An AZ of Croatian Islands – and how to plan the perfect vacation

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The islands conjure up dreamlike images of romance and escape – otherworldly retreats where everyday problems dissolve into a heady blue haze of sea and sky. Croatia claims to have over 1,000 islands, islets and reefs. Of these, 79 can be defined as islands and 47 are inhabited.

Indeed, life is slower and sunnier here. The ancient Greeks, renowned for their love of beauty and pleasure, founded several settlements on the Croatian islands and the wealthy Romans would later build rustic villas there, where they grew grapes and olives and enjoyed the gentle breeze from the mistral sea during balmy summer afternoons.

Today, most people still come to the islands specifically for the mild climate and the healthy Mediterranean diet. Often, they receive little extra unexpected extras: ferry trips where new friendships are formed; jewelry stores where engagement rings are purchased; glorious memories of the full moon reflecting in the ink blue Adriatic after dark. Each island has its own identity: some offer hedonistic nightlife, others are better for water sports, and some stand out for their wines. Some are just relaxing and unpretentious.

Beaches are on many people’s priority list for a vacation, but if you’ve never visited Croatia before (currently on the green watch list), it should be noted that sandy beaches are rare here. Most are of the rock and boulder variety and although they may take some getting used to, they do have their advantages: Underwater visibility is excellent – so you will clearly see a seabed adorned with starfish and tiny hermit crabs – and you won’t see it. find itchy sand in your clothes, hair, or shoes after a day at the water’s edge.

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