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7 charming car-free Croatian islands

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Meet Croatia’s car-free islands  (Photo credit: Mark Dhawn/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Imagine a world where cars are absent, replaced by the gentle rhythm of footsteps and the soothing sounds of nature. 

Seven Croatian islands are car-free islands, where the pace of life slows, and the stresses of modernity fade away. These picturesque oases offer a glimpse into a simpler, more tranquil time, where the absence of cars leads to cleaner air, quieter streets, and a connection with the natural beauty that surrounds them. 

If car-free islands intrigue you, Journal.hr take a look at the seven in Croatia below.


An island in the Lošinj archipelago, Unije is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear sea, and olive groves. Less than 100 people reside on Unije throughout the year, and they get around by foot wherever they go. Cars can’t access this island due to its narrow streets, but you can reach it by catamaran or even a small sports plane.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Unije (photo credit: Lora Tomas)


A maritime island, also in the Lošinj archipelago, Susak leaves few indifferent. There are no roads or cars on this island, and wild nightlife is absent. It’s all about dirt paths, stone houses, and exquisite beaches. On Susak, you’ll step back into the mid-20th century. The unique way of life and the local dialect spoken here can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a special experience to be on Susak in the summer when emigrants gather, sharing childhood memories and tales of how life used to be on the island.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Susak (Photo credit: Mark Dhawn/CC BY-SA 3.0)


Known as the gateway to Dalmatia, the island of Silba is situated not far from Zadar. The island has only one settlement, Silba, but it’s filled with beaches and secluded coves waiting to be explored, and the best way to do it is on foot. Sand, turquoise sea, silence, and the occasional donkey passing by – that’s all you need for a perfect vacation on this small oasis of tranquility.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Silba (Photo credit: Velibor Jakupović / Croatian Tourist Board)


The third-largest island in the Šibenik archipelago, Zlarin is a true green gem. Besides the absence of cars, Zlarin is also the first Croatian plastic-free island. Plastic is not used at any cultural or entertainment events; instead, specially designed reusable cups are used, and you won’t get plastic bags in stores. 

The island is a paradise for complete relaxation, leisurely walks, active vacations, and enjoying the beautiful clear sea. Zlarin is also famous for its coral, preserving the traditional way of crafting coral jewelry, so you can take home unique handmade souvenirs.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Zlarin (Photo: Gojko Vukov Colić/Croatian Tourist Board)


An idyllic island opposite Vodice, Prvić will charm you with its narrow streets and stone houses. The picturesque places of Prvić Luka and Šepurine tell the story of the former splendour and wealth of this region. Today, the island is home to only about 400 residents who relish their small paradise without cars, crowds, or stress. You’ll walk or bike from Prvić Luka to Šepurine, just as you would to the stunning pebble beaches and hidden coves. The island is full of churches and cultural-historical monuments, and you’ll also find sites dedicated to the renowned Šibenik native, Faust Vrančić.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

Prvić (Photo credit: Roman Klementschitz/CC BY-SA 4.0)


Lopud is beloved by everyone, from the young to sailors, families with children, and even Hollywood stars. This car-free green oasis attracts many who want to escape the crowded Dubrovnik. In the summer, Lopud hosts the special Ponta Lopud Film Festival, attracting some of the world’s greatest filmmakers with workshops, events, and film premieres. On Lopud, you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, Šunj, reachable only by foot through dense pine forests or by boat.

14 most beautiful beaches in Croatia according to Lonely Planet



Our southernmost inhabited island is Koločep, locally known as Kalamota. A half-hour from Dubrovnik, you’ll enjoy pristine waters, beautiful forests, and peace without cars or crowds. The island has two places, Gornje and Donje Čelo, and a short walk will take you from one to the other and around the entire island. Koločep is also known for coral harvesting, allowing you to acquaint yourself with this nearly extinct craft in the Mediterranean tranquility of this beautiful island, Journal.hr writes.

Meet Croatia's 7 charming car-free islands

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