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Croatia Island Hopping: Full Guide, Map and Tips

Visualize yourself with this scenario: exploring picturesque towns along the Adriatic coast, enjoying delicious Mediterranean food, visiting impressive and diverse beaches, experience outstanding sunsets, swimming in crystal clear water, late night partying on a boat with your friends…a holiday from island to island…  This is a fantasy that can come true. And no, this kind of holiday is not luxurious, because you can make it affordable and set your own itinerary, depending on your needs. Now it is your turn to plan your trip and visit Croatia to go island hopping.

Our Croatia Island hopping guide will help you and give you the information you need to manage your trip easier, faster and at low budget. Island hopping is definitely a great way to explore some of the 400 islands along the coastline of Croatia. For a further reading about beaches in Croatia read our guide about sandy beaches in Croatia

Tips for island hopping in Croatia

  • Where to start? Your starting point depends on which airport you fly into. Choose from Dubrovnik, Split or Zagreb airport. From Split you can go hopping to Šolta, Hvar, Brač, Korčula and Vis. Dubrovnik offers catamaran services to Mljet, Lastovo, Hvar and Korčula.
  • How to go island hopping? There are few options you can go island hopping in Croatia from catamarans, car ferries (running daily), an organized boat tour or renting your own boat/yacht. One of the main and largest shipping company is Jadrolinija, which connects major towns along the Croatian coast and islands with the mainland. Another company is Kapetan Luka which offers fast catamarans from Rijeka and Split and some routes to Dubrovnik.
  • When to go?  You can go island hopping all year round, but we recommend you to wait for the summer, as you will have various sailing options. For example, the shipping line Dubrovnik – Mljet – Korčula – Hvar – Bol (Brač) – Split only run in summer. In the midsummer, the prices are high, the weather can be very hot, thus cool enough for refreshing yourself in the Adriatic Sea. One of the essential things to do if you travel in peak season is to pre-book tickets as some of the catamaran sailings can sell out fast. If you prefer more privacy, fewer tourists around, mild temperatures and travel on a budget, we definitely suggest you traveling in late spring or early autumn.

Places you should visit

One of the very best and popular island hopping itinerary is from Split to Dubrovnik, via Bol, Hvar to Korčula and Mljet to Dubrovnik. This way you will see the highlights of the region of Dalmatia and get to know some of the most visited Dalmatian islands.

Croatia Island Hopping Map

1. Split

island hopping in Croatia, Split
Theo Crazzolara/Flickr

Before leaving from the small port of Split, the second largest city in Croatia, visit the most iconic sights of the town. The town is famous for its Roman ruins, grand museums and beautiful beaches.

2. Bol (Brač island)

Island hopping in Croatia, Bol, Brač, Zlatni Rat

There are many catamarans from Split to Brač and the trip will take you 45 minutes. Visit Bol, the island’s most picturesque town and long Zlatni Rat, Croatian most beautiful beach.

How to get to Bol (Brač island):

3. Hvar

Island hopping in Croatia, Hvar

A catamaran sail from Bol will take you to Hvar, one of the most famous of Dalmatian’s islands. It is known as a  Renaissance town, party island. If you need a relaxing day, a bit away from loud clubs and bars, then Stari grad (the oldest town in Croatia) is a good choice. You will be surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and historical monuments.

How to get to Hvar:

4. Korčula

Island hopping in Croatia, Korčula

Another hedonistic city waiting for you is Korčula. It is known mainly for sandy beaches, lush green surroundings and wine villages. You will be stunned by the beauty of secluded beaches, bays and breathtaking views from the top of the hills.

How to get to Korčula:

5. Mljet

Island hopping in Croatia, Mljet

One of the most attractive and forested islands in Croatia is Mljet, most of the island is National Park. This place features vineyards, spectacular saltwater lakes, olive trees and untouched lush vegetation. Perfect for families and those who like exploring nature or just enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. The island offers various sport activities, from walking, hiking, cycling, kayaking to diving.

How to get to Mljet:

6. Dubrovnik

Island hopping in Croatia, Dubrovnik

Our island hopping tour finishes in Dubrovnik, more known for its Old Town (UNESCO heritage site) and massive ancient stone walls which attracts numerous tourists every year. The town hosts many cultural events and festivals, especially in summer.

How to get to Dubrovnik:

Apart from gorgeous Dalmatia, Croatian coast offers other “eye candy” places and you can make some island hopping on the north of the Croatian coast. Departing by catamaran service from Rijeka to islands like Cres, Lošinj, Pag and Rab are only some examples where your island hopping adventure in Croatia begins.

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