Croatia Island Hopping Itinerary

Croatia Island Hopping [A 7 Day Itinerary for 2021]

Dreaming about island hopping in Croatia but unsure how to plan your adventure? By the end of this post, you’ll be prepped and ready to explore Croatia’s best islands.

Island hopping in Croatia is one of the best experiences you can have on the Adriatic Coast, and a great way to string together your Croatia itinerary

Back when I was planning my own Croatia island-hopping adventure, I had no idea what a dream itinerary should look like, so I planned my route slowly and steadily. I hit a ton of spots so I could offer up real advice about where to island-hop.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • 💻 My recommended Croatia island-hopping itinerary
  • 🛥️ How to get around
  • 💰 How much money you should budget
  • And so much more!

Let’s go!

7-Day Croatia Island Hopping Itinerary

Taylor stands along a ledge in front of a waterfall in Krka National Park, Croaita

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Day #1 – Dubrovnik & Lokrum Island

Aerial drone shot of Otok Lokrum in Adriatic sea near Dubrovnik Old Town

Let’s say that, for the sake of this Croatia island hopping itinerary, you’ll start your journey in the southern coastal city of Dubrovnik (although it can be done in reverse, starting in Split).

Dubrovnik is a major Croatian hub and is filled with incredible restaurants, history, art, and adventure. 

While in Dubrovnik, I recommend walking the old city walls, taking the cable car to the top of Mount Srd, relaxing on Uvala Lapad Beach, and exploring Lokrum Island. Lokrum is a short 15-minute ferry journey from the Dubrovnik port. The ride costs about 40 Kuna ($6.50USD), give or take.

While Lokrum island doesn’t have any human inhabitants, it is home to a shallow inland saltwater lake, a nude beach, Benedictine Monastery ruins, and a ton of wildlife.

🛏️ Where to Stay in Dubrovnik Hotel Dubrovnik Palace (the hotel where celebrities stay)

Day #2 – Mljet

Odysseus Cave on Mljet island, Croatia in front of a bright blue Adriatic Sea.
Hiking to Odysseus Cave on Mljet island is one of the best things to do in Croatia!

A small island home to just over 1000 people, Mljet is the relaxing nature escape of your dreams.

To get to Mljet, take the ferry from the Dubrovnik port to Sobra on Mljet. This journey will take about an hour.

The island is dotted with quaint small towns, picturesque Adriatic Sea views, and an incredibly lush National Park. While here, I recommend visiting St. Mary’s Island, trying out the mom-and-pop restaurants, and hiking to Odysseus Cave. 

🛏️ Where to Stay on Mljet IslandVilla Mirosa (incredible views from the hot tub!)

Day #3 – Korcula

Korcula island in Croatia is home to azure waters, dense forests, and great coastline.

Next up is the island of Korcula — a destination known for its dense forest, wine production, beautiful caves, and spectacular old town. While definitely not the most visited place on this list, it’s also not the least — as a tourist you’ll find Korcula has a great tourism infrastructure but without the crowds. The Old Town, while it is reminiscent of Dubrovnik in that it has fortified walls and is right on the coast, stands out as it’s notably less crowded in the summertime.

To get to Korcula, take the ferry from the Pomena port on Mljet to the Korcula port. This journey will be about 30 minutes. For a unique way to get around once there, snag a ticket for the Korcula Yellow Taxi (if available during your visit, that is). This “hop on, hop off” style catamaran ticket will enable you to visit 4 destinations in Korcula with ease! 100% worth the cost.

🔥 Hot Tip: Keep in mind that this ferry does not run year-round. In the high season, there is one journey per day, and in the winter, it does not run at all.

🛏️ Where to Stay on Korcula IslandAminess Lume Hotel (super popular, tends to sell out)

Days #4 & 5 –  Hvar

Taylor sits on top of the Spanjola Fortress of Hvar Island with sailboats, islands, and the Adriatic Sea in the background.
Me sitting on top of the Spanjola Fortress on Hvar Island!

A 90-minute ferry ride from Korcula, Hvar may be known for its excellent nightlife, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. For that reason, I recommend two days in this top Croatia destination to really get your bearings.

In particular, I recommend hiking up to Spanjola Fortress, checking out one of the lavender fields, exploring the adorable towns of Stari Grad and Vrboska, and spending time in Hvar Town.

In regards to the parties, some of the best clubs on Hvar include Hula Hula Beach Bar, Falko Beach Bar, Carpe Diem, and Splash.

🛏️ Where to Stay on Hvar IslandAmfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort (the pool is unbelievable!)

Day #6 – Brac

An aerial shot of Zlatni Rat Beach near Bol on Brac Island
How awesome is this aerial shot of Zlatni Rat beach near Bol?!

A 30-minute ferry from Hvar, Brac is a long and elevated island that sees fewer tourists and is much more relaxing than Korcula and Hvar. 

While in Brac, I recommend lounging on Zlatni Rat beach near Bol, exploring the medieval town of Skrip, and exploring Supetar — the islands main entry point and largest town. Brac is that it’s a major hub of olive oil production. In fact, the island is home to more than a million olive trees that the ancient Greeks planted millennia ago. 

🛏️ Where to Stay on Brac IslandBluesun Hotel Elaphusa (a huge resort with everything from tennis courts to a bowling alley)

Day #7 – Vis

The town of Vis is surrounded by dense forest and the azure Adriatic Sea

An island known for its pristine nature and luxurious atmosphere, Vis is worth an explore.

Although not too far away, only one ferry runs from Brac to Vis (in the high season) per week. For this reason, I recommend either timing your trip to Vis so perfectly that this works out, or simply making the 2.5-hour trek from nearby Split.

That said, Vis Island is 100% worth the trip. This island not only features pristine nature, but it’s also home to great beaches (Stiniva in particular), WWII history, and excellent scuba diving. Plus, just a short distance away on Bisevo island is the famous Blue Cave — a stunning natural grotto that turns completely blue when the sun is at its peak.

Oh, and it was notably the shooting location for the movie Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again — in case that means something to you! 

🛏️ Where to Stay on Vis IslandHotel San Giorgio (a gorgeous family run boutique)

The Best Croatia Island Hopping Group Tours

View of dock and marine landscape. Traveling, yachting, sailing concept.

Taking a group tour is an excellent way to see multiple islands without planning the trip yourself. There are many to choose from out there, but Contiki is a brand that has a special reputation for throwing incredible group tours in Croatia. Here are two awesome island hopping group tour options to consider:

Suggested Group Tour #1 – Contiki’s top rated Croatia Island Sail tour is 8-days long, includes a full sailboat crew, and will take you to six unique islands including Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik.

🚴 Suggested Group Tour #2 – Contiki’s Sail, Cycle, and Yoga tour is also 8-days long but is geared towards people who love – you guessed it! – cycling nad yoga. It also boat transportation and covers 10 destinations.

Note that, even if you prefer to self-organize your trip, it’s still REALLY worth it to find a way to get onto a yacht or boat at some point. You can use peer-to-peer boat rental sites like Sailo to find yacht rentals at prices that are probably less than you are thinking. Most come with their own skippers, but if you know how to sail, you can also take the wheel yourself!

Croatia Island Hopping FAQ

Tourists in inflatable boats inside the Blue cave, famous tourist attraction.
The blue cave on Bisevo Island, Croatia

Is one week enough for Croatia?

Although one week in Croatia is a great taster of the country, there are a ton of islands and inland destinations that can’t be covered in just one week. If you can, I recommend spending three weeks to a month traveling Croatia.

What are the best islands in Croatia to visit?

Although there are no “bad” ones, the best islands in Croatia to visit are Mljet, Hvar, Vis, Korcula, and Brac.

How do you get around Croatian islands?

The easiest way to get around is by taking the ferry. The ferry system in Croatia is easy to use, affordable, and it services all the main islands. The two main ferry systems are Jadrolinija and Kapetan Luka. If you’re traveling in the summer (peak season) be sure to book your ferry transportation well in advance.

What is the best way to travel around Croatia?

While island hopping in Croatia is best done by ferry, taking a road trip is the best way to travel Croatia’s inland area. Renting a car and driving in Croatia is a great way to get off the beaten path.

How much money do you need per day in Croatia?

Croatia is a country that can be done on pretty much any budget, but for the best experience that won’t break the bank, I recommend allotting at least $50USD / day. 

***

That’s it for my Croatia island-hopping itinerary!

I hope this gave you a ton of inspiration for your upcoming trip, as there is truly a ton to discover in Croatia.

For more articles on Croatian travel, visit:

Have fun in Croatia!

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