Breathe in paradise
When we think of a trip to Croatia, we imagine Hvar Island off the Dalmatian coast with the ancient Stari Grad Plain, or the white stonemasons of Brač island. But without a doubt, the Brijuni Islands are also one of the wonders of the Adriatic Sea.
Fall in love with Brijuni
From the moment you arrive, you will sense that the Brijuni Islands are somehow different – home to exceptional nature and history, where vast forests and meadows co-exist with landscaped parks and scrubland, vineyards and olive groves, green oaks and laurels. Marshal Tito, former leader of Yugoslavia, made it his favourite summer destination in the 1960s, leaving Belgrade at the first sign of warmer weather to enjoy the beautiful Istrian islands of Brijuni. In 1983, three years after his death, the islands were recognised as a national park. Even today, some areas of the largest island, Veliki Brijun, remain exclusively accessible to the Croatian President and high representatives of State.
Kayaking around Mali Brijun Island
Set off for Mali Brijun, the other island (partially) open to the public, to kayak and explore the wonders of the marine protected area in Brijuni National Park. Once you’ve landed on shore, why not hike around the island to Fort Brioni Minor, the largest fortification on the Adriatic coast.
Cycling around Veliki Brijun…
You’ve just disembarked at Veliki Brijun, also known as Veli Brijun, the largest of the Brijuni Islands. We recommend you explore it by bike, making the most of the 13 km of accessible paved paths. Enjoy a pleasant and relaxing cycle, as you soak in the seaside, bays, coves and shady coastline, forests and Mediterranean gardens, museums and historical ruins. Take the time to visit it at your own pace, in complete freedom! Note that it is also possible to tour the island on a small sightseeing train, which takes about one hour to journey along the 26 km of coastline.
If you do opt for cycling, make sure to experience the serenity of the island along the aptly-named “path of good vibrations”, a walking and cycling path with five stages on the island and three others located in Fažana on the mainland. At each stop, there is a bench, a sun lounger or a swing to help you let go and enjoy the sounds of nature and beautiful landscapes. Whether you choose to appreciate the silence of the forest, barely disturbed by bird song and the rustling of leaves in the trees, or contemplate the intoxicating clear blue waters of Dobrika Bay in the Adriatic Sea, this is a truly wonderful path to awaken all your senses!
Diving and swimming off the islands of Sveti Jerolim and Kozada
Travel back in time
On the east coast of Veliki Brijuni, discover the remains of a luxurious Roman villa dating back to the first century BC. While in Verige Bay, you can also take your historical exploration underwater with an extraordinary snorkelling tour to discover the remains of another villa!
Further west, in Madona Bay, you’ll find another must-see treasure and probably the richest site in Brijuni – the remains of an incredible Byzantine castrum, built after the fall of the Roman Empire. This ancient city extends over a little more than a hectare with houses, oil and wine processing facilities, bread ovens, forges and more… Another impressive sight is the remains of Saint Mary’s Basilica, a former three-nave church built in the fifth and sixth centuries. Its vast dimensions give you an idea of the population living in the castrum at the time.
Dinosaurs roamed these lands 100 to 130 million years ago. Footprints are visible in the limestone rock. There are more than 200 of them across the islands!
Crédits photos : © iStock
PONANT takes you there
Sail to unexpected shores