on the island: Prvic Luka at the southeast side and Prvic Sepurine at the southwest side, connected by 1-km- long road. Both settlements are protected by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia as cultural heritage. In the Middle Age, at the time of Turkish attacks, the island was intensely inhabited while today only around 400 people live in both settlements. The island is a peaceful oasis, and throughout the whole year it is connected with Sibenik and Vodice by regular boat lines.
The island of Hvar is the queen of the Croatian Dalmatian islands, famous since the antique period for its important strategic and nautical position, the richness of the various historical periods, cultural and natural monuments and the literature.
Thanks to the mild climate, the warm winters and pleasant summers, Hvar receives many guests, scientists and travellers, who are attracted by the gorgeous Mediterraneannature, rich tradition and nightlife. Hvar gained glory and power during the Middle Ages being an important port within the Venetian naval empire. Today, it is the centre of island’s tourism and one of the most favourite destinations in Dalmatian riviera - a town of smiling and courteous people, who are almost completely dedicated only to tourism.
Brac is the largest island in Middle Dalmatia and the third largest island in the Adriatic and it is situated only 13 kilometers from the mainland. The climate is typically Mediterranean with warm and dry summers and mild winters. Around 13.000 inhabitants live in about 23 towns and smaller places. Supetar is situated at the northern side of the island and it is an administrative centre while Bol is the oldest coastal town at the island. West from Bol, there is the beach Zlatni rat, one of the largest and most beautiful natural attractions in the Adriatic. Zlatni rat, Vidova gora – the highest peak at Croatian islands, Blaca desert, deep bays, olive groves, vineyards and pine trees along the crystal clear sea, are the images because of which many visitors come every year to Brac.
Lastovo is the fourteenth largest Adriatic island surrounded by 46 islets and reefs. Island’s forest slopes and untouched nature are reflected here in the completely fascinating beauty. A place where islands Lastovo and Prezba (Pasadur) connect is surrounded with Mali Lago bay on the northern side and Veli Lago bay on the southern side. In 2007, Lastovo was declared a nature park and attracts many visitors by its natural beauties and crystal clear sea.
The most indented coastline is at the southeast of Korcula while the north coastline is less indented in general but much more accessible than the southern one. It is the second most inhabited Croatian island. There are 3 larger localities at the island: Korcula, the home town of Marco Polo, Blato, in the island’s interior and Vela Luka in the west. Korcula is an extremely beautiful island, well worth being seen and enjoyed. Near the town of Korcula there are around twenty uninhabited islets, with easily accessible coastline, covered with thick macchia while in nearby Lumbarda there is a low, sandy beach surrounded with vineyards.
Pakleni islands, a group of about twenty islets and reefs stretched in front of the town Hvar are the most beautiful part not only of Hvar but of the entire Croatian riviera. The playful array of wooded islands immersed in the clear, azure sea, several swimming beaches, picnic grounds and countless small secluded beaches, stone terraces facing the sun and beautiful deserted bays is the unique and the most recognizable natural beauty of Hvar island. For the Pakleni island’s underwater, divers claim to be one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
In 1999, Palmizana was included in the top 10 most beautiful tourist destinations in the Adriatic. It is the oldest and most famous Hvar’s excursion site but also the nautical marina. Palmizana’s cuisine is based on fish, crabs and clams, home grown vegetable and prestigious international magazines have declared it to be the best cuisine in the whole Mediterranean.
Island Vis is characterized by over the years hidden beauty of the perfectly clear sea and protected underwater rich in archaeological sites. Sailing from secluded beaches and coves at Vis, across islets in Vis archipelago all the way to the caves which unique iridescent reflection of green, blue and silver shades make every visit unforgettable. The island is rich in archaeological monuments and historical surroundings where you can enjoy authentic dishes and vine in exquisite restaurants and taverns. The remains of ancient town, Roman baths, Issa necropolis and many Renaissance villas, small churches and, from recent times, Tito’s cave witness to the turbulent history of the island and provide opportunity for many sightseeing and excursions.
The island of Krk is located in the centre of the Kvarner bay and is characterized by the mild Mediterranean climate, advantageous geographical location and diversity of natural and cultural beauty due to which it was already in the ancient time named “the golden island”. It has several islets, unusually diverse relief climbing from the northwest towards southeast: from scenic creeks and bays across fertile fields and dense forests with Sub-Mediterranean vegetation to the area of bare limestone area and true mountainous scenery. There are three streams and two lakes at the island of Krk.
Rab has specific geomorphologic features made by reefs and valleys. Beside rich flora, there is diversity of animal species both at the land and in the sea. Natural wealth, rich history and cultural and historical heritage are the basis of the tourist activity. The sudden expansion of tourism changed completely the way of life and nowadays almost all island’s population lives directly or indirectly from tourism.
The island of Cres, the largest Adriatic island is located in the northern part of the Kvarner Bay. Its southern part, the town of Osor is linked to the island of Losinj by a bridge. We should emphasise the unusual natural phenomenon of the fresh water lake of Vrana. The level of the lake is above the level of the surrounding sea and its bottom is beneath the sea level at the depth of 74 m. A great richness of the botanical and animal world and an exceptional number of endemic species is a genuine challenge to all nature lovers. Cres is also one of the last habitats of a rare bird species - griffon vulture. After years long scientific research, two colonies at Cres which they inhabit were declared “special ornithological reserves”.
Losinj’s tourist beginnings are linked to health tourism, as the benefits of climate and vegetation of the island were first discovered by the wise Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. Along with proclaiming Losinj a health resort, they built numerous villas and summer residences, which have been restored and today enrich the landscape. Active holiday seekers, all year round, are able to use the 220 km long laid-out pathways, which stretch over no less than five islands.
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