Last updated on: Apr 14, 2021
Croatia is increasingly becoming a destination added that every traveler has on their travel bucket list. And why not? In addition to Greece, Croatia is the perfect place for an island hopping itinerary, as this gorgeous country has miles of beautiful coastline and islets overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
Whether that’s thanks to Dubrovnik transforming into King’s Landing for a few months every year, or because of the swelling number of celebrities who grace its many islands with their presence over the summer months.
Either way, you don’t have to be a celebrity to be able to take in the splendor of Croatia’s 1000+ majestic islands. Yes, you read that correctly, Croatia has over 1,000 islands, inlets and islets just waiting to be explored.
But with so many to choose from, where do you start when planning a Croatia islands holiday?
Whether you opt for a 7-day cruise or do your own a la carte tour, here’s an itinerary that captures some of the best islands in one fell swoop.
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Split will act as the starting point for your islands tour, since it’s well served by transport links including air, train, and sea.
But this isn’t simply a place to land and leave.
Croatia’s second city is a blend of the modern and medieval, with the magical Diocletian Palace well worth a visit. Here, you’ll get to see some of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If history isn’t your thing, soak up the lively buzz along The Riva, a promenade bursting with shops, bars and restaurants which occupies the space between the sea and the city’s old historic walls.
From Split, you can hop on the relatively inexpensive passenger ferry to Brač which is around 50km from Split.
Famous for the arrow-shaped Zlatni Rat beach in the resort town of Bol, Brač also offers up great hiking routes. If you are up for the challenge, the summit of the Vidova Gora mountain provides speculator views from the highest point in the Adriatic.
If you have time, make sure to take in a wine tasting tour, or olive oil tasting if you don’t drink alcohol.
From Brač it’s a short hop on the ferry across to Hvar.
Perhaps the most popular island in Croatia, if you visit in the summer months you are likely to spot a few famous faces on the boats moored in the harbor at Hvar town.
The island is jam-packed full of secret little coves and inlets, which takes relaxing by the sea to a whole new level. You can then return recharged after a lazy day on your secluded beach to indulge in the lively nightlife offered up at the world-famous Carpe Diem nightclub.
A personal favorite, no Croatian island holiday would be complete without a visit to the island of Korčula. It manages to provides a slice of traditional Croatian island life, without the hordes of visitors that neighboring islands Hvar and Brač attract.
Home to the explorer Marco Polo, the main attraction of this island is Korčula Town itself.
Many have nicknamed it “Little-Dubrovnik” with its terracotta-roofed medieval stone structures packed tightly into a stone-walled square kilometer.
It’s a must-do place for any Croatia island hopping itinerary, so take a day to get lost in its winding streets and spend time in the imposing Cathedral of St. Mark.
You can even visit Marco Polo’s house, which is nestled on one of the town’s trademark narrow cobbled streets.
Finish the day with a fresh seafood dinner from one of the restaurants that line the harbor. Their menus are determined by what has been caught on the day, with the fish turned around from the sea to the plate within a matter of hours.
The last stop will see you returning to the mainland to enjoy Croatia’s most popular destination; Dubrovnik.
Hosting well over a million visitors a year, Dubrovnik has gained worldwide notoriety for providing the filming location for large parts of the HBO series Game of Thrones. But this Unesco World Heritage Site is so much more than its alter-ego of King’s Landing.
One of the reasons it was picked for filming was due to its majestic renaissance architecture. You must take a stroll along its 16th-century walls, before visiting the baroque St. Blaise church and the old castle.
You can also visit the old Benedictine monastery which is just a stone’s throw across the water and return to try your hand at watersports or just relax the evening away on one of the beaches.
Croatia is fast becoming one of the hottest destinations on the planet, and it’s easy to see why. With its laid back Dalmatian culture, amazing history, and secluded beaches, it provides a blend of sunshine and culture that few other countries can provide.
The islands are some of the best places to experience this country, and although not all of them could be included here, this itinerary will give you something different to savor at each location before you pass through the old city gates of Dubrovnik.
Have you done an island hopping itinerary in Croatia? Was it everything you imagined?