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Islands in the sun: why Croatia is the ultimate Summer destination

Islands in the sun: why Croatia is the ultimate Summer destination

Speckled with more than 1,000 islands, Croatia’s glittering Adriatic coast promises – and delivers – long, lazy days in the sultry sunshine. As this deeply indented coastline meanders from the Istrian peninsula in the north to Dalmatia’s southernmost point before it hits the Montenegrin border, it weaves in and around for about 1,100 miles. Just think of all those beaches squeezed into countless bays and coves, and creeping into river estuaries and inland seas.

The choice is extraordinary, as is the sheer variety of landscapes. Pebbly beaches backed by fragrant pines, long stretches of sand wedged between rocky cliffs, intimate rocky coves, beaches cleverly carved out of concrete platforms, watering holes under waterfalls – you’ll find all of this in Croatia, sometimes even on the same island.

In this land of mainly pebbly and rocky beaches, lovers of sandy beaches also have plenty to enjoy. The tiny island of Rab in the Kvarner Gulf is only 14 miles long, but it manages to contain about 30 sandy beaches. Just to the south is the beautiful mediaeval town of Nin, whose long sandy beaches come with the vivid backdrop of the Velebit Mountains soaring in the distance.

(CTB/Aleksandar Gospic)

On the island of Korčula, home of the exquisite Venetian-style Korčula Town, you’ll find several sandy beaches along its eastern stretch near the charming fishing village of Lumbarda. Carry on southwards to the lush green island of Mljet and its eastern end, where the sands of Saplunara beach are cooled by the fragrant shade of pine trees.

Once you reach the Elaphiti Islands – a popular place for a day trip from nearby Dubrovnik – you’ll want to take the footpath on the car-free island of Lopud and flop on the sands of Šunj beach. If you’re doing an epic road trip along the Dalmatian coast, it’s very tempting to stop at the Neretva Delta between the small towns of Ploče and Opuzen. The first thing you’ll spot here will be keen kiteboarders whizzing along the sands of Delta Beach. It’s just one of many places to enjoy exhilarating watersports. Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, the distinctively V-shaped spit of white pebbles on the southern coast of Brač, also happens to be one of the best places to go windsurfing.

(CTB / Zoran Jelaca)

Brač is just next door to Hvar, Croatia’s sunniest island and where you can kick back in the chic beach bars of Hvar Town and take in spectacular sunsets. If you want even more of a party…

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