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Island Hopping in Croatia

The Croatian coast is one of the most beautiful in the whole Mediterranean and is an island-hopper's paradise. The island hopping is a very popular way of seeing the islands and coastal towns.

You can start your travel from several main points on the mainland (such as DubrovnikSplit, Trogir, Sibenik, Zadar) and then hop on from one island to another. 

Otherwise, use these cities as a base and make a day trips to the islands. Another great idea would be a sailing cruise along the islands, which is very popular among tourist in Croatia.

Lopud islandThe island of Lopud near Dubrovnik

Best time for island hopping in Croatia

You can do island hopping all year round, however, the best time is the period from May until end of October.

If you choose June to September the choices are even better as ferries are more frequent in this period. Some of the ferry routes are active only in July and August. 

It's wise to book your catamarans/ferries well in advance (as well as accommodation), especially if you visiting from June until August. Expect higher prices of everything in this period. Late spring or early autumn travel is always a better value.

Choosing the islands for your trip

You'll have a hard time choosing the best islands for your visit, as they are all so beautiful! Start with asking yourself how many days you’ve got and what mode of transport you are using.

Do you have a car, camper, motorbike or bicycle? How much time you are willing to spend on a ferry. What kind of activities you are interested in – is it culture or outdoors or both?

Consider also what you want to get out of your time on the islands. If you mainly want to focus on the mainland, let’s say Split and Dubrovnik but add an island or two, we recommend choosing those with quick crossings and near other islands to save time on travelling.

For example, from Dubrovnik you can take a boat to Elaphite islands (car-free islands with great beaches) and from Split head to Brac or Hvar, for swimming and sunbathing, exploring hidden villages and tasting amazing sea-food

If you have two weeks and want to focus primarily on islands, your itinerary will be completely different with longer distances and crossings.

👉 Ferry (catamaran)/bus tickets in Croatia for summer 2024 available now!


Island hopping from Dubrovnik

Beautiful Lopud island near DubrovnikBeautiful Lopud island near Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s location makes it an excellent base for exploring the many picturesque islands along the southern Croatian coast of Dubrovnik. 

One of the most popular destination are the Elaphite islands, situated north from Dubrovnik, made of 3 islands, Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan. These are small islands dotted with small fisherman villages and covered in pine forests, olive and citrus groves and vineyards.

You'll find also there walking paths as well as ruins of churches, chapels and other monuments (that date back to Greek and Roman times). You will find sandy beaches (the most popular is Sunj beach on Lopud island) and rocky spots along the islands.

The Elaphite islands are great spot for daily trips from Dubrovnik or you can choose to spend 2-3 days after you've explored Dubrovnik.

From Gruz port you can easily reach these islands by local ferry boat (3 daily departures in both direction). For only €5 one-way you can reach any of these islands.

For those more adventurous, we recommend this small-group kayak tour from Zaton bay (near Dubrovnik) to Kolocep island (a great escape out of the hustle of the city).

The island of Mljet, situated north of Dubrovnik and south of Korcula, is another great spot for island hopping (take daily catamaran from Dubrovnik; 1.5 hour journey).

It's one of the most beautiful islands of the Adriatic, covered in forests, olives and with rich flora and fauna. Hiking trails are ideal for walking and cycling and enjoying untouched nature. You can spend whole day here.

Mljet has 2 saltwater lakes with the island of St Mary with monastery in the middle of one of them.

Saplunara beach is a beautiful sandy beach that lies in a lagoon on the eastern side of the island. The warm and shallow sea is great for young children and there is plenty of natural shade from the dense forest near the beach.

If you want to take your car to Mljet, you should drive to Prapratno on Peljesac and from there take car ferry to Sobra, on Mljet.

This popular speed-boat tour from Dubrovnik covers both Mljet and Elaphite islands (with stops for swimming and relaxing). It's great if you want to see it all in one day!

For an amazing day filled with sailing, swimming and tasting delicious food, book this private boat tour to Mljet! You'll explore the pristine beaches, bays and sea caves.

Get to know Mljet island better on this interesting guided tour by e-bike.


You'll love these island hopping trips from Dubrovnik:


Island hopping from Split

Zlatni rat on Brac island

From the port of Split you can reach numerous nearby islands, which makes this city great choice for starting point or even base for your Croatian holiday. Hop on one of many ferries/catamarans from Split and reach the islands of Solta, Brac, Hvar, Korcula or even island of Vis.

You can plan your trip, depending on the time you have at your disposal and visit only 1 island or combine 2 or 3 islands. It's easy to get from one island to another by catching one of high-speed catamarans.

For example, you can get from Split to Hvar and from there go to Korcula. You can also visit the islands of Lastovo and Vis, the remotest islands in the area.

Once on Hvar, you can wander the cobbled streets, sample delicious food or explore beaches. Don't skip visiting Pakleni islands from Hvar famous for beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea (you'll love this sailing trip from Hvar harbour).

You can plan your trip, depending on the time you have at your disposal and visit only 1 island or combine 2 or 3 islands. It's easy to get from one island to another by catching one of high-speed catamarans. For example, you can get from Split to Hvar and from there go to Korcula.

If you are based in Split it's easy to visit islands on day trips. One of the most popular is this full-day speed-boat trip visiting the prettiest islands (lasts 10 hours). Another great tour is this small-group boat tour to the islands (including Blue Cave and Hvar).

Travellers also love this private boat experience from Split (you'll visit beautiful beaches, swim, snorkel, sunbath and taste local food).

Brac is blessed with the magnificent Zlatni Rat beach in the harbour town of Bol, Croatia's top windsurfing destination. The island appeals to adventurous types with its excellent water-sports facilities and well-marked hiking and cycling paths.

If landing to Split’s Airport (situated around 20km northwest - between Kastela and Trogir) then an airport shuttle bus is the most affordable way of getting to the city (you'll arrive to main bus station which is very close to ferry port).

All ferries, apart from simple shuttle services, will have a bar where you can buy a full range of drinks, although food may consist of crisps and nuts, so it’s best to bring your own picnic if you’re likely to get hungry.

You'll love these island hopping trips from Split:


Island hopping from Zadar

The Kornati archipelago of CroatiaThe Kornati archipelago of Croatia

Island hopping from Zadar offers crystal-clear waters, stunning landscapes and endless coastlines. If you have just a few hours, consider a quick ferry ride to the nearby islands (such as Ugljan, which is only 20-minute ferry ride away).

If you have more time explore islands of Dugi Otok, Molat, Olib and Silba.

From Zadar you can easily reach islands in the Kvarner region, such as Losinj, Pag or Rab. Book this half-day boat tour from Zadar to nearby islands (spend time sunbathins, snorkelling, sightseeing...).

Don’t miss the Kornati Islands National Park, which is part of the Zadar archipelago. Note that there’s no public transport there, so consider booking a private trip.

You'll love this small-group boat trip from Zadar to Kornati (with stops for snorkeling, hiking on shore and savoring a taverna lunch).


Choose a sailing cruise for island hopping in Croatia

Wooden sailing boat in CroatiaWooden sailing boat

For a truly relaxed island hopping you'll have to join a sailing cruise along the islands. These are very popular among travellers in Croatia. Prices very widely and starts at around £700 for seven days.

The cheapest seven-day holiday in an eight-berth yacht is typically £700–800 per person (rising to £900–1000 in a two-berth yacht), depending on the season. Prices rise steeply for fancier yachts.

You can also charter a smallish three to four-berth bareboat yacht for upwards of £900 a week, while prices for larger craft can run into thousands; a skipper will cost around £200 a day extra.

See a range of escorted tours to Croatia and choose the one that best suits you!

Sail the Adriatic on these boat tours:





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