Like me, if you’re landing in Croatia for the first time during the country’s busiest season, it’s normal to feel slightly overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle that the summer brings.
With unbeatable scenery, friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and islands aplenty, 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 travel around its blue caves and clear waters.
While touristy 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 slightly more under the radar. Untouched beaches, smooth sands, and crowdless beaches await travelers.
Last summer, I spent some time in Dubrovnik and Split but ultimately decided to island hop around Croatia to avoid the crowds. While it’s very 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 under 2 hours, and numerous tour companies will take you here.
While there’s plenty to see here, the true draw is beautiful Komiza Bay. A short bus ride from town, Komiza is a deep bay full of sparkling 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 runs out of a local home.
The longest Island in Croatia, Brac attracts adventure travelers due to its unbeatable windsurfing conditions. While Bol is one of the more popular towns on the Island for tourists, we’re here to avoid crowds, remember?!
On the Northern region of the Island, Milna is more like it if you’re looking for fewer crowds and charming views. The harbor area digs into the Island, making for a rounded shape.
Stroll along the idyllic streets and try the freshly caught seafood. Numerous tours also venture here from popular areas daily.
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 tours.
Bisevo is lined with rocky caves along its shores, but the most visited is the infamous ‘Blue Cave.’ Small boats lead tourists through the low cavern, where you’ll see luminescent blue waters filling the area.
Sunlight reflects through the seabed, making the cave glow in an otherworldly way. There are a few cave-side cafes you can also visit for some street food favorites.
While Hvar is certainly one of the more popular Islands in Croatia, it’s still much more tranquil than its popular neighbors inland.
A major port, Hvar is often buzzing with eager tourists and laid-back locals. It’s easy to get lost here as you stroll along the winding streets and admire quaint restaurant and store displays.
The town is connected to a few Palenki Islands, which bring travelers by boat to its secluded beaches, blue waters, and calming surroundings. It’s possible to get a direct ferry from Split to Hvar or book a day tour through a travel company.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com