Croatia island hopping will charm you with miles of quiet coastal shoreline that can totally rival Mezzavalle Beach and La Maddalena in terms of tranquility. The beautiful islands typically have plenty of year-round sunshine where you can swim, snorkel, dive, fish and relax.
You’ll discover that island hopping in Croatia is an ideal experience to unwind and discover the hidden treasures of the country’s stunning coves and beaches.
According to the Croatian Tourist Board, Croatia has over 1000 islands, but due to its small size, only 47 of these are inhabited with a handful of local families (inhabitants).
Having second thoughts about where to spend your next idyllic Croatia island hopping vacation? We might just have the ultimate beach hideaways that will draw your interest.
Southern Dalmatian Islands
A group of islands known as the Southern Dalmatian islands are situated south of Split. Korčula (Little Dubrovnik) is known for its 19th century old architecture town and rich culture which include Vela Luka village.
Mljet is a pretty mysterious island to explore, with its lush national park and 2 stunning lakes. In the center of one of the 2 lakes (Great Lake) are the remnants of an old monastery from the 12th century.
These island hopping itineraries are extremely interesting to explore because they each have their own strong identity, culture, and attractions of Croatia.
Central Dalmatian Islands
The spectacular islands such as Brač, Hvar and Vis can be found here. These Croatian islands are well known for its peaceful and tranquil beaches, crystal clear waters, and picturesque old towns.
Croatian island hopping tours
If you’re looking for stunning Croatia island-hopping tours to start your adventure, mainland Dubrovnik is a pretty easy starting point for your expedition.
Start with a bang, exploring historic town center and the vibrant nightlife in Hvar with legendary beach parties, chill out under beach umbrellas on secluded beaches on Vis island.
Perhaps, some outdoor activities like kayaking might be your interest, then head to Miljet island with its tranquil saltwater lakes and lust forest.
Or you can start your Croatia island hopping trip from Split known for its beautiful town, peppered with tons of restaurants and bars.
Here’re our best 7 Croatia island hopping trips which include days, stops for swimming, sunbathing, exploring historical sites and local culture, as well as sampling the local cuisine and a bit of nightlife.
- Brač Island
- Krk Island
- Hvar Island
- Vis Island
- Korcula Island
- Kornati Islands
1. Brač Island
Looking for the best islands in Croatia to go au nature? Not an issue as there are designated peaceful and quiet sun-drenched secluded spots for nude sunbathing with breathtaking views.
Brač is undoubtedly one of the best islands to visit in Croatia boasting historical places, beautiful scenery, rich cultural heritage and the majestic Vidova Gore peak (778 meters) in the background. So where to find an undisturbed beach on Brač island in Croatia?
A little, secret cove named as “Mutnik Beach,” not far from the tiny settlement of Mirca, is designated for naturist beach lovers and the best vacation spots for couples to chill out.
Sometimes it can be pretty challenging to reach island villages and less popular rural areas with public transportation, so renting a car is a great idea.
Getting to Mutnik beach, which is nestled at the western end of the renowned Golden Cape (Zlatni Rat) is a breeze with a car as it’s on the main road near Sutivan village.
Brač Island Hopping Tours
By Ferry: If you are starting your Croatia island hopping from Split then jump on a ferry heading to Supetar (50 minute ride). Supetar is the largest town on Brač that connects directly to mainland Split.
Private Boat: If you renting a private boat or island hopping with a yacht, you can sail to Brač island and explore the different beaches, peaceful bays and coves on the island.
What To Do On Brač Island
Visit Bol, an island near Brač, if you are looking for the perfect vacation spot for sea sports. Direct high speed ferries from Split to Bol island takes only 50 minutes or you can self drive as well.
- The windsurfing-friendly wind “mistral” blows nearly every day. Take a windsurfing crash course near Zlatni Rat beach.
- Scuba dive and see the underwater remnants of an ancient Roman palace on a diving excursion near Brac.
- Explore Drakonjina Spilja (Dragon’s Cave), which is just 5 km from Bol town’s western territory.
Where To Stay Nearby Brac Island
If you have time, reserve an hour or two in the private spa or relax in the outdoor heated pool at Hotel Lemongarden. The adult only hotel is just a 10 minutes ride away to the beach.
There are tons of Bougainvillea, Roses, Hibiscus and rows of Palm trees for those who loves a beautiful garden by the sea.
Where To Eat Around Brac Island
If you looking for healthy options or vegan-friendly, check out BioMania Street Food. Set in a beautiful location, serving fresh food and friendly staffs.
- Address: Put Zlatnog rata Food Court, Bol, Brac Island 21420 Croatia
- Contact: +385 91 936 2276
- Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 6pm
The raw spices at BioMania Bistro Bol are grown and obtained locally in Brac. The bistro features a wholesome kitchen, tidy premises, excellent music and stunning view of the ocean. Best for late Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
- Address: Rudina 10 center of Bol, Bol, Brac Island 21420 Croatia
- Contact: +385 91 936 2276
- Opening Hours: Daily except Saturday 1pm – 9pm
- Website: biomania.hr
Recommended local favorites:
- Falafel Bowl
- Double Avocado and Chocolate Cake
- Wild herb Pesto Pasta
2. Krk Island
Krk is the largest island in Croatia and is frequently highlighted because it’s super accessible to the mainland via a toll bridge which was deemed free as from 2020.
A quaint village off the beaten path for visitors is Vrbnik, located on the east coast. The prominent Frankopan Castle, built in the thirteenth century, overlook the island’s stunning beaches.
Its northernmost point is home to Rijeka International Airport, but you can get to the island fast and smoothly by bus, car and boat as well. So how to find a peaceful vacation spot on Krk island?
On the eastern side of the island of Krk and close to the village of Vrbnik lies the the peaceful and quiet Potovošće Beach. The pebble stone beach can be reached by boat or on foot and located in a hidden cove with clear waters.
There is a small parking area if you wish to drive there. Be prepared to walk a little bypassing a Pine tree woodland en route to the beach. There are facilities like showers, bathrooms and simple beach umbrellas for beach goers.
The calming earthy aroma of the sage and strawflower plants that grows wildly higher up the shore is the perfect combination for a super relaxing beach vacation on this beach.
Krk Island Hopping Tours
By Flight: You can fly to Rijeka airport on the mainland close to Krk Island, and then take a bus or taxi to the island. There are tons of flights from major European cities to Rijeka.
Self Drive: If you’re driving from the mainland, you can take the A7 highway to the 1430 meters long Krk Bridge, which connects the island to the mainland.
There are ferry service which run from the mainland to Krk Island and tons of Croatia island hopping tours by boats around Krk Island and other nearby islands
What To Do On Krk Island
Where To Stay Nearby Krk Island
Locally owned Apartment Natalija is a super peaceful place to stay with free shuttle service and parking. The apartment offers 1 bedroom and living room with a terrace.
Besides the beaches near this property, there are nice attractions such as Krk Fortress and Krk Cathedral to explore. This well-furnished apartment is located in a peaceful location and available at booking.com.
Where To Eat Around Krk Island
Restaurant Zrinski is well known for its grill seafood and excellent Pizza. Great place to have a meal with family with free shots of liquor with orders. Located in the town center of Krk and free of crowd.
- Address: Trg Svetog Kvirina 1, Krk 51500 Croatia
- Contact: +385 91 981 5408
- Opening Hours: 12noon – 11pm
- Facebook: Zrinski/
3. Hvar Island
Hvar is one of the top Croatia islands hopping route with its pulsating nightlife, beach parties and clubbing. On the flipside, there are incredibly secluded beaches for beachgoers seeking a peaceful spot away from the maddening crowd.
The island have a vibrant history that has been meticulously preserved in museums, old fortresses, gothic cathedrals and along the famous Pjaca square. So where to look for a secluded beach on the Croatia island of Hvar?
If you’re feeling blissful, you can take a water taxi or book a private charter to the nearby Palmizana Beach which together comprise the Pakleni Islands of Croatia.
Palmizana on the island of Sveti Klement is where you’ll find one of the best beaches in Croatia. If you’re looking for a tranquil location in a beautiful setting, this is a pretty nice spot to visit.
It’s one of the 10 best vacation places on the Adriatic and the oldest and most well-known. Although there are rocky and pebbled stretches on the beach, the coastline is pretty sandy.
There are some secret bays. Perna bay is situated close by Palmizana and is just a short distance away. It is a pretty peaceful secret bay without any beach bar and the only sandy beach in the Pakleni Islands.
Hvar Island Hopping Tours
By Ferry: Jadrolinija high speed ferry provide daily passengers transfers from Dubrovnik to Hvar, transiting at the port of Stari Grad. It takes approximately 3.5 hours and open only on tourist season.
There are Croatia island hopping tours to Hvar by private boat charter and they are pretty expensive, but you get privacy and be more in control.
There also a few ferry service companies that provides catamaran transfers from Dubrovnik to Hvar. Bookaway is a pretty reliable booking platform to check out.
What To Do On Hvar Island
- Visit Benedictine Convent, a Franciscan monastery dating back to 15th century.
- Explore the Hektorovic Palace and its beautiful surrounding.
- Discover Fortica Fortress which overlook the harbor.
Where To Stay Nearby Hvar Island
Locally owned hotels provide a unique experience such as history or the culture of the Mediterranean region. The Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort is a lovely hotel with a fantastic location and can be booked on booking.com
Here’s a tip: You need to book accommodation overlooking the ocean to get the best value. Rooms facing away from the ocean views are not recommended.
Where To Eat Around Hvar Island
Try local cuisine at restaurants like Paradise Garden Hvar and Mediterraneo Dine & Wine after visiting some of Hvar top attractions.
4. Vis Island
Vis is the most ideal Croatia island if you’re the kind of visitor looking for a peaceful and quiet beach vacation spot for romantic getaways.
Vis town in the northeast and Komiza town in the southwest split the entire island into two humongous coves, located 48km offshore of mainland Split and two hours+ ride via car ferry.
The worst time to visit Vis is during the month of August, which is the national holiday of Italy, whereby hordes of Italians will blanket the island.
Having said that, Vis Island was off-limits to visitors till 1989. It’s now a bona fide getaway for visitors trying to find pristine beaches, culinary treats and in particular, solitude. So where’s the tuck-away beach on Vis island in Croatia?
In 1967, a few of the beaches and its magnificent bays in Vis were designated as protected natural sites, a status that has remained unchanged ever since.
Pritiscina Beach lies just two kilometers from the village of Podhumlje on the island’s southern coastline. The little round pebbles on the beach with pretty clear turquoise waters feels smooth and provide a nice stimulating foot massage.
Driving, biking or a stroll to the beach is a great experience while descent to the beach from the road is a little more difficult passing by groves of carob and citrus trees.
The best way to get to Pritiscina beach is by small boat charter from Vis town(6 hours tour for 6-8 persons).
Vis Island Hopping Tours
By Catamaran: Kapetan Luka is the main catamaran operator. It pretty much faster than taking a ferry to explore islands around Vis.
Water Taxi: This mode of transport is great if you wish to visit smaller islands from Vis and spent some time there. They can be found on all ports or harbors around Vis island.
Self Drive: Exploring Vis island by rental scooters or car is a pretty cool way but be aware of the narrow roads around the island.
What To Do On Vis Island
- Dive at the magical Blue Cave, approximately 10km or 15 minutes by speedboat, from Komiza.
- Visit the Archaeological Museum, which houses the largest collection of artifacts and sculpture.
Where To Stay Nearby Vis Island
Villa Luana is a great option if you enjoy the outdoors or just want to unwind. Located above the Stiniva bay, the entire house offers 2 rooms, dining and living areas.
Where To Eat Around Vis Island
If you’re in Vis or Komiza towns and you’d like to experience the traditional cooked cuisine, head to 2 pretty cool restaurants. (Konobe) below.
Restaurant Val is a restaurant with a terrace under swaying palm trees serving the
best homemade Pasticadas.
- Address: Ulica Marasovica Don Cvjetka 1, Vis, Island of Vis 21480 Croatia
- Contact: +385 21 711 763
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 24:00
- Payment Option: Cash
Frutarija Vis offers a cocktail bar near to the water’s edge and a lovely beach garden setting. Great place for couples to relax with live band.
- Address: Shetalishte Vishki Boj 13, Vis, Island of Vis 21480 Croatia
- Facebook: Frutarija Vis
- Payment Option: Cash/Card
5. Korcula Island
Croatia’s island of Korcula has the highest population density. The island’s moniker “Little Dubrovnik”, refers to an old city with distinctive architectural styles.
St. Mark’s Cathedral completed in the 15th century is probably one of the island’s most stunning Gothic-style structures. The home where Marco Polo is believed to have been born is among the top tourist attractions.
Medieval fortress and walls encircle the little town of Korcula. You’ll likely be awed by Korcula’s island history and nostalgic ambience as well as by its pristine waters. So how to get to a off-the-grid beach on Korcula island in Croatia?
The gorgeous beaches that Croatia’s island of Korcula enjoys are renowned. Bacva Bay Beach is a little isolated pebble bay with crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Bacva Bay is a charming protected cove about 13 kilometres from Korcula and close to the settlement of Pupnat.
There is also a tranquil fisherman’s cottage to visit. Located around 5km from Pupnat, Home Uvala Bacva 9475 is a stone thrown away from the beach and a gorgeous spot to hang out.
Korcula Island Hopping Tours
By Ferry & Catamaran: Same main ferry and catamaran operators, providing similar services to other islands from mainland including Split and Dubrovnik. (1-2 hours depends on ports)
Self Drive: If you drive or ride, proceed to Orebić on the Pelješac Peninsula and then take a slow car ferry to Korcula island.
Bus: There are some services from major mainland cities in Croatia to Korcula island that run only once a day. The bus ride will take a few hours depending on traffic.
Where To Stay Nearby Korcula Island
Be aware that visiting Korcula Island depends on the seasonal closure period as many accommodations cease operations from November – March.
- Villa Korčula is a 10 minutes walk from the old town of Korcula. It’s a pet-friendly beachfront villa with private patio and hot tub.
- Villa Buddha Bay provides free bicycle for its guests. The villa is like a holiday home including 4 rooms with mountain and sea views.
- Apartment Vanja is 0.6 km from Zrnovo Beach and a 2-minute walk from Vrbovica Beach. Guests can go snorkeling at the private beach. A BBQ grill is also available.
Where To Eat Near Bacva Beach
Mate Beach Bar is a tiny eatery nearby Bacva Bay serves mouthwatering fresh seafood as well as grilled meats. You can also rent sun lounger or deckchairs from this chill-out Restaurant & Bar.
6. Kornati Islands
There are tons of vineyards, olive trees, fig orchards in this group of 140 islets (some with majestic cliffs) that makes up the Kornati archipelago. The Kornati National Park created in 1980 comprises 89 of the 140 islands.
Although most of the islands are uninhabited, the Murter villagers have cottages that they use as a place to stay when it’s harvesting season.
If you like long stroll along the deserted shoreline, Kornati is the destination for you, even to stay in the cottage (no frills) and be picked up in a week later.
Unless you have the skill-set of Bear Grylls, it’s not a good idea to be marooned on a deserted island for a week without electricity and all the essentials for a comfortable stay.
Where To Stay Near Kornati Island
About 34 kilometers up the coast from Sibenik in the Sibenik-Knin county, lies the little island of Murter. There’s a small drawbridge that connects the island to the mainland.
You can drive or catch daily buses from Sibenik to Murter, managed by Autotransport Sibenik, Best thing is to fly into Zadar airport (65km distance) and make your way to Murter.
Murter island has a variety of lodging options (hotels, apartments, marinas) and a wide selection of restaurants. You can also book a daily planned excursions to the Kornati archipelago.
Where To Eat Around Kornati Island
Restoran Festa is a great venue for lunch, dinner and the food menu can be a bit expensive. Offering local as well as seafood and Mediterranean cuisines with a wide selection of wines, it’s a favorite eatery with beautiful waterfront views.
- Address: Golubovac Bay, Zut Island, Kornati Islands National Park Croatia
- Contact: +385 22 786 1975
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 11pm
- Facebook: restoranfestazut/
The Core Lounge Bar & Restaurant is a delightful setting with relaxing deckchairs facing the sea. With an amazing menu and wine selection, the favorites are grilled fish and incredibly tasty appetizers.
- Address: Vrulje, Kornati Islands National Park Croatia
- Contact: +385 75 999 995
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am – Midnight
- Facebook: stermasimljet/
The greenest of all the Croatian islands is definitely Mljet. Most of the landscape is covered with hills and thick Mediterranean forests. The rest consists of fields, vineyards and small villages.
There are also two salt lakes on the island – Great Lake and Small Lake. They are located in the western part of the island. In the middle of the Great Lake is a small island Sv Marija (St Mary) on which the Benedictine monastery was built.
Take a stroll in Mljet National Park and ascend the slopes to take in the breathtaking scenery. So, if you love nature and want to explore the forests, uncharted Mljet is the perfect island escapade for you. So which is a great tranquil beach on Croatia island of Mljet?
The ultimate undiscovered Croatian island’s gem in the Adriatic could well be found at Saplunara Beach on Mljet. With two sandy beaches to choose from, it’s a gorgeous beach hideaway.
Saplunara beach is tucked away in a kilometer-long lagoon and is still secluded and remote. The largest remaining coastal island ecosystem, is home to a number of plant species that are unique to Croatia.
From the sandy shore to the inland little village with about a few dozen resident, an Aleppo pine forest awaits you en route to the settlement.
The only way to reach Saplunara is by public buses, taxi or self-drive from the town of Sobra (main entry point to Mljet island) about 16km away.
Mljet Island Hopping Tours
By Catamaran: Kapetan Luka is the main catamaran operator. The company provides ferry services from Dubrovnik as well as island hopping tours.
Private Boats: As with other popular islands in Croatia, private rentals are available and prices are negotiable.
Kayaking: Exploring the island’s beautiful lakes and secluded coves is possible with local guided tours which includes safety gears as well.
What To Do On Mljet Island
During the summer, when boats are regular and convenient to book, Mljet is a pretty great day excursion from Dubrovnik. There are miles of cycling and hiking trails for outdoor activities.
- Biking & Hiking at Mljet Island National Park
- Kayaking at the Great Lake (Veliko Jezero)
- Take a boat ride to Sv Marija (St Mary) island
- Head on to Odysseus Cave
- Go on a diving expedition with Aquatica Mljet
Where To Stay Closeby Mljet Island
There is no accommodation or Food & Beverage outlets on Saplunara beach. So, the nearest place to stay is at the quiet fishing village of Sobra.
The harbor front village has a few cafes and restaurants, a market and a row of rental homes and apartments for rent on the hillside.
You may also use Sobra as a base and book a ferry ride to Dubrovnik in the morning for day trips. The distance from Sobra village to the ferry port is around 2km.
Where To Eat Around Mljet Island
If you love homemade stuff like meat and cheese directly from the island, try Stermasi Restaurant near Saplunara Beach. With beautiful view of the bay, friendly staffs and excellent food, this eatery is a one and only-stop for visitors to the island.
- Address: Saplunara 2 Saplunara, Mljet Island 20224 Croatia
- Contact: +385 98 939 0362
- Opening Hours: Daily 8am – Midnight
- Facebook: restoranfestazut/
Croatian island hopping Itinerary
Croatia island hopping itinerary is a popular choice if you want to experience the natural coves, secluded bays, and beautiful sceneries.
It pretty often involves multi-day excursions where you need to plan the days ahead to visit multiple islands, each with its own distinctive attractions and activities.
Croatian islands Guide
Croatia Airlines runs all domestic flights and the cost of flight tickets might be less expensive than trains or buses particularly during off-peak periods.
Schedules for flights vary considerably by season, particularly for International flights. So you need to double check on the flights availability on certain months.
In fact, Croatia Airlines had just announced their latest flight schedule for 2023 including seasonal direct flight from Munich and domestic flights via Brač.
Same goes to Croatia’s ferry service whereby only summer months are most frequently available. The off-peak months might have less island transfers. The only option is by road on this period.
The current public transportation network and road infrastructure are pretty good. Major towns are connected by train, however the system is more tailored for residents and not really suitable for visitors who prefer islands hopping.