Complete Ciovo Island Travel Guide (Best Beaches Included)

Čiovo (pronounced Chyoh-voh) is a small, yet full-of-life island in central Dalmatia, seamlessly connected to the UNESCO-listed town of Trogir and its extremely popular tourist riviera.

Often thought of as a peninsula due to its southern proximity to medieval Trogir and the fact that it’s linked by bridges, Čiovo is a gem that you have to explore during your stay in Croatia.

A tiny place spread over a small area of 28.8 square kilometers and home to about 6,000 residents, Čiovo’s highest peak, Rudine, rises 209 meters above sea level and offers amazing panoramic views, perfect for envy-worthy Instagram photos.

For such a small place, you’ll be surprised to hear that it has an archipelago of two small picturesque islands (Drvenik Veli and Drvenik Mali), with plenty of hidden bays and coves. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate and rich vegetation.

Key Locations/Towns on Čiovo Island:

  • Okrug Gornji
  • Okrug Donji
  • Arbanija
  • Slatine

Getting to Čiovo Island

The island is easily accessible thanks to its proximity to Split (and the airport there). For those driving, especially during the busy summer months, the main challenge is the traffic bottleneck on the bridge connecting Trogir to Čiovo.

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 at almost 35°C in August. So be prepared for this if you’re planning to drive!

However, you can also take a local bus from the Split airport to the Trogir bus station – a trip that is very cheap and takes around 30 minutes.

Once in Trogir, accessing Čiovo Island is simple despite the lack of ferry services. During the peak tourist season, there’s a regular boat service to Okrug Gornji that operates every 30 minutes and it costs a few Euros for a one-way trip.

This boat makes a stop at the Marina in Okrug, conveniently located between the main beaches in Ciovo and the town center.

Additionally, frequent boat services are available to Slatine from Trogir’s seaside promenade during the main season, as well as other options such as taking the bus from Trogir or even a taxi to cross you over the bridge.

Where to Stay on Čiovo Island

Ciovo Island is a bit more budget-friendly than the most popular Trogir, so it could even be a good idea to book your stay here, even if you’re planning to visit Trogir. Here are my top picks for Trogir proximity:

If you don’t mind being slightly farther away from Trogir, I recommend booking your stay in Okrug Gornji at my #1 choice, Villa Okruk (just across the beach, with beautiful sea views and tasty Croatian breakfast) or Apartments Ivana-Mira (it’s really worth the climb up to this place!)

Also read: The Best Spots for Windsurfing in Croatia

Best Beaches

Čiovo, along with the smaller islands of Drvenik Veli and Drvenik Mali, offers a ton of amazing beaches, from sandy to pebble to rocky – with many of them being minuscule, hidden and charming.

And before we check them out, you can take a look at the best Trogir beaches – since they’re worth checking out too, as they’re nearby.

But for now, here are the most popular beaches in Ciovo, starting with the ones in Okrug Donji and Okrug Gornji:

  • Okrug Beach (Okrug Gornji): Known as the “Trogir Copacabana” due to its beauty and popularity, this 2-kilometer-long gravel beach is always active. Easily accessible by road from Trogir, it has plenty of beach bars and restaurants that keep the nightlife buzzing.
  • Beach Mavarstica: Located in a bay south of Okrug Gornji, this beach blends sand and fine gravel, and also includes a section for naturists. Surrounded by a pine tree forest, Mavarstica is perfect if you’re looking for a less crowded beach. There are no facilities, but the water is crystal clear and you will love it!
  • Arbanija Beaches: In the tranquil village of Arbanija on the north side of Čiovo, you can find plenty of gravel or rocky coves. Notably, the Tri Sestrice (Three Sisters) beach, a fine pebble beach, is a favorite among locals. Additionally, St.Kriz (Cross) and Skrape (Cracks) beaches offer family-friendly environments with deck chair rentals.

Plus, as I mentioned above, there are plenty of small, charming hidden beaches all over the island, like the one you can see below:

Slatine Kava Beach

Near the small village of Slatine, on Čiovo’s far eastern corner, Kava Beach faces Split’s Marjan Hill.

As the largest beach in the Slatine Bay, Kava is known for its natural beauty, sandy shores (something not very common in Croatia!), and pine-shaded areas, making it perfect for those looking to relax and take in beautiful nature.

Drvenik Veli and Drvenik Mali Islands

While you do have to take a boat to reach any of these two islands connected to Ciovo, if you are looking for an even quieter escape, they have plenty of goodies to offer.

Rent a boat from Trogir Marina to explore sandy beaches and secluded coves like Vela Rina, a popular yachting spot on Drvenik Veli, and the beautiful coves of Solinska and Krknjasi, frequented by yachts with travelrs seeking pristine waters.

In the end, even though Trogir is the one that usually gets all the credit when it comes to vacations in the area, Ciovo island is just as good in my opinion (and a bit cheaper). And now you know everything about it, to make the most out of your upcoming stay.

If you want to share your experience in Ciovo – or ask me any questions – post a comment below.

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