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This post is sponsored by Goolets, a company specializing in luxury gulet and yacht cruises.
If you’re dreaming of a sunny beach getaway—one filled with picturesque islands and sparkling turquoise waters—then Croatia should be high on your radar. With a staggering 1,104 miles of coastline (1,777 kilometres), that doesn’t even begin to count the additional 2,522 miles of Croatian island and inlets coastline. The fact is, whether you love a well-developed island with plenty of things to do, or a remote stretch of sand or rock that’s just you and the ocean, then you can be sure there’s a Croatian island that fits the bill.
We’ve already covered the key reasons you should visit Croatia, so let’s dive deeper not only into the best islands in the region, but also how chartering a luxury yacht in Croatia is among the most effective ways to enjoy your island vacation.
Why Charter a Luxury Yacht in Croatia?
By choosing a private yacht charters for your Croatia vacation, you are taking luxury to the next level, while also giving you and your family the chance to customize an itinerary that exactly fits all of the best islands and things to do you dream of seeing.
Every detail of your yacht vacation is personalized, from the food to the itinerary, and you can easily bypass the feeling a part of mass tourism experienced on the packed ferries and day trips around Croatia.
Imagine unpacking once, and then simply sinking into vacation mode while professionally trained crews take care of your every need. You’ll sip amazing wine each evening at sunset as sparsely-inhabited Croatian islands dot your panoramic sea views. You’ll dine on gourmet dinners, tip back a flute of champagne with unobstructed views of the starry night sky, and wake to sumptuous breakfasts. All this while reveling in complete privacy while out at sea—and often even whole islands to yourself as you explore the islands by day!
Below are our seven favorite Croatian islands you can explore on your luxury yacht.
1. Brijuni Islands
If you’re sailing your own vessel around the Croatian islands—and you should be to best enjoy the region—then chart a course to the Brijuni Islands, an archipelago just off of the coast. All of the islands comprise a national park, and the two main islands open to tourists are lush green and feature pine- and laurel-covered slopes. What makes this one of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic? Well, once the day-trippers go home, you’ll have a access to unspoilt nature the likes of which you’ll find on none of the other islands. Once the summer retreat of Josip Broz (Tito), the former Yugoslav president, there’s a safari park of exotic animals once gifted to Tito, alongside treasures such as Roman ruins, dinosaur footprints, and rare plants (wild cucumber and marine poppy, among others).
2. Susak Island
Imagine yourself as Tom Hanks in Castaway when your yacht sidles up to this pretty, sparsely-inhabited island. Located three hours off the coast, you won’t have to contend with day-trippers sharing the sandy shoreline of Spiaza Beach, which is easily one of the prettiest stretches of sand among the Croatian islands. The beach is ideal for families since it’s shallow for a long ways. The small village ensures you can find an ice cream to beat the heat, as well as a bit of art. Every year, the Susak Expo is an unlikely but thought-provoking international art exhibit that few in the world visit. If you’re there in late May and June, stop by and enjoy the artist’s unique vision. The island is small, so you’ll head back to your yacht in the evenings for gourmet meals prepared by a crew ready to serve your every need.
3. Bisevo Island
You’ll need to charter a private yacht to reach Biševo, given that it’s the farthest inhabited island from mainland Croatia. A private cruise affords you the luxury of a crew there to serve you, and a completely customizable itinerary during your week(s) exploring the best islands in the Adriatic Sea. The main reason to venture to this outpost is the chance to wonder at the beauty of the Blue Grotto (Modra Spilja), as sunlight causes a luminous blue light inside the cave, with those inside the water shimmering an eerie and beautiful silver. Once you’ve visited the cave, head to Porat Beach, which is a gorgeous stretch of sand that affords just about the best of everything the Dalmatian archipelago offers.
4. Proizd Island
With four beaches on the island, a number of pretty hiking trails, some of the shore-accessible snorkeling, and plenty of quiet bays to jet-ski, you’ll love a day spent with your yacht docked at Proizd island. The island is uninhabited and even in the height of summer you’ll share the beaches with only a handful of others. Expect white pebble and rock beaches, and you should visit several! The island has a number of well-marked footpaths, so you can easily pack up part-way through the day and visit a few others! Donji Bili Bok is a nude beach, and Batalo is a shallow bay on the island that’s perfect for families.
5. Brac Island
This Croatian island is no hidden secret—located just off the coast of Split it’s large and packed in the height of summer—but that doesn’t mean you should skip it! The pretty white pebbles of Zlatni Rat beach makes this perhaps the most famous stretch of beach in all of Croatia, and it’s worth a few hours of sunning. But you should also plan a bit of hiking to explore other viewpoints on the island. Hike to the Vidova Gora lookout point, and definitely plan a few hours to explore the Blaca Monastery.
6. Kornati Archipelago
Given the steep fee charged to visit the 89 islands in the Kornati National Park, you’ll have one of the most tranquil experiences of your entire weeks yachting once you enter these waters off the coast of Zadar. Kornat island features fortress ruins you can explore, but really you’ll just want to sun yourself on the deck of your yacht in the pristine and serene silence with some of the best panoramic views in Croatia. If you’re a diver, this is also one of the best spots for scuba in the Adriatic—you’ll explore underwater caves, reefs, tunnels, and more. It also also fun for snorkelers, so it’s truly a set of islands the entire family can enjoy.
7. Lopud Island
When you’re in cruising around the southern Croatian islands, point your yacht toward Lopud island, which is located off the coast of Dalmatia. Located in the Elaphiti Islands, this car-free island is home to the bay of Sunj, which should absolutely be on your island itinerary given it’s stretch of soft sand dipping into the deep blue waters. Beyond sunning yourself, this island offers plenty to explore: ruins, monasteries, palaces, and forts. Plan to park your yacht here into the early evening hours—the island is magical once the day-trippers go home and the soft sunset makes walking the boutiques and ice cream shops memorable.