The gorgeous little islands that are one of Europe’s best kept secrets

Like hidden gems in the Adriatic Sea, the Pakleni Islands off the coast of Hvar, Croatia, have long been whispered about among seasoned travellers.

Travel expert Rosalind Cuthbertson from Frequent Traveller told “The allure isn’t just the beauty, but the feeling you’ve discovered somewhere special.”

For those with an adventurous spirit, the islands are just a quick boat ride away from Hvar town.

Adventurous souls often choose to charter their own boats, relishing the freedom to craft their own unique journey across the turquoise waters.

However, for travellers seeking a more curated experience, guided tours are readily available.

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While water taxis offer a more economical option, they limit the ability to wander and explore the islands at your own pace.

Among the numerous islands that make up the Pakleni archipelago, three gems stand out: Sveti Klement, Marinkovac, and Jerolim. These aren’t merely places; they are immersive experiences waiting to happen.

At Tarsce Beach, snorkelers glide through shimmering schools of fish, discovering a world teeming with life just beneath the surface. Stari Stani, with its pristine azure waters, is the perfect spot to lounge away an afternoon, allowing the stresses of everyday life to fade away.

For those seeking a blend of relaxation and vibrant energy, beach clubs like Laganini and Carpe Diem hit all the right notes. Here, visitors can revel in the chilled-out vibes while grooving to rhythmic beats, creating memories that last a lifetime.

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And for those in need of rejuvenation, a must-visit is Soline Beach, where the therapeutic mud bath experience promises both relaxation and revitalisation.

Adding a personal touch from her own travels, Cuthbertson advised: “A personal touch from my own travels – visit in the shoulder seasons! While most spots boast a high season, the islands are best experienced in spring and fall.

“You’ll avoid the tourist hordes and get weather that’s comfortable and inviting.”

The shoulder seasons not only provide a quieter and more intimate experience but also showcase the islands’ natural beauty in its most authentic form.

The temperature during these times is just right for exploration, making it an ideal period for travellers looking to escape the crowds and truly connect with the destination.

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