The Croatian coastline together with its islands ranks among the most intricately indented coastlines in the world. Of 1244 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs that have remained following the dramatic rise in the level of the Adriatic Sea around 13000 years B.C., today only 50 are inhabited.
This wealth of islands and islets attracts adventurous travellers from all over the world. Kayakers and yachtsmen never fail to be delighted by the smaller isles and their romantic atmosphere, and by the relaxed way of life amid such tranquillity and beauty.
Many island towns please the senses with their beautiful architecture and atmosphere, by their monuments dating from Antiquity, works of art in stone, wood, on canvas and on ancient parchments.
Superb quality stone and highly skilled stonemasonry is a tradition on a number of the islands. Stone from the Island of Brač has been incorporated into towns, summer residences and many splendid works throughout Croatia, Italy and indeed the world.
The Adriatic lighthouses - those signposts of stone and guardians of the sea - are mostly automated, only about 15 of them still being manned.
Some have been fitted out as residences and can be rented for a Robinson-like adventure on a deserted island.
The islands are best seen by undertaking a hiking or cycling tour, which should certainly include at least some of the largest islands: Lošinj and Cres, Krk, Rab, Brač, Hvar, Vis, Korčula, Mljet.
Cities and towns along the coast have grown from nuclei dating back to the times of Antiquity, or have been built anew on those ground-plans. Many urban entities still stand well preserved and are easily identified by their churches and bell-towers, their palaces, plazas and fortifications. They will offer you many reasons for a visit to museums, to collections of Croatia’s natural wealth and works of art, monuments of secular and sacral architecture from times both distant and recent.
The largest urban centres along the coast - Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split and Dubrovnik - are all located in the vicinity of airfields. They also have ports that ensure their mutual links, as well as linking them to the islands; they also operate regular bus lines, and some also have railway links to the interior of the country.