If you’re looking for an off-beat destination that offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, then look no further than the Pakleni Islands, also known as the Paklinski Islands.
I first visited these islands in 2015 – yikes, so long ago now. I was there again last year, and the Pakleni Otoci, as they are called in Croatian, are just as magical the second time around.
The Pakleni archipelago comprises 14 islands and islets, including Jerolim, Marinkovac, and Sveti Klement. My guide explains how the islands can be reached by water taxi, rented boat, sea kayaking, private boat tour, or organized group day trips.
I also detail the popular beaches on the Pakleni Islands, which include Palmižana Beach, Mlini Beach, Ždrilca Beach, Carpe Diem Beach, and Jerolim Island FKK Beach.
Nestled in the heart of Hvar’s beautiful archipelago, the Pakleni otoci idyllic islands are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From secret beaches to charming villages, there is so much to explore here that you’ll never want to leave.
So pack your snorkel and prepare for an unforgettable journey as we take you on a tour of Croatia’s enchanting Pakleni Otoci!
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Introduction To Pakleni Islands – Pakleni Otoci
The Pakleni Islands are a group of sixteen car-free, small islands located just off the coast of Hvar Island. The name “Pakleni” comes from the old Croatian word paklina, a type of tar/pine resin once used to coat the hulls of ships. The islands are known for their clear waters, secluded beaches, and quaint villages.
You can reach the Pakleni Otoci by taking a taxi boat from Hvar Town, going on small group tours, or, as a stop on your sailing Croatia itinerary.
Several boat excursion companies offer day trips to the islands with varying budget options.
You can also rent your own boat for a more private experience if you have a boat license. I genuinely think that embarking on a Pakleni Islands adventure on your own is the best way to discover this captivating archipelago. You’ll have the liberty to anchor wherever you desire, depart at your convenience, and experience complete freedom.
Once on the Pakleni Islands, you can swim in the crystal-clear waters, sunbathe on one of the many secluded beaches, bike or hike through the forests, and up to one of the island’s viewpoints. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an active vacation, the Pakleni Islands Archipelago are sure to please.
Beaches On The Pakleni Islands
As we have said, the Pakleni Islands are known for their idyllic beaches, which are perfect for relaxing and soaking up the Mediterranean sun. There are several different beaches to choose from on the Pakleni Islands, so you can find one that suits your needs. Whether you want to relax on a quiet beach or party on a lively one, you can find it here.
There’s no shortage of picturesque beaches to explore on the Pakleni Islands. From secluded coves to long stretches of sand, there’s a beach to suit every taste. And with over a dozen islands to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect spot in the sun.
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax, head to any of the many sheltered coves dotting the islands. We loved Pokonji Dol.
Pokonji Dol is one of the most secluded and idyllic beaches on the Pakleni Islands. This hidden gem is only accessible by boat, making it the perfect spot to escape the busyness of everyday life. The sparkling turquoise waters and soft sand make Pokonji Dol a true paradise, and its tranquil atmosphere is sure to relax and rejuvenate visitors.
More Pakleni Islands Beaches
- Kordovon Beach – nudist beach
- Mlini Beach – kid-friendly
- Okorija Beach – secluded as anchoring is forbidden
- Palmižana Beach – great for a seafood lunch
- Perna Beach – a sandy beach
- Soline Beach – try the healing mud
- Stipanska Bay Beach – Carpe Diem club and bar
- Taršče Beach – best one for snorkeling
- Vlaka Beach – Find the remains of the Roman spa
- Ždrilca Beach – try the beach massage
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Outdoor Activities On The Islands
From snorkeling and swimming in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea to hiking through fragrant pine forests and exploring charming villages, the Pakleni Islands offer a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
- Okorija Bay
- Jerolim Island
- Palmizana Beach
- Bok Bay
- Taršče Bay
Hiking And Biking
There are numerous hiking and biking trails winding through the islands’ fragrant pine forests, offering stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Please take water and supplies and be well-prepared before setting out.
Hikers should head to St. Clement Island; here, a marked hiking trail connects the famous Palmižana Cove with Vlaka and Momić polje. The trail in the first part, from Palmižana to the west, passes through the botanical garden of the Meneghello family. A trail leads from Vlaka via Momi Polje to the highest point of the Pakleni islands – a peak of 94 meters!
Paklinski Islands Map
Local Cuisine & Best Restaurants to Try
There are a few places to eat on the Pakleni Islands. You’ll find something to suit your taste, from fresh seafood to traditional Croatian dishes. Here are some of our favorite places to fuel up:
- Dionis: on Sveti Klement Island, Dionis is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch. They serve traditional Croatian dishes, fresh fish, and more
- Mamato Restaurant & Bar: situated on Marinkovac Island, Mamato Bar is a great spot to have some drinks and enjoy the sunset. Their menu includes delectable meze platters, perfect for a hot summers day
- Pizzeria San Marino: if you’re in the mood for some pizza, this is the place to go on Saint Klement Island. They have a wood-fired oven and use only the freshest ingredients for their pies
Which Pakleni Island Should You Visit
With so many islands to choose from, deciding which one to visit can be challenging. Here is a guide to help you choose the perfect Pakleni island for your next vacation:
Sveti Klement Island
Of the 16 Pakleni Otoci, Sveti Klement is the largest island of them all. The island is 5.27 square kilometers and has a coastline of 29 kilometers. The highest peak is 94 meters high, known as Glavica. Vessels under 12 meters can dock at Marina ACI Palmizana. Once here, check out the local fishing village of 15 houses and the little chapel, and eat at Pension Tonci (try the fish stew brodetto à la Tonči)
Party peeps head to Marinkovac Island – after all, it is where the famous Carpe Diem bar is; transfers from Hvar to Carpe Diem run day and night – just be sure not to miss the last one back. This is the second biggest of the Paklinski Islands, and for some beach time, we suggest Zdrilca Beach, and for lunch, dine at Restaurant Antonio Patak (try the lobster spaghetti). If you travel with kids, do not miss the kid-friendly Mlini beach.
The easiest Pakleni island from Hvar to get to is Jerolim; taking just 5 minutes in a water taxi, Jerolim Island is perfect for a day of snorkeling. Just be careful, as there is a nudist beach on the island. You can get food and drinks at the restaurant before returning to Hvar.
What Else To Do & See Close By
After you have explored this gorgeous archipelago, there are many attractions in the surrounding area, including the following:
- The ancient city of Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe
- The town of Hvar is another popular destination on the Pakleni Islands. It is known for its picturesque streets and beautiful architecture. There are also many bars and restaurants in Hvar, making it a great place to enjoy some Croatian nightlife
- The Island of Vis is home to many different historical sites, including Roman ruins. Vis was also an important strategic military base during World War II, and several museums on the island document this period in history
How To Day Trip To The Pakleni Islands From Split
The Pakleni Islands is a great boat ride from the city of Split. These islands make an ideal day trip from Split. Here is everything you need to know for planning the perfect day trip to the Pakleni Islands from Split!
The first step is to decide which island you want to visit. There are many to choose from, each with its own unique character. If you’re looking for a beach day, try Hvar or Palmizana. For a more laid-back vibe, head to Jerolim or Sveti Klement. And if you’re interested in exploring some of Croatia’s history, Stipanska is a must-see.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to book your boat transfer. Many companies offer this service, so be sure to research and find one that fits your budget and schedule. Most boat transfers leave from Split Harbor in the early morning and return in the late afternoon or early evening.
When you arrive on your island, take some time to explore! Walk along the beaches, swim in the clear waters, and wander about.
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Best Time To Visit The Pakleni Islands
The best time to visit the Pakleni Islands is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny. The busiest time for tourists is July and August, so if you are looking for a more relaxing holiday, you should visit outside of these months.
History Of The Pakleni Islands
The first settlers on the Pakleni Islands were Illyrian tribes who built fortified settlements on several of the islands. The Romans later conquered the area and built several villas on the islands. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Croats settled in the area, and the islands became part of Croatia.
Today, the Pakleni Islands are known for their crystal-clear waters, stunning beaches, and laid-back atmosphere.
Exploring the Pakleni Islands of Croatia was a truly magical experience. From its crystal clear waters to its secret beaches, charming villages, and spectacular views, you will be totally relaxed in this idyllic paradise.