- The optimal period for island hopping from Split is between late June and August.
- Advance booking is crucial for hotels and catamaran rides due to high demand.
- This suggested itinerary involves spending a couple of days on each island, with careful planning around catamaran schedules, especially for transferring from Vis to Hvar only on Tuesdays.
- Starting from Split, this itinerary includes visiting Brac, Vis, Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Dubrovnik.
There are over 1,000 islands in Croatia, with just 47 of them inhabited full time. This means that we have plenty of hidden gems and amazing islands and islets to visit – and this is what we’re talking about today.
This is the best island hopping itinerary for Croatia. Spanning over a period of 10 days (which you can push to 15 if you want to take it slower), it will cover Croatia’s coastal splendor and will take you from Split to Dubrovnik.
During this 10-day-long island hopping adventure, you will see the most important islands and locations in Croatia, like Brac, Vis, Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet. Plus Split (your starting point) and Dubrovnik – where the adventure ends.
Croatia Island Hopping – First, Prepare!
First of all, timing is crucial when it comes to preparing for this amazing island hopping adventure from Split.
My recommendation is to aim for the high season for this trip – late June through August. During this period, the Adriatic is alive with vibrant culture and optimal weather.
It’s also the most expensive time of the year to visit the country, so a bit of preparing is a must.
This means that you should book ahead all accommodation and catamarans that you can. Aim to book hotels especially (since here you can get the best deals) as early as January or February.
If you plan things a head a little bit, you will be able to score some amazing deals and keep costs to a minimum.
If island hopping doesn’t seem to be your thing, you can check out my alternative suggestion – the 10 days in Croatia itinerary. This involves a lot less in terms of island hopping, but it’s still pretty amazing!
Island Hopping Itinerary – What You Will See (and Why)
There are plenty of locations that you will see during this 10-day trip, and I am quickly going over them below, to tell you why I have chosen them and not any of the other 1,000+ islands in Croatia.
First, we’ll start with the Split Archipelago (make sure to check the best things to do in Split before leaving):
- Brac: Known for the Zlatni Rat beach, the most spectacular pebble beach you will see.
- Hvar: A blend of chic glamour and ancient traditions.
- Vis: An untouched paradise, once a military base, now a tranquil retreat.
Further south, the journey continues with the following islands, on our way to Dubrovnik:
- Lastovo: An island park, cloaked in a dense forest and sprinkled with quaint villages.
- Korcula: Believed to be Marco Polo’s birthplace, it’s full of untouched medieval charm.
- Mljet: Home to a serene national park, with saltwater lakes and amazing views.
Note: You can do this in reverse-order if you want, but starting from Split gives you a logistical edge – most ferries embark from here and it’s easier overall in my opinion.
The Ultimate Split Island Hopping 10 Days Itinerary
IMPORTANT: This is a foot-traveler’s trip. If you’re driving, be warned: island connectivity is limited, and you may find yourself bound to return to Split to hop to the next destination. So better leave your car behind for this one!
Now that we have all the important things cleared out, let’s check out the in-depth itinerary below, divided into days and with all the details that you need.
Day 1 & 2: The Charming Vis Island
Take the Jadrolinija catamaran line 9602 departing from Split to Vis town and you’ll be at your first destination in about 90 minutes. Alternatively, the ferry line 602 is available, a leisurely 140-minute sail.
Upon your arrival on the island, Vis presents a two-day escapade into a land where the Mediterranean whispers tales of yesteryears.
Wander around the island at your own pace (you can check out my guide to Vis Island here for ideas of what to do).
Probably the main thing you need to do while here is taking a journey from Komiza to the mesmerizing Blue Lagoon Cave, the latter being one of the top attractions in Croatia.
Days 3-5: Hvar Island – The Queen of the Adriatic
For our next destination, board the Krilo catamaran line 9602 to reach Hvar in less than an hour.
While in Hvar, allocate 3-4 days to savor all of its delights. This is one of the most popular destinations in Croatia – it’s called “The Queen of the Adriatic,” after all. So you will definitely not get bored.
Check out my list of the top things to do in Hvar for some extra ideas.
Days 5-7: Korcula Island – A Step Back in Time
For your journey to Korcula from Hvar, you have two options: either a Krilo catamaran that takes an hour, or the Jadrolinija catamaran line 9811 leaving in the afternoon. I recommend choosing the morning option – Krilo.
In Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, dedicate 2 to 3 days to wander the cobblestoned streets and see the most important things it has to offer.
Days 7-9: Mljet Island – An Idyllic Retreat
You have a quick catamaran from Korcula to Mljet Island (around 30 minutes) leaving in the morning, operated by the Krilo company.
While this is not the most popular island in the country, its natural serenity is something that you will definitely appreciate towards the end of your journey.
Also known as the Green Island, Mljet is famous for its National Park, as well as the saltwater lakes you can visit and swim in during the high season.
You can read my entire guide to Mljet island here for all the details.
Days 9-10: Dubrovnik – The Pearl of the Adriatic
The final leg of our island hopping adventure in Croatia takes us to the legendary Dubrovnik, one of the few places in Croatia that probably requires no introduction.
Dubrovnik awaits as the crowning jewel of your expedition. You can spend more than the final two days here if you have more time available. If you do, you can continue reading my 5 days in Dubrovnik itinerary.
One thing is certain about this city, though: you can never have enough time to fully enjoy it.
Why Not Less Than 10 Days for This Island Hopping Itinerary?
Your adventure could stretch to a leisurely two weeks, but I wouldn’t recommend compressing it. If you do, you will have to sacrifice a few islands for the sake of time.
Apart from the huge number of places we’re visiting, the main culprit is Vis Island. Or rather, its ferry connections.
But even so, the pace of travel will be pretty high and you don’t want to end your trip feeling more tired than you were when you left. Also, you need a bit of time to be able to fully take in all the wonders that each destination offers.
Therefore, I would recommend doing this in 10 days – or even more, if possible, to slow down a bit and make everything even more enjoyable.
If you only have one week to spend in Croatia, I recommend this 7 Day Istria itinerary instead. It’s all on land and much easier to accomplish, too.
Covering Central and Southern Dalmatia, this island hopping itinerary will take you through some of the most important destinations in the country.
While there is definitely a lot more to see, if you only have 10 to 14 days available, this itinerary will definitely cover Croatia’s best. I am sure you will enjoy it and I can’t wait to hear your trip reports below once you’re done with it!
And don’t forget, since you’re starting your trip in Split, if you can add a few more days to your vacation, you can spend them in style by following my 7 days in Split itinerary.