Croatian islands

One reason, in our opinion, that the Croatian coastline is so beautiful is that it contains more than one thousand dazzling islands. If you were to look out to sea from anywhere along the Croatian coastline, it would be unusual for you not to see a green speck in the distance!

Most of the Croatian islands, however, are small and uninhabited and there are therefore only 20 or so larger islands which are popular with tourists. We will therefore provide a guide to some of these, starting from those just off Istria at the north of Croatia’s coastline and going all the way down to the islands near Dubrovnik in the south.

Croatian Islands Guides

  • The Brijuni Islands
    14 islands and islets make up this archipelago, which is also a National Park, located close to Pula on the mainland
  • Cres
    The second largest island in the Adriatic, near Rijeka
  • Losinj
    A neighbour to Cres, this popular island is well known for its lush green vegetation
  • Krk
    The largest Adriatic island, Krk is easily accessible as it is connected to the mainland by bridge
  • Rab
    One of the greenest islands, it is covered with fragrant pine forests
  • Pag
    Famous for its sheep’s cheese and lace-making, also home to the party town of Novalja!
  • Dugi Otok
    One of Croatia’s quieter islands, ‘long island’ (which is what its name means) is the perfect place to relax
Croatian Islands - Brac

Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) Beach on the island of Brac

  • Brac
    One of the livelier islands, Brac is famous for Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach in the town of Bol
  • Hvar
    The sunniest island in the whole of the Adriatic, Hvar is also one of the chicest options for the discerning Croatian visitor
  • Vis
    The most westerly of all the Croatian islands, Vis has a fascinating history and is less busy than some of its more famous neighbours
  • Korcula
    Famous for its thick dense forest, the island was nicknamed Black Korcula by the ancient Greeks
  • Mljet
    Home to a wonderfully enchanting National Park.

Other Croatian Islands

Information about the island of Silba can be found at Silba.net.

  • finecity girl

    We are two international motorcyclists flying into Pula and hiring motorcycles for ten days. We want to explore a few islands heading south and then take the coast road back to Pula. Shortish ferry hops are fine, because I’m not the best sailor. What route would those who know the area suggest, please?

  • I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either Hvar or Brac – both are lovely! But I do agree that picking just one and then spending 2/3 nights there (and using your car to explore) sounds like a better idea. I guess the one thing I would say is that Hvar (Hvar Town) can be a bit of a party place in summer – don’t know if that’s a draw for you or a negative?! Note that with either island, you can actually drive to the eastern point and take another ferry from there to the mainland – you won’t have to go back to Split (unless you want to). You can see a map of the car ferries in that region here: http://www.jadrolinija.hr/docs/default-source/ostali-dokumenti/spl-en.pdf?sfvrsn=2 (the blue lines).

  • Dominic

    Thank you for the detailed response! I will be driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik for 2 weeks and will be stopping along the way to explore some of the cities and sights. I only have around 3 days available to do island hopping. Would it be better to take the car ferry to either Hvar or Brac and spend about 2-3nights there? I heard that driving on the island is much more convenient. I’m torn between Hvar and Brac because at this point (with the car) it seems that I can only choose one of the islands. I’ll explore the rest when I make another trip to Croatia in the near future. But just for this trip, would you recommend Hvar or Brac? I’ll then take the car ferry back to Split and drive to dubrovnik. Cheers!

  • A few things about your itinerary: 1) Having a car would hinder you, in fact (as you maybe suspected) as there are very few car ferries *between* the islands, so you would have to take a ferry to an to an island, return to the mainland, another ferry to another island, return to the mainland etc the whole time. So your plan of returning the car in Split and taking another in Dubrovnik (depending on what you wanted to do in that region – you don’t really need one just for Dubrovnik) is better. 2) There also aren’t that many sailings between all of the islands, either. Because of the timings of the catamarans and the route they sail, it would make more sense to do Split – Brac – Hvar – Korcula (rather than Hvar before Brac). Either this – http://www.jadrolinija.hr/docs/default-source/2017-red-plovidbe/9811s-en.pdf?sfvrsn=2 – or this – http://www.krilo.hr/en/sailing_schedule.html – catamaran will most likely be most useful to you in this itinerary, although Jadrolinija do have some other sailings to the islands (http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/sailing-schedule/local-lines-2017). Hmm, honestly, I don’t think a full day on each is sufficient to see what the islands have to offer… I guess it depends on whether you’d prefer to experience a bit of several different islands, or more of one (or two)? Based on your car hire, I assume you’ll be in Croatia for longer than the island portion – could you move a day or two from the rest of your itinerary to the islands?

  • Dominic

    Forgot to add that I will be renting a car. Is it advisable to take my car on the car ferry for the above-mentioned route or should I return the car in split and rent another car upon arriving in Dubrovnik?

  • Dominic

    Hello, I have a question and it would be great if I could have some help! I am planning to go island hopping from Split to Hvar, then to Brac, followed by Korcula and lastly, to Dubrovnik. Just wondering if one full day in Hvar, Brac and Korcula is sufficient to see what the islands have to offer. I’m quite constrained but I would love to see as many of the islands if possible. Should I stick to this plan or should I remove one of the islands on my list to maximize the time on the other islands? Thank you!

  • SarahMerrow

    This is great. 🙂