5 Hidden Croatia Islands & Beaches Accessible Only by Boat
Even though the recent Coronavirus pandemic has certainly put a big question mark in our 2020 travel itineraries, that doesn’t mean that you should abandon your adventure plans altogether. Hey, you never know when the borders might open and chances are that international flights will start up again in the next few months – just in time to plan a Croatian escapade. This year is the ideal time to seek out a peaceful secluded island or beach in Croatia.
Whether you’re traveling as a digital nomad or purely looking for adventure and relaxation in a dreamy Mediterranean country, there is no denying that Croatia and its pristine islands and beaches are the place to be this summer – and any other for that matter. With that in mind, let’s take you on a journey around the most secluded and unique islands and beaches in Croatia that you will only want to visit by boat to get the full experience.
Palagruža, a tiny island in the Adriatic
There is probably no better hidden island in the Adriatic to help us kick off this list than Palagruža, or more specifically, the tiny islands of Vela (big) and Mala (small) Palagruža. This tiny archipelago consisting of two main islands and a host of even smaller islets is located in the center of the Adriatic, halfway between Croatia and Termoli on the eastern shore of Italy. And boy, does this place have something unique to offer.
If you are the type of traveler who wants to have an island all to yourself, even for just a little while, then Palagruža should be your first destination. Here, you will find a beautiful historic lighthouse that’s still in use, but not much else – except a breathtaking landscape and a mesmerizing view of the sea in all directions. The local waters are teeming with life, which does mean that you will encounter some fishermen on your way to the island. Still, this place is one of those rare slices of heaven on earth.
The honey-hued sands of Prapratno
You might be daydreaming about Palagruža right now but wait, we are just getting started. Up next on your itinerary is the small, out-of-the-way beach named Prapratno located to the south of the Bosnia and Herzegovina border, on the Pelješac Peninsula. Be sure to use Google Maps to find these little spots easily, especially if you’re not familiar with the Balkan region and the local languages.
Prapratno is a unique destination because, unlike many of the other beaches, it doesn’t have a shallow seabed and you can actually dip your entire body in the water after a few steps. This beach is a wonderful place to spend a peaceful day lounging and soaking in the breathtaking vistas, especially if you approach by boat. Be sure to moor the boat so that you can visit the small town of Ston some four kilometers north-east for its world-famous seafood and hospitality.
The secluded archipelago of Lastovo
Lastovo Island is a national park, a national treasure, and a truly magnificent display of natural wonders harboring tiny historic settlements with that quintessential yet beautiful mix of Italian and Croatian architecture that you will see across the Croatian coastline. This is one of those destinations that you mustn’t skip on your Croatian escapade because there is plenty to see and do in and around this expansive island.
Lastovo is best experienced by boat, and preferably with the guidance of a professional crew, which is why you will see travelers hiring crewed yacht charters to help them experience everything that the national park has to offer. Experienced guides will, for example, tell you about Lastovo’s rich and interesting history and take you to the best diving spots teeming with colorful marine life. As a special treat, you can tell your captain to take you stargazing (best in the Adriatic by far) by anchoring the yacht at some truly secluded spots.
Stiniva, a boarder’s paradise
Sailing north you will find yourself at yet another magnificent display of natural beauty – Vis Island and the tiny secluded beach Stiniva hidden in a little cove on the island’s southern fringe. This island is no mystery to travelers and adventurers, but it’s definitely one of the less frequented destinations for your typical class of tourists who prefer the convenience of mainland cities and coastal towns.
In Stiniva, you will be able to surf and marvel in the sprawling scenery around you, and you will definitely have the chance to snap some of the best travel photos for your collection. Plus, if you’re a boarder or a surfer, this place has some of the best waves in the Adriatic as well.
End your trip in Dugi Otok’s pristine wilderness
Dugi Otok (the Long Island) is part of an expansive archipelago situated off the coast of Zadar city. This beautiful archipelago, although accessible by ferryboats, is best experienced by yacht, as there are many alcoves and inviting natural coves along the coast that you will want to visit on your journey. This region has some of the best climate conditions in the Adriatic and some of the most untouched beaches in all of Croatia – so don’t be surprised if you’re only person for miles in every direction. Truly a must-see for all of you looking to experience true peace and tranquility in the sun-kissed Mediterranean.
Croatia might not be a big country, but its coast is vast and full of wonders that are definitely too numerous to experience in a single trip. Visit these secluded destinations first, and you will feel inspired to keep coming back to breathtaking Croatia for years to come.