8 secret islands of Croatia
Location: Adriatic to the left, uninhabited islands to the right
Off the radar rating: 4/5
George Bernard Shaw, who visited Croatia in the 1920s, said: “On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath.” Thankfully little has changed since then. The 140 Kornatis make up 12 per cent of Croatia’s total islands and they have all been safeguarded for nearly 40 years as a land and sea national park. Cruising through these 318.5 square kilometres of azure sea and emerald isles is sheer joy.
Many islands are populated only by butterflies, allowing you to play Robinson Crusoe – albeit with iced beers on demand. Under the sea, it’s a kaleidoscope of colour with 60 species of coral, loggerhead turtles and 200 species of fish – and the daily scuba permit fee is just £1.20.