Want to know which are the best islands in Croatia to visit on your next trip?
Since I arrived from my trip to Croatia in 10 days, many of you asked me what is the best island to visit in Croatia or what are the most beautiful Croatian islands.
When planning your trip through the land of 1000 islands, you will have to decide which island of Croatia to choose.
Everything depends on the days you have there and your tastes, as each of these best Croatian islands has a special charm.
In this post, I tell you which are the best islands of Croatia to visit, with all the information you need to plan your Croatian Islands hopping trip.
Índice / Table of Contents
- How many islands are in Croatia
- What is the best way to island hop in Croatia?
- Best Islands in Croatia to visit
- Croatian Island map
- The Islands of Croatia list
How many islands are in Croatia
Croatia has more than 1200 islands and islets located in the Adriatic Sea. The largest islands in Croatia are Cres, Krk, Brac, Hvar and Pag. At the end of the post, you have a list of the main islands of Croatia.
What is the best way to island hop in Croatia?
If you wonder how to visit the islands in Croatia, you must know that there are two ways to do it:
Sailing in Croatia
The best way to explore the Croatian islands is by an island hopping cruise along the Dalmatian coast. Sailing around Croatia is an amazing experience!
This way of visiting the Croatian islands is one of the most popular, since you don’t have to worry about anything and all is really well organized.
In addition, by gulet you can get easily to less known beaches and enjoy snorkeling in its crystal clear waters without people.
Luxury Gulet Cruises in Croatia normally include a route through the islands of Croatia for a week, and you can choose the itinerary, depending on whether you prefer nature, culture or relaxation, and the area you want to go (Central Dalmatian, from Split or from Dubrovnik). And you have all meals and activities included!
Croatian Islands by car
The advantage of traveling the islands of Croatia by car is the freedom you have to stop wherever you want and travel to Croatia on your own.
I rented a car in Dubrovnik and it was great. I love road trips so much!
The disadvantage? You will spend too much time driving, the road conditions on the islands of Croatia are not so good and there are many curves on the road. Besides, to get to the lesser-known islands, there is no direct ferry, so you will have to make transfers and lose a lot of time.
Best Islands in Croatia to visit
The island of Brac is bathed by the Adriatic Sea, in front of Split at the Dalmatian coast.
How to get to the island of Brac
You can get to Brac Island from Dubrovnik or Split:
1). If you want to get to Brac from Dubrovnik, as I did, it’s best to do it by car.
First you will have to drive to the town of Makarska, crossing the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Once there, take a ferry that will take you to the port of Sumartin on the island of Brac.
I recommend you to arrive well in advance to Makarska, since the cars that can enter the ferry are limited, and if can’t make it, you will have to wait for the next ferry. The ferry ride from Makarska to the island of Brac is 1-hour long.
2). If you want to reach Brac island from Split, the fastest ferry will take you to the port of Supetar, northeast of Brac, in less than 1 hour.
On my trip to Croatia, I arrived to Brac from Dubrovnik and left to Split, so you don’t have to go back to the same place and you can continue traveling around the country.
Where to stay on the island of Brac
If looking where to stay on the island of Brac, I chose to stay in Bol, one of the most beautiful town on the island.
I stayed at Belado Residence Bol, overlooking the sea, the free Wi-Fi worked very well and it’s only 5 minutes walk from the center of Bol.
Here you have other accommodations on the island of Brac well valued by travelers.
Things to do in Brac Island
There are many places to visit on the island of Brac, so it’s better to take a short drive to see the most beautiful towns and the best beaches of Brac Island:
- Pucisca is a beautiful coastal village that you can’t miss (take a traditional ice cream, they are delicious!).
- Lovrecina Bay and its beautiful Brac beaches are a must. The color of the water will leave you speechless.
- The famous Zlatni Rat Beach, on the Golden Horn, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.
Croatian islands hopping, you will find the best beaches in Croatia, wild and with turquoise waters; but don’t think that the Croatian beaches have fine sand, because you will be disappointed.
Almost all beaches in Croatia are of stupid thick sand made with shells or small stones. So remember to wear appropriate footwear to not hurt your feet.
- The town of Bol, where I recommend you walk through the port at sunset and dine on some of the terraces a typical black rice.
- If you like hiking, go up to Vidova Gora, the highest point of the Croatian islands.
This Croatian island that has become very popular in the last 2 years, considered among the three best islands of Croatia, is located off the Dalmatian coast, between the islands of Brac and Korcula.
How to get to the island of Hvar
You can reach the island of Hvar from Split or from Dubrovnik:
1). To go from Split to Hvar you can do it by ferry, and you will arrive at the town of Stari Grad, in the east of the island. The distance between the island of Hvar and Split is not much and it only takes an hour to get there by ferry.
2). If you prefer to reach the island of Hvar from Dubrovnik, the ferry will take 3 hours and a half, since it makes stops in other islands and the distance from Dubrovnik is big.
Where to stay in Hvar
Apartments Luma is one of the hotels in Hvar best valued by travelers for having free Wi-Fi and free parking, it’s petfriendly, and very close to the beach and the city center.
Two other places to stay in Hvar that I recommend are: Apartments Belić, with free Wi-Fi and free parking next to the center of Jelsea; and Guest House Marjan, in Zavala, with very good rate quality / price and spectacular views of the sea.
Best things to do Hvar island in one day
There are many things to do in Hvar, as it’s an island full of cultural, historical attractions, beaches and a really good atmosphere.
The town of Hvar, which has the same name as the island, is a must. The visits that I recommend are:
- The 16th century Franciscan Monastery hides a cypress garden that is more than 300 years old.
- The Fortress of Hvar, which you will reach by walking from St. Stephen’s Square, and from where you will have the best views of Hvar and the Pakleni Islands.
- The Cathedral of Hvar, located in the center and surrounded by cobblestone streets that you can’t stop exploring.
The lavender fields of Hvar in the towen of Velo Grabje are beautiful; besides, lavender is the symbol of the island!
The beaches of Hvar are also worth a visit. Dubovica beach is one of the most beautiful in Hvar, east of the island.
If you travel to Croatia with children, one of the most familiar beaches is Grebisce beach, located north of the port of Jelsa. Other beaches that you can visit are Lucisca, Sveta Nedjelja and Jerolim beach.
The Grapceva caves are one of the hidden secrets of the island of Hvar, from the Neolithic period.
If you go through Milna, stop eating at the Konoba Lambik restaurant, where you will taste the delicious traditional food of Hvar.
One of the most beautiful trips from Hvar is the Blue Cave Boat Cruise. The Blue Grotto is incredible.
I had never seen that blue water before! Besides, the Green Cave is one of the best places to snorkel in Croatia.
This tour departs from Hvar, lasts 6 hours and includes transfers by boat, English speaking guide, snorkeling equipment and drinks.
Also, you can’t miss the Pakleni archipelago, which is located east of Hvar. To know how to go from Hvar to the Pakleni Islands, keep reading!
Related post: Fun free things to do in Croatia
Pakleni Islands (Pakleni Archipelago)
The Pakleni Islands are located south of Hvar and to visit them, it’s best to make a day trip from Hvar.
How to get to the islands of Pakleni
You can take a water taxi from Hvar, book the Pakleni Islands Kayaking Tour from Hvar or book this day trip to the Pakleni Islands by speedboat from Hvar.
Where to stay in Pakleni islands
If you visit the Pakleni archipelago, it’s best to book accommodation in Hvar. In the previous section you have my 3 recommendations for staaying on the island of Hvar.
Things to do in the Pakleni islands
Explore the largest island of the Pakleni archipelago, Sveti Klement, covered with pine trees and limestones with turquoise water is a must.
It’s a wild island where you will only notice the human footprint in its 4 restaurants, a bar, a botanical garden and an art gallery.
You can’t miss the Roman settlement of Vlaka or the Andro Tomic vineyards, just at sea level. If you want to make a stop to eat, I recommend the Palmižana restaurant.
One of the most populated islands in Croatia, Korcula is famous for its terraces on the sea, its medieval churches and some of the most beautiful cobbled streets in Croatia.
The island of Korcula, also called the Emerald Island and one of the most famous islands in Croatia, is among the so-called islands of Dubrovnik for being further south, and it’s the sixth largest island in the Adriatic.
How to get to the island of Korcula
You can get to the island of Korcula from Dubrovnik by ferry. The trip lasts two hours and you will arrive at the town of Korcula.
Where to stay in Korcula
Apartments & Room Nina is the recommended hotel in Korcula and best valued by travelers, for its quality / price ratio, its location (on the seafront with sea views) and free Wi-Fi. Click here for more information and the latest prices.
You can find other accommodations to stay in Korcula here.
What to do in Korcula island
The towns of Korcula and Vela Luka, a small coastal town famous for its beaches, caves, vineyards, olive trees and fig trees are a must.
There are lots of things to do in the island of Korcula:
- Visit San Pedro’s church and the San Marcos Cathedral.
- Discover Vela Spilja, one of the important prehistoric caves in Europe.
- Cycle the green areas by one of their 4 routes.
- Visit the chapel of Sv. Juraj, the old fortress and the abandoned town of Dub.
- Arrive to the islets of Proizd and Osjak to swim in its turquoise waters.
- Try the famous Korcula wine in one of its local wineries.
The island of Mljet is the perfect island for a romantic and relaxing getaway.
It’s very close to Dubrovnik, which makes it ideal to combine if you have a few days to visit Croatia.
How to get to the island of Mljet
You can get to Mjlet from Dubrovnik by ferry, but first you have to travel to the town of Prapratno (1 hour from Dubrovnik) and there take the ferry to Sobra on the island of Mjlet. The ferry journey lasts only 45 minutes.
Where to stay in Mljet
It’s not worth staying overnight on the island, since you can take a day trip from Dubrovnik and thus not waste more time staying the night there.
Things to do in Mljet Island
A third of the island is a natural park, and there are many routes to walk or bike around the island.
In addition, a visit the Veliko and Malo Jezero salt lakes is a must, where in one of them there is an old Benedictine Monastery from the 12th century in the middle. You can also rent a kayak and get to the Melita islet.
Related post: Most beautiful places to visit in Croatia
The island of Vis is located less than 50 kilometers from the city of Split.
How to get to the island of Vis
You can reach the island of Vis from Split by ferry. The journey takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Where to stay in Vis
You can stay in Split, but being so long the ferry ride, it’s better to arrive to the island booking an day trip that cruises several islands, or you can stay in Vis for a night.
You can find accommodation on the island of Vis at the best price here.
Things to do in Vis Island
The island of Vis is famous for the Stiniva beach, considered one of the best beaches in Europe, for its turquoise waters and its location, at the end of a cliff corridor.
The access is difficult, and most travelers arrive at the beach by boat, booking this 12-hour tour that takes you to 5 Croatian islands and to the Blue Grotto from Split.
If you want to visit wild islands and unique natural landscapes in Croatia, the Kornati Islands are for you.
The islands of Kornati are located next to the island of Dugi Otok, west of Zadar.
How to get to the islands of Kornati
Where to stay in Kornati
Kornati is a protected natural park and there are no accommodations. As the tours to the Kornati Islands leave from Zadar, the best option is to stay the night there. You can find accommodation in Zadar at the best price here.
Things to do in Kornati
The Kornati Natural Park is made up of more than 80 protected, uninhabited islands, perfect for a day trip on a boat, stopping at different turquoise water coves and spectacular cliffs.
Also, if you like to snorkel or scuba diving, the Kornati Islands have some of the best spots in Croatia to do it.
The island of Pag is located north of Zadar and it’s one of the islands of Croatia where you will find more party and nightlife.
How to get to the island of Pag
It can be reached by car from Zadar in less than an hour, via the Paski bridge.
Where to stay in Pag
It’s not worth staying overnight on the island, since you can take a day trip from Zadar and thus not waste time staying there.
Things to do in Pag Island
The island of Pag is famous for its party, and Zrce beach is the best known among young people. In summer there popular are festivals organized there with world-famous DJs.
If you are looking for something quieter, the town of Pag stands out for its culture and gastronomy. You can’t leave Pag without trying the famous Paski cheese.
The island of Rab is located in the gulf of Carnaro, north of the Adriatic Sea.
How to get to the island of Rab
You can get there by ferry from the island of Pag and it will take only 45 minutes.
Where to stay in Rab
If you are going to spend the day on the neighboring island of Pag, you can stay on the island of Rab to visit it the next day. Check out the best hotels in Rab Island at the best prices here.
Things to do in Rab Island
As I said before, most of the beaches in Croatia are made from rocks, but the island of Rab is the only one that has sandy beaches in Croatia.
The best beach in Rab is Rajska beach, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.
Dugi Otok Island
Dugi Otok is one of those islands that nobody knows and that are less visited by the travelers who decide to travel around Croatia.
That makes it even more special, because you will feel that you have the island to yourself. I’s one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia.
Dugi Otok is located near the Dalmatian coast, west of Zadar.
How to get to Dugi Otok
To get to the Croatian island of Dugi Otok you will have to take a ferry from Zadar to Božava or Brbinj, two towns east of the island. The ferry trip lasts almost two hours.
Where to stay in Dugi Otok
The Sali Hotel is the recommended hotel in Dugi Otok and best valued by travelers, for its quality / price ratio, its location (in the cove of Saščica) and for having breakfast included and free parking.
You can find other accommodations to stay in Dugi Otok here.
Things to do in Dugi Otok Island
The island of Dugi Otok stands out for its natural landscapes, such as the Telašćica Natural Park, and its beaches with crystal clear waters.
Among those that you shouldn’t miss, is Sakarun, one of the best beaches in Croatia, sometimes compared to the beaches of the Caribbean.
Croatian Island map
The Islands of Croatia list
The Croatian islands can be classified into different categories, depending on whether or not they have an airport, its location and whether it’s more easily reached from Split or from Dubrovnik.
I hope this guide of the islands of Croatia will help you to plan your trip to the country of the 1000 islands.
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