Most visitors to Hvar Town head to the Pakleni Islands (Pakleni Otoci), which got their name – ‘Hell’s Islands’ in Croatian – from paklina, the resin that once coated boats and ships. This gorgeous chain of 21 wooded isles has crystal-clear seas, hidden beaches and deserted lagoons.
A ferry shuttles roughly hourly in summer (half-hourly in July and August) on the 10-minute trip from Dubrovnik's Old Harbour to lush Lokrum Island (adult/child return 56/16KN). It’s a beautiful, forested place of holm oaks, black ash, pines and olive trees, and an ideal escape from urban Dubrovnik. Swimming is excellent, though the beaches are rocky.
The longest and arguably loveliest coastline in Dalmatia stretches through the tiny town of Brela, which has a more chic flavour than neighbouring Makarska, 14km southeast. Six kilometres of pebble beaches curve around coves thickly forested with pine trees, where you can enjoy beautifully clear seas and fantastic sunsets.
At the northern tip of the island, the beach town of Lopar is still semirural around the edges, with garden plots and roses growing in front gardens. Even in early June it's a sleepy place, but in the school holidays Central European families flock here, as the sea is very shallow and perfect for small children.