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Like me, if you land in Croatia for the first time during the country’s busiest season, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle that summer brings.
With unrivaled scenery, friendly people, delicious cuisine, and many islands, it’s pretty obvious why tourism in Croatia has increased in recent years. What was once undiscovered is now a hub for sun-loving tourists looking to tour its blue caves and crystal clear waters.
While tourist destinations can be fun in their own way, it’s also important to venture off the beaten path. The Croatian archipelago consists of around 78 islands: 49 of which are inhabited and easily accessible to tourists from the mainland.
There are numerous popular spots, but there are also some that have remained a bit more under the radar. Unspoilt beaches, soft sands, and beaches without the crowds await travelers.
Last summer, I spent time in Dubrovnik and Split, but ultimately decided to go island hopping around Croatia to avoid the crowds. While it’s quite possible to stay on some of the islands for a day or two, I took the day trip route through local tour companies (and got to see a lot!)
A more « remote » island compared to most, Vis is the place to go if you want to experience how the locals live. The ferry from Split to Vis usually takes less than 2 hours and many tourism companies will take you here
While there is a lot to see here, the real draw is the beautiful Komiza Bay. A short bus ride from the city, Komiza is a deep bay filled with brilliant blue waters. For such a picturesque place, you won’t believe how uncrowded it is!
During my time here, I only ran into locals and a few tourists here and there (which was exactly what I needed). Be sure to visit the creperie along the bay, which is located in a local house.
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Croatia’s longest island, Brac, attracts adventure travelers due to its excellent windsurfing conditions. Although Bol is one of the most popular cities on the island for tourists, we are here to avoid the crowds, remember?
In the northern region of the island, Milna is more pleasant if you are looking for fewer crowds and lovely views. The port area juts out into the island, creating a rounded shape.
Stroll through its idyllic streets and try the freshly caught seafood. Numerous tours also venture here from popular areas every day.
With an incredibly small population, Bisevo is situated in the middle of the archipelago. Most tour companies include this island in their island hopping day trips.
Bisevo is full of rocky caves along its shores, but the most visited is the infamous ‘Blue Cave’. Small boats take tourists through the lower cavern, where you’ll see luminescent blue waters fill the area.
Sunlight reflects through the seabed, making the cave glow in an otherworldly way. There are a few cave side cafes that you can also visit for some street food favourites.
While Hvar is certainly one of the most popular islands in Croatia, it is still much quieter than its popular inland neighbors.
A major port, Hvar is often packed with enthusiastic tourists and laid-back locals. It’s easy to get lost here as you wander the winding streets and admire the quaint displays of restaurants and shops.
The city is connected to a few Palenki islands, which bring boat travelers to their secluded beaches, azure waters, and peaceful surroundings. It is possible to take a direct ferry from Split to Hvar or book a walking Day through a travel company.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com