Complete Guide to Ciovo Island (Best Beaches Included!)
Ciovo island is a small island in central Dalmatia and inseparable part of UNESCO Trogir town and its famous tourist riviera.
Ciovo (pronounced Chyoh-voh)) is sometimes considered a peninsula or the southern outskirt of medieval Trogir town connected by a bridge.
The island covers an area of 28.8 square kilometers with 6000 inhabitants with the highest peak Rudine (209 m). The island enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, rich vegetation, archipelago of two small picturesque islands (Drvenik Veli and Mali) , with innumerable hidden bays and beaches.
The largest places on the island are: Okrug Gornji, Okrug Donji, Arbanija and Slatina.
The reason Ciovo is considered the peninsula, are two bridges, one pedestrian and the second one the drawbridge. The advantage of this island is its proximity to the Split airport, convenient for visitors getting to Trogir by plane.
For travelers arriving by car, particularly in high season, the most serious problem is passing over the only bridge from Trogir to the inner part of the island.
I remember two years ago it took me more than an hour to cross the distance of 6-7 miles from Split airport to Arbanija village on almost 35°C in August. In high season road traffic over the bridge can be at or near a standstill.
The good news is that construction of a new bridge begun after the EU has approved financial support for a new bridge, 500 meters long. The bridge construction is still underway in 2016 and is likely to be completed by 2017.
Getting to Ciovo island
If you are arriving to Croatia by air then the Split airport is the closest airport to Trogir Riviera and island of Ciovo. It’s only few miles to Trogir town. There is a local bus line from Split airport to Trogir bus station.
Once getting to Trogir you can easily reach Ciovo island. There is no ferry connections to island but during the high season there is a regular boat (it runs every 30 minutes) connection to Okrug Gornji. One-way ticket costs about 10 kuna.
The boat stops at the Marina in Okrug, which is between the main beach and the center of town.
In the main season there are also frequent boats to Slatine from the Trogir seaside promenade.
Getting to Ciovo island from Split
Trogir Riviera is only 30 km from Split city and it takes 25 to 30 minutes to get there. The cheapest way but not also the fastest is by city bus line N° 37 that leaves from Sukoisanska bus hub.
If you are planning to visit Ciovo from Split than the best way is taking a ship from Split:
- Jadrolinija Ship line 606 (only passengers) – Split – Trogir- Drvenik Mali- Drvenik Veliki. Here you can check schedule from June 03rd to October 2nd
- Bura Company fast boats – Line 616 run by Bura Line on the route Trogir – Slatine (Ciovo island) – Split and vice versa begins with navigation from May until September 30.
Shipping company Bura usually introduces also tourist line (excursions) during the high season and you’ll need to visit their website to be updated regularly.
What makes Ciovo island so attractive?
There are several reasons that makes this island an excellent choice for your summer holidays.
It’s the nearest island or peninsula to Split Airport, distant less than 6 miles. Once on the island you can find excellent boat connections from Trogir or Slatina village to Split town. If you prefer to take a bus to visit Split, there is a regular public bus connection N° 38 to Split town.
From Ciovo island you can easily reach some of the most fascinating Croatia’s landscapes, Krka and Plitvice National Parks. Krka National Park is only 39 miles from Ciovo, while Plitvice Lakes can be reached in a 3 hour drive, or taking one of guided tours.
Cheap Ciovo island accommodation
If you are traveling on a budget but you don’t want to renounce the beautiful beaches, comfortable accommodation, places of interest o a fine local cuisine, this island is the right place to be.
Best Ciovo island beaches
Island of Ciovo including two small islands, Drvenik Veli (Big) and Mali (Small) offers many kinds of beaches, from sandy, pebble or rocky, some family ones to some secluded beaches.
Two main settlements on the island, Okrug Donji (Lower) and Okrug Gornji (Upper) offer several the most popular beaches on the island:
Okrug beach (Okrug Gornji)
he Okrug Beach is most popular beach on Trogir riviera.It is 5km from Trogir center, easy reachable by road which follows south side of Island of Ciovo, to Okrug Gornji. Check accommodation offers in Okrug Gornji (Upper) and Okrug Donji (Lower).
Two kilometers long gravel beach is also called “Trogir Copacabana” because of its beauty and popularity. The vast number of beach bars and few restaurants keeps this place alive through the night. There is a the water-sport center “MAX” with complete water sports offer for your active summer holidays.
Nearby 4 stars Villa Sunrise offers some additional services like outdoor tennis courts, free WI-Fi and a fitness center.
This beach is located in a bay in the southern part of the island of Ciovo, south of Okrog Gornji village. The beach is a combination of sand and fine gravel beach with a part reserved for naturist.
The beach of Mavarstica is ideal for escape from the crowded beaches and it is surrounded by pine forest. On the beach there are no facilities, only a crystal clear sea.
Arbanija is a small peaceful place located on the north side of Ciovo island. It’s located only few miles from Trogir town. It has numerous coves made of gravel or rocky beaches where you can escape from other crowded beaches of the island.
Above is the image of the most popular Arbanija beach, Tri Sestrice (three sisters), a beautiful fine pebble beach.
Along the road which is connecting Arbanija to Slatine (see the above map), just few kilometers away from Trogir and a few hundred meters from the center of Arbanija, you’ll come across of two quiet pebble beaches, St.Kriz (Cross) and Skrape (Cracks) both suitable for children with deck chairs rentals.
Arbanija village is an ideal place for peaceful holidays, only 10 miles from Split airport. Booking.com offers a large number of quality accommodation at very competitive prices.
Slatine Kava beach
Near small Slatine village, on the far east corner of the Ciovo Island, facing Split Marjan hill and only 12km away from Trogir, there is a beach called Kava.
It’s the largest beach among the many small beaches of the Slatine bay, the real natural beauty. The beautiful sandy beach is recommended for all who wish to relax in the shade of pine trees and enjoy the silence and crystal sea. Looking for accommodation in Slatine?
Drvenik Veli i Drvenik Mali islands
These two islands on the western side of Ciovo are usually considered as a part of the island. Both islands are regularly connected with Trogir and Split port.
Those who are really looking for some peace and quiet can hire a boat and take a tour to small islands in front of Ciovo – Drvenik Veli i Drvenik Mali where you can find some sandy beaches. In Trogir you can rent a boat from Trogir Marina.
Looking for some fabulous places? Booking com has a great offers for your holidays one Drvenik Veli (Big) and Drvenik Mali (Small).
The most beautiful one is located in the cove of Vela Rina, also a pier for smaller yachts. On Veli Drvenik there are two beautiful coves, Solinska and Krknjasi, also often visited by yachts.