Escaping the crowds might sound like a ‘mission impossible’ in a charter destination of Croatia’s popularity, but more than a few of its wondrous 1.200 islands still remain off the beaten path. Venture away from the polished and touristy and find an authentic Mediterranean, deeply cared for by the proud locals whose lives still revolve more around the Sun’s ascent and descent, than they do around the tourism season.
With rugged shores, passionate winds, inhabited and uninhabited islands, and divine seascapes, the Northern Adriatic is where you will find this authentic serenity. Its scattered archipelagos, distinctive lighthouses, pop-up restaurants, Mom and Pop’s shops, all seem like untouched by the hands of time. Slow down, enjoy the silence and escape into an undiscovered Croatia.
Kornati National Park
Silba and Olib
Sandy Susak Island
Dolphins of Losinj
Cliffs of Dugi Otok
Ugljan and Pašman Islands
Brijuni National Park
Southern Coast of Istria
Biograd – Pašman Island
As the mighty Velebit Mountain unleashes winds into your sails, bid farewell to the ordinary and the touristy. As the archipelago of Zadar slowly contours its peaks and capes against the horizon, the escapist euphoria settles in: that wonderful feeling of being away. Anchor overnight on Pašman Island, secure and relaxed in the cleanest waters of the Adriatic Sea.
When George Bernard Shaw described Kornati, he said: "On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath". A wavering string of over 100 islands, like moonscapes, Kornati are an open-eyed meditation. Swim, snorkel, admire, sail, and just be one with this gem of the Dalmatian coast.
Telašćica and Salt Lake Mir
Croatia’s tallest cliffs, taller than the Statue of Liberty, guard Telašcica – the country’s largest bay. But these superlatives say nothing of the tameness which has attracted mariners over here for decades. With engines turned off, scan the skies for peregrine falcons, befriend dolphins, or simply be. Treat yourself with a swim in lukewarm waters of the Salt lake Mir, another natural stunner of Dugi Otok.
Pantera Bay and Saharun Beach
From Telašćica at the southern tip of Dugi Otok, sail over to the northern end for the island’s second outstanding outlet: Pantera Bay. An oasis of beauty amidst not much else, Panetera is a place to read a good book and enjoy glancing over the top of the page. Visit the nearby Saharun beach and perhaps one of Adriatic’s most beautiful lighthouses, Tajer.
The unchartered shores, authentic island living and gems hidden from the masses surely make the Northern Adriatic an unprecedented choice for mariners looking to escape the chartered routes. Throw in the empowering winds, diversity of landscapes and opportunities for adventures, and you can even add a splash of adrenaline to your escape.
But divine seclusion can be found elsewhere too, sometimes even in plain sight by some of Croatia’s most bustling destinations. Try the leafy forests of Mljet or the quaint seafront of Cavtat by Dubrovnik, or find your very own bay among the 24 on Šolta Island by Split. In Croatia, escapes are often just a bay away so do tell if you are looking for one.
In Latin, the name of Molat Island literally means “as sweet as honey”. And such it is, this island where you can enjoy the upbeat buzz of its most popular cove, Jazi, or go out and find one cove only for yourself. Dive in to swim with rays, glance at a red coral site or perhaps visit a shipwreck site. Whether it’s adventure or relaxation you are feeling like today, Molat is the place to be.
Silba is the secret paradise of Croatia. Car-free, and with only some 300 year-round inhabitants, this is the place where artists, adventurists and all other free spirits come to restore their life’s balance. Breathtakingly green and completely car-free, Silba is an ideal island for long walks and quiet morning swims.
The island with two faces, Ugljan, makes for the perfect ending of a perfect escape. The island’s northern shores are dotted in picturesque villages and to explore, dock in Muline. Here, once upon a time, ancient Romans used to load their boats with wine and olive oils. But to enjoy one last moment to yourself, keep along the southern shores and find that one sandy cove with your name on it.
Ugljan - Biograd
It is not until you return to the hustle and bustle of the seaside town of Biograd that you will fully understand the enchanting silence you had been immersed in over the past days. This silence exists elsewhere along the Adriatic too, so do come back for more.
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