Croatia island hopping is the best way to learn more about the jewels of the Croatia’s natural treasures.
Only country with more than 1000 islands can offer top destinations from wide-ranging of naturist beaches to scuba diving and snorkeling, intact nature, Robinson Crusoe islands, the best islands for all kind of water sports, island with the best local food and genuine wines, the most fashionable and elegant island, the island with the best dance parties.
You can choose to sleep into an elegant boutique hotel, bohemian-style villas, fisherman’s cottage or perhaps to one of lighthouse.
Tourists will find a thousand reasons for Croatia island hopping. Some because they simply want to spend a pleasant holiday; others to explore its cultural and historical monuments; some just to relax, sail, and enjoy the most pristine nature.
Croatia islands have so much to offer travelers that it’s simply impossible to cover it all here. From my long tourist experience I have chosen top ten favorite islands to visit along the Croatian Adriatic coast.
Best Islands to Visit in Croatia
1. Vis island – best local food and wines
Once military base of the former Yugoslav army until 1989, Vis island has become one of the most attractive island. In addition to its well-preserved natural beauty, rocky coast rich with coves, caves and several sandy beaches. This island is a paradise for naturist or nudist for those wishing taking a vacation without clothes.
How to get to Vis island? The only way is taking a car ferry or fast catamaran (only foot passengers) from Split harbor.
In both Vis small towns, Vis and Komiza you can benefit from excellent food and wines (white wine Vugava and red one Plavac).
In Vis town I recommend Villa Kaliopa restaurant situated in a beautiful ambient of the 16th century Garibaldi Palace with palm trees garden, the most romantic place in Vis town, serving fresh fish meals.
Vis island (small Bisevo island) also hosts a famous Blue Cave as one of the Central Dalmatia highlights. As a scuba diving fan, Vis island offers scuba diving possibilities around the island with plenty of all kind of fish, with famous wreck of an Italian ship sank in this waters in 1866.
2. Croatia Island Hopping – Hvar Croatian Saint Tropes
Welcome to the island which proves to be the sunniest Dalmatian island often called Croatian Madeira. Nature has donated it 2715 sunny hours per year.
The scents of rosemary and lavender, a pine wooded shore and an exceptional cultural richness confirms Hvar island (Hvar town), the second top destination after Dubrovnik.
Medieval Hvar is a small town that lies between protective pine-covered slopes and the azure Adriatic Sea. The main promenade runs along the harbor, where you will find the most important sights and some finest hotels like Riva in Adriatic ambiance full of high-fashion Hollywood glamour.
If you are looking for fun and parties, look no further – you have arrived at the mother of Croatia’s coastal clubs. Don’t miss to be at Carpe Diem night bar/cafe/club that rules Hvar town at night. It’s a place to see and to be seen.
Summer, beautiful people, few cocktails and soon you’ll find yourself doing something tomorrow you’ll rather forget. Hvar is the craziest place for parties!
3. Croatia Island Hopping – Kornati islands
Kornati archipelago is number one among Croatia’s landscapes for sailing and cruising to experience the beauty of 147 mostly uninhabited islands, islets and reefs.
The islands stretch from north-west to south-east forming four chains. The first two are very close to the mainland while the other two facing the open sea makes part of Kornati National Park.
Where to stay? Do you love adventure? Kornati islands are the perfect destination! You can stay at fishermen stone cottages as a seasonal accommodation or at one of many Muter’s guesthouses.
Kornati islands are definitely the top destination for boat owners and private cruising enthusiast.
4. Croatia Island Hopping – Brac (Bol) the best for water sports
Bol on Brac island is one of internationally famous windsurfers’ top destinations and generally the most beautiful place to go windsurfing on the Adriatic.
In a channel between the islands of Hvar and Brac blows maestral that is stronger on this side of the coast than anywhere else. It appears every afternoon almost without exception. More calmer wind levante blows during the morning that is ideal for learning and practice so you can find many windsurfing schools on this part of the coast.
5. Croatia island hopping – Mljet, island of pristine nature
Mljet island has remained for centuries rather unknown island and rarely visited by tourist.With an average width of 3 km is 37 km long this island of great diversity and contrast, and “Mljet” National Park covers his northwestern part with an area of 5.375 ha of protected land and surrounding sea.
The rich vegetation of the island, especially in the area of the national Park, explains why Mljet is also known as a Green Island.
The southern coast has some excellent sandy beaches. One of the most beautiful sandy beaches is Saplunara, on the southeastern part of the island. Its name comes from the Latin word sabalum meaning tiny sand. There are two sandy beaches, Big Saplunara and Small Saplunara.
How to reach Mljet island? There is ferry that goes from Prapratno (Peljesac peninsula) to Sobra (Mljet). Here you can check the ferry schedule and price list! From Dubrovnik in period from May 2016 to October 31st runs fast catamaran to Mljet.
6. Croatia Island Hopping – Rab island, a nudist paradise
Since 1936 when local authorities have permitted King Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson to swim naked at Kandarola beach, Rab island has become one of the most popular destinations for naturist lovers.
Kandalora beach (sometimes referred as English Beach or Engleska Plaza) popular and well equipped naturist beach with a restaurant and sports facilities, is located on the southern side of the Frkanj peninsula overlooking Palit, a modern suburb of Rab town. This beach can be reached by taxi-boats leaving from Palit’s promenade.
7. Croatia island hopping – Pag island, Zrce the best party beach
Zrce beach, Novalja on the island of Pag is a popular summer resort which hosts probably the only beach in Croatia with Ibiza sense.
Zrce is a long, white pebbled beach with crystal clear sea. The beach has numerous facilities and three popular open-air clubs offering entertainment until “small” hours.
The 2016 Croatia summer music festivals are around the corner, and I’ll have put together a comprehensive guide to help you plan ahead for what is set to be another top season of sun, sea, fun and music, confirming Croatia as Europe’s number one music festival destination.
8. Croatia island hopping – Palagruza lighthouse the best for solitude vacations
You are fed up with everything and everyone, you need loneliness, away from city life, only with people chosen by you? Than this lighthouse is the place for you!
If you are ready for something completely different, take the opportunity to run away from stressful everyday life in oasis of the peace and quietness where it seams like the time has stopped.
Palagruza is the most remote Croatian island and lighthouse. It is situated 68 NM to the south of the town of Split and 26 NM to the south of the Island of Lastovo. Palagruza and some small islands around it are not inhabited. Book your vacations on this lighthouse island. There are 11 lighthouses along the coast, waiting to offer you different vacations.
9. Croatia island hopping – Murter island, the best sailing school
One of the most exciting way to spent your holidays on the Adriatic is certainly taking part in sailing schools to learn one of the most ancient human sills – sailing.
This 5 days course teaches you basic skills essential in order to begin sailing, like handling ropes and deck equipment, basic navigating maneuvers, shortening sails, steering, avoiding collisions on the sea and many more.
Course take place on island Murter at Jezera, a harbor in Jezera bay, on the north-eastern shores of the island of Murter which is connected to the mainland by bridge at Tisno.
Thanks to its favorable geographic position, a nautical center and marina with 220 berths have been built in Jezera is a great starting point for exploring Kornati National Park.
10. Croatia top island destinations – the best a day tour to Lopud island
When planning Croatia island hopping one of starting point can be Dubrovnik. Would you like to make a peaceful escape from touristy Dubrovnik? Island Lopud is one of the top destinations, situated 7 NM northwest of Dubrovnik. It makes a part of the Elahites islands.
Lopud is a car free island. From Dubrovnik ferry port (Gruz) you can take a ship that runs daily to this island. Check the schedule and price list. The most beautiful beach is only 20 minutes away, a fine sandy Sunj beach, probably one of the best naturist destinations in Southern Dalmatia.
What is your favorite Croatian island?