The pick of Croatia's scenic islands
Croatia is growing in popularity with holiday makers far and wide, attracted by the country’s long summers, historic cities and beautiful beaches. The country offers tourists a great variety of places to visit, from the bustling inland capital of Zagreb, to the cosmopolitan city of Dubrovnik, to the beautiful resorts along the Dalmatian coast.
With the weather only really turning cold when November comes, many will choose to take holidays in Croatia this autumn, when the peak season has calmed down and there are fewer visitors. The numerous islands that lie in the clear blue seas off the Dalmatian coast, of which 66 are inhabited, are a popular destination. Each has its own independent character, and it's easy to spend days exploring the cobbled streets of small fishing villages and sampling each island's distinctive food and wine.
Probably the most fashionable of the islands is Hvar, thanks mostly to the stunning ancient port capital that shares its name. Hvar is a lively, vibrant island, especially in peak season when thousands descend on its trendy bars and clubs. But if you want to escape the buzz of the capital, there are plenty of options for a quieter night out. Milna, a small town situated about 6km from the capital in a protected cove, makes an ideal place for a romantic evening enjoying the local cuisine at one of the fine restaurants.
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Lopud is the perfect place to go for a peaceful day trip, with no cars and fewer visitors than some of the other islands. It’s only 50 minutes away from Dubrovnik by ferry but a world away in terms of atmosphere. If a day of romance with your partner is what you’re looking for, the island of Vis is ideal. There are plenty of vineyards to visit, a great selection of wonderful restaurants offering delicious meals sourced from the island, and many beautiful and secluded bays to hide away in, including the idyllic waters of Stiniva Cove in the south – perfect for snorkelling.
If you’re into watersports in general, Brac gets the nod over the other islands for sheer choice. Windsurfers flock to Zlatni Rat on the south coast, and Bol – a fishing village located only 3km away along the coast – is a great place to go for everything from pedal boats to wakeboarding and scuba diving.
Cheap holidays with Monarch to Croatia are available from just £217 per person. For great deals on holidays to Croatia and many other destinations around the world, visit monarch.co.uk.