8 secret islands of Croatia
Location: Archipelago of natural wonders off Pula
Off the radar rating: 3/5
So stunning are the Brijuni Islands that a century ago a Viennese business magnate founded Croatia’s first beach club here. After the Second World War, their strategic location, as well as the Italian-built hotels and casino, attracted Yugoslav president Josip Tito. The pine-fringed archipelago – now a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site – became Tito’s private retreat until 1980.
Among his visitors was former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who presented two elephants, one of which roams the main island today alongside antelope and mountain zebras. Grand homes and crumbling fortifications can still be seen today, as well as Tito’s Cadillac.
The islands are also home to more than 600 indigenous plant species, which can be viewed from a network of island paths.