The islands of Ilovik and Sveti Petar are located in Croatia south of the island Lošinj, separated by the Strait of Ilovik.
Due to its geographic location, the harbor between Ilovik and Sveti Petar has been used as a safe anchorage since the ancient times. This also brought the first inhabitants to these islands.
The oldest traces of civilization are from the Ilirian tribe Liburni. Visitors can also see evidence of the presence of the civilization of Ancient Rome on the island. The remains of Roman buildings, mosaics, coins, a burial sarcophagus as well as an underwater archaeological site have been located in this area.
One notable feature of Ilovik’s culture are the burial rites. After church services are held on the main island of Ilovik in the church of Saints Peter and Paul (Sveti Petar i Sveti Pavao), the body is taken by boat to the cemetery, which is located across the water on another small island named Sveti Petar. The walls enclosing the present-day cemetery date back to the 11th century and were part of a Benedictine monastery. Sveti Petar also houses a summer monastery for monks of the Franciscan Order and the remnants of a small castle, which was built in 1600 by the Republic of Venice. The castle was erected by Filippo Pasqualigo to defend the area from pirates (uskoks). The first Croats arrived on Ilovik at the end of the 18th century from Veli Losinj. This marked the beginning of the modern-day Ilovik.
The oldest recorded name of this island, Neumae Insulae (translated from Latin: Island with No Name), is from AD 1071. In the 13th century it is mentioned as Sanctus Petrus de Nimbis (translated from Latin: Saint Peter of the Cloud) and later San Pietro dei Nembi (translated from Italian: Saint Peter of the Cloud) . The Croatian inhabitants named the smaller island Sveti Petar (Saint Peter), more known as ‘Priko’ the larger Tovarnjak (“Donkey” in English), and finally Ilovik i Sveti Petar. Locals call it San Piero.