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Car Free Islands In Croatia
The idea of an island with no cars on it is a pretty unique one. These days, we’re so used to seeing cars everywhere, rushing from one place to another, that the quiet and clean air with zero vehicles seems like a dream. But, there are actually several islands in Croatia that have no cars on them at all.
If you’re someone who is tired of the rat race, fed up with choking on city air, and you’re looking for a total get-away from it all kind of break, a car-free island in Croatia is the ideal spot for you. There are more than 1200 islands in Croatia, which many people aren’t aware of. For sure, only around 48 are actually inhabited, but a few are free of any traffic at all.
Let’s check out some of the best pedestrian-only islands in Croatia, so you can start planning your next island adventure.
Brijuni is actually an island archipelago with 14 islands in total. It’s located just off Istria and is now a huge national park with zero traffic. It was also the former summer residence of President Tito, so there’s history involved too.
Brijuni’s largest island is quite big, at around 33.9km, so you are going to need some way to get around that’s not about your feet. In that case, you can cycle or use a golf cart, and all are available for rent. There is also a small train that runs around the island during the tourist season.
There’s plenty to see and do here and without traffic hindrance. There are fantastic beaches, flora and fauna, wildlife, and plentiful ruins that date back to Roman times. There are also two hotels on the island, and children will love trying to spot the dinosaur indentations that are said to be on the island.
You can reach Veliki Brijun (the largest island) from Fazana via ferry.
If you’re a beach lover, Silba is the island for you. With countless beautiful sandy beaches and hidden coves you can soak up on the sun in, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from everything and everyone. But, if you want to get around Silba, you’ll have to walk as you can’t even use a bicycle here. However, that shouldn’t be an issue as the island is only 15km square.
There are a few small restaurants and shops on the island but don’t expect anything more. The pace of life here is slow, and it’s all about nature. The water is also so crystal clear; you won’t believe your eyes – perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
You can get to Silba from Zadar. There is a regular ferry service over to Silba, or you can use the ferry service from Pula. During the summer season, ferries also run from some smaller islands, such as Olib and Losinj.
Unije is a small island, but it’s packed with nature. If you’re someone who adores hiking and walking, this is the stand for you. It’s packed with beautiful olive groves, and the beach is pebbly, with crystal clear waters. Unije is a snorkeling dream, and you can combine your sea adventures with a walking trek across one of the many trails spanning the island.
The island’s interior is full of macchia trees and olive groves, while the coastal regions are rugged and are famous for Vele Stijene or the Great Cliffs. Again, there are no cars allowed on Unije, making it a rugged yet wonderful place to spend a day or two.
You can reach the island via ferry from Rijeka, Zadar, and Pula.
If you’re someone who wants to do their bit for the environment (as we all should), then visiting Zlarin is ideal. Not only are there no cars, but the island is free from plastic too. Zlarin banned single-use plastic in 2019 with the hope that others follow suit.
Zlarin is perfect for a walking holiday, with several trails that go around and over the 19km island. You can kayak explore the beaches, and you can also head to the top of Klepac and check out the stunning view over the Adriatic. You can stay overnight as there is one hotel on the island, and you should check out the coral museum to learn about the special type of red coral that is found on the island.
Susak is an island like no other. In fact, you’ll struggle to feel like you’re still in Croatia. Not only is the island car-free, but it’s also got its own dialect that residents speak. Despite that, only around 150 people live on the island. Susak is hilly and covered in green. It’s also home to many bamboo groves and vineyards. If you’re a wine lover, be sure to head to a vineyard and try some of the locally produced beverages.
You can also head to Spiaza Beach, with white sand and shallow waters. Bok Beach is another popular spot that does tend to get a little busy during the summer season.
You can reach Susak via ferry from Pula, Zadar, and Rijeka. During the summer there are also ferries from other islands, such as Losinj.
Our final car-free island in Croatia is located in north Dalmatia, Molat. This is the perfect choice for those who enjoy wildlife nature and simply want to walk to their heart’s content. There are many hiking treks throughout the island and plenty of flora and fauna to explore. There are small beaches in isolated coves, and due to the small nature of the island, you really will feel like you’re a million miles away from everything – the island is only 23 square km in length.
Molat also has some history as it is said that King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson landed on the island in 1939. Throughout history, the island has been owned by several wealthy families from Zadar but was under Venice’s rule during the 15th century.
You can get to Molat by ferry from Zadar all year around.
Which of these car-free islands do you want to head to first?
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