Croatian Islands cool: 15 amazing places to stay, from Krk to Korčula

Telegraph Travel
Little Green Bay, a boutique hotel in a secluded bay on Hvar, is all about understated luxury

The Croatian islands, restful escapes surrounded by the turquoise Adriatic, are a real treat for discerning travellers. Hvar and Korčula, in Dalmatia, are known for their Venetian-era main towns, with old stone palazzi huddled around elegant cathedrals, and paved piazzas with chic restaurants serving fresh fish and quality local wines. Nearby, rocky Brač is top for hiking, cycling and watersports, and oft-forgotten Šolta conceals a handful of sheltered bays, loved by yachters. In the Kvarner Gulf, Krk has fine Romanesque churches and long pebble beaches, while pine-scented Lošinj offers several modern waterside hotels with luxurious spas. We've rounded up some of the best places to stay for a blissful island getaway in Croatia. 


One of the closest islands to Split on the central Dalmatian coast, Brač is home to Croatia's most famous beach, the Zlatni rat ('golden cape') – a finger of fine sand and shingle protruding off the coast from the small town of Bol, its shape ever changing with the surrounding currents. Other highlights of Brač include the remote Pustinja Blaca monastery, agrotourism in the island's rural interior and some great places to eat, together with excellent windsurfing, and good hiking and biking trails.

Where to stay

Hotel Lemongarden, Sutivan, Brac, Croatia

Hotel Lemongarden

Sutivan, Brac, Croatia

9Telegraph expert rating

An exceptional, adults-only heritage hotel set in a garden full of Mediterranean trees and flowers and steps away from the seafront promenade of Sutivan, a small, sleepy town on the north-western coast of the island. Stylish rooms, suites and maisonettes are tastefully decorated and facilities here rival those of a luxury hotel, including a bar and restaurant, heated outdoor pool, and spa with a steam room and Finnish sauna. But the highlight is the hotel's own private 3,000 square-feet beach complete with sun loungers and beach towels. Read expert review From £239 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Bluesun Hotel Brac

Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa

Bol, Brac, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

This big modern hotel, next to the stunning Zlatni Rat beach, is ideal for an active family holiday. Here you have windsurfing and scuba diving facilities, plus hiking and cycling routes, and bikes for rent. There's a wellness centre with several pools, and a tennis school. Rooms and suites are all light and airy, with wooden floors, fabrics in sea-inspired emeralds and blues, and sliding glass doors opening onto balconies – it's worth paying a little extra for a sea view. Read expert review From £51 per night Check availability Rates provided by

The best hotels in Brac

Hotel Osam, Brac, Croatia

Hotel Osam

Supetar, Brac, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

A stylish adults-only hotel set on Supetar's car-free, palm-tree-lined seaside promenade. The charming harbour and narrow lanes of the historic old town are practically on the doorstep, alongside restaurants, cafés and shops. Comfortable rooms are done up in an elegant, minimalist style and many open onto balconies with sea views. Plus points include the on-site restaurant with al fresco dining, outdoor pool and the views from the rooftop bar. Read expert review From £47 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Olife Hotel, Milna, Brac, Croatia

Olife Hotel

Milna, Brac, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

A charming guesthouse-style accommodation, with cheery and light-filled rooms that are decorated with (reproduction) Banksy graphics, in a rambling period building directly facing the sea in Milna, a small fishing village. Some rooms have their own kitchens, but there's also a restaurant and al fresco bar. This family-run property offers exceptional value for money, and opens directly onto the seaside promenade. The name 'Olife' is a nod to the olive tree, known as the 'tree of life' and a symbol of the island. Read expert review From £59 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Second only to Dubrovnik in popularity, sun-drenched Hvar is a long, slender island just 40km (25 miles) from Split, famed for its lavender fields and as Croatia's coolest clubbing destination. The island's Stari Grad Plain is a Unesco World Heritage Site, where the pattern of olive trees, as laid out by early Greek colonists, has been perfectly preserved for some two and a half thousand years. Some of Croatia's best red wines are produced on Hvar, in particular around Sveta Nedelja on the steep west coast of the island, from the Plavac grape.

Where to stay

Heritage Villa Apolon

Hvar, Croatia

9Telegraph expert rating

This pink, 19th-century neoclassical villa overlooks the bay in Stari Grad, the oldest settlement on the Dalmatian island of Hvar and its main ferry port. At the end of a long, deep bay, it's quieter, less expensive and more authentic than trendy Hvar Town, and has some excellent seafood restaurants. Apolon is all about slowing down and chilling out – sitting on the stone terrace in the shade of palm trees, perhaps, and watching the boats sail in and out of the bay. Read expert reviewCheck availability Rates provided by

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Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel, Hvar

Hotel Adriana

Hvar, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

In a refurbished 1970s building, this image-conscious hotel overlooks the fishing boats in Hvar Town's pretty harbour, just a stone's throw from the main square. Communal spaces feature upholstered sofas and armchairs in shades of blue referencing the sea. The Adriana's main asset is the vast Sensori Spa, which has a covered year-round rooftop pool with a wooden deck, and offers sauna, aromatherapy, and beauty treatments. Read expert review From £101 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Little Green Bay, Hvar, Croatia

Little Green Bay

Hvar, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

This boutique hotel in a secluded bay on Hvar is all about understated luxury; nestled in an isolated pine-scented bay, immersed in emerald greens and turquoise blues, it's a place for total relaxation. Chic contemporary design is at the forefront, with 15 rooms and a slick bar-restaurant in polished concrete and earthy tones, with big wickerwork lampshades and grainy linen textiles. There's a pebble beach, mini-spa and private speedboat. Read expert review From £356 per night

The best hotels in Hvar


Palmizana Hotel, Hvar, Croatia

Palmizana Hotel

Hvar, Croatia

9Telegraph expert rating

Palmizana is on a tiny island (the pine-scented Sveti Klement) a short boat-ride across the bay from Hvar Town. It's immersed in lush, exotic planting, and so a stay here feels like a back-to-nature escape. Inside, the hotel is decorated in deep, vibrant colours complemented by modern artworks, with the six bungalows and six villas each themed around a particular hue. There are two excellent open-air restaurants, and in the garden, there's a pop-up boutique. Read expert review From £106 per night

The best hotels in Lošinj


Lying in the Kvarner Gulf, Lošinj is accessible by catamaran from Rijeka on the mainland. It's dubbed "the island of vitality" for its mild climate, pine forests and fragrant Mediterranean herbs, plus its pretty twin towns Mali Lošinj and Veli Lošinj. In the 19th century, wealthy Austro-Hungarians built seaside summer villas here. You get two islands in one – Lošinj is connected to Cres by a moveable bridge, which opens twice daily to let boats sail through the narrow channel.


Vitality Hotel Punta, Losinj, Croatia

Vitality Hotel Punta

Lošinj, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

This modern four-star resort overlooks the sea from its lovely waterfront promenade, partly shaded by pine trees. Sea-facing terraces and an infinity pool make the most of the setting. There's a rocky beach (Blue Flag), with sun loungers and steps down into the water, plus the pretty harbour village of Veli Lošinj is a five-minute walk away. The Punta also has extensive spa facilities, tennis courts and an outdoor climbing wall. Read expert review From £80 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Family Hotel Vespera, Lošinj, Croatia

Family Hotel Vespera

Lošinj, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

With a beautiful and secluded seaside location, smart modern rooms, a good family restaurant and oodles of activities for children, this is quite simply one of the best family-oriented hotels in Croatia. The range of facilities is unrivalled – from kids' clubs and entertainment for three different age groups, to outdoor seawater pools (including two suitable for toddlers, with slide and waterfall). The hotel is only a couple of minutes' walk from the sea and a short distance from a sheltered pebble beach – walk down the coastal path, past several secluded coves and beaches, and there’s a pretty good chance of seeing dolphins. Read expert review From £72 per night Check availability Rates provided by

The best hotels in Korčula


The island of Korčula lies towards the southern end of the Dalmatian coast, less than 100km (62 miles) from Dubrovnik. Korčula town itself is an amazing walled medieval town rising straight up out of the clear blue waters of the Adriatic, with a herringbone pattern of narrow streets and alleys. It's something like a miniature Dubrovnik with fewer crowds. Highlights include the Moreška sword dance, inscribed on the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the beaches at Lumbarda. Korčula produces some good wines, in particular Grk and Pošip, and one of Croatia's best red wine producing areas, Dingač, lies on the nearby Pelješac peninsula.

Where to stay

Lesic Dimitri Palace, Korcula, Croatia

Lešić Dimitri Palace

Korcula, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

In Korčula Town, a cluster of old stone buildings have been lovingly renovated to form this luxurious boutique hotel. It's themed around the voyages of Marco Polo, with quirky contemporary design details. There's a lovely waterside terrace which offers sublime vistas across the turquoise sea channel to mountainous Peleješac. A small spa does Thai massages and a hotel yacht (with skipper) is available for private sailing trips around the island. Read expert review From £333 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Hotel Liburna, Korcula, Croatia

Hotel Liburna

Korcula, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

A modern waterside hotel, with views of Korčula's fortified Old Town and the rugged slopes of Pelješac across the bay. It has 112 rooms, a buffet restaurant with an ample sea-view terrace, a pebble-and-rock beach front and an outdoor pool. It makes an ideal holiday base for families or couples. Read expert review From £88 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Hotel Korčula de la Ville, Korcula, Croatia

Hotel Korcula De La Ville

Korcula, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

A reasonably priced old-fashioned hotel, on the palm-lined seafront promenade in Korčula's medieval Old Town. Expect welcoming staff, 20 rooms and suites, a brasserie serving Dalmatian cuisine on a gorgeous leafy waterside terrace, and an adjoining G&T lounge, with sublime sunsets. Read expert review From £90 per night Check availability Rates provided by

The best hotels in Krk


The island of Krk boasts one of Croatia's most popular beaches, the huge and mostly sandy Velika Plaža (literally ‘big beach’) at the small town of Baška. There’s also some good wine on the island, made with the local Žlahtina grape, and great hiking in the rocky lunar landscape of the hills above Baška. Krk is the most easily accessible island to the Croatian mainland, connected by road bridge as well as the usual ferries, and Rijeka airport is actually on Krk.

Where to stay

Heritage Hotel Forza, Krk, Croatia

Heritage Hotel Forza

Baška, Krk, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

When Heritage Hotel Forza opened it instantly became the most stylish place to stay in the small town of Baška, which is blessed with one of the most popular beaches in Croatia. It's small, intimate and family run, with comfortable, tastefully decorated rooms, and makes a luxurious base to explore the hiking trails, historic churches and vineyards this island has to offer. Read expert review From £72 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Partly because of its ruggedness and partly because of its proximity to Split, which means tourists often overlook it in favour of better-known islands slightly further away, Solta (which measures just 12 miles by two), in the central Dalmatian archipelago, remains blissfully unspoilt and is still home to a thriving fishing community plus working vineyards and olive groves.

Where to stay

Martinis Marchi Heritage Hotel, Maslinica, Solta, Croatia

Martinis Marchi Heritage Hotel

Maslinica, Šolta, Croatia

8Telegraph expert rating

This tastefully restored 300-year-old castle is Šolta island's only hotel and overlooks the scenic harbour of Maslinica, a tiny port town on the western edge of the 12-mile-long island. The unique heritage property is set in a vast garden that appeals to history and architecture lovers, and provides a quiet escape in a charming harbour town. Look out for the fine-dining restaurant, the heated outdoor pool and the sauna and hammam. Read expert review From £158 per night Check availability Rates provided by

Contributions by Jane Foster, Rudolf Abraham and Isabel Putinja