Croatian Islands; Tourist Information and Photos

 

Please look lower down the page if you want free pictures of Croatian islands.

The islands featured in our pictures are:
Brijuni, off the Adriatic coast of Istria, near to Pula
Krk, in the northern Adriatic near to Rijeka in the Bay of Kvarner
Pag, the party island, also near to Rijeka, and with a bridge to the mainland
Rab, still in the Kvarner Gulf, and close to the mainland, but no bridge
Kornati, off the Mediterranean coast of northern Dalmatia, west of Šibenik
(First a word of warning: some of these island beaches are sand, and some are pebbles – if you care what yours is, check before you book…)

Brijuni is actually a group of 2 main islands and 12 smaller islands in the northern Adriatic, off the coast of Istria. The largest island of this group is Veliki Brijun, which happens to be only 2 km (1 mile) off shore, and was significant in Roman times, but then went to sleep until the Austrian Empire found it strategically important in 1815. After World War 1 the Brijuni islands were part of Italy for a while, until President Tito of Yugoslavia made his official summer residence on Veliki Brijun. Today it is mainly tourism that brings in the wealth, and the islands are a National Park.

You can fly into Pula from most parts of Europe, and then you need to take a bus to Fažana, 8km north. There you can get a 20 minute boat ride to Veliki Brijuni; boats leave regularly throughout the day, especially in summer.

Most apartments and hotels described as ‘near Brijuni’ are on the mainland rather than on one of the islands. The nearest big town to the coast is Pula, which with its Roman amphitheatre has plenty to see, but this is more than 8km (5 miles) from the islands. Fazana is another popular mainland resort, but it too is 4km from Brijuni island, even though it is right opposite it on the coast. There are a couple of hotels on the island by its harbour, and some villas in the Bay of Lovorika, plus a camp site, but their capacity is not sufficient in summer. Once you accept you are going to stay on the Istrian coast and travel to the islands for the day, everything becomes easier.

In Fažana or along the nearby coast, for example, you can choose to stay within walking distance of the harbour, and cross to the National Park early in the morning, where you can have a guided tour of Veliki Brijun by electric train. Then there is 9 hectare Safari Park where they have an Indian elephant, a South American Llama, and some zebras from Guinea. There are some Indian holy cattle, and that is about it: apart from looking at the scenery, and maybe some dinosaurs’ footprints, there is not much to do on Velike Brijun except ‘be there’.

Krk, with a permanent population of around 20,000, is the most populated island in the Adriatic.

Krk Island is connected to the mainland by a toll bridge, and nearby is Rijeka International Airport, which at the last count had flights from 13 European countries, as well as internal flights from other parts of Croatia, such as Zagreb.

The main town is also called Krk, and other popular beaches are Silo Beach and Baška Beach, which are very busy in summer. The old town of Baška is particularly attractive. Most people come to this island for the beaches and water sports, so you might as well choose accommodation where you can walk to the sea without too much effort.

Places to visit on Krk island include the pretty hill-top town of Vrbnik and the historic Frankopan Castle. The Biserujka Cave is quite popular with visitors, and is good for families, but don’t expect a huge cave complex – it is only small! Also, you need a car to get there. Baška has an aquarium that should interest children.

Pag is Croatia’s premier party island, and the resort of Novalja in the north of the island has plenty of open-air clubs to go to (or to avoid – depending on your taste). By contrast, the tourist goods Pag is known for are cheese and lace!

By car over the bridge at the southern end of the island, or by bus from Rijeka (3hrs – 3hrs 30) or Zadar (1hr -1hr 30) on the mainland to the main town, Pag, or to Novalja. By bus from Split takes 4hrs 30 to 5 hrs. There are also various ferries to Pag, including a catamaran service from Rijeka to Novalja that saves you half an hour over the bus.

There is a wide range of accommodation on Pag, whether in Pag Town or along the coast. If you want to spend any time on the island you really need to stay there, as it’s too far to go for a day.

Apart from the nightlife and the beach, there are not a lot of attractions on Pag. There’s a Lace Gallery and a Salt Museum, as well as a tour of the cheese factory, but it’s not likely to get your pulse racing. There is a City Museum and Roman Aqueduct in Novalja, and that’s about it, apart from day trips off the island on boats.

Rab claims to have been receiving visitors to its 30 sandy beaches and clear, warm waters for 125 years. It styles itself ‘the happy island’ and boasts the most sand beaches anywhere in the Adriatic. It is also one of the greenest islands, with actual trees!

The same catamaran from Rijeka to Pag calls at Rab Town after just 1hr 40 mins. There is also a car ferry from Krk to Rab, and buses from Rijeka and Zagreb to the island.

Most accommodation on Rab is in and around Rab Town, and there is a good range of hotels from 4 star to 2 star, and privately let apartments. Two really popular beaches are Paradise Beach (sandy and shallow water – ideal for children) and Sahara Beach (the main one of several naturist beaches on the island).
What to see and do
Rab Town is steeped in history, from the town walls to its 15th century buildings, and numerous churches, with a Franciscan Monastery 6km out of town. For a day off the beach, visit the 6th century Early Byzantine fortress on a hill above Barbat and Banjol, or have a walk around the harbour and look inside the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Mary’s Assumption. Then climb the tower of St Christopher’s Church for a fine view over Rab Town.

The Kornati (also known as the Stomorski Islands), are in fact an archipelago of 140 islands of various sizes – the largest island is Kornat. Most of this group of islands is a National Park, and as a result there is almost no accommodation and no permanent inhabitants, so to visit you need to join an organised day trip through a tourist information office.

Stay in Zadar, Šibenik or Split, where there is a wide range of accommodation to choose from. Consult your tourist information office about day trips to the islands.

The Skraćić family farm offers the ‘real Kornati’ programme. Learn about the farming life and how animals and crops have changed the features of the island. If the weather is poor, learn about the history of Kornati, but indoors. If you find the sea and fish more interesting, instead of a farm you can tour the Matiana fisherman’s house, and learn about their way of life. Really, apart from water sports and walking on the unusual landscape, there is not much to do on the Kornati. The Najada Diving Centre, at the sign of the mermaid, has staff speaking several languages to teach diving courses. Then there are boat excursions of various kinds and lengths, with various destinations. A typical day out is a trip on a wooden sailing vessel among the islands, with 2 breaks during the day for walking, swimming, and just looking. A Mediterranean lunch of grilled fish and meat is served on board.

Finally: it IS possible to stay on the Kornati islands, as long as you don’t mind roughing it a bit. The ‘fishermen’s cottages’ have no running water and no electricity; you travel there by boat and then get picked up a week later. In between you are on your own. To book, go through the Arta tourist agency.

Brijuni
Brijuni, Island Map Brijuni, Croatia Brijuni, Forest Brijuni, Trees
Brijuni, archaeological site Brijuni, archaeological site Animals, Brijuni Brijuni, Animals
Brijuni  Forest, Brijuni  Brijuni, sea  Dinosaur Footprints 
Krk
Krk, Bridge Town of Krk, Croatia Town of Krk, Marketplace Town of Krk, Croatia
Malinska, Krk Krk, Porat Krk, agriculture Vineyard, Krk
Krk, Baska Baska, Beach Krk, tourist boat Krk, boats
Pag      
Pag, Bridge Bridge Pag   Island of Pag Pag, Croatia 
Island of Pag  Pag, salt production  Town of Pag Pag, church
Pag, town and ships Pag, Beach Croatia, Pag Pag, Croatia
     
Rab      
Island of Rab, Ferry Island of Rab, Ferry Port Town of Rab Rab, Croatia
Rab, Croatia Flag  Rab, Croatia  Rab City  Rab, Rapska Fjera 
Town of Rab, Croatia Town of Rab Coast, Island of Rab Rab, beach
     
Kornati      
Kornati, Light House Croatia, Kornati Village, Kornati Kornati, Croatia
Kornati, Tourist Ship Kornati, Croatia Kornati, Port, Boat Kornati, Sailing Boat
Kornati, Sailing Kornati, House, Boat Kornati, Croatia travel Croatia, Kornati